Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dark Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Mousse

Dark Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Mousse

Dark Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Mousse

Sumier one of my friends is featured prominently on this blog for a couple of reasons. He lives down the street from me, loves desserts and is always up to try something new. For his birthday I asked him what he wanted for dessert and he gave me four ingredients : dark chocolate, dulce de leche, sea salt and ginger. Here is a dessert I came up with that had the first three ingredients. I made ginger ice cream on the side as the last ingredient as I could not figure out a way of incorporating it into this dessert. I hope you like it as much as he did.

To make dulce de leche you can buy it in a store or do what I do cook a can of condensed milk in a pressure cooker. Sounds crazy right but it works. I take the labels off the cans (I normally do more than one). Put them in a pressure cooker. Make sure you cover them completely with water with a fair more to spare. Also make sure you have a large enough pressure cooker to do more than one can and you are not overfilling the water level. Put the pressure cooker on the stove and let it go for one whistle and then lower the flame to low and let it continue heating for at least 20 minutes (35 mins if you want a much darker version). After the time is up you can turn off the gas and let the cans sit in the pressure cooker until the pressure has subsided about 30-40 minutes. Make sure you release any pressure from the pressure cooker before you open it. Take the cans out and let them cool before you open them. The reason I make more than one is that I save the ones I am not using in the fridge for later. They keep for a while as long as they are not opened.

Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 can of dulce de leche (at room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Method

Melt the chocolate and let it cool.

Start whisking the cream, as it starts to thicken add the sugar in batches. Whip until soft peak stage (this is the stage that if you lift your beater the peak will drop over).

Use half the whipped cream and add it to the melted chocolate. Fold until all the chocolate is incorporated. Split it between four wine glasses.

Take a quarter of the remaining whipped cream and add it to the dulce de leche to lighten the dulce the leche. Then add the remaining cream and fold to incorporate. Pour this on top of the dark chocolate mousse.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Top with chocolate shavings before serving.


Mango Cake with Mango Buttercream

Mango cake with Mango buttercream

Mango cake with Mango buttercream

Janak requested a mango dessert for his birthday and this is what I came up with. I still need to work on this recipe as I had initially done it for a loaf pan and this time I did it for two 8′ round pans. The cakes did rise but there was a dense layer at the base of each cake. They tasted delicious and looked very interesting like the cake had layers. Also when you make buttercream you must remember to have all your ingredients at room temperature. I used the mango pulp (store bought) directly from the refrigerator and it caused the butter which were all nice and fluffy to congeal. Of course, with a little more patience, my trusty kitchen aid and a lot more whipping the two started to incorporate. You can also rescue this by beating it over a waterbath of warm tap water – I skipped on that procedure as that would have involved using my hand whisk and I just did not want the exercise.

If you do not have buttermilk and do not want to buy a whole bottle just for this you can make the buttermilk this way : 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp of either vinegar or lemon juice. Let it stand for 1 hour and you have a buttermilk substitute.

The cake is delicious and moist and the buttercream is just mangoey and sweet and it comes together perfectly.

Recipe

Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup mango puree

Buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup mango puree
  • 1 lb icing sugar

Method

Cake

Grease two 8″ round pans. Preheat your oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix the flour and baking soda together. Mix the buttermilk, mango puree and vanilla together.

Add a third of the flour mix beat. Add a third of the liquid mixture and beat. Continue alternating dry with wet ingredients.

Pour half of the  mix into each pan.

Bake for about 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Place on a rack to cool.

Buttercream

Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the mango puree and beat till incorporated. Then start adding the icing sugar 2 tablespoons at a time beating till incorporated. Stir down the sides of your bowl if to make sure you have all the icing sugar incorporated. You can use more icing sugar if you want the a sweeter icing.


Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

I made this cake for my niece while I was in Australia since she allegedly like strawberries and cream. This was at suggestion of my brother-in-law who insisted she liked anything with strawberries and cream. I am glad to say everyone liked it especially the birthday girl. This version is more of a cake than an individual serving. I made the cake portion the night before and just filled it with the strawberries and cream a couple of hours before serving it.

A few things to remember when doing this pastry is not to overwork the dough. Have the butter really cold and not at room temperature. Add all the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients in one go. For the strawberries, try to get the smaller sizes, they have smaller white cores and are generally sweeter.

Recipe

  • 4 cups sliced strawberries, hulled
  • 8 tbsp (+2tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200ml heavy whipping cream
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Method

Chop strawberries and then toss with (8 tbsp) granulated sugar in a large bowl and let it sit for at least and hour (I let them sit overnight). Gently press strawberries with the back of a fork to help release their juices, being careful not to crush them to a pulp.

Pre-heat over to 350F. Line and grease an 8inch pan with parchment paper (if you are using a non-stick pan with a springform base then you can skip the parchment paper).

Put flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and rub in butter with fingertips. Do this gently. There should be no large bits of butter left and your mixture should be like small breadcrumbs. Beat egg and milk together in a small bowl and then add to the dry ingredient. Mix with a fork until combined.

Spread your dough into your prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 25-30 mins until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the shortbread comes out almost clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

To serve, Whip the heavy whipping cream till soft peak stage. Add about a tablespoon of sugar closer to the end of the whipping. Split the cake into two halves. Taking a pastry brush dip it in the juices of the strawberries and brush the lower half of the cake with the juice. Then put about 1/2 the strawberries on the cake. Top with whipped cream. Brush the top half (cut side with more juice). Place it on top of the whipped cream. Then dust the top with icing sugar.

You can serve each cut slice with additional whipped cream and the remaining strawberries.