Category Archives: Desserts

Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel Molten cake

fondantcake

I am sure you have had the molten cakes going around. They are so amazing as you cut into them and the chocolate runs out. This one is slightly different in that it is made in a loaf pan and you can serve it on a plate and slice it.

 

Ingredients

  • 75g milk chocolate chips
  • 75g caramel chips
  • 113g butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 40g all purpose flour
  • 25g almond flour (optional – if you do not have almond flour increase the amount of all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • pinch of salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 320F. Line and butter your loaf pan and set aside.

Put the chocolate chips, caramel chips and butter into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and then repeat for 5 second bursts until it is all melted and smooth.

Whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed until they are light lemon in color and have tripled in volume. Sift the flour into this mixture. Drizzle the coffee and fold gently until it is all incorporated. Then add the cooled melted butter chocolate mixture and salt and stir till incorporated. The batter is very very runny.

Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. The cake is done when you shake the pan and there is still a little jiggle left. Take it out and let if cool before turning it onto a plate and cutting it.

 

 

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Passionfruit cake with passionfruit sauce

passionfruit

Ever since I ate my first passionfruit I was in love with it. There is nothing as sweet (in my mind) as a ripe passionfruit. You may have to go through a couple before you hit the one with the perfect sweetness, but, oh the joy. Granted I can still eat the tart ones and totally enjoy them as well while making the most squeamish faces ever!

Passion fruit does have seeds and they look lovely. Unfortunately here in Atlanta we do not get fresh passion fruits all year round. I generally make do with the frozen passion fruit pulp that I get from the farmers markets. It is much more tart and its minus the seeds. The seeds do look lovely when you use them.

I also decided to make a simple glaze for the topping to make up for the lack of seeds. It did go quite nicely.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 eggs separated
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml passion fruit pulp

For the syrup

  • 60 ml passion fruit pulp
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 125 ml water

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a Bundt ring cake pan. It is really important to brush all the nooks well with butter. I use a pastry brush to do this. Lightly flour and tap our the excess flour.

Use the an electric wire whisk to beat the egg yolks, sugar and butter for 6 minutes or until mixture is pale and fluffy.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold in a third of the flour into the egg mixture making sure it is all incorporated, followed by half of the passion fruit pulp. Again making sure it is all incorporated. Repeat ending with the flour.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold in a quarter of the beaten whites into the mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining beaten whites.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 45-55  minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan.

For the syrup

Put the passion fruit pulp, sugar and water into a small saucepan. Heat on low stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a gentle boil and cook for 5 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Let it cool completely before drizzling over cake. Use the leftover syrup to pour on slices as you cut them.


Coffee Meringue, Red wine mousse, White chocolate drizzle

MeringueNests

Following on the heels of my last meringue that was such a hit. I decided to do a different take on them for another friends birthday. Since he likes red wine, I thought I would do a take on that and hoped that the coffee meringues would pair well with the red wine mousse. The combination did turn out very well and they were the talk of the party. They were gone in a jiffy!. Thankfully I did save one for the birthday boy. I will say these are very adult ones even though they have very little red wine. You can make a different mousse, chocolate or coffee or just use sweetened whipped cream and top with your favorite fruits!

Ingredients

Makes 30
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes

For the meringue

For the white chocolate drizzle

  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the red wine mousse

  • 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a ramekin or any other method of your choice draw round circles on parchment paper and place it on a cookie sheet.

Using the meringue recipe, make the meringue batter. Once your batter is ready put it into a piping bag with a 1 cm nozzle, if you have one. If you do not have nozzles put it in your piping bag or a Ziploc bag and just snip the end off  to a about 1 cm.

Start by piping discs and then build up the sides of the nest. Turn down the oven to 230F. Using oven mitts put the baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes and then swap the bottom and top trays and bake for another 35 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the meringues stay in for another 1/2 hour and then remove them.

For the Red Wine Mousse

Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment whisk the cream starting on slow and slowly increasing the speed to medium high. Once the cream has started to thicken about 3 minutes start to add the sugar in a steady stream. Once you have added all the sugar whip until you get to the soft peak stage (when you lift the beaters the cream lifts to a peak and but does not hold the peak. Add the red wine and gently fold until its all incorporated. At this point you can add more if you like – just do not add too much as you want your cream to hold shape.

For the White chocolate drizzle

Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for a minute in a heat proof container. Add the chocolate and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes and then start to stir and keep stirring until its all melted.

Assembly

When you are ready to serve, spoon the mousse into each meringue. Drizzle the white chocolate on top and serve.

 


Olive Oil cake, Lemon glaze

OliveOilCake-LemonGlaze

I am always looking for new recipes and ideas. I found this from one of my magazines on my travels. I decided to try it. It was simply delicious and can be adapted to a number of different  flavors.

This cake is popular in many parts of  southern Europe. The stronger the virgin olive oil you use the more pronounced the flavor. Its really easy to add a citrus (orange, lemon) flavor and use the zest in the batter to enhance it, and then drench it in syrup to go over the top. Drench it in syrup instead of the glaze. If you use pure olive oil you can even drench it in a rum syrup – for a very adult version.

For a very different take you could use a little ground up fresh rosemary and then serve the cake with sweetened whipped cream. Its all up to your imagination and your palette.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk yoghurt

For the glaze

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk yoghurt

Method

For the cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour your Bundt (I used a heritage Bundt) pan. I use the Pam butter and flour spray and then use a pastry brush to make sure that I have all the edges and crevasses well greased.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Using a stand mixer whisk the eggs and sugar until light and frothy mixture is play and frothy. Whisk in the oil and yoghurt until well blended. Fold in the flour mixture until combined.

Pour the batter into the pan. Tap the pan gently on the table to settle the batter. Pull the batter gently up the sides of the pan. This will prevent a big rise in the center of the cake.

Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest on a wire rack for about 10-12 minutes. Then gently tap it out of the mold. Let it cool completely before glazing. If you are going to use rum you would brush it on right after you tap the cake out.

For the glaze

Whisk the lemon juice and sugar together until smooth. Add the yoghurt and whisk till blended. Add more lemon juice if you need the glaze to be a little more pourable or you need a more lemony flavor

Pour the glaze over the cake before you are ready to serve.

 


Coffee Meringue, Hazelnut Mousse, Whipped Cream, Candied Hazelnuts

Coffee Meringue

That’s a mouthful right yeah and it was an amazing mouthful. There was a little crunch and a whole lot of yummmm. I cannot even begin to tell you how scrumptious this was. It all started out with everyone just trying a small piece and before you know it they all came back for more and it was gone barring a small piece which was kept for someone.

The thought for this came around as I wanted to make a cake for a friends birthday. I wanted to make something that had hazelnut and Nutella was an option. I had made a Nutella cake a little while back and did not want to repeat that – and I had egg whites sitting around (imagine that :-)). So I though ooh a Meringue would be nice and it could incorporate hazelnuts. I get my hazelnuts (called filberts) at Whole foods. I only buy what I need since I generally do not eat them unless they are mixed with chocolate. Its really easy to toast them and skin them and then use them.

Just making a meringue was not going to be enough, I had to incorporate Nutella into it. That is how the Nutella mousse got in there. I also wanted to lighten it up and so came the whipped cream in all its silky sweet glory. Now I did not just want to make a plain meringue and thought a coffee would go quite nicely with it and it shows off the color really well. When I normally make a meringue ‘cake’ I put it together just a little before I serve it. However, I was taking this to a friends so I made it well in advance, the interesting part is that is softened completely so you did not get the crunch of the meringue, but the flavors meshed together so well and as I said before it was gone in a minute.

Ingredients

Servers 10-12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 1/2 hours

Prepare the hazelnuts

  • 150 gms raw filberts (Hazelnuts), roasted in a 350F oven for about 5-7 minutes. Take them out of the oven, put them into a clean kitchen town and let them cool for about 2 minutes and then rub them to get the skins off. Set aside.

For the meringue

  • 100 gms Hazelnuts (from above), coarsely chopped
  • 225 gms granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee (Nescafé) dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
  • 25 gms light brown sugar

For the Nutella mousse

  • 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons Nutella

For the Whipped cream

  • 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the candied hazelnuts

  • 50 gms Hazelnuts (from above)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Cocoa powder (optional)

Method

For the meringue

Preheat the oven to 375F. Draw 3 – 9 (23cm) inch circles on 3 parchment papers. Place them on your baking trays and set aside.

Microwave the granulated sugar for 3-5 minutes in the microwave – stirring so it is warm to the touch. Set it aside.

Using a stand mixer whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, starting off on a slower speed and gradually increasing the speed to high. Whisk until the egg whites reach nearly stiff peaks. Add the hot sugar all in one go and continue whisking for about a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the coffee and continue to whisk for another 3 minutes on high, until the meringue is glossy.

With the mixer on high, add the light brown sugar a spoon at a time, whisking until the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 230F. Divide the meringue between the three circles, spread out to the edges of the circle. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts equally over each  meringue. Put the trays into the oven. I had one on the middle shelf and two on the lower shelf. Set your timer for 45 minutes. At 45 minutes, swap the lower and upper trays and bake for another 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the meringues stay in the oven until the oven is cool.

For the Nutella Mousse

Whisk the heavy cream in a clean bowl until it has started to thicken, add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue to beat until you reach the soft peak stage. Put the Nutella into a large bowl. Take a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream and add it to the Nutella and stir to lighten the Nutella. Repeat this procedure twice so the Nutella is now light and fluffy and can be added to the rest of the whipped cream. Fold gently until it is all incorporated.

For the whipped cream

Whisk the heavy cream in a clean bowl until it has started to thicken, add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue to beat until the soft peak state.

For the candied hazelnuts

Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. The sugar will dissolve and start to caramelize. This takes a little time so just be patient. Once the sugar starts turning a medium amber add the salt and then the hazelnuts. Stir to coat and then place them on a silicone mat (or parchment paper). You want them to be in clusters of no more than 3 or they can be individual.

Assembly

Have your cake plate ready. Put a little of the whipped cream onto the plate. Place the first meringue on the plate. Spread a third of the Nutella on the meringue, then a third of the whipped cream. Top with the next meringue and repeat with Nutella and whipped cream. Repeat with the last meringue. Just before you are ready to serve top with the candied hazelnuts. Use a strainer and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Do not assemble too much in advance as you want the crispiness of the meringue to come through.

I do hope you enjoy this and would love to hear from you if you did make it.

 


Sugarpaste flowers

WeddingFlowers

This is not really a recipe but I just wanted to share the sugar paste flowers I had made for a friends wedding. I was so excited when they asked me to make the flowers for the wedding. I used a technique from Petalsweet for the buds and her coloring scheme as well. She has classes on Craftsy as well.

 

 


Brazilian Carrot Cake

 

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Do carrots scream out at you – ‘Use me’? The orange which brightens every meal. Now let me ask you another question – Did you know carrots were not always orange? Is that a – what the hell is he talking about look on your face? That is the same look I had when I first heard about it. I was in Amsterdam at the time when the tour guide bought it up and talked about how the Dutch hybridized the carrot because they wanted to honor ‘William of Orange’.

For full details you can go to Mythbusters for the entire information. However, the short version of it is that the Dutch farmers cultivated a lot of carrots (white, purple and yellow). They developed a new strain that was orange and started growing that in honor of William of Orange. The traditional just as colorful carrots were tossed aside in favor of the orange one. If you have ever been to The Netherlands you will know their national color is orange and everyone wears orange.

If you live in a big city you probably have access to a farmers market and can get heirloom varieties of carrots. If you do not and do your own vegetable gardening try growing the heirloom varieties, they will add so much color to your plate.

Now back to the cake. I have been fascinated with Brazilian desserts for a while and came across an article about their version of the carrot cake. I did a bit of research and found this site (thank you google translate) and decided to try it with some modifications. The cake is simply delicious and moist and the color. I do want to get other colored carrots and so I can try to make a carrot rainbow cake :-). The cake is not too sweet and the chocolate coating is optional. The carrot flavor is mild and the cake is really moist. Its also a very easy blender cake.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 280g carrots (about 3 medium sized carrots, peeled)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 360g sugar
  • 240g all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch sea salt

For the chocolate glaze

  • 170g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter your Bundt pan and lightly coat it with flour.

Blend the carrots, olive oil, eggs, sugar and salt until it is smooth. Pour this mixture into large bowl and pour the sifted flour and baking powder over it. Gently stir with a whisk until there are no lumps left.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place it carefully into the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Then lower the temperature to 400F and bake for another 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the deepest part comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack. Then turn the cake out onto the wire rack and let it cool completely.

For the glaze

Put the chocolate, honey and butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt it in the microwave on short 15 second bursts stirring everytime until it is smooth. This should take about 3-4 bursts depending on your microwave power. The butter needs to be melted and just keep stirring the mixture and everything will melt.

Once the cake is completely cooled place a plate under the wire rack and pour the glaze over the cake letting it run down the sides. If you are not able to cover the cake scoop up the chocolate from the plate and pour where needed.

The cake can be left at room temperature covered with plastic wrap or under a cake dome. Mine lasted only two days.