Is there anything better for a baking fiend than getting a 2.5 kg bag of chocolate for Christmas? I think there is – when the bag in question is Lindt couverture and is accompanied by a chocolate recipe book (or two). Continue reading
It’s taken me a long time to post this recipe, as I wanted it to be a sort of pre-Christmas reflection post on all the excess and wastage and how nice it is in the craziness of the pre-Christmas blergh to reflect on all that is good and simple (with this nice comforting cake!).
But no matter how many times I drafted this blog, I ended up sounding like a preachy old grinch and hit delete, delete, delete! I think it is probably because I have not bought a thing for anyone yet and the impending doom that is pre-Christmas shopping, combined with the irritating smug satisfaction from people who tell me they finished their shopping in October and ordered their food a month ago makes me go all #stabby. So enough already! Continue reading
I’m always in absolute awe of Heston Blumenthal’s recipes and approach to cooking – he is a genius in modern cooking and makes everything so thought-worthy. Added to that, I love his reductionist methods that get into the basics behind the recipes he creates. As an ex-lab-rat scientist, this really appeals to me. I’ve seen this cake made on one of Heston’s TV shows, involving a spray paint can and requiring a lot of outdoor space… so like most of Heston’s recipes, I thought, not for me…. But from Heston’s original (I think) recipe, this sublime, rich chocolate mousse cake with a silky hit of chocolate glaze on the top and a bit of a surprise in the base, is surprisingly easy to make!
I was a bit nervous about making the chocolate mousse using dark chocolate with 55% cocoa solids, thinking it would be too strong for a dessert for kids, so I made a 50:50 mix of dark and white chocolate, using regular (35% fat) cream and created a marbled pattern. The cake is best eaten the day you make it, to maximise the effect from the popping candy. Using coated popping candy really helps to keep it ‘fresh’ and I wouldn’t recommend using untreated popping candy (such as ‘pop rocks’), as they will lose their pop pretty quickly. That said, if you buy ‘pop rocks’ or similar, it is not too hard to make your own coated popping candy using chocolate (instructions below).
Chocolate. Hazelnut. Cream. Meringue. Chocolate. Strawberries. Thatisall. Devour
My dilemma was what to do with left-over piña colada buttercream from making macarons…
This cake is super tasty and has a dense, moist crumb; it’s a perfect summer treat (or to remind you of summer if you can’t have it anymore). Refreshing pineapple through the cake and the slightly nutty taste and texture of the coconut, combined with the rich creamy tang of buttercream filling. Continue reading
….aka the mega flourless chocolate brownie meringue cake. I was inspired to make this as a summery dessert for a gluten-free friend, who thankfully is not shy of chocolate. This cake is rich, but remarkably light, with a crisp outer and slightly chewy centre. The cream filling makes the cake go down so smoothly and the raspberry cuts the rich intensity of the chocolate. Ideally make and assemble a day ahead, so the cream and raspberries can meld into the meringue. The cake is much easier to slice for serving when it is allowed to come to room temperature and it tastes so much better too than straight from the fridge.
Chocolate, hazelnut and raspberry torte
- 200 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 200 g dark chocolate (I use 70% Lindt)
- 150 g hazelnut meal
- 4 eggs, separated
- 225 g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 300 ml thickened cream (35% fat)
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 punnet fresh raspberries (200 g approximately)
- Icing sugar to dust
- Pre-heat oven to 160 °C (140 °C fan-forced).
- Lightly grease two 18 cm round loose-bottomed cake pans and line with baking paper.
- Melt butter and chocolate in bowl over simmering water (or in microwave – using low power), stirring often until melted and smooth.
- Remove chocolate from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and half the caster sugar until pale and thickened.
- In a separate bowl (or using a stand mixed with the whisk attachment), whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue whisking while slowly adding the remaining caster sugar until the meringue is thick and glossy and all the sugar is dissolved.
- Slowly add chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and thoroughly mix to combine. Fold in the hazelnut meal and a pinch of salt.
- Gently fold in the egg white mixture, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour mixture into prepared tins and bake for 40 minutes until the top is firm and a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in their pans
- Carefully remove cakes from pans and place on a wire rack.
- Whip cream with icing sugar until sugar is dissolved and cream has stiffened (it should hold a shape when the whisk is removed).
- On a serving plate, place one cake top side down and layer with half the cream.
- Add a layer of raspberries and top with the remainder of the cream.
- Place other cake on top (top side up) and dust liberally with icing sugar.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Allow to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.