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Posts from the ‘chocolate’ Category

SPCA Cupcake Day Fundraiser

spca
The SPCAs celebrated it’s official national CupCupcake day in New Zealand on the 31st August 2009 were cupcakes cooks around the country baked up a store in aid of supporting the charity. The idea was to bake and sell as many cupcakes as you could manage, donating 100% of the contributions back to the SPCA.

Since my two little (or not so little anymore) cats were from the SPCA originally I was keen to support the cause and I don’t need much of an excuse to bake cupcakes or anything sweet for that matter. My colleagues at work had promised to buy the cupcakes if I brought them to work decorated with little animal faces.celebrations will commence on Monday 31st August 2009 – the official national Cupcake Day for the SPCA. SPCA Cupcake Cooks throughout New Zealand will descend on their schools, workplaces and social groups with batches of yummy homemade cupcakes to sell. 100% of the proceeds will go to the SPCA.

Mocha Chocolate Dobos Torta with the Daring Bakers

dobos

I was a little late with the Daring Bakers Challenge this month, things have been so busy since we got back from Europe and my work has taken me back and forth to Sydney several times that the end of August just seem to creep up on me. On top of that I also had the SPCA Cupcake fundraiser this week, making 50 little animal cupcakes to sell for charity which you will be able to see on my next post.

I’m glad I did decided to make the cake, it was really delicious even though I didn’t get around to making the caramel topping and I changed the original recipe to create a mocha coffee flavour ( it was the chocolate I had in the cupboard, as I said it was a bit of a rush!). I created the mini cake by baking the sponge in sheets and cutting the circles out with a mini cake mould.

I have also been practising with shutter speed and apertures, courtesy of Helen at Tartlette. My issue was always getting enough light into my photos so they didn’t look so flat or yellow, so thanks Helen for the tips. I know I have a lot more to practise and these first shot are not quite how I would like them but I think I now understand more about how to get the effect I am looking for and will keep trying.

The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. (You may come across recipes which have anywhere between six and 12 layers of cake; there are numerous family variations!) It was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker, and it rapidly became famous throughout Europe for both its extraordinary taste and its keeping properties. The recipe was a secret until Dobos retired in 1906 and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

  • a 7” cardboard round
  • 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped haze

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9″ (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn’t touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner’s (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don’t have a mixer.)

4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8″ springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Directions for the chocolate buttercream:

NB. This can be prepared in advance and kept chilled until required.

1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.
5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn’t just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Angela’s note: I recommend cutting, rather than scoring, the cake layer into wedges before covering in caramel (reform them into a round). If you have an 8” silicon round form, then I highly recommend placing the wedges in that for easy removal later and it also ensures that the caramel stays on the cake layer. Once set, use a very sharp knife to separate the wedges.

Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2” cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

Many thanks to Lorraine & Angela for their choice of challenge this month, be sure to check out their Blogs too and the other Daring Bakers.

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful
of Sugar
and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos
Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Orange Blossom Milan Cookies

milanoI have missed baking in my own kitchen while  away for six weeks visiting the UK & France so I was pleased to get back into the swing of things this week and just in time for the Daring Bakers challenge for July. Unfortunately I missed the last one so I was determined to do this even though i had only been back in the country 5 days. I decided not to do both recipes and only the Milan cookies since I had another dessert to make this weekend too. 

The Milan cookies were really easy to make, thanks Nicole, and they tasted delicious. i took them into work for the girls since they had been deprived the past few weeks of my baking. I have added orange blossom to mine instead of lemon essence.

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Chocolate Coffee Mousse Pyramids

pyramidblog

During a recent trip to Paris we discovered an incredible catering equipment store, Dehillerin, in the area of Les Halles. Dehillerin has been trading in Paris since 1820 and it was like walking into Aladin’s cave for me. Shelves lined the shop from floor to ceiling with every pot, pan, tin and baking utensil you can imagine. I would have dearly loved to buy a truck load of items from the store but I only had a 22kg luggage allowance back to New Zealand so I chose carefully. Luckliy the store had quite a few silicon moulds (light and compact in a suitcase) and the little pyramid moulds that I have used to make this dessert were one of my purchases. 

Ingredients – white chocolate mousse

  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp gelatine granuals
  • 100g white chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Place gelatin, water and 2 tablespoons of your cream together in a bowl and warm gradually in microwave until gelatin has dissolved.
  2. Whisk cream to soft peak consistency.
  3. Add dissolved gelatin to whipped cream and mix but be careful not to over mix the cream (you want to keep the cream fluffy).
  4. Add the cool melted chocolate to the cream and fold together quickly but gently keeping the cream light. 
  5. Place the mousse into a piping bag and pipe into prepared moulds, half way up each mould.

Ingredients – coffee chocolate mousse

  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp gelatine granuals
  • 100g coffee chocolate, melted (for those in NZ Whittakers do a mocha chocolate)
  • 2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Same method as the white chocolate mousse.
  2. Pipe the coffee mousse ontop of the white mousse to fill mould.
  3. Complete the dessert by cutting a square piece of chocolate sponge to fit the base of the pyramid and pushing it down slightly into the coffee mouse. You can either buy a sponge to finish this off or use the recipe and method I have given for chocolate roulade and half the recipe’s quantity. 
  4. Place dessert in freezer and chill at least two hours. I put my mousse in the freezer to set because I need the mousse to be firm so I can push it out of the moulds without making marks in the shape. Turn the mousse upside down and push out of mould onto a serving plate and allow it to defrost before serving.

Chocolate Charlotte for Charlotte

DSC_0037-2It has been interesting baking in another kitchen not having access to all your own gadgets and utensils. Making this chocolate Charlotte for my niece Charlotte, I had to make do with using my mothers old fashioned hand whisk instead of my electric Kenwood. It was a very socialble experience though since it took more time to whisk the eggs than normal so we passed the bowl around as each person got tired meaning everyone could take a turn in whisking the mixture!

All my siblings are chocoholics like myself and it also seems to have passed on to my brothers children also, each one of which takes it in turns to have dinner at their Grandparents one night a week, where we are staying. Charlotte was coming for dinner (or tea as we say in Liverpool) so I thought I would make her a Charlotte dessert for a surprise. I have to confess I didn’t make the chocolate swiss sponge rolls but bought them from Tesco’s (my favourite supermarket which I can spend hours in when I come home) for speed since we have been spending most of the days visiting places, friends and family. If you can’t get sponge rolls you can always use chocolate fingers or just wrap chocolate sponge around the mould. Traditionally a Charlotte would be made in a pudding bowl if you want to make one family size dessert. I use straight sided coffee cups to make my individual portions.

Ingredients

  • chocolate sponge rolls ( I used 4 mini rolls to make 8 desserts)
  • 150g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 25g softened butter
  • 65g castor sugar

Method for Mousse

  1. Before making the mousse you need to line the mould you are using with the sponge.
  2. Slice sponge rolls 1/2 inch thick and place around mould so that the tin is completely covered and no mousse will leak through once poured into the mould.
  3. Now prepare the mousse by whisking the egg whites until fluffy.
  4. Add one spoon of sugar at a time to egg whites and whisk each time to form a stiff meringue consistency.
  5. Beat meringue mix until it is thick and elastic.
  6. Add egg yolks to meringue and mix.
  7. Melt the chocolate gradually in the microwave or over a double boiler (chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water).
  8. Beat softened (not melted) butter into the melted chocolate.
  9. Fold gently half of the meringue mixture into the chocolate with a metal spoon or spatular.
  10. Fold in the remaining meringue into the chocolate mix.
  11. Pour the mousse on top of the sponge in the tin and cover with greaseproof paper.
  12. Leave cake to set in fridge for a few hours.
  13. To serve, place a plate over the base and flip over so that the cake falls onto the plate.

Marmalade Hazelnut Brownies

brownie

‘Why don’t you make that chocolate marmalade cake again, you haven’t put that on your Blog’ P said, he knows I very rarely make things twice these days since I always want new recipes for my blog so he must have thought the chocolate marmalade cake was a safe request. It was, I had no idea what he was talking about! “You know, that one you made with the failed batch of marmalade which we still have jars of in the back of cupboard’. Kind of him to remind me about the failed marmalade! It did prompt vague recollections of using marmalade in several recipes for a while but I couldn’t for the life of me remember the cake but that wouldn’t stop me. One of P’s favourite cakes are brownies so I thought I would give a brownie recipe a twist with the marmalade. The recipe I have used is from New Zealand’s good old Edmonds Cookery Book but tweak quite a bit with the added ingredients.

 Ingredients

  •  125g butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp marmalade
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven 180 degrees centigrade. 
  2. Grease and line a square 20cm shallow cake tin
  3. Melt butter  in a pan.
  4. Remove from heat and add cocoa, sugar and marmalade and stir for 2 minutes to make sure marmalade has disolved.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Sift flour and baking powder and add hazelnuts and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Pour into a prepared baking tin.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Should be firm to touch but an inserted knife should be a little moist when removed.
  9. Once cooked allow to cool for five minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  10. Dust with icing sugar once completely cool or serve warm with ice cream.

Chocolate Ginger Tarts

choctartbg

With the countdown of one week to go before our trip back home we have had many invites to catch up with family and friends who can’t be with us on our wedding day in the UK. In fact I have made so many desserts over the past week that I can’t keep up with posting them on my Blog! This dessert came about because I had chocolate almond pastry left from the girls book club demo last week  and I also had ginger custard left from another dessert I haven’t yet posted! Never one to let things go to waste it can often result in new recipes I may of not thought of if it wasn’t for these left overs. Therefore the tart is made in the style of a ganache filling but instead of using cream and chocolate I have use the custard and chocolate which gave the recipe a richer silky texture. 

Ingredients – pastry

  • 110g Butter
  • 180g flour
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 60g Ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 egg

Method – pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Grease and flour a loose bottom flan tin (10 inch) or 8 small tart tins.
  3. Place the flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and ground almonds in a bowl.
  4. Work the ingredients together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the egg and bring dough together.
  6. Rest dough in fridge for an hour before rolling out.
  7. Roll out pastry to fit bottom & sides of tin.
  8. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the bottom and sides of the pastry shell and fill the case with dry beans, rice or lentils. 
  9. Place the tart shell in the over with the dried beans and bake ‘blind the shell for 15 minutes. 
  10. Remove from the oven and remove the greaseproof paper and beans and return the pastry to the oven.
  11. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
  12. The first baking with the beans is to prevent the pastry side slipping down with no filling in the case. The second baking is to crisp the shell.
  13. Allow to cool.

Ingredients – custard ganache

  • 200g chocolate, chopped  
  • 400ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tblsp sugar 
  • 8 pieces of crystalised ginger, finely chopped

Method – ganache

  1. Whisk together milk, sugar and egg yolks until completely combined.
  2. Pour into a pan and cook over a low heat stirring constantly so that the custard doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. As soon as the custard starts to thicken remove from the heat and keep stirring for another 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the hot custard into a bowl.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate to the custard and stir until all the chocolate has melted.
  6. Add the finely chopped ginger and stir through the chocolate custard. 
  7. Pour custard into the prepared cooled tart shells and allow to set before serving.

Chocolate Pear Tart

Chocpearblog

Once a month I catch up with the girls in our seaside village for book club, to swap our latest reads, latest gossip and a few glasses of wine. When I was first invited I as a bit apprehensive since I could list the great literal books I have read on two hands and thought I might be out of my depth. The crowd is a social bunch and we enjoy a good chat and usually remember before the night draws to a close to talk about the books we have read that month. 

The girls have been asking for several months since I have been Blogging to show them how to make an easy fail safe dessert that would impress. I thought about it for a while, trying to decided what we could create in an hour, get in the oven and eat before the end of the evening. This ruled out anything with several components as it would take too long and most of them wouldn’t have time to make something like that since they all juggled work and families. Since P and I are heading off to France in a few weeks I decide to make them how to make a frangipane tart, since they are pretty fail safe, but this one I would add chocolate to.

Ingredients – pastry

  • 110g Butter
  • 180g flour
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 60g Ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 egg

Method – pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Grease and flour a loose bottom flan tin.
  3. Place the flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and ground almonds in a bowl.
  4. Work the ingredients together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the egg and bring dough together.
  6. Rest dough in fridge for an hour before rolling out.
  7. Roll out pastry to fit bottom & sides of tin.
  8. Allow to rest in the fridge until tart filling is prepared.

Ingredients – tart filling

  • 200g butter
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 figs or 4 pears

Method – tart filling

  1. Prepare loose bottom tart tins or one large tin by greasing them and then dusting them with flour.
  2. On a floured surface roll out pastry thinly to fit tart tin
  3. Separate the eggs and whisk the white until fluffy.
  4. Make the frangipane filling by creaming the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy.
  5. Gradually beat in the egg yolks one at a time.
  6. Mix in the ground almonds and melted chocolate.
  7. Fold in the egg whites and then spread the frangipane mixture over the tart base.
  8. Prepare the fruit and arrange over the frangipane mixture.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the frangipane is golden and risen slightly and is like sponge to touch. Smaller tarts will only require 25-35 minutes.

Tamarrilo Curd and White Chocolate Mousse Verrine

Tamarillomousse

Tamarrilos are such beautiful fruit rich in colour and texture with a tart pulp and pip centre. Although they are thought of as a Kiwi icon, like feijoa and of course kiwi fruit, it is not very often that you come across them in cooking or baking these days apart from the odd jar of chutney.

The tamarrilo is not native to NN but was introduce in the early 1800’s. It known as a tree tomato in it’s native Central America and is a relative of the potato, tomato, eggplant and capsicum pepper.  Listed among the lost foods of the Incas and known as the ‘tomate de arbol’, tree tomatoes have all but disappeared from their native habitat so we are lucky to have adopted and grown them in our own environment . 

I have been reading many food guides on France lately, I even purchased a ‘patisserie guide to Paris’, since we will be there in several weeks so i wanted to get organised before P books all our time up visiting museums! A girls has to got to get my priorities right and keep her energy up for these kind of trips! What kept cropping up was ‘verrine’ and how fashionable they are in Paris so I decided to make my own version to get me into the swing.

We had friends coming over for dinner on Saturday evening and I happen to know that one of them is very fond of white chocolate so and I thought a combination of white chocolate mousse and tamarrilos would go really well.  Personally I prefer mousse made from egg whites than cream but white chocolate always seems to take longer to mix with egg whites and therefore looses more volume. For this recipe I decided to use both eggs whites and cream which produced  light mousse a lot less rich than the full cream method.

Ingredients for Tamarrilo Curd

  • 6 tamarrilos (approx 1 cup of pulp) 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 100 butter, melted
  • 4 egg yolks (keep the whites for the mousse)

Method for Tamarrilo Curd

  1. Spoon out the centre of the tamarillos.
  2. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Pour ingredients into a pan and cook on a very low heat, stirring constantly, until curd thickens.
  4.  Transfer into a bowl or jar, cover and allow to cool in fridge. I would recommend making this the day or a few days before since it will keep for a week at least the the fridge. 

Ingredients for White Chocolate Mousse

  • 200g white chocolate
  •  4 eggs whites
  • 20g castor sugar
  • 100ml whipping crea

Method for White Chocolate Mousse

  1. Whisk egg whites until fluffy.
  2. Add one spoon of sugar at a time to egg whites and whisk each time to form a stiff meringue consistency.
  3. Beat meringue mix until it is thick and elastic. 
  4. Melt the chocolate gradually in the microwave or over a double boiler (chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water).
  5. Whisk cream to form soft peaks.
  6. Fold gently half of the meringue mixture into the chocolate with a metal spoon or spatular.  
  7. Fold the whipping cream into the meringue & chocolate mix and then fold in the remaining meringue into the chocolate mix. Try not to loose all the air, you want it to still have a lot of volume and retain its fluffy consistency

Assembly of Dessert

  1. Fill a piping bag with tamarrilo curd and another piping bag with the white mousse, it is easy to fill the glasses this way.
  2. Pipe alternate layers of curd and mousse into glass and allow to set in the fridge for several hours. 

White Chocolate Lime Cake

whitechoclime

Saturday a group of friends were throwing a special dinner party for a certain couples upcoming wedding, granted still a few months away but there are only a few weeks left before the pre wedding trip begins. It was going to be a grand five course affair and everyone was going to contribute a course. Although I don’t think I was meant to be making anything since we were the guests of honour I just can’t go to dinner party empty handed and therefore insisted on making a dessert!  

Our little lime tree is bearing a lot of fruit at the moment so that was the first ingredient on the list. I thought I would experiment with a white chocolate lime mousse and loved the joconde sponge I made last week that I would use it again for this cake. Both Tartlette and Canelle et Vanille have created wonderful looking desserts giving them a chocolate ‘jacket’ so i decided to have a go and was very pleased with the results. The combination of sweet white chocolate and tart lime was divine.

Ingredients for Lime Curd

  • 1/4 cup juice from limes
  • zest of limes used for juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 egg yolks (keep the whites for the sponge)

Method

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour ingredients into a pan and cook on a very low heat, stirring constantly, until curd thickens.
  3.  Transfer into a bowl or jar, cover and allow to cool in fridge. I would recommend making this the day or a few days before since it will keep for a week at least the the fridge. alternately you could use shop bought curd!

Ingredients for Joconde (sponge)

  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
  •  220 grams ground blanched almonds
  • 1 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup (70 grams) plain flour
  • 3 tbsp. (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Method – Joconde

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade
  2. Line 2 round 20cm cake tins with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. 
  4. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. 
  5. In another bowl beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes. 
  6. Add the flour and fold into the mixture, do not over mix.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. 
  8. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.
  9. Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. Approximately 10 minutes, no longer. could be less depending on your oven. 
  10. Put the pans on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. 
  11. Cover each with a sheet of wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold. 
  12. Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.

Ingredients for White Chocolate Lime Mousse

  • 140g white chocolate
  •  3 eggs separated
  • 10g softened butter
  • 30g castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime curd 
  • Additional 200g white chocolate to wrap around cake (optional)

Method for Mousse

  1. Before making the mousse, both sponge and curd should be ready to assemble since the mousse will set quickly.
  2. Whisk egg whites until fluffy.
  3. Add one spoon of sugar at a time to egg whites and whisk each time to form a stiff meringue consistency.
  4. Beat meringue mix until it is thick and elastic. 
  5. Melt the chocolate gradually in the microwave or over a double boiler (chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water).
  6. Beat softened (not melted) butter and lime curd into the melted chocolate. Some white chocolate don’t mix well with other ingredients, if this happens (mine did) use a whisk to blend it and it should come smooth.
  7. Fold gently half of the meringue mixture and the egg yolks into the chocolate with a metal spoon or spatular.  
  8. Fold in the remaining meringue into the chocolate mix, trying not to loose all the air, you want it to still have a lot of volume and retain its fluffy consistency

Assembly of Cake

I am going to give directions on how to assemble a full size cake rather than my mini cakes but if you have cylinder moulds then the method is the same but you will be cutting the shapes out and layering them inside the moulds to retain the shape.

  1. Line one of the tins with two long trips of parchment crossing the centre f the tin with enough coming up the sides to aid lifting the cake out once set.
  2. Place one sponge into the tin on top of greaseproof paper.
  3. Spread the mousse over the sponge and place the second sponge on top.
  4. Smooth across the top of the sponge to ensure that their are no air gaps between the mousse and sponge.
  5. Cover the top sponge with a thin layer of lime curd.
  6. Allow to set for several hours in the fridge.
  7. Once set lift cake out of tin by the greaseproof paper.
  8. Cut a strip of greaseproof paper long enough to wrap around the cake and just wide enough to fit the height of the cake. Measure this around the cake first to ensure it fits before covering with chocolate
  9. Melt white chocolate and beat till smooth. 
  10. With a spatular spread a thick layer of chocolate along the whole the greaseproof paper.
  11. Wrap the chocolate covered greaseproof paper around the sides of the cake. Once set remove the greaseproof paper.
  12. If you think one long piece will be too much to manage, do it in two halves allowing the first half to set, remove the paper and then repeat with the second half over lapping the first.
  13. Decorate with summer berries or what ever is available with a good colour contrast.  
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