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Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Monday, 9 October 2017

Carac (Swiss chocolate cake)

Today, I want to share with you a typical Swiss cake - the Carac. It is a delicious shortbread pastry tart filled with chocolate ganache, enjoyed by young and old alike.

Its fascinating name is written as either “carac”, “karak”. It is unclear why it is so called, perhaps it could come from a “superior quality cocoa” produced in the vicinity of Caracas...

I made these at the end of May. This recipe is very easy - anyone can make it. I hope it will seduce you too:

Ingredients (serves 8, each tart weighs 50g):
16 mini tart shells of shortbread pastry (size 6-7 cm)
400 g of 70% cacao dark chocolate.
100 g butter
100ml cream

For glaze:
120 g icing sugar
3 tbsp water
Green food colouring

Preparation:
Heat the butter and the cream slowly in a saucepan, until the butter melts.

Add the dark chocolate in pieces, and let it melt until you get a cream.

Pour the mixture into the tartlets leaving 5 mm for the glazing.

Keep a small amount of the chocolate cream for the small chocolate pellet in the middle of the carac.

Allow to harden in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

Prepare the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and 3 tbsp of water. Add a few drops of the food colouring (the colour should be light green).

Then cover the carac with a thin layer of the glaze.

Add a small drop of chocolate cream in the middle of the carac.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Note: You can make your tart shells with homemade shortbread pastry (380g flour, 250g softened butter, 125g sugar, 1 tsp vanilla sugar all mixed together. Leave the dough to rest, then bake at 180ºC for 20 minutes).

* Shortbread pastry: this pastry is used for sweet tarts and pies only. It’s very crumbly and buttery.


Friday, 29 September 2017

My Birithday Cake

This is the chocolate cake I made for my birthday party. I was very specific about what I wanted my cake to look like. I wanted a chocolate & berries cake with a chocolate ganache. I made one from the “The Australian Women’s Weekly” cookbook - it has awesome cakes. I adapted it by completely covering the cake with a thick chocolate ganache. Then I decorated it with blackberries, currants and strawberries. I must admit that I am truly proud of this cake which was extraordinarily delicious, probably the most delicious chocolate cake I have tasted in ages.

Chocolate ganache and raspberry cake adapted from the “The Australian Women’s Weekly” 

Ingredients:
35g cocoa powder
80ml hot water
150g dark eating chocolate, chopped
150g butter, chopped
300g firmly packed brown sugar
125g almond meal
4 eggs, separated
240g fresh raspberries (I used 200g blackberries, 150g strawberries, 50g currants)
Chocolate ganache
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped
160ml thickened cream (I used 180ml and 2g gelatine in sheets)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a deep 22cm diameter cake pan (I used 18cm); line base and side with baking paper.

Blend cocoa powder with the hot water in a small bowl until smooth.

Combine chocolate and butter in medium heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa mixture, sugar, almond meal and egg yolks.

Beat egg whites in clean small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold into chocolate mixture in two batches. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake in moderately slow oven about 1 ¼ hours. Stand cake in pan 15 minutes, before turning onto wire rack to cool.

Chocolate ganache: Combine chocolate and cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. I soaked the 2g gelatine in sheets in cold water then I added the well-drained gelatine to the ganache. I mixed well with a spoon so that it melts well.

Afterwards, I covered the entire cake with the ganache and once the ganache set, I decorated the cake with the three types of berries. I thought it looked more festive.

Serves 12
Tip: This cake can be made up to three days ahead; store in an airtight container. Top with berries and chocolate ganache on the day of serving.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Blueberry & Raspberry Clafoutis


Blueberries and raspberries are unquestionably my favourite berries. In mid-May, I was craving a berry dessert, something fast and simple to make and yet delicious. By opening my recipe book “The Classics of French Cuisine”, the choice was made on its own. I adapted the recipe by adding more fruit. We loved this dessert enormously, whether served warm or cold.

Ingredients (serves 8 people):
250g fresh blueberries
250g fresh raspberries
4 eggs, beaten
100g plain flour
125g caster sugar
1 small sachet of vanilla sugar
200ml whole milk
200ml liquid cream
20g butter, to grease

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Grease a porcelain baking dish. (I used a dish that was 26 cm long, 19 cm wide and 5 cm deep).

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the already whisked eggs and then add 120g of the caster sugar. Gradually pour in the milk and the cream. Mix with a whisk, until you have a smooth and thick batter.

Pour 1cm of the mixture into the prepared porcelain baking dish. Bake for about 5 minutes, for the batter to set slightly (very wobbly).

Then tip the berries into the prepared porcelain baking dish, distributing them evenly. Pour in the remaining batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis become swollen and golden and a bit wobbly.

Mix the vanilla sugar and the remaining 5g caster sugar. Sprinkle the surface of the clafoutis straight out of the oven.

Serve the clafoutis, warm or cold rather than hot. Put a bowl of fresh whipped cream on the side.


Note: You can replace berries with sliced ​​apples or pears, apricot halves or cherries.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Strawberry Bavarois on a Hazelnut Fondant Base

This “Strawberry Bavarois” on a soft hazelnut fondant cake is my own idea. I adapted the classic recipe taken from the French magazine “Cuisine Actuelle”. Let me tell you, I love this one enormously. The combination of flavours is perfect. The lightness and unctuosity of the strawberry mousse blends perfectly with the hazelnut fondant cake which gives it a caramel aftertaste. I remember when I served it everyone said “Ohhhh woww…” What else can I tell you? This dessert is definitely a winner!

Ingredients for 8 servings (use an 18cm aluminium circular mould)

For the Hazelnut Fondant Base:
80 g sugar
2 eggs
80 g hazelnut powder
50 g melted butter
A dash of kirsch

For the Strawberry Bavarois:
300 g strawberries
6 g gelatine in sheets
200 ml of very cold full cream
80 g sugar
1 tablespoon icing sugar



For Hazelnut Fondant Base:
1. In a bowl, combine the eggs with the sugar. Add the hazelnut powder, the kirsch and the melted butter. Put in an aluminium circular mould. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.

2. After cooking, allow the fondant to cool in the mould and unmould it when cold.

3. Place the fondant cake in a serving dish and reposition the aluminium circular mould around it, slightly reducing the diameter to avoid leakage of the Bavarois cream.



For the Strawberry Bavarois:
1. Mix the strawberries.

2. Soak the gelatine in cold water.

3. Heat the strawberry puree in a saucepan with the sugar. Add the well-drained gelatine. Mix so that it melts well and leave to cool.

4. Beat the full cream into a firm whipped cream (put the whisk and the bowl in the fridge 1 hour before whisking). Add the icing sugar and whisk again.

5. Using a spatula, gently mix the cooled whipped cream to the strawberry purée.

6. Spread this mixture over the hazelnut fondant cake in the aluminium circular mould.   Refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

7. Gently remove the aluminium circular mould and decorate according to taste. (I decorated mine with fresh sliced strawberries and, on top. I placed a few strawberries sprinkled with icing sugar and added whipped cream).


Friday, 21 July 2017

Pastis tropical

This is the simple cocktail recipe that Sweetheart shared with our amusing companion in the checkout queue at Denner (see my Campari Sunset post). It is a recipe that he picked up at university.

In a long drink glass, pour 60 ml of your favourite brand of pastis (we used 51), 30 ml of Malibu, add ice and top up with good quality pineapple juice. Stir with a straw and enjoy.

This recipe gives the pastis a very exotic taste so I called it Pastis Tropical. In my opinion, this is definitely a drink for the ladies.

Have a tip top tastic weekend!



Monday, 10 July 2017

Homemade Ice Cream without an ice cream maker - Mascarpone Ice Cream

In early March, I made one of my favourite desserts, tiramisu. As there was some leftover “preparation”, I took the opportunity to make a homemade ice cream without using an ice cream maker.

This ice cream is our favourite, very fragrant and unctuous and not too sweet: to eat and cry for more!!

I promise you that this homemade ice cream is super-fast and, above all, it’s too yummy!! After you have tried it, you will never buy industrial ice cream again!

You can enjoy it with any of these toppings: raspberry coulis, melted dark chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate chips, crushed grilled walnuts, raisins macerated in rum… or like me, with macerated strawberries in syrup.

So here we go. Ready to start?

Ingredients
500g mascarpone
4 eggs
100g sugar
1 untreated lemon (zest)
*Optional: 250g fresh strawberries

Preparation
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with 50g of sugar until frothy; then add the mascarpone and the lemon zest.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 50g of sugar, then stir them gently, with a spatula, into the rest of the preparation.

Once finished, pour the preparation into a Tupperware and place the preparation in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, for 3 to 4 hours, remove the ice cream from the freezer and mix with a spoon. Thus, the ice cream remains smooth and does not form unpleasant crystals.

*Optional: wash and cut the strawberries in four, add 2 tbsps. of freshly squeezed orange juice and 1 tbsp. of sugar. Reserve in the fridge.

Et voilà, job done.


Monday, 26 June 2017

Raspberry Bavarois with a Raspeberry Mirror Glaze on an Almond Fondant Base


I have always loved “Raspberry Bavarois” and when I was looking for a dessert idea for a family dinner at the end of April, I made this recipe taken from the French magazine “Cuisine Actuelle”.

It is an easy dessert but it requires that you follow each step carefully. As for the dessert, it is fresh, unctuous and light with an intense raspberry taste. A guaranteed success to impress and treat your loved ones.

Ingredients for 8 servings (use an 18cm aluminium circular mould)

For the Almond Fondant Base:
80 g sugar
2 eggs
80 g almond powder
50 g melted butter
A dash of rum

For the Raspberry Bavarois:
300 g raspberries
6 g gelatine in sheets
200 ml of very cold full cream
80 g sugar
1 tablespoon icing sugar

For the Raspberry Mirror Glaze:
130 g raspberries
90 g sugar
3.5 g gelatine in sheets

Preparation:

For Almond Fondant Base:
1. In a bowl, combine the eggs with the sugar. Add the almond powder, the rum and the melted butter. Put in an aluminium circular mould. Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.

2. After cooking, allow the fondant to cool in the mould and unmould it when cold.

3. Place the fondant cake in a serving dish and reposition the aluminium circular mould around it, slightly reducing the diameter to avoid leakage of the Bavarois cream.

For the Raspberry Bavarois:
1. Mix the raspberries and then sieve in a chinois to eliminate the seeds.

2. Soak the gelatine in cold water.

3. Heat the raspberry puree in a saucepan with the sugar. Add the well-drained gelatine. Mix so that it melts well and leave to cool.

4. Beat the full cream into a firm whipped cream (put the whisk and the bowl in the fridge 1 hour before whisking). Add the icing sugar and whisk again.

5. Using a spatula, gently mix the cooled whipped cream to the raspberry purée.

6. Spread this mixture over the almond fondant cake in the aluminium circular mould. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

For the Raspberry Mirror Glaze:
1. After the 2 hours, prepare the Mirror Glaze. Soften the gelatine in cold water.

2. Mix the raspberries and sieve them in a chinois to eliminate the seeds.

3. In a saucepan, place the raspberry coulis and sugar and heat gently, but do not bring to the boil.

4. Away from the heat, add the well drained gelatine and mix well to melt.

5. Leave to cool and spread evenly over the Raspberry Bavarois. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, it is better to leave it all night.

6. Gently remove the aluminium circular mould and decorate according to taste. (I decorated mine with fresh raspberries sprinkled with icing sugar and added slices of fresh kiwis).

Friday, 16 June 2017

Campari Sunset - a chance encounter

Whilst queuing at the checkout at Denner, buying the ingredients for another cocktail, we were joking with a very pleasant lady about the pastis that she was purchasing. She was trying to have us believe that it was her favourite breakfast tipple and that she dunked her croissants in it! Sweetheart shared his favourite pastis cocktail with her (more of which in another episode) and she gave us a gem of an idea for Campari. We rushed home to try it and found the mixture to be an ideal and refreshing summer long drink with the advantage of being super easy to make.

Preparation:
In a tumbler mix ice with 1 part Campari to 3 to 4 parts of pink grapefruit juice (our lady friend recommended Denner’s own brand, which we used, but any good quality fresh brand should be acceptable). Add a slice of lemon and stir with a straw. Heaven! 

I named this refreshing and attractive long drink “Campari Sunset”.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Marbled Chocolate Banana Cake

I love making easy, quick and tasty cakes for every day! I am always super excited when I see a new recipe with ingredients that I like and that are easily accessible. At the end of March, I came across this super sexy recipe and I thought I would give it a try. It was a beautiful spring day and, alone in my kitchen, with the voice of Adam Levine for company (singing “So cold” - I love that song!), I felt happy. Making cakes always put a large smile on my face...

This is a rich but delicious cake which is great on its own, no need to add any toppings. Enjoy!!


Ingredients:
4 large eggs
200g sugar
150g butter, softened
200g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g crushed banana
100g chocolate powder
50ml milk
* Cake size loaf mould: 24cm (L) X 10cm (W).

Preparation:
Beat the 4 yolks with the sugar and add the butter at room temperature and beat until light and fluffy. Add the milk and then mix the sifted flour with the baking powder.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff (until they form peaks), then add them to the above mixture and fold them in gently.

Then divide the batter into 2 equal parts: in one mix the crushed banana, in the other mix the chocolate powder.

Grease the cake mould and sprinkle it with flour and alternately pour the two batters into the loaf mould, so that it looks marbled. Bake in a preheated oven at 180º for 40 minutes.

Once cooked, let it cool and remove from the mould.