Category Archives: Recipes – Sweet Treats

6 recipes/ideas to start your amazing journey with Paneton French Bakery’s new chocolate pastry


If you have ever tried making short crust pastry, you would know that while it isn’t very difficult (at least when compared to making puff pastry), it does take a bit of time to make and rest before you can roll it out for baking. Add to that my preference for a chocolate shell to go with a dark chocolate ganache – I end up making far fewer tarts than other desserts.

Cue Paneton French Bakery. Their short crust pastry has always been, in my view, an exemplar of pastries.  When they released the ready-rolled chocolate pastry, I felt as if a weight has lifted off my shoulders – I can finally make tarts quickly!!! I then went about challenging myself to see how many things I can make using this gem! Here are my 6 recipes/ideas, for now 😉

1. Chocolate tarts – Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

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The pastry is not very sweet and it serves as a very good base for any dessert tart. Here are my favourites:

– Solomon’s Gold 70% smooth dark chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream

– Solomon’s Gold dark orange chocolate ganache with Lewis Road Creamery double cream and Fresh As Freeze dried mandarin segments

– Forty Thieves‘ salted macadamia butter with chocolate ganache

– Forty Thieves‘ cacao hazelnut butter with chocolate ganache

Makes 10 individual tarts

Ingredients:

  • 500g roll of Paneton French Bakery Chocolate Pastry,
  • 300g Solomon’s Gold smooth dark chocolate or dark orange chocolate, chopped into small pieces in a heat proof bowl
  • Forty Thieves nut butters
  • 375ml Lewis Road Creamery double cream
  • Decorations – Valrhona crisp pearls, batons, Fresh As Freeze dried fruits, Solomon’s Gold cacao nibs

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Instructions

    1. Thaw pastry overnight in the fridge.
    2. Carefully unroll the pastry to prevent any breaks (but it is ok if it breaks! Just push it back together)
    3. Using a sharp knife, cut out squares or circles of pastry to fit your tart mould.
    4. Push the pastry into the moulds carefully, be sure to mend any breaks. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
    5. Blind bake in 180C oven for 9 minutes. Let cool on a rack.
    6. Make ganache by heating cream in a pot till just starting to boil, then pour over the the chocolate pieces.
    7. Let is sit for a minutes for the chocolate to soften, and then mix it till the mixture becomes glossy and thick.
    8. If using nut butter, add a dollop onto the baked shells before the next step.
    9. Pour ganache into individual tart shells, and decorate!

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2. Ice cream bowl – individual dessert bar

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Here the pastry is shaped into a bowl (I used the Wilton’s cookie bowl mould ) and used to serve up Kohu Road Cookies and Cream ice cream. Perfect with a tray full of garnishes for you to decorate to your heart’s content. Halzelnut praline, freeze dries raspberries and Manuka honey, Valrhona chocolate crisp pearls and batons…hmmmm

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3. Ice cream sandwich with Kohu Road Cookie and Cream

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Scoop the ice cream into a flat container and refreeze to solidify the ice cream again. Cut out rectangle slices of ice cream and sandwich them between rectangular shaped pastry cookies.

4. Biscuits with Fresh As freeze-dried powders
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J made some rocket ship and butterfly biscuits here with cookie cutters. We then dipped them into melted chocolate, followed by a sprinkle of Fresh As freeze dried raspberry powder. The acid tang was sooo good with the bitter pastry biscuit.

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5. Tim tam cheesecake

Instead of lining the whole mould with the pastry, place a disc of it on the bottom of the mould. Bake and after cooling, pour in your favourite no-bake cheesecake filling (see my Tim Tam cheesecake) and let it set in the fridge.

6. Chocolate soil

This is as simple as baking the chocolate pastry and then crumbling them in a food processor or by giving them a good bash in a zip bag with a rolling pin. Sprinkle over or on the sides of desserts and voilà you have a Masterchef style dessert 🙂
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Hope this gets you going with your adventure using Paneton’s Chocolate Pastry!

Cassis, chestnut and Valrhona Satilia Lactée ganache macarons


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Unlike the more premium Gran Cru line, the Valrhona Satilia range of chocolate is made from a blend of cocoa beans from different regions. Nonetheless, it is as delicious as ever: strong chocolate flavour with 35% cocoa, slightly sweet and a little biscuity. Kinder to the wallet so why not!

Here I’ve paired it with blackcurrants and chestnut, to simulate a Mont Blanc-esque flavour.

Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)

  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 g almond meal
  • 110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 38 ml water
  • 1 g meringue powder
  • daffodil yellow gel colouring

Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.

Ingredients:

  • 120g Valrhona Satilia Lactée fèves
  • 80ml pure (heavy) cream
  • 3-4 tsp Cassis paste or blackcurrant jelly
  • a few whole cooked chestnut, broken into pieces

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Instructions:
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread cassis paste on half of your shells. Add two pieces of broken up chestnut and pipe a teaspoon of ganache on top. Top with the remaining half of your shells.
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The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well (up to 3 months).

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Here’s my cone of macarons!

Moist Chocolate Feijoa Cake


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I’ve been blessed by friends giving me a whole lot of feijoas recently and our kitchen has been churning out lots of dishes with feijoas – feijoa macarons, feijoa jelly and now of course the much awaited chocolate feijoa cake.  I must admit, this was my cunning plot to get J to eat feijoas – for she will not turn down anything that has chocolate in it. I’ve added chocolate ganache in between the two layers and on the outsides of the cake, but you can equally leave that out and serve it as it is, if you have a reason NOT to have chocolate ganache.

This is a moist cake which is best served the next day, and even better the day after that.

Moist Chocolate Feijoa Cake

Ingredients
1.5 cups feijoa flesh
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
185g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, size 8
1.5 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sour cream (or buttermilk or greek yoghurt)

Chocolate ganache

300g Dark chocolate (62% cocoa)
320ml cream
50g butter

Instructions

  1. Lightly oil or spray two 6″ round tins. Line the bottom of the tins with a round of baking paper. Heat the oven to 180C. You can also bake these as small muffins for the lunch box.
  2. Cut ripe feijoas in half, scoop flesh out and then slice thinly.
  3. Measure 1.5 cups of the sliced fruit and place in a bowl with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Cream the softened butter and caster sugar in a small bowl with an electric beater.
  5. Beat in the eggs one after the other, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  6. Stir in the prepared feijoas, the dry ingredients and add the sour cream, ideally in two batches.
  7. Transfer the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the top evenly.
  8. Bake at 180C for 28 minutes, or until a skewer exits cleanly from the middle of the cake. If you baked them as small muffins, adjust the baking time to 18 minutes.
  9. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and remove the baking papers. Allow to cool completely.
  10. Make chocolate ganache by placing chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a pan and when it starts to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes before you stir to allow the chocolate to melt gently and smoothly. Leave in the fridge to cool and firm up for 1-2 hours.
  11. Spread chocolate ganache onto the top of one cake, then place the other bottom side up on top of the first cake. Spread chocolate ganache over to cover the top and sides.
  12. Garnish as you wish, with berries, confetti sprinkles or chocolate shards.

Baileys Chocolate Luxe Bundt Cake


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This is quite a boozy cake – not at all a surprise since there is a whole cup of Baileys in here. What I didn’t expect was how much the children liked this cake (the alcohol has been cooked off so no children inadvertently got drunk from consuming this cake). This cake is quite indulgent and rich, please do serve in smaller portions – you can always go back for seconds. I’ve used the special chocolat version of Bailey’s here, by all means use what you have 😉

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Ingredients For the Bundt Cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Equagold)
  • 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 Tbsp instant coffee granules (Moccona)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil (rice bran)
  • 1 cup Baileys Chocolat Luxe Irish Cream liqueur
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (Equagold)

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Ingredients For the Toppings: 

  • 120g chocolate drops (I used Equagold 70% Ghana dark chocolate)
  • 120ml cream
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel 
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces, for sprinkling over the icing (I used a few Valrhona batons, broken into small pieces)

    Directions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare a 8-10 cup bundt cake pan by spraying with baking spray. I used a silikomart high cathedral pan here.
      2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low to break up any lumps and then slowly add in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.
      3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest and cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping onto a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature before any icing is poured on (so that the icing doesn’t get soaked in).
      4. While the cake is cooling, warm the cream till it just comes to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat and pour over the bowl of chocolate. Let it sit in the cream for 5 minutes then stir to combine. Once combined, leave it to cool for 30 minutes before drizzling. Warm the caramel. Set aside.
      5. Place a piece of baking paper under the wire cooling rack. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate ganache over the cake. Drizzle salted caramel over the cake. Sprinkle the dark chocolate pieces over the top of liquid toppings. 
      6. Serve straightaway if you can’t wait, but it tastes even better the next day. 

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    Peanut butter parfait, chocolate feuilletine crumb, salted caramel and butterscotch sauce


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    Having had the most amazing dessert at The Sugar Club, I set about recreating this dish. Turns out it isn’t as difficult as I imagined it to be, albeit slightly simplified. The flavours and textures are all present though.

    The parfait recipe here is an adapted version of Geoff Scott’s (Vinnie’s) and the Cordon Bleu cookbook. It doesn’t contain gelatine and I will make another one later that uses gelatine to test the difference. The rest of the elements are things I make quite often for my macarons, cakes and entremets. So while it may seem like a long list, there are often at least 1 or 2 elements readily made in my fridge at any time. I encourage you to follow suit in case of dessert emergencies.

    Peanut butter parfait

    • 120g caster sugar
    • 80ml water
    • 8 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon Equagold vanilla paste
    • 150g best crunchy peanut butter (I used Pic’s from Nelson, New Zealand)
    • 500ml cream

    Instructions

    1. Lightly whip the cream until soft peak stage. Set aside. (I do this step first as I only have 1 bowl for my mixer. If you have alternate means, do this step after step 3 below).
    2. Place sugar and water and in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it reaches the soft boil stage at 118°C on a thermometer.
    3. While the sugar syrup is coming up to temperature, whisk the yolks and vanilla paste with an electric beater until pale and thick, continue whisking and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup in a trickle down the side of the bowl (like making Italian meringue). Whisk till it has cooled, about 6 minutes. The mix should be thick and aerated. Mix in the peanut butter paste.
    4. Take a third of the cream and gently fold into the yolk mix. Add the remaining cream and gently fold through. This step is crucial, do it gently to maintain the lightness in the mixture.
    5. Line a large loaf or square pan with greaseproof paper then pour in the mix. Freeze overnight. Tip out onto a board and remove paper. Pre slice into thick slices and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
    6. Tip: I found it hard to cut through a deep solid block. Using a square pan would help as the parfait would not be as high as it would reach if it was in a loaf pan. Far easier to cut neat rectangular slices out this way.

    Chocolate feuilletine crumb

    • 125 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Equagold)
    • 1 cup Feuilletine

    Instructions

    1. Melt chocolate over a pan of simmering hot water.
    2. Remove from heat.
    3. Add feuilletine, stir to mix and pour in a baking paper-lined tray. Cool in fridge.

    Salted caramel (this produces a large quantity, feel free to reduce if you have to, but I would suggest keeping to the quantity as you would *always* need salted caramel available, right?)

    • 200g castor sugar
    • 125ml fresh cream
    • 50g butter, cubed
    • 5g good quality salt flakes
    • A few drops of vanilla essence

    Instructions

    1. Heat the sugar in a wide saucepan until it is melted.
    2. Be really careful and wait for it to turn amber/ golden and slightly smoke.
    3. Carefully add the cream in slowly, continuing to whisk but be aware of the resulting vigorous bubbling.
    4. Add the butter in gradually until it is melted and combined.
    5. Add in salt flakes and vanilla essence.
    6. Cool in the fridge for a few hours.

    Butterscotch sauce

    • 60g butter
    • 60ml glucose syrup
    • 1 can condensed milk (320g)
    • 290g brown sugar
    • 180ml cream

    Instructions

    1. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add rest of ingredients.
    2. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat till it reaches 118C at the soft ball stage.
    3. Pour half into a jar for another time or onto a baking -paper lined tray to make toffee squares, like the Mckintosh Toffees.
    4. Add cream to the remaining butterscotch toffee in the pan and stir till it becomes homogenous.
    5. Pour into jar to cool.

    Assemble

    1. Put a dollop of the salted caramel near the top of the plate, off centre.
    2. In a quick motion, “schmear” it straight down or across confidently.
    3. Place a piece of the parfait on the schmear.
    4. Scatter over the chocolate feuilletine crumb and pour the butterscotch sauce over.