Tag Archives: Chocolate

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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    Little Molten Lava Chocolate Fondants


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    J didn’t believe me when I said “Come see gooey chocolate oozing out of these cakes”. Although only six years old, she’d seen a fair few chocolate cakes being cut into and was fairly certain that nothing normally oozes out. Not even from an ice cream cake.

    I insisted and together we gathered around the little wobbly bobs of chocolate fondants, with a sharp knife and steady hands I sliced into the centre of the dainty little cakes.

    “ooooOOOUUUUU” was the reaction I wanted, and got (phew!!) 🙂

    “It’s coming out! Just like lava!” J looked at me, incredulously.

    Yes dear, that’s why they are called Molten Lava Cakes!

    I love how these turned out, the beautifully rustic looking cakes held its class. What is the secret, you may ask? Well when a chef shares his tip with you, listen up… Baked bean tins! Simon Gault shared his recipe and I’ve been collecting tins over the last few weeks in order to put this to the test…and so glad I did.

    The following is my version with slight tweaks e.g. Oven temperature and time.  I also tested with a small 3″ Fat Daddio’s pan but that did not turn out as nice. If you have to make it right now and have not collected tins, you can use small ramekins or dariole moulds with the bottom lined with baking paper. Cooking time will need to be adjusted for a further 3 minutes. Now stop gawking and go make some!!

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    Makes 8

    5 eggs
    5 yolks
    1/3 cup sugar
    250g dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa solids)
    250g butter, plus extra for buttering the moulds
    3 tbsp flour
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    icing sugar for dusting

    Method

    1. Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and yolks with the sugar until thick and pale.
    2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double-boiler or in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined and of an even consistency.
    3. Sift the flour over the mix and fold in until completely incorporated with no lumps. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and place in the refrigerator until firm.
    4. Butter 8 baked bean cans, lightly dust with cocoa powder and place on a baking tray with a square of baking paper under each can. Once the mixture is firm, pipe into the moulds, then refrigerate until set. (Make sure you have cleared some fridge space beforehand to accomodate your baking tray).
    5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the chocolate puddings for 14 minutes (wooden skewer test will show it is wet). Remove from the oven and, very importantly, allow them to stand for 3 minutes before removing from tins, to avoid cracking. Turn out the puddings onto individual plates by using a sharp knife and go around the sides of the tin. Dust with icing sugar.

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    Chocolate hazelnut crunch bar with feuilletine


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    Oh dear something as addictive as macarons and needed to be available in the fridge at all times! I’m just glad these are super easy to make and can be whipped up within the hour. Didn’t even need to use the mixer.

    What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the biscuit crunch. Devine combination, if you ask me.

    If you are unsure what ‘feuilletine’ is, here’s a photo of them. A pile of crunchy ‘leaves’. These are quite hard to source – I’ve found recipes for making them so would be giving that a try next. In its place you can use Gavottes crepes or by crumbling waffle ice cream cones. It will be similar in taste and texture.
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    Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. I know I would be trying peanut butter, salted caramel, macadamia butter, almond cacao and also peppermint to name a few.

    You can dress the bars up with whatever you like: a dusting of cocoa powder; hazelnut; hazelnut praline crunch; fresh-dried berries. Or left naked. Your options are endless which makes this an ideal ‘bring-a-dessert’ that *potentially* satisfies everyone.

    Makes one square tray, cut bars sized to your liking. I got 39 (3 rows of 13 bars of  about 1.5 cm by 8cm)

    For the crunchy Bottom layer:
    250g milk chocolate (33% cacao), melted

    100g roasted hazelnut paste (Nocciola from Equagold)

    125g (about half cup) chocolate-hazelnut spread (instead of the hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread, you can use the same amount of Forty Thieves’ Cacao Hazelnut butter instead.)

    2 cups feuilletine (crunchy leaves)

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    For the filling:
    300g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Equagold)
    300ml cream
    50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

    1.  For the bottom layer, line a square tray with 2 pieces of baking paper, with the paper hanging over the sides of the tray. (This will help you lift the slab off from the tray effortlessly.)
    2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and  chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth. 
    3. Fold in the feuilletine until the chocolate is combined with the flakes (It should look like a mess!) Scoop the chocolate mixture to the prepared tray. Press the mixture down into a smooth, even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
    4. To make the ganache, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate. 
    5. Shake the bowl a little and let this sit for about 2 minutes, this is so that the chocolate melts smoothly, avoiding any lumps in your final product. 
    6. Add the cubed butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. As you whisk, the cream will magically homogenize with the melted chocolate to form a shiny smooth, pourable ganache.
    7. Pour the ganache over the feuilletine and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 – 2 hours. 
    8. Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch or anything you wish! Slice into bars before serving. 

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    *if you prefer a sweeter bar, you can make your ganache with a combination of dark and milk chocolate. The total chocolate to cream ratio will need to be altered for the ganache to work, to about 1: 0.8. (for example, 100g  total chocolate to 80g cream.) This ratio will work if you keep the milk chocolate in a smaller proportion to the dark chocolate. I would suggest for 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate to 300ml cream.

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    Styled by my little chef.

     

    Valrhona chocolate, salted caramel and crunchy feuilletine entremet


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    Ever since trying out entremet desserts from Milse, I’ve been planning on making some. The making of entremets involve several more elements than other desserts. With cakes you may have cake batter, cream and ganache. With macarons you have the shells and the filling, be it buttercream or chocolate ganache. Entremets typically involve layers of mousse, cake, some ‘surprise’ element within and then a chocolate glaze or cocoa powder.

    There was a missing ingredient that had taken me a long time to find, but thanks to Equagold I finally got my hands on some feuilletine – crunchy ‘leaves’ – for my ‘surprise’ element.

    It also took me a while to find and master the perfect glaze as the shiny coating for these little domes. It wasn’t until recently when I flipped open Darren Purchese’s Sweet Studio book that I realised the perfect recipe had been lying around the house all along!

    I urge you not to be put off by the steps and the number of elements. The list looks long but if you plan ahead, like baking (or buying!) the sponge one night, making whatever filling (e.g. Salted caramel) another, you will have everything ready to assemble easy peasy. I looked at it as a massive mise en place and the assembling is truly the highlight and most fun part. The result is amazing and all the time spent in preparation worthwhile.

    So excited when I finally got them done, I had a goofy smile all day and could hardly wait for my colleagues to try.

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    Chocolate mousse domes – makes 6

    Chocolate mousse
    60 g dark chocolate – melted
    45 ml full cream milk
    1 leaf of gold strength gelatin – softened in water
    175 ml cream – lightly whipped

    1) Combine dark chocolate and milk
    2) Mix in gelatin
    3) Fold in cream until just mixed

    Chocolate Genoise/ sponge cake – you can use your own sponge cake recipe or store-bought cakes!

    Salted caramel
    See my recipe from the Salted Caramel Macaron post. I almost always have a jar of this in my fridge, so this element is ready whenever I need it.

    Crunchy chocolate Crisp * you will have lots of left overs for other desserts, these keep well in an airtight box
    60 g dark chocolate – melted
    25 g crunchy feuilletine

    1) Line baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Spread feuilletine on baking paper.
    2) Melt chocolate and pour over feuilletine.
    3) Spread out and leave to cool.
    4) Using a round cutter, cut out small discs. Alternatively, you can break them up into small pieces.

    Chocolate Glaze*prepare this 45 minutes before you unmold the domes as you need the glaze to be cool but still liquid.
    50 g water
    50 g cream
    45 g sugar
    20 g cocoa powder
    1 leaves of gold strength gelatin – softened in water

    1) Combine water, cream, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan.
    2) Bring to a boil
    3) Add in gelatin and combine with a whisk
    4) Cool to room temperature

    Assembly
    These little entremets are layers of mousse, cake, some crunchy, tasty element and more mousse. What you put in it entirely depends on your taste. To finish it off a shiny chocolate glaze is poured on the frozen domes.

    1) Using cookie cutters, cut cake into small and medium rounds
    2) Add a dollop of salted caramel on the small cake circle
    3) Add about 2 tablespoons of mousse per dome mold
    4) Place small cake circle on top and press lightly to half submerge in mousse
    5) Top with more mousse to hide the small cake circle
    6) Add crispy chocolate disc pieces
    7) Add the medium cake circle
    8) Freeze well, preferably overnight
    9) Unmold
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    10) Pour glaze over domes, letting the glaze drip down over covered trays (you can reuse the glaze)
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    11) Decorate to your heart’s content. I’ve used Godiva chocolate pearls, more crispy chocolate feuilletine and freeze-dried raspberries here.

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    Enjoy!