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Archive for the tag “chocolate”

Foodporn Friday: Chocolate toffee & passionfruit macarons

I’ve been baking a LOT and eating a lot in the last few weeks, but forgetting to take any pictures while doing so… its a great excuse to remake a lot of what I’ve baked recently so I can blog it. This weekend I got stuck in and made macarons in two flavours – chocolate toffee, and passionfruit – and remembered to take photos. My lovely little people (and their dad) were kind enough to let me spend the whole day baking peacefully 🙂

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I used the Toblerone Macaron recipe from Hopes. Dreams. Aspirations, added a little more cocoa and instead used Caramello Chocolate in a ganache for the filling.

Macaron shells
150 g icing sugar
140 g almond meal
10g cocoa powder
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Sift the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, set aside in a large wide bowl.

Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.

Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Leave it to heat up and don’t stir it.

Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium speed until it becomes frothy.

Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, keep the mixer speed on medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.

Add the second lot of egg whites to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down to achieve “macaronnage”, but don’t over do this.

Scoop half into a piping bag. I trace circles onto paper and place beneath my baking paper to get even rounds, but freehand it if you wish. Squeeze the mixture in the centre of the rounds and as it is close to filling the circle, stop squeezing and flick the tip from three o’clock to 6 o’clock. This ensures a smooth top.

Once done hold the baking tray firmly and give it a few sharp bangs on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles in the macarons. Then leave on the counter to rest for 30 minutes while a skin forms. This will ensure your macarons have nice ‘feet’.

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I bake mine at 145°C, for 13 minutes. Check after 7 minutes and judge from there – when ready the macaron should peel easily from the paper without leaving any macaron behind.

Once out of the oven, I slide the baking paper onto a cold surface. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.

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Filling Ingredients:
150g Caramello Chocolate
150ml cream

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 a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

For the passionfruit macarons, I omitted the cocoa powder from the shells and instead added a vivid purple gel colour to the sugar mixture before adding to the egg whites. Then I filled with a buttercream that had been flavoured with passionfruit puree.

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Foodporn Friday: German Chocolate Cake

First, a disclaimer… I’ve no idea why this is called German Chocolate Cake. I saw a cake with that name, thought the toasted coconut & pecan sounded good and thats where the similarity ends.

It was a friend’s birthday last weekend and I was wanting to try something a little different – so I made my usual standard chocolate cake but in a square tins, made the toasted coconut & pecan praline topping which I put in between the cake layers as well as over the top and then drenched the lot in hot chocolate fudge sauce. Killer!

The remaining chocolate fudge sauce was enjoyed over ice-cream (and leftovers sent home with a friend and her new boyfriend – do not ask, it may scar you for life!).

Simple Chocolate Cake

Beat for at least 5 minutes:

  • 300g sugar (1.5 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • half tsp vanilla

Mix well:

  • 30g cocoa (3 heaped dessert spoons)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Add the following to egg & sugar mixture and beat well:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Then add hot cocoa and beat well. Bake for around 25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce

  • 225 g butter
  • 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 600 g white sugar
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 5 ml vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine butter, cocoa, sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Carefully pour hot mixture into a blender and blend for 2 to 4 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Praline

  • 140 grams toasted pecans, chopped
  • 160 grams shredded coconut
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 115 grams butter
  • 215 grams evaporated milk (whole fat)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 large egg yolks
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. On a foil lined baking sheet place 2/3 of the coconut and all the pecans. Toast until coconut starts to turn color and nuts are fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla and eggs with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until mixture is bubbling and thick. Use a whisk and then switch to a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until thick and then, using the foil as a funnel pour the toasted nuts and coconut into the pan. Add the additional untoasted coconut. Stir thoroughly. Cool until room temperature.
  3. Spread half the mixture over one layer of cake. Add some fudge sauce. Place other layer on top and use the rest of the frosting for the top of the cake. Pour on as much fudge sauce as your nerves can handle. Enjoy!

Foodporn Friday: Sour cream chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting

I couldn’t let my dad & stepmom head back to SA without sampling at least a little baking. I’d seen a divine cake on Smitten Kitchen’s blog and had some leftover salted caramel in the freezer so I thought I’d adapt it slightly to suit. I’ll try the original recipe sometime too. Its simple but beautiful and sinfully rich!

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting and Chocolate Glaze
Adapted only barely, from Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of baking paper and grease the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (note: These cakes are very, very soft. I following Smitten Kitchen’s notes and firmed them up in the freezer for 30 minutes before frosting. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup of the Salted Caramel Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving.

Salted Caramel Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

285gr cream cheese, at room temperature
115gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups icing sugar, sifted
2/3 cup salted caramel (leftovers from this recipe here)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the salted caramel and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

225gr semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Easy Peasy Macarons

Macarons are my current baking obsession (and favourite thing to eat). After finding Brave Tart’s Macaron Myths and Macaron Commandments I haven’t had a bad batch since.

This weekend I decided to try make some passionfruit milk chocolate macarons and I am loving the result!

Macaron Recipe (care of Brave Tart)

115g ground almonds
230g icing sugar
144g egg whites (temperature and age not important!)
72g sugar
2g salt

Sieve the almonds and icing sugar together and set aside.

Beat the egg whites, sugar and salt together for around 9 minutes, starting on medium and then finishing on high. Add any colouring/essence in the last minute of mixing.

Then use a spatula to mix/fold in the almond & icing sugar mixture until it reaches a lava-like consistency.

Pipe it onto baking paper (I trace circles with a small circular cookie cutter and then flip the paper over so all the macarons are the same size).

Bake at 150 degrees celsius for 18 minutes.

If you tap the macaron lightly with a spoon when done it shouldnt move much. Otherwise try peel one away from the baking paper to check its done. I coloured mine a bright sunshine yellow and when they were cooled brushed on a little colouring with a clean paintbrush.

Passionfruit Milk Chocolate Ganache

200 grams milk chocolate
80 grams passion fruit puree
40 grams heavy cream
30 grams butter

Chop the milk chocolate into small pieces. Boil the passion fruit and heavy cream together and pour over chocolate. Stir until incorporated and the ganache forms. Wait a couple of minutes for the ganache to cool a bit and add the softened butter. Stir to create and emulsion. Let it harden a bit until it is pipeable and fill the macarons.

Foodporn Friday: 6 layer Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Like most of my new recipes this is one I found on Pinterest.

I made the Salted Caramel on Thursday and ended up eating about a cupful over a few hours. Its absolutely delicious! I think I may make it again as a cheesecake topping. Then the cakes which turn out rich and dark and surprisingly un-sweet (is that a word?) and lastly the frosting with about as much dark chocolate as its possible to get onto one cake.

I love the result! Definitely one I’ll be making again and again… and again.

Here is the recipe fromthe Martha Stewart website.

Foodporn Friday: Chocolate Coconut Slices

I’ve been making this chocolate slice recipe for a little while now and everyone always comments on how good it is. Its the best thing I got from my antenatal classes 😛

I was given a magazine cutting so I cant credit the source, but its too good not to share!

Slice:

  • 250gr Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 TBL Cocoa
  • 1 TBL Golden syrup
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Coconut
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Icing:

  • 2 cups Icing sugar
  • 3 TBL Cocoa
  • Water

Melt butter, sugar, cocoa and golden syrup in a large saucepan. Do not let it boil. Leave to cool a bit and then add coconut, salt, baking powder and flour.

Press into a baking paper lined baking dish (22 x 30cm) and bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Don’t bake for any longer or it will dry out.

Remove from oven, leave for 10 minutes and then ice with chocolate icing while still warm.

Foodporn Friday: Chocolate caramel cheesecake

Excuse the out of focus pic - lust was making my hands shake 😛

Yup, you read that right. Chocolate. Caramel. Cheesecake. 3 of my favourite things all in one dish!

I made this on Sunday, tweaking a recipe out of one of a friend’s cookbooks and it is luscious… the kind of cheesecake that makes you hear angels singing when you bite into it. It is definitely the best cheesecake I’ve ever had! And I think I may be making this one weekly for the forseeable future (DH’d better pre-order the crane they’ll need to get my oversized butt out of the house).

P.s. the trick to a good cheesecake is to make sure the cream cheese isn’t cold when you start – leave it out to soften up first or microwave it if you need to.

Base:

  • 150gr biscuits (I used tennis biscuits but next time will be wicked and crush hundreds of chocolate tiny teddy biscuits for this)
  • 50gr butter

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup milk/cream/evaporated milk
  • 380gr caramel
  • 500gr cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 100gr melted chocolate

Topping:

  • Jersey caramels (12, 25… depends on how much topping you want)
  • 4tbl milk/cream

Crush biscuits and combine crumbs with melted butter. Press into a 23cm springform pan and bake at 180 degrees for 8 minutes. Allow to cool.

Combine the milk and caramel in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook until combined. Pour over the biscuit base.

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate, beat until blended. Pour over caramel layer and bake for 30 minutes.

Melt jersey caramels with milk and drizzle over the top of the cheesecake.

Remove from oven and run knife around the edge of the tin to release the sides. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Foodporn Friday: ginger cheesecake

I dont like the topic for todays Post of the Day 2011, its a bit naff (as was yesterday’s). So instead I’ll have a Foodporn friday.

I love cheesecake, and I love ginger. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked for a ginger cheesecake so I changed another cheesecake recipe to get this. I took it along to a Christmas lunch and the tiny sliver I tried was divine! By the time I got to the table to dish myself a proper slice it had disappeared though 😛

Ginger Cheesecake

18 Gingernut biscuits, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3 eggs
1 cup crystallized ginger, thinly sliced
100g dark chocolate to mix with the cream for the topping.
1/2 cup cream

PREHEAT oven to 180°C
Combine crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of a springform pan

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir ginger slices into batter. Pour over crust.

BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely.

CHOP 100g chocolate. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan on low heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until completely melted. Cool slightly. Pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove side of pan before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

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