Simnel cake

This recipe is on our Thermomix calendar, given to customers who hosted a demonstration in January and February. It looked so amazing that I couldn’t resist making it. It’s a traditional cake in United Kingdom and Ireland dating from the Victorian era. It should have 11 little eggs on top that represent the 11 disciples of Christ at Easter (I didn’t judge too well, so only managed to fit 10 eggs).

SimnelCake_001 SimnelCake_003

Source: Beverley Dunkley for I love chocolate, I love Thermomix

Ingredients

150g chopped candied fruit
150g currant
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp real vanilla extract
30g Brandy
200g dark chocolate in small pieces or callets
50g unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs
100g caster sugar
110g plain flour
15g cocoa powder

Marzipan
110g blanched almonds (I used ground)
120g granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp orange flower water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Chocolate ganache
150g double cream
11 small eggs

Method

  1. Make the Marzipan: weigh 50g sugar into the TM bowl and grind to caster sugar 5 sec/speed 10. Tip out and set aside.
  2. Weigh the remaining 70g sugar into the TM bowl, grind to icing sugar 1 min/speed 10. Set aside in a flat bowl or on a plate.
  3. Weigh the blanched almonds (they must be dry) into the TM bowl and grind until fine 10 sec/speed 10 (no need if using ground almonds).
  4. Add the caster sugar and most of the icing sugar (save 1 tbsp for step 6). Mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  5. Add the egg yolk and flavourings. Knead 1 min/dough setting until a rough paste is formed. If it looks crumbly, press it together with your fingers, it should make a dough.
  6. Taste and add more almond extract if needed (knead 30 sec/dough setting if that’s the case). Turn out the TM bowl and use the remaining icing sugar to roll out the Marzipan.
  7. Make the cake: preheat the oven at 180C and line a 18cm round deep cake tin with baking parchment. Place a bowl on top of the TM lid and weigh in the fruits, then add the lemon zest, vanilla and Brandy. Stir then leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Melt 50g chocolate with the butter 2 min/50C/speed 3, pausing half way through to scrape down the sides. It should be fully melted and smooth. Heat 1 minute longer if needed.
  9. Mix in the eggs, sugar, flour and cocoa powder 30 sec/speed 5 then stir into the soaked fruits with the spatula. Pour half the batter into the prepared tin.
  10. Roll the Marzipan into a disc about 18cm diameter x 1cm thick. Place on top of the cake batter. Cover completely with the remaining batter. Bake 50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Ganache: melt the remaining 150g chocolate with the double cream in a clean TM bowl 2 min/50C/speed 2 until 3/4 of the chocolate is melted, pausing to scrape down the TM bowl once.
  12. Scrape down the sides of the TM bowl and mix without heat until completely melted and smooth. Spread half the glaze on top of the cake with a palette knife, allowing it to drizzle down the sides slightly.
  13. Cool the rest of the glaze in a bowl until almost fully set, then aerate by hand with a balloon whisk until thick enough to pipe. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe 11 rosettes around the top of the cake and place a small Easter egg on each.

SimnelCake_004 SimnelCake_002

Matcha tea marbled cake

I hear you saying “oh, here’s another matcha tea cake recipe”. Well, I must admit, I find the colour so pretty that whenever I find a recipe online that uses Matcha tea, I want to make it. This cake uses a basic quatre quarts recipe but rather than baking in a loaf tin, it uses a savarin cake tin for a prettier look.

MatchaMarbledCak_001

MatchaMarbledCak_002

Source: La popotte de Manue

Ingredients

3 eggs
150g butter, melted
150g sugar
150g self raising flour
2 tsp Matcha tea
1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing
3 tbsp Limoncello or lemon juice
Icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  2. Place the butterfly whisk in the TM bowl and add the eggs and sugar to it.
  3. Whisk 5 min/speed 4 measuring cup OFF.
  4. On running blades at speed 3, add 1/3 of the butter and a 1/3 of the flour in alternance until they are all used up.
  5. Take out the butterfly whisk, scrape down any flour stuck on the sides and mix in the batter.
  6. Separate the batter in 2 equal parts. Mix the Matcha tea to one half (add 1 tbsp milk if too thick).
  7. Mix the vanilla extract to the other half.
  8. Butter and flour a cake tin (or use silicone) and alternate spoons of both batters.
  9. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the tin size (I used a 20cm Bundt cake tin and baked for 30 min).
  10. Leave to cool, then mix the Limoncello or lemon juice with enough icing sugar to make a fluid enough icing  but not too liquid.
  11. Pour over the cake.

Chocolate charlotte

Charlottes are a French dessert made with special biscuits (called biscuits á la cuillere) and a mousse inside. I have already published an Orange charlotte a while ago but this time I made a chocoholic version, which is very rich and decadent. Forget about dieting and your beach figure for the time being and indulge yourself with some of this delicious Charlotte. Yummy.

ChocCharlotte_001_01 ChocCharlotte_Coll

Source: La popotte de Manue

Ingredients

For a 20cm Charlotte, serves 6

Biscuits

Makes about 28 biscuits

2 eggs
180g sugar
95g flour
12g unsweetened cocoa powder
Icing sugar

Bavarois cream
250g milk
100g sugar
50g egg yolks
100g dark chocolate
3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
250g cream

Rum syrup
50g water
45g sugar
20g rum

 Method

  1. Make the biscuits: preheat the oven at 200C.
  2. Separate the whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until foamy, then add the sugar in 3 thirds while whisking until firm and glossy.
  3. Add the egg yolks and whisk for 5 seconds to combine.
  4. Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. You will need the biscuits to be the same length so draw lines on the paper 8 cm apart using a pencil (I was able to mark 3 rows of 8 cm bands, each band separated by 2 cm). Turn the paper upside-down.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle with the biscuit mixture. Pipe the biscuits using the bands as delimiters and leaving space between each biscuit.ChocCharlotte_001
  7. Dust with icing sugar.ChocCharlotte_002
  8. Bake for 10 minutes (watch during the cooking).
  9. The syrup: while the biscuits are cooking, place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes and take out of the heat. Add the rum and set aside to cool.
  10. When the biscuits are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool before lifting them gently with a flat spatula (be careful as they are quite brittle).ChocCharlotte_003
  11. Make the Bavarois cream: place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
  12. Place the milk, sugar and egg yolks in the TM bowl and cook 8 min/80C/speed 4 to make a custard.
  13. Add the drained gelatine through the whole in the lid on running blades at speed 3 until melted.
  14. Add the chocolate and mix 20sec/speed 8. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
  15. Clean and thoroughly dry the TM bowl. Insert the butterfly whisk and add the cream to the bowl.
  16. Whisk on speed 4 measuring cup OFF peeping through the whole as you will need to stop as soon as it looks softly whipped (underneath will be firmer).
  17. Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard (no more than 37C to avoid thermal choc). Mix using a whisk.ChocCharlotte_005
  18. Cut about 15 biscuits to 6cm high.
  19. Line the bottom of a 20 cm springform cake tin with some baking parchment. Place the biscuits around the tin, icing sugar side facing out and cut side down.
  20. Brush the rum syrup over 3 or 4 biscuits and line them at the bottom of the tin.ChocCharlotte_004
  21. Pour half the custard over the biscuit base.
  22. Brush 4 more biscuits with the syrup and place them on top of the custard. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.ChocCharlotte_006
  23. Pour the remaining custard over the slightly frozen Charlotte and freeze again for another 2 hours (or overnight).
  24. Take out of the freezer and heat the outside of the tin with a blowtorch or a hairdryer so you are able to release the sprinform tin gently. Lift out the frozen Charlotte and place on a plate.
  25. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or vermicelli.
  26. Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before serving.

 

Goats cheese mousse and tomato purée on spice bread

I have had this idea for a while now to match goats cheese with spice bread. I imagined the combination to be an interesting one with flavours that complemented each other. A bit like brioche and foie gras. I liked it a lot, although the tomato purée might have been a little too overpowering. Next time, I’ll try with some fig chutney to balance the flavours better. Still, it was a very elegant starter and very easy to make.

GoatsAndSpiceBrd_002

GoatsAndSpiceBrd_003

Ingredients

Serves 4

4 slices of spice bread (pain d’épices)
100g fresh goats cheese
200g single cream
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g cherry tomatoes
2 small garlic cloves
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Material: 4 small pastry rings.

GoatsAndSpiceBrd_004

Method

  1. Make the tomato purée: drop the peeled garlic on running blades at speed 8. Scrape down and add the olive oil.
  2. Sauté 3 min/100C/speed 1.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes and chop 4 sec/speed 5.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the dried oregano and reduce 7 min/Varoma/speed 1, measuring cup OFF.
  5. Tip out and reserve.
  6. Clean and dry the bowl and place the butterfly whisk inside.
  7. Add the goats cheese and cream with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix on speed 3 measuring cup OFF until the mixture thickens like whipped cream.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or pastry ring, cut out a round piece of spice bread. Leave the ring on and spoon in some of the goats cheese mousse and level with a teaspoon. Finish with a little bit of the tomato purée, spreading evenly on top.
  9. Do likewise with the other 3 slices of spice bread and the remaining goats cheese mousse and tomato purée.
  10. Refrigerate 1 hour before removing the ring delicately. Serve with a salad for a nice starter.

Milk chocolate and Guinness Ice-cream

To celebrate Saint Patrick’s day, I looked for sweet recipes using the famous Irish stout: Guinness. I have already used it in a delicious chocolate-Guinness cake (I promise I’ll post the recipe on this blog one day) and a little search on the web brought me to this mouth-watering ice cream recipe by David Lebovitz. I topped it with some cream mixed with my homemade version of Bailey’s and boy is this divine!

Happy Paddy’s day everyone!

GuinnessIceCream_003 GuinnessIceCream_001GuinnessIceCream_002

Source: David Lebovitz

Ingredients

240g whole milk
4 egg yolks
120g sugar
150g milk chocolate
240g cream
A pinch of salt
180g Guinness
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Make a custard in the Thermomix by adding the milk, egg yolks, salt and sugar to the TM bowl and heat 7 min/80C/speed4.
  2. Add the chocolate cut in chunks in the hot custard and mix 15 sec/speed 3 until smooth.
  3. Add the cream, Guinness and vanilla extract. Mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  4. Pour into a plastic container with a lid and leave to cool at room temperature.
  5. Freeze with the lid on overnight.
  6. The next day, scoop some ice-cream and serve with cream whipped with a tablespoon of vanilla sugar and a tablespoon of Bailey’s.
  7. Top with a sprinkle of chocolate flakes and serve immediately.

Caramel delight

This French recipe comes from the Vorwerk book “The best of the communities recipes”. It’s been tried and tested by a friend of mine who qualified the recipe as “yum”. That was enough compliment for me and since I happened to have lots of the French toffees called Carambars lying around in my cupboard (and that I was trying to save from my toffee-crazy daughter), the opportunity was too good to miss.

CaramelDelight_005 CaramelDelight_007 CaramelDelight_009

Source: Best of the communities recipes

Ingredients

22 Carambars or 180g Daims or Werther’s Originals, refrigerated
130g creme fraiche or cream
4 egg whites
500g mascarpone
60g vanilla sugar* (I put 80g and it was not too sweet)
*Vanilla sugar can be obtained in the Thermomix by mixing 1 vanilla pod cut in half and in half lengthwise with 150g sugar 1min/speed 9. Keep in an airtight container.

Method

  1. Place the refrigerated toffees in the TM bowl and mix 10sec/speed 7.CaramelDelight_001
  2. Add the cream or creme fraiche and cook 5 min/90C/speed 2. Divide into 8 glasses.CaramelDelight_002
  3. Clean and dry thoroughly the TM bowl (Or use 2nd bowl). Place the butterfly whisk and add the egg whites. Whisk 3 min/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Tip out and reserve in a big bowl.CaramelDelight_003
  4. Place the Mascarpone and vanilla sugar in the TM bowl and mix 15sec/speed 6.
  5. Fold gently in the egg whites with the spatula.CaramelDelight_004
  6. Spoon or pipe into the 8 glasses. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

CaramelDelight_008 CaramelDelight_006

Finally, Jean from Perth (aka Cookie1 from the Thermomix forum)  has tried my Sunflower bread recipe. Here is a picture she took before it got devoured by her family at a dinner party:

JeanPainTournesol

 

Lemon Pistachio Meringue tart

Looking for a recipe to use up some lemon curd leftover, this recipe from J’en reprendrai bien un bout caught my eye because of the addition of a pistachio cream on the base. The colours looked beautiful and the taste was obviously going to be fantastic (pistachio and lemon seem to be a mariage made in heaven).

LemonPistachioTartColl1

Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout

 

Ingredients

For a tart tin of 26cm diameter

Sweet pastry
140g unsalted butter, softened
75g sugar
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (or peel using a paring knife)
250g plain flour
25g ground almond
1 pinch salt
1 egg

Pistachio paste
125g shelled unsalted pistachios
30g ground almond
62g water
18g sugar
3 drops almond extract
1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, canola…)

Pistachio/almond cream (I give you double the quantities of the original recipe as I find the layer could have been thicker)
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g sugar
100g ground almond
2 eggs
80g pistachio paste

300g lemon curd

Italian meringue
120g egg whites
250g sugar
100g water

Method

  1. Sweet pastry: place the sugar and lemon peel in the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10.
  2. Add the butter and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to cream the butter.
  3. Add the other ingredients and lock the lid, then press turbo until the dough clings together (check often as you don’t want to over mix).
  4. Tip out the dough and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Pistachio paste: roast the pistachios in the oven 10 min at 150C.
  6. Make a syrup: place the water in a saucepan, add the sugar and boil until it reaches 121C (use a food thermometer).
  7. Take out of the heat and add the pistachios and stir until it coats the pistachios and the sugar crystallises.LemonPistachTart_001
  8. Place the pistachios, ground almonds, almond extract in the TM bowl. Mix 20 sec/speed 10. Scrape down the sides with the spatula.LemonPistachTart_002
  9. Add the oil and mix a few times 15 sec/speed 10. Keep on scraping down the sides between each mix. Continue until the pistachios releases their oil.LemonPistachTart_003
  10. Tip out into a jar.
  11. Almond/pistachio cream: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
  12. Add the egg and pistachio paste and mix 20 sec/speed 6 until combined, scraping down half way through.
  13. Add the ground almond and mix at speed 6 until well combined (scrape down every so often).
  14. Roll the pastry (you won’t need the whole lot) and line the buttered and floured tart tin.
  15. Place a greaseproof paper on the pastry and scatter dried beans or ceramic beads on top. Bake blind in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
  16. Remove the dried beans and greaseproof paper and pour the pistachio cream on the pastry.LemonPistachTart_005
  17. Bake again 15 minutes at 180C.
  18. Leave to cool completely on a grid.
  19. Spread the lemon curd.
  20. Italian meringue: place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil over high heat until it reaches 115C.
  21. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks.
  22. When the syrup has reached temperature, slowly pour in a small stream over the egg white while whisking. Make sure the syrup doesn’t touch the whisk.
  23. Continue whisking until the egg whites have cooled down to about 40C.
  24. Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of you choice (I used a Saint-Honoré nozzle),
  25. Pipe over the tart. You can sprinkle chopped pistachios over and serve cold.

Mardi-gras

Today is Mardi-gras (fat Tuesday), so if you needed ideas of pancake/waffle recipes (sweet or savoury), here is a selection:

Crepes Suzette

CrepeSuzette_001

Pancake cake

 

PancakeCake_001

Waffles

Waffles_001

To fill your sweet pancakes/waffles, a few ideas:

Caramel au beurre salé

MacaronsCaramel_012

Passion fruit curd

PassionCurd

Homemade NutellaNutella_001

Savoury pancakes

Crepes jambon/fromage

Crepes_002

Crepes filled with creamy cheesy leeks

CrepesPoireaux_001

 

Matcha tea and white chocolate madeleines

Matcha tea is a Japanese tea that looks like green powder. It has lots of wonderful health benefits such as giving great energy boost, 137 times the level of antioxidants than regular green tea and lots of other benefits. Its use in patisserie is quite a recent thing and has become a bit of a trend a few years ago. I love the green colour it gives and it matches really well with raspberries and white chocolate among other things.

MatchaMadeleines_Coll

Ingredients

125g melted butter
130g sugar
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp Matcha tea
3 eggs
A pinch of sea salt
1 white chocolate square per madeleine (here I made 27 madeleines)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C
  2. Mix the sugar and eggs in the TM bowl 1 min/speed 4
  3. Add the flour, Matcha tea, salt, baking powder, and butter and mix 8 sec/speed 6.
  4. If using non silicone madeleine pan, butter it first, then pour 1 tsp of mixture into each madeleine case. Add 1 square of white chocolate in each and top up with another teaspoon of batter (or fill the case to 3/4).
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 min
  6. Leave to cool and take out of the moulds.

MatchaMadelein_004

Homemade Caramel liquor

I love sweet liquors such as Bailey’s but unfortunately, I find them quite expensive to buy. I was always tempted to make one myself but needed to find the recipe that inspired me enough to be pushed over the edge. That’s exactly what happened when I saw Mamina‘s post a month ago and read her verdict to this liquor: “My only regret is that I didn’t make twice the quantity”. It’s quite easy to do and doesn’t need too many ingredients although it does use a very special ingredient: Carambars. You might remember these little caramels from this post. If you can’t get your hands on them, then any good quality hard caramels would do. Like Bailey’s, this liquor is very sweet so it’s nicer served with ice cubes to dilute it a bit.

If you wonder what are the little cakes on the picture, the recipe will come soon…

HomemadeLiquor_001

Source: La table de Mina

Ingredients

Makes 2 litres

1 litre milk
1 litre white rum
1 kg sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon
1 lime
30 Carambars or 50 hard caramels such as Werther’s Originals
2cm piece ginger, peeled

Method

  1. Cut the lemon and lime in half.
  2. Place all the ingredients in one or 2 glass jugs.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge.
  4. Stir every day. Little by little, the liquid will take the colour of Bailey’s.
  5. After one month (yes I know, it’s torture!), strain the liquid and bottle it up. Keep in the fridge.