Category Archives: Desserts

Chocolate Guinness cake

This cake is dynamite. Don’t do it if you don’t intend to do it again and again and again afterwards. This cake is so good, your kids will ask you to have it at every single occasion. So stock up on Guinness, turn on your Thermomix and get cracking!

ChocGuinnessCake_002ChocGuinnessSlic_001

Source: www.cookwithjanie.com

Ingredients

Cake
250 g Guinness or stout
250 g unsalted butter, diced
60 g cocoa powder
400 g sugar
140 g sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
280 g plain flour
2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder)
Chocolate Ganache
250 g dark chocolate
250 g double cream
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp unsalted butter

Method

  1. Weigh Guinness into the TM bowl. Add butter and melt 3 min/50C/Speed 1 (the butter should be softened or melted).
  2. Add cocoa, sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Mix 45 sec/Speed 5.
  3. Add flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix 20 sec/Speed 3. Pour into a buttered and lined 23cm springform tin.
  4. Bake for 45 to 70 minutes at 180C without fan/160C with fan/Gas Mark 4.
  5. Cool completely before applying ganache topping.
  6. Ganache: heat all the ingredients together 3 min/50C/Speed 2 or until chocolate is completely melted. Pour onto cooled cake and smooth over the edges.

ChocGuinnessCake_004

Express chocolate mousse

Each time I ask my daughter what she wants for dessert, the reply is always the same: “chocolate mousse!”. I came across this quick and easy version for chocolate mousse recently where you whisk the whole eggs and it works beautifully. The texture is a bit denser and firmer than the traditional mousse but it is equally as delicious.

QuickChocMousse_002 QuickChocMousse_004

Source: chic chic chocolat

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 tbsp water
35g sugar
180g dark chocolate
60g strong coffee (or orange juice if you don’t like coffee)

Method

  1. Place the butterfly whisk in the TM bowl with the eggs, sugar and water. Whisk 3 min/70C/speed 3.5.
  2. Whisk another 5 min/speed 3.5.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and coffee (or juice) in the microwave in short bursts and stir between each until the chocolate is just melted.
  4. Fold gently some of the egg mixture into the chocolate. Add the remaining egg mixture and fold gently until combined.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.

Lemon cake (Starbucks secret recipe)

I am not a big fan of Starbucks I must confess. I find their coffee pretty weak and horrid and I can’t remember much from eating their pastries. However, when I saw this recipe going around in Facebook, the picture looked very delicious and lemon cakes are my soft spots. So I tried it and it is every bit as delicious as it looked. Here is the recipe, adapted to Thermomix and the European measurements (I include the cup measures also for those who use it).

LemonCake_001

Source: someone on Facebook…

Ingredients

240g (1 1/2 cup) plain flour, sieved
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 EGGS
215g (1 cup) SUGAR
30g (2 tbsp) butter, Softened.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
80g (1/3 cup) lemon juice
100g (1/2 cup) oil
Lemon icing
230g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) caster sugar
30g (2 tbsp) whole milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C 170C (fan ovens).
  2. Insert the butterfly whisk in the TM bowl. Blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in the TM bowl 1 min/speed 4. Remove the butterfly whisk.
  3. Add the sieved flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 10 sec/speed 6.
  4. Add the oil and mix 10 sec/speed 6.
  5. Pour the batter in a greased 9×5 inch loaf tin (23x12cm) and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cook on a grid.
  6. Clean and dry the bowl.
  7. Grind the sugar for 30 sec/speed 10.
  8. Add the milk and lemon extract and mix 10sec/speed 6 or until combined and smooth.
  9. When the cake is completely cooled down, pour over the lemon icing and let it set before slicing.

 

 

Mont Blanc and Merveilleux au chocolat

I must apologise for my long absence from the blog. I have still been cooking but didn’t find the time or the will to post anything on the net. With Christmas coming, I have been trying new things that I wanted to make for a long time but never got the right ingredients or never got around to do. Since those 2 recipes have the same basis, as in: a meringue and some Chantilly cream, I decided to do them both so you are getting 2 for the price of one (this is my gift to you 😉 ).

So what are these 2 desserts? Both Mont Blanc and the Merveilleux are great French classics (although the first one originates from Italy and the second comes from Belgium). The Merveilleux has long been my favourite dessert as a child but the Mont Blanc is equally as delicious with its Chestnut topping.

I didn’t make these with the Thermomix although I could have so I will give you the instructions both ways.

MontblancCollage

Source: inspired by the Mont Blanc recipe by Christophe Michalak

Ingredients

Meringue
120g egg whites (about 4 eggs)
112g caster sugar
112g icing sugar

Chantilly
200g single cream
50g Mascarpone
25g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod

Chestnut topping
200g chestnut purée
150g chestnut spread (I put 75g)
200g chestnut paste (didn’t find it so omitted, hence the half amount of Chestnut spread)
50g softened butter (I used 50g of the Chantilly leftover)
10g Rum (I omitted)

Chocolate topping
75g chocolate, roughly chopped with a knife

Method

  1. Non Thermomix
    1. Make the meringue the day before: preheat the oven at 100C.
    2. Whisk the egg whites at low speed until foamy.
    3. Add the caster sugar and continue whisking while increasing the speed to medium until it form soft peaks.
    4. Add the icing sugar and increase the speed to high until all the sugar is combined and the meringues are firm.
    5. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and fill a piping bag with a round nozzle with the meringue mixture.
    6. Pipe little domes a few centimeters apart and bake 2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven (don’t open the door) until completely cooled down or overnight.MontBlanc_003
    7. Make the chantilly: whisk the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla beans until firm. Watch out not to over-whisk or you will get butter!MontBlanc_002
    8. Using a spatula, apply some chantilly on each meringue to cover the top.MontBlanc_001
    9. Make the chestnut topping by mixing all the ingredients with the flat beater/K whisk a few minutes at medium to high speed (or use the whisk if you don’t have a flat beater).
    10. Fill a piping  bag with a small round or star shaped nozzle and pipe over the little meringues.
    11. To make the Merveilleux, sprinkle the chocolate flakes over the meringues instead of the chestnut topping.
    12. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Thermomix
    1. Meringues: make sure you have a squeekly clean TM bowl, blades and whisk. Insert the butterfly whisk. Whisk the egg whites 1 min/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Add the caster sugar
    2. Whisk for another 2 minutes/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Add the icing sugar and whisk 2 minutes/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF.
    3. Pipe with a round nozzle onto baking tray lined with baking parchment, a few centimeters apart. Bake as per the traditional method above.
    4. To make the chantilly, insert the butterfly whisk into the TM bowl and whisk all the ingredients 30 sec/speed 3 and watch through the hole in the lid. Stop when it looks like it’s reached soft peak. It will be firmer at the bottom.
    5. Use a spatula to cover the meringues with the chantilly to keep a dome shape.
    6. Make the chestnut topping by mixing all the ingredients 30 sec/speed 6.
    7. Pipe over the meringues using a small round or star shaped nozzle.
    8. To make the Merveilleux, sprinkle the chantilly  topped meringues with chocolate flakes instead of the chestnut topping.
    9. Refrigerate before serving.

 

 

White chocolate, Vanilla and olive oil macarons

I love making macarons. They are beautiful, tasty and you can fill them with an infinite variety of ganaches and fillings. Since teaching how to make them at my Kitchen Complements cookery classes, I have found a great fail-safe recipe, which I am giving you today. For ideas to fill these, you can choose from my raspberry and rose or my dark chocolate ganaches. Maybe you prefer the salted butter caramel filling or for a tangy taste, lemon curd would get your preference. If none of these tickle your fancy, then why not a beautiful white chocolate and olive oil emulsion infused with vanilla seeds?

Please refer to my previous post on macarons shells for some tips on how to make successful macarons before making the recipe.

VanillaMacarons_001

Source: Macarons inratables for the shells and A 2 mains Cap délice for the ganache

Ingredients

Macarons shells
Makes about 100 shells

160g ground almond
160g icing sugar
140g egg whites
180g caster sugar
Food colouring of your choice (preferably in powder or gel form to avoid changing the texture of the mixture)

Ganache
200g white chocolate
75g single cream
85g Extra virgin olive oil (choose a very good quality olive oil with a mild taste)
1/2 vanilla pod

VanillaMacarons_002

Method

  1. Line the baking trays with baking paper or silicone sheet (you need 4 baking trays)
  2. Take out all the ingredients (egg whites a few hours in advance) and tools needed: silicone spatula, piping bag + round nozzle, pastry scraper, scale and a big bowl.
  3. Mix together the ground almond and the icing sugar in the food processor (Thermomix: 5 sec/speed 6). Don’t overheat the powder though! Alternatively, sieve the mixture. Tip out and reserve in the big bowl.
  4. Beat the egg whites until they start to foam and there’s no more liquid at the bottom of the bowl, and then add 1/2 of the sugar. Continue whisking until the whites start to firm up and form soft peaks Add the other 1/2 of sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar is totally dissolved (taste a little bit to check) and add the food colouring (quantity is up to you but add a small amount at a time until you’re satisfied with the result).
    Stop whisking at this stage and add the ground almond and icing sugar.
  5. Now use a silicone spatula to fold in the almond mixture. Cut in the middle of the bowl with the spatula and turn the bowl a 1/4 to the left (if you’re left-handed, then to the right) while lifting the mixture. Once the almond/sugar is roughly mixed in, change the spatula motion to a fold and then scrape gently the top of the mixture. Continue doing this until all the almond is mixed in. Now you don’t have to be too delicate here as you want the mixture to be well mixed and it should form a ribbon when pouring it from a height.
  6. As soon as this is done, put the mixture in a piping bag with a round nozzle (about 1 cm wide). Evacuate any air out of the opening of the piping bag using your hand or pastry scraper and push the mixture towards the nozzle to remove air bubbles.
  7. Hold the piping bag firmly in your hand as shown in the picture and move to your ready lined baking tray
    With the nozzle about 1 cm away from the tray (at a 45 degree angle) pipe out a small amount of the macaron mixture (about a walnut size). You should have 25 to 30 shells per tray.
  8. Continue piping a line of macarons well spaced (they will spread out while resting). Tap the tray firmly against the workbench to remove any air bubble trapped.
  9. Let the macarons rest for up to 1 hour at room temperature. Check it is dry by slightly touching one macaron: it shouldn’t stick to the finger.
  10. Preheat your oven at 150C (even less if your oven tends to overheat).
  11. Add the tray with the macarons and cook for about 10 minutes (again, check them through the window to make sure they don’t get yellow). You don’t need to use 2 tray in this recipe as it is fail-safe and the feet will form with just one tray.
  12. To see if they are cooked, slightly move the top with your finger. If it moves away from the feet, it’s not done. If both stay together, they are cooked.
  13. When they’re cooked, leave them out for a few minutes before carefully lifting them out with a thin spatula.
  14. Ganache: heat the olive oil with the seeds of the vanilla pod 5 min/70C/speed 2. Leave to cool completely (you can leave the pod in the oil and remove when cool). Tip out and reserve.
  15. Melt the white chocolate and the cream in the TM bowl 5 min/50C/speed 2.
  16. Add the olive oil and mix 1 min/speed 3.
  17. Place in a piping bag and leave to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes before piping into your macarons shells.
  18. Store the macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least 1 day before eating (I know it’s torture but they are much, much better after a day or 2 as the flavours will have developed!). They also freeze very well…
  19. Tip: to make the golden shimmer look on the shells, I have sprayed them with an edible shimmer bronze spray (I used gold shimmer for the paler ones), available in specialised shops. Place them in a cardboard box before spraying to avoid redecorating your kitchen!

VanillaMacarons_003

Chocolate chestnut fondant

You should know by now that I love chocolate. Another thing that is sure to tickle my taste buds is chestnut. Add them together and you have a winner.

ChestnutChocCake_002

Source: inspired by a recipe from Martine bichonne son menu  and Recette de cuisine

Ingredients

Homemade chestnut purée
500g cooked chestnuts
1 vanilla pod
300g sugar
300g water

Fondant
500g chestnut purée
100g dark chocolate
3 eggs
100g unsalted butter

ChestnutChocCake_001

Method

  1. First make the chestnut purée: heat the water and sugar in the TM bowl 9 min/Varoma/speed 3.
  2. Add the chestnuts, the vanilla seeds and heat 22 min/100C/speed 3.
  3. Blend 30 sec/speed 9.
  4. Pour into a sterilised jar.
  5. To make the fondant: preheat the oven at 150C. Melt the chocolate and butter 4 min/50C/speed 2, scraping the sides of the bowl half way through.
  6. Set the Thermomix to speed 3 and add the eggs through the hole in the lid.
  7. Add the chestnut purée and mix 15 sec/speed 4.
  8. Pour out into a buttered and floured cake tin or silicone mould.
  9. Bake for 30 to 45 min depending on the size of the tin.

 

Semolina cake

Most French children have a memory of semolina cake, either made by their mum or bough from the shop. I have this fond memory of a semolina cake with chocolate ganache from the brand Yabon that I just couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, nowadays we can’t find decent semolina cakes in France anymore as they have “changed” the recipe (replacing natural ingredients with cheap processed ones to increase their bottom line as usual). But anyway, nothing beats homemade so here is a nice recipe to turn back the time…

SemolinaCake_001

Source: Espace Recettes Thermomix

Ingredients

125 g fine semolina
90g sugar
1000g whole fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
2 eggs
Pinch of salt

Chocolate ganache:
90g dark chocolate
90g cream

Method

  1. Put the butterfly whisk in the bowl.
  2. Add the milk, sugar, semolina, seeds scraped from the vanilla pod and salt.
  3. Cook for 11 min/100c/speed 1.
  4. Add the eggs and cook a further 4 min/100C/speed 3.
  5. Pour out into a dish and let it cool down before refrigerating a couple of hours to set.
  6. Meanwhile, make the ganache: in a clean and dry TM bowl, break the chocolate into chunks and grate 5 sec/speed 6.
  7. Add the cream and melt for 3 min/50C/speed 2, scraping down the sides half way through.
  8. Let it cool and thicken before pouring over the semolina cake.

Chocolate financiers

I had a lot of egg whites in my fridge and some chocolate craving after seeing my daughter gorging herself on her Easter chocolates and not wanting to share (how shocking!). So, I looked for a chocolate financiers recipe and just came across this one. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into: they are wickedly addictive! They are so moist and chocolatey with just the right balance of sweetness. I must have eaten the whole batch within a day (my husband just about managed to rescue one before they were all gone).

ChocFinanciers_001

Source: Gateau.com

Ingredients

150g dark chocolate (I used 58% cocoa)
80g sugar
80g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
40g ground almond
4 egg whites (or 125g)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 200C and butter your financier moulds (I used silicone so no need to butter)
  2. Grate the chocolate in the TM bowl 5 sec/speed 6. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate 3 min/50C/speed 2. Scrape down half way through. Add another minute if not completely melted.
  4. Pour out the chocolate into a bowl and add all the other ingredients except the egg whites to the TM bowl (no need to wash).
  5. Turn on the blades to speed 3 and add the egg whites through the whole in the lid until just combined.
  6. Add the chocolate back into the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4. Finish with the spatula to make sure everything is well combined ( you don’t want to overmix).
  7. Pour into your financier moulds and bake for 15 minutes (check with a skewer that must come out clean).
  8. Leave to cool and use your will power not to have second servings – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

ChocFinanciers_002

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).

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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.