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.
Source: La popotte de Manue
For a 20cm Charlotte, serves 6
Makes about 28 biscuits
12g unsweetened cocoa powder
50g egg yolks
100g dark chocolate
3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
- Make the biscuits: preheat the oven at 200C.
- 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.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk for 5 seconds to combine.
- Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dust with icing sugar.
- Bake for 10 minutes (watch during the cooking).
- 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.
- 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).
- Make the Bavarois cream: place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
- Place the milk, sugar and egg yolks in the TM bowl and cook 8 min/80C/speed 4 to make a custard.
- Add the drained gelatine through the whole in the lid on running blades at speed 3 until melted.
- Add the chocolate and mix 20sec/speed 8. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
- Clean and thoroughly dry the TM bowl. Insert the butterfly whisk and add the cream to the bowl.
- 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).
- Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard (no more than 37C to avoid thermal choc). Mix using a whisk.
- Cut about 15 biscuits to 6cm high.
- 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.
- Brush the rum syrup over 3 or 4 biscuits and line them at the bottom of the tin.
- Pour half the custard over the biscuit base.
- Brush 4 more biscuits with the syrup and place them on top of the custard. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Pour the remaining custard over the slightly frozen Charlotte and freeze again for another 2 hours (or overnight).
- 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.
- Sprinkle with grated chocolate or vermicelli.
- Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before serving.
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.
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
Salt and pepper to taste
Material: 4 small pastry rings.
- Make the tomato purée: drop the peeled garlic on running blades at speed 8. Scrape down and add the olive oil.
- Sauté 3 min/100C/speed 1.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and chop 4 sec/speed 5.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the dried oregano and reduce 7 min/Varoma/speed 1, measuring cup OFF.
- Tip out and reserve.
- Clean and dry the bowl and place the butterfly whisk inside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do likewise with the other 3 slices of spice bread and the remaining goats cheese mousse and tomato purée.
- Refrigerate 1 hour before removing the ring delicately. Serve with a salad for a nice starter.
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!
Source: David Lebovitz
240g whole milk
4 egg yolks
150g milk chocolate
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
- 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.
- Add the chocolate cut in chunks in the hot custard and mix 15 sec/speed 3 until smooth.
- Add the cream, Guinness and vanilla extract. Mix 10 sec/speed 3.
- Pour into a plastic container with a lid and leave to cool at room temperature.
- Freeze with the lid on overnight.
- The next day, scoop some ice-cream and serve with cream whipped with a tablespoon of vanilla sugar and a tablespoon of Bailey’s.
- Top with a sprinkle of chocolate flakes and serve immediately.
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.
Source: Best of the communities recipes
22 Carambars or 180g Daims or Werther’s Originals, refrigerated
130g creme fraiche or cream
4 egg whites
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.
- Place the refrigerated toffees in the TM bowl and mix 10sec/speed 7.
- Add the cream or creme fraiche and cook 5 min/90C/speed 2. Divide into 8 glasses.
- 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.
- Place the Mascarpone and vanilla sugar in the TM bowl and mix 15sec/speed 6.
- Fold gently in the egg whites with the spatula.
- Spoon or pipe into the 8 glasses. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
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:
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).
Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout
For a tart tin of 26cm diameter
140g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (or peel using a paring knife)
250g plain flour
25g ground almond
1 pinch salt
125g shelled unsalted pistachios
30g ground almond
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 ground almond
80g pistachio paste
300g lemon curd
120g egg whites
- Sweet pastry: place the sugar and lemon peel in the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10.
- Add the butter and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to cream the butter.
- 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).
- Tip out the dough and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Pistachio paste: roast the pistachios in the oven 10 min at 150C.
- Make a syrup: place the water in a saucepan, add the sugar and boil until it reaches 121C (use a food thermometer).
- Take out of the heat and add the pistachios and stir until it coats the pistachios and the sugar crystallises.
- Place the pistachios, ground almonds, almond extract in the TM bowl. Mix 20 sec/speed 10. Scrape down the sides with the spatula.
- 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.
- Tip out into a jar.
- Almond/pistachio cream: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
- Add the egg and pistachio paste and mix 20 sec/speed 6 until combined, scraping down half way through.
- Add the ground almond and mix at speed 6 until well combined (scrape down every so often).
- Roll the pastry (you won’t need the whole lot) and line the buttered and floured tart tin.
- 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.
- Remove the dried beans and greaseproof paper and pour the pistachio cream on the pastry.
- Bake again 15 minutes at 180C.
- Leave to cool completely on a grid.
- Spread the lemon curd.
- Italian meringue: place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil over high heat until it reaches 115C.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks.
- 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.
- Continue whisking until the egg whites have cooled down to about 40C.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of you choice (I used a Saint-Honoré nozzle),
- Pipe over the tart. You can sprinkle chopped pistachios over and serve cold.
Today is Mardi-gras (fat Tuesday), so if you needed ideas of pancake/waffle recipes (sweet or savoury), here is a selection:
To fill your sweet pancakes/waffles, a few ideas:
Caramel au beurre salé
Passion fruit curd
Crepes filled with creamy cheesy leeks
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.
125g melted butter
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp Matcha tea
A pinch of sea salt
1 white chocolate square per madeleine (here I made 27 madeleines)
- Preheat the oven at 180C
- Mix the sugar and eggs in the TM bowl 1 min/speed 4
- Add the flour, Matcha tea, salt, baking powder, and butter and mix 8 sec/speed 6.
- 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).
- Bake for 10 to 12 min
- Leave to cool and take out of the moulds.
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…
Source: La table de Mina
Makes 2 litres
1 litre milk
1 litre white rum
1 kg sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
30 Carambars or 50 hard caramels such as Werther’s Originals
2cm piece ginger, peeled
- Cut the lemon and lime in half.
- Place all the ingredients in one or 2 glass jugs.
- Cover and place in the fridge.
- Stir every day. Little by little, the liquid will take the colour of Bailey’s.
- After one month (yes I know, it’s torture!), strain the liquid and bottle it up. Keep in the fridge.
It was the Chandeleur not that long ago but I wanted to make something a bit different than just plain individual pancakes. I had seen a recipe for pancake cake on my friend Carine’s blog Chic Chic Choc…olat, which gave me all the inspiration I needed to make a truly beautiful dessert!
Source: adapted from Chic chic choc…olat recipe
100g Hazelnut paste
100g dark chocolate
10g unsalted butter
15g cocoa powder
150g icing sugar
- Make the pancake batter as per the recipe to which you can add 1 tbsp rhum, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp sugar.
- Leave to rest at least 30 minutes before using.
- Make the pancakes (I got about 10) and leave them to cool on a plate.
- Make the hazelnut paste and take out 100g. Keep the rest in a jar and use it to make lovely nutella!
- Melt 100g dark chocolate in the Thermomix by first chopping it 6 sec/speed 6, then melting 3 min/50C/speed 2.
- Add the 100g hazelnut paste and mix 20 sec/speed 3. You now have Gianduja.
- Take one pancake and place on a serving plate.
- Spread with some of the hazelnut and chocolate mixture, then place another pancake on top and so on until there is no more pancake.
- Clean the TM bowl and place butter and milk into it. Cook 2 min/80 C/speed 2.
- Add sugar and cocoa and blend for 25 sec/speed 4.
- Pour over the pancake cake and leave to set in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.