TRIPLE CHEESECAKE – Recipe

VANILLA BEAN BAKED CHEESECAKE Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Eggs, Room Temp
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 168g (3/4 Cups) Caster Sugar
  • 230g (1 Cup Sour Cream), Room Temp
  • 500g (18 Oz) Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Flour
  • Seed From 2 Vanilla Beans
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F, butter (not spray) the inside of a 25cm 10″ diameter springform pan.
  2. Lay foil in a cross double the diameter of the pan each.
  3. Wrap up sides of pan for extra protection against water bath seeping into cheesecake. Wrap once more in similar manner to seal where the previous cross has a seam.
  4. Using a processor (or use a mixer to mix but not aerate too much) to process the cream cheese and butter until smoothly combined.
  5. Add all other ingredients except the eggs and process once more until smoothly combined. Scrape down half way if necessary to ensure proper mixing.
  6. Add the eggs and process till silky smooth again.
  7. Pour into prepared pan & place into a large, deep baking tray filled with boiling water halfway up the cake pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or so or minutes or until the centre no longer wobbles.
  9. Turn off the oven, leaving the door slightly open and cool the cake till cold.
  10. From this point this cheesecake must sit overnight before enjoying for best texture and flavour. If adding other layers of cheesecake you can add right away so long as the cake is cooled completely.

ROASTED RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE Ingredients:

  • 250g (9 Oz) Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  • 75g (1/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 120ml (1/2 Cup) Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Gelatin Powder
  • 295ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) Thickened/Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 250g (2 Cups) Roasted Raspberries

240C 20 min for berries

ROSE WATER CHEESECAKE Ingredients:

  • 250g (9 Oz) Cream Cheese, Room Temp
  • 75g (1/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 120ml (1/2 Cup) Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Gelatin Powder
  • 295ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) Thickened/Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Rosewater
  • 250g (3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons) Greek Yogurt
  • Pink/Red Food Colouring, Optional

METHOD:

MODELLING CHOCOLATE WHITE/DARK – Recipe


modellingchocchart

This handy chart belongs to Cake Paper Party and explains the ratios and steps/troubleshooting in impressive detail. So make sure to check her page out.

https://www.cakepaperparty.com/2014/03/make-modeling-chocolate-make/

MODELLING WHITE CHOCOLATE Soft Consistency:

  • 342g (12 Ounces) White Couverture Chocolate
  • 138g (4.5 Ounces) Glucose Syrup

MODELLING MILK/DARK COUVERTURE CHOCOLATE Medium-Firm:

  • 342g (12 Ounces) Milk/Dark Couverture Chocolate
  • 114g (3.75 Ounces) Glucose Syrup

METHOD:

  1. Start by bringing water to a simmer in a saucepan 1/3 full. You don’t want the base of your bowl to be touching the water. You are just looking for constant small bubbles around the edges, any hotter would ruin your chocolate.
  2. Patience is key.
  3. Place the weighed chocolate over the saucepan and switch off the heat.
  4. You’ll want the chocolate uniformly chopped if it is in bar or comes in blocks. Callets are most ideal as you can skip that step. Make sure that it is real chocolate that uses cocoa butter not vegetable oil (Couverture, not Compound).
  5. Stir the chocolate from time to time gently just till it is melted. If you need more heat, bring water to simmer again with the bowl off heat. Repeat the step of switching off and placing bowl back on.
  6. Once the chocolate is smoothly melted, remove from heat and weigh the glucose. I pour it straight out of the container and use my fingers to remove excess.
  7. Note: You can usually spray or coat to grease your measuring utensils for the glucose to prevent sticking but I’m avoiding that as the recipe is more delicate.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, sweep gently in from the edges of the bowl then swipe down the middle. Repeat this slowly a few times just until it is incorporated.
  9. This is the tricky part, but basically try to mix it to the point where it takes on a matte finish, has no big streaks of chocolate anywhere – taking on almost the aesthetics of a very stiff creme patisserie.
  10. It is advised to slightly over mix than under but both generally can be fixed.
  11. Over stirring does lead to liquid fat leaking out, and too little stirring leaves chunks of hard chocolate when set.
  12. Scoop the modelling chocolate onto a large piece of cling wrap and avoid playing with it at this point. Wrap it tightly and very well to prevent skin forming.
  13. You need a resting time for the chocolate to become completely solid, indicating the fat is solidified enough for it to be used. Candy melt recipes take 1 hour or so and since we use real chocolate it will take much longer than that.
  14. The easiest way is to make this in advance and allow to sit at room temperature for at least a few hours or overnight.
  15. Once it is ready to use it will be clumpy, you need to knead the chocolate first until it is smooth and pliable.
  16. If the mixing was done correctly, ideally you should be able to rub a small amount between your fingers and feel no lumps.
  17. Some common uses include rolling it out and wrapping it over a buttercream or ganache covered cake like the way fondant is done, or making decoration like roses.

TROUBLE SHOOTING:

If the chocolate is lumpy and won’t come together, try the fix below for both case scenarios of under and over mixing:

  • If you are finding very firm, opaque chunks that do not melt in the heat of your hand it is probably under mixed. you will need to partially remelt the modeling chocolate. Spread the modeling chocolate out in the bottom of a bowl and nuke in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It should remain solid but have a slightly molten centre. Being careful as it is hot, knead the product until smooth. If it starts to break, set aside to cool briefly before kneading again. Wrap the kneaded modeling chocolate in plastic wrap and cool to room temperature before using.
  • If you see an opaque border of fat around the edges when the chocolate has cooled, then it is probably the result of over mixing and breaking the emulsion. When kneaded the fat will often remain in solid chunks throughout. To reincorporate them you will need to briefly warm the modeling chocolate on high in the microwave for 4-6 seconds. You just want to soften the fat but not melt it, much like when preparing to cream butter for a cake, it needs to be pliable. Then knead until the product is smooth. You can also use the heat of your hands to warm the fats and knead extensively but it takes much longer. Wrap the modeling chocolate and cool to room temperature before using.

GOOEY SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES – Recipe


Ingredients – Makes 15-20 Regular Truffles or 25-30 Petite Truffles

  • 500g (17.6Oz) Dark Couverture Chocolate (For Choc Shells)
  • Gold Luster Dust (Optional)
  • 150g (2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 75ml (6 Tablespoons) Water
  • 120ml (1/2 Cup) Thickened/Heavy Cream
  • 52g (5 Tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 + 1/4 Tsp Pink/Sea Salt or to taste

METHOD:

    1. Over medium-high heat, cook the sugar and water in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan without stirring.
    2. Brush the inner side of the saucepan with a damp brush to prevent crystallization of sugar.
    3. Once the sugar dissolves and mixture turns a dark amber color, add the salt, butter and cream. * Be careful as the mixture will bubble and spit a little.
    4. Switch off the heat and stir until silky smooth
    5. Transfer to a heat-proof pouring jug and set in an ice bath to cool till room temperature.
    6. For the Chocolate shell, start by using a small brush (flat or pointy, depends on how you like it and prefer to utilize for future purposes) or your finger whilst wearing a food grade glove, brush a streak of gold luster on the base of your mold. Set aside while we temper our chocolate.
    7. BREAKING DOWN THE STRUCTURE: Take roughly 25% of the full portion of dark chocolate and set it aside.
    8. Bring a saucepan of how water to a rolling boil.
    9. Switch off the heat and place a heat-proof glass bowl with the remaining large portion of chocolate over the saucepan.
    10. Stir every minute or so until it is almost completely melted.
    11. Start placing the candy thermometer into the chocolate (careful not to just let it sit and rest on the base of the bowl or you’ll get the bowl’s temperature – not accurate!) while it isn’t all melted yet.
    12. Remove the bowl from the heat when it steadily rises and is just about to hit 46C (115F). This will prevent it from going too far above. Remember to stir from time to time while you are testing to even out the temperature.
    13. Be patient, this all takes time to steadily add the temperature and create the right stability.
    14. RE-ESTABLISHING THE STRUCTURE: Now begin to sprinkle in some chocolate and keep stirring to melt the chocolate. Stop if the chocolate ever stops melting, and remove the chocolate that didn’t melt. This step is called ‘seeding’ which helps using the already tempered chocolate to guide the melted chocolate to form the correct structure.
    15. For my batch, all the chocolate melted and it was still too warm. Keep stirring from time to time, testing the temperature until it is cooled to 26C (79F). For very large batches, you can use an ice bath under to speed up the process. Bare in mind this speeds the cooling up drastically so can be finicky too.
    16. STABILIZE THE STRUCTURE: To complete the temper we now need to stabilize the structure and make it ready for use by bringing it back up to 32C (90F).
    17. Bring the saucepan of water back up to a rolling boil again.
    18. Switch it off and place the bowl of chocolate on top, give it about 5 seconds.
    19. Remove and stir well to even the temperature and test with the thermometer.
    20. Do this in little bursts until the temperature is reached.
    21. Now take a small piece of baking paper and dip it into the chocolate on one side.
    22. Leave it to set, depending on conditions in your room can be a while, mine took a lot longer than others before it started setting – about 10 min or so.
    23. You are looking for when it dries, it should start to become not wet on the surface anymore yet glossy with some form of shine. If it becomes matte it is not tempered.
    24. At this point if it is setting and glossy I go ahead and start making my shells.
    25. Pour over molds 1/2-2/3 full with chocolate and rap on counter gently a couple of times. Pour out excess back into bowl of chocolate until there’s not lots of dripping.
    26. Clean up with spatula or flat knife by scraping from one side to the other.
    27. Leave upside down on a sheet of baking paper to set after cleaning up shell to have uniform and neat shell.
    28. Set aside to set while you keep your tempered chocolate just warm enough to not set (should be 1-2 degrees in the same range).
    29. Turn the mold upright once it is set, fill 2/3 full with caramel filling and then pour just enough chocolate to spread and cover the chocolate shells. Using an offset spatula, scrape away from one end to the other any excess back into the bowl.
    30. Try to keep the edges of the chocolate clean so there is less to clean up when popping them out.
    31. At this point you can blast-chill them by popping it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or so. This contracts the chocolate as it shrinks from the cold temperature and will naturally make them turn out easily. This is generally easier to see with clear molds – but silicone ones will make an easy removal even just leaving them in the fridge for a good 10-15 minutes and just gently loosening the edges before slowly inverting them out.
    32. These can be stored at room temperature in a cool location for up to a week. Any longer I would recommend fridge storage, airtight and then just bring it to room temperature as needed before serving.

CLEANING THE MOLDS:

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE BAR – Recipe

Makes 2 Average Sized Chocolate Bars

  • 500g Dark Couverture Chocolate
  • 150g Avocado, Ripe

METHOD:

  1. Grease & line with foil or cling wrap a 15 x 24 x 1cm (6 x 9.4 x 0.3″) tray. Try to get it as crease-free as possible.
  2. Make sure you have some sort of silicone or plastic mould that has 3 x 6 squares that measure 3 x 3cm (1″), cleaned according to this video.
  3. Follow the recipe video here to temper the dark chocolate.
  4. Process the avocado in a processor, or use a stick blender to get it very smooth.
  5. If you have neither, mash it with a fork a few times to get it as smooth as you can before stirring it into the chocolate.
  6. Pipe the avocado chocolate into the square moulds just until it is around 1cm in height and as consistent as you can.
  7. Tap the tray firmly on counter covered with a towel a couple times to release any trapped air bubbles and level it out.
  8. Pour the rest of the chocolate into the lined tray and spread to out evenly. Scrape across with an off-set palette knife to level and smooth the top.
  9. Allow to fully set at room temperature, then just place in freezer for 5-10 minutes before loosening edges and inverting it out.
  10. Peel away the cling wrap from the tray chocolate and the wrapped side will become the top of the bar.
  11. Warm a pan till hot, using gloves to handle the chocolate, warm the less smooth side of the square blocks one at a time just to melt it enough to stick it onto the bar.
  12. You may want to arrange your chocolate on the bar first to see how they can fit before you start gluing them on. Allow 10 minutes for it to fully set.
  13. Dust with gold dust if you like to accent or cover the entire bar like I did.
  14. You can buy confectionery foil wrappings from cake decorating shops or order online. Otherwise wrap them in ribbons and baking paper and they are also good 🙂
  15. These are best stored in the fridge before transporting as they can be a little bit more delicate.

TORTA AL EZIO AUDITORE DA FIRENZE – Recipe

FREEZE-DRIED STRAWBERRY & PISTACHIO SOFT NOUGAT Ingredients:

= 150g (2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
= 75g (3 + 1/2 Tablespoons) Honey
= 25ml (1 + 1/4 Tablespoons) Water
= 25g Egg Whites
= 75g (3/4 Cup) Pistachio
= Handful of Freeze Dried Strawberry/Raspberry
= Vegetable oil For Greasing

METHOD:

  1. Heat sugar, honey & water in a saucepan till 120C.
  2. Whilst it is heating up whisk the meringue and make sure it is at stiff peaks by the time the sugar mix reaches the temperature.
  3. With the mixer on high speed, carefully pour a constant stream of the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to avoid hitting the whisk.
  4. Whisk on high for 10-15 minutes to cool the nougat.
  5. After a few more minutes it should begin to look a little less shiny and more matte.
  6. Add the nuts and freeze dried berry powder now.
  7. Using a greased wooden spoon, spoon the nougat mix into a 16cm (6″) cake ring greased on the inside and outside, placed on a lined baking tray.
  8. Level it out as much as possible and freeze until the mousse is ready.

 

SPICED STRAWBERRY & WINE SYRUP Ingredients:

= 500g (2 + 1/2 Cups) Strawberries, Fresh /Frozen
= 338g (1 + 1/2) Cups Sugar
= 355ml (1 + 1/2 Cup) Medium Sweet Red Wine
– Merlot/Shiraz
= 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
= 4-5 Whole Cloves
= 3 Pieces of Star Anise
= 5-6 Whole Dried Chilli

METHOD:

  1. Combine ingredients except strawberries in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, add the strawberries and bring it back to a boil for 1 minute.
  3. Cool the mixture till room temperature, covered.
  4. Macerate the berries in the fridge overnight.
  5. Remove the whole spices, process till smooth with juice blender, processor or stick blender.
  6. Bring half the mixture to boil again and reduce to a simmering. You want to see constant bubbling. Stir constantly as the high sugar content will settle & burn on base otherwise.
  7. Once the mixture is reduced by half, swap it for the other half & repeat.
  8. You should have under 2/3 or 1/2 the original amount. Color should darken and texture thickened.
  9. Cool and chill to allow it to thicken.

 

SPICED STRAWBERRY & WINE MOUSSE Ingredients:

  • 170g (6 Ounces) Caster Sugar
  • 45ml 1.5 ounces water
  • 6 Egg Yolks (9 ounces)
  • 120ml Pate Bombe Mix
  • 240ml 1 cup Thickened/Heavy Cream 2 parts to 1 base
  • 70ml Berry & Wine Reduction 3 to 1 base to puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder

= 170g (3/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
= 45ml (2 + 1/4 Tablespoons) Water
= 6 Egg Yolks (9 ounces)
= 120ml (1/2 Cup) Pate Bombe Mix
= 240ml (1 cup) Thickened/Heavy Cream
= 70ml (3 + 1/2 Tablespoons) Berry Wine Reduction
= 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small, preferably heavy, saucepan and bring the mixture to 120C (248F).
  2. Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks on high speed in a stand mixer until pale and doubled in volume.
  3. Pour the hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixer whilst mixing on high.
  4. Continue to whip on high until the pâté à bombe has almost doubled in volume and the bowl cools down to being somewhat warm to the touch.
  5. For this recipe you’ll only need 120ml of the Pate Bombe Mix. The rest can be frozen for later use. To work out the ratio or measurements for your recipes in the future there is some guide I have found at the end of this section.
  6. Start by sprinkling the gelatin over the berry wine reduction. After 5 minutes of blooming, just warm the mix till hot but not boiling. Stir in the gelatin till no granules are left.
  7. Simply stir in the berry wine reduction to the pate bomb till well mixed.
  8. Whip the cream till just under stiff peaks where it is about to start spiking but not quite gathering in the whisk. Whisk in 1/3 of the mix to lighten the mousse.
  9. Gently fold in the other 2/3 till no streaks are left but still airy and light. If you deflate it and lose lots of volume your folding is incorrect.
  10. Take out the frozen nougat and pour the mousse into the ring. Gently using a wooden spoon or spatula, ease the mousse into the edges to prevent air bubbles.
  11. Shake and tilt the tray to even out the mousse. Rap the tray two times to release air bubbles.
  12. Freeze till firm.
  13. Take the remaining berry wine and reduce it some more until it is like a very thick jam. A little thicker than your regular jam. Cool till warm and spoon it over till the top of the frozen mousse is just covered. I tilted the tray to move it around.
  14. Freeze once more for an hour or two before covering with buttercream.

 

RATIO GUIDE:

For 120ml (1/2 Cup) Pate Bombe Mix:

When using flavour additions like purees – 3:1 Pate Bomb to Puree Ratio

Whipped Cream – 2:1 Thickened Cream to Pate Bomb (Before Whipping)

I’m using 1 Teaspoon Gelatin Powder for a very soft set, increase by another 1/2 teaspoon if you want it a touch firmer, or you may want to go another full teaspoon to get it more similar to other entremet desserts.

 

 

 

CITRUS ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM Ingredients:

= 5 Large Egg Whites (150g), Room Temp
= 375g (2 Cups) Caster Sugar, Divided
= 1 Pinch of Cream of Tartar
= 1 Pinch of Salt
= 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
= 454g (2 Cups) Unsalted Butter, Room Temp

= 150ml (2/3 Cup) Fresh Orange Juice
= Zest of 3 Navel Oranges
= Zest of 1 Lemon

METHOD:

  1. Ensure all ingredients are weighed up and set up as this requires timing and precision for this recipe. You can prepare this days before making, just bear in mind that every time you store the buttercream back into the fridge it requires you to let it warm up then beat and whisk it till fluffy again before use.
  2. Combine half the sugar with orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir gently just till the sugar dissolves. Brush along the sides of the pot with water to dissolve any sugar crystals. Alternatively, use a rolled up paper towel to wipe off those crystals.
  4. Once the sugar begins to bubble up, start whipping egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed.
  5. Once the egg whites whip till it is doubled in volume and is thick enough for a spoon of it to sit on itself, begin to sprinkle in the other half of the sugar reserved.
  6. Get the meringue to stiff peaks, then switch the speed to a low speed if the sugar isn’t ready yet.
  7. I start inserting my thermometer once the sugar really bubbles up – if yours is a probe like mine make sure it isn’t touching the base of the pan or it isn’t accurate as it’s taking the pans temperature.
  8. Once the sugar mix reaches 113C (235F) – anticipate this by seeing the pace the temperature goes up so you know when it will happen – switch the mixer on high speed, drizzle in a constant, steady and thin stream of sugar down the side of the mixer bowl. Avoid hitting the whisk or you’ll send hot syrup everywhere.
  9. If you are not using a candy thermometer then you can spoon a bit into ice water. It should form a malleable ball of when you grab it with your hand, if it dissolves away then it isn’t ready.
  10. Whip until it is stiff peaks again. In the meantime you can add in the zest and vanilla from the side of the bowl.
  11. Feel the base of the bowl and make sure it is at least lukewarm if not cold, keep whipping on medium-high speed to cool it – don’t worry, the large amount of sugar prevents the meringue from over-whipping before it cools sufficiently.
  12. Now use very malleable and room temperature butter that have been cubed, beat it in a piece at a time with the paddle attachment attached. I made them into thin and tiny pieces about 3mm thick, 3cm squares just to make sure it blends easily.
  13. Continue to beat this on high speed until it is combined and then becomes chunky like cheese lumps. This is normal, don’t worry.
  14. Take 1/2 of the reduced spice wine and begin to add it to the buttercream until the desired tinge of red, giving time in between mixing to ensure you don’t let down the mixture too much.
  15. Switch back to the whisk attachment and beat for a long while until it becomes very pale and super light and fluffy. Taste for flavour at this point as the airiness is right and taste will be most accurate to judge.
  16. Chances are you will be making this ahead of time and then storing it in the fridge for later use. In this case, bring it to room temperature or just until it is soft enough to beat.Beat with the paddle attachment to loosen the mix till combined but lumpy again.
  17. Use the whisk attachment to whip it till it is very light & airy again. You can also add the flavors at this point and whisk it till it tastes like sweet, creamy air 😀
  18. When you decorate if you take a long time especially between chilling the cake, etc, you can put the buttercream in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and just whisk it up again to make it thick enough to decorate with.
  19. Take out the cake and using a piping bag with a large open tip, pipe around from base up in circular motion around the cake till you cover all the sides.
  20. Following the edge of the cake at the top, pipe in the same motion till you reach the centre and cover the entire surface.
  21. Gently using an offset palette knife to fill in the gaps and smooth the buttercream together. As you work the sides the excess should come up the side of the cake to the top edge – you want this. Once it is smooth, bring the excess in by skimming across the surface with your palette knife and you should have a neat edge and smooth top.
  22. Freeze the cake briefly just till the buttercream slightly sets up. 20 minutes or so should do.
  23. Using a warm knife start to neaten the shape to make sure the cake is nice and round and straight around the sides.
  24. Freeze the cake until the buttercream is very firm to the touch as you will need to handle it and flip it upside down.

 

 

TEMPERED DARK CHOCOLATE

= 400g (14 Ounces) Dark Couverture Chocolate

 

METHOD:

  1. Check out the Banoffee Truffle recipe video to see how to easily temper chocolate at home. The process is the same but replace the three temperatures with 46C, 26C, 32C.
  2. Once the chocolate is tempered, in little portions spread it thinly on the upside down cake to cover and seal in the nougat layer so it doesn’t leak or ooze out. You just want enough so you can’t see the nougat.
  3. Turn the cake back upright. If the chocolate is set, which it should by now, place it on the same lined tray but over a smaller diameter bowl. The bowl should be upside down. This is in preparation for the glazing.
  4. For garnishes, you can pipe the arc of each wing, as big or small as you want. Smaller is easier to transport and less delicate.
  5. I drew like a banana shape and filled in the gaps. Then I start piping little blobs ranging from smaller to large when going from ends to middle to other end. Using the back of a spoon press and drag it outwards to form feathers. Do them one at a time or if they set too quick you will have a chunk of chocolate instead.
  6. Allow to set at room temperature then chill before you insert into cake.

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE MIRROR GLACAGE (DIVIDED) Ingredients:

= 700g (24.5 Ounces) White Chocolate
= 400ml (1 + 3/4 Cups) Water
= 600g (2 + 2/3 Cups) Caster Sugar
= 400g (1 + 3/4 Cups) Condensed Milk
= 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
= 38g (4 Tablespoons) Powdered Gelatin
= Red Food Coloring (Paste If Possible)

METHOD:

  1. Bloom the gelatin by stirring into some of the cold water and setting aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine remaining cold water, sugar & condensed milk in a saucepan, bringing it to under a boil.
  3. Switch off the heat and stir in the vanilla, bloomed gelatin until no granules are left.
  4. Pour this mixture over the chocolate pieces in a bowl, allowing it to sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate.
  5. Once fully melted, use a blender or immersion blender to process till very smooth.
  6. Avoid frothing up the mixture too much as the bubbles will be harder to deal with and will show on the glazed cake.
  7. Set aside 1/3 of the glaze to keep as white. Dye the larger portion a bright red with food coloring.
  8. To aid this, strain glaze through a fine sieve to catch any particles.
  9. Cool glacage till it is 32C (90F) before using. Be careful to not form bubbles as the glaze is very thick now and will not pop them on its own.
  10. Position the frozen mousse cake (unmolded) over a wire rack on top of a large sheet pan lined with baking paper. This will catch excess and make it not only easier to save the glacage for reuse, or cleaning the tray.
  11. Pour the glacage liberally from one side over to the other end, making sure to check that all sides of the cake are also glazed.
  12. Quickly pour thin streak of white over the red in a few lines as you like. You can quickly go over with some red again too. But work fast or the glaze will set.
  13. Allow cake to drip off excess, setting for a minute or two before using a knife or palette knife to scrape off excess on the bottom.
  14. Transfer to the serving board.
  15. Keep chilled till serving. Use a hot knife to slice and serve.
  16. The cake is best served within a few days as the nougat will begin to lose structure as it comes to fridge temperature and become wet due to all the humidity.

 

 

EXTRA NOTES:

For the future I would use raspberries instead of strawberries as the cake was a tad sweeter than most preferred, though the flavour was great.

I would remove most of the sugar from the wine mix and use corn flour or other means to thicken instead.

Other option would be to use something other than pate bombe as a base but could be less sweet, but also less rich.

 

 

 

CHINESE CRULLERS (YOUTIAO) – Recipe

From: thewoksoflife.com/2015/08/youtiao-recipe/

Chinese Crullers (Youtiao)

  • 250g (2 Cups) Plain/All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1+1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 79ml (1/3 Cup) Water, Give or Take (Depends on kitchen humidity)
  • Vegetable Oil, As Needed

 

METHOD:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the water into the mixer bowl.
  2. On low setting with a dough hook, knead till everything is combined.
  3. Begin to add the water bit by bit as you knead on same setting.
  4. This part is crucial, you need to get the softness of the dough just right.
  5. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a guide to this for water measurement as it may very much depend on how humid your location is.
  6. You’re looking for as soft of a dough as you can get, without it sticking to the bowl. So when you feel it is beginning to stick to the bowl then stop and feel it.
  7. Knead for 15 minutes or so, check the consistency once more. If needed, add more water and give it another 5 minutes or so.
  8. If doing this by hand, you’ll just need an additional 5 minutes more of kneading.
  9. Flour the counter and flatten the dough into a long rectangle that is 0.6cm (1/4″) thick and 10cm (4″) wide. Try to make it as neat and uniform as you can so you won’t have to trim and waste any dough later on.
  10. Spread cling wrap over the counter, place the dough on top and wrap it tightly.
  11. Turn it over so the ends of the cling wrap are weighed down for an airtight seal.
  12. Place it on a tray or plate and chill overnight to relax the gluten. This step’s essential for something like this that uses no yeast.
  13. Next morning, patience will be your best friend. Take out the dough and give it at least a couple of hours to come back to room temperature. It needs to feel incredibly soft again or else it won’t fry up properly and may not cook the way it should.
  14. Now flip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and lightly flour the top of the dough too.
  15. Divide into 2.5cm (1″) wide bars, try to cut an even number for the next step.
  16. Stack one on top of another to form pairs.
  17. Using a well floured skewer, press down the center lengthwise to almost form four connected bars.
  18. Holding onto both ends, gently stretch till you are at least doubled in length of what the original strip was. If you don’t like using too much frying oil like me, you can then cut these strips in half so they won’t need as much oil to fry up. Either 23cm (9″) or 10cm (4″) or so for the two options.
  19. Repeat for the others. Cover if not soft enough yet.
  20. Now heat up the oil – you want enough oil to allow room for the crullers to turn and float. I did it in a regular, small saucepan about half filled and just one cruller at a time, checking the temperature with a thermometer every two or three crullers.
  21. Once the oil steadily increases to 204C (400F) it is ready to fry. It is important to turn the heat a little lower and judge whether it is stable. If it is too high of a heat it will quickly overheat and burn what you are frying. If it’s turned too low it will drop quickly once you start frying. But steady increases and slight adjustments are crucial – this is what I learnt 🙂
  22. Lower the cruller in and quickly use a long utensil like chopsticks or tongs to turn it constantly and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is golden all over. Don’t want to see any pale parts down the splits or it may be doughy in the middle.
  23. Place on a wire rack over a pan to drain excess oils. They are nice slightly warmed in an oven before dunking into hot or cold soy milk.
  24. They can also be frozen after being fried.
  25. They should be crisp on the outside and lots of airy holes whilst being somewhat pleasantly chewy. You can always test one and let it rest before tasting to see how you want to adjust the cooking process.

 

YOGURT & CARDAMOM PLUM CAKE – Recipe

YOGURT & CARDAMOM PLUM CAKE

**Makes 2 x 20cm (8″) Round Pan Cakes

  • 200g (4/5 Cup, Heaped) Plain or Flavored Greek Yogurt
  • 3 Large Eggs, Room Temp.
  • 162ml (1/2 Cup) Plum Puree
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom
  • 150g (2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 75g (1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Dark Brown Sugar
  • 180g (1 + 1/2 Cup) Plain/All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 600ml (2 + 1/2 Cups) Thickened/Heavy Cream

 

METHOD:

  1. For the plum puree, I actually cut and removed the stone of the plums first. I gently cooked them a little over the stove in a small saucepan just until some juices were released and it became relatively soft.
  2. At this point I then went on to puree them in a processor until smooth. I think that might give you some more volume and flavour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease & line the base of two 20cm (8″) pans.
  4. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. Whisk in the yogurt, plum puree and eggs until smoothly combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans.
  7. Rap (tap on counter) the pans twice each to release air bubbles.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or so, testing with a skewer to see if it comes out clean when the cake is risen and no longer wobbling.
  9. Firmly rap the pans once each to prevent shrinking, cool on a wire rack until cool.
  10. Turn out cake and flip back upright.
  11. Now it is up to you if you like to pipe whipped cream onto them individually in slices or as a whole cake.
  12. Whip the cream until it is just stiff, it should start to leave grooves as it whisks. It will just begin to leave some cream gathered in the whisk. Make sure you don’t over whip it when it becomes a bit yellow in colour and no longer looks smooth.
  13. You can lightly swirl in a few spoonfuls of the plum puree to have a light swirl effect.
  14. I used a medium sized star piping tip, starting from one end I did a sideways infinite 8 motion overlapping every middle section a little for more texture.
  15. **Check out the video for a demonstration on how it’s done.
  16. Keep them chilled and airtight when not serving. They are great even without any topping, you can simply dust with some icing sugar or even just have some plum puree on the side to dunk it in…MMM!