Friday, 26 October 2012

Coffee, Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cakes & Mock Caviar

The idea for these cakes came from a photo I saw a while ago on flickr. The recipe for the chocolate sponge is from From BA to Paris, the caramel and coffee mouse recipes are from Sweets and Loves and I found the the mock caviar recipe from Sprinkle Bakes.

Coffee, Chocolate & Caramel Mousse Cakes

For the chocolate cake layer:
5 eggs, separated
100g plain flour
90g caster sugar
10g cocoa powder
For the coffee mousse:
60g egg yolk
60g caster sugar
5g custard powder
5g powdered gelatine
250g milk
10g instant coffee
250g whipping cream, whipped to medium-firm peaks
For the caramel mousse:
140g caster sugar
160g whipping cream
50g unsalted butter
½ tsp salt
4g gelatin
160g whipping cream, whipped to medium-firm peaks
20g granulated sugar

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C/ 350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a baking sheet (approximately 38x27cm), leaving some paper hanging over two of the sides.

2. Whisk the egg whites to medium-firm peaks.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift and whisk in the flour and cocoa powder. Carefully fold in the egg whites and once well incorporated, pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back a little when pressed. Remove the sponge from the sheet once cooked and leave to cool on a wire rack.

4. For the coffee mousse, soften the gelatine in cold water. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale, then whisk in the custard powder. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the coffee. Pour the milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan and bring to 80C. Remove from the heat and cool in an icy water bath. Once cool, fold in the whipped cream.

5. For the caramel mousse, dissolve the gelatine in some cold water (according to packet instructions). Make the caramel by heating the sugar in a medium sized saucepan over a gentle heat until melted and amber in colour. In a separate saucepan (or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave), gently heat the whipping cream and gradually mix it into the browned sugar. Remove from the heat and cool in an ice bath. Once the caramel is 40C, mix in the butter, salt and softened gelatine. Once well mixed in, pass through a sieve and fold in the whipped cream and sugar.

6. To assemble, cut out evenly-sized disks (or rectangles) from the chocolate sponge. Slice each portion in half horizontally to produce two thin layers for each cake. Sandwich the layer pairs together with the coffee mousse. Place the sponge-mousse sandwiches into pastry rings and cover with some caramel mousse, ensuring the caramel mousse layer is about twice the height of the sponge/coffee mousse layer. Smooth the tops and refrigerate until set.

Mock Caviar

approximately 500ml vegetable oil
4tsp powdered gelatine
3tbsp cold water
105ml hot liquid- i.e. coffee
60ml salt

1.Place the oil in an appropriate container (jug, saucepan, etc) and refrigerate overnight.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the gelatine and water and set aside to firm up. Pour the hot liquid over the set gelatine and stir to dissolve. Transfer the mixture to a squeeze bottle and leave it to stand for a few minutes, or until just warm.

3. Fill a basin/large bowl with cold water, ice and the salt. Rest the container of oil inside the water bath, without letting water enter the oil container.

4. Slowly drop the gelatine mixture into the oil- you may need two or three drops to make each ‘caviar’ blob. Once all the mixture has been used up, leave the droplets for at least 3 minutes before scooping out with a spoon and draining excess oil with a sieve. Store in a jar or air tight container, covered in some of the remaining oil, in the fridge until ready to use (up to 10 days).

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Caramelised Apple Tartlettes, Apple Sorbet & Apple Chips

I saw this picture a little while ago, and realised that not only did it look great, but that I had the means to whip up my own version without masses of fuss. The dessert is made up of an almond and apple tartlette, apple sorbet, vanilla ice cream, apple chips and some caramel.

For the apple tartlettes, I cut some puff pastry into little rectangles, spread them with a couple of tablespoons of frangipane each (leftover from these bakewell tartlettes, which I had frozen) and baked in a medium oven (around 180C/350F/mark 4) until light golden. I then coated very thin apple slices in sugar which I had melted until golden, and I used these to top the tarts.

For the apple chips, I baked some thin apple slices in a very low oven until dry.

For the apple sorbet, I cooked chopped apples, a little water and enough sugar, to taste, until soft. I then mashed up this mixture and churned in an ice cream machine, adding apple juice as necessary. This could be done without an ice cream machine- just pour the mixture into a container, freeze and mash up every couple of hours.

The caramel I used was left over from this cheesecake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The recipe for these bars is almost identical to that of Nigella's chocolate chip cookies, and they taste the same too, so the recipe posted is for the aforementioned cookies, but to be baked in a tin rather than on a tray as individual cookies. They do make a rather nice change to  regular cookies, and result in a slightly different texture. In order to achieve the most benefit from baking the cookie dough this way, I would certainly recommend erring on the side of under-baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

150g unsalted butter
125g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 egg, fridge cold
1 egg yolk, fridge cold
2tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g chocolate chips

1. Pre heat the oven to 165°C/ 325F/Gas 3. Line a couple 9 x 13 inch pan with foil.

2. Melt the butter and let it cool a little. In a separate bowl, mix the sugars together and add the cooled butter.

3. Beat in the cold egg and egg yolk and the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.

4. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda a little at a time and mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Transfer the cookie dough to the baking pan and press into the edges. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool (and harden a little) on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Ginger Key Lime Pie

Recipe from BBC

Ginger Key Lime Pie
12 inch pie/ 2 x 9 inch pies

For the ginger shortcrust pastry
400g plain flour
80g icing sugar
4tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
250g cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
3 eggs
50ml cold water
 For the filling
2 x 400g condensed milk
240ml lime juice (about 7 limes)
4tsp lime zest, grated
4 egg yolks
3 lumps stem ginger, finely chopped
For the decoration
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1 lime, finely sliced
mint sprigs
extra lime zest, grated

1. For the pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar, ginger and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks and water. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, and once the consistency is like fine breadcrumbs, mix in the egg yolks and water. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin (about 3mm). Drape the dough over a loose-based tart tin and gently press into the corners. Let the pastry hang over the edges and trim off excess. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/mark 6.

3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and remove the cling film. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and cover with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans/raw rice. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the beans and greaseproof paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Leave to cool and reduce the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3.

4. For the filling, whisk together the condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk in the zest, egg yolks and stem ginger and, if necessary, icing sugar. Pour the mixture into the pastry and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling has set but retains a slight wibble in the centre. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes, then chill for a minimum of 2 hours.

5. For the meringue decoration, make a sugar syrup by heating the sugar with 6tbsp (90ml) water in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.  Bring the sugar up to the boil and remove from the heat when it reaches 120C/248F (firm ball stage).

6. Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Whilst continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the sugar syrup and keep whisking until the meringue hold stiff, shiny peaks.

7. Fill a piping bag with the meringue and pipe around the top of the pie. Garnish the pie with the lime zest and slices and mint sprigs.

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