Tag Archives: baking

Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies

5 Jun

If you are a fan of chocolate or if you want to indulge yourself with chocolate try these dark chocolate and hazelnut brownies. This recipe uses half kg dark chocolate – OMG chocolate overload! The brownies are so rich and moist. Hazelnuts give them a crunchy texture. Chocolate and hazelnuts are a perfect match. I don’t need to say anything else, find the recipe below! 🙂

Dark chocolate and hazelnut brownies

Make two 8 inch square brownies

  • 510g dark chocolate (I used 50%, you can get 60-70% if you like the bitter flavor)
  • 240g butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • 400g brown sugar
  • 225g Plain flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 125g hazelnut, roasted and coarsely chopped (don’t chop them too fine otherwise you will lose the crunch texture)
  1. Preheat the oven at 180C. Line two 8 inch square baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the egg and brown sugar until it is thick and creamy.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a sauce pan, stir until they are completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  4.  Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture in 3 batches. Mix well between batches.
  5. Sift the flour and baking power in a separate bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture into the batter in 2 batches. Mix well between batches until the flour is completely incorporated in the batter.
  6. Add the hazelnuts into the batter and mix. Divide the batter into the prepared baking trays. Each tray should have about 1cm thick batter.
  7. Baking in the oven for about 30 mins, or until the top surface crusts and if touch with a finger brownie is springy and moist.

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Earl Grey Tea Cake with Lemon Tea Icing

22 Jan

I drink tea but I don’t particular drink tea every day. Earl grey is my favorite black tea. Every time I drink it, its fragrance and unique taste still linger in the cup and in my mouth  afterward. I was super excited when I saw the recipe. I had never made tea cake before. The idea of using tea in baking excites me. The most exciting thing is this recipe comes from a professional french patisserie – Nicolas Pierot. I couldn’t wait to try it.

Now I can tell you the cake was amazing! Earl Grey is the hero of the cake, it shone through in every single crumb of the cake. It didn’t only make the cake smell nice but also taste nice. The cake itself wasn’t too sweet. The lemon icing added some sweetness and sourness to the cake- a perfect balance! The cake texture was light and smooth. Taste wise or texture wise this cake was perfect. I fell in love with Earl Grey again from head to toe. 🙂 I can’t recommend more so I’ll go straight to the recipe now.

Earl Grey Tea Cake with Lemon Tea Icing

By Nicolas Pierot

Cake

  • Caster sugar 270g
  • Egg 4
  • Earl grey tea leave 10g (good quality tea has a better taste)
  • Plain flour 230g
  • Baking powder 6.5g
  • Cream 120g
  • Unsalted butter 85g
  1. Preheat the oven at 160C.
  2. Grease the cake pan (25cm*12cm*7cm, or similar size) and dust with flour, or line the cake pan with baking paper.
  3. Mix the flour and baking power in a bowl, set aside.
  4. Beat the egg and sugar together until it is thick and creamy.
  5. Add tea and cream in a sauce pan and heat up. Add the butter and stir until it melts completely. Remove from heat.
  6. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture, mix well. Strain the tea mixture and add it to the flour and egg mixture, mix well but don’t over mix.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until the test skew comes out clean.

Lemon tea icing

  • Icing sugar 300g
  • Lemon juice 70-80g
  • Earl Grey tea bag 1(2g)
  1. Preheat the oven at 60C.
  2. Add the lemon juice and the tea bag in a sauce pan, bring to boil. Remove from heat and let the tea infuse the lemon juice for a few minutes.
  3. Measure the icing sugar in a mixing bowl. Add 60g lemon tea in the icing sugar (make sure the ratio is sugar:liquid = 5:1, some lemon juice might be lost during cooking, therefore prepare more than 60g lemon juice). Mix until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is thick and sticky.
  4. When the cake is ready, remove it from the pan and put it on a baking rack on top of a baking tray. Pour the icing on the cake and let it drip down to the sides. If some ares are not covered then use a palette knife to spread the icing. Only a thin layer is required to cover the cake.
  5. Put the cake in the oven for 20 minutes. The icing should dry out and a thin crust should cover the cake. (I did like the icing very much, I spread a thick layer of icing so my cake looked a bit white. Normally the wet and sticky icing make it difficult to store or transport a cake but this technique solves these problems – I love it!)img_4523img_4525

Mango Mousse Cake

18 Nov

My birthday was in last week. Throwing a big party wasn’t my thing. What I really wanted was to have some time for myself and do something I really enjoy, namely baking. I took a day off from my boring office work and stayed at home. I spent all day to make this mango mousse cake. Why mango? Because mango is one of my favorite fruit. Why mousse cake? Because I am intrigued by the French style mousse cakes. They have different layers with different textures and flavors.

I was inspired by the Mango Bliss by Cakelets and Doilies. I have changed the recipe a little bit and added one more layer.My cake had three layers – sponge cake, mango jelly and white chocolate flourless biscuit, filled with mango mousse and topped with mango glaze. Mango is not in season at the moment so I used canned mango pulp instead. Because it was sweetened I reduced the sugar amount in my recipe. I did buy a fresh mango and planned to use it for decoration however it was bad when I opened it – how disappointing it was! I used the leftover egg white to make some meringues for decoration. I did make some mistakes, like the sponge was a little bit dense, the flourless biscuit was over whipped. However I was happy with the cake overall. It was so rewarding when saw the beautiful layers when it was cut open. After my husband tried it he smiled at me and said “I am mango overloaded.” haha…

My recipe isn’t perfect, so I’d not suggest you follow. I put it here purely for my own record. 🙂

Mango Mousse Cake

Makes 9inch cake

Mango Jelly

  • 200ml mango pulp
  • 6g gelatin powder
  • 2 Tbsps water

Bloom the gelatin in the water. Heat up the mango pulp in the saucepan, not boiling. Add the gelatin and mix until it dissolves. Pour the mixture into a pan lined with plastic food wrap. Put the jelly in the freeze until it is set.

Sponge Cake

  • 90g egg whites
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 54g (3) egg yolks
  • 40g plain flour
  • 20g corn flour
  • 35g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  1. Preheat the oven at 175C. Line the bottom of the cake pan with baking paper.
  2. Whisk half of the sugar, egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest together. Sift plan flour and corn flour into the mixture, mix well.
  3. Whip the egg white and the remaining sugar until it reaches stiff peak. Fold the egg white into the batter, mix well. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake until it is cooked through.

Sugar Syrup

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Add water, sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan and boil until it is syrupy. Set aside to cool.

White Chocolate Flourless Biscuit

  • 1 egg yolks
  • 2 egg white
  • 30g sugar
  • 100g white chocolate
  1. Melt chocolate on double boiler.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with half amount of the sugar until fluffy and mix with the melted chocolate.
  3. Beat the egg white and the remaining sugar until soft peak.
  4. Combine tow mixtures together and pour in a pan. Bake at 175C for 10-15 mins.

Mango Bavarian Cream

  • 12g gelatin powder
  • 4 Tbsps water
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 250ml mango pulp, room temperature
  • 400ml whipping cream
  1. Bloom the gelatin in the water.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale and creamy. Add mango puree, and whisk to incorporate. Place bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisk constantly, until the mixture reaches 85C. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir gelatin into the mango mixture until gelatin completely dissolves. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Place the mixture over a bowl of water with ice. Stir mixture until it cools to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk cream to firm peaks (be careful not to overwhip). When the mango mixture cools completely, carefully fold whipped cream into the mango mixture with a spatula until combine.

To assemble

Line the 9 inch mousse ring with plastic food wrap. Put the sponge cake at the bottom. Spread a thin layer of mango bavarian cream. Put the 2nd layer – mango jelly in. Spread another thin layer of mango bavarian cream. Put the 3rd layer – white chocolate flourless biscuit in. Fill the mousse ring with the rest bavarian cream. Smooth and level the top. Put in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Mango Glaze

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 9g gelatin powder
  • 100ml mango pulp
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 100g liquid glucose
  • 70ml whipping cream
  1. Bloom the gelatin in the water.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over, not touching, simmering water. Stir occasionally to assist the melting. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine mango pulp, sugar and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar and glucose dissolves, and mixture starts to boil. Remove from heat. Add the gelatin and mix until it dissolves. Stir in cream and pour the mixture over the chocolate, mix well. Use the glaze when it is around 30C.
  4. Wrap the mousse ring with a hot towel for 30 seconds. Remove the towel and then slide the mousse ring off the cake. Pour the glaze on the cake in a circular motion. Allow the glaze to drip dry. Store the cake in the fridge.

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Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache Tarts

8 Oct

Recently I had an itch for baking. I wanted to make something slightly more challenging than a cake. When I spotted Angela Casley’s Pastry Caramel Tarts recipe, I knew it was the one I was about to try. I have changed a few ingredients and come up with this gorgeous tarts.

Honestly I wasn’t a fan of caramel until I tried some salted caramel. It is unbelievable that a little bit of salt can elevate the tasty to a different level! I used the dark chocolate with 86% cocoa for the ganache. It was really bitter but it cut down the sweetness of the caramel. I think salted caramel and dark chocolate were a good match. If you wish you can use semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate instead. These tarts can be served warm or cold, either way they are equally delicious!

Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Ganache Tarts
Makes 6

Pastry

  • 1 cup flour
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp chilled water

Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 100g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Dark chocolate ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 100g dark chocolate pieces
  1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, icing sugar and almond meal into a food processor. Blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and water, blitz again until your dough is formed. Add more water if necessary. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour to one hour.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180C. Roll the dough on a lightly floured bench and line 6 x 4 inch tins. Bake blind until they are slightly brown, about 20-30 mins. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
  3. To make the caramel, place the water and sugar in a pot. Cook the mixture until you have an amber-coloured syrup. Whisk in the butter until it is melt. Whisk in cream and salt. Remove it from heat and let it cool down. Spread evenly into the tart cases.
  4. For the ganache, heat up the chocolate and cream together in a double boiler, mix until the chocolate melts. Pour over the caramel when it is cool.img_3411

Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pastel de nata)

5 Sep

Have I said that I love anything with pastry before? Yes I love anything made with pastry, i.e. pies, tarts and pastry breads! Portuguese custard tarts are little gems – they are soft inside and crispy outside.These miniature tarts that I made were so small that I can put a whole tart in my mouth. Immediately all my taste buds were dancing in my mouth. 🙂

I didn’t have all day to make the pastry (life is short :p) so I just bought the ready-made puff pastry, which made the whole process a lot easier. Prep time was only 15 mins hence I had more time to enjoy myself!

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Made 12 mini tarts

  • Full fat milk 50ml
  • Cream 100ml
  • Egg yolk 2
  • Caster sugar 20g
  • Ready-made puff pastry
  1. Preheat the oven at 220°C. Use vegetable oil to slightly grease the tart molds. Cut out the puff pastry to fit in the tart molds.
  2. Whisk milk, cream and sugar in a bowl until the sugar dissolve. May use the microwave to heat up the mixture to speed up the process, then cool down.
  3. Add the egg yolks into the cool milk mixture, mix well.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the tart molds, about three-quarter full each tart. Put the tarts in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until the top is a little bit brown. Serve warm.

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Rich Chocolate Brownie

19 Aug

I remember a friend said once before – a good chocolate brownie is crispy outside and gooey inside. I can’t agree more on this!

This Anna Olson’s brownie recipe is a bit unusual and this is the reason that I wanted to try – it replaces butter with mayo. Have you ever thought about putting mayo in a cake before? No, I hadn’t! The result was pleasant – it was rich, soft and moist. I didn’t dust the brownie with icing sugar because I wanted it to look rustic and also to show you its crispy outside and gooey inside. 🙂

If you love chocolate and brownie then give it a try!

Rich chocolate brownie

  • 120g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • â…” cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • â…” cup mayonnaise
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour boiling water overtop. Let the chocolate mixture sit one minute, then whisk to melt.
  3. Whisk in the sugar, then add the mayonnaise and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour, cocoa powder and salt until evenly blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

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Blue Cheese Madeleines

22 Jul

Blue cheese, some people love it some people hate it. I like making blue cheese sauce on steaks – utterly delicious! A block of blue cheese has been sitting in my fridge for a while, so I have decided to use it on baking this time. I found this recipe on the internet and I highly recommend it if you love blue cheese. These madeleines were savory and creamy. The blue cheese with its distinctive flavor really shone through in the madeleines. My husband isn’t a fan of blue cheese, but my 16-month old daughter loved the madeleines. She is a little cheese lover. 🙂

Blue cheese madeleines

  • 50g butter, melted
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary and thyme leaves
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 75g blue cheese, mashed
  • 100ml buttermilk
  1. Heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Brush each mould of a non-stick madeleine tray thoroughly with a little of the melted butter. Sift the flour and baking powder together, mix in the chopped herbs, and make a well in the middle.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar for two minutes until frothy. Beat in the blue cheese, buttermilk and remaining melted butter.
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Spoon into the moulds, filling to three-quarters full, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and springy and lightly golden. Turn out onto a wire rack, and serve warm.

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