Tag Archives: dessert

Blueberry and Lemon Cake with Crumble Topping

11 Jun

 

I like apple crumble but I have never tried to put the crumble on a cake. When I saw this recipe I couldn’t wait to try it. It packs all my favorite ingredients into a cake – blueberries, lemon and crumble. (Oh cake is my favorite too!)

The result didn’t disappoint me. The cake was very lemony. The blueberries burst in my mouth with sweetness and slightly tartness. The cake was smooth and the crumble was crunchy. In my opinion the  highlight is the crumble. It was a little bit salty but surprisingly the saltiness added another depth of flavor to the cake, so don’t skip the salt!

Last but not least make the crumble first because it needs time to rest. This is a great make ahead cake. Actually it tastes even better over night. 🙂

Crumble topping

  • 60g plain flour
  • 60g almond meal
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted cold butter
  • 3g salt
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl.
  2. Cut the cold butter into small cubes.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Use hands to knead all the ingredients into a dough, but don’t over work the butter. Should keep the butter in small chunks.
  4. Wrap the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for a least 1 hour.

Cake

  • 300g plain flour
  • 10g baking powder
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 3 lemons zest
  • 170g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 90g milk
  • 70g cream cheese
  • 100g blue berries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat the oven at 180C. Line the baking tray (I use a 20x9cm loaf pan) with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until it is creamy..
  3. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Mix the cream cheese and milk together in another bowl, warm it up to the room temperature in the microwave (heat up for 10 seconds, stir and heat it up for another 10 seconds until the cream cheese is soft and breaks into small chunks).
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternate with the milk mixture. Mix with a spatula after each addition of the dry and wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries at last.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking tray, top with the crumble (I found it is easy to grate the cold dough with a grater).
  6. Bake for 60-70 mins o until the inserted skewer comes out clean.

 

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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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Boiled Orange Chocolate Cake

24 Mar

The other day my mother in law told me she made a boiled orange chocolate cake and it was delicious. She had a piece of cake each day and she didn’t want to finish it. My mother in law is dairy intolerant and gluten intolerant. Therefore she doesn’t eat cake often but when she does eat then the cake must be a bomb. I immediately thought that’s something I must try!

This recipe came from a baker named Eleanor Ozich. The original recipe called for 2 cups ground almond. However I was short of ground almond so I mixed 3/4 cup group almond and 3/4 buckwheat flour together. It is still gluten free and delicious. I think you can substitute ground almond with any other ground nuts or gluten free flour or even plain flour, but you might need to experiment with the quantity because different ingredients have different absorption.

The cake was super moist, rich and fragrant. It had just the right amount of sweetness balanced by the bitterness from the orange peel and dark chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth you might wish to add more honey. Happy baking!

Boiled Orange Chocolate Cake

  • 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 4 heaped Tbsp good quality cocoa
  • 5 heaped Tbsp honey
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup good quality dark chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Place whole oranges in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for one hour.
  2. Drain, then allow to cool.
  3. Set the oven to 160C. Grease a cake tin with butter or coconut oil.
  4. Cut oranges in half and place in a food processor (skin, pith, flesh and all). Process until smooth. Add remaining cake ingredients and process again until smooth. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from tin or it may break.
  7. Dust with cocoa if desired.

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Edible Potted Moss

26 Feb

Honestly I had been planning this dessert for years. The idea was first planted in my head when I watched the TV show of Heston Blumenthal making potted plant Tiramisu a few years ago. At the time Heston’s recipe was intimidating for me. I didn’t even think to try it. Last year when I saw the flower pot ramekins in the shop, Heston’s creation came back to my mind again. I bought the ramekins and thought I would put them to use one day. After that I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to make, also because I didn’t have much time, I put the ramekins in the cupboard and forgot about them completely. Until recently I bought a new toy – whipping siphon gun, a clear idea was formed in my mind and I finally decide put it into action.

My idea was to make a dessert with elements – chocolate mousse, chocolate soil and matcha sponge. I started searching recipes for those elements. Because the idea was inspired by Heston I particularly looked for his recipes. To my surprise he only used water and chocolate to make chocolate mousse. I was intrigued by his recipe since I have learnt water will seize the chocolate. Water in the chocolate is always a big no-no. After I watched his video I decided to give it a go. The result was interesting – water didn’t seize the chocolate but created a smooth and creamy texture. However I am not sure if it is he chocolate I used or the ratio issue, my chocolate mousse wasn’t thick enough. Even tough I had been whisking it for a long time, the mousse was like the custard consistency. If you are interested please find his recipe here.

To make the chocolate soil I adapted Heston’s Tiramisu recipe and replaced some ingredients with something else that I can find. It was tasty and it can be added to any dessert for some texture.

Chocolate soil

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1/4 cup puff rice
  • 60g white chocolate
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Put 75 ml cold tap water and the sugar into a saucepan and place the pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and continue to heat until the syrup at the side of the pan begins to colour.
  2. Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped dark chocolate. Whisk to incorporate, continue to whisk until the liquid has completely crystallised.
  3. Pour the dark chocolate crystals onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and allow to cool.
  4. To caramelise the white chocolate, preheat the oven to 190ÂşC. Place the white chocolate on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, begin to stir the chocolate every couple of minutes until fully caramelised. Remove it from the oven and let it cool. Don’t turn off the oven.
  5. Put the puff rice int a baking tray and toast in the oven until they are lightly brown with some nutty flavor.
  6. Blend the crystallised dark chocolate and caramelised white chocolate with the cocoa powder, toasted puff rice, and the salt in a food processor until they are crumbly.

Macha Sponge

  • 1 Egg
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 10g plain flour
  • 25g butter melt
  • 60g milk
  • 1/2 tsp matcha powder
  1. Whisk all ingredients together and put the mixture in the whipping siphon gun.Charge with the gas and shake vigorously. Leave it for 2 hours.
  2. Squeeze the mixture from the whipping siphon gun into a plastic or paper cup. Microwave it on high heat for 40 seconds. Take it out from the microwave and let it cool (the cakeshould be very airy  and spongy).

To assemble

Chocolate mousse should be set in the ramekins in the fridge for a few hours. To serve, add the chocolate soil on top of the chocolate mousse. Tear a piece of matcha sponge and add it on top. Tadda does it look like a real moss plant? 🙂
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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

Strawberry and Coconut Cake

6 Jan

Strawberries are in season again! This year we have picked the biggest strawberries ever! They were juice and sweet.My 22 moth old daughter not only enjoyed running in the strawberry field but also enjoyed eating the delicious strawberries. 🙂

We have picked almost 3kg strawberries. Apart from eating fresh a great way to consume the strawberries is to use them in baking. This recipe is adopted from a magazine, but I bumped up the volume a little bit to make a thicker cake. Yes because I had too many strawberries! However I must say I was too generous on strawberries and also cut them in big pieces, so they sank to the bottom of the cake. You might cut down the amount of strawberries or cut them smaller. The cake was moist and fruity. The strawberry cream cheese icing was sweet and delicious. This cake brought the sunshine on the plate!

Strawberry and Coconut Cake

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1½ tsps baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • finely grated zest 1 orange
  • 2 Tbsps orange juice
  • 18 medium strawberries, hulled and quartered

Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing

  • 150 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 100 g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3–4 strawberries, hulled and crushed with a fork
  1. Grease a 22cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C bake.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale. Whisk the eggs together and gradually beat in until very well combined. Mix the flour, baking powder, cardamom and the coconut together. Gently fold into the butter mixture along with the buttermilk, orange zest and juice and the strawberries.
  4. Pour into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour until golden and the cake is pulling away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  5. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the tin.
  6. Icing: Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the butter and beat again until light and fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar. Beat in half the strawberries, then add enough of the remaining pulp to make a thick but spreadable icing. You may not need to add all the strawberry pulp.
  7. Spread over the cake and decorate with shredded coconut and fresh strawberries.

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Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

1 Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I just want to share something simply but delicious on the new year’s day. Do you want some sweet treats require no baking, no cooking or no fuss, so you have more time to enjoy this holiday season? Read on.

This is my take on my aunt in law’s bliss ball recipe. She called them “bumble bees” – what a lovely name! I chose a healthy approach by removing butter, refined sugar but using medjool dates, coconut oil and peanut butter instead. Medjool dates have slightly higher level of sugar than the normal dates, therefore I don’t need to add more refined sugar. Peanut butter not only adds flavor but also acts as a binding agent. These bliss balls are sweet, crunchy and delicious! They are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. Last but not least, they are very easy to make. A jar of these little gems was a great Christmas gift. 🙂

Peanut Butter Bliss Balls

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 Tbsps peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsps coconut oil
  • 2 cups puffed rice
  • 2 Tbsps shredded coconut, plus more for coating
  1. Blend the dates in a food processor until they are pasty.
  2. Add peanut butter, coconut oil, puffed rice and shredded coconut and then hit pulse for a few times until all ingredients mix well and form small clusters.
  3. Use hands to shape the mixture into balls, coat with shredded coconut. If the coconut doesn’t stick on the balls, then use your hand to slightly squeeze the shredded coconut and the ball together.
  4. Keep the bliss balls in the freezer for a couple of hours so they can firm up.

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