Posts Tagged ‘ chocolate ’

Dobos Torta

dobos1

One of the thing I love about being a DB is the chance of making  multi layer cakes as challenges, which normally I tried to avoid, because no matter how easy the recipes are, they need a lot of time, patience and high synchronisation of hands and mind… the last point is really not my strongest character 😉 … so please my fellow DB’ers except me for my clumbsiness and approve my humble dobos tortas just as they are and hopefully my skill of making and decorating layer cake will become better in years to come 😛

dobos2

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

dobos3

Equipment

  • 2 baking sheets
  • 9” (23cm) springform tin and 8” cake tin, for templates
  • mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
  • a sieve
  • a double boiler (a large saucepan plus a large heat-proof mixing bowl which fits snugly over the top of the pan)
  • a small saucepan
  • a whisk (you could use a balloon whisk for the entire cake, but an electric hand whisk or stand mixer will make life much easier)
  • metal offset spatula
  • sharp knife
  • a 7 1/2” cardboard cake round, or just build cake on the base of a sprinfrom tin.
  • piping bag and tip, optional

Prep times

  • Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
  • Buttercream: 20 mins cooking. Cooling time for buttercream: about 1 hour plus 10 minutes after this to beat and divide.
  • Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
  • Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

  • a 7” cardboard round
  • 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9″ (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn’t touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner’s (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don’t have a mixer.)

4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8″ springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Directions for the chocolate buttercream:

NB. This can be prepared in advance and kept chilled until required.

1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.
5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Lorraine’s note: If you’re in Winter just now your butter might not soften enough at room temperature, which leads to lumps forming in the buttercream. Male sure the butter is of a very soft texture I.e. running a knife through it will provide little resistance, before you try to beat it into the chocolate mixture. Also, if you beat the butter in while the chocolate mixture is hot you’ll end up with more of a ganache than a buttercream!

Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn’t just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2” cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

dobos4

Orange Blossom infused Milans and Mallows

chockies2

I was going to do the option of picking just one recipe for this month DB challenge, as I almost didn’t  have enough patience to bake in the extreme heat of this summer.

I did first the Mallows, but then the thin chocolate coating didn’t quite survive the sun, it made my photographs so awful that I had to make the second challenge just to have  little bit decent pictures.

chockies1

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She choose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

chockies3

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

cmellow

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

Mini Dates Chocolate Cupcakes

ccbcf2

Another attempt of finishing my hubby’s buy…of 2 kg dates… yes… I think he’s a bulk-holic buyer.

This a low fat recipe… by size and by ingredients, but the texture is  like none other, smooth but firm, a little bit chewy and very chocolaty even it only uses a small amount of chocolate. I just  put a tiny bit of vanilla butter cream frosting simply enough to hold the cherry topping (good excuse to add extra fat?) 😉 .

ccbcf1

Mini Dates Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

Recipe from here

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Special equipment: a mini-muffin pan with 12 (1/8-cup) muffin cups, preferably nonstick 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Bring water and dates just to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then transfer mixture to a food processor and add cocoa powder and chocolate, pulsing once to combine. Let cool 2 minutes, then add brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, then purée until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until incorporated.

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. (If pan is not nonstick, line sprayed bottoms with rounds of wax paper, then spray paper.) Spoon batter into cups, dividing it evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack (remove wax paper, if using) and cool completely, right side up.

cher2

Mocha Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips Muffins

mpbccm1

What a strange weather,  just a couple days ago it was warm with a lot of sun shines, but now… ice rain???  I was ready  to go to the park with my picnic basket full of sweet treats, to bad I had to packed it all out. Still, I was lucky because I had the “all weathers good old muffins”. You can adjust them through all kind of situations.

So moving from my basket, to a plate with chantilly cream and chocolate napoleon, then for a while the weather doesn’t seem to matter 🙂

kitcmuff

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • ¼ cup  Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg; beaten
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee
  • ⅓ cup Cooking oil 
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips

 Directions

Preheat oven to 190′ C . In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. In another bowl dissolve coffee in warm water, combine  it with egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips, stir just till moistened; batter should be lumpy. Grease muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; fill 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pandan Shades Sesame Seeds Macarons and Express Chocolate Mousse

 mcm4

Instant craving for something made out chocolate is typically my sweet habit (yes, I’m a chocoholic, who isn’t?)… Nigella Lawson’s show brought this express chocolate mousse to my attention and I knew then  I had to make it right away.

While licking my spatula clean, I had a thought that it would be great with some macarons, so why not make macarons too?… great idea isn’t it? Well, the execution was another thing… I learned my lesson the hard way, that express doesn’t  have to mean rushing… I wanted the macarons to be done quickly, added  a pinch of salt in the egg whites to rise quickly, and my macarons came out dry without leg..(either from the salt or me changing the brand of the powder sugar)… my first macaron disaster

Then I had to wait until the next day, because I didn’t have enough almonds to start a new batch.  The next morning I bought some almonds and the old brand powder sugar, so the second time it has to work, hasn’t it?…I was already smiling when I saw those frilly legs coming out, but not to long… because then the tops started to crack. Arrrgh…I think it’s the weather or I’ve lost my “macaronage” touch (yeah…blame it on the rain).

That was the second disaster… but I’m not a quiter… I just had to eat my chocolate mousse with some macarons, so the third batch went to the oven… and.. finally I can be happy 🙂

 

mcm6

I used the macaroon recipe from the best food blog 2008, I used 30 gr of sesame powder and 80 gr almond meal, with the colouring, instead of mixing it all  the way through, I just folded it a couple of tuns to leave shades kind of colour.

mcm3

Nigella’s Express Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 x 284ml tub double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

 
 
  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!
   
   

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Yogurt Homemade Ice-Cream

flcc2

Chocolate and Vanilla , I think is one of the best flavor pairing ever…  No doubt I was so excited to make this month  DB’s challenge.

Very intense chocolate, need to be balance with some lightness, that’s why I choose yogurt  ice-cream or frozen yogurt (whatever you call them) to accompany the cake.

The result was irresistible, even my 1,5 year old daughter couldn’t keep her hand off the plate while I took pictures, and the food fairy couldn’t stop staring at them 😉

I made the ice cream without ice cream machine (the David le Bovitz’s methode)

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of wmpesblog(Arizona) and Dharm at Dad – Baker and Chef(Malaysia). They have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

flcc5

Chocolate Valentino

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs separated

Directions 

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

flcc

Vanilla Yogurt Homemade Ice-Cream

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

Preparation

In a bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs. In a heavy saucepan heat milk just to boiling and add to egg mixture in a stream, whisking. In pan cook custard over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a simmer and simmer, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla s and chill custard until cold.

Stir in yogurt and freeze ice cream in an ice-cream maker.  Ice cream may be made 3 days ahead.

Fudgy-Wudgy Chocolate Cookies

 

fwco

My children are my biggest baking supporters,and the best part is that I don’t always have to bake with complicated  methode or make sophisticated  looking baking product, but even the little simple thing  will do for them.  What kind of simple little things?  Mmmm…. cookies 😛

Their  (mine as well) favorite cookies are the fudgy wudgy chocolate cookies.

fwc31

Fudgy-Wudgy Chocolate Cookies

Recipe Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Everyday Cakes & Cookies

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup raisin
  • 1/2 cup pistachio
  • 1/2 cup dark choc chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180′ C. Line 3 oven trays with baking paper
  2. Beat butter, sugar, egg and extract in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in combined sifted flours, soda and cocoa., stir in raisins, nuts and choc chips
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture onto prepares trays about 4 cm apart, press each with a fork to flatten slightly
  4. Bake cookies for 10 mins.  Stand cookies on trays for 5 mins, before transferring to wire rack to cool.

marib