Archive for the 'cake recipes' Category

22
Oct
12

Chocolate Meringue Tart


Whenever I need a chocolate fix, I either turn to a fine chocolatier’s products (here and here) or to Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking Chocolate (here, here and here), or François Payard‘s Chocolate Epiphany (here and here) and others, for an incredible recipe featuring that delicacy as a main ingredient.

Last evening I made another of Pâtissier Payard‘s recipes, from his Chocolate Epiphany and, as expected,  it was superb… From page 136

Chocolate Meringue Tart

Photo by: Rogerio Voltan – Chocolate Epiphany

Makes one 9-inch tart; serves 8-10

I created this tart with one of my childhood favorites in mind: lemon meringue tart. They obviously share technique rather than flavor; both are made with a buttery dough and a thick , fluffy meringue. The filling is simple, to allow the dark chocolate flavor to come through. In addition to the two methods for covering the filling with meringue described below, you can pipe it in nickel-size mounds, pulling the pastry bag straight up to form small peaks, as pictured.

Chocolate Filling

  • 10 ounces 60% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces), unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Swiss Meringue

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large egg whites

Tart Shell

  • One 9-inch tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough***, fully baked and cooled

Make the filling: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pourr the hot cream over the chocolater, and mix until smooth. Add the butter and stir until it has completely incorporated.

Make the meringue: Fill a medium pot one-third full of water and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Reduce the heat to low and place the bowl over the pot, making sure that it is not touching the water. Whisk continuously until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, place the bowl in the mixer, and fit it with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until the whites hold stiff peaks and are cool.

Assemble the tart: Pour the warm chocolate filling into the tart shell, stopping about 1/8 inch from the top. Refrigerate the tart until the chocolate is set, 15 to 30 30 minutes.
With a spatula, spread the meringue over the ganache , creating a slight mound. For a fancier finish, fill a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with the meringue. Cut a 1/2-inch opening in the tip or corner, and pipe the meringue in a spiral over the top of the filling.
Brown the top of the meringue with a small blowtorch, or by placing the tart in a preheated 500 F oven for 1 to 2 minutes.

–OoOX0XOoO

***Sweet Tart Dough

This dough is also known as pâte sucree. It works with most tarts, since there are few things thatcan’t be complemented by its rich, buttery taste. Freeze it, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap., for up to one month, and thaw it out in the refrigerator. You can also place it in a tart shell, wrap it and freeze it in the tart shell. Make individual tarts by using small fluted tart pans (four-inch molds are perfect).

  • 4 sticks (1 pound), unsalted butter (or unsalted margarine, for a parve version), at room temperature
  • 1 cup, and 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Make the dough: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until they are fully combined.
With the motor running, incorporate the egg yolks and the egg one at a time. Do not add an egg until the previous one is completely incorporated. Add the flou, and mix until everything is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it is completely chilled, at least 1 to 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Prepare a tart shell: Brush the sides and bottom of a fluted 9-inch tart pan with  removable bottom, with butter.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in all directions until it forms a circle about 1/4 inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Drape the dough over the rolling pan, and unroll it over the the pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, making sure it fits snugly. Roll the the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Dock (prick)_ the dough with a fork. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, to let the dough rest.

Partially bake the tart shell: Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 F.
Place a circle of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the for 12 minutes, until the tart turns slightly golden and is about three quarters of the way done. Let it cool in the pan in a wire cooling rack.

Fully bake the tart shell: Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 F.
Place a circle of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, remove the paper and the weights and continue baking for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

12
Feb
12

Flourless Milk Chocolate Cake with Grapefruit and Hazelnuts


François Payard is a third generation pâtissier (French pastry chef), born in Nice (France), he lives and works in New York since 1990. His pattisseries are in such varied locales as New York, Las Vegas, Brasil, Japan and Korea, he’s authored three books – all on chocolate desserts and more. In 1995 he earned a James Beard Association “Pastry Chef of the Year” award, honoring him for his unique pastry designs and high attention to flavor.

In his Chocolate Epiphany – Exceptional Cookies, Cakes and Confections for Everyone, published in 2008, he has many delightful recipes that can be made kosher with hardly a change. It is hard to go through the book without salivating as one looks at the superb photography by Rogerio Volcan, or as one reads the recipes and envisions the results.

Here is one, which I can’t wait to try:

Flourless Milk Chocolate Cake with Grapefruit and Hazelnuts

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Candied Grapefruit

  • 1 grapefruit, scrubbed thoroughly
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Make the Candied Grapefruit Peel
  1. Cut the grapefruit into quarters. Remove the pulp and as much of the white pith as possible. Place the peels in a medium saucepan , fill it with water and bring to a boil. Drain the water, then fill the pot with fresh water and bring to a boil again . Repeat this this process a third time. Drain the water completely.
  2. Combine the peels, granulated sugar, and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water in the saucepan, and place over low heat. Simmer for about 1 hour, until the peels become slightly translucent.  Remove from the heat, and let them seat in the syrup until cool. You can keep the the peels in the syrup, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Darin and and finely chop 1/2 cup of the peel to add to the cake batter.

Milk Chocolate Cake

  • Vegetable cooking spray, for the pan
  • 4 1/2 oz milk chocolate chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut flour or finely ground blanched hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Make the Cake
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Spray the sides and bottom of a round 9-inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Cut a 9-inch round piece of parchment paper and place it at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Fill a medium pot one-third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl that will fit snuggly on top of the pot but not touch the water. Reduce the heat to low and place in the bowl over the pot. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture turns a pale yellow and increases in volume. With a silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate until it is well incorporated . Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the sides slightly pull back from the edges of the pan.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the cake to release it from pan, unmold the cake, and let it cool to room temperature on a wire rack. You can make the cake 1 or 2 days ahead. Keep it tightly wrapped in a cool, dry environment.

Milk Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 lb milk chocolate chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk

Make the Milk Chocolate Sauce

  1. Put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the milk over the chocolate and let the heat melt the chocolate. Stir gently, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Let it cool until it is lukewarm or at room temperature. You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead. Keep it covered  and refrigerated , and let it come back to room temperature before serving.

Serve the Cake – Cut the cake into slices and serve with the chocolate sauce.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

19
Dec
11

Chocolate & Raspberry Vacherin


Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator often referred to as one of the 20th century’s most significant literary figures, once wrote: Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. Chocolate is one of those heavenly foods almost everyone carries on either a secret or an open love affair with. Much has been written on the subject of chocolate. Tens of thousands of recipes have been developed to harness the flavor, to enhance other ingredients by making the combination the human equivalent of fabled celestial fare.

It is all too easy to become a chocoholic; taste a high quality chocolate once and you will forever be under its spell! Writer, journalist and psychoanalysis researcher Judith Viorst said: Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces. I can personally attest that such a feat requires almost herculean will in resisting the temptation to eat them all!

In our everlasting quest to bring you delicious recipes, we have found the following mouthwatering masterpiece in Jacqueline Bellefontaine‘s What’s Cooking Chocolate:

Photo by: St John Asprey, from What's Cooking Chocolate - Copyright: Thunder Bay Press 1998

Chocolate and Raspberry Vacherin

A vacherin is made of layers of crisp meringue sandwiched together with fruit and cream. It makes a fabulous dessert for special occasions.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, grated

Filling

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • a little melted chocolate to decorate

Directions

  1. Draw three rectangles, 4 by 10 inches, on sheets of parchment paper and place on 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Beat the eggs whites in a mixing bowl until standing in soft peaks, then gradually beat in half the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is very stiff and glossy.
  3. Carefully fold in the rest of the sugar, the cornstarch and grated chocolate with a metal spoon or spatula.
  4. Spoon the meringue mixture into a pastry bag long fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip and pipe lines across the rectangles.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 275 Ffor 1 1/2 hours changing the positions of the cookie sheets, halfway through. Without opening the oven door. turn off the oven and leave the the meringues until they are completely cold, then peel away the paper.
  6. To make the filling, melt the chocolate and spray it over 2 0f the meringue layers. Leave the filling to harden.
  7. Place 1 chocolate-coated meringue on a plate and top with about one-third of cream and raspberries. Gently place the second chocolate-coated meringue on top and spread with half the remaining cream and raspberries
  8. Place the last meringue on the top and decorate with the remaing cream and raspberries. Drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top and serve.

Many a moon ago someone told me, nine out of ten people like chocolate, the tenth one is a liar. I’m starting to believe that may just be the case…

Meanwhile, enjoy gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

29
Aug
11

Green Tea


Green Tea, originally from China, is making fast inroads in the West where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many scientific studies have been made to determine the truth of its oft claimed health benefits. There seems to be a correlation between regular tea drinking and a lower rate of heart disease and tea may even stimulate fat oxidation, while boosting the metabolic rate by as much as 4% without raising the heart rate.

Why are we posting about green tea, which we’ve mentioned before on these pages? We received quite a few emails asking for a Green Tea Cake recipe, after looking at various posts throughout the blogosphere we settled for this one (it sounds interesting and delicious!). Found it on the Dessert First blog:

Photo by: Pastrygirl, from Dessert First blog

Green Tea Cake with Red Bean Filling

Green Tea Genoise

2 eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ oz confectioners’ sugar
2 ¼ oz ground almonds
1 tsp matcha powder [powdered green tea]
1 oz all purpose flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 oz sugar
½ oz butter, melted [substitute margarine to keep it parve]

Red Bean Filling

1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces red beans

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan (about 12″x16″) with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine the eggs with the confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a mixer until cream-colored and light.

Add in the matcha powder and combine. You can add more or less depending on your taste, but don’t add more than 1 ½ tsp or it might affect the cake’s texture.

Remove from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl on a mixer at low speed until they start to froth. Then add the cream of tartar and increase mixer speed, whipping until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and whip for a few seconds longer to incorporate.

Scoop about 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in until uniformly mixed. Pour the melted butter over the batter and fold in to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the half sheet pan and distribute it evenly with an offset spatula, making the layer as level and smooth as possible.

Bake in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the cake is just firm and lightly brown but not completely brown as this cake should not be over-baked.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Slide the cake off the sheet pan and onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake is no longer hot but still warm, place another rack or sheet pan on top of the cake and flip it over, then carefully peel the parchment paper from the cake to prevent it from sticking to the cake. You can place the parchment paper clean side down or a clean Silpat onto the cake, then flip it back over to finish cooling.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, trim off the edges and slice the cake in half along the short side, then cut each piece in half along the long side so you get four 6″x8″ pieces.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the red beans gently with a rubber spatula until they are evenly distributed; the cream may take on a light reddish tint.

Place cake layer on a covered cake round and frost the top with a quarter of the whipped cream. It’s ok if some of the cream goes over the sides; just try to keep the layer even.

Cover with a cake layer and frost the top with a third of the remaining whipped cream. Repeat until you have assembled all four layers of cake.

Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to serve, trim off the sides of the cake to make them nice and even.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




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