Friday, December 28, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Brownie bottom Cake

Happy holidays!! I have a perfect cake recipe for the New Year's Eve. I hope you didn't eat too much chocolate during the holidays and still want to make this rich and heavenly cake. It consists of three layers: chewy brownie, creamy coconut cream and chocolate mousse. For the brownie layer, you may use the recipe of your favourite brownie. I used my favourite one and I halved the ingredients. And for the mousse, I used 52% and 30% chocolate because I don't really like bittersweet so it's all up to you. For the topping, you may use anything you like, for example, whipped cream but I thought the cake itself is rich enough and no more creamy things are needed. The recipe may look difficult and time consuming but it really isn't! I needed about 1-1,5 hours to make it except the chilling time. 
So get ready and bake this cake for the last day of 2012. I wish you a happy New Year!!
Brownie Layer Ingredients: 
70g unsalted butter  
135g sugar 
40g unsweetened cocoa powde
1/4 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
35g all-purpose flour
1)  Preheat oven to 160C.
2)  Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the butter cocoa mixture from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
3)  Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the egg, stirring quickly. When the batter looks shiny, thick, and well mixed, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Spread the batter evenly in the 23cm springform pan.
4)  Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out just slightly moist with batter, 15 to 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely.

Coconut Cream Filling Ingredients:
360ml/1 1/2 cup half-and-half 
360ml/1 1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
170g/3/4 cup white sugar
50g cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
75g/3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Combine the half-and-half, coconut milk, sugar and salt in a medium pot. Set over medium-low heat.

2) In a small bowl, lighyly beat the eggs and mix with cornstarch.

3) When the milk mixture boils, reduce the heat to the lowest and slowly add the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens.

4) Once the mixture is thickened, add coconut and vanilla extracts and the coconut and stir. Pour this filling over your brownie layer and put in the fridge to chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Chocolate Mousse Layer Ingredients:
57g/2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
57g/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
240ml/1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Sugar sprinkles or grated white chocolate for topping (optional)

1) Place the bittersweet and semisweet chips in a medium bowl. Bring 1/3 cup cream to boil in heavy small saucepan or in a microwave. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes before gently whisking it to a smooth ganache. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

2) In a chilled bowl, beat 2/3 cups cold whipping cream and icing sugar in to stiff peaks, adding vanilla extract halfway through. Gradually fold the cream into the chocolate mixture and pour the mousse onto set coconut filling. Chill until set, about 6 hours or overnight.

3) Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles, white chocolate or whatever you like and serve.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Coffee Eclairs

I think I have already told you how much I like eclairs. (I know, I keep saying that every time I post a new recipe.) I've been craving eclairs for a long time. It's probably not a surprise that I made them coffee-flavoured. 
So at first I had some difficulties with the filling. It came out too thick. Maybe 2tbsp of cornflour were too much but instead of decreasing the amount of cornflour I added more milk and slightly more sugar (the recipe below is already modified) and finally it turned out well. 

Coffee Eclairs

65ml milk
65ml water
50g unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp sugar

pinch of salt
75g flour
2 eggs, beaten

Coffee custard filling
350ml whole milk
2 tbsp instant coffee powder
80g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tbsp cornflour
25g butter, diced into small cubes

Coffee glaze
                              100g icing sugar
                              2 tbsp strong coffee

1) Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Place the milk, water, butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large pot, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Return to a medium heat and cook for 1 minute until the mixture comes away from the sides and forms into a ball.

2) Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the eggs till you have a smooth batter. Leave the mixture to cool.

3) Fit a large piping bag with a 1cm nozzle, fill with the cooled mixture and pipe 12 éclairs onto the baking tray, spaced 5cm apart. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

4) Meanwhile for the custard filling, place the milk, coffee powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a pot and heat to just under the boil. Remove the milk mixture from the heat, cover, and leave for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and cornflour in a small bowl and set aside.

5) Strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Return the mixture to the pot and heat again to just under the boil. Whisk 2 tablespoonsful into the egg mixture. Pour this back into the pan and whisk constantly over a low heat until you have a thick custard.

6) Strain the custard and stir in the butter cubes. Leave to cool.

7) Cut each eclair lenghtwise and fill with custard.

8) For the coffee glaze, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and whisk in the coffee. Spoon the glaze over the éclairs. Let them set at least for an hour before serving.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

This is an absolutely perfect pie for coconut lovers! A creamy, rich coconut layer topped with an airy and light whipped cream. The pie is not too sweet and I just loved the crust which doesn't contain any sugar. Before serving, I strongly recommend chilling it overnight and serving cold.

Recipe adapted from rock recipes.

For the pie crust:

113g/1/2 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes
150g/1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/6 cup ice water (Only enough to make a dough form.)

1) Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible. Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes.

2) Roll the dough into a round and place in the bottom of a 23cm pie plate. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell and rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes.

3) Bake at 200 degrees C for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before adding the filling.

For the coconut cream filling:

720ml/3 cups milk

40g/1/3 cup flour
150g/2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
90g/1 cup unsweetened fine coconut
3 slightly beaten large egg yolks
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract

1) Bring the milk to boil. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.2) Over medium low heat slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly. When the filling begins to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again. Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to thicken. 

3) Remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the egg yolks. Keep whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to stir. Cook for an additional two or three minutes until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from heat. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.

4) Stir in butter, vanilla and almond extract.

5) Cool almost to room temperature before pouring into the baked pie shell. Chill for about 3 hours or overnight.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

200ml/1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp icing sugar

1) Combine and beat to soft peaks and spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.


Friday, December 07, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I've already started planning my must-bake holiday dessert list. Although this blueberry crumb cake is not a Christmas dessert, it's always nice to have a crumb cake for breakfast. 

Ok, this cake is really delicious but there's one bad thing which you might have already noticed. 

Why did my blueberries sink??!  I was quite shocked after I saw this. Well, it didn't really matter because it tasted good anyway, but that's strange. I did everything correctly except for... flouring the blueberries. I don't know if this could be the reason but I don't have any other explanation. So if you decide to make it, do FLOUR the blueberries.


Blueberry Crumb Cake


Recipe from food network.

For the streusel:
1/4 cup/50g granulated sugar
1/3 cup/70g light brown sugar, lightly packe
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick/113g unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups/167g all-purpose flour 

For the cake:
6 tbsp/85g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
3/4 cup/170g granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup/150g sour cream
1 1/4 cups/156g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen)
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling (optional)

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter and flour a 23cm/9-inch round baking pan.

Make the streusel:
2) Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

Make the cake:
3) Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. 

4) In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

5) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers, crumble the topping evenly over the batter. 

6) Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Fall Recipe Collection

Fall has already gone and I thought it would be great to make a small collection with brief summaries of my favourite fall recipes. It wasn't easy to choose just a few but these recipes surprised me the most and they are definitely the keepers which I will be making again and again in the future, I'm sure.

So, the first in the list is Ricotta Gnocchi with Browned Butter Garlic Basil Sauce recipe. I was amazed by the flavours of this dish. The gnocchi were soft, pillowy and crunchy outside. The brown butter sauce made the whole dish divine! 

The second is  Apple Cake. I chose this because it's probably the easiest dessert I've ever made and still so incredibly delicious. I love this because it's also different. There are more apples in this cake than batter. This makes the cake taste very light and somehow reminds me a little bit of a pudding. It is definitely a perfect fall dessert - it's cheap, easy to make and tasty.

A Pumpkin Cake! Oh my Lord, this is a wonderful cake! I never thought I could love a spicy cake so much. But believe me, this could be called a Pumpkin Fall Cake. It's infused with all the best fall flavours. This will be a tradition to make this cake every year, for sure.
Next is Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares recipe. These bars are so perfect. A buttery base, creamy in the middle with a crunchy top.

And finally, how can a fall dessert list be without a Pumpkin pie? This is easy to make, not too sweet or spicy. If you haven't found your favourite pumpkin pie recipe, I encourage you to try this. It might become your favourite.

That's it! I hope you like my favourite recipes. If you do, then check out other recipes or look in the gallery and find your favourite dishes.
P.S. Happy winter! Hopefully we'll have some snow before Christmas. It's time to start planning the Christmas must-bake dessert list! Have a nice weekend.
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