I debated for a while as to whether I should actually publish this post or not…I just wasn’t entirely happy with the appearance of the tarts, I couldn’t help but feel that the pears turned out looking somewhat slug-like…In the end though taste won out. What they lack in looks they make up for in flavour. Sweet pears poached in a spiced red wine syrup are baked with rich chocolate frangipane in a crisp chocolate pastry crust. When topped with a dollop of ice cream and an extra drizzle of spiced red wine syrup they are heavenly. (more…)
Archive of ‘Chocolate’ category
We were visiting some friends over the weekend and I was charged with bringing dessert (what a surprise!); despite the fact that I was already taking the remnants of two cakes with us (carrot and cookie dough brownie), I couldn’t resist making something else to take…(I’m good at overkill…). I figured that two cakes was probably enough cake (just…!) so for my third dessert I went with a tart. (more…)
This cake is a beast… When I mentally planned it (over the course of about a month…) I didn’t envision it being quite so tall…I purposefully used my smallest cake tins so that it didn’t turn out too large…I failed. So you know, maybe save this one to make when you have more than just four people to eat it… (more…)
I was feeling at a bit of a baking loss this week; I have a humongous, ever expanding list of things that I want to bake, but couldn’t for the life of me decide what to actually make. In the end I decided to keep things simple, stop agonising about it and just make some damn cookies! (more…)
So I had some Oreos left over from making red velvet brownies with oreo cream cheese mousse the other day. Granted, I could have just eaten them, but it seemed like more fun to come up with something to bake with them (although what I came up with doesn’t actually involve any baking). I’ve been meaning to make some tarts for a while now and although I had been planning on making pastry bases, I decided to swap those for oreo biscuit bases, topped with salted caramel and chocolate mousse. (more…)
I don’t fast. I believe that life is too short for unnecessary self-deprivation; I also have never given anything up for Lent, firstly because I am not remotely religious, secondly, because I am not dangerously addicted to anything; and if I were, I should really be giving it up for life, not for just for Lent. I am however (funnily enough…) more than happy to partake in the feasting that often precedes or follows a fast. Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day, is one of those such occasions that I am willing to revel in. Pancakes, in all of their many forms, are one of the most simple and satisfying foods you can make, and are the best way to create an impressive breakfast or brunch (or dinner!). As much as I love the classic British pancake with lemon and sugar, or a stack of fluffy American ones drizzled with maple syrup, if you want to make an impressive breakfast with minimal amount of effort (no standing at the stove flipping endless pancakes) then it’s got to be a Dutch baby. (more…)
Do you ever get a niggling idea in your head that just won’t go away? The seedling of a fully formed plan that intrudes on your thoughts and gets stuck in your mind, germinating, until it is eventually transformed into a brilliant, fully-fledged idea…. It started with mousse. All I knew at that point is that I wanted to make some mousse of some sort. I sat on that idea for a couple of weeks, in the meantime planning Valentines day baking, which got me thinking about red velvet…which got me thinking about cream cheese, because what is a red velvet cake without the iconic cream cheese icing?! (It’s the best bit!) My mind put the cream cheese and the mousse together… then spread it on top of some red velvet brownies… and added ganache, and then threw in some oreos for good measure… And red velvet brownies with oreo cream cheese mousse and chocolate ganache were born! (more…)
I had a whole load of egg yolks left over from making meringue kisses the other day and obviously didn’t want to throw them away, so had to come up with something to make with them. The obvious choice was ice cream but I already had a freezer full so didn’t really want to add any more to it, and wasn’t in the mood for any kind of custard based desserts, I was kind of in the mood to bake some bread though. Challah is a traditional Jewish enriched bread made with eggs or egg yolks so was the perfect recipe to use them up. I always prefer to make some soft of flavoured bread rather than a plain loaf though, so I had a rifle through my baking supplies cupboard (which I am trying to clear out a bit, it has become slightly overflowing…) and came across a jar of morello cherries which I had bought a while ago as they were on offer and subsequently forgotten about. I figured that they would work well in a loaf of bread and decided that as “chocolate cherry challah” had a nice ring to it that is what I would go for. (more…)
It can be difficult baking cakes when there are just two of you to eat it…you either end up eating way more cake than is healthy, or it ends up in the freezer. I try to bake larger cakes and batches of cupcakes only when there is a party to take them to, or when we have people visiting. But sometimes there is no occasion to bake for and you just really want cake…. And that’s where these mini cakes are perfect. The recipe makes exactly two portions of cake, and you don’t even need to buy any special cake tins as they are baked in regular (clean, empty) food tins, the kind that tinned tomatoes, baked beans, soup etc come in. (I used 400g ones – the most common tin size)
For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?
This months daring bakers challenge was an Esterhazy torte – a rich Hungarian cake comprised of five layers of toasted hazelnut dacquoise filled with a hazelnut buttercream made with egg yolks which is traditionally topped with glace icing and a chocolate cobweb pattern. I decided to change things up a little bit because I thought that the traditional recipe was a little lacking in something…chocolate! Because why have a plain hazelnut cake when you can have a chocolate hazelnut cake…?! And I am very glad I did change the recipe because the cake ended up tasting like a giant Ferrero Rocher!
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