Tag Archives: Chocolate

Ringing in the New Year-Chestnut Chocolate Mousse Cake

20 Jan

Wow, I can’t believe it is 2018!!!! 2017 ended well with a wonderful white Christmas, a snowshoeing adventure at Cypress Mountain and time for reflection. It proved to be more and more of a desire to go back into my true passion. Baking and cooking.
With 2018 well in its way, I have started my new job and so far it’s okay. I have also done testing with the federal government in hopes of a job there. Most importantly, I found a new bakery that offers chocolate making courses. Excited is what describes me right now.

To ring in the New Year, I decided to make a twist to the classic chestnut cake. Inspired by Thomas Haas’ chestnut yule log which consisted of a chocolate mousse, chestnut cream and chiffon cake, I decided to make my own version. To make this cake, I first made the chestnut puree. The chiffon cake was the next step. The mousse was the last step in the process.

Voila!!

Chestnut Puree adapted from here
700 g fresh chesnuts
(I used milk to cover the chestnuts and simmer them until soft)
1/2 vanilla pod ( I used 1 vanilla pod)
87.5 ml water (for sugar syrup)
32.5 g sugar (for sugar syrup)
1 tablespoon brandy (opt. Cognac)
***Roast chestnut at 350F for 15 minutes. To make the paste smooth, simmer the chestnut and milk and vanilla until soft) The chestnuts will absorb all the milk when done. Add more milk if not soft enough to cut through. (Use judgement) Transfer over to the food processor and blend. Add the simple syrup gradually and blend until smooth as possible. Mix in the brandy.

Chocolate Mousse

200 g Milk Chocolate
2 eggs
40 g sugar
4 g gelatin ( I used 6 g)
240 ml cream

Results: Wonderful combination of flavours. Next time I will add a bavarois as well.

Bon Appetit!!!!

Advertisements

Christmas Cookie Project II-Pecan Turtle Cookies

26 Dec

I dream of a White Christmas!!! What a lovely Christmas it has been. I have been praying for a White Christmas over the last few years. I finally got my wish yesterday. Tired eyes opening from a hectic week filled with chocolate making, cookie baking, I was pleasantly surprised by the seeing little white flakes gently floating down. Clothed in a flash, I hurriedly made my way to the living room window. There I felt my heart scream with joy. The entire street almost white, YIPPPEEEE!!!! My prayers were answered. Weeks and weeks of praying finally paid off. I know I may sound looney but nothing thrills me more than a beautiful peaceful white landscape with Christmas trees and ornaments glistening. When I was young, my happiest days where celebrating Christmas with family and gift exchanging. I remember skating on the ice in Central Park. It was fabulous as those holidays were filled with love and laughter. Not that these days weren’t. White Christmas were also frequent. Nowadays, family get togethers are less frequent and with individuals getting older and passing away, it became a quiet Christmas. Not that it was bad but I still remember those Christmas days when spent throwing snow balls at each other. Now can you see why I love White Christmas? Ha ha.

This Christmas has indeed been a special one, I got to share it with friends and family. My friends and I went to events like the Singing Christmas Tree. This year marked its 50th Anniversary which made it especially worthwhile to go.

Broadway Singing Christmas Tree 014

A few friends and I also went to see Star Wars-“The Last Jedi.” To culminate it was the Christmas Party in which I made some chocolates and cookies to share.

Speaking of cookies, I made some Pecan Turtles.

Voila!!!

DSC_0004

Cookie Recipe:

1/2 cup toasted pecans (plus more for rolling in)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
1 large egg

Caramel Recipe:

Sugar
Whipping Cream
Butter

Results: These are a fantastic addition to any cookie exchange. Buttery and crispy and gooey. A keeper.

~Happy Holidays~

Christmas Chocolate Project- Caramelized Gianduja Hedgehogs-Curley

17 Dec

Brrrrrr it is freezing in Vancouver. The city has been hit with minus temperatures this week and to top it of more snow will be coming tonight and tomorrow. Yippee more snow to welcome the holiday season. With approx 1 week left to go, the city has gone into full swing with decorations and festivities. One of the rich traditions is the Gingerbread Town held at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. Every year participants create wonderful masterpieces and display them in the hotel.

gingerbread-houses

gingerbread-houses-2

During the holiday season, I tend to bake alot for friends and family. For the last couple of weeks or so, I have been flipping through recipes to see what I can make. Well I stopped at praline again. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than to see the perfectly coated glistening nuts. It makes my heart sing as friends and I munch on the sweet and crunchy morsel. A good accompaniment to chocolate. I decided to create caramelized parline hedgehogs.

To make the caralized Gianduja
First toast some nuts until golden. Note: do not over toast them as they will have a bitter taste. Then make the simple syrup by boiling the water with sugar. Once the sugar mixture comes to the rolling boil add the nuts and stir. Keep mixing. As the syrup boils the water will evaporate leaving the sugar coating the nuts. Eventually the water will boil off leaving the sugar crystals coating the nuts.

dsc_0559

It will look granular and coarse but not to worry, this is the process of making sugar coated nuts. Keep stirring and mixing until the left over sugar crystal caramelizes and have coated the nuts entirely. Remove from heat and spread out on silicone mat to cool.

dsc_0557

Once the praline has cooled a bit place into food processor to grind to a paste. In the beginning it will look like chopped nuts but eventually it will become a paste.

dsc_0558

Melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate and add to mixture. Once the praline/chocolate has been mixed well. Pour onto silicone mould for setting.

To make the chocolates
First melt some milk chocolate, temper it and fill into chocolate hedgehog molds. Pipe the praline into the molds and set. Finally fill the chocolate.

Voila

dsc_0561

Caramelized Gianduja

150 g almonds lightly roasted
150 g hazelnuts lightly roasted
150 g caster sugar
50 ml water
150 bittersweet chcocolate
150 g milk chocolate

Results: This is a very good recipe for making hedgehogs. The praline although time consuming was excellent.

Happy Holidays!!!

Pierre Herme-Truffles au Chocolat au Lait et The Vert Matcha

3 Dec

Christmas is around the corner. The city gets prettier and prettier each coming year with Christmas decorations around every corner and in every department store there is Christmas songs playing. Christmas would not be Christmas without snow and we are blessed as snow is on the mountains.

It has been almost 4 months without posting and now is the time as never to post as it is Christmas time!!! I have been busy with work and school and now that I have finished my final mid-term I am free till the final exam. I recently bought a book, “Chocolate,” from my favourite pastry chef Pierre Herme and flipping through its mouth watering pages I stopped at some of his chocolate recipes. I have always loved the taste of pistachio and matcha but am curious how they would work together. IMHO, Pierre Herme used the flavour combination so it can’t be so bad heheheh. Off I went to make the recipe.

To make the ganache, I first measured the ingredients. Herme mentioned to combine the chocolate together with the matcha and then pour the hot cream on it the mixture; however, how will that melt (for lack of better word) the matcha? You would get granules of matcha. Instead, I combined the cream together with the matcha and heated it up. Once heated up pour onto the chocolate and whisk out from the middle. Cool and set the mixture when it is homogenized.

Pierre Hermes truffles called for roasted pistachios thankfully I had some in the fridge. The ganache was quite soft hence after I scooped it out I froze them for a firmer texture to be rolled into chocolate. Once they were more firm, they were rolled in melted chocolate twice and on the third time coated with roasted pistachios.

Viola

dsc_0555

Ingredients:

200 g whole pistachios skinned

Milk Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Ganache
95 g butter
610 g milk chocolate 45% cocoa ( I used Valhrona Jivara)
30 g matcha green tea power
600 g cream

Result: This is an interesting combination. The ganache is not that sweet and has a hint of bitterness. However when combined with the enrobbed chocolate it becomes sweet. To top it off one get the roasted pistachios flavouring with the matcha. I would suggest this recipe for matcha lovers.

Let the holiday baking begin.

Happy Valentines Day-Chocolate Ganache Tart

14 Feb

Happy Valentines Day!!!! As everyone is celebrating this day outside with a nice dinner and roses, I decided to celebrate at home baking for my friends and family. When one thinks of Valentines, the first impression that comes to mind are chocolates and roses. Well, I will let the rose giving and dinner treating to the guys out there but I will prepare dessert.

In light of this celebration, I decided to make something chocolatey since you can’t go wrong with chocolate. This time I am making a Chocolate Ganache Tart. While the dessert may be delectable and stunning, it is rather quite easy to make. To make the tart, I first made the pate sucre shell first. Next I made the ganache which goes into the shell. I heated up some cream and poured over the chocolate. I then whisked the cream and chocolate until creamy and homogenous after which I poured it into the cooled tart shells. Allow the ganache to cool and decorate with raspberries.

Voila.

DSC_0484

Ganache Filling

180g Dart Chocolate
130 ml Whipping Cream

Result: The dark chocolate gave the tart a rich, and deep chocolate taste. The ganache was silky smooth a stark contrast to the delicious tart shell. The raspberry complimented the rich chocolate with a sweetness and acidity. For chocolate lovers this is a recipe worthy to try.

Happy Valentines Day to All!!!!

Happy New Year-Hazelnut Macarons

1 Jan

New Years started off beautifully with the sun beaming down on frost laiden Vancouver. Brrrrrr…it certainly cold outside. I hate to be the one who has to scrape the ice of the car in order to go somewhere. Vancouver was back in New Years Eve tradition yesterday as it hosted a family New Years Eve Bash complete with Music and, at the stroke of midnight, fireworks. The beauty and sounds of the fireworks could been seen and heard at Boundary Road. The streets were filled with people honking their horns shouting, “Happy New Year!!!”

To mark this festive day, I decided to make macarons again. This time I am making Hazelnut Macarons. Unlike most macarons sold outside which uses ground almonds as a base, I am using freshly toasted ground hazelnuts to make the macarons.

Key to make Hazelnut Macarons
-use stale egg whites (fresh ones will do but older egg whites produce better results)
-when boiling the sugar syrup to pour over the meringue Pierre Herme suggests boil till 118C approx 240F then pour over the egg whites while beating and cool down to 50C.
-fold the italian meringue to the almond/egg white mixture
-let the pipped macarons develop a skin prior to baking them. (Tip to help the skin develop faster, preheat the oven and place the uncooked macaron sheets ontop of the warm oven for faster results)
-Bake at 285 F

DSC_0458

DSC_0459

DSC_0463

The recipe could be found here and instead of using almonds substitute hazelnuts.

Results: The macarons were light and chewy on the inside. They have a distinct taste of hazelnuts. The recipe is a keeper.

Happy New Year!!!!

Christmas!!!

25 Dec

Christmas is finally here. Vancouver is beautiful with the snow capped mountains. I am typing this while I munch on dimsum. Been baking up a storm in anticipation of the holidays this year. I made chocolates and cookies for gifts and finally hosted my first chrismtas cookie exchange. A memorable Christmas to remember with all the work involved.

First off, I made some roasted pistachio truffles

DSC_0452

Pistachio Truffles
Pistachios
Cream
White Chocolate
Butter

Coconut Truffles
Toasted Coconut
White Chocolate
Cream
Butter

To make truffles, first chop the chocolate into pieces. Next boil the cream and when the cream has boiled pour into the chocolate. Stir until the cream and chocolate become mixed together and develops a sheen. Add the butter and cool to set. Once set use a spoon or mellon baller to scoop out ball sized ganache. Dip into melted chocolate and set. Once set dip the chocolates again and into the toasted pistachio or coconut.

Next I made some Chocolate Kisses or Baci di cioccolato. To make these cookies, hazelnuts were toasted and ground finley. The dry ingredients were next measured and set aside. I then creamed the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Once fluffy, the rum and vanilla was added in and mixed. Finally the dry ingredients, such as flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, nuts were added in. At first the cookie batter seemed dry but once some kneeding and squeezing the ball of dough came together. Using a spoon, spoon out the dough and roll into spheres. Roll into granulated sugar. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

DSC_0457

Chocolate Kisses (Baci Di Cioccolato)

1/2 cup whole blanced almonds ( I used hazelnuts)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus more for rolling
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teasp. vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum

The truffles and cookies came out well. The Chocolate kisses had a subtle hazelnut flavour to them and is a keeper. I definitely chose the right cookies to give as gifts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Butter Baking

A blog of baked goods, custom cakes and desserts

Jo the tart queen

food, travel & photography

NOW, FORAGER

Teresa Floyd Food & Photography

Hello Sweet Dessert

baking . cooking . et al

Jay Voclain - A sweet story

A Young pastry chef who aspires for more, decides to push her luck by moving to Los Angeles and starts her own company.

gretacooks

Life is short. Eat well.

Mon Voyage Culinaire

Nana's Culinary Journey

My Baking Cottage

where sweet & savory meets!

The Curious Baker

Gluten Free . Seasonal Recipes . Alternative Flours . Interesting Combinations

thebountifulplate

learn.savour.laugh

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

My husband cooks

A tasty look at the food he makes, and I eat

fête

adventures in food, travel, and photography

Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre de Liège Recette Blog

Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre de Liège Recette

Bicil The Baker

Sugar.High.

My kitchen of love ~

What's behind my kitchen door

thelittleloaf

Homemade Memories

Leelabean Bakes

Cakes, cookies, dessert! Learn how to bake!

100 Days Of Evelyn

Dessert recipes, tutorials and photography

%d bloggers like this: