Tag Archives: Dark Chocolate

Christmas Cookie Project-Chocolate, Cinnamon and Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

16 Dec

Christmas Season is in full swing. It all started with the Christmas Cookie Exchange organized by the Ladies Team Members at our church. Cookie making is always fun for me as it is the simplest way to enjoy a dessert. Sad to say I do not have the luxury to make them too often. When the idea of participating in a cookie exchange occurred, I literally jumped at it. The event was hosted by the church and 14 friends participated, cookies as well ha ha. We all had a great time socializing with each other. Sipping on tea, munching on cookies, playing games and sharing stories of Christ. The highlight of course was the exchange. I had brought 3 dozen cookies there to share and trade and came back satisfied with 2 dozen cookies.

For this cookie exchange I made chocolate cinnamon and hazelnut thumbprint cookies. They were fun to make and I enthusiastically shared them with everyone.

I first made the dough and then rolled it in sanding sugar and 1tsp. cinnamon.

Once the cookies were baked, a melon baller was used to create the indent on the cookies.

Ganache was filled in the indented cookies.  Ganache was made of chocolate and cream.

Hazelnut Cinnamon Chocolate Thumbprint Cookie Recipe (found Here)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts ( I toasted and ground them finely)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (I used 1 cup butter)
1 large egg
1/2 cup sanding sugar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
*** Instead of combining the chocolate with 1/4 cup butter. I opted to make a ganache instead using chocolate and cream.

Result:  This cookie was excellent.  It had the right balance of sweetness and bitterness from the cocoa.  The ground hazelnuts and cinnamon added complexity to the taste while the sanding sugar added a texture to the cookie.  It is a keeper and I would gladly be making this cookie again.  As a side suggestion, perhaps substitute the ganache with either caramel or caramel chocolate ganache.  Happy Holidays and Cookie Baking!!!!

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Birthdays-Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

20 Nov

October has been a busy month filled with birthdays. It so happens that the young adults pastor birthday is in October. Events like this always give me an opportunity to show my creative side as well as try new recipes.
For this birthday, I am making a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. The cake consists of chocolate chiffon sponge cake, milk, white and dark chocolate mousses.

Method:

I first made the chiffon cake and baked it. With the cake resting, I then proceeded to make the dark chocolate mousse. To make the mousse, the gelatin was first bloomed in cold water to soften it. Next, whipping cream was whipped and set aside in the fridge. I then made the sabayon which was basically warming up the sugar/egg mixture over a double boiler till luke warm when touched. ***Make sure not heat up the mixture too much as it would start cooking. Once the sugar/egg mixture was luke warm, beat the mixture till light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate until combined. Add the gelatin and then incorporate the whipping cream making sure it is fully blended and homogenous. Once the mixture was well folded and mixed, it was poured onto the cooled cake.

Next came the milk chocolate mousse. I made the milk chocolate mousse in the same process. First blooming the gelatin, then melting the chocolate in a double boiler. While the chocolate was melting, I made the sabayon and whipped up the whipping cream. I then folded the melted chocolate into the sabayon and added the gelatin. Lastly whipping was folded in. Pour onto the cooled cake and set in the fridge.

The white chocolate mousse was to be the top layer on the cake before the glaze. Same steps were done as before. The key is not to let the gelatin become too cool before folding in the whipping cream. The final step prior to decoration was the chocolate glaze. When looking at the ingredients for the glaze, it resembled a ganache topping. The ingredients consisted of whipping cream, honey, sugar, chocolate, milk and butter. To make the glaze, first boil the whipping cream, milk, sugar and glucose. Then pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter lastly and stir until the mixture is mixed well.

Assembly:
To assemble to decorate the cake, I ladled the glaze onto the cooled set mousse cake while making sure it was covered evenly. It was necessary to work fast as once the glaze cools down, it would set. A handy tool to use was the spatula. Next I caramelized some hazelnuts and almonds to top the glazed cake as a garnish. While it was not necessary, I had made some chocolate stenciled squares. With them handy, I decorated the sides with them.

Voila.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
200 g Dark Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
240 ml Cream

Milk Chocolate Mousse
200 g Milk Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
4 g Gelatin Sheet
240 ml Cream

White Chocolate Mousse

200 g White Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
4 g Gelatin sheet
240 ml Cream

Chocolate Glaze
200 ml Cream
60 ml Milk
110 g Sugar
300 g Dark Chocolate
110 g Glucose Syrup (I used honey)
110 g Butter

Results: The cake was a hit. The mousses were dreamy and complimented the light chiffon cake. I would make this cake again. However for next time, consider using streusel to decorate the sides. ~Happy Baking~

Enlightenment

6 Nov

I realized that this entry was unlike other entries in which delves deeper.   Nonetheless it was a journey and a journey was like traveling yes?  A path to enlightenment or realization.  One needs to free onself of molds and constraints.  Seldom is it a peaceful and most of the time it is a vigorous and extremely painful process.  But once a resolution is achieved,  the pain is alleviated much  like a rainbow appearing after  rain fall or the brilliant rays of sunlight burning through the thunderclouds shining down into the ocean; a glimpse of hope that the worst had come and gone.   I experienced that yesterday night and this evening as I contemplated what will come,by Canada Place, whilst  letting the wind blow by me as I watched the the swirling waves below.  There was much to think about the skeletons in the closet.  I guess my journey was learning about letting go of painful events, discern right from wrong and most importantly not ruminating on them.  Despite the trials and tribulations I faced, it was all about finding an equilibrium and moving on.  One could not fixate after all.  The human mind is quite resilient and probably the most powerful tool we have to overcome adversity with fortitude.  It was worthwhile lesson learned as I saw the winds lessen and the night less cold as I strolled into a much calmer downtown en route via  Burrard Inlet;  if I squint harder I would see a rainbow over the horizon 🙂  errrr….it was in the evening.  Despite how irritable and unsettled I was,  it was amazing how being by water always managed to calm me down.   It really was therapeutic.   I think during this process,  some individuals were worried for me, so I also thankful to those individuals who were and watching out for me.  You know who you are :p.

Now as I got back to being level headed, I decided to contribute which I left out because I procrastinated. 

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer:

200 g dark chocolate

2 eggs

40 g sugar

240 ml cream
Whisk up the eggs with sugar over hot water and continue to whip in machine until light and white in colour.

2.  Melt chocolate and add the chocolate to the egg sabayon.

3.  Whip up the cream and add the cream to the dark chocolate whip to combine and add rum.
Sponge

100 g almond meal

100 g sugar

15 g cocoa power-I used Valhrona

4 piece white

80 g sugar

2 egg yolks

Method:

Prepare a meringue from the egg whites and sugar.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix egg yolks and then dry ingredients to meringue.

Bake at 320F for 20 mins.

Instead of the typical bon appetit closer, I decided to leave this.  A quote that is inspiring yet true and for those who had felt the same way I did.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

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