Tag Archives: Milk Chocolate

Finding Equilibrium

24 Feb

It has been a week since Valentines past and has definitely been an interesting ride. To begin, I first started to promote my chocolate hobby again on facebook. Little did I know I would get enough orders to keep me on my toes for about two weeks. If there were two words that could describe how I felt, it would be exhilarating and exhaustion. Yes, I was happy to do the chocolates as I saw it as an creative outlet; however, it was also tiring on the same side to meet the orders, work, family and friendship all at once. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the4 experience as people liked them, a comforting thought. As an experience, next time I will stagger the production while keeping an eye on quality.

It is during this time, when I realized how much I really liked baking. It is comforting, peaceful, therapeutic and liberating. To me I see things like a blank canvass and I just go crazy in creativity. This may well be in terms of combinations of flavours or appearance wise. Just a thought for now, I may continue taking courses in Baking/Pastry Arts in the future to home in my skills but to find balance in my life. More importantly, I realized something and it includes focusing back on me…..equilibrium. Over the years I noticed that I have been focusing more on people, not that it’s a bad thing, but less on myself. I grew up looking towards certain individuals for approval. Does obedience ring a bell…. and consequently neglected myself. I felt an ant, toiling away with X amount of weight on its shoulders and as time rolled on, it strained my emotions and eventually relationships. I felt as if I was being torn apart in all directions. Stressed for lack of better word. A friend from church hinted that to me,“You don’t need others for approval”, in other words trust in oneself. I have drastically forgotten about that. I contemplated about it the last a few days and reflected on what is important in my life, peace and self-acceptance. The only thing I came up with was baking or nature,except with nature you can’t bake. Like an artist who uses the brush to make strokes to build a masterpiece, I use ingredients and utensils to bake the cake or product. It is something I am happy with. Friendship and family are also important but without me in the equation, it is unsuccessful. From now on I will try a new experiment by add new variables into the equation, me. I am hopeful it will lead to a positive resolution.

Which brings me to the next page. I had originally wanted to share a recipe from my chocolate making course. With chocolate making, temperature and tempering is the key in making a successful chocolate but that is for another post. Voila!!!

Salted Caramel Ganache

Cream 240 g
Glucose 120 g
Inverted Sugar 60 g
Sugar 220 g
Milk Chocolate 240 g
Coco Butter 40 g (optional)
Butter 120 g

Results: Very Creamy and chocolatey.
~Bon Appetiti~

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.


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.

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.


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~

Puff Pastry with Caramelized Gianduja Mousse

18 Aug

Wow August so soon!!! It’s almost like July blazed through and I did not do anything. Well that’s a lie, I actually went to pick berries at its best.

With steady sunlight and warmth, it is always a joy visiting the farms and bask in the warm sun light while picking. The farms which I normally or Vancouverites visit are Emma Lea Farms or Krause Berry Farms. Though it can be tiring at times crouching under the hot sun but the reward will be all smiles, relaxation and a bucket full of round plump blue berries. They are huge in comparison with store bought berries. After a hard afternoon of berry picking, a delicious strawberry milkshake hit the spot. I will distributing my pick with family. Blue berry muffins will be coming shortly 🙂 but prior to that, I decided to make puff pastry.

Over the course of the summer, I bought a couple of books. As I sifted through the pages, I found a recipe on Caramelized Gianduja. Being low on gianduja, and being adventurous I decided to beat up some inverted puff pastry and use the gianduja as a basis to form a mousse.

Keys to Puff Pastry Inverted

-as the butter is hard, chop or dice it to a size from which one can handle

-French inverted puff pastry has the butter dough outside while the dough is inside.

-once ready, roll the dough into a rectangle.

-if the butter becomes to warm or unworkable, place it back to the fridge allowing the butter dough as hardened again.

-do not roll too thin

-do not over fold 3-5 folds is good enough

-for every turn and fold one takes make sure to allow the dough to rest in the fridge. It will prevent the softening of the dough

-when rolling and folding the turns, make sure to be gentle with the dough.

-As an extra step, place the finished dough in the freezer to allow it to rest and solidify the butter a bit.  Putting the pastry in the freezer to rest while waiting for the oven to reach 400 F is a plus.  Think warm air as it expands in the layers; as air expands, it will raise the pastry as well resulting in better volumes.  it will raise the pastry as well.
-Bake about 20-25 mins at 390-410 degrees F.

Puff Pastry Rolls

Once the pastry was cooked, the molds are be removed immediately. Through this way, the pastry was easier to be removed from the molds.


Next came the caramelized praline.


Caramelized Hazelnuts or Almonds (adapted from William Curly)

250 grams hazelnuts

100 sugar

40 ml water

Once the caramelized hazelnuts where done and cooled, they were ground in a processer until fine. Melted chocolate was then incorporated with the ground nuts until smooth and let cooled. With the gianduja cooling, I then whipped up some cream and folded in the gianduja and pipped into the cooled pastry rolls. When making the mousse, make sure the gianduja is cooled or it will melt the whipped cream. Place it in the fridge and allow the mousse to set.

Finish by pipping it inside the cone and decorate with pistachio and icing sugar.


Result: When ones buy puff pastry, recommended ones come with a pastry or whipped cream in the middle. I experiemented with flavours and made a Gianduga Mousse instead. While different from a typical puff pastry cone, the gianduja for me made a hit. 

Bon Appetit.

Valentines Weekend Celebrations

16 Feb

Valentines certainly came and gone nonetheless the gentlemen delivered. I was shopping at Thomas Haas the other day; it was like a zoo in there. The beloved pastry and chocolate store attracted hundreds of loyal fans all eagerly waiting for mouth watering pastries and beautifully hand made chocolates. Chocolate lovers, husbands, boyfriends etc had already formed a s-like line in the store by the time I arrived. Everyone’s hand had boxes delicately shaped heart chocolates; momentos of love for each other while staff hurried around to fulfill their special day. Smiles were all around and the store smelled like rich chocolate. One whiff and I was drunk this to elixir. pastry

In downtown Vancouver, cold tin empty flower buckets that once housed dozens of gorgeously scently long stemmed roses lined the shelves red-roses-from-randy Someone’s heart was melted that evening when smelling fragrant sweet scent of the deep coloured vibrant red roses. What a special day this was.

To celebrate this special day, I made some tarts. I first started off with the pate sucre recipe. I made the crusts and fill them with 3 different toppings. In comparison to other crusts, pate sucre was quite versatile. The crust had a nice crunch and made a lovely addition to the fillings. The first tart was the lemon meringue tart. I decided to be adventurous and did a yuzu/meyer lemon filling. Yuzu added a zing to the filling and as for the meringue, I chose to make an italian meringue.


The second tart contained a milk and white chocolate ganache while the third tart had a topping of fresh raspberries and pistachios.


Felder was my go to chef when making a pate sucre recipe. I found his recipe was quite crispy and light sweet. The key to his recipe was the icing sugar. Felder substituted granulated sugar with icing sugar which in turn results in a lighter pastry.

Lemond Curd Filling (adapted from Anna Olson)

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup water

6 large egg yolks ( I used 4 large egg yolks)

½ cup fresh lemon juice ( I substituted yuzo and meyer lemon juice)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I opted out)

I also added 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.

In the end I was quite delighted how the tarts turned out. They were very beautiful and definitely head turners. I think I could just sit there admire them and drool away; but as with anything fresh baked tarts go fast so here comes my fork and tea.



Bon Appetit everyone. Hope everyone enjoyed their special day!!!

Chocolate Entremet

2 Sep

Fascinated by the scintillating and beautiful photos seen in books by Pierre Herme and Hidemi Sugino, I have always dreamt of making a entremet myself. Hesitation always played a part as it was very taxing and time consuming since there were various steps involved. Sure Herme made it sound easy; he’s practically the king of pastry after all. With a wave of his magical whisk, another masterpiece arises. Here you have little old me, wide eyed and twitchy nosed like a mouse peering at these photos. While the popular choice was to purchase an entremet at Thomas Haas, a wonderful chef with a flair for beautiful creations, the thought lingered on the back burner; I really wanted to try my hands at it. The opportunity arose when students had to prepare a cake for decoration as mentioned from the previous post.

I first made the milk chocolate mousse by creating a sabayon. Eggs and sugar were mixed on top of a double boiler till luke warm and then whipped to light and frothy. The gelatin was then placed in cold water while the chocolate was melted. With all these mixtures taking place, it was then time to whip up the cream. The mixtures were then assembled. Gelatin sets quickly so work quickly. Next came the white chocolate mousse. The method was just the same as the milk chocolate. When it came to assembling the cake, I poured the chocolate mousse and then the white chocolate mousse. The cake was placed in the fridge to cool. Making of the chocolate glaze came next. Milk and cream were first heated up and then poured onto the dark chocolate to make the ganache. The key to glazing the entremet was to let the glaze cool but still smooth enough to coat the cake. As a tip, one could use a ladle and pour the ganache onto the cake. Once one ladled the smooth ganache onto the cake, work fast as the glaze sets rapidly on the cool cake exterior.





I had a large cake left too. Guess what that meant :). This time I caramelized some hazelnuts to make pralined hazelnuts. Macarons were then added to create a border.




Chocolate Glaze

200 ml Cream Whipping
60 ml Milk
110 g Sugar (I used approx. 50 g)
300 g Dark Chocolate
110 g Glucose Sugar ( I used honey)
110 g Butter

Chocolate Pecan Cinnamon Rolls-Yum!!

1 Jul

Wow another beautiful weekend, summer is finally here and what a way to start it with a bang. 🙂 Since my family loved bread, especially chinese sausage rolls, I decided to make some bread again. I saw a recipe from another blogger and found it interesting. The recipe had chunks of chocolate in the rolls. So off I went recreating the recipe.

I first made the dough, proofed it until the dough doubled in size. The warm weather always helped the dough beautifully, think temperature. Once the dough doubled in size, I punched down the dough and proceeded to roll it out. Pecans were toasted and chocolate was chopped next. Butter, cinnamon, sugar, pecans and chocolate were spread on as toppings. As a tip, I used a piece of string for easier cutting. Proof for about another 1/2 hour and bake the rolls at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Honey was then drizzled on top of each bun.




The recipe for Cinnamon Buns can be found here. Mmmmmmm…warm bread with chocolate and toasted pecans. Nothing tastes better than that. This recipe would be a keeper for me. Next time, I might add in some maple sugar and walnuts that way you get a nice maple walnut flavour to the buns as well. Enjoy!!!

Truffles and Rochers-Jean Paul Hevin

8 Jun

I have been craving truffles again. I recently visited Thomas Haas and found myself oogling their goodies by that I meant their chocolates. Yes, I am a sucker for chocolates, I’m sure my dentist would love me for it too heheh. Like superman with his kryptonite cookbooks were for me. I bought a chocolate book called, Cooking With Chocolate, the year before and succumbed to a recipe by Jean Paul Hevin, a renowned chocolatier in Paris.

The recipe that really caught my eyes was the Rocher. I was first tried it on an splurge at La Maison Du Chocolat while vacationing in Europe, the economical way and was hooked on them eversince, line and sinker. Silky smooth, crunchy, crispy and sweet best described the chocolate; imagine my delight when I found the right recipe. To recreate the little chocolates, I roasted the almond slivers first. The chocolate ganache was made by boiling cream and using it to melt the chocolate. Hevin used feuilletine, which basically is wafer like biscuits. IMHO, these biscuits added a crispy texture to the chocolate as well.

When the ganache was set, I pipped them into balls and prepared the praline. Praline typically consisted of hazelnuts but I opted for pistachio instead. The ganache was then enrobed in the pistachio praline and set aside. Instead of combining the feuilletine with the ganache like Hevin suggested, I left them till the end as they became soggy. I first rolled the ganache balls in the feuilletine prior to coating them with chocolate and roasted almonds. They were then coated with chocolate again. Voila, you got the Rochers.

Kee Ling Tong, owner of Kee’s Chocolate, also inspired me. Customers raved about her chocolates. The sesame truffle caught my eye and interest therefore I aspired to make my own version of them. I first roasted some black and white sesame seeds and melted some dark chocolate. I then rolled the ganache onto the sesame seeds. The sesame truffle was a crowd favourite, rich, nutty and chocolatey. The toasted sesames complimented the ganache beautifully providing flavour and texture. I was quite pleased with the outcome of both truffles as they were a first try. There was no doubt in my mind, I will be trying more of Jean Paul Hevin’s recipes or being inspired by Kee Ling Tong.


3 1/2 oz (100g) milk chocolate (I combined milk and dark chocolate for the ganache)
9 oz praline (I used homemade pistachio praline)
1/3 oz crumbled crepes (I used feuilletine)

3 1/2 oz chopped almonds (I toasted mine)
1 lb bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate (I used only milk chocolate)

Sesame Truffles
Ganache, Dark Chocolate and Toasted Sesame Seeds


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.

100 g almond meal

100 g sugar

15 g cocoa power-I used Valhrona

4 piece white

80 g sugar

2 egg yolks


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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