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Hazelnut dacquoise with praliné feuilleté and chestnut buttercream

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This is a creation of mine, combining two recipes that I thought would work well together. Pretty happy with the result.



DACQUOISE
90 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams whole hazelnuts (I used walnuts instead)
100 grams confectioner's (icing) sugar
3 large egg whites
35 grams white sugar

PRALINÉ FEUILLETÉ
200 grams of pralinoise (55% hazelnut content)
100 grams of crêpes dentelles (I used "Gavottes")

CHESTNUT BUTTERCREAM
370 grams (whole jar) of chestnut cream
150 grams PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
125 grams unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven at 180°C (about 350°F).
For the dacquoise, coarsely chop the whole hazelnuts and toast them in a pan, stirring from time to time to avoid burning. When toasted, set aside.
In a bowl, beat egg whites with handheld mixer adding white sugar in small amounts, until fully incorporated and mixture thickens and forms glossy peaks.
In a separate bowl, mix ground hazelnut and confectioner's sugar together. Fold delicately into the egg white mixture wi…

Japanese Cheesecake

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We love cheesecake! I've wanted to try one of these for so long, because they're supposed to have this incredibly light texture, soft as cotton, unlike their rich and dense American cousin. I've flavored this one with almond extract and added some toasted almond slices for a little bit of crunch. Just amazing!







INGREDIENTS5 oz. (140 grams) granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
2 oz. (50 grams) unsalted butter

9 oz. (250 grams) PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
3 fl oz. (100 ml) fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 oz. (60 grams) all-purpose flour
1 oz. (20 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


DIRECTIONSMelt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with a handheld mixer until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.Fold 1/3 meringue into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/…

Almond Cake with Crunchy Crust

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My partner and I absolutely love almonds. I recently came upon this recipe (thank you Pinterest) that promised to deliver a cake both moist inside, and with a delicious crunchy layer on top. The result was amazing.


CARAMELIZED CRUST 10 grams unsalted butter, softened 50 grams sliced almonds (I used about 1/2 cup) 2 tablespoons white sugar
BATTER 115 grams almond meal (ground almond) 150 grams white sugar 1 pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used a bit more because I didn't have any Amaretto) 3 large eggs 115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon Amaretto (optional) 45 grams all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch cake pan. Spread sliced almonds evenly over bottom and sides (1 inch high) and sprinkle with sugar. Set aside. In a a mixing bowl, mix together almond meal, sugar, salt and almond extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add softened butter, Amaretto and…

Brownies

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I finally found the perfect square cake pan I was looking for. It didn't stop me from making brownies before, but it was a perfect opportunity to give my new pan its first spin. These brownies came out rich and fudgy, with a strong cocoa flavor enhanced by the saltiness of the macadamia nuts.
Makes 16 servings.






INGREDIENTS ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (110 grams)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips (52% cocoa at least)
½ cup coarsely chopped nuts - optional (I used macadamia nuts)


Preheat oven to 175°C | 350°F.
Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with cooking oil spray or butter.
Line bottom with baking paper and set aside.
Combine melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in colour (about 1 minute).
Add flour, cocoa powde…

Buttermilk Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Almond Crust

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It's strawberry season, and it was time to try and make something new with this most delicious fruit. We found this recipe on a blog aptly named The hungry dog, and decided to share it here. The cake came out incredibly moist, with a nice layer of crunchy almond slices on top. I might adapt this recipe and try it with a different combination of fruits and nuts.

CAKE

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 110 g.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup strawberries,  trimmed and either halved or quartered


ALMOND TOPPING
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1T. all-purpose flour
1 T. heavy cream (half and half worked fine)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. natural or blanched sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (170°C).
Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with par…

Do-Nothing Cake

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My partner found this recipe on a blog. So easy to make it is literally like doing nothing. I tweaked the original recipe a little because it seemed a bit too sweet to my taste. The result was just amazing: a cake incredibly moist with just the right amount of frosting on top. My frosting came out browner than the original recipe because I used light brown sugar instead of white sugar. 


CAKE 2cupsall-purpose flour 2tspbaking soda 1 and 1/2 cupssugar 2eggs 1/2tspvanilla extract 2 1/2cups(20 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained FROSTING 1stick butter,113 g 3/4cupevaporated milk 1cupsugar 1cupchopped nuts 1cupcoconutshredded
Mix all cake ingredients with a spoon. Pour into oiled 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) pan and bake in 350 F (175 C) oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until center of the cake is done. Cook butter, evaporated milk and sugar until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add nuts and coconut.  While cake is still hot, poke it with a skewer to help frosting soak into cake. Immediately pour frosting…

Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

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Here in Menton, la Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) is almost upon us. This year's theme is Broadway Musicals. A couple of years ago, the citrus structures were inspired by a famous Jules Verne novel, Les tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine (Tribulations of a Chinaman in China).


And when life gives you lemons, you make... lemon desserts! My partner found this amazing lemon mousse recipe online, which I tweaked slightly to match the ingredients I find here. The original recipe can be found here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/lemon-cheesecake-mousse/
For my version of it (less sweet, but same silky smooth texture), keep reading.



LEMON CHEESECAKE MOUSSE
Yields 6 to 10 servings.

CRUST
1 cup crushed Speculoos cookies (brown sugar cinnamon cookies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon (42g) butter, melted

MOUSSE 
2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon water
3 sheets unflavored gelatin (or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons powder gelatin)
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Yellow foo…