Friday, August 29, 2014

Sponge Cake with Fresh Cream and Strawberries

It has been too long. I would like to say that it is because I have been super busy, but that would not be 100% true. I have been a bit busy, but mostly I have been lazy and avoiding baking. Throw in a holiday to Queenstown (yay!fun!) and a dysfunctional kitchen (or lack there of) and that is all the reasons why this is the first post in several months. 

So yeah. Here is a new one!

I am making a wedding cake in a couple of weeks and the Bride and Groom have requested that one layer be a sponge cake. Having not made a sponge cake since possibly Home Economics in high school I thought I better have a practice go.

So here is a beautiful light sponge cake, so quick and easy to make, with fresh cream and strawberries! Note the photos aren't the best, it has been a while ok and the light was fading :(

Sponge Cake with Fresh Cream and Strawberries

Adapted from

What you will need

1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup cornflour
4 eggs, room temperat
2/3 cup caster sugar

300ml cream
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla

What you will need to do

Preheat oven to 180*C. Line one 8 inch round pan with grease proof paper, spray with oil and dust with flour. I did all three so there was no way the cake would stick!

Sift the flours together into a bowl three times for aeration. Set aside.

Whisk eggs and sugar together with electric mixer for 6 minutes and until the mixture has tripled in volume. Gradually sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture while gently folding in with a metal spoon until just combined.

Gently pour mixture into pan and bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven when sides of the cake start to come away from pan and the top springs back when touched lightly. Turn out onto cooling racks and remove baking paper. Once cooled, cut in half and fill with whipped cream and strawberries.

To make the cream, pour cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until starting to hold its shape. Spread evenly over first layer of sponge. Cut tops off strawberries and then in half. Arrange strawberries on the bottom layer. Place top layer of sponge over that and repeat process.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Salted Caramel Saint-Honoré Cake

The name is fancy and well so is this dessert, but its pretty simple to make each component and then all you have to do is assemble. I spied a photo of this dessert on Pinterest and although that one was a little more polished, I think mine still look pretty good.

I made four of these desserts to take to a friends place for a dinner and a an unfortunate accident lead to two of these babies landing on the floor of my car :(. Fortunately two was enough to go around the four of us, and next time I will remember to put my treats in a container and not on a plate!

Salted Caramel Saint-Honoré Cake

Adapted from Epicurious and SBS Food

What you will need

2 sheets of puff pastry

For the Choux Pastry
100g butter
150g flour

For the Salted Caramel Mousseline
Pastry cream:
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp cornflour
6 egg yolks
3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

9 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups chilled pastry cream (from above)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
For the Chantilly Cream
600ml thickened cream
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp vanilla

For the Vanilla Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

What you will need to do

Start off by making the Pastry Cream for the Salted Caramel Mousseline. Bring milk and 1/3 cup sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir cornflour and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl to dissolve. Whisk egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add cornflour mixture. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture; return to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter. Whisk until melted and smooth. Place in a bowl and cling wrap over the surface. Put in the fridge to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200*C. Prepare two baking trays lined with baking paper. Cut out 8 circles (about 5 inch) of the puff pastry and place on the baking trays. Prick surface with a fork repeatedly. Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden.

To make the Choux Pastry for the profiteroles, prepare two baking trays with baking paper and set the oven to 220*C. Place 250 ml water and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from heat, then, working quickly to avoid lumps, add all the flour, beating with a wooden spoon. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball and comes away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well before each addition. Pastry should be smooth, soft and just firm. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe small rounds onto the baking trays. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes until golden then reduce temperature to 180*C and bake for a further 25 minutes or until they have dried out and feel hollow. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

To make the Salted Caramel Mousseline, stir 2 tablespoons water, sugar, and cream of tartar in a saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until deep amber color forms, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; gradually add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve and mixture is smooth. Let cool.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat half of the chilled pastry cream and caramel sauce at medium speed. Gradually add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until fully incorporated between additions. Beat in salt and vanilla. Scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip and pipe into profiterole shells. Place in the fridge to set.

To make the Vanilla Glaze, mix the icing sugar and vanilla with enough water to created a runny glaze. Dip the tops of the profiteroles into the glaze and place back into the fridge to set.

To make the Chantilly Cream, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until thick and holds its shape. Place cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

To assemble, take one puff pastry disc and pipe a blob of cream in the middle. Take three profiteroles and place them evenly apart around the edge of the disc, supported by the cream. Pipe swirls of cream in between the profiteroles. Place one last profiterole on top.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Caramel Macadamia Slice

This slice rocks! I made it for my dad to take to a farewell party at his work and it was a big hit. I adore caramel and matched with a bit of chocolate and some crunchy macadamias it is such perfection. The original slice called for a layer of chocolate on top but I substituted for choc chips and I think it really worked.

And there is not much else to say except this is delicious, you should try it!

Caramel Macadamia Slice

Adapted from food.ninemsn

What you will need

1/3 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup plain flour
165g brown sugar
50g desiccated coconut
90g butter, melted
395g sweetened condensed milk
30g butter, extra
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamias
3/4 cup milk choc chips
3/4 cup caramel choc chips

What you will need to do

Preheat oven to 180*C and line a lamington pan with baking paper that extends over the sides. Sift flours and sugar into bowl, mix in coconut and butter. Press mixture evenly over base of pan. Bake 15 minutes. 
Meanwhile, stir condensed milk, extra butter and syrup in small saucepan over medium heat about 15 minutes or until caramel mixture is golden brown. Pour caramel over base and smooth with metal spatula. Press nuts into caramel with spatula. Bake 5 minutes then sprinkle both choc chips over the top and return to oven for further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in tray.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake

It is the month of luuuurve and you will fall in love with this Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake! This cake is so decadent which makes it perfect for sharing ;). If you are like me however and have a partner that doesn't 'believe' in Valentines day, you can make this cake and eat it all yourself!

I made two versions of this cake, one that is just mousse and raspberries inside a type of thin sponge cake and the other is layers of sponge, ganache, cream and mousse. Both are devine and use the same ingredients, it's up to you really to do whatever layers you want, get creative!

This recipe comes from my advanced bread and pastry text book that I received during my apprenticeship. It has been a great reference for me for reliable recipes and has introduced me to many new desserts and sweets. I have tagged many recipes to try and hopefully I will get around to all of them one day.

Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Cake

Adapted from Advanced Bread and Pastry by Michel Suas

What you will need

For the Biscuit Viennois
110g almond meal
110g icing sugar
50g egg yolks (approx 3 egg yolks)
90g eggs (approx 2 eggs)
200g egg whites (approx 6 egg whites)
20g sugar
45g cake flour
45g plain flour

For the Chocolate Mousse
300ml light cream
300g dark choc
90g egg yolks (approx 5)
90g sugar
30ml water
300ml heavy cream

Frozen raspberries
Cocoa for dusting

What you will need to do

To make the biscuit viennois, preheat oven to 200*C and prepare two baking trays with baking paper. Sift together the almond meal and icing sugar. Add the egg yolks and whole eggs, whip on high speed until tripled in volume. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and add sugar to make a medium stiff meringue. Fold the meringue into the whole egg mixture and fold in the sifted flours. Divide the mixture between the two trays and spread out evenly. Bake for about 7 minutes. Once baked, flip the sponges onto new pieces of baking paper and remove the old baking paper.

To make the chocolate mousse, make a ganache with the light cream and chocolate by bringing the cream to the boil then pouring over chocolate. Stir the ganache until smooth then set aside. Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook in a saucepan to 121*C. While it is cooking, begin whipping the egg yolks. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the yolks and whip on a medium-high speed until cool to the touch. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the egg yolk mixture to the ganache (which should be a similar temperature) then fold in the cream gently.

To assemble, cut out four strips of biscuit viennois to line four small loose bottomed cake tins (cheesecake tins). Cut out four circles the size of the bottom of the cake tins. Line the tins with the sponge and place a circle in the bottom of each. Half fill each tin with chocolate mousse. Place a layer of raspberries on top of the mousse then cover with another layer of mousse. Make sure the mousse is divided equally amongst the tins, if you have any excess biscuit viennois protruding the top just trim it off so that it is flush with the top of the mousse. Refrigerate over night.

When ready to serve, remove from tin and sprinkle with cocoa. You can add some raspberries for decoration too.