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Tart Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream!
Tart Tatin- Mama’s favourite ;) Happy Mothers Day to all the yummy Mummies! XXX
Brioche- with Custard and Chocolate.
One of my absolutely favourite smell, is the smell of freshly baked brioche. It’s that calm feeling you get when you smell freshly baked bread, but brioche is different. It’s richer, its buttery, it’s comforting. I can’t get enough! This recipe is a great way to expand on how to bake with brioche dough. By adding a sweet filling of custard and chocolate, it’s a great afternoon treat with a cup of tea, or a naughty breakfast on a weekend. The dough also holds well in the freezer, so why not have them ready, all you have to do is pop them in the oven! Recipe below, enjoy! 

How to make Chocolate and Custard Brioche Rolls.

To make the dough itself is rather easy- so I decided not to have a step-by-step photo to explain. Firstly weigh 120g butter and set aside to become room temperature. Weigh into a mixing bowl 263g plain flour, 30g caster sugar and 5g salt. Roughly mix the dry ingredients together. Once combined, weigh 6g instant yeast into the dry mix. In a measuring jug, weigh 132g eggs (crack approximately 4 eggs, whisk together and pass through a sieve before weighing.) and 45g whole milk. Using an electric mixer and a dough hook, slowly add the liquid into the dry ingredients on a slow speed. Once the all the liquid has been added, increase the speed to medium, allowing the dough to be kneaded. After 5 minutes on the machine, add the room temperature butter and continue on medium speed for a further 5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, (it will have a sticky consistency) covering it with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours. The first photo above was taken at this stage. 

Once chilled, it is easier to handle. Lightly dust the worktop with flour and roll the dough into a square, approximately 0.5cm thick. Once rolled, place on a baking sheet and place back in the fridge.

I used a simple creme patissier recipe. Bring to the boil 200g whole milk with one vanilla pod. In a separate bowl, weigh 50g caster sugar and whisk them with 3 egg yolks. Once combined, add 20g plain flour. Pour the hot milk onto the mix, whisking thoroughly making sure not to have any lumps. Remove the vanilla pod, and pour back into the pan and bring to the boil, making sure to be whisking constantly. When cooked, it should have a glossy, thick finish. Allow the creme patissier to cool before using onto the dough. I decided to pipe the creme patissier, which made it easier to spread onto the dough. Chop 100g dark chocolate and sprinkle onto the creme patissier. 

To roll the dough, it is important to make sure there are no gaps or air bubbles- this will become more visible once the dough has proved. Once rolled, I cling filmed the dough and placed it back in the fridge for 2 hours. This will make it easier to cut the dough later on. Once chilled, cut the dough using a sharp knife, approximately 2cm thick. (If you’d like to freeze some, I would recommend to freeze then now!) Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and allow it to prove. The proving time depends on the room temperature- I left mine for approximately 3 hours at room temperature. However- in a warm environment such as an airing cupboard, may take less time to prove. Once proved, I brushed them individually with egg wash to give it a golden, shiny finish once baked. Place in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Happy Birthday Aya! 

It was my darling Sister’s birthday on Christmas Day, so I wanted to make a cake tailored to her favourite flavours- chocolate and amaretti. Using this as a starting point, I decided to add orange, which compliments both chocolate and amaretto. 

The cake consisted of Dacquiose, a hazelnut based sponge, chocolate mousse infused with orange and Disaronno, finished with homemade Amaretti cookies and flakes almonds. All the components to the cake are quite simple and easy to make, but when put together it creates a beautiful and elegant cake. (just like Aya!) Recipes below, enjoy!

How to make Dacquoise Sponge.

Start by weighing 160g icing sugar, 100g ground hazelnuts, 50g ground almonds and 40g plain flour (Gluten free flour can be used) and place into a food processor to create a finer texture.

To make the French meringue, place 180g egg whites (approximately 5 eggs) into a clean bowl and whisk until foamy. Slowly add 60g sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the dry ingredients into the meringue in 2 stages, making sure not to knock out any air. 

Place the mixture into a lined cake tin and place in a pre-heated oven at 165 degrees for 12 minutes.

How to make Chocolate Mousse.

This recipe can be used to make a very simple Chocolate Mousse, served on its own. It can be poured into individual glasses and served as a dessert, or used as part of a cake. This recipe uses an Anglaise base, which gives it a lovely creamy texture.

First, melt 400g dark chocolate. (Milk chocolate can be substituted, but if you’d like to use white chocolate weigh 450g.) Set aside. Place 8g gelatine in cold water and set aside. 

Place 500ml whipping cream into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks. Keep in the fridge until needed.

To make the Anglaise, pour 325ml whole milk in a pan. Since this mousse is orange infused, zest 3 large oranges into the milk and bring to a gentle simmer. In a small bowl, weigh 20g yolks (approximately 1 egg yolk) and add 50g sugar. Mix by hand and pour the hot milk onto the yolks. Pour back into the pan and while on a low heat, whisk constantly while it heats. To make the perfect anglaise, the liquid must reach 83 degrees. This can be done by eye by using the ‘wooden spoon trick’. Dip the back of a wooden spoon with the anglaise and run your finger across it. If the line is still visible without the liquid dripping down, it is ready. Make sure not to overcook the anglaise- it will look like scrambled eggs! Once the anglaise is ready, take it off the heat and add the soaked gelatine. 

Now to make a ganache with the chocolate and anglaise. Pour one third of the anglaise into the chocolate and mix thoroughly using a rubber spatula. At this stage it is normal for it to look like the mix has split, there is not enough fat for the chocolate to be smooth. Continue by adding another third and mix until fully incorporated. After adding the remaining anglaise, the ganache will look silky smooth. At this stage, add 50ml Disaronno Liqueur and mix. Set aside for approximately 15 minutes to cool slightly. 

The final stage to this mousse is to mix the semi-whipped cream and ganache. Pour one third of the ganache into the semi-whipped cream and fold without knocking any air. Continue to add another third until all the ganache is mixed with the cream. 

The mousse is now ready, so simply pour into a bowl, cup, mug, martini glass or cake mould. Place in the fridge for one hour and it is ready to serve. For this particular recipe, make sure to line the sides of cake tin with acetate, with the Dacquoise on the base, before pouring in the mousse. Set in the freezer overnight. (Freezing the mousse at this stage makes it easier to maintain a beautiful shape.)

How to make Amaretti Cookies.

Amaretti cookies are very similar to macaron shells, but the ratio of the ingredients are slightly different, resulting in a firmer batter. 

Firstly make the French meringue. Separate 4 eggs and place the whites in a clean bowl. (Keep the yolks- they are used to make the chocolate mousse.) Start whisking the whites for a few seconds before slowly adding 340g caster sugar. Allow the whites to whip until soft peaks form, as seen in the picture.

Add 340g ground almonds, and fold into the meringue using a spatula making sure not to beat the air out of the meringue. Once all combined, add 20ml Disaronno liqueur and 10ml Almond Extract. 

Place in a piping bag with a 0.7cm nozzle and pipe onto a greaseproof paper. 

Place in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the amaretti. The cookies should have a light golden finish.

Green Tea Biscuits with White Chocolate.
Following from the Christmas post- here is the recipe for the Green Tea Biscuits! I made these for my colleagues at work to wish them all a Merry Christmas, and it certainly went down a treat! Edible gifts are always appreciated :) The recipe and decoration tips below, enjoy!

How to make Green Tea Biscuits.

Firstly sift together 240g plain flour and 15g matcha powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat 150g room temperature butter and 130g icing sugar until smooth. Add 2 egg yolks to the butter mix, one at a time, while mixing. Make sure the scrape down the sides of the bowl. I added a tablespoon of black sesame seeds at this stage, but this is optional. Finally add the flour mix until fully incorporated. Bring all dough onto a worktop and mould it into a ball using your hands. Cling film and set in the fridge for half an hour.

Once refrigerated, the dough will be easier to handle. Divide the dough into 4 and make a ballotine (a sausage-like shape using cling film). Set in the fridge for an hour.

How to cut and bake the Green Tea Biscuits.

One the dough has been refrigerated for an hour, it can be prepared into biscuits. Take the cling film off the dough and roll the entire dough in sugar. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 3mm thickness discs and place on a greaseproof paper. Make sure to place them with some space in between for the biscuits to expand. 

Place in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for 18 minutes. Once baked, remove from the tray and place on a cooling rack to retain the crunch.

How to Decorate the Green Tea Biscuits with White Chocolate.

These biscuits can be decorated as desired, but since I was making these for Christmas I decided to make a snowflake! Simply melt some white chocolate and place in a piping bag with a 2mm nozzle. The above pictures will show you how to draw a snowflake.

Merry Christmas everyone! A little treat for you all- Green Tea biscuits with white chocolate! The recipe will follow. Have a wonderful day will with love and joy!

Happy Birthday Mama!

It was my lovely Mama’s birthday over the weekend, so I decided to make a cake with her favourite festive ingredient- Chestnuts! 

I used the usual Chiffon sponge, the recipe for this will be in my previous post Japanese Style Birthday Cake. The cream itself was very simple- and assembling it all together was also easy! I decided to garnish this cake with a chocolate tuille. A recipe for this will follow on another post. 

The Birthday Girl certainly enjoyed the cake, so overall it was a success! Recipe below, enjoy! 

Building the Chestnut Cake.

At this stage you would’ve already made the sponge. I prepared 3 sponges in advance. 

To prepare the chestnut cream, beat 200g chestnut puree (usually from a tin) with a machine or by hand. Once smooth, add 500g double cream and 80g icing sugar. Mix by hand using a whisk until fully incorporated. Once it has all come together, whip the cream with an electric whisk until still peaks. 

To start building the cake, place the first sponge on a cake board and put a good dollop of the cream. Spread evenly to cover all the surface. I decided to put pears and marron glacier (candid chestnuts) through the layers. The crunch from the pears and the chewiness of the candid chestnuts were a lovely addition to texture from the sponge and cream. The photo above shows how many pears and chestnuts I put on each layer. Add another dollop of cream onto the pears and chestnuts, covering them fully. Place the second sponge and repeat this process for the second layer, until you end up with the third sponge on top. 

Cover the entire cake with the same chestnut cream, making sure to smooth the surface. Garnish as shown, or enjoy it simply- an elegant finish with a few candid chestnuts on top.