{Chocolate Chip Cookies} – Fursecuri cu ciocolata

chocolate chip cookies

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookies for ages and I think I finally found that perfect chewy, flavorful, rich cookie that burst in your mouth with bitter-sweet pieces of chocolate and it’s perfect with a cup of tea or a glass of milk. I tried quite a few chocolate chip cookie recipes before and none of them proved to be as good as this one which is why they never made it to the blog. Unlike most recipes, this one doesn’t start by creaming butter and sugar. Instead, it uses browned butter and the mixing process is much easier and straight forward. In fact, the only thing that is more time-consuming while making it is the butter browning step – other than that, it’s piece of cake and the result is amazing. My inspiration for this recipe was Top with Cinnamon with a few changes, the main one being reducing the sugar content, which I always do because my taste buds like sweetness, but with good measure. It’s only a personal matter though so feel free to use the exact amount of sugar as Izy (btw, she’s 18, can you believe that?! she’s 18 and bakes such amazing things!).

It’s the browned butter that gives these cookies their distinctive flavor and makes them as chewy and rich as they are. The process of turning the butter into a rich, brown, fatty liquid is easy with one mention – do use a deep dish baking pan as it tends to splash, especially if you don’t use a good quality butter. I used a very shallow pan and only half of my butter was 80% fat, the other half was 60% fat so the water content made it splash quite a lot and the shallow pan contributed to it as well. You can only imagine how my stove looked after. Oh the joy of cleaning! But brown butter is well worth it! Its nutty flavor is unique and gives any recipe used into a lovely aroma that you can hardly put your finger on, but it’s definitely there and enriching every single bite.

chocolate chip cookies

{Chocolate Chip Cookies}
 
Author:
Serves:: ~20 cookies
Ingredients:
  • 140g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 230g all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100g white sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped (I used a mix of 60% and milk chocolate)
Directions:
  1. Melt the butter in a deep dish saucepan. Once melted, continue cooking it over low to medium flame until it looks golden brown and smells nutty. You will also notice that a few brown, almost burnt bits at the bottom of the pan. Remove the butter from heat and let it cool 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the butter and egg over the dry ingredients and mix just until combined - don't overmix the batter. It will look somehow grainy, crumbly but don't worry, it's fine.
  4. Take an ice cream scoop and fill it with dough, packing it well. Drop each cookie on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. I didn't have an ice cream scoop so instead I took pieces of dough and shaped them in a bowl between the palm of my hands, packing them well.
  5. Once the cookies are formed, place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 1 hour, up to 72 hours. I left the cookies in the freezer for 12 hours, but the original recipe says that the longer they stay in the freezer, the better the taste and texture so that's something to experiment with.
  6. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven at 400F for 8-12 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown but the center remains soft. Don't bake them more than 12 minutes as they will harden after removed from the oven.
  7. Let the cookies cool in the pan and store them in an airtight container.

chocolate chip cookies


ROMANIAN!

Stiti fursecurile acelea americane moi, cumva lipicioase, aromate?! Ei bine, am tot cautat o reteta care sa se apropie de ceea ce definesc eu fursec american cu bucati de ciocolata si intr-un final am gasit-o. Cred ca am incercat in jur de 5-6 retete pana acum dar niciuna nu a avut rezultatele asteptate, motiv pentru care nici nu au ajuns pe blog. Aceasta reteta este o adaptare dupa Top with Cinnamon – blog scris de Izy, o fata de 18 ani din Marea Britanie care face treaba asta de la 15 ani, impresionant, nu?! In plus, tocmai si-a publicat propria carte de retete asa ca va invit sa aruncati un ochi la ea pe blog.

Aceasta reteta a fost o surpriza tare placuta. Nu doar ca fursecurile sunt delicioase, dar sunt si usor de facut si, in plus, au ca ingredient aromatic principal untul, topit pana aproape de punctul in care se arde. Acest procedeu se numeste browning butter in engleza si inseamna de fapt topirea untului si apoi fierberea, prajirea lui pana devine auriu si capata o aroma deosebita, interesanta si destul de greu de descris. Mai mult decat atat, odata puse in tava fursecurile pot fi congelate si coapte mai tarziu, ceea ce reprezinta un avantaj enorm atunci cand timpul e scurt. Eu am facut cateva mici schimbari, cea mai importanta fiind faptul ca am redus din zahar cu riscul de a mai pierde putin din textura, caci desi imi place dulcele, il prefer putin mai moderat.

Ingrediente:

  • 140g unt
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 230g faina alba
  • 3/4 lingurita praf de copt
  • 1/2 lingurita bicarbonat de sodiu
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 100g zahar alb
  • 50g zahar brun
  • 1 ou
  • 15og ciocolata neagra (eu am folosit un amestec de ciocolata neagra si ciocolata cu lapte)

Mod de preparare:

  1. Puneti untul intr-un vas, de preferinta unul adanc, si topiti-l la foc mic. Odata topit, tineti vasul pe foc mic pana untul devine auriu. Stati aproape caci se poate arde foarte usor si aveti grija caci in functie de continutul de apa al untului, s-ar putea sa sara, sa improaste unt fierbinte imprejur.
  2. Luati untul auriu de pe foc si lasati 10 minute sa se racoreasca. Adaugati extractul de vanilie.
  3. Intr-un bol, amestecati ingredientele uscate, apoi adaugati untul si oul si amestecati cu o lingura pana la incorporare. Aluatul va arata oarecum nisipos, dar nu fiti tentati sa mai adaugati apa sau alt lichid.
  4. Formati bile de aluat si asezati-le pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt.
  5. Dati tava la congelator intr 1 ora si 72 ore. Cu cat stau mai mult la rece, cu atat au mai multa aroma si o textura mai buna.
  6. Cand sunteti gata sa le coaceti, preincalziti cuptorul la 200C si coaceti pentru 8-12 minute sau pana marginile sunt aurii, dar mijlocul este inca moale si pufos. Nu coaceti mai mult de atat caci oricum se intaresc dupa ce se racesc.
  7. lasati-le sa se raceasca in tava si pastrati-le intr-un vas etans.

chocolate chip cookies

{Homemade Raffaello Truffles} – Bomboane Raffaello

homemade raffaello
Coconut is one of my favorite flavors. I find it easy to combine with most ingredients, from chocolate to berries, mango, lime or any other fruit. It’s delicate, but fragrant enough to catch ones attention in any dessert so it gives me plenty of options when creating a dessert. But these Raffaello truffles are a classic – inspired by the well-known brand, these homemade ones get very close to the original, but you get to make them at home so I prefer them, although they’re not exactly low in calories or light. The recipe uses sweetened condensed milk, coconut and almonds as a filling and taste amazing. Mind you, I can’t resist these, they were my guilty pleasure for Christmas over the last 2 years.
{Homemade Raffaello Truffles}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 200g butter, room temperature
  • 70g powdered sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 150g powdered milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 100g desiccated coconut + extra for rolling the truffles
  • 100g almonds, peeled and toasted
Directions:
  1. Mix the butter with the powdered sugar until creamy and smooth, at least 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla, followed by the powdered milk and desiccated coconut.
  3. Place the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour to harden.
  4. Take spoonfuls of this mixture and form small balls between the palm of your hands.
  5. Add an almond in the center and shape into a perfect ball. Roll each truffle through shredded coconut.
  6. Place them all into special truffle papers. That's it! Simple as that!

ROMANIAN!
Ingrediente:
  • 200g unt moale
  • 80g zahar pudra
  • 1/2 cana lapte condensat
  • 150g lapte praf
  • 1 lingura extract de vanilie
  • 100g fulgi de nuca de cocos + extra pentru decorat
  • 100g migdale decojite si prajite (sau alune de padure)
Mod de preparare:
  1. Se mixeaza untul cu zaharul pudra pana devine cremos, apoi se adauga laptele condensat si vanilia. Se incorporeaza laptele praf si nuca de cocos.
  2. Se iau 1-2 linguri din acest amestec, se aseaza o migdala in centru si se formeaza o bila. Se da fiecare bomboana prin nuca de cocos si se aseaza in hartii speciale de bomboane. Si gata, asta e tot!

{Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake} – Tort de post cu mousse de ciocolata

I’ve been wanting to try avocado chocolate mousse ever since I read about it and I finally find an excuse to make it – a challenge to come up with a few vegan desserts. And God, I was impressed! It’s beyond delicious, I’m telling you! It’s creamy, rich, luscious and has an intense chocolate taste – you can barely tell it doesn’t have eggs, milk, cream or butter. My son said it’s so good that you just can’t eat it! And that’s huge because he’s a bigger chocholic than I am and he has some fine taste buds when it comes to chocolate desserts! I used this chocolate avocado mousse to create this amazing vegan chocolate mousse cake – a delicacy for the taste buds and sight and I hope you’ll like as much as we did.

And because chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, I decided to add a peanut butter mousse center to the cake as well, but it’s not compulsory. You can replace the peanut butter center with fruits, such as berries, or even skip adding any extra layer apart from the sponge and chocolate mousse.

vegan chocolate mousse cake

The sponge was a huge surprise. For a sponge made with only flour, water, cocoa powder and baking soda, it turned out incredibly fluffy and rich and tastes amazing. Now imagine a fluffy, moist sponge, topped with thick layer of chocolate mousse anda peanut butter insert, all covered with a liscious chocolate glaze! Isn’t that the heaven for every chocoholic?! It definitely is! Moreover, the cake is made with a special kind kind of sugar called Green Sugar – it is made of Stevia extract and erytrithol and looks just like regular, granulated sugar. It melts easily and tastes great and it is slightly sweeter than normal sugar. But the great thing about it is that it has just as many uses as regular sugar does and that is so important for cakes, cupcakes or other desserts! The manufacturer also says it has zero calories and zero glycemic index. but you can use regular sugar or your favorite sweetener instead of this.

4.8 from 4 reviews
{Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake} - Tort de post cu mousse de ciocolata
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Chocolate sponge:
  • 105g all-purpose flour
  • 15g dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 70g Green Sugar (100g white sugar)
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 125ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Peanut Butter Mousse:
  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled in the fridge over night
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Green Sugar (or white sugar; add more if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Avocado Mousse:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 100g dark chocolate (vegan), melted
  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 100g Green Sugar (or white sugar as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut milk (can be replaced with water)
Chocolate glaze:
  • 70g dark chocolate, chopped (vegan chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (can be replaced with vegetable oil)
Candied Clementines:
  • 2 small clementines
  • ½ cup Green Sugar (or white sugar)
  • ½ cup water
Directions:
Chocolate Sponge:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F – 175C and line one round baking pan (18cm diameter) with baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and give it a quick mix just until combined. It doesn’t matter if the batter is still slightly lumpy. Don’t be tempted to over mix it as it will influence the texture of the baked sponge.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  5. When done, remove from the oven and let the sponge cool in the pan. If needed, level up the cake and place it back into the cake pan as that is where you will assemble the cake. Place aside.
  6. The sponge is quite moist, but if you want it even moister you can soak it up slightly in a sugar syrup. If you plan to do it, this is the time to do so.
Peanut Butter Mousse:
  1. Place the coconut milk can in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, open the can and carefully drain put the liquid. What’s left is the thick fat of the coconut milk and that is what you will be using for your mousse.
  3. Transfer the thick coconut cream into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until it becomes airy.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spoon the mousse into a pastry bag then pipe it into the center of the cake, leaving the edges of the sponge clear. Of course, you can cover the sponge in peanut butter mousse completely, but I wanted to create a nice pattern when cut.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 5-7 minutes or until smooth.
  2. Add coconut milk (or water) as needed to thin is down.
  3. Spoon the mousse over the peanut butter and level it up well.
  4. Refrigerate the cake overnight.
  5. The next day, remove the cake from the pan and transfer it on a platter.
Chocolate Glaze:
  1. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a hot water bath or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Let the glaze cool to room temperature then pour it over the cake, allowing it to drip off the edges.
  3. Refrigerate the cake.
Candied Clementines:
  1. Cut the clementines into thin slices.
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add the clementine slices and cook over medium flame for 10-15 minutes until the syrup begins to thicken.
  4. Turn the heat off and let the clementines cool in the syrup.
  5. Drain and transfer the clementine slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Cook in the preheated oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until the clementines begin to slightly caramelize.
  7. Remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.
  8. Decorate the cake with candied clementines. I also used chopped mixed nuts not only for decor, but also for texture.
  9. Serve the cake chilled!

vegan chocolate mousse cakeROMANIAN!

Si iata-ma la cea de-a doua reteta de post. Si poate una dintre cele mai bune deserturi din ultima perioada, cu toate ca probabil sunt subiectiva caci acest tort combina doua ingrediente pe care le ador: ciocolata si unt de arahide. Fiecare component al acestui tort m-a impresionat: incepand de la blatul atat de simplu si totusi atat de pufos si umed, cu un gust intens de ciocolata. Pentru un blat atat de simplu si rapid, e chiar delicios!

Al doilea strat al tortului e un strat de mousse de unt de arahide si lapte de cocos (partea groasa a laptelui de cocos sau tofu pentru cei care il prefera) insa stratul cel mai consistent al acestui tort este mousse-ul de ciocolata. Realizat cu avocado si ciocolata din belsug, acest mousse redefineste termenul de gustos si sanatos. M-a surprins cu delicatetea si cremozitatea lui. Cu greu iti dai seama ca mousse-ul nu are pic de frisca lichida ori vegetala (care de obicei contine urme de lapte oricum, deci nu poti sti sigur ca e de post), nu are unt, nu are lapte, nu are oua… insa are un ingredient minunat si extrem de sanatos – avocado – acel fruct care inca nu este prea cunoscut la noi, insa e foarte consumat in tarile tropicale si foarte apreciat pentru calitatile lui nutritive.

In plus, tortul nu are nici zahar, ci e indulcit cu Green Sugar – Green Sugar este un îndulcitor 100% natural, cu zero calorii și zero indice glicemic, pe baza de extract uscat din frunze de Stevia Rebaudiana și eritritol, obținut din porumb, prin procesul natural de fermentație, în prezența drojdiei Moniella pollinis. Spre deosebire de alți îndulcitori pe bază de stevie, Green Sugar este singurul de pe piață al cărui gust a fost stabilizat, ceea ce face ca el să nu modifice (cu amăreala specifică șteviei) gustul alimentelor în care este folosit, nici măcar în urma procesului de gătire la temperaturi înalte. Astfel puteți continua să preparați prăjiturile și sucurile preferate, fără teama de a compromite gustul original.  

Acest post face parte dintr-o campanie “Dulciuri de post” organizata de Green Sugar si Gustos.ro, iar retetele postate de mine si de ceilalti bloggeri participanti le puteti gasi aici.

Ingrediente:

Blat de ciocolata:

  • 105g faina alba
  • 15g cacao negra
  • 1/2 lingurita bircabonat de sodiu
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 70g Green Sugar (100g zahar normal)
  • 50ml ulei vegetal
  • 125ml apa rece
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1/2 lingurita otet de mere

Mousse de unt de arahide:

  • 1 conserva lapte de cocos (fara aditivi sau emulsificatori)
  • 4 linguri unt de arahide
  • 2 linguri Green Sugar (sau zahar normal dupa gust)
  • 1/2 lingurita extract de vanilie

Mousse de avocado si ciocolata:

  • 2 avocado, bine copti
  • 100g ciocolata neagra (cititi eticheta pentru a fi siguri ca e de post), topita
  • 2 linguri cacao neagra
  • 100g Green Sugar (sau zahar normal dupa gust)
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 3-4 linguri lapte de cocos
  • 1 lingura ulei de cocos

Glazura de ciocolata:

  • 70g ciocolata neagra cu procent mare de cacao (verificati eticheta pentru a fi siguri ca e de post)
  • 2 lingurite ulei de cocos

Clementine confiate:

  • 2 clementine mici
  • 1/2 cana Green Sugar (sau zahar normal)
  • 1/2 cana apa

Mod de preparare:

Blat de ciocolata:

  1. Cerneti faina, cacaoa, bicarbonatul si sarea intr-un bol.
  2. Adaugati restul ingredientelor si amestecati rapid, doar pana la omogenizare, nu mai mult. Cu cat amestecati mai mult cu atat bicarbonatul se va activa si se vor forma acele gauri inestetice in blat.
  3. Turnati blatul intr-o forma de tort cu diametrul de 18cm tapetata cu hartie de copt si coaceti la 180C pentru 20-30 minute sau pana trece testul scobitorii.
  4. Lasati blatul sa se raceasca in tava. Tot in aceasta tava veti monta si tortul asa ca nici nu e nevoie sa mai scoateti blatul din forma. Doar treceti cu un cutit pe margini pentru a desprinde blatul de laturile formei si nivelati blatul daca considerati necesar. De asemenea, tot acum puteti insiropa blatul usor, eu insa am sarit acest pas caci blatul mi s-a parut suficient de umed.

Mousse de unt de arahide:

  1. Puneti conserva de lapte de cocos la frigider peste noapte.
  2. A doua zi, desfaceti conserva si scurgeti lichidul, apa de cocos.
  3. Transferati crema de cocos, partea solida, intr-un bol si mixati cu un mixer electric pana devine pufoasa.
  4. Adaugati Green Sugar (zaharul), vanilia si untul de arahide si mixati bine.
  5. Transferati amestecul intr-un pos si turnati crema prin posul in centrul blatului, lasand marginile libere pentru a fi umplute cu mousse. Evident, puteti acoperi blatul in intregime, dar eu am vrut sa obtin o taietura interesanta.

Mousse de ciocolata si avocado:

  1. Combinati toate ingredientele in vasul robotului de bucatarie.
  2. Mixati pana obtineti o crema fina, onctuoasa.
  3. Turnati crema (turnati e mult spus, caci crema obtinuta e groasa, ca un ganache batut) peste mousse-ul de unt de arahide si nivelati tortul bine.
  4. Dati la rece peste noapte.

Glazura de ciocolata:

  1. Topiti ciocolata cu uleiul de cocos pe baie de aburi sau la microunde.
  2. Lasati ciocolata sa vina la temperatura camerei si turnati peste tort.
  3. Decorati dupa preferinta si serviti tortul de la rece.

Clementine confiate:

  1. Taiati clementinele felii subtiri.
  2. Combinati apa cu Green Sugar intr-un vas si dati in clocot.
  3. Adaugati feliile de clementine si fierbeti-le in sirop pentru 10-15 minute.
  4. Luati de pe foc si lasati sa se raceasca apoi scurgeti clementimele bine si asezti-le pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt.
  5. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 190C pentru 10-15 minute sau pana feliile incep sa se caramelizeze usor.
  6. Scoateti din cuptor si lasati sa se raceasca complet apoi folositi ca decor. Tot drept decor, dar si pentru textura, am folosit un mix de alune si migdale.

vegan chocolate mousse cake

 

vegan chocolate mousse cake

{Carrot Cake} – Tort cu morcovi

This must be my second time making carrot cake. The first time happened years ago and I wasn’t this experienced with recipes and ingredients so I chose a recipe that had too much vegetable oil. As you might expect, I ended up with an oily, quite dense cake that tasted like oil and sugar rather than a good cake, therefore I didn’t like it. But I decided to give it one more try today and this is what I made – an airy, moist, fragrant carrot cake with bits of crushed pineapple and walnuts, filled and frosted with a rich, smooth cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream flavored with plenty of vanilla and a touch of orange zest. And surprise! I love it so much that I had two slices as I was taking pictures and I am incredibly tempted to have a third slice. Someone stop me now!!! This cake is addictive! If you love spices as bold flavors as much as I do, you will fall in love with this cake. I’m mainly saying this for those of you who never had carrot cake before – I didn’t until a few years ago as adding veggies to desserts is definitely something unusual for Romanians.

carrot cake

The moist layers of cake and the rich, creamy, luscious filling are a match made in heaven! The sponge truly surprised me because ever since my other try, I had no real expectations and I’ve kept delaying making this cake for that reason.  But here it is – a second try and one of the best cakes I had lately (except entremets, of course, but they are a different category). I’m seriously addicted to this stuff and I’m thinking to make one that has ginger and star anise as spices, just to be in tone with the season or maybe one that uses grated pumpkin instead of carrot. Gotta love a versatile recipe!

5.0 from 4 reviews
{Carrot Cake}
 
Author:
Serves:: 6-8 servings
Ingredients:
Carrot Cake
  • 200ml vegetable oil (sunflower oil, canola oil)
  • 200g white sugar
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 280g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teapsoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 200g grated carrots
  • 100g shredded coconut
  • 200g crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 70g walnuts, toasted and chopped
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 130g white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 145g butter, softened
  • 300g cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (optional)
  • Toasted shredded coconut to decorate
Candied Carrot Curls:
  • 2 small carrots
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup water
Directions:
Carrot cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F - 175C - and line your round cake pans with baking paper. I used 2 small pans of 18cm diameter then cut the cake in half to make 4 layers, but you can use bigger pans, keeping in mind that a bigger pan won't yield 4 layers, but 2 or 3.
  2. Sift the flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Combine the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla and orange zest in a bowl and mix until double in volume and light in color.
  4. Gently stir in the flour, either with your mixer on low speed or with a spatula.
  5. Fold in the crushed pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  7. When done, remove the pans from the oven and let the cakes cool completely.
  8. Level up the cakes if needed and cut them in half lengthwise. (Remember that if you used a bigger pan, cutting in half may not be possible anymore)
Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Place the bowl over a hot water bath (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl) and heat the mixture up until the sugar is melted, mixing all the time.
  3. Once the sugar is melted and the mixture is frothy and hot, remove from heat and using an electric mixer, mix the whites for 8-10 minutes or until the bowl cools down completely and the whites turn into a stiff and glossy meringue.
  4. Add the butter, all at once, and mix on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Once you add the butter, the mixture will become soupy, but keep mixing. A few minutes later, it will curdle up, but keep mixing. 2 more minutes and it will become creamy and so so delicious!
  5. Spoon the cream cheese in a different bowl and stir in the vanilla and orange zest. Mix it well with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth.
  6. Add the buttercream you made earlier, spoon by spoon and mix until well incorporated.
  7. It's done when you've incorporated all the buttercream.
  8. At this point, if you want it sweeter, you can add some powdered sugar. If not, use it to fill your cakes.
  9. Reserve about ⅓ of the buttercream to frost the cake.
  10. Once covered in buttercream, cover the sides of the cake with toasted shredded coconut or coconut flakes.
Candied Carrot Curls:
  1. Wash your carrots well then using a vegetable peeler, peel thin ribbons of carrot.
  2. Mix the water with sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium flame.
  3. Bring to a boil then add the carrot ribbons.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the syrup becomes thick and the carrot ribbons become slightly translucent.
  5. Remove from heat and let the carrot peels cool in the syrup.
  6. Drain the carrot ribbons and spread them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Cook in the preheated oven at 350F - 175C - for 10-15 minutes just until they begin to become slightly golden brown. What happens is that the sugar begins to caramelize. Watch them closely as they burn easily.
  8. Remove from the oven and while still warm (not hot as caramelized sugar burns easily) wrap them around the handle of a wooden spoon (or around some Chinese chosticks in my case) and let them cool completely. If the ribbons in the pan begin to harden and are difficult to curl, place the pan back in the oven for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Decorate the cake with carrot curls and serve it chilled.

carrot cakecarrot cake


ROMANIAN!

E a doua incercare de a face tort cu morcovi si abia acum pot spune ca am descoperit cat e de delicios. Prima incercare a fost oarecum ratata caci blatul mi-a iesit dens si cam uleios iar crema era mai degraba o supa decat o crema. Acum insa am tras lozul castigator cu aceasta reteta – blatul e umed exact cat trebuie, iar crema… oh, crema e minunata, m-am indragostit de aroma si cremozitatea ei. Nu e nici prea dulce, nici prea untoasa, insa e foarte cremoasa si aromata, cu toate ca necesita ceva timpi de preparare. Insa merita, va promit!

Ingrediente:

Tort de morcovi:

  • 200ml ulei vegetal (nu de masline)
  • 200g zahar alb
  • 80g zahar brun
  • 3 oua mari
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1 lingurita coaja rasa de portocala
  • 280g faina alba
  • 1 lingurita bicarbonat de sodiu
  • 1 1/2 lingurite praf de copt
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 1 lingurita pudra de scortisoara
  • 200g morcovi rasi
  • 100g nuca de cocos
  • 200g ananas maruntit (scurs de sirop)
  • 70g miez de nuca, tocat

Crema de branza si unt:

  • 3 albusuri
  • 130g zahar
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 1 lingurite extract de vanilie
  • 1 lingurita coaja rasa de portocala
  • 145g unt la temperatura camerei
  • 300g crema de branza la temperatura camerei
  • 2-4 linguri zahar pudra (optional)
  • Nuca de cocos pesntru decor

Morcov confiat:

  • 2 morcovi mici
  • 2/3 cana apa
  • 2/3 cana zahar

Mod de preparare:

Tort de morcovi:

  1. Prancalziti cuptorul la 175C si tapetati doua sau trei tavi de tort cu hartie de copt. Eu am folosit 2 tavi de 18cm diametru, iar blatul obtinut l-am taiat in doua astfel incat mi-au iesit 4 straturi, insa puteti folosit si tavi mai mari cu mentiunea ca probabil nu veti mai avea cum sa taiati blatul si veti obtine doua sau trei straturi.
  2. Cerneti faina, bicarbonatul, praful de copt, sarea si scortisoara intr-un bol.
  3. In alt bol, mixati ouale cu zaharul (si alb si brun), uleiul, vanilia si coaja d portocala pana isi dubleaza volumul si amestecul devine deschis la culoare.
  4. Dati mixerul pe viteza mica si incorporati faina.
  5. Adaugati ananasul, morcovii, nuca de cocos si alunele si incorporati-le cu o spatula.
  6. Turnati aluatul in mod egal in tavile pregatite si coaceti pana trece testul scobitorii, in jur de 30-40 minute, in functie de marimea tavii. Cel mai bine e sa verificati blaturile dupa jumatate de ora caci daca le coaceti prea mult vor iesi prea uscate.
  7. Cand sunt gata, scoateti tavile din cuptor si lasati blaturile sa se raceasca in tavi, apoi nivelati-le si taiati in jumatate pe orizontala.

Crema de branza si unt:

  1. Amestecati albusurile cu zaharul si sarea intr-un bol rezistent la caldura.
  2. Puneti bolul pe baie de aburi (aveti grija ca bolul sa nu atinga suprafata apei) si infierbantati compozitia, amestecand mereu cu un tel pana cand obtineti o compozitie spumoasa si fierbinte iar zaharul se topeste complet.
  3. Luati bolul de pe baia de aburi si folosind un mixer electric, mixati albusurile 8-10 minute pana obtineti o bezea ferma si lucioasa iar bolul se raceste complet.
  4. Adaugati untul, tot o data si mixati cel putin 5 minute pana obtineti o crema fina. Imediat dupa ce adaugati untul, crema va deveni aproape lichida. Nu va ingrijorati, ci continuati sa mixati. Dupa alte cateva minute, crema va arata ca si cand s-a taiat, insa nu va faceti griji caci sunteti pe drumul cel bun. Dupa inca 1-2 minute veti obtine o crema de unt minunata.
  5. Intr-un alt bol, mixati crema de branza cu vanilia si coaja de portocala pana devine cremoasa si fina. Adaugati crema de unt, lingura dupa lingura, si mixati pana obtineti o crema fina, onctuoasa.
  6. Daca doriti crema mai dulce, mai adaugati zahar pudra, daca nu, lasati-o asa, caci e perfecta.
  7. Umpleti tortul cu aceasta crema, pastrand cam o treime pentru a-l acoperi.
  8. Acoperiti tortul intr-un start subtire de crema si decorati marginile cu nuca de cocos.

Morcov confiat:

  1. Folosind un peeler de legume, taiati fasii foarte subtiri de morcov.
  2. Combinati apa si zaharul intr-un vas si dati in clocot pe foc mediu.
  3. Adaugati morcovul si fierbeti 10-15 minute pana siropul se ingroasa.
  4. Luati de pe foc si lasati morcovul sa se raceasca in sirop.
  5. Scurgeti siropul si asezati fasiile de morcov pe o tava de copt tapetata cu hartie de copt.
  6. Coaceti la 180C pentru 10-15 minute sau pana morcovul (de fapt siropul de zahar) incepe sa se caramelizeze usor.
  7. Scoateti din cuptor si cat e inca cald (dar nu fierbinte caci e periculos de fierbinte) infasurati fasiile de morcov pe coada unei linguri de lemn pentru a obtine acele spirale.
  8. Lasati sa se raceasca complet apoi decorati tortul.
  9. Serviti tortul de la rece.

 

carrot cake

 

carrot cake

{Treacle Tart} – Tarta englezeasca cu melasa

treacle tart

I’ve been wanting to try out this tart for like forever! The ingredient list really intrigued me so here it is – Treacle Tart at its finest! It is said to have been invented by the poor families of the 1888’s considering that its two main ingredients are fairly cheap, even for that time. Now that I’ve tried it and satisfied my craving I can honestly say that I like it, but I find it to be a little too sweet for my taste. It’s not the recipe, it’s just the technique and how the recipe it’s usually made. Golden syrup is extremely sweet and so is the tart.

On the other hand, it is a matter of taste. I took this tart to a family reunion and everyone loved it and praised its sweet, intense taste. It’s just me who doesn’t like sweet desserts, as weird as that sounds given the fact that I am a pastry chef. Normally my recipes are well-balanced and often the sugar is reduced to as little as possible which is good not only taste wise, but also nutritional wise. But the intense sweetness is the staple of this tart so do give it a try if you think you can handle it, the flavor is well worth it!

{Treacle Tart} – Tarta englezeasca cu melasa
 
Ingredients:
Tart Crust:
  • 220g all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 110g butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2-4 tablespoons cold water
Filling:
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 350g golden syrup
  • 30g treacle
  • 50ml heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 120g breadcrumbs
  • 40g ground hazelnuts
Directions:
  1. To make the tart crust, combine the flour, butter, salt and egg in your food processor.
  2. Pulse until well combined then add 2-4 tablespoons of water to bring the dough together. Add the water gradually until the dough becomes easy to work with.
  3. Place the dough on your floured working surface and roll it between two sheets of baking powder until it has 3-4 mm thickness.
  4. Transfer the dough in a tart pan and press it well on the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim off the edges if needed.
  5. Place a sheet of baking paper into the pan over the dough and fill the pan with baking beans. This is called blind baking and it basically means baking the crust before filling it. If you were to fill it while still raw, the crust would absorb part of the filling and become mushy, doughy. Blind baking ensures the crust remains crisp and perfectly baked.
  6. Bake the crust in the preheated oven at 330F for 15 minutes.
  7. Once the crust is baked, remove from the oven and place it aside, removing the beans.
  8. To make the filling, combine the butter, golden syrup, treacle and heavy cream in a saucepan and melt them together over medium heat.
  9. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool down slightly.
  10. Stir in the eggs, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest and breadcrumbs and mix well. Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 330F (160C) for 30-40 additional minutes until the filling looks set.
  11. Slice the tart when chilled and serve.
Notes
The ground hazelnuts give the tart a nutty flavor which I loved, but feel free to replace them with breadcrumbs if you like.

ROMANIAN!

Tarta asta are origini englezesti si e destul de simpla, folosind pesmet si melasa pentru umplutura. Cu toate ca mi-a placut tarta, trebuie sa recunosc ca mi s-a parut putin prea dulce. Totusi, e o chestie de preferinta personala caci am dus tarta la o intalnire cu familia si lumea s-a batut pe ea. Din punct de vedere al aromelor, e minunata! Crusta crocanta si umplutura lipicioasa, oarecum gumoasa sunt o combinatie delicioasa. E o tarta ce ma duce cu gandul la toamna, la anotimpul rece, e un desert consistent si aromat, numai bun pentru perioada asta a anului. Melasa – treacle – am primit-o din Anglia, deci nu as sti sa va indrum spre un magazin in Romania de unde o puteti cumpara. Dati-mi de stire daca aveti cunostinta de asa ceva la noi, va rog! Cat despre siropul auriu, cred ca il puteti inlocui cu un sirop gros de zahar ars, caci are cam acelasi gust.

Ingrediente:

 Crusta:

  • 220g faina alba
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 110g unt rece, cuburi
  • 1 ou
  • 2-4 linguri apa rece

Umplutura:

  • 50g unt, cuburi
  • 350g sirop auriu
  • 30g melasa
  • 50ml frisca lichida
  • 2 oua
  • 1 galbenus
  • 1 lingura suc de lamaie
  • 1 lingurita coaja de lamaie
  • 120g pesmet
  • 40g alune de padure macinate

Mod de preparare:

  1. Pentru crusta, combinati faina, sarea, untul si oul in vasul robotului de bucatarie. Pulsati pana sunt bine amestecate apoi adaugati treptat apa rece, lingura dupa lingura, pana obtineti un aluat usor de lucrat.
  2. Transferati aluatul pe masa de lucru infainata si intindeti-l intr-o foaie subtire de 3-4mm grosime. Cu grija, transferati aluatul intr-o tava de tarta si taiati excesul de aluat daca e nevoie.
  3. Asezati o foaie de copt peste aluat in tava si umpleti crusta cu boabe de fasole sau orez. Coaceti la 160C pentru 15 minute.
  4. Scoateti crusta din cuptor si inlaturati boabele de fasole.
  5. Pentru umplutura, combinati untul cu siropul auriu, frisca si melasa intr-un vas. Puneti vasul pe foc si topiti ingredientele impreuna.
  6. Luati de pe foc si adaugati restul ingredientelor in ordinea listata.
  7. Turnati umplutura in crusta pe jumatate coapta si coaceti la 160C pentru 30-40 minute pana cand tarta e aurie.
  8. Scoateti tarta din cuptor si lasati-o sa se raceasca inainte de a o felia.

treacle tart

treacle tart

 

treacle tart