{Red Wine Chocolate Cake} – Tort cu ciocolata si vin rosu

red wine chocolate cake

Chocolate and red wine is a combination that always tingles my taste buds. The dark, bittersweet chocolate and the ruby red wine make up the perfect picture in my mind. It’s a romantic combination, something I imagine having with my loved one on a special day or romantic dinner – although this combination is not for everyone. I happen to know people who would never put these two together and I know that even sommeliers have different opinions on this. But they do agree on one thing – whenever you are looking to pair the two of them, match sweetness with sweetness. That being said, a sweeter wine pairs better with chocolate and the two tastes will engage into a powerful taste on your palate, both looking to draw your attention. If you ever had red wine and chocolate, you know what I’m talking about – that intense flavor of wine and chocolate, lingering on your palate, tingling your taste buds. The better the wine and the chocolate used for this red wine chocolate cake, the better the result. I used a sweet red wine, a no name brand which I quite like drinking once in a while and a dark chocolate of 60+% cocoa content for the sponge. A mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate was used for the frosting because I thought a bit more sweetness was needed to balance the final taste.

red wine chocolate cake

It truly is the perfect chocolate cake, but you do need to enjoy an occasional glass of red wine to fully taste and understand its bold aroma. The red wine gives the cake a fudgy texture and a rich flavor that you will definitely notice. Do keep in mind that the alcohol doesn’t fully bake out so it’s not a cake recommended for kids. In addition to this, the ganache also includes quite a lot of rum-based homemade vanilla extract. But you can replace the wine with water and vanilla extract with one that doesn’t have any alcohol, thus making a child-friendly version.

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{Red Wine Chocolate Cake}
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves:: 10 servings
Ingredients:
Cake:
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 300g sugar
  • 75g Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250ml buttermilk*
  • 125ml neutral vegetable oil
  • 250ml sweet red wine**
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
Ganache frosting:
  • 300ml heavy cream
  • 250g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 30g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons rum-based vanilla extract***
Chocolate decorations:
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
Directions:
Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line two round cake pans - 18cm diameter - with baking paper. Place aside until needed.
  2. Bring the red wine to a boil in a saucepan then remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Mix until melted and let the mixture cool down slightly.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a different bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and oil and mix well. Stir in the wine and chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and give it a quick mix, just until the flour is incorporated. Don't over mix or it will form tunnels while baking. A quick mix with a whisk is enough, the batter is not supposed to be smooth as a butter-based one, but not lumpy either. If using an electric mixer, set it on the lowest speed and don't mix too much.
  6. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake in the oven to 35 minutes or until well risen and the top springs back when touched. The toothpick test may not be the best in this case as the cake is slightly fudgy.
  7. Remove the pans from the oven and let them cool completely.
  8. When chilled, cut the cakes in half to obtain 4 layers.
Ganache frosting:
  1. Bring the cream to the boiling point in a saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and butter. Let it stand for 5 minutes then mix until melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in the salt and vanilla then cover the ganache with plastic wrap on the surface and place the bowl in the fridge until set, at least 2 hours.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Divide the ganache into four equal parts.
  2. Layer the cakes and ganache on a platter and place the cake in the fridge until serving.
Chocolate decorations:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a hot water bath.
  2. Very thinly spread the chocolate over a sheet of baking paper. Roll the paper to form a tube and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  3. Remove the roll from the freezer and unwrap it. The set chocolate will break into these delicate, thin shards.
  4. Pile them on top of the cake just before serving.
Notes
* Make your own buttermilk by combining 250ml milk (1 cup) with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle and that's it - your own buttermilk to use in cakes.
** Replace the wine with water or freshly brewed coffee for a non-alcoholic version of this cake.
*** Replace the homemade rum-based vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon store-bought extract or vanilla paste which is stronger and has a more intense aroma. Or use dark rum if you prefer.
If you use coffee instead of wine, add 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder into the ganache.

red wine chocolate cake


ROMANIAN!

Ciocolata si vinul rosu mi se par a fi o combinatie fascinanta, cu toate ca parerile sunt impartite cand vine vorba daca cele doua ingrediente chiar merg bine impreuna. Ambele sunt arome puternice si se “lupta” pentru intaietate, asa ca a le combina si balansa nu e o treaba usoara. Ca regula generala, somelierii recomanda vinul rosu dulce ca fiind cea mai buna pereche pentru ciocolata neagra, insa chiar si asa, nu e combinatie pentru oricine si daca nu-ti plac cele doua ingrediente separat, nu-ti vor placea nici impreuna. Eu una, le ador impreuna cu toate ca nu sunt o mare bautoare de vin rosu. O sticla de vin mi-ar ajunge probabil pentru un an intreg, atat de des beau, dar combinatia asta mi se pare atat de romantica, parca sfidatoare in sensul cel mai bun al cuvantului.

E un tort cu un caracter puternic, un gust intens de ciocolata si o aroma subtila de vin. Alcolul nu se evapora complet in timpul coptului, contrar parerilor generale, asa ca nu e un tort pe care sa-l recomand copiilor. Insa daca inlocuiti vinul cu apa, poate deveni un desert pe care copiii sa-l adore.. asta daca oferiti copiilor cand si cand un desert atat de ciocolatos.

red wine chocolate cakeIngrediente:

Blat:

  • 250g faina alba
  • 300g zahar
  • 75g cacao neagra (Dutch processed – cacao neagra, procesata, nu cea deschisa la culoare, naturala)
  • 1 lingurita praf de copt
  • 1 lingurita bicarbonat de sodiu
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 2 oua
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 250ml lapte batut *
  • 125ml ulei vegetal neutru
  • 250ml vin rosu dulce **
  • 100g ciocolata neagra, bucati (60%+ continut de cacao)

Ganache:

  • 300ml frisca lichida
  • 250g ciocolata neagra, bucati
  • 100g ciocolata cu lapte, bucati ***
  • 30g unt
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 2 linguri extract de vanilie pe baza de rom ****

Decor de ciocolata:

  • 50g ciocolata neagra, bucati

Mod de preparare:

Blat:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati 2 tavi rotunde de 18cm diametru cu hartie de copt. Daca folositi tavi mai mari, s-ar putea sa nu mai obtineti 4 straturi de blat, ci 2.
  2. Turnati vinul intr-un vas si dati in clocot. Luati de pe foc si adaugati ciocolata neagra, bucati. Amestecati pana ciocolata e topita si dati deoparte.
  3. Combinati faina, cacoa, sarea, zaharul, praful de copt si bicarbonatul intr-un bol.
  4. In alt bol, amestecati ouale, vanilia, uleiul si laptele batut, precum si amestecul de vin rosu si ciocolata.
  5. Turnati lichidele peste ingredientele uscate si amestecati cu un tel doar pana la incorporare, nu mai mult.
  6. Turnati aluatul in cele doua tavi pregatite si coaceti pentru 35-40 minute sau pana blatul isi revine la forma initiala daca il atingeti. Testul scobitorii nu prea functioneaza pentru ca e un blat destul de umed.
  7. Scoateti tavile din cuptor si lasati blatul sa se raceasca in tava.
  8. Taiati fiecare blat in jumatate.

Ganache:

  1. Aduceti frisca la punctul de fierbere intr-un vas.
  2. Luati de pe foc si adaugati ciocolata, untul si ciocolata.
  3. Lasati 5 minute apoi amestecati bine cu un tel pana ciocolata e topita complet si amestecul e cremos si fin.
  4. Adaugati vanilia apoi acoperiti ganache-ul cu o folie si dati la rece cel putin 2 ore.

Pentru a asambla tortul, asezati unul dintre blaturi pe un platou. Acoperiti cu 1/4 din ganache si continuati cu celelate blaturi si ganache.

Decor de ciocolata:

  1. Topiti ciocolata pe baie de aburi sau in microunde apoi intindeti-o in strat foarte subtire pe o foaie de copt.
  2. Rulati foaia de copt strans si puneti ruloul in congelator pentru 10 minute.
  3. Scoateti din congelator si desfaceti folia. Ciocolata intarita se va rupe in bucati delicate pe care pur si simplu le asezati deasupra tortului inainte de servire.
  4. Enjoy!

*Daca nu aveti lapte batut, faceti-l acasa amestecand 250ml lapte cu 1 lingura zeama de lamaie sau otet alb. Lasati 5 minute pana devine gros. E perfect pentru torturi si prajituri.

**Inlocuiti vinul cu apa sau cafea.

*** Ciocolata cu lapte poate fi inlocuita cu ciocolata neagra pentru un gust mai intens.

**** Extractul de vanilie pe baza de rom e o preferinta personala. Eu imi fac propriul extract acasa, insa daca nu aveti, orice extract de vanilie sau chiar rom merge.

red wine chocolate cakered wine chocolate cakered wine chocolate cake2

 

{Pear Crumble Dessert} – Desert cu pere si sos de ciocolata

pear crumble

I’ve been dreaming about this pear crumble dessert for weeks. The thing is, when I’m ill or feeling down, I dream about desserts, it’s my instant fix towards feeling better. I just take a pen and a notebook and draw desserts, design recipes, write recipes, make sketches over and over again. If you’d see my notebook, you wouldn’t understand a thing, but it all makes sense in my mind and it’s relaxing and comforting. And this is what I did a few nights ago – in the middle of the night, playing some music, I was designing desserts – someone call me crazy! Crazy for pastries that is!

This dessert is quite simple in its essence and it’s made by layering poached pears, almond crumble, vanilla ice cream (store bought as it was easier and quicker), almond tuile and a rich chocolate sauce. As you can see, the layers are simple in their core, the recipes used are basic and you don’t need any special skills to make this dessert. But the final result looks exquisite, doesn’t it?! I find this to be the perfect dessert to end a meal – it’s exquisite and delicious, rich, but not too heavy, easy to put together and it looks impressive.

Now, I know it’s not red or pink and it doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day, but I would totally see this as the end of a romantic dinner with my loved one. It does have chocolate, plenty of it.. and ice cream.. what more can you ask for?! How about you, do you prefer something more straight forward for your Valentine’s dinner or something more subtle?

{Pear Crumble Dessert}
 
Author:
Serves:: 6
Ingredients:
Poached pears:
  • 4-6 ripe, but firm pears, peeled
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Almond crumble:
  • 60g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 60g almonds, ground
  • 100g all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
Almond tuile:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 20g powdered sugar
  • 40g all-purpose flour
  • 15g butter, melted
  • Sliced almonds
Chocolate sauce:
  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • In addition to this, you'll also need vanilla ice cream
Directions:
Poached pears:
  1. Combine the water with sugar and spices in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil.
  2. Peel the pears and remove their core. Drop the pears in the boiling syrup and cook for 30-40 minutes on low heat or until the pears are tender, but not mushy.
  3. When done, remove from heat and let them cool down in the syrup.
Almond crumble:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixed.
  2. Spread the crumble in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and let the crumble cool completely.
Almond tuile:
  1. Combine the egg white, salt, sugar, flour and butter in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Spread a thin layer of batter on a baking sheet, giving it a round shape. Keep in mind that the round needs to be slightly larger than the top of your dessert glass.
  3. Top the tuile with sliced almonds and bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. When done, remove from the oven and while still hot, cut 3 small holes in each tuile. I used a small round piping nozzle for this task. The idea is that once placed over the dessert glasses, the holes will allow the chocolate sauce to drip over the ice cream and crumble.
Chocolate sauce:
  1. Combine the cream, milk and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the chocolate and mix until melted.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract and let the chocolate sauce cool completely.
To assemble the dessert:
  1. Cut the pears into small cubes and spoon them at the bottom of your dessert glasses.
  2. Top the pears with a layer of almond crumble.
  3. Place a scoop of ice cream over the crumble and cover the glass with an almond tuile.
  4. To serve, pour chocolate sauce through the tuile.
  5. Serve right away as the ice cream begins to melt.

 

pear crumble-1-9b


ROMANIAN!

Cand sunt bolnava sau nu ma simt prea bine, activitatea care ma pune imediat pe picioare e cititul ori scrisul.. retetelor, evident. Imi place sa desenez noi deserturi si am un carnetel special pentru asta, carnetel pe care nu ati vrea sa-l vedeti, e plin de mazgalituri, desene si tot felul de retete scrise iar si iar. Insa pentru mine totul are sens si ador sa fac lucrul asta. Scrisul de mana mi-a placut din totdeauna, in scoala obisnuiam sa-mi scriu temele de doua ori daca aveam timp, doar ca sa pot scrie de mana. Da, da, stiu.. loooocaaa! Insa acest obicei nu m-a parasit nici acum, mi se pare ciudat de relaxant. In plus, daca linkurile ori paginile web pot sa dispara la fel de usor cum au aparut, un carnetel de notite nu dispare la fel de usor. Ori eu am vreo 3 astfel de carnetele “imprastiate” prin casa, astfel incat, cand ma loveste inspiratia, am mereu la indemana unul sa ma desfasor. Unii ar zice ca nu sunt prea organizata, eu as zice ca asta e de fapt ordine – scrisul ma ajuta sa imi pun ideile in ordine si sa nu uit, nu de putine ori m-am trezit in mijlocul noptii doar ca sa fac o schita, astfel incat sa nu o uit pana a doua zi. Ce v-am spus?! Loooocaaaa!

Acest desert e foarte simplu in esenta lui si desi necesita cateva elemente, toate sunt usor de facut, cu retete super simple si de baza, care nu necesita cunostinte speciale de cofetar ori vreun secret numai de unii stiut. Insa e un desert foarte elegant si de efect chiar, mai ales ca toate elementele pot fi facut cu o zi inainte si asamblate inainte de a le servi. Apoi, eu ador perele si ciocolata, mi se pare una dintre cele mai elegante combinatii si am folosit-o de foarte multe ori in deserturile mele si tot nu ma satur de ea. Delicatetea perelor face casa buna cu gustul puternic al ciocolatei, iar condimentele, desi putine, isi fac simtita prezenta din belsug, caci atat perele, cat si ciocolata sunt ca doua panze albe pentru un pictor – iti permit sa creezi ce vrei tu, cum vrei, stiind ca rezultatul final va fi unul reusit!

Ingrediente:

Pere in sirop:

  • 4-6 pere coapte, dar ferme
  • 5 cani apa
  • 1 cana zahar
  • 1 stea anason
  • 1 baton scortisoara
  • 4 pastai cardamom
  • 1 lingura zeama de lamaie

Crumble de migdale:

  • 60g unt, rece, taiat cuburi
  • 60g migdale, macinate
  • 100g faina alba
  • 1 praf de sare

Tuile de migdale:

  • 1 albus de ou
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 20g zahar pudra
  • 40g faina alba
  • 15g unt, topit
  • Migdale felii

Sos de ciocolata:

  • 150g ciocolata neagra, bucati
  • 100g frisca lichida
  • 50ml lapte
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie

In plus, veti avea nevoie si de inghetata de vanilie

Mod de preparare:

Pere in sirop:

  1. Combinati apa, zaharul, zeama de lamaie si condimentele intr-un vas si dati in clocot.
  2. Indepartati coaja perelor si scoateti casuta cu seminte. Puneti perele in apa clocotita si fierbeti pentru 30-40 minute pe foc mic pana devin moi, dar isi mentin forma.
  3. Lasati perele sa se raceasca in sirop.

Crumble cu migdale:

  1. Combinati toate ingredientele intr-un robot de bucatarie si pulsati de cateva ori pana la amestecarea completa.
  2. Transferati crumble-ul intr-o tava de copt si coaceti la 180C pentru 10-15 minute sau pana devine auriu si crocant.

Tuile de migdale:

  1. Combinati toate ingredientele intr-un bol si amestecati bine.
  2. Intindeti aluatul in strat subtire pe o hartie de copt, dandu-i forma de cerc. Aveti grija ca cercul de tuile sa fie putin mai amre decat paharul in care veti monta desertul.
  3. Acoperiti fursecul tuile cu felii de migdale si coaceti la 180C pentru 10 minute sau pana devin aurii.
  4. Scoateti din cuptor si cat inca sunt fierbinti, taiati 3 gauri in fiecare fursec. Eu am folosit un dui de patiserie. Ideea e ca mai tarziu veti lasa sosul sa se prelinga prin aceste gauri deasupra desertului.

Sos de ciocolata:

  1. Combinati frisca, laptele si sarea intr-un vas si aduceti la punctul de fierbere pe foc mic.
  2. Luati de pe foc si adaugati ciocolata. Amestecati pana la topirea completa.
  3. Adaugati extractul de vanilie si amestecati bine. lasati sosul sa se raceasca.

Pentru a asambla desertul:

  1. Taiati perele cuburi mici si puneti-le in strat subtire pe fundul unui pahar de desert.
  2. Acoperiti perele cu un strat de crumble de migdale.
  3. Puneti deasupra o portie de inghetata apoi acoperiti paharul cu un tuile.
  4. Turnati sosul de ciocolata peste tuile, lasand sa se prelinga in pahar prin cele 3 gauri facute in tuile mai devreme. Serviti imediat.

pear crumble

{Raspberry Rose Entremet} – Entremet cu zmeura si trandafir

raspberry rose entremet

Despite being my favorite cakes, entremets are very time consuming. Only someone who’s ever made one knows how much time all these layers involve, how much energy you put into a cake, how much passion it takes to make it through. So no surprise that you barely find entremet recipes out there. Not only that the cake itself is time consuming, but writing the recipe itself takes just as much time and there are only a bunch of people willing to go through the recipe from top to bottom, read it carefully and understand its complexity. Bottom line is it takes a lot of dedication and love for desserts to adventure into this world. But I dare you to do it.. once you make an entremet, you never see desserts the same way again.

Words wouldn’t be enough to explain why and how much I love this type of cakes. All those layers, the time spent making it, decorating it, even slicing into it is pure joy for me and I’m not exaggerating at all! This cake was born after seeing a post on Facebook from one of my all time favorite pastry chefs, Antonio Bachour. It was a bar and the description said, among others, rose and hibiscus. I was intrigued, I’ve never really worked with these two flavors before and although I was familiar with the intense aroma of rose, never ever tasted hibiscus. So I went online and ordered both dried rose buds and hibiscus. A few days later I was “armed” with the ingredients and a sketch and this raspberry rose entremet was born. The one thing that I don’t quite like is the color of the glaze. Depending on your desktop, it may look either pink or fuchsia, but in reality it’s a soft pink, not at all disturbing. I was going for red, but after adding the food coloring, I realized it would take way too much coloring to reach a beautiful red color and since that thought was not at all appealing, I gave up on red and left it pink.

raspberry rose entremet

The layers of the cake are (from bottom to top): coconut dacquoise, raspberry rose bavarois, raspberry hibiscus gelee, coconut dacquoise, raspberry chocolate ganache, white chocolate yogurt mousse, vanilla white chocolate ganache, pink glaze – a total of 7 layers. It’s my first entremet of 2015 and hopefully many more will come after!

{Raspberry Rose Entremet}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Coconut dacquoise:
  • 190g egg whites
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 60g sugar
  • 35g almond flour
  • 150g powdered sugar
  • 120g shredded coconut
  • 35g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon freeze dried raspberries (optional)
Raspberry rose bavarois:
  • 200g raspberries (frozen)
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose tea (replace with ½ teaspoon rose water if you have any or 2 tablespoons rose petal jam)
  • 7g gelatin + 35ml cold water
  • 115ml milk
  • 30g powdered sugar (1)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g powdered sugar (2)
  • 200ml heavy cream, whipped
Raspberry hibiscus gelee:
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 5g dried hibiscus
  • 150g raspberries (frozen)
  • 50g sugar
  • 7g gelatin + 35ml cold water
Raspberry chocolate ganache:
  • 60g raspberries (frozen)
  • 30g powdered sugar
  • 15g butter
  • 50ml heavy cream
  • 80g dark chocolate, chopped (60%)
White chocolate yogurt mousse:
  • 150g plain yogurt (preferably drained overnight)
  • 150g white chocolate, melted
  • 200ml heavy cream, whipped
  • 4g gelatin + 20ml cold water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla white chocolate ganache:
  • 80ml heavy cream
  • 110g white chocolate, chopped
  • 15g butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
Pink glaze:
  • 240g white chocolate
  • 90ml heavy cream
  • 30g glucose
  • 180g clear nappage(see recipe below)
  • Red/pink food coloring
Clear nappage:
  • 200ml water
  • 100g sugar
  • 5ml lemon juice
  • 10g gelatin + 50ml cold water
Directions:
Coconut dacquoise:
  1. Mix the almond flour, powdered sugar, coconut, freeze dried raspberries and flour in a bowl. Place aside.
  2. Combine the egg whites with a pinch of salt and mix until fluffy. Add 60g of sugar, mixing all the time, until stiff and glossy.
  3. Fold in the flour mixture in 3-4 additions then spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe 2 rounds of batter onto two baking pans lined with parchment paper. One of the rounds needs to be smaller than the other. Mine were 24 and 18cm diameter.
  4. Bake the dacquoise in the preheated oven at 350F - 180C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and it you press the top, it springs back.
  5. Allow the cakes to cool down completely then place the larger sponge in a cake ring. Place aside.
Raspberry rose bavarois:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the raspberries, lemon juice, rose tea and sugar in a saucepan and cook for 10 minutesover low heat. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and place aside.
  3. Combine the milk and powdered sugar (1) in a heavy saucepan and place over low heat. Bring to the boiling point.
  4. Mix the egg yolks with powdered sugar (2) in a bowl until creamy. Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks, mixing all the time then transfer the mixture into the saucepan and cook over low heat until it begins to thicken.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the raspberry puree and melted gelatin.
  6. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature then fold in the whipped cream.
  7. Pour the bavarois over the first layer of dacquoise and freeze until the next layer is ready.
Raspberry hibiscus gelee:
  1. Infuse the hot water and hibiscus for 10 minutes.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.
  3. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat and pass the pruee through fine sieve.
  4. Strain the hibiscus through a sieve, squeezing out every drop of liquid. Mix the hibiscus infusion with the raspberry puree then add the melted gelatin.
  5. Allow the gelee to come to room temperature then pour it over the raspberry rose bavarois. Refrigerate until set then place the remaining disc of coconut dacquoise over the gelee.
Raspberry chocolate ganache:
  1. Mix the raspberries with sugar in a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Pass the raspberries through a fine sieve.
  2. Mix the raspberry puree with butter while still warm.
  3. Combine the raspberry puree and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring it to the boiling point.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Mix until melted.
  5. Pour the chocolate into a small pan lined with plastic wrap. Mine had 18cm to match the second dacquoise layer.
  6. Freeze the ganache until set then carefully place it over the coconut dacquoise.
White chocolate yogurt mousse:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the yogurt with melted white chocolate and mix well. Add the vanilla extract and melted gelatin.
  3. Let the mixture cool if needed then fold in the heavy cream.
  4. Pour this mousse over the raspberry ganache and refrigerate until set.
Vanilla white chocolate ganache:
  1. Combine the heavy cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point. Remove from heat and let it infuse for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the vanilla bean and bring the cream to the boiling point again.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and chocolate.
  4. Mix until melted and smooth then pour the ganache over the yogurt mousse.
  5. Refrigerate over night.
  6. The next day, remove the cake from the ring and place it in the freezer for 1-2 hours before glazing. The colder the cake is, the smoother the glaze layer.
Pink glaze:
  1. Melt the white chocolate over a hot water bath or in the microwave.
  2. Bring the cream to the boiling point then pour it over the melted white chocolate. Mix until smooth.
  3. Combine the glucose and nappage in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point.
  4. Remove from heat and pour this mixture over the white chocolate. Mix well until smooth then add red or pink food coloring.
  5. Whisk until smooth then allow the glaze to cool before use.
  6. Remove the cake from the freezer and place it on a wire rack. Evely pour the glaze over the cake. You may have to repeat this step twice in order to obtain a good coverage.
  7. Decorate as you please.
Clear nappage:
  1. Bloom the gelatin with cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. Mix well then allow the nappage to cool completely. It is best done the night before.

rose raspberry entremet-1-16b

rose raspberry entremet-1-7b

rose raspberry entremet-1-12b

 

{Top 10 Chocolate Desserts} – Top 10 deserturi cu ciocolata

top 10 chocolate desserts

Warning: don’t read this post if you’re hungry! It damages your sweet tooth!

I have never hidden my love for chocolate.  I like using it in my desserts, either as part of the filling or as a decoration, I like eating chocolate desserts, I like admiring them. But I think it’s the same with every pastry chef out there and there is a reason for that – not only most people would never say no to a chocolate desserts, but this marvellous ingredient also allows pastry chefs to be creative by being easy to combine with most fruits or spices and easy to work with for decorations. It’s a basic ingredient in the pastry kitchen and you just can’t go wrong with a chocolate dessert, can you?!

This article was born after looking through my Recipe Index and realising that many of my desserts have chocolate as the main ingredient. So here are my top 10 favorite chocolate desserts that will make you crave a slice, desserts that make chocolate shine and will surely impress family, friends or guests!

1. Molten Lava Cake – does this cake need any introduction?! I’d say not! It’s so rich and has so much chocolate that it will please any taste. Plus, the technique and process of making it and it’s renown as being a difficult dessert will most likely impress those who are lucky enough to taste it. I remember being incredibly nervous when I first made molten lava cake, but I soon realised that emotions can be constructive and all it needs to turn this recipe into a huge success if a bit of care when baking it, that’s the tricky part. Top it with a scoop of ice cream and there you have it – a dessert for every chocoholic out there!

2. Raspberry Chocolate Mud Cake – once again, loads of chocolate proves to be a winner! This cake has plenty of this dark, amazing treat, but it’s all toned down by fresh raspberries that sit beautifully on top of the cake. Once you cut into it, the dense, moist inside it’s revelead and a slice of this cake feels like a pure chocolate joy that lingers on your palate with every bite.

3. Brownie Cookies – the key to the success of these cookies is the intense, dark chocolate (over 70%) so you can expect a chocolatey taste and a moist, gooey inside, all covered in a slightly crisp exterior that breaks in your mouth, revealing the perfect brownie inside. I would love to see these cookies sandwiched together two by two with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Now that would be a truly decadent treat.

top 10 chocolate desserts

4. Chocolate Crinkles – Christmas wouldn’t be the same without these beautiful cookies, but they’re so good that you can make them at any time of the year. After all, who says crinkles can’t be a treat for two on Valentine’s day or a delicious bite for a birthday party buffet? Just look how beautiful they are, they deserve to be in the spotlight!

5. Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake – although vegan, this cake is impressive. The rich, thick chocolate mousse is something I’ve fallen in love with, despite I never hidden the fact that butter and cream are part of my religion as pastry chef and dessert lover. The avocado manages to replace the butter well so the mousse doesn’t lack richness or creaminess at all. In addition to this, it’s also a healthy alternative for kids.

6. Kinder Pingui – This cake is very similar to the well known Kinder Pingui which my little man adores. Needless to say that I prefer making it at home, although not too often as it’s not quite  a low calorie dessert. But it’s delicious, rich and loaded with chocolate, much tastier than the original Kinder Pingui.

7. Black Forest Gateau – I created this cake starting from the classic Black Forest Gateau recipe and it was meant to bring the recipe to a whole new level. I think I managed to do so since I remember this cake having a huge success with my family. We’re all chocoholics (with good measure) and this chocolate-cherry combination was one of the most delicious we ever tried.

top 10 chocolate desserts

8. Amaretto Chocolate Souffle Cake – I’ve discovered Amaretto only recently, but I love it’s aroma and I find it just perfect for chocolate.  This cake barely has any flour and it relies on the intense taste of chocolate and delicate aroma of Amaretto to create a truly decadent, scrumptious dessert.

9. Flourless Chocolate Cake – Having no flour at all, this cake literally melts in your mouth. Chocolate, butter and eggs are the three main ingredients – yes, just three main ingredients and look at that beautiful, moist cake! Delicious in every single bite!

10. Hot Chocolate Mix – I think this recipe deserves its spot in the top 10 chocolate desserts due to its amazing taste and rich consistency. In fact, addinh 2-3 tablespoons of powder into 1 cup of milk will yield a thick, consistent chocolate sauce. It tastes great, it stores well and it’s homemade. You have all the reasons to make it!

top 10 chocolate desserts

{Carrot Cake Plated Dessert} – Tort cu morcovi – reinterpretare

carrot cake plated dessert

Plated desserts are a hidden passion of mine which sadly I haven’t had the time to properly learn and master, but I’m getting there slowly because there is something about these desserts that mesmerize me. It’s beyond the passion I have for entremets and I do find plated desserts to be more challenging – usually there is more to a plated dessert than the eye can see and every single element needs to be made perfectly and complement one another. Plated desserts are time consuming made at home – it took about 3-4 hours to make these plates, although much of it is waiting time to set and chill since I don’t have a blast chiller. But I’m extremely pleased with the result and it has given me wings to go even further with this passion and learn even more.

This dessert is a reinterpretation of the classic carrot cake and it has the following components: carrot cake, yogurt white chocolate mousse with a touch of orange, spiced candied pineapple, white chocolate sheet, mascarpone saffron cremeux, candied carrots and chantilly cream as a side, although I would highly recommend a scoop of ice cream. A total of 7 elements make this dessert quite challenging, but if you organize yourself and your tasks properly, you can do this too.

{Carrot Cake Plated Dessert}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Carrot cake:
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 200g white sugar
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 280g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 200g grated carrots
  • 100g shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 200g crushed pineapple, drained
  • 30g almond slices
Saffron Mascarpone Cremeux
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 few strands of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g mascarpone cheese
  • 250g heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 5g gelatin
  • 20ml cold water
Spiced Candied Pineapple
  • 200g pineapple, drained and cut into cubes
  • 200ml pineapple juice/syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
Candied Carrots:
  • 100g sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 2 small carrots
Orange Yogurt White Chocolate Mousse:
  • 250g yogurt (drained overnight)
  • 250g white chocolate, melted
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 5g gelatin
  • 25ml cold water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
White Chocolate Sheet:
  • 250g white chocolate, melted
Directions:
Carrot Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F – 175C and line two square pans with baking paper. (8x8-inch)
  2. Sift the flour with baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
  3. Combine the oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla and orange zest in the bowl of your mixer and mix for 5 minutes or until fluffy and light.
  4. Stir in the flour and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
  5. Fold in the carrots, coconut, pineapple and almond slices then divide the batter between the two prepared pans equally.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and each cake passes the toothpick test.
  7. Let the cakes cool completely then trim them if needed.
  8. Cut each cake into rectangles and place them aside.
Saffron Mascarpone Cremeux:
  1. Mix the milk with the saffron strands and heat it up in the microwave a few seconds. Let the milk infuse and cool down.
  2. Combine the egg yolks with sugar in a heatproof bowl. Mix over a hot water bath until fluffy and light, at least 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and strain in the saffron infused milk. Discard the saffron strands.
  4. Let the mixture come to room temperature then add the melted gelatin, followed by the mascarpone cheese and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream.
  6. To make the rolls that sit on top of the dessert I used 4 paper rolls from those rolls of plastic wrap. Line each carton roll with acetate foil and seal one of the ends with foil.
  7. Pour the cremeux into each roll and seal the other end as well.
  8. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. I recommend you start with this element as it’s the one that needs the most time to set. Freezing it allows you to handle it later on.
Spiced Candied Pineapple:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low to medium flame until the juice is reduced by half and looks thickened.
  2. Let the mixture cool completely before use.
Candied Carrot:
  1. Mix the water with sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cut the carrots into fine strips with a vegetable peeler and place them in the boiling sugar syrup.
  3. Cook the carrots for 10 minutes then let them cool in the syrup.
  4. Drain the carrot strips and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes just until the edges begin to turn golden brown and the sugar begins to caramelize.
  6. Remove form the oven and let them cool completely.
Orange Yogurt White Chocolate Mousse
  1. Take 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix it with the orange zest. Heat it up in the microwave a few seconds then place aside to infuse.
  2. Whip the heavy cream with powdered sugar until stiff and place in the fridge until needed.
  3. Bloom the gelatin with cold water for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the yogurt in a bowl. Strain the orange infused cream into the bowl and discard the zest.
  5. Mix well then melt the gelatin and incorporate it into the yogurt mixture.
  6. Stir in the melted chocolate then allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
  7. Fold in the whipped cream. Place the mousse in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Spoon the mousse into a pastry bag then pipe small dollops of mousse onto your carrot cake rectangles.
  9. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to continue with the next layers.
White Chocolate Sheets:
  1. Spread the chocolate on an acetate sheet then refrigerate it for 1 minute until half way set.
  2. Cut into rectangles (measure the carrot cake rectangles and make a patter as it’s easier) and place back in the fridge until properly set.
To assemble the dessert:
  1. Carefully spoon a few pineapple cubes over your yogurt mousse dollops then top with a white chocolate sheet.
  2. Remove the cremeux from the freezer and cut each roll/log into pieces that are as long as your cake rectangles. Carefully place them over the white chocolate.
  3. Decorate with candied carrot and a few strands of saffron.
  4. Use the leftover pineapple to decorate the plate and top it with a dollop of Chantilly cream (vanilla whipped cream) or a scoop of ice cream.

carrot cake plated dessertcarrot cake-1-14


ROMANIAN!

Intrucat mi s-a ridicat din nou mingea la fileu cu o noua provocare pe pagina Laurei Adamache, nu puteam sa nu raspund. Inarmata cu cateva conserve SunFood (multumesc Alice) si multa creativitate, am facut acest desert care este in esenta un tort de morcovi reinterpretat si imbogatit cu arome distinse de sofran, scortisoara, iaurt si ciocolata alba. E un desert destul de complex si necesita cateva ore bune, dar merita! E un desert bogat in arome, intens si arata minunat, un desert care in mod cert impresioneaza.

Elementele acestui desert sunt: blat cu morcovi, mousse de iaurt cu portocala si ciocolata alba, foaie de ciocolata alba, cremeux de mascarpone cu sofran, ananas cu scortisoara si anason, morcov caramelizat si crema chantilly.

Blat cu morcovi:

  • 200ml ulei vegetal
  • 200g zahar alb
  • 80g zahar brun
  • 3 oua
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1 lingurita coaja de portocala
  • 280g faina alba
  • 1 lingurita bicarbonat
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 1 lingurita scortisoara
  • 1/2 lingurita ghimbir macinat
  • 200g morcovi rasi
  • 100g nuca de cocos
  • 200g ananas cuburi, scurs bine
  • 30g migdale felii
  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 175C si tapetati doua tavi patrate – 20x20cm – cu hartie de copt.
  2. Cerneti faina cu bicarbonatul, scortisoara, sarea si ghimbirul.
  3. Puneti ananasul intr-un robot de bucatarie si procesati pana obtineti bucati mai mici, dar nu puree.
  4. Mixati uleiul, zaharul alb si cel brun, ouale, vanilia si coaja de portocala cel putin 5 minute pana obtineti un amestec pufos.
  5. Adaugati faina, apoi incorporati morcovii, nuca de cocos, ananasul si migdalele.
  6. Turnati aluatul in cele doua tavi si coaceti 20-30 minute pana devin aurii sit rec testul scobitorii.
  7. Lasati blaturile sa se raceasca apoi taiati in dreptunghiuri egale si asezati-le pe o tava mare pentru a le manevra mai usor mai tarziu.

Mousse de iaurt cu ciocolata alba si portocale

  • 250g iaurt, scurs bine
  • 250g ciocolata alba, topita
  • 250g frisca lichida
  • 2 linguri zahar pudra
  • 5g gelatin
  • 25ml apa rece
  • 1 lingura coaja de portocala
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  1. Luati 2 linguri de frisca si amestecati-o cu coaja de portocala. Incalziti frisca la microunde cateva secunde apoi lasati-o sa se infuzeze si sa se raceasca.
  2. Mixati frisca cu zaharul pudra pana sta bat si dati la rece pana o veti folosi.
  3. Combinati gelatina cu apa.
  4. Puneti iaurtul intr-un bol. Scurgeti in bol frisca infuzata cu portocala, aruncand coaja caci devine amara.
  5. Mixati bine, apoi adaugati gelatina topita, urmata de ciocolata topita.
  6. Lasati amestecul sa vina la temperature camerei si incorporati frisca batuta.
  7. Dati mousse-ul la rece 30 minute apoi puneti-l intr-un pos si decorate fiecare dreptunghi de blat cu mousse. Mici gramajoare de mousse sunt suficiente.
  8. Dati desertul la rece pana sunt gata si celelalte straturi.

Cremeux de mascarpone si sofran

  • 2 galbenusuri
  • 70g zahar
  • 1 lingura lapte
  • Cateva firisoare de sofran
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 250g frisca, batuta bat
  • 5g gelatina
  • 20ml apa rece
  1. Combinati gelatina cu apa rece sa se umfle cel putin 10 minute.
  2. Incalziti laptele la microunde cateva secunde si adaugati sofranul. Lasati sa infuzeze cateva minute.
  3. Amestecati galbenusurile cu zaharul intr-un bol rezistent la caldura si puneti bolul pe baie de aburi. Mixati pana galbenusurile devin spumoase si se deshid la culoare.
  4. Luati bolul de pe baia de aburi si adaugati gelatina topita, vanilia, precum si laptele infuzat cu sofran.
  5. Lasati amestecul sa se racoreasca, apoi incorporati mascarpone si frisca batuta.
  6. Pentru a forma sulurile de deasupra desertului, eu am folosi 4 suluri de carton de la folia de impachetat pe care le-am tapetat cu folie de acetat.
  7. Turnati mousse-ul in aceste suluri si dati la congelator cel putin 2 ore. Doar congelate le veti putea taia si aseza pe desert fara sa le distrugeti.

Ananas in sirop cu scortisoara:

  • 200g ananas, taiat cuburi mici
  • 200ml sirop de la ananas
  • 1 bat scortisoara
  • 1 stea anason
  • 1 pastaie vanilie, taiata in jumatate
  1. Combinati toate ingredientele intr-un vas si fierbeti pana siropul e redus la jumatate.
  2. Lasati sa se raceasca inainte de a-l folosi.
  3. Asezati cateva cuburi de ananas peste mousse-ul de iaurt, ca in imaginea de mai jos. Dati din nou la rece.

carrot cake plated dessertFoaie de ciocolata alba:

  • 250g ciocolata alba, topita
  1. Intindeti ciocolata alba pe o foaie de acetat sau foaie de copt.
  2. Dati la rece 1 minut sa se intareasca putin, apoi taiati dreptunghiuri la fel de mari ca cele de tort de morcovi.
  3. Dati din nou la rece sa se intareasca complet.
  4. Asezati cate o foaie de ciocolata peste mousse-ul de iaurt si peste ananas.

Morcov caramelizat:

  • 100g zahar
  • 80ml apa
  • 2 morcovi mici
  1. Combinati apa cu zaharul intr-un vas si dati in clocot.
  2. Taiati morcovii fasii subtiri cu un peeler de legume si puneti fasiile in siropul de zahar.
  3. Fierbeti morcovii pentru 10 minute apoi luati de pe foc si lasati sa se raceasca.
  4. Scurgeti fasiile de morcovi si asezati-le pe o foaie de copt.
  5. Coaceti la 180C pentru 5-10 minute sau pana fasiile incep sa devina usor aurii pe margini.
  6. Lasati sa se raceasca complet inainte de a le folosi.

Pentru a finisa tortul:

  1. Scoateti sulurile de cremeux din congelator si taiati-le in fasii la fel de lungi ca dreptunghiurile de tort de morcovi.
  2. Asezati cu grija fiecare sul de cremeux peste foaia de ciocolata alba.
  3. Decorati cu morcovi caramelizati si cateva firisoare de sofran.
  4. Decorati farfuria cu restul de ananas cu scortisoara si asezati o lingura de frisca peste ananas. Va recomand o portie buna de inghetata de vanilie in loc de frisca.
  5. Serviti imediat sau pastrati la rece pana in momentul servirii.