Croquembouche

French pastry is the ultimate way of making desserts! And it’s not just me saying it! The thing with French pastry though is not only that it produces great desserts, but also the fact that learning a certain technique can prove useful later on or it can lead the way to another great technique. I do find pastry to be extremely logical once you learn all the bases. One thing leads to another then another and before you know you’ve progressed quite a lot on this path. It’s pretty amazing! It does take time though… and dedication, motivation, passion and everything in between!

But the ultimate choux dessert is definitely a croquembouche. I’ve made this before, but definitely not at this level. My first attempt was more in the beginner levels. The first time, I didn’t use a cone support at all and although the construction proved ok, using a support for your dessert is the way to go if you’re looking for a stable croquembouche. Especially when you are making tall desserts!

Croquembouche was made famous by the one and only Antoine Careme, the first celebrity chef of Europe, the one who revolutionized pastry and left us heritage plenty of techniques and recipes that we use even nowadays. Originally, the croquembouche had a conic shape, but that wasn’t enough for Careme. Having studied architecture, he created even towers and pavilions or moschees, the Turkish fez being one of his most famous shapes. Time passed by though and the conical shape was the only one to survive.

Croquembouche
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 90g butter, softened
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 100g all-purpose flour
Pate a choux:
  • 160ml water
  • 15g powdered milk
  • 2g salt
  • 5g white sugar
  • 70g butter, cubed
  • 90g all-purpose flour
  • 160g whole eggs
  • Plus 1 egg for egg wash
Vanilla diplomat:
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • 1 vanila bean
  • 180g egg yolks
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 60g cornstarch
  • 8g gelatin + 40ml cold water
  • 300ml heavy cream, whipped
Caramel glaze:
  • 400g white sugar
Caramel “glue”:
  • 400g white sugar
  • 45g liquid glucose
  • 90ml cold water
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix well to form a paste.
  3. Spread the dough between two sheets of baking paper until very thin then freeze until needed.
Pate a choux:
  1. Combine the water, powdered milk, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Heat up until the butter is completely melted then bring it to a boil.
  3. Remove off heat and stir in the flour, all at once. Mix well until well combined then place back on heat and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes or until a thin layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool down for 10 minutes then begin adding the eggs, gradually, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag then form small dollops of dough on a baking pan lined with baking paper or, even better, silicone mat.
  6. Brush some of the choux with egg wash.
  7. For the rest of the choux, take the craquelin out of the freezer and cut small circles, just as big as the choux. Place the craquelin on top.
  8. Bake the choux in the preheated oven at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  9. Allow to cool down then make a small hole on the bottom of each choux. Use a small pastry tip for this task.
Vanilla diplomat:
  1. Heat the milk and the heavy cream together with the vanilla bean in a saucepan. Remove off heat and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.
  3. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and salt for a few minutes until pale. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  4. Pour the warm milk in a slow stream then return back on heat.
  5. Cook on low flame until the cream is thick then continue cooking for 1 more minute to cook off the cornstarch.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin.
  7. Cover the cream with plastic wrap and allow to cool down.
  8. Mix the cream again until creamy then fold in the heavy cream.
  9. Spoon the diplomat in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip then fill all the baked choux with this cream.
Caramel glaze:
  1. Melt the sugar until it has an amber colour.
  2. Dip the top of each choux (only those without craquelin) in the melted sugar. Decorate some of the choux with almond slices and pearl sugar. Be careful when working with hot sugar!
  3. Allow to set.
Caramel “glue”:
  1. Combine the three ingredients in a saucepan and cook, washing the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in water, until the caramel has a light golden colour.
  2. Arrange your cone support by lining it with baking paper.
  3. Dip each choux into the hot caramel and arrange them on the cone.
  4. Allow to set then decorate.

ROMANIAN

Croquembouche e un desert frantuzesc care are la baza celebrul aluat oparit, o tehnica foarte simpla a cofetariei frantuzesti. Simpla, dar nu neaparat usor de stapanit! Si totusi, cumva ma intorc la acest aluat! Adevarul e ca mi-e tare drag de el – o reteta atat de simpla si totusi cu rezultate atat de impresionante!

Croquembouche e o reteta pe care o avem mostenire de la celebrul Antoine Careme, primul chef celebru al Europei, omul care a schimbat fata cofetariei si cel care ne-a lasat mostenire multe tehnici si retete folosite chiar si in zilele noastre. El a facut din acest desert alegerea ideala pentru banchetele de nunta, insa nu s-a oprit doar la bine cunoscuta forma conica, ci si-a folosit cunostintele de arhitectura pentru a construi pavilioane, moschei sau turnul din Fez. Peste timp insa, forma conica este cea care a supravietuit.

Fotografiile din aceasta postare sunt realizate de Ionela Stoica aka Pupile Gustative. Thank you, dear! You rock!

Croquembouche
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 90g unt, temperatura camerei
  • 100g zahar brun
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 100g faina
Pate a choux:
  • 160ml apa
  • 15g lapte praf integral
  • 2g sare
  • 5g zahar
  • 70g unt
  • 90g faina alba
  • 160g oua intregi
  • ---------------------------
  • 1 ou batut pentru uns
Crema diplomat cu vanilie:
  • 500ml lapte
  • 100ml smantana pentru frisca
  • 1 pastaie de vanilie
  • 180g galbenus
  • 200g zahar alb
  • ¼ lingurita sare
  • 60g amidon
  • 8g gelatina + 40ml apa rece
  • 300ml smantana pentru frisca, batuta
Glazura caramel:
  • 400g zahar
Caramel pentru lipit:
  • 400g zahar alb
  • 45g glucoza lichida
  • 90ml apa
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul brun pana se deschide la culoare.
  2. Adaugati faina si sarea.
  3. Intindeti aluatul obtinut intre doua foi de hartie de copt.
  4. Congelati pana la nevoie.
Aluat oparit:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele praf, sarea, zaharul si untul intr-un vas.
  2. Incalziti usor pana la topirea untului, apoi dati in clocot.
  3. Dati deoparte si adaugati faina, toata o data. Amestecati energic.
  4. Puneti din nou pe foc si gatiti 2-3 minute la foc mediu pentru a usca usor opareala.
  5. Transferati in alt bol si lasati sa se raceasca 5-10 minute, apoi incorporati treptat ouale.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund si realizati choux-uri egale in tava.
  7. Inmuiati o furculita in ou batut si presati usor partea de sus a fiecarui choux.
  8. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 170-180C pentru 30 minute si inca 10 minute la 160C.
  9. Coaceti inca o portie de choux-uri cu craquelin deasupra. (scoateti foaia de craquelin de la congelator si taiati mici cercuri, la fel de mari ca si choux-urile, apoi asezati-le pe choux-urile necoapte si dati la cuptor).
Crema diplomat cu vanilie:
  1. Incalziti laptele si 100ml smantana pentru frisca impreuna cu pastaia de vanilie. Dati deoparte sa infuzeze 10 minute, apoi reincalziti.
  2. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece.
  3. Amestecati galbenusul cu zaharul alb sis area, apoi incorporati amidonul.
  4. Turnati in fir subtire laptele apoi reintoarceti pe foc si gatiti 1-2 minute dupa momentul in care se ingroase pentru a va asigura ca amidonul este complet gatit.
  5. Luati de pe foc si incorporati gelatina.
  6. Lasati crema sa se raceasca complet apoi mixati sa redevina cremoasa.
  7. Incorporati smantana batuta.
  8. Umpleti choux-urile cu aceasta crema.
Glazura caramel:
  1. Topiti zaharul pana are o culoare aurie inchisa.
  2. Inmuiati fiecare choux in aceasta glazura apoi asezatile cu fata in jos pe o foaie de copt sau de silicon. Lasati glazura sa se raceasca complet.
  3. Pentru o diversitate de décor, inmuiati o parte din choux-uri in glazura apoi presarati-le cu zahar cubic si felii de migdale.
Caramel pentru lipit:
  1. Combinati toate ingredientele si gatiti, spaland usor peretii vasului, pana obtineti o cluoare aurie foarte deschisa.
  2. Folositi acest caramel pentru a lipi si a construi croquembouche-ul.

 

{Chouquettes}

Let’s put it this way: there are techniques that I love and techniques that I like, things that I do to improve my skills and things that I do out of pure passion. Pastry can be both fun and difficult at the same time, it can push your limits or make you do the same thing over and over again. It’s all part of the job at the end of the day. But what I love about it is that I get to wake up the next morning feeling excited about this new day work-wise. And that is a huge plus in my book!

chouquettes

 

{Chouquettes}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 160ml water
  • 15g powdered milk
  • 2g salt
  • 5g white sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 90g all-purpose flour
  • 160g whole eggs
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Pearl sugar as needed
Directions:
  1. Combine the water, powdered milk, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Place over low heat and wait until the butter is completely melted.
  3. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the flour, all at once. Mix well then return back on heat and continue cooking for 2 more minutes, stirring all the time, until a thin layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Transfer into a clean bowl and allow to cool down 10 minutes.
  6. Start incorporating the eggs, gradually, mixing well after each addition.
  7. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon or spatula forming a sharp end when it breaks. It should be shiny and smooth.
  8. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle then pipe small dollops of dough on a baking tray lined with silicone mats.
  9. Brush with egg wash then sprinkle each choux with pearl sugar.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your choux.

chouquettes

Choux pastry is among the techniques that I absolutely love. Maybe because it’s so so versatile! Or maybe because it’s so simple or possibly because it’s so technical. Bottom line is that it certainly pushed my limits in the past and it still does as I try to find the perfect recipe for the perfect eclairs or choux.

During my research on choux pastry I stumbled upon these cute, tiny little choux, topped with pearled white sugar that looked not quite so appealing at first. “Hmm it has no filling”, I thought at first. I was reluctant on whether should I make them or not. Curiosity won so I tried a batch thinking that I can always fill them with pastry cream if I felt the need to. And oh boy, I was hooked! As simple as they look, chouquettes are delicious! No filling, just pate a choux and pearl white sugar! The neutral dough and the sweet topping are such a great match, turning these chouquettes into the perfect little snacks! The word itself does translate into “little bits of choux” so no wonder they look so cute and snack-like!

There’s really nothing difficult about making chouquettes. I believe the most difficult part is actually finding their signature: the pearl (or crystal) sugar. It’s this sugar that gives their crunch and sweetness. Word has it that you can replace it with sugar cubes that have been crushed, but I have yet to give this a try. Do let me know if you have experienced it and how it went for you!

chouquettesROMANIAN

Chouquettes sunt mici snacks-uri frantuzesti realizate din aluat oparit, acelasi aluat din care formam si eclere, choux, Paris-Brest sau folosim pentru St. Honore, un aluat simplu, neutru, destul de nepretentios. Sa fiu sincera, la o prima citire a retetei, ramai putin surprins: adica vrei sa spui ca din aluat oparit si zahar granule iese ceva delicios?! Insa aluatul plin de unt si ou se potriveste la fix cu bucatile crocante si dulci de zahar granulat (termorezistent). De fapt, poate cea mai complicata parte a acestei retete este tocmai gasirea acestui tip de zahar. Se spune ca ar putea fi inlocuit cu zahar cubic faramitat, dar eu una nu am incercat inca.

Reteta in sine e extrem de simpla, lista de ingrediente scurta iar rezultatul final prea putin rezistent caci se mananca exact ca orice alt snack: una dupa alta pana dispar din bol! Nu e bine pentru silueta, dar e bine pentru poftele de dulce! Si de rontait in acelasi timp!

{Chouquettes}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 160ml apa
  • 15g lapte praf integral
  • 2g sare
  • 5g zahar
  • 70g unt
  • 90g faina alba
  • 160g oua intregi
  • 1 ou batut pentru uns
  • Zahar perlat
Directions:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele praf, sarea, zaharul si untul intr-un vas. Tineti pe foc pana la topirea untului.
  2. Dati in clocot.
  3. Dati deoparte si adaugati faina, toata o data. Amestecati energic.
  4. Puneti din nou pe foc si gatiti 2-3 minute la foc mediu pentru a usca usor opareala.
  5. Transferati in alt bol si lasati sa se raceasca 5-10 minute, apoi incorporati treptat ouale.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund sau zimtat si realizati choux-uri egale in tava.
  7. Pensulati cu ou batut apoi presarati deasupra zahar perlat.
  8. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 30-40 minute, in functie de marimea choux-urilor.

chouquettes

 

 

 

{Blood Orange Upside Down Cake} – Tort intors cu portocale rosii

orange upside down cake

There are days when I love working on a dessert for hours, like entremets, and there are days when I simply can’t think of anything too complicated and I just want to whip up something really quick to go with a cup of tea. And this was one of those days – gloomy and somehow foggy outside, I just couldn’t bring myself together to do more than an orange upside down cake infused with a blood orange syrup. It sounds simple and it really is, trust my words! The base of this cake, the genoise, is by definition a soft cake and I enriched it with melted butter for both a softer texture and an improved taste. The great thing about genoise is that it can be used either for this kind of cakes or as a base for other delicious creations. I often used it in my entremets and although it’s not the most exquisite cake out there in terms of ingredients, I like its texture and taste, especially when you add a touch of butter. Butter makes everything better, isn’t it?! Mind you, I had a bread and butter sandwich this morning for breakfast so there’s the answer to that question.

The topping of this cake consists of thinly sliced blood oranges. Now, mine weren’t all as “bloody” as I would have wanted them to be, but having this color contrasts makes the cake more beautiful than I ever predicted it would be. Once the cake was baked, I decided it needed more syrup so I made a blood orange syrup and gently soaked it up with even more flavor. Don’t expect an overly sweet cake of some sorts as the sugar quantity is minimum and I like it that way. I definitely prefer aroma over sugar and in fact, many of the recipes you find on my blog have the sugar cut down to as little as possible simply because I believe that too much sugar kills any flavor, leaving you with an overly sweet taste that requires a few mouthfuls of water and not another bite of dessert. My definition of dessert is a mix of sugar and flavor that balance each other and complement one another, not overpower. In fact, I strongly believe that moderation is the key to a healthy life and I somehow hate this idea of making the sugar the culprit of all our health problems and giving it all sorts of names that don’t do it justice. Sugar and butter are part of my religion!

{Blood Orange Upside Down Cake}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Genoise cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 90g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50g butter, melted and chilled
  • 3 blood oranges
Blood orange syrup:
  • 150ml blood orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)
  • 40g sugar
  • Zest from 1 blood orange
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F - 180C and line a 22cm round cake pan with parchment paper (only the bottom of the pan).
  2. Take your 3 blood oranges and remove the skin (including the thin white skin) with a sharp knife. Cut each orange into thin slices and place them all in a single layer on the bottom of your prepared pan. Place aside.
  3. Sift the flour with salt in a bowl.
  4. Combine the eggs with sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix about 7 minutes on high speed until triple in volume, fluffy and pale.
  5. Using a spatula, incorporate the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix gently, from bottom to top and make slow moves, trying not to deflate the eggs.
  6. Take 3-4 tablespoons of batter in a smaller bowl and drizzle in the melted butter. Mix with your spatula until incorporated then transfer this mixture into the bigger bowl and mix just as gently. This is done because butter tends to sink at the bottom of the bowl so you'd have to mix into the batter for a longer time thus deflating it more and more and over-mixing it. But mixing it with a smaller quantity of batter first prevents it from sinking and incorporating it becomes easier. It's just a small trick I learnt and been using with great success for genoise cakes.
  7. Pour the batter over the oranges and level it. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until well risen and if you press the center of the cake with your fingertips, it springs back. The toothpick test can be used as well.
  8. When done, remove from the oven, loosen the edges of the cake with a knife and turn it upside down on a platter. Carefully remove the parchment paper and let the cake cool down.
Blood orange syrup:
  1. Mix the juice with sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Cook the syrup for 10 minutes until slightly reduced then remove from heat and add the orange zest.
  3. Let the zest infuse for 5 minutes then strain through a fine sieve.
  4. When the syrup cools down, carefully pour it over the cake with a spoon, making sure it soaks the cake evenly.
  5. Serve the cake chilled.

orange upside down cakeorange upside down cake

 


ROMANIAN!

Sunt zile cand am un chef nebun sa lucrez, sa bibilesc un tort ori un desert, insa sunt si zile in care nu vreau sa petrec prea mult timp in bucatarie.. si asta a fost una din acele zile. Dar voriam totusi ceva dulce, ceva bun si cum aveam si cateva portocale rosii acrisoare, delicioase si atat de frumoase, m-am gandit repede ca un genoise imbogatit cu unt s-ar potrivi la fix. Noua ne-a placut mult rezultatul. Nu e un tort prea dulce, dar e aromat si se face foarte usor si repede – solutia perfecta pentru zilele cand nu ai chef de stat in bucatarie ore in sir!

Ingrediente:

Blat genoise:

  • 4 oua
  • 90g zahar
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 120g faina alba
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 50g unt, topit si racit
  • 3 portocale rosii

Sirop de portocale rosii:

  • 150ml suc de portocale
  • 40g zahar
  • Coaja de la 1 portocala

Mod de preparare:

Blat genoise:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati fundul unei tavi rotunde cu hartie de copt.
  2. Curatati portocalele de coaja si taiati-le felii subtiri. Asezati portocalele in strat subtire pe fundul tavii si dati deoparte.
  3. Cerneti faina cu sarea intr-un bol.
  4. Mixati ouale cu zaharul si vanilia cel putin 7 minute pana isi tripleaza volumul. Practica uzuala a genoise-ului cere ca ouale sa fie incalzite cu zaharul pe baie de aburi, proces care ajuta incorporarea aerului mai bine, dar nu consider necesar acest lucru pentru un astfel de tort. E suficient ca ouale sa fie la temperatura camerei.
  5. Incorporati treptat, folosind o spatula, faina cernuta. Luati deoparte 3-4 linguri de aluat si amestecati-l cu untul topit. Untul tinde sa se lase la fundul bolului, insa amestecandu-l cu o cantitate mica de aluat prima data, incorporarea lui in restul de aluat devine mai usoara.
  6. Transferati amestecul de unt si aluat in bolul mare si amestecati usor cu o spatula.
  7. Turnati blatul peste portocale si coaceti pentru 35-40 minute sau pana blatul e bine crescut, auriu si trece testul scobitorii.
  8. Scoateti din cuptor si cat e inca cald, intoarceti tortul pe un platou. Lasati sa se raceasca complet.

Sirop de portocale rosii:

  1. Combinati sucul de portocale cu zaharul si fierbeti pe foc medium pana scade putin.
  2. Luati de pe foc si adaugati coaja de portocala. Lasati sa infuzeze 5 minute apoi strecurati, caci tinde sa devina amarui in caz contrar.
  3. Lasati siropul sa se raceasca apoi insiropati tortul.
  4. Serviti tortul de la rece.

orange upside down cakeorange upside down cake

{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

{Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake} – Chec cu lamaie si mac

lemon poppy seed bundt cake

The combination of lemon and poppy seeds never ceases to amaze me. You’ve seen it in my birthday cake as well and be sure that you’ll see in the future again too. I love bold flavors, but the tangy one is definitely on top of my list – however, in this particular recipe tangy is not at all overpowering. Instead, it’s delicate and creates a delicious contrast with the bitter, crunchy poppy seeds. It’s this contrast that keeps drawing me back to this combination.

The start point of this Bundt cake were the organic lemons I bought a few days ago. Their beautiful color and intense aroma inspired me to create a tangy, fragrant dessert. I chose this particular recipe because, apart from the two main ingredients stated so far, it also has sour cream which I find delightful in desserts – it preserves moisture in batters and it makes them silky and soft – how good does that sounds? It’s definitely not a cake with few calories if you also count the butter and lemon frosting, but then again, we don’t eat cake every day and I believe in good measure in cooking and eating rather than extreme diets. So I’m not afraid to use sugar, butter or cream in my desserts. They’re part of my religion and if you want diet desserts, this is definitely not the right blog.

But let’s get back to our dessert as it deserves to be in the spotlight. The glaze is Martha Stewart inspired and I found it whilst looking for an alternative to the classic lemon juice – powdered sugar glaze which I like but I find to be too thin and not what I wanted for this dessert. Instead, this butter based glaze is perfect with its rich, thick consistency and good coverage. Martha uses a similar recipe to cover tiny petite fours and I’m sure it would be just perfect for that, whether you use lemon juice or milk as the liquid in the recipe. In fact, it’s  aversatile recipe and it can be made with various flavors to fit your needs.

{Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Bundt cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 180g white sugar
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 250g sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Lemon butter glaze:
  • 120g powdered sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
Bundt cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease a Bundt pan with butter then slightly flour it.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds in a bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs with sugar in the bowl of your mixer and mix well until creamy and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vegetable oil, followed by the melted butter and sour cream.
  5. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest as well.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture then spoon the batter into your prepared pan.
  7. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  8. When done, remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer on a wire rack.
Lemon butter glaze:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the chilled cake and decorate with lemon peel.
  3. Serve the cake chilled.

lemon poppy seed bundt cake


ROMANIAN!

Combinatia asta de lamaie si mac mi se pare incantatoare tocmai prin contrastul pe care lamaia aromata dar acrisoara si macul crocant si usor amarui il creeaza. Am mai folosit aceasta combinatie de multe ori si niciodata nu am dat gres, asa ca iata-ma cu o noua reteta ce are la baza fix aceleasi arome. E un tort usor dens, evident mai dens decat un pandispan, asta-i clar, caci si ingredientele sunt de asa natura si diferenta intre cele doua e uriasa, insa nu e uscat asa ca merge si cu si fara o cana de ceai ori lapte. In plus, rezista bine cateva zile la loc racoros, dar nu in frigider.

Ingrediente:

Chec:

  • 3 oua
  • 180g zahar
  • 100ml ulei vegetal neutru
  • 60g unt topit
  • 250g smantana acra (20%grasime)
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 60ml suc de lamaie
  • 2 linguri coaja de lamaie (bio, organic de preferabil)
  • 400g faina alba
  • 1 1/2 lingurite praf de copt
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 2 linguri seminte de mac

Glazura cu unt si lamaie:

  • 120g zahar pudra cernut
  • 50g unt topit
  • 3 linguri suc de lamaie
  • Coaja de lamaie pentru decor

Mod de preparare:

Chec:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si ungeti o tava de chec/guguluf cu unt apoi infainati-o. Dati deoparte.
  2. Amestecati faina cu praful de copt, sarea si semintele de mac.
  3. Combinati ouale cu zaharul si mixati pana isi dubleaza volumul si devin spumoase. Adaugati uleiul, apoi untul topit si smantana.
  4. Incorporati vanilia, sucul de lamaie, coaja de lamaie, apoi amestecul de faina.
  5. Turnati aluatul in tava pregatita si coaceti timp de 40-50 minute sau pana checul trece testul scobitorii.
  6. Cand e gata, transferati checul pe un gratar si lasati-l sa se raceasca.

Glazura cu unt si lamaie:

  1. Combinati cele 3 ingrediente intr-un bol si amestecati bine cu un tel sau lingura.
  2. Daca glazura e prea groasa, mai adaugati cateva picaturi de zeama de lamaie, daca e prea subtire, ingrosati-o cu 1-2 linguri de zahar pudra. Glazura finala e groasa, dar inca curge. Ideal e sa o folosit imediat, caci se intareste pe masura ce sta, mai ales daca o pastrati intr-un loc racoros. Pentru a subtia o glazura intarita, incalziti-o usor pe baie de aburi. Untul se va topi din nou si glazura isi revine.
  3. Acoperiti checul cu glazura si decorati cu gasii de coaja de lamaie sau dupa preferinta.

lemon poppy seed bundt cake