Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate & Hazelnut No-Bake Cheesecake


I'm back with yet another chocolate and hazelnut combo. I can't seem to get enough of it. And I know that there are quite a few people out there that can't get enough of it either. I'm always here to please.
I decided to go on the easy side today and do a no-baking-involved dessert, which is always a nice for a change. But, to make it more classy, this cheesecake has a layer of hazelnut mousse! And you thought it couldn't get any better. You were mistaken.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Cheesecake

Makes one, 9"cheesecake

Crust

20 Oreo® cookies
1/4 cup                              butter, softened
1/4 cup                              hazelnuts
2-3 tbsp                             Nutella®

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until it resembles coarse crumbs. If it is too dry add one more tablespoon of nutella. Press into the bottom of the 9" spring-form cheesecake pan. Set aside.

Filling

3 oz.                                  bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 cup                                Nutella®, divided into 2 portions
500g                                 cream cheese, softened

In a heatproof bowl place the chopped chocolate and one portion of the nutella. Place the bowl over a saucepan filled with 2" of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Once cooled slightly add the second portion of nutella. Next, add the cream cheese and whisk together until fully incorporated and smooth. pour onto the crust and spread out evenly. Put in the frdge and let it chill for 1 hour.


Mousse

1/2 cup                             hazelnuts
5 tbsp                               sugar
4 oz.                                 bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
5 tbsp                              water
1 tbsp                              vanilla
pinch                               salt
1/2 cup                            whipping cream

Grind hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor until it resembles a paste. Set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with simmering water, stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a heatproof bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk over top of a pan full of simmering water until it becomes thick and pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Take off the heat and stir un the hazelnut paste as well as the melted chocolate.
With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Meanwhite, in a small saucepan combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it boil until it reaches 220 degrees. Gradually add the hot syrup to the egg whites while beating. Beat until hard peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture in 2-3 parts.
Beat the whipping cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, carefully fold it into the mousse. carefully pour into the chilled spring-form pan over top of the cheesecake mixture and place it back into the fridge for another hour. Before serving, top with freshly hipped cream and chocolate curls. Enjoy!




I sure do hope this million calorie dessert hits your sweet spot, I know it did for me. (It is very rich.) If you have a craving for all things hazelnut may I recommend the following posts: Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Tart with Toasted Meringue, and Chocolate & Caramel Hazelnut Mousse Tart.

Elanne Boake

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lemon & Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets


Well it may not look like much, this little tart packs a lot of flavour. It combines two slightly sweet and sour flavours to make a masterpiece of a dessert. And to top it off, a heaping mound of creamy meringue to balance out the flavour.
This tart is no walk in the ark, there are quite a lot of steps, although not as many steps as this one, still quite time consuming. But if rhubarb and lemon are your kind of thing, these tartlets are right up your ally.

Lemon & Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Makes four, 4" round tartlets

Crust

1 cup                       a.p flour
1/3 cup                    icing sugar
1/8 tsp                     salt
1/2 cup                    butter

In a food processor, combine together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse just until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is in large clumps.
Spray the tart pan with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the tart pan, press it up the sides and along to bottom to form an even layer. Prick all over the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Set aside.

Rhubarb Purée


3/4 lb                   rhubarb, chopped
1/6 cup                sugar
1/8 cup                water
1/2 tbsp               lemon juice

Chop the rhubarb into 1" chunks, being careful not to add the leaves. In a saucepan over medium heat combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture cook until the rhubarb is broken down into soft pieces, about 15-20 minutes. Bring it off the heat and with a handheld blender or a food processor, blend until smooth. At this point feel free to add a drop of red food coloring to give the purée a more vibrant colour. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Lemon Curd

3 eggs
3/4 cup                 sugar
1+1/2 tbsp            lemon zest
7 tbsp                   lemon juice
6 tbsp                   butter, softened

Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a heat proof bowl. Fill a medium sized saucepan with a 1/2" of water place over high heat until it starts to simmer. Place the bowl with your egg & lemon mixture over top, making sure it doesn't touch the water, and whisk constantly until it becomes warm. Careful not to let your mixture boil, add the butter one tablespoon at a time and whisk until it becomes much thicker. Take off heat and transfer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap making sure it touches the lemon curd and place in the fridge for about 3 hours, or until it is cold. 
Once both the rhubarb mixture and the lemon curd are cooled, line the bottoms of your cooled tart shells with about 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb purée. Next, add 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd ontop, spread it out evenly and jiggle the tarts to smooth it out. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. In the meantime make the meringue.

Meringue

2 egg whites
1/2 cup              sugar
1/4 tsp               salt

Fill a large saucepan with an inch of water put on medium heat. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl, beat lightly until soft peaks form. Once the water has come to a simmer, put the bowl with the meringue over the saucepan with simmering water. Beat the meringue with a hand mixer until it forms hard peaks. Take out of simmering water and beat again until cool. Transfer into piping bag and pipe meringue all over your tart, or just spoon it onto your tart and spread it out. Before serving make sure the tarts are cold, as well use a blowtorch to slightly toast the meringue. Finally you're done! Enjoy!


I actually planned to post these closer to Father's Day but alas, I never got around to it. Goes to show how unorganized I am normally. Oh well.
Hope you guys plan to try these, they are quite splendid. I'm glad I experimented with combining both these flavours, surprisingly tasty!

Elanne

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Soft M&M Cookies


I couldn't be happier. It's finally summer vacation. A time to relax and lounge about in the heat, do what you want and not stress about a thing.
I just finished my last exam this week, so now I am officially done school for the year. I am so relieved. I have lots of big travel plans this summer. It will be nice to take a long needed break and spend time with family and friends. And hopefully I will great around to making some delicious summer-time desserts...! Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum.

Soft M&M Cookies

1 cup                        brown sugar
1/2 cup                     sugar
1 cup                        vegetable shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp                         vanilla
2 1/2 cups                a.p flour
1 tsp                         baking soda
1 tsp                         salt
1 1/2 cups                M&M's®

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla together until well combined. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. Add the M&M's and stir to combine. Use a cookie scoop to divide the dough evenly and roll into balls, place on cookie sheets. Press M&M's into the tops and flatten the tops slightly. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet once slightly cooled and place on a rack. Enjoy!


These cookies are actually sosososo good and super easy, like you can whip these up in less than an hour and have dessert in no time. Great for kids parties and heck even adults love these suckers, so why not?
I plan to fit in a few awesome recipes this summer, so stay tuned. I hope you all enjoy yourselves and stay safe, but most of all eat to your heart's content!

Elanne Boake

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mango & Vanilla Bean Tart


It's getting close to the end of the school year, which only means one thing. Exams! Summer!
I'm getting ready by celebrating with fresh and luscious tropical fruits. What could be better than a juicy mango and vanilla bean tart on a hot summer day? This recipe was inspired by Just a Taste.

Mango & Vanilla Bean Tart 

Makes one, 14" x 4.5" tart

Crust

1 cup                       a.p flour
1/3 cup                    icing sugar
1/8 tsp                     salt
1/2 cup                    butter

In a food processor, combine together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse just until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is in large clumps.
Spray the tart pan with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the tart pan, press it up the sides and along to bottom to form an even layer. Prick all over the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Set aside.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

3 eggs yolks
1/4 cup                     sugar
2 tbsp                       a.p flour
2 tbsp                       corn starch
1 1/4 cups                milk
1/2 vanilla bean 
2 mangos, sliced

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Sift the flour and cornstarch into the bowl, whisk until smooth.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, pour in milk. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk, add the bean to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil just until the milk starts to foam. Remove from the heat, strain into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk constantly until it comes to a boil. Whisk until it thickens. Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap touches the pastry cream.Place in the fridge until completely cool.
Once the pastry cream has cooled, whisk to remove lumps, and pour into the tart shell. Arrange the mango slices on top, and brush with a simple fruit glaze. This tart should be served within two hours of making.


I hope this fruit tart will prepare you fully for summer. I am so glad to almost be done with school for this year. It will soon be time to relax and have some fun in the sun. Or if you're like me, have some fun surfing, the web.

Elanne Boake

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Churros

 

Happy Mother's Day! I hope you have spent the day wisely; cherishing and flattering your mothers in every conceivable way.
The only other possible way to make this day great would be to give her a bouquet. A bouquet of churros that is. And to be honest, these smell and taste much better than flowers anyways. So, I don't really know what you are waiting for.

Cinnamon Sugar Churros

1 cup                   water
2 1/2 tbsp            sugar
1/2 tsp                 salt
2 tbsp                  oil
1 cup                   a.p flour
1/2 litre               olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup                sugar
1 tsp                    cinnamon

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, 2 1/2 tbsp of sugar, salt and 2 tbsp of oil. Let is come to a boil and then take off the heat. Add the flour and mix with a spoon until it forms a ball. Transfer into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Set aside.
Pour the 1/2 litre of oil into a small saucepan (the oil should fill half of the pot). Using a candy thermometer, bring the oil to 360F or 180C. Next, pipe the batter into long strands, hovering over the oil. Use a knife to detach it from the piping bag and let it fall softly into the oil. Use a pair of tongs to turn the churros while cooking. Fry until golden brown (make sure they are cooked all the way through) and transfer them onto a paper towel to blot.
Mix the rest of the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and roll the blotted churros in the sugar.
These are best eaten the same day. Enjoy!


I've been wanting to make churros for a while now, and I'm glad I got around to trying them because they sure are delicious (when you actually cook them all the way through oops). I have never fried anything before so this was a new experience to me, and it was quite fun, even though the burner caught fire just a little bit... Something every Mom would love to hear! <3

Elanne Boake

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chocolate & Marshmallow Ruffle Cake


Cake has never really been my favorite. I know, quite shocking. 
But quite recently I have took a liking to them.

They are awfully pretty and when made right they can be fairly delicious too.
I have been plotting the creation of this cake for a while now, and I finally decided on my master plan: a ruffle cake.
I have seen these cakes all over the place, gorgeous pastel ruffles made of buttercream, or fondant. The other hard part was deciding what kind of ruffle. There were so many great designs, it was hard to choose. But I opted for the vertical ruffles with a flower petal-y top. Despite how it may seem, this cake was too easy. Once you figure out the basic technique it's smooth sailing. The recipe for the cake I got from Sweetapolita.

Chocolate & Marshmallow Ruffle Cake

Makes one 2-3 layer 6" cake

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups                     a.p flour
1 1/2 cups                     sugar
3/4 cup                          cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp                        baking soda
1 tsp                              baking powder
1 tsp                              salt
1/4 cup                          vegetable oil
3/4 cup                          buttermilk
3/4 cup                          hot brewed coffee
2 eggs                           
2 tsp                               vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cake pans by buttering them and lining the bottoms with parchment paper circles, butter the top of the parchment paper as well. Set aside.
Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed. Divide the batter evenly into your prepared cake pans. You can use a kitchen scale or measuring cups. Bake for 30 minutes, check their doneness by poking a skewer into the center. Try not to overbake. Them them cool. Then loosen the edges with a knife or offset spatula, invert out of the pans and let them cool.
Cut the rounded tops off the cakes, and with a knife or string, cut each cake into two even layers. In the end if you baked 2 cakes you should have 4 layers, and if you baked 3 cakes you should have 6 layers. Or if you choose not to, you can leave the cakes as is.

Marshmallow Frosting

2 egg whites
pinch                               cream of tartar
2/3 cup                            light corn syrup
pinch                               salt
1 tsp                                vanilla
1 cup                               icing sugar

In a stainless steel bowl, place the egg whites and cream of tartar and whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. Meanwhile, place the corn syrup in a small saucepan set on medium heat, with a candy thermometer attached. While syrup cooks, beat the egg whites until firm and slightly glossy. When the syrup reaches 235F (soft ball) turn the mixer on high and pour the syrup into the egg white mixture. Whip until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla. Reduce the speed and add the icing sugar.
Once you have placed your bottom layer of cake on your desired cake stand or plate, add marshmallow frosting on top, and spread it evenly. Add the next layer and repeat until the final layer of cake goes on top. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Butter Icing

1 cup                              butter
2 tsp                               vanilla
6 cups                            icing sugar
4 tbsp                             milk
1/4 tsp                            salt
1 drop                             red food coloring (optional)

Beat the butter and vanilla until light and smooth. Add the icing sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Lastly, add the salt and red food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated.
Using an offset spatula frost the cake with a very thin layer all the way around, in is called a crumb coat. Place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.
Transfer the rest of the icing into a piping bag fitted with a straight petal tip (Wilton 104). Frost the cake using this technique. Store cake at room temperature, covered. Enjoy!


I really hope to make more cakes soon, I have a lot of potential ideas that I'd love to create. I have some fondant on hand so maybe you guys will see some of that on here for the first time.
Have a great weekend!

Elanne Boake