Saturday, 23 February 2013

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse Cake


Fresh strawberries garnish the cake
 This cake is great. If you love creamy mousse and fresh fruit this cake is for you.

Most strawberries in Japan are grown in hot house type structures and they available from late  January. Actually, January through April are the most popular months for strawberries rather than the hot summer.

There are 3 steps to make this cake. Each step is not difficult but together they will take a couple of hours. One way to reduce work is to find a friend and bake together.



Strawberry Gelatin
150 grams fresh strawberries sliced
20 grams raspberry puree
50 grams sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
3 grams gelatin

Use two rings - smaller & larger sizes
For the dessert you will need two baking rings.  I used an 18 cm ring and a 15 cm one.










1. Prepare the 15 cm baking ring by covering one end with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

2.  In a sauce pan, add the puree, sugar and corn starch. Heat until the sugar melts and everything is well combined. Add the strawberries and mix. Take off the heat. Soften the gelatin in warm water and add to the sauce pan. Mix lightly to melt the gelatin but don't damage the strawberries. 

3. Place the ring on a plate with the wrap-side next to the plate Pour the strawberry mixture into the ring and place in the refrigerator to firm up. 
Cake
90 grams egg white
30 grams sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
35 grams almond powder
35 grams powdered sugar
40 grams flour (sifted)
5 grams butter (melted)

1. Sift the almond powder & powdered sugar together. 

2. In a bowl, mix the egg & egg yolks. Add #1 and mix together with a small whisk. The color should become light yellow.  

3. In a bowl, whip the egg whites and the sugar in portions. Mix with #2 using a spatula. Add in the sifted flour and mix. Add in the melted butter.

4. Put in a pastry bag and pipe two circles on a baking paper. Pipe the same size as the two rings that you use (i.e. one small and one large circle). 
5. Bake at 170 Celsius for 25 minutes until lightly browned. 

Before making the mousse, prepare the 18 cm ring by covering with plastic wrap the same way as for the gelatin. After the cake cools, cut two pieces to match each ring size. Put the covered 18 cm ring on a plate. 

White Chocolate Mousse
2 egg yolks
200 grams milk
1/2 vanilla bean
9 grams gelatin (softened in water)
10 grams Kirsch liquor
100 grams white chocolate
egg white (from 1 egg)
15 grams sugar
200 grams fresh cream (36%)

1. Whip the fresh cream until light peaks form. 
Whipped cream

2. Whip the egg white and add the sugar in portions to mix.

3. Cut the chocolate and put into a bowl over hot simmering water to melt. Turn off the heat once the chocolate is melted.

4. Mix the egg yolks in a bowl. Put the milk into a sauce pan. Cut the vanilla bean down the middle and remove the middle and add to the milk. Heat the milk until just boiling then pour into the egg yolk bowl and mix. Add back to the sauce pan and warm on low heat until it becomes slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin & Kirsch liquor. Strain into a bowl and cool lightly.

5. The white chocolate and egg/milk mixture should be the same temperature - about 30 Celsius. Add the egg/milk mixture to the chocolate in portions. Use a spatula to mix. The add in #2 and mix with a spatula. Add in the whipped fresh cream. The mousse will start to become firm so put the cake together quickly.

Putting Together

1. Take the strawberry gelatin and remove from the ring and place inside the 18 cm ring.

2. Pour 1/3 of the mousse over the gelatin. Be sure to fill the sides thoroughly between the mousse and the ring. 

3. Add the smaller piece of cake on top of the cake and put some sliced strawberries on top of the cake.

4. Pour the remaining mousse over the strawberries and evenly level the mousse. Add the last piece of cake on top of the mousse.

5. Put in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.






 1. To remove the ring, use a kitchen torch to heat the outside of the ring then it lifts off easily.  

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Coffee Ganache with Creamy Chocolate Mousse

This dessert is really scrumptious 
This recipe has a chocolate cake at the bottom topped with a coffee flavored ganache followed by a creamy chocolate mousse. Covering the entire dessert is a light chocolate coating.

There are 4 items to make in this recipe. Each item is not too difficult to make by themselves but it does take time for all four. You can make the bottom cake the day before if you want to break up the work.

If you are pressed for time, you could skip the last topping.

Cake 
50 grams sweet chocolate
25 grams unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
10 grams flour (sifted)
16 grams egg yolk
50 grams egg white
25 grams granular sugar

1. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering hot water. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix with a spatula. Put the bowl back over the hot water to melt the chocolate completely if needed.
2. Add the egg yolk in portions to the chocolate. Use a small whisk to mix the egg & chocolate.
3. Whip the egg whites and add the sugar in portions. Whip until soft peaks form.
4.  Add the meringue to the chocolate mixture. Use a small whisk to mix together then add the flour.
5. Put the batter into a pastry bag and pipe it in small circles on a piece of baking paper on top of a baking pan. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 - 20 minutes.

After baking, cut the cake to fit into the small dessert rings
I used these small metal baking circles to prepare the desserts.

After baking the cake, use the dessert ring to cut the cake to match the size of the ring.

If you don't have these type of small baking rings, you can make one large cake using a 18 cm baking ring.

Chocolate Ganache
130 grams fresh cream (36%)
Mizu ame (corn syrup) 16 grams
6 grams instant coffee
30 grams sweet chocolate (chopped)
90 grams milk chocolate (chopped)
40 grams butter(cut into small pieces)

1. Put the two types of chocolate in a bowl.
2. Combine the cream, mizu ame and instant coffee in a sauce pan and heat until  until just boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate and use a small whisk to mix and melt the chocolate. Put the bowl back over the hot water to melt the chocolate completely if necessary. Add the butter and mix gently.
3. After putting the cake pieces at the bottom of the baking rings, pour some of the ganache over each piece. Pour enough so that the cake is completely covered. Put in the refrigerator while you make the next step.

Chocolate Mousse
150 grams sugar
50 grams water
100 grams egg yolks
3 grams gelatin (soften in water)
180 grams sweet chocolate
300 grams fresh cream (36%)

1. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and put in the refrigerator.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering hot water.
3. In a bowl, put the egg yolks and mix with a hand mixer. In a pan, put the sugar and water and heat to 108 degrees Celsius then add the hot sugar to the egg yolks and add the gelatin. Continue to mix with the hand mixer until it is light yellow and fluffy.
4. Add this to the chocolate and mix together with a whisk. Add the whipped fresh cream and continue to mix.
5. Pour into each of the baking rings on top of the ganache. Fill each baking ring to the top and level the mousse using a palette knife. Put in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more to firm the mousse.

Chocolate Coating (last step)
75 grams water
75 grams fresh cream (36%)
125 grams sugar
50 grams cocoa powder
7 grams gelatin (softened in water)

Pour the coating over
the mousse pieces
1. Heat the water, fresh cream, sugar and cocoa powder in a pan until the sugar is melted. Add the softened gelatin. Pour into a bowl and cool to about 35 degrees Celsius.
2. Take the mouse out of the refrigerator. Using a kitchen torch, to heat the outside of the baking rings and lift them off. Put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to ensure that the mousse remains cold.
3. Take the mousse from the refrigerator and put each of the baking rings on a grill with a plate underneath. Put the chocolate coating in a glass and pour over each of the mousse pieces. Use a palette knife to add more coating if any places were mixed.
4. Put back in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.


This mousse was served with a sparkling Jacob's Creek Red Shiraz

Rich Chocolate Brownies

Brownies are ready - got milk!
 I had a lot of chocolate leftover from valentines day so I wanted to use it.  Also, the weather outside was very cold today so I had no motivation to go out.

I know there are a million brownie recipes on the Internet, but this one is really great. I used dark chocolate 70% to get a deep rich taste.

Even though this recipe has a lot of butter, the brownies taste light.  Well, I am not going to promise that they are low in calories though so don't eat too many at one time.

This recipe makes a lot of brownies so cut in half if you need less.

Recipe

375 grams dark chocolate
200 grams sugar
250 grams butter
6 eggs
150 grams flour
3 grams baking powder
100 grams chopped walnuts

1.  Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot simmering water. Remove from the heat to add the butter.
2. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the melted chocolate. Add the butter in portions and mix using a spatula. Let all of the butter melt before adding the next portion. Put the bowl back over the hot water if needed to melt the butter completely.
3. Mix together the eggs & sugar in a bowl using a whisk. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
4. After the butter has been added to the chocolate, add the egg mixture in portions. Use a small whisk to mix the eggs & chocolate together.  Add in flour and mix with a spatula. Add in the walnuts.

Mix in the chopped nuts
5. This recipe makes many brownies so you can you two baking dishes (20 cm square) is large enough.
6. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.





















I used a baking square on top of a silpat sheet for baking.
After removing from the oven, let the brownies cool before moving the square.