Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate Sponge Mousse Cake Dessert

6 Jan

Hello all!

Happy New Year! After a hectic two months of serious exam stressing and Christmas food gorging, I’m back with a beauty of a recipe – my chocolate mousse cake dessert. This happened as somewhat of an accident when I was making an eggless chocolate sponge for my nephew Jack’s first birthday… It turned out nicely and JUST as I was lifting it out of the tin… SPLAT. The sponge cracked in half and it was no longer usable for the main event – his birthday cake – so I decided to give this dessert a go. It’s not by any means light, so January dieters LOOK AWAY NOW! It is a bowl full of rich, chocolatey, spongy, mousse-y goodness and it instantly became a firm favourite in the Hornibrook household!

It consists of chocolate sponge in various layers that have been drenched in chocolate ganache sauce, piped full to the brim with chocolate mousse and topped off with some whipped cream and toasted almonds for a nutty crunch. What’s not to love?!

See the recipe below – Diet starts February……….

Ingredients

For the sponge (I made an eggless sponge, however you can make a sponge including eggs by following the recipe to my Easter chocolate cake sponge recipe, by clicking here)

For the Sponge

  • 280g self raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 40g butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g dark chocolate chips (I use Callebeaut)

For the Chocolate ganache sauce 

  • 75ml cream
  • 120g mix of milk/dark chocolate chips (I usually use half and half of each)

For the Mousse (Nigella Lawson’s instant mousse)

  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 50g butter
  • 250g dark chocolate chips (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 60ml hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
  • 300ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Assembly

  • 200ml Cream, whipped & in a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle
  • Handful of toasted slivered almonds (Pecans would work great aswell)

Method

Sponge – use an 8 or 9 inch round cake tin

  1. Preheat the oven 180 C / Gas 4. Grease your tin with butter and line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Mix the bicarb with 1 tablespoon of milk then add to the flour and cocoa powder mixture. Melt the butter with 100g of the chocolate chips.
  3. Add the sugar along with the remaining milk, oil, golden syrup, melted butter/chocolate and vanilla extract. Beat with a fork or hand whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining 100g of chocolate chips now. Transfer to the prepared cake tin.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the centre of the cake is not fully cooked then leave the cake in the oven for another 5-10 minutes, but cover the top of the cake with tin foil so it doesn’t burn. Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool.

NOTE: While the sponge is cooking, make the chocolate sauce next so it is cool by the time you are assembling..

Chocolate ganache sauce

  1. Warm the cream in the microwave in short bu rsts of 30 secs or alternatively on the hob in a dish over a sauce pan of hot water (Bain marie).
  2. Add the chocolate buttons and return the microwave in further 30 sec bursts, stirring in between until sauce forms. Alternatively, add buttons to dish on top of sauce pan and stir until chips are melted. Set aside to cool.

Mousse 

  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth mixture.
  4. I added a tablespoon of ganache to the mousse and marbled it through for extra chocolatey goodness…

Assembly

  1. I used a large crystal trifle dish to assemble the dessert in. You can really assemble it in any type of dish you’d like but I loved how it looked in this dish.
  2. Slice up the cooled sponge into thin wedges. Drizzle the dish base generously with chocolate sauce. Layer sponge pieces on top and drizzle more choc sauce over them.
  3. Scoop in a layer of mousse then repeat the sponge/chocolate sauce layers until the dish is full (last layer should be mousse).
  4. Leave enough sauce to dot around the top in large splodges, and then marble with a toothpick for the pretty marbled effect.
  5. Pipe whipped cream around the edges and scatter the toasted almonds. Ready to serve and eat as much to your heart’s desire ;).

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Salted Caramel, Pecan and Chocolate Chewy Gooey Cookies 

14 Feb

Happy V-day all! 

These unbelievably good cookies would be the ideal dessert or treat for your loved ones on this romantic day! Now believe me when I say this is hands down the best cookie recipe I’ve ever used. I know in one of my first ever post, I said the very same thing about Nigella’s version of the typical ‘American style’ cookie, but I was wrong. Boy, I was WRONG! I came across this recipe on about the 75784th page of google search for ‘the perfect cookie recipe’. It has chew, crunch, a softie interior and is the closest taste-wise to the famous Marks and Spencers cookies which the world loves so dearly! I decided to make these cookies as I had a bunch of Salted caramels left and nothing to do with them. Alas, the Salted caramel, pecan and chocolate cookie was born! The original recipe is just plain chocolate chip, so for this recipe I slightly cut back on the amount of chocolate as I was adding the caramels and pecans also. However if you do want to make THE perfect chocolate chip cookie, I would add an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Dessert suggestions…. try two of these cookies sandwiched together between vanilla ice cream or serve drizzled with some extra toasted pecans, chocolate sauce and ice cream for a rich but simple dessert!

What’s so mouth-wateringly good about my cookies you say? Try them and see for yourself…

Makes 18-24 cookies

Ingredients (They’re in cup measurements as it’s an American recipe)

  • 2 cups + 2tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6oz butter (I use salted)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups light brown sugar (OR 1 cup white, 1/2 cup dark brown)
  • 2 eggs (I use Ogran egg substitute to make them egg free and it works fine)
  • 1 cup chocolate chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel chunks (broken up into quite small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans

Method

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients. IMPT: You must sieve the cornflour and bicarbonate of soda to avoid unpleasant lumps. Melt the butter in a separate dish.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar and then add the eggs and extract, beating with a whisk until well mixed.
  3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until fully incorporated with each other. Add the chocolate chips, salted caramel pieces and pecans and mix until just dispersed evenly through the dough.
  4. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C. Chill the dough for half to one hour. Using a tablespoon, place heaped spoons of mixture (I use an ice cream scoop, which gives large cookies) on to a lined with greaseproof paper rectangular tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size scoops of mixture you used, until cookies are golden but still moist in the centre.

TOP TIP: You can freeze the dough raw in portions for up to 3 months, to have cookies ready to go! simply take them out a few hours in advance of cooking, leaving them in the fridge so the dough is chilled when it goes in to the oven. Chilling the dough is the difference between a good and a great cookie!

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Hope you and your loved ones have a sweet Valentines!

-Rachel

Perfect Chocolate Fondants

24 Jul
I had only made fondants once before I tried this recipe with the results being slightly disappointing. The recipe I had previously used produced a sponge like fondant and didn’t have much of a chocolatey kick as it called for half milk half dark chocolate (I’m a dark choccie fan 100%). I wasn’t expecting much from this recipe as it is so simple, but to say they tasted AMAZING is an understatement. I’m such a chocolate fiend, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this subject and in my eyes, this is the perfect recipe! It’s indulgent, so you wouldn’t be making it everyday. But make it for a special occasion such as making dinner for friends and your guests will be seriously impressed!
Adapted from the Masterchef Masterclass Cooking Book
Fondants
melted butter, for greasing
cocoa powder, for dusting
275g (9.5oz) dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
225g (8oz) salted butter
400g (14oz) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large free range eggs
200g (7oz) plain flour, sifted
8 metal 5fl oz pudding bowls or ramekins
1 tub Good quality vanilla ice cream (I used homemade that I’d made a few weeks back)
Icing sugar, to dust
Rasperries (optional)

Heat the oven to 180C. Brush the pudding moulds sparingly with melted butter, dust with cocoa powder and shake out the excess. Set aside. Melt the chocolate and butter gently in a saucepan.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar for roughly 5 minutes until pale and thick (figure of 8 should hold when the whisk is lifted) , then fold in the melted chocolate mixture which has now slightly cooled and the sifted flour until you have a smooth mixture.

Divide between the moulds – each one two thirds full. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 12 minutes exactly. Remove from the oven, run a knife round the edges, invert and tip out on to serving plates. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream and raspberries if you like. Finish it off with a light dusting of icing sugar.

And finally the best part…. plunge your spoon into the molten centre and revel in happiness when the liquid chocolate oozes out……………… mmmmmm

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Apologies for the poor quality photo, excited chocolate lover couldnt possibly wait 2 more minutes to find her camera………..instead taking an average quality one with her phone.

Perfect….Key Lime Pie

18 Jun

I’m not much of a pie person- but this pie is special.The filling is smooth and bursting with lime zest while the crust is crunchy and buttery rich- both of which work together extremely well. In my eyes, it is THE perfect key lime pie. Its easy and quick to prepare but also looks divine decorated with dollops of cream and thin slices of lime as I have done in the picture. I was recently asked to cater fingerfood and desserts for a party.. My first time getting paid for doing something I love! (sweet)

Recipe adapted from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery’ Book

Filling

8 egg yolks
2 397g tins of condensed milk
freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 5 limes (The recipe states no need for food colouring as the zest does the job, but I always add 3-4 drops of green for the extra kitsch touch) and an additional 1 lime, for decoration
200ml cream (single/double, whichever you can get)

Crust
500g digestive biscuits
200g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor (I do about four lots). Process until finely ground. Put the crumbs in a large mixing bowl, and pour the melted butter in, and stir. Press the mixture into the base and neatly up the side of the prepared pie dish, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until deep golden and firm. Set aside to cool completely.

Turn the oven down to 150 degrees. Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lime juice in a mixing bowl, and mix with a whisk until smooth (It will naturally thicken) Pour into the cold pie crust and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Pull it out when it’s firm to the touch, and not at all wobbly. Leave to cool completely. (I made it the day before serving and chilled it in a cold room overnight)

Whip the cream until it reaches firm peaks and place ina piping bag with a star shaped nozzle attached. Slice the extra lime thinly. Pipe cream in any pattern you like around the pie and finish with lime slices. (The initial recipe states to use 450ml cream and cover the pie entirely but I prefer it this way. It’s just down to personal taste really) Remove from the tin, Slice and enjoy the tangy celebration about to unfold!!

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ImageAbove: The food I was asked to provide for a party: My first time catering for mula!

Left-right: Strawberry and raspberry roulade, Key Lime Pie, Sherry Trifle, Cucumber and Salmon Rillette with Dill, mini Roast Beef Yorkshire Puddings with Horseradish cream, Mini Goats Cheese and Homemade red onion relish tartlets, Another roulade.

ImageAbove: The dessert side of my catering venture.

Left-Right: Roulade, Trifle, Key Lime Pie, Almond Macaroons, Shortbread (Which I will be posting the recipe of soon, it is the PERFECT shortbread in my eyes)

Baked Alaska

8 Jun

Hello all! I’ve been very lazy with my blog lately, but as I’m now on holidays from school (phew!) I’ll be making regular posts. Today’s offering is: Baked Alaska. In my eyes it’s a perfect dessert and will please any fussy eater with its three components: the creamy ice cream centre, the crunchy biscuit base and the marshmallow like crunchy coating. I make homemade ice cream for this but you can use shop bought,(1 litre tub will do just fine) leaving It to melt a little then pouring into the pudding basin mould.

Here’s what you need….

Ice cream
500ml full-fat milk
300ml single/double cream
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
5 large egg yolks (keep 3 whites for meringue)
140g caster sugar

Method

Put the milk and cream in a saucepan. Heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils – you’ll see a few bubbles at the edge.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Gradually pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until combined. Pour everything back into the cleaned pan, return to a low heat and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Make sure it doesn’t boil or you will end up with scrambled eggs.
Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, then sit it in a bigger bowl, one-third full of ice and water, to cool it down – keep stirring every now and then to stop a skin forming. Add the vanilla bean paste. Chill to make sure it is completely cold, putting cling film directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Pour the custard into an ice-cream machine. Churn following manufacturers’ instructions until frozen, then spoon into a pudding basin (1.5/2 litre) smooth out so the surface is even, cover and freeze until solid.

Base
25g butter
25g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Half a tsp vanilla extract
60g flour
Pinch baking powder

Method

Cream the butter until soft, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift the flour and baking powder and mix until it forms a dough. Put it in clingfilm and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Roll the dough out in a circle until it is 1cm thick and is wider than your pudding basin by an inch. Trim around the edges. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes until golden but not brown.
Leave to cool

Meringue

170g caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

In an electric mixer, add the sugar and egg white and beat for 10-15 mins until stiff. Add vanilla paste and mix through.

Assembly
Sit the pudding basin of now solid ice cream in boiling water for 5-10 seconds until loose around the edges. Place the ice cream, upturned, on the biscuit base. Smother the meringue all around the ice cream making sure it is completely sealed between the ice cream and the base. Use a palette knife to do this and make swirls and peaks for the meringue to crisp up. Place in a preheated 220C oven for 4-5 mins until the meringue is set and golden at the peaks.

Variations:
Add 1tbsp of sifted cocoa powder to the biscuit base when adding the flour and using a chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla for a chocolate baked Alaska. It is also delicious when you use two types of ice cream, chocolate in one half and cookie dough ice cream in the other half is a mouth warring combination!! You can also serve it with chocolate sauce or raspberry coulis for some extra pizazz…

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Chocolate Mousse Cups

10 Apr

Hello all! I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently and came up with these little gems…. Chocolate mousse served in tea cups with heaps of almond praline. The mousse recipe is none other than cooking queen Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s a really easy fast method, which tastes delicious. This dessert can be easily made in less than half an hour and will impress anyone! The only thing I have changed about this recipe is that I uses half milk half dark chocolate instead of all dark as I found it just a little too heavy with the praline. I also used single cream instead of double as its hard to find in Irish supermarkets, but use double cream if you can find it.

Almond Praline

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g whole almonds, with skin/unblanched

Method

In a heavy duty sauce pan/ frying pan , sprinkle the sugar on the base and then pour the almonds in on top of the layer of sugar. Place the pan on a medium/high heat until the sugar starts melting and caramelizing. It’s really important at this stage that you do not stir the mixture, as the sugar will crystalize. Instead, swirl the pan around, making sure the mixture is cooking evenly. Once the caramel has turn a deep amber colour take it straight off the heat and pour it on to a cold counter surface, with a sheet of parchment on top. Leave to cool while you’re making the mousse and once it has cooled, chop it into pieces, about the consistency of a rough rubble. 

Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse 

  • 150 g mini marshmallow(s)
  • 50 g butter
  • 125 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
  • 125 g milk chocolate chopped into small pieces 
  • 60 ml boiling water (from recently boiled kettle)
  • 284 ml double or single cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour into 4 large sized tea cups (the daintier the better!). Spoon a heapful of praline rubble on top and serve with a matching saucer and spoon then EAT! Mmmmmm……

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