Archive for June 2013 | Monthly archive page

In the spirit of molecular gastronomy, we have created a dose of¬†fizzing, popping and titillating¬†chocolate cake bars. Have your guests eyes popping with joy when they discover what’s hidden in this yummy chocolate slice.

You can add chocolate popping candy to any dessert, although¬†mainly as a topping, or incorporated into¬†a cool mousse/ jelly/ frosting/ ganache, since popping candy will melt if it’s heated. Popping candy is very sensitive to air¬†– that is why ours¬†is coated in chocolate – to preserve the precious “pop”. In this recipe we used it as a topping.

Ingredients:

190g Butter 1 1/5 cups (300ml) Castor Sugar 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract 4 eggs (separate yolk from egg white) ¬ĺ cup Self-Raising Flour 1/3 cup Cocoa ¬ĺ cup Plain Yoghurt 1¬†Tbs.¬†Espresso /¬†strongly brewed Coffee

 

Start by creaming the¬†butter, sugar¬†and vanilla in an mixer. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the sifted flour, cocoa¬†and yoghurt and stir in the coffee. Beat the egg whites separately until stiff, and gently fold into the mixture. Spread the mixture into a silicone cake mould or small tray (25cm). Bake in at 180¬įC¬†for approx. 40 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean.

Mocha Frosting

120g Dark Chocolate 2 tsp. Espresso / strong brewed Coffee 120g Butter (softened) Icing Sugar Рto taste, approx. 2 Tbs.

Heat the chocolate and coffee in a double boiler (bain-marie) and stir until melted.  Remove from the heat, and beat in the butter (small amount at a time). Add the icing sugar and mix well. Allow the frosting to cool and thicken. Spread over the cooled chocolate slices.

Decorate with Chocolate Popping Candy. The recipe makes approx. 16 squares.

 

We have been quietly observing this trend of gourmet doughnuts, and have decided to plunge into the world of endless flavours and possibilities. Mini doughnuts are great for high tea; children’s parties and breakfast feasts.

We found a magical new piece of equipment – the mini doughnut maker. Although we used this genius doughnutter, it is possible to use a doughnut baking tray / silicone moulds. Now to choose a recipe? Banana and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Full stop. Here is the recipe we used.

Ingredients

2 small Bananas (mashed) 1/2 cup (170g tub) Fat Free Plain Yoghurt 1/2 cup Sugar 2 Eggs (lightly beaten) 2 Tbs. Butter (melted) 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract 2 cups Self-Raising Flour 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder (a little extra baking powder adds fluffiness) pinch of Salt 1/2 cup dark / milk Chocolate Chips

Mix mashed banana with the sugar and yoghurt. Blitz the mixture in a food processor/blender if you want a smooth texture. Mix in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the batter and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! Fold in the chocolate chips.

Place a teaspoon of batter into the wells of the hot doughnut maker and close the lid;¬†cook for a few minutes till the doughnut maker’s lid pops up/ doughnuts are golden brown.

Drop the hot mini doughnuts into cinnamon and sugar / drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cake confetti and chocolate hearts. The texture is between flapjacks and doughnuts, and are delicious when warm. We used these doughnut-morsels to create a doughnut birthday cake tower, fit for a mini queen (also see “Princess”).

FYI: This recipe is lower in fat due to the addition of fat free yoghurt! Yay!

With Father’s Day around the corner, we thought we would craft¬†a few¬†cake pops inspired by our Dads.

The¬†first batch was too wet and didn’t form balls properly,¬†so we discarded it¬†– what a waste of good cake and icing. The second batch was delicious but messy and had tempers flaring in frustration. Then, we had our experienced friend Yolandi Heyneke of Love Life Cupcakes (a cake pop baking whizz) show us how to make cake pops the fool-proof way.¬† Yolandi made some awesome suit¬†& tie cake pops, moustache shaped cake pops and original chocolate cake pops dipped in white¬†or milk chocolate.

Yolandi’s top tips:

Use any type of cake (even shop bought sponge) and cream cheese instead of frosting.¬†It makes them smoother! Crumble the cake with a grater or food processor. The¬†amount of cream cheese to add is not an exact science, Yolandi knows it’s right¬†when the¬†consistency is the same as play dough. For the professional touch – weigh the balls of mixture to make perfectly sized pops (perfect size is 25 ‚Äď 27g).

¬†The balls are then¬†cooled (not frozen) –¬†just pop them¬†in the freezer (for 15min) or¬†fridge (for 1 ‚Äď 2 hrs) to firm up.¬† If they are frozen, the dipped chocolate will¬†crack once they start defrosting. When¬†melting the chocolate in the microwave keep the microwave on low/defrost (or melt chocolate in a double-boiler to prevent burning).¬†Stir the chocolate frequently to prevent overheating.¬†The chocolate should be melted but not hot. Add a few pieces of¬†extra un-melted chocolate¬†if it’s too hot in order to cool it down. When the balls are firm and you have your chocolate ready, dip the tip of the Cake Pop Stick in the chocolate¬†and insert it into the balls. Dip the balls in chocolate; they should be¬†completely covered, and then roll the stick around in your hand to let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. You will note when it starts to firm up and you can¬†then¬†push the stick into a¬†polystyrene block¬†or empty egg box to dry¬†completely. When using sprinkles, let the excess chocolate drip off¬†and just before putting them in the¬†polystyrene block, sprinkle the balls. (Don‚Äôt let any sprinkles fall into your choc dipping bowl). We used our Blue and Green Nicoletta¬†Cake Crystals¬†as well as¬†Nicoletta Pearl Drops ¬†and Blue & White Ready to Roll Fondant to make the shirts and ties.

Once you get the hang of doing the balls, you can also make different shapes by using cookie cutters or moulds. These moustache cake pops are fun, not fuzzy!

Cake Pops¬†require patience and practice. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. Your dad will appreciate the taste more than the look anyway!