Nov 30, 2011

Can you believe...?

I have come this far in my life as a "baker" and not made a chocolate mousse cake!  With the widespread popularity of this cake, this is some sort of anomaly. This week i was asked to make a chocolate mousse cake for a birthday party on Saturday.  I was a little nervous, yet excited at the same time.  Nervous because i have tried several mousse recipes and not yet found one that i like. Excited because it is about time that i get my A into G and master this illustrious cake!  In the December edition of the Food & Home Entertaining magazine, one of the winners of their annual cake baking competition won with her "Death by Chocolate Mousse' recipe.

So, with the confidence that this recipe was a finalist in a national competition, i baked/made the cake.  I was a little disappointed with the taste and texture of the sponge, so for blogging purposes, i have replaced her sponge recipe with mine.  The mousse is nice and light, chocolatey and not too sweet.  I think that with a recipe like this where the chocolate really is the lead performer - it is best to invest in a good quality couverture.  For the mousse, a LOT of cream is mixed with the chocolate - so one can get away with using a really dark chocolate - i used the Lindt Equador 70 %.


280 g vanilla sugar
225 g cake flour
1 T baking powder
4 eggs – separated
125 ml sunflower oil
125 ml cocoa mixed with 250 ml warm milk
Pinch of salt

1.    Sift together the dry ingredients
2.   Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks
3.  Whisk together the oil and egg yolks and add to the dry ingredients
4.  Add cocoa mixture to dry ingredients.
5.  Fold in the egg whites
6.  Pour the mixture into two 22.5 cm baking tins.
7.  Bake @ 180 ºC for 25 – 35 minutes

330 g good quality dark chocolate
150 g butter
150 ml milk
650 ml fresh cream

1.  Combine the chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
2.  Bring the milk to the boil (either in a saucepan or in the microwave) and pour over the chocolate and butter.
3.  Stir until the chocolate melts.  (Place in the microwave for a few seconds if need be.)
4.  Cool to room temperature.
5.  Whip the cream to soft peaks and then fold into the chocolate mixture.

300 g good quality dark chocolate
180 ml fresh cream

1.  Heat the cream in the microwave to scalding point.
2.  Pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
1.  Cut each of the sponges into two equal layers (yielding four equal layers of sponge).
2.  Place the first sponge into a clean 22.5 cm spring form cake tin.
3.  Smooth over a layer of the chocolate mousse before placing the following layer of sponge.
4.  Repeat this step twice more, finishing off with a sponge layer.
5.  Cover the top of the cake with cling wrap and leave to set in the refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.
6.  Slide a hot palate knife between the edge of the cake and the cake tin.  Release the cake from the tin and place onto a cake stand/platter.
7.  Using a hot palate knife, neaten the sides of the cake.
8.  Pour the ganache over the cake.
9.  Place the cake in the refrigerator for a little while to allow the ganache to set.

Nov 24, 2011

Blueberry Frozen Yoghurt

Blueberries are abounding and i cannot resist making the best of an opportunity to use fresh, in-season fruit.  For the Summer season, i've been looking into some lighter, healthier alternatives to the ice-creams that i sell at the markets.  Frozen yoghurts are super tasty, refreshing and have no negative impacts on the waistline (if eaten in moderation of course ;) ).  So... fresh, packed-with-lots-of-healthy-goodness-blueberries + yoghurt = delicious blueberry frozen yoghurt!
There couldn't be an easier dessert / hot Summer's late afternoon pick-me-up snack:

340 g blueberries
360 g yoghurt
60 ml sugar (optional)
juice of 1 lemon (optional)

Place all ingredients in your blender, zhoosh everything together, watching the beautiful blue and white layers turn into a delicious purple!


Pop in your ice-cream machine and voila!

Keep in the freezer for up to two months.

If you don't have an ice-cream machine.... don't panic - this fabulous frozen yumminess can still be yours... just pop the zhoozshed berries and yoghurt in the freezer. After a couple of hours have a look-see: if there are any ice crystals, just break them up and mix in to the mixture before freezing. I've found though that this is usually not necessary.  Frozen yoghurts tend to freeze beautifully without any human-intervention (besides placing them in the freezer of course!)