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Fancy Miso Butterscotch Chocolate Tart

This decadent chocolate tart recipe has miso butterscotch which gives an umami depth of flavor, a little like salted caramel.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE PIE CRUST:

375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry

FOR THE MISO BUTTERSCOTCH:

300ml double cream

75g unsalted butter

300g golden caster sugar

¾ tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra to garnish

1½ tbsp concentrated miso paste (we used Yutaka)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

150ml double cream

150g dark chocolate, about 72% cocoa solids, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE MISO BUTTERSCOTCH:

First, make the miso butterscotch. Put the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and as soon as it starts to bubble, remove from the heat; set aside.

Put the sugar and 100ml water in a medium saucepan over a low heat and cook, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble for 10-12 minutes without stirring, or until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. Remove from the heat and, working quickly, add the cream mixture, sea salt and miso, then whisk to combine. Return to the heat and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken; pour into a bowl, cool and chill for 2 hours.

FOR THE PIE CRUST:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 23cm diameter loose-based fluted tart tin (about 3cm deep) with the pastry. Trim the edges and prick the base with a fork. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (The tart keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days, or can be frozen)

Line the pastry case with baking paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans, then bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and slightly golden. Allow to cool in the tin. Pour the miso butterscotch into the tart shell and put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours, or until set.

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

To make the chocolate ganache, put the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the chocolate in a bowl and pour in the hot cream. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes then stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Carefully pour the chocolate ganache over the miso butterscotch layer and smooth the surface with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Chill for 1-2 hours, or until set.

Before serving, bring to room temperature, dust the edges of the tart with cocoa and sprinkle on some sea salt flakes. Use a hot knife to cut into slices.

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Amazing Dark Chocolate Cake With Lavender

Chocolate and lavender…whoever it was that first combined these two flavors should certainly be significantly rewarded! The combination is absolutely magical and will certainly leave your heart and taste buds happy.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

½ cup butter

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Dark chocolate shavings or cacao nibs, optional garnish

FOR THE LAVENDER CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon dried lavender

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

FOR THE VANILLA & LAVENDER BUTTERCREAM:

1 cup butter, softened

3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 drops culinary grade lavender essential oil

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

First, begin steeping the lavender for the ganache. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth, stirring constantly. Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and use a tea strainer to steep the dried lavender in the hot cream for at least 1 hour.

While the cream is steeping, you can prepare the cake. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cocoa powder, vegetable oil, and baking soda at medium low speed. Add the boiling water and mix to combine.

Add the sugars, milk, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture, flour, baking powder, and salt and mix at low speed until a silky batter forms.
Evenly distribute the batter between 2 greased 8-inch cake pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan and allowing the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack, parchment paper side down. The cake is very moist so if you do not leave the parchment paper on, the cake will stick to the wire rack.

TO MAKE LAVENDER CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

While the cakes are cooling, you can finish preparing the ganache. Remove the lavender from the cream and discard it. Heat the cream and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

FOR THE VANILLA & LAVENDER BUTTERCREAM:

Beat the butter and powdered sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Add the cream, vanilla extract, and lavender essential oil and continue beating until the frosting takes on an airy whipped texture, about 3-4 minutes.

ASSEMBLY:

To assemble the cake, cut each cake layer in half horizontally so that you have 4 small cake layers. Place the base layer on your serving dish and coat the top with the ganache. Repeat two more times so you have three cake layers with ganache on them. Place the top fourth layer on the cake and ice the top and sides with the buttercream.

Garnish with chocolate shavings or cacao nibs and serve.

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PEAR, THYME AND HAZELNUT TART

Yield: 6-8 SERVINGS

Prep time: 30 MIN

Cook time: 30 MIN

Cooling time: 1HR

Total time: 2 HR

Thyme adds an intriguing savory note to this burnt-butter tart, and poaching the pears in wine adds a further savory element. Start this tart a day ahead to rest the pastry, and serve it with a dollop or two of crème fraîche.

 

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE HAZELNUT PASTRY:

80 gm roasted hazelnuts

200 gm (1 cups) plain flour

110 gm pure icing sugar, sieved

125 gm chilled butter, diced

2 egg yolks

FOR THE POACHED PEARS:

400 ml semi-dry white wine, such as riesling

400 gm raw caster sugar

Thinly peeled rind and juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon

3 thyme sprigs

2 cinnamon quills

4 ripe pears (such as Josephine), peeled, cored and quartered

FOR THE FILLING:

80 gm chilled butter, diced

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

110 gm raw caster sugar

Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean

Finely grated rind of ½ orange

1 tsp thyme, plus extra to serve

50 gm (⅓ cup) plain flour

2 tbsp crème fraîche

 

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE HAZELNUT PASTRY:

For hazelnut pastry, finely process hazelnuts in a food processor, add flour, sugar and a pinch of salt, and process to combine. Add butter, process to fine crumbs then add yolks and process until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick round, then line a 23cm-diameter, 3cm-deep tart tin and trim edges. Refrigerate to rest for 1 hour, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and blind-bake tart case until edges are lightly golden (6-8 minutes). Remove paper and weights, then bake until lightly golden and crisp (5-6 minutes).

TO MAKE THE POACHED PEARS:

For poached pears, bring wine, sugar, rinds, juices, thyme, cinnamon and 1 liter of water to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

Add pears, cover directly with baking paper, weight with a plate, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender (25-30 minutes).

Remove 6 pear quarters with a slotted spoon, pat dry with paper towels, halve each lengthways and set aside. Refrigerate remaining pears in syrup.

 

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant (3-4 minutes), pour into a bowl and set aside.

Whisk eggs, yolk, sugar, vanilla seeds, rind, thyme and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until fluffy (2-3 minutes), then whisk in flour on low speed.

Whisk in brown butter and crème fraîche, pour into the pastry case, arrange halved pear wedges on top and bake until set and golden (45-50 minutes).

Cool a little, then scatter with extra thyme and serve warm or at room temperature with crème fraîche and extra pears in syrup. This tart is best eaten on the day it’s made.

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The Best Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Yield: 12 SERVINGS

Prep time: 15 MIN

Cook time: 30 MIN

Total time: 1 HR 30 MIN

Hummingbird cake is an incredibly dense and moist layer cake with banana, pineapple, and warm spices, covered with swirls of rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy toasted pecans on top. And if you’ve never had it – but you’re a fan of banana cake, pineapple upside-down cake, or carrot cake – you’re going to be thoroughly charmed by our easier-than-you’d-expect hummingbird cake recipe.

 

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE HUMMINGBIRD CAKE:

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs, beaten

1½ cups sugar

1⅓ cups vegetable oil

¼ cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups very ripe banana, mashed (about 4 medium bananas or 16 ounces)

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (or fresh chopped pineapple)

2 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened

¼ teaspoons kosher salt

6 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE HUMMINGBIRD CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda.

Add the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Stir in the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple, and one cup of chopped pecans, and stir just until evenly mixed.

Divide the batter evenly between your three coated cake pans (about 22 ounces per pan). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, and then remove them from the pans and transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

 

TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Make the cream cheese frosting: beat together the butter, cream cheese, and salt with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar at low speed, until it is all incorporated. Whip in the vanilla extract.

ASSEMBLY:

Use a serrated knife to trim off the rounded tops of each cake to make them level. (If you don’t want to do this, you can also just fill in the gaps with more frosting).

Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or cake decorating turntable, and spread the top of the first layer with about ¼ of the frosting.

Turn the second layer of cake upside-down (so that you have a nice flat surface for frosting), and place it on top of the first frosted cake layer. Frost it with about another ¼ of the frosting.

 

Place the last cake layer, upside-down, on top of the second frosted cake layer.

Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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