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The Most Delicious Chocolate Peppermint Squares Recipe

Chocolate Peppermint Squares have a delicious texture and flavor combination. They’re no-bake, have three layers, a minty flavor, and a smooth and shiny dark chocolate layer as the crowning glory. The most important thing to keep in mind when making these is that each layer must be chilled before moving to the next.

Chocolate Peppermint Square Recipe Dessert Idea

Yield: 16 SQUARES

Prep time: 15 MIN

Cook time: 15 MIN

Total time: 30 MIN

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cups crushed Graham cracker

6 tablespoons melted butter

FOR THE PEPPERMINT CREAM:

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 teaspoons peppermint extract

2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted

FOR THE CHOCOLATE COATING:

4oz dark chocolate, chopped roughly

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Chocolate Peppermint Square Recipe Dessert

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

1. First, put graham crackers into a blender and pulse until they
become fine crumbs.

2. Into a mixing bowl, mix together the grounded cracker and melted butter until moistened.

Chocolate Peppermint Square Recipe

3. Line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper. Transfer the crumb into a square pan lined with parchment. Using the back of a spoon, press the crust to the bottom of the pan.

4. Refrigerate whilst you prepare the filling.

TO MAKE THE PEPPERMINT CREAM:

1. In a mixing bowl, add coconut oil, whipping cream vanilla extract, peppermint extract, powdered sugar, mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

2. Spread the cream evenly on top of the crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, whilst chilling the cake, let’s prepare the chocolate coating.

Chocolate Peppermint Square Recipe Dessert Idea delicious

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE COATING:

1.Into a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate and coconut oil, microwave for 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is fully melted, glossy and smooth.

2.Slice the cake slab into 16 pieces and put on a wire rack, while the chocolate is still hot, pour the chocolate on top of the cake to coat. Chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Yield: 10-12 SERVINGS

Prep time: 20 MIN

Cook time: 20 MIN

Total time: 30 MIN

A chocolate tart like this Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart With Peanut Butter Whipped Cream is a great wee recipe to have up your sleeve – it is super easy to prepare in advance, and always, always a crowd pleaser. You could leave out the peanut butter and hit it with a big dollop of whipped cream, or just leave it as is, and sprinkle a little salt over the top to have a plain chocolate tart to make it super fancy. The possibilities are endless.

INGREDENTS:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:

2 sleeves (290g) graham crackers or similar biscuit

¼ cup (35g) cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

3 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

135g unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FILLING:

550g good quality dark chocolate

180g smooth peanut butter

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ tsp salt

380g heavy cream

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER WHIPPED CREAM:

½ cup (135g) smooth peanut butter

2 tbsp (25g) Granulated Sugar

½ cup (121g) heavy cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place all the ingredients except for the butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the graham crackers resemble crumbs and the mixture is well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the melted butter.

Evenly press the crust into a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a glass or measuring cup to help you press it against the sides of the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes, then allow to cool completely.

 

TO MAKE DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FILLING:

Place the chocolate, peanut butter, butter and salt into a large heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan, and warm over low heat until just shy of a simmer – you should see movement around the edges of the cream. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter, and cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes, then whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture will look like it has split to begin with but keep whisking – it will come together and go glossy.

Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled crust. Place in the fridge for 1½ -2 hours, or until the filling has set completely.

 

TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER WHIPPED CREAM:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the peanut butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue whipping until the mixture reaches medium peaks. Watch carefully to ensure you do not split the cream. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a french star tip. Pipe blobs of peanut buttercream over the surface of the tart.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut with a slightly warmed knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

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Chocolate Wasted Cake Recipe

To create this chocolate beauty, I baked two layers of delicious chocolate cake. Then, I drizzled each cake layer with some Kahlua.

I wanted to use chocolate liqueur like Godiva dark chocolate or white chocolate, but all I had on hand was Kahlua, which is a coffee-flavored liqueur and Disaronno, which is an almond-flavored liqueur. Either one would’ve worked well with the chocolate but since my brother also loves coffee, I decided to go with the Kahlua. Then, I filled and frosted the cake with rich chocolate buttercream.

INGREDIENTS

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 cups milk*

1 cup butter, melted*

4 tsp. honey*

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/3-1/2 cup whole milk (start out with 1/3 cup of milk and add more milk to your desired consistency)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Liqueur for drizzling on the cake layers (i.e. chocolate, coffee or almond)

Melted chocolate for drizzling:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips*

1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream or 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Semi-sweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate chips for the sides of the cake

Assorted chocolate candies for the top of the cake*

PREPARATION

1. To make the cake:

(Note: Instead of milk, you can replace it with water or cooled brewed coffee. Instead of butter, you can use vegetable oil. Instead of honey, you can use corn syrup or agave nectar. Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips. For allergen-free alternatives for the candies, you can try Enjoy Life chocolate chips, bars or cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 350 F degrees.

Grease and dust two to three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans with flour.

To prevent the cake from sticking to the pan, line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.

Set aside.

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine milk, butter, honey and vanilla extract.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the milk/butter mixture.

Mix until combined. Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Pour in the batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and wait for about 10 minutes to remove from cake pans and place on a cooling rack.

Allow to cool completely before decorating.

2. To make the frosting:

Note: instead of butter, you can use any allowed margarine, Spectrum organic vegetable shortening, or coconut oil. Instead of milk, you can use rice milk or soy milk.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add the butter, milk and vanilla extract.

Using an electric mixer, slowly mix together at a low speed.

Once all the ingredients are combined, increase the speed and beat till fluffy.

3.To assemble the cake:

Place the first cake layer on a plate or cake circle.

Lightly drizzle with liqueur.

Spread an even layer of frosting.

Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.

Lightly drizzle with liqueur.

Cover the sides and top of the cake with frosting.

Cover the sides of the cake with semi-sweet chocolate chips and cover the top with assorted chocolate candies.

Drizzle the melted chocolate all over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake.

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Ombre Chocolate Cake Is Absolutely Delicious

This ombre chocolate cake recipe is absolutely delicious & surprisingly easy to make! It’s tender cake layers & decadent frosting are packed with chocolate!

What gives this chocolate cake its incredible chocolate flavor is the type of cocoa used in the cake batter and buttercream that making this a show-stopper dessert perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients

Ombre Chocolate Cake Layers:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (290 grams)

3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder (10 grams)

1 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton (or about 7 egg whites) (235 grams)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (345 grams)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil (28 grams)

1 tsp salt (6 grams)

2 tsp instant coffee (4 grams) – optional

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) – 2 sticks

2 tsp. vanilla extract (8 grams)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (678 grams)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (12 grams)

1 tsp salt (6 grams)

10 cups powdered sugar (1250 grams)

1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (75 grams)

Ombre Cake Layer Add Ins:

Bowl 1: 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (16 grams) + 1 1/2 tsp sifted dark cocoa powder (3 grams)

Bowl 2: 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (16 grams) + 1 Tbsp sifted dark cocoa powder (6 grams)

Bowl 3: 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (8 grams) + 2 Tbsp sifted dark cocoa powder (12 grams)

Bowl 4: 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (18 grams)

Ombre Chocolate Buttercream Add Ins:

Bowl 1: 1 Tbsp sifted dark cocoa powder (6 grams)

Bowl 2: 3 Tbsp sifted dark cocoa powder (18 grams)

Bowl 3: 1/4 cup sifted dark cocoa powder (25 grams) + 1/2 cup melted milk chocolate + 1 Tbsp heavy cream

Bowl 4: 1/3 cup sifted dark cocoa powder (33 grams) + 1/2 cup melted dark chocolate + 2 Tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

Ombre Chocolate Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7″ or three 8″ pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick baking spray.

Mix together 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 3 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp of instant coffee (optional) in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.

Mix in 1 cup of unsalted butter slowly into the dry ingredients on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain and the mixture looks crumbly.

Pour in 1 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in 1 1/2 cups buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.

Add in 2 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat on a low speed for about 30 seconds to make sure everything is properly mixed together.

Divide the batter evenly between three or four bowls

Mix the following ingredients into each bowl of batter to create ombre colored chocolate cake batter:

Bowl 1: 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (24 grams) and 1 1/2 tsp dark cocoa powder (3 grams)

Bowl 2: 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (16 grams) and 1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (6 grams)

Bowl 3: 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour (8 grams) and 2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (12 grams)

Bowl 4: 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (18 grams)

Pour each color of flour into one of the prepared cake trays.

Bake for 34-35 minutes or until a toothpick has a little damp crumbs. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then use a spoon to brush around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.

Place layers of cake in the freezer for 30 minutes to speed up the cooling process. After the layers have cooled completely, carefully flip the pan and remove the layers.

Use a serrated knife to flatten the top of the layers just before you plan to assemble the gear, or you can wrap and freeze them in advance.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.

Beat 3 cups of unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.

Mix in 1 Tbsp of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and 1 tsp salt on a low speed.

Slowly add in 10 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of 1/3 cup of cream.

Continue mixing at low speed for several minutes, until desired consistency is achieved.

Divide the dough evenly into three or four bowls (depending on how many layers of cake you’re making). I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans and make sure they all have the same amount of flour.

Mix the following ingredients into each bowl of ice cream to create the ombre chocolate butter cream:

Bowl 1: 1 tsp regular unsweetened cocoa powder (6 grams)

Bowl 2: 2 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (12 grams)

Bowl 3: 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (18 grams)

Bowl 4: 3 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (18 grams) and 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate (40 grams)

To Assemble This Chocolate Ombre Cake:

Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.

Start with the darkest chocolate cake layer, and frost it with an even layer of the most chocolatey buttercream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, moving from the most intensely chocolate to the least.

Add a thin coat of frosting around the the cake using the overhanging frosting to fully cover the cake layers.

Smooth with an ice scraper, then cool the cake in the refrigerator (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is hard to touch.

Place the remaining frosting in large piping bags fit with a Wilton 1M frosting tip, and pipe buttercream roses around the cake.

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Simple Oreo Brookie Ice Cream Cake Recipe

Yield: 12-14 SERVINGS

Prep time: 1 HR 30 MIN

Cook time: 20 MIN

Total time: 5 HR

This Oreo Brookie Ice Cream Cake is made with layers of fudgy brownie, chocolate chip cookie ice cream, chocolate ganache and Oreo ice cream. I mean, how can you go wrong with brownie, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream? It’s so awesome I’m in love!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE:

18.4 oz brownie mix, plus ingredients on the box

FOR THE ICE CREAM:

12 oz (339g) cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup (56g) sugar

½ cup (72g) brown sugar

3 tbsp (45ml) milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1½ cups (420ml) heavy whipping cream, cold

¾ cup (100g) chocolate chip cookie crumbs

6 chocolate chip cookies, chopped

¼ cup (45g) mini chocolate chips

¾ cup (86g) powdered sugar

¾ cup (90) Oreo crumbs

6 Oreos, chopped

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

9 oz (254g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (divide into 6 oz and 3 oz)

¾ cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream (divided ¼ cup and ½ cup)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM:

½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream, cold

2 tbsp (15g) powdered sugar

2 tbsp (14g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Brownies, to decorate

Oreos, to decorate

Chocolate Chip Cookies, to decorate

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE BROWNIE:

1. Grease an 8-inch cake pan (preferably springform pan) and line the bottom with parchment paper to allow for easy removal.

2. Make brownie batter according to instructions on the back of the box and bake in the 8-inch pan.

3. When the brownie is done baking, allow it to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM:

When the brownie is cool, make the ice cream. In a large mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar and mix until smooth.

Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Set aside.

In another mixer bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Divide the ice cream mixture evenly between two bowls.

To one bowl, add the cookie crumbs, chopped cookies and mini chocolate chips. Fold to combine. Set aside.

To the other bowl, add the oreo crumbs and chopped Oreos. Fold to combine. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY:

Make the chocolate ganache. Add 3 oz of the chocolate chips to a small bowl. Heat ¼ cup of the heavy whipping cream until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to sit for 3-4 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.

If you are using a cake pan to build the cake, line the sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should stick up above the top edge of the pan since the cake will probably be a little taller than your pan. If you want, put a cardboard cake circle in the bottom of the pan (If not using a springform pan, you can put some plastic wrap in the bottom of the pan and up the sides and use it to lift the cake out of the pan when it’s done. If you are using a cake collar, wrap it around the brownie and secure it in place).

Add the cookie ice cream to the top of the brownie and spread it into an even layer.

Add the chocolate ganache and spread it into an even layer.

Add the oreo ice cream to the top of the ganache and spread it into an even layer.

Freeze the cake for 6-8 hours or overnight. Once frozen, remove from the springform pan and remove parchment paper from the sides. If you used a cake collar, remove it.

TO DECORATE:

Make the chocolate ganache. Add 6 oz of the chocolate chips to a small bowl.

Heat ½ cup of the heavy whipping cream until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to sit for 3-4 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside.

To make the chocolate whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and cocoa powder to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Drizzle the ganache around the edge of the cake using a squeeze bottle or a spoon.

Fill in the top of the cake and smooth with an offset spatula.

Pipe a small dome of whipped cream into the center of the cake. Decorated the top of the cake with additional brownies, Oreos and chocolate chip cookies.

Place cake in the freezer until ready to serve. The cake is best stored covered for 4-6 days.

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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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Favorite Triple chocolate cake

With light sponge, silky milk chocolate buttercream and glossy dark chocolate ganache, this decadent cake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream. Even the hardest-to-please chocolate addict will be more than satisfied by this decadent chocolate cake creation.

Whether you have a birthday party or afternoon tea coming up – or you’re simply craving a wonderfully chocolatey treat – this shows topping chocolate cake won’t let you down.

Ingredients

For the sponge

250g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 eggs, lightly beaten

150ml semi-skimmed milk

120ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

1 tsp vanilla extract

300g caster sugar

90g cocoa powder

For the ganache

150g classic 74% dark chocolate, finely chopped

150ml double cream

For the buttercream

100g milk cooking chocolate, cut into chunks

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

170g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1½ tbsp milk

Instructions

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round cake tins. Put the sponge ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. Add 150ml boiling water and carefully whisk until combined. Divide the batter between the greased tins and bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 15 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2:

For the buttercream, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Beat the butter, adding the icing sugar a little at a time until incorporated, then fold in the vanilla and melted chocolate.

If the icing is stiff, add a little milk until it’s liquid enough to spread evenly. Spread 1 sponge with 2/3 of the buttercream mold, then cover the second sponge. Spread the palette with a knife, and spread the remaining buttercream on all sides. It will not completely cover the cake but will give a ‘bare cake’ effect.

Step 3:

For the ganache, put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small, heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat until just steaming then pour over the chocolate. Leave to melt for 1 min then gently mix together until the chocolate and cream are combined as a glossy ganache.

Pour over the cake, encouraging the cake to drip down the sides of the spoon or pallette cutlery. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate in sealed containers for up to 2 days.

Tip: If the ganache seems a little too thick to pour, stir in a dash more cream or a few tbsp milk to loosen.

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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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