Mousse

June 2010 – Daring Bakers’ Challenge

This months Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. She challenged us to make Chocolate Pavlovas filled with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse based on a recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

A challenge consisting of two chocolate based recipes? There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity…

I hope you enjoy my version of this delicious dessert.

Chocolate Pavlova Shells

Chocolate Meringue

3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.

Meringue
Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)

Cocoa Powder and Meringue
Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)

Chocolate Meringue for Pavlovas

Pavlovas Base
Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Chocolate Pavlova Shells
Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Pavlova Filling

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

Chocolate Mousse
Warm heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once warm remove from stove and pour chocolate chips, whisk until chocolate chips have melted and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Whip mascarpone on medium until soft peaks form, be carefull not to overwhip. Carefully fold the chilled heavy cream and chocolate mixture into the mascarpone.

Chocolate Pavlovas
Fill a pastry bag with the chocolate mousse and pipe onto the cooled pavlovas.

Chocolate Pavlovas topped with Kiwi Fruit
I topped my pavlovas with sliced kiwi fruit, and drizzled them with melted white chocolate. Deb’s version called for a mascarpone creme to be drizzled over the top of the pavlovas. But there was just too much craziness going around so shhh…I took a little shortcut.

DBmissmeasuresmall

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Caffeine Spiked Tres Leches Cake

This past weekend we were invited to a surprise bithday party for a family member who is visitng from Australia.

Let me explain a little… the birthday boy who is a native Australian married my husbands niece a few years ago, they were living here in California until about six months ago, when he received a great job offer back in Australia, and he and his family decided to move back.

While here on vacation my niece decided to throw him a surprise birthday party and thanks to the Internet she was able to plan and organize the entire party while still in Austrlia.

Once she arrived in the US there were only a few loose strings she had to take care of. All in all the party was a HUGE success!

We weren’t planning on showing up to the party empty handed of course, and decided that dessert would be the perfect gift. Something he could enjoy right away and not worry about having to lugg back or pay excess luggage fees on.

OK, now take one good look at this pretty and innocent cake and be ready to experience it’s wrath. In it’s defense though, I will say it was SOOOOO worth it!

Here is a tiny glimps of what I had to clean up. It got so bad I had to stop whipping the eggs and cover my mixer with a towel until I finished beating them into submission.

Messy...
Coffee Three Milks Cake
from Dulce by Joseluis Flores

10 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons instant coffee
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup borghetti coffee liqueur

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
10 egg shells

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the eggs on high speed until they are thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Continue beating and carefully pour sugar and instant coffee into the mixture. Beat for an additional 8 minutes, until the mixture has tripled in volume.

Sift the flour into the egg and sugar mixture, fold to combine making sure you don’t stir or beat, to prevent the eggs from deflating.

Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour batter into the pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. Cake is done when the cake springs back when lightly pressed, and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool, with a toothpick or skewer pierce the cake over the entire surface, this will allow the milks to be soaked in throughout the cake.

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Whisk the milks, heavy cream and coffee liqueur together. Pour slowly over the entire cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the liquid has been completely absorbed. The cake will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

Warm heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once warm remove from stove and pour chocolate chips, whisk until chocolate chips have melted and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Whip mascarpone on medium until soft peaks form, be carefull not to overwhip. Carefully fold the chilled heavy cream and chocolate mixture into the mascarpone.

Coffee Whipped Cream

1 teaspoon gelatine
2 tablespoons hot water
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liquoure (such as Tia Maria)

Combine the hot water and gelatine, still well, and let it cool.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Pour cooled gelatine into the heavy cream mixture and whip to combine, then add the instant coffe powder, powdered sugar and coffee liquore. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Cake Assembly

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Carefully slice cake in half lengthwise place one slice over a serving platter. Pipe or with a spatula layer the chocolate mascarpone mousse over the top of the cake. Place the second layer of cake on top. With a spatula cover the cake with the coffee whipped cream.

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Sorry I wasn’t able to take a better picture of the sliced cake, I quickly slid in to take the shot while it was being sliced.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake

This past Monday (Memorial Day) was our middle son’s 14th birthday.

The weather has been so beautiful these past couple of days that we just couldn’t resist a trip to the beach. We decided to get an early start and headed out knowing that it was probably going to get crowded later in the day.

Our first stop was Bonjour for breakfast, the birthday boy ordered french toast, my husband and his brothers all went with the ham, cheese and mushroom omelette, and I ordered the salmon crepes. Everything was delicious!

Breakfast at Bonjour in Dana Point
After breakfast, we drove a couple of miles down to the beach. The boys tossed around the football for a bit, we tried playing badminton but it was just too windy. I layed out on the beach and read a little while the boys braved the very cold Pacific – BRRRR. The only way I was going in was in a full wet suit.

Beach Time
Some people made sure they got the full beach experience, including bathing in what felt like ice cold water to me.

Fun in the sun
Later in the day we headed back home and rested a little then we washed up and got ready for dinner. The birthday boy chose our favorite local Sushi restaurant.

Everyone chose their favorites which included a rainbow roll, fresh oysters, a couple of snow drop rolls, seared ahi tuna, and an albacore garlic roll that was fantastic!

Birthday boy chose sushi for dinner
Once we were done with dinner, they dimmed the lights and brought out a softball sized Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream which was gone in a flash!

Birthday Dinner at Marui Sushi
After dinner we headed back home, sang Happy Birthday and ended the evening with a small slice of Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake.

Cake Time
Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake
The birthday boy’s favorite candy bar happens to be Butterfinger so while flipping through my cookbooks trying to decide what type of cake to make him, I came across “Peanut Butter Mousse with Milk Chocolate Chantilly, Peanut Brittle, and Chocolate Cake” in The Modern Cafe by Francisco J. Migoya and said aha! This is it!

I switched it up a little and kind of pieced together my own version of this amazing cake.

Peanut Butter Mousse
adapted from Stephanie’s Kitchen

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream(cold)
1 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the heavy cream and vanilla with a hand mixer whip until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator while you move on to the next step to keep the whipped cream chilled.

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, milk and peanut butter. With a hand mixer beat until smooth and creamy.

Place a 9″ x 6″ round ring mold over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. Pipe the chilled mousse into the mold and smooth top with an off-set spatula and freeze.

Refrigerate until very cold.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Milk Chocolate Chantilly
adapted from The Modern cafe by Francisco J. Migoya

500 g heavy cream
160 g milk chocolate

Bring the heavy cream to a boil Pour over the chocolate blend until uniform then refrigerate. Once chocolate is cool enough beat until stiff peaks are formed. Pipe whipped cream into 9″ ring frame (I didn’t have a second ring frame so I used my 9″ tart pan which has a removable bottom), then top with chopped pieces of homemade butterfinger carefully pressing them down into the chantilly level off with an off-set spatula if necessary and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Chantilly

Here’s the recipe for the Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Chocolate Cupcakes Cake
adapted from A Year In Chocolate by Jacques Torres

3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

In a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to beat just until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and beat in the sour cream, and vanilla until blended.

Add the sifted flour and melted chocolate mixture in thirds alternating each one and beating only until combined.

115
Pour cake batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove pan from the oven and place over wire rack to cool. Cake can be frozen once cooled.

Chocolate cake

Cake Assembly
1/2 cup melted/tempered milk chocolate

When ready to assemble, remove the peanut butter mousse and the chocolate chantilly round from the freezer.

Place the frozen chocolate chantilly round on top of the peanut butter mousse with the candy pieces facing the mousse. (I made mine the other way around, but I think this would work even better)

Using the same size ring mold cut out a piece of the sheet cake and brush the top with tempered chocolate to create a thin layer. Then place the chocolate covered side of the cake facing the chantilly. This is will act as a bonding agent between the chantilly and the cake. Press the cake into the mold to avoid any air pockets and return to freezer.

When ready to serve allow cake to thaw out in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Place your serving platter over the cake and flip, the ring should slide off easily.

Chocolate cake

Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake

Josh

Final note, the birthday boy loved his cake! As did everyone else…

{ 3 comments }

It was such a shame… I had plan on taking this fabulous flourless chocolate cake to a combined birthday party this weekend, but unfortunately this amazingly tasty cake didn’t quite make it there.

At the moment it patiently sits in my freezer waiting and hoping for chocolate craving stragglers to open the freezer door and slice of a piece off the chopping block on which it rests.

Flourless chocolate cake is not my friend… this is my second attempt at making it, and I just cannot get it right. Instead of cake it turned out more like a mousse.

Can someone please shed some light as to what you think I might be doing wrong? Since I apparently have no clue.

Thank you!



Chocolate Flourless Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake
from The Modern Cafe by Francisco J. Migoya

200g egg yolks (approx 10 large eggs)
150g sugar
450g dark chocolate (64%)coins
225g butter
300g egg whites

500g dark chocolate (55%), melted

Grease a sheet pan with a coat of nonstick oil spray.

Preheat a convection oven to 160C/320F (I baked my cake at 350F in non-convection oven)

Egg yolks and sugar
Whip the egg yolks with 120g sugar until thick and and pale yellow in color ( the ribbon stage) with a mixer on high speed. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the butter over a hot water bath.

Meringue and melted chocolate
Once the chocolate and butter are melted, combine them with the ribboned egg yolks, using a whisk to obtain a homogeneous mass.

Whipping egg whites
Whip the egg whites with the remaining sugar on high speed until the meringue achieves a medium-stiff peak.

Meringue and melted chocolate
Melted chocolate and creamed egg yolks
Fold the whipped whites into the chocolate-egg mixture in 2 additions.

Chocolate Flourless Cake
Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and even it out using an offset spatula.

Chocolate Flourless Cake
Bake until firm, 7 to 9 minutes. The cake will bubble while it bakes because there is no flour to keep the structure of the cake from doing so. Do not test the doneness with a toothpick; when it is done, there will be no wet spots on the surface.

Once the cake is baked, cool it to room temperature, and then freeze it.

Chocolate Flourless Cake

Chocolate Flourless Cake

Mmm mmm good...
Oh yeah… it’s that good!

Chocolate Flourless Cake
Once frozen, pass the back of a paring knife around the border of the cake and remove the cake from the sheet pan. Flip it over onto a cutting board, peel the silicone paper off, and quickly spread the melted chocolate evenly in a thin coat all over the cake using an offset spatula. The chocolate will set on contact with the frozen cake.

Chocolate Flourless Cake

Chocolate Flourless Cake
Cut the cake into 15-cm/6-in discs using a ring cutter. Reserve the cakes, individually wrapped in a freezer. Keep them flat; do not stack them because they will lose their shape easily. The cakes will keep for up to 2 months frozen.

Chocolate Flourless Cake

Or in my case store flourless chocolate cake (mousse) on cutting board in the freezer and slice off as needed.

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Italian Pretzel Cookies

February 20, 2010

in Cookies,Recipes


Is there such a thing?

Before leaving for my trip to NYC a colleague of mine somewhat described them to me as a sweet semi-crisp, semi-chewy cookie in the shape of a pretzel with chocolate on the bottom.

Once in NYC, since my hotel was relatively close (within walking distance) to Little Italy I had the opportunity to visit a couple of Italian Bakeries and Coffee Shops and sample their wonderful cookies and pastries.


At Ferrara’s I sampled a trio of miniatures which included cannoli (a crispy mini tube filled with ricotta cream & chocolate chip), sfogliatella (a clam shaped flaky pastry filled with ricotta, farina and fruit) & cheminee (a chocolate chimney filled with chocolate & vanilla mousse & a berry) accompanied by a nice hot americano (coffee that is) Everything was excellent!

On my way out I asked if they had Italian Pretzel Cookies they said they didn’t know what they were, and sold me chocolate covered pretzels instead. They looked so good, I just couldn’t resist.


At Caffé Roma my most memorable bite would have to be of their pignoli cookies, they were absolutly amazing, I enjoyed them with a little espresso.

I asked if they had Italian Pretzel Cookies and just got a strange look and a nod indicating they did not.

That evening I decided to do a little research OK, well I Googled. I tried to find the Italian Name for these mystery cookies. The closest I could come up with was Taralli/Tarrallucci.

A few days later, I stopped by Rocco’s Pastry and picked up a couple of their chocolate and traditional amaretti cookies, they were very yummy.

I took a chance and asked if they happened to have any Italian Pretzel Cookies? They said no… I asked if they had Taralli/Tarrallucci the closest cookie they had was a lemon flavored cookie with a lemon glaze.

I’m not even sure if there is such a thing as an Italian Pretzel Cookie, in any case I decided to make up my own version.

I took a Taralli Dolci dough and dipped it in chocolate.

Fatto! Vi do… Josie’s Italian Pretzel Cookies.

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Taralli Dolci or Italian Pretzel Cookies?
adapted from
FoodNetwork.com by Nick Malgieri

Makes 46 cookies

Dough
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract


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