Friday, 25 June 2010
And a great one? Divine!
I have my fingers crossed for ours. This recipe is from a great blog called Butter + Cream, who themselves got it from the incredible tartine.
I'm not going to include all of the instructions here, just the ingredient list - that's to encourage everyone to check out the lovely detailed descriptions and photos on Butter + Cream!
I'll have a discussion with Her and check what time frame we have to play with. If she's busy we may use whipped cream rather than the pastry cream recipe shown there. I know she'll worry about it after the vanilla slice episode! I think it'd be good for her though - get the custard / pastry cream monkey off her back.
For the pastry cream:
480 ml whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
60g unsalted butter
For the choux paste:
120 ml nonfat milk
120 ml water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
115g unsalted butter
120g all purpose flour
5 large eggs
For the chocolate glaze:
115g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbs light corn syrup
120 ml heavy cream
Monday, 21 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
I love this skillet. It was one of my finer purchases. I really appreciate having nice equipment to use. It makes me happy to take this, or the skyline pans that I've mentioned a few times on here, out of the cupboard. Not that the skyline pans are especially good quality, they are just pleasing to me in design and 'feel'.
So you weigh stuff out, bubble it,
and eat it.
So, so simple!
It's wonderful too. I keep taking a spoonful everytime I walk by the freezer. Personally I'd leave out the almond and keep it a pure cherry flavour but the flavours do work fantastically well obviously. I'm sure this would work out equally fantastically with a whole host of other fruits. I'm pretty excited to try it out. Pineapple? Plum? Pear? Peach? Passionfruit? Papaya? Pomegranate? That's only one letter of the alphabet and already my mind is spinning from the delicious possibilities!
We're having another weekend out of the transatlantic kitchen this weekend. Perhaps I'll use the time to experiment with some more fruits. Then again it's a while since I had cake...
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
I really loved making it. It was great playing with the sugar and basil. The sugar was very tasty indeed!
As usual I had a hearty sample of the batter. It was really, really nice.
It baked pretty well but sank a little in the middle. That's better than it turning out dry though. It was lovely and moist in the centre, even four or five days later after storing it in the fridge.
I decided to make the ganache. It was lovely and had a beautiful pure chocolate taste. It was very rich though. On another desert it would probably be too much. It was good on this though. It played off well against the basil.
We had a slice straight out of the oven and it was good. The next day though I wasn't too sure. It didn't have the lovely fresh basil taste it had earlier. Now it was kind of earthy and meaty almost. The best way I can describe it is it's a little like someone took a normal choclate torte recipe and replaced some of the fat with the fat that's left in the pan after you fry some really nice sausages. It's not at all unpleasant, I quite enjoy it, it's just a bit strange.
Friday, 4 June 2010
I finally settled on this Chocolate-Basil Torte recipe from Hogwash. I've had my eye on it for a long time. This recipe was one of the beaten finalists when my friends chose the Japanese Cheesecake a few weeks ago. I think this has to be a winner. Dark, rich and chocolately. The basil should work excellently and, as per instructions, it can be eaten more or less straight from the oven! I wonder whether this really needs the ganache. I have a felling it doesn't and would go great with some fromage frais or yoghurt. I may try it without, I'll decide on baking day.
TIME: 40 minutes active time
MAKES: 8 to 10 servings
For the cake:
110g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing pan
110g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 packed cup fresh basil (leaves only)
3 large eggs, room temperature
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
For the ganache:
110g chopped bittersweet chocolate (65% to 75% cacao)
95ml heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of wax paper or parchment paper, and butter the paper.
Place the butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan and melt over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the mixture is smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl, stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside.
Next, make a basil sugar: pulse the sugar and the basil together in a food processor until the basil is very finely chopped and uniformly green in color. The sugar will look slightly wet.
Add the basil sugar to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, blending completely between additions. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter and fold it in until no dry spots remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the cake barely begins to crack. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a round serving plate.
While the cake cools, make the ganache: place the chocolate and the cream in a small saucepan, and stir constantly over very low heat until melted and smooth. Using a flat spatula or knife, spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, if desired. (Hint: Using the ganache immediately will mean a thin coating that drips easily down the sides of the cake; in this case, it’s best to frost the cake over a cooling rack, then transfer it to a serving plate. You can also let the ganache cool a bit, then spread it just on the top, more like a thin frosting.)
Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, let cool completely, then cover and keep at room temperature up to 3 days.
It baked up really nicely! I was so happy that everything went well. I think I baked the loaf for around 45 minutes (my oven runs hot).
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
The batter looked lovely I thought, but she didn't agree. I like the colours and it had a nice texture. I was slightly concerned that it tasted so strongly of cinnamon because I'm not a big fan.
My oven seemed to behave itself this week which was a relief. It took about 50 minutes or so which is a little longer than I thought it might but not ridiculous.
It looks so nice in slices. I chose to chop the ginger fairly coarsely and I'm glad because it gave a lovely textural interest. It's lovely and moist and holds together exceptionally well in slices which is pleasing. It's definatley a good cake to transport for pack lunches or picnics. The flavour is mellow, slightly spicy and pretty great. The cinnamon mellowed quite a lot in the oven thankfully. It won't rock your world with its novelty but it's very, very nice and you could happily chomp your way through a fair few slices. Try to save some though because it gets better and better over a few days.
I'd recommend you make it. It's a great solid tea loaf and looks wonderful on a plate. If you have a picnic you need to prepare something for then this is a great, solid choice.