August 23, 2012

Double dark chocolate cookies with cocoa nibs

Last weekend we made a short trip to France and on the way home I felt so dizzy that I just needed to eat something. So I grabbed a pack of chocolate cookies in a fuel store. When I started to feel better I checked the package and found out that it didn't have a single ingredient that shouldn't be in a cookie. A real wonder! As I liked them a lot, I decided to bake them at home. Well, these cookies here are not quite the one I had, but totally addictive! Now it is clear, why I actually do not bake cookies often: I can't stop eating them! It would be fine to have one or maybe two with some coffee or milk, but these double chocolate cookies are just too tempting! A real indulgence!

150 g dark chocolate
130 g butter
130 g cane sugar

1 egg
100 g half brown spelt flour with groat
50 g oat flakes
50 g cocoa nibs
40 g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Melt 100 g of the chocolate over steam, and set aside the rest coarsly chopped. Cream butter with sugar until fluffy, stir in the egg and the vanilla extract and finally stir in molten chocolate. Add cocoa nibs, chocolate chunks, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, oat flakes and cocoa nibs. With the help of a ice cream scooper scoop the batter onto a baking paper covered baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

August 22, 2012

Honey roasted fig baked in frangipane with thyme-lemon sheep's milk yoghurt granita

Figs, oh how much I love figs! Just heavenly with goat's milk cheese, honey and a glass of cold white wine. But I must say, that marsala was made to be paired with figs, a match made in heaven! I was lucky to get some gorgeous purple figs, however they are so expensive this season! If you find some that are cheaper you can be sure that the quality is horrible. Anyway, less is more! Oh yes! Therefore I wanted to prepare those figs in a somewhat special way. Imagine a warm roasted figs that smells like honey and cinnamon sitting on top of a fragant frangipane with a touch of marsala. What's missing? Of course something cold! For example a goat's or sheep's milk yoghurt with honey, thyme and lemon zest! That's it!

for 5 figs
ground cinnamon
for the frangipane:
45g butter
45 g icing sugar
45 g ground almonds
1 egg
1 tablespoon marsala
for the granita:
125 g sheep's milk yoghurt
50 g faisselle
1 twig thyme
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey

Cut the top of the figs, then cut the top like a cross, almost down to the base. Preheat the oven to 170°C. For the frangipane whisk soft butter with icing sugar until fluffy, then whisk in the egg and the marsala. Finally stir in ground almond. Butter 5 oven proof forms that are about 1-2 cm bigger than the figs and put one tablespoon frangipane into each. Put the figs into the middle and sprinkle with ground cinnamon and honey. Turn down the heat to 160°C-ra and bake for 7-10 minutes.For the granita whisk together all ingredients (if you like add more honey, personally i think that it shouldn't be too sweet, because than it goes prefectly well with the fig-frangipane combination) and put it to the freezer. Whisk it up every 30 minutes until it gets ice, then break it up with a help of a fork.

August 20, 2012

Raspberry mousse on pistachio sponge with faisselle and raspberries

Well, this dessert is not about raspberries, but pistachio. Raspberries are only background actors. I could write an ode to this pistachio sponge, but instead please bake it! Sometimes words are just not enough! It is a real pistachio explosion and surly something that I am going to bake soon again. Of yes, that is for sure! Because you can boost this and lift it up to pistachio heaven! By the way that faisselle cream on top really makes it! I am totally in love with it and it is just so inspiring! I have already imagined it on top of a rich chocolate cake or even as ice cream. But now back to this little thing here. It is really refreshing and thanks to the almost obligatory rose water it is indeed intriguing!

for the pistachio sponge:
60 g pistachio
100 g butter
60 g flour
100 g sugar
2 eggs
for the pistachio joconde:
40 g ground almond
40 g ground pistachio
35 g sugar
18 g flour
2 eggs
50 g egg white
40 g sugar
for the raspberry mousse:
25 g sugar
1 tablespoon water
30 g egg white
200 g raspberry
1 gelatine sheet
1 teaspoon rose water
100 ml cream
faiselle-heavy cream topping:
50 g faiselle
25 g heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
coarsly chopped pistachio and raspberries for decoration

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Ground pistachio with 25 g of sugar. Whisk soft butter with 50 g of sugar, then whisk in the egg yolks one by one and stir in flour. Beat egg whites with 25 g of sugar until stiff and fold it into the basic batter. Pour it to a round cake pan (18cm) and bake for 35-40 minutes and let it cool on a wrack. Cut out 4 6 cm rounds and put them into a same sized dessert ring.
For the joconde whisk together the flour, ground almond and pistachio with 35 g of sugar and the eggs. Beat egg whites with the rest of the sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Fold beaten egg white to the egg yolk mixture and spread it on a baking paper covered sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes on 170°C. Cut out for 6 cm diameter circles and freeze the rest, you never know when you'll need it!

For the mousse bring sugar with water to the boil and cook until it has reached 120°C. In the meantime beat egg white until half stiff then add syrup in a thin strain while beating constantly and keep on beating until it has cooled down. Heat raspberries and as soon as it starts to fall apart press it through a strainer and season with rose water. If you want the mousse to be real sweet now it is time to adjust it and add some sugar to the puree. Then heat about 2 tablespoons and stir in the previously soaked gelatine. Now fold in the beaten egg white and the beaten heavy cream. Pour mousse onto the pistachio base and chill for 3-4 hours. After that cover with the joconde biscuit.
For topping mix together the faisselle (or sour cream) with sugar and vanilla, then fold in the beaten cream. 

August 16, 2012

Lime parfait with baked blueberries

The idea of this sweet treat came on my mind already a month ago, inspired by these tartelettes. While I took the photos of the parfait I had the idea that some meringue would go pretty well with it. So in case you feel like trying my recipe, I really suggest that you make some! I must confess that I am addicted to blueberries with lime and christmas cookie spice mixture. These three go perfectly well together, if you haven't tried it yet, go for it! One thing is sure, a parfait is not made to be served like ice cream, but I just hoped that this shape won't melt fast and I do not have to take the photos in a hurry. By the way the colour comes from that very small amount of blueberry juice that appeared during the baking process. Amazing, isn't it?

150 g blueberry
1/2 teaspoon christmas cookie spice mixture
150 ml lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
4 eggs
80 g sugar + 1 tablespoon
250 ml cream

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Mix blueberries with a tablespoon sugar and the spice mixture and put it into an oven-proof dish, then bake for 7-8 minutes. Wash limes and grate zest into a bowl. Half them and press out the juice. Add egg yolks, 40 g of sugar to the grated zest among 150 ml of juice and mix it together. Beat over steam until it thickens. In the meantime cook a syrup using the rest of the sugar with 15 ml of water. Beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt (take the rest of them and bake some meringue, it goes will with the parfrait). As soon as the syrup has reached 117°C add it to the egg whites in small portions and beat until shiny and stiff. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk cream, then stir in the blueberry juice and the baked berries. Finally fold in the beaten cream and freeze for at least 5 hours.

August 10, 2012

Chocolate-coconut milk scone with garam masala and chili served for breakfast with reine-claude & cucumber jam

Well, that was a pretty busy week! I had almost no time to cook and we lived on scarmbled eggs, potato salad with cervelat and so on. It is okay once in a while, but I was more than happy that I could finally get back to the kitchen! I checked the fridges, yeah we have two of them, and found some green gages and bunch of cucumber. I thought why not get them together and that's how this jam was born. When I tasted it warm I was totally thrilled! Wow! The cucumber brings something like a cold kiss and then the green gage and lime is there with its tart flavour. At the end the vanilla kicks in! I could hardly wait for the breakfast this morning. If cucumber, I just had to think of coconut milk and there I've been making these scones with chili and garam masala. I like the combination very much, but the butter is definitely a must because it holds everything together. It is not sweet at all and it is even refreshing.

300 g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50 g cold butter
50 g sugar
60 g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
1 egg
120 ml coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
chili powder
for the jam:
250 g cucumber (peeled)
250 g green gage (peeled and without core)
250 g sugar
10 g agar-agar
1 lime
1 vanilla pod

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and make a mold. Add egg, sugar and diced cold butter into the mold. Warm 50 ml of coconut milk over low heat and once it is hot stir in the coarsly chopped chocolate and stir until it is well mixed. Pour the rest of the coconut milk and the chocolate-coconut milk mixture to the rest of the ingredients and knead a dough. Roll it out on a floured surface about 1,5 cm thick and cut out scones with a cookie cutter. Bake for 8-9 minutes over 200°C.
For the jam ground 50 of the sugar with the diced whole vanilla pod. In the meantime grate cucumber and bring it to the boil together with the decored and peeled green gage and sugar. Add vanilla sugar and cook for about 10 minutes, then puree. Stir in lime juice and agar-agar and once it is boiling cook for 3 minutes. Fill into jars. If you want the consistency to be more runny, I sugges to use only 5 g of agar-agar.

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