Category Archives: Recipes

Chocolate mousse dome entremet with Valrhona and Ponthier fruit puree


My ultimate favourite chocolate is Valrhona. Recently I had a mini sampling of the range at Sabato. I thought I would be persuaded to fall for a different type (hello Azelia – hazelnut) and Itakuja (passionfruit)) and was surprised to find myself steadfast in loving Manjari. The fruity notes first captured my love for Valrhona and it’s still my favourite.

I paired the Manjari with Caramelia (think caramel and salted butter), added blackberry and raspberry fruit puree to make a mousse.

I have already made this 3 times in as many weeks!

In order to facilitate the making of the domes, several of the elements had to be made in advance. The beauty of this is that I can break up the prep work over the weekend or nights, only spending a little time for each step. You can do this in one go, but this is how I managed the prep:

  • Chocolate brownie – baked in a square pan, cut rounds out of the pan (making sure that the diameter of the rounds is less than that of the silicone mold), and horizontal cuts were made to get thinner discs.
  • Fruit jelly – puree and gelatin were used to make these. They are freezeable.
  • Mousse – the last of the element and the day you make the mousse is the day you need to have enough space in the freezer for them to chill.
  • Mirror glaze – the drips can be saved if you prewrapped the catch tray with plastic wrap. You can safely reuse this for 1-2 weeks.

Makes 6 domes with extra mousse for about 4 smaller flat shapes.

There will be enough brownies, jelly and glaze for another round of mousse domes at least. For the second batch, I only needed to make up more mousse as the other elements were already complete! How easy is that πŸ™‚

I’ve written the recipe below with the instructions immediately following the ingredients. This was easiest for me while making them as I did the elements separately.

Ingredients and instructions:

Brownie:

My chewy chocolate brownie. Usually entremets have a sponge dacquoise layer. Since I was making brownies, I thought maybe I should try it with my chocolate brownie? It gives a deep caramel flavour and chewey texture to the dessert. I had really good comments about this from my tasters πŸ˜‰

Fruit jelly:

  • 125ml fruit puree
  • 1.5 sheets of gold strength gelatin

Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for at least 5 mins. Heat the fruit puree till it begins to boil. Squeeze water from gelatin sheets and add to puree. Stir to melt and pour into silicone moulds. Place in freezer to harden. Try different moulds for different presentation.

Here I’ve used a mini half sphere dome as an insert for the sphere dome shapes and also a spiral as the topping for the flatter round shapes like below.

Mousse:

  • 110g Caramelia (milk)
  • 40g Manjari (dark)
  • 40g Ponthier Blackberry puree
  • 40g Ponthier Raspberry puree
  • 170g whipped cream

Chop chocolate to small pieces. Bring puree up to a boil and pour over chocolates. Leave for a minute before mixing until smooth and shiny. You may have to heat this bowl over a water bath to melt it all.

Whip cream to soft peak, and add half to chocolates. Mix well, and add the rest of cream.

Here comes the fun part. For the silikomart domes, choose shapes that don’t have sharp edges. Pipe mousse into the silicone mould, filling halfway. Push a jelly dome in, which will squish some of the mousse to the rim. Fill with a bit more mousse and add a brownie disc on top. Freeze over night. Big tip: Only remove from freezer and unmould when your glaze is ready to be poured.

Mirror glaze:

  • 23g glucose
  • 53ml cream
  • 62ml water
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 26g dutch cocoa powder (I use Valrhona)
  • 2 gold gelatin sheets

Presoak gelatin sheets in cold water. Cook glucose, cream, water and sugar to 103 degrees C. Add in cocoa powder and mix well. Squeeze water from gelatin sheets and add to the glaze mixture. Use a stick blend to blend the glaze till smooth. Place a piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the glaze (touching it to reduce contact with the air), store for use later. Reheat to around body temperature (37 degrees C) and pour over mousse domes that has just been taken out of the freezer and unmoulded.

Can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Reheating will darken the glaze. It’s so shiny you can even see my reflection if you zoom in!

Overtime, you’ll find yourself pouring more confidently. The operative word is confident. Pour from the centre and then outwards, and aim to cover it quickly. If you want to see this in action, go to my Instagram stories and look for the Sweet Recipe highlights. Give this a go and let me know if you like it or any flavour combos πŸ™‚ Try different shapes too and don’t forget to decorate with Fresh As freeze dried raspberries and a bit of gold πŸ˜‰

Raspberry Panna Cotta


These beautiful Raspberry Panna Cottas are super easy to make! Made using Fresh As’ panna cotta mixes, it requires only the addition of milk and cream. No complicated prep or cooking at all. J’s latest favourite dessert to have and make by herself.

Recipe adapted from Fresh As.

Ingredients

  • 150ml full cream
  • 50ml milk
  • Fresh As Raspberry Panna Cotta (one packet)
  • 2 dariole moulds or serving bowls
  • Fresh As Freeze dried whole raspberries, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat milk and cream in a pan to lukewarm, around 40 degrees C. Remove from heat.
  2. Gradually sprinkle the Panna Cotta pack contents over the cream mixture, gently whisking until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Spray dariole moulds with a neutral flavour oil. Wipe away excess with a paper towel.
  4. Pour the cream mixture evenly into 2 dariole moulds. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Run a knife around the edge of the moulds and gently tip the panna cotta out to serving dishes.
  6. Garnish with raspberries.
  7. Alternatively, you can pour it directly into serving bowls to set and serve.

* If the panna cottas don’t release easily, you can dip it into a container of hot water for a few seconds to release it. Don’t do this for more than a few seconds though!

Chocolate Brownie Crinkle Cookies


I turned one of my earlier Brownie recipes into a cookie! To be honest, these were inspired by the many versions of the same on Instagram lately, and for fear of missing out, I followed suit. Henceforth known as #fomocookies.

These are quick to make too!

Makes 20 – 22 cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g dark chocolate (70% best chocolate, I used Valrhona), chopped
  • 60g unsalted butter, cubed (I use Westgold)
  • 45g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground instant coffee powder
  • Β½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (about 55g each)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt flakes, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Place the dark chocolate and butter into a medium sized heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
  2. Heat on a medium-low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coffee powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the brown sugar and eggs on medium speed, until thick, doubled in volume, and light caramel in color (about 4 minutes). Add in the melted and slightly cooled dark chocolate. Continue to whisk until well incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Set the mixer speed to medium and add in the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then, add in the water. Continue to whisk until homogenise. The dough should be fluid, and form a thick flowing trail when the whisk is lifted. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. (Not any longer or it will be too hard to scoop.)
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius. Line three large baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough evenly onto the prepared cookie sheets. The dough should be soft but will hold its shape when being scooped. If not, leave in the fridge for a further 15 minutes. Place 6-8 scoops on each cookie sheet with plenty of room to spread. Drop the sheets against the kitchen bench to slightly flatten the cookies. Sprinkle over a little of the flaked sea salt.
  8. Bake the cookies for a total of 11 minutes. To make crinkles (method is according to Sarah Kieffer), you’ll have to do the following steps:
  • Set a timer for 11 minutes of baking. Place sheets in.

  • After 5 minutes, rotate the cookie sheet half-way around. Lift and drop the sheet against the oven rack to deflate the cookies. A small circle of crinkles should be visible on the outer edge of the cookies. Close the oven door and allow the cookies to rise again.

  • 2 minutes later, again lift and drop the tray against the oven rack to deflate and further crinkle the cookies. They will be very visible (I was so excited when I saw these!) Bake for another 2 minutes.

  • Repeat one more time of lift and drop, and bake one last 2 minutes.

  • The cookies should be flat with plenty of crinkles. They should be just firm around the edges and set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on their trays for 10 minutes, then to a wire rack to cool further.

Raspberry cheesecake brownies


I adore raspberries. I find myself sneaking them into most sweet dishes: from cereals to cakes and desserts.

I love the tang of the fruit and the burst of flavour added to the dish.

It was therefore the first flavour that I reached for when sampling the new range of Spreadable Fruit by Barkers of Geraldine.

These are 99% fruit with no refined sugar added. Sweetened only with pear juice concentrate, it’s a great alternative to fruit purees. In fact, that’s even better than making my own!

I decided to make an easy baked cheesecake brownie, to keep things simple. The brownie batter was done in one bowl while the cheesecake batter was mixed with my trusty Kitchenaid stand mixer.

Just be careful when swirling the fruit – you don’t want to over do it, so that you can keep the pretty red/ white colours.

Who wants a slice?

Brownies

  • 170g unsalted butter, melted (I used Westgold)
  • 300g (1.5 cups) caster sugar
  • 120g (2) eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (I used Equagold)
  • 3g (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 70g (3/4 cup) dutch cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
  • 70g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 5-6 tbsp Barker’s Raspberry Spreadable Fruit

Cheesecake

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 40g mascarpone cheese (I used Tatua)
  • 60g (1) egg
  • 60g (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 2g (1/4 tsp) salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 170Β°C.
  2. Line a 20cm square baking tin with 2 strips of baking paper. (This makes it easier to lift the brownie out of the tin).
  3. In a large ceramic bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.
  4. Mix in sugar, eggs, vanilla paste and salt.
  5. Once fully combined, fold in cocoa powder and flour. Mix till all combined.
  6. Pour the brownie batter into the baking tin, spreading evenly, careful to push batter all the way to the edges.
  7. Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a stand mixer.
  8. Whisk for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  9. Pour cheesecake batter over brownie batter, spreading evenly.
  10. Drop spoonfuls of the raspberry spreadable fruit on top of the cheesecake in rows of 3s and 2s and swirl using a palette knife.
  11. Bake for 1 hour, check in the last 10 minutes (so it doesn’t go past the golden point). Test brownie with palette knife – it should be almost clean.
  12. Leave to cool in tin before placing in fridge to cool and firm up for 1-2 hours.
  13. Cut into 16 squares, wiping down the knife after each cut for a cleaner look.
  14. Serve with a nice cup of tea!

*I received a jar of the Spreadable Fruit when I attended the NZ Foodwriters annual May Market. Post not sponsored.

Gianduia stuffed chocolate cookies (or just Surprise Cookies!)


I’m borderline obsessed with hazelnuts. One of my favourite ways of incorporating them are in these bars. I have been planning on making something with the Hogarth Milk Chocolate Hazelnut logs and an idea came to mind as I was making my gazillionth cookie over the Easter weekend: how about stuffing these inside a cookie?

I wanted a chocolate cookie that is on the dark side, and used Valrhona’s cocoa powder for the cookie dough.

The hazelnut log was cut into 20 semi circular pieces and placed in between layers of dough.

It was so exciting to break open the baked cookies to see the gooey filling. So delicious too!

If you can’t find hazelnut chocolate, you can freeze a rolled log of Nutella and use that instead.

Makes exactly 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Hogarth chocolate milk chocolate hazelnut log, halved lengthwise and diced into 20 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter (I used Westgold), softened
  • 1/2 cup (90g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 cup (125g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (40g) dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (1g) instant coffee

Directions

  1. Prepare the hazelnut chocolate pieces by halving the Hogarth milk chocolate log lengthwise. Chop the logs into 20 pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Cream butter and sugars until pale. Add egg and vanilla.
  4. In a bowl mix flour with cocoa powder, instant coffee, salt and baking soda.
  5. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture.
  6. Place a large scoop of cookie dough on the baking paper, flatten the centre with your thumb slightly, add a piece of the hazelnut chocolate log and wrap the dough around it to seal it in. I find it easier to start with a smallish piece of dough, place the chocolate on top and then cover with more dough. Just make sure the chocolate is fully enclosed. Place on the baking sheet well spaced apart.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove and leave it to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool slightly.

Enjoy warm (best!) and with a glass of milk.