Category Archives: Recipes – Entrement: Mousse, slices, tarts

Chocolate Pâte Sablée letter tart cake


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With countless pictures of this beautiful dessert seen from every corner of the world, it’s hard not to want one right away. It’s really super fun and easy to make too. All you need is a great Chocolate Pâte Sablée recipe, a meringue or buttercream and a whole host of little sweets nibbles you want to decorate (and eat) with.

This became my birthday tart cake for 2018. Loved it!

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This dough is buttery, rich and most decadent. It’s different to your normal sugar dough: while the sugar dough (Pâte sucrée) is cookie-like, this has a higher proportion of butter and less egg, making it richer and more “sandy”. Almond meal is often added. Higher egg yolks ratio in the overall egg quantity also maintains that richness. You can opt to use icing sugar instead of caster sugar as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup best dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter (I use Westgold), softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg & yolk one at a time. Mix until completely combined. Scrape the bowl several times.
  4. Turn the mixer to low, beat in the flour mixture until the dough just comes together and you can’t see any flour. Do not overmix. (The dough should hold when pressed together between your fingertips. If not, lightly mix in up to 1 tablespoon cream or milk.)
  5. Place half the dough on a piece of baking paper. Gather the dough together and press it into a round disk. Place a second sheet of baking paper on top and roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Take note of the size of the shape you wish to cut out (I just scaled up a letter M with pencil and ruler) and make sure the dough is big enough.
  6. Repeat with the remainder of the dough.
  7. Chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
  8. Using your paper template, cut out a shape from each of the dough sheets with a sharp knife.
  9. Carefully transfer baking paper with your shape to a cookie sheet and bake at 165 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes.
  10. Cool completely before assembling tart.

While the biscuit is baking, make the filling. Remember to leave the butter out on your work surface before you start, so that it will have softened by now.

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I used my Chocolate Swiss Meringue and a star tip to pipe big stripey blobs of meringue on the bottom layer. I love the lines created by this tip!

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Crushed chocolate was sprinkled on before the second layer biscuit was placed carefully on top.

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I also chose this meringue recipe for its body – it can withstand the weight of the biscuit and all the yummy things I piled on top!

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Less is more when it comes to the goodies – for example you only need 2-3 macarons for the whole cake. Think about what you would like to eat; the colours and texture.

Here I have macarons (no brainer as you can see how much I love macarons), Valrhona chocolate from Easter, mini chocolate eggs, tempered chocolate discs (made by yours truly), wafer flowers, heart and mini marshmallows, Fresh As freeze dried raspberries and Gavottes feuilletine flakes.

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Thank you Westgold for the butter 😊

Marshmallow


Marshmallow, homemade, freeze dried fruit
Home made marshmallows are fun bites to have at any party and as gifts. These squishy bites are cloud-like and melts in your mouth! Perfect for cake decorating or donut-adorning. By adding the fruit powder you prefer, a multitude of flavours can easily be made.

I used Fresh As’s blackcurrant powder here, to give the beautiful purple hues. Check out their range: strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, mandarin, mango, passionfruit, lime…even kaffir lime! Try variations with cocoa powder and freeze dried instant coffee powder too.

Ingredients:

  • 10g gold strength gelatine leaves (about 5 sheets)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 60g water
  • 70g egg whites (about 2 size 7 eggs) 
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 15g Fresh As Blackcurrant powder

Mallowpowder for dusting:

  • 50g icing sugar
  • 50g corn flour

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients for mallowpowder.
  2. Line a small tray (15cm x 10cm) with baking paper. Dust a thin layer of mallowpowder on the paper with a fine sieve. Reserve the rest for dusting later.
  3. Soak gelatine sheets in a container with cold water.
  4. In a small pot, combine 200g sugar and water. Place a candy thermometer in, making sure it touches the sugar. Bring to a boil, till it reaches 130C.
  5. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and 10g sugar together until soft peaks.
  6. Once the sugar water reaches temperature, pour it into the egg whites in a thin stream, all the while whisking. Keep whisking for 3 minutes.
  7. Squeeze excess water out of the soaked gelatine sheets and add to the marshmallow. Whisk till it is combined.
  8. Add fruit powder and whisk for a further 5 minutes to cool the mixture down.
  9. Spread onto prepared tray and use a pallet knife to smooth the top. Leave to set for 4 hours or more. 
  10. Dust mallowpowder on your knife before cutting, and cut in downward motion for clean cut sides. Dust cubes of 3cm x 3cm with more mallowpowder.
  11. Store in a tight lidded box. 

Sugar is ‘water loving’ so it might get sticky if you leave it at room temperature for too long. Try freezing the marshmallow cubes to add to hot chocolates and coffees later on. 

      Marshmallow, homemade, freeze dried fruit

      Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar with Cocoa Puffs


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      Finally! A gluten free version of my most requested hazelnut chocolate crunch bar for you all!  Be warned: it is as addictive as the normal version and super easy to make. No baking required.

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      What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the cocoa pops crunch. I tested many different type of gluten free cocoa pops before I was finally satisfied with the taste and texture. I settled on Hubbards’ Thank Goodness Gluten free cocoa puffs. These stayed completely crunchy!

      Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. Think peanut butter, salted caramel, macadamia butter, almond cacao and also peppermint to name a few.

      You can dress the bars up with whatever you like: a dusting of cocoa powder; hazelnut; hazelnut praline crunch; fresh-dried berries. Or left naked. Your options are endless which makes this an ideal ‘bring-a-dessert’ that *potentially* satisfies everyone.

      Makes one square tray, cut bars sized to your liking. I got 39 (3 rows of 13 bars of  about 1.5 cm by 8cm)

      For the crunchy Bottom layer:

      • 250g milk chocolate (33% cacao), melted
      • 100g roasted hazelnut paste (Nocciola from Equagold)
      • 125g (about half cup) chocolate-hazelnut spread (instead of the hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread, you can use the same amount of Forty Thieves’ Cacao Hazelnut butter instead.)
      • 2 cups Hubbards Thank Goodness gluten free cocoa puffs

      For the filling:

      • 300g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Solomon’s Gold or Whittakers 72% Ghana will work too)
      • 300ml cream
      • 50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
      1. For the bottom layer, line a narrow rectangular tray (or shallow slice box) with 2 pieces of baking paper, with the paper hanging over the sides of the tray. (This will help you lift the slab off from the tray effortlessly.)
      2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth. 
      3. Fold in the cocoa puffs until the chocolate is combined (It should look like a mess!) Scoop the chocolate mixture to the prepared tray. Press the mixture down into a smooth, even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling. 
      4. To make the top layer, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate.
      5. Shake the bowl a little and let this sit for about 2 minutes, this is so that the chocolate melts smoothly, avoiding any lumps in your final product. 
      6. Add the cubed butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. As you whisk, the cream will magically homogenize with the melted chocolate to form a shiny smooth, pourable ganache.
      7. Pour the ganache over the cocoa puffs and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 hour. 
      8. Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch, freeze dried fruits or anything you wish! Place in the fridge to set it a further 2 hours. Slice into bars before serving. 

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      Styled by my little chef.

       

      Baked Chocolate Mousse


      Cornflake crumble with Kohu Road Ice Cream and baked chocolate mousse #momofuku #goldcutlery

      Having made a delicious salty-sweet combo out of my cornflake crumble and Kohu Road Pure Vanilla ice cream, I needed something to serve it with. Cookie sandwich was an obvious contestant, but I had a particular picture in mind. I wanted something light but not cakey, rich but not heavy. I need, a mousse cake. More so, I need a Darren Purchese cake. I’ve adapted the recipe from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart as follows.

      Ingredients:

      • 100ml thickened cream, whipped
      • 180g 72% dark chocolate
      • 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks
      • 30g caster sugar

      *this proportion when baked in a square tin will produce a beautiful but rather thin (1.5cm) cake slice. If you would prefer a thicker slice, double the amounts and bake for 1 hour 15 mins.

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper with enough overhand to lift the cake once cooked. Spray the paper lightly with rice bran oil.
      2. Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (2 mins should do it).
      3. Whip cream till thick and fluffy.
      4. Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Gently fold half of this mixture into the melted chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
      5. Fold in the whipped cream.
      6. Pour mixture into the baking tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
      7. Remove from oven and leave cake to cool completely before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
      8. Lift cake by the baking paper and cut the cake into squares.

      This is best served warm with ice cream or milk. Perfect for Mother’s day afternoon tea or dessert.
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      Chocolate Ganache Tart with Cassis Sorbet


      Kohu road cassis sorbet atop a paneton chocolate pastry with chocolate ganache. Bright and cheerful.

      There are times when you want a fancier dessert for a special occasion. Think entremets but no time to make mousse, sponge, crispy layer and mirror glaze?

      This is where you need joint forces of best quality products. 

      Make a delicious chocolate tart with handmade pastry (Paneton Bakery) and ganache with good quality chocolate. Dress it up simply but elegantly with a big scoop of good quality ice cream or sorbet on top. Decorate with chocolate pearls, chocolate shards, cocoa nibs and cornflake crumble for extra crunch and texture. Voilá!

      Here I’ve paired it with Kohu Road‘s Cassis sorbet, simply delicious!
      See my earlier post Chocolate Tarts for the recipe for an easy chocolate tart.

      (I’m not paid to write these articles – all opinion based on my honest love for artisan products!)