This is quite a boozy cake – not at all a surprise since there is a whole cup of Baileys in here. What I didn’t expect was how much the children liked this cake (the alcohol has been cooked off so no children inadvertently got drunk from consuming this cake). This cake is quite indulgent and rich, please do serve in smaller portions – you can always go back for seconds. I’ve used the special chocolat version of Bailey’s here, by all means use what you have 😉
Ingredients For the Bundt Cake:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Equagold)
- 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 3 Tbsp instant coffee granules (Moccona)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup oil (rice bran)
- 1 cup Baileys Chocolat Luxe Irish Cream liqueur
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (Equagold)
Ingredients For the Toppings:
- 120g chocolate drops (I used Equagold 70% Ghana dark chocolate)
- 120ml cream
- 1/2 cup salted caramel
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces, for sprinkling over the icing (I used a few Valrhona batons, broken into small pieces)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare a 8-10 cup bundt cake pan by spraying with baking spray. I used a silikomart high cathedral pan here.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low to break up any lumps and then slowly add in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest and cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping onto a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature before any icing is poured on (so that the icing doesn’t get soaked in).
- While the cake is cooling, warm the cream till it just comes to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat and pour over the bowl of chocolate. Let it sit in the cream for 5 minutes then stir to combine. Once combined, leave it to cool for 30 minutes before drizzling. Warm the caramel. Set aside.
- Place a piece of baking paper under the wire cooling rack. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate ganache over the cake. Drizzle salted caramel over the cake. Sprinkle the dark chocolate pieces over the top of liquid toppings.
- Serve straightaway if you can’t wait, but it tastes even better the next day.
Chestnuts have a special place in my memories. From the great – chestnut cream layered sponge cake that was to be found at most birthday celebrations (mango is also a very popular option) – to the not so great – braised chicken with chestnuts. Well at least I remember not liking it so much because I felt that the dish was too singular in texture with everything soft tasting and lacking contrast. I do have to mention though that my favourite way of having chestnuts is having them almost raw. Just blanched, peeled, popped into an airtight bag and away you go. I remember having these as snacks on my hikes across the hills.
Chestnut purée is, however, a totally different matter. When made with the proper balance of chestnut, water, sugar and cream, it becomes one of the tastiest element in any dessert. Take the classic Mont Blanc chestnut tart. Fine strands of piped chestnut cream perched on top of a dome of silky mousse, who can resist! Take it up another notch by tempering this smooth delicate entremet with the intense flavour and sweetness of a candied chestnut. Simply divine.
Ever since I tried Joel Robuchon’s chestnut tart at Le Salon De The de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong, I have had my heart set on making chestnut macarons. This week I finally had time and oh boy what an amazing flavour. I think it is close to knocking salted caramel off its place and claim the top seat of my all time favourite macaron.
Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)
150g icing sugar
150g almond meal
110g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150g caster sugar
1g meringue powder
2 drops of gel colouring, I used brown for half my shells and white for the other half.
Chocolate Chestnut purée
120g 28% cocoa White chocolate
120g chestnut purée
Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.
You can add some cocoa powder to the shells (as I have done here) to add depth to the shells.
Heat cream till it just begins to boil and pour over white chocolate that has been broken up in small pieces in a bowl. Wait for a minute before stiring. Leave in the fridge for 10 minutes for it to set a bit and mix in chestnut purée.
Spread or pipe a teaspoon of chocolate chestnut purée on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to soften the shells and also for the flavour to fully develop.