Tag Archives: valrhona

Espresso Tim Tam Cheesecake with Valrhona chocolate


Sometimes, the craving to bake or make something is so bad, that I just need a recipe that is quick, fool-proof and simple. By simple I mean one or two pans, minimal utensils (i.e minimal washing as our dishwasher is still out of action) and ingredients I readily have in the house. If this isn’t your first time on my blog, you would know I use Valrhona chocolate and always have a good stash of it in the house. If you don’t have access to this beautiful chocolate, please use the best you can find. Trust me, it makes all the difference to your desserts.

This is my go-to no bake cheesecake recipe, which combines all the things I like – Valrhona chocolate, Westgold butter, Tim Tams and cold desserts.

There aren’t many seperate elements to prepare in this recipe, which qualifies it as simple. I don’t even need the oven, just some fridge and freezer space. Tick.

I have been practising my chocolate tempering techniques and love how the cut chocolate shapes can keep for a while in a cool place, so I can use it on my desserts whenever I need them. i.e. readily available.

The beautiful dome shapes are made using Silikomart molds, and the design is inspired by the stunning work of Maja Vase, one of my favourite foodies on Instagram. These molds can be purchased online and through Savour, a Melbourne patisserie school by none other than Kirsten Tibballs. I dream of the day I fly over for their many cooking classes.

I’ve just taken delivery of some new molds and am so excited with the new cake designs that I am going to do soon. (People walking past me must wonder what good news I have, with the big grin on my face 😅). But for now, I give to you this velvety chocolate goodie.

P.s. by ‘quick’, I am referring to the making time, not how long before I can eat it. That part I don’t worry so much as I am more of a maker than eater, which I leave for my tasters.

Ingredients

  • 350g Tim Tam Biscuits, Iced Coffee flavour (2 packets)
  • 120g butter, melted (I use Westgold)
  • 3 teaspoon gelatine powder
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 400ml cream (35% fat minimum)
  • 120g milk chocolate, melted (I use Valrhona Jivara 40%, notes of caramel and vanilla enhanced with a touch of malt)
  • 120g dark chocolate, melted (I use Valrhona Manjari 64%, heavenly acidulous red fruit and dried-fruit hints. Single Origin Madagascar)

Directions

  1. Release the base of an 8cm-deep, 22cm (base measurement) springform pan and invert. (This is so that you get a sharp 90 degree bottom edge.)
  2. Grease the base disc and line with a large piece of baking paper, then secure the ring over the base disc, allowing the baking paper edges to overhang. The baking paper is now held in place by the pan. Grease the side of the pan and line with baking paper.
  3. Process the Tim Tams in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Transfer the biscuit mixture to the prepared pan. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the mixture over the base of the pan. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  4. Place the boiling water in a small heatproof glass. Sprinkle over the Gelatine powder. Stir until gelatine dissolves and set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in the bowl until smooth. Add cream and beat until smooth. Add the gelatine mixture and beat to combine.
  6. Divide mixture between 2 bowls. Add the melted milk chocolate to one of the bowls and stir to combine.
  7. Fill 12 half spheres of the silikomart micro dome molds with the milk chocolate cheesecake mixture. Place in freezer to set overnight. For the rest of the milk chocolate cheesecake, pour over the biscuit base and smooth the surface. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  8. Fold the melted dark chocolate into the remaining bowl of cream cheese mixture until combined. Fill 6 of the silikomart quenelle molds with the dark chocolate cheesecake. Place in freezer to set overnight. For the rest of the dark chocolate cheesecake, pour over the milk chocolate layer and smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or until set.

Assembly

Remove cream cheese micro domes and quenelles from freezer and place strategically on the cheesecake. Sprinkle over Valrhona crunchy pearls and decorate with tempered chocolate discs.


Dark chocolate Swiss Meringue Frosting


It’s been a while since I made icing for cakes. I didn’t like my old buttercream recipe as it was fiddly and a bit too buttery for my taste. I haven’t tried swiss meringue buttercream and thought it would be interesting to see how it turns out.

Three words: WOW. WOW. WOW. Pillowy, soft and cloud-like. Amazing. Thanks to bloggers like @stylesweetca and @toplessbaker my cake deco game is back on! 🍰🍫 The buttercream was a joy to make and pipes so well. So smooth and tastes light. It also sets a bit when cooled in the fridge which is great if you have to transport it. This will be my go-to recipe for icing!

I added Fresh As freeze dried raspberries inside each of the layers, raspbery chocolate paste from Sabato, Miann gold dusted almond and coffee Valrhona dark chocolate, Solomon’s Gold new chocolate kibble (as deco pieces and also melted and added into the chocolate icing), Valrhona cocoa powder. What a cutie!

Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Frosting

(Adapted from Style Sweet Ca)

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites (120ml)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons mascarpone, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 60g dark chocolate, melted (best you can afford)
  • 4 teaspoons of your best baking cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk by hand to combine. Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer.
  2. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. (I have a small metal steamer rack that I use to rest the bowl on as my saucepan is a bit too wide for the bowl). Whisking intermittently, warm the egg mixture until it reaches 60-65 degrees C on a candy thermometer.
  3. Once hot, place the mixer bowl back on the stand. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form and the outside of the bowl returns to room temperature (about 8 minutes). At this point, it should be very glossy.
  4. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add in the softened butter and mascarpone, two tablespoons at a time. Stop the mixer and change the whisk to the paddle attachment.
  5. Add in the vanilla, melted chocolate, and cocoa. Mix on medium-high until the buttercream is smooth, fluffy, and cloud-like (about 3 minutes).

Just for fun I switched the tip and pipped some ruffle stars as well!

Key points:

* Make sure your butter is at room temperature when you add it to the meringue. Keep mixing if it looks like it has curdled.

* Make sure your meringue has returned to room temperature before adding the butter or your bowl of cloud will become bowl of soup! Cool the whole bowl and mixture for 20 minutes before whipping again.

*Don’t run off and do something else between step 3 and 4. I made the mistake of waiting too long before adding the butter and it just didn’t come together. Lesson learnt and passed on.

Cassis, chestnut and Valrhona Satilia Lactée ganache macarons


Unlike the more premium Gran Cru line, the Valrhona Satilia range of chocolate is made from a blend of cocoa beans from different regions. Nonetheless, it is as delicious as ever: strong chocolate flavour with 35% cocoa, slightly sweet and a little biscuity. Kinder to the wallet so why not!

Here I’ve paired it with blackcurrants and chestnut, to simulate a Mont Blanc-esque flavour.

Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)

  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 g almond meal
  • 110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 38 ml water
  • 1 g meringue powder
  • daffodil yellow gel colouring

Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.

Ingredients:

  • 120g Valrhona Satilia Lactée fèves
  • 80ml pure (heavy) cream
  • 3-4 tsp Cassis paste or blackcurrant jelly
  • a few whole cooked chestnut, broken into pieces

Instructions:
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread cassis paste on half of your shells. Add two pieces of broken up chestnut and pipe a teaspoon of ganache on top. Top with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Here’s my cone of macarons!

Glorious Tiramisu with Bailey’s


This is how I make Tiramisu – for as long as I can remember. 
Trouble with making Tiramisu is what do you do with the left overs. I’ve learnt that if I used a narrow based bowl that opens up to a wider top, while aesthetically pleasing, I would have half-used packets of lady fingers and left over mascarpone cheese filling yet wouldn’t quite be enough to make another! I’ve found that if I use a straight edged rectangular bowl (20cm by 15 cm straight edged Pyrex bowl) it would be close to perfect, with just enough left to also make some cute little deconstructed pots of Tiramisu. 
This also won me the top prize at my previous job’s departmental cooking competition so it has truly been tasted and approved by many. My current colleagues love it. My point of difference is the use of Bailey’s – lots of recipes call for rum or brandy but I love Bailey’s and have always preferred Tiramisu made with Baileys. Airy and pillowy; velvety and light; a glorious pick-me-up dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 400g mascarpone cheese (2 packets of Tatua Mascarpone cheese)
  • 350ml cream, whipped
  • 22 Italian Lady fingers
  • 1 cup cold instant coffee (Moccona)
  • ½ cup Baileys 
  • 1 tbsp of your best cocoa for dusting

Instructions

  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly. This is your sabayon, remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
  2. Add Mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone sabayon mixture and set aside.
  5. Mix the cold espresso with the Baileys and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them! Do only several at a time.
  6. Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of your bowl.
  7. Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.
  8. Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers and mascarpone cream.
  9. Dust with cocoa.
  10. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. It tastes better the next day.

If there are any leftovers, I often make up small individual servings, as shown here.

(Styled by J)

Valrhona chocolate, salted caramel and crunchy feuilletine entremet


Ever since trying out entremet desserts from Milse, I’ve been planning on making some. The making of entremets involve several more elements than other desserts. With cakes you may have cake batter, cream and ganache. With macarons you have the shells and the filling, be it buttercream or chocolate ganache. Entremets typically involve layers of mousse, cake, some ‘surprise’ element within and then a chocolate glaze or cocoa powder.

There was a missing ingredient that had taken me a long time to find, but thanks to Equagold I finally got my hands on some feuilletine – crunchy ‘leaves’ – for my ‘surprise’ element.

It also took me a while to find and master the perfect glaze as the shiny coating for these little domes. It wasn’t until recently when I flipped open Darren Purchese’s Sweet Studio book that I realised the perfect recipe had been lying around the house all along!

I urge you not to be put off by the steps and the number of elements. The list looks long but if you plan ahead, like baking (or buying!) the sponge one night, making whatever filling (e.g. Salted caramel) another, you will have everything ready to assemble easy peasy. I looked at it as a massive mise en place and the assembling is truly the highlight and most fun part. The result is amazing and all the time spent in preparation worthwhile.

So excited when I finally got them done, I had a goofy smile all day and could hardly wait for my colleagues to try.

Chocolate mousse domes – makes 6

Chocolate mousse
60 g dark chocolate – melted
45 ml full cream milk
1 leaf of gold strength gelatin – softened in water
175 ml cream – lightly whipped

1) Combine dark chocolate and milk
2) Mix in gelatin
3) Fold in cream until just mixed

Chocolate Genoise/ sponge cake – you can use your own sponge cake recipe or store-bought cakes!

Salted caramel
See my recipe from the Salted Caramel Macaron post. I almost always have a jar of this in my fridge, so this element is ready whenever I need it.

Crunchy chocolate Crisp * you will have lots of left overs for other desserts, these keep well in an airtight box
60 g dark chocolate – melted
25 g crunchy feuilletine

1) Line baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Spread feuilletine on baking paper.
2) Melt chocolate and pour over feuilletine.
3) Spread out and leave to cool.
4) Using a round cutter, cut out small discs. Alternatively, you can break them up into small pieces.

Chocolate Glaze*prepare this 45 minutes before you unmold the domes as you need the glaze to be cool but still liquid.
50 g water
50 g cream
45 g sugar
20 g cocoa powder
1 leaves of gold strength gelatin – softened in water

1) Combine water, cream, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan.
2) Bring to a boil
3) Add in gelatin and combine with a whisk
4) Cool to room temperature

Assembly
These little entremets are layers of mousse, cake, some crunchy, tasty element and more mousse. What you put in it entirely depends on your taste. To finish it off a shiny chocolate glaze is poured on the frozen domes.

1) Using cookie cutters, cut cake into small and medium rounds
2) Add a dollop of salted caramel on the small cake circle
3) Add about 2 tablespoons of mousse per dome mold
4) Place small cake circle on top and press lightly to half submerge in mousse
5) Top with more mousse to hide the small cake circle
6) Add crispy chocolate disc pieces
7) Add the medium cake circle
8) Freeze well, preferably overnight
9) Unmold

10) Pour glaze over domes, letting the glaze drip down over covered trays (you can reuse the glaze)

11) Decorate to your heart’s content. I’ve used Godiva chocolate pearls, more crispy chocolate feuilletine and freeze-dried raspberries here.

Enjoy!