It wasn’t until I travelled to Sicily last year and happened upon the pistachio festival in Bronte that it occurred to me that something as decadent as pistachio paste could exist. But it does! Either as a thick nut butter or (even more gloriously) the […]
Aquafaba (chickpea water) is magic stuff. It means that you can make rich, velvety chocolate mousse from the stuff you’d normally chuck away when you’re making a batch of hummus or some falafel. It also means that you don’t have to mess around with raw […]
My friends allotment is awash with strawberries. Delicious plump, sweet, ruby-red berries – she could open a pick-your-own! She generously gave me so many (and some plants) that I had enough for this cake, the strawberry and mascarpone tart from a week or so ago and several jars of jam.
In the height of summer ripe strawberries are one of the loveliest things that you can eat, and of course you should have them with cream. This (slightly retro) gateaux shows them off perfectly with its layers of fluffy Genoese sponge and white chocolate cream.
100g plain flour
20g butter, melted
1 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cornflour
125g white chocolate
toasted flaked almonds & extra berries to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180°c and grease and line an 8 inch springform cake tin.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until they are pale yellow, thick and fluffy and the whisk leaves a trail in the mixture (ribbon stage). This should take a few minutes in a stand mixer. Sift in half of the flour and carefully fold it in, be gentle – you don’t want to lose any volume. Repeat with the other half of the flour. Drizzle the melted butter and almond extract around the edge of the mixing bowl and fold again. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake the sponge for 25 minutes. It should be well risen and golden when it’s done. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Roughly chop the fruit and combine it with the sugar and cornflour in a small pan. Cook over a gentle heat for several minutes until you have a thick compote. Set aside to cool.
Melt the chocolate and leave to cool a little whilst you whip the cream to a soft peak. Gently whisk the cooled chocolate into this.
Carefully slice the sponge into three layers and place the bottom one on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the chocolate cream over the sponge and then spoon on half of the compote. Repeat this layering with the second layer of sponge. Place the final layer of sponge on top and spread on half of the remaining cream, put the rest into a piping bag fitted with a round or star-shaped nozzle. Pipe this around the edge of the cake and pile some extra berries into the centre and sprinkle on some flaked almonds to decorate. Chill for an hour or two before serving.
This is quite an unusual dessert, but very tasty. The base is fudgy and chewy and the topping is rich and meltingly creamy. It tastes far more indulgent than the ingredient list might suggest. Whilst I’m not actually vegan I’ve been getting really into exploring […]
Generally I’m a baked cheesecake kind of girl but after my white chocolate and berry cheesecake proved so popular I thought that it would be nice to make a variation on that recipe. This malty, chocolatey malteser version is really indulgent and decadent – a […]
For me it’s the melting point of a truffle that makes it so delicious. There needs to be that soft, yielding luciousness when you bite into them. I once read that the reason this is so satisfying is because the melting point of chocolate is very close to body temperature. If you lower the melting point ever so slightly that satisfaction is increased. You can lower the melting point by simply adding a little extra fat to the chocolate, in the form of vegetable oil. Because of the lower melting point it’s important to keep the filling cold, otherwise things can get pretty messy.
makes a heap
200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp peppermint extract
pinch of salt (optional)
200g extra chocolate for coating
Melt together the oil and the chocolate, either in a double boiler or by using short blasts in a microwave. Stir well and add the peppermint extract and the salt (if using). Either pour this mixture into silicone chocolate moulds or a shallow tray lined with parchment (to cut into cubes later) and place it in the freezer to firm up for several hours and get really nice and cold.
Remove the truffles from the moulds or cut into bite sized cubes. Melt the extra chocolate for coating and carefully dip each chilled truffle in the liquid chocolate, ensuring that they are fully coated before placing them on a parchment lined tray. The chocolate should set on the truffles very quickly because they have been pre-chilled. Wrap in foil or simply place in pretty boxes ready for gifting.