Wednesday, July 25, 2012



CHOCOFIEND CAKE

My brother in law loves his chocolates especially the dark kind.  So I thought  baking a bespoke chocolate cake would be our birthday gift for him.

I baked two kinds of chocolate cake from scratch using Martha Stewart's recipes.  For the base, I  made double-chocolate brownie cake and for the top layer, Martha's Ultimate Chocolate cake. Both recipes can be found also in this blog under  my Kit Kat Overdose Cake post.

For the filling,  I took inspiration from Paula Deen's chocolate mousse recipe. Its soft-icecream-like texture was a perfect foil to the two layers of different chocolate cakes.

The double chocolate brownie layer is dense and chewy providing a nice contrast to the soft and chocolatey Ultimate chocolate cake.


Here is the recipe :

A. Double Chocolate Brownie Recipe ( base) ---  see Kit Kat Overdose Cake post in this blog

B. Ultimate Chocolate Cake ( second and top layer) - see Kit Kat Overdose Cake post in this blog

C. Chocolate Ganache - see Kit Kat Overose Cake post in this blog

C. Chocolate Mouse Filling : 

Ingredients :


4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup extra strong coffee
4 large eggs separated
1 cup sugar  + 1/2 cup
2 cups heavy cream

Method :

1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. When close to melting, add coffee and stir.
2. In a separate bowl, beat 3 egg yolks and 1 cup sugar. Mix well.
 Add to the chocolate mixture ( #1)
3.  Cook over low heat. Stir well till sugar is melted. Set aside and cool.
4. In a separate bowl, beat 4 egg white till stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.


Assembly :

1st layer - double chocolate brownie
2nd layer - chocolate mousse
3rd layer - ultimate chocolate

NOte : Pour the ( cooled ) chocolate ganache all over the cake and garnish with chocolate shavings.


Enjoy !



Thursday, July 19, 2012




Japanese Mango Shortcake Recipe

For a change from my usual chocolate posts, I thought I'd bake a mango cake today.

Inspired by my pretty niece Reg Dominguez whom I fondly call "Twiciapot" and who previously baked a delicious Japanese Strawberry Shortcake ( see  www.facebook.com/foodfiend under the album Delish Dish from Family and Friends ), I  searched the internet for a good recipe for the cake...and  found this delightful blog " La Fuji Mama" and her recipe for Japanese Strawberry Shortcake.
Another design for a Japanese Mango Shortcake


Since fresh mangoes were in season, I opted to use them instead of strawberries :))

Ingredients  for the cake :
4 large eggs- separate white from yolk
4.2 oz (120 grams) granulated sugar sifted once
3 tablespoons milk at room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4.2 oz ( 14 Tablespoon) cake flour sifted 3x
1.2 oz ( 22 grams, 2.3 Tablespoon ) melted butter

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F
2. Use and 8" pan
3. Add sugar to egg whites. Beat until stiff and glossy
4.Add egg yolks to the egg white mixture. Whisk till incorporated
5.Add milk, vanilla, flour ( in this order) to the batter and GENTLY fold them into the batter with a spatula.
6. Fold in melted butter til combined.
7. Pour  batter into prepared pan. Drop the pan  against
the counter 2 -3x to remove air bubbles.
8. Bake cake for 25-30 minutes till golden brown and cake
springs back when pressed lightly.

Ingredients for Stabilized Whip Cream
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
4 tsp cold water
1 cup cold heavy whip cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method :

A.1. Put cold water in a small sauce pan.
2. Sprinkle gelatin and let stand for 5 minutes.
3. Place sauce pan with gelatin mixture in low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon till all gelatin dissolves.
4.Remove from heat and set aside

B.1 In a mixing bowl, combine whip cream, sugar and vanilla and beat till slightly thickened.
2.While beating , slowly, gradually pour the gelatin 
into the whip cream mixture. 
3. Whip at high speed till stiff.

Ingredients for Simple Syrup

1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar

Method :

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. 
Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved.  
Remove from heat and cool.

Assemble :

1.Slice the cake into 2 layers.
2. Place sponge layer cut-side up and lightly 
brush the surface with the simple syrup.
3. Spread a thin layer of whip cream and 
arrange a layer of mangoes over the surface.

4. Spread an additional layer of whip cream



5. Do some rose swirls and decorate
 with mango dot cut outs and voila !

Wednesday, July 18, 2012





GOT-TO-BAKE REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUP-Like CAKE


Don't you just love Reese's peanut butter cup chocolate? Our piggery loves them so much they can finish a big bag among themselves in a few minutes. Sinful and delightful. Nothing like the combination of peanut butter encased in chocolate. The texture is just unique. We actually play with eat while eating it.  Prolonging the suspense by eating the chocolate part first then saving the peanut butter filling for last or vice versa.

Thanks to a wonderful blog "I Fine Cooking",  I was inspired to try baking my own version so I can surprise the "piggery".  Nothing quite like seeing their amazed expression when they see this baby.

Alright here's the recipe :


For the chocolate cake - you can use your own recipe or you can use Martha's like I do. Just see my Kit Kat Overload Cake post on this blog for the method and ingredients. By the way, I used an 8" pan for this recipe

For the Peanut Butter Filling :

I tried " I fine Cooking's" recipe and it was delicious and simple.


Ingredients :

1/2 cup powder graham cookies ( or if you have the
biscuit form just food process it or pound it with your mortar
and pestle till it turns into powder)
3/4 cup powdered sugar sifted
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup peanut butter

Method :
12 
1. Use your food processor and process everything till incorporated.
2.Filling should be firm and dry.
3.  Taste and determine if you like the sweetness. If per your standards you like it sweeter
simply add more powdered sugar and pulse again.
4. Oh , I added 1/2 tsp of salt to my filling. I find it brings out the sweetness of the mix better.
5. Press the mixture in an 8" pan and refrigerate for a couple of hour or until firm. 
Don't forget to put aluminum foil on your pan first so its easy to take out once firm.
Note : You can double or triple the recipe if you find it not enough. I doubled mine.

For the chocolate ganache :

Ingredients :

1 1/3 cup heavy cream or whip cream
1 1/2 pack Nestle TollHouse semi sweet choco chips
4 tablespoons of butter

Method:
1. Microwave whip cream and butter on high for 1 minute.
2. Pour the choco chips on  whip cream-butter mixture. Let the chips sink into the mixture for about 15-20 seconds then start stirring.
3. Set aside and let cool.
To assemble :

1. Cut the chocolate cake into two layers.

             1st layer - chocolate cake
             2nd layer - peanut butter filling
             3rd layer - chocolate cake

2. Put the assembled cake in a  9 inch pan or  ( what I did) an 8 " Tescomma Silicon mould. Do not forget though to line it with aluminum foil before pouring in the chocolate ganache. This will make your life easier.  It can be quite difficult to get the cake out of the mould without the foil.



3. Pour the ganache all over the assembled cake in the silicon mould.

4. Put in the refrigerator for an hour t then to the freezer for an hour to set.

5. With the help of the aluminum foil, you can now pull out the whole cake from the mold with ease.


6. Slice and enjoy :)))




















Friday, July 6, 2012



SHRIMP-TOMATO-BASIL-FETA PASTA SALAD


I just love pasta and salad and to see a recipe in a food magazine for a dish that is both pasta and a salad was such a welcome sight that I decided to include it in our Sunday Dinner with my wonderful parents-in-law.

In our family when you say pasta, you normally mean either a regular beef lasagna, a lasagna roll over special or a Tuna Pesto Pasta.

The redness of the tomato versus the fresh green of the basil combined with the succulent-looking meat of the shrimp and the  white color of the pasta and feta, made for a very attractive dish.

So when I served this new pasta, the "piggery" immediately took notice and dived into it even before I expounded on the ingredients or to tell what its name was. Oh well, the important thing is that they liked it. 

There was a bit of trepidation on my part because by my "piggery's" standard,  I expect that they would think that it was a bland dish. These kids of ours are used to my rich red beefy sauce of the lasagna.  But I guessed they liked it ,  because it vanished from the serving plate quite quickly.

Perfect to pair with buffalo wings with Bleu cheese dressing :))


Ingredients :
500 grams linguine pasta
4 cups water
dash of salt
canola oil

lots of garlic
sliced onions
1/4 cup olive oil
cherry tomatoes or diced red tomatoes
fresh basil leaves
1 cup shrimp or prawns shelled and deveined
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of white wine
chili flakes ( optional)

1. Cook the pasta per package directions.  Add salt and canola oil upon boiling. DO NOT wash in cold water.  Save some of the pasta water for later.

2. In a separate pan, sauté the shrimp/prawn in olive oil till pink. Take the shrimp/prawn off the pan and set aside. Saute garlic and onion till translucent. Add cherry tomatoes and cook till it crack.

3.  Add the white wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce.

4. Toss in the pasta. If a little dry, add some pasta water. Salt and pepper to taste. 

5. Add chili flakes. Turn off the heat.

6. Garnish with the shrimps/prawns, basil leaves and crumbled feta cheese.

7. Drizzle with olive oil  and chili flakes again before serving

Bon Apetito <3 <3