Showing posts from April, 2014

White Chocolate Truffle Cake

Recently my friend asked me to make her a special cake, and inspired by some white chocolate truffles I'd been given, I decided that a creamy truffle type topping over a light sponge cake would be ideal . I wanted to add some body to the truffle topping, so used an idea I saw in a magazine and added fromage frais. It's not a big cake, but is rich, so you only need a small slice. You need a 20cm springform cake tin, base lined. Preheat oven 180C/gas4 For the sponge: Whisk 2 eggs with 50g of caster sugar till light and frothy. Fold in 50g of plain flour and then 50g of white chocolate, which has been melted in a microwave or over a pan of hot water. Pour this batter into the cake tin and bake for 25 mins till the cake is springy to touch. Leave cake to cool for a bit in the tin and then turn out onto a wire rack. For the topping : Put 300ml of double cream into a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to stop it sticking and burning. Turn the heat down very low,

Chocolate gingerbread

This recipe is for a 'pain d'épice' [spice bread]  type of gingerbread - a French classic. Each country has its own version of gingerbread, but I love the French one best. I wanted to do something a bit different for a special tea, as I'd invited the French conversation group I belong to. I decided to push the boat out, so instead of making just a normal cake looking gingerbread, I made it into a sort of millefeuille version, and added chocolate to it. The basic recipe came from my French friend's mother, and unlike our English gingerbread, it uses several spices. It's not difficult to make, but making it into a millefeuille was a bit of a faff! You need: 100g of dark chocolate 100g of honey *200ml cold double cream 130g flour [my friend's Mum used rye flour but I didn't] 11/2tspns baking powder 2 tspns vanilla sugar 20g icing sugar for the spices: 1 tspn of cinnamon, 1/2 tspn ground ginger, 1 tpsn freshly grated nutmeg and 1 star anise [

Blackcurrant Clafoutis

 Am having a clear out of last year's fruit from the freezer, and found a bag of blackcurrants lurking in the depths. I have to say that they're not my favourite fruit - not sweet enough for me, but OH loves them. What to do with them? Didn't want another crumble or tart, so had a look in one of my cookbooks and found a recipe for an apple clafoutis - I was sure that blackcurrants would work just as well. What is a clafoutis? A batter pudding/flan with fruit, usually cherries. I 've seen many recipes for the batter, including one using yeast; I read through this one, then did it the wrong way round - beating the melted butter and sugar together instead of the sugar and eggs, but it didn't seem to have made any difference. I was a bit worried that the blackcurrants would be too tart, but in the sweet batter they were fine. Preheat oven 220C/gas7 and grease a gratin dish with a little butter. Put 500g of fresh or frozen blackcurrants [or cherries, thinly slice

Moka Cake

Part of my husband's Christmas present to me was a 2 day Cookery course, which included making and decorating cakes. I went to the first day last Saturday and brought home this Moka cake. We made tuiles and langues de chats too, but they were eaten before I had a chance to take a photo! I asked, and got, permission from the tutor to put this recipe on my blog, so it's legal, but I've written it in my own words anyway. It's quite a complicated cake, and it pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it's worthwhile making for an occasion. As it was Mothering Sunday last w/e, it was the perfect special cake for tea. It's a Genoese sponge cake which is cut in half and sprinkled with some coffee syrup. Then you make some crème au beurre [it's much posher than a buttercream, hence the French term!] and use this to fill the sponge, to cover the cake and to pipe around the top of the finished cake. It's a luxurious 'treat yourself' kind of cake.

Pecan Brownies

Needed to make something for a Bake Stall, so decided something with chocolate, as they're always popular. My friend had been raving about these brownies, so I persuaded her to part with the recipe! Have to admit that I'm not a great brownie fan. I think it's because I've eaten a lot of overcooked ones which were disappointing. There's a fine line between their being squidgy and overcooked - as I know too well! I made a recipe not long ago that was so awful even the birds wouldn't eat it! What a waste of chocolate! 180g 70% dark chocolate 175g butter 150g light brown sugar 3 eggs and 1 yolk 85g plain flour and 1 level tspn of baking powder 100g pecans - keep 25g for the topping Preheat oven 180C/gas4/fan165C Grease a 18x32cm tin . Break the pecans into pieces. In a bowl beat the eggs and yolk lightly with a fork. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over simmering water. Take off heat when melted. Add the sugar and mix together. A