Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Flour-less Dark Chocolate Cookies

I am not much of a cookie person. I've always preferred a nice big slice of cake. But when I discovered these discs of joy, I couldn't not make them.


These are the perfect cookies..crisp on the outside..soft and chewy in the centre..a rich dark chocolate flavour. I seriously died and went to heaven. These are great for days when you want a little treat but don't want to go through the trouble of making a cake. I promise, it will take you no time to whip these up. I wouldn't say these cookies are healthy, but they are definitely better than regular cookies. Believe it or not, they are flour-less, butter-less, and use less sugar than most cookies. This recipe makes about 10-12 small cookies.


Ingredients:

  1. 1 egg white, at room temperature
  2. 90 g dark chocolate, melted
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 95 g powdered sugar
  5. 1 tsp cornstarch 
  6. a pinch of salt

Method:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and leave aside to cool.
  3. Place the egg white in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until you have soft peaks. 
  4. Add in half of the sugar and whisk until combined. 
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. 
  6. Add the dry mixture to the egg whites and stir gently. 
  7. Add in the melted chocolate and stir until combined. 
  8. The mixture should look like thick cake batter. 
  9. On a prepared baking tray, spoon the mixture, making sure you leave sufficient space between the cookies as they will expand. 
  10. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until the cookies have flatten and expanded a bit. The top should be cracked and dry to touch. 


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Black Forest Cake

This cake is very close to my heart. I remember eating A LOT of this cake when I was little. The classic combination of chocolate, cream and cherries, you really can't go wrong with this! 



Ingredients:

  1. 95 g flour
  2. 5 g cocoa powder
  3. 100 g granulated sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  7. 200 ml whipping cream 
  8. 2 tbsp icing sugar 
  9. cherries (candied/canned/fresh)
  10. chocolate shavings



Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. 
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  4. In another bowl, whip the egg whites till you have soft peaks. 
  5. Sieve the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture. 
  6. Fold together gently. 
  7. Gradually fold in the egg whites. 
  8. Pour into an 8 inch prepared cake tin. 
  9. Bake at 160 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
  10. Cool for an hour. 
  11. Once the cake has cooled, slice it from the centre. 
  12. In a small bowl, mix together 1-2 tsp sugar with 3-4 tsp water. Soak both slices of cake in this sugar syrup to moisten the cake. (If you're using canned cherries, you can use the liquid for the can to moisten the cake.)
  13. Whip your cream with the icing sugar. 
  14. Ice the bottom layer, and place quarters of cherries on the icing. You can use candied, canned or fresh. I personally prefer fresh cherries. 
  15. Place the second layer on top and coat the outside of the cake with icing. 
  16. Place a few fresh cherries on top and sprinkle some chocolate shavings. 
  17. Cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours so the icing sets. 




Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Almond Tea Cake With Lemon Buttercream

Pound cake is one of my favourite cakes. But sometimes, I find that it just sits in my mouth and is so overly sweet. This recipe uses ground almonds and greek yogurt that bring in some lightness and reduce the dependency on sugar. 


This weekend, we had guests over, and I made this cake. I had no idea they would love it so much! My cousin hates almonds, doesn't eat them, doesn't touch them..he loved this cake. 


The almonds give the cake a very subtle nutty flavour which beautifully compliments the tangy buttercream. The cake looks absolutely gorgeous when it comes out of the oven, a pale golden surface, a beautifully crisp crust around the edge. And it's so soft to bite into. This cake is heaven on a plate. 


For the almond tea cake:

Ingredients:
  1. 240 g superfine sugar
  2. zest of 1 lemon
  3. 150 g flour
  4. 70 g ground almonds
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. a pinch of salt
  7. 130 g greek yogurt
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  11. 80 ml sunflower oil
  12. 50 g unsalted butter, melted
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. 
  2. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and rub with your hands until the sugar smells lemony. 
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, almonds, salt and mix. 
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract. 
  5. Add to the dry mixture and mix gently until just combined and no traces of flour remain. 
  6. Add the melted butter and oil and fold together. 
  7. Pour the mixture into an 8 inch prepared tin and bake for 28-35 minutes. (Bake for additional 10 minutes if necessary. A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean. I baked my cake in a loaf tin, as I made only 2/3rd of the recipe.)
  8. Let it cool for 1 hour. 



For the lemon buttercream:

Ingredients:

  1. 60 g icing sugar
  2. 30 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  3. 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  4. zest of 1/2 a lemon
Method:
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the unsalted butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy. 
  2. Add in the lemon juice and zest and whisk well to combine. 
  3. Ice your cake using a piping bag or a spatula. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set the icing. 




Thursday, 4 June 2015

Strawberry Swirl Ice-Cream

It is summer season, which means it is ice cream season! 


I had a few strawberries in my freezer that I whipped up into this delicious, creamy, refreshing strawberry ice cream. 



For the strawberry compote:

Ingredients:
  1. 250 g strawberries
  2. 4 tbsp granulated sugar 
  3. Juice of 1 lemon

Method:
  1. Core and half your strawberries. 
  2. Add them in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. 
  3. Stir continuously and cook over medium heat. 
  4. The syrup should have thickened and you should still be left with some strawberry chunks.


For the ice-cream:

Ingredients:
  1. 1 litre full cream milk
  2. 200 ml whipping cream
  3. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 tbsp cornflour + 1 tbsp milk 
  5. 75 g sugar (add more if needed, my whipping cream is pre-sweetened)


Method:
  1. In a saucepan, add the milk and sugar and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Once the milk has reduced to half, mix together the cornflour and 1 tbsp milk  and add to the saucepan. 
  3. Stir continuously, making sure there are no lumps.
  4. The mixture should thicken to the consistency of custard. 
  5. Take it off the heat and leave aside to cool.
  6. In a mixing bowl, whip you cream and add the vanilla extract. 
  7. Slowly add the milk mixture to the cream, one spoon at a time, folding after each addition. It should have a very creamy consistency.
  8. Add the strawberry compote to this mixture and swirl around with a knife. 
  9. Pour in an air-tight container and freeze over night.