Gingerbread spice

thumb_img_6144_1024-aI’m thrilled to be invited to host a baking demo in a beautiful kitchen showroom of Rowenda in Kuala Lumpur on the lovely Sunday. I have an attentive audience that been working from their home, and also keen bakers too.

During this time of the year, also a time to indulgent yourself into delicious food; I felt I have got many excuses for the eating opportunity during this time of the year. This is time that warmth, contentment, welcome and friendship emanate from and are celebrated in the kitchen. I find it the most cogent expression at Christmas.

  • Holiday cake
  • Nut truffle
  • Chocolate pistachio fudge
  • Christmas mince pie

I would love to share this very special recipe of my gingerbread spice, You could use it in the mince pie dough, or any filling of pie. This is the most Christmassy spice! I could ever known for.

Get ready a sterilized jar that with lid. Mix in 2 tablespoons of ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of allspice, 1 tablespoon of ground cloves and 1 tablespoon of nutmeg. Cover the lid up and give it a good shake. ç’est tout!

Here are the links for the recipe that I had done in the demo.

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/holiday-cake/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/562/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/chocolate-pistachio-fudge/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/humble-mince-pie/

Porcini & Chocolate Risotto

IMG_9614Typically chocolate always give you the impression of dessert, something that sweet. The Dutch chocolate company had imposed that image into everyone. However, this wonderful author had changed my impression toward chocolate forever, thanks to Willie Harcourt-Cooze.  I picked up one of his recipe and will love to give it a try, it may sound odd to add chocolate into savory. The flavour is really married well.  Here is the recipe for your adventure with cacao.

  • 100g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp finely grated 100% cacao
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

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  1. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to soak for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a gentle heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  3. Stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the rice.
  4. Tip in the porcini mushroom, along with their soaking liquid. Bring to a gentle simmer, strring continuously, until all the soaking liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of hot stock and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid has again been absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the stock and stirring in this way, until all the stock has been used up and the rice is plump and tender.
  5. Finally, stir in the cacao, season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve with grated Parmesan sprinkle over the top.

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The most honest opinion about this apart from the strong bitter cacao that really wonderful with the note of earthy taste to it, likewise with the porcini mushroom. I do suggest to use a bit of thyme to garnish on top. It did settle both strong flavour because of the aromatic of the thyme. This kind of dish as is does look like Chinese porridge, I am wondering does all these food culture related once a upon a time? That will be very interesting subject to find out too.

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Chocolate chip cookies

IMG_1340AThis is the chocolate chips cookie, the eccentric chocolate chips cookie. I used several ingredient to enhance the chocolate flavour and will makes you want it more. How could anyone resist the lovely aroma of the chocolate and it is like felling in love again when you bite into it. Normally I called this biscuit but cookies is the much closer terms to use, because it reminds me most American Mother will have the secret recipe of their own of chocolate chips cookie and passing down to their children, I can imagine the children enjoyed it and fighting for the last piece of cookie in the jar.

I do believe chocolate has the mysterious power. It can make strong men and women weak of gratitude, also good to mopping up tears as well. This recipe combined two loves – chocolatey and chocolate madness. For all the chocoholic this would be your must try list.

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Melt the 125g dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl. (I use my freestanding mixer, itself an odd source of comfort to me.) Add the melted chocolate and mix together.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate morsels or chips.
  5. Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds – an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job – and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.
  6. Cook for 18 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cake batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
  7. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.

You might noticed I used two different sugar, the reason I used light brown sugar is for the extra trickiness, and it will not easily burn in the oven because brown sugar is less sweet compared to white sugar. I remembered the first time I made it, I nearly forgot the cold egg, and I added it last before I bake it in oven. The result is a soft cookie, just like it been leave on a table for several hour. Although it will still become one mixture no matter which way I mix it but in the baking terms you got to follow every step, every ingredient will react to each other before the next ingredient adding into it. That is a science of baking, how wonderful things can be. I hope you will enjoy baking this cookies and share the good thing.

Bitter-chocolate meringue

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Meringue with chocolate always goes well together, I used 75% cocoa solid to immerse the meringue into a chocolate bath. How wonderful is that! I think it does look good in dinner party too. Nothing complicated, the most important part is the enjoyment of making it and enjoy it when is done. Pop one in your mouth to experience the beautiful balance of the bitter chocolate and the sweet sugary meringue. You will feel great! Promise!

  1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Set the oven at 110°C/gas ¼/225°F.
  2. Combine the egg whites and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until the whites are very stiff and standing in points. They must be be completely dry. Gradually add half the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time until all sugar has been mix it, whisking well after each addition until the meringue is stiff. If the sugar is not thoroughly blended in it will form droplets of syrup which may brown, spoiling the appearance and texture of the meringues, and making them difficult to remove from the paper when cooked.
  3. Put the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe a mini garlic shape, by pressing down as you squeeze the bag until the size you want is made, then quickly flick and pull it upwards. Repeat it until all the meringue is used up.
  4. Put them into oven for about 1 hour to 1 and half hour or until the meringue is dry.
  5. While that is happening, you can temper the chocolate. Put the chocolate into bowl and place on the saucepan with barely simmering water (ensure bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and let the chocolate melt. When the chocolate is fully melted remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it cool and set aside.
  6. Check your meringue by using a spoon the knock it if you could hear the crispy sounds meaning is ready to take out. Let it cool on the wire rack.
  7. Take the cooled meringue and submerge half of the meringue into cooled melted chocolate, shake the excess chocolate off and then place it on the baking paper without disturbing it, and let the chocolate set on the meringue. Repeat until the meringues use-up.
  8. You can keep the meringues in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

My Old-fashioned Chocolate Cake

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When I making this cake, I felt like I’m going back to my childhood moment when I saw beautiful dark chocolate display on the patisserie window, and I will asked my Mother to get me a slice of the cake.

Now, I don’t need a single slice, I can have a whole cake for myself with different twist on it. I had this with a coffee or a milky latte is great idea, possible you could find the coffee with some nutty taste note is even better, because topped nut of the cake does works well with nutty taste coffee.

Check the recipe on the recipe page

Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Lava Cake 1 Chocolate Lava Cake 2This is one of my favourite chocolate puds, fit for any serious chocaholic! The rich glossy melting middle is to die for, and it can be served straight from the oven, cold, or warmed through in a microwave or conventional oven. Which ever way you choose, this pudding will not disappoint any chocolate lover. I’m thinking of trying a different version with a caramel sauce in the middle.

I used 72% of cocoa solid chocolate to make this delicious dessert, which is quite high because the intense chocolate flavour is diluted with the flavours from the sugar, flour and butter. I love to serve this to friends when they visit, as the moist center with the oozy chocolate comes out like lava from a volcano, and when you spoon it in your mouth, your heart feels like it’s being melted by chocolatey lava! Here is how I do it.

Ingredients

For coating 6 ramekins

  • 30g soft butter
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa powder

Chocolate filling

  1. Prepare 6-8 ramekins by brushing them with butter and then dusting with cocoa powder. Make sure to tap out all the excess cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate with butter in a bain marie (a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), stirring occasionally. Alternatively, melt them in the microwave on low setting.
  3. To make the filling, put the cream in a pan set over a low heat, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the grated chocolate and stir until melted. Finally, stir in the butter for a smooth, silky chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  4. Combine the sugar and flour in a bowl. Mix the melted chocolate with the eggs followed by the flour and sugar. Divided the mixture between the ramekins fill in three-quarter full with chocolate mixture.
  5. Transfer the cool chocolate filling into piping bag fitted withsmall round nozzle, or to a heavy-duty food bag (just snip off the corner to use).
  6. Pop the piping nozzle into the middle of the chocolate mixture in each ramekins and squirt in the filling (the mixture will rise almost to the top). Keep in the refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes or until the edge are firm and the centres slightly runny. Test by inserting a toothpick in the centre – it should come out wet. Leave to rest for 2 minutes before turning the cakes out of the ramekins on to plates.

If you decide to serve this dessert, make sure your main course is not too rich, because this pud packs a punch of overwhelming chocolate flavour, both inside and out. It will definitely satisfied your guests.

This dessert could be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or for those concerned about their waistline, a little creme fraiche.

Avelinettes, Chocolate Nutty Truffle

Chocolate Truffle
It’s a little late for valentine, but if you could wish to have valentine any day you like, you could, if you try this French nut truffle! It has all the walnut, hazelnut, almond flavour ground inside it, and the velvet-smooth truffle is coated with pure cocoa powder. Is perfect for an after dinner light snack, or you can serve as the sweet snack after dinner party when served with coffee, or even on it’s own as a special little treat.
When you bite it you will taste the rich deep flavour of the bitter cocoa powder that coats the truffle, then the romance comes with the sweetness of the sugar and the aroma of the nuts, it feels like someone came along to give you the most sweetest moment of life; just like your wishes of valentine that you could never had. This will definitely fulfill you more than anything else. Would you like to have a valentine right now?
These delicious hand-made truffles is indulgence treat for special occasion, or why not just treat yourself to a small quantity for those moments when you need cheering up!
Now I going to cheer you up by letting you do this at home.
  • 150g ground walnuts
  • 150g ground hazelnuts
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp coffee extract
  • 1 small egg white (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
  1. Place the walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sugar and coffee extract in the mixing bowl, adding a little egg white if required. Otherwise adding water to combine.
  2. Shape pieces of the paste into little oval petits fours and roll them in the cocoa powder. Do not cook them. Serve in a little paper confectionery cases.

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

When I was making this on a rainy day, it felt like I was making a real festive treat. All of my friends and customers have really loved this combination of rich chocolate the Pistachio nuts. The chocolate melts in the mouth, and the nuts give a lovely crunch. If you can have a latte with this, you will love it, or just enjoy as an after dinner treat!

If you’d like to sample a batch of these delicious treats. They’ll keep in your fridge for a few days too, that is if you can stop yourself from eating them all!

This is how I do this a non-confectioner recognized fudge. Simply because the use of condenses milk.

  • 340g semisweet chocolate, chopped.
  • 420ml or 1 can condensed milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 150g shelled pistachio
  • 30g butter
  1. Melt the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan on low heat.
  2. Roughly chop up the pistachio. Add the chopped nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.
  3. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch-square aluminum foil pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Let the fudge cool and then refrigerate until set. Best to overnight.
  5. Once cut, you can keep it in the freezer, no need to thaw; just eat right away.

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