Strawberry Gateau – The divine dessert

I have been MIA for last few days, just one of those times when I am too distracted by too many things going on around me and all the idea popping in my head. And then I realise, I have been neglecting my space, my blog.

So here I am..I have a weird penchant, looking at pictures of food or delicacies that I made sometime ago make me happy. It gives me a different kind of pleasure and takes my mind off from a lot of things. Its like my nirvana state. And while doing this, i bumped into my Strawberry Gateau that I made few months ago, and I just wanted to share it with you guys.

Here you go:

Ingredients

Sponge cake (if you aren’t in the mood, then just make it out of the box and do the icing)

  • 2 cups (230g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar – you can use either all granulated or brown sugar or both
  • 1/2 cup (100g) tightly packed light brown sugar – brown sugar gives a yummy moisture and softness to the cake, i prefer it
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

Icing:

  • 300 ml extra thick cream
  • 2-3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 cup almonds – coarsely chopped
  • 2 cup fresh strawberries – sliced

Method:

  1. Beat sugar and butter together till they become creamy and fluffy
  2. Sift flour, baking pwd and salt and set aside
  3. Add eggs & yolks one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating at low speed and scraping the side down
  4. Now add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to the mix and mix with spatula till well combined (DO NOT OVER MIX! this will dry the cake out)
  5. Add vanilla extract and mix slowly again
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg (350 F)
  7. Pour the mixture in the baking pan (6inch will be good)
  8. You can either bake the entire cake in one pan and then half it horizontally later when its cooled, or bake it in two pans with half mixture in each
  9. Bake the mixture for 20-25 min, till the toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean
  10. Take it out and let it cool on the cooling rack

Start working on the icing:

  1. Beat the cream till it has soft peaks, add the icing sugar and mix well (don’t over mix as that will spoil the cream)
  2. To add a bit of more taste you can also mix strawberry sauce lightly in the cream, otherwise just keep it as it is.

Layering:

  1. Once the cake is cool, and sliced into half with a sharp knife, layer cream on the middle layer as much as you want, and then top it with spreading sliced strawberries on it
  2. Cover the top layer on cream layer, you have a cake ready
  3. Now lightly spread the cream around the sides and top of the cake, you don’t need to be neat about it, as it will hide behind the almonds. We just need to have a good layer of cream around the cake
  4. Now, with a spoon or your hand, start putting crushed almonds on the sides (they will keep falling, but you just need to keep on dressing it). Try this by putting cake on the high lever stand so it is easier to do.
  5. Once the sides are all covered with almonds, then put sliced strawberries on top of the cake, covering the whole top cake layer.
  6. To give the strawberries a gloss, lightly brush sugar syrup on them to give a sparkle

And you have your yummy strawberry gateau ready to serve!

gateau

Strawberry Gateau Cake

DSC_0372

Strawberry Gateau – 2

Strawberry Millefeuille – The Perfect Dessert

Moving away from chocolates, I also have a craving for something light, crunchy and creamy and sweet at the same time.Something which won’t take ages to prepare and is ready in no time with minimal of ingredients.

And that is the time when I tried out the Strawberry Millefeuille…i used to have it in London at the very yummy Patisserie Valerie, and every time I thought, this must have taken ages to prepare. Only to come to Melbourne and figure out its the easiest one!

And you can twist and turn it as per your liking, you can make it a lemon mille-feuille or vanilla or raspberry and so on. My favourite is Strawberry..and here is how its done.

Time prep – 15min

Time to cook – 10min

Ingredients:

Fresh strawberries – 500g; cut into slices

Fresh whipping or heavy cream – 500ml

Icing sugar – 2 tbsp heaped + some to sprinkle

Puff Pastry Crust

Method

  • roll the puff pastry and cut it into two squares, when it is 1-2 come thick
  • Sprinkle some icing sugar on the squares, put a baking sheet or paper on top of one square (which will be your base), and let the other one rise to full
  • Put it in the oven pre-heated to 175 degrees (350 F) for 10min or till golden
  • Take out both the pastry squares and let them cool on the rack
  • once cool, take a sharp knife and cut the full puffed crust in half horizontally(leave your base crust as it is)
  • Now whip the cream with icing sugar till formed soft peaks
  • No spread the whipped cream on the base crust and then put the cut strawberries on it (as in pic)

    millf collage

    Strawberry millefeuille

  • Put 1 half of the crust (already cut) on top and repeat the cream and strawberries layering
milf collage 2

Strawberry Millefeuille – layering

  • Put the top lid of crust on, sprinkle some icing sugar on top and refrigerate for 20min and TADA…DEVOUR

I made it twice in two days! first to eat myself, and then as a big dessert to take it to a dinner party 🙂

final milf

Strawberry Millefeuille – the perfect fresh dessert

final milf slice

Strawberry Millefeuille Slice

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate desserts make me go weak in my knees, does that happen to you too?

I sometimes dream of having a yummilicious chocolate-ey something! My freezer has a 1litre chocolate ice-cream stored to satiate my need in middle of night. Or like last night, when i just wanted to have brownies, yummy, chewy fudge-y brownies! and i made them and ate them, while only sharing one square block with M!

So today, I’ll share with you my oh-not-so-secret double chocolate mousse cake! this was something i just came on my own.

So basically, I turned my mousse into a cake! and my mousse goes without any gelatine or anything to set. And its a HIT! i made this on our first V-day together and the fussy-not-much-into-desserts-M loved it too. So here it goes:

Prep time: 30min + time to chill in fridge

Serves: 10

Ingredients

Chocolate Mousse:

 

  • 300 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) , broken into small pieces
  • sea salt (a pinch)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 300 ml double cream (i use thick)
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder , plus extra for dusting

Chocolate Cake

You can also use the recipe of my mayonnaise choc loaf I shared in the post here, or if you are in a rush use Betty Crocker’s Devil’s food mix or any other chic-cake mix you like. Or use the recipe below:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cup (350g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) freshly brewed strong hot coffee

 

 

Method:

  1. First, pre-heat the oven to 350F (175 degrees), and grease a 9inch loose-bottom baking pan, I use a pan which as depth, as then I also set my mousse in it.
  2. For Cake, first mix all the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, baking pwd, soda,sugar and salt) in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, or in a stand-mix or using hand-held mix, combine buttermilk and oil until well mixed.
  4. Now slowly add the dry ingredients, while combing the sides with the spatula.
  5. Once combined, add the coffee mixture
  6. The cake mix will be very thin, but that is okay! put it in the baking pan and in the oven.
  7. will take 20-24min to bake, check until the stick comes clean from the centre.

While your cake is in the oven, start working on the mousse:

  1. Place the dark chocolate with a pinch of salt in a heat proof bowl, and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water. Please make sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Leave to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a bowl separate your eggs-whites and yolk, so you have the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.
  3. Add sugar to the bowl of yolks and beat with a hand-held mix until the sugar has dissolved and its silky and smooth and very pale.
  4. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks – you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head without them falling out.
  5. In a third bowl, beat the cream until just whipped.
  6. Add the cocoa powder to your bowl of yolks and mix well.
  7. Tip in the cream and mix again with a spoon.
  8. Then fold through the melted chocolate until it’s well combined and a gorgeous colour.
  9. Lastly, finish by tipping in the egg whites and keep folding till well combined.

Your Mousse is Ready!

  1. Now go and check your cake in the oven (or i hoped you checked in between, and it didn’t burn).
  2. Once the cake is done, and been on the rack to cool and well chilled, cut it as 1/4 left in the baking dish and 3/4 taken off!
  3. this will leave a thin layer of base cake (or you can leave more if you like).
  4. Then pour your mousse mixture on top of the think layer in the loose bottom pan (Please make sure the pan is locked in).
  5. Now put the cake tin/pan in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight for it to set.
  6. The 3/4 you took off, you can eat it! also, use a big piece to crush in the food processor and use it to as the third layer topping for the cake!

Tips:

  1. You can bake the cake a day earlier and put in the fridge
  2. If you want to use Milk chocolate for the mousse, lessen the cream by half, otherwise it will be difficult to set.

Here is the picture of the amazing Triple Chocolate Cake! (which I have made gazzilion times, so the pictures are of two different occasions)- and just to show you, you can decorate it with Kit-Kats to make it like 4-Layer!!!

deco cake

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

mouse cake

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

 

Chocolate Loaf with a Twist

I love baking, and experimenting different variations to cakes, tarts and cookies. Recently, I came across a new article which shared that centuries ago, somewhere in the city of Arkansas, someone made the best, moist and yummilicious chocolate cake ever!

That got me curious to read more, only to find that the secret recipe was to replace oil/butter with Mayonnaise! This was surprising..yet, i wanted to give it a try. And my, my, did it turn out good? It was yummy! so soft, moist and spongy! just like the way I like my chocolate loaf to be.

So here you go!

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour (try to use fine quality flour for cakes and pastries)

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch processed for better chocolatey taste)

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 2/3 cups brown sugar (you can use granulated too, but I prefer brown)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/3 cups water

Method:
1. Combine cocoa, flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a  bowl and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar together till the mixture is fluffy and creamy.
3. Add mayonnaise to the egg mixture and beat it at a slower speed till well combined.
4. Now slowly start adding the dry ingredients with water (make sure you begin and end with flour mixture).
5. Pre-heat the over to 350 F (170 degrees), and grease your baking tin.
6. Pour the mixture onto your baking tin, and put it in over to bake for 30min. Put a skewer in the middle to see if it comes out clean, the loaf is ready!
7. Let the loaf cool on the baking rack, and then DEVOUR!
Just look how mine turn out! its looks amazing just from the picture, and it was solo good that it didn’t need any frosting 🙂
mayo cake

Chocolate Mayonnaise Loaf

Chocolate Cookies In The House

There are times when my sweet tooth (and I) go on a chocolate craving crazy drive, and both of us don’t usually care about the time of the day it can be, be it midnight or any other time.

Now you can’t have a cake, or bake every time and if you live in Melbourne you will very well know, the cafe and coffee shops (and the city) closes at 5pm. DOT. So I had to think of my backup in such times, especially after experiencing such a situation twice and that when i landed on this EPIC, i mean THE EPIC chocolate cookies ever.

The best thing about them is that you can shape the dough into the cookie and FREEZE them for up to 3 months!!! (trust me they won’t survive this long, but HURAY).

So here we gooo….with the recipe…

The Best Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

Eggs – 1 large

Butter (softened to room temp) – 1/2 cup or 115g

All purpose baking flour – 1 cup

Baking soda – 1 tsp

Brown sugar (you can use either light or dark) – 1/2 cup

Salt – 1/8 tsp (adding salt to cocoa or chocolate brings out better taste)

Cocoa Powder (use he best quality dutch unprocessed, the better the cocoa the better the taste) – 1/2 cup + 2tbsp

Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup

Milk – 2 tbsp

Method

  1. Using hand-held or stand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute or till light in color and creamy.
  2. Add brown and granulated sugar and  continue beating on medium speed till mixture is fluffy
  3. Add the egg to the mixture and turn the beating to high-speed for 45sec.
  4. Scrape down the mixture from around the bowl with a spoon
  5. In a separate bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together.
  6. Now gradually add the dry ingredients mix to the wet ingredients and beat on low-speed until combined.
  7. The cookie dough at this time will be very thick and sticky.Add 2 tbsp of milk and beat at high-speed.
  8. This will make cookie dough thick and sticky. Now carefully wrap the dough in aluminium foil tightly.
  9. Refrigerate for 3 hours (you can refrigerate it upto 3 days too)
  10. Take the dough out and leave it for 20-30min to bring to room temperature or till its slightly softer
  11. scoop out 2 tbsp of dough for one cookie ball
  12. Pre heat oven to 350 F (170 degree celsius).
  13. Line the baking dish with the baking paper or silicon paper
  14. Place the balls on the baking dish and keep a gap of at least 2 inch between each ball
  15. You can either keep the ball in the shape or press it slightly from the top(both are fine).
  16. Bake the cookies for 10min – The cookie will look slightly undercooked when you take out but they are Soft and gooey and feel cake-y and brownie like. Leave them to cool for 15 min…and the DEVOUR!

Tip: you can cook the cookies for 15 min if you like them to be crusty and slight crispy.

Here is the picture of my cookies…YUMMMUMMM…

cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You can also gift wrap them and take it to your friends..what can be a better gift than homemade chocolate cookies!

I did…and here is the picture:

gift wrap cookie

Gift wrap cookies

 

Tip: If you want you can add White/Milk/Dark Chocolate Chips to in the mixture, as per your requirement and turn it into Double Chocolate Chips Cookies…!!

Devour, my lovelies…<3