Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Tarte au Mangue et Chocolat - Mango and chocolate tart



Sometimes the best recipes turn out to be the simplest ones. This is one of those recipes - few ingredients, no faffing about or complicated use of equipment and/or mixing bowls.

Actually this is a version of the pear and chocolate tarte so you can at any time replace the mangoes with pears.

The base recipe is a simple shortcrust case filled with creme au chocolat and finished with ripe aromatic fruits, mango or pears. I love it best with dark chocolate as the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate stand nicely against the sweetness of the ripe fruit.

The recipe is extremely simple and straightforward and this was a nice mother's day treat as well.






Tarte au Mangue et Chocolat

Recipe: 

(fills a pastry case of 20 cm)

1 Shortcrust case or rolled shortcrust pastry - bake according to instructions

for the Creme au Chocolat:

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
100 g sugar
300 ml single cream
200 g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe mangoes






Method: 

If you bake the pastry case, first do that because it will need time to cool down well after.

Start making the chocolate ganache.
Heat the single cream over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Do not let boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate separated into equal blocks.
Mix with a spatula until the chocolate is incorporated. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool down. In another bowl mix the sugar and eggs until smooth and add to the chocolate ganache, mixing well.

Fill the cooled down pastry case with the chocolate ganache.

Cut spirals out of the mangoes and arrange in the ganache like a flower.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C (fan 160 C) for about 30 minutes until the ganache has set.

Let it cool down well and even refrigerate before serving.





You can as well use pears for that instead of mango.












Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Mushroom and Spinach Mini Philo Quiches



You can tell that philo is a big thing in our household. We tend to always have a pack in the freezer for emergency cravings, sweet or savoury.

The other day I saw a post by world renowned vegetarian and fusion master Ottolenghi ( who has several restaurants in London)  about his Test Kitchen developing a spinach philo quiche and the idea was so genius, I had to try it, so I put it at the back of my mind, waiting for the right moment.
This weekend some other ideas stacked and I knew I will bake mini quiche-style pastries in a muffin pan.
The filling had to be mushrooms and feta with a handful of fresh baby spinach.
Let's just say that the result was worthy of being saved for posterity.
Quite easy and fast too.



Mushrooms, Spinach and Feta Mini Filo Quiches

Makes 12
(time: approx 1 h, including 40 minutes baking and 15 minutes sauteeing)


Products:

150 g mushrooms
100 g fresh spinach leaves
50 g butter
ground black pepper
salt

100 g Feta cheese


2 large eggs
300 ml single cream


250 g filo leaves
vegetable oil or butter


Method:


Sautee the butter, chopped mushrooms until golden. Add the spinach leaves and sautee for another 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool down a bit. Add the feta and set aside.
In the meantime prepare the filo baskets for the filling.

Cut the filo sheets into square pieces enough to cover the bottom and sides of the cupcake tin and oil between them. Butter or oil carefully each each muffin mould and place 5-6 leaves one over the other around it so it stands like a muffin case.
Bake in 200 C oven for 15 minutes.
Take out and spoon the filling in each mould.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the single cream and spoon over the mini quiches.

Return to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes.


Let them cool, remove from the tin and when completely cooled down store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

However, the mini quiches are great serving both hot and cold.










Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Bulgarian Milk Phyllo Pie





Every New Year's Eve a big question is raised in my family - what kind of pie with lucky charms shall we make. The pie with lucky charms is a traditional Bulgarian custom on that day. It is usually savoury but can also be sweet (with pumpkin) and has lucky charms for the upcoming year in it that each of the family gets first thing in the New Year.

However, in today's diet the whole concept of a pie as additional, kind of a side food, to the rest of the abundant menu, is a bit out of place. That's why it is always a big question in what form this pie can be made part of the menu of the night and the whole preparation of it doesn't look like a waste of efforts.
Luckily phyllo sheets are very versatile - you can bake in a whole pan and they cut into desired shapes, you can bake them individually in a muffin tin in pretty flower shapes, or you can of course fold them or roll them individually and make even more shapes.

While the phyllo sheets determine the texture, but the filling is the most important part as it determines the taste. And the filling can be savoury, gravitating towards feta cheese plain or with leeks, green onions and herbs, with pickled or fresh cabbage, with meat, or sweet, including apples, carrots, squash , raisins, nuts etc. So it's a tough decision to make.

This year however, I was keen on revisiting a childhood classic, which is a Bulgarian milk phyllo pie.
It is kind of similar to the Greek Galaktoboureko (which basically means pie with milk), and is sometimes translated as custard pie, but the difference is that the Bulgarian version doesn't use any flour or semolina in the filling.
The filling is made out of milk, eggs and sugar, similar to creme caramel and is then poured over the baked filo sheets.
To enhance the taste I put cinnamon and a pinch of powdered cardamon with a dash of rose water and vanilla.

The result was such a success (not that we've ever doubted it), even the kids loved it (which doesn't happen often and usually involves tricky negotiation techniques and bargaining).
So, I just have to share this recipe!

The very good part of this, taste aside, is how fast this pie is made - 5 minutes for the first stage, bake, 3 minutes for the second stage, bake again. Et voila! A whole pie with under 10 minutes of preparation. And with litterally one bowl to wash up. Clean!



Products:

400g phyllo sheets
1 cup oil
Cinnamon
Cardamom powder

for the filling:

1 litre milk
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp rose water
3-4 cardamom seeds - crushed



Method:

Brush the bottom of a round or a rectangle tin with oil and place two phyllo sheets. Brush the top side with oil and fold the edges if necessary.

Place the next two sheets of phyllo on top and repeat - brush oil and fold the edges.
After the first three rounds before oiling the top phyllo sheet sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and powdered cardamon, then oil. Do this twice for the whole pie but be careful the sprinkled layer doesn't end last.

Finish with two layers of plain phyllo sheets. Fold the edges, oil and now (the very important part) made some cuts into the pie with a knife and then cut the sheets into squares (or diamonds)

Put into the oven and bake at 180 C until golden brown or about 40 minutes.

In the meantime, beat the eggs with the sugar and milk and add the spices and aromas.

When the phyllo is well golden-red, take it out of the oven, place on a rack and cover with the filling, which will distribute evenly between the phyllo sheets.

Bake for another 35-40 minutes at 180C.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool down.
Sprinkle some icing sugar if you wish, it is fine without as well.

And Happy New Year!





Friday, July 22, 2016

Carrot and Apple Cupcakes


It's the end of school year again and my mind is shifting towards thinking of edible gifts for the teachers.
I have already made decorated biscuits before and a whole cake among other things, so this time cupcakes were in order.
The beautifully decorated cupcakes require a skill in working with buttercream, something I was planning to acquire long time ago. Unfortunately summer is not the best season for serving buttercream decorated goodies as the heat will make it lose shape and even melt. Quick trips to the fridge for the buttercream involved are essential and keeping the ready cupcakes in the fridge afterwards.
In the Western world teachers are traditionally associated with apples that the students are giving them as thank you gifts, although the reasons of why an apple and not something else are lost back in time and speculations go from the apple tree of Knowledge to the traditions of Swedish and Scandinavian settlers in the United Sates, from where this tradition was passed on to the UK.

So an apple cake seemed most appropriate but I also wanted it to be very British too, so I chose a carrot cake recipe, embellished with the addition of an apple.
Funnily enough, adding the apple made the carrot cake sponge very soft in texture, so it was definitely an improvement.

Creating a tiny flower garden on top of the cupcakes was very enjoyable indeed and I can only hope the teachers enjoyed the cupcakes as much as I enjoyed making them.


 And this is how the recipe goes.

Carrot and apple cupcakes

(the recipe is basically the one of Edd Kimber published in Waitrose Magazine, slightly altered)

Sponge
Products: 

(Makes 24 cupcakes of two sizes - 12 bigger and 12 smaller)

4 eggs
200 g caster sugar
200 g light brown sugar
250 ml sunflower oil
300 g coarsely grated carrot
1 medium sized apple - peeled and grated
280 g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
grated zest of 1 orange
150 g sultanas


Cream
Products:
200 g mascarpone cheese
250 g butter
200 g cream cheese
6 tbsp icing sugar
vanilla essence
grated zest of 1/2 lemon


Buttercream for piping 
Products:
750 g butter
500 g icing sugar

food colouring

piping tubes and nozzles for flowers and leaves


Method:

Combine the flour with the spices, salt and soda. In a bowl mix the eggs with the sugars with a balloon whisk until homogeneous. Incorporate the sunflower oil very carefully in stages and whisk until fully combined.
Add the grated carrots and apple and then the dry ingredients. Mix well and bake in two batches.

Bake at 180 C for 20 minutes.

Leave on a wire rack to cool down.


For the cream - beat the butter with the icing sugar until mixed, then add the mascarpone and cream cheese and mix well. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and set aside in the fridge.

For the piping buttercream - beat the softened butter with the icing sugar and vanilla at the lower speed of the mixer. Divide the cream into five or six cups and mix with the required colours.

One way to make the flowers is to pipe them directly onto baking paper and freeze, then carefully remove with a palette knife and top the cupcake.

Another way is to pipe directly onto the cupcake.

Start assembling after the cupcakes are completely cold. Top with the mascarpone cream and pipe/arrange the flowers.
Keep refrigerated.















































And the cupcake bouquet I did earlier for the other teachers.









Saturday, December 26, 2015

Two Ways with Butternut Squash for Christmas

Pumpkin and Filo pie with Cranberry topping

Merry Christmas! 






Products: 
7 fine filo pastry sheets
150 g cranberries + 1 tbsp sugar
200 g butternut squash chopped
3 carrots - chopped to quarter pieces
200 g feta cheese (made of goat's and sheep's milk)
4 eggs
2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
ground pepper
50 g butter





 Method:

To make the cranberry sauce - place the cranberries in a pan with 100 ml water, add the sugar and 

Brush with melted butter 5 filo sheets. Place them on tpo of eah other and place carefully in a deep baking dish 7 inch in diameter. Leave the edges of the filo leaves outside of the dish. 

In the meantime make the filling - combine all the ingredients chopped coarsely with the eggs, crumbled feta cheese, parsley and black pepper. Place half of the filling and top with another buttered filo sheet, put the rest of the filling and top with the last filo sheet. Add butter and top with the cranberry sauce.
Brush the top filo sheets with butter.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 180 C until golden. 
Decorate with fresh cranberries.









Pumpkin, carrot and apple pie with dried fruits







Products:

5 thick filo sheets (yufka)

300 g butternut squash or pumpkin peeled and grated
100 g sugar
2 apples - peeled, cored and grated
2 medium carrots - grated
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins and sultanas
the grated zest of 1/2 lemon
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100 g butter
100 gr walnuts

1 cup of water

Method:

Prepare the filling:

Combine the grated butternut squash or pumpkin with the apples and carrots. Add the sugar and 100 ml oil and fry in a pan on medium heat for 15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes add the sugar and the walnuts and raisins. After another 5 minutes add the cinnamon and the lemon zest.
Leave for another 10 minutes until all the ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat and leave to cool down completely.

Make  the pie:

Unfold the thick filo sheets and brush each with butter. Place 1/5 of the filling close to the middle of the sheet and roll. starting from the middle of the baking dish. Proceed with the rest of the filo sheets. Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 180 C for 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with 1 cup of cold water. Cover with a teat towel and keep like that for 2 hours.

You can sprinkle some icing sugar for nicer presentation.




Sunday, July 19, 2015

Korean Inspired Strawberry and Tofu Lollies


I haven't been able to blog for a while and as a result I have accumulated a lot of recipes to share and remember. I am hoping to be able to do it soon!

In the meantime randomly caught a tweet by @Kavey  about the Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream (BSFIC) challenge this July and thought I could contribute.



 Kavey suggested I do something with Korean influence so I thought of a summer fruit and tofu ice cream.

I have done a strawberry and tofu mousse before and really like the texture tofu gives - it is very rich and dense without the heaviness that comes with cow's milk. It is also quite solid without needing any additives as gelatin.

So I guessed it would make a nice lolly and was right.

To spice up the taste I decided to try a soy sauce and orange juice reduction for drizzling.
Well, the taste was interesting and the texture was good. It had a striking complement to the sweetness of the lollies, but I understand the combination of fragrant salted taste and rich sweet would rather not be everyone's cup of tea.

Despite the sweetness and aroma of the orange (and the 1 tsp sugar) the salt was predominant in the taste. The reduction would work nicely with fish or meat though.




Strawberry and Tofu Lollies


Products:

for the lollies

200 g fresh strawberries
375 g firm tofu
4 tbsp sugar
100 ml double cream


for the soy sauce reduction

1/2 navel orange - the juice and part of the zest 
30 ml soy sauce
1 tsp sugar


Method:

Combine all the ingredients (reserving 8-10 small strawberries) for the ice cream in a blender and blend until smooth.
Finally add the strawberries and blend coarsely so you can have parts inside the ice cream.
Fill in the moulds and freeze for at least 2 hours.

The soy sauce reduction:

In a pan place the soy sauce and the freshly squeezed juice of the orange. Add 1 tsp grated zest. 
Let simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes, then add the sugar and simmer again for 10 minutes or so very carefully so the sauce thickens but doesn't burn.

And finally, eat! (With or without the soy sauce!)






Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Gingerbread house / Bulgarian Spiced Honey Biscuits + FREE Template



Building a house is a concept that everyone holds dear - when we are kids we love play houses, dolls houses, miniature homes, wendy houses, and when we're older we love decorating our homes. And that's been like that for ages - dolls houses were made since Egyptian times and flourished in the Middle Ages. Some bakers in the Middle Ages were specialising in shaping gingerbread houses and even formed their own guild within the Bakers' Guild. Reportedly only certified guild members were allowed to bake gingerbread houses in the 17th century in Europe, except at Easter and Christmas, when everyone was allowed to do so.

I personally love houses - real, doll's or dwarfs - and of course baking and decorating my own gingerbread house was a great experience and also created memories for me and my kids too.

It's a childhood dream come true - making a gingerbread house. The festive season really got me this year with baking especially after I found out a very good Bulgarian recipe for spiced honey biscuits by Yoana. They are perfect for a house as they do need a day or two or better three to soften as they are very hard when baked. But what a better dough to use for a gingerbread house? It needs to be hard so it doesn't crumble under the weight of all the imaginable and unimaginable treats that are pile on top of it. Plus I just love this taste - it's carries so much memories. Weird enough but smells and taste do carry memories right?

I have to admit I was a bit afraid to start as I thought making the template for the house will be difficult to make - I couldn't be more wrong in my whole life - even a first grader can make the template - the only thing you need is paper, pencil and a ruler. However, I will upload a free pdf of the template I drew in case anyone is feeling doubtful in their drawing skills like I was :)

I suggest when cutting the shapes to minimise detail - so cut the whole shape first and transfer safely on the baking sheet so it doesn't lose its shape - the house needs to have straight edges - it will make it easier to assemble after.
When the shape is on the sheet, then you can cut out the shapes of windows, doors and other openings and make sure when removing them they don't spoil the edges. (A little bit of unevenness is not a problem though).


For the window glasses I used clear boiled sweets - I would have used red and green or even yellow but didn't find any. The trick with those is to put a whole one sweet in the opening - it will melt and harden on itself - it doesn't need to be crushed (something I thought it needs, but it proved to be completely obsolete, so save time and just put the whole sweet in. The small windows needed a half sweet though.)

With the decorations - let your imagination and appetite lose - orange chocolate sticks, chocolate pretzels, marshmallows, jelly beans, sprinkles, and whatever more you want, all sticked together with royal icing. The mini gingerbread men shaped biscuits came in handy for setting the scene.

As did the 3D Christmas tree shape - that one was very easy to make - just cut a regular Christmas tree shape twice, then make an opening up to the half of the shape lengthwise - one tree from top to the middle, the other from bottom to the middle. The opening should be big enough as much as the thickness of the baked biscuit. But don't worry, because after they are baked you can use a small knife and alter the opening so the two shapes join together to make the 3D shape.

Ohh, and the assembling and especially decoration was So Much Fun!!! I admit I was jumping with joy and excitement up and down the kitchen when the baked Christmas tree cookie shapes came together as a 3D shape.

Recipe :


for the Houses and the Christmas trees
(makes 2 smaller houses or 1 giant one)

250 ml runny honey (or golden syrup)

200 g sugar

150 ml oil
2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
the crushed tops of 2 clovers
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chocolate extract
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

650 g plain flour

for the decoration:

1kg royal icing sugar
200 g orange chocolate sticks
200 g chocolate pretzels
400 g white marshmallows
some mini gingerbread men
melted chocolate 
400 g giant chocolate buttons
200 g white chocolate buttons
sprinkles (100s and 1000s)
200 g jelly beans 
clear (or coloured) boiled sweets to make the glasses
any other sweets that you like - candy canes and so on.



Method:

On the hob (or over a pan of water) very gently heat the sugar, honey and the spices until well dissolved. 
Remove from heat coll down a bit, then add the eggs and oil. Mix and start adding the flour and baking powder and start making the dough - it will be warm, soft and sticky - that is fine. 
Make it at a ball as much as you can and divide in two. Then flour a flat surface and roll in a 1 cm thickness. 
Cut out the genera shapes and transfer to a lined baking sheet carefully so the edges remain straight. 
When on the sheet cut out the shapes for windows and door. 

Cut out the Christmas tree shapes and transfer on the sheet, then cut the parts that will be used to join together. 

Place one boiled sweet of the required colour in the window opening to make glass.

Bake at 180C (160 C fan oven) for 10-15 minutes until golden and starting getting brown around the edges.

Leave to cool down completely before removing and starting the decoration - ideally on the next day.

Decoration:

Run your imagination wild! And check all the amazing Gingerbread house creations on Pinterest for inspiration!






Have a magical Christmas everyone! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Mint and Raspberry Pinwheel Cookies




Every now and then I got an almost uncontrollable urge to bake biscuits and I always research some I want to make. Of course the Christmas period only weakens my motivation to stick to healthier treats. And I can never turn down the school's Christmas fair request for baking volunteers.
It's a win-win.

I remember vaguely pinwheels-like biscuits from my childhood, although in my memories they are softer and probably used a completely different recipe - like the no-bake sweet salami cut in the form of a pin wheel.

Although they are different, I though they would look perfect for Christmas biscuit gifts and for the school fair.
The recipe I used requires very little flour compared to the other ingredients so the dough is very very soft. I had to roll it between food wrap so it doesn't stick and break. It stays in the fridge for 30 minutes at the moment as I write and if hard enough but still pliable I will arrange the two parts together and roll. Then I will cover in sprinkles and leave in the fridge for another hour or two until really hard before cutting in rings.

I tried two variations - vanilla and chocolate and raspberries and mint. The chocolate and vanilla ones were the first I tried and I easily added another cup or two of flour or so as I didn't believe the recipe. They were way too hard as a result.

However this time I decided to follow the recipe thoroughly and let's see what the results will be. - The result was very soft and a bit messy to make but nice once baked.

RECIPE:
  • 390 g plain four (or 350 g flour + 40 g cocoa powder for the plain and chocolate ones)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 226 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp each red and green gel food colours - for the red/green pinwheels
  • 3-4 drops raspberry essence
  • 4-5 drops spearmint flavour
  • 100s and 1000s edible pearls for decorating the rim.






METHOD:

For the Christmas red-green pin wheel cookies I decided to flavour the red dough with raspberry essence and the green one with peppermint essence. I think it went well, but the peppermint was a but too overpowering.

Beat the butter and sugar together, add the eggs and the vanilla extract and then the dry ingredients without the colours and the flavours.

The dough is going to be very very soft.

I divided it into two parts and coloured and flavoured respectively.

Now comes the tough part - I put each dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and rolled as it was to a 1/2 cm to 1 cm thickness.

Placed in a baking tray and left in the fridge for 30 minutes.

The same with the other colour. 

After the 30 minutes passed I placed one of the rolled doughs on a plastic wrap sheet, removed the plastic wrap around it and then put the second one on top of it and started rolling - as tightly as possible. When rolled I covered with the pearl sprinkles covered in wrap and put in the fridge again overnight.

On the next morning - I cut the roll to slices of about 1/2 cm thick, placed on a baking sheet with enough space between - the cookies expand) and baked in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 C.

The cookies are very soft when out of the oven so wait until they harden before removing from the sheet.

They hold well in a container for over two weeks. Common, they are biscuits - they are supposed to last for months with the appropriate quantities. :)




---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bottom line verdict: The second try with the unaltered amount of flour was much better.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fluffy and Airy Plum Upside Down Cake with a twist


Plum upside down cake is a favourite in our family. I can't remember where the recipe initially came from but I remember making this cake since I was a teenager and although it goes well with various soft fruit - as apricots and peaches - and even had as apples my most favourite one is with plum.
I like everything about this cake - the caramel pieces that go inside the sponge while baking, the aromatic plums scenting the cake with their perfume and releasing their tangy sweetness, the sponge - sometimes contrasting with more biscuit-like texture and sometimes accompanying with matching softness (like today) - it's a delight.
The recipe I am usually using is more dense and I wanted something airier and fluffier and definitely lighter (not in the sense of having less calories) to try this time. The result was very successful - the lime flavour in the sponge matching and complementing the taste of the caramelised plums nearly to perfection.
So I am happy to share this delightful dessert which we shamelessly ate as a breakfast enjoyed with our teas/coffees. (Yes, all of us!)



Airy Plum Upside Down Cake 

(Makes one 8 inch cake)

to line the cake tin:
1/2 cup sugar for caramelising 
5-6 (depending on the variety and size) ripe but still firm plums sliced


for the sponge:

2 small eggs
80 g butter
1/2 cup sugar (100 g)
90 g self raising flour
25 g shredded coconut 
2 drops lime essence or 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

Heat the sugar in the tin on low heat and turn and mix until the bottom of the cake tin is covered in smooth caramel. Remove from heat and arrange the sliced plums.

In a bowl beat the butter with the sugar for about (less than) a minute. Add the eggs and mix for a few seconds more until blended. With a spatula incorporate the coconut and flour. Finally add the lime extract drops. (I have to add here that I am very happy to fins lime extract - the flavour it gives is natural and intense.)

Bake at 180 C (170 C fan) oven for 30 minutes. Leave to rest for some 5 minutes, then turn upside down until hot. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Matcha and french Glacé cherries entremet-inspired dessert

Earlier this year I was invited to a masterclass on French Glacé cherries with fellow food blogger Cindy Robert from Petit Gateau. One of the recipes she showed us was how to make jaffa cakes using glacé cherries instead of oranges for the jelly. I was impressed by it and waited an opportunity to try it again. So when I was approached by French glacé cherries again to take part in a recipe development competition, I knew I was going to make the jelly again.
The preparation method of the glacé cherries uses only natural ingredients and the taste is as close to the natural as possible.
Thinking of Japan and sakura, my idea was to hide the cherry jelly between layers of green tea and chocolate mousse, creating something like an entremet - the highly skilled and time consuming French dessert. I have always wanted to make an entremet, ever since I read and saw the amazing creations of Japanese genius patissier Hidemi Sugino but I have never had enough non-divided-attention time to spare for the preparation of these elaborate desserts.
However, the second invitation from French glacé cherries and some extra help I had with the kids allowed me to make an attempt to prepare something more time consuming. I still couldn't make the joconde imprime base I have been planning, but instead tried a new biscuit base I've always wanted to try.

I loved the result! And the cherries and matcha were a perfect match.

I adapted recipes from Cindy Robert for the French glacé cherries for the cherry jelly and from talented Lace Zhang from Baked by Lace for the crust and the Matcha mousse.




Recipes:





(makes one 8 inch high spring form, or one 7 inch and one small personal size one)


For the Biscuit Base:
80 g butter
80 g sugar
2 eggs
80 g ground almonds
15 g plain flour
10 g corn flour


For the Glacé cherry jelly:

70 g French Glacé cherries - chopped
100 ml grenadine syrup 
100 ml warm water
3 leaves gelatine

For the Matcha mousse:

300 g whipped double cream
2 flat tbsp matcha powder
80 ml water
50 g Demerara sugar
100 g white chocolate
3 gelatine leaves


For the Chocolate mousse:
160 g melted dark chocolate
300 ml double cream
50 g icing sugar
1 leaf gelatine


For the matcha latte jelly:

1 tsp matcha powder
100 ml hot water
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
100 ml full fat milk
3 leaves gelatine 


Method:

First, start with the cherry jelly as it will take more time to set and in the ideal case it should be hidden inside the ready dessert so it makes sense to let it set in a smaller dish and then transfer to the big mould/spring form. Chop the glacé cherries and soak in the grenadine syrup. Add the warm water. In a cup with lukewarm water dissolve the leaves gelatine for about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the cherry mix. Transfer to a dish lined with plastic wrap and leave to set.

Then, make the biscuit base - combine all ingredients with a mixer starting with the butter and sugar and gradually adding the rest. Spread evenly with a thickness of 1 cm on a flat baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees C.

In the meantime prepare the matcha mousse: 
Heat the water and add the matcha powder and sugar. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chopped into evenly sized pieces. Stir continuously until dissolved. In another bowl beat the double cream until stiff. Then carefully combine the two mixtures. Soak the gelatin leaves in water for 5 minutes, drain them and add to the mousse. 

When the base has cooled down cut the appropriate amount and line the base of the spring form. Cover with the matcha mousse and leave to set. When set and hard, transfer the cherry jelly on top. 
Then make the chocolate mousse. 

Melt the chocolate in a microwave very carefully at intervals of 30 seconds. Beat the double cream with the sugar and add the melted chocolate. Soak 1 leaf gelatine in water for 5 minutes then add to the mousse, mix and leave so it starts to set for 3-4 minutes. Then transfer in the mould. and leave to set in a fridge. 

Finally, when the chocolate mousse is set make the matcha latte jelly - heat the water and dissolve the matcha and sugar in it. Add the milk and mix well. Proceed the same with the gelatine leaves as before, drain and add to the matcha liquid. coll down for 2-3 minutes but do not leave to set, instead transfer over the chocolate mousse to make a smooth reflecting surface. 
Set in the fridge for 12 hours. 
Decorate with glacé cherries and enjoy!






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