food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘dessert

meringue cake with strawberries

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Cindy made this Mostachon (big moustache), a speciality of Monterey in Mexico. The cake has a deliciously chewy walnut meringue base and a rich cream cheese topping which droops around the edges – hence the name? It’s always served with fruit, in this case it was strawberries.

Preheat oven to 170°C (340ºF). Grease and line the base of a 22cm (9″) springform cake pan. Using an electric mixer, whisk 6 egg whites with a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks. Continue whisking while adding 1⅓ cups of caster sugar, a little at a time until you have stiff peaks. Add 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and combine. Fold in 150g (5.3 oz) of plain sweet crushed biscuits and ⅓ of a cup of crushed walnuts, then spoon the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and dry to touch. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before adding the topping. To make the topping beat 250g (8.8 oz) of cream cheese for 5 minutes until smooth then beat in 250g (8.8 oz) of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Spread this over the cake and top with sliced strawberries.

* from this recipe by Phoebe Wood

 

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Written by michelle picker

May 1, 2019 at 12:20 am

flourless brownie

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This is rich, delicious and my favourite brownie. Easy to make too.

Melt together 200g (7 oz) of 70% dark chocolate, 650g (23 oz) of butter and 50g of cocoa powder until smooth and glossy. In another bowl whip 2 large or 3 small eggs with 150g (5½ oz) of caster sugar. Add this to the chocolate mix and transfer to a baking paper-lined tray. Press walnuts into the mix (optional) and bake in a moderate oven until firm.

Written by michelle picker

April 10, 2019 at 12:06 am

birthday cake

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A special birthday request from my sister led to us making this amazing cake. It’s the Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake. A recipe at Hummingbird High was our guide and it took 3 hours to make. You will need a stand mixer and a tall freezer space for this recipe.

Momofuku-Milk-Bar-Birthday-Cake

There are four components to this cake – first the cake crumb:

cake-crumb

Heat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF). Combine ½ a cup of sugar, 4½ teaspoons of  light brown sugar, ¾ of a cup of cake flour (if you can’t find cake flour remove 4½ teaspoons of the flour and replace with cornstarch), ½ a teaspoon each of baking powder and salt and 4½ teaspoons of 100s & 1000s (rainbow sprinkles) in the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until well combined. Add ¼ of a cup of grapeseed oil and 3 teaspoons of  imitation vanilla and mix again to combine. Spread the clusters on a lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs will become crunchy after cooling. This component can be made ahead and stored in an airtight jar.

3-cakesThe second component is the cake: We made three 15cm (6″) cakes. (The sides of the original birthday cake are white as it is cut from a single sheet cake.) Turn your oven up to 180ºC (350ºF). In the mixer combine 60g (2oz) of unsalted butter, ⅓ of a cup of vegetable shortening, 1¼ cups of sugar and 9 teaspoons of light brown sugar and cream together on medium to high for 2 – 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add 3 eggs and mix on medium to high for another 2 – 3 minutes. On low speed pour in ½ a cup of buttermilk, ⅓ of a cup of grapeseed oil and 2 teaspoons of imitation vanilla extract. Increase the mixer speed to medium to high and mix for 4 – 6 minutes, until the mixture is almost white, twice the size and completely homogenous. On low speed add 2 cups of cake flour, 1½ teaspoons of baking powder, ¾ of a teaspoon of salt and ¼ of a cup of 100s & 1000s. Mix for 45 to 60 seconds until the batter comes together. Spread evenly into your tins (or tin) and sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons of 100s & 1000s. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until set and bouncing back slightly when you press lightly with your finger. Remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

The frosting: Using the mixer again combine 120g (40z) of unsalted butter (at room temperature), ¼ of a cup vegetable shortening and 60g (2oz) of cold cream cheese. Cream together on medium to high for 2 – 3 minutes. With the mixer on its lowest speed stream in 6 teaspoons of glucose and 3 teaspoons of imitation vanilla extract. Turn the mixer up to medium to high and beat for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture is silky smooth and glossy white. Add 1¼ cups of icing (confectioner’s) sugar, ½ a teaspoon of salt and a pinch each of baking powder and citric acid. Mix on low to incorporate the ingredients then turn the mixer up to medium to high again and beat for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is completely smooth.

process1 process2Now it’s time to assemble the cake: Make an acetate tube in a 15cm (6″) cake ring. Mix ⅓ of a cup of milk and 1½ teaspoons of imitation vanilla extract. Place the first cake circle into the acetate ring and brush it with the milk mixture, using ⅓ of it. Spread ⅕ of the frosting on the first cake. Press ⅓ of the crumb into the frosting process3and use another ⅕ of the frosting to cover the crumb. Repeat this process with the second and third cakes but leave the crumb showing on top of the third. Now place the entire cake into the freezer and freeze for at least 12 hours. Before serving make sure to allow a few hours for defrosting. cut-cake

 

 

Written by michelle picker

December 1, 2014 at 5:49 am

Posted in cakes & desserts

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baked lemon cheesecake with a walnut crust

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A luscious creamy European-style baked cheesecake.

baked-lemon-cheesecake-with-walnut-crust

Crush 50g (1¾ oz) of walnuts and 200g (7 oz) of plain sweet biscuits (cookies) to a fine crumb and add 100g (3½ oz) of melted butter. Press into a small cake tin and up around the sides. Refrigerate until firm. Beat together 200g (7 oz) of cream cheese and 300g (10½ oz) of quarg (quark) then add 2 large eggs one at a time followed by ⅔ of a cup of sugar, 6 teaspoons of cornflour and the juice and grated rind of 1 small lemon. Pour into the prepared base and bake at 160℃ (320℉) for 50-60 minutes or until set. Cool and refrigerate before removing from the tin.

NOTE: This recipe makes a small cheesecake of 6 – 8 serves. For a larger cake add 50% to all the ingredients.

Written by michelle picker

November 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

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ice cream

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My niece Josie mentioned Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer and since buying the book I’ve become just a little obsessed.

vanilla-ice-cream

These egg free ice creams have a wonderful dense and creamy texture and the flavour combinations are inspiring. If (like me) you don’t live in the United States, you can drool over some of the flavours at jenis.com. The base recipe is quite simple and you can allow your imagination to run wild.

I decided my first trial should be a simple vanilla ice cream – it was amazing. Since then I’ve tried ‘The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World’, ‘The Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World’ and my own creations: a fresh Blueberry Ice Cream and a Rose and Cardamom Ice Cream. This last ice cream was flavoured with 1 teaspoon each of rosewater and ground cardamom and coloured with a few drops of natural red food colouring. I served it with a pistachio and cardamom brittle.

rose-and-cardamom-ice-cream-with-pistachio-cardomom-brittle

Written by michelle picker

October 26, 2014 at 5:58 am

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oat and ginger snaps

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Chock full of ginger and deliciously crunchy.

oat-and-ginger-snaps

Combine 170g (6 oz) of butter, 175g (6 oz) of Demerara sugar and 100g (3½ oz) of golden syrup in a large bowl or saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Stir in 85g (3 oz) of flour, ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 250g (9 oz) of quick oats, 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger and 140g (5 oz) of finely chopped glacé ginger, then 2 tablespoons of boiling water and finally 1 egg. Mix well and leave to cool until easy to handle. Meanwhile heat the oven to 160℃ (320℉). With dampened hands, shape the mixture into balls approximately the size of walnuts then place them onto baking sheets allowing plenty of space for spreading. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden. For a softer, chewier texture bake for a shorter time and at a higher temperature.

Written by michelle picker

October 8, 2014 at 5:48 am

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semolina pudding brûlée

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I love crème brûlée but it doesn’t love me. Imagine my delight at finding this recipe for a wonderful burnt and creamy dessert which doesn’t use any cream! The recipe comes from my sister’s birthday present to me: MY LITTLE FRENCH KITCHEN by Rachel Khoo.

semolina-pudding-brûlée

In a saucepan bring 500ml (1 pint) of milk to boil and add 35g (1¼ oz) of semolina. Whisk vigorously for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in 4 finely chopped prunes (I used brandied prunes). Divide into 4 ramekins and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve distribute 4-6 tablespoons of sugar very evenly over the top of the puddings. Here are 2 methods for achieving that caramel crust:

1.Place the ramekins onto a tray and place under a hot grill (broiler) until the sugar is hot and melted. Remove from the grill and using a blowtorch, caramelise the sugar until golden brown.

2. Heat a large spoon over a flame until very hot (be careful of the handle) and hold it over the sugar until it caramelises.

Written by michelle picker

September 20, 2014 at 6:03 am

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