Chocolate Swiss Roll with 2 fillings

Every time I come around to writing a new post, I’m stuck with the same question, ‘How do I start this? Do I open with a knock knock joke? Or Oh, I’m back!?’ Every. Single. Time. I think I’ll have to just accept the fact that this IS going to happen time & again, and although I do feel a bit embarrassed for my lack of consistency on the blog, it’s all I can manage with uni, assignments and work 😦 As for the silver lining, no matter how infrequent our little blog interactions are, I always come bearing good news 😀 Also, you can totally connect with me on instagram to see more of what’s going on on a daily basis!  Okay, now that the opening is out of the way (you see what I did there 😉 ), let’s come to today’s topic- give me a drumrolllll for theee swisss rollllll ! Okay, that sounded a bit more cool in my head… Anyhow, so swiss roll yes! Or also known as a Roulade. Can I just say as to how fun swiss rolls are?! I mean, cake with frosting is great, but a cake filled with frosting and then rolled up sounds so much more fun right? Also kinda makes you feel like you’ve earned that slice, haha 😛 I made a chocolate & peanut butter roll a while ago, and oh good lord, it was by far the best thing ever! I’m not even a big peanut butter fan and I absolutely LOVED it! Inspired by that successful event, I made them again, and this time with not just one filling, but TWO fillings!

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NERD ALERT: Now, making swiss rolls can seem a bit intimidating and they do require more care than your usual one bowl cake, but trust me, it’s nothing you can’t do. I have tried a couple of chocolate roll recipes before but this one by Sally seemed to be the most stable one so far. It’s basically just making an enriched chocolate sponge cake. I say enriched because a regular sponge is only eggs, sugar & flour, quite literally. Adding fat (melted butter in this case) to a sponge cake make it an enriched sponge. Think of genoise. So the process is very simple & straightforward. You whip up your yolks with sugar, and the whites with more sugar to make a meringue, and you mix both, adding flours & butter. Eggs are the key ingredient here. They provide volume & stability to the cake, and basically just hold the cake together. You want to use melted but cooled butter for flavour & moistness. Why melted? For easy mixing, essentially. You don’t want to chuck in a thick brick of butter, you’ll end up deflating the eggs in the process of trying to mix in the butter. Creaming method of butter & sugar doesn’t work here. And the key to holding all of this together is: GENTLE FOLDING. No mixing, only folding. We want to retain as much air in the eggs as possible.

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So that’s baking out of the way. However, the real struggle begins after the baking. Or even during the baking. Because the baking time is so short,  it’s very easy to overbake the cake in a matter of a minute. I don’t usually follow the exact time that the recipe states, simply because every oven is different. Estimates, yes. But it’s about knowing how to tell when a cake is done because every oven varies. What happens if your cake isn’t baked right? An under-or over baked cake will break very easily when you’re trying to roll the cake, because it doesn’t have the same elasticity. Ever noticed when you’re making an omelette, it tends to break when you try to fold it in half if you have under or over cooked your eggs? Undercooked eggs haven’t got the time to set yet and overcooked eggs are already a bit too set. Same principle.  So, how to tell when the cake is ready? After the initial timer goes off, check your cake. Lightly press the cake with your fingers and see if it springs back. If it doesn’t, bake it for a minute or two longer depending how far the cake is from being done. I like to do this with the entire cake and not just a small section of the cake because again, ovens have heat spots. So I’ll just quickly and lightly press around the cake to check if it springs back. If it does, voila, it’s done!

Now that the cake is out of the oven, you want to work quick. As soon as the cake is out, life it out of the pan and place on your work surface. I don’t invert my cake because I like the bottom side to be on top when I roll the cake. It’s much more even and looks cleaner. So, just lift it out of the pan as it is, lightly dust with cocoa powder all over the surface of the cake, and then roll the cake. With the seam tucked under, let the cake cool down while rolled up, about an hour or so. You want to make sure you tuck the seam under or else the end is just awkwardly handing out, and the cake might even unroll. Rolling the cake while it’s still hot (and therefore flexible) helps to familiarise the cake with the rolling process so that it remains flexible when you roll the cake with the filling, after it’s cooled down. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, trust me! It’s a walk in the park once you understand the concept behind it. Okay, let me list it down for you:

  1. Make the batter: We want to retain as much air as possible for a nice fluffy cake, therefore, be gentle while folding egg whites into the cake batter.
  2. Bake the cake: It bakes very fast, so you want to be precise as every minute makes a difference. Lightly press the cake to check if it springs back.
  3. Roll the cake while it’s hot: Immediately out of the oven, lift it out of the cake tray. Dust with cocoa powder and roll the cake. With the seam tucked under, let the cake cool down completely in the rolled up position.
  4. Unroll, spread the filling, roll back: After the cake has completely cooled down, unroll gently. Spread the filling onto the entire cake and slowly roll the cake again. And there you have your perfectly rolled swiss roll! 😀

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I love swiss rolls because they are like the perfect canvas for endless flavour pairings! You can fill them up with any filling of your choice, I have shared the recipe for two of my most loved fillings- Vanilla Baileys & Peanut Butter , and oh god, I’m not kidding when I say that I could eat an entire roll of each by myself! Yup, extreme but true *guiltyyyy* I mean, the best thing about these (you know apart from being ridiculously good! ) is that they make for a great show off if you wanna impress your friends by being all *fancy* but in actuality not really, you get what I mean? So go on, make a batch and you’re gonna be everybody’s favourite 😛 Or maybe just eat it by yourself, nobody is judging 😉 (I would totally eat that by myself) Bon appetite! 🙂

Chocolate cake recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Makes: 1 large roll 

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 65 g castor sugar
  • 65 g packed light brown sugar
  • 15 ml strongly brewed coffee or 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 60 g salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 62 g plain flour
  • 20 g good quality cocoa powder, plus more for sifting
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the peanut butter filling- makes enough for 1 cake 

  • 200 g crunchy or smooth peanut butter (I prefer crunchy), at room temperature
  • 50 g cookie butter *, at room temperature
  • 250 g double cream, or whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g softened butter, salted or unsalted
  • 20 g icing sugar

For the Vanilla Baileys filling – makes enough for 1 cake 

  • 300 g mascarpone cream
  • 150 g double cream, or whipping cream
  • 80 g icing sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 30 g baileys

Method

For the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 12″ x 17″ sheet cake tray with butter and line with parchment/baking paper. I suggest using parchment paper here instead of just greasing the tray for easier handling of the cake.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together in a bowl or onto a baking paper. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt** until foamy. Add the castor sugar gradually while still whisking and whisk until stiff peaks form. You can do this either with a hand beater or in a stand mixer. (You can do this by hand too but there’s a whole arm workout there) Set aside.
  • If you’re using a stand mixer for the egg whites, you can simultaneously do this step. In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the brown sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy ~ approx 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients, melted butter and brewed espresso to the egg yolks and mix until just combined.
  • Using a spatula, gentle fold in the egg whites with the cake mix until just incorporated. Don’t overwork it, stop as soon as you can no longer see white streaks. Make sure to fold and NOT mix,  to not deflate the egg whites.
  • Spread the batter evenly onto the prepared cake tray. Gently shimmy the tray to smoothen the top. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you press gently. Mine was done in 10 minutes but I would check at 9 first. We don’t want to over bake the cake.
  • As soon the cake is out of the oven, lift the cake along with the parchment paper and place onto a clean work surface. Dust lightly with cocoa powder.
  • Carefully start rolling the cake with the wider end with the parchment paper stuck on, tucking the seam under the cake. Allow to cool the cake completely in this position. (I usually put a bottle of something against the cake to support the cake and stop it from falling. )

For the peanut butter filling

  • In a stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together the peanut butter, cookie butter, vanilla, softened butter and icing sugar until combined. (You can do this with a hand beater too.)
  • Add in the double cream (whipping cream) and whip until firm and medium peaks form. Do not over mix or you’ll end up with split butter. Refrigerate or keep aside until use.

For the vanilla baileys filling

  • In a stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together all the ingredients until firm & medium peaks form. Refrigerate until use.

Assembly

  • Place a large sheet of baking paper on the work surface. Once the cake has completely cooled down, gently unroll the cake. Take off the parchment paper from the cake and place the cake on the new baking paper.
  • Spread the filling evenly on the cake. Do not spread to the ends too much as the filling will spread once you roll the cake.
  • Start rolling the cake carefully and keeping it tight, making sure to tuck the seam under. If the filling leaks out a little, you can always scrape it off.
  • Fold the baking paper over the cake and gently tuck at the bottom of the cake using a ruler to tighten the roll and also straighten it.
  • Refrigerate the cake for at least half an hour or until use.
  • At this point, you can either serve as it is or cover the cake in melted chocolate for extra goodness. Cut into slices and serve! 🙂

 

Notes

  1. The fillings make enough for 1 whole cake. If you want to use two fillings in one cake, simply halve the recipe. Spread one filling on half of the cake, and the other filling on the other half of the cake.

*- If you dont have cookie butter, just add 25g more of peanut butter and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder.

**- Salt helps to break down the protein in egg whites and therefore whip better.

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The only Chocolate cake you’ll ever need

I have a confession to make.

I have NEVER had a go-to chocolate cake recipe, just until now. Yes, you heard me! I mean it is a bit embarrassing to be blogging all this while and not have a basic chocolate cake recipe. And I don’t mean up on the blog kinda way, like not have it at all. However, in my defence, I’m very picky about my go to recipes so I just never found THE ONE, haha. Well, I’m not single anymore because I have this huge slice of chocolate cake with the best ever chocolate frosting to keep me company from now on. Match made in heaven ❤ (I literally had 2 slices while writing this post ..:P )

Let me tell you why this is the BEST chocolate cake you’ll ever eat.

  • Super moist and fluffy, and yet it is not so crumbly that the cake just falls apart with the slightest touch. A few crumbs here and there are very much needed, you know for the whole cake eating experience 😛
  • It has the perfect amount of chocolate! I know that seems a bit odd point but go with me on this okay. Have you ever gone to take a bite of this chocolate cake and it either has no chocolatey goodness or so much of it that you low key felt sick after? Guilty!
  • ALSO, can we take a moment to appreciate that beautiful frosting?! Probably one of the BEST frostings everrr! It compliments the cake so beautifully!

I know right!! Well I’m done talking and gonna let you take over. If you don’t already have your aprons out, I don’t know what are you even doing?! haha! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do! Happy baking 🙂

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Makes: 1 sheet cake or 2 8″ cakes

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 60 ml milk
  • 120 ml vegetable oil, or any neutral flavoured oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 230 g sour cream
  • 70 g good quality dark chocolate (min. 50%), melted
  • 235 g self raising flour
  • 100 g cocoa powder
  • 140 g light brown sugar
  • 200 g castor sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch
  • 250 g boiling water

For the frosting

  • 150 g pure cream, chilled *
  • 100 g mascarpone cream, chilled
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 30-40g cocoa powder
  • a pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the candied pecan

  • 75 g pecans, or walnuts, roasted
  • 10 g honey
  • 10 g castor sugar
  • 10 g salted butter
  • 5 ml whiskey, optional

 

Method

For the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a rectangle baking tray and line with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and oil. Keep aside.
  • Put the dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and using a paddle attachment, mix the ingredients well until homogeneous.
  • While the mixer is on, stream in the wet ingredients.
  • Pour in the melted chocolate and add the sour cream.
  • Lastly, add the hot water slowly and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Use a hand whisk to break the lumps, if any.
  • Pour onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 50-60 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. A few moist crumbs is okay. Let it cool completely.

For the candied pecan

  • Heat a pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and honey and caramelise until a nice amber colour.
  • Add the roasted nuts and mix until the nuts are well coated with the caramel.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix well. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and drizzle in the alcohol if using. BE CAREFUL as it will sizzle once you add the alcohol.
  • Pour onto a parchment paper or silmat and let cool completely before chopping.

 

For the frosting 

  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until firm. Do not over whisk or else the frosting will split.

Assembly

  • Take the cooled cake out of the baking tray. Trim the top if you have to, to make it even.
  • Invert the cake upside down to make the top flat.
  • Dollop the frosting on top of the cooled cake and spread using a spatula or a knife.
  • Top with chopped candied pecan. Cut into slices and serve! Bon appetite!

 

Notes

*- Use cream with minimum 30% fat content, otherwise it won’t whip up. Amul cooking cream cannot be used as a substitute.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

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The Best Eggless Brownies, Period.

If you’re somebody who cannot bake with eggs, you know exactly the struggle of finding that ONE perfect recipe for eggless brownies. I have been living away from home for quite a while now so the food restrictions of any kind do not apply anymore, however, I did grow up in a vegetarian household, which means major chunk of my baking had to be eggless. Although my mum has eased into the idea of using eggs (voluntarily or not), owing to my career choice, she still wouldn’t eat what I bake if it’s not eggless. That’s why I try to bake eggless as much as I can while I’m at home at least. One of the things I just couldn’t ‘give up’ was brownies. I mean, you just cannot bake an eggless brownie that is JUST AS good as the real deal! Or so I thought. Funnily, it was no rocket science, I kinda feel dumb that it didn’t strike me earlier- Buttermilk! Psst, I know right! Not yoghurt, or milk, but buttermilk. Yes, it makes a difference!

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#Why buttermilk?– Okay, so first things first, there are two types of buttermilk- the traditional buttermilk which is the leftover liquid from churning butter and the modern buttermilk that you can find in your grocery stores, which is an artificially fermented drink. I used the modern buttermilk , which is slightly thicker than the traditional one. Buttermilk has the same consistency as an egg pulp (beaten whole egg) and keep the brownies moist and gooey, without imparting a sour taste. For some odd reason that I haven’t been able to figure out why, I feel like yoghurt lends a more cakey texture to the brownies as compared to a fudgey texture, and also has a bit of an aftertaste due to higher acidic content than buttermilk. I guess it’s to do with the higher acidic content in yoghurt, so when combined with soda bi-carb, the reaction is stronger producing a more light & airy brownie versus a dense fudgey brownie. So if you’re looking for an eggless brownie which is just as gooey, dense, chocolatey and fudgey as the original brownie, ditch your yoghurt and go with buttermilk. Trust me!  😀

The rest of the things in the recipe is pretty straightforward. If you have made my go to brownies before, it’s pretty much based off the same recipe, tweaking a few things here and there. I was feeling fancy so I browned my butter this time for a mild nutty undertone, ah so good! There’s also a few supporting flavours to really compliment that chocolate, basically there’s stuff happening to really bring out a very unique flavour profile, in a nutshell. Trust me, go with me on this one. I have also added soda bi-carb to the brownies because unlike eggs, buttermilk cannot be aerated on it’s own and thereby requires an alkaline (soda bi card) for aeration. This is important for structure as well otherwise you’ll just have a big sloppy chocolatey mess, not that I mind that ! 😛 Now that I have nerded out a little, it’s brownie time! 😀 So dig in, bake a big batch, share it or not, no judgements here! Bon appetite!

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Recipe adaptation: Best Brownies Ever!

Makes: 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • 190 g good quality dark chocolate, I use 54.5% Callebaut
  • 160 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 75 g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 10 g cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • zest of half an orange
  • pinch cinnamon powder
  • 150 g store bought buttermilk
  • 50 g espresso (about 2 shots)

 

Method

  • Line a rectangle baking pan with baking paper. Set aside. Preheat oven at 180 C.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients and zest to distribute the baking soda evenly.
  • Melt chocolate over a double boiler.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan, swirling occasionally, until it starts to brown and smelly nutty ~about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on it or it might burn too quickly. Cool.
  • Add the cooled browned butter to the melted chocolate and whisk to combine properly to make a homogenous mixture.
  • Add the sugars and vanilla extract and mix.
  • Add the dry ingredients and espresso to the chocolate-butter mix and mix to combine.
  • Lastly add in the buttermilk and mix. It will be a runny batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 180 C for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Do not over bake or you’ll end up with a cakey brownie. Let it cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or salted toffee sauce or both!

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

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Nutella & Coconut Pastry (Gluten-free)

I have been thinking for a long time as to what to call this dessert and I still don’t know. What would be a shorter way to describe coconut flavoured crunchy meringue cake layered with Nutella pastry cream? Exactly, haha! Well, who cares about the name anyway? It’s all in the flavour and lucky for us, this one is bloody amazing at that! I’m telling you, if you can’t decide on what to make for your Valentine, THIS IS IT. It’s pretty quick for what it is and omg, the end result is unbelievable! And I speak from experience. 😛 Jack is my official taste tester now and I literally have a photo album capturing his reactions while he was eating it! Only if I could insert it here hahaha 😀 Just to give you guys a little information on the science behind it, I have described the components briefly below. I know, nerddddd ! Hehe

Nutella layer cake

 

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#NerdAlert!

Let’s talk a little about the basics here.

First up: Pastry cream, also called Creme Patissiere in French (creme pat) a.k.a your good old custard, only homemade. How many of us are guilty of buying store bought custard powder which sorta does the job but sorta doesn’t and pretty much tastes like blah? ME! I have done it SO many times and yes it is convenient with our busy lifestyles but I had never made the real thing until I started culinary school and my god, was it a revelation?!  I don’t think I can ever go back to store bought custard again, nope not happening! No but seriously, in the world of patisserie, a custard is probably the most basic thing ever. You can literally make 100’s of variations with this one single thing- no kidding. If you genuinely like baking and want to keep at it, my #1 recommended! Today, we are keeping it simple and using it as it is, with of course adding our favourite, drumrollss…..NUTELLAAAA! (baby steps). Okay, couple of basics to remember with creme pat.

  1. How does it work? There are two thickening agents here- egg yolks and cornflour. Egg yolks give the custard it’s smooth, luscious texture while cornflour when boiled with a liquid (milk here) gelatinises for the custard to hold it’s shape. Overheating the custard can cause the eggs to scramble and you will end up with a big lumpy mess. Underheating will not give enough time for the cornflour to gelatinise and you’ll have a runny custard instead of a smooth thick one. So make sure you cook your custard just enough- when you start seeing bubbles, that’s an indication that your cornflour is cooked.
  2. You must continuously whisk your custard while cooking it to avoid any lumps as it cooks really fast. However, once cooled, do not whisk too rigorously or else you’ll break the cornflour structure. I know, it might sound complicated for anybody which is new to baking, but trust me, this is as simple as it gets.

Next up: Dacquoise. Now I don’t expect any home bakers to know what a dacquoise is (pat yourself if you do because I had no freaking idea haha). It is just a fancy French word for a nut based crunchy meringue cake. It’s basically meringue mixed with any nut meal & icing sugar, in essence. I love dacquoise. It’s truly amazing, it’s crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and can be adapted to any nut of your choice- almond, hazelnut, walnut, pecan, etc etc. Plus it’s gluten free so win win for any of you who cannot eat gluten. I know I know, by the name of it, it sounds like this really fancy complicated thing, but it couldn’t be any easier to make, literally! Only thing to remember while a dacquoise is, you don’t wanna overmix and loose all the aeration. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue and not vice versa otherwise hello lumps! It’s a breeze, really!

Phew, that was quite some information, wasn’t it? I hope you all learned something new and hopefully, a little more excited to try something new 🙂 Okay, lets get baking now! 😀  I hope you enjoy this, either with your Valentine, or by yourself (more cake yay! :P) and oh Happy Valentine’s Day ! ❤

Coconut dacquoise nutella cream

Makes: 4 serves

Ingredients

For the Nutella Pastry Cream

  • 300 gms whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 gms egg yolks (approx. 3-4 eggs, save yolks from the above eggs)
  • 50 gms castor sugar
  • 30 gms cornflour
  • 25 gms unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 100 gms nutella, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp baileys, optional (but recommended)

For the Coconut Dacquoise

  • 20 gms almond meal
  • 60 gms dried shredded coconut
  • 60 gms icing sugar
  • 30 gms castor sugar
  • 85 gms egg whites (approx. 3 eggs)

Method

For the Nutella Pastry Cream

  • Boil milk with vanilla in a deep pot.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until pale. (called a slurry)
  • Once the milk is boiled, add half the milk to the slurry and whisk well. Pour back into the milk in the pot and cook on medium-high heat until starts boiling, whisking continuously. It will only take 2-3 mins as it will thicken really quickly.  (It does not need to boil like crazy, just a few bubbles is a good enough indication that the cornflour is cooked.)
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter, until completely melted.
  • Lastly, add the nutella and baileys and mix well.
  • Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and put a cling film on the surface of the cream. Refrigerate until completely cool.

For the coconut dacquoise

  • Preheat oven to 170 C.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • Blitz the almond meal, shredded coconut and icing sugar together in a food processor or a blender until combined and no icing sugar lumps remain. Keep aside.
  • Whip up egg whites in a clean bowl until foamy. Once they foam, start adding the castor sugar gradually, a tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking until medium stiff peak forms. (You can either do this in a stand mixer, hand beater or by hand. It will just take longer and more effort by hand. )
  • Once the meringue is done, gently fold in the dry ingredients using a spatula, until just combined. (Add the dry ingredients into the meringue and not the other way around).
  • Put the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle (6mm) and pipe straight lines onto the tray. (Pipe all the mixture on the tray, we will cut into slabs once they are baked.)
  • Bake at 160 C for 20 mins. Take out the tray from the oven and cut into rectangles. Bake for 10 mins more or until completely dry and crispy. Let it cool.

Assembly:

  • Once the nutella cream has completely cooled down, take it out of the refrigerator and give it a quick whisk just enough to smoothen. Do not over whisk, you will break the structure of cornflour and it will be a runny custard instead. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. I use the french star nozzle.
  • Pipe the cream onto a layer of the cooled coconut dacquoise. Place another layer on top and pipe again. Repeat with the rest. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Serve immediately.

Pro tip: You could also spread melted chocolate on each cake layer. This will not only add flavour, but also keep the cake from getting soggy 😉

Notes:

  • This cannot be assembled beforehand as the meringue biscuit will become moist and soggy due to the moisture. However, you can prepare everything in advance and just assemble as when you like.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

Instagram handle: myyummyspatula

Facebook handle: My Yummy Spatula

Cherry Balsamic Chocolate Brownies

O M G.

Okay, I know you think this is biased opinion and that might be 10% true but this brownie is a whole new level of AMAZING! And trust me, I know my brownies. Brownies are my favourite things to bake- give me any flavour and I’ll bake a batch of brownies outta them. I have tried a lot of brownie recipes but ever since I found THE brownie recipe, I literally swear by it, I kid you not! These cherry brownies are based off that same recipe except, I changed one little thing- sugar. Okay I know this is getting off the track but can we just for a moment appreciate the miracle that is sugar. I mean, I was just thinking at work today about how crazy amazing sugar is with it’s ability to transform from a simple thing to the most complicated bizarre things ever! Wow. Okay, back to brownies now 😛 So as I was saying, I have swapped a portion of castor sugar for brown sugar for extra fudginess and gooeyness and this is new realms of heaven! And how good is that cherry balsamic compote! Quite literally the cherry on top haha 😀 I would eat that compote out of a jar, no kidding.

If you’re looking for a fuss free way to impress your special someone this Valentine’s Day, I strongly recommend making a batch of these because believe me, that’s how I impressed my boyfriend haha! Kidding 😛 But I must warn you, you might not even wanna share so maybe you could sneakily bake two batches? Frankly you need no occasion to bake these so screw Valentine’s Day and go bake these right now!! You can thank me later 🙂 Bon appetite! ❤

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Recipe adaptation: My basic chocolate brownies

Makes: 12 brownies

Ingredients 

For the Cherry Balsamic compote

  • 500 g dark cherries, halved and pitted (weighed after pit removed)
  • 2 tbsp castor / granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cointreau, or orange juice

For the chocolate brownie

  • 190 g good quality dark chocolate ( I use Callebeaut 54.5%)
  • 160 g salted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50 g light brown sugar
  • 125 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110 g plain flour

 

Method

For the cherry balsamic compote

  • Put the cherries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a medium pot and cook over low-medium heat until the cherries break down and are quite soft.
  • Once done, remove from heat and stir in the cointreau (or orange juice). Let it cool.

For the chocolate brownie

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a rectangular baking pan with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter together over a double boiler.
  • Once melted, add in the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.
  • Add the sugars and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Lastly, add in the flour and mix until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Use half the cherry compote and swirl in between the brownie batter with a knife.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve warm with a spoon of ricotta and more cherry compote.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

Instagram handle: myyummyspatula

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Rose & White Chocolate Lamington (eggless)

If you’re somebody who has no idea what a Lamington is, as was the case with me before I moved to the land down under, let me give you a mental picture. A lamington is basically a square of sponge cake dipped in dark chocolate icing and then coated with desiccated coconut. It was apparently born out of mistake by a French Chef, and trust me, this is the best mistake ever! Ever since I have moved to Sydney, I have become an absolute fan of them. I mean, there’s nothing not to love! Now if you’re a lamington virgin, I apologise in advance, for this post doesn’t reflect the true beauty of a lamington and I would recommend not basing your opinion about them on this post. You can see how deeply I feel for them, haha 😛 HOWEVER, true lamington or not, this recipe is great in itself with all the beautiful flavours coming together.

Rose Lam.jpg

Rose Lamington.jpg

I created this version to suit the romantic vibe of February with Valentine’s Day just around the corner and what says romance better than rose and white chocolate?! ❤ Here’s a little secret about Valentine’s Day and me. I used to cringe at the idea of Valentine’s Day because of all the soppiness and cheesiness that comes with it and I, for one, is somebody who is miles away from cheesy town. However, saying that, for the longest time in my life, my Valentine has been my sister or my best friend, Shubhangi. And as I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I realised it doesn’t have to be all soppy and cheesy. Valentine’s is just a day to celebrate love, and I kinda love love. I’m the hopeful romantic kind, except I am wayyyy too awkward to be expressive, and therefore, I resort to baking as my way of expressing love. So if you ever get a cake from me, you know to take the hint! HAHA, just kidding 😛 Anyhow, if you’re as awkward as I am, bake this for your loved one (even if your Valentine is your mum!) and let them know that you love them. Or even if you’re not as awkward, bake them something regardless because let’s be honest. who doesn’t love cake?! ❤ So here’s the breakdown. There is an eggless rose & vanilla sponge which is based off of my Mom’s Special Vanilla Cake (loveeee ❤ ), filled with berry jam, dipped in white chocolate and then coated with shredded coconut & dried rose petals. I KNOWWW! 😀 This is such a beautiful tasting cake (yes, beautiful!) and yet light that you would be coming back for seconds, or thirds, or maybe the whole thing. Who’s to judge! 😛

rose lamington 2

Recipe adaptation: Mom’s Special Vanilla Cake

Makes: 12-16 pcs

Ingredients

For the Rose Vanilla Sponge Cake

  • 100 g butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • 180 ml condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rosewater *
  • 190 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 120 ml milk, at room temperature
  • 80 ml coca cola, at room temperature

For the Berry Jam

  • 100 g mixed berries, frozen or fresh
  • 30 g castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cointreau, optional

For the assembly

  • 250 g white chocolate
  • 100 g dried shredded coconut
  • 5 g dried rose petals, roughly broken into pieces

 

Method

For the rose vanilla sponge

  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 20×20 cm baking pan with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract, rosewater and condensed milk and beat again until fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mix, alternating with milk.
  • Lastly, add the coca cola and mix until just combined. Don’t worry if it looks a little split.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smoothen the top with the spatula for a flat surface. Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let it cool.

For the berry jam

  • In a small pot, put the mixed berries and sugar and cook over medium heat until the consistency of spreadable jam. **
  • Remove from heat and add in the lemon juice and cointreau, if using. Let it cool.
  • Once cooled, pipe the jam into a piping bag. Snip a small hole at the tip of the piping bag. Keep aside.

For the assembly

  • Remove the cooled cake onto a chopping board. Cut into 3″ squares.
  • Using either a chopstick, or a thick skewer, poke a hole in the centre of the squares.
  • Fill the centres with the berry jam. Keep aside.
  • Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Mix the shredded coconut and dried rose petals together in a bowl.
  • Dip the cake squares into the melted chocolate and coat evenly on all sides. Wipe off the excess and then roll the cake in coconut. Press lightly if you have to to stick the coconut. Repeat with all the cake squares. Let the chocolate set for 5 mins and then serve. Bon appetite!

 

Notes

*- This recipe calls for rosewater and not rose essence. If you’re using rose essence instead of rosewater, only use 1 tsp and maybe add 1/2 tsp later if you feel like the flavour isn’t strong enough. Remember that the flavour will get stronger with baking.

**- You want to cook the jam to a thick consistency so that it doesn’t leak while piping. However, don’t cook it out too thick that it become difficult to pipe.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

Instagram handle: myyummyspatula

Facebook handle: My Yummy Spatula

Poached Pear & Cardamom Chocolate Cake (Flourless)

Growing up in an Indian household, it is no surprise that I love my spices. Despite living thousands of miles away from home, I have a pantry stocked with all sorts of spices that my mum packed for me when I was moving here and that is how you identify a true Indian. Cinnamon, in particular, is one of my favourite spices to bake with. There’s a certain warmth in the aroma and flavour of cinnamon. Cardamom is a very common spice used in many Indian desserts. However, I have only recently started appreciating it. Maybe it’s to do with the feeling of reminiscence because of being away from home. Nonetheless, I have long ignored this beautiful spice that deserves much credit than it is given. This is just one of those warm, comforting cakes, which is easy enough to put together and yet has a certain elegance to it. 🙂

Slice.jpg

Let’s talk about the cake itself. Pear, Cardamom and Chocolate work so beautifully together, so there’s already a winner to begin with. Now flourless chocolate cake is my favourite type of chocolate cake because I love the gooey dense brownie sorta cakes over light and airy ones and this one is just that. I learnt this recipe at school and trust me, it’s a keeper! It tastes like a chocolatey puddle and you cannot go wrong with that! Combine that with poachPoaching is a method of cookery which simply means simmering in a liquid to infuse flavours. So you don’t want to keep your heat too high so that the liquid boils, it should only be simmering. You can poach pretty much anything you want to, as long as it is sturdy enough to hold shape, say apples, peach, chicken, and so on. Don’t go trying to poach strawberries because they will just become a mess. The only thing to keep in mind during poaching is to make sure that your pears (or whatever you want to poach) are submerged in the liquid at all times. You can achieve that placing a cartouche on top (see notes). These are leftovers poached pears that I brought back from school because I poached too many and look what they found their way into! They are cooked in white wine and spices and then marinated in the same liquid for a couple of days to strengthen the infusion. If you’re too lazy to poach and bake the same day, you can poach the pears a couple of days before and let them sit in the same liquid in the refrigerator. It all works either way! So go on and make this for your Wednesday night dessert or for the party that you’re throwing on Saturday night or for whenever you feel like eating a cake really. Bon appetite! 🙂

chocolate, pear cake 2

Makes: 8″ round cake

Ingredients

For the white wine poached pears

  • 3 pears, peeled, washed and cored (leave the stem on)
  • 500 ml white wine
  • 500 ml water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 600 g sugar
  • 2 vanilla bean *
  • 80 ml pear liqueur, optional

For the Flourless Cardamom Chocolate Cake

  • 150 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125 g butter
  • 60 g light brown sugar
  • 80 g egg yolks (~about 4 eggs)
  • 120 g egg whites (~use the whites from the above eggs)
  • 80 g castor sugar
  • 140 g almond meal
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Method

For the white wine poached pears

  • Peel and wash the pears, with the stems attached on. Using a melon baller, remove the core and seeds of the pears. Keep aside.
  • In a deep pot, heat the wine, water, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla (seeds + pod) and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once dissolved, place the peeled pears into the pot and put a cartouche on top to make sure the pears are always submerged in the liquid. Reduce heat to simmer. Poach for 10-15 mins. You can also check by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the pear. It should be soft but still hold shape perfectly. You don’t want to cook it until too soft.
  • Remove the pears and place it on a plate. Reduce the syrup further for 5-10 mins. Remove from heat. Add the pear liqueur, if using. Put the pears back into the pot and let marinate for 30 mins or refrigerate until use.
  • Once done, you can place the pears on a paper towel and let the excess syrup drip. You can save the syrup for future use.

For the flourless cardamom chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 160 C. Line a round 8″ springform cake pan with parchment paper. (If you do not have springform pan, regular pan works but you will need to line with the paper so that you can lift off the paper.) Keep aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a double boiler.
  • Once melted, remove from heat and add the brown sugar, cardamom powder, vanilla extract and egg yolks. Mix.
  • Add the almond meal and stir.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar while whisking and whisk until soft peaks.
  • Fold the meringue gently into the chocolate mixture. We don’t want too much aeration as that will create a thick skin on top but don’t knock out all the air.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Push the poached pears into the batter. Bake for 40-45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. A few moist crumbs are okay. Dust with icing sugar or drizzle salted caramel. Serve plain or warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

 

Notes:

How to make a cartouche:

  1. Cut a circle of the same size as the mouth of your pot from a greaseproof paper (baking/ parchment paper).
  2. Make a hole in the centre to let the steam out and then place it over the pears making sure they are always submerged in the liquid.

*- Split open the vanilla bean with a knife and then scrape the seeds with the back of your knife. Put the seeds and the pod into the pot for more flavour. You can then either discard the pods or dry them and place in your sugar jar to flavour the sugar.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

Instagram handle: myyummyspatula

Facebook handle: My Yummy Spatula

Mango Passionfruit Mousse with Coconut Crumble

Hi everybody!

Did you miss me? It’s been almost a year of my blogging break and after a few (or many) changes over the past year, I feel like I’m finally happy to be getting back into it. If you follow me on Instagram, (and if you aren’t already, WHY AREN’T YOU? ), you would know that I’m now in Sydney, Australia, studying culinary arts and FINALLY pursuing my career in hospitality. It’s been almost a year since I moved and there have been a lot of changes and getting used to things that blogging took a back seat. However, I feel like I have got a grab of things now so this seems like the time to be getting back into blogging, and I’m very happy to do so! 🙂

I have been getting so many messages from people who want to pursue baking as a career or even if not a career, who just generally enjoy baking at home and would love to know more about it. I guess this is one of the reasons that made me realise that it would be a shame if i didn’t share whatever I have learnt over the few years with my readers. After all, that’s one of the purposes behind this blog- to share what I know. As I shared on Instagram, I haven’t quite discovered my baking style yet, but I do want to share with my readers the things that I know. I have been learning a lot of French techniques at school and however fancy that sounds, it doesn’t need to be difficult. Just like this mousse right here. It’s a classic sabayon (egg yolks and sugar whisked together to create a light airy base) based mousse which tastes like pure fruit and is so simple and straightforward to make! Perfect for a hot scorching day like Sydney’s or if you just want to be fancy without spending all day in the kitchen! How cool is that?! 😀

Mango passionfruit mousse.jpg

#geek alert: A mousse can be based with different bases and every method will give you a different end product. This is an egg yolk based mousse as compared to a meringue based mousse.  The difference? Egg yolks are high in fat, therefore, they give you a smoother and richer mouthfeel vs egg whites which are high in protein so they give you a lighter and fluffier mousse but not as velvety or rich. Most french mousses are sabayon based. The technique is pretty much the same always: Make a custard by whisking the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy and then add boiled milk. Once cooled, it is then lightened by folding in the whipped cream.  This can be replicated for pretty much any kind of mousse. I prefer this over a meringue based mousse for a) smoother velvety texture, and b) while the custard provides the texture, it has a very neutral taste so the flavour of your mousse is the star, instead of it tasting eggy. Simple right? Well, you will only know once you give it a shot 😀 So let me know how it turns out by tagging me in your Instagram photos with @myyummyspatula and I hope you all enjoy making it as much I did! Bon appetite! ❤

Mango P fruit mousse.jpg

Recipe adaptation: http://www.greatbritishchefs.com

 

Makes: 4 serves

Ingredients

For Coconut Crumble

  • 75 g castor sugar’
  • 50 g shredded coconut
  • 120 g salted butter, melted
  • 150 g plain flour, sifted

For the Mango Passionfruit Mousse

  • 3 egg yolks (~approx 50 g)
  • 30 g condensed milk
  • 30 g castor sugar
  • 250 ml milk
  • 9 g gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 10 mins
  • 300 g mango puree * (~about 1 1/2 mango)
  • 70 ml fresh passionfruit juice ** (~about 3-4 passionfruit)
  • 150 ml heavy cream

 

Method

For the crumble

  • Preheat oven to 160 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • Place all the ingredients together in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until it resembles course breadcrumbs.
  • Spread onto the prepared tray and bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown, tossing with a spatula every 5 mins. Let it cool.

For the mousse

  • Soak gelatine in cold water for 10 mins until it softens. Squeeze and drain the excess water, be careful not to drain any gelatine mass.
  • In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks with sugar and condensed milk and whisk until light and fluffy. You can do this either by hand or a mixer.
  • Heat milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the soaked gelatine until completely dissolved.
  • Pour the milk over the egg sabayon and mix until well combined. Don’t need to beat it, just whisk enough to combine.
  • Add the mango puree and passionfruit juice to the above mixture and mix. Let it cool. 
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until medium peaks and gently fold into the cooled mixture. ***

Assembly

  • Put some coconut crumble at the bottom of a glass.
  • Pour the mousse mix over the crumble. Cover with cling film and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until completely set.
  • Serve with passionfruit pulp and berries. Bon appetite!

 

Notes

*- To make the mango puree, cut mango in small cubes and blend into a puree in a blender.

**- For the passionfruit juice, scrape the passionfruit onto a muslin cloth and squeeze the juice. You can save the pulp to serve with the mousse.

***- It is important to cool the mixture before folding in the cream. If you add the cream when the mix is hot, the cream will melt and you will lose the smooth velvety texture of the mousse. Let the mixture cool to at least room temperature before folding in the whipped cream.

 

Send over a picture if you do give this a try using the hashtag #MyYummySpatula and tag @myyummyspatula. Can’t wait to see all your creations! ❤

Like more deliciousness ? Hit the follow button! You can also check out more drooling pictures, updates and behind the scene stories on Instagram! xx

Instagram handle: myyummyspatula

Facebook handle: My Yummy Spatula

Wholewheat Strawberry Almond Cake (Eggless)

Strawberry Almond Cake

You remember my Mom’s Special Vanilla Cake (Eggless) ? No? Well, now you do. 😛 It’s been such a hit amongst you guys and I’m so glad you all loved it! Mom’s the one who deserves the credit for it honestly, so it actually makes her happier. 🙂 This one is a very close adaptation of my eggless vanilla cake. Just a couple of things switched around to let the almond flavour shine through. I also especially wanted to try a wholewheat version for it, and it worked like a charm! Now I do love my eggs, be it in my cake or my breakfast, and it’s so much easier to develop recipes with eggs in them, but eggless recipes certainly have their charm. Plus they are a tad bit more challenging so that’s fun right? You guys are gonna love this one!

Continue reading “Wholewheat Strawberry Almond Cake (Eggless)”

White Chocolate Tiramisu (Eggless)

Now I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Tiramisu. I don’t like people meddling with it. Anything which is not made with mascarpone and sabayon, is in fact not Tiramisu. So just to be clear, this dessert is in no way tiramisu. I only call it that because of how much it tastes like one, with a little white chocolatey goodness. It’s basically a White Chocolate Mousse with a Coffee-Baileys Sponge Base, finished with dusted cocoa powder. And it is SO freaking good! I have no shame in admitting that I literally ate both of them over a span of 4 hours, with of course occasional bites by my mum & dad. In my defence, I had busted my ass at the gym, so yeah. 😛 If a boy made this for me for V-Day, I would marry him, I swear. Okay, maybe not that extreme but I sure would go out on a date with him. Just because he made me this. You see the power here?

White chocolate mousse

Continue reading “White Chocolate Tiramisu (Eggless)”