Chocolate and Vanilla Spiral Cookies

In a few hours, I’ll be flying to Madrid to study Spanish cuisine for five weeks at the Cordon Bleu School. I’m not looking forward to the 22 hour flight but I am excited to learn more about Spanish cooking. At this stage in my life, there will probably not be many more chances to attend culinary school, so NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT! Do you ever feel that way- that now is the time to grasp that opportunity before it disappears?

So please stay tuned: I hope to post some authentic Spanish recipes on my blog soon! At least I’m sure I will be able to come up with a delicious, authentic paella.

Before launching into the darkness with that long flight to Madrid, I wanted to post one more recipe: Vanilla and Chocolate Spiral Cookies. I’ve adapted the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion which has hundreds of cookie recipes ranging from simple Oatmeal Cookies to Key Lime Bars in Coconut Crust. It would probably take me a whole year to bake all of the recipes in this great cookbook.

My recipe for the Vanilla and Chocolate Spiral Cookies is basically a shortbread recipe, which means it has lots of butter in it. And it’s doubly good because you combine a vanilla flavored dough with a chocolate flavored one- ending in a spiral (pinwheel) shape.

So let’s get started:

First, you make separate vanilla and chocolate dough:

Then roll-out each dough into a rectangle measuring about 9 x 12 inches:

Brush the vanilla dough with egg white. Then place the chocolate layer on top of the vanilla layer and roll into a tight log. Place in freezer until firm and then cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices:

Bake for about 12-14 minutes:

 

Chocolate and Vanilla Spiral Cookies
Yields 24
Chocolate and Vanilla Cookies blended together into perfection
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Vanilla Cookie Dough
  1. 1/2 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar
  2. 2 Tbsp. caster sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp almond meal
  4. 3/4 cup (6 ounces) salted butter (softened)
  5. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Chocolate Cookie Dough
  1. 1/2 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar
  2. 2 Tbsp. caster sugar
  3. 3/4 cup (6 ounces) salted butter (softened)
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
For the egg wash
  1. 1 egg white + splash of water
To make the Vanilla Dough
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the softened butter, icing sugar, caster sugar and vanilla flavoring until smooth. Gradually add the almond meal and flour until a cohesive ball is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured sur face and form into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the Chocolate Dough
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the softened butter, icing sugar, caster sugar and vanilla flavoring until smooth. Gradually add cocoa and flour until a cohesive ball is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the Pinwheel Cookie shapes
  1. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on your work surface and roll out the vanilla dough into a rectangle shape about 9 x 12 inches. Set aside. Repeat with the chocolate dough, rolling it into a slightly smaller rectangle shape.
  2. Brush some egg wash onto the vanilla rectangle and then place the chocolate rectangle on top.
  3. Starting with the long edge, gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log with no gaps. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm (about 1 hour).
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Remove the log from the freezer, remove the plastic wrap and slice the log into ¼ inch slices (let the dough thaw a bit first if it is too hard to slice). Transfer the cookies onto parchment-covered baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes or until they feel firm. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/
Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Julia Child’s Chocolate Soufflé

Since my blog is called G’day Soufflé, I thought it was about time that I actually posted a soufflé recipe. And what better chef to consult for my recipe than the master Julia Child?

In her show The French Chef, Julia explains that a soufflé traditionally uses a thick white sauce combined with flavorings such as cheese, fish or chocolate. For my recipe, I’ve selected a chocolate soufflé, since I love the combination of chocolate with the airy quality of the soufflé. Julia was so excited about cooking a soufflé that she threw her arms up into the air, anticipating the “hundreds of air bubbles” that puff up the soufflé into a wondrous mass.

Julia also cautions us about the basics of making a soufflé: make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before you whip them so they ‘mount’ into nice high peaks. Also, although she starts out by whipping the egg whites by hand in a traditional French copper bowl, she quickly becomes exhausted and switches to the more ergonomic method of using electric beaters. I’m with you on that one, Julia!

Julia becomes so exhausted hand-beating the egg whites in the copper bowl that she slumps over and decides to switch to the electric beaters

The Method

For her Chocolate Soufflé (Soufflé au Chocolat), Julia starts by creating an aluminum ‘collar’ around the straight-sided mold to help contain the soufflé as it rises over the rim. (Be sure and tape or pin the foil securely since my ‘collar’ fell off during the cooking). If you are using smaller ramekins, then this step is not necessary.

Souffle (2 of 2) (1 of 1)

You then make a creamy Béchamel sauce, whip in the egg yolks and then the melted chocolate mixture.

Next comes the egg whites which should be whipped into a velvety sheen and according to Julia, should increase seven-fold in volume.

The egg whites are then gently folded into the chocolate mixture and then baked in the oven. Watch in amazement as your soufflé puffs up over the top! If you don’t want to use a larger soufflé dish, you could also use smaller ramekins.

Chocolate Soufflé
Serves 6
A decadent chocolate dessert with a light touch: Julia Child's 'Soufflé au Chocolat'
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 2-quart straight-sided souffle’ dish or 5-6 smaller ramekins
  2. ½ Tbsp softened butter
  3. 7 ounces of semi-sweet or sweet chocolate
  4. 1/3 cup strong liquid coffee
  5. 3 Tbsp butter
  6. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 cup milk
  8. 4 egg yolks
  9. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  10. 6 egg whites (3/4 cup)
  11. Pinch salt
  12. ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  13. ½ cup sugar
  14. Powdered sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 F ( 220 C). Butter the inside of the soufflé dish or 5-6 smaller ramekins. If using the larger soufflé dish, surround the outside of the dish with a double layer of aluminium foil or parchment paper so that a 3-inch collar stands above the rim of the dish. (If using smaller ramekins, this step is not necessary).
  2. Melt the coffee and chocolate together in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water; set aside. In a separate saucepan, combine the flour and butter; whisk over medium heat until the mixture becomes a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens. Let cool for several minutes.
  3. One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then add the melted chocolate sauce, and finally the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form and the whites become shiny.
  4. Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into the egg white mixture, folding from the outside of the bowl into the center. Pour the mixture into the prepared molds, filling to just below the rim. Place the mold on the bottom part of the oven and lower the temperature to 375 F (190 C). Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the soufflé has risen and a skewer placed into the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. If using a fan-forced oven, reduce the recommended temperature by 20 degrees (i.e. 425 F should be lowered to 405 F, etc).
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/
Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Brookies- where Brownies meet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you ever heard of a Brookie? I’m sure it’s the newest craze- a moist brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie- two of the most delicious things on earth stacked together.

I first heard of a Brookie on last year’s Master Chef TV show. After looking through several recipes, I became embroiled in a philosophical quandry: should I put the cookie on top of the brownie or the brownie on top of the cookie? This became an important question because after all, you don’t want to display any favoritism towards our two most favorite desserts!

After experimenting, it turns out that this dessert looks best with the chocolate cookie on top. Some people cut their Brookies into squares, but I wound up baking mine in a cupcake pan since I didn’t have a square baking pan.

Whatever shape you decide to use, you’ll love these Brookies!

Brookies
Serves 8
A moist brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
For the Brownie Layer
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 1/ cup butter, melted
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  6. 1/3 cup dark chocolate, melted
  7. ½ cup all-purpose flour
  8. ¼ tsp baking powder
  9. Pinch salt
For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
  1. ½ cup butter, softened
  2. ½ cup light brown sugar
  3. ¼ cup white sugar
  4. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  7. ½ tsp salt
  8. ½ tsp baking soda
  9. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F (175 C). Grease 8 wells in a cupcake tin with melted butter.
  2. Prepare the brownie mixture. Combine the white sugar, melted butter, vanilla and 2 eggs and melted chocolate. Mix well with electric beaters. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry flour mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until well-combined. Pour the brownie mixture into the cupcake pan, filling each well ½ full.
  3. Prepare the Chocolate Chip cookie dough. Beat the softened butter, light brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract and egg together until creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually combine the butter mixture into the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Take about one heaping tablespoon of the chocolate chip cookie mixture and smooth it onto the top of each brownie, making sure the mixture comes to slightly below the rim of the cupcake pan to allow for some rising of the dough during the baking. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the ‘Brookie’ comes out clean. Let cool for several minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each Brookie and remove from the pan.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/
Save

Save

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

Several years ago, I posted a Mini Cheesecake recipe in honor of my sister, Donna, who passed away on April 3, 2013. That recipe was quite simple, using a vanilla wafer for the bottom ‘crust’ with the mini cheesecakes baked in cupcake wrappers.

When I recently saw this recipe for Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes in Cooking Light magazine, I was inspired to take my cheesecake skills to the next level. This recipe uses a Mini Cheesecake pan (by Chicago Metallic) which yields 12 stunningly cute cheesecakes- and they are easy to lift out too! If you don’t have one of these specialty pans, you could also use a cupcake or muffin pan.

Mini cheesecakes

I decided to use my own simple recipe for the crust, which combines graham cracker crumbs, crushed ginger snaps and melted butter. The cheesecake is baked and then topped with a raspberry purée and several fresh raspberries. You could also use blueberries or strawberries as a substitute.

With Christmas less than two weeks away, these mini cheesecakes would certainly liven up your holiday table!

mini-cheesecake

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes
Serves 12
Adorable mini cheesecakes topped with fresh raspberries
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Crust
  1. 1 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
  2. 1 cup Ginger Snap cookies, crushed
  3. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Filling
  1. 16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. ½ cup sour cream
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 tbsp. white flour
Topping
  1. 3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  2. 2 tbsps. water
  3. ¼ cup sugar
  4. 1 tbsp. corn starch (mixed with a little water)
  5. Mint leaves (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 F (160 C). Coat the inside of the mini cheesecake pan (or muffin pan) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the Graham Cracker crumbs, crushed Ginger Snap cookies and melted butter in a bowl. Press about 1 tablespoon of the packed ‘dough’ into the bottom of each well, filling it 1/3 of the way up the sides of the well. Set the pan aside while you prepare the filling.
  3. Soften the cream cheese by placing it in the microwave for about 15 seconds (should be softened but not runny). Combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, eggs and flower; beat with electric beaters until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the crust, filling to just below the top of each well. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set and slightly puffed (the filling will deflate slightly after you remove the pan from the oven).
  4. To prepare the topping, heat 2 cups of fresh raspberries and 2 tbsps. of water together on the stovetop. Heat for several minutes until the fruit becomes soft and liquidy. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the raspberry seeds. Make a paste by mixing the corn starch with a little water; add this to the strained raspberries along with the sugar. Heat until the mixture thickens and becomes like a syrup, then let cool.
  5. Remove the mini cheesecakes from the pan onto a serving dish. Top each cheesecake with 1 ½ tablespoons berry syrup and 2-3 fresh raspberries; add a mint leaf, if desired.
Notes
  1. If you don;t have a 12-well Mini Cheesecake pan, you could also use a regular muffin pan. Line the individual wells with baking paper to help lift out the cheesecakes after baking.
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Dutch Apple Pie- from my Grandma’s 1909 diary

I was recently going through some old family papers and found my grandmother’s diary from 1909. The diary wasn’t bound in a fancy book, it was simply 50 loose pages of paper that thankfully stayed in tact after more than 100 years.

Grandma was a farmer’s wife- she and Grandpa lived on a farm in Payne’s Point, Illinois near Rockford. She had a rather hard life, complaining of having to clean the thick grease off the kitchen walls and of the terrible headaches that made her bedridden for days on end. But Grandma played a very important role on her farm, preparing three meals a day for her family and the hungry farmhands who worked at threshing time.

One diary entry describes the amount of food she had to cook for the threshers:

August 11, 1909

Had threshers for dinner. Anna and I worked like dogs all day: 4 Dutch Apple pies, 4 cakes, doughnuts, bread, 4 chickens and 2 kettles of potatoes. Had lots of stuff left, all ready for supper. Had some terrible hot weather the last three weeks, everything dried up and dusty.

One thing that struck me in her food entries was the important role that pie played in her cooking. Pie was a way to provide comfort and happiness to her family and farmhands  at the end of a long day- it also provided a feeling of community and a sense of being home. I can just picture my Grandma’s table over a hundred years ago: spread with chickens, corn cobs, bread, doughnuts, potatoes and vegetables. But it was the pie at the end of the meal that probably sent each person away with a little more happiness.

As Beth Howard says in her book Ms. American Pie:

There is always someone who could use a homemade pie to remind them that life still holds some hope, promise, and a little taste of happiness. And so I get busy baking …

In order to honor the spirit of my grandma’s love of Dutch Apple Pie, I am providing a recipe adapted from Beth Howard’s book. There is nothing better than Dutch Apple pie- if you like apple crisp or apple crumble, you’ll like this pie!

Here are a few helpful hints about making pie:

  • pie is not complicated- if our grandmothers, pilgrims and pioneers could make pies (with no electric stoves or refrigerators available), we can too!
  • don’t be afraid to ‘get you hands dirty’ when making pies- use your bare hands to mold the butter into the flour to make the dough.
  • Be a little flexible and don’t worry about measuring things precisely. If your dough is a little too dry, then try adding a little more cold water, etc.
  • For more tips on pie crust making, refer to my post on Pumpkin Bourbon Pecan Pie.

 

Dutch Apple Pie
Serves 8
Traditional Apple Pie topped with a cinnamon apple crumble that melts in your mouth!
Write a review
Print
For the pie crust
  1. 2 1/2 cups (300 g) white flour
  2. 11 tbsps (150 g) cold butter, cubed
  3. 1 1/2 eggs
  4. 2 - 3 tbsp. cold water
For the pie filling
  1. 7 to 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (number of apples depends on the size of your pie)
  2. ½ tsp salt
  3. 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
  4. ¾ cup sugar
  5. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  6. ¼ cup corn starch
For the crumble topping
  1. 1 cup (120 g) flour
  2. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into marble-sized chunks
  3. ½ cup brown sugar
  4. ¼ cup pecans, crushed (optional)
To prepare the pie crust
  1. Place flour in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and rub mixture with palms and finger tips until mixture resembles fine sand. Alternatively, place flour and butter in food processor bowl and pulse until mixture resembles texture of fine sand.
  2. Add 1 1/2 eggs and stir until mixture starts to form a ball. If required, add 2-3 tbsps. of ice cold water and mix until dough hangs together in firm ball shape.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until it forms a firm ball. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it measures about 1.5 inches larger than the dimensions of your pie pan. Trim the dough using kitchen scissors so that 1 inch of dough overhangs the pie pan. Tuck the edges of the dough under at the edges and then form into fluted edges. Set the dough aside.
For the pie filling
  1. Peel, core and slice the apples into pieces about 1 inch long. In a large bowl, combine the apples, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice and corn starch.
For the crumble topping
  1. In a separate bowl, rub the chilled butter, flour, brown sugar and crushed pecans (optional) together with your fingers until the texture resembles marbles. (If the butter becomes too soft, the mixture will become like a ‘melted, sticky glob.’ In this case, place the mixture in the fridge for a few minutes until the butter hardens again).
  2. Pour the apple filling into the prepared pie dough until it reaches the rim of the pie pan. Top with the crumble mixture. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F (220 C) for 10 minutes, then reduce to 375 F (190 C) for another approximate 25 minutes, or until the apples turn soft when inserted with a fork or probe. If the crust starts to burn, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Cool slightly and serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.
Notes
  1. The crushed pecans are optional but they do add a bit of added texture to the crumble topping.
Adapted from Beth Howard's 'Ms. American Pie' recipe book
Adapted from Beth Howard's 'Ms. American Pie' recipe book
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Mixed Berries and Cream Cheese Mug Crumble

Mug crumbles are fast and easy to make. A few ingredients are added to a mug, microwaved then finished off with a crumble on top. Being a non-coffee drinker, I used to eye my husband’s coffee mugs lying around the house with suspicion, now the mug is my new best friend!

This recipe contains some of the ingredients you would use to make a cheese cake, such as cream cheese, fruit and a crumb mixture. But if you want to have your dessert ready in less than 10 minutes, give this method a try instead!

There are many ‘mug recipe’ variations- how about a ‘Pear and Chocolate Mug Crumble’ or ‘Apple and Caramel Mug Crumble’?- the possibilities are endless!

Mug Crumbles require a minimum of equipment and less than 3 minutes in the microwave. To make a successful crumble mixture, rub the ingredients together using your finger tips, rather than using a spoon.

To make my crumb mixture I used Lotus ® biscuits, a light caramelized cookie with a light cinnamon flavor. If you can’t find that brand in your supermarket, you could also use a shortbread or gingersnap cookie instead.

lotus-biscoff-caramelised-biscuits

Mixed Berries and Cream Cheese Mug Crumble
Serves 2
Mixed Berries , lemon-flavored cream cheese and a crumble prepared in a mug- ready in less than 3 minutes in the microwave.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Fruit
  1. 6 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 4 tsp caster sugar
  4. 1 apple, cored and diced
  5. 4 tbsps mixed berries, fresh or frozen
Crumble
  1. ½ inch slice of salted butter (30 g)
  2. 2 tbsps soft brown sugar
  3. 6 Lotus® caramelized biscuits (cookies) or 45 g shortbread cookies, crushed
  4. 2 heaping tbsp. white flour
  5. Zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, 2 tsp of the sugar. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of two mugs. Add the apple slices on top, then the mixed berries; sprinkle 1 tsp sugar each onto the top of the mixture. Cover the mugs with plastic wrap, pierce the wrap several times, then microwave for about 1 minute 15 seconds.
For the crumble
  1. Slice the cold butter into small cubes and transfer to a bowl. Add the brown sugar, crushed biscuits (cookies) flour and lemon zest. Work the mixture with your fingertips to form the dough. Crumble it into the mug and microwave for 1 minute. Let cool for a little before serving.
Adapted from Mug Crumbles by Christelle Huet-Gomez
Adapted from Mug Crumbles by Christelle Huet-Gomez
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Chocolate + Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake (akaEasy Chocolate Fondant’) was my very first blog post over three years ago. I keep on coming back to this recipe since it is rather easy (only 5 ingredients) and it’s also awe-despairingly delicious. At that time, I didn’t know much about photography: I just pushed the ‘automatic’ button on the camera and hoped for the best:

My first blog post- February 2013

Chocolate Fondant

To experiment further, I thought, “What would happen if I added a dab of peanut butter to the cake batter?” Well, the ‘molten lava’ continued to flow from the cake, but this time it was even more rich and decadent, with the peanut butter weaving through the flow of chocolate.

To make the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake, the process is the same; first you prepare your molds by brushing the insides with melted butter then dusting with some cocoa powder. The butter and chocolate are then melted together over a pan of simmering water and the eggs and sugar are beaten together until frothy. The flour is then folded into the combined ingredients.

To get the special peanut butter and chocolate lava effect, you first fill each mold halfway with batter, then add a dab of peanut butter, followed by more batter. In other words, the peanut butter is ‘sandwiched’ in the middle.

Note: for my molten lava cakes, I used a rather large mold: about 4 inches wide and 3 inches deep. This helped to create the effect of the center of the cake ‘collapsing’ inward. You could also use the smaller dariole type molds, although the effect will not be as great.

Also, baking time depends on the size of your molds; for my larger molds, I baked them for 13 minutes and only 11 minutes for the smaller dariole molds. To test for ‘doneness’, the center of the cake should spring back when pressed with your finger.

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lava Cake
Serves 8
Chocolate and Peanut Butter lava flowing from a decadent chocolate cake
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
43 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
13 min
Total Time
43 min
Ingredients
  1. Melted butter for greasing – Cocoa powder for dusting the ramekins
  2. 1/2 cup butter (110 grams)
  3. 200 grams (7 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  4. 1/2 cup white sugar (100 grams)
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 4 egg yolks
  7. 1 cup plain flour (110 grams), sifted
  8. 1 tbsp peanut butter for each mold
  9. Thickened cream to serve, icing sugar to dust (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 360 °F (180° C). Grease ramekins (pudding molds) with melted butter and dust insides with cocoa powder. Place on baking tray.
  2. Place a round piece of baking paper to fit the bottom of each ramekin to ensure the fondant lifts out easily after baking.
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate together and place over a saucepan of simmering water- stir until melted.
  4. In a separate bowl, add together 4 eggs and 4 separated egg yolks with the sugar- mix on high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and foamy (but not stiff).
  5. Now gradually add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture, folding in small amounts at a time until glossy and smooth.
  6. Fold in the flour until smooth. Fill each mold half-way with the batter, add 1 tbsp peanut butter, then finish filling the mold almost to the top. Place the molds in fridge for at least 1/2 hour or until ready to serve.
  7. Bake for 11- 13 minutes on a tray – fondants should appear to be cooked on top but do not over-cook. The center of the cake should spring back slightly when touched.
  8. Remove from oven and let stand for several minutes – then run a knife gently around the rim of each mold and turn each fondant out onto a serving plate or bowl.
  9. Sprinkle with white icing sugar; add thick cream on the side if desired, for extra ‘yumminess.’
Notes
  1. This recipe will yield about 5 serves if you use the larger molds and about 8 serves if you use the smaller dariole molds
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Mango and Banana Caramel Tart

 

Tart 10

I could smell the caramel a mile away when making this recipe. This tart has a calypso feel to it- tropical mangoes and bananas steeped in a rich caramel sauce, then ‘baptized’ in a splash of rum and nutmeg and then anchored in a flaky buttery crust. I’m already howling for more!

I came across this recipe while reading a food magazine near Portland, Victoria in Australia. We had just returned from a ½ mile walk to see a colony of seals and a kangaroo had bolted across our path on our return back. What a great way to finish the day- a close encounter with seals, a kangaroo and now a delicious caramel tart recipe!

The recipe is pretty easy. First, you heat sugar and butter in a fry pan to make a caramel flavored with rum, nutmeg and vanilla bean, then let the mangoes and bananas simmer in the sauce until soft.

Then roll out a pastry dough and place it on top of the caramel mixture- bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

Final step- place a serving plate on top and then invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm, plain or with a scoop of ice cream.

THE PARTY

P.S. I’d love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Mango and Banana Caramel Tart
Serves 6
This recipe is like a 'Tarte Tatin' but made with mangoes, bananas and a touch of rum.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Pastry
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. Pinch salt
  4. ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 tbsp iced water
Tart Filling
  1. ½ cup caster sugar
  2. 3 tbsp butter
  3. 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped
  5. 1 tbsp dark rum
  6. Pinch nutmeg
  7. 2 bananas, halved, sliced lengthwise
For the Pastry
  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the egg; mix well with spoon or spatula. Add the iced water and continue to mix; turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until mixture holds its shape. Form into ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for one hour.
For the Tart filling
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place the sugar and butter in an oven-proof fry pan (about 9 inches wide). Over high heat, occasionally shake the pan until the mixture starts to bubble and turn brown, forming a caramel. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the mango, vanilla bean, rum and nutmeg; reduce the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and the mango caramelises. Add the banana slices and cook for another 5 minutes, turning the bananas gently to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick, then shape the dough so that it is 1 inch wider than the diameter of the fry pan.
  4. Lay the dough over the fruit mixture in the pan and tuck the ends under a bit. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown. Place a serving plate over the fry pan and invert the tart onto the plate. Serve warm plain or with ice cream.
Adapted from Feast Magazine
Adapted from Feast Magazine
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Banana Cupcakes with Butter Cream Icing

 

What to do with a batch of over-ripe bananas that have been sitting on the counter for way too long? Why, use them to make some banana cupcakes, of course! And adding the butter cream icing on top makes them even more delicious.

I recently finished my course in ‘US Foreign Policy’ at Flinders University in Adelaide; after sweating through the exam, I no longer have to think about concepts such as the Cold War or ‘communist containment’- thank goodness I can comfort myself with these banana cupcakes instead!

Banana Cupcakes with Butter Cream Icing
Yields 9
Cupcakes flavored with real banana pulp and topped with a delicious butter cream icing.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
For the Banana Cupcakes
  1. ½ cup sugar
  2. ¼ cup (60 g) softened butter
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. ½ cup mashed banana pulp
  5. 1 ¼ cup white flour
  6. 1 tbsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. Sprinkle of cinnamon powder
  9. 1 tbsp poppy seeds or chia seeds (optional)
  10. ½ cup milk
For the Butter Cream Icing
  1. ½ cup (125 g) softened butter
  2. 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  3. 2 tbsp milk
  4. 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cream together the sugar and softened butter using electric beaters. Add the egg yolks and banana pulp and continue to beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and cinnamon. Add this dry mixture to the banana pulp/egg mixture, then add the milk and combine all ingredients using electric beaters.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with patty pan (cupcake) liners. Fill each liner ¾ full with the cupcake mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown on top. Let cool while preparing the icing.
For the icing
  1. Combine the softened butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl; mix using electric beaters until smooth. Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake. Optional: sprinkle a few poppy or chia seeds on top of each cupcake.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

Strawberry Chocolate Box

Chocolate Box

I haven’t posted anything for awhile since I have been busy finishing up my French paper on Émile Zola’s book The Belly of Paris (Le Ventre de Paris). The story is set in mid-19th century Paris in the old market of Les Halles, the giant iron structure that housed meat, poultry, fish, flowers and charcuterie for sale. In his book, Zola uses vast descriptions of the market- whole pages to describe the vegetables, cheeses, ‘stinking fish,’ and freshly-killed calves ‘swaddled in blankets with just the four bloody stumps sticking out.” If I were to die tomorrow, I feel like those images would still remain in my brain into the after-life.

Unfortunately, Les Halles* was torn down in the early 1970’s and I never got to see it. My husband got to visit there and Julia Child describes the market in her biography. Now, the old market has been replaced by a multi-level sterile shopping center, although new renovations are happening there now.

* For those of you wondering how to pronounce the words Les Halles, the ‘h’ is silent, so you would pronounce it as ‘Lay Alles’.

The old Les Halles– Paris

Les Halles

To celebrate my marathon experience of reading and writing about Zola’s book, I made (and ate) a dessert called Strawberry Chocolate Box. Melted chocolate is first formed into a square box-shape, then filled with some chocolate mousse and then dotted with cointreau-glazed strawberries and whipped cream.This dessert would have fitted in well at the old Les Halles market! It’s not too difficult to make- just getting the edges of the ‘chocolate box’ to form a straight line can take a little bit of effort.

To make this dessert, first you place two pieces of foil cross ways inside a square pan (this makes it easy to lift the dessert out of the pan at the end). Then the pan is lined with a thin layer of melted chocolate, coming to about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan.The chocolate mousse filling is then poured into the chocolate ‘box’ and placed in the fridge until set. After removing the foil, glazed strawberries and whipped cream are then added.

Adding the chocolate mousse to the chocolate-lined pan

Chocolate Box

I don’t mind getting my face smudged with this chocolate dessert!

Chocolate Box

And by the way, if you haven’t already done so, please do ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would really make my day! 

Strawberry Chocolate Box
Serves 4
Cointreau-glazed strawberries placed inside a chocolate 'box' filled with chocolate mousse
Write a review
Print
Chocolate Box
  1. 5 ounces (150g) dark chocolate
  2. 2 tbsp butter
  3. 1 punnet strawberries
  4. 1 cup thickened cream (to make whipped cream)
For the strawberry glaze
  1. ¼ cup strawberry or cherry jam
  2. 2 tsps Cointreau or brandy
For the Chocolate Filling
  1. 2 ounces (60g) dark chocolate
  2. 1 tbsp Cointreau or brandy (optional)
  3. 2 eggs, separated
  4. ½ cup cream
To make the chocolate mousse filling
  1. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl placed on top of pan of simmering water (i.e. double boiler). Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in the two egg yolks and Cointreau or brandy (optional). Beat until mixture is smooth and thick. Whip the cream lightly with a fork, then add to the chocolate mixture. Using electric beaters, whip the two egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Set aside.
To make the chocolate box
  1. Place two sheets of foil in a square pan, overlapping cross ways. Bring the foil up over the top of the pan to allow easy removal of the chocolate case when set.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl placed on top of a pan of simmering water. Pour into the foil-lined pan and spread thinly along the base and sides; the chocolate should come about 1 ½ inches up the sides of the pan. Try to keep the top edges of the chocolate as straight as possible to form the box shape. Place pan in fridge for a few minutes until set.
  3. Remove from fridge and then pour the chocolate filling into the pan and spread evenly. Place back in fridge until the mixture sets. Remove from fridge and gently peel the foil from the chocolate- you should now have a square box-like shape. (Don’t worry if the edges of the box are not real straight- try to smooth down the edges by running your wet finger along the edges).
  4. In the meantime, heat the strawberry jam and Cointreau (or brandy) together on the stovetop until the mixture becomes like a syrupy glaze. Hull the strawberries and then coat them with the glaze. Whip 1 cup of cream using electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream inside a piping bag.
  5. Place the strawberries inside the chocolate box and then pipe in some of the whipped cream around the sides and center of the chocolate box.
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/