Chocolate Birthday Cake with Berries

Yesterday a friend of mine turned 30 and she asked if I could make her a cake. She did not have any preferences other than CHOCOLATE, so I went for a day wondering what to make. First I wanted to make a chocolate cake with strawberry mousse, but the strawberry season is long gone, meaning that the taste of the berries are gone. So instead I decided to make this chocolate cake covered in whipped cream with crushed chocolate meringue cookies. Making the cake made me totally peckish, but unfortunately we was unable to take part in her birthday – DAMN! But but but that only gives me a reason to make the cake once more 🙂

 

Ingredients (12 servings)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/8 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks butter

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup dark quality chocolate (70%)

 

2 cups cream

2 cups chocolate meringue cookies, crushed

20 strawberries

20 raspberries

1/4 cup dark quality chocolate (70%), chopped

 

Melt butter and sugar in a sauce pan. Stir to combine. When melted and combined, transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk at medium speed until cooled (takes 5-10 minutes).

In another bowl mix together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

When the butter and sugar mixture is cooled, add one egg at a time and whisk between each. Then add vanilla extract.

Shift in flour mixture in four batches, alternating with the sour cream, and whisk until just combined. Add the melted chocolate and gently fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Add the batter to a springform pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle of the cake. Let cool for 20 minutes before loosening the edges of the cake with a butter knife (but do not remove in from the springform). Let cool completely before removing the cake from the springform pan.

Slice the cake into 3 equally thick pieces. I do not have a tool to do it with, so I just use a piece of wire, which works very well.

Whisk the cream until it gets soft peaks. Then whisk a little bit more, but be careful not to over whisk and turn it into butter! It just needs to be thick enough to cover the cake without running off. Add the crushed chocolate meringue cookies when the whipped cream has reached the wanted consistency. Fold until combined.

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Place the bottom of the three cake slices on a cake stand. Spread 1/2 cup of whipped cream onto the cake in an equally thick layer all the way around. Slice 10 strawberries and place them on top of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate. IMG_1183

Place the middle-slice of the cake on top and repeat the procedure, but replace the strawberries with half of the raspberries. Then top of the cake with the last slice.

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Cover with the remaining whipped cream and decorate with berries. Serve with a good cup of coffee 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredienser (12 stykker)

0.6 dl usødet kakaopulver

2.8 dl sukker

3.5 dl mel

1 tsk. bagepulver

1 tsk. natron

1 tsk. salt

172 g smør

2 store æg, stue temperatur

1 spsk vanille ekstrakt

2.5 dl creme fraiche

75 g mørk kvalitets chokolade (70%), smeltet

 

0.5 liter piskefløde

5 dl rutebiler, knuste

20 jordbær

20 hindbær

0.6 dl mørk kvalitets chokolade (70%), hakket

 

God fornøjelse venner 🙂

What to do on a rainy day macaroons

This summer has, contrary to the last 4-5 summers, been sunny and warm but today it has been cold and rainy. So what to do on a rainy summer day??

Well, I decided to bake some macaroons and ask out Facebook followers what they would like as filling. There were so many delicious suggestions and it was not easy to decide on one – so I decided on four different fillings 🙂 So I should probably say thanks to Martin, Kirsten, Kis and Pernille for their great suggestions 🙂

When making this macaroon recipe you will need a few basic tools:

A digital thermometer

An electric mixer

A rubber spatula

A pastry bag and

A 1/2-inch plain round tip

Without these, I doubt that you will succeed (but that shouldn’t keep you from trying if you have the drive) 🙂

 

Ingredients (60 macaroons)

1 1/8 cup almonds, blanched

1 3/5 cup confectioners sugar

7/8 cup granulated sugar

2 x 2 egg whites

1/3 cup water

 

Blend the almonds into fine almond flour in a hand blender or food processor. Then add confections sugar and blend again for at least 20-30 seconds. Shift into a mixing bowl. If there are anything left in the strainer, blend it further and shift again.

Take half of the egg whites and mix them into the blended almonds. mix until well combined and even.

In another bowl whisk the other half of the egg whites until they make soft peaks. Find a saucepan and add granulated sugar and water. Heat until the syrup reaches 230F, stir once in a while (use a digital thermometer). Pour the heated syrup slowly into the egg whites while whisking on medium-low speed. Be careful not to get burned on the sugar – it hurts like hell! When all the syrup has been added, turn up the volume of you mixer and whisk until the meringue has reached room temperature. It take about 10 minutes.

When your meringue has reached room temperature, add half to the almond mixture and mix well until combined. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold around – do not whisk, as this will ruin the batter! Fold until the batter is evenly combined and smooth.

Now it gets a bit tricky – the texture of the batter needs to soft, but not to soft. It still needs to keep the round shape when added to the baking paper, but it should be soft enough to prevent the macaroons from getting small tops. Did that make sense?

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on a baking tray with baking paper.  Turn the baking tray into the table top 8-10 times, to remove air bubbles from the macaroons.

Let the macaroons dry at room temperature for an hour. Bake at 300F for 13-14 minutes. Transfer the baking paper with the baked macaroons to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling or storing them.

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Below there are 4 different fillings for your macaroons. Each filling recipe is for 20 macaroons.

 

Caramel:

1/2 cup sea salt caramel

 

Place the caramel in a piping bag and warm it with your hands until it is soft enough to be squeezed out onto the macaroons.

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Coffee Liqueur Ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

1/8 cup cream

1/8 cup coffee liqueur

 

Place all three ingredients in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons.

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Rum ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano Black (63%)

1/4 cup cream

4 tbsp. good quality rum

 

Place all three ingredients in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons.

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Black Currant and Liquerice Ganache:

1/2 cup Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

1/4 cup cream

2 tbsp. freeze dried black currant powder

1/2 tsp. raw liquorice powder

 

Place all chocolate, cream and freeze dried powder in a he alt proof blow and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and combined. Transfer to a piping bag and fridge until cooled completely. If the ganache get at bit to cold, you can warm it in your hands until it is soft enough to squeeze onto the macaroons. Sprinkle the raw licorice powder on top of the ganache before putting on the top macaroon.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (60 macaroons)

200 gram almonds, blanched

200 gram confectioners sugar

200 gram granulated sugar

2 x 80 gram egg whites

0.8 dl water

 

Caramel:

4 tbsp. sea salt caramel

 

Coffee Liqueur Ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

20 g cream

20 g coffee liqueur

 

Rum ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano Black (63%)

30 g cream

4 tbsp. good quality rum

 

Black Currant and Liquerice Ganache:

80 g Amedei Toscano White (or another good quality white chocolate)

30 g cream

2 tbsp. freeze dried black currant powder

1/2 tsp. raw liquorice powder

 

Italian Ricotta Ice Cream with Chocolate and Roasted Almonds

Last night we were having guest for dinner and I had been speculating for days about what dessert to serve. Normally I would have baked a cake, as they are some of my greatest cake fans :-D, but it has been quite warm these past days so I wanted to make something more refreshing.

Then one evening when I turned on the TV, I turned passed a channel showing Italian women and their childhood recipes. One of the recipes was this ricotta ice cream with roasted almonds and chocolate and I immediately knew, what I was going to make 😀

It turned out to be great, but I must admit that it would have been better, had I made it on an ice cream machine – but that is still on the ‘to-buy-list’, so I will have to settle with the old freezer method for a while yet :-/ So if you have an ice cream machine, you should use that, but this method can be used as well!

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup cream

4 tbsp. cane sugar

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup quality chocolate 70%, preferably Amedei Toscano Black

20 cherries

20 strawberries

10 raspberries

 

Roast the almonds on a dry pan at medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. The almonds a ready when you can begin to smell a nutty aroma in the kitchen. Set a side to cool down.

Chop the roasted almonds and the chocolate into medium sized chunks (or what ever you prefer).

Place ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add sugar and stir again until the sugar has dissolved – it takes a few minutes. Set aside.

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Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Be very careful not to over-whisk it, as it might ruin the end result.

Carefully turn the whipped cream into the ricotta and fold until evenly combined. Then add the chopped chocolate and almonds and fold again.IMG_0411 IMG_0412 IMG_0413

Cover a springform pan with plastic wrap and make sure that it covers the sides too.

Pour the ricotta cream into the form and cover with yet a layer of plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap lies down close to the ricotta mass and up the sides of the form.

Freeze for at least 12 hours before serving. IMG_0414 IMG_0415 IMG_0416

Take the ricotta ice cream out of the freezer approximately 10 minutes before serving. Remove both the form and the plastic wrap and place on a cake stand and decorate with cherries, strawberries and a few raspberries.

Serve with a glass of sparkling wine on a hot summer day or a cup of delicious Italian roast espresso on a cold winter day 🙂IMG_0464

IMG_0465Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (8 servings)

2.5 dl ricotta cheese

2.5 dl cream

4 tbsp. cane sugar

1.25 dl almonds

80 g quality chocolate 70%, preferably Amedei Toscano Black

20 cherries

20 cup strawberries

10 raspberries