maanantai 22. lokakuuta 2012

Mousse au Chocolat

Chictastic day for you all!
Today is the day we have all been waiting for. It is time to reveal the best accomplishment I have achieved so far. This is the chocolate mousse cake! I apologize beforehand for the pictures since I was too exited while baking. Therefore some of them might be a bit fuzzy or I don't have pictures of every single step.
As far as I'm concerned, this cake is the most amazing thing I have eaten for awhile. It is perfect for a more fancier occasion but still simple enough to bake when you're hungry for something sweet! Even my brother asked if I could bake a new cake for his name day on next week. Can't say no to that!
There's a lot of steps in this one but don't be scared. It's actually very simple to make so here we go..

Dough inside:
1/2 dl (0,2 cup) Flours
1dl (0,4 cup) Cocoa powder
2 1/3 tbsp Corn starch
8 Egg yolks
1dl (0,4 cup) sugar
5 Egg whites

1dl (0,4 cup) Blackcurrant jam

4dl (1,7 cups) Whipped cream
250g (9 oz) Dark Chocolate
5 Egg yolks
1/2 dl Sugar

Cocoa powder

+ 24ccm (9,5 inch) cake tin 

Here's actually everything you need. Not that much of ingredients, huh?

Okay, begin by covering a baking tray with a greaseproof paper. Then sift all of the, flours, cocoa powder and corn starch together into a bowl. You'll need 2 another bowls also since you'll froth the  egg yolks with half of that sugar (1/2 dl, 0,2 cup). Then again the egg whites in another one with rest of that sugar (1/2dl, 0,2 cup).

After all this, you're supposed to have 3 bowls in front of you; flour bowl, egg yolk bowl and egg white bowl. Start by carefully mixing the egg yolks into the egg whites and finally adding the flours into the mix carefully again. Awesome! 

Feel free to spread the dough onto the baking tray smoothly. Bake the dough in 180°C (350F) for 8mins in the middle of the oven. Prepare another greaseproof paper on the table. Spread some sugar on it and when the dough on the tray has cooled down a little, flip it on the sugared paper. This dough is actually the same recipe if you'd be making a Swiss roll. Therefore we're moving on with same steps on here. Before you take off the greaseproof paper which is on top now, here's a tip I learned from my mom. Get the dishcloth wet, prefer cold water, and swipe it over the paper on the dough a couple of times. It helps it to get off easier. :) Cut off 2 circle pieces for the cake. Make sure they're a little bit smaller than the cake tin.
I know, there's a lot of leftover dough but don't worry. We, for instance, ate it with ice cream. It was just perfect combination!
I used my mixers lid to get a perfect circle, though it was big enough to get pieces small enough for the cake. :D Of course, this part of the cake is going to be covered with chocolate mousse so it doesn't really matter if they're perfect or not.

When the greaseproof paper is off, you can prepare the cake tin. Just if you're wondering, my tin is a little bit broken so I have to keep the edge closed with some duct tape. Anyways, cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit the bottom of the cake tin. If you can see from the picture, I have used a strip of plastic to help me when taking the edge off. It also gives a clean form for the cake. I have bought mine from a special baking store but you can also make you own from stiff plastic. Just make sure its high enough so the mousse isn't all over the cake tin and table when you're pouring that. I usually dont tape it to stay in form. Just making sure that when I'm pouring the filling or whatnot that the strip stays against the edge of the cake tin.

Place the first layer on the bottom of the cake tin. At this point I was wondering if the circles should've been bigger or not. I would say that this is the minimum size since there would be too much of the mousse for the one piece of cake otherwise. Then we continue by taking the jam and spreading it all over the first layer. I left some space on the edges so when you're placing the second layer the jam won't come out. Place the 2nd layer on the jam and lightly press it down so it will be compact. After that, it's time for the delicious mousse!

Start by whipping 3 1/2 dl (1 1/2 cups) of whipped cream. When you're done with that put it in the fridge for later. Melt the chocolate in water bath. I always cheat on this. I have never learned to melt chocolate in this way so I just use microwave for this. So I promise, my chicsters, that now on I will melt chocolate only by water bath! Microwave is not so reliable for that.

Oh, let's keep going, shall we? Prepare another water bath for the rest of the ingredients. Whip the egg yolks, sugar and rest of the whipped cream (1/2dl, 0,2 cup) on the water bath. Keep heating it until it gets thicker. So there's 3 different bowls in front of you again: chocolate bowl (cup in my case), egg mix bowl and whipped cream bowl from the fridge. Mix some whipped cream and egg mix into the chocolate. It gets a little bit thinner so you can pour it into the egg mix bowl next. For the final step, mix carefully the whipped cream in it.
Pour it instantly into the cake tin and put the cake with the cake tin into the freezer. The original recipe said to keep it there for over night or even longer. Of course we didn't want to wait for that long! I ha it in there for 4h and at that point it was solid enough to be cut. If you keep it there over night or longer, let it melt for 4h before serving. Decorate the cake by sifting some cocoa powder on top of the cake and add some berries on it too. I would say the raspberries would go perfectly with this one. ;) As the final step, take the strip of plastic off from the side by pulling carefully.

My cake got a ugly stamp on it when I covered it before putting into the freezer. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of decoration since I didn't decorate it in any way. It's almost winter so it's basically impossible to get fresh berries from anywhere so yea.. For my surprise, I didn't have a single problem with this. Everything went steady and smoothly from the beginning to the end and everybody just adored this, including me. We ordered this cake "Marble chocolate cake" for my graduation party and I can honestly say that this cake beat the marble one 6-0. The fact that there's a surprise inside of this cake is just amazing. It totally changes the texture in there and the slightly sour jam inside just blows your mind! Totally 12/10 for this one! Hopefully you'll try this at home and have absolutely chictastic time while munching this!

PS. This is perfect cake for freezing it up for later occasion!

lauantai 20. lokakuuta 2012

Muffins to muffins

Hi there!
On this time, I decided to try a different style to approach my next eatable art work. I simply just dug my way through our kitchen shelves and compared those ingredients I found to different recipes. I got A LOT of muffin cups and different kind of nuts in my hands so I decided to make some simple tosca muffins. Tosca is the term for the topping which includes sugar, almonds and butter. Just FYI (; So let's get started!

4,5 dl (1,9 cups) Flours
2,5 dl (1 cup) Sugar
2,5 tsp Baking powder
0,5 tsp Salt
2 dl (0,85 cup) Milk
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla sugar
75 g (2,65 oz) Melted butter

50g (1,75oz) Butter
50g (1,75oz) Almond chips
3/4 dl (1/3 cup) Sugar
2 tbsp Cream
2 tbsp Milk

Heat up the oven to 200°C (400F) and sift the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix them well and then mix the milk, eggs, vanilla sugar and melted butter in another bowl. After that, mix the flours into the egg bowl. There, you have the dough now! :) 
Next we're going to make the tosca topping.

Just basically melt the butter and mix the other ingredients in it. Boil it up quickly so the sugar melts and you're done. Then you're ready to fill up the cups and bake them but here's a couple of tips before you do that. I like to use a muffin tin and cover those cups with the paper cups so it's easier to take them off and there's less dishes afterwards. Also when you're filling them -- make sure that you don't fill them all up with the dough because there has to be some room for the tosca. Otherwise you end up like me. I've used to fill them all up to get really puffy muffins so I forgot that and it pretty much overflowed. Because of that, they got all sticky from outside since the tosca was all over them. Oh well! :D

So bake the muffins for 20-25mins in the middle of the oven and make sure with a toothpick that they're also baked from inside. I got 12 normal sized muffins with this amount of dough. Remember that if you're making mini muffins or large muffins, the baking time changes with them.
12 normal sized muffins = 6 large muffins = 24 mini muffins.
Large muffins need 25-30 mins in the oven, normal ones 20-25 mins, mini ones only 15-20 mins.
In my opinion, these were mucho delicioso! They're also perfect to bake at this time of the year since the tosca reminds me of falling leaves. I would definitely give 10/10 for this recipe. I just can't stop loving muffins/cup cakes. They're such a easy to make, usually the structure is perfect and moist and they're oh so cute looking! :3

Next time we're gonna have something special here. All I can reveal is that there's going to be chocolate and as far as I'm concerned, it's probably the best piece I have ever baked! So have a exciting and chictastic time until then!

maanantai 15. lokakuuta 2012

Sly as a fox

Candy time! I had never thought that candy making would be such a easy task. This all began when my mom heard this conversation on the radio about rowan berries.  Since it's fall, those trees are FULL of the berries and all I had to do was to get our ladders and pick the prettiest berries from our trees in the backyard! This Finnish candy company Fazer has produced these "fox candies" for centuries and those are one of my favorite ones since when I was a kid. I've read that they used to have actual rowan berries in them in the beginning but nowadays I think they've replaced them with a some kind of aroma. 
I started by cleaning the berries up from leaves and other stuff and stored them in the freezer for the next day. We haven't got any night frost yet so the freezer does the job too. By freezing them, they get a little less sour. The next day I scooped 3dl (1,25 cups) of those frozen buddies and boiled them for 30mins. During this time, berries lose their amygdala which causes stomach problems when eaten in large amounts. My berries lost a lot of their color while boiling them so that's why the candies turned out to be more orange than red. (The real candies are red so that's why they failed my expectations.) After being boiled, the berries should be a little bit softer than before so it easier to strain through a strainer. From this amount of those berries, there should become about 1dl (o,4 cup) of puree .

So on top of that puree you need:
5dl (2 cups) Water
5dl (2 cups) Sugar
15g (0,5 oz) Agar Agar -powder or flakes
1,5dl (2/3 cup) Apple sauce
1 Tsp Tartaric acid powder

+2dl (0,85 cup) Very fine sugar to roll those cubes in (I didn't really measure the sugar for this. Just added more on the plate when needed) :)
So after you're all done with the puree, boil up the water and add the Agar Agar. Remember not to have the stove on too hot! When the liquid get clearer you can go ahead and add the sugar. Boil it up again but be careful, it burns quickly if you're not paying attention! Then lower the heat again.

When the sugar has dissolved, add the apple sauce, rowan berry puree and tartaric acid powder. Mix them carefully and let the mixture cool down. While waiting, you can go ahead and cover a pan or some kind of mold with greaseproof paper. Pour the marmelade mixture in it and let it solidify for a couple of hours. After that you're free to cut it in the pieces of your choice. Put the pieces on a greaseproof paper to a dry place to dry for about 48h. Remember to turn them around at times so they dry evenly. Drying prevents the sugar melting on top of them later. ;) When the marmelades are dry but still a bit sticky, roll them on a plate where's sugar. Keep the marmelades in a airtight box for the future.

Oh and one more thing. I've been always struggling with finding some ingredients. People don't usually tell where to find those in their recipes so let me change that here! If you're wondering where to find tartaric acid powder, the easiest place is to go to the pharmacy and ask for it fromt them. I also happened to see some at our biggest supermarket but the pharmacy is the safest place to find some. Unfortunately it's a bit more expensive there so be prepared for that.

I'll meet you next time with some cake pops so have a chictastic time till then! :)

sunnuntai 7. lokakuuta 2012

Dancing on the rose pedals

Hi there!
Today it's time to get a little artistic with our bakings. We have some beautiful roses in our garden and therefore I wanted to harvest them before they'll freeze out there! So here's a few easy steps to save the beauty for a bit later. These kind of decorations are just a killer on a simple cake!

First, make sure that no pesticides are used on those flowers. I read that all the roses are eatable so there shouldn't be any other problems with them. Then you're free to pluck the pedals out of the flowers and pick the prettiest ones.

Basically you need just some egg white and fine sugar. I had just 1 flower here so less than 1 egg white was perfect for me. I began to "paint" the pedals one by one with the small brush and egg white. Make sure that there's egg white all over the pedal because the sugar needs it to stick on the surface! The egg white all over it also guarantees that the pedal remains in better shape for a longer time. The "painting" got me frustrated since it was quite slow so I ended up to dip those pedals in the egg white cup and wipe the extra egg white off them afterwards.

As you can see I misse one point when I was using the brush! :) Anyways, after those pedals are soaked sprinkle some fine suger all over them. In some cases the egg white melted a lot of the sugar so you just have to keep adding the sugar until it stays on the surface untouched. After sprinkling, place the pedals on a greaseproof paper whit sugar on it. Loose sugar prevents them to stick to the paper.

There you go! It very easy and beautiful way to decorate your cake. Just remember to keep those in a air-tight box and the point that even these don't last forever. After a couple of weeks they loose the bright color and the possible taste in them. So have a beautiful and chictastic time till next week!

maanantai 1. lokakuuta 2012

It's time for celebration!

[Note: This actually happened a week and a half ago]
Celebrate good times, c'mon! My parents had their 20th anniversary so I was immediately going through my cookbooks. I picked this beautiful rose hip - cinnamon meringue cake. I admit that this was the first meringue cake I've ever made so be gentle! :D Despite the easy building up, you want to have some time for this cake. Unless you bake the meringue layers beforehand.

6 Egg whites
A touch of salt
4dl (1 2/3 cup) Sugar
2 tsp Corn starch
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Dark Aceto Balsamico -vinegar or White wine vinegar

4dl (1 2/3 cup) Whipped Cream
100-150g (3,5-5 oz) Dark chocolate
2 Jars of rose hip baby food

Start by whipping the eggs and salt together. When it gets thicker, add the suger little by little and mix at the same time. Try to do the upside-down trick and if it works, you're good to go. Add the corn starch, cinnamon and vinegar into the meringue.
Create 3-4 big circles of meringue on the baking tray and bake those for 5 mins in 150°C (300F) on convection. After those 5 mins, turn the oven to 50°C (122F) and let those circles to be there for 1,5h.
At this point you have to be careful! After being baked, those meringues has to get off very smoothly since they break into pieces easily. I used some spatulas for that. Once you're done, you can start to stack them up. Place the first meringue layer on the plate and put some whipped cream, that rose hip puree and roughly chopped chocolate on it. Repeat this 2-3 times, depending on how many layers you have made.
For me, it was hard to have it together so I ended up with Leaning Tower of Pisa.. oh well :D After dinner, the whole cake was just a big pile of meringue-chocolate-rose hip-whipped cream mush. We didn't figure out how to cut nice slices of it!
So we had some leftovers from that. The next day when we ate it was a nice surprise. The meringue had got all moist so it felt like we ate the same cake with cinnamon mousse, haha!

I'd give 8/10 for this cake. One slice was definitely enough since it was waaaaaaaay too sweet. Afterwards I'd say that there could be more of that rose hip puree to balance the sweetness. Overall the evening was chictastic so congrats mom & dad!