Wednesday, 16 April 2014

HAPPY EASTER! Hope it's a chocolatey one.



video
https://vimeo.com/user16359315/review/92093960/ad304aca7e






















the food dept’s hazelnut concorde cake
Serves 10-12

• 2 tablespoons corn flour
1/3 cup Dutch cocoa
10 egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2½ cups caster sugar
1 cup hazelnut meal
1 qty Chocolate mousse
extra, Dutch cocoa for dusting
 
1. Preheat oven to 100C (200F). Sift the corn flour and cocoa together and set aside.
2. Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
3. Using a spatula gently fold the sifted corn flour and cocoa through the egg whites until just combined.
4. Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle and pipe 12 x 30cm lengths onto a lined baking tray.
5. Return any of the meringue from the piping bag to the remaining chocolate meringue mixture in the bowl, set aside the piping bag (there’s no need to wash it). Gently fold through the hazelnut meal and place back into the piping bag.
6. Draw 4 x 19cm discs on lined oven trays. Starting in the center pipe outwards in a spiral, repeat 3 times to create 4 discs. Bake the discs and lengths for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven.
7. To assemble the cake, attach the bottom layer of the cake to a platter with some Chocolate mousse. Place 1 cup of the mousse on the disc and smooth out with a palate knife. Repeat with the remaining mousse and meringue until you have 4 layers. Coat the entire cake with the remaining mousse.
8. Break up the meringue lengths, none shorter than the height of the cake. Sprinkle with extra cocoa and arrange around the side of the cake.
9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set the mousse.


Chocolate mousse

250g 70% cocoa chocolate
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
4 egg yolks
6 eggs whites, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup caster sugar

1. To make the chocolate mousse place the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and gently stir until melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and gently mix the butter through the chocolate a few pieces at a time until it is incorporated.
2. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well.
3. Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tarter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
4. Using a spatula, gently fold the meringue through the chocolate mixture a 1/3 at a time. Use as required.


 











Chocolate hazelnut pavlova bark
This is a variation of TFD’S Hazelnut Concorde cake.  A great dessert to put in the middle of the table and share with friends this Easter.
Serves 8-10

• 1 tablespoon corn flour
2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
5 egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ¼ cups caster sugar
¼ cup hazelnut meal
1 qty chocolate mousse
1 x 300ml double cream, lightly whipped
½ cup roughly chopped, roasted hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 100C (200F). Sift the corn flour and cocoa together and set aside.
2. Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar, a little at a time, until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
3. Using a spatula gently fold the sifted corn flour and cocoa through the egg whites until just combined.
4. Using a palate knife spread the meringue into a rectangle 30cm x 40cm on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with the hazelnut meal. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven.
5. To assemble gently place the meringue onto a large serving board and spread with the chocolate mousse, double cream and roughly chopped hazelnuts. 
Serve in the center of the table with a pile of spoons.


Chocolate mousse

125g 70% cocoa chocolate
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
a pinch salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons caster sugar

1. To make the chocolate mousse, place the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and gently stir until melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat and gently mix the butter through the chocolate a few pieces at a time until it is incorporated.
2. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well.
3. Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tarter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
4. Using a spatula, gently fold the meringue through the chocolate mixture a 1/3 at a time. Use as required.


 
Chocolate mousse pots with fresh raspberries and choc hazelnut meringue bites
 A variation of TFD’s Concord cake and Chocolate hazelnut bark this makes another yummy dessert.

• Use the Chocolate hazelnut pavlova bark quantities for this recipe. Place tablespoonsful of the chocolate meringue onto baking trays, sprinkle with hazelnut meal and bake as you would the pavlova bark. Then, set little pots of mousse in the refrigerator. Once set, top them with fresh raspberries and serve with choc, hazelnut meringues bites.



Saturday, 22 March 2014

HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY to the food dept.!



Times flies when your's having fun, and that's what we have been doing for the past 2 years. We hope you have been having just as much fun, cooking and eating our yummy recipes. To celebrate our 2nd birthday, we are sharing with you this decadent tropical hummingbird cake. Each moist layer of cake is filled with sweet cream cheese icing, then we top it with the crunch of toffee pecans. Enough said, we need to go and pop some French and start the party.

The food dept.’s birthday hummingbird cake with toffee pecans
Serves 8-10

• 1kg pineapple, peeled
180g softened unsalted butter
11/4 cups (275g) raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 eggs 
1 large ripe banana, mashed 
1 cup (90g) shredded coconut 
2/3 cup (80g) pecans, roughly chopped
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon 

Cream cheese icing 
2 x 250g packets softened cream cheese
80g softened unsalted butter
11/3 cups (200g) icing sugar 

Toffee pecans
1 cup (220g) raw caster sugar
1 cup (140g) pecans

1. Preheat oven to 100°C. Cut 10 x 2mm-thick slices from the pineapple. Arrange in a single layer on a baking paper-lined baking tray and bake for 1 hour. Turn slices over and return to oven for a further 1 hour or until pineapple is dry. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
2. Core the remaining piece of pineapple and roughly chop. Use a food processor to whiz the pineapple until just crushed. You will need about 250g crushed pineapple for the cake.
3. Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans and increase the oven to 180ºC. Using electric beaters, beat butter and sugar together until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the crushed pineapple, banana, coconut and pecans, then stir to combine. Add flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, then stir to combine.
4. Divide the mixture between the cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow cakes to stand in the pans for 15 minutes to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the icing, place the cream cheese, butter and half the icing sugar in a bowl and beat with electric beaters for 5 minutes. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Chill until needed.
6. To make the toffee pecans, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until golden. Using a skewer, dip each pecan into the toffee. Drain off excess toffee and place the pecans on a baking paper-lined baking tray and allow to set.
7. To assemble, secure one cake to a serving plate with a little icing. Spread 1 cup icing on the cake, then top with the second cake. Spread remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with dried pineapple and toffee pecans.

This recipe was first published in the February issue of ABC delicious magazine.