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Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake With Toasted Italian Meringue
Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue7

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue



This Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Toasted Italian Meringue is the magical dream for ginger lovers!! The contrast between the hot, spicy ginger taste and the lightness of passionfruit makes the cake interestingly exotic but very balanced in taste. I am not a big fans of over-sweet dessert so I decided this recipe in such a way that the acidity from cream cheese, yogurt and passionfruit effectively tunes down the sweetness from the Italian meringue. And did I forget to mention GO CRAZY with the meringue piping and torching? If you like the idea of the cake, do check out my Lemon Curd Meringue Mousse Cake as well.

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue8

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue6

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue

The idea of this cake came from my nostalgic cravings for a traditional Chinese Dessert “Ginger Milk Curd“. It is a simple dessert that uses only a few ingredients (milk, ginger juice and sugar) that’s available hot and cold. It costs around $25 HKD per bowl and I thought that was very expensive. Oh well, if only I had known gingers in Australia would be so much pricier, I would have eaten a few more back home.

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue3

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue



The process of making this cake is pretty straightforward, but we have to be always careful when it comes to gelatine. Temperature control is crucial as we don’t want the gelatine to set before all ingredients are fully incorporated.  If we add the melted gelatine to a very cold mixture, what will happen is that you will “shock” the gelatine and it will set immediately. That said, if your passionfruit curd is cold and stiff (which happens when you choose to pre-make the curd the day before), I do recommend warming it up through double boiler to around 30C, before you mix it with yogurt, lemon juice, ginger cream infusion.  I hope you enjoy it!

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue4

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue5

Ginger Passionfruit Yogurt Cheesecake with Italian Meringue



Ingredients:

Ginger Infused Passionfruit Curd Yogurt Cheesecake

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 250g passionfruit curd (recipe below)
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 100g pure cream
  • 15g ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 gelatine leaves, titanium
  • 250g pure cream, semi-whipped

Biscuit Base

  • 250g biscuit crumbs (I processed digestive biscuits into crumbs with a food processor)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Italian Meringue

  • 160g caster sugar
  • 100g water
  • 150g egg white

Passionfruit Curd

  • 225g passionfruit pulp (before sieving out the seeds)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g whole eggs
  • 100g egg yolks (around 5)
  • 125g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 gelatine leave (titanium)

Instructions:

Passionfruit Curd

  1. Sieve the seeds from the passionfruit pulp and set aside (this step is necessary as you will need to sieve the cooked curd to remove the egg strain) 
  2. Prepare a double boiler. To do so, fill a saucepan with 1-1.5 inches high of water and bring it to simmer. Find a heatproof bowl that fits in the saucepan without directly touching the water.
  3. Place the passionfruit pulp, sugar, egg, egg yolks in a heatproof stainless steel or glass bowl. Using a whisk, stir the mixture continuously but gently to slowly cook the eggs. The lemon curd is ready when it starts to thicken up (or when it reaches 80C). This process will take about 10 mins. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
  4. Sieve the curd into another bowl to remove egg strains.
  5. Bloom the gelatine leaves with cold water. Squeeze out excess water and add it in the curd to melt completely.
  6. Stir in the cold chopped butter into the mixture. Mix until the butter completely melts.
  7. Take out 250g of the curd (for cake filling) and set aside until ready to use , and refrigerate the rest for other uses.

Biscuit Base

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Put a 7inch cake ring on the tray.
  2. Process biscuit of your choice (I used digestive biscuits with a food processor) into fine crumbs. Put in a big mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in the microwave carefully. Try with 10 seconds intervals and check.
  4. Pour the melted butter into the mixing bowl. Mix well with a spoon until crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
  5. Press the crumbs into the cake ring and press with a spoon until flat and even.
  6. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Ginger Infused Passionfruit Curd Yogurt Cheesecake

  1. In a small sauce pan, place 100g pure cream and ginger pieces and bring to boil. Turn down the heat. Simmer for 2 mins and set aside for the infusion to happen.
  2. Bloom gelatine leave in cold water. Squeeze out excess water and add to the ginger-cream. Mix until fully melted.
  3. Using an electrical mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on high speed, while scraping the side occasionally, until creamy and smooth.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add 250g passionfruit curd, yogurt, lemon juice, ginger cream infusion and mix well with a whisk. Turn on the mixer on low speed, pour the mixture slowly into the beaten cream cheese mixture and continue beating until smooth.
  5. In another bowl, semi whip 250g pure cream. Fold into the mixture gently and evenly with a spatula.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepare cake ring. Smoothen the top with an off-set spatula. Wrap the cake ring tightly with cling wrap and put in the freezer to set. It takes around 4-6 hours.

Italian Meringue

  1. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  2. When the sugar reaches 118C, turn the mixer on low speed, pour it over the egg whites slowly in a stream motion. Turn the mixer to medium high speed and continue beating for about 5mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed.

To serve

1.  Unwrap the plastic covering the cake, remove the cake from the cake ring by using a hot towel to warm up the cake ring, or use blow torch safely to heat up the cake ring lightly.

2. Pipe Italian meringue on top of the cake and blow torch lightly. Enjoy!

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Baked Baileys Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

This Baked Baileys Cheesecake is literally the BEST cheesecake that I’ve ever tasted! It has the smoothest and creamiest Baileys mascarpone and cream cheese filling with an Oreo Crust. The buttery Oreo cookies base complement perfectly with velvety taste of Baileys. And the best thing is – this baked cheesecake doesn’t require a water bath and is super easy to make!

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base6

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base



I am always, ALWAYS, keen to add alcohol into my desserts to make them a little bit naughty and sexy to eat. Click on the links below to check them out:

– Guinness Double Chocolate Brownie 
– Milk Chocolate Banana Mousse Cake with Rum 
– Lemon Curd Limoncelle Eclair 
– Coffee liqueur Double Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin 
– Tiramisu Mille Crepe Cake

Baileys is one of my favourite liqueur (to kill my sweet cravings at night) and it goes perfectly with a cheesecake. You might want to check out my Baileys Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse Cup for a party dessert idea.

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base2

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base7

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base

Tips of making the perfect baked cheesecake!

To perfect a baked cheesecake, there’re a couple things to take note of:

  1. Bake at LOWER temperature for a LONGER period of time – baking cheesecake at a low temperature is crucial to cooking the filling steadily and evenly, which achieves the creamy and smooth texture. Last thing that we want is to overcook the filling or to burn the top.  I baked my cheesecake at 140C for 90 mins  and I think it is a good setting that cooks the cheesecake nicely and still achieve that golden colour top crust.
  2. Cream the cheese and sugar well. To make your cheesecake smooth and creamy, you don’t want to have cream cheese lumps or undissolved sugar in the batter. Therefore, do take the time to beat the cheese and sugar on medium high speed (while scraping the side of the mixing bowl once in a while) to attain a pale, fluffy cheese sugar mixture before adding the eggs.
  3. Do NOT over-aerate the eggs when mixing. One big difference between a chilled cheesecake  and a baked cheesecake, is that while gelatine usually is the setting agent, there’re eggs in a baked cheesecake to set. But make sure that you only gently fold in the eggs in the cheesecake with a spatula (not a whisk), because you don’t want to over-aerate the eggs or the cheesecake will expand too much during baking.
  4. Cool the baked cheesecake slowly after baked. When it comes to baked cheesecake, we are all so scared that the cheesecake is going to crack during the cool down process. But don’t worry! To avoid the cheesecake from cracking, you simply have to avoid sudden temperature change and cool the cake gradually. I usually would turn off the oven and leave the cake inside the oven to cool down for 30 mins, before taking it out to room temperature for another 30 mins, before putting it in the fridge.

Baked Bailyes Cheesecake with Oreo Base4



Ingredients:

For the cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baileys
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 360ml sour cream

Oreo Cookie Base

  • 250g crushed Oreo (after filling removed)
  • 100g melted unsalted butter

Instructions :

  1. Put a parchment paper on a baking tray. Put a 8inch cake ring on the baking tray and set aside to use.
  2. Take out the fillings from the Oreo cookies with a butter knife (you can keep the filling for other uses), and process the cookies in a food process into fine crumbs.
  3. Melt butter in the microwave (carefully, butter explores very quickly if left unattended).
  4. Mix the butter and the Oreo crumbs well. Press it inside the cake ring as the cake base with the back of a spoon until even and flat. Put in the fridge to set.
  5. Preheat Oven to 140C
  6. Using an electrical mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, salt, and sugar with a paddle attachment on medium high speed (while scraping the side of the bowl occasionally) for around 5-8 mins until smooth and fluffy.
  7. Add in baileys and vanilla bean paste and beat for 30 seconds.
  8. Put the eggs and egg yolk in a bowl, use a whisk to lightly break them down. Then pour it over the cheese mixture, fold the eggs in with a spatula until incorporated.
  9. Fold in the sour cream with a spatula until incorporated.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake ring and bake at 140C for approximately 90mins. Time may vary depending on your oven and other factors. A baked cheesecake is ready when the side is puffed up and turned golden brown, while the centre would slightly jiggle when you shake the baking tray. When it is ready, turn off the oven, open the oven door for 15 seconds, then close the door and leave the cake inside the oven for 30 mins. Take it out from the oven and let cool in room temperature for another 30 mins. Keep it in the fridge for at least 3 hour s for it to fully set. Enjoy!
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Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all the mothers in the world get the love that they deserve and feel extra special today. I cannot be physically be there with my family so this banana milk chocolate mousse cake is dedicated to my mum who has been loving, caring and supportive to her children.

Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum

Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake

This Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake is what I call a classic beauty – it has a soft & fluffy chocolate sponge soaked in rum syrup, layered between is a smooth milk chocolate mousse filled with fresh banana pieces and chocolate crumbs. For decorations, I used ladyfingers dipped in Milk Chocolate, Vanilla Beans Chantilly and Pistachio Praline Sprinkles (recipe can be found here). A bite into this cake, you get so many layers of taste and texture. There’s nothing too complicated about it but everything just works well together. Even if you’re just a amateur in baking, I am sure you can nail this cake (if you read the instructions well, haha).

Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum
Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum

I created this recipe based on the Banana Chocolate Cake recipe by the Cooking Tree with some personal twists put on it. I have been a big fans of her desserts for a while now, as she has such a clean and simple approach to cakes that I absolutely admire. If you observe closely, there’s a lot to learn even though there isn’t one single spoken instruction in the videos. Her recipes give me a lot of inspirations and I can’t thank enough for her youtube tutorials.

Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum

One thing that I want to say is that making the sponge and mousse might seem easy, but they have to treated very carefully and gently. Be sure that you don’t over-mix the cake batter or over-whip the mousse, or they can turn into disaster. I hope you enjoy this Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake and again Happy Mother’s Day!

Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum
Banana Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with Rum

Ingredients:

Chocolate Sponge:
– 150g whole eggs
– 85g sugar
– 20g honey
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 75g cake flour
– 10g cocoa powder
– 25g melted butter
– 40g milk

Milk Chocolate Mousse:
– 200g pure cream
– 100g milk chocolate, melted
– 1 tbsp dark rum
– 2 bananans

Chocolate Crumbs:
– 100g caster sugar
– 100g all purpose flour
– 60g cocoa powder
– 5g corn starch
– 1 tsp salt
– 85g unsalted butter, melted

Rum Syrup:
– 50g water
– 25g sugar
– 1 tbsp rum

Vanilla Beans Chantilly Cream:
– 200g pure cream
– 20g caster sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla beans paste

Decorations:
– LadyFingers dipped in Milk Chocolate
– Pistachio Praline
– Banana Pieces

Instructions:

Chocolate Sponge:
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 8inch cake pan and set aside.
2. Put eggs, sugar, honey, vanilla, extract in a mixing bowl and heat while whisking continuously on a Bain Marie (double boiler), until the mixture reaches 40C. With an electric mixer, whip the heated egg mixture with a whisk attachment on high speed until pale and fluffy to make sabayon (i.e. ribbon stage).
3. While the egg is whipping, sift cake flour, cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, and set aside.
4. Fold in the flour mixture into whipped egg mixture GENTLY with a spatula, until most four is not visible.
5. Put 2 tbsp of the cake batter into the melted butter, and mix until fully incorporated (this step is to let the butter attain a similar consistency with the cake batter, to ensure better incorporation). Then pour the butter mixture and the milk into the whole cake batter. Fold in gently until incorporated (do not over-mix to avoid knocking out all the air).
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 170C for 20-25 mins, until the cake spins back when you press on it gently.

Chocolate Crumbs (recipe by Christina Tosi):
1. Preheat oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Put sugar, flour, cocoa powder, corn starch and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for 3 mins.
3. Pour melted butter into it until buttery crumbs are just formed. Do not over-mix or it will turn into a paste.
4. Spread the crumbs evenly onto the prepared baking tray. Bake at 150C for 20-15 mins. Set aside until ready to use.

Milk Chocolate Mousse:
1. Melt chocolate on bain marie or by microwave. Let cool for 5 mins.
2. Put pure cream and melted chocolate in a mixing bowl, whisk by hand until soft peak. Set aside in fridge.

Rum Syrup:
1. Put water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring it to boil. Off heat and and add in the rum. Set aside until ready to use.

Vanilla beans Chantilly:
1. Put pure cream, caster sugar and vanilla bean paste into a mixing bowl, and whisk until medium peak. This step can be done after the cake has been refrigerated for at least 2 hours.

Assembly:
1. Cut the sponge evenly into two layers with a serrated knife. Use a 6-inch metal cake ring to cut off the edge of the cake and get two 6-inch cake sponge sheets.
2. Put one layer of cake sheet into 6-inch metal cake ring as the base. Brush some rum syrup onto the cake to make it moist.
3. Cut bananas to get 5-7 pieces of the same size (you should determine the length of the banana pieces by putting it onto the cake sheet, the top of the banana piece should be 1cm below the top of the cake ring). Place the bananas, while allowing gaps to insert the chocolate mousse, onto the cake sheet,
4. Fill up the gaps with the milk chocolate mousse and use a off-set spatula to smoothen the top. Sprinkles Chocolate crumbs onto the mousse evenly.
5. Place the second cake sheet on, press slightly to let it stick, and brush rum syrup on.
6. Wrap the cake with plastic and put in refrigerator to set for 2-3 hours.
7. When the cake is set, carefully lift up the meal cake ring. Dip Lady Fingers in melted chocolate and immediately stick on the side of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 10 mins for the chocolate to set. Pipe chantilly cream and put on banana and pistachio praline to decorate. Enjoy!

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Golden Cube – Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating

This indulgent Golden Cube is a dream come true (edible tho)- it has a nutty pistachio bavarois mousse, tangy sweet passionfruit jelly, and fluffy sponge, all covered with a layer of smooth milk chocolate coating dusted with gold powder. 

Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating

Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating3

After my school has officially finished, I recently went back home to relax and recharge myself before the commencement of my industry placement. I didn’t really bake much back home due to limited resources so I was so ready to storm the kitchen as soon as I am back in Sydney! In case you’re wondering, I will be working full-time for six months at Baked by Keiran, an Artisan Bakery/Patisserie in Dulwich Hill, Sydney. I have been working there part time for over a month now and I simply enjoy every moment of it despite the early hours. I guess getting up earlier than everyone else is just an inevitable part of being a pastry chef, right? Anyway, working there substantially equips me with knowledge about French patisserie as they make almost everything from scratch, which I absolutely respect. 

 

Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating2

Back to the dessert itself, pistachio is my second favourite flavour (right behind mint chocolate) because of its unique exotic, nutty, sweet taste. To be honest, I don’t even know how to describe the taste of pistachio to do it justice. I personally think that the combination of pistachio and milk chocolate works well, because the creamy and milky note of milk chocolate complements the delicate flavour of pistachio. And the acidity of passionfruit jelly insert perfectly balances out the sweetness of other elements.

Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating4

Pistachio Petit Gateaux with Passionfruit Jelly and Milk Chocolate Coating5

Making this kind of dessert, like many other instances in the pastry world indeed, requires a lot of patience because it requires a lot of chilling time for things to set properly in the freezer. Sometimes you simply can’t rush things to go quicker because you will risk ruining everything. Make sure you plan everything ahead so that you will have enough time to finish the product. When I made this, I also tried to multitask by making another dessert at once so I don’t get bored with the waiting time. Hope you enjoy the recipe. Cheers! 

The specific tools that I used for this recipe include:

  1. 15cm cake ring 
  2. 4cm circular cutter 
  3. 4cm half sphere silicone mould
  4. 5cm cube silicone mould 
  5. Toothpick 

Ingredients:

Sponge
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 45ml full-cream milk
  • 40g melted butter 
  • 4 egg white
  • 100g sugar 
  • 110g cake flour, sifted 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
Passionfruit Jelly
  • 170g passionfruit pulp
  • 100ml warm water 
  • 4 tsp gelatine powder 
  • 100ml cold water (for blooming the gelatine powder)
Pistachio Bavarois
  • 100g egg yolk
  • 80g caster sugar 
  • 240ml milk
  • 240ml cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g pistachio paste 
  • 2 tsp gelatine powder 
  • 50ml cold water (for blooming the gelatine powder)
  • 400 pure cream, semi-whipped 
Milk Chocolate Pistachio Coating 
  • 400g milk chocolate
  • 80g vegetable oil (I used canola oil) 
  • 80g shelled pistachio, coarsely chopped 

Instructions:

Sponge
  1. Grease and line a 15-cm cake ring and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 175C.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, milk and melted butter with a whisk.
  4. Prepare sifted cake flour and baking powder in another bowl and set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg white on medium speed until foamy, then turn to high speed while slowly adding sugar. Continue whisking until the meringue reaches stiff peak.
  6. With a spatula, gently fold in the prepared cake flour and baking powder into the meringue. Try to retain as much air as you can while folding.
  7. Take out a little bit of meringue mixture and mix it with the egg yolk-butter mixture that you prepared earlier. Then fold it back to the whole meringue mixture. Gently mix with a spatula until everything is combined.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake mould. Bake at 175C for 35-40 mins, or until stick inserted into centre comes out clean.
  9. Leave it in room temperature for 10 mins before handling. Take the cake from the cake mould and let cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1-cm slices and put in freezer for 15 mins to firm up. You will need to use the slices from the middle part because they are softer and don’t have the skin.
  10. Using a 4-cm circular cutter, cut out 10 sponge circles from the cake slices for assembly.
Passionfruit Jelly
  1. Prepare a 4cm half-sphere silicone mould and set aside.
  2. Bloom gelatine powder with water and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, bring passionfruit pulp and warm water to boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in the bloomed gelatine and stir with a whisk until fully melted.
  5. Pour the jelly mixture to the silicone mould carefully.
  6. Put in freezer for 2-3 hours until completely set before unmoulding.
Pistachio Bavarois
  1. Bloom gelatine powder with water and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring milk and cream to boil.
  3. While the milk and cream are heating up, whisk together egg yolk and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  4. As soon as the milk and cream are boiling, slowly pour them over the egg-sugar mixture while whisking it continuously.
  5. Pour the whole mixture to the saucepan and cook it like an anglaise on low heat while continuously stirring with a spatula (remember to scrap the bottom of the pan to prevent any sticking & burning).
  6. Once the mixture reaches 85C, remove from heat and strain it to another bowl to prevent further cooking.
  7. Stir in pistachio paste and vanilla with a whisk until fully incorporated.
  8. While the mixture is still hot, stir in the bloomed gelatine and mix until fully melted. Let cool.
  9. While the mixture is cooling, semi-whip the cream.
  10. Gently fold in the semi-whipped cream when the mixture is cooled to 40C.
Milk Chocolate Coating
  1. Using a double boiler or microwave, melt the milk chocolate. (If you’re using a microwave, please check every 15 secs and stir to avoid burning the chocolate)
  2. Whisk in vegetable oil until fully emulsified. You can use a stick blender for better emulsion.
  3. Add the chopped pistachio and mix.
  4. Transfer it to a rather narrow container that is deep enough to dip the bavarois in later on. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in room temperature until ready to use.
Assembly

Note: Mind that because I used a cube silicone mould, I could do it in the normal order instead of the upside down way because it wouldn’t affect the result. However, if you desire to use a different silicone mould, you may have to do it the upside down way. 

  1. Put the sponge circle in the centre of the silicone mould. 
  2. Then, put the passionfruit jelly on top of the sponge. Carefully pour in the pistachio bavarois into the mould until full. Remove any excess mousse with a small palette knife. Keep in the freezer for 6-8 hours or preferably overnight before unmoulding. 
  3. After all bavarois is unmoulded, place two toothpicks at either end of the bavarois and dip it in the milk chocolate coating until evenly coated. Gently place the bavarois to a cooling rack to allow the excess coating to drip off. Remove the toothpicks very carefully by twisting them. Store in fridge for 10-15 mins until the chocolate coating is set. Before serving, garnish with gold lustre powder. 
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Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache

This ginger lemon naked cake with lemon swiss meringue buttercream frosting, ginger molasses cookies, and caramelised white chocolate ganache is scrumptiously packed with the delightful aroma of ginger and lemon. It’s a treat that shall be enjoyed around the year! 

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache2Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache6

I made this cake to celebrate my friend’s and my 23rd birthday together. Yes, however reluctant I want to deny it, I just turned 23 and I don’t want time to pass so quickly just yet. Anyway, I had one mission for myself and that is the fact that this cake’s flavour profile had to revolve around her duo favourites: ginger and lemon.  Of course, it would be a crime not to add some soft, chewy ginger molasses cookies to the party. Given the cake’s Christmas vibe, It seems a bit early to make this post but hey, don’t forget there’s “Christmas in July” in Australia so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. That said, my friend, who is always my creative muse, did the cookie antlers and they look absolutely amazing. 

I don’t post pictures of myself here often but I guess birthday is a pretty good excuse huh? 

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache10

The cake itself is addictively delicious – it is buttery, moist and rich with a hint of freshness. To be honest, it’s hard for this flavour combination to go wrong. Let’s talk about a classic ginger cake with tangy lemon icing that you wouldn’t miss at Christmas time. 

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache9

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache4

To make the cake a little bit more interesting, I decided to caramelised white chocolate ganache as the dripping. Why caramelised? I find white chocolate itself too sweet, but caramelising the chocolate makes it taste deeper and toasty. You may want to use a good quality white chocolate with a high cocoa butter percentage for this job. In case you’re wondering, I simply flipped the cake over when the ganache has set on the cake, and you can have this cool reverse drip effect. I hope you all enjoy the cake if you make it! 

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache5

Ginger Lemon Naked Cake with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Ginger Molasses Cookies and Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache8

Ingredients:

Ginger Lemon Cake

  • 380g all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp ground ginger 
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 400g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 250g molasses
  • 4 eggs, room temperature 
  • 180ml milk
  • 120ml sour cream
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of

Ginger Molasses Cookie

  • 270g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g brown sugar 
  • 80g molasses 
  • 1 egg, room temperature 

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

  • 150g egg white
  • 225g caster sugar 
  • Pinch of cream of tar tar 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 Lemon, zest of 
  • 350g unsalted butter, room temperature

Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache 

  • 100g good quality white chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 150g pure cream 
  • 15g soften unsalted butter 

Instructions:

For the ginger lemon cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C)
  2. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly sift in and combine flour,   ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. This is your dry ingredients.
  4. In another mixing bowl, using an electric beater, beat butter, brown sugar and molasses at a medium-high speed until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, to the mixture, and continue to beat until well incorporated. Scrap the bowl when necessary. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sour cream and milk and mix until incorporated. 
  5. Add the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture in three batches. Stir gently with a spatula to combine everything until no flour can be seen. Avoid over-mixing.
  6. Pour the mixture evenly into the three prepared cake tins. Tap the pans several times to break any air bubbles. Bake for around 35 -40  mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in their pans, then take them out and put them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. When the cakes are cooled completely, use a serrated knife to trim the top of each cake until they are all of the same height (around 2-2.5cm), and the top is levelled and smooth. Set aside until ready to use. 
For the Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Add egg whites and sugar to an oil-free bowl. Using a double boiling method, gently heat the egg whites mixture up, while whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 60C (140F).  The sugar should have completely dissolved at this stage.
  2. Add the hot egg white-sugar mixture to your electric mixer mixing bowl (oil-free). Add cream of tar tar to it and whip on high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels cool. This will take about 7-10 mins.
  3. Turn to medium-high speed, gradually add the softened butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrap the bowl when necessary.The buttercream may split at first but panic, just continue beating until a silky smooth texture is reached. Add lemon juice and zest, and beat until well combined. 
  4. Put the buttercream in a piping bag with a round nozzle until ready to use. 
Ginger Molasses Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly sift in and combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. These are your dry ingredients. 
  3. In another mixing bowl, using an electric beater, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses on medium high speed for 4-5 mins until pale and creamy. 
  4. Add egg  to the mixture, and continue to beat at medium speed until well mixed. 
  5. Add the prepared dry ingredients. Beat for another 1-2 mins until well incorporated. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 mins until it firms up a bit for easy rolling later. 
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. After refrigeration, roll the chilled dough into balls, 40g each, and space each one about 2-inches apart on the sheet to allow space for spreading. Flatten the dough a bit with a spoon or your palm. Feel free to reserve some dough to make the butlers or any other shapes to your liking. 
  8. Bake for 8-10 mins (depending on thickness and shape, don’t overbake). The cookies will feel soft when out of the oven but it will account for the chewiness when they cool down. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache
  1. Preheat your oven to 120C (250F). 
  2. Break your white chocolate Into small pieces and place them in a baking tray. Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and use a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. 
  3. Continue to bake and stir every 10 mins, for around 30-40 mins until the chocolate has turned caramelised and golden brown. 
  4. Transfer the caramelised white chocolate into a mixing bowl. 
  5. Heat cream in a saucepan and bring it to almost boil. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 mins, and whisk until the chocolate emulsifies and becomes completely smooth. 
  6. When the ganache has cooled down to 40C. Whisk in the soften butter until fully incorporated. 
  7. Set aside in room temperature until ready to use.
    *Put the ganache into a squeeze bottle if you have one for easier control 
Assemble
  1. Pipe a dollop of buttercream on the centre of the cake stand and place one cake layer on it to secure it. 
  2. Using your piping bag filled with buttercream, pipe a swirl of buttercream on the cake. Using an off set spatula, spread the buttercream carefully to level it out and top it with the second cake layer. 
  3. Repeat Step 2, and top it with the third cake layer. 
  4. Spread the remaining frosting on top and all around the sides using an offset spatular. Use a large bench scraper to smooth out the frosting on the sides of the cake to create the “naked” effect. *Reserve some for frosting the top after you flip the cake and reserve some more to stick the cookies on the cake* 
  5. Refrigerate the cake for 20-30 mins to set.
  6. When the buttercream is set, it’s time to do the dripping. 
  7. If you have prepared the squeeze bottle, apply appropriate pressure to squeeze out ganache on the edge of the cake and let it drop naturally. Alternatively, you can carefully use a spoon for the job. *please check the consistency of ganache at this step – if it’s too firm, microwave for 10 seconds each time until it reaches the right consistency. If it’s too runny, refrigerate until ready to use. *
  8. When the ganache is set on the cake, carefully flip the cake over and use the remaining buttercream to frost the top.
  9. Break the ginger cookies in pieces and stick it on the side of the cake with the reserved buttercream.
  10. Decorate the cake as you like. I painted my ganache drip with gold paint and I used sprinkles, shredded coconut, and shaved chocolate as the toppings. Enjoy! 
2 comments
Chocolate Mud Cake with Chocolate Shards, Honey Comb and Salted Caramel Popcorn

Chocolate Mud Cake

This chocolate mud cake with mint chocolate ganache is a GAME CHANGER. It is essentially your familiar mud cake taken to the next level. The cake is incredibly moist and intensely rich in chocolate flavours, and the mint chocolate ganache rounds it off with a hint of freshness.

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I tailor-made this birthday cake for a client whose son is a huge mint chocolate fans like me. *high five* There were two main requests: mud cake, and mint chocolate. Well, I was thrilled about the order as I could let my imagination run free. As you can see the cake has that mysterious, galaxy vibe thanks to the dark theme and gold sprinkles. With the chocolate shards, honey combs and salted caramel popcorn as the extra elements, this cake cake looks luxurious and captivating, unlike an ordinary mud cake. (Secret: I’ve decided to put it on my menu when I have my own patisserie in the future, and I am gonna name it Mud, lol) 

 

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For the cake base, I used the recipe from Cake Paper Party that yields a rich, moist dark chocolate mud cake. If you are interested, I recommend you to take a look at the recipe as explains how she came up with the best mud cake recipe which makes perfect sense. I poured pure cream and baileys onto my left over chocolate cake and it’s sooo good. 

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I considered using Lindt Intense Mint Chocolate for the  ganache, but I didn’t because I found it so much sweeter than the normal 70% dark chocolate. Therefore, I decided to introduce the mint flavour by adding mint extract, which went extremely well. That said, however, feel free to leave out the mint extract if you prefer to stick with the original dark chocolate taste. I used to have problems making ganache as it would split once I mixed the hot cream and chocolate together. But now I realise the key to making ganache is to let the cream-chocolate mixture sit for around 3 mins before you gently stir it. Also, try to stir as gently as possible as you don’t want to incorporate too many air bubbles into the ganache. 

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Thank you for reading and have a good weekend as always! 

Ingredients :

Dark Chocolate Cake (the cake batter is enough to pour into two 8 inch cake pans, each cut into two layers) 

  • 220g unsalted butter
  • 200g dark chocolate, broke into small pieces 
  • 350g caster sugar 
  • 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 300ml hot water 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 3 eggs, room temperature 
  • 280g all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 

Mint Chocolate Ganache 

  • 2 tbsp mint extract 
  • 400g dark chocolate 
  • 500ml pure cream 
  • 50g soften unsalted butter 

Chocolate shards with gold sprinkles

  • 200g dark chocolate (I tempered my chocolate using XX)
  • Gold sprinkles 

Honey comb

  • 300g granulated sugar 
  • 150g honey 
  • 80ml water 
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp baking soda 

Salted Caramel Popcorn 

  • 100g salted caramel (find the recipe here) 
  • Popcorn *I used the plain microwave-popcorn and mixed it with homemade salted caramel, or you can directly buy salted caramel popcorn if that’s what you prefer

Instructions:

Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with melted butter. Line the pan bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter and whisk until completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can use the microwave, but check every 30 seconds.
  3. Mix the instant coffee powder and hot water. Set aside to let cool a bit until ready to use.
  4. Whisk in sugar and then cocoa powder into chocolate-butter mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Slowly add hot coffee in 3 additions while whisking constantly until fully incorporate.
  6. Add vanilla and then the eggs( one at a time).
  7. Now, prepare the dry ingredients by sifting flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another mixing bowl with a beater attachment. Beat in low speed for 30 seconds to combine.
  8. While the mixer is still on low speed, slowly pour in the chocolate mixture.
  9. Change to medium high speed, beat for 1 min. Scrap the bottom and continue beating for 30 seconds until smooth.
  10. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for about 35 mins or until a skewer inserted into the cake’s centre comes out clean.
  11. Let cool in pans for 10 mins before you take the cake out to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  12. Cut each cake into two 1.5-cm thick layers with a cake cutter or serrated knife. Set aside until ready to use.

Mint Chocolate Ganache

  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan, boil cream and pour onto the chocolate.
  3. Let sit for 3 mints before gently stirring it until incorporated.
  4. When the mixture is cooled to around 35C. Stir in the butter and whisk until fully mixed.
  5. Cool the mixture using an ice bath until the ganache reaches a pipable consistency.
  6. Put the ganache into a pipe bag with a 6mm round nozzle.

Honey Comb

  1. Line a flat, big tray with parchment paper. Set aside until ready to use. And you will need a sugar thermometer.
  2. Put sugar, honey, water, and golden syrup in a large saucepan with enough depth. Cook, while stirring continuously with a spatula, on low heat until all sugar dissolves.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to boil. Cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 154C on the thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and let the bubbles subside.
  4. Add the baking soda and mix thoroughly to let the reaction occur. Many bubbles will form and the mixture will rise so please be careful. Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and set aside to cool completely.
  5. Break the honeycomb to pieces to your preferences.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

  1. Mix the salted caramel and popcorns together until the popcorns are evenly coated with salted caramel. 

*if your salted caramel is a bit firm, microwave for 20-30 seconds so that they can evenly coat the popcorn. 

Tempered Chocolate shards

  1. temper the chocolate and spread it thinly on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  2. Put some gold sprinkles on top of the chocolate before they’re completely set. 
  3. Break them into pieces to your liking.

Assemble

  1. Place one layer of cake onto a cake turntable and top it by piping ganache in a swirling motion. Smoothen the ganache with palette knife. Repeat with the second and third cake layer, and then last layer of cake. Frost the cake with remaining frosting.
  2. Decorate with chocolate shards, honey combs and salted caramel popcorn. Enjoy!

 

8 comments
Enchanted – Mint Chocolate & Strawberry Concord Cake

This mesmerising-looking cake is my take on the Concord Cake – a double chocolate cake that perfectly combines chocolate meringue sticks and chocolate mousse with homemade strawberry jam in between. This recipe is adapted from the Concord recipe by Kirsten Tibballs – the master of chocolate – as I borrowed her book Chocolate at the school library a while ago which I absolutely loved. I am not kidding, for a huge chocolate lover like me, I want to make EVERY SINGLE item listed in the book. In particular, I couldn’t take my eyes off her Concord as it looked so interesting and challenging to make.

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Yet, as you all know I always like to do a little bit adjustment to an existent recipe to make it more satisfying. This time, I straight away knew that I had to incorporate the classic combination of strawberry and mint to this chocolate cake, as the acidity of strawberry and the freshness of mint would balance out the richness of chocolate. Also, as I immediately associated the appearance of Concord cake to forest the moment I saw it, I wanted to accentuate the “forest ambience” through my presentation.

Anyway, this concord cake is meant to be:

  1. Delicious
  2. Fascinating
  3. Fun

Well, it was really a lot of fun to make this Concord cake. I understand that it might look very complicated but let me assure you that it’s really just a piece of cake & so much easier than you’d expect! Basically, all you have to do is make the meringue, pipe and bake them, and meanwhile you can prepare the chocolate mousse and the jam. Then you can start assembling the cake the way you like it. Easy, right?

 

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What’s even better is, that you can let your creativity run wild as the flavour combination for this cake is literally infinite – oreo/matcha/rainbow meringue stick, infuse some flavours for your chocolate mousse, or introduce new toppings etc.  This time, my friend helped me use food colouring to paint some wooden patterns on the meringue sticks and I was shocked at how authentic they looked! 

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To let you all understand how to construct this cake more easily, I asked my talented friend to draw me a step by step illustration below that’d help tremendously.

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To finish off the cake, I put some mint leaves, raspberries, strawberries, pistachios, shaved chocolate to add some colour and texture, and I am really happy about its final look. Don’t even begin to ask me how to cut the cake properly because YOU CAN’T, just tear the meringue sticks apart and share the cake unapologetically 😉  So that’s my Concord Cake and I hope you like it. Let’s make the magic happen, shall we?

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Ingredients (adapted from Kirsten Tibballs’s Chocolate):

Chocolate Meringue Sticks

  • 55g dutch process cocoa powder
  • 120 icing sugar
  • 200g egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tar tar
  • 150g caster sugar

Mint Chocolate Mousse

  • 255g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 150ml pure cream (a)
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 230ml pure cream (b)
  • 1 tsp mint extract


Strawberry Jam

  • 125g fresh strawberry
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions:

Chocolate Meringue Sticks

  1. Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar together.
  2. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to medium peaks and gradually add the caster sugar (Don’t add the sugar with the egg whites straight in the beginning as the egg whites won’t whisk well). Once all the sugar is added, continue whisking for 1 minute so all the sugar dissolves (You can feel if all the sugar is dissolved by rubbing the meringue between your fingers). Using a spatula, gently fold through the coao powder and icing sugar mixture (Try not to knock out the air in the meringue, be as gently as you can). Stop folding once all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Transfer just over half to a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle.
  3. Preheat the oven to 140C. You will need a baking tray topped with a parchment paper. Trace three 16cm circles onto the paper. Turn the paper over and pipe the meringue into 3 discs; start from the centre and pipe it outwards. *you can pipe some meringue under the baking paper to help stick it to the tray
  4. Line a separate baking tray with baking paper. Put the remaining meringue in a piping bag with 8-mm plain nozzle. Pipe individual lines the length of the tray approximately 1 cm apart on the tray. Bake both trays of meringue for approximately 1 hour or until the meringue is crunchy. Cool the meringue at room temperature.

Mint Chocolate Mousse

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream (a) in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour it over the chocolate, let it sit for 3 mins before stirring it with a whisk by hand until the chocolate is melted and combined. When the mixture cools to around body temperature, add the butter and whisk again until incorporated to create a ganache. Leave the ganache at room temperature and set aside to cool down.
  2. Meanwhile Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or by hand, whisk the cream (b) to a semi-whipped consistency and set it aside in the refrigerator until the ganache cools down. Once the ganache is ready, fold through the chilled semi-whipped cream. Add mint extract and mix gently.


Strawberry Jam

  1. Bring sugar and strawberry in a saucepan on high heat for around 2 mins until all sugar has dissolved. Mash raspberries with a fork as you go.
  2. Turn to medium heat, continue to cook the jam until it’s thickened enough to your liking. Ideally, it should be smooth and spreadable. 
  3. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Transfer the jam into airtight jar for later use.

 

5 comments
Mini Chocolate Cake with Italian Meringue, Raspberry, and Shaved Chocolate

Chocolate_sour_cream_cake_with_meringue_raspberry_and_shaved_chocolate4These mini chocolate cakes are amazingly moist and rich in chocolate flavours, and the marshmallowy toasted Italian meringue would simply melt in your mouth like a dream! I also used fresh raspberry and shaved chocolate as the toppings, because this time I want to keep the recipe as simple as possible, and these are the flavours that just go perfectly together. And the best part? They look fancy but they’re also incredibly easy to make – win win!

 

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Also, I think you’ve already noticed it, BUT I WILL TELL YOU ALSO – I have done a make over for my blog today! To be honest, changing the appearance of my blog had been on my to-do list for quite some time because this blog is my creative outlet and I want it to speak volumes about who I am and my aesthetics. I am really happy with how my blog looks right now.

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I made these cakes at the same night I made the earl grey honey cake. I usually wouldn’t dare to make two desserts on the same day here in Sydney- because firstly, although pastry chefs should be the master of multitasking, but I still prefer focusing on photographing and sharing one recipe with you guys before I move on to the other; and secondly, there are definitely too many cakes piling up in my fridge already (like always). However, I made these cakes spontaneously as I had too much left over sour cream, meringue, chocolate, fresh raspberry (and the list goes on and on and on…), and I just couldn’t bare not creating something else out of them. I added instant coffee and my beloved coffee liqueur to the cake mix to enhance the chocolate taste. For those who aren’t the biggest fan of coffee, don’t worry, as the addition of coffee is just to intensify the chocolate flavour.

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And as you can see my random project turns out successful and I shamelessly brought them to my classmates who obviously have had too much cake in their daily lives already. I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know how it goes if you try it out! Have a nice weekend everyone 🙂

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake

  • 240g all-purpose flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g butter
  • 200g white granulated sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100g melted dark chocolate
  • 150g sour cream
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder (melted in 60ml hot water)
  • 120 ml milk

Italian meringue

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla

125g fresh raspberry

chocolate decorations

Instructions:

Chocolate cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175C) . Line your cake mould with melted butter. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Melt coffee powder in 60ml hot water. Stir until the coffee dissolves completely. Set aside to let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift and combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. These are your dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until creamy and smooth. This will take around 4-5 mins.
  5. Slowly add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, and continue beating for 2 mins.
  6. Add melted chocolate and sour cream, beat until incorporated.
  7. Turn to low speed, add the cooled coffee mixture and milk; mix until smooth.
  8. In 3 batches, pour the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture, and gently stir with a spatula until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  9. Fill your cake mould to nearly full and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake’s centre comes out clean. Take the cakes out from the mould once they have slightly cooled down. Let cool completely until ready to assemble.

Italian Meringue

  1. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  2. When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites (pour the hot syrup on the side of the mixing bowl to avoid cooking the egg whites). Add Vanilla,  turn the mixer to high speed and continue beating for about 5-7 mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed.

Assemble
Using your favourite piping nozzle, pipe the meringue onto the cake and lightly toast them with a blowtorch. Top it with raspberries and chocolate.




2 comments
Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue



These mini Earl Grey Honey Cake with Passion Fruit Curd and Toasted Italian Meringue are perfect for an afternoon party to feed  your guests! They are bursting with fruity freshness with a subtle citrus tone, not to mention the cake’s melt-in-your-mouth soft texture.



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The background story of this creation can be traced to the madeira cake I made at school at the beginning of this term. Medeira cake is a simple citrus cake served with tea or sweet wine; it has a golden brown surface and light yellow interior, and is characterised by its close crumb structure because of its specific making method. I loved this cake when I first tried it because it got the texture that I liked and it’s so simple yet delicious. Yet, this time for my own creation, I, of course, changed things up a bit with some additional elements to make the cake interesting.

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To pair with the sweet, citrus taste from the earl grey honey cake, I decided to use passion fruit curd and some toasted meringue. I have eaten passion fruit desserts before outside but It’s actually my first time to buy passion fruit in my life (I know right..). And I realised I’d been missing out such a great fruit! The moment I cut it open, the fragrance coming out from it was just heavenly and I could instantly well imagine how good it would taste with some greek yogurt and honey for breakfast.

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Also, I also grasped today’s free time to practise tempering chocolate. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but tempering chocolate gives me a headache most of the time and sometimes it gets really frustrating. Luckily, today I did manage to temper chocolate and make some simple decoration successfully. I will need to temper chocolate again the coming week and I hope today’s experience is gonna give me more confidence. Anyway, I hope that you all like this recipe and have a fruitful week ahead of you! (pun intended)


Ingredients (makes around 15 mini cakes) :

Earl Grey Honey Cake

  • 180g cake flour
  • 100g corn flour
  • 80g almond meal
  • 4 earl grey tea bags, loose leaves of
  • 5g baking powder
  • Salt, pinch of
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 50g sour cream
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod

Passion fruit curd 

Italian Meringue

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2  tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Earl Grey Honey Cake 

  1. Boil milk, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, and vanilla beans in a pot. Let it infused until ready to use.  
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest in the last minute of mixing.
  3. Add eggs SLOWLY until all incorporated (only add more eggs until they are fully incorporated or you’d risk curdling the mixture; also, mind that the eggs should be at room temperature/slightly warm to achieve the best result)
  4. While the eggs are mixing, prepare and sift your dry ingredients (i.e. cake flour, almond meal, 2 bags of earl grey loose leaves, baking powder, and salt). Gently fold in dry ingredients into the butter mix until just incorporated (don’t over mix)
  5. Slowly add earl grey-infused milk, lemon juice and sour cream. Mix until just incorporated.
  6. Put the batter into a piping bag and pipe evenly into silicon mould. Tap the mould to release air bubbles. Bake at 180C for 25-30 mins until golden brown. Let cool. 

Passion fruit curd 

  1. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and add to the passion fruit curd while it’s still warm.
  2. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until they start to set*

*They set pretty fast so please be ready to pipe when they reach the ideal consistency.

Italian Meringue

  1. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  2. When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites (pour the hot syrup on the side of the mixing bowl to avoid cooking the egg whites). Turn the mixer to high speed and continue beating for about 5-7 mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed.

P.S When you assemble the cakes, you should first pipe the meringue AND toast them, before you pipe the passion fruit curd to avoid melting the curd.

 Yum




7 comments
Zuger Kirschtorte with a raspberry twist (with review of the 1st week of final practical assessment @LCB)



Hello again, I’m quite excited about this post because I just had my first practical assessment week and I could do a little review (YAYY!!). One major part of this week’s assessment is making French puff pastry, which was needed to make vol-au-vent, bouchee, and palmier. Learning to make puff pastry myself was quite a journey; yes, it is a long and technical process but hey, it’s actually very fun and rewarding when you see the result. Although I still panicked everytime I used the dough sheeter ( the chance of dropping the pastry on the ground is so high, well at least for me, if you don’t pay enough attention), I successfully produced puff pastry products that rose beautifully and were flaky and buttery :). Sorry that I didn’t take any pictures of them as I was too preoccupied that day.

Other assessment items for the week include linzer torte, baklava, coffee eclairs and fruit flan. I didn’t get to practise on linzer torte because I got sick last week; luckily, it was a rather straightforward dessert with an elegant look. Also, we had to make baklava, a rich buttery dessert made of layers of filo pastry filled with grinded nuts soaked with syrup. I wasn’t a big fan of baklava as I found it too heavy when I first tasted it a few weeks back then, but I realised that it tasted so much better when served cool/cold.

Linzer Torte

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Coffee eclairs and fruit flan were the last assessment items for this week. As we did a lot of mise en place the day before (i.e. pastry cream and sweet pastry dough), it was the most relaxing day among all. When I made my eclairs yesterday, my choux pastry got too liquidy as I added too much egg. So I had to quickly make another choux pastry without falling behind my schedule too much. Luckily I got back on track and got to finish and present my items on time. What a relief!

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At this point, you may wonder what we will be mainly making for our final assessment next monday. It’s Zuger Kirschtorte. Zuger Kirschtorte is a traditional layer cake from Switzerland with layered with japonaise (almond-meringue),  kirschwasser flavoured génoise  sponge, and buttercream. Normally, the outer layer of the cake is coated with flaked almond as well. I absolutely love this cake because of its intricate complexity – it is layered with various elements working together to create beautiful textures and flavour combinations.

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For the recipe I am sharing here*, it holds the essence of the cake with a raspberry twist. I decided to incorporate raspberry to the cake for three reasons. Firstly, the buttercream has to be pink for the final assessment, maybe for aesthetic reasons (?), so I reckon raspberry would be a good choice to fit the color. Secondly, the tangy and sweet flavours of raspberry would complement the richness of buttercream perfectly. Thirdly, they look so damn good as decoration no? This cake is perfect for celebration, especially when it’s in this ridiculously adorable pink color haha. Finger crossed that I can successfully finish making this cake next monday! Enjoy the weekend 🙂

*Recipe and Instructions given are adapted from those provided by Le Cordon Bleu.Zuger Kirsch Torte (with raspberry twist) 2

Zuger Kirsch Torte (with raspberry twist) 4Zuger Kirsch Torte (with raspberry twist) 1

Génoise  sponge

Ingredients:

 

  • 100g whole eggs, room temperature
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 65g plain flour
  • 20g melted butter

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven at 190C.
  2. Grease and line a 6 inch pan.
  3. Using an electric mixter, mix eggs, vanilla, and sugar on medium speed until thick and pale (or ribbon stage is reached).
  4. Fold in sifted flour and melted butter alternatively. Gently mix until no flour is visible.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake at 190C for 15-18 mins until golden brown, or when a skewer inserted into the cake’s centre comes out clean. Let cool and unmold the cake. Cut a slice of the cake (around 2 cm thick) with a serrated knife; set aside.

 

Japonaise

Ingredients:

 

  • 95g egg whites
  • 60g caster sugar
  • pinch of cream of tar tar
  • 20g corn flour, sifted
  • 95g ground almond
  • 70g caster sugar

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven at 170C.
  2. Using an electric mixer (make sure the whisk and bowl are oil-free), beat egg whites and cream of tar tar on high speed until stiff. Gradually add in sugar and mix for another 2 mins.
  3. Mix corn flour, ground almond, and caster sugar in a bowl. These are your dry ingredients; set aside.
  4. Fold in half of the egg white mix to the dry ingredients. Mix gently.
  5. Add the remaining egg white mix and gently blend until just incorporated. Important: be as gentle as you can in this step. Don’t overmix to avoid the mixture from becoming too thin.Put the batter into a piping bag with a plain round nozzle. Pipe two 6 inch discs onto silicone paper.
  6. Bake at 170C for 20-25 mins until golden brown.

 

Kirsch syrup

Ingredients:

 

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g water
  • 30ml kirsch

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Bring the sugar and water to the boil.
  2. When cooled, add the Kirsch.

 

Raspberry vanilla italian buttercream

Ingredients:

 

  • 160g caster sugar
  • 40ml water
  • 100g egg white
  • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature and chopped to small cubes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp raspberry jam
  • few drops of red food coloring

 

Instructions:

 

  • In a medium pot, boil sugar and water.
  • When syrup reaches 110 C, start whisking egg whites with an electic mixer on high speed.
  • When syrup reaches 118C, add syrup in a fast stream (be careful with the hot syrup!) to the egg whites. Continue whisking until the mixture is light and cooled to room temperature.
  • Add butter to the italian meringue piece by piece. Add raspberry jam. Continue mixing until no butter cubes are visible, and the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
  • Set aside for frosting.

 

Homemade raspberry jam (can substitute store-bought jam):

Ingredients:

 

  • 125g fresh raspberry
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

 

Instructions:

 

  • Bring sugar and raspberries in a saucepan on high heat for around 2 mins until all sugar has dissolved. Mash raspberries with a fork as you go.
  • Turn to medium heat, continue to cook the jam until it’s thickened enough to your liking.
  • Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  • Transfer the jam into airtight jar for later use.

 

Assembly

  • Assemble gateau using two discs of japonaise sandwiched with raspberry jam, buttercream and Genoise sponge soaked with kirsch syrup.

In other words,

 

  1. Firstly put a disc of japonaise as the cake base.
  2. Then, pipe 1 cm thick of italian buttercream. Spread raspberry jam on top of italian buttercream.
  3. Add the sponge cake. Generously brush the kirsch syrup onto the sponge cake until it’s well soaked.
  4. Repeat step 2.
  5. Put the 2nd disc of japonaise on top of the sponge cake.
  6. Frost the cake with italian buttercream and decorate it with garnishes to your liking.

 

Choice of garnish

 

  • Flaked almond
  • Fresh raspberry
  • Chopped roasted pistachios

 

 Yum




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