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Paris Brest with Pistachio Praline Creme Patissiere Filling

This Paris Brest with Pistachio Praline Creme Patisserie Filling is a classic French dessert that’s made to impress – it has a airy choux pastry with a smooth, nutty pastry cream filling. For this version, I made my own pistachio praline (it’s easy, I promise!) and topped my choux with pearl sugar for some extra crunch. The fun fact about Paris Brest: it was created by chef Louis Durand in 1910 to celebrate a bicycle race from Paris to Brest with a traditional hazelnut praline cream filling. Its circular is to mimic the shape of the wheels.

I have written a detailed guide to making the perfect choux pastry for my charcoal black sesame cream puff – please refer to it if you feel like some extra help!

Hello my old friends, I AM BACK. If you’re here for the first time, welcome. This come back post means the world to me. Away from this blog for over 8 months, I have decided to come back and write about food and life. Over the past 10 months, I had been working as a junior pastry chef at a local bakery in Sydney. However hard it is to admit, I was constantly preoccupied with working in big commercial kitchens, and I gradually lost interest in pastry myself. Although I did gain a lot of skills and techniques at work (which I am incredibly grateful for), I felt stuck and I was mentally & physically exhausted; I lived like a zombie without purpose.

Good news is, my full-time work placement has come to an end lately, and I have some time to sit down and organise my thoughts. I’ve come to realise what I want for my career – I want to teach people how to make desserts, overcome their fears in the kitchen and essentially bring positive influence to the world through food.

Paris Brest with Pistachio Praline Creme Patissiere Filling

A little secret: Starting my own cake business and Youtube Channel has been my goal for quite some time, but somehow I constantly let self-doubt got the best of me. There’re millions of talented pastry chefs out there, and I realised my fear of failing had been my biggest obstacle. A friend of mine recently reminded me that EVERYONE FAILS at some point in their life, and it’s merely part of the process to be successful. It’s time to set aside all my worries and just start doing it. What I am going to gain in the coming months is totally unknown, but I hope to experiment as much as I can, fail as much as I need to, and just grow as I go. And I hope you all will here to witness and be part of my journey. 🙂

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry

  • 200g water
  • 200g milk
  • 8g sugar
  • 8g salt
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 220g all purpose flour
  • 400g eggs

Pastry Cream

  • 450ml milk + 50ml milk 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g egg yolk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 60g corn flour
  • 40g unsalted butter

Pistachio Praline

  • 1 cup pistachio
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

Choux pastry 

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Prepare a baking tray sprayed with cooking oil. Remove excess oil with a tissue paper. Set aside.
  2. Bring water, milk, salt, butter and sugar in a saucepan to a boil.
  3. Turn off heat, add all purpose flour all at once.
  4. Turn back on the stove to low heat, keep cooking while vigorously stirring with a big spoon for around 2-3 mins. It is ready when it forms a shiny, smooth dough that pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. You should see a skin forming at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl, and use paddle to beat on medium-high speed for around 10 mins to let cool.  Meanwhile, fully beat the eggs in a measuring cup and set aside.
  6. When the dough is cool to touch, beat the dough on medium-high speed and slowly add the eggs (only add around ¼ of the egg mixture each time). When the mixture is well combined and the eggs have been incorporated, add gradually another batch of the eggs mixture and continue beating. Repeat the process until the mixture is thick, shiny and it falls nicely when you lift it up with a scraper. (The amount of egg that you add will vary, depending on the weather or how much the flour absorbs moisture. You might have to add extra egg, or you might have some eggs to hold back.)
  7. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag topped with a star nozzle. Massage the bag with your hand to remove any air bubbles. Hold the bag and nozzle perpendicularly to the prepared tray, and pipe rounds of the desired size. Leave at least 4 cm in between each choux to allow space for expansion. Sprinkle chopped pistachio and pearl sugar on top if desired.
  8. Bake at 220C for 15 mins until risen up and golden. Lower the temperature to 160C, and open the oven door to release the steam for 15 seconds. Close the oven door and continue baking for 10-15 mins until the choux feels firm and dry.
  9. Place the choux in another tray to cool for 10 mins.
  10. Cut the top of the choux with a serrated knife, as the “cap” of the Paris brest. Do this step once your choux is cooled and firm enough to cut as it helps the moisture trapped inside to escape and prevent the choux from becoming soggy.
  11. Leave them at room temperature until ready to assemble.

Pastry Cream 

  1. Put 450ml milk and vanilla bean paste in a sauce pan and bring to boil. 
  2. While milk is being heated, add the remaining 50ml milk, egg yolks, caster sugar, corn flour in a mixing bowl, and mix with a whisk until a smooth paste is formed. 
  3. As soon as the milk starts to bubble, pour 2/3 of the milk, while continuously whisking, to the egg mix to temper the egg mix, then pour everything back to the sauce pan. 
  4. While whisking vigorously, heat the custard base over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat when the custard comes to a boil and starts to bubble. This should take around 2 mins. 
  5. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter until completely incorporated. 
  6. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic cling wrap (to prevent the formation of skin on the surface). Set aside in fridge until ready to use. 

Pistachio praline

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and spread pistachio evenly in a single layer on it. Set aside. 
  2. Put sugar and water in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat. Mix with a spatula to ensure no sugar lumps are stuck at the bottom. Boil the syrup over high heat without any stirring until it reaches a golden amber colour. (To avoid crystallisation of sugar, run a wet pastry brush around the inside of the pot once in a while) 
  3. Immediately pour the hot syrup (It’s extremely hot, be careful) over the pistachio. Set aside for 15-20mins for the caramel to set. 
  4. Break into small pieces and put in a food processor. Process the praline to a coarse crumb. Store in airtight container. 

Assembly:
To prepare the pistachio praline pastry cream, beat 500g pastry cream with a paddle on low speed until smooth, and add 50g pistachio praline. Mix until incorporated. To assemble, pipe cream in circular motion onto the base of the choux pastry and top it gently. 

5 comments
Yuen Yeung – Hong Kong Style Milk Tea & Coffee Panna Cotta with Flourless Chocolate Cake and Feuilletine

This stunning Hong Kong-inspired Milk Tea and Coffee Panna Cotta with Flourless Chocolate Cake is a winner – smooth and creamy in every bite as it harmoniously combines the flavours of coffee and milk tea!   

Yuen Yeung - Milk Tea Coffee Panna Cotta with Flourless Chocolate Cake3

 

The inspiration of this dessert comes from the famous, humble Yuen Yeung well beloved by all Hong Kongers. Yuen Yeung (in Cantonese pronunciation), commonly known as Kopi Cham in Malaysia, is a popular beverage in Hong Kong’s cha chaan teng. Mixing strong coffee and Hong Kong style milk tea in the right ratio, you get a sweet and creamy drink that’s perfect served either hot or cold.

I transformed the concept into a two-layer panna cotta with the addition of flourless chocolate cake and some golden feuilletine. I always like the idea of making panna cotta in a wine glass, well, maybe because to me the shine of the glass automatically elevates the look of the final result.  Am I right? 

Yuen Yeung - Milk Tea Coffee Panna Cotta with Flourless Chocolate Cake

Just a little update of my recent life – I’ve been working hard for my placement and my body apparently wasn’t used to the high physical demand from work and it crashed… So here I am, snuggling up in blanket resting, while writing this post after much delay.

 

Yuen Yeung - Milk Tea Coffee Panna Cotta with Flourless Chocolate Cake2

My friend mentioned the word “adulting” when we chatted a few days ago, and the word just hits me. I guess “adulting” is something that can only be understood when experienced yourself. After I got my full time job, my life has been so preoccupied that my days seem to be set on repeat. Workplace is so much different from school – at school, when you screw up, it is all expected and there’ll be teachers to correct you and show you the right ways to do things; but in workplace, you got more responsibility on your shoulders and when you screw up, you screw up. It makes me feel the need to pay more attention to details while multitasking in the kitchen. Well.. at the end of the day, one thing that doesn’t change is that pastry fuels me.

P.S And you might have noticed that the styling of this series of pictures is different from the rest. It is all thanks to my newly bought “photography box” with its own LED lights. It is an immense help to me with my busy schedule, in the sense that I no longer have to solely rely on the sunlight as my light source for my photoshoot! But obviously I still need to learn more about how to use it properly. I hope you will enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients:

Milk Tea Jelly

  • 20g caster sugar
  • 250g water
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 250g evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • 50g cold water

Coffee Panna Cotta

  • 50g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 300g cream
  • 100g full-cream milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • 50 g cold water

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 80g egg yolks
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 120g egg white
  • 140g almond meal

Notes:

  1. I created the layer effect by positioning the glass on a circular cutter in a way that the glass tilts. Therefore, before you start doing anything, make sure you have the right glass and a cutter that serves the purpose.
  2. The bottom layer has to set completely (which takes about 4 hours) before the second layer is poured in. So you need to plan ahead.

Directions:

Milk Tea Jelly

  1. Bloom the gelatin with cold water.
  2. Put caster sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to a light boil. Turn the heat off. Put in the bloomed gelatin and mix with a whisk until completely dissolved.
  3. Put the tea bag into the water-gelatin mixture, and let the tea infuse for 20-30 mins. After the infusion, squeeze out all the liquid inside the tea bag before throwing them away.
  4. Add evaporated milk and mix gently.
  5. Pour the mixture into the glasses, and put the glass onto a circular cutter, and tilt it to an angle that you want. Keep in fridge to set for around 4 hours. (you can prepare the flourless chocolate cake meanwhile)

Coffee Panna Cotta

  1. Bloom the gelatin with cold water
  2. Put brown sugar, coffee powder, cream in a saucepan and bring it to a light boil. Turn the heat off. Put in the bloomed gelatin and mix with a whisk until completely dissolved.
  3. Add in the milk and mix gently. 
  4. When the milk tea jelly is set. Remove the cutter and pour the mixture into the glass. Keep in fridge to set for another 4 hours.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Note: as we are just using pieces of this chocolate cake as the topping, you can use whatever cake mould you want to suit your purposes. I used a 23cm square cake tin.

  1. Grease and line your cake tin. Set aisde. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt butter. Add dark chocolate and whisk until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add in brown sugar and egg yolks. Whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Make meringue (soft peak) with egg whites and caster sugar.
  5. Fold ⅓ of the meringue into the chocolate mixture and combine well.
  6. Fold in the almond meal.
  7. Fold in the remaining ⅔ meringue into the mixture and combine well.
  8. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake at 160C for 45-50mins, or until a skewered inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Assembly:

  1. Take out some pieces from the flourless chocolate cakes with your hand and carefully put on top of the panna cotta. If desired, put some Feuilletine coated with gold lustre powder like I did.
  2. Enjoy the dessert cold.

 

2 comments
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. 
3 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.

Chocolate Mud Cake2

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) 

 

Chocolate Mud Cake4

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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Chocolate Mud Cake3

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. 

IMG_8708

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
Zen – Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle

This matcha almond tart with swiss meringue and sesame brittle wonderfully plays with the popular Japanese dessert flavours – Matcha and Sesame. The earthy taste of the matcha almond filling pairs perfectly with the caramel, nutty taste of the sesame brittle that’s on top of the dreamy toasted Swiss meringue.  

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame BrittleMatcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle7

This tart came as a total surprise for me, because I originally made the matcha almond filling for Mont Blanc, a classic French dessert that’s made with chestnut puree and meringue. Unfortunately, there were lots of issues in the making and the mont blanc didn’t turn out as well as I expected so I decided to use the filling for something else. I promise you all that I will perfect my mont blanc recipe and share with you when the time comes around!

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle3

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle6

And I do want to talk a bit more about the sweet pastry here. I recently bought some new tart rings that I had been craving for so long due to its more sophisticated finish. There’re quite a few methods out there to line pastry into these circular rings. After testing out on all the methods, I do find that the method of cutting out a larger circle of pastry and directly fit that in to the ring is the easiest and the most guaranteed. If you wanna watch how to do it in a video, I’d recommend Cupcake Jemma’s tutorial video  Alternatively, you can also cut out circles of pastry that are almost the same size as the base of your tart ring, as well as strips of pastry to fit as the sides. And you are gonna push the edge of the base to stick with the strips. Personally, I do find this a bit more tricky as sometimes as the pastry is too dry, the strips won’t stick too well with the base and they’ll separate when baked.

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle4

As you’d all notice, I am recently super obsessed with meringue (the feeling of blow-torching meringue is just incomparably satisfying), so I decided to incorporate it into this tart to add another layer of texture. From top to bottom, you get the crispiness of the sesame brittle, the softness of the swiss meringue, the creaminess of the matcha almond filling, and the crunch of the sweet pastry. I chose to use Swiss meringue this time because I wanted it to be firmer and finer to top the tart with. And I adjusted the sweetness of the meringue recipe so it won’t be overwhelmingly sweet. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Matcha Almond Tart with Swiss Meringue and Sesame Brittle2

 

Ingredients (make 6 small tart):

Sweet Tart Crust

  • 125g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes 
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 250g all purpose flour
  • 55g whole egg, beaten

Matcha Almond Filling

  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp milk

Swiss Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Sesame Brittle:

  • 60g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 30g water
  • 1/4 salt  

Instructions:

Sweet Tart Crust

  1. Rub together cold butter, sugar and flour to a fine crumb.
  2. Add egg and mix to a dough.
  3. Wrap dough with plastic and rest in the refrigerator to firm up until needed.
  4. While your dough is resting, preheat your oven to 180C.
  5. Dust your work surface with flour to avoid sticking. Roll pastry to 3mm thick and line into 6 small tart rings.
  6. Poke holes on the pastry with a fork and put it back into the fridge to rest for 30 mins.
  7. Blind bake for around 10 mins until slightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack. *Don’t bake until golden brown at this stage as the tart will continue to bake when you bake the filling*

Matcha Almond Filling

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and fluffy. It will take around 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg and beat until incorporated.
  3. Add almond meal and matcha powder into the sugar-butter-egg mixture. Mix with a spatula until it forms a paste.
  4. Add milk and mix until incorporated.
  5. If your tart shells are ready by now, fill them with the matcha almond filling (only to 85% full as they expand when baked) and bake for 10 mins. Let cool completely.

Swiss meringue

  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 140F (60C).  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). 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.

Sesame Brittle

  1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, continue stirring until the mixture reaches 260°F (127C). Add the sesame seeds and continue cooking while stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 350°F (177C). Stop cooking if you see the mixture turns into a golden brown color.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared parchment paper, spreading it with a palette knife into an even, thin layer. Set aside to cool until firm.
  4. Once the brittle is cooled, break it into pieces of your desired size.

Assemble:

  1. Spoon or pipe the swiss meringue on the tarts and create some “peaks’ with a spoon.
  2. Insert the sesame brittles into the meringue.
  3. Toast the meringue with a blowtorch.
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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




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Banana Salted Caramel Mascarpone Parfait




This banana salted caramel mascarpone parfait is everything you’re looking for as a party dessert or romantic dessert for two – it has its own visual impact while pleasing your palate to the last bit. It is intricately layered with light mascarpone cream, banana slices, biscuit crumbs, salted caramel, and topped with salted caramel cream and cocoa powder.




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The idea of making this parfait came up more than a month ago, but I was hesitant to make it because I didn’t have (and didn’t want to spend extra money to buy) the glasses that I thought were the best fit for the parfait. Students’ problems. However, for some reasons, I gave in as the urge of making this dessert became irresistbably strong when I was making tiramisu at work. As you can see, the plastic containers that I decided to use surprisingly looked good in the end!

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This mascarpone cream is essentially the cream used for tiramisu – it’s light and airy using just the simplest ingredients for baking. The recipe for the mascarpone cream is not sweet at all so it’s preferable to use riped bananas and, of course, you can go a little bit crazy with the salted caramel drizzles! To me, the key to a heart-winning parfait is having different layers and textures that well complement each other. For this reason, I added biscuit crumbs in the middle layer as the needed crunch among the smooth. Also, just to accentuate the flavours of salted caramel, I mixed it with the remaining mascarpone cream and pipe little cute blobs dusted with cocoa powder on top as the finishing touch. A small reminder: as the cocoa powder absorbs moisture very quickly after dusting, you should only dust it right before serving.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 50g  salted caramel* (to mix with cream)
  • 80g salted caramel (to drizzle)
  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • 70g biscuit, crushed
    * I used the Homemade Salted Caramel recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction for this parfait.

Mascarpone cream

  • 350 mascarpone cheese
  • 250g pure cream (semi-whipped)
  • Sabayon:
    • 2 whole eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 100g caster sugar  
  • Meringue:
    • 2 egg white
    • 35g caster sugar

 

Instructions:

  1. Semi-whip cream and keep it in fridge until ready to use.
  2. Make meringue by whipping egg white and caster sugar until stiff peak. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. While the meringue is whipping. Put and whisk well egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar in bowl. Heat the mixture over bain marie while stirring occasionally to 65C. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer on high speed to make sabayon (it’s also called the ribbon stage when the egg mixture becomes pale yellow and thick).
  4. Turn to low speed, add mascarpone cheese to sabayon and mix until incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the meringue in 2 times until just incorporated. Then, gently fold in the whipped cream just until the mixture becomes homogeneous.
  6. Reserve 200g of cream in the mixing bowl, transfer the remaining mixture to a piping bag topped with a round nozzle.
  7. Add 50g salted caramel to the mixing bowl, mix with the reserved cream on medium cream until well mixed. Set aside.  

Assemble:

  1. Pipe a layer of mascarpone cream into each mould.
  2. Sprinkle biscuit crumbs.
  3. Arrange a layer of banana slices.
  4. Generously drizzle salted caramel.
  5. Pipe another layer of mascarpone cream until it fllls up the mould.
  6. Smoothen the surface with a palette knife.
  7. Squeeze out any remaining cream from the piping bag, and transfer the salted caramel mascarpone cream into the same piping bag. Pipe cream on top.  
  8. Dust with cocoa powder.

Yum




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Boozy Bite – Guinness Double Chocolate Brownies



Guinness Double Chocolate BrowniesGuinness Double Chocolate Brownies

Another chocolate dessert for you all! These Guinness Double Chocolate Brownies are luxuriously rich and moist, carrying a hint of roasted malt taste from Guinness that intensifies the chocolate flavour of these brownies. If you haven’t noticed, I really like adding alcohol to my desserts for some boozy, delicious treats, and this time I choose to use Guinness – an Irish dry stout that has a distinctive burnt, malty flavour from roasted barley. If you’re interested in alcohol infused desserts, feel free to check out my other posts:

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse with Baileys Ladyfingers (topped with chocolate soil)

Coconut Rum Pecan Banana Bread

White Wine Poached Pear Almond Tart

Coffee Liqueur Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin

Lemon Curd Limoncello Meringue Éclair

Guinness Double Chocolate Brownies

Guinness Double Chocolate Brownies

As I planned to use this brownie as the base for my Salted Caramel Stuffed Brownie Truffle (recipe coming soon!), I purposely toned down the sweetness of these brownies through using smaller amount of sugar, as well as using chopped dark chocolate that oozes out from the brownies when baked. With the addition of the Guinness, these brownies have a strong malt,  and bittersweet chocolaty finish which I personally love. However, if you have a serious sweet tooth, free feel to adjust the sweetness by adding an extra 50g white sugar to the batter. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll have fun making these delicious brownies for a special occasion! (or anytime really- I mean, who needs a reason to eat brownies?)

Guinness Double Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 60ml vegetable oil
  • 200g white sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature  
  • 180ml guinness
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 180g all-purpose flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 100g chopped dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a square or rectangular baking tray and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sieve and add flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, vegetable oil, white sugar, brown sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the mixing bowl in between if needed. This is will about 5 mins.
  4. Reduce speed to medium, add eggs ( one at a time) and beat until well combined.
  5. Add guinness and vanilla, mix until well combined.
  6. Add the prepared flour and cocoa powder, mix until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray. Bake for 25 mins or until until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Do not overbake. Set aside to cool. Enjoy!

 
Yum




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SO mint to be – Mint Chocolate Macarons with Mint Chocolate Ganache Filling




After spending two weeks in Brisbane reuniting with my friends, I’m home and it’s about time I updated my food blog. Some friends of mine noticed that I’ve been updating my blog less frequently than before since I moved from Hong Kong to Sydney. My deepest apologies… living by myself has been unexpectedly draining and due to all the desserts I learn to make at Le Cordon Bleu, I do not bake as often at home. In fact, I am starting my intermediate level next week (NERVOUS and EXCITED), and hopefully I can share my learning journey with you all every now and then!

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These lovely mint chocolate macarons are to die for – lightly mint-flavoured macarons shelled with rich, creamy mint chocolate ganache filling. When you take a bite into these macarons, you’re going to fall for the textural contrast between the crispy & marshmallowy macaron shells and the smooth chocolate ganache. Again, mint chocolate is my all-time favourite flavour, so I am not kidding when I say I am happy to devour the whole tray of these by myself.

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No matter how many times I failed making macarons at home, there’s something unique about these little cookies that mesmerise me and makes me push on. If you are feeling frustrated with failing your macarons over and over even though you swear to god that you’ve followed the recipe completely (which usually isn’t true…), you might want to try with a different recipe or adjust the baking temperature and time. I used to believe one rule works for everything, but I’ve been proven wrong through all the failed attempts. There could be a millions of reasons for your macarons to fail, so doing some research online will be a big help to specifically resolve your macarons issues.

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Reality check: every oven works differently and you must spend time getting to “befriend” yours. Because I got a new oven as a gift when I moved to Sydney, it took a few times for me to know what the temperature and baking time work best for creating the best macarons with my oven –  bake at 150C on the lowest rack for 13 mins, then move to the middle rack for 5 mins (use a baking paper to cover the macarons to prevent browning the shells too much). But this is only what works for my oven and it might vary for yours. Also, as I noticed that my macaron batter was a bit too runny to pipe, I adjusted the amount of water I put when making  the sugar syrup. And guess what? This change made all the difference. Hope you enjoy these!

Ingredients (yield 36-40 macaron shells) :

Macaron shells

  • 95g almond flour
  • 95g icing sugar
  • 75g egg white, separated into two portions, 37.5g each
  • 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 25g water
  • 100g caster sugar

Mint-Chocolate Ganache FIlling

  • 120ml heavy cream
  • 150g dark mint chocolate
  • 15g unsalted butter

Instructions :

Macaron shells

  1. Place the icing sugar and almond flour in a food processor, and pulse for 30 seconds until well combined and fine in texture. Sift the flour-sugar mixture through a sieve into a mixing bowl, and pour in the first portion of egg whites. With a spatula, mix together until well combined. You can still be quite vigorous at this stage.
  2. Now you prepare the syrup. 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 second portion of egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  3. 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. In two additions, add the meringue over the almond mixture, and, using a spatula, gently fold in until combined and smooth. Work the batter until it flows in very thick ribbons when the spatula is lifted.
  4. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter to flatten the macarons and to remove air bubbles.
  5. Tap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, until a skin forms on the shells.
  6. Preheat the oven to 150C, then put the trays in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. (Cover the macarons with baking paper if they become too brown on top in the last 5 mins). Out of the oven, slide the shells on to the work surface. Let cool.

Mint chocolate ganache filling

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a saucepan or microwave, bring the heavy cream just to boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 2 mins before stirring. Whisk until smooth. Stir in butter and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble:

  1. Place mint chocolate ganache into a piping bag topped with a rose nozzle and pipe it on the inside of the macarons and sandwich them together.
  2. Serve macarons at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Yum




4 comments
Layers of goodness – Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse Sphere (with Coffee Creme Patissiere & White Wine Poached Pear & Crispy Chocolate Base)

This post is all about celebration – about finishing my first basic term @LCB passing all my assessment, about flying to Brisbane in a few days for vacation, and about finally successfully making a mousse sphere for the first time (after contemplating on it for a thousand years). This hazelnut chocolate mousse sphere is my cup of tea, hands down – it marries my favourite flavours into one dessert that tastes absolutely divine. I’ve always wanted to make mousse spheres but I was too scared to, until I recently watched Zumbo’s just dessert which motivated me to be a better “dessert maker”. While I was watching all those amatuer home-bakers produce their eye-opening, beautiful desserts, my heart ached for creating some of my own.

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As I said, this dessert is celebratory, so I decided to apply some of the skills I learnt from school to it. It is also inspired by the Shiny Mirror Glaze Mousse Dome with Crispy Chocolate Base and Ganache Topping created by Cupcake Savvy’s Kitchen. Cutting through the sphere, you get a smooth French hazelnut chocolate mousse, creamy coffee creme patissiere, and a layer of refreshing poached pear that balances the richness & sweetness of chocolate. The dessert’s crunchy texture is provided by a crispy rice puff chocolate base (who doesn’t like indulging him/herself in loads of cocoa rice puffs???), and I finished it off with a shiny chocolate mirror glaze that renders the dessert a sophisticated look. How does that not sound heavenly?

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Special thanks to my friend who made me this stunning board with my baking motto – Simple Ideas, Big Whisks – written on it. <3 hazelnut_mousse_sphere_with_mirror_glaze10

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Realistically speaking, baking at home can be a bit tricky at times because you don’t always get the equipment or tools you need for your recipe. Like this time, I didn’t have a smaller sphere mold for my coffee creme patissiere so I had to carefully spoon it into the large mold, which could create a bit of a problem in terms of even layerings. But well, as as a pastry chef wanna-be, I need to be adaptive and make use of what I’ve got at home. Although the end result isn’t as perfect as I wanted, I am already quite happy with it. Anyway, give this recipe a go – If you are a hard-core chocolate fans, I think you will fall in love with it. Have a good weekend!

Ingredients:

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 35 caster sugar
  • 25g nutella

Coffee Creme Patissiere (coffee pastry cream)

  • 150g milk + 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 25g egg yolk
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 10g corn flour
  • 10g butter

White Wine Poached Pear

  • 2 fresh pear, cored
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml water
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 orange, zest of
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

Crispy Chocolate Base

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g choco rice puff

Chocolate Mirror Glaze

  • 100g sugar
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 40g water
  • 70g double cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water

Instructions:

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Mousse

  1. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate on low heat until melted. Let it cool slightly. Stir in butter and nutella. Set aside.
  2. Using a whisk, lightly beat egg yolks until pale and creamy. Add to the chocolate mixture, mix well.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg white until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat egg white to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently stir in the chocolate-egg yolk mixture (in three additions) into the egg whites, mix until no obvious egg white is visible.  
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Coffee Creme Patissiere (coffee pastry cream)

  1. Using a saucepan, heat milk and instant coffee powder over medium heat and bring it to boil.
  2. While the milk is being heated, add egg yolk, sifted corn flour, caster sugar in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk until you can a thick, creamy consistency.
  3. With a steady mixing motion, pour 1/3 of the milk mixture to the egg mix to temper the egg.
  4. Pour the above mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat while whisking vigorously for at least 3 mins, until all starch is cooked. You will know it’s almost ready when it starts to bubble. Continue cooking for 1-2 mins. Remove it from the heat.
  5. Whisk in the butter and coffee liqueur until incorporated.
  6. Pour the custard into a bowl and cover the custard surface with a plastic wrap. This will prevent a skin from forming on top.
  7. Let the custard cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

White Wine Poached Pear

  1. Put all ingredients (except the pears) in a pan.
  2. Peel and core pears, gently poach (NOT boil) pears in syrup.
  3. Cook the pears for about 1 hour until they are soft. Use a stick to test every once in a while to see if the pears are done.
  4. When done, take out the pears from the pan to stop the cooking process.
  5. Cut one poached pear into small cubes, and blend the another one into puree or mash it with a fork. Pour the pear cubes into the puree and mix well. Refrigerate until ready for use.

Crispy Chocolate Base

  1. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate on low heat until melted. Pour the chocolate onto the rice puff and shape the mixture into a 2-cm thick layer.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins, and use a circular cutter that fits the size of the spheres to cut 6 circular bases. Refrigerate until ready to use. (If the base is too hard to cut through, run the cutter in a hot water bath and dry it before usage.)

Chocolate Mirror Glaze

  1. Add gelatin and cold water into a bowl. Stir and set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a saucepan, add sugar, cocoa powder, water and cream. Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to boil while stirring continuously. Cook for about 2 mins until the mixture is smooth and no lump is visible.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the gelatin mix and stir well.
  5. Set aside and let cool to at least 35 C for usage.

Assembly

  1. Put the hazelnut chocolate mousse into the mold. Smoothen out the surface with a spoon until you can an even layer as the outer layer of the sphere. Freeze for 15 mins.
  2. Then, put the coffee creme patissiere in the mold. Freeze for 15 mins.
  3. Then, pour the pear mixture into the mold. Leave some space for the next step of closing the sphere with the hazelnut chocolate mousse. Freeze for 15 mins.
  4. Then, close all the spheres with a thin layer of the hazelnut chocolate mousse. Smoothen the surface with a off-set spatula. Freeze for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight to let it set completely.
  5. Carefully push the spheres out of the mold and put them on to a cooling rack. Pour the mirror glaze (at 35 C). Set it set. And put the glazed sphere on to the circular chocolate base.
  6. Sprinkle some chopped hazelnut on top as decorations.

Yum




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