We’re really sorry we haven’t been posting any reviews lately guys, we’ve been busy in the kitchen!
Andrew loves cranberry juice, how it floods the palate with refreshing, tart deliciousness. He also loves soup-dumplings, you know, the kind where you bite into it and the soup is inside the dumpling.
Put 2 and 2 together and you’ve got a really shitty dumpling. NO SILLY!! The idea is for a dessert chocolate-ball filled with juice or cocktail which pops in your mouth, overwhelming the taste buds with juicy gloriousness. Some didn’t think it was possible, but we knew it could be done!
Now if some of you are saying: “hang on, liqueur chocolates have been around forever!” you’re right. But we’re not making a liqueur chocolate as you know it. This is a different concept… instead of an overly sugary mess inside the chocolate, this is a beverage filling.
So we studied and planned for months, became ‘best mates’ with chocolate (that messy kid nobody wants to spend any time with!) and ‘eureka!’ we did it. The Canberra Cake Club meeting was looming, so we dreamed up a layer cake that was to be as striking to look at as it was to eat. The cocktail filling is a Cosmopolitan – Cranberry juice, lime juice, Belvedere vodka and Cointreau.
Here’s how it’s done
Before we go on, please be warned this is an extremely labour-intensive process that will test your cooking ability (and patience!) to the limit. If you have any chocolate tempering ability that will be a plus.
To get liquid into chocolate: freeze the liqiud! But of course it’s not that simple, you have to get the right equipment like ice cube ball trays that are smaller in diameter than your chocolate shell moulds. We got 1.25inch (31.75mm) ice cube trays and 1.5inch (38.1mm) chocolate shell trays, which are about as big as you can go because any bigger and you can’t fit them into your mouth! Stuffing the whole ball into one’s gob is important, cause if you don’t, the yummy centre will spill everywhere.
We considered alternative methods for filling the shells like injecting with a food syringe, or dipping the frozen ball into chocolate. Injecting wrecks the perfect spheres on the shells and dipping ruins your chocolate and doesn’t get a shiny or even result.
Making the chocolate shells
Tempering chocolate is difficult at first, here are some quick facts. Tempering chocolate is all about melting away the unstable crystals in the cocoa butter and growing the stable ones. Stable crystals give you a nice shine, snap and doesn’t melt as easily.Buy Lindt chocolate by the kilo from Mart Delicatessen at Fyshwick Markets or The Essential Ingredient in Kingston, its the best we can find and tastes great. Buy a candy thermometer that goes from at least 30 degrees. This can be hard to find, make sure you check the minimum temp before you buy. Use the bain marie method. Chocolate doesn’t like water, at all. melt milk and dark chocolate to 45 degrees, white chocolate to 40 degrees.
There are lots of tutorials on YouTube, if you want to get into it probably start there!
The cake is layers of mud cake and white chocolate mousse. We got a cake leveler which is a tool for cutting a layer cake evenly which works really well.
We actually had a lot of white chocolate tempered and ready to go so we decided that would be the best coating for the cake, also it forms a solid base to ‘glue’ the chocolate balls in place at the end. You do that just with a dab of chocolate on the coating and fix the ball in place.
Finish with some gold leaf and you’re done! if anyone would like a more in-depth breakdown of the steps or equipment please let us know 🙂
Recently we had a dinner that I had promised I would make some Black Forest ice Cream for. I thought it would be really nice to to have a simple but decadent chocolate cake to go with it. Let the ice cream be the star but have a nice vehicle for it to go with so this recipe came about. It doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and you can have it baked and iced in an hour and a half. I also added some cinnamon but you could probably leave it out if you don’t love cinnamon.
Now for the recipe
Ingredients for the cake
200g butter, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup milk
Ingredients for the icing
100g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cream
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm round cake pan. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until it all comes together.
Sift flour, cocoa, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda together. Fold into butter mixture alternately with milk until well-combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool before icing.
To make icing: Put chocolate, cream and cinnamon in a small heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and spread over cake.
TA DA Done and dusted!!! Easy peasy!!!!
I’ll do up a post about my ice cream next. It was the Bomb Diggity.