Recipe: chocolate cake with white chocolate truffle

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The last couple of years I’ve had a standing brunch around Christmas time for some of my Swedish friends and their families. As their brood is getting bigger brunch seemed like the ideal concept; there is something for everyone and you don’t have to sit down to eat at the same time.

Sadly, this brunch in December will probably have to be the last one as there’s now too many of us and apart from cooking for a large amount of people there is quite a lot of furniture carrying required to make it happen. But we’ll see, maybe I can work out a way to make it easier… Any ideas welcome!

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The concept has been more or less the same every year; people arrive at midday, and I provide both savoury (always eggs, bacon, different types of bread with toppings such as cheeses, jams, paté, ham etc. – we love our open-faced sandwiches in Sweden as you know) and sweet (usually two types of cake) dishes, and we eat and chat and eat and chat and play with the children.

This year I substituted the usual brunch eggs with my take on shakshuka (recipe to follow) and mum made an large omelette with creamed mushrooms on top as well.

Although people always love the savoury element I seem to have gathered a group of friends with very sweet teeth so I always try my best to come up with something super yummy on the sweet side.

This year I was quite pleased with my efforts of serving madeleines (best recipe ever!) straight from the oven and just lightly dusted with icing sugar. And although people liked them, this chocolate cake was the star of the show: chocolate cake with pieces of white chocolate dispersed like little surprises, covered with a white chocolate truffle and colourful smarties (although you can of course decorate it however you like). The texture is quite dense and chewy (in a good way – just don’t expect a fluffy cake) and rather filling, so one cake could probably feed 10-12 people, but as my friends love sweets I thought it safer to count 8-10 people per cake.

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It’s (sadly) not my own concoction at all, but I know I can always trust fabulous Annika and her reliable recipes.

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Chocolate cake with white chocolate truffle, serves 8-10

Translated from and adapted after Annika’s recipe.

The cake itself (without the truffle) freezes well and can be made ahead of time. Defrost slowly and add the truffle and decorations a few hours before serving so it has time to set.

2 eggs

240 g golden caster sugar 

2 tbsp vanilla sugar or 4 tsp vanilla 

1/2 tsp salt

100 g melted butter

4 tbsp cocoa

90 g plain flour

100 g white chocolate, broken into 1 cm large pieces

Truffle:

150 g white chocolate

50 ml double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C. Line the bottom of a springform with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the edges of the tin. 

Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until pale and fluffy. Stir in the melted butter. Sieve cocoa and flour and fold into the batter. Pour the butter into the tin and press down the chocolate pieces.

Bake in a low oven for 35 minutes. Leave to cool and cover the tin and let it set overnight. 

Truffle:

Heat up the cream in a saucepan. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the warm cream. Mix slowly until smooth. Leave to set, then spread it onto the cake. Keep in the fridge until just before serving. Decorate with smarties or other sweets, sprinkles, chopped nuts etc. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

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Recipe: Rice Krispie Mars bar treats

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I find it fitting that I, on Australia Day, am posting the one recipe my Australian friend Debs has has shared with me. The recipe, although not typically Australian (I think) is very good and easy. These little sweets are nice all year round; Debs introduced them to me at a summer barbecue and I made them for Christmas.

Crispy Mars Bar Treats, makes approx.  20

120 g mars bar

75 g butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

700 ml rice krispies

185 g chocolate, chopped

Melt the mars bars, butter and golden syrup in the microwave or in a nonstick saucepan on the stove (it will take a little time; the mars bar is rather stubborn). Remove from heat and stir in the rice krispies. Spread out the mixture in a parchment paper lined tray. Refrigerate.  

Melt the plain chocolate in the microwave or in a bain marie and spread onto the now firm rice krispie mixture. Leave to cool.

Cut into squares and serve.

Rocky road with honeycomb

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Rocky Road is one of those simple recipes where the sum of the parts are greater than you expect it to be. Every single thing that goes into rocky road is nice in it’s own way, but together you have these amazing crunchy, soft, sweet and salty clusters that are just to die for.

I altered the recipe I normally use when I made it in December for my Christmas drinks party and, I must say, the addition of honeycomb was just genius. I love honeycomb as it is, but I often find it a bit too sweet, so here where the buttery sweetness gets to mingle with salted nuts and semi-bitter chocolate it really comes together.

I usually use Scandinavian Dumle toffees (which you can now buy from Ocado) but they were sold out so I opted for Reisen instead. They’re a bit harder (so be careful of your teeth) but not as sweet, which worked well with the other ingredients.

Rocky road with honeycomb, makes 20-25

100 g marshmallows, cut in 4

135 g Riesen toffees, cut in 2

150 g roasted and salted peanuts

1/2 batch honeycomb, in pieces

200 g dark chocolate

100 g milk chocolate

snowflake sprinkles and edible glitter  

Line a square 20 x 20 cm tin with parchment paper. Melt both types of chocolate together in a bain marie. In a bowl, mix marshmallors, Riesen, peanuts and honeycomb. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix well, making sure everything is coated with chocolate. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and smooth it out. Scatter with sprinkles and glitter and leave to cool. Let it set in the fridge. Cut into cubes and serve. Keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.  

Brownies with dulce de leche frosting

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This frosting feels like magic. Despite the fact that it contains dulce de leche, full fat cream cheese and whipped cream it makes these dense brownies appear lighter than they are without any frosting.

Plus the killer combination of heavy chocolate and sweet but not sickly dulce de leche is just delicious! But you had probably figured that out already.

I’ve made these bad boys twice now and they went down a storm both times. At work they couldn’t believe they felt as light as they did and when I made them at a brunch for my friends in Sweden I got asked for the recipe straight away.

The idea for the combination of flavours and the frosting recipe is entirely my own creation, but I used my go-to brownie recipe courtesy of The Hummingbird Bakery. There is no point trying to come up with a perfect brownie recipe when it already exists.

Brownies, makes 18-20

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s wonderful recipe.

5 eggs

500 g caster sugar

100 g cocoa

120 g plain flour

250 g melted butter

50 g roughly chopped dark chocolate 

Beat eggs and sugar fluffy and white. Add flour and cocoa, then the butter. Mix thoroughly. Fold in the nuts and chocolate and pour into a lined baking tray. Bake for 30-35 mins in 170C. Leave to cool completely.

Dulce de leche frosting, enough for one batch of brownies

200 g (half a tin) dulce de leche 

200 g Philadelphia

300 ml whipping cream

Mix dulce de leche and Philadelphia in a bowl. Whip the cream in another bowl and mix into the dulce de leche mixture. Whip the mixture with an electric mixer to make it even fluffier. Place a spoonful of the frosting on each brownie. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa. 

Crumbly chocolate cookies

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These little darlings were very popular in the office a little while ago when I brought them in. In Swedish the name of these translates to ‘dreams’, but I have no idea why, but they certainly are dreamily delicious…. 🙂

Crumbly chocolate cookies, makes about 24

Translated from Karin’s recipe.

100 g salted butter

300 ml (240 g)caster sugar

100 ml rapeseed oil or other neutral oil

400 ml (240 ml) plain flour

100 ml (40 g) kakao

1 pinch salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baker’s ammonia / ammounium carbonate – this may be difficult to find in the UK supermarkets, but available on Amazon. It cannot be substituted in this recipe. 

Beat butter and sugar pale and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and the oil and mix. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and roll the dough into balls, approx the size of a dessert spoon. Bake in 175C for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool on the tray before moving them. Leave to cool completely then transfer to an airtight container. 

Chocolate and fudge cake with salted toasted hazelnuts

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Even though December was _pretty_ hectic I still managed to bake cakes for the office, like I do every month. It was rather helpful, though that my colleagues whose birthday we celebrated chose cakes I had made before; Key Lime Pie and Victoria Sponge. So I only tried one new recipe, and a really good one actually, that I have been meaning to try the last ten years or so… It is from a recipe folder from Dansukker, a Danish sugar manufacturer that took over the Swedish market some time ago.

The cake (or pie even) consists of three yummy layers; chocolate cookie crumbs with butter and icing sugar as the base, a fudge layer and chocolate topping. Delicious!

As most Swedish cakes it was suggested to serve this with whipped cream, which I find completely unnecessary. Instead I opted for toasted salted hazelnuts as a contrast.

Chocolate and fudge cake with salted toasted hazelnuts, serves 8

Adapted from Dansukker’s recipe.

Base:

75 g butter

50 ml icing sugar

1 tbsp cocoa 

200 g crushed chocolate cookies (Maryland for example)

Fudge layer:

400 ml sweetened condensed milk

75 g butter

50 ml caster sugar

Chocolate topping :

200 g chopped dark chocolate

150 ml double cream

2 tbsp caster sugar

40 g butter

Decoration:

75 g hazelnuts

2 pinches sea salt

Melt butter, icing sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Mix with the crushed cookies. Press onto a baking tray and put in the fridge. 

Mix the fudge ingredients in a saucepan and boil until it has thickened, about 6 minutes. Chill slightly before pouring into the tin. Put the tin back in the fridge to set.  

Mix the chocolate layer ingredients in a saucepan and melt on low heat. Leave to cool a bit before pouring into the tin as a top layer. Let it set in the fridge. 

Toast the nuts in a hot fry frying pan. Leave to cool and chop coarsely. Mix with the salt and scatter on top of the now set cake just before serving.

Almond butter chocolate chip cookies

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A lot of my cooking inspiration comes from cookbooks, blogs and TV programs, but a lot also comes from necessity.

I live with flatmates which means that I haven’t got a lot of kitchen cupboard space so I try to use things up before buying something else. And it is actually a fun exercise to come up with something tasty with the ingredients you have at hand.

This recipe is an altered version of peanut butter cookies. I changed the peanut butter for almond butter as I had some I wanted to use up and because I had some chocolate I hand I threw that in too.

This turned out to be a nice combination as the almond butter is less pungent and a more mature flavour than peanut butter so it needed the addition of chocolate to make it interesting.

Serving idea: Break into pieces and serve with three minute icecream and chocolate sauce.

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Almond butter chocolate chip cookies, makes 25

275 ml plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

100 ml caster sugar

100 ml soft light brown sugar

100 g softened butter

100 ml almond butter

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla 

70 g chopped chocolate of your choice

Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and almond butter. Whisk in the egg. Mix the flour with baking powder and salt and add it to the batter. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Roll the dough into small balls and place on a lined baking tray. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork. Bake in 190-200 degrees for 8-10 minutes.