28.10.12

Rose Water and Pistachio Cake to Celebrate!




Lulu’s Sweet Secrets celebrates 2 years this week. To start the commemoration I will share with you my rose dessert table. My intention was to create a romantic table with a lot of sugar roses. Since I started blogging, making sugar flowers has become my passion. Every day I feel more and more motivated to learn about them.



This table consists of one rose water and pistachio cake, white chocolate cupcakes with rose buttercream and rose and pink peppercorn brigadeiros. The cake recipe is from the Jamie Magazine. It is a wonderful Rose Victoria sponge cake filled with pistachio praline and rose buttercream. The flower on top of the cake was my first attempt at making a wired rose. I enjoyed it so much that now I intend to learn more about arrangements.





I will talk about the cupcakes and brigadeiros on my next posts this week. Come back soon to celebrate again with me and to see more about the other recipes!

Have a wonderful and sweet week everyone!







Rose Water and Pistachio Cake
(from Jamie Magazine Issue 29)

Rose Water Victoria Sponge
Serves 14

225g unsalted butter, cubes and softened, plus extra to grease
225g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rose water (I bought at Whole Foods Market)
4 eggs, beaten
225g self-raising flour, sifted (I used all purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat the oven to 350F/180c degrees. Grease and line the base of 2 round 7 in/20 cm cake pans. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Mix in the rose water. 
Gradually mix the beaten eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt with a large metal spoon until just incorporated (don't overmix).
Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans. Bake the cakes in the oven for 22-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through. (To test, insert a skewer into the middle of a cake; it's read when the skewer comes out clean.) leave to cool in the cake pans for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Pistachio Filling

Make the filling while the cakes cool. Gently melt 100 g sugar in a nonstick pan over a medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar is a golden caramel, sprinkle in 65g chopped pistachios and quickly pour into a lined baking pan. Leave to cool. Cream 80g softened butter and 115g sifted icing sugar with an electric mixer or spatula until you have a smooth, creamy buttercream. Add a splash of rose water and beat for a further minute. Taste and add more if needed. Bash the pistachio brittle so you have a mix o big chunks and finer bits. You can use a pestle and mortar for this. Place one cake on a board, gently spread with the rose buttercream and sprinkle over the pistachio brittle. Top with the second cake and cover with buttercream.


23.10.12

Mulberry Mousse with Passion Fruit Coulis




During my childhood, my family spent every Sunday at my maternal grandparents’ farm. It was an adorable time of family gatherings and fun especially for me, my sister and my cousins. We played around the orchards, coffee plantations and the gardens. I loved to feed the chickens, to pick flowers and fresh fruits.


My grandma with me and my grandpa with my sister











We grew up eating fresh and wonderful food made with a lot of love by my grandma. My favorite Sunday lunch was free range chicken prepared Minas-style (frango caipira), rice, beans, collard greens and okra, everything taken from her garden. There were lots of fruit trees too like guava, mango, banana, papaya, orange, jaboticaba, loquat and the delicious mulberry, which was the one that I chose for this post.














On my last visit to Brazil, my lovely friend Alessandra gave me the idea to prepare a mulberry mousse. So I prepared the mousse with homemade mulberry jam, gelatin, condensed milk and cream.  I also made a passion fruit coulis as accompaniment. I am so glad that she gave me this idea. It was a delicious dessert for another Sunday lunch with my family!




Mulberry Mousse with Passion Fruit Coulis

Mulberry Jam

1 cup mulberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

Mulberry Mousse

Mulberry jam prepared before
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can table cream or 14 oz heavy cream
1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Soak the gelatin in 2 tablespoon cold water for 20 minutes. Incorporate the gelatin into the mulberry jam. Place the condensed milk, cream and jam into the blender jar and blend for some minutes. Pour the mixture into molds or serving glasses and let stay overnight at refrigeration.

Passion Fruit Coulis


2 passion fruit, halved, pulp and juice scooped out
1/2 cup sugar

In a small sauce pan add both ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain through a fine sieve. Cover and keep refrigerated before serving.










18.10.12

Happy Birthday Dad!





Today is my dad's birthday. This cake, made with a lot of love, is my humble attempt at giving him a very special present on this wonderful day.

Happy birthday papito! I love you! 




This cake consists of Brazil nut sponge cake layers with baba de moça filling covered with meringue frosting. Baba de moça is a traditional Brazilian recipe.  This egg coconut custard cream is a common filling for birthday cakes and pastries. Made basically with coconut milk, egg yolks and sugar syrup has a suave flavor that it’s perfectly paired with a nut sponge cake.
I was surprised with the crunch and moist texture provided by the Brazil nuts. And the taste was wonderful! I prepared a meringue frosting and  I also used coconut flakes and meringue kisses to add a heavenly look.
  






A Birthday Cake for my Dad



Brazil Nut Sponge Cake
(Makes 2 discs 6-in pans. You will need 2 discs to make 4 layers.)

4 eggs
125g sugar
150g Brazil Nuts
7 tablespoons Rice flour

Preheat the oven to 340°F/ 170°C.
Place the Brazil Nuts and rice flour in a food processor. Process until the Brazil Nuts are finely ground.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale.
Right away, gently combine the ground Brazil nuts into the eggs with a rubber spatula. Start with the spatula in the center of the bowl, work up the sides of the bowl and bring the mixture back down towards the center, all the while turning the bowl regularly. Continue until you have a smooth and homogenous mixture.
Transfer the batter to 2 greased 6-inch baking pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly colored. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Baba de Moça (Egg Coconut Custard Cream)

6 egg yolks
200ml coconut milk
250g sugar
½ cup water

Place sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook sugar syrup, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 194 F / 90 C degrees. Let the syrup in the pan to cool.
Pass the egg yolks through a sieve. In a bowl, mix the eggs yolks with the coconut milk with a rubber spatula until well combined.
When the syrup are chilled, pour the egg and coconut mixture over the sugar syrup. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until thick consistency. Blend with a handheld immersion blender and set aside to cool.

Meringue Frosting
(from here)

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring. Wash down side of pan with a wet pastry brush, and cook sugar syrup, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and cool, about 7 minutes.

Assembly

3 tablespoons coconut milk
100g coconut flakes 

Divide each cake disc to make 4 layers. Place one layer cake on a serving plate. Brush with 1 tablespoon coconut milk. Spread ¼ to 1/3 cup baba de moça over top. Repeat to make 2 more layers of each. Top with remaining cake. Cover with meringue frosting. Decorate with coconut flakes.








15.10.12

Loquat Cake and The Spring in Brazil





Hi my dear friends! I would like to thank you all for your comments on the last tutorial post. I’m really happy to know that you find my work inspiring.

I just returned from Brazil where I spent the last month on vocation, visiting fond places, family and friends, satisfying local food cravings, taking a lot of photos and baking some sweets like this one I will share with you today.








Spring has just begun in southern hemisphere. Ipe amarelo, bougainvillea, orchids, white calla lilies, daises and roses were some of the flowers that brought color and grace to my precious days at my home state Minas Gerais. My passion for flowers started very early, since I was a little girl. Looking some old pictures I notice how I was always surrounding by them or holding one.

    My sister and me












At this time I visited some relatives at their farms. Besides the flowers, I was also looking for a fruit that I love but  I haven't eaten for a while: loquat. I could remember how great is to eat this fruit, fresh direct from the orchard. So I filled a basket with them and I prepared a magnificent cake.






I prepared two recipes for the felling. The first one is a loquat jam, and the second is a cream prepared with egg yolks, condensed milk and heavy cream. I made sponge cake layers and meringue frosting to cover the cake. Then I decorated it with some fresh flowers from my mom’s garden. So beautiful and so good.




 Loquat Cream Cake


Sponge cake
from the book Ladurée Sucré
Makes 3 6-in pan

1/2 cup /60 g all purpose flour
2/3 cup / 60 g potato starch
5 eggs
1/4 cup +1 tbsp / 60 g granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 340°F/ 170°C.
Prepare 2 baking pans with oil cooking spray.
Sift together the flour and potato starch.
Separate the egg whites and yolks.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale. In another large dry bowl, with a clean whisk, bring the egg whites to foam. Once they are white and frothy, add the remaining half of the sugar and continue to whip until firm.
Right away, gently fold the sugar and egg yolk mixture into the whipped egg whites with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the flour and potato starch over the mixture. Gently combine: start with the spatula in the center of the bowl, work up the sides of the bowl and bring the mixture back down towards the center, all the while turning the bowl regularly. Continue until you have a smooth and homogenous mixture.
Divide batter equally into 2 greased 6-inch baking pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly colored. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Loquat Jam

1 pound loquat
½ cup water
1 Tb lemon juice
 3 ounces sugar
½ teaspoon pectin powder

Wash, remove the skin, the seeds and  also the slightly fibrous sac that surrounds the seeds. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).

Cream Filling

1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs yolk
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream

Soak the gelatin in 2 tablespoon cold water for 20 minutes. In a saucepan, place the condensed milk and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring until a custard form. Remove from the heat. Incorporate the gelatin into the custard. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Gently combine the whipped cream into the custard.


Meringue Frosting
(from here)

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites, room temperature
Bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring. Wash down side of pan with a wet pastry brush, and cook sugar syrup, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down side of bowl. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and cool, about 7 minutes.



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