27.2.13

Mini Cake





March is approaching bringing the most beautiful of the seasons. I’m really anxious and excited for Spring starts. The flowers and colors are the great inspiration for my creations.

I was looking some flowers photos and I found this white hydrangea with pink edges. I took this photo last year during my visit to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. So, while I am still waiting for Spring, I decided to use this gorgeous flower as my inspiration.



Beyond this pretty sugar hydrangeas, we have a mini cake, which is also decorated with gum paste roses. I used my delicious white chocolate cake recipe and vanilla buttercream as filling and frosting.



White Chocolate Mini Cake


White Chocolate Cake
(Makes three 4,5-inch cakes)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 whole large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
160g/ 5.64 ounces white chocolate

Grease cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil and then add the white chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Place the white chocolate and milk mixture over the eggs and sugar and beat for a minute. Add the vanilla and mix until combine. Fold in the flour and baking powder with a rubber spoon until just incorporated (don't overmix). Fold in the melted butter.
Fill each pan with batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Buttercream
(from Jamie Magazine Issue 29)

375 unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
1 tsp vanilla extract
600g icing sugar, sifted

Beat the butter, vanilla seeds and extract until smooth and glossy. Add a few tablespoons of icing sugar and bet again until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar, beating until smooth each time. 







20.2.13

How To Make Modeling Chocolate Roses



Hi my dear friends! Today I made for you a tutorial on how to make modeling chocolate roses. Those roses are beautiful to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tortes and also they make a gorgeous and delicious edible gift when beautifully packed.  

It is quite fun to make modeling chocolate roses since they are all hand shaped. Basically you will need a rolling pin, parchment paper and cutters. Enjoy!




How To Make Modeling Chocolate Roses



Dark Modeling Chocolate
(From the book The Well-Decorated Cake, Toba Garrett)

1 lb (454 g) semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate
3/4 cup (8oz or 224 g) light corn syrup

Cut up the chocolate finely and place it in a stainless-steel bowl over a pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat under the boiling water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is two-thirds melted.
Remove it from the pot and stir it with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted. Pour in the corn syrup all at once and stir until the chocolate thickens and begins to leave the sides of the bowl.
Pour the chocolate into plastic wrap. Place another sheet of pastil wrap over the chocolate and flatten it out. Refrigerate for 24 hours to age. 
Storage: Double wrap the modeling chocolate in plastic bag. it will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 months.



 Once the modeling chocolate aged, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes. Cut the modeling chocolate into pieces and knead it with your palms. Wrap it in a piece of plastic wrap and microwave for 5 seconds on high. Reknead until the chocolate is pliable.
Form a ball of modeling chocolate into a cone shape to measure about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
To make the petals, roll out the modeling chocolate using a small rolling pin bettwen two parchement paper sheets. Make the petals using different sizes of the tear drop cutters or rose petal cutters. Increase the size of the cutters every layer.


Run your thumb around the sides of the petal for thinness.


Place the first two petals around the cone, raising the petal about one-third higher than the tip of the cone.


Wrap the petals around the cone, living a tiny hole at the top of the cone.


Wrap three petals around the two-petal layer so that they overlap one another.


Curl back the petals edges of the outer layer using your fingers to create movement so that they look more like real rose petals.

Next wrap the four petals around the three-petal layer, again tucking each petal into one another.






Next wrap the outer four petals around the four-petal-layer, again overlap the sides of the petals and curl the petal edges.

For a full-size bloom, shape more six petals using a larger cutter than the last petal layer.














18.2.13

A Cake for My Sister




For the past two weeks I had the pleasure to spent some time with my beloved sister Luana.  She came from Brazil to spend her birthday here. It was amazing! And of course I made for her a special birthday cake: raspberries and vanilla mascarpone Bavarian Cream sponge cake decorated with some chocolate modeling roses.  




The sponge cake recipe is from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 65. As I love mascarpone cheese and Bavarian Cream, I made a Vanilla Mascarpone Bavarian Cream. The chocolate roses were made with modeling chocolate, the same that I used to make these chocolate hearts. It was easier and faster than making roses with sugar paste. I will definitely work more with modeling chocolate.


I love you sister!




A Cake for My Sister

Sponge Cake
(From Donna Hay Magazine Issue 65)

2/3 cup (100g) plain (all-purpose) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup (110g)  sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside. Place the eggs and sugar in a electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 10-12 minutes or until pale, thick and tripled in volume. Sift 1/2 of flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold through using a large metal spoon. Repeat with the remaining flour. Add the butter and fold through. Divide the mixture between in 2x 20cm / 8-inch round lightly greased shallow cake tins lined with  non-stick baking paper. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until sponges are springy to the touch and come away from the sides of the tins. remove from the tins and cool completely on wire racks. 


Vanilla Mascarpone Bavarian Cream
(by Lulu's Sweet Secrets)

 9 g unflavored powdered gelatin
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz / 340 g mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla paste


 Put the gelatin in a small bowl of very cold water. Allow to soften for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs yolks and sugar until slightly pale. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of cream to a simmer. Pour a third of the hot milk over the egg yolk and sugar mixture (to temper the yolks). Whisk together and pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan.Cook, stirring, just until it reaches a temperature of 185°F (85°C). Remove from the heat. Incorporate the gelatin into the custard.  Allow to cool completely.
Add the mascarpone cheese, and using an immersion hand blender or electric mixer, blend together. 
Whisk 1 cup of cream with the vanilla paste until stiff peaks form. Incorporate to the mascarpone cream. Refrigerate until firm consistency.



Assembly
Top one sponge with the Bavarian Cream and raspberries and sandwich with remaining sponge.
Decorate the surface of the cake with the remaining fresh raspberries.

2.2.13

Dark Chocolate Mousse Hearts


Hi my dear readers! Today I prepared for you these sophisticated Valentine’s Hearts. They are composed of dark chocolate brownie base with dark chocolate mousse filling, covered with dark chocolate. That's right... All dark chocolate!

My inspiration for making a layer of cake topped with mousse came from a Scandinavian Princess Cake photo on Miette book. This cake is topped with a huge amount of whipped cream, and then covered with fondant. I loved this idea. So instead of cake, cream and fondant, I used brownie, mousse and modeling chocolate.

Both brownie and mousse recipes are from the Chef Francisco J. Migoya's book, The Elements of Dessert. This book has wonderful recipes with such stunning presentations. 

I chose modeling chocolate to cover the mousse hearts because I wanted to make a whole chocolate dessert. I LOVE chocolate on Valentine’s Day! The recipe for the modeling chocolate I took from the book The well-decorated cake, which was a gift from my dear friend Silvia Bilacchi. This modeling chocolate is a perfect and delicious way for hand-modeling projects. 





Dark Chocolate Mousse Hearts
(makes 6)

Dark Chocolate Mousse 
(From the book The Elements of Dessert, Francisco Migoya)

162 g eggs
67,5 g sugar
215 g dark chocolate
357 g heavy cream

Combine the eggs with the sugar in a bowl and bring the mixture up to 60C/140F over a hot water bath while stirring constantly.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed until it cools to 35C/95F and creates ribbons, about 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a hot water bath or in a microwave. Let it cool to 35C/95F.
Once both the egg mixture and the chocolate are at right temperature, strain the egg mixture through a sieve over the chocolate and mix with a whisk until you obtain a homogeneous mass.
Whip the heavy cream to medium peaks.
Fol half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to assembly. Follow the assembly procedure instructions for finishing the cakes.  


Dark Chocolate Brownie
(From the book The Elements of Dessert, Francisco Migoya)

110 g cake flour
1,5 g salt
140 g dark chocolate
170 g butter
150 g eggs
200 g sugar
72 g brown sugar
70 g chocolate chips

Lightly grease the border of a half sheet pan with non-stick oil spray. Line it with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Sift the cake flour and salt together. 
Melt the chocolate and butter together over a hot water bath.
Whip the eggs and sugars to the ribbon stage in the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed.
Stir the melted chocolate and butter into the whipped egg mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients and then fold in the chocolate chips.
Spread evenly onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake until set, 12 to 18 minutes.
Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate the cake to cut it ( it cuts easier and cleaner when cold; do not freeze it, though, as it will be too hard to cut. 


Dark Modeling Chocolate
(From the book The Well-Decorated Cake, Toba Garrett)

1 lb (454 g) semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate
3/4 cup (8oz or 224 g) light corn syrup

Cut up the chocolate finely and place it in a stainless-steel bowl over a pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat under the boiling water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is two-thirds melted.
Remove it from the pot and stir it with a rubber spatula until it is completely melted. Pour in the corn syrup all at once and stir until the chocolate thickens and begins to leave the sides of the bowl.
Pour the chocolate into plastic wrap. Place another sheet of pastil wrap over the chocolate and flatten it out. Refrigerate for 24 hours to age. 
Storage: Double wrap the modeling chocolate in plastic bag. it will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 months.


Assembly

 1. Cut out the brownie hearts using a heart shaped cutter.


2. Place the brownie hearts in a clean parchment paper and then refrigerate until ready to assembly. 


 3. Scoop the dark chocolate mousse carefully onto the top of the heart brownie and shape it into a heart about 1 inch high, mounding it all the way to the edges. Place the cakes on refrigerator while you prepare the modeling chocolate.


4. Once the modeling chocolate aged, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes. Cut the modeling chocolate into pieces and knead it with your palms. Wrap it in a piece of plastic wrap and microwave for 5 to 10 seconds on high. Reknead until the chocolate is pliable.
On a clear surface with parchment paper, and  using a rolling pin, roll out a piece of modeling chocolate as thinly as possible.


5. Very carefully lift the modeling chocolate, center over the chocolate mousse, and then slowly drape it over. Adhere the chocolate to the shape of the cake.


6. Trim the base of the modeling chocolate, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Lift the edge of the cake with a offset spatula and tucking the modeling chocolate under it.


7. Decorate as desired. To fix the edible glitter, brush edible glue on the chocolate surface and the sprinkle the edible glitter on top.

Transfer the chocolate mousse hearts to a presentation platter.  Serve at once or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. 


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