Saturday, 23 March 2013

Vanilla Chiffon Swiss Rolls

Chiffon cakes are the first kind of cakes i've learnt to make, I just love how soft and moist it can be and it just keeps well for days! Its quick and easy to make once you know how. I love how versatile it can be, you can eat it on its own, roll it out into a swiss roll, use it instead of your basic sponge and my favourite is using it for my mousse cakes. In this recipe i've decided to fill my swiss roll with fresh cream and fruits but you can leave out the fruits if you want, or you can use your own favourite filling. For this recipe you MUST ensure that the bowl your whipping your egg whites in and your metal whisk on your hand held whisk is completely dry and grease-free.

3 egg whites 
40 grams caster sugar 

3 egg yolks
35 grams caster sugar
35 grams vegteable oil (weighing the liquids is more accurate)
40 grams water 
75 grams self raising flour (sieved)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200ml fresh double cream or whipping cream
1 tablespoon of icing sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
fruits (optional) 

Preheat oven to 170 C/ 338 F
  1. Line a swiss roll tin with grease proof paper, theres no need to grease the side of the tin. Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Yolks in a big bowl and whites in a smaller bowl.
  2. Start whipping the egg whites with a hand held whisk on low speed and gradually add in the 40g of caster sugar, turn the speed up to medium and whip till stiff peaks (if you've not tried this method before, a way to check if its done is by turning the bowl upside down. The whites is mixed enough, if the whites remain in the bowl.
  3. In your bowl of egg yolks, add all of ingredients B. Mix with a balloon whisk till well combined.
  4. Pour your egg whites into your mixture.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture till well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tray and spread evenly with a palette knife and bake for 22 minutes.
  7. Leave the sponge to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, then run a palette knife along the rim. Place a cooling rack on top of the tray.
  8. Carefully turn your sponge out onto the cooling rack and remove the grease proof paper. Leave to cool, about 30-45minutes
  9. Line a sheet of grease proof paper on your work top and carefully turn your sponge onto the paper. Trim off the top and bottom edges of your sponge.

To make filling, add the icing sugar and extract to the cream and whisk till soft peak.

     10.  Pour cream over the sponge.
     11.  Spread the cream evenly all over the sponge.
     12.  Line and press the fruits gently on top of the cream if using any.
     13.  Roll up and use the paper to help you pull and mould the roll into a neat 
            shape. Chill the roll for 30 minutes so its easier to slice.

            Take the roll out of the fridge and slice into equal pieces.

Enjoy! xx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Macaron Day!

Its National Macaron Day! So I decided to give myself a excuse to practise making these little beauties and experiment with some different flavours. France most famous and colourful sweet, theres no denying that macarons are just irresistible and incredibly chic! If you have a sweet tooth and have not tried a macaron before then your definitely missing out! A sweet meringue-based made with egg whites, icing sugar, ground almond, caster sugar and food colouring and then  filled with buttercream, jams or ganache.

The six different fillings i've made are passion fruit chocolate ganache, vanilla creme, caramel, chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache and pistachio. I must say, I do think macarons are still the hardest things i've tried to master. I still can't seem to get them right each time. I can use the exact same recipe and sometimes it turns out perfect and the next time it can fail miserably!  

My first batch turned out lovely, all the same size with a perfectly smooth top. Filled with a passion fruit chocolate ganache, very happy with this filling. A tangy taste made with fresh passion fruits and dark chocolate, this filling is perfect for those who doesn't like their macarons too sweet. I decide with this filling all because i've been seeing so many lovely photo's of Ross Baxter passion fruit macarons from The Bakery Dunbar last week on Twitter. I'm still desperately wanting to make a visit to the bakery but Wales to Scotland is just a bit too far. (I will have to do a blog post of his beautiful creations on my blog soon)

So these baby blue and purple were my next two batches, filled with vanilla creme and chocolate ganache (using callebaut chocolate for the first time. Tasted lovely, very fine chocolate indeed.) I just adore these two colours together, what do you think? 

Forth batch, caramel filling. I was worried that they may turn out too sweet but surprising they wasn't. I'm thinking salted caramel filling would be even better. I definitely will make them next time! I was planning the forth batch to be my last batch but then......

 ......I kind of got in the mood and a little bit carried away! Wasn't too happy with my last few batches as they didn't turn out as well as my first batch! So I made a fifth and then a sixth! My last batch, the pistachio ones being totally oversized compare to the rest! 

As you can see in the photo, the sizes are not all the same, a couple don't have the feet and I have that point on the top! Noooooo! There are just so many different ways and techniques of how to make macarons and i'm still figuring out, on how to make them perfectly each time. So at the mean time, I can't share a recipe with all of you yet. I don't want to be posting my  recipes which i'm not even confident with myself. Hopefully with even more practice and trying out a few more different ways of making them, i'll manage to make them perfect each time and when that time comes I will definitely be sharing my recipe with all of you :) 

Maybe I am a little bit mad about Macarons, i'm just so happy looking at them! They are just so pretty, seriously how can you not fall in love with these?

And this photo is for my Instagram followers haha. I am a big fan of Instagram, just love the effects!

...and they make a perfect gift too :) 

Time to enjoy after my hard work :) xx

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Toblerone Cheesecake

Okay my first recipe post and surprisingly its not a cake recipe! I've decided to share my Toblerone cheesecake recipe first, and not a cake recipe because its one of my most popular photos on Twitter and Instagram. My followers seem to love this just by looking at the photo I posted! It's also one of my favourite cheesecakes, simply because its quick and easy to make and seriously who doesn't like Toblerone?

Serves 12 
200g digestive biscuits, finely crushed 
90g unsalted butter melted 
300g philadelphia cream cheese
300ml double cream (lightly whipped)
200g toblerone, melted (plus one extra bar for decorating)

  1. Lightly grease a 8inch springform cake tin or a mousse ring with butter. Put the crushed biscuits in a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix till combined. Press mixture over base of the tin evenly. Refrigerate while you make the cheesecake.
  2. Melt the 200g of toblerone chocolate over a bain-marie (water bath) or double boiler
  3. In another bowl mix philadelaphia cheese until its smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the creamcheese.
  4. Mix till combined.  
  5. Pour in the lightly whipped cream and fold in gently until well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared biscuit base.
  7. Spread the mixture evenly over the biscuit base with a palette knife.
  8. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I do pay more attention at this stage. Just by spending a couple of more minutes smoothing out the surface, it will make a lot of difference to the look of  your end result. When you think the top is smooth and even refrigerate for at least 5 hours, ideally over night.
  9. De-mould the cheesecake.

Cut into 12 pieces and place a piece of Toblerone onto each cheesecake and serve. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed my first recipe post. Do let me know how you got on. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.     
New version of a old favourite! June 2015
 Toblerone and Oreo Cheesecake!
If you love Toblerone and Oreos then you must try this! Use the same ingredients above and add a packet of cut up pieces of Oreos into the mixture after you've mixed in the cream.
 I used chocolate filling Oreos with this one.

Enjoy! xxx


Monday, 11 March 2013

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong

Since i've just started blogging I thought i'll include some of  my favourite places i've been to for cake. When I went to Hong Kong last year, one of the favourite places I visited was The Ritz-Carlton for afternoon tea. I must say it's one of the most beautifulest places i've been to. It's the highest hotel in the world with 118 storey and the forth tallest building in the world.

The hotel has two choices of afternoon tea, a traditional one and their signature chocolate afternoon tea. We went for the chocolate afternoon tea on the 103th floor, a chocolate themed lounged named 'The Chocolate Library'

I loved the idea that they called it The Chocolate Library and to go with the theme, they presented the cakes in a little book case stand.

It was the perfect variety. You got your savories and then your sweets includes a nutty chocolate brownie with a mousse topping, a praline filling piece of choclolate, chocolate macaron, a very light sponge cake with chocolate ganache, cheesecake, a mousse dessert and a devine chocolate tart served with the choice of tea or hot chocolate. Honestly I didn't have a favourite! Everything was up to my expectations but the only thing I wasn't too keen on was the few pieces of savories. 

The sizes was perfect for afternoon tea, not too big or too small but I was very glad that I only had a very light lunch on the day otherwise I wouldn't have managed to finish everything. We did spend a good few hours there taking our time, enjoying our food, chatting and relaxing and just enjoying the atmosphere. This was the perfect way to spend a lovey afternoon especially because I have such a sweet tooth.

It was a shame the weather wasn't that great on the day, I couldn't get a better photo of the views outside. On a good day, you will see a spectacular, breathtaking view of Hong Kong Island.

...but it was quite scary looking down from 103th floor...

If I do go back to Hong Kong this year, I definitely would like to pay another visit and try their Traditional afternoon tea. I loved everything about the whole experience, atmosphere, food, service, decor, views. I would definitely recommend this place.