• Sweet buns snail shaped. Each one contains white vanilla dough and dark cocoa dough and is layered with chocolate ganache. If you are fans of sweet yeast dough and chocolate I do not need to say more. They are just yummy, soft, chocolate-y delight. Enjoy!

     

    12 buns

     

     Dough:

    • 3 cups flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 3 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ¾  cup lukewarm milk
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼  cup minus 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

    Filling:

    • 1/3 cup whipping cream
    • 150 g dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)

     

    Make filling: pour the cream to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add chocolate broken into pieces. Let stand for 5 minutes then mix chocolate until incorporated. Let it cool completely. The mixture will thicken when cooled.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, half of milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. Add butter to the rest of milk in the saucepan and heat gently until butter melted but the mixture could not be hot. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg, vanilla extract and milk with butter. Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready divide it into half. Add cocoa powder to one half and kneed by hand until incorporated. Place both dough in oiled bowls, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Place dough on a floured surface and roll out each one into a 16 x 8 inch rectangular. Spread the filling evenly onto the white dough and cover with the dark dough. Spread the filling over dark dough. Cut prepared two layers dough into 12 strips 8 inch long each. Roll each strip shaping a snail. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place six rolls on each tray arranged them as a circle when each bun touches two other buns by sides. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest and double in size while preheating oven to 350°F. You can also place trays in the fridge for overnight and bake buns the next in the morning. Remove them from the fridge 15 minutes before baking.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is not more sticky and sounds hollow by taping the base. You can cover the top with aluminium foil after first 10 minutes to avoid burning the white dough too much. Serve warm or cooled.

     

     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: chocolate, cocoa, yeast.

  • Recently appeared on this blog classic cruffins – buns shaped as muffins made of croissants dough. Today recipe is for bicoloured cruffins – vanilla and cocoa with chocolate. It is a yeast dough enriched with butter which creates many layers after baking enjoying our visual sense. The addition of butter affects the taste as well – the dough is very delicate and pleasantly velvety. Preparing of cruffins is time consuming but the effect is worth the effort. Enjoy!

     

    8 big cruffins

     

    Light dough:

    • 2 cups (320 g) bread flour
    • 2.5 teaspoons dried yeast
    • 3 oz (90 ml) lukewarm milk
    • ¼  cup (50 g) sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lukewarm water

    Dark dough:

    • 1 ¾  cups (270 g) bread flour
    • 5 tablespoons (50 g) cocoa powder
    • 2.5 teaspoons dried yeast
    • 3 oz (90 ml) lukewarm milk
    • ¼  cup (50 g) sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lukewarm water

    ...

    • 2-3 tablespoons (40 g) dark chocolate (grated)
    • about 1 cup (220 g) butter, softened

     

     

    Make light dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg, vanilla extract and melted butter, slightly cooled.  Add water and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (5-6 minutes). Remove from the bowl, place on lightly floured surface and knead by hands for further 3-4 minutes until dough shapes a smooth and elastic ball. Once the dough is ready place it to the oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours to rest and rise.

    Repeat the procedure with ingredients for dark dough.

    When the dough is well risen place the remaining 1 cup butter in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat few minutes until light and fluffy.

    Grease the pan with butter. Divide each dough into eight equal pieces (eight light pieces and eight dark pieces). Working with one light and one dark piece at the time roll out dough very thinly in a shape of long rectangular with slightly rounded corners. Spread first piece (it does not matter light or dark) with butter evenly over the whole surface and cover with the second piece of dough. Spread butter again over the whole surface and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Roll it tightly into a log starting on the shorter side. Cut out almost the whole log into half lengthwise keeping one end not cut. Place both pieces cut side up and shape each into a snail. Two snails are connected together – put one over the second high up.  Repeat the procedure with all remaining seven light-dark pairs of dough. Place each double snail into one hole of the pan. Important! This way prepared cruffins are supposed to be baked in a popover pan or empty vegetable cans. If you own only classic muffin pan cut each log to the end shaping two separated snails and place in each pan hole one single snail. Let stand the pan in a warm place for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

    Bake cruffins to the ‘clean skewer’ for 20-22 minutes (in pans) or for 25-30 minutes in vegetable cans. Cool on a wire rack.

    Dust with icing sugar before serving.


     
     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, yeast.

  • This brownies has everything what you are looking for in that type of cake. High level of moistness, high content of chocolate, thick and intensive taste. It is like a dream of brownies came true. And the fantastic bonus is a layer of homemade caramel. What could be more perfect than chocolate and caramel in every one piece of cake? Try and surely enjoy!

     

    7x11 inch pan

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1  cup minus 1 tablespoon (200 g) butter
    • 7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate, chopped
    • ¾  cup + 2 tablespoon (175 g) golden caster sugar          
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup (150 g) all purpose flour
    • 1-2  tablespoon dark chocolate chips

     Caramel:

    • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon (125 g) caster sugar
    • 125 ml whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoon (30 g) salted butter

     

     

    Make caramel: place sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and heat over low heat, Do not stir, only swirl the pan to melt sugar evenly. When melted, increase the heat slightly and bubble until it turns a dark golden-brown colour. Remove from the heat and pour in half the cream, stirring as it bubbles, the return to a low heat. Add the remaining cream and butter and stir until glossy. Leave to cool and thicken.

    Preheat oven to 350 °F (180°C) and grease and line the pan.

    Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium-high heat. Place the heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. Pour butter and chocolate into the bowl and stir until melted. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Once melted set aside to cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer place eggs and sugar and whisk until pale and fluffy, then mix in chocolate mixture. Pour over the flour and mix just until combined.

    Spoon half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and dollop over the cooled caramel swirling a little with fork, the pour over the remaining brownie mixture, swirling again. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes until firm. Leave to cool in pan.

     

     

     

    The recipe comes from 'Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea'

    Category: Brownies.

    Tags: caramel, chocolate.

  • If you are a fan of brownies this is absolutely your ‘must have’. This cake is a classic brownies – very chocolately, moist, a little bit gooey. Pecans and chocolate pieces inside give a bit of crunch sank in a tender cake. And if you are a fan of caramel as well I am sure you will bake it. Enjoy!

     

    round pan 8 inch or 8x8 square

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½  cup butter
    • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup chopped pecans
    • ½ cup semisweet chocolate pieces

     Caramel ganache:

    • 20 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
    • 1 tablespoon milk

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350 °F (180°C) and line a baking pan with parchment.

    In a medium saucepan heat and stir butter and chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Stir sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. In a separated bowl stir together flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in ½ cup of the pecans and chocolate pieces. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in pan.

    Ganache: in a small sauce pan heat and stir caramels and milk over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Spread over cooled brownies and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup pecans.


     

     

     

    The recipe comes from the 'Better homes and gardens - baking' book

    Category: Brownies.

    Tags: caramel, chocolate, pecans.

  • This cake is neither difficult nor exacting unlike it seems to be. But for sure it is very tasty. Couldn’t be with mix of chocolate, coffee and Baileys? I think you would eat it without the frosting as well as the cake is really moist, chocolately and leaves this unforgettable Baileys’ smooth in your mouth. But you will chose the frosting for its coffee wildness and Irish nature – perfect combo not only for Saint Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

     

    round pan 9 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup canola oil
    • 1 ¼ cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • ½ cup Baileys
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

     Frosting:

    • 375 g cream cheese
    • ¾ cup icing sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powdered)
    • ¼ cup Baileys
    • ¾ cup whipping cream

     

     

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and line the pan with parchment.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer combine sugar, oil, vanilla extract, buttermilk and Baileys and mix on low speed. Add eggs, one at time. In a separated bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Add the flour mixture gradually to the egg-oil mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour (until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool in pan for 1 hour and then transfer onto wire rack to cool completely.

    Make frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the cream cheese, coffee powder and icing sugar and beat on low speed 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add Baileys and gradually stir in the whipping cream and beat on medium speed 3-4 minutes until mixture is smooth and spreadable.

    Assemble the cake: split the cake horizontally at the center by carefully cutting through with a knife. Divide the frosting mixture into 3 batches and one of them set aside. Spread 1/3 of frosting on the first cake’s layer with an offset spatula. Place the next layer on top and spread with the next portion of frosting. Fit a star tip onto a pastry bag and fill the bag with the last portion of frosting. Decorate the top of the cake with many small stars. Garnish with sprinkles and fresh flowers.

    If you do not want to decorate the cake you may abandon it and leave the semi-nacked layered cake. In that case you should decrease the amount of listed frosting’s ingredients to 2/3.   


     

     

     

    Category: Layered.

    Tags: Baileys, chocolate, coffee.

  • The cake ‘gift’ I made as a gift for my daughter’s birthday. It looks eye-catching and surprisingly but it is really easy in preparing. The topping is made of raspberries instead of heavy and sweet buttercream or sugar icing. Inside is chocolate cake with malted milk powder which slightly diversifies the taste and the top is covered with thin layer of chocolate ganache (as few as needed to glue raspberries), you can also use jam. The cake is very yummy and do not soil hands what is a big advantage on children’s party. Enjoy! P.S. The bow is edible too.

     

    square pan 8x8 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup butter
    • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
    • ½ cup golden sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose or cake flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 7 tablespoons malted milk drink (powder)
    • 7 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 cup milk

    Topping:

    • 100 g dark chocolate
    • 1 teaspoon butter or plant oil
    • 500 g raspberies
    • 50 g sugar fondant

     

    Grease pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a medium saucepan place malted milk drink powder and cocoa powder and pour the milk over. Stir and heat gently until boiled and started to thicken. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at the time and beat well after each addition. In separated bowl mix together flour and baking powder. Add to the butter-eggs mixture alternate with chocolate milk mixture. Mix until well combined. Once the mixture is ready spoon the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then lower the oven’s temperature to 325°F and bake for further 15 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). After baking leave in pan for few minutes then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely.

    Make topping: melt the chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Add butter or oil and mix. Set aside to cool and thicken. Meanwhile make the bow. Roll out the fondant to 1/10 inch thickness. Cut off three strips 1 inch wide and 8 inch + double high of the cake length.

    Place the cooled cake on the serving plate and spread the thin layer of chocolate ganache over the top and all sides. Place two strips over the middle of the cake, perpendicularly to each other. Form the third strip into a bow and place in the middle of crossing strips. Fulfil all empty spaces between the strips with raspberries (standing them vertically and tight). Place raspberries on sides of the cake too.


     

    Category: Layered.

    Tags: chocolate, cocoa, raspberry.

  • The composition of dark chocolate and black currant fruit is incredible good. The combo of soft, fluffy cake and foamy fruit mousse is positively surprising. Adding to them mirror chocolate glaze make this dessert sophisticated, elegant looking and ties together all flavours. Everything you will find in every piece of this delicious dessert. Enjoy!

     

    You should make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

    round spring pan 9 inch and two round 7-8 inch pans

     

     Chocolate sponges (two):

    • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
    • ½  teaspoon soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½  teaspoon salt
    • 100 ml plant oil
    • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ½  teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2/3 cup hot strong brewed coffee

    Mousse:

    • 800 g black currants (fresh or frozen)
    • juice of half lemon
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons gelatine
    • 450 ml whipping cream
    • 8-10 tablespoons icing sugar

    Mirror glaze:

    • ½ cup +2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons gelatine

     

    Chocolate sponges: grease and line baking pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.

    In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat oil and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract, mix. Gradually add flour mixture to oil mixture alternately with milk, in three batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. On the end add hot brewed coffee and mix together only 30 seconds. Divide the dough evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes (or longer - until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool sponges in pans for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

    Mousse layer: place black currants, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves and fruits burst. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Place half of the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add to half of warm puree and mix together. Whip the half of whipping cream with half of icing sugar* until stiff peaks. Gradually add prepared half of black currant puree and whip together.

    Line the bottom of 9 inch spring pan with parchment paper. On the base – in the center place first chocolate sponge and pour over black currant mousse. Place to the fridge for ½ - 1 hour.

    After this time make the second half of black currant mousse repeating steps described above. Remove the pan from the fridge, place in the center the second sponge and pour over the second half of the mousse. Even the surface and place to the fridge for overnight.

    The next day carefully remove the cake from the pan. Place on a serving plate and decorate with mirror glaze.

    Make the glaze: place the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. In a saucepan place su gar and water and heat until sugar dissolves. Add cocoa and cream and mix until combined. If the mixture is not smooth strain it through the sieve. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add to the warm glaze and mix. Cool the glaze slightly In the fridge to allow thickening.

    *my cakes and desserts are not very sweet. You may try every layer on every step of preparing and add more sugar if you want, remembering that sugar is less detectable in frozen/cooled desserts. 

     

     Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: black currant, chocolate.

  • There is so many chocolate cake recipes but astonishingly you can bake every time another cake. Today recipe is chocolate cake with an orange zest and whipped cream with orange curd. Addition of corn meal and nuts gives interesting texture and buttermilk provides moistness. The top is decorated with fresh fruits, strawberries work very well but figs will as well. Enjoy!

     

    spring pan ø 8 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon butter
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 100 g dark chocolate
    • 1 cup all purpose or cake flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ cup corn meal
    • ½ cup macadamias or almonds, chopped
    • 180 ml buttermilk

    Frosting:

    • 250 ml whipping cream
    • 4 tablespoon orange curd (store bought or homemade – recipe here)
    • fresh fruits (strawberries or figs)

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.

    Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Set aside to cool.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. With the last egg add orange zest. Add cooled chocolate. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder and corn meal. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches alternate with buttermilk. Add chopped nuts, mix shortly. Spoon the mixture into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, leave in pans for 1 hour then transfer to a wire rack.

    Make frosting: beat cream until stiff peaks forms. Mix in orange curd. Beat shortly together.

    Divide cooled cake horizontally into half. Spread half of the cream on the first layer. Cover with the second cake layer. Spread remaining cream on the top. Decorate with fresh fruits.


     

    Category: Chocolate cakes.

    Tags: chocolate, orange, strawberry.

  • This is my son’s birthday cake for his 4. birthday and he wished ‘dinosaurs’ world’. I did not want to use sugar fondant on the top and for decorations because it is very sweet product and without any nutrition values. I made all decorations of shortbread cookies and small angular shaped candies which pretend to be ‘stones’. I baked dinosaurs and bones shaped cookies to create the Jurassic scene and added some real plants which emphasise the prehistoric mood. The cake is a classic chocolate sponge frosted with mascarpone based frosting. Three layers of very chocolate-y (and very dark) sponge are layered with yummy blackberry frosting. The sponge is tasty, moist and velvety. The frosting is light, fruit-y and fresh. The chocolate blackberry combo is one of my favourite flavour pairs and is really yummy. Enjoy!

     

    3 sandwich pans ø 8 inch

     

    Sponges ingredients:

    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • ¾ cup cocoa* powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • 115 ml plant oil
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon almond extract
    • ¾  cup sour cream
    • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee (hot)

    Frosting:

    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 500 g mascarpone cheese
    • 350 g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 9 tablespoons icing sugar

    Cookies:

    • ½  cup softened butter
    • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon flour

     Decorations:

    • 20-30 pcs small angular shaped truffles or candies
    • small pieces of real shrubs

     * I used very dark (alkalized) cocoa powder. You may use ordinary baking cocoa powder – the colour of sponge will be yet brown not black and the taste will be less bitter.

     

    Cookies (you may bake them day or two ahead and store in an airtight container): in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick circle pan. Cut out  with cookie cutter dinosaurs and bones. Place them on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes (small shapes shorter, bigger shapes longer) until golden beige with darker edges. Cool after baking.

    Chocolate cake: preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and line pans.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat oil and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk  – one at a time and beat well after each addition. With last yolk add vanilla and almond extract.. In a separated bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to oil mixture in three batches alternate with sour cream, starting and ending with flour. When all ingredients are well incorporated add hot brewed coffee and mix shortly just until incorporated. Divide dough evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes (until a tooth pick inserted in to the center comes out clean). Leave cakes for 10 minutes in pans then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

    Frosting: blend blackberries until puree. If they are frozen heat in a saucepan for few minutes until soft. Drain before blending. Whip the cream until stiff. Beat in mascarpone cheese with icing sugar. Add blackberry puree, mix until combined.

    Place the first sponge on a serving plate. Spread over 1/3 mascarpone frosting. Cover with second sponge and repeat spreading. Cover with third sponge. Spread the rest of mascarpone frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Place into the fridge to set.

    Before serving make decorations: cover the sides with cookie bones (the frosting will glue them). Add some ‘stones’. On the top arrange knolls and walles of ‘stones’ i place dinosaurs in between. Add a little plants.

     

     

     

    Category: Layered.

    Tags: blackberry, chocolate, cocoa, mascarpone.

  • Is chocolate and lemon a perfect couple? Well, I took the risk and it seems that yes! This chocolate cheesecake is baked in oven in a double boiler and after cooling is spread with lemon curd. Cheese mixture is delicate, creamy and will melt in your mouth. I added dark chocolate which gave perfect taste – not too sweet, not too bitter. The combination of chocolate and lemon in one bit is surprising but very tasty and addictive. Enjoy!

     

    You have to make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

    round spring pan 8 inch

     

     Base:

    • 170 g tea biscuits
    • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon butter, melted

    Cheesecake:

    • 500 g cream cheese
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 150 ml whipping cream
    • 150 g dark chocolate

    Lemon curd:

    • 1 ½ lemons
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk

    Make the base: process biscuits in the food processor until very fine (sand texture). Add melted butter and mix until well incorporated. Line the bottom of a spring pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture evenly pressing lightly with a spoon. Let it cool in the fridge.

    Make cheesecake: pour the cream in a saucepan and heat until hot. Remove from the heat and stir in chopped chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes then mix until smooth mixture. Cool slightly. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat remaining ingredients until smooth mixture form. Add chocolate cream and mix until incorporated. Cheesecake will be baked in water bath (bain-marie) so wrap the spring pan filled with biscuit base  in two pieces of aluminium foil and place in a bigger pan filled with hot water to the half-way of spring pan sides. Pour the cheese mixture over the biscuit base. Place both pans together in hot oven (325°F) and bake for 1 hour. The cheesecake have to be set on its whole surface, if is not bake it longer. Once is baked remove from bigger water pan, waste the aluminium foil and place cheesecake in pan in the fridge for overnight.

    When the cheesecake is in the oven make lemon curd: grate the rind and squeeze the juice of lemons into heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the sugar and butter and stir until dissolved and melted. Put the egg and egg yolk in a bowl and beat together. Pour them through the sieve into the lemon mixture. Stir the mixture constantly over the heat until the lemon curd thickens and lightly coats the wooden spoon (it could take 10 to 20 minutes). Once it is ready set aside to cool.

    Next day remove cheesecake from the pan and place on a cake stand. Spread the lemon curd on the top. Decorate with grated chocolate and chocolate chips.

     

     

     Category: Cheesecakes.

    Tags: chocolate, lemon.

  • I made this cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday instead of traditional birthday cake. Chocolate and strawberry flavours chosen by her are popular combo but still very successful and tasty. The texture of this cheesecake is subtle, creamy and light. The chocolate taste is intensive but not overpowering and perfectly harmonizes with strawberry panna cotta. Fresh strawberries on the top complement nicely the whole dessert. Enjoy!

     

    You should make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

    round spring pan 8 inch

     

     Base:

    • 170 g tea biscuits
    • ¼ cup butter, melted

    Cheesecake:

    • 500 g cream cheese
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 125 g dark chocolate

    Panna cotta:

    • ½ cup milk
    • ½ cup whipping cream
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberries (powder)
    • 2.5 teaspoons gelatine

     

    Make the base: process biscuits in the food processor until very fine (sand texture). Add melted butter and mix until well incorporated. Line the bottom of a spring pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture evenly pressing lightly with a spoon. Let it cool in the fridge.

    Make cheesecake: heat the cream until boiling. Remove from the heat, add chocolate broken into pieces and set aside for 5 minutes. Then mix until smooth. Cool slightly.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat remaining ingredients until smooth mixture form. Add chocolate cream, mix shortly. Cheesecake will be baked in water bath (bain-marie) so wrap the spring pan filled with biscuit base  in two pieces of aluminium foil and place in a bigger pan filled with hot water to the half-way of spring pan sides. Pour the cheese mixture over the biscuit base. Place both pans together in hot oven (325°F) and bake for 1 hour. The cheesecake have to be set on its whole surface, if is not bake it longer. Once is baked remove from bigger water pan, waste the aluminium foil and place cheesecake in pan to the fridge for overnight.

    When the cheesecake is in the oven make panna cotta: place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to bloom. Heat milk with cream in a saucepan until hot. Remove from the heat, add strawberry powder and sugar and mix until dissolved. Heat gelatine gently in a double boiler or microwave until dissolves, not boil. Stir liquid gelatine in prepared mixture. Pour the mixture into silicon mould shaped of your choice (I made spiral circle and few small butterflies) and place to the fridge for overnight. Before removing from mould freeze for 30 minutes in freezer.

    Next day remove cheesecake from the pan and place on a cake stand. Remove frozen panna cotta from the mould and place on the top of cheesecake. Decorate with fresh strawberries. Store in fridge.

     

     

     Category: Cheesecakes.

    Tags: chocolate, strawberry.

  • Incredible easy and quick to prepare cake when you crave for chocolate dessert. Two layers of dark delight layered with whipped cream. Coconut hint is subtly detectable in the cake, does not overwhelm but gives a little sweetness and softness. Additionally appears in frosting. Sour passion fruits on the top perfectly change the game to avoid dullness. Enjoy!

     

    spring pan ø 8 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1 ¼ cups flour
    • ½ cup desiccated coconut
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ cup milk
    • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 100 g dark chocolate, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

    Top:

    • 250 ml whipping cream
    • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
    • inside of 3 passion fruits
    • several pieces of physalis fruits (optional)

     

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.

    In a bowl mix together flour, coconut, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir in eggs, milk, butter, chocolate and both extracts. Mix everything with a fork or spoon just until combined. Pour the dough to the pan and bake for 40 minutes (until the skewer inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool in pan. Remove from the pan and cut horizontally into half.  

    Beat the cream with sugar and coconut extract until stiff peaks. Spoon the half of frosting onto first sponge layer and cover with the second. Spoon the rest on the top and pour passion fruit pulp over there. Decorate with physalis fruits. Place the cake to the fridge. Best is on the next day when sponges become tender and cream sets.

     

     

     

     

    Category: Chocolate cakes.

    Tags: chocolate, coconut, passion fruit.

  • I suggest to abandon the old Roman ‘October’ name and change it to ‘Leaftober’. Currently I notice the huge leaves fall. We have plenty of leaves everywhere. Some of them even fell on the cake. Shortbread shell, inside the filling based on the French frangipane (creamy mixture made of almonds and butter) but with chocolate. It became delicious chocolate cream with almond texture. All is topped with pears which combine with chocolate just perfectly. Everything covered with big layer of leaves – very tasty leaves. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • 2/3 cup (150g) softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2  cups (320g) all purpose flour

     Filling:

    • 150 g ground almonds (almond meal)
    • ½ cup (100g) sugar
    • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (100g) butter
    • 70 g chocolate (I used semi-sweet 55%)
    • 1 egg
    • 3-4 pears, peeled and sliced

    Topping:

    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling: melt chocolate in water bath. All remaining ingredients except pears mix together until smooth. Add chocolate, mix until incorporated.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Spread the chocolate mixture over the base. Arrange pear slices all over the spread. They may lay in more than one layer. Cut out different sizes leaves from remaining pastry and arrange them over the pear layer. Beat the egg yolk with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry (leaves) with. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling looks baked). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, chocolate, pears.

  • Next madeleines on my blog. And no, this is not boring. Since these cookies are so delicious and have practically endless flavours’ possibilities why should not I bake them in another and another tastes? Today taste is just a must-have: chocolate. I added to the dough two types of cocoa powder and in combining with remaining ingredients they created clear and velvety chocolate taste. Before serving I dipped each cookie in melted chocolate and covered with crushed almonds. They turned out really good. Enjoy!

     

    30 standard sized madeleines

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½  cup + 1 teaspoon (120 g) butter, melted
    • ½  cup (100 g) sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • ¼  cup + 2 tablespoons (60 g) all purpose flour
    • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder (I added 3 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa powder and 2 tbsp very dark alkalized cocoa powder)
    • 7 tablespoons (70 g) almond flour
    • 1 ¼  teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt

    Topping:

    • 100 g dark chocolate
    • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds

     

     

     

    Melt the butter. Remove from the heat and set aside to coo slightly.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat together eggs, egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). In separated bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Add to egg mixture and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Stir in melted butter, mix with spatula. Place dough mixture into the fridge for overnight.  

    Next day preheat oven to 380°F (190°C) – preferably on convection oven mode. Grease madeleine pan/s with melted butter and place to the freezer for 10 minutes. Then fill each hole with dough. Place the madeleines pan on the cookie sheet and put together on the upper oven shelf. Bake for 10 minutes (standard sized cookies). They should be set and springy when touched in the center. Cool on a wire rack.

    Topping: melt the chocolate in bain-marie or microwave. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and scatter with almond crumbs. Place on the wire rack to set.

     

     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: almonds, chocolate, cocoa.

  • I cannot clearly say what kind of sweets this dessert is. You can describe it as a huge chocolate candy, frozen fruit mousse or no bake cheesecake. There is mascarpone passion fruit filling placed on milk chocolate praline covered with dark chocolate. This sweet treat is not complicated to prepare but you need a little time to work on it. The result is worth the effort – you will rave about its taste, I promise.

     

    6 pieces a 3.5 inch x 1.5 inch

     

    Passion fruit mousse:

    • 5 tablespoons passion fruit puree (aprox. 5 fruits)
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 250 g mascarpone cheese
    • 6 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons gelatine

    Milk chocolate praline (+ decoration):

    • 100 g milk chocolate
    • ¼ cup whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoons crushed breakfast cereals (wheat, oat, corn or other)

    Glaze:

    • 150 g dark chocolate
    • 1 tablespoon plant oil

     

     

    Passion fruit mousse: remove the pulp of passion fruit, discard shells. Rub through the sieve to separate the pulp and seeds. Discard seeds. Place the puree in a small sauce pan and heat gently until warm (do not boil). Place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes until blooms. Heat gently softened gelatine  in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add gelatine to the warm passion fruit puree and mix together. Cool slightly. Place mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and whipping cream in a bowl of a stand mixer and beat together until smooth and fluffy. Stir in passion fruit puree. You can mix it shortly if some lumps occur. Place the mousse in to silicon moulds leaving empty space (about 3-4 mm) on the top. Chill in freezer for 1-2 hours.

    Chocolate praline: heat the whipping cream until hot (do not boil). Remove from the heat and stir in chopped milk chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken. Take out 3-4 tablespoons of the mass for decorating and the remaining mixture combine with crushed cereals. Remove from the freezer moulds with passion fruit mousse and put the praline on the top of each portion filling moulds to the top. Place again to the freezer.  

    Glaze: melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Add oil and mix together. Remove from the freezer moulds with prepared desserts and remove them from moulds. Dip each in chocolate and place on a wire rack placed above the baking tray to drain. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. Store in fridge. Before serving decorate desserts with remaining milk chocolate praline – place it in a piping bag and pipe small rosettes on the top.


     

    Category: Desserts/icecreams.

    Tags:chocolate, glutenfree, oat, passion fruit.

  • I suppose these chocolate Mexican cookies could be the best cookies I baked recently. They are very chocolate with addition of spices which increase the chocolate taste but are not chilly. Cookies are perfectly crisp and crunchy and match superbly with soft and velvety filling. Sweet filling and almost bitter cookies is a an amazing couple. You will be in heaven, I promise.

     

    25 double cookies

     

    Ingredients:

    • ¾  cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ¾ cup dark alkalized cocoa*
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 ¼ cups flour

     Filling:

    • 1 can dulce de leche

     *this is crucial ingredient – do not substitute it ordinary baking cocoa

     

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour and beat until smooth dough. Divide the dough in half, cover and chill for 1 hour. After this time shape each portion into 6 inch roll. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

    Preheat oven to 325°F and line a large cookie tray with parchment paper.

    Once the rolls are cooled become to be stiff and easy to cut. Slice it into 3/8 inch wide slices. Place cookies onto the prepared tray. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are firm. They will be tender just after baking and become tough through cooling.

    Spread dulce de leche onto bottoms of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies.


     

    The recipe comes from the magazine 'Fall Baking 2017' Better Homes & Gardens.

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags:chocolate, cocoa, dulce de leche.

  • Very simple, classic chocolate tart. On the shortbread base – I used homemade pastry, it might be also cookie crumb base. Not many ingredients, easy to prepare. In classic recipes the filling is a mix of chocolate and whipping cream. I used coconut milk instead of dairy cream, which did not worse the taste nor texture but brought some benefits. The filling is lactose free, dairy free, vegan. And a little less in calories. But still delicious. Enjoy!

     

    1 classic tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • ½  cup (115 g) softened butter
    • 5 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 ¾  cups (270 g) all purpose flour

    Filling:

    • 360 g dark semi-sweet chocolate (I used 54,5%)
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (280 ml) coconut milk
    • 1 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt

    Topping:

    • 2 pears
    • 2-3 tablespoons golden brown sugar (Turbinado)

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and cocoa powder, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. If it is very flaky and not elastic add cold water, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 350°F /180°C. Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Place the parchment paper over the base and weight the pastry with ceramic balls, peas, bean or another baking pan (empty). Bake blind for 15 minutes. Discard weight and bake for further 10 minutes. Cool.

    Make filling: place the broken chocolate to the bowl. In a saucepan heat coconut milk and sugar until warm (not boil). Add cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and mix together. Pour over chocolate and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Then mix until smooth mixture. Pour over the cooled base and place to the fridge for several hours (better overnight).

    Caramelized pears: preheat oven to 420°F (210°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar. Cut pears into thin slices and arrange on the sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool. Before serving the tart decorate the top with pears. You may dust it with cocoa powder and/or shredded coconut.


     

    Category: No-bake cakes.

    Tags: coconut milk, chocolate, glutenfree, pear, vegan.

  • Tasty, rich in chocolate, homemade truffles, better than store bought. Truffles are very easy to prepare of two ingredients only. You can make other frosting ifas desired. My truffles are coated with white chocolate and crushed m&m’s, white and red only because I made them for Canada day in flag’s colour. It was my first time with homemade truffles and now I know how easy it is. Enjoy!

     

    about 20 pieces

     

     Ingredients:

    • 150 ml whipping cream
    • 190 g dark chocolate (I used Belgian 72%)
    • 100 g white chocolate
    • 1 pack of m&m’s

     

    Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in dark chocolate cut roughly. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mix together until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Baking tray line with baking parchment. Place the chocolate-cream mixture in a piping bag and pipe small portions (walnut size). Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and shape each portion into ball. Chill in the fridge for next 30 minutes.

    Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Crush m&m’s. Take truffles out of the fridge. Deep each in white chocolate and quickly coat with crushed m&m’s. Chill for few minutes in the fridge. Store in fridge.

     

     

     

     

    Category: Desserts/icecream.

    Tags: chocolate, glutenfree.

  • Vegetable’s content in sweet bakes is more and more popular. Carrot cake is a classic one but we use now beetroot, spinach and other as well. In this mood today I have zucchini cake. And chocolate cake. All in one. The cake is very moist and soft because of zucchini’s addition but we cannot smell it inside. Big amount of chocolate is not overwhelming, the cake is still light and delicate. On the top is cocoa whipped cream perfectly corresponding to the rest of flavours. Enjoy!

     

    8 small loaves 3 ½ x 2 ½ inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ¼ cup canola oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
    • ¼  teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½  teaspoon baking soda
    • ½  teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini (1 medium)
    • 2 oz dark chocolate chips

     Topping:

    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 2 tablespoon icing sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon for dusting

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line pans.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer whisk together sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add grate zucchini and chocolate chips mixing just until combined. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans filling three-fourth each. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean). Remove from the oven and leave for 20 minutes in pans than transfer into the wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with whipped cocoa cream and dust with remaining cocoa powder.

    Whipped cream: whisk cream until soft peaks forms. Add icing sugar and cocoa powder and whisk until stiff. Place it in a pipping bag and pipe over the top of each loaf.

     

     

     

    Category: Chocolate cakes.

    Tags: cinnamon, chocolate, cocoa, zucchini.

  • Homemade chocolate truffles in winter tastes. Cinnamon and freeze-dried apples covered with caramel glaze are fully in Christmas mood. There are few simple ingredients and not complicated preparing so maybe you make them as a holiday gift for someone? But I understand if you want to save them for yourselves – they are just delicious. And nothing could better match the December treats. Enjoy!

     

    about 20 pieces

     

    Ingredients:

    • 150 ml whipping cream
    • 200 g dark chocolate (I used Belgian 72%)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped freeze-dried apples

    Caramel glaze:

    • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar (muscovado)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 5 tablespoons whipping cream

     

     

    Place the cream and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in dark chocolate cut roughly. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mix together until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the chopped apples. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Take the small portion (walnut size) with a teaspoon and place onto the baking tray. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and shape each portion into regular ball. Chill in the fridge for next 30 minutes.

    Glaze: in a small sauce pan place the butter and brown sugar. Heat slowly until they melt. Add whipping cream, mix together. Bring to the boil. Boil few minutes until slightly thickens. Remove from the heat. Take truffles out the fridge. Deep each in caramel glaze. You may sprinkle with some sprinkles. Chill for few minutes in the fridge. Store in fridge.


     

    Category: Desserts/icecreams.

    Tags:apple, caramel, Christmas, cinnamon, chocolate, glutenfree.

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