Egg Whites

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Mud Cake with Hazelnut Macaron and White Chocolate Rings

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

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For my lovely Nick…

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I wanted to create something quite special for my wedding anniversary. I didn’t get to eat much of the wedding cake on the day, or the day after, and I’m not sure how well it will have kept from a year ago (as we froze the top layer of the cake).

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We had a white chocolate hazelnut cake for our wedding and for more than a year I have been wanting to make one. I decided to make some hazelnut macarons and white chocolate rings to add some depth and interest to the cake.
Both the mud cake and macarons tasted fantastic. The mud cake had subtle white chocolate and hazelnut flavours, without being too sweet. It was moist and kept very well. The macaron had a lovely noticeable hazelnut flavour, perfectly chewy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.

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The macarons were left to form a shell, and I’m not sure whether it had too much moisture or hazelnuts to cause cracking of the top of the macaron or whether the oven played any part in this.

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My tempering wasn’t perfect, I heated 2/3 of the (180g block) white chocolate to 43C over a double boiler, added the other 1/3 and cooled to 29C (which took a while) then heated to 31C. The white chocolate still snapped when set, but wasn’t as shiny as I’d hoped.

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To make the white chocolate rings, I cut out strips of projector film, coated them in tempered white chocolate, let them set for a bit, then curled them up in a circular cookie cutter. For the flower ring, I punched flowers out of the film using a craft paper puncher.

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To another lovely year… and many more to come…

WhiteChocHazelnut06 A beautiful bouquet of double delight roses from Nick

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Mud Cake

(Cake recipe by kel11 on HubPages)

350g white chocolate pieces
225g butter
600ml water
3 eggs
400g castor sugar
325g self-raising flour
75g hazelnut meal

Grease and line a 23cm/ 9” round cake tin (use a non-spring-tin as it will probably leak a little). Preheat oven to 170ºC, 150ºC fan forced.

In a saucepan over low heat, heat chocolate, butter and water. Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Gradually beat cooled chocolate mixture into eggs. Whisk sugar and flour into chocolate mixture, continue until smooth and well blended.

Pour mixture into cake tin. Cook for 1½ to 2 hours (the recipe says 45 minutes, but this was way too short for my oven) or until skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. (Cover with some foil if the cake is browning too much on the edges).

Turn cake onto wire rack to cool. Spread top with chocolate ganache when cooled.

White Chocolate Ganache

180g white chocolate
1/3 cup thickened cream
+ 2-3 tablespoons cold cream extra

Put the white chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring half way through. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Using an electric beater, beat the white chocolate mix for 2-3 minutes. Add extra cream to help cool down the mix and help it thicken easier. Beat on high for 2 minutes at a time, scrapping and observing the texture. Once it is nice and thick cover the cooled cake with the ganache.

Hazelnut Macarons

5 egg whites, aged overnight
50g caster sugar
300g icing sugar
100g almond meal
80g hazelnut meal

Sift the icing sugar with the almond meal and hazelnut meal – discard any large bits.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar while continually beating until a thick glossy meringue mixture is formed. Add the sifted icing sugar and meals and stir and fold into the meringue. The mixture needs to be firm enough so it doesn’t lose all the air and structure, and soft enough that peaks are not evident when piped out.

Pipe out macaron mix into 3-4cm circles on baking paper and let sit at room temperature for 30minutes – 1hour. Preheat oven to 170C.

Cook macarons for 15-20minutes until crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Let the macarons sit on the tray for a few minutes, before carefully removing them and leaving them to finish cooling on a wire rack.

When cooled, fill with white chocolate ganache.

Lemon Marshmallow and Lemon Sherbet

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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I had wanted to make marshmallows for a while, and then just when I was getting the time to make it, the July Daring Bakers Challenge came and I got to make some lovely Mallows (Chocolate covered marshmallows on biscuits). The marshmallow for that recipe went surprisingly well and inspired me to finally make a recipe I had book marked a while ago.

This lemon marshmallow is lovely and strongly flavoured with sweet lemon. Making the marshmallow proved a lot easier than cutting the marshmallow (which involved cleaning the knife after each cut and sprinkling icing mixture or icing sugar in the cuts to stop it sticking back to itself).

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To go with the marshmallow, I decided I had to make the sherbet as well. I made a third of the quantity of the original recipe and after trying ¼ teaspoon, my mouth almost started foaming and turning inside out. So after adding another 2 x icing sugar, the craziness of the mixture was finally toned down. (I’m just glad I didn’t use the 75g citric acid they recommended, otherwise I would have had an extremely large excess of sherbet.)

The marshmallow and sherbet work very well together, although the sherbet does tend to overpower the marshmallow, so I would suggest serving these separately or sparingly with the sherbet.

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Lemon Marshmallows with Lemon Sherbet
Recipe from Gourmet Traveller.com.au (Sherbet recipe slighty adapted)

Makes about 25

25g powdered gelatine
185ml (¾ cup) lemon juice
½ lemon, finely grated rind only
500g caster sugar
1 tablespoon liquid glucose
2 eggwhites
For dusting: snow sugar (see note) (I used icing mixture, it went a bit hard after a few days, but worked well enough)

Lemon sherbet
25g citric acid (see note)
95g pure icing sugar (or icing mixture if that’s what you have)
1/3 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda, finely sieved
1/3 lemon, finely grated rind only

Combine gelatine, lemon juice and rind in a small bowl and stand until lemon juice is absorbed (1-2 minutes). Fill a bowl with boiling water and place bowl of gelatine mixture on top and stand until gelatine has dissolved (1-2 minutes). Keep warm.

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Combine sugar, glucose and 200ml water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, then brush down sides of pan using a wet, clean pastry brush and cook over medium heat until syrup reaches 125C on a sugar thermometer (5-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk eggwhites using an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and whisk to firm peaks. With motor running and mixer speed on medium, slowly and simultaneously add syrup and gelatine mixture in a thin stream. Whisk until mixture cools to blood temperature.

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Spoon into a baking paper-lined 20cm-square cake tin, smooth top using a wet palette knife and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours). Cut into cubes, roll in snow sugar and refrigerate until required.

For lemon sherbet, sift ingredients through a fine sieve into a dry bowl (sherbet must remain dry to retain fizz effect). It will keep refrigerated in a dry airtight container for 1 week.

Serve marshmallows dusted heavily in lemon sherbet and eat immediately. (I used the sherbet sparingly over the marshmallows).

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Note: Snow sugar is a mixture of icing sugar and vegetable fats, resulting in an icing sugar that can be used to dust slightly moist cakes without dissolving as quickly as ordinary icing sugar. It is available from select delicatessens. Substitute with icing sugar. Citric acid is available from the baking section of major supermarkets. Make sure all ingredients for lemon sherbet stay completely dry otherwise you will lose the fizz effect.

Mallows and Milan Cookies – Daring Bakers July 2009

Monday, July 27th, 2009

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The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

My artistic version of the mallows :)

My artistic version of the mallows :)

I was very excited when reading this month’s Daring Bakers challenge for two reasons. The first was seeing the Choc Mallows, which I’ve loved eating (called Royals by one company here in Australia) but never thought about making, and was very excited to finally make marshmallow. The second was the Milan Cookies, which I’ve never tasted before, but was very glad they used so many eggwhites. (This may seem a little weird, as many people were asking what they should make with their left over egg yolks, although I already had 18 egg whites left over from making a Crouquembouche – with the most fantastic custard). I froze the egg whites in lots of 6, and this was the perfect amount for one batch of Milan Cookies.

I was extremely happy with how the Mallows turned out – the combination of biscuit and marshmallow covered in dark chocolate was just fantastic and very much similar to those from the shops. I didn’t think the biscuits tasted that great without the other two components and unfortunately the recipe made around double than necessary for the marshmallow and chocolate – so if I were to make it again, I would make half the biscuits.

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The Milan biscuits tasted lovely, especially (almost) straight out of the oven. Unfortunately I had no lemon essence or orange and therefore had vanilla cookies with a chocolate ganache filling.

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Thanks to Nicole for the great idea and introducing me to two new biscuits and great recipes. I enjoyed the challenge and was very happy with how they both turned out.

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Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (180C)
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.

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10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

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Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

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Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

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Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Milan Cookies
Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree (180C) oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.

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6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

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Lemon Curd Friands

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

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I have been introduced to a number of foods (mainly baked goods) at work and one of these was the friand, a lemon curd one to be precise. I tried it a while ago and the colleague at work left before I had a chance to get the recipe. As I knew she read the delicious magazine, and thought I remembered hearing her mention it about the friands, I was excited when I found this recipe from the delicious magazine on Taste.com.au.

When deciding to make them, I made sure I could use up the remaining egg yolks and as Portuguese Custard Tarts are one of my favourite foods now, I made almost a double batch of these to use up the egg yolks.

These friands were lovely, I’m not sure if they were the same as what I had tasted, mine seemed a little denser than I expected. I also realise I probably should have swirled the lemon curd in a bit more into the friand mix too, as it was a bit sticky on the top (or bottom, if you turn them over to show the pretty friand star). The lemon curd complemented the friand perfectly and was lovely for afternoon tea or perhaps even a high tea, which is on my list of things to do 😛 .

Lemon curd friands
Recipe from delicious magazine and also found on Taste.com.au

Makes: 10-12

1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 1/2 cups (185g) almond meal
1/3 cups (200g) pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
5 eggwhites
200g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
5 teaspoons lemon curd, plus extra to serve
Whipped cream (optional), to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 10-hole or 12-hole friand pan or line with paper cases.

Mix the flour, almond meal and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggwhites with a fork until foamy, then add to dry ingredients with butter and zest and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Divide batter among friand pans. Place 1/2 teaspoon of curd on each friand and use a wooden skewer to swirl through batter.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden. Cool, then dust with extra icing sugar. Serve with extra lemon curd, and whipped cream if desired.

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Chocolate Chip Friands with Cinnamon and Almonds

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Can you believe after that mammoth feast for my Mum’s birthday, consisting of Butter chicken pie with vegetables and rice, home-made trifle for dessert and a poppy seed cake for the birthday cake, that there would still be time to make, and people to eat, some lovely friands?

Well, not really… there was enough time for me to make these friands, although almost no one had enough room to fit in even a quarter of a friand.

If it weren’t for my bad timing (chosen due to the left-over egg whites from the custard in the trifle), I’m sure these would have been gobbled up by my family… alas… I was ‘forced’ to take most home – with a couple arriving with me at work with the remaining poppy seed cake.

Choc Chip friands with Cinnamon and Almonds

(adapted from Lynne Mullin’s recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Living Winter + Food Magazine May 2008)

Makes: 12

6 egg whites
185g butter, melted
125g (1½ cups) almond meal
240g (2 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
75g (heaped ½ cup) plain flour
100g coarsely chopped dark chocolate
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
25g (1/4 cup) slivered almonds, chopped
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 200°C. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy and small peaks form. Add melted butter, almond meal and icing sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add flour, chocolate and cinnamon and combine well.

Egg White beaten until frothy and starting to form small peaks

Egg White beaten until frothy and starting to form small peaks

Divide mixture evenly between a 12-mould friand tin. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and cooked.

Sprinkle with chopped almonds

Sprinkle with chopped almonds

Rest in pan for 5-10 minutes and the carefully turn onto a cake rack or use a spoon to lift out of moulds. Cool friands and then dust with icing sugar before serving.

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