Le Fraisier by Arnaud Delmontel

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For 8 people

INGREDIENTS

BISCUIT CUILLER

  • 45g Sugar
  • 50g egg whites
  • 35g egg yolks
  • 45g flour

METHOD

  1. Beat the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until fluffy.
  2. Towards the end of the mixing turn the speed to low
  3. Add the flour gently.
  4. Pour the mixture on a plate/baking tray and cook 8-10 minutes in the oven at 200 °c.


CRÈME MOUSSELINE(210g butter Cream  + 210g cream patisserie)

INGREDIENTS

For the cream patisserie:

  • Crème pâtissière
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 yolk
  • 50g sugar
  • 25g custard powder
  • ½ vanilla pod

METHOD

  1. Heat the milk with the vanilla.
  2. Beat the egg yolk and sugar together and add in the custard powder.
  3. When the milk comes to boil add a little bit of the warm milk into the egg sugar mixture mixing well.
  4. Pour all of the mixture back in the pan and cook until boiling.
  5. Discard and cover well with a cling film and keep it at room temperature.

For the Butter Cream:

  • 125g Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 212g of butter
  • Water

METHOD

  1. Put water and sugar to bake at 121°.
  2. Remove and pour on the beaten egg yolk at full speed.
  3. Add butter in small pieces until the mixture becomes creamy smooth.
  4. Mix the custard in a bowl with a whisk and add the butter cream.

SYRUP
INGREDIENTS

  • 35g water
  • 35g sugar
  • 15g brandy raspberry

 

FINISHING

  1. Cut the cake into 2 through the middle
  2. Wet the first piece with the syrup
  3. Spread a thin layer of cream mousseline about 1/3 on top.
  4. Wash and remove stems from the strawberries and add them.
  5. Spread cream again filling the gaps
  6. Place the second piece of biscuit. Moisten with the rest of syrup
  7. Smooth with cream and let it firm
  8. Place almond paste on top which was rolled by a rolling pin, and pour a drop of strawberry jelly.
  9. Garnish with fresh strawberries

 

 

2014 Chocolate Kings Cake With Crumble

A very traditional cake we usually do every Christmas in Greece & Cyprus with a chocolate twist! The King Cake (Vasilopita in Greek or galette des rois in French),  is a New Year’s Day cake which contains a hidden coin or trinket which gives good luck to the receiver. It is associated with Saint Basil’s day, January 1, in most of Greece, but in some regions, the traditions surrounding a cake with a hidden coin are attached to Epiphany or to Christmas.

On New Year’s Day families cut the vasilopita to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. This is usually done at the midnight of New Year’s Eve. A coin is hidden in the cake by slipping it into the dough before baking. At midnight the sign of the cross is etched with a knife across the cake. A piece of cake is sliced for each member of the family and any visitors present at the time, by order of age from eldest to youngest. Slices are also cut for various symbolic people or groups, depending on local and family tradition.  In older times, the coin often was a valuable one, such as a gold sovereign. Nowadays there is often a prearranged gift, money, or otherwise, to be given to the coin recipient.

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INGREDIENTS:

VASILOPITA:

  • 250 g. dark chocolate 72% cocoa
  • 400 g. butter
  • 300 g. brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bulb fresh ground nutmeg
  • 400 g. almond powder
  • 10 eggs
  • 175 g. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Decorative nuts and bonbons

ALMOND CRUMBLE:

  • 125 g. butter
  • 150 g. brown sugar
  • 30 g. dark chocolate 72% cocoa
  • 125 g. flour
  • 50 g. almond powder

METHOD:

  1. Melt the chopped chocolate with the butter in the microwave.
  2. In a bowl add the eggs and beat with a hand blender or whisk.
  3. In another pan , place the melted chocolate with the butter , add the brown sugar , cinnamon, cloves , nutmeg , the almond powder , beaten eggs , flour and lastly the baking powder.
  4. Mix well and pour the mixture into a 28cm diameter tin, with a built bottom foil.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes and at 160 degrees C for another 30 minutes.

FOR THE ALMOND CRUMBLE :

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
  2. In a bowl add the butter, brown sugar, almond powder and stir briefly with an electric mixer.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and flour, continuing to stir.
  4. Take it out of the bowl and roll it out into a thin sheet of thickness 3 mm with a roller pin and place it in the fridge.
  5. When frozen cut a disc diameter smaller than the hoop of the Kings Cake.
  6. Cover the surface of the almost cooked cake with the crumble and continue baking for 15 minutes until the crumble is cooked.
  7. Garnish with decorations of your choice .

Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

Yule Logs

INGREDIENTS:

Sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour

Chocolate buttercream:

  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened

METHOD:

Chocolate buche de noel:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Butter a 10-inch by 15-inch baking pan with a 1-inch lip (jelly-roll pan) and line it with parchment paper. Butter the parchment or spray it with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
  2. Beat the eggs for 5 minutes, until they turn thick and foamy. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and continue beating for 2 minutes. Fold the flour, a few tablespoons at a time, into the whipped egg mixture. Once the flour is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. Do not overmix or the cake will bake up into a tough texture.
  3. Gently spread the batter into the prepared pan. There will be peaks of batter; gently smooth over them, but do not press the batter down. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, until the cake is just set. Invert the baked cake onto a clean, dry kitchen towel and peel off the parchment paper. Wait 3 minutes and then gently roll the cake, still in the towel, starting at the 10-inch end. Allow it to cool completely.

To make the chocolate buttercream:

  1. In a clean, completely dry bowl beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Set them aside for a moment.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Allow it boil until it has reduced into a slightly thickened syrup. Begin beating the egg whites on high speed again, and pour the hot sugar syrup into the eggs in a slow, steady stream.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the egg whites and continue beating them until the meringue has cooled completely, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the softened butter to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, while beating on high speed, until all of the butter is incorporated into the frosting. If the buttercream becomes runny at any time in this process, refrigerate the meringue until it has chilled through and continue the process of beating the butter into the meringue.

To assemble the chocolate yule log:

  1. Unroll the cake and set aside the towel. Evenly spread 2 cups (or desired amount) of the chocolate buttercream on the inside of the cake and following its natural curve, gently form it into a cake roll.
  2. Cut off the ends of the cake roll on the diagonal and reattach them in the center of the cake with a bit of buttercream to fashion a “branch” coming off the main Yule log.
  3. Spread the exterior of the buche de noel with enough chocolate buttercream to cover it and gently pull a butter knife or small, offset spatula through the frosting to give the appearance of rough tree bark.
  4. Add a Pere Noel figure and meringue mushrooms to complete the festive look.
  5. Chill the cake before serving it, and refrigerate any leftovers.
  6. This chocolate yule log recipe makes 14 servings.

MERINGUE MUSHROOMS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips or candy coating
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

METHOD:

  1. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 95 degrees.
  2. Place room temperature egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. It is important that the bowl and whisk both be very clean, so that the egg whites whip properly.
  3. Begin beating the egg whites on medium speed. Once they are very frothy, stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue to beat the egg whites. Once they form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Beat the whites until they are very shiny and hold stiff peaks, but are not dry or crumbly.
  4. Spoon the meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, or the open end of a coupler.
  5. First, pipe the mushroom caps: hold the pastry bag at a 90-degree angle about 1/2 inch from the parchment paper. Using firm and even pressure, squeeze out a round meringue disc about 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch high. Stop squeezing, then twist the bag and lift it from the meringue to get a clean “break” from the cap. Repeat in regular intervals on the baking sheet until you have approximately 2 dozen mushroom caps. You can smooth out the tops of your mushrooms by wetting your index finger and lightly running it along the caps.
  6. Next, pipe the mushroom stems. Again position the bag perpendicular about 1/2-inch from the baking sheet. Begin squeezing the bag to form a 1-inch round base. Continue to squeeze as you slowly and evenly draw the bag up, forming a tapering stem about 1.5 inches tall. Use the remaining meringue to pipe as many stems as possible—some stems invariably tilt and collapse, so you should always make extras.
  7. Bake the meringues at 95 degrees for about 90 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. The meringues should be hard and dry to the touch, and you should be able to easily lift one from the parchment. Once the meringues are done, turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for several hours or overnight.
  8. To assemble the mushrooms, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Use a toothpick to carve a small hole in the bottom of a mushroom cap. Dip the top of a stem in the white chocolate, and stick the chocolate-covered stem top in the hole of the mushroom cap. Place the mushroom on a baking tray to set, and repeat with remaining caps and stems.
  9. Place the cocoa powder in a sifter, and lightly sift cocoa over the tops of the mushrooms. Mushrooms can be stored for up to a month in an airtight container in a cool, dry room. Note that humidity can make the mushroom soft and collapse, so do not place them on a cake or in a refrigerated environment until immediately before serving.

Coffee & Walnut cake

Coffee & walnut cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g pack softened butter, plus extra for the tins
  • 100ml strong black coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules), cooled
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g walnuts, 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped

For the filling

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g mascarpone, at room temperature

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment. Set aside 1 tbsp of the coffee for the filling.
  2. Beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and half the remaining coffee in a large bowl with an electric whisk until lump-free. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts, then divide between the tins and roughly spread. Scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over one of the cakes. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until golden and risen, and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Drizzle the plain cake with the remaining coffee. Cool the cakes in the tins.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: beat together the icing sugar, cream and mascarpone, then fold in the reserved 2 tbsp coffee. Spread over the plain cake, then cover with the walnut-topped cake and dust with a little icing sugar.

Chocolate beet root cake with kale chips and toasted almonds

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9-inch bundt

for cake:

  • 2 small beets (200 g total)
  • 240 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 12 Tbspn butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool completely. When cool, cut off the tails, and peel the beets. Grate the beets and set aside.
  2. Prepare a bundt mold by greasing and flouring the inside. Keep the oven at 180 degrees C.
  3. In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  4. Put the butter in a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Cream until light, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and continue beating on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. In two stages, add in the flour mixture, alternating with the creme fraiche and the whole milk. Mix well until combined but do not overmix. Pour in the hot coffee and mix. Fold in the grated beets.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before unmolding from the pan. Let cool completely on the rack.

for ganache:

  • 9 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 7.5 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbspn butter

METHOD:

  1. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the cream and butter just until simmering.
  3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate. Remove from heat, and let sit for a minute or so.
  4. Stir the cream into the chocolate until smooth. Cool until tepid and slightly thickened, and pour/spread onto the cake.

for kale chips and almonds:

  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed
  • 1 Tbspn olive oil
  • flaked sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
  2. Chop the kale into medium-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the sliced almonds out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, rotating once, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  4. Either layer the kale chips and almonds on the cake, or smash into crumbs and sprinkle on the cake for a bit of savory bite.

Note: Use the kale chips shortly after they are made (or keep in an airtight container), and add them to the cake just before serving. The kale will soften if left to the open air and on the cake too long.

Strawberry gin and tonic cake

INGREDIENTS:
makes sixteen 3.5-inch brioche molds, or two 6.5-inch brioche molds
for cakes:

  • 313 g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn salt
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbspn lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ cup tonic water (fresh, not flat)

for strawberries:

  • 2 punnets strawberries
  • 2 Tbspn gin
  • 2 Tbspn sugar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour the insides of the molds. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the juniper berries finely with the lime zest. Rub the berries and zest into the sugar with your fingers.
  4. In a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Combine the lime juice and tonic water in a separate container. In three additions, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the tonic water and lime juice in between. Beat well, but do not overmix.
  6. Divide the batter between the molds. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes for small cakes and 45 to 50 minutes for large cakes. If baking large cakes, cover lightly with a piece of tin foil about 30 minutes into baking so that the tops don’t burn. Cakes are done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the tins and let cool completely on the wire rack.
  8. About 20 minutes prior to serving, stem and quarter (or halve) the strawberries. Mix with the gin and sugar, and let sit for about 10 to 20 minutes. Serve with the cakes and, if desired, soft-whipped cream.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
For the cake:
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 100g peanut butter (I used crunchy)
  • 45g unsalted butter, soft
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 75g (1.5) eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75ml buttermilk

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 150g dark chocolate (approx 72%)
  • 125ml double cream
  • 25ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar

To finish:

  • small handful of peanuts (I used salted)
  • approx 1 tbsp cocoa nibs

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and flour a 6″ cake tin (double all ingredients for a 9″ tin or two 8″). Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  2. Weigh the peanut butter, butter, caster sugar and brown sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together, beating for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg in small splashes, beating very well in between. When the egg is incorporated, clean down the sides then add half the flour. Mix on low speed until the mixture starts looking uniform, then add the buttermilk in a steady stream. Once you’ve added all the buttermilk, take the mixture off the stand mixer. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula.
  3. Transfer to the prepared tin and level. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick can be removed cleanly from the middle. Leave in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the cake is totally cool, split it into two or three layers with a serrated knife.
  4. To make the ganache, chop the chocolate up into small chunks and place it into a bowl. Put the double cream, buttermilk and brown sugar in a small pan and warm over a medium heat. When it starts to steam, pour over the chocolate, pushing all of the chunks into the liquid. After a few moments start stirring in the centre, slowly incorporating the rest of the liquid until you have a thick, glossy ganache. Leave to cool for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
  5. Place the layer that was the top of the cake upside down on the serving plate on top of some strips of parchment paper. Smear some ganache over the layer, then add the next cake layer. Repeat for the next layer if you cut into three. Cover the cake with a thin layer of icing – a masking coat – then put in the fridge to chill. Finally cover the cake with a full layer of ganache, trying not to overwork it. Arrange the peanuts and cocoa nibs on top of the cake for contrasting crunch.
  6. Best served at room temperature, though it keeps well covered in the fridge for a few days.

(Makes approximately 8 slices)