The Café au Lait Tart

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 14 x 5-inch tart

for oatmeal praline:

  • 40 g rolled oats
  • 75 g sugar
  • 1 Tbspn honey

for oat crust:

  • 100 g oat flour
  • 160 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g sugar
  • 7 Tbspn (99 g) unsalted butter,cold and cut in pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ tspn vanilla extract
  • 3–4 Tbspn cold water

for milk jam:

  • 460 g whole milk
  • 100 g sugar
  • ¼ tspn baking soda
  • scant ¼ tspn salt
  • wild blueberry jam

for dark chocolate espresso ganache

  • 200 g 68–72% bittersweet
  • chocolate
  • 45 g 99% unsweetened chocolate
  • 227 g heavy cream
  • 1½ Tbspn unsalted butter
  • 1 tspn espresso powder
  • 2 Tbspn honey
  • flaked seasalt

METHOD:

  1. for oatmeal praline. Preheat oven to 180° C. Spread the oats on a baking sheet. Bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. In a light-colored bottom saucepan, combine the sugar and honey over medium high heat. Do not stir—if necessary, swirl the pan to cook the sugar evenly. Cook until the sugar has turned a deep caramel color. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the toasted oats. Working quickly, spread the oats in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Once cool, break into very small pieces.
  2. for oat crust. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, mix the flours and sugar together. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and mix to combnie. Gradually add the vanilla extract and cold water while mixing just until a dough begins to form when pressed between two fingers. Do not overmix. Form the pastry into a disc, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 220° C. Roll or press the cold dough into the tart pan to for a ¼-inch-thick crust. Trim off and discard the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment, and weigh down with pie weights. Chill again if the dough has softened. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the edges have turned golden. Remove the weights and the parchment paper, and continue to bake for 5 to 7 minutes more until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  4. for milk jam. Combine the milk, sugar, and baking soda in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom with a spatula, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the milk has turned a medium light caramel and is the consistency of jam. Stir in the salt, remove from heat, and let cool.
  5. Spread the milk jam onto the bottom of the cooled crust, smoothing with the back of a spoon or spatula. Top with a very thin layer of wild blueberry jam.
  6. for dark chocolate espresso ganache. Chop the chocolate and melt in a double boiler. Keep warm. In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and butter. Bring just to a simmer, remove from heat, and stir in the espresso powder. Gradually pour the hot cream over the melted chocolate, stirring constantly with a spatula. Add the honey and stir until smooth.
  7. Immediately pour the warm ganache on top of the jam layer, being careful not to disturb the jam. Do not overfill the tart; there may yet be a few teaspoons of leftover ganache. Just when the ganache starts to set, sprinkle the top of the tart with flaked seasalt and pieces of praline. Save any leftover praline for later use. Let the tart set at room temperature completely before serving, about 1 to 2 hours.
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Passionfruit and Espresso Tosca Cake

Image
INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9-inch round cake
or one 6-inch octagon and four 3-inch hexagonsfor cake

  • 58 g whole milk
  • 75 g passionfruit purée
  • 5 Tbspn (71 g) unsalted butter
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

for topping

  • 150 g sliced almonds, toasted
  • 9 Tbspn (125 g) unsalted butter
  • 125 g light brown sugar
  • 50 g whole milk
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1 tspn espresso powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, optional
  • flaked sea salt
METHOD:
  1. for cake. Preheat oven to 165° C. Grease one 9 x 3-inch pastry ring (or equivalent) and place on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, stir to combine the milk and passionfruit purée. Set aside.
  3. In a small, light-colored saucepan, melt the butter. Continue cooking until the solids drop to the bottom and the butter turns golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Suspend a mixer bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in the mixer bowl until warm to the touch. Remove from the simmering water and continue whisking on high, until the mixture falls from the whisk in thick ribbons.
  6. In three additions, gently fold in the flour mixture, alternating with the passionfruit and milk mixture. Finally, fold in the melted browned butter, mixing just enough to incorporate the butter. Do not overmix.
  7. Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared pastry ring. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and set.
  8. for topping. When 15 minutes have passed in the baking time, start the topping. In a saucepan, combine the sliced almonds, butter, brown sugar, milk, salt, and espresso powder. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the saucepan, and add the pods. Cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar melts, then keep cooking for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently, while the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla pods.
  9. Increase the oven to 200° C. Remove the cake from the oven and top with the prepared almonds, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Place the cake in the top third of the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until the glaze is dark brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a small amount of flaked sea salt, and let cool completely on a wire rack. To remove, slide a knife along the inner edge of the ring before lifting the ring off carefully.

Mango Mousse Espresso Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS:
makes six 3 x 2″ round cakesfor cake:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tspn instant espresso powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • 3/4 cup sifted cake flour (75g)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a quarter sheet baking pan with parchment paper and then grease and flour the paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate and boiling water. Stirring constantly, cook for five minutes until chocolate thickens into a pudding-like consistency.
  3. In a mixer bowl using the whisk beater, whisk together the eggs and sugar on high for five minutes until triple in volume.
  4. Fold in the flour to the egg mixture in two parts. Then, fold in the chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour the batter immediately into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  7. Line six 3″ cake molds with parchment paper or plastic. Cut out six 3″ rounds of chocolate cake and place at the bottom of each mold.

for syrup:

  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 2 oz. water
  • 1 oz. Kahlua or Godiva liquor
  • 1 tspn instant espresso powder

METHOD:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, cover tightly and let cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, stir in the liquor and espresso powder.
  3. Brush the syrup liberally onto cake rounds.

for mango mousse/Bavarian cream:

  • 2 1/2 tspn gelatin powder
  • 2 Tbspn water
  • 8 3/4 oz. fresh mango puree (250 grams) (about 1 1/2 fresh mango, pureed in the food processor)
  • 3 1/2 oz. sugar (100 grams, or 70 grams sugar + 30 grams vanilla sugar)
  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream

METHOD:

  1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat half of the mango puree with the sugar just until the sugar dissolves. Do not let the mixture boil. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, remove the puree from heat and stir in the gelatin until the gelatin completely dissolves. Finally, add the remainder of the mango puree. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled mango puree.
  4. Immediately pour the mango cream into the prepared cake molds on top of the cakes, smoothing the tops. Refrigerate until set, about an hour or two.

for espresso jelly:

  • 2 tspn gelatin powder
  • 2 Tbspn water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tspn instant espresso powder
  • 3 Tbspn sugar (45 grams)

METHOD:

  1. Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, espresso powder, and sugar just until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the milk mixture from heat and stir in the gelatin until it completely dissolves. Let cool at room temperature.
  4. Once the combination has cooled, pour a small layer into each cake mold, on top of the mango cream. Refrigerate until set, about an hour or two.
  5. Unmold and serve immediately.

Espresso-Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Espresso-Bourbon Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

METHOD:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, cream, and corn syrup and stir until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, whisk in the bourbon and espresso, and set aside until slightly cooled, about 20 minutes. Before serving, whisk the sauce until smooth.

Chocolate and Espresso Coffee Fondants

INGREDIENTS:

  • 115g good quality dark chocolate
  • 115g salted butter
  • 1 shot of strong espresso or 1 Tbl of instant coffee granules
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 30g plain flour

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and butter 4 x 125ml ramekins.
  2. In a heavy based pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, butter and coffee until melted. Stir to a glossy batter. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes or until pale, thick and leaves ribbons trails.
  4. Add chocolate and flour and gently fold until just combined. Be careful not to knock too much air out of the batter.
  5. Divide batter amongst ramekins and place on a baking tray. Fondants can be covered with clingwrap and stored in the fridge or freezer at this stage.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops have risen and have set (but still soft underneath). If baking straight from the fridge, bake for about 14 minutes. If frozen, bake for 15 minutes. Note: Ovens vary so you might have to test one out to get the exact baking time.
  7. Remove fondants from the oven and serve it straight from the ramekin (my preference because I suck at unmolding things). If unmolding, rest for a minute then run a palette knife around the edges and turn out onto a plate.
  8. If baked from frozen, rest for 2 minutes before unmolding.

Tiramisu

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 -12 oz packages Italian Lady fingers
  • 1/2 cup cold espresso
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua or coffee flavored Liquor (maybe even more than 1/4 if you like it strong!)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa for dusting

METHOD:

  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler,  over boiling water.  Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  This is your sabayon,  remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
  2. Add Mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone sabayon mixture and set aside.
  5. Mix the cold espresso with the coffee liquor and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them!
  6. Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of a 8 inch square baking dish (or 6×9)
  7. Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.
  8. Repeat process with another layer.
  9. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Dust with cocoa before serving