Cocoa Whipped Cream

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
METHOD:
  1. In a small mixer bowl, mix cocoa and sugar.  Stir in hot water until a smooth paste forms.  Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before proceeding. Add cream.  Beat just until firm peaks form.  Do not over beat.
Makes about 2 cups
Stabilized Cocoa Whipped Cream
INGREDIENTS:
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
METHOD:
  1. In a small mixer bowl, mix cocoa and sugar.  Stir in hot water until a smooth paste forms. Allow to cool while you prepare the gelatin mixture.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water in small bowl to soften.
  3. Scald 2 tablespoon of the cream; pour over gelatin, stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Refrigerate until consistency of unbeaten egg white. (This takes about 10-15 minutes.) Then, with a whisk, beat until smooth.
  5. Add remaining cream to the cocoa and sugar paste.  Beat until whipped cream just starts to thicken and you start seeing the beater tracks. Add the gelatin mixture at this point and beat just until firm peaks form.  Do not over beat.
Makes about 2 cups
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Mini Kinder Bueno White Chocolate Cheesecakes

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 packet plain biscuits
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp gelatine
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 190g cream cheese
  • 95ml condensed milk
  • 150ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted
  • 3 packets Kinder Buenos
  • 1 extra packet Kinder Bueno for decoration

METHOD:

  1. For the base, place a 12 cup cupcake silicon tray on a baking tray and set aside. Crush the biscuits and mix with melted butter. Place a spoonful of mixture into each cup of the cupcake tray and press down firm (I used the end of a rolling pin to press them down hard). Place into fridge to set.
  2. For the white chocolate cheesecake, place gelatin and hot water in a small bowl and mix until dissolved. In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Add cream, gelatin mix, melted white chocolate and beat until combined. Roughly chop Kinder Buenos and add to mix. Pour mix onto bases. Roughly chop the extra Buenos and place pieces on top of each cheesecake and place in fridge to set.

Passionfruit Marshmallows

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 180ml strained passionfruit juice from approx 12 large passionfruit – if you’re a little under you can top up with OJ or water
  • 20g powdered gelatine
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 2 eggwhites (from large eggs)
  • pinch of salt
  • snow sugar for dusting

Note: Snow sugar is a confectioner’s sugar with added vegetable fat to prevent the sugar from absorbing moisture and dissolving or becoming claggy. Normal icing sugar should do.

METHOD:

  1. Lightly grease and line a 25 x 17.5cm shallow cake pan and dust base liberally with snow sugar. Combine passionfruit juice and gelatine in a bowl and set aside to swell up into a gelatinous amoeba.
  2. Combine caster sugar and water in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and cook until syrup reaches 125°C on a sugar thermometer (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat, add passionfruit mixture to syrup and stir until gelatine dissolves.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until frothy. Gradually add passionfruit mixture into the egg whites, whisking continuously on medium speed until mixture has doubled in size.
  4. Slowly decrease speed and mix until mixture is warm (about 40°C). Pour into prepared cake pan and using a lightly oiled spatula, spread evenly. Dust top liberally with snow sugar.
  5. Stand at room temperature for 3 hours or until firm. Using a sharp knife, cut marshmallow into 2.5cm squares and roll in snow sugar to coat. Store in an airtight container between sheets of baking paper at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Orange and Lemon Cream Tian

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INGREDIENTS:

Paté Sablé (the richest of the French short pastry crusts)
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g plain flour, sifted
Lemon Cream
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125ml strained lemon juice (from the 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp gelatine powder / 1 gold gelatine leaf
Orange Syrup
  • 80ml water
  • 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup of caster sugar
Spun Sugar Nest
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 Tbl water
To assemble
  • 3 large oranges – peeled and segmented
  • 18 Paté Sablé biscuits (from above recipe)
  • Lemon Cream (from above recipe)
  • icing sugar
  • Orange syrup (from above recipe)
  • 6 x spun sugar nests (from above recipe)
METHOD:
Paté Sablé
  1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and mix. Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until it just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of clingwrap and shape into a disc. Cover with clingwrap and refrigerate thoroughly before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease and line baking trays. Roll out the sablé pastry to 5mm thickness and use 8-10cm fluted round cutters to cut rounds. Place on baking tray and bake for around 8 minutes or until it’s just slightly coloured. Cool on tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  3. (You should get about 20 biscuits)
Lemon Cream
  1. Soften the gelatine powder with 2 tsps cold water and set aside to gel for 5-10 minutes. If you’re using the leaf, soften it in a little cold water and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the cream and lemon zest over medium low heat until it comes to a simmering point. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until combined and whisk in the lemon juice.
  4. While stirring continuously, add the warmed cream mixture slowly to the egg mix.
  5. Stand the bowl over a pot of low simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until it is the consistency of thickened custard.
  6. Add the gelled up gelatine powder and stir through the lemon mix until dissolved. If you’re using the leaf, wring out the excess water of the gelatine leaf before adding to the custard.
  7. Strain into a clean bowl then press a sheet of clingwrap onto the surface of the custard (this will stop a skin from forming). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until cool and set.
Orange Syrup
  1. With a zester, zest orange to form long strips of rind. Alternatively use a vegetable peeler to peel the rind off thinly then slice into thin strips with a sharp knife. Juice the orange and strain. You should have about 80ml of juice.
  2. In a pan over low heat, bring the water, juice and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Add the zest and increase the heat. Without stirring, simmer for about 5 minutes or until it’s reduced and slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Spun Sugar Nest
  1. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes and set aside. Lay your table with greaseproof baking paper.
  2. Heat the caster sugar with water over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Brush the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush if any sugar crystals form. Turn the heat up to medium and cook without stirring until it’s golden.
  3. Plunge the pan into the bowl of iced water to stop the caramel from cooking and allow to cool for a minute until the caramel has thickened.
  4. Dip a fork into the caramel and hold it high and let the caramel fall onto the baking paper in thin, wispy strands. If the caramel strands are thick or are forming beads then it means you need to let the caramel cool further. If the caramel starts to harden or get too thick, reheat over low heat.
  5. Gather sugar strands and form into a bunch. Make six bunches of spun sugar nests.
Note 1 – Best way to clean up after is to fill the caramel pot with water, add the toffeed forks and simmer over a gentle heat. The caramel will simply melt off the pan and cutlery and into the water.
Note 2 – Set aside a bowl of cold water in case you get hot caramel on your skin. Dunk in water and NEVER ‘wipe the caramel off’ or you’ll take your skin off in the process. Ouch!
To assemble
  1. On a serving plate, place one sablé biscuit in the centre and spoon 1 tablespoon of the lemon cream onto the biscuit. Layer a few orange segments over the cream. Place another biscuit on top and spoon on more lemon cream. Layer a few more orange segments.
  2. Dust the final biscuit with icing sugar and place on top of the stack. Spoon a tablespoon or so of orange syrup around the dessert and top off with the spun sugar nest. Serve immediately.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 gelatine sheets/leaves
  • 600ml (1 pint) double [heavy] cream
  • 150ml (5fl oz) milk
  • 60g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 200g (7 oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
  1. Coat a mould or individual cups with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Soak the gelatine sheets in a plate of cold water until soft, then set aside until ready to use.
  3. Heat the cream, milk and caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat to melt the sugar, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the cream starts to bubble up the sides of the saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.
  5. Drain the excess water off the gelatine and add the gelatine to the cream mixture. Stir until dissolved.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared mould or cups and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  7. The panna cotta should have a slight wobble when ready to serve. Unmould onto a serving platter or plates and serve.
SERVING SUGGESTION

Serve with fresh berries, e.g. raspberries and blackberries.

NOTES
  • One sachet (14g) sets one pint. Each sachet needs 125ml (½ cup) of water so I used 2 sachets plus 250ml (1 cup) of water along with all the ingredients above. It worked well!
  • Instead of using cooking spray I simply used silicone moulds that don’t need any greasing.

Citrus Panna Cotta

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (405g) condensed milk
  • 100ml (3½ fl oz) crème fraîche
  • 2 lemons, both juiced and 1 zested
  • 300ml (½ pt) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) orange flower water [optional]
  • 15g (½ oz) gelatine sachet
  • 1 pink grapefruit, segmented
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 2 passion fruit, halved
  1. Coat a mould or metal pudding basins with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk the condensed milk and crème fraîche in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the zest and juice of the lemons, orange juice and orange flower water (if using).
  3. Prepare the gelatine, following pack instructions, then allow to cool slightly before briskly whisking into the citrus mixture.
  4. Pour into 6 individual 150ml (10 fl oz) basins or one mould and chill until set.
  5. Loosen the panna cotta by dipping briefly into hot water before turning out on to a plate. To serve, decorate with the grapefruit and orange segments and passion fruit.
NOTES
  • For those who would like this dessert to be less calorific can substitute the condensed milk with a “lighter”/diet equivalent, and use half-fat crème fraîche instead.
  • Instead of using cooking spray I simply used silicone moulds that don’t need any greasing.
  • If you would like your panna cotta perfectly smooth, omit the lemon zest.

Chocolate Panna Cotta

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Couverture – 200g
  • Heavy Cream – 3 1/2 cups
  • Milk – 1 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 3 tablespoons
  • Gelatin – 12 sheets (20g)

For sauce:

  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Orange – 1 cup (only juice)
  • Honey – 1 tsp
  • Cream – 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

  1. Pour into a saucepan the cream, milk and sugar and heat.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil.
  3. Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl of water to soften. Drain and add to the saucepan.
  4. Mix well and remove pot from heat.
  5. Cut the couverture into pieces and add to pot.
  6. Stir constantly until melted and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  7. Fill small ramekins and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Take the panna cotta out of the ramekins by dipping the bottom of the ramekins in hot water for 1 second.
  8. Place in a saucepan the sugar, honey and half of the orange juice.
  9. Stir and add the remaining juice and boil for 15 minutes until sauce thickens.
  10. Pour at the end the heavy cream and mix well.
  11. Once cool serve the panna cotta with a spoonful of the sauce.