Sunday, June 27, 2010

JUNE 2010 - Daring Baker's Challenge: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Oh yay, it's time for the Daring Baker's Challenge again! I really love being with such creative people who take the challenge month after month and come up with the most drool-worthy, beautiful concoctions!
The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.
Pavlovas are not new to me, I had a friend who used to make this amazing fruit pavlova with the cruchiest exterior and the chewiest, marshmallow-iest interior that most people can't resist another slice! Sadly, she doesn't make them anymore but here's my tribute to my friend Wendy and I hope that mine turns out as great as hers...
I must say, this recipe is perfect! The pavlovas turned out very well...after baking them for 2 hours, I put off the oven and left the door ajar overnight to dry out.
These are my chocolate pavlovas with the super yummy chocolate mascarpone mousse drizzled with bittersweet dark chocolate

Here is my chocolate fruit pavlova, fresh and simply delicious!

And my favorite--deconstructed chocolate pavlova in a glass, gone in 60 seconds :)
Mandatory items: The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. You must make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream using the recipes provided.
Variations allowed:
You can use orange juice for the Grand Marnier in the mousse if you don’t use alcohol
You can omit the sambuca from the mascarpone cream.
You may substitute any crème anglaise recipe you might already have in your arsenal.
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):
1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
1. Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
2. Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.
* I didn't use Grand Marnier, I didn't have orange at home at that time, but my chocolate mascarpone mousse still tasted great!
Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream
1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar
1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
3. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
4. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.
Assembly:Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.
And there you have it, the full recipe for this wonderful dessert, it only looks complicated but if you break it down into steps, it's fairly easy.
Thank you Dawn for this great recipe! I really had so much fun with this and would have made more variations if I had the time :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kulinarya Cooking club June 2010--Pinoy Barbecue

The theme for this month is Pinoy Barbecue. The kind that is served whenever there's some sort of celebration along with last month's theme the ubiquitous pancit. Usually pinoy barbecue is sweet and tangy and salty all at the same time. Our barbecue at home isn't the sweet kind because we don't like our meat to taste like dessert :)
My basic recipe for this barbecue, is to marinate 500 grams of meat (this can be pork or chicken) in about 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, minced chili, crushed peppercorn and the juice of 6 calamansi overnight. I also soak the barbecue sticks in water overnight so they wont burn. In the morning just before grilling, I thread the meat onto the bamboo sticks. I want my barbecue to be a little softer than the usual so I don't wait for it to char. Usually I grill them for 5-8 minutes on each side, basting it with a little oil and the marinade.
And finally, I serve it with Pinakurat (spiced Coconut vinegar) I swear this vinegar makes everything delicious!

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

Kath -
Trisha -
Trissa -
Olive -
Caroline -
Ninette -
Asha -
Malou -
Cherrie -
Acdee -
Valerie -
Sheryl -
Divina -
Anna -
Joy -
Maribel -
Tressa Jen -
Pia -

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Country Pate

I found this really nice country pate recipe from Epicurious, very simple nothing fancy but it suited me just fine. I made pate a loooong time ago--almost 10 years I think and as I remember, it was really an enjoyable experience. So here I am again, doing it for the Daring Cooks and having a really nice time and feeling rewarded when I unmolded it and served it to my appreciative friends.
3/4 c Cognac
3 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
1 cup Onion, minced
2 1/2 lbs Ground Pork
342 grams Bacon
3 cloves Garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
2 1/2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Allspice
1 teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper
2 Eggs, large
1/3 cup Cream
171 grams Ham Steak
* I didn't have cognac at home so I omitted it
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. In a pan, melt butter, saute onion until translucent. Combine ground pork and chopped bacon, mix together until well blended. Add sauteed onions, minced garlic, salt, thyme, allspice, ground pepper and stir. Add eggs and cream. Mix well.
Line a 9x5x3 loaf pan with bacon, 8 slices across and 3 slices on short side overlapping on all sides. Lightly press half of the mixture, arrange ham strips, top with remaining meat mixture. Fold bacon slices covering pate. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in a bain marie or water bath about 2 hours and 15 minutes 155 degrees farenheit internal temperature. Remove and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Weigh down with 2 heavy cans and chill overnight.
*I halved this recipe because my loaf pan was small
*After baking, I cooled it down for 2 hours at room temperature before refrigerating overnight

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks June, 2010 Challenge: Pâtés and Bread

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
I had so much fun with this month's challenge! Probably because it didn't require long hours over the hot kitchen stove. And also because the possibilities of "playing" around with flavors was endless. We were required to make only one of the pate recipes they provided and one bread recipe of our choice, I chose to make the Tri-Color Vegetable Pate. I had a bit of a problem with this one when I unmolded it, I don't know if the red pepper layer was too runny because I didn't drain the feta cheese or the white bean layer was too thick and therefore heavy, on hindsight, I should have unmolded it with the white layer under but aside from that, this was really delicious! For my next pate I made Smoked Fish or Tinapa as we call it here in the Philippines. The smoky flavor of the fish complemented the creaminess of the cream cheese. And I didn't have any problem unmolding it at all. This was the easiest to make, requiring no time over the stove at all.
For the last one, I chose to make a country pate adapted from a recipe in Epicurious. This one also had minimal stove-top time. But I had to bake it in the oven for 2 hours plus 2 hours cooling time and finally about 10 hours refrigeration before I unmolded it. I will be posting the recipe for this separately.
Tricolor Vegetable Pâté
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.
White Bean Layer
2 x 15-ounce / 900 ml cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.
Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce / 210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer

2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté

Tinapa Pate
1 piece Tinapa (Smoked Fish), flaked
225 grams Cream Cheese, softened
pinch Cayenne Pepper Black Pepper, freshly cracked
Spring Onion, green part, chopped into rings

Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Line ramekin with plastic wrap and carefully pour in the mixture. Wrap plastic over the ramekin and refrigerate overnight. Remove plastic and invert ramekin on a plate. Unmold and unwrap plastic. Garnish with spring onions.

Thank you Evelyne and Valerie for this challenge!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Salted Egg-Mayonnaise Sandwich Spread

My friend Alice is a career woman, she's been working a good part of her life. She started working when she was in college and has not stopped since. She claims she doesnt cook so her everyday routine is to order out or eat in the restaurants around her office location which fortunately is located a few meters away from the restaurant row of Quezon City. But surprisingly for someone who doesnt cook or so she says, she has a good sense of flavor combinations. Case in point, this sandwich spread which she concocted. "It's so easy even I could do it!" she told me proudly. And yes, it's very easy and really very good and flavorful.

Salted eggs can be made from duck's eggs or chicken eggs, they are dipped in a mixture of clay, table salt and water which has the consistency of clay and then wrapped in newspapers and stored in boxes at room temperature and cured for 12-14 days. They are then cleaned and boiled over low heat for 30 minutes. Salted eggs are readily available in most food stores in the Philippines and is a favorite breakfast item.

Salted Egg-Mayonnaise Sandwich Spread
3 salted eggs
1 cup mayonnaise

Peel and Mash salted eggs, mix with mayonnaise. Taste can be adjusted by adding more mayonnaise or lessening it. I added a little bit of Cayenne Pepper for an extra kick, you can be experimental with other spices as well, no need to add salt-the eggs are very salty. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Moist Chocolate Cake with Coffee Rum Glaze

There's nothing easier than one bowl baking, especially when the hot summer weather makes you want to escape from the heat of the kitchen. I browsed through my favorite recipe source, the biggest library--the internet of course! I tried this one bowl chocolate cake promising to be of the utmost moistness and when I bit into one slice, it was moist indeed! But what is a cake without an icing, or a glaze? So here is the recipe for the chocolate cake along with the the glaze.

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2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 cups Refined Sugar
3/4 cups Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 pieces Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Buttermilk (I used 1 cup of Fresh Milk with 1 tablespoon of Cane Vinegar)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup of Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and Flour a 9-in ch Bundt Pan. With the paddle attachment of your mixer, mix all ingredients at medium speed until well-blended and smooth. Pour carefully into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. Use a knife to test if cake is done, not a toothpick, because according to the recipe, if the toothpick comes out clean, it means the cake is overbaked. Turn out cake and cool completely before glazing.

1/4 cup Butter
1 1/2 teaspoon Coffee powder
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup All-purpose Cream
1 cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons Rum
In a pan over medium heat, melt butter, coffee powder and brown sugar. Add cream, remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth, stir in rum. Cool to room temperature before glazing cooled cake.