Tag Archives: death by chocolate

  • Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-1

    Chocolate Fantasy Cake and Cupcakes

    My baby recently turned six so to celebrate we had some family and friends over for a relaxed lunch.

    Deciding what kind of birthday cake to make J was easy as he is mad about chocolate. So I came up with a chocolate fantasy comprising chocolate and raspberry cake, chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, Tim Tams, Maltesers, Toblerone and salted popcorn.

    Yes, it was completely indulgent but I figure that it’s OK to ignore our usual healthy diet and let him have the chocolate cake of his dreams once a year.

    Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-5

    Now while I love the tall and proud look of multi-layered cakes, they’re often challenging to cut and you end up with very thin, tall pieces of cake if you’re trying to serve a lot of people from one cake. So rather than do a four layer cake, I decided to bake one two-layered, 20cm cake and 12 cupcakes using a muffin tin. This gave me 24 portions of cake that were simple to serve.

    Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-2Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-6

    The look on my son’s face when he saw the cakes was priceless. Momentarily, my chatty 6YO was speechless.

    “Oh, wow. That’s amazing. I love it!” he finally exclaimed.

    What’s your fantasy birthday cake?

    Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-3Chocolate_Birthday_Cake_Christina_Soong-4

     

    Chocolate Fantasy Cake and Cupcakes

    This cake is an adaption of my Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes combined with an adaption of Sweetopolita’s Swiss meringue buttercream and my own decoration.

    If you’ve never made Swiss meringue buttercream before do check out Sweetapolita’s helpful Swiss meringue buttercream post for tips and suggestions. Yes, it’s a little more time consuming than regular icing but it’s totally worth because Swiss meringue buttercream tastes so much better. Seriously. I would never suggest you make something that took this long unless it was insanely good.

    In terms of equipment you do need a meat thermometer or similar and ideally, a stand mixer with both whisk and paddle attachments. You can use a hand mixer with a regular whisk attachment but I’ve found best results using both attachments and a stand mixer.

     

    Chocolate Fantasy Cake and Cupcakes
     
    Author: 
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Cuisine: Australian
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    A chocolate lover's fantasy cake + 12 cupcakes
    Ingredients
    Cake
    • 250 grams unsalted butter
    • 200 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa minimum), broken into pieces
    • 600 grams raspberry conserve or jam (I go for the brand with the most fruit and least amount of sugar)
    • 4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
    • 40 grams sugar
    • Pinch salt
    • 300 grams self-raising flour
    Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • Vinegar or lemon juice
    • Water
    • 5 large egg whites
    • 250 grams caster sugar
    • 340 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla bean extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • 100 grams dark chocolate, melted
    Decorations
    • ½ packet of Tim Tams, cut into triangles
    • 1 small bag Maltesers, some whole and some cut into half
    • 1-2 small bars Toblerone
    • 1 small bag salted popcorn
    • 4 tablespoons chocolate flakes
    Instructions
    Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
    2. Line a 12-serve muffin tray with muffin wrappers and a 20cm round cake tin with baking spray and baking paper
    3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add chocolate. Take off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate has completely melted.
    4. Add jam, sugar, salt and eggs and mix until combined.
    5. Add flour and then mix until fully combined.
    6. Divide mixture into two. Spoon half of the mixture evenly into 12 muffin containers and the remaining half into the cake tin.
    7. Bake muffins for 22-25 minutes until cooked (insert a skewer to check - it should come out dry) and then remove muffin tray and continue cooking cake for another 20-25 minutes until cooked (use skewer again to check).
    8. Leave in tin for ten minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    1. Use vinegar or lemon juice on kitchen paper to clean your mixing bowl to ensure that it is completely grease-free.
    2. Put a few cups of water into a small saucepan and heat up to a gentle simmer on the stove.
    3. Add egg whites and sugar to mixing bowl, and then place bowl over the saucepan so the bowl is sitting in the water.
    4. Insert meat thermometer into mixture and hold it with one hand. With the other, whisk the meringue mixture gently until the temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius. If you don't have a candy thermometer, whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
    5. Remove mixing bowl from pot and, with the whisk attachment of mixer, whip the mixture until the meringue is thick and glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels at room temperature to the touch (this will take around 10 minutes).
    6. Once the bottom of the bowl feels neutral and not warm, switch the mixer attachment from the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment, turn onto the lowest setting and begin adding butter butter cubes, one at a time, until fully combine.
    7. Continue to mix on the lowest setting until it has reached a silky smooth texture.
    8. Add vanilla, salt and melted chocolate, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
    9. Divide the buttercream into two unequal portions -- one third for the cupcakes and two thirds for the cake -- in preparation for icing.
    Decorating cake
    1. Once cake is cold, cut it into half so you have two even cakes.
    2. Put one cake on a plate or revolving cake stand and ice the middle using an offset spatula, or, if you prefer, an icing bag.
    3. Sandwich the remaining cake on top and ice the top and sides. Use a scraper and the offset spatula to get the top and sides as even as possible.
    4. Decorate with Tim Tams, Toblerone, Maltesers, popcorn and chocolate flakes as desired.
    Decorating cupcakes
    1. Use a spoon and offset spatula or icing bag to ice the cupcakes.
    2. Decorate with Tim Tams, Toblerone, Maltesers, popcorn and chocolate flakes as desired.

  • P1090246-blog3

    Sweet Adventures Death by Chocolate: Chocolate Mousse

    There are times when a little restraint is called for. After all, too much of a good thing can get you into all kinds of trouble.

    Happily, this is not one of those times. For too much of a very good thing – in this case, chocolate – is what this Sweet Adventures Death by Chocolate bloghop is all about.

    Sweet Adventures is a group of Australian food bloggers – myself,  84th & 3rdThe Capers of the Kitchen CrusaderDelicieux, and Dining With a Stud – who host a monthly, dessert-themed blog hop.

    Our inaugural event, The Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop, attracted 34 entries in November 2011, while our second event, the Festive Favourites Blog Hop, attracted 38 entries last month. Click on the above links to drool over all the entries.

    It was my turn to host this month and as I scanned our lengthy list of theme ideas I realised there was one glaring omission: Death by Chocolate.

    Why Death by Chocolate? Well, if you’re going to indulge in chocolate you might as well go all out, right? There’s no point in the single square of chocolate, the lone chocolate truffle, the tiny chocolate brownie, the mini chocolate biscuit or the slender piece of chocolate cake. Worst still, are diet versions: I’d rather go without than eat some kind of ‘lite’ chocolate abomination.

    So for my Death by Chocolate entry, I wanted complete chocolate decadence. I wanted creamy pillows of velvety chocolate-ness. I wanted a dessert that would have me swooning over its richness.

    I trialled a multi-layered chocolate cake, which fell well short of expectations, before deciding to make a classic chocolate mousse instead.

    I’ve always been a pushover for chocolate mousse made with top quality chocolate. I love its intense chocolate flavour, silky texture and the way it melts away into sublime nothingness in your mouth. It’s an incredibly sexy dessert and perfect for a romantic supper but you could also serve it in shot glasses for a cocktail party or hen’s night.

    This chocolate mousse is made with standard pantry ingredients, and in under 20 minutes, but tastes like a dessert that you’d enjoy in a fine dining establishment (with the addition of a few ‘dirt’ crumbs and flowers sprinkled artistically around the plate, natch).

    Is chocolate mousse a dessert to die for? No, it’s better than that: it’s a dessert to live for.

    INGREDIENTS

    350 grams top quality chocolate (I used a mixture of dark and white this time but would ordinarily use only dark)
    175 grams unsalted butter
    7 large, room-temperature, free-range eggs, separated
    100 grams raw caster sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla essence
    Pinch of salt

    METHOD

    Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler and then let it cool down off the stove.

    In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy, like home-made mayonnaise. Stir in the vanilla and salt and then the cooled chocolate mixture.

    Beat the egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Add one spoonful of egg whites to the chocolate mixture and briskly stir it in – this lightens it – before gently folding the rest of the egg whites in. Try not to bash all the air out of the egg whites.

    Use a ladle to pour the mixture into glasses and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or until required.

    Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving and decorate with raspberries – their beautiful red tones are the perfect visual contrast while their tartness cuts through the richness of the mousse.

    Makes 10 glasses.

    Don’t forget to scroll to the end of this post to check out all the delicious
    Death by Chocolate entries

    *************************************************************

    Sweet Adventures Blog Hop: Death by Chocolate

    If you blog about food we’d love you to join this hop. Simply follow the steps below and join the fun!

    1. Publish your Death by Chocolate post on your blog sometime between 16th January 2012 (9am Sydney time [AEST]) and 23rd January ( 11:59pm Sydney time [AEST]). Entries are linked in order of submission so try to get your entry in on or as close to the 16th as possible. Only new posts featuring chocolate are eligible.
    2. Click here for the Link Code. Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your Death by Chocolate post (you will need to do this in HTML view). Adding the code will create the thumbnail gallery of all the other entries and let visitors hop from other blogs to your blog and vice versa. If you are on wordpress.com (i.e. not self hosted) the list will not show on your blog so please create a text link back to this post instead.
    3. Grab the SABH Death by Chocolate badge and add it to your post. Just right click on the image, ‘save as’, upload to your site and add it to your Death by Chocolate post. Link the badge or a line of text to this page so that others can view the instructions on how to join.
    4. Click here to Enter the HopThis is the really important bit! The badge and thumbnail list are on your post so make sure to enter the hop so that you appear in the list. For question 1: add the URL of your Death by Chocolate Post, not your homepage. For question 2: for caption/title add the name of your dessert. For question 3: for ‘your name’ please enter your blog name. For question 4: your entry is automatically submitted when you click ‘crop’.
    5. Your linked post WILL NOT appear straight away in the blog hop thumbnail list. To combat spam this is a moderated hop. Your post will be visible in the list after approval.
    6. Hop around to all the other entries in the blog hop, sharing the comment love.
    7. If you are on Twitter use the #SABH to tell the world about your Death by Chocolate post. Follow us @SweetAdvBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness.

    If you aren’t sure how to do something please leave a comment or get in touch.

    ***************************************************************

     

  • P1050137-1

    Food blogger? Join us for the Death By Chocolate blog hop (kicks off 16th January)

    One of the wonderful things I love about food blogging is that you meet all kinds of people who are mad about food: chefs, producers, restauranteurs, home cooks, people who love to eat out, people who love to entertain, and, of course, other food bloggers.

    I’ve been especially happy to discover new food bloggers from around the world via our monthly Sweet Adventures blog hop events.

    A couple of months ago, five Australian food bloggers – 84th & 3rdThe Capers of the Kitchen CrusaderDelicieuxDining With a Stud, and myself, The Hungry Australian – started the Sweet Adventures blog hops to try out a different international dessert each month. Our goal is to bring food bloggers from around the world together – and each put our own spin on the selected adventure item.

    Our inaugural event, The Great Australian pavlova blog hop, was hosted by Deliciuex in October 2011, and attracted 34 entries while our second event, the Festive Favourites blog hop hosted by 84th & 3rd, attracted 38 entries last month. Click on the above links to drool over all the entries.

    We are excited to announce that the theme for 2012’s  first Sweet Adventures blog hop will be Death By Chocolate.  And it will be hosted by me, The Hungry Australian!

    Opens: 16th January, 2012
    Deadline for entries: 23rd January, 2012 

    Continue reading