Ice Cream Cake

While I was working in Singapore I would often pass by an Ice cream shop selling ice cream cakes. I always thought it was weird and never gave it a try. I now know what I have missed! Ice cream cakes are perfect for summer, especially after a good feast it will go down really well.

I made this cake for my friend’s actual birthday and everyone absolutely loved it including myself. I sneaked in a piece for myself to enjoy the next day. What can I say, pure Evil! 😉

It is super easy making it the perfect summer dessert. I have used vanilla and mango flavors as no other fruit sings the songs of summer to me than mango! Vanilla ice cream and Mango sorbet with some chocolate chips will transform you in a heavenly place altogether. Sigh!

LESSON LEARNT : Sometimes, rather unfortunately I can have a closed mind. Open up!

Meringue Ice Cream Cake

Meringue Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients :

Meringue:
100 g egg whites (2.5-3 eggs)
200 g icing sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

Chantilly Cream:
250 ml heavy cream, chilled
50 g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Ice Cream
Mango Sorbet
Sprinkles (optional)
Chocolate Chips (optional)

Instructions :

Meringue:
Preheat the oven at 150°C.Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Use a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.

Put the egg whites and 30g of icing sugar in a large, clean, grease free bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the egg white at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 70g of icing sugar , a couple of tablespoons at a time, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Gently, fold in the remaining 100g of icing sugar.

Pipe two 7-inch(18cm) discs in a spiral shape, center out on the baking sheet. You could also use a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 90 C and bake for another 2 hours.

Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside the oven to cool completely. This can take about an hour or more.

Chantilly Cream:
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use.

Assembling the Cake:
Place a cake ring on one meringue, remove the excess. Repeat with the second meringue.
Place a meringue disc on the cake board. Place the cake ring over it. Cover the meringue with Vanilla ice cream.
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Dust with some sprinkles for a fun look.
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Freeze for 30 minutes.
Spread a layer of mango sorbet on top. Sprinkle over some chocolate chips.
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Place the second meringue disc on the sorbet and press it down gently. Freeze for 30 minutes.
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Cover the cake with chantilly cream and smooth with the help of a spatula. Freeze for 2 hours. Decorate as you please.
Freeze again until 30 minutes before serving.

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit

Note : You can crush up some oreos, cookies or chocolate wafers instead of using meringue for a no bake, fuss free ice cream cake.

Magic Bullet for World Cup Hangover: Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

“Ummmm”. Well, this is the kind of instant response I am usually seeking from mon chéri when I want to cheer him up.Still under the world cup hangover he unfortunately injured his ankle in a game of football and needs about 2-3 weeks of bed rest to recuperate. No golden boot here… 😦

With this sinful combination of orange and chocolate I’ve hit the nail on the head! I went about creating this dessert as I wanted to try out two recipes, one for an orange sponge cake by Julia Child and the other, a chocolate mousse by Christophe Felder. When you are trying to re-create recipes of two outstanding individuals of the culinary world, you can’t go wrong at all! Julia Child, one of the chefs whom I admire most for her determination and courage who brought about a revolution in the culinary world. Apart from the movies, the book “My Life in France” gives a humurous and lively representation of Julia’s culinary adventure. Christophe Felder, is not only an amazing pâtissier but is also considered as the creator of plated desserts by some critics!

No points for guessing that the combination of both the recipes turned out to be utterly delicious and fulfilling.
I have tried to create a plated dessert here since this is one of the skills I am trying to enhance and find my own style. 🙂

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Orange Sponge with Choc Mousse and Orange Mint Curd

Ingredients :

Orange Sponge Cake : 9-inch cake serves 4-5 portions (I made half this recipe)

120 g sugar
4 egg yolks
Zest of 1Orange/ orange blossom water 1/2 tsp
72 ml orange juice
Salt, pinch
100 g all purpose flour
4 egg whites
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
1 tbsp caster sugar

Candied orange peel:

1 orange
50 g sugar
100 ml water
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
2 Tsp Vanilla sugar

Chocolate Mousse: Serves 12 (I made 2 portions)

100 g heavy cream
250 g chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
Cream of tartar/ lemon juice/ salt, pinch
6 egg whites
40 g sugar
2 egg yolks

Orange Mint Curd:

1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml orange juice
8 medium mint leaves

To decorate:

Pistachios, crushed, optional
Blanched almond flakes, optional
Icing sugar, optional
Ground Cinnamon, optional

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Instructions :

Orange Sponge Cake:
Butter and flour the cake tin. Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Beat the sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy to form a ribbon.
Add the orange zest, orange juice and salt and beat until foamy.

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until it forms stiff peaks.

Pout one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and fold. Fold in the rest.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cool before serving.

Candied Orange Peels:

Bring a saucepan with water to a boil.Peel the orange into wide strips. Cut into strips.
Add to the boiling water, cook for a minute and drain. This will help to remove bitterness.

Now, combine the sugar and water and boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the orange peel and boil for 2 minutes. Add the honey and stir.
Let the mixture Rest for 15 minutes.
Drain the peel. Transfer to a wire rack and let dry for an hour.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Add the orange peel to the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.keep aside.

Chocolate Mousse:

Finely chop the chocolate.
Bring the cream to boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it melt slightly. Whisk to make a smooth, shiny ganache.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whip until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until they hold a firm peak.Do not overbeat.

Whisk the egg yolks into the ganache.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Gently fold with a spatula. The mousse should be smooth.
Chill for an hour before serving .

Orange Mint Curd:

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the orange juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the mint leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.
Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.
Chill completely, at least 30-45 minutes.

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Assembling the cake:

Spoon a little orange curd on the plate.
Cut a piece of cake and place over the curd. Spoon some mousse over/beside the cake.
Dust the cake with icing sugar, cinnamon and top with almond flakes.
Sprinkle the pistachio and top with the candied citrus peel. Viola!

Plating A

Plating A

Plating B

Plating B

Was Plating B a Hit or a Miss? I would love to know which Plating appealed to you more?

Bon Apetit!

Basil Pesto Damper Rolls

Bread making doesn’t come naturally to me and I need to be really inspired to be able to make my own bread. Yesterday, when I came across Lauzan’s (from The Veggy Side of Me) “exotic pesto dressing” I couldn’t get it out of my head. I knew that it would haunt me in my dreams if I didn’t try it soon enough! Lo and behold, I got out my blender to make it just in time for dinner. This has to be the most delicious pesto I’ve ever eaten without having to use any cheese!

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My hubby is not a big fan of cheese (Yea i know, what’s wrong with him, doesn’t like cheese, chocolate !!) and this basil pesto would be just perfect for him I thought. To accompany this gorgeous pesto, I decided to make bread.  I wanted to make a bread that is easy and quick without having to use yeast. A few weeks back, a friend of mine had shown me how to make damper bread. Not only is it super easy to make, it tastes quite delightful. Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread. I learnt from her that this bread was originally made by stockmen who traveled from one place to another for work. They would cook this bread in the ashes of camp fire. I reckon very much similar to “Baati” as in Baati Chowkha. Quite intriguing!

I made these into pesto rolls and they were delicious to say the least! My hubby asked me today morning if there were any leftovers… 😉

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The bread recipe has been inspired from http://www.taste.com.au

To find out the magic PESTO recipe hop on over to Lauzan’s space!.

Ingredients :
35 g sesame seeds
150 g wholemeal flour
150 g all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
120 ml milk
60 g plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon extra milk or water

Instructions :

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly flour a baking tray with some flour.

Roast the sesame seeds and keep aside.

Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl, returning the bran to the bowl. Stir in the toasted sesame seeds.

Make a well in the centre and add milk and yoghurt. Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until combined. Bring dough together with your fingertips and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently with floured hands and form into a ball.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, about 1cm-thick. Spread the basil pesto evenly over the dough. Starting from a long side, roll up firmly to form a log. Cut log crossways into equal portions, about 2cm thick. Place the scrolls on prepared tray. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and just cooked through. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
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Serve warm or at room temperature.

I made small buns out of the leftover dough.. 🙂

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Lemon-Basil Macarons

Macarons au Citron Jaune et Basilic as the French would call it. 🙂

I have found myself cooking with lemon a lot last few weeks. I think the famous proverb, modified, would suit me best “A lemon a day keeps the doctor away”. 😉 So when I had some lemon basil cream leftover from my Lemon Basil Cheesecake I thought they would be ideal to fill up some macarons.

Lemon Basil Macarons

Lemon Basil Macarons

The lemon basil cream is so versatile and can be used in different desserts, for example, to fill eclairs or profiteroles, to fill up tarts, as a filling for a layered cake. Sky is the limit I’d say. 🙂

I enjoyed making these and friends enjoyed eating these even more. 🙂
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Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients :

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg white

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg white
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Yellow Food coloring (optional)

Lemon Basil Cream :
1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml lemon juice
5 medium basil leaves
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Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring, I have used golden yellow and brown (4:2) and whisk again until the meringue is coloured uniformly.

Fold the Italian meringue mixture into the pâté à macaron until it reaches the ribbon stage – this is when a spoonful of the mixture poured back into the bowl sits like a ribbon on the surface. Do not over-mix or the macaroon will crack when cooked.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm/¼in nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm/¾in apart. Tap the tray on a work surface to release any air bubbles. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes before baking.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Lemon Basil Cream :

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the lemon juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the basil leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.

Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.

Chill for at least an hour.
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Assembling the macarons :

Spoon about one teaspoon of the lemon basil cream onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

Summer Celebration with deconstructed Lemon Basil Cheesecake

Lemons are available throughout the year, but they are even more special during summers. Lemonade is one of the best drinks to beat the heat. Not only do they have numerous health advantages, they also provide flavor and aroma to food.

I love lemons and this recipe is perfect to celebrate lemons without having an overpowering tangy taste to it. Adding basil leaves to the lemon curd gives this dish an element of surprise and balances the flavor perfectly. When i was pondering about a dessert to serve after a heavy indian meal for a dinner, i found this recipe to be my savior.  The cheesecake being airy and light, the lemon basil cream tangy and fresh make it ideal for a summer evening dessert.

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The below recipe is for a plated cheesecake desert and hence all the elements have been chilled separately. For a traditional cheesecake, chill as a complete dessert.

Ingredients :

Base :
50 g flour
50 g almond meal/ fine semolina
75 g sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
50 g butter, melted

CreamCheese Filling :
250 g cream cheese, softened
240 ml, whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Lemon Basil Cream :
1/2 gelatin sheet (1g)
88 g butter, softened
1 egg
68 g sugar
65 ml lemon juice
5 medium basil leaves

Instructions :

Base :
Preheat oven to 165°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add butter and bring together forming a firm crumb.
Tip crumbs into prepared tin and. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Chill in the refrigerator.

CreamCheese Filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese and set in the refrigerator for atleast 30-45 minutes.

Lemon Basil Cream :

Soak the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour the egg into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk the eggs with the sugar.

Whisk in the lemon juice. Continue to whisk over medium heat.
Tear the basil leaves into the pan and cook just until the cream comes to a boil and thickens.

Whisk in the softened gelatin.

Strain the cream over the softened butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream and butter for one minute until smooth.

Chill completely, at least 30-45 minutes.

Assembling the Cheesecake:

To serve, spread the base mixture down the centre of the plate. Pipe rounds of the cheesecake in the centre and at the two opposite ends.
Pipe small rounds of the lemon cream on either side of the cream cheese mixture.

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To serve as traditional cheesecake :
Pour the creamcheese filling onto the base; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Top with the lemon basil cream. Refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Bon Apetit

Bon Apetit