I’ve made very minor tweaks to the recipe, mainly to avoid wastage (e.g. 2 eggs instead of 2.5 eggs). I also reduced the salt, as I have an on-going issue with my salt – for some reason it’s extra salty, so I’m basically halving salt in all the recipes lol
Makes: 8 inch round cake
What you need:
8 inch round pan
125 g Plain flour
30 g Cornflour
40 g Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
125 g Full fat yoghurt
30 g Water
115 g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
275 g Sugar
For the ganache:
300 g Dark chocolate
300 g Double cream
30 g Unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
How to put this together:
Preheat oven to 170 C
Line baking pan with baking paper. I lined the bottom only (because I can’t line the sides neatly)
Sift together plain flour + cornflour + cocoa powder + baking powder + baking soda + salt
Sift them again
In a small bowl, mix together yoghurt + water
Beat together butter + sugar until butter is lighter in colour. It won’t be a fluffy creamy texture – it’ll be more like clumps of sand. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if required.
Add one egg at a time, beating well between addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if required.
Add in 1/4 of flour mixture. Use a spatula to fold in the mixture until it’s well incorporated.
Add in 1/3 of yoghurt mixture. Fold until it’s well incorporated.
Repeat with 1/4 flour, then 1/3 yoghurt, then 1/4 flour, then 1/3 yoghurt, then finally 1/4 flour
Pour mixture in baking pan.
Bake for 40-50 mins – until a clean skewer inserted comes out clean.
Let cool completely in the baking pan
To make the ganache:
In a glass bowl, break dark chocolate into small pieces
In a pot, bring double cream to a boil. Take off heat.
Pour hot cream over chocolate pieces. Leave for 1 minute, then stir with spatula until all the chocolate pieces are melted and well incorporated
Add in butter cubes, and stir until melted and well incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature until it reaches the consistency you want to work with
Cut the cake in half horizontally (I mark the half line with serrated knife, then cut it with a long piece of thread)
Place the bottom half of the cake on a serving plate
Pour a layer of ganache on the cake
Place the top half of the cake on top
Cover the outside of the cake with remaining ganache
Beat together egg whites + caster sugar + food colouring, using balloon whisk, on high speed, until you get a stiff peak
Sieve together icing sugar + ground almonds + green tea powder
Add to egg white mixture, and fold in until the mixture is soft & glossy, and has a lava-like texture
Fill a piping bag with the mixture
Pipe round shapes (about 4cm diameter) on baking sheet or silpat
Firmly tap the baking tray on counter top a few times to release the bubbles
Using a wooden skewer, burst & smooth out any bubbles on the surface
Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 mins
Preheat the oven to 140C
Blow dry the macaron skin – I do 2 rounds of 3 seconds on each macaron. This may not work for you, but it definitely works for me. The macaron surface should form a crust. Check by pressing gently with your finger, the mixture should NOT stick to your finger.
Bake with top & bottom heat for 10 mins, followed by bottom-heat only for 5 mins
Removing the shells
If using baking sheet, leave to cool for a few minutes before removing them
If using silpat, leave to cool completely before removing them
I find the original recipe a bit too sweet, so I would suggest halving the sugars. Also, I couldn’t be bothered with grated Hershey Bars, so I substituted with more chocolate chips (but not exactly weight-for-weight). Direct substitute would call for about 450g chocolate chips, but our local supermarket sells chocolate chips in small packets of 100g each, so I rounded it down to 400g. It is still a lot of chocolate chips!
Also, the original recipe asks for the oatmeal to be blended into fine powder. I prefer them coarse because it makes the cookies chewy. I love chewy cookies.
The ingredients list below includes my tweaks, so if you want the original recipe then use the above link.
What you need
225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup)
1 cup brown sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2.5 cups blended oatmeal
400 grams chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt (can be omitted if you’re using salted butter)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1.5 cups chopped nuts (I used a mixture of almond, walnuts, and cashew nuts. Hazel nuts would also be nice, and I’ve made ones with pumpkin seeds in the past – also very nice)
How to put this together
Preheat oven to 190 C
Sieve together flour + salt + baking powder + baking soda
Blend the oatmeal to a coarse consistency
In a large bowl, cream together butter + sugar + brown sugar
Add eggs + vanilla essence. Mix well.
Add blended oatmeal. Mix well.
Add flour mixture. Mix well.
Add chocolate chips + chopped nuts. Mix well.
Roll into 1 inch balls, and place them 1 inch apart on baking paper
Bake for 10 mins, or until golden.
IMPORTANT: When you first take these beauties out from the oven, leave them on the tray for a few mins first before attempting to remove them. Otherwise they’re still too soft and you’ll end up ruining them (like I did)
Here’s the first class from my four-session Pâtisserie Techniques course. It was so much fun, you get to see what a commercial kitchen is like, they provide you with the best quality ingredients, a variety of utensils, and (the highlight for me) you get to use a KitchenAid mixer!
The class is run by the instructor chef, and two assistant chefs. There were about 15 students in the class so it didn’t feel too crowded.
First, we were walked through the amazing kitchen. Massive ovens, blast freezers, super powerful induction hobs, marble top workspace, and did I mention KitchenAid?
Oh and they don’t call you by your names here (despite the name tag) – they call you “chef”. Everyone is called “chef”, and I mean everyone. How cool is that. Slightly confusing, yes, but extremely cool.
Anyhoo, us chefs made amazing looking & tasting Chocolate Raspberry Tart
I’ve made tarts before, but nothing this exquisite. Below is the recipe and the techniques I noted down.
Makes: 1 x 8″ tart Pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry)
200 g soft flour (T55)
100 g butter, at room temp
50 g egg
1 t vanilla extract
5 g salt
5 g sugar
10 ml water
250 dark chocolate couverture
100 g egg
80 g egg yolk
60 g sugar
200 g butter
250 g fresh raspberries
100 g cocoa powder for dusting
200 g sugar + 20 g water for sugar art
Pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry)
1) Sieve together flour + salt + sugar
2) Lightly mix together egg + water + vanilla extract
3) Gently & lightly rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs or sand.
– The softer the butter, the easier it is
– You can scoop up lumpy bits and GENTLY rub them between your hands
– Colour should still be light yellow
– This should take about 30 secs. Don’t over-do it. Few lumps are fine
4) Make a well in flour mixture, add liquid mixture. Use D scraper to GENTLY mix until it forms a paste
5) Gather the mixture into a ball, turn out onto the work surface. Position the palm of your hand above the 1/5th portion of dough furtherest away from you, push out the dough against work surface into a trail outwards. Repeat with the remaining dough, 1/5th portion at a time.
– This is to stretch the dough and smooth out any big lumps.
– Do not do any more than 5 as you’ll overwork the dough
– Mixture should be very soft at this point
6) Gather up the dough into a ball. Spread out cling film on surface, then from a height throw the dough onto the cling film. Flatten it into a disk. Wrap it up, and chill in refrigerator for 30 mins.
– Flattening the dough helps with even cooling. A ball-shape dough means the centre would remain much warmer than the outside.
7) Preheat oven to 175 C
8) Take out the chilled dough, using your thumbs, push the edge of the dough into the middle part. Repeat until the dough is softer and can be rolled. Do not overwork the dough.
9) Gently roll the dough against the surface, using your hands, to form a log.
10) Sit the log up like a glass, then push it down with your hand. This gives a good circle-shape to start rolling
11) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until 3mm thick.
– Roll the dough from the middle outwards, then repeat from the middle inwards. This gives better-distributed weight/pressure than one rolling motion across the whole dough
– After each roll, turn the dough slightly (1/12th) before next roll. This helps so the dough does not stick to the surface, and makes it easier to make it round.
– If required, add more flour (top & bottom) to prevent sticking.
– Do NOT overwork/over-roll the dough. If you need to go back to make a dough ball and re-rolling, you would be incorporating more flour, and thus changing the recipe. Go SLOWLY.
12) Dust off excess flour (top & bottom) gently with pastry brush
13) Carefully drop the pastry into tart case. Lift one edge of the pastry and drop it into the corner. Repeat until all the corners are done.
14) Take a bit of excess pastry out from the overhang bit, dip it in flour, and gently press into corners and edges. Rest for 10 mins.
15) Trim off the excess, by rolling the pin over the rim. Roll from middle outwards, then again from middle inwards.
16) Gently, with your thumb, push the pastry slightly into the side of the tin. The pastry should come up slightly higher than the case rim
17) Dock the base by lightly pricking with a fork. Chill for 15 mins.
18) Place two layers of heat proof cling film (2 layers for commercial grade, other wise 6 layers). Fill with baking beans until the top level. Wrap up the cling film so the pastry edges are exposed.
19) Bake for 15-20 mins, until the pastry looks dull and is starting to colour.
20) Lift out cling film & beans carefully. There’ll be some moist patches at the base.
21) Return the empty case to the oven for another 10-12 minutes, or until it is pale golden and completely dry. Set aside to cool.
22) Reduce oven temp to 150 C
23) Melt chocolate in a bain marie (container over a pan of hot water)
24) Add butter to melted chocolate. Mix well with spatula.
25) Mix together egg + egg yolk. Add sugar, then immediately whisk it briefly by hand
– Sugar likes moisture, so if you add sugar to egg mixture (moisture) it’ll absorb the moisture. If you don’t mix it immediately you’ll get yellow dots in the mixture.
26) Beat the mixture on high until pale & volumised (2-3 mins on KitchenAid on high speed).
– This is called blanching the eggs
– The colour should become lighter
27) Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture. Gently mix them.
27) Optional: rip 5 raspberries in halves, and randomly scatter them in baked tart shell
28) Pour chocolate mixture in baked tart shell. Don’t overfill it (for presentation)
30) Bake in 150 C oven for approx 15 mins (or until filling is set to the touch)
31) Leave to cool before removing from the tin
32) Once old, dust the top with sieved cocoa powder
33) Decorate with raspberries. Serve
34) Heat together sugar + water to 165 C
35) Then it’s at the right consistency, draw shapes on non-stick mat
36) Wait until it cools completely before removing from mat