Pistachio and Cardamon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

This will be the last blog post until next holidays because school starts tomorrow, and as you already know, I don’t have time during the term to blog. So I hope you enjoy this blog post, it is a bit of a different flavour combination than usual.Cake16-9 final.jpgThis recipe is actually from Molly Yeh, and it’s light and fluffy and so moist. The flavours also work really well together with the nutty, spiced-cake and tartness of the buttercream it isn’t overly sweet.Cake22-2 final.jpgAnd this cake is obviously a naked cake which used to be and still is one of the biggest cake trends. Sometimes I do prefer it over a drip cake simply because it is less trouble and work. Like you don’t have to wait for the glaze to cool or making sure if the frosting is perfect.Cake33-9.jpg A naked cake is meant to be a bit rustic with some of the cake layers showing through. I also really like this cake stand which I got from the Finders Keepers Markets and it matches the cake perfectly. I also used it in my previous sponge cake blog post.Cake33-20.jpgThen these are photographs of the inside; as you can see the cake has a slight green hue due to the pistachios. You can add green food colouring of course if you want the colour to pop, but I prefer keeping it natural. I hope you enjoyed this post, my last one for about 3 months. One of my favourite parts about blogging is actually having the opportunity to somehow inspire people, and when I read your comments or receive messages from you guys it makes my day. I cannot thank you enough.

 

Pistachio and Cardamon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Pistachio and Cardamon Cake

Cake recipe adapted from Molly Yeh.

  • 95g roasted, unsalted pistachios (unshelled)*
  • 350g sugar
  • 330g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 240ml buttermilk**
  • 120ml oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 180ml water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease and line four 6-inch round cake tins or two 8-inch cake tins.
  2. Place the pistachios in a food processor/blender and grind until fine, small crumbs form (should be a pistachio meal).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: pistachio crumbs, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla bean paste and water.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in tins for 20 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely.

Notes:
*If you cannot find unsalted pistachios, you can use salted pistachios but you will have to omit the salt.
**Buttermilk can be made by combining 240ml of milk and 1 tbsp of white vinegar/lemon juice. 

Lemon Buttercream
  • 200g butter, room temperature
  • 330g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 1-3 tbsp milk, if needed
  1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale in colour – about 6 minutes. Add the icing sugar a half cup at a time, mixing on high between each addition. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Once all the sugar is combined, add the vanilla and lemon juice. Add the milk if needed to loosen up the frosting. Beat on high for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Set aside until ready for assembly.
Assembly
  • Fresh flowers, to decorate
  1. Trim and level the cakes with a serrated knife or cake leveller so that the the top is completely flat/even.
  2. Put the first layer of cake onto your cake stand/platter and spread a generous amount of lemon buttercream.
  3. Place the next layer of cake on top, and continue until all layers are complete.
  4. Spread a thin amount of vanilla frosting around the cake to secure any crumbs (this is called a crumb coat). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the fridge, and this time – spread a slightly thicker layer of vanilla buttercream as the final coat. Gently run a cake scraper around the sides to get the desired “naked” effect.
  6. Decorate with fresh flowers, then serve and enjoy!

 

 

 


French Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Praline

Today we’re going back to the basics with this delicious chocolate mousse recipe. It’s really easy, very chocolatey and fluffy. As with all my posts, this one features minimal photography, bright white colours and hues of dark chocolate. Chocolate Mousse Final 6-3.jpgThe reason I decided to make this is actually because of Pinterest. I saw this amazing photo, and I thought I had to give it a go.  I get asked a lot where I find inspiration; so it is usually Pinterest but if we go to a restaurant/cafe/patisserie and we have something that tastes really good  – I usually try to recreate it or put my own spin on it.Chocolate Mousse Final 1-3.jpgThe last time I made mousse was actually over 4 years ago; it was actually a layered triple chocolate mousse. It was a big achievement for me at that age (13 years old!) and it makes me realise that I have been cooking for a really long time.Chocolate Mousse Final 2The original recipe I saw on Pinterest was actually by Julia Childs, who of course was of the most amazing French chefs. However, I thought her mousse was quite laborious. I’m sure the results are amazing, but I just wanted something a bit more simple. fiNAL2.jpgSo this recipe is inspired by Chef Ludo Lefebre from the French Restaurant Petit Trois. He uses a method similar to Julia Child, but slightly less steps and with only 4 ingredients! I topped mine with a hazelnut praline and shaved chocolate – this is optional of course.Choc Mousse 10.jpgIt tastes wonderful on its own! A good mousse recipe is something everyone should have in their repertoire. The key to making a delicious mousse is high quality chocolate and eggs. This recipe does involve raw eggs and I am very sorry if this does concern you. Holidays are also coming to an end soon; only one more week to go! They always go way to quickly.Chocolate Mousse Final 1 It’s actually pretty funny, because I was reminded by my cousin, who is 10 years old, that things are different when you’re younger. She said that she doesn’t have much to do over the holidays. And I’m pretty sure I thought the same thing when I was her age. But now I feel like it’s the complete opposite. I have so much to do and enough time to do it. So I hope enjoyed this blog post, thank you for reading and here is the recipe…

 

French Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Praline

This recipe is adapted from Ludo Lefebvre via Bon Appetit. There is also this Youtube video where he shows you how to make it.

French Chocolate Mousse:

  • 175g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 85g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 90g sugar
  • Hazelnut praline (recipe below), to decorate
  • Dark chocolate shavings, to decorate
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until there are no more lumps and it is smooth (this is called a bain marie or double boiler, where the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and 50g of sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 40g of sugar. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain. Mix in half of the egg white mixture to loosen the mousse, then gently fold in the remaining half to retain the air without deflation.
  5. Divide mousse among glasses, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, decorate with hazelnut praline and shaved chocolate.

Mousse can be made 4 days ahead, cover and chilled.

Hazelnut Praline:

  • 60g roasted hazelnuts
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. Line a tray with baking paper. Scatter hazelnuts over the tray.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan and stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved and it begins to turn a golden-amber colour.
  3. Pour caramel over the nuts, until everything is evenly spread and coated. Allow to cool completely, and break into shards.

 

 


Sponge Cake with Cream and Berries {Gluten-Free}

I guess I am back to blogging for a little while, and even though holidays are slightly longer than last time, I won’t be posting too much unfortunately. Mainly because I have some school work to do. So now onto the blog post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it for you. Sponge cake3.jpgAs per usual, the past term has been pretty busy. Assignments, exams, late nights not overly different.  I’m not the type of person who sleeps in, and it’s actually quite weird going to bed at nine-thirty instead of eleven-thirty, and cooking and watching Masterchef instead of studying.Sponge Cake19.jpgThis recipe is actually from my Auntie, and I used to make it with my Mum when I was a kid. The only problem with the recipe is that although it tastes good, the sponge does deflate significantly when the cakes come out from the oven. Basically, fill the tins with quite a lot of batter (almost to the top), then they will appear to rise a lot in the oven and sink when taken out.Sponge Cake20.jpgThis mainly occurs due to the significant amount of air from the egg whites and the melted butter so the balance between the air and fat is not overly good. And the egg whites cannot handle all that liquid. Trust me, I have tried a lot of recipes that do cook a lot better but unfortunately, the taste is not as good. Sponge cake7This cake is light and fluffy whilst buttery at the same time. The cream, berries and flowers easily cover up any mistakes.  I am also very sorry that I didn’t get any photos of the inside and cake slices.Sponge Cake12So I hope you enjoyed this post, and I actually saw this quote on Instagram that I really resonated with: “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place” (unknown). Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful week!

 

Sponge Cake with Cream and Fresh Berries

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 60g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 500g cream
  • Fresh berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Edible violas (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Grease and line three 6-inch cake tins (or two 8-inch cake tins) with baking paper.
  2. Beat egg whites to soft peaks, starting on low speed then gradually increase the speed.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, then beat until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the egg yolks and 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste, and beat on high speed for 2 minutes ensuring to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, sift together the cornflour and baking powder then sift again into the batter. Beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. In a small saucepan. bring the melted butter to the boil, and whilst it is still warm, gradually pour it into the mixture on low speed. Beat until everything is just combined, and fold by hand to ensure everything is well mixed.
  7. Distribute evenly between pans, and bake reduce oven temperature to 200ºC then bake for 5 minutes. Finally, bake for a further 20 minutes at 180ºC – or until golden brown, and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tins, then turn cakes onto a wire rack and remove baking paper. Then allow to cool completely.
  9. To assemble, whip cream and remaining 1 tsp vanilla bean paste to stiff peaks.
  10. This is optional, but feel free to trim and level cakes, with a serrated knife and cake leveller for more even layers.
  11. Add a little bit of cream to the bottom of your cake stand or platter.Then place your first layer of cake on the cake stand.
  12. Spread cream on the first layer, fill with fresh berries and then add the next layer of cake. Repeat for the remaining layers.
  13. Decorate with remaining cream, berries and flowers.