Chocolate Mousse Cake

Cakes, Recipes

Moist marzipan-chocolate cake, fluffy chocolate mousse, crisp chocolate shavings – sounds tempting, doesn´t it? If I see such a cake in a store or a café, I´ll have to pass. These cakes are extremely rich in lactose and simply not good for me.

I do not have to deny myself those treats, though. The recipe for this Chocolate-Mousse-Cake is from “Traumhafte Torten” by Adolf Anderson. Adapting it in such a way that the cake is lactose-free is really easy. Instead of normal cream, I use lactose-free cream, and instead of normal dark chocolate, I use lactose-free dark chocolate. And that´s it.

Schoko Mousse Torte 7

The combination of moist, fluffy and crisp is absolutely convincing, especially if you enjoy all three layers in one bite. Crisp and smooth at the same time. Maybe a bit rich, but well. Sometimes we have to treat ourselves, don´t we?

Schoko Mousse Torte 3

Schoko Mousse 4

Schoko Mousse Torte 2

Ingredients:

Cake:
5.7 oz (160 g) marzipan paste
⅓ cup (80 g) sugar
3 eggs
⅓ cup (40 g) plain flour
⅓ cup (35 g) unsweetened cocoa
1.4 oz (40 g) butter
1.4 oz (40 g) good-quality dark chocolate, lactose-free (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)

Chocolate mousse:
3 ⅛ cups (750 ml) whipping cream
9 oz (250 g) good-quality dark chocolate, lactose-free (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)

Topping:
3.5 oz (100 g) good-quality dark chocolate, lactose-free (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)

Preparation:
Prepare two sheets of baking parchment: With a pen or a pencil draw a circle of 8 inches on the first sheet, a circle of 10 inches on the second sheet. This is easiest done by using an adjustable cake ring: Adjust the cake ring to the appropriate size, then follow the outline with a pen or pencil.

Flip the baking parchment over so that the marks are on the bottom side. This way the batter will not touch the pencil- or pen-mark. Put the baking parchment onto two baking sheets.

Preheat the oven to 320° F (160° C) if you have a convection oven, to 170° C (340° F) if you have a conventional oven.

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In a small pot, melt the butter at low heat. Add the chopped chocolate and dissolve it in the butter.

Sieve flour and cocoa into a small bowl.

Cut the marzipan paste into small pieces. Put the marzipan pieces into a mixing bowl and add 1.4 oz (40 g; about 3 tbsp.) sugar. With the kitchen machine or a hand mixer, beat at low to medium speed until the mixture is crumbly. Gradually add two eggs. Beat until the mixture is smooth.

In a second mixing bowl, beat the third egg with 1.4 oz (40 g) sugar with the kitchen machine or a hand mixer until fluffy.

Add the marzipan-mixture to the egg-mixture and thoroughly beat with the kitchen machine or the hand mixer.

Carefully fold in the cocoa-flour-mixture, then stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture. I used a whisk for this.

Spread the batter onto the baking parchment in the circular shapes you drew on the parchment. The batter will be thin, about one third of an inch. Distribute the batter between the two circles so that both circles are equally thin (or thick, whichever you prefer). I just estimated how much batter I would need for each circle; this worked well.

Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes. Check frequently; they should not get dark. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Chocolate Mousse:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put the pieces into a mixing bowl. In a small pot, bring 1 ⅛ cup (250 ml) whipping cream to a boil. Pour one third of the cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour the second third over the chocolate, stir again. Pour the last third over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is completely smooth. Let the mixture cool until it feels lukewarm or even slightly cold on your lips.

With the kitchen machine or hand mixer, beat the remaining whipping cream (2 cups) until fluffy and creamy (not stiff). Whisk three tablespoons of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Put the larger cake into the cake ring or an appropriate cake pan. Pour half of the chocolate mousse onto the cake and spread evenly. Put the smaller cake onto the chocolate mousse. Pour the remaining chocolate mousse into the cake ring and spread evenly.

Let the cake cool for about two hours.

For the topping, chop the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or on the oven at very low heat. Spread the liquid chocolate onto an even surface, e.g. a marble slab or a baking sheet (I used the latter). Let the chocolate cool at room temperature.

When the chocolate is firm but not totally hard, shave off chocolate shavings with a metal spatula. I used a cheese slicer for this, the only instrument with a sharp edge I found in the house.

Take off the cake ring or cake pan. Liberally decorate the Chocolate Mousse Cake with the chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

Schoko Mousse Torte 5

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Graham Rolls

Bread, Recipes

Who doesn´t like the smell of home-made bread in the house? Biting into a warm, fresh, crisp roll? I love that. I am always overjoyed when I have the chance to eat home-made bread.

Grahamweckerl 3

Recently I came upon a book on baking bread. There were lots of wonderful recipes in it, so I immediately bought the book . It was worth it. If you ask me, spending money on good-quality, inspiring cookbooks and baking books always is! I found myself drooling over the pictures and recipes while looking through the book.

Here is the recipe for graham rolls. Don´t worry about making yeast dough. I always make yeast dough using active dry yeast: I just knead all the ingredients together and let the dough rise in a warm place. It always works.

Grahamweckerl 1

Grahamweckerl 2

Ingredients:

10 oz. (280 g) water, lukewarm
7 g (= 1 bag) active dry yeast
2 cups plus 1 tbsp. (250 g) plain flour
2 cups plus 1 tbsp. (250 g) whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. (25 g) oat bran or wheat bran
1 ½ tsp. (10 g) salt
1 tsp. (5 g) sugar
2 tbsp. (20 g) vegetable oil

Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Put all the ingredients into a big bowl. Either use a kitchen machine with a dough hook, or knead by hand until the dough is soft and silky. With a kitchen machine, this will take about five minutes.

Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or kitchen towel. Let the dough rest at a warm place for about 40 minutes. It should now have risen and be notably bigger and fluffier than before.

Knead the dough again, either using a kitchen machine or by hand. This will remove the air from the dough.

Form a kind of „sausage“ and cut it into six pieces of about the same size. With a rolling pin, roll each piece into a thin oval sheet.

Roll each oval sheet into a graham roll, starting with the narrow side. Put the six graham rolls onto the baking sheet, with the seam at the bottom. Cover the rolls with a moist cloth or kitchen towel and let them rest for 35 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 390° F (200° C; conventional oven).

Bake for about 20 minutes.

From: Ager, B. (2010). Lass dich verführen 3. Hall in Tirol, Wien: Berenkamp.

Chocolate Shock Cookies

Cookies, Recipes

A friend of mine is a baker. He likes to experiment – in his shop you will at times find goodies like chocolate with extra-hot chili (he grows the chili himself!) or cookies with lavender. For his birthday, I will give him these cookies, with the recipe attached – maybe he will like them and sell them in his store!

Schoko Schock 4

Schoko Schock 5

Schoko Schock 6

The original recipe uses white chocolate, which contains lactose. I wanted to make a lactose-free version for myself, so I produced a second batch in which I replaced the white chocolate with chopped walnuts. I must admit that I like this version better than the one with white chocolate. The walnuts go extremely well with the dark chocolate batter!

Schoko Schock 3

The cookies did not turn out as pretty as I had hoped, so I initially did not want to publish the recipe on my blog. Only when I realized that the kids kept walking into the kitchen to get another cookie, I tried one – and changed my opinion. The cookies are not too sweet and have an intense and smooth chocolaty taste. They are just the way a rich chocolate cookie should be, even if they do not look perfect!

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups (300 g) flour
1 ⅓ cup (100 g) unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup / 4 sticks (250 g) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 tbsp. sugar beet syrup
1 tsp. vanilla sugar (not vanillin)
2 large eggs, room temperature

Version 1 (= containing lactose):
1 cup (150 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (150 g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Decoration:
⅓ cup (50 g) white chocolate

Version 2 (= lactose-free)
1 cup (150 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free, coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. (150 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
Decoration:
⅓ cup (50 g) milk chocolate, lactose-free

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F (190° C) (convection oven: 355° F,180° C). Cover baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In another mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and syrup with a handmixer or kitchen machine until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla sugar and beat for another three minutes.

Add the flour-cocoa-mixture. Beat it into the batter with the hand mixer/kitchen machine at low speed or with a wooden spoon. The batter will be quite heavy and firm.

Version 1 (= containing lactose): Add the chopped chocolate and stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Version 2 (= lactose-free): Add the chopped chocolate and the chopped walnuts and stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets and bake for about 10-13 minutes. Keep your eye on the cookies – they get burnt at the edges fast! Rather take them out of the oven a little early than keep them in the oven too long. They will firm up when they cool.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool.

Decoration:
Place the cookies side by side on a cooling rack, a baking sheet or baking parchment. If you use a cooling rack, place baking parchment beneath it – it will make tidying up the working surface a lot easier!

For the glazing, coarsely chop while chocolate (version 1) or lactose-free milk chocolate (version 2). Melt in a double boiler or on the stove at very low heat. Put the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag and cut off an edge. You now have a self-made icing bag.

Decorate the cookies with the glazing by moving the icing bag over the cookies diagonally.

Schoko Schock Cookies 1

Makes about 30 large cookies.

 

Adapted from: Cynthia Barcomi´s Backbuch (2007), München: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag.

Crispbread

Bread, Recipes

Baking and eating cookies was great fun, but now it is enough. I ate a lot of delicious food during the festive days, and I still feel full and stuffed. I really need some days without sweets and rich food!

Fortunately the new cookery and baking books I got for Christmas are very inspiring. We will somehow have to make space for them in our bookshelves (same problem as every year), but they will provide me with plenty recipes and ideas.

For a start, I wanted to make this crispbread, which sounded very healthy and simple. I also thought it would be a good way to find out if the recipes in my new book on baking bread would work or not. You can only find out by trying, can´t you?

When preparing the batter, I seriously doubted this recipe. It said that you should spread the batter onto the baking parchment. My batter was almost liquid, more like a soup than a batter! I was about to add more flour, but decided to stick to the recipe. It was good that I did. The flour soon thickened, and I could follow the instructions easily.

The crispbread tastes fantastic! It is crunchy and grainy, great with dips or as a quick snack. The book on baking bread has definitely passed the test. I have even already baked the next bread – Graham rolls. More about those soon!

Knäckebrot 1

Knäckebrot 2

Ingredients:
1 cup (120 g) spelt flour (I took spelt flour 1050, which is a rather dark flour)
1⅔ cups (120 g) rolled oats
⅔ (100 g) sunflower seeds
⅓ cup (50 g) sesame
¼ cup (50 g) linseed (=flaxseed)
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups plus 3 tbsp. (500 ml) water

Preheat the oven to 340° F 170° C (convection oven) or 375° F (190° C) (conventional oven).

Cover two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Put spelt flour, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sesame, linseed, salt and olive oil into a big mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add the water and stir again. The mixture will be very liquid initially, but will thicken within a minute or two. Stir until this has happened.

Stir the thickened mixture once more, then pour half of the mixture on each baking sheet. Spread evenly so that the batter is very thin.

Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cut into small squares or rectangles. This has to be done now because when the crispbread is done, it will be so hard that it will be impossible to cut it.

Put the baking sheets into the oven again and bake for about 40 minutes.

Do not store the crispbread in an airtight tin, but in the open! This way it will stay crunchy.

 Knäckebrot 3

Knäckebrot 4

From: Ager, B. (2010). Lass dich verführen 3. Hall in Tirol, Wien: Berenkamp.