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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Pecan Chocolate Pie

Cakes, Other, Recipes

I love pecans, only they are really hard to get in Austria. When a friend of mine flew to the United States last spring, I asked him to get me a big bag of pecans. He did! So this spring and summer I had a lot of fun trying different pecan-recipes.

I held on to the last pecans in that bag for a long time. They were just enough for one more recipe, and I simply could not decide upon one – there were too many recipes I still wanted to try. I also did not want to use up my entire supply of pecans. Where would I get more?

Well, last month I found an answer to that question: a local supermarket now has pecans! They are expensive, but at least they are available. I immediately bought a bag and am happy that I now know where to restock.

I used a part of those new pecans and the rest of the pecans I got in spring for this Pecan Chocolate Pie. I made the pie in spring for the first time and liked it very much. It has an intense chocolate- and pecan-aroma. There is also a special taste to the pie because of the golden syrup or the sugar beet syrup, which is what I used.Pekan Schoko Pie 2   Pekan Schoko Pie 1

The pie is just right for fall. It will warm you from the inside, and it will make you happy!

Ingredients:

Dough:
½ cup (110 g) soft butter
2 ¼ cup (225 g) flour
¾ cup (80 g) sugar
1 egg

Filling:
½ cup (110 g) soft butter

1 ¼ cup (225 g) fine brown sugar

⅓ cup (110 g) golden syrup or sugar beet syrup

3 eggs

A bit more than 1 cup (260 g) pecans, coarsely chopped

16 pecan-halves for decoration

½ cup (85 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (Lindt 70%, Merci 72%), coarsely chopped

Pekan Schoko Pie 3

Grease a pie plate (the one I used is 11 inches) with butter.

Preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C).

With a handmixer, combine the soft butter and the flour until you get crumbs of about pea size.

Add sugar, then the egg, until the mixture forms a dough.

Place the dough onto a clean surface and knead it through once.

Lightly cover the surface with flour. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 14-inch circle, about 1/5 of an inch thick. Put the dough into the pie plate. (If the dough is very soft, roll it into a small disk first and put it into the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling it into a circle.)

With a knife, cut off the excess dough so that you get a nice and tidy edge. Poke tiny holes into the dough with a fork.

Put the pie plate into the fridge and chill for 45 minutes.

Remove the pie plate from the fridge. Cover the dough with parchment paper or wax paper and fill the pie with pie weights. I keep a jar of chicken peas in my kitchen which I use for this purpose only.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

Put a baking sheet into the oven.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling:

In a small pot, melt butter, sugar and golden syrup at low heat. Remove from the oven and let the mixture cool a little.

Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Add the butter-sugar mixture and combine until the mixture is smooth.

Spread chopped pecans and chopped chocolate in the pie crust.

Carefully pour the filling over the pecans and the chocolate. With my pie plate, the form will be filled to the brim. Decorate with the pecan halves.

Put the pie onto the hot baking sheet. This will allow the pie to bake evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the heat to 280° F (140° C) and bake for another 20 minutes. The pie will be a bit soft in the middle, but will firm up when cool.

If you feel like adding some more calories, enjoy the pie with whipped cream – delicious!

 Pekan Schoko Pie 4

Adapted from: the hummingbird bakery (2011): Süße Sünden, München: Dorling Kindersley.

Brownies with Cream Cheese and Walnuts

Cakes, Recipes

In other blogs you will now, at the end of September, find all kinds of delicious recipes with plums, apples and pears. Because of fructose-intolerance, I unfortunately have to avoid those fruits. I therefore do not bake much with them, unless it is for family or friends.
Nevertheless on those cold fall days I crave comfort food which makes me feel warm and happy. These Brownies with all their chocolate and the nuts definitely belong to this category.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 3

I slightly adapted the recipe by Cynthia Barcomi. I find the original version a bit too sweet.
Sometimes when I make these Brownies I skip the sugar beet syrup. I happened to have it at home, so of course I used it. The result was extra-ordinary.
This time I used a mixture of 250 g cheaper lactose-free chocolate, namely „Bensdorp Haushaltsschokolade,” with 42% cocoa, and 100 g Merci 72 % cocoa.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 1

Ingredients:
Batter:
2 cups (400 g) sugar
5 eggs
1 tbsp. sugar beet syrup (optional)
12.5 oz. (350 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (e.g. Bensdorp Haushaltsschokolade, Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)
2 sticks (250 g) butter
2 cups (210 g) flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
⅔ cup (80 g) walnuts (not chopped)
Cream cheese mixture:
13 oz. (360 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
¾ stick (90 g) butter, softened
⅔ cup (130 g) sugar
3 eggs
Topping:
1½ cups (180 g) walnuts (not chopped)
Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C). Grease a baking pan (~9 inches x 123 inches; ~24cm x 32 cm).
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Cut the butter into small cubes. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler or on the oven over very low heat. Let the mixture cool down.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then beat in the sugar and the sugar beet syrup.
Next whisk the cooled chocolate-butter-mixture into the egg-mixture.
Stir in the flour mixture. It should just combine with the liquid mixture, so do not stir too long!
Put about ¼ of the batter into a second bowl and set aside.
Stir the walnuts into the remaining ¾ of the batter.
In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, the softened butter, the sugar and the eggs with a hand mixer on low speed.
Pour the batter with the walnuts into the baking pan and spread evenly.
Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture onto the batter. You should not see any chocolate batter any more.
Spoon the remaining chocolate batter onto the cream cheese mixture in several big blotches.
With a toothpick, a skewer or a knitting needle, draw patterns into the brownies, thus creating a marble pattern.
Sprinkle the brownies with the remaining walnuts.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 4

Yogurt Cake with Peaches

Cakes, Recipes

Another recipe with peaches … Peaches are really great this time of the year. Since I tolerate them kind of okay, I could not resist and got some more at the local market.

This time I used them for a fluffy, not-too-sweet Yogurt Cake. I adapted a recipe by Annik Wecker. Delicious!

Pfirsich Joghurtkuchen Website 4

It is really important to take the butter, eggs and yogurt out of the fridge about 2 hours before you start baking so that they will have room temperature. Otherwise the eggs will not combine well with the butter and the batter will curdle. If that happens, you might be able to save the batter by adding about 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. With a bit of luck this will work out well.

Hm. The more recipes I write for this blog, the more I realize that I myself often do not follow the recommendation about taking the ingredients out of the fridge in time. I tend to forget about that, it seems.

If I am faced with ingredients which come right out of the fridge, usually the tips I mentioned for the „Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate“ and a strong kitchen machine still help me get the batter right.

Nevertheless I am wondering if I should not take a more organized approach to baking. So let me just look if I better take the ingredients for the Oreo Cupcakes, which I plan to make this afternoon, out of the fridge. – Ok, done. No need to take anything out of the fridge. But I found out I have to get another package of Oreos, and more mascarpone. See, organized!

Pfirsich Joghurtkuchen Website 2

Ingredients:
Topping:
4 cups (500 g) peaches, or some other fruit, as e.g. rhubarb or redcurrants
1 tbsp. corn starch
1/8 cup (40 g) brown sugar

Batter:
1 ¾ sticks (200 g) soft butter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (not vanillin)
Grated lemon rind from about a quarter of an organic lemon
4 eggs, room temperature
2½ cup (250 g) flour
⅓ cup (50 g) corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
⅔ cup (150 g) plain yogurt, lactose-free, room temperature

Grease a round baking pan (~10 inches – 26 cm) with butter.

Preheat the oven to 325° F (160° F).

In a baking bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Wash the peaches and cut them into slices. In another bowl, mix them with 1 tbsp. corn starch and the brown sugar. Set aside.

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and grated lemon rind until fluffy. The mixture should be almost white.

Add the eggs one after the other. Beat in each egg for at least one minute. The eggs and the butter-mixture should combine to a homogenous batter.

Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, then the yogurt, then the rest of the flour mixture. Do not beat too long.

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan.

Arrange the peach slices evenly on the batter. Do not put the liquid which collected in the bowl onto the batter!

Bake the Yogurt Cake for 60-75 minutes. My oven is really slow. It took the entire 75 minutes until the cake was done.

When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, take out the cake.

Pfirisch-Joghurtkuchen Website 3

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the baking pan.

If you want, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar when it has completely cooled down.

 

 

Adapted from: Annik Wecker: Anniks göttliche Kuchen, Dorling Kindersley Verlag.

Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate

Cakes, Recipes

This cake might look plain, but tastes spectacular. Soft, buttery, chocolaty. I like it best with a cup of coffee.

IMG_9794-001 website

When preparing the batter, it is really important that the eggs, the butter and the buttermilk have room temperature. These ingredients should be taken out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you start baking.

Unfortunately, I often decide to bake on the spur of the moment. Then of course then the ingredients will not have room temperature, but fridge temperature. Since the batter for this cake will not work out if I make it with cold ingredients, I use the following tricks to warm the ingredients at least a little bit.

  • I put the eggs into a small bowl, put it into the sink and let hot tap water run over the eggs until they feel lukewarm.
  • I cut the butter into small bits and put them into a baking bowl. Then I place the bowl over a pot of boiling water for a short time (or over the pot with the boiling noodles). In winter I sometimes place the bowl on our wood-burning stove for some minutes.

It is not the same as working with ingredients which have room temperature, but it helps.

This time I took the ingredients out of the fridge in time, and the batter still curdled a little. It did not really matter, though. The cake was as delicious as always – and eaten the same day.

I like the buttermilk cake best with dark chocolate. I could imagine that it is also great with chopped nuts or fresh raspberries (mmh, sounds yummy).

Aug 13 Buttermilchkuchen mit Schokolade website

Ingredients:
½ cup (120 g) butter
1½ cup (300 g) fine sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (no vanillin)
3 eggs
2 cups (200 g) flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, lactosefree
½-⅔ cup (80g – 100 g) dark chocolate, lactosefree, coarsely chopped (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)

Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C).

Grease a loaf cake pan (~12 x 4 inches; ~ 30cm x 11cm) with butter and slightly coat it with flour. Do not try to skip the coating, as I sometimes did when I thought greasing would be enough. I learned the hard way that it is a good idea to follow the instructions and make the effort of greasing and coating carefully.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar until fluffy. With a kitchen machine, this takes at least 5 minutes, rather longer – especially if the ingredients do not have room temperature.

Add the eggs one after the other. Beat each egg into the mixture for at least one minute before you add the next egg.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Add one third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the egg-sugar mixture. Beat in well. Add the second third of the flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk and beat in well. Add the last of the flour mixture and again beat until the ingredients have combined well. Do not beat for too long!

Fold in the chopped chocolate, using a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the loaf cake pan and spread it evenly.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown. My stove is a rather slow stove. It took about 55 minutes until the cake was done, i.e. when a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean.

Let the cake cool down in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it onto a platter.

If you want, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar when it has completely cooled down.

IMG_9798-001 website

Comment:
I prefer the version with less chocolate, ½ cup (80 g). In this version, the chocolate flavor will not dominate the cake and you will still be able to enjoy the delicate flavor of the sponge. Family and friends, apparently chocoholics, will go for the more chocolaty version ⅔ cup (100g) any time.

Recipe adapted from: Buttermilch Kuchen, Tarek Malouf (2013), Kuchenglück: Ostfildern, Jan Thorbecke Verlag.

Peach Cobbler

Cakes, Recipes

I do not eat a lot of fruit, but since I tolerate peaches quite well, I´ll make an exception for this Peach Cobbler.

Peach Cobbler is a quick and delicious dessert. In summer I make it with fresh peaches, in this case with Styrian Peaches which I bought at the local market. Peach Cobbler also tastes great with canned or frozen peaches.

Peach Cobbler recipes often say that the Cobbler should be eaten warm, with vanilla ice-cream and/or whipped cream. That is probably a really good idea and sounds yummy. I just must admit that I have never eaten it that way. I always eat it on its own, warm as well as cold. I love the crust and the liquid that collects at the bottom of the dish. Okay, and the peaches in between as well.

04-IMG_9600

01-IMG_9608

Ingredients:
~4 cups (~ 600g) sliced peaches, fresh, canned, or frozen
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup (100 g) flour
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
6 tablespoons (90 g) butter

Melt the butter over low temperature and put aside.

Place the sliced peaches into a medium baking pan of about 10 x 6 inches (26 cm x 15 cm). I use a medium-size oval baking pan.

Sprinkle the peaches with the lemon juice.

In a mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. Add the egg and toss with a fork until crumbly.

Spread the mixture evenly over the peaches and cover them completely.

Carefully sprinkle the melted butter over the mixture. If there are some small dry patches left, do not worry. The butter will seep into those patches while baking.

Bake at 375° F (190°C)for about 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

06-IMG_9612

Note:
If I use fresh peaches for this recipe, I never peel them. It saves me a lot of work, and in my opinion it does not make much of a difference. The peaches´ skins are really soft after the baking process. I do not even notice them, unless I really look for them.

If you prefer to make the Cobbler with peeled peaches, put the whole peaches into boiling water for about 10 seconds, then take them out and immediately run cold water over them. They will peel easily after that.

I do not really like doing this since in my opinion the peaches are a little soft after this process and start losing their juices. Also, as I said, it is a lot of work.