Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Melt-and-Mix Chocolate Dessert Cake (Donna Hay) and Crème Anglaise / Custard Pouring Sauce with No Cream (Barefoot Contessa)

If I'm a mathematician, I'm going to say...

Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = a Beautiful Cake!

Obviously, I'm not... LOL!

However, I believe in this equation in this case as the combination of Donna Hay's one bowl chocolate dessert cake and Ina Garten's crème anglaise has worked really well for me.

Love love love this chocolate dessert cake served with crème anglaise. Besides my always favourite Donna Hay's melt-and-mix gluten free chocolate cake, this combination made another fantastic melt-and-mix chocolate cake from Donna Hay! This cake is extremely chocolaty and moist. It is extremely easy to bake. Extremely fail-proof... I would say! An extreme chocolate cake not to miss.

To balance the richness of this cake, Donna Hay has suggested cream and berries in her recipe but I insist ...
  • Something creamy but with lesser fat to worry... 
  • Something light but not thin to dilute the flavour of this cake...
  • Something sweet to match the bitterness of dark chocolate...
  • Something not too acidic, sour and fruity...
  • Something not too cold or icy like ice cream...
All because I want to have enjoy my cake with a comfort degree of warmness and this crème anglaise recipe by Barefoot Contessa is exactly the chocolate cake companion that I'm after.

Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = a Beautiful Cake?

What say you?...

---

It is school holidays now in Melbourne, Australia. For this reason, my family and I had decided to take this opportunity to have a Easter break from our normal routine. We will be going to Singapore and Phuket for the next two weeks. I apologise that I have left the ongoing Cook Like a Star, all star anniversary and Little Thumb Up, Orange event temporarily. I promise that I will be back in the end of April to conclude both events and hope to have your continuing participation while I'm away. See ya!

melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Donna Hay + Barefoot Contessa = A Beautiful Chocolate Cake
To bake this cake, all you need to do is melt...
... mix...
... and bake!
After baking: Can't test the cake with a skewer. It will look uncooked but is actually cooked!
Dust the cake with cocoa and it is ready to serve.
This is how I made the crème anglaise.
I will not forget to add vanilla into my crème anglaise :)
melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Look! This cake is so moist and chocolaty!
melt and mix chocolate dessert cake Donna Hay
Need a chocolate cake for Easter? Yes, please! I like to bake this cake! 
Happy Easter!

Here are the recipes (with my notes and modification in blue)

Melt-and-Mix One Bowl Chocolate Dessert Cake by Donna Hay from LifeStyle Food

125g butter, chopped
375g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

(I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa)
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
1/4 cup (35g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
2 tbsp milk
1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
5 eggs
cocoa, for dusting

Preheat oven to 170°C or 
150°C fan forced.

Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and either microwave in short bursts until melted or melt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Add the sugar, flour, milk and almond meal and mix to combine. Add the eggs and mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased 22cm round springform tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover the tin with aluminium foil and bake for 40 mins.

Uncover and cool in the tin. Dust with cocoa and serve with cream and berries.

Note: Using 2/5 of the recipe and a 14 cm round loose bottom pan lined with baking paper and its bottom well-covered with foil, I have baked the cake at 150°C fan forced for 40 mins.

Crème Anglaise by Barefoot Contessa mostly adapted from Food Network

According to Wikipedia, crème anglaise is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is typically a mixture of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavoured with vanilla. This lower fat version contains cornstarch / cornflour as thickener.

Make enough to serve one 14 cm cake
2 egg yolks
50g cup sugar (can reduce if you prefer it to be less sweet)
1/2 tsp cornstarch / cornflour
210ml scalded milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste or seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 tsp cognac, optional (I didn't add this because we were eating this with my 5 year old)

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 mins, or using a whisk by hand until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add cornstarch .

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour (or whisk in) the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't over-cook it (above 180°F) or the eggs will scramble!

For a smoother texture, pour the sauce through a fine strainer or process it slightly with a hand blender. Add the vanilla extract or paste or seeds and Cognac and serve with a cake.

Happy Baking

This post is linked to Cook like a Star, ALL Stars Anniversary organised by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake

Wanna cook or bake like Donna Hay, Barefoot Contessa, Jamie Oliver, Masterchef, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Curtis Stone, Nigella Lawson, Ree Drummond and Bill Granger? To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from their websites or cookbooks and link with us at this Zoe's, this Joyce's or this Mich's post for the whole of March and April 2014.



To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake. Cheers!

For more details, please see this.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their 5-stars cooking. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Almost MasterChef Gary's Sausage Rolls with Hidden Vegetables

When I was a kid growing up in Singapore, I remember NOT eating sausage rolls for any occasions.

Back at our time, we used to have chicken franks, fried fish balls, fruit punch and colourful agar agar for our birthday parties. Congee or noodles or chicken rice for lunch. And, Kaka for snacks!

These days... living in Australia, things has changed. Every kiddy parties that we go serve fairy breads and sausage rolls. Sometimes, we have even sausage rolls for quick lunch or snacks. It is hard to avoid eating sausage rolls these days...

Mum, can you bake some sausage rolls for me?

What can I say? Ok...

This is the gourmet version of homemade sausage rolls cooked by Australia MasterChef judge, Gary Mehigan. He was demonstrating this recipe in one of the Masterclass episodes. In Gary's recipe, there is only ONE carrot hidden in these heaps of sausage roll. I made the chicken version of Gary's sausage rolls and the cheeky me hid TWO carrots instead of one...

This is my almost MasterChef Gary's sausage rolls with hidden vegetables... Almost because I have hidden TWO carrots... LOL!


sausage rolls hidden vegetables
My almost MasterChef Gary's sausage rolls with hidden vegetables...
... with these TWO carrots instead of one!
To hide the carrots, I have to cook and mash them first. I try not to purée it because it sounds like baby food :p
Cook these with a pinch of salt until onion has softened
The bread crumbs and home-grown oregano that I used.
After this, brush a little egg wash to seal the edges...
The recipe didn't cut the sausage rolls before baking...
Just brush them with egg wash, sprinkle lots of seeds and bake!
After baking!
Now... slice the rolls. Enjoy the crunch with nice and moist filling inside.

Here's the recipe from Australian MasterChef at Tastebook.
(with my notes and modification in blue)

1 tbsp unsalted butter (replaced with rice bran oil)
1 large carrot, peeled, grated (I used two instead of one and diced them roughly)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g beef mince (replaced with chicken mince)
350g pork mince (replaced with chicken mince)
1 tbs wild oregano
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I used 1 3/4 cup dried ones)
2 x 375g puff pastry, thawed, halved 
(I used 3 puff pastry sheets with 25% fat reduced)
3 egg yolks, lightly whisked
(I reckon 2 egg yolks is more than enough)
poppy and sesame seeds, to garnish
Tomato or BBQ sauce, to serve

Heat butter (or oil) in a saucepan over medium heat, add grated carrot and cook for until carrot starts to soften. Cover with a lid and cook for 4-5 mins (or longer) until very soft. Puree carrot mixture in a blender (or mash it with a fork) until smooth. Season to taste. Set aside to cool completely.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, then add onion, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 mins or until onion has softened. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf and set aside to cool completely.

Combine minces, 1/4 cup of the carrot puree (or all of the carrots), oregano, onion mixture and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Season with salt. Divide the mince mixture into 4 (or 6) portions and shape into a 25 cm log. Place pastry sheet onto a floured work surface and roll to about 4mm thick. Slice each pastry sheet in half lengthways. Place the sausage log across the closest edge of a pastry sheet. Roll to enclose mixture until the two edges of the pastry meet, trim and discard excess pastry. Brush a little egg wash on the join to secure.

Place sausage rolls on a lined baking rack, brush with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with seeds. Repeat with remaining pastry. Cook in the oven (at 160°C fan forced) for about 20-25 mins or until golden and cooked through.

Slice rolls on an angle, about 2cm wide. Serve with either tomato or BBQ sauce.


Happy Baking

This post is linked to Cook like a Star, ALL Stars Anniversary organised by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake

Wanna cook or bake like Donna Hay, Barefoot Contessa, Jamie Oliver, Masterchef, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Curtis Stone, Nigella Lawson, Ree Drummond and Bill Granger? To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from their websites or cookbooks and link with us at this Zoe's, this Joyce's or this Mich's post for the whole of March and April 2014.



To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Mich from Piece of Cake. Cheers!

For more details, please see this.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their 5-stars cooking.