Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes

Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
I'm back! How's everyone doing? I don't know if you missed me but I definitely missed blogging on here. I just got back from my honeymoon in Europe where I had the most amazing time ever (you might have noticed if you happen to be following me on instagram) and even though I am still completely, utterly messed up thanks to the evilness that is jet leg I couldn't wait to get back into the kitchen to whip something up.
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
It feels so good to be excited about baking and blogging again. Right before I left for my trip I was so weary of everything and completely out of new ideas. It was nice to be forced away from updating the blog every week, to give myself some breathing room and a much needed break from my regular routine.
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
My holiday was packed full of so much good food; I dined at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant in London, ate ridiculous amounts of bread, cheese, foie gras and pastries in Paris, drank so many jugs of sangria with tapas every night in Barcelona and gorged myself on stroopwafels and fresh herrings in Amsterdam. Not only that, I had about 2 weeks in KL to get my fill of all my favourite Malaysian food. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be suffering from the post-holiday blues for the next few weeks while I get back into the swing of things in Sydney, but my travels did give me plenty of inspiration for new baking ideas.
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This recipe might look like nothing special, but the combination of really great chocolate, olive oil and sea salt was one I encountered a lot on my holiday and managed to make me fall in love chocolate desserts all over again. The flavours are simple but beautiful. The jet lag meant that I didn't have the energy to bother with macarons or layered cakes or fancy piping, but it didn't really need it in this case. These little olive oil cakes are super soft and moist and topped with fluffy bittersweet ganache. The sea salt on top gives it little pops of flavour that breakup the richness of the chocolate.
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
Along with all the dessert inspiration that I picked up along the way, we also spent a couple of days in the most charming little English town Arundel, where we visited Aaron's grandmother and I managed to pick up a few awesome props as well. There were so many amazing antiques but unfortunately I could only bring back a few small things that would fit in my suitcase and would get through Australian border security. I also had the best fish pie EVER. Anyway, I probably won't write up a post about my honeymoon since I didn't take my DSLR with me, but I will definitely make sure to share some of my stories from the trip in my future posts. It's good to be back!
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
(makes 8-10 cupcakes, feel free to double the recipe for a larger batch, adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
110g (about 1/2 cup) sugar
1 packed tsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup cake flour (not self-rising, I made my own using these instructions)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the chocolate ganache:
200g (7oz) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
150ml (about 2/3 cup) pure/pouring cream (or heavy whipping cream in the US, min 35% fat unthickened)
Optional: 1/2 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
Sea salt, to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 160°C (about 325°F). Place 8-10 paper liners in a cupcake tray. Whisk eggs, yolk, granulated sugar and orange zest in a medium bowl until foamy. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until combined. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Fold into egg mixture in 3 additions. Fill cupcake papers, about 2/3 full, and bake until light gold and testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
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Prepare the ganache; place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Gently heat cream in a small saucepan until it just comes to the boil. Pour over the top of chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. Use a whisk to stir the mixture together until smooth. Chill until it reaches room temperature and thickens. At this point you can spread the ganache over the top of your cupcakes, or if you prefer you can add the icing sugar and beat the mixture using an electric mixer to make it fluffy (beating the mixture increases the risk that it will split, so be careful not to overmix). Spoon or pipe over the top of cupcakes and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Cupcakes
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches - Lisa from spicyicecream Guest Post

Note from Steph: If you're trying to contact me at the moment you won't have much luck because I'm in Europe on my honeymoon! But I thought it would be cruel of me to abandon my poor blog for several weeks, so I lined up some amazing guest bloggers to take over for me while I'm away. The baking blog community is so lovely and I was blown away by how willing everyone was to jump in and lend a hand. This week is another of my best friends from Sydney, my baking soul mate, Lisa from spicyicecream. This girl is seriously talented. Not only does she bake beautiful things, she is a fantastic photographer and an amazing graphic designer. If you didn't already know, she designed my blog header AND helped design my wedding invitations. I'm sure you're going to love this post because hello, SPRINKLES! 
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Hello hello! Lisa from spicyicecream here. When my gorgeous friend Steph asked if I’d like to guest post for her while she was off on her amazing Europe honeymoon, of course I said yes. Steph and I are like kindred baking spirits, and she’s my absolute favourite person brainstorm crazy dessert ideas with. I just knew that whatever I ended up making, it had to have sprinkles.
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice cream sandwiches have been popping up on restaurant menus all over Sydney this year and I wanted to put my own spin on the now infamous dessert. Cake batter flavoured ice cream fit the bill perfectly as it’s delicious, sort of unusual – and perfect with sprinkles! Everyone who’s tried it couldn’t quite pick the flavour right away, but when I told them that it has cake mix in it, they immediately recognised that taste. PS, it’s also awesome in marshmallows!

This is the easiest ice cream recipe in the world – hands down. There’s no ice cream maker required, no custard to make, no eggs to separate, minimal washing up, and it still turns out to be super creamy. These ice cream sandwiches can also be completely prepared in advance, so no more scrambling around the kitchen in the middle of a dinner party. Enjoy!
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Serves 16

Brownie (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
• 350g egg whites (from about 10 eggs)
• 150g caster sugar
• 275g almond meal
• 150g pure icing sure
• 150g dark chocolate, melted

Ice Cream
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk
• 1/3 cup vanilla cake mix powder
• ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped)
• 2 cups thickened cream

Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Whisk egg whites to soft peaks in an electric mixer. Gradually add the caster sugar, whisking continuously until stuff peaks form. Fold in the almond meal, icing sugar and chocolate. Spread between two oven trays lined with non-stick baking paper to form two 22x32cm rectangles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove baking paper and cakes from trays, cover with another sheet of baking paper and gently flatten with a rolling pin until even. Cool, and then trim each cake into a 20x30cm rectangle.

In the meantime, make the ice cream. Combine condensed milk, cake mix powder and vanilla bean in a bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to form soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until fully incorporated. Line a 20x30cm brownie tin with foil and pour mixture into tin. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

To make the sandwiches, place one cake on a flat tray. Turn ice cream out onto the cake, and sandwich with remaining cake. Trim edges, cut into 16 pieces with a hot knife and serve. You may need to place the ice cream sandwiches back into the freezer for 15 minutes before serving if your ice cream has melted.
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Brioche Chocolate Buns - Karen from Citrus and Candy Guest Post

Note from Steph: If you're trying to contact me at the moment you won't have much luck because I'm in Europe on my honeymoon! But I thought it would be cruel of me to abandon my poor blog for several weeks, so I lined up some amazing guest bloggers to take over for me while I'm away. The baking blog community is so lovely and I was blown away by how willing everyone was to jump in and lend a hand. This week is a guest post from one of my favourite Sydney bloggers and also one of my closest friends; Karen from Citrus and Candy. If you aren't already a regular visitor to her blog, shame on you! I'm constantly in awe of her beautiful, moody photos, she is hilarious and she makes food that looks and sounds super schmexy. Check out this wonderfully buttery and chocolate-filled post. 
Brioche Chocolate Buns
I admit, I'm a little terrified to be guest posting for Steph. She happens to be one of my closest friends but this girl is a baking genius and the amazeball creations on her blog never fail to astound me. But I'm more than thrilled to be here on Raspberri Cupcakes while she's living it up overseas (and I certainly hope she is because she deserves an awesome holiday!). Cheers for having me!

If there's one thing that I love intensely, it's butter. I just cannot live without it and I need it thickly slathered on everything; crusty bread, sourdough, muffins, banana bread and most of all, brioche. Omg brioche, I love it so much that it brings tears of joy to my eyes whenever I catch a whiff of the buttery aroma as it's baking and I would happily polish loaves of it in one afternoon with extra slabs of butter (before quietly disposing of all my skinny jeans afterwards).
So here I present to you the king of breads. But I'm not done yet; I just had one of those weeks and I needed extra back up. Brioche + chocolate? Excuse me while I have a moment.

Please, please do not be intimidated by the thought of making brioche for yourself. If you have a bread machine or Kitchenaid mixer, there's really nothing to be scared of since the appliances are doing all the hard work for you. Plus it's a cinch to put the whole loaf together. All you need is a little time and a warm spot for the bread (and a quiet spot to enjoy it all by yourself). I promise you it'll all be so worth it in the end because there are few things in the world better than homemade bread. Especially one that comes with lashings of butter and chocolate.
Brioche Chocolate Buns
Brioche Chocolate Buns
40ml milk, slightly warmed to 100-115°F (37-46°C)
50g caster sugar
1 packet / 7g of instant dried yeast
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 eggs
175g good quality unsalted butter, softened then chopped
1 extra egg for egg wash, lightly beaten

170g good quality dark chocolate, very finely chopped
35g butter, at room temperature
35g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

To make the dough; whisk one teaspoon of the sugar into the milk then the yeast. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy.

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, salt, eggs, remaining sugar and frothy yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it comes together in a dough (making sure to scrape the flour off the sides to incorporate properly) then turn it up to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then knead for a further 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.
Brioche Chocolate Buns
Add a few pieces of butter into the dough then after it’s incorporated, lower the speed and add the rest of the butter one piece at time, waiting until it’s mixed in before adding the next. When all the butter is in, turn up the speed and knead for at least 6-10 minutes or until the dough is very smooth, shiny, unsticky, elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl perfectly (it’ll make slapping sounds while it's kneading).

Remove the dough hook then cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature (no warmer than 24°C) for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, to make the filling, add the butter, sugar and cinnamon to the finely chopped chocolate then mix until it's all crumbly (use a food processor or a knife to cut the butter in).
Brioche Chocolate Buns
Knock the dough down a couple of times then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently pat out the
dough on a sheet of greaseproof baking paper into a rectangle approximately 24 x 35cm with the long
side facing you. Layer as much chocolate filling as you like on the bottom half leaving a half-inch border.
Note - I made mine a thin singer layer because my family isn’t as nuts for chocolate as I am. Personally I would’ve had it bulging and ripping at the seams lol.
Brioche Chocolate Buns
Brush the edges with egg wash then fold the top half over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. Loosely cover with glad wrap then leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size and is soft and pillowy. Meanwhile preheat oven to 180°C. Place the brioche and baking paper onto a tray, gently brush the entire surface with egg wash then bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden and it sounds hollow when you tap the top. Rotate the bread halfway through cooking to brown evenly.

Leave to cool on tray for about 20 minutes then transfer to a rack. Slice and serve slightly warm. Best eaten within a few hours however brioche can be stored at room temperature wrapped in cling wrap for up to two days. To serve, reheat in a low oven until softened and warmed (or for an out-of-this-world indulgence, make French toast with it).

*Brioche dough recipe adapted from Michel Roux
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Coffee Cloud Cake - Kaitlin from Whisk Kid Guest Post

Note from Steph: If you're trying to contact me at the moment you won't have much luck because I'm in Europe on my honeymoon! But I thought it would be cruel of me to abandon my poor blog for several weeks, so I lined up some amazing guest bloggers to take over for me while I'm away. The baking blog community is so lovely and I was blown away by how willing everyone was to jump in and lend a hand. This week I have a very special guest post by the lovely & super talented Kaitlin from Whisk Kid. I've been reading her blog from the very start, and am completely in love with her gorgeous recipes and writing style. I feel very lucky that I get to feature one of her creations on my blog, enjoy!
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I should be in class.

I should have woken up this morning, taken a quick shower, eaten a filling breakfast and headed out to campus with a back pack filled with materials for the first day of class.

Except... I didn't.

I woke up on a friend's couch at 5:50AM and fought with his unfamiliar shower. I helped stuff luggage for 5 into a Jeep Compass. We went to Meijer for an air mattress patch, a roll of duct tape, and 2 bags of chips. We stopped at Panera. We stopped at Caribou Coffee.

Then we hit the road.

I'm going to be missing two days of class for this trip, and the thought, initially, concerned me. I don't particularly enjoy skipping classes, and going to NYC isn't exactly easy on the budget of a college student who has, ha, not yet purchased the required reading for the semester.
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I was also concerned for the impression that this would give my professors. How could I possibly tell someone who deserves my respect and controls my grade that I would be attending neither their first nor second lecture? Could I really be so careless and stupid?

It didn't take me long to decide that, no, I couldn't.

But still, it bothered me. I began to wonder, could I really be so stupid to miss the chance to go on a road trip with four friends, spend a week in NYC and not have to pay a cent for accommodations because - oh hey - the recently graduated friend we're going to visit lives in a house just outside the city?

No. No I couldn't.
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There were a lot of people who helped me change my mind, but it was mostly my old roommate, S, and her brother, A.

I hate YOLO, but really, you really do only live once. This is my last year of college. Don't get me wrong, it's no time to slack, but it's also kind of my last chance to go out and be free, isn't it? Missing the memories from this trip would have been more of a burden to me than missing the classes will, and I know it.

Besides, the end of college means that I finally have to take all the elective credits I neglected to take before. So the classes I'm missing... They're not "required" for my marketing major. One is a hospitality course about food and retail that I am eager to return to, but my cousin is in the course and she'll take notes for me anyway, so why worry?

And the other course? Yeah... It's bowling. And honestly... I don't think going to be missing too much.

NYC > bowling.

All the restaurants/bakeries I'm going to visit in NYC are going to give me tons of out-of-the-classroom experience for the HB class anyway, won't it?

As much as it pains me to say it, never forget: YOLO.

I'm missing class and I couldn't care less.
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Coffee Cloud Cake
1 tbsp instant coffee
237ml (1 cup) boiling water
284g (2 cups) flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
400g (2 cups) sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
90g (1 cup) ground pecans, or other nut

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and find your 25 cm or 10" tube (not bundt!) pan. Set aside without oiling.

Combine the instant coffee and boiling water. Set aside to cool. You may also use a cup of freshly brewed coffee for this step. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat on high speed until soft mounds begin to form, then gradually add 100g (1/2 cup) of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until very stiff, straight peaks form, taking care not to over- or under-beat. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until well-combined. Gradually add the remaining 300g (1 1/2 cups) of sugar, 2 Tablespoons at a time, beating until thick and lemony. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolks, alternating with the cooled coffee. Blend thoroughly after each addition on low speed, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the ground nuts.

Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites, 1/4 at a time. Use no more than 15 strokes after each addition, but blend until thoroughly mixed after the last of the yolk mixture has been added. Just be aware that each stroke removes more air from the batter! Pour into an ungreased 25 cm or 10 inch tube pan. Bake 60-70 minutes, until the cake is lightly golden and springs back when pressed. Cool upside down for at least one hour.

To remove the cake from the pan, run a tall knife around the edges. Pop out with the bottom and run a knife around the top. Frost with whipped cream and macerated fruit.
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