Hazelnut meringue cake with Nutella style frosting

I call it meringue because the main ingredients are egg whites and sugar. In fact, the addition of ground hazelnut change the taste and structure as well. Soft and crunchy cake is layered with homemade ‘Nutella’ frosting made of hazelnuts and chocolate. The whole cake is light in structure and in taste and clearly but subtle nutty. It is a kind of Ferrero Rocher ball flavour and because of that is decorated with. By the way: fresh for couple of days. Enjoy!

 

springpan ø 8 inch

 

Meringue:

  • 200 g hazelnuts
  • 1 ¼ cups (200 g) icing sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

 Frosting:

  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup (40 g) icing sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream

 Decoration:

  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Ferrero Rocher balls
  • chocolate rosettes

 

 

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking tray.

Spread all (for meringue and frosting) nuts on the baking tray. Roast for 10-12 minutes until starts to smell pretty. Remove nuts from the oven and place them in a sheet of paper towel. Peel their skin off by scratching one by another throw the towel.

Lower the oven temperature to 325°F and line the bottom of spring pan with parchment paper.

Process hazelnuts for meringue in food processor until finely ground. Add half of the sugar and corn starch and mix together. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar still beating on lower speed. Turn off the mixer and bring together the egg foam and nuts-cornstarch mixture stirring carefully with rubber spatula. Pour the cake mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until golden beige in colour. After baking separate the cake of pan sides with a knife. Cool in pan.

Frosting: melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Place remaining hazelnuts and icing sugar in a food processor and process until thick paste. Add chocolate and process until well incorporated. In a separated bowl beat whipping cream until stiff. Mix in the chocolate-nuts paste with rubber spatula.

Cut the meringue horizontally into three layers. Spread the half of frosting on the first layer and cover with the second. Spread the rest of frosting and cover with third layer.

Decoration: melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Add oil and mix. Spread on the top of the top and let it drip on sides. Decorate with half cut Ferrero balls and chocolate rosettes.


 

Category: Meringues and macarons.

Tags: chocolate, glutenfree, hazelnut.

Liquorice truffles in powdered fruits

Truffles made of white chocolate which I transformed into liquorice chocolate by adding liquorice syrup. These truffles are soft and delicate, they taste sweet like chocolate and herbal like liquorice. The flavour is subtle and sophisticated and there is nothing of herbal bitterness. The cover made of freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries completes perfectly the taste – sour for the first bite and sweet-herbal for the second. Enjoy!

 

about 25 pieces

 

Ingredients:

  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 200 g white chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons liquorice syrup (recipe here)
  • 3 teaspoons ground liquorice root

Cover:

  • 2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries powder
  • 2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberries powder

 

 

Place in the saucepan cream, liquorice syrup  and liquorice powder. Heat until hot. Remove from the heat, add chopped chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool 2-3 hours in the fridge. The mixture will become thick.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon onto the tray small portions of chocolate mixture (walnut size). Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and shape by hands each portion into regular ball. Cool in the fridge or freezer for the next 30 minutes.

Cover each ball with fruit powder (one batch in strawberry, second batch in raspberry).


 

Category: Desserts/icecreams.

Tags: chocolate, glutenfree, liquorice, raspberry, strawberry.

Tiramisu cake

I suppose everyone knows Italian Tiramisu dessert. This cake is that dessert shaped as a cake and includes the whole essence of it: coffee, booze and mascarpone cream. Light coffee sponge is soaked with coffee and rum and layered with mascarpone cream and coffee jelly. The top and sides are covered with the same frosting and dusted with dark cocoa powder. The cake is a sophisticated, subtle, tasty treat and matches perfectly with... a cup of coffee. Enjoy!

 

springpan ø 9 inch

 

Sponge:

  • 5 eggs (separated whites and yolks)
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (80 g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (95 g) cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee (granules or powder)
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

 Coffee jelly:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons gelatine
  • 300 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (granules or powder)

 Soak:

  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee (granules or powder)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 50 ml rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract

 Frosting:

  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 8 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated dark chocolate

 Decoration:

  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa

 

 

Coffee jelly: Place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes until blooms. Heat gently softened gelatine  in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. In a saucepan place water, coffee and sugar and heat until dissolved.  Stir liquid gelatine in warm coffee. Pour jelly into silicon round mould similar size to your spring pan. You can use also another round like shape – I made a flower. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours until set.  

Sponge: preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl of a stand mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually beating continuously. In a small bowl mix together coffee powder and hot water until dissolved. Add the coffee mixture to egg yolks and mix until combined. Gradually add coffee yolks to the sugar – whites foam beating with lower mixer speed. Stop the mixer once well incorporated. Mix in both flours in few batches stiring gently with rubber spatula. Pour the cake mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (until the wooden skewer comes out clean). Cool in pan.

Soak: stir coffee powder in hot water until dissolved. Mix in rum and almond extract (instead of them you can use Amaretto almond liqueur).

Mascarpone cream: beat cream with icing sugar until stiff. Gradually add mascarpone cheese beating gently until cheese lasts.

Cut the cooled sponge horizontally into three layers. Set aside 3-4 tablespoons of prepared mascarpone cream to decoration. Place the first layer of sponge on the plate and brush with soak. Spread with ¼ mascarpone cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Cover with the second layer, brush it with soak and spread thinly with mascarpone cream. Remove the coffee jelly from the mould and place on the sponge. Cover with ¼ mascarpone cream ans sprinkle with grated chocolate. Cover with the last sponge and brush it with soak. Spread the remaining mascarpone cream on the top and sides of the cake. Place the saved cream in a piping bag with plain tip (nozzle) and pipe small bubbles on the top of the cake. Cocer sides of the cake with dark cocoa powder. Dust gently the top with dark cocoa.


 

Category: Layered.

Tags: chocolate, coffee, mascarpone.

Heart shaped cranberry cookies

These are classic biscuits enriched by dried cranberry. Fruits diversify the taste, add slightly sour flavour. The cookies are buttery and subtle. A bit thicker than usual, comfortable to hold, crunchy and yummy. Enjoy!

 

about 50 pieces, depending on size

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 75 g dried cranberry

 

 

In the bowl of a standing mixer beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat. Add flour and cranberry and beat until the dough forms smooth and tight mixture. This dough is softer than usual so can form not regular ball. Wrap in a cling film and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cooled pastry roll out into 1/5 inch trick circle. Cut out hearts and place them onto prepared tray. Bake for 10-15 (depending on the oven) until light brown and firm. Cool on a wire rack.


 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: cranberry.

Raspberry beehives in dark chocolate

That is an easy dessert in fact. There are only three ingredients and not much work required. Raspberry mousse is delicate and light as a cloud and what is most important – not made of sugar. Glazed with dark chocolate which gives some sweetness and more intensive taste. Beehives could be served directly on the plate or placed on a biscuit. I choose glutenfree almond cookies which perfectly match the mousse. Enjoy!

 

12 pieces

 

Almond cookies:

  • 200 g finely ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 40 g egg whites (of 2 eggs)

 Raspberry mousse:

  • 500 g raspberries (could be frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons gelatine
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • sugar (or other sweetener) optional

 Glaze:

  • 200 g dark chocolate (55% cocoa or more)
  • 1 tablespoon oil

 

 

Make cookies: in a bowl of a stand mixer combine almond flour and icing sugar. Add egg whites and beat until the dough forms smooth and firm mixture. Shape it into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours. After this time dust a surface with rice flour and roll out the dough in 1/5 inch thick square. Cut out circles about 3 inch (7.5 cm) in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven preheated to 400°F for 8-10 minutes (until slightly gold). Cool on a wire rack.

Raspberry mousse: set aside 24 raspberries (if frozen keep them in freezer). Place remaining fruits in a saucepan and heat until become puree.  Pass them through the sieve to discard seeds. You should have about 250 ml raspberry juice. Return to the pan and heat to 80°F. Place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes until blooms. Heat gently softened gelatine  in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Stir in warm raspberry mixture. Now you should decide if you want to add some sugar or other sweetener.

Beat the cream until soft peaks forms. Gradually pour the raspberry jelly still beating until become stiff mixture.

Place the mousse in a piping bag with large plain nozzle and pipe spiral beehives onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They should be about 2 3/5 inch (6.5 cm) in diameter. When you make half of the beehive stop for a moment and place inside 2 raspberries one on the other (see the last picture). Place the beehives in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Glaze: melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Add oil and mix together. Remove beehives from the freezer and place them on a wire rack placed over flat dish. Pour the chocolate over desserts and place them for 5 minutes into the freezer to set. You can also brush the chocolate with silicon brush. Store in fridge. Place each beehive on an almond biscuit before serving.  


 

Category: Desserts/icecreams.

Tags: almonds, chocolate, glutenfree, raspberry.