Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Belated Birthday Cake + Giveaway

I was expecting snow over the weekend when I was back to Basildon.
But I was disappointed as there was no sign of snowing even it's freezing cold.
As I usually do when I'm home, I spent sometimes in the kitchen baking.
I never mention that I've subscribed epapers from PChome which is a chinese website from Taiwan.
There's a great selection of free epapers you can subscribe, that's how I got the recipe from.
When I read the epaper, I was so tempted to try that.
It's also the perfect time now as it's the season of chestnut, plus it can be my belated birthday cake.
The recipe uses Grand Marnier to increase the depth & favours.
I didn't follow the recipe fully as I didn't have the chestnut sauce directly translated from chinese.
I think it's not the same as chestnut puree so I decided to take the caramel apple but use another recipe for the chestnut mousse.
I was absolutely satisfied with it.
Chestnut is earthy & rich but the caramel apricot & apple is fruity & tangy, so the combo gives a subtle & intense favour.

I got a new Lensbaby lens, a tilt transformer + composer for my birthday :)
It's a toy lens, you can tilt the lens & emphasise the direction of the blurring.
I've a bit fun playing with that.

I totally forgot that I've taken part in the UK Handmade Giveaway starting from 27th November.
I'm giving away a lovely necklace featuring a shiny pink chaceldony with a lovely flower charm.
The deadline is 3rd December, 7pm (UK GMT).
Please follow the link to join if you're interested.

Recipe (6" square):
adapted from (Chinese)
Caramel apricot & apple
40g sugar
50g apricot puree
3 small apples (peeled, cored & diced)
35g Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
5g cornflour
1g gelatine sheet
1 tbsp water

Dissolve gelatine in water.
In a saucepan, heat the sugar & let it caramelise.
Carefully add in the apricot puree, apples, vanilla essence & the liqueur.
Finally add in the cornflour & gelatine, mix until it thickens, set aside to cool.

Note: I only use about half of the apple for the cake & saved some for the caramel apple mousse.
Hazelnut cake base
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
55g sugar
8g milk
10g sunflower oil
32g plain flour
20g ground hazelnut

Preheat oven to 180'C & line a 6" square pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the whole egg, egg yolks with 25g sugar until fluffy & pale.
In another large bowl, whisk the egg white with 30g sugar until stiff, combine with the beaten egg yolks.
Mix & sieve the flour &  ground hazelnut, fold gently until smooth.
Pour in the milk & oil, fold gently until smooth.
Bake for 12-15 min.
Remove from the oven & cool on a wire rack.
Once it's cool, cut the side & the top so it's slightly smaller than 6'' square.

Chestnut cream
100g unsweetened chestnut puree
20g whipping cream
1/4 tsp Grand Marnier

Whisk up the whipping cream.
Combine all other ingredients & fold until smooth.

Chestnut mousse
120g cream cheese
60g sugar
80g milk
70g unsweetened chestnut puree
1/4 tsp Grand Marnier
6g gelatine sheet
180g whipping cream

Dissolve gelatine in milk over simmering water.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
Fold in the chestnut puree, liqueur & gelatine.
In another bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks & combine with the cheese batter.

Caramel apricot & apple mousse
100g whipping cream
100g caramel apricot & apple

Blend the apple into puree.
Whisk up whipping cream & fold in the puree.

Place the hazelnut cake on the bottom of a 6" square mousse ring, pipe in the chestnut cream.
Top with caramel apple & cover with chestnut mousse, refrigerate to set.
Decorate with caramel apricot apple mousse & chopped hazelnut or as you like. 

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