Apr 14, 2011

Chocolate Feijoa and Banana Bundt Cake

Chocolate cake with feijoa and banana

We have a crazy amount of feijoas this year. I'm making different jams, salads and of course cakes. I adapted this recipe for feijoas. The result is a velvety not too sweet cake with a delicate feijoa tang.

1 ¾  cup flour 
1 cup sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder 
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt 
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cup peeled and mashed feijoas
1 mashed ripe banana
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For glaze:
100 g melted chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).  Coat bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, feijoas, banana and brown sugar.  Add egg, then stir in oil and vanilla extract.

Gently add flour mixture to liquid, mixing until just combined.  Some lumps are good, but make sure to fully incorporate.  Pour into bundt pan and bake about 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks for 20 minutes and then remove from pan.  Let cool fully on wire racks.   

For the chocolate glaze:  Melt the chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler then pour it on cake.

Apr 4, 2011

Chocolate mousse cake


The fudgy consistency of this cake and the silken texture of the tofu mousse are delicious combination.

250 g good quality chocolate,
200 g butter,
1 tbsp coffee powder, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour mix (or normal flour)

Preheat oven to 180C. Spray 2 23 cm spring-form cake tins with baking spray and line with baker paper.

Melt chocolate and butter over a gentle heat until melted but not too hot. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Slow add egg whites in 4 lots. This process takes about 10 minutes but it is worth it. Add vanilla, coffee and flour on a very low speed then gradually beat in the chocolate mixture.

Carefully pour into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cover tins with a damp tea towel to trap the steam and keep the crust soft. Cool in the tins.

For the mousse:
300 g chocolate,
640 g silken tofu (must be silken)
1/2 cup simple sugar syrup (or 50 ml maple syrup, or 50ml liquid honey, or 50 ml agave nectar )
1 leaf gelatin (optional)

Simple sugar syrup is made up of 2 parts of sugar and 1 part of water. Bring the water to boil, dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat once sugar is dissolved completely. Allow to cool before use.

To make the mousse, melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in microwave. Place silken tofu and sugar syrup in the blender or food processor. Blend until smooth add the melted chocolate and blend again. I also added 1 leaf gelatin dissolved in 2 tbsp of water.

To assemble, slice the top of the cakes to form even surface. Line the original spring-form with cling film, allowing a good overhang. Place one cake into the bottom, covet with a thick layer of mousse, add the second cake and finish with remaining mousse . Fold the cling film over or cover with a dinner plate and refrigerate for 4 hour or overnight.

To serve, remove from the tin, transfer to serving platter and smooth the sides of the cake with a palette knife. Decorate with fresh seasonal fruit or berries, ganache or topping of your choice.

Chocolate mousse cake

Apr 2, 2011

Burgers with Roasted Eggplant & Red Capsicum & Minted Yoghurt

Burgers with roasted eggplant & capsicum & minted yoghurt

This is a flash Mediterranean-style hamburger, without the bun. I have served the burger on a bed of crushed chickpeas for texture, but you could use hummus for a similar flavour. This makes great picnic or barbecue food and goes well with a full-bodied Shiraz. Recipe adapted from Cuisine magazine.

1 cup yoghurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
750g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 large (350g) eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces
2 red onions, cut into 2cm pieces
2 red capsicums, cored and cut into 2cm pieces
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups wild rocket leaves
grilled flatbread to serve

Combine the yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the mint. Season to taste. Refrigerate until serving. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Crush the chickpeas coarsely with a potato masher, leaving some whole. Stir in the tahini, garlic, remaining lemon juice and the oil, and season to taste. Set aside.

Combine the mince, onion and allspice, season to taste and mix well. Shape the mixture into 6 burgers. Place the eggplant, onion and red capsicum in a roasting pan, toss with ¼ cup oil and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the oven and stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Brush the burgers with oil and grill, panfry or barbecue on both sides until browned and cooked to your liking (3-4 minutes each side for medium).

Spoon the chickpea mixture on to plates, top each with a burger and some rocket, and serve the eggplant mixture on the side. Smear minted yoghurt around the plates and drizzle the whole dish with a little extra oil. Serve with grilled flatbread. Serves 6.
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