Mini Mud-Cakes

My mom the other day sent three huge boxes of baking equipment from Lakelands (wonders I might add!). Although she says it’s not, I consider this as my early graduation present 😀 I have so many new things to use and new recipes to try with these (also savoury), just have the itch to use everything in one go, because now I can!

I wanted to make something different that I’ve never done. I’ll admit these were supposed to be salted caramel, but it didn’t really work out 😦 BUT they were oh so good all the same! Perfect for the stormy weather, post exam treat and for dinner with friends.

INGREDIENTS: makes 13-14

(I will list the items in order of preparation, i.e. Chocolate Curls will be made before everything else)

Chocolate curls:

100 gr dark chocolate

Chocolate Ganache:

50 gr white sugar

2tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp water

75gr double cream

50+100gr butter (soft)

150 gr dark chocolate

pinch of salt

Chocolate Sponge:

150gr butter (soft)

100gr brown sugar

75gr white sugar

2 eggs

80gr flour

30gr cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100ml buttermilk

For the Curls: Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in bowl over simmering water. Once it is all melted, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Pour the chocolate on a tipped over baking tray, and spread the chocolate evenly with a metal spatula. Let it cool and set. This might take hours depending on the temperature outside. It is pretty humid here in Brisbane, so the chocolate, although it was set, it was too soft to curl. I had to place it in the fridge for 20 minutes before curling (give a try with the knife before doing this in case your chocolate is fine as is). That will be the last step.

For the Ganache:

Place both sugars and water in saucepan over medium heat. When the caramel starts simmering, bubbling and reducing, take off the heat and add 50gr butter and the cream. Mix and put on the heat again until it starts to boil. At this point remove from heat, transfer in a clean bowl, let it cool, cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

While these elements are resting and cooling, make the sponge. I used the mini cake pop up base tray for make these 🙂

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Oven on 180°. In a bowl mix butter and both sugar until pale. Add one egg at the time and then add all the sifted dry ingredients. Lastly add the buttermilk. Spray-grease the cake tin and spoon the batter in the holes. Try to level the batter with a teaspoon.

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Bake for 15minutes. Let them cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then pop them out and let them cool completely.

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Assuming that the two hours have passed, you can finish the ganache. Melt 150gr of dark chocolate (microwave or bagnomaria). Add the chocolate and the remaining butter with the previously made cream and mix until evenly combined. Put in the fridge for another half hour.

With a serrated knife, cut the cakes separating the bottom from the top half, like a sandwich. (in the original recipe they are triple layer, but I wasn’t able to do that, I’ll try next time).

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Pour the ganache in a piping bag (it’s easier to place the bag in a tall glass and fill it like that). But the bottom and with a circular movement starting from the middle, fill the cake bottom. The piping bag should make this process neater and avoid using too much ganache, as when you place the top half it will press the ganache and spread it evenly inside the cake.

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Now pipe some ganache on the top half and set aside.

Now for the curls! Get a knife. Hold the blade against the chocolate in a 70° angle and pull it towards you. This should make some curls in the chocolate layer 🙂 It is a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite fun!

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Now place the curls on top of the cakes. As I mentioned before it is very hot here and just touching the curls, melted them. So I just used a knife to transfer the curls. You can move them around with tooth picks if you want to be more decorative.

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And that is that! Put in the fridge until you need to serve, they will set neatly.

Enjoy. Ciao for now! xox

No-bake Chocolate-Strawberry Tart

Pretty much last minute dinner invite from your boyfriend’s parents requires something easy, fast and yummmmmmmmm!

So here is my no-bake tart, took me about 30minutes to make, plus 2hours fridge time but that is during dinner 😛

INGREDIENTS:

35 oreos (2 packs of 3)

150gr melted butter

300gr dark chocolate

200gr thickened cream

2tbsp cream cheese

150gr thickened cream

1tbsp icing sugar

6 strawberries

In a food processor crumb the oreos. Pour the crumbs in a bowl and add the melted butter. With your hands moisten all the cookies till they compact when you ball your fists. Get a round tart dish and press the cookies at the bottom and on the sides. Make sure to put pressure so they compact. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

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Pour 200gr of cream in a saucepan and heat at low medium fire for 3-4 minutes, without boiling or simmering. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let it rest for a couple of minutes and then stir till combined.

Pour the ganache in the Oreo crust and put it back in the fridge to set.

Cut the strawberries in half (following the long side). Whip the 150gr of cream and then add the cream cheese and the icing sugar. Put the cream in a piping bag. You can choose the nozzle to use, I chose a star. With the piping bag I just piped small peaks around the tart.

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Place the strawberries around with the pointy end towards the centre and pipe more stars in between to fill the gaps.

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This is really simple and stress free! and it TASTE AMAZING! I highly recommend it. I wasn’t able to make a picture of the slices , the cake finished pretty quickly! 😛

Ciao for now! xox