Monday, June 28


The other day, I found madeleine moulds in the kitchen and thought it would be a good idea to make some. I have never made madeleines prior to this try and found it extremely easy. They were yummy and beautiful. Arthur's girlfriend Clare told me they were the best madeleines she had ever had in her entire life!  Dad also kept on eating them. They were a huge hit! I found the recipe here.
  • 5 eggs
  • 160ml milk
  • 350g sugar
  • 390g flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (17g)
  • 320g melted cold butter
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. In a mixer, mix the eggs and the sugar together until the mix becomes whiter. 
  2. Add in the sifted flour and baking powder alternating with the milk. Mix well. 
  3. Add in the melted butter, lemon zest, the almond extract and the vanilla bean grains. Mix thoroughly. 
  4. Cover with cling film and let rest in the fridge for 4 to 10 hours. 
  5. Butter and flour your madeleine moulds. 
  6. Preheat oven to 215 degrees C. 
  7. With a piping bag, pipe the butter in the moulds. 
  8. Bake for 11 minutes. 
  9. Enjoy!
* You could include chocolate chips, green tea powder, fruits... etc. 

Saturday, June 26

Victoria Cake

The other day, I saw a gorgeous and yummy looking victoria cake and thus decided to make one myself. It was relatively easy and did not require too many ingredients. It was light, sweet and just wonderful! You should definitely try it. :)
Ingredients for sponge cake:
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125g flour
  • 60g butter +20g to grease the baking pan
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. 
  2. In a pan, mix the eggs, salt and sugar. Put the pan over a bigger pan of hot water and never boiling (bain-marie method) and maintain at medium heat. 
  3. Mix well until the batter triples in volume and becomes light yellow. It takes roughly ten minutes and strong arms! The mix has to be kept warm but never hot. 
  4. Once you have reached the proper consistency, add the flour, little by little and mix very delicately with a wooden spoon. Once you have added half of the flour, add in the melted butter. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing.
  5. You do not want to over-mix. The batter should be light and airy. 
  6. Put the batter in a buttered and floured baking pan. It should fill 2/3 of the baking pan, not more. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, check regularly if the centre is cooked by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, then your cake is done!
  8. Remove from pan and put on a plate. Let cool and then cut the sponge cake in half horizontally. 
Ingredients whipped cream:
  • 250g cream
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 ice cube
  1. In your electric mixer, put all the ingredients together and beat until you get soft peaks. You should start slowly and increase speed gradually. 

  1. On the bottom part of your cake, put strawberry jam, whipped cream and raspberries. Cover with the top part. 
  2. Decorate with icing sugar and raspberries. 
  3. Enjoy!
*You could make the strawberry jam yourself!

Saturday, June 19


Yesterday, I decided to make marshmallows. I had tried making them previously, but had not used the proper gelatin. The recipe originally calls for powdered gelatin, and well let me tell you that is HARD to find in London town! So I used sheet gelatin but only used one so the result was disastrous. Anyhow, after googling, I found out that one envelope of powdered gelatin is roughly equal to 4 sheets of gelatin. So I tried again, using 5 sheets of gelatin just to be on the safe side and the result was a success! These are extremely easy to make and were delicious! Dad ate them all in under 24 hours! I used the recipe from the Better than Store-Bought: A Cookbook by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Colchie that Charles gave me for my birthday. I must say, this book truly is a gem. These ladies have all the recipes for all things you never would have thought yourself capable of making!
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 5 sheets of gelatin or 1 envelope of gelatin
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  1. Sift the cornstarch and icing sugar together in a bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan and sprinkle 1 tbsp of the cornstarch/icing sugar mixture onto it. Tilt the pan in all directions to coat the sides as well as the bottom. Leave any excess in the pan. 
  3. Put your gelatin sheets in a small saucepan with the water and let soak for about 5 minutes. They will feel jelly like and look a bit 'bloated'. Add the caster sugar and stir over moderately low heat until the gelatin and sugar dissolve. It should become slightly foamy/white. 
  4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine your gelatin mixture, corn syrup, salt and vanilla extract. Beat for 15 minutes on high speed, until peaks form. 
  5. Spread your mixture in your prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Set aside for 2 hours, or until set. 
  6. With a wet knife, cut the marshmallow mixture into squares and loosen it around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture on a baking sheet and invert the marshmallow blocks onto it. Coat your marshmallows with the mixture. 
  7. Place the marshmallows somewhere safe (away from any greedy hands) and cover with paper towels and let them stand overnight to dry the surface slightly. 
  8. Store airtight. The marshmallows can be kept for a month, though probably won't last that long!
  9. Enjoy!

*Use food colouring to make your marshmallows pop!
*You could dip them in chocolate or coconut instead of the starch/icing sugar mix.
*Feel free to use mint extract or any other flavourings! 

Monday, June 14

Reine de Saba Cake - Julia Child

The other night, we had family movie night and decided to watch Julie and Julia. How fitting! During the movie, dad spotted one delicious looking cakes with almonds all around. He mentioned how much he would love a cake like that. Thus, after the movie, I embarked on a google search for all things Julia Child and chocolate cake with almonds around related... and finally stumbled upon the Reine de Saba cake recipes. All of the recipes were different, although some of them were quite similar apart from a few ingredient differences. I was quite mad, considering I own a copy of the book but left it in Montreal - what a shame. Anyhow I tried one recipe today after going all over London to find the ingredients! I even got carded when we went to get rum!!! How funny! Dad was astounded!(For those of you who don't know I turned 22 a few weeks ago, and the legal age in the UK is 18) The cake was delicious and fairly easy to do, everyone enjoyed it and we already ate half of it. It is a fairly small cake that serves about 6 to 8 people. 

Ingredients for the cake:
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used Nestle Dessert 52%)
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (I used Nestle Dessert 64%)
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (Optional)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds (I used store-bought almond powder)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees and place your oven rack on the lower middle level. 
  2. Use the bain-marie method (a saucepan in a big pot of boiling water) to melt the chocolate and the rum together. 
  3. Cut the butter into pieces (small ones preferably) and cream it with an electric mixer. Once it is fluffy, add the 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well. 
  4. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended. 
  5. In another bowl, beat your egg whites. When foamy, add in the cream of tartar and the salt. Once small peaks form, add in the 2 tbsp of sugar and continue beating until shiny and stiff. 
  6. In the yolk/butter/sugar mixture, blend in the melted chocolate. Add the almond powder and the almond extract. Mix well. 
  7. Stir in a third of the egg whites and mix well using a wooden spoon. Add in the flour and mix well. 
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and delicately fold them into the batter. 
  9. Pour the batter into a round buttered and floured cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes. 
  10. Set aside to cool for ten minutes and then unmold onto a plate and let cool two hours before icing the cake. 

Ingredients Icing:
  • 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp of rum
  • 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • Flaked Almonds (can be roasted) 
    1. Again, using the bain-marie method, melt the chocolate and the rum together. 
    2. Remove from the heat and add in the butter, one tablespoon at a time and mix well until melted. 
    3. Over ice and water, beat the mix until you reach a nice icing consistency. It has to be a bit thick so as to be easy to spread onto the cake. 
    4. Ice your cake. 
    5. Decorate your cake with the flaked almonds. 
    6. Enjoy!

    * I roasted my almonds but found the almond taste a bit too strong because of this. However, everyone else enjoyed. Maybe if you are not a fan of roasted almonds, you could do half-half. 

    Wednesday, June 9

    Blackout Cake

    Livia made this cake for my birthday about a week ago so I decided to try it out for the family to try. She took the recipe from the Serendipity cookbook. Usually my family is not a fan of american cakes with the cream, frosting etc... but in this case they did enjoy it. They did however suggest for it to be left out overnight for it to be a bit better. I liked it a lot but would not undergo the whole process again! Stacking cakes is HARD and a tedious process. Also plan a lot of time to make this cake, it took me over 3 hours! Good luck!

    Ingredients for the cake:
    • 3 cups of flour
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 pound of butter
    • 2 pounds brown sugar
    • 7 large eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cup of cold water
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 1 pound unsweetened chocolate
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
    2. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until the mix becomes creamy. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract. Mix. 
    3. Add the flour and baking soda in three parts, alternating with the cold water. Mix completely. 
    4. Add the sour cream and the melted chocolate. 
    5. Put the batter in the buttered pans (you will need 4 pans) and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes. 
    Ingredients for the frosting:
    • 1 pound unsweetened chocolate
    • 2 cups of cream
    • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups of sour cream
    • 3/4 cups of chocolate chips to put between the layers
    1. In a pan, heat the cream and the sugar together. Stir well. 
    2. Add in the chocolate in pieces and mix. 
    3. Add the vanilla and the sour cream and continue mixing. 
    4. Set aside to cool down. 
    Assemble the cake:
    1. Stack the cakes on top of one another with some frosting in between each. 
    2. Sprinkle some chocolate chips between each layers.
    3. On the top layer, cover the entire cake with the frosting. 
    4. Set aside to cool. 
    5. Enjoy!

    * The cake is better the next day. 
    * For the real thing, do not hesitate to go to Serendipity in NYC. A definite must try!

    Sunday, June 6

    Croquembouche - Pièce Montée

    Sorry for the lack of post, the month of may was crazy. I just got back to London and now have all the free time in the world to update this. This morning, I was so jetlagged that I woke up at 6am and decided to make this beautiful croquembouche. By the time everyone woke up I had made two!!! We just had both for lunch and they were a huge hit with the family. Even my brother who hates caramel ate his fair share of little choux'. It is not as hard as people would expect but definitely is a tedious process, and sometimes quite dangerous with the hot caramel (i now have blisters everywhere!).
    Ingredients Puffs (Choux):
    • 150g flour
    • 250ml of water
    • 100g butter
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 1 tsp of sugar
    1. In a pan, bring to a boil the water, salt and the butter in pieces. 
    2. Once you reach boiling point, take the mix off the heat and add the flour all at once. Mix quickly. 
    3. Once you get a nice dough, add the sugar and mix well. 
    4. Bring back to the heat until you get a ball of dough. The dough has to be a bit harder than previously. 
    5. Put in the bowl of a mixer add the eggs one by one. Mix thoroughly. 
    6. Preheat oven to 210 degrees Celsius. 
    7. With a piping bag, pipe out your puffs on a silpat or a buttered sheet. 
    8. Bake for 5 minutes at 210 degrees, then continue baking for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. 
    9. Once this done, leave in the oven with the door open for the next 5 minutes. 
    10. Take out and set aside to cool. 
    Ingredients Pastry Cream:
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 125g of sugar
    • 40g flour
    • 500ml milk
    • 2 tbsp of rum
    1. In a bowl, mix the eggs and a third of the sugar thoroughly. Add the flour and continue mixing. 
    2. In a pan, bring to a boil the rest of the sugar with the milk and the rum. 
    3. Add the milk mixture to the egg mix and combine thoroughly. 
    4. Bring back the mix to the heat and continue doing so until you get a thick cream. 
    5. Set aside the cream to cool down. 
    6. Once cooled, pipe the cream into the puffs by piping it through the bottom. 
    7. Set aside and cool.
    Ingredients Caramel:
    • 225g sugar
    • Half a lemon's juice
    1. In a pan, mix the sugar and the lemon juice. 
    2. Continue mixing until the sugar melts and turns to an amber colour. 
    3. As soon as you get your caramel, take off heat and put the pan in cold water to stop the cooking process. 
    Assembling the Croquembouche:
    1. Dip the top of your puffs (previously filled with the pastry cream) in caramel (watch out it is REALLY hot). 
    2. Assemble your croquembouche in a nice motif. 
    3. Use the caramel as the glue to hold all of the puffs together. 
    4. Once done, add any decorations (sugar ribbons, candy, fruits...etc).
    5. Enjoy!


    Related Posts with Thumbnails