Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread (Cheat)

Guys I’m dying and my mouth is in food heaven. This shortbread oh em geee.

  

I’ll probably regret eating 4 of these decadent shortbread cookies later on when I’m having roast duck for dinner, but I couldn’t help it! There is just layer upon layer of flavor and texture and I can’t stop eating them.

When these first came out of the oven, I had to will every atom in me not to grab the whole chunk of shortbread and eat it straight away. It smelled so amazing. Then, I had to torture myself with letting the damn thing cool (not before eating a few crumbs first, of course).

Of course, I couldn’t help but eat a cookie as I was dipping the others in chocolate. The shortbread itself was soo amaaziinnggg. It was perfectly buttery and flaky and left behind a gentle saltiness that made me swoon. Not to mention, the salt brought out the undeniable flavor of pistachio. The pistachio itself offered a delicate crunch that differed in texture from the shortbread. I was blown away.

Then, I ate the shortbread dipped in chocolate, and my world changed again. The chocolate paired so beautifully with the shortbread and the pistachio and the saltiness and it was so decadent and delicious and perfect and I honestly have no words. My babbling is a lame attempt at conveying to you exactly how foodgasm these shortbread cookies are.

You’d think, “it’s just shortbread”, but no, these are the ultimate shortbread. Better than any shortbread you’ve ever had before. I can guarantee.

By the way, in the unlikely event that you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a month – I’ve been busy stressing out about my final IB exams in May, so I haven’t really had the chance to bake much, not to mention take photos/edit photos/write posts. Anyways, after my exams end, hopefully I’ll find the time then to bake up a storm in my kitchen to make up for all the time lost. In the meantime, wish me luck and enjoy these shortbread cookies xx

Chocolate-Dipped Pistachio Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1/8 cup (25g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Beat in both sugars until smooth.
  3. Gradually mix in the vanilla, salt, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is fully combined and forms a crumbly dough
  4. Mix in 2/3 of the chopped pistachios
  5. Line an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and press the dough tightly into the pan
  6. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes until lightly browned
  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Cut the shortbread into wedges while it’s still warm. Allow the shortbread to cool completely before dipping into chocolate.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring in between intervals until it’s completely melted
  9. Dip the shortbread into the chocolate and sprinkle with remaining pistachio and sea salt. Enjoy!
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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Cheat)

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I’ve always been a huge fan of anything involving brown butter. Remember this brown butter banana bread recipe? AKA my faavorite banana bread recipe of all time? Ever since I stumbled upon that recipe, I’ve just loved using brown butter in baked goods. It takes the flavour to a whole new level, building so much depth in the flavours and complexion. Plus, you can’t deny that it’s kinda fun to melt all that butter down and watch it foam and go brown.

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These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are just so heavenly. I made them for a bake sale and they sold out ridiculously quick! Almost every person who walked by inquired about the price of the cookies, and some of them even asked us to reserve cookies for them. One person said that he came by after seeing everyone else with the chocolate chip cookies. Not to mention, so many people came back to compliment me on how delicious the cookies were.

Needless to say, this is a recipe that I will be using for many bake sales to come. This one’s a keeper!

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I honestly don’t think these photos do the cookies justice. They’re suuper rich and gooey and full of chocolate and mocha chips, not to mention the nutty, caramel-y goodness of the brown butter! If that’s not a foodgasm, I don’t know what is.

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Makes 24-26 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (345g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mocha chocolate chips

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Make the brown butter by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. After a few minutes, the butter will begin to foam, darken to a brown color, and give off a nutty aroma. At this point, remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the brown butter into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 5-10 minutes, until cool to touch
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown butter and sugars together until well combined
  4. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt until well combined
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours in the fridge, or up to 12-24 hours*
  8. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Allow the dough to thaw for about 20 minutes before rolling into balls and placing them on a baking sheet 2 inches apart
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes

*Alternatively, freeze the cookie dough after you’ve rolled them into balls. When baking them, simply add a minute or two to baking time

 

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Chocolate Cupcake-Toppers (Cheat)

Happy birthday, Mommy!! ❤

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I made these cupcakes a couple of days ago for a bake sale, but the main reason I made cupcakes was so that I could reserve three of them for today – my mom’s birthday. I don’t like making small-batch cupcakes because making a batch of 24 cupcakes requires the same effort as making 3. (Hence, why I always make cupcakes for bake sales).

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This is the first time that I’ve used chocolate cupcake toppers, but it definitely won’t be the last. They’re deceivingly easy to make, and they look gorgeous! They take the cupcakes to a whole new level, while only requiring an extra 5 minutes.

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I forgot to take photos while I was making the chocolate toppers, but basically, you just melt down some dark chocolate and pipe it out on parchment paper. If you’ve melted the chocolate gently, they should harden at room temperature and peel off easily, giving you these beaautiful cupcake toppers!

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There are so many things that you can pipe out using the chocolate. I stuck to some simple shapes. I used stars, hearts, flowers, the little thingy in the photo below, and random squiggles. Next time, I’d definitely try words and maybe I’ll challenge myself to piping out a puppy or something. We’ll see~

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With the frosting, feel free to choose any color you wish! I like the way that the pink contrasts with the darkness of the chocolate, but I’m sure that blue would be gorgeous as well.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream and Chocolate Cupcake-Toppers

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 280g granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80g unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
  • 240ml  milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 300g unsalted butter
  • *400g-600g powdered sugar, sifted
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Gel food colouring of choice

For the chocolate cupcake-toppers:

  • 100g dark chocolate

*To taste

Method

  1. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  3. Add in the butter and beat until the mixture has a sandy consistency
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until combined
  5. Pour half the milk mixture in with the flour and beat on high speed until smooth
  6. Gently mix in the rest of the milk mixture until jut combined. Do not over mix
  7. Transfer the mixture into a lined cupcake tin and bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
  8. For the frosting, in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy
  9. Beat in the powdered sugar for 5 minutes or so, before adding the whipping cream and vanilla extract and beating for another minute
  10. For the chocolate cupcake-toppers, chop or break the dark chocolate into equal-sized chunks and place in a microwave-safe bowl
  11. Microwave the chocolate for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between each interval so that the chocolate heats evenly. When the chocolate has 80-90% melted, stir the chocolate until it’s fully melted
  12. Transfer the melted chocolate into a piping bag or into a sandwich bag with a TINY corner cut off
  13. Pipe designs of your choice onto a sheet of parchment paper. Allow to harden before carefully removing and placing on your frosted cupcakes. Enjoy!

Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Cheat)

I don’t bake with fruit much, but bananas are an exception.

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Banana bread and banana cakes – I could never get enough.

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I had such a difficult time letting the cake cool enough to be frosted. As soon as I took the beautifully baked cake out of my oven, the entire kitchen was filled with the aroma of banana cake. It might not sound that appealing, but trust me, it took so much mental effort to not eat the entire cake right there and then. It smelled that good. It was honestly driving me crazy, and I went on this rampage around the house, desperately trying to find something to satisfy my cravings so that I wouldn’t eat the cake before frosting it. I was so keen on eating banana cake that I didn’t even want chocolate truffles, and let me tell you – I never turn down chocolate truffles…well, until now.

Finally, I had no other choice but to eat something completely different. I microwaved a plate of homemade dumplings leftover from yesterday, covered them in vinegar (I love vinegar), and ran away from the banana-scented kitchen. At last, my taste buds had calmed down and I could focus on other things again as my banana cake cooled in the kitchen.

Soon enough, my cravings started up again and I figured it was time to frost the cake up and start eating.

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I think I knew how good this cake was going to be, but nevertheless, tasting it for the first time blew me away. The banana cake is everything you’d want a cake to be. It had a crumb similar to banana bread, only fluffier. The flavour of banana was definitely there, and it paired so beautifully with the cream cheese frosting. I mean, the cake itself was amazing, but the cake and the frosting go together like peanut butter and jelly. It was a perfect combination of flavours and I’m so in love.

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Oh, and in case you were wondering, the cake was gone within two days. It was that good.

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Best Banana Cake

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In another bowl, use an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until creamed together
  4. Mix in the eggs and vanilla, before adding in the mashed bananas
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, 1/3 of a time and alternating with the buttermilk (Stir in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stir in 1/3 of the buttermilk, and repeat with the remaining). Do not over mix
  6. Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 inch baking pan and bake for around 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  7. For the frosting, using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes
  8. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving
  9. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days

My 17th Birthday Cake (Cheat)

~5-layer midnight cake with cheesecake filling, covered with a generous layer of pink buttercream, glossy chocolate ganache, and topped with whipped cream and Oreos~

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Guess who’s 17 years old!

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I have a love-hate relationship with birthdays. I love everything about them, except the fact that I’m another year older. I prefer other people’s birthdays, with all the celebrations and games and cakes and gift-opening, but without me being consciously aware of my ageing.

It’s weird, isn’t it? The way that day by day, hour by hour, we age, but it’s only once a year for 24 hours that we actually acknowledge it. Then again, acknowledging our constant ageing would take some of the fun out of birthdays.

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I don’t understand why people want to get older. A pessimistic way of putting is is that every year, you’re a year closer to death. You become more likely to get sick. You have more responsibilities. Then again, an optimistic way of seeing is is that every year, you are faced with new opportunities. You’ll graduate and start a new chapter of your life. You might get a job. You might meet “the one”. You might get married. You might have kids. Who knows? In the end, the best way to predict your future is to live it the way you want. Sometime’s it’s just easier to be passive to all that happens around you, so that when things go wrong, you can blame the world and carry on, but wow, that must get boring. The happiest people are those who take control of their lives and steer it the way they want to go. When things go wrong, they acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them, and when things go right, they’re living Heaven on Earth. You pick (hint: I’d go with the second one).

I always seem to get really reflective on my birthday. Is it just me?

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But let’s focus on the real reason you’re here: CAKE!

Another reason why I always get excited about birthdays – cake. This year, I decided to bake myself a 5-layer midnight cake with cheesecake filling, covered with a generous layer of pink buttercream, glossy chocolate ganache, and topped with whipped cream and Oreos. Helll yes.

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To be honest, the cake is pretty much just a chocolate cake with black food colouring added. I used to not like chocolate cake. I thought that it was too rich. I’d always opt for vanilla or red velvet. Chocolate cake just wasn’t my thing, but alas, times have changed. Maybe I’d been deprived of chocolate cake for too long, but this chocolate cake was the bomb. Even before I baked the cake, the cake batter was waving chocolatey scents at me, trying to get me to give in and admit that chocolate cake is one of the best kinds of cake. While I was trimming the cakes, I nibbled on some of the cake crumbs and I was in awe, trying to understand how I had ever disliked chocolate cake. This chocolate cake is velvety. It’s suuper moist and it’s perfectly sweet. It has a wonderful cocoa flavour that isn’t overwhelming, and it pairs beautifully with all the other flavours going on in this cake.

Speaking of other flavours…THE CHEESECAKE FILLING. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but cream cheese frostings are magical. Maybe that’s a biased opinion because they’re my favourite, but tbh I’ve never met anyone who dislikes cream cheese frosting. The cheesecake filling tastes pretty much just like cream cheese frosting, but there isn’t as much butter. The butter’s replaced with whipped cream, which is just folded in at the end, so that you end up with filling that’s extra fluffy and light, but definitely is not missing any flavour.

I don’t want to be writing an essay here, so I’m just going to tell you that the buttercream, chocolate ganache, whipping cream, and Oreos are perfect. Simply, utterly, perfect.

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5-Layer Midnight Cake with Cheesecake Filling and Pink Buttercream

Adapted from various sources (linked below)

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup (120 g) “black” unsweetened cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder with 1 teaspoon black gel food colouring)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

For the cheesecake filling

  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g freshly whipped cream
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted

For the pink buttercream

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups (500g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink food colouring

For the chocolate ganache

  • 5 ounces (150 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey

For the whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar, to taste
  • Oreos, for topping

Method

I’ve included generic bad-quality, unedited photos that I took while I was assembling the cake for reference. Let me know if you have any questions!

  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, black cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter equally among the three lined and greased 8-inch cake pans or weigh for accuracy. Each pan should weigh about 600 grams
  5. Bake the first two layers until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely. Repeat with the final cake layer. When ready to assemble the cake, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. For the cheesecake filling, use an electric mixer to whip cream cheese, butter, and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream until combined
  7. For the pink buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar, vanilla extract, food colouring, and 1 tablespoon of whipping cream and beat until combined
  8. To assemble the cake, trim the cake layers, and then halve them so that each cake becomes two layers.
  9. Place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of the cheesecake filling (or buttercream) on the center of a cake board, and place your bottom cake layer onto the cake board. Add about 1/2-3/4 cup of cheesecake filling onto the top of the cake, and using a small offset spatula, spread the filling so that it covers the top of the cake. It’s okay to let a little bit of filling go over the side. Add the next cake layer and repeat until you’ve reached your final cake layer
  10. Cover the cake with a thin layer of the cheesecake filling (or buttercream), also known as crumb coating it, and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes
  11. Cover the cake in pink buttercream and chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes
  12. In the meantime, make the chocolate ganache. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. Let cool until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes
  13. For the whipping cream, use a whisk or electric hand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Whisk in the powdered sugar. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip
  14. (Assembling, continued) Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the chocolate glaze to the edges of the cake, gently pushing some over the side and letting it dribble down. When you’ve finished putting chocolate glaze on the edges of the cake, spoon chocolate glaze into the centre until covered
  15. When the chocolate has set slightly, pipe the whipped cream around the edges of the cake and top each swirl with half an Oreo
  16. Serve!

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Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Tart (Cheat)

This is probably the most photogenic thing I’ve ever baked.

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So yeah…lots of photos in this post. Enjoy.

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I went to a Simple Plan concert on Sunday! It’s the third SP concert that I’ve been to and it was incredible, just as it always was. The only downside is that 90 minutes speeds by when you’re singing at the top of your lungs and getting lost in the lyrics and music of the band that means the world to you.

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My whole weekend, in fact, was pretty great. On Saturday, I finished my Extended Essay draft in the morning and finished off decorating a layer cake for my brother and his friend’s birthday dinner. One of my favourite things to do is making layer cakes (alongside decorating cupcakes, of course).

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But anyways, these tarts were seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made. They have a perfect flavour balance and are wonderfully decadent. They start off with a classic biscuit base – and who doesn’t love a good biscuit base??

Then they’re filled with this gorgeously smooth chocolate filling and baked, giving them a texture like no other tart or cake or pie that you’ve ever had before. They’re truly quite unique.

And then, they’re topped off with a silky chocolate ganache and fresh, fruity raspberries.

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This, my friends, is what I call perfection.

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Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Tart

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 350ml whipping cream
  • 250g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 5ml pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Ganache:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Shredded coconut (optional)

Method

  1. For the base, mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together until fully combined. Press into mini cake tins and/or a lined muffin tray
  2. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius or 355 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
  3. For the filling, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl.
  4. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, icing sugar, and eggs until fully combined
  6. Pour the filling into the baked tarts and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are set but the centre is still slightly wobbly
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  8. For the ganache, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl
  9. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before stirring until the chocolate is completely melted
  10. Spread the ganache over the cooled tarts and top with fresh raspberries and shredded coconut

Éclairs (Cheat)

Éclairs!

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Éclairs are super fancy and although they’re not the “easiest” to make, they’re so worth it. To be honest, I found the process to be quite enjoyable. I love making choux pastry and pastry cream. Am I the only one? I mean, beating together a few ingredients and then watching the choux pastry cook into such a soft dough that doesn’t stick to the sides of your saucepan is almost magical. Then there’s whipping the heated cream mixture slowly into the egg yolk mixture to prevent the yolk from scrambling, before pouring the whole lot back into the saucepan and watching it thicken into a sweet, aromatic pastry cream. I sound insane. Okay, I’ll stop.

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You can experiment with so many flavors when it comes to éclairs, but I decided to stick with a pretty classic pastry cream and finish it off with chocolate ganache and melted white chocolate.

…I know I said I’d stop, but don’t you love making ganache too? Letting the hot cream sit with the chocolate and letting heat energy go back and forth between the two and disrupting bonds as the chocolate melts and becomes one with the cream…ok ok, I’m done.

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Well, what are you waiting for? Go make these delicious pastries for Mother’s Day!

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Éclairs

Adapted from Will Cook For Smiles

Ingredients

For the pastry cream:

(This will need to be prepared a few hours ahead, or the day before you assemble the éclairs)

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ⅔ cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean

For the Choux pastry:

  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

For the ganache:

  • 110g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Method
  1. For the pastry cream, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until combined
  2. Whisk in the flour until smooth and set aside
  3. In a saucepan, gently heat the milk, heavy cream, and butter together. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture and add in the empty vanilla bean as well
  4. Heat until simmering, and then remove the vanilla bean and slowly whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture, making sure that the egg doesn’t scramble
  5. Pour all of the mixture back into the saucepan and heat while constantly stirring until thickened. This should take a few minutes
  6. Pour the cream into a bowl or onto a plate and allow to cool before covering it with plastic wrap (with the plastic touching the surface of the cream) and placing it in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  7. For the Choux pastry, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  8.  In a saucepan, heat and mix the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and water together until the mixture is lightly simmering
  9. Beat in the flour using a wooden spoon until combined and the mixture doesn’t stick to the sides of the saucepan
  10. Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, and beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg is fully mixed before adding the next
  11. Transfer the batter into a piping bag and, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe thick lines of pastry about 4cm (1.5 inches) in width and 8cm (3 inches) in length. They should also be about 2cm (almost 1 inch) tall
  12. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before filling
  13. For the ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a small mixing bowl.
  14. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream to simmer
  15. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for a few minutes before stirring together with a whisk until smooth
  16. To assemble the éclairs, fill a piping bag with the cold pastry cream. Gently insert the tip into the cooled pastry and squeeze cream into it. Alternatively, cut the pastries lengthwise and fill the insides
  17. Dip each filled pastry in the chocolate ganache and drizzle a bit of melted white chocolate over it, if desired. Keep refrigerated.