Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sacher torte with a twist

A little while ago (March) I had to come up with a creative but beautiful recipe for something fun and this was the outcome! Take the traditional sachertorte - dark chocolate cake, apricot and ganache, Delicious right?! But why apricot?? Why not orange? Hence sacher torte with a twist!

Sachertorte with a twist

Candied Orange Peel
6 Oranges
900g Granulated Sugar
360ml Water + 2 saucepan’s worth of water to blanch oranges

The Oranges were scrubbed, peeled and the peel sliced into strips. These strips were then placed in a saucepan full of water which was brought to the boil. They were boiled for one minute and then submerged in icy water. This process was then repeated.
After the blanching 360ml water and 900g sugar was melted together. This was brought to the boil and then boiled until it reached a temperature of 230’F. The heat was then reduced and the orange peel was added. The orange peels were kept in the simmering syrup until the peel was transulent. They were removed from the syrup and placed on a wire wrack before being dredged in sugar and allowed to dry in a very low temperature oven and then on a plate.

Orange Marmalade
4 Oranges
800g Jam Sugar
50g Glaced ginger
The oranges were washed, sliced and placed into a blender along with some glaced ginger. They were blended into a pulp and this pulp was put into a saucepan. 800g of jam sugar was mixed with the orange and ginger pulp. This mixture was then heated until boiling. The heat was reduced and the jam was cooked for a further 45 minutes. A jar was sterilized in preparation for the jam. The mixture was removed from the heat and allowed to cool slightly before being put through a colander to remove any lumps of orange. The mixture was then cooled and jarred. 

Caramel Shells/ Twist
175g Caster sugar
175ml Water
Water and sugar are melted together, swirled (not stirred) and boiled until they achieve a rich amber colour. This is removed from heat, cooled rapidly for one minute and then drizzled with a fork over the backs of the cake tins used for the sachertorte cake

Excuse the odd colouring but it's the best way to show the caramel

A couple examples of my other caramel creations including the all important twist
Sachertorte Cake (recipe based on the one used by Mary Berry in the GBBO)
140g Dark chocolate
140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
115g Caster sugar
1tsp homemade vanilla extract
5 eggs, separated
100g Ground almonds (sieved)
40g plain flour
The oven was pre-heated to 180’C and the cake tins were greased and dusted with cocao powder. The dark chocolate was melted and then cooled. The butter was beaten and the sugar was added. This mixture was beaten until it was light and fluffy. The melted chocolate and vanilla was added and mixed in. The egg yolks were beaten together and mixed in. The mixture was removed from the kitchen aid and mixed again by hand. The flour was sieved in with the sieved ground almonds. This was added and folded in.
In a separate bowl the egg whites were beaten by hand. A portion of this mixture was added to the chocolate mixture  and mixed thoroughly, to loosen it, before the remaining egg whites were folded in. This mixture was spooned into the molds, up to 2/3 full and baked for 26 minutes before being cooled on a wire wrack.
The orange marmalade was then heated with 2 tablespoons of water. It was passed through a sieve to remove any bits before being brought to a boil and boiled for 1 minute. This glace was brushed generously over the cooled cakes.

The Chocolate Ganache
250ml Double cream
33g Glucose syrup
375g 74% Dark chocolate
62g Butter
The cream and glucose were heated together until boiling. The chocolate was broken into pieces and placed in a bowl. The heated cream mixture was poured over the chocolate. This was then mixed until smooth. Once smooth the butter was added little by little, stirring to incorporate between additions.
The ganache was let cool further before being poured over the sachertorte cakes and let set.
Finally the candied orange peel and sugar decorations were added. 

So this has been a little more complicated than my usual recipes but it is well worth trying, the cake is moist and delicious and the orange marmalade compliments the dark chocolate ganache perfectly, cutting through the heaviness and contrasting the richness of the ganache. The bit of caramel adds a nice crunch and the orange peel just seals the deal. I hope you enjoy this recipe. =)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Skiing Cake and the last of the winter snow

So it has been a while and I'd apologize but it would be somewhat insincere, I needed a short break. In these difficult times it is all too easy to let everything get on top of you and then it is time to do some prioritization and that's what I had to do. I didn't stop baking but I had to focus my energies on some other things and a small few of these things have been paying dividends which is wonderful, long may it continue. The good news is, that when I baked I also photographed, so I should have a few fun posts coming up in the next few weeks.

First, one of the reasons for my absence was also that I took a little trip to Austria and got some skiing in. I absolutely love skiing, the structure to the day, the cold, the food, and the excitement of the piste. Living in Ireland we rarely get much in the way of snow. Therefore stepping into a winter wonderland is always a mixture of awe and excitement for me. Here's a little taste of what we saw...

Snow covered trees

Like a dusting of icing sugar
An igloo bar

The igloo bar was amazing. It looked tiny from the outside but once you enter it expands into several large caverns with beautiful places to sit and drink. I'd rethink staying in the ice hotel after this experience, it was very cold and touching the walls was an experience of it own.

Shortly after we returned was the celebration of my father's birthday. He loves skiing too and, as I was making his cake, I thought that nothing short of a skiing cake would do. He requested a carrot cake, so I used the recipe I have up put up before with a couple of health substitutions because my dad is a healthy guy. Then I designed a mountain scene that would remind him of our favourite ski holiday activity - stopping for lunch and a hot chocolate in a mountain-side restaurant in between red runs ;)

There's out restaurant, now imagine we're drinking a hot chocolate before..

before we take on these slops!!!

So.........that went well......but I'm back with a bang!

At the start of the year I said that I would try to post more regularly and......yeah....that didn't happen =/ Finishing this doctorat...