Thursday, 30 October 2014

Daring Bakers - October 2014!

My post for this challenge is rather late. I should have posted 3 days ago, but there was something wrong with my Internet connection.. What can you do?

So, now that everything is alright, I am posting the October Challenge. Korena from Korena in the Kitchen was our host and she chose a lovely cake!

Sachertorte!

One of my very favourite cakes! It has been quite a while since I had it. I think it was a few years back, when we were on a trip to North Italy at the region of S├╝dtirol. It is also what I have whenever I visit Austria and I always bring back home, as so far I haven't found anything matching the quality of the real thing here...

For this challenge I followed the given recipe, which I halved and made it gluten free.

Sachertorte

for the cake
90 gm bittersweet chocolate, chopped
65 gm butter at room temperature 65 gm confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 gm granulated sugar
65 gm all-purpose gluten free flour
pinch fine grain salt

Apricot jam
Chocolate Glaze

* Preheat oven to 190˚C.
* Butter and flour of a pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
* Melt the chocolate ans set aside to cool completely, stirring often.
* Beat the butter in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat again.
* Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
* Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat until light and creamy.
* In a clean bowl beat the egg whites with one tbs granulated sugar on high speed until foamy. Gradually add the rest of the granulated sugar and continue beating until you get shiny peaks.
* Stir about 1/3 of the meringue into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold meringue with a spatula until just a few wisps of egg white remain.
* Stir together the flour and salt and add half of it to the chocolate mixture. Fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated. Add the rest flour and fold to combine completely.
* Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 45 min.
* Let it cool in the pan for 10 min, then carefully invert the cake onto a rack and remove the parchment paper, then turn the cake right-side up onto a rack and allow to cool completely.
* Turn the cake upside-down so that the perfectly flat bottom of the cake is now the top and cut it horizontally into 2 layers.
* Place 1 cake layer on a cake rack and spread it generously with apricot jam.
* Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with more apricot jam.
* Pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake. Spread the excess glaze to cover any bare spots.
* Write the word “Sacher” and chill the cake until the glaze is completely set.

 Perfect shape!

Adding the apricot jam (yum!)


A few notes..
The given recipe for the chocolate glaze is this:
200 gr granulated sugar
120 ml water
115 gm bittersweet chocolate, chopped

* Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
* Cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches 112°C.
* Remove it from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. It might thicken up quite a bit. If it does, return it to low heat and add a few drops of water if necessary to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency. The glaze should be smooth and shiny.

Well, I followed it and the chocolate seized so much, that I had to add more than a few drops of water. But it still was not smooth. I tried to pour it on the cake and it was not good. It dried rock hard and was ugly.
In general I do not like to mix water with chocolate...
So I ended up making my own glaze with chocolate, butter and condensed milk. It was smooth and shiny and it poured great. I did try to smooth it, even if the first chocolate layer was anything but smooth...





I don't know if you can see it, but it is totally "grainy".

This is after I used my glaze. A lot better and smooth enough to "write" the word Sacher.



I wrote the word "Sacher" using letter stamps.

The cake itself is very tasty. It is indeed in the dry side, but still so so tasty!
Normally it is accompanied with a portion of schlag, unsweetened whipped cream, but we didn't want to, so I didn't make any!

(I love the lighting in this picture...)



I think I will make it again. It is the only way to enjoy a piece of Sachertorte, outside Austria!


Thank you Korena for this challenge and for reminding me this lovely cake!

Louise

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Hazelnut milk!

Usually in the morning I make a smoothie with non dairy milk, fruit and avocado.

At first I was making almond milk, but decided to try hazelnut milk, as well.

It is so much better!

The process is exactly the same, as with almond milk.

Hazelnut milk

* Soak the hazelnuts overnight (about 1/2 or 1 cup depending on your bottle).
* Strain them and put them in a blender.
* Add as much water as it is the capacity of your bottle.
* Blend very well.
* Use a cheesecloth to strain the mixture and squeeze to get all the "milk" out.
* Keep it in the fridge.



Enjoy!



Louise