Friday, August 31, 2012

Blackberry Coconut Cakes

Lately I came across a number of recipes that call for a combination of blackberry and coconut. This pairing sounded a little odd at first, but as unfamiliar as it was, it had a hint of intrigue in flavor and texture. I first tried a blackberry coconut tart, then some blackberry coconut popsicles. After my initial success I decided to try something a little more challenging.

The recipe came again from one of my favorite German patissiers Bernd Siefert. I really love his cakes, and have baked several of his recipes over time, some of them I already blogged about, like the Strawberry-Raspberry Charlotte, the Chocolate Berry Tart and the Strawberry-Champagne Cake. One day I really have to take a trip up to his cafe.

This cake consists of two layers of coconut sponge, filled with blackberry-coconut mousse. The sponge cake itself is not very thick, so it's a little difficult to cut it into two slices. Alternatively you could bake them separately, each with half the batter. The mousse really gets its flavor boost from the lemongrass. The longer you steep the lemongrass in the coconut milk, the more intense it gets.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Red Currant Meringue Tartlets

I have not always been a fan of red currants because they are very sour, but I have come to appreciate their taste. In parts of southern Germany there is a specialty called "Träubleskuchen". It is red currants folded into a meringue, sometimes even with ground nuts, served on top of a buttery pastry. I find that the tartness of the currants makes them the perfect match for something sweet like meringues. Eating these cloud-like fillings will make you feel like you are in heaven.

"Träubleskuchen" are very famous, and are usually served as a cake. This time, however, I have decided to make them into little tartlets. I think they look cute. Besides, I like the fact that you can put a little stem of red currents on top of each tartlet; they make excellent decoration. They are great for a tea time display.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cherry Cake with Florentine Topping

I love florentines. These caramel based almond biscuits are dipped in dark chocolate, sometimes with dried fruits. This makes them crunchy yet chewy. This cake uses the plain florentine as topping, supported by a fruit layer made of cherry, and a vanilla cake base.

This recipe was for a big cake, but I only made half the portion. However, the cherry layer was still a little moist when I took it out of the oven. Maybe the oven was too hot, or I misjudged the baking time with the reduced portions. But it was still good, so next time a big one is in order.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Today's cake is a real taste sensation, no less. You probably had chocolate raspberry truffles before; they are one of my favorites. Raspberry and chocolate together is just heavenly. This cake tastes like a big version of it.

The recipe also uses a yoghurt mousse, which creates a delicate balance in the acidity of the yoghurt, the sweetness of the chocolate, and the tartness of the raspberry. Since the berries looked so fresh and full of life, I also think that this cakes accentuates these beautiful little jewels.

Piping the mousse took a bit of skill and lots of patience. I am still not yet fully satisfied with the results. Another thing that you need to keep in mind, is that the cake might take a while in the fridge to set, especially on a hot sunny day. I served it a little too early and the first couple slices went out of shape a little. After putting it back in the fridge, the rest was fine.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Berry Charlotte for my 3rd Blog Anniversary!

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my blog, and to celebrate this occasion I have made another berry-themed cake for you. Since “berry lovely” is the name of this blog, I wanted to create something with berries, like what I did for each blog anniversary.

It is a Berry Charlotte, and it is made of ladyfingers with a ladyfinger base and filled with a berry mousse. I also used a generous portion of fresh, mixed berries to accentuate its berry-loveliness.

I wanted to make a mousse which is similar to a Bavarian Cream, but I also wanted to include mascarpone in it, like in a TiramiSu. So I tried to combine the two, and it worked out perfectly. I even got the amount for the gelatin right at the first try.

Now, there was a bit of an obstacle. Since this summer has been very cold and rainy, the berry season has been particular short. While there usually is an ample supply of berries in our garden, the season is already over for us this year. So I made a compromise, and bought some fresh berries from the local farmer’s market. They were still very beautiful, a bit expensive, but I would say the end justifies the means, and hubby agrees.

Happy birthday, Berry Lovely.

I love berries; they’re lovely. I still love that blog name.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Black Forest Saint Honoré and some Chocolate Éclairs

For a long time I wanted to make a Saint Honoré cake. I never ate it before, but it always looked tempting, every time I saw it in cookbooks. On my recent trip to Tokyo I finally had my very first Saint Honoré, and from none other than Pierre Herme. It was the rose-raspberry version, which is also known as the Ispahan. After that I was determined to make one myself.

I was first thinking about making a raspberry or strawberry Saint Honoré, but I wanted to make something different. So I got this idea while I was picking sour cherries in our garden. Why not make a Black Forest St. Honoré.

It's everybody's favorite, and sour cherries are one of the most important ingredients. Of course, as with any normal black forest cake, you will also need chocolate, Kirsch and whipping cream.

This cake is quite a project, what you can see by the length of the recipe. A few components, like the cherry compote, pastry cream and chocolate glaze can be made in advance, and stored in the fridge for up to two days.

The recipe is enough to also make some extra chocolate eclairs, which share the same base recipes. They were equally good, and maybe a good starting point, if you don't want to tackle the whole recipe.

After finishing, I thought I will never make them again, since it's so much work. But taking the first bite, I immediately changed my mind, they were just so tasty.

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