Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake

We are back from our wonderful vacation in Hong Kong. It was absolutely fabulous, but before I tell you more about the trip, I have to go through my many, many pictures. Going from tropical heat to frosty temperatures was a shocker for me, but I also like the bright colors of Autumn leaves.

While I am sorting out my photo collection, here is something that fits the season. Seeing all the pumpkins around, I made a chocolate-pumpkin marble cake. I used Hokkaido pumpkin, sliced it, baked it, and pureed it, but you can also used canned pumpkin. It gave a brilliant yellow color, which matches very well with the chocolate.

The cake was very flavorful, wonderful chocolaty, and moist even after a few days. I will definitely make this again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ispahan Cupcakes (Lychee-Raspberry-Rose)

Ispahan is a strain of pink rose named after the Iranian city of Isfahan. This flower was made famous in the patisseries' world by Pierre Herme, with his renowned Ispahan macaron. This floral-themed treat has two other ingredients: raspberry and lychee.

I have come across a number of recipes that puts these flavors in the settings of cupcakes. Even though I am a big fan of cupcakes, I often find the typical butter cream a little too heavy for my liking. In a number of occasions I substituted butter cream with a topping based on mascapone. Mixed with a fruit puree, it also stands very well, and can be piped in pretty swirls.

The cupcakes are not overly sweet, and the topping has a refreshing note due to the fresh raspberry puree. These are a real elegant treat for a fancy tea time.

By the way, I will be going to Hong Kong for holidays in a few days, so I will be signing off for the next couple weeks. This will be my first time there, and I definitely look forward to sampling local food, though I don't guarantee it will all be cakes and desserts. So until next time, I wish you are enjoying reading this, and making your own little creations in the mean time.

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