Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Death By Chocolate Brownie Cake - Gluten Free

I don't know where the term comes from, but death by chocolate means...just what is says. This is a super-moist chocolate cake..almost like a feather light can see the light brown egdes in the cake on the picture - almost like a brownie. It tasted great with brown rice flour! Of course regular flour will work.

baked at 160 Degrees 22-25min

by in part Marcello Valerio
(if using a regular 22x10cm (?) cake tin, double the recipe)
35g butter
60g sugar
50g choc, 70% cocoa solids
1tbs sour cream
25ml/1.tbs rice flour or normal flour, 7-9g? (can be up to 20g)
1/4tsp bicarbonate/natron

1. Melt the butter and cholate.
2. Beat egg over a water bath until ribbons form.
3. Combine egg and choco mix. Add flour and sour cream and bicarbonate of soda.
4. Bake it. Cool and eat it.

oh....the chocolate topping/ganache! Well...just take 50g cream and 50g chopped dark chocolate. Boil cream pour over cholate. Whisk a little bit. Add a little butter...5-10g.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Plain Macaroons

Plain Macaroons.

Macaroons is one of the trickiest things. To get all the macaroon shells looking good isn't so easy. This is the first time I've been close to a good result (look-wise - they always tasted good!). The recipe uses italian meringue, which seems to ensure a more consistent result (however, I did screw up the meringue - it collapsed - BUT the macaroons still worked! Maybe because incorporating maximum air into the macaroons is NOT the big thing). If you want you can 1tsp. espresso powder for cofee flavour...etc.

PLAIN MACAROON RECIPE (pre-set oven at 160C) makes 15-25 shells

38g egg white + 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar or 1 drop lemon juice
+90g sugar+20g water (=italian meringue sugar suryp)

30g egg white
100g powdered sugar
90g almondpowder

1. Start whipping/beating the 38g egg white to stiff'ish peaks (add cream of tartar when foam appears). In the meantime - combine water and sugar in a small pan. Cook until it reaches 116-118 C. Pour slowly into the beating whites. As you start adding suryp, the egg whites should be at medium/full volume or stiff'ish peaks.
2. Mix together powdered sugar, remaining egg white and almond powder...add the italian meringue to the mix. Fold inn and mix until incorporated. It's hard to describe the desired should be dense, but with a little bit of air.
3. Pipe or spoon onto baking tray...let sit for 30min. Then bake at 150C-160C degrees. Yes that's a LOW temperature...but it SHOULD work!

Buttercream recipe to come...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

"The marshmallow probably first came into being as a medicinal substance, since the mucilaginous extracts comes from the root of the marshmallow plant, Althaea officinalis, which were used as a remedy for sore throats. Concoctions of other parts of the marshmallow plant had medical uses as well.[2] "

Marshmallows are so tasty aren't they? And what do they taste of? -'s like air and sugar and vanilla - it's the candy that one would eat in heaven - the candy of angels. It's pretty tricky, and I did fail a few times, but I will be makin' these again. You will need; a thermometer, some gelatin, and glucose OR cane syrup or golden syrup. Oh, and sugar...bare bones stuff.

Here are the recipes...I tried 2 different ones. It was confusing cause the one recipe said...boil the sugar to 118C, the other said 140C. One said pour the gelatin straight into the sugar sirup before adding to the whites, the other, pour it onto the whites after the sugar syrup.

There are also other types of recipes using no egg whites. And I suspect they are less tasty, but easier to make (Tish Boyle has a recipe of that kind on her blog).

Recipe 1 gave the best results. For now.

Recipe 1 (Adapted from D. Lebovitz)
4g gelatin + 30ml water (sprinkle the gelatin in water and leave for 5min)
20ml water
25g cane syrup (lys sirup)
50g sugar
28g egg white or 1 egg white+ 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
(+vanilla...or whatever you like, I didn't use any additional flavoring...)

1. Boil the sugar and suryp + 20ml water to 118 degrees C. (As the suryp reaches 100C start whipping the whites. BUT you must know your mixer...mine is so quick I can get away with delaying the beating until the sugar has reached 118C, then i take it off the heat. Because within 1-2 minutes the whites are very fluffy...)
2. Whip egg whites (with cream.of tartar or lemon juice) to soft peak, add sugar suryp slowly, then QUICKLY put gelatin in the pan that you used to cook sugar. The residual heat will melt it. MIX. Add to whipping egg whites. Ke
ep whipping the whites til cool.
3. Portion in tray. Leave for 8 hours. min. Dust with 1:1 ratio of powdered sugar and potato starch/or maize.

Recipe 2 (Inspired 90% from SFBI, "Advanced Bread and Pastry")

4g gelatin+some water (stir together leave 5min)
20ml water+15g cane suryp or glucose+60g sugar (combine in pan and start cooking)
25g egg white + cream of tartar(about 1)

1. Beat the egg white with tartar, when sugar reaches 130 degrees. At 140 Degrees take sugar off pan and add the gelatin to the suryp. IT WILL BUBBLE UP AND SMELL kinda BAD :). Combine, then slowly pour into the whites while beating until the sides of the bowl are cool.
Portion in tray. Leave for 8 hours. min. dust with 1:1 ratio of powdered sugar and potato starch/or maize.

I found that at some points the whites collapsed with the SFBI recipe. As if overbeaten. Next time I'm gonna try to stop beating earlier. The other recipe the egg whites collapsed but t
hen thickened slighly again...Below you can see some failed ones (the top and bottom) little gelatin, or just total collapse of air...maybe from overbeating the whites, or just to much liquid being added to them.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fried Banana Ice-Cream

It's so hot. I had to make more Ice-Cream. I find that in cooking the thing that happens most often is that I have to use stuff going out of date. In this case cream and bananas. The idea with brown sugar came though David Lebovitz, even though bananas and dark sugar is a classic combination...I'm just starting to find out about stabilizers in Ice-Cream. And the only one I can buy in a normal shop in Norway is gelatin...more on this later. The flavour we often associate with banana in Ice-Cream I think might be different from the taste of "real" bananas...

- Recipe for Banana Ice-Cream
Custard Base
2dl Cream
75ml milk
45g sugar

1. Beat egg yolk and sugar.
2. Heat cream and milk to 80C. Pour slowly into egg, whisking constanstly-
3. Put back on heat and warm til thick or 80C degrees C. for 10 sec. Strain.

Banana mix
2 Ripe Bananas
1tbs. butter
20g brown sugar
20ml dark rum

1. Fry banana in butter. Add sugar. Cook til tender. Add rum and cook 10 seconds. Puree.
2. Add to custard base.
(3. If you want you can add 1/4 tsp. bloomed gelatin at this point.)
3. Chill for 6-24 hours in fridge.
4. Put in Ice-Cream Maker. Or do as me, and stir with a fork, or whatever. Every now and then.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Best Chocolate Ice-Cream Yet.

I finally found a chocolate Ice-Cream that works! Without a Ice-Cream machine..
This is so creamy, you're gonna die. It's like chocolate gelato. Probably cause I churned it by hand, the Ice-Cream is very dense, and there's hardly any air in it. I also added sum raisins soaked in rum. mmmm....

Adapted from Alice Medrich - Tales from a life in chocolate
175ml Milk
175ml Cream
2 Egg Yolk
50g Sugar
90g Dark Chocolate - 70% Solids
1 tbs. rum or vodka
1 pinch salt

1. Beat the egg with the sugar.
2. Bring milk+cream to the boil. Slowly pour into egg mix - as you beat it.
3. Melt choc. in micro or waterbath. Set aside.
4. Pour egg mix back into pan over medium heat. Warm and stir til it thickens - Between 79-81. Do not warm above 83-Degrees-C, it will become scrambled eggs.
5. Strain the eggcustard, into the melted chocolate, slooooowly! Done!!
6. Freeze in ice-cream machine, or by hand: use a fork and break it up every 30min til frozen.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Heston Blumenthal's Chocolate Mousse

Just a quick little post here...

I'm always searching for the perfect chocolate mousse. Here is an adaption of a Heston Blumenthal's recipe (from his book "the search of perfection"). The recipe is only a part of his "black forest gateux", but is good enough to stand alone. It is EXTREMELY rich. It reminds me a little of eating a cake at "Pascal" (a restaurant/cafe) in Oslo. It relies on a very dense custard with egg yolk and milk, which is mixed with ALOT of chocolate, then some cream to lighten it. I had to twist it to make it work, by adding a tbs. of kahlua, otherwise the sugar wouldn't of dissolved into the egg yolk properly...I think...Yummy! (not the yummiest picture, but shows the texture...and the white stuff is a norwegian thing we call "kesam", a kindof yogurt-cheese-cremefraiche thing)

Heston's Chocolate Mousse - with a twist
(adapted and doctored from Heston)
Serves 2-3 people

2 egg yolks
92g sugar
50ml milk
72g chocolate (70% cocoa)
100ml cream
a pinch of salt
1 tbs. kahlua (optional)
1 tsp. creme fraiche (optional)

1. Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar, and kahlua
2. Melt choc in micro or in a water bath
3. Heat milk til simmering, pour over egg mix, return to heat
4. Heat until it reaches 80C (it will thicken), but NO MORE. It will curde after that.
5. Pour mix into chocolate. Add creme Fraiche.
6. Whip cream to soft peaks. Quickly! Add in batches to the chocolate mix.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

"Plain Fudge" (make that "Fudglet")

"Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, extremely rich and frequently flavored with cocoa. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency" - Wikipedia

SO, a quick look around the web (especially "food blog search") tells me that plain fudge ain't the most common thing to make at home. Anyways, having found two tins of condensed milk that were one month out of date, I knew the time was right for me to make some fudge. A number of recipes use chocolate, or cream and milk, but I happen to love the taste of condensed milk!

Who's that guy with the beard? The monk of condensed milk who makes it all happen?

Finding a recipe was not too easy, but I found a recipe, and added a bit of golden syrup and it really worked! Only problem's like a breed between fugde and tablet. Why do fugde and tablet (and toffee for that matter) have a different texture? Well, it's probably to do with the sugar/liquid/fat ratio, - how hot the mixture gets - but also to do with the stirring when it cools down. I'll have to buy this book to find out...

This recipe does taste quite buttery. Might wanna cut down on the butter next time. Another interesting thing is that it's possible to add liquer after you have shaped the fudglet squares. Just rub it in, and reshape you can see in the picture below, the consistency is shapable after they have set. Actually, the taste is very reminescent of the fugde in movenpique (or whatever) ice-cream, so these will work great chopped up in your favorite Ice.

Recipe for "Fudglet" / "Fudge/Tablet" (will make about 16-24 squares)
Adapted from "easy food magazine" (found via

190g Condensed Milk (half a tin)
200g sugar
50g milk
55g Butter
13g Golden Syrup (0r you can use maple or any other kind)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract* (optional)
20-100g nuts (macademia's or brazil are great)

1. Put ALL ingredients into a pan. Keep a bowl of ice water next to you. Have a thermometer.
2. Heat gently until in starts to boil, then keep it there until it reaches 116C degrees, or the soft ball stage.
3. Put pan into something cold, or pour the mix into another bowl to stop cooking.
4. Stir until it starts to thicken so much that it becomes to hard to stir any further. Stir in nuts a little before this stage if you want em in. (And liquer, but you can do that later too.)
5. Pour into a greased pan, tray or cake tin.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

"Chocolate Mousse" (A'la Medrich)

Chocolate Mousse. Yet again, I have proceeded to make this classic french dessert. And it will not be the last time, nay - mastering the chocolate mousse is an essential must, if one is to be a master pastry chef - as is my dream.

This time I have opted for a technique used by Alice Medrich ( I just got her book, I'm in a Alice Medrich phase - you could say - or at least - I'm testing some of her recipes). In this recipe, the egg is beaten whole with sugar and water over a pan of simmering water (no meringue or pâte à bombe!). Anyway's I used double the amount of sugar by mistake, but the consistency turned out quite nice (picture below). Needless to say - it was a little too sweet :-)

The chocolate I used was 86% Dark (Freia - the used to be Norwegian Chocolate manufacturer now owned by kraft), and the quality of that is quite bad. Not awful, but almost (Gritty). I would expect this to taste great with a chocolate from Lindt or G&B, etc. In the recipe below I have given the correct sugar amount, as well as my mistake amount.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe (Based on "Chocolate Marquis" from Bittersweet, A. Medrich)

1 Egg
56g 86% Dark Chocolate
56g Unsalted Butter
35g (- 40g) sugar (I used 68g by mistake)
20ml/14g water or liquer


1. Melt butter and chocolate together
2. Beat egg and sugar and water, over a water bath, until it registers 70C (or until it's warm and creamy). Keep beating until cool and thick.
3. Mix the egg mix, into the chocolate mix in 3 batches.
4. Put it fridge until set. Minimum 2 hours.

To make the caramel decorations...just put 50g sugar and 60ml water in a pan (and if you can a tiny bit cream of tartar to make air bubbles). Don't mix! It might crystalize (or harden up if you will). Heat until golden-ish. Spread it quickly on a large tray covered with a baking sheet. Cool, then break into pieces.

Friday, 22 April 2011

"Burned Almond Brownies" - (gluten-free)

I've decided to make brownies - again! This time the nuts take the place of flour. And in this case, the nuts were some very caramelized almonds (or in Norway, we call them "brente mandler"). The recipe is based on Alice Medrich's recipe from her book"Bittersweet". The flavour of the burned nuts was actually too overpowering, and there was a kinda taste of coconut in there afterwards (there is no coconut in the recipe!). If you're going to make this I would recommend roasted nuts, or perhaps some slightly carmelized nuts (just put sugar and nuts in a pan over high heat, mix constantly until golden). The consistency of these brownies was very nice, moist and chewy all at once!

The good thing about brownies is that there is no leavening agent, and they don't really rise in the oven. This means that it's better to underbake than overbake, cause you can always return them to the oven later if they're too wet.

Recipe for Almond Brownies
Makes about 8-12 small brownies. You can double recipe, but use a tin twice as big.
Precook inst.: Turn oven to 200 C, line a 10-12 cm cake tin with a baking sheet.

58g Chocolate, 86% or more (you can use 60-70% but use 10g less sugar)
58g Butter
115-120g Sugar
45-50g Almond or Hazelnuts (roasted in oven at 200C for 20min, then ground to powder)
1 Ecological Egg


1. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When melted and hot to touch, take of heat.
2. Add sugar
3. Add egg('s if doubling recipe)
4. Add Nuts. Mix with spatula for 1 minute.
5. Bake for 20min - at 200 degrees C - until a pick/knife comes out with a moist crumb. It will firm up as it cools. Serve with whipped cream infused with a tbs of liquer (I used something called "mozart chocolate orange liquer", as seen in picture below - it's got a fancy lid).

Monday, 21 March 2011

Gi-Normous Chocolate Macaroons With Chocolate Buttercream

"Gi-Normous Macaroons Avec Beurre De La Chocolate"

I decided to give macaroons another try after last times failure. It seems macaroons is one of the more diffucult things to perfect (at least "look-wise"). Anyway a couple of them turned out OK, if rather giant-sized. But it sounds cool to call them "Gi-Normous Chocolate Macaroons". The one in the picture above were the good ones... Below is a not so good one, but JUST AS TASTEY! When making macaroons you will have leftover yolks. So you can make the buttercream, or maybe a creme brulee? Anyway. Macaroons are very tasty when done correctly, I think not overbaking them is quite important. Better moist than dry.

Adapted From (David Lebovitz

Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C.

65g sugar
2 Whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

25g sifted cocoa powder, any kind
100g sifted powdered sugar
50g almonds/almond meal (i grinded them whole in a food processor)

1. Put the cocoa and powdered sugar and almonds into a bowl and mix.
2. Beat the whites to soft peaks, gradually add sugar and whip til stiff.
3. Put the dry mixture in the egg whites and mix together.
4. Spoon onto a baking sheet in small "balls" (OR use a piping bag for better results than me:)
5. Bake for 13-17 minutes depending on your oven.

And if they crack, they will still taste like macaroons. Mine were moist inside and crispy on the outside. Mmmm. Below is the filling!


This is losely based on a recipe from "Tish Boyle", and is a good way to use some leftover egg yolk which you will have after making the macaroons.

- Approx. 51-56g - Dark Chocolate, 70 %
1 Tbs water OR liquer/spirit

- 15g egg yolk (almost 1 egg yolk, just use the whole one :)
30g sugar
1 Tbs water OR liquer/rum/brandy/kahlua

- 45g butter at room temperature

1. Melt chocolate with the water/liq. in micro or over a water bath. Carefully!
Set aside.
2. Whisk the egg yolk with sugar and water over a water bath, until it gets pale and "airy".
Whisk til cool.
3. Teaspoon by teaspoon whisk butter into the egg yolk mixture. THEN finally whisk in the chocolate. VOILA!! Smooth it over the macaroons, or a cake or whatever you want. It will harden a lot in a fridge if you put in there (- because of the butter and dark chocolate.)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gordon Ramsay's Chocolate Mousse

I saw this recipe from Gordon Ramsay in one of his books. It looked interesting because of the italian meringue and creme fraiche (good idea?!). It tastes good - it's a mixture of dense and light (there's no egg yolk or butter). It's so stable that you could put it in between cake layers (I think). You can substitute the creme fraiche for normal cream of course.

Chocolate Mousse
- Adapted and doctored from Gordon Ramsey by Marcello Valerio
150g Dark Chocolate (melted)+ a crunchy bar
100g caster sugar
1 tsp glucose (or maple, or corn suryp, or a little cream of tartar, or lemon juice)
2 tbs or 30ml water
2 egg whites
100 ml creme fraiche (at room temp.)

1. Melt the chocolate and set aside. Put the crunchy in freezer.
2. Put water into a pan. Add sugar, glucose (or someting acidic) then tilt the pan to combine to a clear liquid. Turn on medium heat. Cook sugar to 118-120C / hard ball stage, then put into whipped meringues, to make "italian meringue" (do a google if you don't know it).
3. Put the creme fraiche into melted chocolate. Then fold the mix into the meringue.
Now the optional part:
4. Bash the crunchy with a rolling pin, and fold in. Portion into your prefered serving option (cups, moulds, cake).
5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.