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MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.
My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
100g of millet groats
200g of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
250ml of almond milk
250g of fresh cranberries
juice and peel of one orange
half a teaspoon of grated ginger
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.
Enjoy your meal!
By Lisa Shock
The basic formula for these cakes was developed by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman in an effort to help him out. I did a bit of research, and have found many variations. Early variants generally involve using less cocoa, which I cannot recommend. Later variants involve using cold water instead of boiling, adding salt, and additional leaveners. I personally do not feel that any additional salt is needed, as mayonnaise and that famous, tangy brand of salad dressing (sometimes the label just says 'Dressing') both contain a fair amount of salt. If you are using homemade mayonnaise or a low sodium product, an eighth teaspoon of salt may boost the flavor a bit. And, of course, somewhere along the way fans who prefer a certain salad dressing over mayonnaise started using it to make this cake. Nowadays, the Hellman's website has a different formula -one with added eggs and baking powder. I have not tried this newer formulation.
Some versions of this recipe specify sifted cake flour. This will result in a very light cake with virtually no structural integrity, due to the paucity of eggs in this recipe compared to a regular cake. Cupcakes made this way give beautifully light results. However, every time I try to make a traditional 8" double layer cake with cake flour, I experience collapse. I recommend AP flour or at least a mix of cake and pastry flour.
I have never made this with a gluten-free flour replacer. This recipe does not have very much structural integrity and as such does not make a good candidate for a gluten-free cake.
I have made this cake many times, the type of sandwich spread you choose will affect the outcome. Made with mayonnaise, the cake has a good chocolate flavor and moistness. Made with that famous, tangy, off-white salad dressing that gets used as a sandwich spread, the cake has a subtle bit of extra brightness to the flavor. If one chooses to use a vegan mayonnaise, the result is tasty but lacking a little in structure; I would bake this in a square pan and frost and serve from the pan.
The cocoa you use will also affect the flavor. For a classic, homey flavor use a supermarket brand of cocoa. To add a little sophistication, use better, artisan type cocoa and use chocolate extract instead of the vanilla extract.
Supposedly, the traditional frosting for this cake should have a caramel flavor. Look for one where you actually caramelize some sugar first. Modern recipes for the icing seem like weak imitations to me; using brown sugar as the main flavor instead of true caramel.
Chocolate Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Cake
makes enough for two 8" round pans, or a 9" square (about 7 cups of batter)
2 ounces/56g unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa
1 cup/236g boiling water
1 teaspoon/4g regular strength vanilla extract
3/4 cup/162g mayonnaise, vegan mayonnaise, or salad dressing (the tangy, off-white, sandwich spread type dressing)
10.5ounces/300g all-purpose flour
7 ounces/200g sugar
0.35ounce/10g baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Grease or spray two 8" round pans or an equivalent volume square or rectangle.
Place the cocoa in a medium (4-5 cup) bowl. Add the hot water and stir with a fork to break up any clumps. Allow to cool down a little, then add the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise or salad dressing spread. Beat well to eliminate lumps. In the bowl of an electric mixer or larger regular bowl if making by hand, sift in the flour and add the sugar and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture. Mix until the batter has an even color. Pour immediately into the pans. If making two 8" rounds, weigh them to ensure they contain equal amounts.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center of the top springs back when touched lightly. (The toothpick test does NOT work well on this moist cake!) Allow the cake to cool a little and shrink from the sides of the pan before removing. Removal is easier while still a little warm.
Good with or without frosting.
Good beginner cake for kids to make.
I prepared two versions: the first one with desiccated coconut and blueberries and the second with dark chocolate and strawberries. Choose your favorite dessert or go crazy and make your own version.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g of white chocolate
100g of blueberries
200ml of 30% sweet cream
200ml of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
Melt 150g of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8 cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the white chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the white chocolate and the desiccated coconut and stir thoroughly. Wash the blueberries and drain them. Put the first chocolate circles onto a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of blueberries and once again chocolate, cream and blueberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top.
Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of cocoa
a couple of strawberries
200ml of 30% sweet cream
200ml of mascarpone cheese
Melt 150g of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Draw six 8cm circles on a sheet of baking paper. Put 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate on each of them and smear it around to cover the whole circle. Leave them at room temperature to congeal and then put them in the fridge for 2 hours. Melt the rest of the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Whisk the cream. Add the mascarpone cheese after whisking. Add the dark chocolate and the cocoa and stir thoroughly. Wash the strawberries and remove the shanks. Leave 3-4 nice bits of fruit for decoration, and cut the rest into small pieces. Put the first chocolate circles on a plate, then a layer of the cream and a couple of strawberry pieces and then once again chocolate, cream and strawberries. Put the last chocolate circle on the top. Decorate with the rest of the cream, fruit and peppermint leaves. Serve chilled.
Chocolate cake with plums
The first cake I ever dared to bake by myself was a chocolate cake. I have since baked it many times, always using the same recipe, and many times I have spoiled it at the beginning of preparation. It is necessary to cool down the chocolate mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. On a hot summer day this process is very long, so I accelerated it by putting the pot with the mixture into some cold water in the kitchen sink. Many times, by mistake, I turned on the tap and poured water onto the cooling mixture. In hindsight these situations were amusing, but at the time it wasn't funny.
This chocolate cake is excellent without any additives. You can enrich it with your favourite nuts or butter icing. Today I added some plums to the top of the cake. It was great and its sweet chocolate-plum aroma lingered long in my home.
Ingredients (25cm cake tin):
200g of flour
150g of butter
3 tablespoons of cocoa
120g of brown sugar
15ml of almond milk
100g of dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Heat the oven up to 180C. Smooth the cake tin with the butter and sprinkle with dark cocoa.
Put the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and chocolate into the pan. Heat it until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients have blended together well. Leave the mixture to cool down. Add the egg, flour and baking soda and mix them in. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones. Arrange the plum halves skin side down on top of the cake. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
Lisa's Copycat recipe for Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter chip cookies
Serves 12 as Dessert.
After a few attempts, I think I finally cracked, or came close to cracking the Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter chip cookies. Mind you, I doubt I nailed their exact measurements, and maybe they use a flour other than AP (cake, pastry, or combos of flours), but they sure look, taste and 'feel' just like them. Enjoy!
Lisa's Levain Bakery copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (**Yields 1 dozen cookies)
2 sticks 'cold and cubed' unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups AP flour (feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube.. but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don't fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
1 cup walnuts (I used macadamia since I was out of walnuts) Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated, then add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each.. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw'ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18-20 minutes, as I prefer a less raw interior), until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don't immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
***Lisa's Levain Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut butter Chip Cookies (**Yields 1 dozen cookies)
2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 to 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well-incorporated, then beat in cocoa powder. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Gently fold in remaining ingredients. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each, and place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven 16-20 minutes depending on how gooey and raw'ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18 minutes, as I prefer a less raw'ish' interior), taking care not to overbake. . Let cool on a rack and store what you don't immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
** - The Levain Bakery uses 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie.. If you want 12 cookies out of the above recipes, a little over 4 oz per cookie (4.1 to 4.2 oz. Use a kitchen scale) will get you that. If you want to use 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie, you'll probably get only 6-8 cookies. However, a little over 4 oz makes a cookie just as thick and huge, so you don't even notice the difference.
*** - Regarding the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. I used Dutch-process cocoa. If you use basic, natural unsweetened cocoa (you know, your basic Hershey's in the brown can or whatever), add 1/4 tsp baking soda to the dry ingredients. Also, if they're too 'chocolatey' and rich for you, use only 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and add 1/4 cup extra flour.
Note1 - The Levain Bakery doesn't use vanilla extract in their cookies, as they feel it's unecessary. However, some feel you need it. You can add 1 tsp to each recipe if desired. Just add it after each egg is incorporated.
Note2 - If you like a more 'brown sugary' chocolate chip cookie, increase the brown sugar and decrease the white sugar, so you still have a total of 1 1/2 cups sugar total.
Keywords: Dessert, Cookie, Easy, American, Chocolate, Snack
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