The Chocolate Fondant or Molten Lava Chocolate cake is one of the most loved dessert items out there. This is probably the most asked about dessert from people to me, asking if I can make this. The excitement and anticipation of wondering if it will be perfectly molten inside is what draws in the audience. You can see the faces light up when they crack open the fondant cake with there spoon and they see that thick, rich and decadent chocolate "lava" flow out from the core. (thus also know as the lava cake) Its like your first kiss, you will always remember where you had your first chocolate fondant and how amazing every bite was. For those who had a bad first experience and never had it again, I strongly advice that you give this a go.
With this recipe I decided to add something a little different to all my dear friends who absolutely love caramel. You simply make a batch of Butter Scotch sauce and allow it to set. Once it has set is mostly firm, use a parisian scoop to make small balls and place onto a baking tray with silicon paper on. Place into your freezer and allow to become completely frozen. You can use this for many different sauces or filling to make your chocolate fondant your own.
180C/356F for 6-7 minutes
Caramel Centered Chocolate Fondant
What is Transfer Paste. . .
Transfer paste is a paste consisting of four simple ingredients and the coloring or flavouring of your choice. You are able to either pipe different design onto silicon paper with a piping bag. Or you can simply spread the paste onto the whole piece of silicon paper and create patterns but removing the paste with a scraper. The only limitation this great paste has, is the limitations of your imagination and artistic ability. As you might have seen with my previous post of the Japoniase I created a green pattern on the outside of the meringue. The way I managed to do this was by simply spreading the paste on the silicon paper and then using the back of a spoon and scraped off the extra paste. I also used macha to not only flavour the paste but also give it that stunning green color.
Note: If you wish to make your transfer paste a different flavour, simply substitute that for the macha. If its a liquid only use half of the amount so the paste does not get too loose.
You can also use this for Swiss Rolls.
I would love to see what kind of pattern you guys come up with. So simply go post it on my Facebook page or tweet it and mention @chefdewetv in the tweet. You can also find me on Instagram @chefdewetv.
Japonaise, the first thing that might come to mind is whether its origins is based from Japan. It would be a good guess as "Japonaise" in French does mean "Japan" or "From Japan". But in this case there is no direct connection between this Meringue and Japan. So I decided to play around with this confusing yet interesting meringue and made it more Japanese. The way this idea come about was when I was asked to come up with new desserts for the menu at work. As I am working in a Japanese Restaurant I remembered this meringue from back in college. I think it stood out too me because I also first though it would have come from Japan or at least have some sort of Japanese history behind it. At first there was only one popular Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate, matcha. Matcha is the Japanese name for finely milled green tea leafs which have recently exploded into a huge hype, similar to that of Red Velvet.
The taste of good quality macha for me would be similar to that of seaweed or rather you would pick up some sort of "ocean taste" or "fishy taste" as some people say. This is what we who believe in the term umami could call umami. The meaning of umami when all your taste sensations are stimulated at the same time. This includes sweet, sour, bitter and salt
The other truly Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate is know as Anko, which is Azuki beans (red beans) which have been cooked till soft and then pureed. It is then sweetened and used in many traditional Japanese pastries. The way I would incorporate this unique flavour into my dessert is simple. I would start by making my own anko, this way you can control the sweetness and don't have to worry about it being over or under the desired sweetness. I would then incorporate it into a Diplomat Cream. Diplomat cream is the combination of whipped cream and creme Pastissiere. This would give you a good smooth and light texture which would go well with the slightly crunchy meringue. I have yet to experiment with this as I have not yet had the opportunity.
So now that you know a bit more about Japonaise and the two major ingredients in Japanese pastry world, Im now going to give you the Recipe for Japonaise. Once I have the chance to try the filling I will then also post that recipe, but for now I will just provide you with my first filling attempt.
160C/320F for 8-10 minute
This is just for you to first perfect the plain Japonaise and then later this week I will place the Filling Recipe as well as the Transfer Paste which allows you to make different patterns on the meringue. Its also in the Transfer paste which I used the matcha, so don't get confused if you don't see it in the recipe.
Choux pastry is a great recipe to have in you cooking arsenal, it is a versatile product that can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. Depending on your piping capability you will be able to pipe eclairs, profiteroles, choux buns and even choux pretzels. Making classic pastries such as Croquembouche, St. Honore, éclaires, Choux Swans and Paris-brest. If you are more of a savoury person, use all of the classics and use them in savoury applications. For example instead of filling the profiteroles with creme patisserie, use a fulling of cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill. Or use the St. Honore as a base for your next sautéed Mushroom medley with fresh ribbons of baby asparagus and a mushroom stock Veloute. Or the next time you want to make your own gnocchi, you will be able to make your own Choux pastry. Choux pastry truly has an endless amount of uses that can make your next dinner party that bit more Extraordinary.
This is one of the simplest prepared sauces which you can prepare in under 3 minutes. The word Meuniere translates literally to "miller's wife". Meuniere also refers to both a sauce and a cooking method used mostly for delicate fish. The cooking method is when you dredge the fillet of fish in seasoned flour. The reason for this it to protect the fish due to its delicate nature. Later on I will post a great fish Meuniere recipe with french style mint peas but today I'm going to show you how to make just the sauce. The reason I love this sauce is because it's sharp and refreshing due to the lemon juice, and is also silky smooth and velvety from the butter. The salty cured capers also add a lovely dimension to the sauce which would otherwise make the sauce flat if not incorporated.
This is going to be my last post from South Africa. My next post will be when I'm in Kuwait and starting my next culinary journey in the local cuisine as well as in Japanese cuisine! I'm very excited and eager to share it with all of you.
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
Potatoes and onions are two ingredients which don't always get the respect they deserve. These two ingredients are almost always the basis of most dishes. The potatoes are used as the starch component on the plate, which serves as the delivery and bulking component of the dish. The onion being the base of most sauces out there, forming the foundation of the sauce, and we all know if you don't have a good foundation, you're going to run into trouble later on. So I decided to make these two the working horse of the kitchen and the stars of the dish today. Using only a few herbs to add a bit of flare and a dash of wine and cream for a bit of body. This is a great hearty dish, perfect for a cold summers day. I've also paired the soup with the crunchy element of potato tuile's, to add a different texture and colour to the plate. For the garnishes I've used a sprig of Rosemary and some Oregano flowers just to bring a bit of green to the party. Some chopped chives or even spring onions sprinkled over the top would also do wonders to the presentation of the dish.
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
When you work with some recipes you might notice that they sometimes tell you to bring your sugar to a soft ball stage for an Italian Meringue, or a Hard Crack stage for dipping fruit in to give it a glistening coat of sugar. Yet sometimes they don't include the temperatures to which you need to boil the sugar to in order to getit to that stage. Well now all you need to do is refer back to my website. This information will be available under Culinary Glossary & Ingredients and then Sugar. This will also give you a few uses for some of the different stages of boiling, so if you would like to play around making sugar Angel Hair, now you know to which temperature you need to take your sugar. Also just remember when you work with sugar it retains heat very well and will continue to cook even once its been removed from the heat, so you have to anticipate a minute ahead of time, or place it on a cold surface straight away other wise it will over cook.
Please be very careful when working with sugar, its not nice having a lump of blistering hot sugar fall on you!
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
So this is another one of my own inventions, and I had to bake about 8 breads before I got all my ingredient percentages right in order to get the desired consistency in my final product. All the Rye breads I've bought all seemed to be the same, they were all very heavy and dense. I personally don't like having rye bread like that, I would have preferred it to be a bit more aerated with a nice crisp crust. So I took it upon myself to make the kind of rye bread I would enjoy having. But lets first talk a bit about the main things that make rye flour different to that of normal white flour. The two main components which jump out to me is the flavour profile as well as the significantly lower gluten content. The flavour of rye flour is much more prominent than that of white flour, thus rye seeds are also used to make whisky, vodka and even beers. The significantly reduced amount of gluten has a huge effect on the elasticity of the dough, it doesn't allow stretching and instead breaks. You will see when working with rye flour it resembles something more to that of a thick paste than dough. This makes it difficult to work with when your making your bread. Unlike when using white flour where the dough becomes stretched and strengthens when you knead it, rye flour simply does not strengthens at all. This causes a lot of people to add loads of white flour when they make their rye bread, which changes the ratios completely, meaning they won't get what the recipe intended at the end product. Making bread is a science, so when you make this recipe keep in mind not to add loads of white flour, simply combine all your ingredients as directed in the method and work it till everything is well incorporated.
Another very important aspect to remember when baking bread and intending to increase the volume of bread is that you can't just simply double or triple all the ingredients. Each ingredient is given a percentage of the complete dough, and to ensure you get what the recipe intended you need to adhere to those percentages. If you just double or triple the ingredients, you will not have the correct consistency. This will leave you with a dough that is either over hydrated or under hydrated, and in return you will add more or less flour than what was intended. You will have noticed that in the final product your dough is very dense, is not well aerated or is even under baked because of this.
I will be posting 2 pictures of examples where I increased the original recipe to 3.6kg. If you do not understand what I have done to get the new amounts simply leave a comment and I will be glad to help you out. I will discuss this topic at length on one of my other posts in the near future. In this recipe I've made use of a Poolish method (which is a loose preferment) to gain two different advantages from it, this being increased flavour and gluten development. When you make a preferment, you allow for the yeast and the flour to create a more intense flavour profile. I have also used a small amount of whole wheat flour in the recipe, and made use of the little amount of gluten in there to create some sort of a stretch in the final dough, thus by using it in the preferment I'm allow it to form gluten.
Note: The ingredients used in the Poolish method are not extra but instead are from the overall ingredients. Please don't use separate ingredient for the Poolish method.
Poolish Method (these amount are to be taken from the overall amount)
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
Demi-glace is one of the most popular sauces used in restaurants to go along with roast meats. In the food industry, this sauce is made in very large batches as it's easily stored in the freezer and can last for prolonged periods of time. When they make the sauce it can take up to 18-24 hours to finish. The reason for the prolonged preparations time is due to the huge size pot used to make it. They have to reduce the sauce by at least half, some reduce it even further to create a more intense flavour. ( you can imagine how long it will take to reduce 50L down to 25L) The sauce consist of two different parts, first part being a clear beef stock and the second part being espagnole sauce. (espagnole sauce is essentially a thickened brown beef stock with tomato paste added as well as a brown roux). So today I'm going to give you a quick and easy recipe for the espagnole sauce which you will then turn into a Demi-glace sauce. (Sauce making is a true skill and art form, in hotel kitchens and some restaurant there are chefs which only make sauces and nothing else, they are called Saucier Chef.)
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I'm a chef at heart and by trade, enjoy what I do and have a passion for the culinary world.