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
There are three different cakes I hold near and dear to my heart and Carrot Cake is one of them. And not to brag but I do think this is one of the best recipes for carrot cake out there. What makes it a little bit more decadent you ask? Well it's the banana I use in the recipe. I also like the texture this cake has, it being riddled with big chunks of pecan nuts. Then comes the sweet tangy cream cheese frosting, not too much and not too little but just the right amount. I finish it off with some fresh fruits and a sprinkle of pecan nuts. I feel it's truly everything you could want in a cake, but then again that's just me!
So as the title of this blog mentions, we have our very first featured baker on Chef Dewet Visser. He is no ordinary baker, neither is he a professional baker, but instead he is my best friend, Craig Woolfson. He baked a cake intending to make his gran's 80th birthday a memorable one. He asked me for some assistance with what cake to bake and we finally decided that he should do the Carrot Cake that I had in my Booklet. He went out and got all the ingredients he needed, followed my step by step instructions, and recorded the process. So today I decided to share this with my fellow bakers and followers of my website. This was his first time baking a Carrot cake of this size so keep that in mind when you see the final product. With that being said, anyone who would like to feature on my website simply email me at email@example.com and you could have the spotlight on Chef Dewet Visser for the day.
1. Preheat the oven to 160oC/320oF.
2. Place the oil, eggs, and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl and mix well until you have a light, thick consistency.
3. Add in all your dry ingredients (Including the nuts) which you need to sift at least once.
4. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
5. Next add in your carrots and bananas, giving it another good mix.
5. Grease your cake pan, adding silicon paper to the bottom, and finally add your mixture. Place into your preheated oven of 160oC/320oF for 30-35 minutes. It should have a nice golden top once complete.
6. Once out of the oven, allow to cool and finally place into the fridge while you prepare your frosting.
White Chocolate & Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Place the larger amount of sugar, water and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Continue to boil until the syrup is at 114 - 116oC/237.5 - 240.8oF (This is known as soft ball stage).
2. Place your white chocolate over a bain-marie to melt. The water should not be boiling too rapidly but instead just simmering to create steam (If its too hot the chocolate can burn and you wont be able to use it! Also don't move it around too much just stir every now and then).
3. While waiting for your stock syrup to reach soft ball stage whip up your egg whites. When you reach medium peak stage start to add in the smaller amount of sugar (It must be castor sugar), adding it 1 teaspoon at a time while whisking until you reach stiff peak stage.
4. Once syrup is at soft ball stage start to pour at a slow steady rate into your mixing bowl with the meringues, whisking the entire time. The end result should be a glossy meringue with stiff peaks (This is known as a boiled meringue or Italian Meringue).
5. Remove the meringue from the mixing bowl and place soft butter and the zest into a bowl and mix until pale in colour.
6. Next add your cream cheese and follow by pouring your melted chocolate into the bowl with the butter. Whisk well (Your chocolate should not be straight off the bain-marie, it should rest for at least 1 minute before being added).
7. Now adding 1/3 at a time, fold the mixture into your Italian Meringue to create the final product.
8. Allow to rest in the fridge for 5 minutes and then you're ready to frost your cake!
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.
I enjoy having fresh clean foods while I watch Rugby or football games. My favourite snack to make must be "Nachos", I simply love the simplicity of nachos and how incredibly easy it is to quickly whip up. The main things that attract me to this dish is the use of completely fresh and clean ingredients. But people seem to rather go out and buy the salsa and guacamole ready made from the store, which I do not under stand. Firstly the guacamole has this unpleasant green color that I've never seen when I make my own. Then when it comes to the salsa, the ingredients simply don't have the crunchy juicy texture they had when they were made. But today with this recipe I hope I can inspire people to rather make all of this at home. So they can enjoy this wonderful dish the way it was ment too. . . Fresh! I have decide to give you a recipe for the traditional salsa and then another recipe which makes use of mango as the main component. The mango salsa is perfect for beautifully grilled salmon or even as a condiment for a spicy curry.
I will be posting a recipe for home made corn nacho chips and guacamole soon so keep an eye out for that.
Today I have decided to keep it simple with a easy home made chili oil. It does how ever take a bit of time, but at least you don't have to stand over it the entire time. Its also a very small ingredients list as well as amount of steps in the method. Some people choose to simply use this oil for a colourful decoration and some for actually enhancing the entire dish. There are plenty of ways to play around with this easy to make and long lasting oil. You can choose to incorporate more of a complex flavour profile by adding different spices, one really nice one for me is the Rosemary oil and mint combination for drizzling over roasted leg of lamb. As I mentioned earlier, this is a product that you can easily store in a air tight bottle or container and it will last you a good 8-12 months. As for what oil is the best to use when making your own flavoured infused oil, it should be a tasteless oil with little to no taste of its own. Some of the oils I would recommend include a good quality sunflower seed oil, canola oil or a good quality vegetable oil. While doing this you might also want to make use of you thermometer to ensure that your oil does not get too hot,other wise the ingredients will burn and you will be left with a bitter tasting oil.
So today I am bringing you a recipe that I was lucky enough to get from a friend that stay's in Germany. The amounts are estimates as her mother simply said you must be able to feel when the dough feels right. Being a chef and a passionate baker my self I understand what she means by that. It the same with me when I cook at home, I never use exact amounts of each ingredients. But rather add this or that till I feel that the taste and texture is at the correct level or desire. But too make it a bit easier for all of you, I have decided to make the amounts as accurate as possible so you don't have to guess.
As for the pumpkin to use when making this fabulous bread is really up too you. I would use a sweeter pumpkin just to ensure that the flavour is properly carried through out the bread. You can also prepare the pumpkin two different ways. The first way is to simply boil it until it is soft and you are able to mash it into a smooth paste. The second way is to roast it in the oven. This method will make the end product a bit sweeter as the natural sugars will be caramelise while in the dry cooking method. (I prefer to roast it, not just because of the extra sweetness but also because the paste will not be as wet) Too spice up this bread, great spices to add is cinnamon, nutmeg or even cardamon. To make it more of a sweeter bread, you can add a it more brown treacle sugar and a hint of vanilla extract.
So with out a further a due here is the recipe and method to make this tasty bread. Enjoy and don't be shy to share your pictures and results.
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
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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.