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CBC

When life throws beetroots at you, make this Extremely Moist Chocolate Beetroot Cake!

I bought a handful of organic beetroots with the intention of juicing it together with other vegetables and fruits. But after a few juices, i got bored and i stopped — now i know where the boys got their genes from. Hohoho! Other vegetables could easily be turned to dishes or salads but beetroots? Errrr.. unlikely, because none of us likes beetroots. The taste is too earthy for me. 1-2 slices are acceptable.. but 1 whole beet?? No thank you!

And then i remember seeing chocolate cakes made out of beetroot… The rest of the story? Well, i don’t have to spell it out now, do it? *wink*

Extremely Moist Chocolate Beetroot Cake

  • 8 ounces fresh beets
  • 7 ounces fine dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • Crème fraîche, to serve

Method

  1. Lightly butter an 8-inch springform cake pan and line the base with a round of baking parchment. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the beets, whole and unpeeled, in boiling unsalted water. Depending on their size, they will be tender within 30 to 40 minutes. Young ones may take slightly less. Drain them, let them cool under running water, then peel them, slice off their stem and root, and process in a blender or food processor until a coarse purée.
  3. Melt the chocolate, broken into small pieces, in a small bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Don’t stir.
  4. When the chocolate looks almost melted, pour the hot espresso over it and stir once. Cut the butter into small pieces — the smaller the better — and add to the melted chocolate. Push the butter down under the surface of the chocolate with a spoon (as best you can) and leave to soften.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a large mixing bowl. Stir the yolks together.
  6. Now, working quickly but gently, remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter has melted into the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir in the egg yolks. Do this quickly, mixing firmly and evenly so the eggs blend into the mixture. Fold in the beets. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the sugar. Firmly but gently, fold the beaten egg whites and sugar into the chocolate mixture. A large metal spoon is what you want here; work in a deep, figure-eight movement but take care not to over-mix. Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa.
  7. Transfer quickly to the prepared cake pan and put in the oven, decreasing the hea immediately to 325 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes. The rim of the cake will feel spongy, the inner part should still wobble a little when gently shaken. Test with a cake tester or toothpick too — if it is still gooey in the center, continue baking just until moist crumbs cling to the tester.
  8. Set the cake aside to cool (it will sink a tad in the center), loosening it around the edges with a thin icing spatula after half an hour or so. It is not a good idea to remove the cake from its pan until it is completely cold. Serve in thick slices, with crème fraîche and poppy seeds.

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CBC1

 

Verdict :

Well, if you can find the recipe here on this blog, it can only mean 1 thing. It’s bloody good… so good that it’s worth writing and posting on this blog. Yeah, these days.. this blog is more or less a recipe book for me now. I only have that much time… So, the time spent here is crucial and documenting good recipes are extremely important to me. No more other nonsense but good recipes, and perhaps, some yoga updates, travel musings and a few entertaining posts about the family or the boys. It’s getting very personal and that’s the only way i want it to be. :)

So, can i taste any of the beet root’s earthiness in it? Nahh.. not at all!

It tastes exactly like how a good chocolate cake should taste like, a damn fine one too. So it is a little reddish or pinkish.. but that’s about it, promise!

Now, go make some this weekend if you’ve got a couple of beets sitting there in the fridge. Heck, even if you don’t, go buy some beets and make it already!

 

2 years of courtship.

12 years of marriage.

It’s that time of the year again. :)

Having been together for sooooooooo long, we know each other inside out, outside in. Now i truly understand why experts claimed that couples who can brave the first 5 years together, will stay together. But of course, not entirely true because in our case, i think we needed at least 10 years to be so comfortable that during arguments, we no longer shout at each other but simply ignore, walk away and iron things out when we are all calmed and missed each other a tiny bit. Sometimes, we don’t even have to sort things out… because we have came to a very important conclusion that is, once a while, we just gotta let go and agree to disagree.

I still remember those fiery tempers of ours in the beginning of the years. So dramatic. AIYO! Hahahaha! (but that’s mostly me to be honest, hohohoho :P)

Anniversary used to be an event where the husband needed to plan and surprised me with everything. That was Phase 1 for you. Then, Phase 2 came, where i will also need to put in effort because of the lack-off from the husband. Now? It all boils down to me, the planning, the surprise.. heck, i don’t think i’d even throw a fit if the husband ever forgets! YES.. that’s how zen i am now. *grin* I think i’ve grown up! Like finally.. hurhurhurhur…

This year, i’ve arranged for a dinner date tomorrow night because i know the husband prefers the weekend.. and then, i’ve something else up my sleeves too! ;)

Ta-dahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Cheesecake

All because Darcy mentioned that he missed my cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake to be more precise, not once, not twice, but more than thrice!

I made an effort to prepare the crust in advance and hid it in the freezer. All i needed to do today was to whip up the filling and do the decoration (the inspiration came when the cake was in the oven! cos i didn’t plan on decorating in the first place. heh), after an enjoyable brunch date with Corsage and her little girl. Quite a breeze i must say.. except for the chilling part which needs no effort but very time consuming — which also means, no nice photography. By the time the cake is ready, it’d be 9pm and really, what photography at 9pm?!? (edited : i managed to do some decent shots after all. Wheeeeee!)

A soulmate :

It’s like a best friend but more. It’s the one person in the world who knows you better than anyone else. That someone who makes you a better person. No, actually they don’t make you a better person. You do that by yourself because they inspire you. A soulmate is someone you carry with you forever. It’s one person who knew you, accepted you and believed in you before anyone else did or when no one else would. And no matter what happens, you’ll always love them and nothing could ever change that.

~ Dawson’s Creek

Of course, that’s not saying that we have good times every single day. Life is not a bed of roses, realistically speaking. We have many ups and downs, we have braved many storms and tsunamis, we have many times hated each other to the core, we argued, we fought, we bickered. But, we have also laughed, grinned cheekily, teased, adored each other so much that no words could ever express it, we have and are still doing house chores together, just the 2 of us — i find it rather romantic. haha! — we make holidays fun! (i think he’s the best holiday partner i’ll ever have because not because we’re alike, but more because we know when to give and when to take. :)) Yup, we make it a point to go away for holiday together every year.. just the 2 of us minus kids, oh boy… so fun!

Some say, the best partner is someone who’s different than what you are. Well, that’s Darcy and i for you. We are, as different as chalk and cheese. At many points of time in my life, i used to think.. things will never work out for us because we are really very very different. Different hobby, different personality, different character, different passion, different parenting style… different everything! But as we mature (or in this case, i mature), i realized that the real key to a perfect relationship/marriage is not to find someone who is alike but to learn how to blend in, to give and to take, and to keep quiet when you need to (but can retaliate at a later stage when the other party has cooled down, hahaaha!).

Importantly, the husband adores (ahem, because i’m really quite adorable) and loves (ahem, because i’m rather loveable too. muaaahahahahahaa!) me to bits and pieces. He has never stopped loving me from day 1 and he is someone who will never give me up. I know it’s kinda bold for me to say that because we’ll never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow… but somehow, i just know? Hurhurhur. He makes effort to paint my life with colours. My life for the past 14 years has been outrageously colourful. I don’t remember having a single dull day whenever i’m with Darcy. He’s fun to be with. He’s funny, he’s got sense of humour and he loves teasing me. He doesn’t look it, but he is. He’s just painfully shy with outsiders and friends. Heh!

But right now, i’m pissed at him for saying things that he shouldn’t have just because he has nothing nice to say. Grrrrrrrrrr!

Happy 12th Anniversary, gip. Hope you are loving the cake, otherwise.. no more cheesecake for you! HA!

Cheesecake1

Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust

  • Oreo Cookies 140g, without the cream [i had to use digestive since i didn't have any oreos at home but do use Oreos, more visually pleasing]
  • Butter, melted 70g

Finely ground the biscuit. Pour warm butter over biscuit. Toss well to coat mixture with butter. Press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of pan. Freeze for at least half an hour.

Filling

  • 500g cream cheese
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 55% chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp Baileys, optional

 Method

Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated before adding in the cornstarch. Gradually add cream, chocolate and baileys. Be careful not to over mix because we want to incorporate as little air as possible (to prevent cracking).

Bake* at 150C for 60-75 minutes or till the edge of filling is set and center is slightly wobbly. Cool on rack for 5 minutes.

Topping

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

Using hand, whisk together (very gently to prevent air bubbles) sour cream, sugar, and coconut milk in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes at 150C.

Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 1-2 hours.

Cover and chill until cold, for at least 4 hours.

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Verdict : everyone loves the cake very much! complimented it non-stop…. but methinks, it’s because i haven’t baked any cheesecake for like.. 2 years?! HEHEHE!

Truth be told, i cringed when i saw the tarts.

How horridly ugly! :(

When i first made them, it was for a mini hi-tea at my place with 2 thick skin but nice foodie friends who insisted (well, almost) on coming over for my desserts. The date — you won’t believe it but it’s true, was set over Instagram!

I didn’t have proper photos to blog about it then. As usual, (my) food photos taken indoor are totally hideous. I know i’m not that fussy over my ugly photos sometimes, but i decided that these tarts were worth a second shot and so, second attempt it is.

The first time i made these tarts, the consistency of the ganache wasn’t fantastic. I sorta made a mental note not to use the same recipe, same method for these tarts again.

When i made them again yesterday, i decided to give the recipe another chance except that this time round, i thought of boiling the cream first before pouring it over the chocolate (was using the Chocolate Truffle way). Little did i know that, this latest method used was exactly the same method as the recipe instructed. *facepalm* I’m such a clown. No wonder the ganache, again, wasn’t fabulous! I like my ganache smooth and silky.. not rugged and rustic looking like this. :(

I thought my tarts were extremely ugly.. nothing like the gorgeous photo i remember from DH’s magazine.. but guess what? I was wrong. Lol!

After i told another 2 gfs (who wanted to try these tarts) that they were totally unappetizing looking, i went to search for the magazine to scrutinize the photo to see what the difference but boy oh boy, the tart in the magazine was exactly the mirror image of mine! La lil la..

So.

I didn’t screw up after all. HEhehehehehe!

Salted Chocolate Caramel Tarts

(makes 6)

150g all purpose flour
50g cocoa
80g icing sugar
pinch of salt
125g unsalted butter, cold and chopped
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon iced water

Filling and topping:
1 cup dulce de leche
125g single cream
175g dark chocolate chopped
sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

Method

1. Place the flour, cocoa, icing sugar, salt in a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the egg yolks and vanilla, then the iced water and process just until a dough starts to form. Transfer to a large piece of plastic wrap and bring the dough together with the tips of your fingers. Shape into a disk and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
2. Lightly butter 6 x 8cm tartlet pans. Divide the pastry into 6 parts. Between two pieces of lightly floured baking paper roll each piece of pastry into a rough circle then line the pans, removing the excess pastry. Prick the pastry with a fork then freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
3. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and cut roughly into six squares; place the foil squares, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Bake the crusts for 10-15 minutes longer or until cooked through. Cool completely in the pans.
4. Divide the dulce de leche between the pastry cases and, using the back of a spoon, spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Place the cream in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. Spread the tartlets with the ganache and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Sprinkle with salt to serve.

Note : as you can see from the above picture, i used different tart case sizes, so i’ve got more than 6 tarts.

(recipe from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 62)

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Earlier on, i totally screwed up 2 portions of chocolate crust (i doubled it, aiyo!). I blitzed the dry ingredients with egg yolks and whatnots without the butter! What a bummer. But I persisted and kept my fingers crossed as i add in the butter after the ice water. The result? I got a dough that is wetter than a brioche dough!

Not just that i tell ya. The entire dough was sandy-like-feel! However, i refused to throw it away and these were the bakes that i managed to come up with — mini and giant chocolate truffle tart, spiked with Baileys, with the screwed up dough. Heh. Absolutely fugly, but good. Very good. PHEW!

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