Category Archives: #31 march-april: layers

march-april: beet panna cotta with meyer lemon mousse and chocolate crumbs

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I have to admit that the thing that drew me to this dessert recipe was the color! The hot pink color comes from beets and is completely natural. I also love desserts that are unique and incorporate savory components. I’ve seen several recipes for brownies and cakes that use beets, but this was definitely the first time I’ve seen them in panna cotta!

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The recipe paired the panna cotta with a layer of meyer lemon curd and I also wanted to add a layer of crunch. I decided on chocolate to pair with the earthy flavor of the beets.

I have to say that this dish was really tasty! The flavors and textures came together really well. It’s also a really beautiful and elegant looking dessert and is something I can’t wait to make again!

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Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

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March – April: Constance’s Brooklyn Blackout Stout Cake

Brooklyn Blackout. I first tried this little gem when I was in NYC over Christmas at Brooklyn’s Ovenly. The cake calls for Brooklyn’s Brewery Chocolate Stout which has a nice, caramel flavour, balanced with really dark dutch processed pudding buttercream.

Baking in Hong Kong can be a hassle at times when it comes to sourcing ingredients. I opted to just pop into the local beer house by my flat with a large bottle and asked them to fill it up with Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout. It was served, coupled with a few odd looks but I did return with a few slices for them to sample.

The recipe yields a two layer 9 – inch cake, but I opted to make a three tiered 6 inch cake. You can find the recipe in the Ovenly’s Bake Book or here. I had some batter left over, so I made a cupcake, threw it into the food processor and topped it off with cake bits and shaved chocolate.

The cake didn’t turn out as dark as the Ovenly one, as I used regular Dutch processing powder rather than Dark Dutch processing powder. What I noticed between the two was using dark dutch powder would have provided the bittersweet taste that would compliment the chocolate stout cake. However, it was still very rich. The recipe also had a salted caramel buttercream version  – which i would like to try out next time.

Well, there you have it – chocolate, beer and pudding buttercream – layered in all its glory.

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march-april: kerri’s chocolate layer birthday cake

Our little man turned one yesterday (already!), and this past weekend saw him have his very first birthday party! I catered the whole event, starting to cook and bake what could be frozen a couple of weeks ago. I decided on the menu pretty quickly. But for so long, I couldn’t decide on the birthday cake. It had to be super special, right?

After searching and searching for the perfect recipe in what spare time I had, I finally came across one at the last minute that sounded super easy, didn’t need a big mixer (I’m surviving on a stick blender at the moment), and would look good as a naked layer cake. {Because all I knew was that I wanted it to be a naked layer cake!}

So here it is, the little man got a chocolate layer cake with vanilla frosting, topped off with one of Mummy’s favourite chocolate bars – Violet Crumble! Sounds so simple, but it worked out quite decadent.

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The cake was moist and not too sweet, and being made with oil, the texture was not too crumbly so it held up well. The sweetness came from the frosting, which maybe next time I would make a touch less sweet. But all in all, I’m quite proud of my little one’s first birthday cake! :) He seemed to enjoy it too (well, the small bites of cake I let him have)!

Many guests said it was their favourite item of the day :) (Though what does that say about all my other food? Hehe)

{Please excuse the lack of photos – one super stressed baker trying to get it perfect forgot to take any during the process!}

The cake recipe is from here (thanks, Martha), the frosting recipe from here (thanks, Marcus). But you can find them both here, adjusted for my creation.

march-april: layers

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Layer upon layer upon layer…

Our theme for the next two months is…
LAYERS!

It seems to be a bit of a craze these days, so keep watch and see how we re-create our own sweet layers!