Chocolate sponge cake with dark chocolate ganache decorated with homemade oreos

October 24th, 2019 § 0

If you are missing a classic snack, here it is the dark chocolate cookies sandwiched with butter vanilla cream fillings, nowadays called oreos!

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 t.vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Beat the butter and sugar until smooth about 2 minutes. Add vanilla.

Add eggs and dark cacao powder and mix on low speed.

Add flour gradually until the dough turns a clean ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

Be careful you might not need all the flour. arrange the dough of needs add more flour or if it is crunchy add a bit butter.

Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough about 1 cm thick.

By the help of a cutter cut on round shapes and place the cookies to the parchment placed oven tray.

Bake at preheated 180° C for 9 to 11 minutes until crisp around and done in the centers. Be careful not to overbake!

for the filling:

  • 40 gr. butter
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat all the ingredients until smooth.

Sandwich the cookies with the filling.

Today I used these homemade (oreos) cookies to decorate my chocolate sponge cake covered with dark chocolate ganache without heavy cream.

for the sponge cake:

  • 9 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 T. cocoa powder
  • 3 t.vanilla
  • 3 t. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, about 5 minutes using a mixer.

Add flour, cocoa and baking powder and continue to mix.

Pour the mixture into a parchment lined ring mold.

Bake for about 30 minutes until firm. The best way to check is to use a toothpick , when it comes out clean you can take the cake out.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.

for the bitter chocolate ganache without heavy cream:

  • 10 T. good quality butter
  • 350 gr milk
  • 800 gr bitter choclate couverture

For the smootest chocolate ganache use a good quality chocolate.

Chop or grate the couverture chocolate into small pieces and place it to a saucepan.

Place milk and butter into a sauceopan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until butter melts completely and tiny bubbles comes out.

Do not allow the milk to boil, not to burn.

Pour the hot milk to the chocolate saucepan.

Stir until the chocolate melts completely and the mixture will be glossy and smooth.

The ganache will be liquid so put it to a piping bag and place it to the refrigerator to have a velvet texture.

for the assemble:

Carefully and slowly cut the sponge cake into layers.

Set the bottom aside and put the top into the bottom of the ring mold.

Moist the cake with Rum and orange jam mixture syrup- which is optional.

Spread the dark chocolate ganache with piping bag.

Repeat the same for the remaining layers.

Place the bottom layer on top and remove the ring mold from the cake gently.

Start spreading the ganache to top also coat the sides with ganache.

Use a fork or a spatula for the sides of the cake for decoration.

Decorate top with home made oreos cookies and strawberries.

Summer with friends

August 31st, 2019 § 0

For the plum filling:

  • 500 gr plums (deseeded)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (depends on plum, if it is sour add more sugar by tasting it)
  • cinnamon
  • Place the plums into a sauce pan and cook. Do not add water.

    When soften add sugar and cinnamon and continue to cook.

    When thickens set aside to cool.

    For the dough:

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • baking powder
  • 200 gr. butter
  • 2 T yogurt
  • cinnamon
  • Combine the flours, cinnamon and room temperature butter in a mixing bowl.

    Mix them until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

    Add yogurt, eggs and baking powder. Knead well.

    Shape into a ball.

    Wrap and refrigerate for half an hour for easier rolling. Divide into two balls.

    Roll out one ball pastry and line a greased 23 cm flan tin.

    Pour the plum mixture on it.

    Take the other chilled ball dough.

    Dust rolling pin and work surface lightly with flour. Roll dough to a uniform thickness. Roll to a circle almost like your pie tin. Using the plastic strip cutter, form the upper dough and carefully place it on top of the plum mixture.

    If you don’t have a cutter, simply cut the dough into thin strips and place it on plum mixture.

    With the strips make a cage design. Gently press into form of tin.

    Make a strip for the edge of the tin.

    Bake at 180° C preheat oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown.

    Spanish churros with Spanish hot chocolate

    August 12th, 2019 § 0

    The history of Spanish churros are controversial, although this simple recipe dates back to 16th century.

    It is told that the nomadic Spanish shepherds found them or some say Portugese explorers brought a very similar recipe of Churros from China to Spain so the Spanish explorers brought Churros to every port of the world. By this way, it became a local favourite and many countries still claim Churros as their own.

    The custom of churros con chocolate began, after the Spanish explorers brought famous Aztec chocolate to their country.

    In Spain especially in Andalusia, fresh churros are sold by street vendors, cafeterias or even fine restaurants that can be eaten any time of the day dipped with hot chocolate which is a favorite Churro accompaniment.

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup flour (sifted)
    • 2 T butter
    • 1/4 t. baking powder
    • olive oil for frying

    Put the oil to a large heavy bottomed frying pan. Be sure that it has enough oil that they float freely while frying.

    Pre heat the oil.

    In a medium sauce pan pour 1 cup of water and butter. Bring to a boil.

    Once it comes to a rolling boil, stir in the flour and baking powder. Be sure that the water is boiling for the dough to have crispy churros.

    Quickly mix the dough with a spatula. You can also beat the mixture with an electric mixer to get a smooth and soft dough.

    Place the dough in a pastry bag and pipe the dough directly to the frying oil.

    Fry the churros until golden brown and then turn the other side to have a crispiness and a beautiful golden colour.

    Remove from the heat and place on a paper towel to drain for few seconds.

    for hot chocolate:

    • 100 gr Spanish chocolate (Valor at least 60% )
    • 1 cup of milk (use your hot chocolate cup as a measurement)

    Melt the bittersweet chocolate with bain-marie method. If you don’t have a bain-marie chocolate machine simply put water in a thick bottom pan. Inside this pan, place another pan with the couverture chocolate. Chocolate needs to be melted at a very low temperature. When the chocolate melts, pour the milk and stir well. When it comes to a boiling point, share it to the cups.

    Crack cookies with walnut dipped in chocolate

    July 10th, 2019 § 0

    • 3/4 cup walnut
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup cacao powder
    • 200 gr butter (room temperature)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 t. cinnamon
    • 1/2 t. baking soda
    • 1 t. vanilla powder

    Chop nuts pressing gently.

    In a large bowl combine flour, cacao powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, cinnamon powder and chopped walnuts.

    Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and stir until creamy.

    Add dried ingredients  including chopped walnuts with butter mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

    Roll dough into walnut shaped balls and flatten balls slightly with your thumb leaving an indentation in the center.

    Place the cookies into the pachment paper lined baking sheet with sufficent space between them.

    Refrigerate 30 minutes.

    Bake at preheated 180° C for about 15 minutes.

    Cool cookies completely before transferring to a plate.

    for chocolate filling:

    • 100 gr bitter chocolate

    Break chocolate and place into a bowl. With bain marie method, sit over a pan of simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt.

    Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of this filling into the center of each cookie depending on the size of your indentations taking care not to overflow the thumbprint.

    Let cool at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours.

    Home made yogurt starter with three different methods

    February 20th, 2019 § 0

    Yogurt is a fermented milk which has Turkish roots as it is understood from its Turkish name used almost all around the world. Yogurt in Turkish means to thicken or coagulate. The nomadic Turks not only had found this milk derived nutritient fermented food, but also they were the first to evaluate yogurt’s medicinal use for a variety of illness and symptoms such as diarrhea and to alleviate the discomfort of sunburned skin.

    A homemade yogurt is a fermented food that delivers the beneficial probiotics we need for our health. It contains many of the same beneficial nutrients as milk, like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A. Furthermore, in its traditional form, yogurt is a nutrient dense food that is rich in high-quality protein, beneficial probiotics for cancer-fighting.

    Nowadays, one should be wise to look beyond the packaging to realize most commercialized yogurts that are sold in grocery stores which contain added sugars, artificial ingredients and fillers, but has a minimum amount of probiotics, sometimes even without probiotics.

    Homemade yogurt with home made starter is an excellent way of getting probiotics into your system without the unnecessary chemicals and flavourings found in commercialized yogurts. All you need is preferably a high quality of milk or else a pastorized milk but not UHT milk as it never thickens. If the milk is thick in consistency (creamy), then the yogurt starter (curd) also sets with thick consistency.

    I tried 3 different methods to get a home made starter and all of them was perfect! Method:

  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 fresh lemon juice
  • Boil the milk until it simmers once. While letting cool for a while, pour it to a glass pot. When the milk is warm enough that you can put your little finger on the bottom of the pot , pour 1 lemon juice to thelukewarm milk.

    Cover the starter curd with a tap and then cover the pot with a towel tissue. Keep it in a warm place for 12 hours to set.

    During winter it takes a little bit more time to set.

    II.nd Method:

  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 2 fresh red chilies
  • Simmer the milk with the same way and when milk turns warm, transfer it to a glass pot.

    Drop the red chilies in lukewarm milk. Be sure that the stalk of the chilies are submerged in the milk. The enzymes of the red chili stalk helps the milk to convert it to yogurt.

    Close the tap and cover with towel tissue and set aside in a warm place for at least 12 hours. After set remove the red chilies from the glass pot.

    III.rd Method:

  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 8 raw chickpeas
  • Simmer the milk with the same way and when milk turns warm, transfer it to a glass pot.

    Drop 8 raw chickpeas in lukewarm milk.

    Close the tap of the glass pot and cover it with a towel tissue. Put it in a warm place like oven -but unheated- for at least 12 hours to set. After set remove the chickpeas.

    After having your starter, keep it in the refrigerator as it gets thicker in the fridge. Also if you find water on top of the pot, it won’t condense but it densifies more inside the refrigerator.

    After the starters thickens, take a wooden spoon and check if they are set nicely.

    Use 2 tablespoons of home made yogurt starter for making home made yogurt. For re-culturing, use the yogurt starter within 7 days to make a new batch.

    You can find home made yogurt recipe from here.