24 June 2013

Coconut Angel Food Cake

After my initial success with angel food cupcakes, I decided to try my hand at a large angel food cake.


This was my second bake for Father's Day and I found this recipe which had a lovely looking picture.

However I wanted to ice the cake and wondered if there is such a thing as Nutella ganache. Well, it turns out there is, I picked this recipe.


170 g plain flour
150 g caster sugar
3 dl egg whites, from about 9 medium eggs
0.25 tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
30 g unsweetened dessicated coconut
fresh coconut shavings for decoration


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (gas mark 3).
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour and half of the sugar.
  3. Beat the egg whites with the salt with an electric whisk until they go frothy.
  4. Add the cream of tartar and beat to the soft peaks stage.
  5. Add the remaining half of the sugar slowly, 1 tbsp at a time, and keep beating until stiff peaks stage.
  6. Finally beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.
  7. Carefully fold in the flour mixture followed by the dessicated coconut.
  8. Pour the batter into a Springform bundt cake tin and level the top surface as much as possible.
  9. Bake for about 35 minutes until the top has browned lightly and the sponge springs back when pressed.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the Springform. Make the Nutella ganache in the mean time.
  11. Run a knife around the outer edge of the cake tin and remove the sides. Carefully prise off the bottom part of the cake tin.
  12. Select the smoother side of the cake to be the top and place on a plate.
    IMG_3026 IMG_3027
Nutella Ganache

1.8 dl Nutella (most of a 400 g jar)
1.2 dl double cream
1 tsp fleur de sel
1 tbsp brandy or rum (optional)

  1. Place the Nutella in a large bowl.
  2. Heat up the cream in a saucepan and bring just to the boil.
  3. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the Nutella.
  4. Stir together until smooth, then add the salt and the booze.
  5. Cover the surface with cling film to prevent skin forming on the surface and allow to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled down, cover the cake with a thin layer and decorate with fresh coconut shavings. Note that the ganache doesn't go solid, so if too much is used, it will run down the sides of the cake.
  7. Keep the decorated cake refrigerated.

The crucial thing with angel food cakes is that a Springform bundt cake tin must always be used, due to the delicateness of the sponge - because there is no fat, there is very little to hold up the sponge structure, so it must have the cake tin with a hole in the middle. It is also very important not to grease the cake tin, this will help the sponge rise better.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find ready made coconut shavings and I didn't have possibility to crack open a coconut. The best I could find was fresh chunks of coconut, which I was able to slice into 1 - 2 mm thick slivers, so I knew I wouldn't be able to decorate the cake very nicely. In fact some of the pieces kept sliding down the sides.

As it turned out, this recipe wasn't as good as the previous one. When we cut the cake, it was a lot sturdier, though the texture was still quite light. Possibly I over-baked it a bit. Perhaps it would be better for cupcakes, but not as a big cake.

The Nutella ganache was lovely. I skipped the booze this time, it seems it wasn't needed - the family thought there was some in it anyway. I was a bit reluctant about the fleur de sel,however, it gave a nice salty chocolate/caramel kind of aspect to the ganache. I used about half of the above amount, the rest is frozen for future use. I wonder if it would be nice fold in whipped cream and make into ice cream...

23 June 2013

Raspberry Cupcakes

For Father's Day last week, I wanted to make a cake to have after lunch and some muffins to have with our afternoon tea. During my research, I came across a conceptually very interesting blog - Bake It With Booze. It had a very tasty sounding recipe for Raspberry Liqueur Cupcakes, which I decided to try out. As it turned out, this recpie was inspired by this one. However, there were no instructions on how to do the frosting, so I chose the one listed for the Strawberry Daiquiri Cake, but I swapped strawberries for raspberries.


As always there were some adjustments and measurement conversions, so here is the recipe in its entirety. I made the raspberry liqueur purée on the evening before.

Raspberry liqueur purée

345 g fresh strawberries
115 g granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp raspberry liqueur, like Chambord


  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan, stir through and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool down.
  3. Puree in a blender until smooth, then sieve through to remove the pips.
  4. Save 1.2 dl of the purée for the muffin batter and 2 tbsp for the icing, the rest can be frozen in an ice cube tray.

Raspberry Muffins

5.5 dl plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
0.75 tsp salt
3.5 dl granulated sugar
1.2 dl grapeseed oil
2 medium eggs
2.4 dl semi-skimmed milk
1.2 dl raspberry liqueur purée
2 tsp freeze dried raspberry pieces


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (gas mark 3) and line 2 x 12 muffin tins with paper cases.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl, then stir together to make sure they are well mixed.
  3. Add the grapeseed oil and stir in to form fine crumbs using your hand.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together with an electric whisk until a fairly runny batter forms.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling about three-quarters.
  6. Bake one tin at a time for about 20 - 25 minutes until baked through. Don't open the oven door during baking.
  7. Let the muffins cool a little, then remove from the tins and onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Raspberry Icing
250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur purée
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur, like Chambord
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 dl icing sugar
light corn syrup in 1 tbsp increments


  1. Place the butter in a deep dish and cream it with an electric whisk for some 30 seconds.
  2. Add in the liquids and continue to whisk to form an emulsion.
  3. Slowly incorporate the icing sugar.
  4. If the mixture feels too stiff after all the sugar has been incorporated, whisk in corn syrup, a tbsp at a time until the mixture is soft enough for piping.
  5. Once all the muffins have cooled completely, pipe using a star shaped nozzle to form roses.

So, these were great fun to make and I did like the raspberry liqueur very much. It was actually quite thin, more like wine, rather than thick as liqueur. Besides, the bottle was ever so cute - tiny tiny thing, 200 ml only.


I cheated a bit and skipped the sieving of the raspberry liqueur purée and although it posed no problem in the muffin batter, it turned out to be quite a problem during piping of the icing. The pips kept getting stuck in the nozzle, so the piping went a little funny here and there. But on the whole, I'm very proud, I'm beginning to get better at it and some of the roses turned out quite nice. I sprinkled more freeze dried raspberry pieces on top.

I also got a chance to try out my newest gizmo - a cupcake courier. I've spent some time researching on boxes for cupcakes, nothing that seemed remotely useful for transporting the cupcakes. I wanted something that would keep things stable in a car... Then I spotted precisely what I had in mind, at a cup cake stand at a food market. So I was cheeky enough to ask about the boxes and the ladies were very kind and told me the brand.

The box has three racks, each taking 12 muffins.

IMG_3024 Very sturdy indeed, no cupcakes were harmed during transportation to my parents-in-law.

Now for the taste test - the muffins were very moist, the texture was almost like steamed suet pudding, but a bit lighter. They were also quite sweet and strongly raspberry flavoured. I found this rather nice, but I suspect not everyone might think the same way. The icing was nice and I really regret not sieving away the raspberry pips.

As for the amounts of icing, they do indeed seem dauntingly large and indeed there was some left over. The batter resulted in 21 muffins and I think I over-filled them a bit and had to trim them. The left-over icing is now happily frozen together with the raspberry liqueur purée. Interestingly enough, the purée hasn't frozen solid, so has had to stay in the ice cube tray. This is a bit annoying as it's taking up space in the freezer. If I repeat these, I'll need to reduce the amounts of liquid I use in the batter and make it stiffer.

14 June 2013

"Blødende" chokoladedessert

A couple of months back I purchased a set of stainless steel food rings and I've been looking for a reason and recipe to try them out.

Then I remembered that I watched a Danish bakery show last year and I'd saved a rather appealing recipe for chocolate fondant. They called it "bleeding" chocolate dessert, thus the title of this post.

Besides it was time to add another year to my count, so a perfect opportunity to try make this since I decided not to make a cake this year.


6 portions
60 g salted butter
60 g dark chocolate (~65%)
50 g icing sugar
50 g plain flour
0.5 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
25 g toasted, chopped hazelnuts
50 g Viennese nougat divided into 6 pieces
grapeseed oil for greasing the food rings
icing sugar for sprinkling


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small, equal sized pieces and melt together with the butter in a bain marie very carefully. Only enough to melt, but not to heat up.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder
  4. In another, larger bowl, whisk together the eggs and icing sugar until white and fluffy.
  5. Sift in the flour mixture into the egg/sugar mixture, followed by the hazelnuts and the melted chocolate/butter mixture and fold together carefully until the resulting batter is homogeneous.

  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush with grapeseed oil. Brush also 6 food rings (5 cm diameter, 6 cm high) and place on the baking paper.

  7. Distribute the batter between the food rings, they should fill up to about three quarters, then gently push in a piece of Viennese nougat into each, so that it's hidden.
  8. Bake the cakes for 6 - 7 minutes, take out from the oven and carefully push the cakes out of the food rings and onto the serving plates and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Sadly I ended up with rather light and fluffy muffin-like cakes instead:


Now there is a very simple reason for this - my food rings are 7 cm diameter and 7 cm high. This meant the batter wasn't enough. I used 4 rings and still the batter barely came up to the middle of them. The pieces of Viennese nougat were big and wouldn't hide very well inside the batter either.

I also baked for a bit longer, because the cakes took ages to rise and so they over-baked. However they were very tasty. Next time I'll get food rings of the right size.

Regular readers (if there are any) will of course know that I have a preference for unsalted butter. Also on this occasion I used it and added a pinch of salt. Not sure if it made any difference.

Another very appealing thing with this recipe is that the fondants can be frozen immediately after the batter has been poured into the food rings. As it was just me and Lundulph, I baked two of the fondants and froze two. I put a piece of baking paper at the bottom of an old ice cream box and placed two of the rings inside, before pouring in the batter. I then covered the whole thing with cling film, since the food rings were taller than the box, and into the freezer they went. The frozen fondants are baked in a pre-heated oven, straight from the freezer and for 3 minutes longer than when from room temperature. This means they can be prepared well in advance of a dinner party or if someone comes to visit unexpectedly.

Instead of the recommended home made vanilla parfait with pineapple and basil sauce, I just served with shop bought vanilla ice cream, which was rather lovely too.