Mango Sticky Rice

20 Oct

I’m 39 days away from my expected due date *sound of doom*

Saying that I’m starting to get scared is a bit of an understatement. Who would have thought we would be down to just 2 digits! Let alone 2 digits less than 50 days. But I guess bubba’s got to come out eventually.

The last couple of weeks have mainly consisted of cooking alot of extra meals to freeze so we don’t die of starvation when the baby comes, spending alot of money on baby stuff and then spending even more money on nursing bras. Everything baby related costs about an arm and a leg… and maybe a good functioing kidney as well.

(But Oooo… look at the how cute these cloth nappies are. Not sure why I got the neon coloured ones though… Hmmm..)

Last Saturday, we took some time out from “crazy baby preparation zone” and went out for brunch with a group of our old friends. 2 of which were in the same predicament as I… 1 of which is just days away from *sound of doom*…. which reminds me… I should probably ring to see how she’s going.

I’m back to work 5 days a week as opposed to previously doing just 4 days, for the remaining duration of my time here before I go on maternity leave. It hasn’t been TOO bad but the extra day at work has made me a splash of tired and a big dash of cranky. I went to bed at the record time of 8.30pm last night but not before craving some mango sticky rice and watching a few episodes of True Blood Season 3.

When we were travelling in Thailand, we were fortunate enough to give our tastebuds the pleasure and adventure that Thai cuisine brings. My all time favorite dessert with every meal we had in Thailand was Mango Sticky Rice. The Thais call it “Khao Neeo Mamuang.” This dish is easy to make and very delicious. One of the locals at the hawker joint saw how much I adored the dessert and kindly gave me the recipe for “Khao Neeo Mamuang.” I did not understand the proportions very well but upon trial and error, this is the recipe that I’ve come up with. I reckon it comes pretty close. With sweet mangoes coming into season, this is a really nice way to enjoy them.

This receipe served 3 portions

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of stiky / glutinous rice (can be found in most Asian grocers)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 200ml Coconut milk (I used light and creamy evaporated milk flavoured with coconut)
  • 60 grams caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ripe mango

Method:

  1. Wash the glutinous rice with tap water, drain, and place the rice in a rice cooker. Add 1.5 cups of water to the rice cooker and steam the rice.
  2. In the mean time, place the coconut milk in a small pot and heat on low to medium heat. Do not allow the coconut milk to come to a boil as this will make it curdle. When the milk is hot enough, add the sugar and salt and stir till all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Peel the mango and slice it up nicely, however you like.
  4. When the glutinous rice is ready, pour 3/4 of the coconut milk mixture onto the rice and allow the rice to slowly absorb the mixture.
  5. Use a spatula to mix the coconut milk mixture into the rice if neccesary.
  6. To serve, flatten the rice into a small bowl and turn it out onto a serving plate / bowl.
  7. Arrange the mango on top of the rice and spoon some of the remaining coconut milk mixture on the top.
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Bakewell Tarts

7 Oct

My boss at my office job is a very scary and fiery Scots woman – At least that’s what most people who do not know her on a personal level would describe her (on a good day). I spent the first 2 years at my job almost pissing my dacks whenever she spoke to me or made any sound at all from her office. In private, I called her “the land mine” and I would always tread with caution.

5 years have gone by now… and I have grown to actually love this Scots woman. In reality, behind the tough as nails crusty exterior she really is all Marsh and Mellow. She’s my Agony Auntie sent from heaven – always there to give a listening ear, an extremely loyal friend and a very understanding boss. She’s also keen on dogs… and Rod Stewart and secretly watches Junior Master Chef, which made me realise she’s more human than I had initially perceived.

For her birthday, I’ve made her Bakewell tarts – which I have heard her rave about. I’ve never had these tarts before or even heard of them but I think they must be popular in the UK. I’ve researched a few recipes on the internet and these tarts are made of a few components. Shortcrust pastry for the base, a thin layer of jam on the baked shortcrust pastry, a layer of frangipane filling (almond filling) and a thin layer of white icing topped with a glace cherry.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY scary lady!! May you have many more fantastic years to come! xoxo

Ingredients for sweet shortcrust pastry:

  • 175 grams Butter
  • 100 grams Caster sugar
  • 25 grams egg
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 250 grams plain flour – sifted
  • 1 egg white to brush the pastry so keeps the crunch

Ingredients for Frangipane filling:

  • 150 grams Butter
  • 100 grams Caster sugar
  • lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150 grams eggs
  • 150 grams almond meal
  • 20 grams plain flour

Other ingredients:

  • Raspberry or strawberry jam
  • icing sugar and a couple of drops of warm water for the icing
  • glace cherries

Method for the shortcrust pastry:

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar until all the sugar dissolves. (You can use the paddle attachment of an electric mixer for this or cream by hand.)
  2. Add lemon zest and vanilla to the egg and add half the egg mixture to the butter mixture slowly (2 additions).
  3. Sift the flour.
  4. Add flour to the mixture and mix till combined with a wooden spoon or on slow speed in the electric mixer (*Do not overmix at this stage*)
  5. Wrap the dough in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until it is ready to be use
  6. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  7. Roll out your pastry to about 1cm thick and line your tart tins with the pastry.
  8. Prick the pastry with a fork and blind bake them in the oven for 5 minutes or until the pastry looks just cooked.

9. Remove the weights that are used from the blind baking and bake the pastry till they turn a nice light brown colour.

10. Brush the pastry with a little egg white and bake for another 3-5 minutes. (This is to seal the pastry)

11. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Method for the almond filling:

  1. Add vanilla to the egg.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture little by little.
  4. Add the almond meal and flour and mix till the mixture comes together.
  5. Put the almond filling into a piping bag (if you haven’t got a piping bag, it’s ok.)
  6. Spread a little jam inside the shortcrust pastry and pipe/spoon the almond filling into the tart cases.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Allow tarts to cool completely on the bench.

Method for the white icing:

  1. Add a few drops of water to the icing sugar and mix together till you get a spreadable consistency.

Assembly:

  1. Pour or spread the icing onto each tart and top with glace cherry.


Orange & Almond Yoghurt Cake

6 Oct

This is the first weekend that has finally felt like Spring. It’s only taken a month for the warmth to kick in but its here now, so I’ll have to stop whinging about the crap weather. We had a couple of friends over for beers and pizza to celebrate the longer hours of daylight and busk a little in the evening warmth.

The cat has also been enjoying the sunshine, and without her archnemesis (aka the stray) around anymore to cramp her style, she’s been in and out all day roaming the garden and rolling in the warm grass.

I had to make a cake for the gang and as Navel oranges are in season at the moment, I made an orange cake. This recipe is nice and moist and the flavour of the oranges came out quite nicely, if I say so myself…

My cake and cookie cravings have been off the charts as of late… so in order to “make my cake and eat it too,” I used wholemeal flour instead of plain flour in this recipe, just to make myself feel a little healthier. (*_*)

This receipe is from Martha Stewart’s website (I used wholemeal plain flour instead of plain flour in this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 170g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 6 wide strips orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon finely grated zest
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure orange essence
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (full-fat), plus more for serving
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Oil a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper; butter paper.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup sugar, water, and orange-zest strips. Bring to a simmer over medium-high; cook until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Set syrup aside to steep.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, almonds, grated orange zest, baking powder, and salt.
5. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining sugar until light and creamy.
6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
7. Beat in vanilla.
8. With mixer on low, alternate beating in the flour mixture and yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
9. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the batter out with a palette knife.
10. Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a rimmed serving plate.
11. Using a skewer, poke shallow holes (about 15) into top of cake.
12. Pour half the syrup over cake; garnish with orange-zest strips from syrup.
13. Let cool completely. Serve with cream and remaining syrup.

Cranberry and Pistachio Sable Cookies

29 Sep

Tuesdays are awesome because it’s my day away from work. I used to work at a small Patisserie in the wee hours on Tuesday mornings but that’s stopped for now due to the exponential growth of my belly. Tuesdays are now for lazing around, baking, reading and maybe to do a teenie ounce of housework.

This Tuesday however, was a little different. I was stressed. A trap had been set by the council to capture the stray that I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. The ranger, Tom, came on Monday evening to set up the trap and said he would be back the next morning to pick it up. As we walked the ranger to his ute, we heard the distressed cries of other strays that had been napped in the back of his truck. This really upset me. I know we had to proceed as planned because having a stray come into the house and pissing everywhere is really unpleasant. However, it made me think… if people could be more responsible, there would be less strays around and they would not have to be captured and put down. My message is – Please be responsible with your pets. Get them Neutered!

As Tom had predicted, the black stray was in the cage by the next morning when he came back to pick it up.

So the day goes on with the feral black stray in the back of my mind….

I make Cranberry & Pistachio Sable biscuits for Jesse.

They turned out beautifully. The cranberries gave the cookies a nice tang and the pistachios added a nice flavour and colour to my biscuit.

The Sable biscuit receipe adapted from ilovemilkandcookies’ food blog (Cranberry and Pistachio – an addition)

Ingredients:

  • 450g plain all purpose flour
  • 50g cornflour or cornstarch
  • 400 butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 200 confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 150g shelled pistachios

Method:

  1. Sift the flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl (I used the bowl from my electric mixer).
  2. Add the butter and sugar and work together with your fingertips until no hard lumps remain (I used the paddle attachment on the electric mixer and incorporated all the ingredients).
  3. Add the egg yolks, salt and vanilla, drawing in the flour. Work until the dough resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not over work the dough. (Or add egg yolks, salt and vanilla into the electic mixer and mix till the dough comes together.)
  4. Place the dough on your work bench and flatten it.
  5. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and pistachios on the dough and gently knead the dough till the cranberries and pistachios are part of the dough. *Do not over knead
  6. Roll the pastry into a log and refrigerate for two hours.

7. After 2 hours, preheat oven to 160°C, slice the logs into 1.5cm thick discs and place them on a lined baking tray.

8. Bake for 12 – 15 mins or until the edges of the sables start to turn brown.

9. Leave to cool and the sables will crisp up nicely.

Sticky Cinnamon Scrolls with Black Salted Apple filling

27 Sep

Another week goes by – we’re now approaching week 32, and the belly grows just that tad heavier making it a tiny bit harder to function without tiring easily.

As of late, I seem to be doing this wierd thing of honing into other preggy bellies larger than mine and I think… will I even be mobile when I reach that stage. Perhaps I should look into hiring a crane soon.

I grovel to the boss to let me have Friday off, so after taking Jason to the train station, I carry sproggo  and my elephantine self (while humming “Good Vibrations”) to the supermarket. I have never shopped at the supermarket on a weekday before… let alone during the wee hours of a weekday (perhaps something that I will experience more of with Motherhood.) The patrons at this hour were little old women and men – pushing around trolleys that were twice their size and carefully scutinising fresh produce with squinty eyes.

An annonucement was made that there was cart full of fruit and veges available in the fresh produce section for $1 a bag. So, one could pick any fruit of veges they wanted from the cart, fill a plastic bag (but you must be able to tie the bag) and get the whole bag for  $1. The Old Biddies and Mrs Elephant approach the cart with slow but steady determination. I managed to get a whole bag of granny smith apples and another bag of assorted fruit and vege before getting shoved aside by seriously zealous old ladies.

Happy and content with my whole bag of $1 apples, Sproggo and I go home and we make the apple filling for some Sticky Apple Cinnamon Scrolls.

Black Salted Apple filling receipe adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooking companion

Ingredients for black salted apple filling:

  • 180 grams Butter
  • 10 tbsp of dark brown sugar
  • 15 apples (peeled, cored and chopped into cubes)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean (split down the middle)
  • 1 tbsp of black salt flakes

Method:

  1. In a sturdy cast-iron pot, melt the butter under low heat and add the sugar.
  2. Throw in the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the apples and stir till the apples are coated with the sauce.
  4. Sprinkle the balck salt flakes over the top and stir through.
  5. Cover the apples and allow to cook for 10 minutes
  6. Remove the lid, stir the apples gently and let the sauce to thicken.
  7. Set aside to cool on the bench then transfer to a container and cool in the refrigerator.

Recipe for the Scrolls

Makes 2 loaves of sweet scrolls or 15 individual scrolls

Ingredients for the scrolls:

  • 400 grams Bakers flour (or plain flour)
  • 24 grams Fresh Yeast (or 8 grams Dried Yeast)
  • 6 grams salt
  • 40 grams caster sugar
  • 3 grams bread improver
  • 32 grams shortening / butter
  • 12 grams milk powder
  • 16 grams egg
  • finely grated rind from 1 lemon
  • + / – 216 grams warm water
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • egg and milk wash
  • Silvered almonds

Ingredients for the sugar syrup:

  • 100 grams sugar
  • 125 grams water
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place the flour, yeast (if using fresh yeast, mix into a slurry with a little warm water), salt (away from the yeast), sugar, bread improver, butter and milk powder in a bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook.
  3. Mix together for about 4-5 minutes at slow speed.
  4. Add the egg slowly into the electric mixer.
  5. Add the warm water slowly (leaving out just a little, taking into mind the amount of water you used to make the yeast a slurry) and allow the dough to come together. You can add more water if the dough looks a little dry or add a little more flour if the dough is a little too wet.
  6. Mix the dough at medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the mixer.
  8. Flatten the dough a little on a flat surface and bring the dough together. (To do this, fold the edges of the dough into the centre, turn in over and round it with your hands)
  9. Leave the dough to rest for 30-35 minutes on a floured surface and cover with a damp tea towel.
  10. Now we shape the dough.
  11. Dust your worktop lightly with some plain flour.
  12. Flatten with dough with a rolling pin and pin it out evenly into a retangular shape.
  13. Take care to lift the dough off the bench and dust more flour if needed to prevent sticking.
  14. Continue to roll till you get a nice even rectangle.
  15. Sprinke Cinnamon Sugar all over the dough and top with the apple filling
  16. Sprinke sultanas over the top of the apples
  17. Starting from the bottom corner of the dough, start rolling into a scroll and the other side will follow.
  18. You can chose to cut the scroll up to make individual scrolls or simple cut into 2 and bake as a loaf.
  19. Place the  scolls on warm trays (greased) and cover with the damp tea towel for 20-25 minutes. (You may wish to cover the dough with a plastic container, sprinkle a few droplets of water on the tray and place the bread in a 30°C oven to get a better prove.)
  20. To check that the dough has been proved enough, gently poke your finger into the dough, making an indent. If the indent comes back but retains a little indent, your dough is perfect and ready to bake.
  21. Brush with the egg and milk wash and sprinkle with silvered almonds.
  22. Bake in a 220°C oven for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave for 10 minutes.
  23. In the meantime,  place the ingredients for sugar syrup in a sauce pan and bring to boil. *Note: stir to dissolve the sugar at the start but stop stirring before syrup comes to the boil, otherwise, it will crystalise and burn.
  24. Remove the bread from the oven.
  25. Brush the sugar syrup onto the bread to seal in the moisture.
  26. Place carefully onto a wire to cool.

Sticky sweet bread with a lemon “twang”- Braided

23 Sep

It’s days like today where I can say with firm conviction – “I hate my office job…” It brings out the worse in me…. Or maybe it’s just the preggy hormones doing the talking (though I’m pretty sure it’s the job).

But just like the lyrics in Hotel California, “You can checkout anytime you like, but you can never leave,” this place has a magnetic field that makes it impossible for me to throw in the towel, wave my hands hysterically above my head, slap around a few people that I loathe and then take off (without looking back). The problem is… I always look back, and so… I trudge on, begrudgingly in meek acceptance.

In attempt to peg my dampened soul out in the sunshine to dry, I decided that I needed to bake something scrummy enough to put the glow back into my tummy and fuzz back into my heart… A warm piece of fluffy, sweet bread with a steaming hot cup of milky tea should do it.

I can’t say that I’m an expert at bread making… but one of the things that I love to bake most is bread. It’s especially satisfying when you get a good end product – aromatic and golden brown tends to drag both the cat and Jason into the kitchen by the nose.

The only experience that I have had of bread making is at pastry school, so I approach the art respectfully and delicately. It’s a little different baking bread at home without the commercial mixers, steam ovens and the professional prover. However, it is definately possible. I would recommend using a good electric mixer (such as a kitchenaid or a professional breville). I know what all the professional bakers will say about this, however, in my opinion, if you still want to have functioning arms and fingers after this little activity, an electic mixer with a dough hook can be a bit of a saviour.

This sticky sweet bread that I made turned out really well. It had the feel of a warm, fluffy cloud and the toasted almonds with the nice crunch helped bring the fuzziness back.

Makes 2 braids of sweet breads

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams Bakers flour (or plain flour)
  • 24 grams Fresh Yeast (or 8 grams Dried Yeast)
  • 6 grams salt
  • 40 grams caster sugar
  • 3 grams bread improver
  • 32 grams shortening / butter
  • 12 grams milk powder
  • 16 grams egg
  • finely grated rind from 1 lemon
  • + / – 216 grams warm water
Ingredients for the icing:
  • icing sugar mixture & a couple of drops of lemon juice enough to make a thick, spreadable paste
  • toasted almond flakes

Ingredients for the sugar syrup:

  • 200 grams sugar
  • 250 grams water
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place the flour, yeast, salt (away from the yeast), sugar, bread improver, butter and milk powder in a bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook.
  3. Mix together for about 4-5 minutes at slow speed.
  4. Add the lemon rind to the egg and add slowly into the electric mixer.
  5. Add the warm water slowly (leaving out just a little) and allow the dough to come together. You can add more water if the dough looks a little dry.
  6. Mix the dough at medium speed for 5-6 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the mixer.
  8. Flatten the dough a little on a flat surface and bring the dough together. (To do this, fold the edges of the dough into the centre, turn in over and round it with your hands)
  9. Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes on a floured surface and cover with a damp tea towel.
  10. After 15 minutes is up, scale off the dough – weight the dough and divide it into 2 equal pieces.
  11. Round them off and allow to rest again under the damp tea towel for 15 minutes.
  12. Now we shape the dough.
  13. For this bread, I made them into braids.
  14. Divide each round into 3 equal pieces.
  15. Roll each piece into long snake and join one end of each snake together.
  16. Braid the bread as you would normally tie a plait.
  17. Pinch the ends and tuck them into the bottom of the bread.
  18. Repeat this for the other dough.
  19. Place the braided dough on a warm tray (greased) / pizza stone and cover with the damp tea towel for 20-25 minutes. (You may wish to cover the bread with a plastic container, sprinkle a few droplets of water on the tray and place the bread in a 30°C oven to get a better prove.)
  20. To check that the dough has been proved enough, gently poke your finger into the dough, making an indent. If the indent comes back but retains a little indent, your dough is perfect and ready to bake.
  21. Using a pastry brush, brush your braided dough with a beaten egg.
  22. Bake in a 220°C oven for 15 minutes.
  23. In the meantime, you can make your icing and toast your almond flakes.
  24. Also, place the ingredients for sugar syrup in a sauce pan and bring to boil. *Note: stir to dissolve the sugar at the start but stop stirring before syrup comes to the boil, otherwise, it will crystalise and burn.
  25. Remove the bread from the oven.
  26. Brush the sugar syrup onto the bread to seal in the moisture.
  27. Using a spatula, spread the icing on the bread, however you like.
  28. Lift the bread carefully off the tray / pizza stone (you can use an egg flip to assist you with this)
  29. Push the bread face down onto the tray of toasted almonds.
  30. Place carefully onto a wire to cool.
  31. Or if you can’t resist, break off a little of that warm bread and have with a steaming cuppa hot tea.

Black Forest Cake

20 Sep

Spring has arrived… but not quite this year. We’re 3 weeks into the season but have been getting nothing but cold and dreadful weather.

Nevertheless, we decide to hold a BBQ potluck in the backyard in preparation for the babies that are to come. I figured it maybe a while before we get to hang out with all our friends again when the expectant moms pop.

For the potluck, I made a 4 layered black forest cake filled with decadant chocolate mousse, brandied cherries and cream.

The recipe is by Martin Boetz which I found on the food safari website. There are many steps in building this cake but the end result is totally worth it.

Ingredients:

Butter Cake
300g butter
300g caster sugar
300g flour
6 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking powder

Chocolate Cake
250g chocolate
250g sugar
1 ½ cups flour
6 eggs
180g butter

Chocolate Mousse
4 egg yolks (80g)
200g unrefined caster sugar
100ml whole milk
150g top quality dark chocolate
Generous pinch of table salt
200ml whipping cream

Chocolate Ganache
95ml whipping cream
1 tsp glucose syrup
Pinch of table salt
95g top quality dark chocolate
20g unsalted butter

Cherries
1 jar of whole sour cherries (Morello)
1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp sugar

To Build Your Black Forest Cake
All of the above – ie. 2 x butter cake, 2 x chocolate cake, the chocolate mousse, cherries, cherry syrup and the chocolate ganache plus:
Freshly whipped cream
Shards of dark or milk chocolate (this is your ‘forest’)
10 whole fresh cherries that have been soaked in Kirsch for 1 week

Method:

Butter Cake
Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one and fold in flour and baking powder. Pour into a greased baking tin & bake at 180°C for 55 minutes. When its cooled, cut off the top of the cake to make a flat surface and cut the cake horizontally to make 2 layers.
Chocolate Cake 

Melt chocolate and butter together, then beat the eggs and sugar together and fold the cool chocolate mix through. Sift the flour and fold into the chocolate mix. Pour into a greased baking tin and bake at 180°C for 1 hour. When its cooled, cut off the top of the cake to make a flat surface and cut the cake horizontally to make 2 layers.


Chocolate Mousse
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar for 5 minutes, or until stiff. A food mixer with a paddle attachment can be used for this.

Gently warm the milk in a small pan. Remove it from the heat and stir in the beaten egg yolks. Return to a medium heat and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Use a digital probe to monitor when the temperature of the mixture reaches 80°C and remove from the heat.

Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a medium sized bowl. Pour the warm milk and the eggs over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the salt and leave to cool.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and place it in the fridge for at least an hour to stiffen.

Chocolate Ganache
(Martin uses the mousse recipe from the Heston Blumenthal book but any basic mousse recipe is fine to use.)
Gently heat the cream, glucose syrup and salt. Break the chocolate into a bowl then stir in the warm cream. When the chocolate has melted entirely, add the butter and stir until that too has melted.

Cherries
Drain a jar of whole sour cherries (morello cherries), keeping the juice in a saucepan. Add a vanilla bean and sugar and reduce to a syrup.

To Build Your Black Forest Cake

Start with a layer of butter cake (one half of the butter cake cut across the diameter)
Splash cake with Kirsch (I spread cherry jam instead of using Kirsh)


Pipe a layer of mouse around the outside of the cake (you are building a wall to keep in the cherries)
Add the cherries within the confines of your ‘mousse wall’


A layer of chocolate cake
A layer of cream
Another layer of butter cake
Pipe on another layer of the Mousse Wall and then add cherries
Another layer of chocolate cake
Another splash of Kirsch
Then another layer of cream
Another layer of butter cake
Topped with another layer of mousse (but this time fill the mousse over all the cake – no wall and no cherries)
Final layer of chocolate cake


Pour ganache over the top


Add topping of chocolate shards (I made chocolate leaves) and whole cherries (preferable fresh ones that have been soaked in kirsch for 1 week)

Let set and settle for 3-6 hours. We couldn’t wait….