cinnamon

Snow Day

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long!
I have been working on 30 molecular gastronomy based recipes for a cookbook I am creating, and year 12 does not leave much time for sleep in between!
This recipe is inspired by the whimsical nature of a snow day. The chocolate mousse is based on my favorite cinnamon and nutmeg hot chocolates in the middle of winter that are the only reason I survive cold days. The sphere itself is a resemblance of a snow ball, accompanied by a ‘cheats’ molecular gastronomy dessert signature – coconut dessert ‘caviar’.

I will be posting some of the recipes I will be including in my cookbook throughout the next 2 months, which are all molecular gastronomy based desserts designed for every day lovers of food to be able to create inexpensively and easily.

This recipe is of medium difficulty, but don’t worry, the only tricky part is tempering chocolate, which is easy to learn with practice 🙂

Makes: 3

Snow Day

Chocolate, Coconut, & Cinnamon

Special Equipment:

  • Candy thermometer
  • Digital scales
  • Silicon semi-spherical mold
  • Large pipette/Cooking syringe

Tempered White Chocolate Semi-Spheres

Ingredients:

  • 220g high quality white chocolate

Method:

  1. Fill a small sauce pan with a ½ cup of water and place on a high heat until boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, measure out 45g of white chocolate and set aside, this will be added later in the second stage of tempering.
  3. Using a glass bowl, place the white chocolate into the bowl and place on top of the saucepan with the boiling water.
  4. Turning the heat off, place a candy thermometer into the white chocolate and observe the temperature. Gently stir the white chocolate as it melts, watching the temperature rise. When the chocolate is melted and reaches a temperature of 38- 40⁰C, take the bowl off the saucepan and add the remaining white chocolate.
  5. Stir till the chocolate as melted and once the temperature falls to 29-30⁰C, place the bowl back to the saucepan and heat till the chocolate reaches a temperature of 32⁰C.
  6. Using the semi-sphere mold, take a spoonful of white chocolate and coat the surface of the semi-sphere till a thin layer has adhered. Repeat with the remaining 5 molds, and then place in the fridge to harden and cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the molds have hardened for 5 minutes, take the remaining chocolate and apply a second layer, taking care to apply a thicker amount to the rim of the mold (the chocolate will trickle down, but the edges require the most reinforcing).
  8. Place the molds in the fridge and leave to cool until assembly.

Coconut Dessert ‘Caviar’

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp. gelatin (vegetarian substitute: agar agar)
  • 2 cups refrigerated vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp. chilled water
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup salt

Method:

  1. Store vegetable oil in a container in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or until chilled).
  2. In a small bowl bloom (mix) the gelatin with the cold water and stir until combined.
  3. Using a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and cream until simmering (but not boiling). Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture, stirring till completely dissolved. Leave the liquid to cool in the saucepan.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the oil for the ice-bath. Take a large metal bowl and place ice, ¼ cup salt and water till the bowl is 1/3 filled. Take a smaller metal bowl and pour in the oil, then gently lower the bowl into the ice-bath, taking care not to spill the oil.
  5. Prepare the gelatin mixture by pouring it into a large pipette or a cooking syringe. Begin by pouring 3 drops of the mixture in a steady stream, so that they form a single sphere. Repeat till a 1/3 of the mixture has been used, allowing for 20 seconds resting time between each sphere to allow the sphere to set.
  6. Wait for 5 minutes once 1/3 of the mixture has been used, then place a metal bowl with a mesh sieve next to the oil bowl. Gently lift the oil bowl and pour the caviar into the mesh sieve, then transfer the sieve over to the sink, and gently trickle water over the caviar to clean any excess oil. Place the caviar into an air tight container, and repeat the process until all the liquid has been used.

Cinnamon & Nutmeg Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. thickened cream
  • 100g high quality milk chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. unrefined sugar

Method:

  1. Heat ½ cup of water in a saucepan till boiling.
  2. Place thickened cream and milk chocolate in a glass bowl. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and place the bowl on top of the saucepan, stirring till the chocolate and cream has turned liquid and glossy.
  3. Once the chocolate and cream has melted, take the bowl off of the saucepan and leave to cool (the cooling process can be sped up by placing the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes).
  4. Once the chocolate and cream has cooled, whisk in 2 egg yolks, till a glossy mixture has formed.
  5. In a clean, dry bowl, whip 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar (assists in stabilizing the egg whites and maintaining aeration), and whip till stiff peaks form.
  6. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture (do not worry about being gentle initially; this is to ease the folding process). Continue to fold in the egg whites until the mousse is light and doubled in volume.
  7. Transfer the mousse to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

Assembly

Components:

  • White chocolate semi-spheres
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg mousse
  • Coconut ‘dessert’ caviar
  • Desiccated/shredded coconut (for garnish)
  • Icing sugar (for garnish)
  • Raspberries (for garnish) (can be substituted for berry of choice)
  • Rectangular plate

Method:

  1. Very gently remove the white chocolate semi-spheres from the molds, and gather into 3 pairs.
  2. Place the mousse into a large piping bag, fitted with a large circular tip. Pipe a dot of mousse onto the center of the plate where the bottom sphere will sit. Taking 1 semi-sphere, pipe the chocolate mousse until the mousse fills the shell. Sprinkle coconut over the layer of mousse until completely covered, then pipe mousse on top of the shell till 1/3 taller than the edge of the shell. Place the top semi-sphere shell on top of the mousse, and gently press to seal the spherical shape.
  3. Place the sphere on to the plate, using the mousse to secure the sphere.
  4. Take the coconut caviar and scatter a generous handful running along the center of the plate, then sprinkle coconut over the caviar.
  5. Gently dust icing sugar over the sphere till the top of the sphere has a thick layer and takes on the appearance of being ‘snowed on’.
  6. Line the raspberries (or berries of choice) around the sphere in a circle, obscuring the bottom of the sphere. Give a final dusting of icing sugar.
  7. Serve chilled.
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Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is a yeast free bread recipe I’ve put together for when you want to bake a quick loaf without all that rising time!

It’s a fluffy, sweet loaf that goes really well with nut butters, jams or even by itself.

Personally – an inch thick worth of peanut butter works best 😉

Serves: 12

Cinnamon & Raisin ‘Bread’

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Loaf tin
  • Oven
  • Baking paper

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup organic raisins/sultanas
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, nutmeg, and salt
  • 1 cup fat and sugar free yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. organic honey

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180⁰C, and line a loaf tin with baking paper hanging over the sides to make it easy to lift the loaf out when cool.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and either kneed by hand or with a wooden spoon till a dough consistency.
  3. Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes – or until golden and crusty.
  4. Once cool enough lift the loaf out of the tin and leave to cool.
  5. Serve with nut butter, or your choice of spread!

nutrition cinnamon raisin bread

Smoralicious Macarons

Based off of the magic that is marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker, I decided to invent a macaron flavour that showcases just that (:
I still remember my first s’more, being on camp on some island in Asia, watching as my American friends introduced us to the delicious wonder of gooey melted marshmallow toasted on the camp fire, watching it melt the chocolate square resting above it all sandwiched between two biscuits.

Does it get any better?

All that reminiscing was making me long for the camping days, so I created the ‘s’more macaron’.

I also felt like experimenting with texture, and we had some chocolate chip cookies in the pantry (which never happens), so I ground them up and added them to the shells. It gives the best textured macaron shell I’ve ever tried, so now I’m pursuing new flavour combinations as I’m typing this.

Have you ever had a s’more before?

Another bonus is the nutritional count on this recipe – 1 macaron is only 187 calories – that is chocolate and all!

Makes Approximately 25

Time: 2 hours

Smoralicious Macarons

Equipment:

  • Spatula
  • Piping bag & large circle tip/zip lock bag
  • Baking paper
  • Baking trays
  • Oven
  • Beaters/Whisk
  • Food processor
  • Sifter
  • Double boiler/microwave (melting chocolate)
  • Fork
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Deep baking dish

Shells:

  • 200g free range egg whites
  • 200g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 5g salt
  • 30g chocolate chip cookies of choice (:

Method:

  1. Line several baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the icing sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and almond meal to remove lumps, and then sift into a mixing bowl.
  3. Using a food processor, grind the chocolate chip cookies to a fine powder, then sift into the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix well to combine.
  4. Using beaters or a whisk, whip egg whites in a large mixing bowl till soft peaks form, then while mixing, gradually incorporate the caster sugar till stiff peaks form. (If you are like me, then I flip the bowl over someone’s head – if it doesn’t fall you are ready!)
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue mixture in stages, until the mixture looks shiny and flows like lava. Don’t over mix, this will cause the air in the meringue to collapse and your shells won’t rise!
  6. Using a piping bag (or zip lock bag with a snipped end to act as a tip), fill the macaron mixture into the bag and pipe 8cm circular shells onto the baking trays. A technique which I find useful is to pipe the mixture in one place until I reach my desired size, then pull up with a twist to prevent a peak forming at the top.
  7. Tap each of the trays lightly to remove large air bubbles, and place in a warm, dry environment for 45 minutes to form a dry skin, this will allow the macarons when baking to form a ‘foot’ (the ruffled bit) at the bottom.
  8. Heat an oven to 150⁰C. When ready, bake each tray for approximately 15 minutes, then leave to cool on the trays before removing.

Marshmallow Filling:

  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp. gelatine (agar agar as a vegetarian/vegan alternative)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup cold water

Method:

  1. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper, letting the ends of the baking paper hang over the tray (this is how you will lift out the marshmallow later).
  2. Combine the hot water and caster sugar in a saucepan and stir for 2-3 minutes until dissolved into clear syrup.
  3. Combine the gelatine or agar agar in cold water, and then pour into the hot syrup solution, stirring on medium heat until the gelatine has dissolved completely.
  4. Pour the solution into an electric mixer, and whip for 10-15 minutes until very thick, then add vanilla and cinnamon, blend to incorporate.
  5. Spread the mixture into the baking dish, and leave to set for 1 hour.

Assembly:

  • 200g ethical milk chocolate

Method:

  1. Melt the milk chocolate either using a double boiler or a microwave.
  2. Take two macaron shells similar in size, using a wet spoon or wet knife, take marshmallow and put it on the bottom shell. Take a little melted chocolate and drizzle on top of the marshmallow, then place the top shell to complete the macaron. Using a fork, whip melted chocolate on top of the macaron to decorate it.
  3. Repeat with the rest of the macarons.

nutritional