Thursday, June 18, 2015

Camembert and rosemary bread with honey and walnuts

Before you express outrage at the fact that I'm featuring a savoury recipe (Shock! Gasp! Horror!), let me just say that, cheese is basically the chocolate of the savoury world. So it counts. Sort of. 

If there's one thing I love more on this earth than chocolate (and cake), it's cheese. And bread. No wait, homemade bread! 

This is a combination of both those pleasures - homemade rosemary bread wrapped around a wheel of camembert and baked. So that when it comes out the oven, you can put it on the table (and if you're a nice enough person to share) let friends and family tear off crusty chunks of bread and dip them straight into the oozy, stringy, gooey cheese... But if you bake it and sit on the kitchen floor doing that all by yourself, then hey, who am I to judge!

Camembert rosemary bread with honey and walnuts
Recipe developed and featured in Food & Home Entertaining Magazine
Serves 4-6

850 g bread flour
15ml (1 tbsp) sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) salt
55 g unsalted butter
360 ml milk, scalded
240 ml warm water
7g sachet active dried yeast
olive oil, for drizzling
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped rosemary
250g Camembert wheel
100g walnuts
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Stir the flour, sugar and salt together. Stir the butter into the warm milk and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the water in a bowl and add the yeast. Wait one minute before whisking and adding the cooled milk. Stir in the flour mixture to form a rough dough. Knead the dough until perfectly smooth, either by hand or machine. 
Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Knock the dough down by kneading it gently to push out the air. Break off a fist size piece of dough and roll out into a small circle.  
Wrap the dough around the wheel of Camembert and set aside. Roll the rest of the dough out into a rectangle, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Roll the dough up into a sausage and then cut the sausage in half lengthwise, leaving the top still attached. Twist the two pieces around each other then form into a circle around the Camembert, pressing the two ends together. 
Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with walnuts and bake the bread at 200°C for 30-40 minutes or until golden and firm. The bread is ready when it makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Drizzle the walnuts with honey and serve immediately while still warm.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chocolate Marshmallow Log

This is an ode to the fabulosity that is the Chocolate Log; that delicious wafer-marshmallow-chocolate bar that is so deeply intrenched into each of our childhood’s. Those not from here, they just don’t get it. They don’t understand the utter joy in biting into a super-fresh chocolate log (you know the one’s when the wafer is still crispy?) or digging out the filling with your finger before eating the chocolate coating. And of course, there’s licking the squished marshmallow off the wrapper (and hoping no one will see and judge you for it). I've also just discovered that the serious chocolate log connoisseurs out there actually freeze the bar first, taking the squishy marshmallow to even gooier heights!

 This cake is by no means a replacement for the real thing, but it is almost as delicious! The gooey marshmallow filling is there (I’ve toasted it for added oomph), so is the chocolate coating - and the wafers - all wrapped up in a flourless light-as-air chocolate swiss roll.

If making your own marshmallow is too much effort, simply melt store-bought white marshmallows with a little water then spread that over. I won’t tell if you don’t. 

Chocolate Marshmallow Log
Serves 8-10

Chocolate log:
6 eggs (separated)
150g castor sugar
50g cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Marshmallow filling:
4 egg whites
1 cup (250ml) castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate glaze:
55g dark or milk chocolate
1/4 cup (60ml) cream
2 tbsp (30ml) golden syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate wafer biscuits, to garnish 

To make the Swiss roll: Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. 
In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until thick and stiff, then slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of castor sugar. 
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining castor sugar until the mixture is very thick and pale (about 10 minutes). Fold in the vanilla and sifted cocoa powder.
Lightly whisk 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mix to lighten it, then fold the remaining egg whites in, taking care to knock as little air out as possible. 
Pour the cake batter into the lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. 

While the sponge is baking, prepare the marshmallow frosting. Place the egg whites in a large glass or metal bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Using a hand beater, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, then slowly start sprinkling in the sugar. 
Whisk the meringue until it is warm to the touch, then remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat until cool. 
Remove the cake from the oven ad allow it to cool a little before turning it out onto another piece of baking parchment which has been dusted in cocoa powder.

Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, microwave until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Cool to room temperature before drizzling over the log. Top the chocolate log with remaining marshmallow frosting and sprinkle with chopped up wafers or chocolate wafer bars. 

To assemble, place the cake with the short side closest to you, then spread with the marshmallow, leaving a border at the end furthest from you. 
If you want, you can toast the marshmallow using a blow torch (or place under a very hot grill) until golden brown. 
Roll the cake up tightly, trim off the ends if necessary and dust with cocoa powder.