Guest Recipe: Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

Nice driveway“, Kate had on her personal blog profile.  I was instantly intrigued.  What on earth? Then it all clicked.  Kate – or Katerina – hails from Macedonia and nice driveway is phonetic for Na Zdravje, which means “to your good health” in Macedonian.

It sums up Kate brilliantly.  She is herself a perfect picture of health and her mouth-watering recipes echo that via her blog, Diethood.com.  When I first got to know Kate, I realised just what a sincere person she is: I felt I’d known her for ages!  She had been looking at my book and asked me to do a guest post on her site, since she wanted to tell her friends about it.  I was – and still am – extremely flattered. We have a number of things in common: one of them is our love for a good trifle. Except the trifle I grew up with in Scotland is very different to the royal one she is sharing with us today. It’s not just creamy, it’s crrrrunchy!  So my friends, let me hand you over to the lovely Kate now…

Kate, at Diethood.com

A few months ago I asked my now dear friend, Jill, if she would do a guest post for me. When she accepted the invite, I was incredibly excited! I think I even did a cheer. Then, just a couple of months later, she invited me to guest post for her – How lucky am I? I was on cloud nine when I received that email. I thought, “Are you kidding me?! Of course I accept!”

Jill had only one requirement; egg yolks. I can do that!!  Or can I?!?

I went through lots of recipes, including my mom’s, but I kept coming back to the one that I always go to when I have a few egg yolks left – my egg yolk buttercream frosting! I got this recipe many years ago from my Aunt Sneshka when I was visiting my home back in Macedonia. She used this frosting as a filling for some cookies that were seriously the best cookies I had ever tasted. At that time she informed that this was a very popular frosting that was used in Macedonia during and after Easter because of the abundance of eggs.

If I only had the recipe for those cookies…sigh. But we’re in luck because at least I have the recipe for the frosting!  I use this frosting for cupcakes, cakes, cookies – whatever needs to be frosted or filled, this is the recipe I will use 99% of the time when I have some yolks that need to be used up.

Today I will share a dessert with you that I usually make when I need something creamy, something crunchy, and something delicious!  This is a three part recipe, and it may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s not! Please trust me.

chocolate crunchy trifle egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

You will need:

For the Cake:
2 ½ cups graham crackers (or digestive biscuits), ground
1 cup walnuts, finely ground
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 orange, juiced
1 stick of butter
4 squares of Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon Vegetable Spread

For the Egg Yolk Buttercream:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 egg yolks, poached
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Pudding Topping:
1 (5.1 ounces) package Jell-O Instant Pudding, Vanilla Flavored
1 (8 ounces) tub Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)

Directions:

First we are going to make the graham cracker/digestive crust.

In a large bowl put in all the ingredients for the cake and let your hands do the work. Or the wooden spoon. Mix well and combine. Set aside.

Poach the egg yolks by dropping the yolks, one by one, into almost boiling water; allow the yolk to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the yolk sit for another 4 minutes. Do this with the rest of the yolks. Set aside.

Into the bowl of your mixer cream together the butter and the powdered sugar; cream for 5 minutes. Add in the poached yolks, one by one, and the vanilla extract, and cream together for another 10 minutes.

Take out some aluminum foil and spread the graham crackers mixture on it. With your fingers press the graham crackers tightly together, just as you would do for a pie or a cheesecake.

Spread the frosting on top of the graham cracker crust.


At this point you can do one of two things; you can roll the cake like a log and put it in the freezer, or you can lay it flat and put it in the freezer. I usually roll it into a log because there is no room in my freezer to put it in flat. If you roll it into a log you also have the choice of cutting the cake into cookies! I do that, too, sometimes.

You can leave it in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day.  When ready to use, take out the cake and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, you can make the pudding.

In the bowl of your mixer prepare the vanilla pudding per the instructions on the package.

Add in the whipped topping and beat until well combined. Set aside.

Begin by crumbling the cake into a trifle bowl. Just break it off – don’t need to be fancy. It will be covered up with the pudding. 😉

Spread the pudding mixture over the top.

Put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Before serving, add chocolate shavings on top and serve with berries (optional).

Kate trifle 3

 

Before I go, I just want to thank my beautiful friend Jill for inviting me to do a guest post for her; I am truly honored! Thank you, my dear! xoxo

That looks one incredible trifle, Kate!  With 4 egg yolks in this, there are lovely egg whites left over for our macarons.  Thank you so much for sharing this.  Fabulous trifle and nice driveway! 🙂

Don’t forget to click over to Kate’s blog, Diethood, for many more delicious recipes and say cheers from me, will you?  I see she’s just made a batch of the most scrumptious strawberry cheesecake ice-cream…

Guest Recipe: Chocolate Pots de Crème

It has been a while since we’ve seen chocolate on the site.  Passing by a few chocolate shops this week, it has been uplifting to see beautiful pots of lily-of-the-valley arrangements, traditionally associated with 1st May to bring good luck. When my friend, Liz Berg told me that she had a recipe for chocolate pots to share for today’s guest post, I was so excited. It was just perfect!

Lily-of-the-valley pots in chocolate shops, Paris

A self-confessed chocoholic, one look at Liz’s blog, “That Skinny Chick Can Bake” and it’s confirmed.  She has – to date – 85 recipes for chocolate and more recipes including chocolate chips.  That can’t be bad for a skinny chick, n’est-ce pas?

Liz is not just a blogger but a friend to us as well.  Injected with humour, through her blog she shares her enthusiasm for cooking and baking in the family (even the dog isn’t left out!)  Liz is also so generous with her recipe tips and suggestions, and tempts us with her drool-worthy photos.

I am so proud that she has come today to share her pots of chocolately deliciousness for the egg yolk recipe series.  On top of that, they contain not just one or two but SIX egg yolks!  Topped with raspberries and white chocolate whipping cream.  No more from me – it’s over to Liz.

Liz of “That Skinny Chick Can Bake

I was delighted to receive an invitation from Jill to write a guest blog.  Jill is such a delightful blogger and friend…her warmth and good humor shine with every word she posts.  She’s seen me crank out dessert after dessert, so it was fun to be challenged to dig up a recipe which utilizes a lot of egg yolks.

Chocolate pots de crème are often found on our Christmas menu…and today’s version was for Easter.  I live in a household of chocoholics, so every holiday must have a chocolate dessert. You can serve these plain or, for special occasions, top them with a luscious white chocolate whipped cream.  If you use smaller dishes as I did, check for doneness early and often by doing a jiggle test…the outer edges should be set, though the middle may still wiggle when you gently tap the ramekin.

These make a stunning dessert…and use up 6 egg yolks.  I think I may have to whip up some macarons this week! Hope you all enjoy…thanks for this opportunity, Jill.

chocolate pots egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Pots de Crème

…loosely adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 300º. Place six 6-ounce ramekins in large baking dish.
2.  Add cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir till chocolate is melted.
3.  Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl, till thick and pale.  Drizzle a bit of the hot chocolate mixture into eggs to temper, whisking constantly.  Continue slowly adding hot liquid while whisking till all liquid is incorporated.  Avoid incorporating air into mixture if possible. If you find you have some small, unmelted particles of chocolate at the bottom of the saucepan, gently heat till melted and add to bowl.
4.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup.  Strain custard.  Pour custard into the ramekins, then pour enough hot water into pan to reach halfway up ramekins.  Cover pan with foil and poke a few holes in foil to allow steam to escape.  Bake 25-30 minutes or till outer inch of custard is set.  Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate till serving time.
Serve with a dollop of white chocolate whipped cream and garnish with berries.

custard set in the ramekins

Now for the white chocolate cream…

White Chocolate Whipped Cream

…adapted from Bon Appetit

2 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup whipping cream

Combine chocolate and the 2 tablespoons whipped cream in small microwave safe bowl.  Gently microwave stopping and stirring frequently, till chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cool 10 minutes.  Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks.  Whisk in white chocolate.  Cover and refrigerate.
Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Many thanks to you, Liz, for sharing such a scrumptious yolky chocolatey dessert with us.  Now you’ve given us plenty of egg whites to put aside for macarons!

Don’t forget to pop by “That Skinny Chick Can Bake!” for many more tempting and delicious recipes from Liz and say hello from me!

Passion Fruit Caramel Choux Buns & a Choux-Choux Train

I used to think that Choux pastry was complicated.  Until one day I opened up “The Black Book“. This was the recipe notebook my Scottish Granny kept, filled with simple, classic recipes from the neighbours, scribbles from the Jimmy Young Radio Show cooking program and bulging with cuttings from magazines and newspapers.

Today it’s encrusted with spatters with the proof that the recipes in her Black Book were tried and tested. I’m honoured that I was passed on her book to keep her recipes alive within the family. It’s amazing how my Granny had such a sweet tooth.  There is only ONE recipe that is savoury out of the whole repertoire. I’m particularly intrigued by newspaper cuttings of the latest trendy 1960’s hairstyles.  Why this is in a recipe cutting book beats me. Is there a recipe on the other side of this hair tinting advert? No.

Twice as fascinating? Control yourself.

Granny’s kitchen was the centre of the house and so her recipe book acts more like an agenda, telling a wee story. The only problem is it’s all scattered about and difficult to make out. I wonder if she tried this hair recipe to impress Grandpa, then? 😉

Granny had several entries for the classic Choux pastry in different forms, as they are the basis for many pastries such as éclairs, profiteroles, réligieuses, chouquettes, waffles and these choux buns.  The recipe (like many wartime recipes) used margarine instead of butter and just 250g water. Here, I’ve replaced some of it with milk and added a touch of orange blossom water.

CHOUX BUNS

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

150g water
90g milk
2 tbsp orange blossom water
4g salt
1 tbsp sugar
90g unsalted butter
150g flour
4 eggs
4 sugar lumps, crushed (optional for chouquettes)

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Boil the water, milk, orange blossom water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.

2.  Once boiling, remove from the heat and quickly add the flour. Whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.

3.  Transfer to a mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and gradually add the eggs until you have a lovely smooth, sticky paste.  At this point, you can seal the pastry in a bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

4.  Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking.

5.  Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water.  If you’re making chouquettes, then sprinkle on crushed sugar lumps.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

TipDon’t open the oven door.  Wait until they are cooked enough, light to dark brown – otherwise they could collapse if not fully baked.

Passion Fruit Cream

(based on Manu’s filling recipe for Genovesi Ericine, Manu’s Menu):

2 egg yolks
150 g sugar
60 g cornflour
250 ml milk
juice of 3 passion fruits

1.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan.  In a bowl, dissolve the cornflour in a quarter of the milk and then add the remaining milk.  Stir well, add the milk to the beaten egg yolks little by little and incorporate it while whisking continuously.

2.  Gently heat the cream, whisking continuously for about 12 minutes or until it thickens.  It needs to become as thick as a pudding.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, covering with cling film so that no skin forms on the surface.

3.  Seive the seeds out of the passion fruits and whisk into the cooled mix.

4.  Transfer to a piping bag and, gently piercing a hole in the side of each choux bun, fill each bun with the passion fruit mixture.

Now make a salted caramel sauce (caramel au beurre salé), but instead of adding a touch of water to the sugar at the start of cooking, mix together the juice of 2 passion fruits to form a syrup with the sugar and proceed as in the caramel recipe. Dribble over the choux buns and prepare to float off to passion fruit heaven.

For some fun, why not decorate your choux buns for a different kind of birthday cake?  In this recipe, I made 12 choux buns for an adult stack above plus 12 buns below for my daughter’s fun ‘cake’:

Choux-choux!

See related post in Le Blog
on
Choux Celebrations

To Orange Blossom & Paris Lovers

It has been chilly in Paris this week. On a damp, drizzly Monday morning a brisk walk through the Tuileries Gardens was therapy to banish the winter blues instead of taking an extra metro stop. It was spookily desserted except for wrapped-up, serious joggers on the run. I say serious: have you ever seen a happy jogger?  Perhaps everyone was inside the Orangerie Museum, marvelling at Monet’s Water Lilies. The cold clinging humidity certainly didn’t stop these two from having a good neck in the corner, though.

Orangery Museum Paris Tuileries Gardens

The Orangerie at the Palace of the Louvre was quite the trend in the 17th & 18th Centuries. Royal and aristocratic residences all needed an orangery with citrus trees in tubs or under glass in winter to impress.

I just wanted to impress hubby with something different for dessert. So, realising there were no egg whites ageing (wonder what for?), orange blossom ice cream seemed fitting after a couscous – and more importantly, since they use 8 yolks. How to make it? I simply replaced 100ml of the cream from the ice cream recipe in the book with orange flower water and added a touch of orange colouring to the cream. Simple and pure heaven.

Orange Flower Water Ice-cream

 

I adore the heavy perfume of orange blossom and I know I’m not alone. I use it in the form of room scents, shower gels and body lotions but when it comes to food, it adds a whole new dimension.

Adding a touch of orange blossom water (or orange flower water) can take desserts or pastries to another level. In France l’eau de fleur d’oranger is normally added to madeleine cakes and marshallows (guimauve). But it’s almost like a secret ingredient that you want to keep for yourself so that nobody can make quite the same brioches, crêpes, gaufres (waffles), cookies, rice puddings or fig tarts (these are coming on le blog.)

Adding it to a simple orange salad or couscous can whisk you on a magic carpet for a few moments to Marrakesh. I sometimes even put a dash of it in pumpkin soup for that touch of je ne sais quoi. I’ve added my recipe take on a creamy panna cotta: a cinnamon, orange blossom & pistachio panna cotta.

Moroccan-style panna cotta

And it goes without saying (ça va sans dire) that orange blossom macarons are one of our favourites. This time I infused an Earl Grey teabag into the cream to add an extra powerful fragrant punch to accompany a pot of Lady Grey tea at goûter time. I can’t believe we polished off 40 of them already…

Orange Blossom & Earl Grey Tea Macarons

Orange Blossom & Earl Grey Tea Parisian Macarons

This post was published long before even Mum knew I had a blog. If you would like to leave a comment now, it’s not too late. You’ll make my day! Jill xo