Black Forest Gateau, Germany
Black Forest Gateau is a traditional mouth-watering German dessert made of moist chocolate cake and whipped cream that is layered with freshly picked cherries.
Butter, for greasing
6 large eggs, separated
150 g Golden Caster Sugar
50 g Cocoa Powder
50 g Dark Chocolate
Tinned Black Cherries in Fruit Juice
2tbsp Black Cherry Jam
200 ml Whipped Cream
Fresh Cherries to Decorate
• Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter two cake tins and line the base with baking parchment. Place egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for 3-4 minutes until pale. Fold in the cocoa powder and 25g chocolate, roughly chopped.
• In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites. Add one spoonful to the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in using a large metal spoon, Divide the chocolate mix between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
• Leave the cakes to cool in their tins, and then slide a knife around the edges to ease from the tins. Discard the baking parchment and place one cake on a serving plate.
• Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix 2tbsp of cherry juice with the kirsch and drizzle over the cake. Evenly spread jam on the top. Softly whip the cream and spread half of it over the jam. Cut two-thirds of the cherries in half and place on the cream. Finely grate 25 g of chocolate and sprinkle half over the cherries.
• Top with the second cake and spread the rest of the cream on top. Place whole, fresh cherries around the top edge. Scatter the remaining chocolate in the middle and arrange the whole cherries in the center.
Churros are Spanish fried-dough pastries, eaten as an after dinner treat that are commonly dipped in a small pot of warm chocolate sauce.
½ cup plus 1 ½ tbsp. sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. plus 2 quarts of vegetable oil, divided
1-cup all-purpose flour
You will need: A cloth pastry bag with a large star pastry tip
• Combine ½ cup sugar with the cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside. Line a plate with paper towels.
• In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water, 1 ½ tbsp. sugar, salt and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Bring the mixture to boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the flour, mixing it until it forms a ball.
• Heat 3 to 4 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat until it reaches 375 F. (Ensure 3 inches above the surface of oil to prevent bubbling over)
• Transfer the dough to a cloth pastry bag. Pipe the dough over the pot of oil to a length of approx. 4 inches, with up to 3 churros into the oil at one time. Fry until golden brown and transfer to a paper towel lined plate for 2 minutes to drain.
• Dust them in cinnamon sugar mixture and serve with warm chocolate sauce.
Like so many Italian masterpieces, Tiramisu is a rich treat that blends the bold with the subtle. It combines sweet cream cheese, biscuits and coffee, making it a perfect finish to a special dinner.
4 eggs, separated
75 g caster sugar
450 g mascarpone cheese
100 ml espresso
16-24 savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits
Cocoa powder, to dust
• Whisk three of the white eggs until stiff, then set aside. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then whisk in the mascarpone cheese, a little at a time, until smooth and well combined. Gently fold the three whites into the mascarpone mixture with a large metal spoon.
• Pour the espresso into a shallow dish and dip each biscuit until it is a pale coffee color. Arrange the soaked biscuits to cover the base of a shallow glass dish. Spoon a third of the mascarpone mixture on top, followed by a sprinkle of cocoa and repeat the layers with a final topping of cheese and cocoa on top.
• Cover and refrigerate for six hours before serving.
Peach Melba, France
One of France’s most famous and beloved desserts, Peach Melba pairs the freshness of ripe peaches with sugared raspberry and vanilla ice cream, which binds the delicate balance of flavors in this seasonal, fuss-free dessert.
1-½ cup water
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-pint premium vanilla ice cream
For Raspberry Sauce:
1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
½ tbsp. lemon juice
• Combine water, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract into a large saucepan and heat on low until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil. Let cook at boiling for 3 minutes and then turn back down to simmer.
• Cut peaches in half. Place in the syrup and let poach for 2-3 minutes per side. When finished poaching, remove to plate. After the peaches have cooled, peel off the skin and remove the stones. Set aside.
• For the raspberry sauce, combine the relevant ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. Strain into a container.
• Assemble the dish by putting two peach halves in a bowl along with a scoop of the ice cream. Spoon the raspberry sauce generously on top and serve immediately.
Similar to the Arabian Luqaimat, Loukoumades are crispy golden balls of dough, soaked in honey with a sprinkling of cinnamon and finely chopped nuts.
250 g plain flour
2 teaspoon dried yeast
1 tbsp. clear honey
250 ml warm water
For the Sauce:
100 g Honey
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
½ lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. water
50 g pistachios, lightly crushed
• Sift the flour, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add honey and warm water and mix until well combined. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes.
• Fill a heavy bottomed pan two-thirds full with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180°C. Carefully drop tablespoons of the mixture into the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to drain on a kitchen paper.
• For the sauce, place the honey, sugar, lemon zest and juice, butter and 1 tbsp. water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the pistachios and remove the pan from the heat.
• Pour the sauce over the Loukoumades and dust lightly with ground cinnamon.