Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chocolate And Raspberry Celebration Cake

Cooking Time: 20 mins

This is the best cake you will ever eat - light chocolate sponge with the sharp flavour of raspberry mousse. Thank you to Garrett Byrne of Kilkenny's Campagne restaurant for sharing this mousse recipe with me.

For the sponge:
  • 4 large eggs - at room temperature (they whisk up better)
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 100g plain flour
For the raspberry mousse:
  • 100ml water
  • 150g sugar
  • 400g frozen raspberries - leave to defrost for about an hour
  • Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 leaves of gelatine
  • 150ml cream
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • 2 egg whites
  • 35g icing sugar
  • For the chocolate ganache:
  • 210g dark chocolate
  • 120g butter
  • Raspberries to decorate
  1. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch tin with baking parchment. If you grease the tin first it's easier to get the paper to stick to the tin.
  2. Begin by making the sponge. In the bowl of an electric mixer add the eggs and sugar, whisk on a medium speed for 8/10 minutes until the mixture has trebled in size and has a light mousse-like appearance.
  3. Sieve the cocoa powder and flour together. Using a metal spoon fold the sieved flour and cocoa powder into the whisked egg and sugar. Do this a little at a time folding gently as each addition is incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees/gas 3 for 20 minutes or so, until springy and coming away from the side of the tin.
  4. Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes then carefully turn out on a wire rack, leaving the smooth bottom of the cake facing up to avoid being indented by the wire rack - this helps when it comes to decorating.
  5. For the mousse, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 10 minutes.
  6. Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then let it cook to a dark caramel. This will take just a few minutes, so keep a watchful eye on it.
  7. Reduce the heat and add the raspberries, lemon juice and zest, cook for five to seven minutes, then purée in a food processor.
  8. Place a fine nylon sieve over a heatproof bowl and pass the puréed mixture through the sieve. You should be left with just seeds in the sieve. Add the soaked gelatine to the raspberry purée and place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir the purée, into which the gelatine should now dissolve. This should take just a minute or two.
  9. Whip the cream and crème fraîche to soft peaks. Be careful not to over-whip, if you do the cream will be lumpy and hard to incorporate with the egg whites and purée. Now whisk the egg whites. As they stiffen, add the icing sugar, bit by bit. Fold the egg whites into the cream and then fold in the cooled raspberry purée.
  10. For the ganache, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  11. The butter content will give the ganache its silky, glossy finish. Allow it to cool down for 15 to 20 minutes. As it cools, it will set slightly and become more manageable to work with.
  12. To assemble: first, line the tin in which you baked the cake with cling film. If you oil the tin lightly it will give the cling film more purchase. Then line the sides of the tin with baking parchment. The parchment should come up at least an inch over the top of the tin.
  13. When the cake is completely cooled, slice horizontally into three equal layers. Place the bottom layer (this will be the top of the cake when the cake is turned out) into the base of the tin. Pour half the mousse into the tin and spread evenly over the cake. Now place the middle layer of cake on top of the mousse and pour in the remaining mousse. Place the remaining layer on top. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or, better still, overnight to set.
  14. When the mousse is fully set, turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Pour the ganache on top of the cake then, using a palette knife, gently coax the ganache down onto the sides of the cake until it is covered evenly.
  15. Decorate with raspberries and some pretty leaves, dusted liberally with icing sugar. If you are putting candles in the cake it's probably a good idea to pop these in before the icing sets properly.
  16. Ideally the cake should stay in a cool place until needed but don't put it in the fridge if you can avoid doing so, as the chocolate ganache will lose its beautiful lustre.
Photography: Shane O'Neill
Food styling: Leona Humphreys


Monday, March 3, 2014

Rhubarb Compote Recipes

Rhubarb and spring arrive together. I love Rhubarb. It's the first to wave the 'I have survived the winter' flag in my otherwise desolate garden. Last Autumn I put my Rhubarb to bed under a duvet of well rotted manure, my efforts were rewarded as my rhubarb peeked above ground a month early from its winter slumber pink and ready to be plucked.

Rhubarb compote
This compote recipe is so versatile. Delicious served with granola, thick Greek yoghurt or as an addition to Champagne or prosecco as a pretty and gratifying spring cocktail-

Rhubarb Bellini
  • 400g New season Rhubarb cut into 3cm pieces
  • Finely grated rind and juice of one orange
  • 150ml water
  • 400g sugar
  • 1 dessert spoon of Arrowroot.
Wash and slice the Rhubarb. On a gentle heat dissolve the sugar in the orange juice and water, Allow to simmer and add the rhubarb and orange rind, Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow to cool. Strain off the rhubarb and return the syrup to the saucepan. Dissolve the arrowroot in a tablespoon of water then add to the syrup. Return to the syrup to the stove and simmer for 5 minutes until the syrup thickens. Take off the heat, allow to cool, return the Rhubarb. And there you have wonderful compote with so many possibilities.

Pour the chilled syrup into champagne flutes, and then top up with the chilled Processo, Cava or Champagne, stir to mix and add a few pieces of rhubarb from the compote, then top off with more Champagne or Prosecco, pouring gradually, the mixture will bubble madly for a minute!

Granola described once as 'a third layer of clothing on a cold morning' crunchy, nutty, sweet and spicy. We have this for breakfast with Greek yoghurt or loaded onto a big bowl of creamy porridge with lots of delicious compote made from rhubarb in the garden.
  • 250g Jumbo oats
  • 100g Flaked almonds
  • 100g Sunflower seeds
  • 100g Pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teasp grated nutmeg
  • 1 dessert spoon of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 70ml sunflower oil
  • 70g honey
  • 150g ready to eat apricots, cut into chunks.
  1. Pre heat the oven to 150C. Toss the dry ingredients together except the apricots, then add the oil and the honey and mix to coat thoroughly. 
  2. Spread the mixture on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake until golden, turning every 10 minutes so that it browns evenly. The granola should be ready after 30 minutes - cooking time may vary from oven to oven so keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn.
  3. When it comes out f the oven allow to cool and then add the apricots. As the granola cools it will lose it stickiness and become crunchy.
  4. Store in a tightly sealed jar or bag.
Rhubarb Tart
I use the traditional enamel plates to make this tart. They are about 20cm / 8inches wide. An 20cm/ 8 inch loose bottomed tart tin will work also.
  • 225g cold butter cut in small cubes
  • 50g Castor Sugar 
  • 2 Small Eggs beaten with a dessert spoon of cold water 
  • 400g Plain Flour
  • A dessert spoon of cold Water
  • For the Rhubarb
  • 400g Fresh Rhubarb, washed and chopped into 3cm pieces
  • 150g Castor Sugar 
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  1. To make the pastry, in a food processor blitz the flour, sugar and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs; add the eggs and water make a non sticky doughy consistency. 
  2. Knead the pastry on a floured surface into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  3. After chilling, roll out ½ the pastry on a floured surface until even and wide enough to cover the tart plate 
  4. Grease the tart plate or tin and place the pastry on top (if pastry hangs over the side don't cut it off.
  5. Next toss the rhubarb in the sugar and orange rind, and put on the pastry base.
  6. Roll out the remainder of the pastry and place on top of the Rhubarb. Use water to seal the pastry base and top together and for a better seal and look, go around the edges and press down with a fork. With a sharp knife trim off the edges and pastry bits sticking out and keep for decoration.
  7. Make a few cuts with a sharp knife on the surface of the pastry a few times to allow hot rising air to escape while cooking and decorate your Rhubarb tart in any way you please! 
  8. Wash some egg on the surface to create a glossy look when cooked and also sprinkle some sugar on top for taste and effect.
  9. Place Rhubarb tart into a pre heated over at 180°C/350°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. Let the tart cool and serve on its own or with fresh cream or custard.
Springtime Bliss!

Photography: Shane O Neill
Food Styling: Leona Humphreys