Chocolate & Lavender Cake

I’m so careless with typing recipes when I get so excited to share things that I miss out a couple of ingredients here and there sometimes. Just a disclaimer, I am not and never have accepted any sponsorships to do or promote anything and I would not do it unless it’s something I truly believe in. I do not get paid or receive any benefits when I share these recipes either. I’m purely doing this out of the spirit of sharing during this hard period we’re all going through. I have only ever sold the bakes I’ve made. I’ve never believed in ‘advertising as money’. It may be a long term investment, but it also has its risks which I did not feel was necessary to take back in the day as I was doing more than I could cope with. So pardon my mistakes! And let me know if you’ve spotted one – like did you forget the sugar? or eggs?

This chocolate cake is SO simple to make, you don’t need a mixer, you really only need a whisk and a bowl. Because I baked it in a sheet tray, it left me many options to the sizes I could build. I made a tiny cakelet and a 4″ layered cake. I could have made another 2 more cakelets, but I saved the rest wrapped up and placed in the freezer.

If you don’t like lavender, leave it out. But I find the floral flavour of lavender so delicious with dark chocolate. Lavender almost has a ginger-esque/rosemary quality to it. It’s such a complex flavour. Used in moderation it’s luxurious, and too much it tastes like soap. I steep it to taste, most timings I place are just a general guide, so follow your taste!

Chocolate Cake
Yield: One 1/4 sheet tray – 9×13″

Wet:

95g Plain yogurt
55g Water
137.5g Sugar
72.5g Oil
2ea Eggs

Dry:

20g Cocoa powder
102.5g Plain flour
3g Salt
4g Baking Soda

Whisk wet in a bowl, sift dries into wet and whisk until smooth (stop when it’s smooth, don’t overwhisk it)
Line a quarter sheet tray with parchment and pour cake mix in
Preheat an oven to 350F/170C
Bake cake for 18-20 minutes or until set

Lavender Dark Chocolate Cremeux
Yield: enough to pipe two 3 layered 4″ cakes

Anglaise:
250g heavy cream
250g milk
1 TBSP lavender buds, gently crushed
100g yolks
50g granulated sugar

325g dark chocolate

Make an anglaise by placing cream and milk into a pot with lavender buds and bring up to a boil
Steep for 5 minutes
Strain and measure the milk-cream mixture again, top it up with milk to make 500g
Place in a pot and bring up to a boil
Whisk yolks and sugar together
Temper yolks by whisking hot milk in 3 small additions then bring back to the pot and cook until 80C
Immediately strain hot milk mixture over chocolate and let it sit for a few seconds
Whisk until smooth, place a piece of plastic wrap touching the surface of the chocolate and refrigerate until set
Once cooled, place a piping tip into a piping bag and fill bag with cremeux

Assembly:

Freeze or refrigerate cake
Cut circles out by using a cutter or a bowl to trace a circular shape
Pipe cremeux
Repeat two more times for a 3 layered cake
Refrigerate to set
Temper at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or have it cold straight out of the fridge with a glass of cold milk
The texture of the cremeux should be pipable out of the fridge, if not let it sit on the counter until it’s soft enough to be piped

Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart


What makes you happy? I’ve been trying my best to appreciate this rare ‘free’ time we have now. I would have never imagined in my life that this would happen. With that said, afternoon tea definitely makes me happy. Amongst that, cute wooden plates, crinkled linen and brown things also make me happy.
Silky ganache and crunchy hazelnut butter. Flakey sea salt.
The tart shell is basically a pressed in pie or cheesecake crust. I made my own cookies (recipe here) to grind into fine crumbs. You can use graham crackers instead. If you really don’t feel like baking, you could always make an oreo cheesecake crust instead which only requires melting butter and mixing it with oreo cookie crumbs – there are many recipes online!
Filled 1/3 way with chunky hazelnut butter. I purchased this freshly ground chocolate hazelnut butter at a grocery store called rainbow in San Francisco. One of my favourite places to visit! The store is filled with so many self-serve bins of herbs, spices, nut butters, granola. You name it, they’ll likely have it. The just don’t sell meat, which I’m fine with.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Tart
Yield: 3 – 4″ tarts

Hazelnut Tart Base:

40g buttery cookie crumbs
25g ground hazelnuts
15g cocoa powder
15g icing sugar
20g unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt

Stir all ingredients together, divide into 3 equal portions and press into tart moulds
Freeze until firm
Preheat and oven to 350F or 170C
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Press down again if it has puffed up with a spoon
Leave to cool in mold

Ganache Filling:

110g Heavy cream
15g Honey
90g Dark chocolate (valrhona guanaja 70%)
12g Unsalted butter, room temp

Place cream and honey into a small pot and bring up to a boil, turn off heat
Immediately pour over chocolate, let sit for a few seconds
Stir until smooth
Whisk butter in


Assembly:

Spread ~ 1 TBSP hazelnut butter at the bottom of the tart
Pour ganache on top of hazelnut butter
Grate chocolate on top of ganache
Refrigerate to set
Once firm, remove tart from mold gently (has to be cold or it’ll fall apart)
Sprinkle flaky salt on top of tart just before serving
Enjoy at room temperature

Fruit Tart

Beautiful strawberries, pastry cream and jam hanging out in the fridge. That calls for fruit tarts please! You can fill it with any fruit, blueberries, kiwi, dragonfruit, citrus!

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Ideally, you’d want to make the pâte sucrée (sweet tart crust) the day before, let it chill, roll, freeze, cut and line then freeze again.

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Pâte Sucrée

Yield: ~ 6 5cm tarts

Ingredients:

150g All Purpose Flour
63g   Icing Sugar
75g   Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
1 ea  Egg

Rubbing by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix flour, icing sugar and butter together in a bowl until the butter has coated the flour
Stir egg into mixture until it forms a paste
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm
Place enough dough in between two pieces parchment paper and roll until 1.5-2mm thick
Freeze on a flat tray
Punch out circles with a cutter to fit the size of the tart mold (I usually cut about 1-2cm larger than the diameter as you have to account for the height of the mold) – dough can be rerolled once, afterwhich it’ll become tough
Line pliable, but cold dough circles in the tart mold (too cold and it’ll be brittle and break, too soft and it’ll be too sticky to work with and try not to dust with flour as it makes your tart dry)
(Any leftover dough can be frozen if wrapped properly)
Dock with a fork to prevent shrinkage (prick the surface)
Freeze lined tart molds
Preheat an oven to 175C/350F
Prepare baking beans or pie weights for blind baking the tarts – either wrap beans in plastic wrap that’s oven safe or line the surface of the tart with parchment enough to cover the raw tart
Blind bake tarts straight from frozen for 10 minutes
Remove pie weights/baking beans and continue baking until golden ~ 10 minutes (oops, mine’s a little dark. you’d want one shade lighter)
Cool then remove from the tart mold

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To assemble, prepare pastry cream and jam that you can find from the strawberry galette post!

Assembly:

Melt white chocolate or dark chocolate and brush tarts (this is to prevent it from become soggy in the fridge)
Spread 1 tbsp strawberry jam at the bottom of the tart
Spread 2 -3 tbsp pastry cream on top of jam (enough to cover and fill to the brim)
Assemble washed and cut strawberries on top of the pastry cream
Decorate with mint leaves
Chill for an hour before serving

Happy baking!!