Bliss-ful, Blood orange, Birthday Brulee

Bliss turns 2 this month. Yep, just like that my baby is walking on her own! :O

hmmm, I only put 1 candle on ‘coz I thought it looked better?! Questioning my judgement now, since it is for a 2nd birthday…
The first few fruit from my Mum’s blood orange tree. She’s had it for a while! They live up to their finnicky reputation

I just can’t thank my friends and family enough for supporting me in my endeavours with Bliss while I have tried to find my feet. And, now I find, I have come to a point where I have had to make some decisions as to which direction I want to take this little business, which has come so far. During the time that I was most involved in my pondering and constant perusal of cooking shows, cake blogs, and other cake-y Facebook pages, my inspiration arrived in a little delivery of first fruits, from my Mum’s blood orange tree.

I first came across blood oranges while I was living in China and was immediately taken by their unique bloody looking flesh and aromatic, tart flavour. They have been described as having a flavour that is between an orange and a raspberry. Expect a smaller, thinner skinned fruit, with a tartness that you do not normally get with a navel orange. There is some question as to whether the fruit originated in China, however it is Sicily that boasts a long history of cultivating the blood orange and using the gorgeous flavour in anything from salads to soft drinks . These finicky fruit trees require scorching daytime heat and frigid night-time temperatures during Autumn to push the naturally produced redness in the fruit, to higher levels within the flesh and sometimes within the skin.

And so, it was these little fruits that put me on the path of remembering what I said after my first Christmas of baking under the Bliss banner. I love creating, I love sharing, and I love fresh, seasonal produce.

Only a little hint of red in these babies, the real deal are much more likely to attract Dracula!

Of course, I will keep baking indulgent chocolate cakes for my gorgeous customers! However my time is limited, my resources sparse and as much as I love the idea of going retail with my cakes it is not really the road for me, without a capable partner. So, what I can do, and would love to do more of, is to keep putting together Bliss-ful recipes, of wonderful cakes and desserts (mostly chocolate based!) that I can share with everyone. What do you think? Would you like to hear more about how my brain works and try my ideas out at home?

I really hope so?! And, that is why I am posting a first recipe with this path in mind. Please feel free to share and comment, I love a good chat! If you do share my recipe, I would only request that you please give my blog recognition.

I hope you enjoy this impressive, Bliss-ful, Blood orange, Birthday Brulee!!

*Bake the custard the night before you are serving it, to allow it to cool thoroughly in the fridge and reduce stress!!

Blood Orange Brulee

6 large egg yolks

1 cup castor sugar

1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)

600ml cream

Finely grated zest of 1 blood orange

Roughly chopped flesh of 1 blood orange

Slices of blood orange for garnish

3-4 tablespoons brown sugar

Decoration

150ml whipping cream

2 tsp castor sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Block of good quality dark chocolate

Toffee walnuts (see previous blog for recipe ‘Toffee anything is Bliss”)

Preheat oven to 150C.

Place egg yolks into a 1.65l Pyrex dish (actually, any oven proof dish will do, you just don’t want it too large as the custard will sit too low)

Whisk in the sugar until well combined.

Split vanilla pod and place into a pot with the cream ( or just add a teaspoon of vanilla seed paste to the cream), and heat until nearly boiling. Take out pod and scrape seeds back into the cream. Add grated orange zest.

Pour heated cream slowly into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly.

Drop roughly chopped orange pieces evenly around the bowl, into the custard mixture.

Place bowl into a roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with boiling water, until water reaches half way up the oven proof bowl.

Place tray into oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Custard should still be wobbly when you take it out of the oven however, it should not shake as if the centre is still completely liquid. Allow to cool.

Refrigerate custard for at least 4 hrs, or leave it over night and get a good nights rest!

Place slices of blood orange on top of the brulee in your own creative pattern or just put 3 slices in the centre, like I did.

Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the custard and the oranges. Preferably use a brulee torch to melt the sugar and let it caramelize, otherwise put bowl under the grill for approx 2 minutes and allow the top of your custard to brown. ( I have never had much luck with this method, so don’t really recommend it).

Pop it back into the fridge for about an hour to make sure the brulee has hardened.

Looks good enough to eat! Serve as is, with some fresh fruit on the side. If you want it to look extra sexy, keep on reading…

I would be happy to serve this as is, for a family dinner however if you want it to look extra sexy, keep going!

Whip cream with sugar and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks.

Drag a sharp, cooks knife across the back of a block of good quality dark chocolate to produce some chocolate curls.

Pipe cream around the edges of the bowl in over sized rosettes. Place toffee walnuts and chocolate curls alternately on top of the cream rosettes.

oh yeah…
Advertisements

Toffee ‘anything’ is Bliss

NO!!!! Before you say “YUCK”, and stop reading I must plead with you to persevere, please???

Seriously, put ‘toffee’ in front of almost any food and it sounds amazing! Ok, maybe not calamari…

Walnuts.

I know, I know, you and I both immediately think, “Oh no, bitter, slightly soft, stale, and just all round gross.” Am I right? But, please, please, please stay with me, if only out of loyalty to the Australian farmers out there who grow this much maligned nut, that is usually reserved for dodgy, Christmas gift baskets. Believe it or not, I have also discovered that there is some scientific evidence to suggest that walnuts may also help to improve efficiency of fat and carbohydrate break down within the body so that must be one more reason to keep reading ūüôā

“How could I possibly change your mind”, you ask? Bliss-ing up simple foods and recipes doesn’t need to be difficult. Just add toffee! Who doesn’t love toffee? Put the word toffee in front of almost anything and it becomes an absolutely irresistable treat. Put toffee in with some walnuts and the flavours meld and mature into something worlds away from the nasty, stale, bits that stay in the nut bowl during the holiday season.

I just happened to be in Woolworths today and picked up a tub of Macro walnuts. They were crying out to be bought and eaten, but if you can get fresh picked or have a tree, even better!

The flavour of a good walnut is already fresher and lighter than anything that may jump out of the murky depths of your childhood food memories, and the very slight bitterness that you notice at the very end is, in fact the perfect foil for a good toffee. In fact, once toffeed, the humble walnut, takes on a warmth and depth that actually tastes so much richer than the product that you first started with. Eating even just one, immediately evokes visions of open fires and lovely big glasses of red wine.

So here we go! Although nut season is Autumn (think squirrels!), I see lots of shelled nuts readily available at markets now. I guess it takes time for them to be picked, shelled, dried and then get onto the shelf! I challenge you to pop out and buy some lovely organic walnuts, and make this really simple, low-cost recipe.

Tell me if it doesn’t change your mind about walnuts?

Toffee Walnuts

150g shelled walnuts

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons water

A non stick chefs pan is perfect for this recipe but any sauce pan will do.

Keep boiling until you get your toffee nice and dark. That’s when it’s at its most tasty!

Place sugar and water into pan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Increase heat and boil sugar for about 5 minutes or until sugar becomes dark caramel colour.

Decrease flame to low and throw in walnuts. Stir until all the nuts are coated.

Pour out onto a buttered (optional), non stick pan and cool.

Pour the toffee walnuts onto a non stick tray. For a little extra smoothness, butter the tray first

(Immediately soak cooking pot in water for easy clean up.)

Once tray is cool, put into the fridge until toffee is hard.

Break apart into pieces and eat as is, or serve as a garnish on desserts.

Transformed from scary and shunned to an irresistable treat. Shiny, rich and flavourful. Yum, toffee walnuts ūüôā

Whose tradition is it anyway? The Kitchen God

Interesting that Dr Charlie Teoh, has inflamed a racist debate just as I was writing this post.¬† Not only is it the week before Australia day, but also only a few days before….

Firecrackers,¬†lucky red packets, dancing lions and dragons, loud drums and clanging¬†gongs…have you got it yet?

Hong De Lion at Melbourne International Airport giving travellers a taste of Australia!

Chinese New Year¬†marks the beginning of the new lunar year by well,¬†pretty much everyone in Melbourne!¬† Anyone who is Asian or who has friends of Asians descent are¬†familiar with the noise, spectacle and general good cheer of Chinese New Year, in the same way all we non-Christians¬†recognizes Christmas as a time of family, good will and gift giving.¬†¬†Although celebrations have certainly been going on for about 150 years in Australia, since the influx of Chinese migrants during the gold rush, Australians do not all celebrate it…yet,¬†‘though¬†it will be interesting to see if it become a national holiday over time?!

Australia has moved¬†over the last¬†40 years, towards a whole new, embracing, national identity that leaves the “White Australia”* policy as an embarrassing¬†foot note on a developing nations history.¬† From a very personal view,¬†¬†even though one arm of our family is now 6th generation Australian,¬†I grew up during a period in time where it was a¬†struggle understanding my identity as an Australian of Chinese descent, dealing with blatant racism, even as a small child by fully grown (non-drunk, take note Politicians) adults, having my face, clothes and food laughed at, and of course¬†not being¬†blonde and blue-eyed, I would¬†just feel¬†outright, alien.¬† In fact,¬†my identity is something¬†I still struggle with and subconsciously, always try to hide.¬† I am sure that this feeling of being an outsider no matter what colour your skin, no matter what your age, is more common than any of us¬†care to admit.¬† And yet,¬†at the same time, I have never felt so accepted and ‘normal’ within the community.¬† Life is always changing, I look around me and feel that it is¬†an amazing time for me to be living in and celebrating Chinese New Year in Melbourne!¬† There will always be small-minded, ignorant, and just plain rude people in any society, however, as I said in my New Year’s Eve post…with a bit of effort, we can always improve.

Well, with such an ancient celebration it is not surprising that there would be¬†many, many¬† traditions tied to its very mention, but given my slant on the world from the¬†suburban kitchen of Bliss,¬†I want to have a stab at Bliss-ing my favourite tradition…FOOD!!!

For foodies of all cultures, one of the best new year stories would have to be that of the Kitchen God.  Every new year, the Kitchen God leaves his post on the altar in the family kitchen ( yes, that is

Now, who wants to get a bad report when the Kitchen God heads off on his yearly mission?

probably where you would expect to find a kitchen god!) to travel up to heaven and give his report to the Jade Emperor on the goings on in the family as they talked, argued, laughed and cried over their family meals.¬†¬†Now, who doesn’t want to look good on their report, I ask you?¬† So, being as ingenious as the Chinese race is,¬† a wonderful and crazy, sticky, sweet,¬†concoction known as ‘Nian¬†Goa’¬† is offered to the Kitchen God on new year’s eve to stick his mouth together so that he can’t say anything bad in his report!¬† Aaaaaaah, love the creative use of¬†dessert!

The recipe for Nian Goa floored me! Basically, it is brown sugar caramel with rice flour steamed to¬†within an inch of its life….truly…hours and hours and well, hours!¬† So long in fact, you wonder if the original wasn’t just forgotten on the stove, while the cook went out to tend the fields, chat with the neighbours, buy groceries, get her hair done…..No wonder we never made it at home!!

With a texture like mozzarella and a brown sugar caramel flavour…it’s really not that weird when pan fried with egg!

Nian¬†Goa¬†has a crazy rubbery texture, when you get it home from the shop.¬† (No, seriously, it is round. bouncy and brown,¬†it could make a really good tyre substitute for a small go-cart!)¬† Then, being of Southern Chinese origin, we cut it into slices and then into squares, dip it in egg and pan fry it slowly until it has the consistency of mozarella cheese with a slightly crisp, egg-y outer.¬† Insane!!! But, I love it ūüôā

Hubby, is from Malaysia where they sandwich the slices between sweet potato, or taro and then dip it into batter and deep fry it.¬† Crispy on the outside, biting into aromatic, flour-y, potato-y, texture and then a gooey caramell-y centre. Crazy!!!¬† But he loves it ūüôā

So, Lynnette¬†and Hubby met, fell in love and live in Melbourne¬† where I have decided I am going to put a¬†Bliss spin on it.¬† Hmmmm, will it work?¬† Well, let’s see then… Love the egg-y combination¬†with the brown sugar¬†caramel flavour of mine, love the crisp outer shell of his and I especially¬†love how Aussies¬† make everything their own by adding Beer!¬† My most striking memory of TV as a newly migrated 4-year-old was the Vic Bitter ad.¬† “A hard-earned thirst, calls for a big cold beer.¬† The biggest beer is Vic, Victor-ia Bitter”, how do I remember it?¬† It is burned into my memory as being the most incredibly Australian thing I had ever, ever seen in my very short life!¬† No, not even Skippy the talking kangaroo could do it.

So, there we have it, ‘Egg yolk dipped,¬†beer batter, nian goa strips,¬†tempura style’ ha ha,¬†what a mouthful!¬† Dust liberally with icing sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream¬†on the side, in fact, give it a real Aussie feel and make the ice cream yourself with amazing fresh Australian dairy products,¬†like Gippsland cream.

Uh huh, mmmmmm¬†what a mouthful.¬† I think Kitchen Gods all around Australia will be toasting to the Jade Emporer’s health with a¬†dash of cognac after a dessert like that and¬†offering all mere mortals a resounding A+ ūüėÄ

Crispy and light, just a hint of fragrance from the egg and soft and sticky on the inside. A+ from me ūüôā

Health, Wealth and Heaps of Happiness for a magnificent Year of the Dragon everyone.  Goong Hei Fatt Choy xxx

*embarrassing footnote:  White Australia policy favoured Anglo-Saxon migration over all other cultures and nationalities to , I guess, produce a White Australia!

Hatyai!! Mango and Glutinous Rice Recipe

Pad tai, Tom yum, Satay…Hatyai!!

Chewy, gelatinous colour coded sweeties. Green for pandan, brown for coconut and dark brown for the daring….durian!

It might sound like your Grandfather sneezing or an action, exclamation from your favourite Manga cartoon character, but Hatyai is actually a little¬† town near the Siamese-Malaysian border, (read Thai border, but Siam sounds so much more exotic!).¬† This little hub has been a mecca for Malaysian tourists looking for a great deal, for about 20 years now.¬† Everything is highly geared towards the local tourist dollar, from the array of body and foot massage centres, to the vast numbers of Chinese food outlets.¬† Amazingly, it was actually quite a struggle to find Thai food at all!¬† One shop owner when asked what traditionally Thai dishes she served, screwed up her nose at me and quite flatly, said, “None”.

Well, this was not exactly the beginning to the great Thai, culinary adventure that I was hoping for!

What a display! Do you recognize any of these desserts?

It actually took some leg work, getting amongst the street stalls and doing a bit of sticky beaking,¬† to find some more traditional snacks and drinks.¬† As you can imagine, I automatically gravitated towards anything sweet and dessert like.¬† Some were familiar to me from Thai restaurants I have visited and some, well, I couldn’t get an explanation of what they were, even when I was trying¬† to buy them! Like most Asian desserts, gelatinous textures with complex sweet and salty flavour combinations were the main themes.¬† It took eventually coming across a drink stall, which was packed with people, to really highlight to me, how limited our Western palatte and diet really is.¬† From pennywort and chrysanthemum to basil there was a board of at least 20 types of herbal thirst quenchers,¬† that customers were lined up for.¬† Chilled bottles were handed out in twos and threes across the sea of heads, amongst the noise and chaos that typifies a sweltering evening at the night market.¬† Having just been blown away by the amazing variety of flavours, I walked on…and then there it was.

There is always one dessert that rises up above all else and really, it doesn’t have to be the biggest, the most expensive or the most complex, just the most memorable ūüôā

Freshly sliced, Thai mangoes served with a fragrant glutinous rice and coconut milk.  Oh, it took my breath away, sublimely simple but the Thai mangoes are fresher in taste,  and have less of the juicy, over the top sweetness that we demand from our Queensland mangoes.  The simple smooth, firm freshness, of the mangoes, paired perfectly with the fragrant pandan infused, slightly salty, glutinous rice.  Definitely my most memorable food moment this trip.

Simple roadside snacks can be so memorable ūüôā

Here is a recipe for Kao Niow Ma-muang which I have tweaked (no surprises there!) that you might like to try.

  • 2 cups glutinous rice (available from Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 fresh or frozen pandan leaves (available from Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced

Place rice in a large bowl and rinse the rice with cold water

Fill bowl with water so that the water line is about 5 centimetres over the rice line.  Soak overnight.

Line a bamboo steaming basket with a clean tea towel.  Spread the rice evenly over the tea towel.

Place covered steamer basket over boiling water and steam for approximately 30 minutes.

Open the steamer basket, stir the rice to help cook it more evenly, and sprinkle approximately 1/2 cup water over the top of the rice.  Cover basket and steam for a further 30 minutes.

Heat coconut milk, sugar and salt together in a saucepan.  Do not boil.  Stir until smooth.

Hand shred  2-3 pandan leaves and tie them into a knot.  Place pandan leaves into coconut milk and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove pandan leaves and squeeze liquid from leaves back into sauce, before discarding.  Keep sauce warm.

Transfer cooked rice to a large bowl.

While rice is still hot, stir through half of the coconut sauce.  Stir well with a large spoon, making sure all grains are well coated.

Let rice stand for approximately 15 minutes.

Serve 1 scoop of rice with sliced mango on the side. Top with some basil or mint, and maybe a scoop of coconut ice cream to add a little ‘Bliss’!

Serve coconut sauce in a separate jug so that anyone who would like extra sauce can help themselves!

Dream of warm, sunny beaches or bustling, teaming night markets.¬† Either way see you in Thailand ūüôā

‘Royal Pudding’ Recipe. Otherwise known as, ‘Caramel Custard’ :)

Happiness is –

A good bank account

A good cook, and

A good digestion

from The Etiquette of English Puddings
I didn’t know there was etiquette surrounding puddings until I was given this book! ūüôā
 

As close as my hubby comes to being English, is a penchant for ‘fry ups’ and wishing he grew up as one of the ‘Secret Seven’! Even so, he would agree wholeheartedly with this old English saying!¬† As for me, I wished for nothing more than to find I had fairies and pixies¬†living at the bottom of my garden (yes, I often went searching) and have grown up with a secret obsession with pudding!¬† Ssssssshhhhhh, I don’t know that even the English find that PC to say :D.¬† Such was my love of pudding that my sister found a little gift for me on one of her first trips to London,¬† this gorgeous little book known as The Etiquette of English Puddings.

‘Royal Pudding’ recipe, if you would like to follow the original

There are so many traditionally English puddings that bring back fond memories for friends and family, but this¬† ‘Royal Pudding’ caught my eye immediately.¬† It was either adapted from the French dessert or the French made it their own.¬† It is such an amazing classic that it has been laid claim to right throughout the world!¬† On my first trip to Malaysia, sitting in a roadside coffee shop for lunch, I was astounded to find that this sweet treat was a specialty of the house, and that all sweet toothed Malaysians considered it a local dessert!¬† Better known as Creme Caramel to most of us in Australia, that sticky, runny caramel sauce paired with a smooth egg-y custard, served cold with cream is a formidable dessert staple.

The original recipes use full cream and are normally served individually.

Absolutely breathtaking, but very rich.

I have adapted the recipe to a much lighter, family friendly, version, that can be eaten anytime.¬† I usually make this pudding¬† ‘cake size’ , so that it can be sliced and served at a party.

Caramel

Splendidly simple, rich, vanilla infused caramel sauce atop a creamy custard pudding

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Custard

3 cups milk

1 cup cream

5 eggs

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tspn vanilla

3 egg yolks. extra

**If you are visiting Bliss especially for this recipe please take a second to do a quick poll, as I would love some feedback. Thank you in advance!**

mmmm up close and personal!

Caramel:¬† Place sugar and water into saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.¬† Stop stirring.¬† Increase heat to moderate and boil until mixture turns a caramel cover.¬† Pour into the base of a greased 8″ cake tin.

Custard; Place eggs, extra yolks, vanilla and sugar in bowl.  Beat lightly.  Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to scalding point, cool slightly.  Pour over egg mixture, stirring all the time.  Strain into a large jug.  Pour gently over the caramel.

Place tin into shallow baking dish containing approximately 2cm cold water.  Bake at 170C for 50 minutes.  Remove tin from the water.  Cool and refrigerate.  Run sharp knife around edge and turn out onto a deep serving dish (make sure your serving dish is deep enough for the caramel sauce to sit in!).

“My Husband and I will be dining on charcoal chicken, champagne and royal pudding tomorrow night.”

I don’t know how ‘Royal’ I will feel, but I know that I will certainly be happy ūüôā

*It’s in the oven right now.¬† I will post a photo next week.¬† Enjoy your weekend!

'Royal Pudding'.  It must be 'royal'  I have the pink fluffy, plastic tiara to prove it! :)
‘Royal Pudding’. It must be ‘royal’ I have the pink fluffy, plastic tiara to prove it! ūüôā

 

*If you are enjoying being blissed, please drop me a comment with any feedback or comments!  I would love to know what you are enjoying most and what you would like to see more of.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list or follow me on wordpress to see all my latest ramblings ūüôā *

Family Friendly Chocolate Mousse recipe

“Not everybody likes, rich, moist, heavy chocolate cakes.”

WHAAAAAT!!!

I know, amazing, but true.¬† Almost laughable, but still true.¬† What’s worse, that strange, other wordly, demographic includes family ūüė¶

Those outlying, aliens actually want something completely crazy from me.¬† They want me to prove my abilities as a baker…I can’t imagine why, as most of them have eaten every cake I’ve ever baked (good and disastrous!) ¬†since I was 10.¬† But okay,¬† they want to know, can I bake cakes that fall into the category of¬† ‘light’ of ¬†‘sponge’ of¬† ‘angelic’?

Couldn’t help ‘Bliss-ing’ up a sponge cake for a kid’s birthday cake ūüėõ

The answer is actually, yes, when I can be bothered to spend my time in that realm ( a little long winded, but captures the essence of my nature, quite nicely!!).¬† My children have a fantastic little line, which comes out whenever they try¬†¬†to imitate me…”I’m going to make a sponge”

Yes, there was a time that sponge cake become a, very slight, obsession. Such was my dedication to perfecting my bouncy, white, old fashioned¬†sponge cake recipe, that I made at least one every other day.¬† Victoria sponges and Genoise are the technically correct ways to bake a sponge without oil, but the finish of these cakes¬†just doesn’t appeal to me much.¬† Victoria sponges, for me, are a little dry and mouth puckering, which is why I guess jam, cream and a cup of tea are the culturally accepted accompaniments. Genoise, on the other hand uses sugar to add moisture which just pushes the sweetness factor, way over the top!¬† Most other sponge recipes have varying amounts of butter and oil added, which¬†although, not technically correct, make for a more-ish texture¬†that appeals to most of your average¬†cake eaters, including me.¬†¬† Recipes that dip into corn flour and custard powders are great for a really soft, commercial texture, and if you are looking for something,¬† ‘as good as the shops’, these are absolutely the recipes to use.¬† But, for me,¬†I believe a sponge should be well, spongey!¬† My sponge cake is something I have worked on by testing and combining the best of recipes I have come across, since I was a kid to appeal to ….me!¬† So, when I was asked to make a kid’s, family birthday cake, for non-gooey chocolate cake lovers,¬† I knew it was sponge cake time.¬† But, you know…I couldn’t resist Bliss-ing it up of course!!!¬† I sandwiched the sponge with chocolate mousse, smothered it in fresh cream and smooshed¬†some Lindt¬†balls to put on top.¬† ¬†For a more grown up finish I probably would have gone dark chocolate mocha mousse, couverture¬† glaze, sprinkled with hazelnut praline but hey, I can’t win them all.

I think chocolate mousse is a great, easy way to turn something simple, into something absolutely luxurious!  Now, there is a Bliss philosophy for you!  Here is a pared down version of Michel Roux lovely chocolate mousse recipe, that will appeal to everyone in the family.   Enjoy!!

125g milk chocolate

125g mild dark chocolate  (I know, it seems wrong when I have 2 kg of 70% callebaut sitting in my kitchen!)

4 large eggs

100g caster sugar

50ml thickened cream

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place into a small bowl.  Melt by microwaving in 30 sec bursts and stirring in between.  Stir until smooth.

Separate eggs, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add sugar, a little at a time and beat until a very firm snow (I just had to leave that unedited, what a way with words!)  Or in other words, until stiff peaks form.

Beat egg yolks lightly. Stir egg yolks and cream into melted chocolate and immediately fold in beaten egg whites delicately with a spatula.  Divide into 4 individual dessert glasses and refrigerate until firm.

The definition of Bliss!

Oooh la la!!  These gorgeous little cakes are sooo good, they have me breaking out in year 9 French, and my French was never that good to start with!

Chocolate Lava cakes with freshly whipped, vanilla bean cream

It all started with a simple question from my great friend Michelle, ” Ron, (her lovely hubby) would like to know if you have ever thought of doing anything with peppermint and chocolate?”.¬† Well, have I thought about it?¬† I have thought about it and thought about it, non stop, since I started Bliss.¬† My absolute, favourite pairing with chocolate is peppermint, as you may well know from my pavlova¬†blog!¬† Mint slices are still one of my main comfort foods, I have only ever bought the mint, Aero chocolate bar (I have never bought a plain one), I nearly had the old, red tulip chocolate logo (yes, the black cat) tattooed on my body, such was my childhood love of mint and chocolate.¬† OK, the tattoo was more about the cat than the mint chocolate…. however getting back on track….how was I going to bring this slightly dated ‘classic’ combination onto my Bliss menu without being toooooo ’70’s dinner party about it?I am sooooo¬† pleased to say that after dinner mints have never been so sexy!¬† Please allow me to introduce ‘Mint Royale’.¬† My own lava cake recipe, rich, chocolatey¬†and with a¬†lava centre,¬†highlighted perfectly, for a real grown up treat, with a good schloooosh¬†(technical baking term) of creme de menthe.¬† After dinner mint, heaven!!!

But¬†of course, it would be wrong not to offer ‘Chocolat Royales’.¬† How could I hold out on the chocolate cake purists?¬† This ‘Royale’ needs no explanation, rich, smooth, chocolate flavour without anything standing in its way.¬† Really, it is just chocolate disguised as cake!

Each ‘Royale’ cakelet¬†is presented in¬†gold¬†foil and topped with¬†freshly whipped¬†cream, dotted with seeds of a vanilla pod¬†and topped with a little, hand tempered, Callebaut chocolate tag.¬† Keep¬†these ‘melt in the mouth’ cakelets,¬†for yourself or give¬†them as a gift for any occasion!

So, what was Ron’s assessment?

…”Edible O’s!!”…

I took the¬†liberty¬†of translating that ‘O’ to Ooooh la la!!! ūüôā

Pretty as a picture

‘Royale’ lava cake is available in ‘chocolat’¬†or ‘mint’.

12 cakelets in one order.  $45

Serve warmed up for 10 seconds in the microwave…mmmmm!

*If you have been following my blog, and have actually got to the end of this little ramble then you must be a pretty dedicated ‘Bliss’ fan!¬† Thank you all for your wonderful support over the last 6 months, it has definitely given me the confidence to keep learning, developing and growing as a home baker and as a small business.

To celebrate 500 facebook ‘likes’, I am going to randomly draw 5 people (must be able to deliver to a major city in Australia) to win a fabulous FREE order of ‘Royale’!

Just write your favourite, mint or chocolate, in the comments!

Winners will be announced Sunday 27th March.

I would also LOVE to hear from anyone who would like to tell me about their favourite chocolate cake combinations and experience.¬† I love a good story ūüôā

Cheers Lynnette x