Cooking Class 2: Raspberry Mousse Cake anyone!

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Today we took the raspberry mousse cake class. Wowwww… so this is quite something, we learned a lot about how elaborate and technical this is. Chef Pierre Ferland said “it’s 90% science 10% art – and that 10% is the hardest”. Think this was supposed to be a clue for what’s to come.

So this cake is done in 5 stages and things have to be in specific order, otherwise it does not work. Trust me all 8 students we tried and asked what if we do this or that first — Chef Pierre said “Ok, then you will end up with something else but not a raspberry mousse cake!”

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Stage 1:
Make the simple syrup so it can take time to cool off. You will use it for the raspberry filling and later to brush the layers of the cake to give it moisture.

Stage 2:
You must do the raspberry mousse. This way it can take time for gelatin and the mousse to set to the right consistency to become the filling. Make sure to strain the raspberry purée so all the seeds are taken out.

Stage 3:
Make the genoise (cake). It is not hard but the key is to put it in already heated owen rightaway so it won’t collapse. Also do NOT tap to even out the cake in the pan, use your hand to smooth it out quickly, otherwise it will again collapse. Don’t you love all the tips and tricks — we would not have known any of this if Chef Pierre did not tell us and demonstrate.

Stage 5:
While the cake is baking, make the Le Creme Chantilly which is the frosting that will cover and decorate the cake. Tip here was to start with a cold mixer bowl!!

Assembly:
Are you stable handed?? Well this is the test!! Cut the cake into 3 straight even layers. With a brush brush first layer with simple syrup, then smooth over some of the mousse, do the same with the other two layer and build up your cake tower. Then use some of the mousse to cover the sides of the cake. Finally, use the Chantilly to frost and decorate the cake. You can also use toasted almonds to coat the sides for a more rustic look. Tip: put the cake in the fridge for hour or two before cutting it, helps it set and be easier to cut.
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Remember… We did not say this was easy or simple. Apparently after 2 years of apprenticeship this became easy for Chef Pierre. I believe it.
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Finally – cut and serve! Bon Appetite!!

Thankfully, Chef Pierre said we could make the cake the day before – so you can do this in 2 days if you need the time. In any case, if you are excited to try this delicious cake, let me know and I will provide you the full recipe.
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Nuts about anything COCONUT!

Ok, finally I decided to write about my obsession with anything coconut. Have always really liked coconut, but about few years ago got more serious as I learned more about the healthy benefits of coconut.

Coconut is another miracle of nature that is yummy and smells amazing. So many uses for this amazing nut – hard not to love it.

Coconut Juice and Flesh
Best way to experience this is to have fresh coconuts. I will never forget the coconuts in Thailand. Last year, during our trip to Thailand coconut juice became our official drink. We were delighted to also discover we could scrape and eat the flesh. Coconut juice is more hydrating than water.
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Coconut Flakes
Coconut flakes come in various shapes and sizes. Most common use is in baking. I love the large hefty flakes that I can crunch and taste the coconut flavor. I use them in the mornings: little yogurt, blueberries, and coconut flakes!
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Coconut Butter
Warning – if you read beyond this section we will not be responsible for your coconut addiction.

Coconut butter is great for cooking, baking, or just as a spread on a piece of good bread. BUT mixing couple spoonfuls mixed with dark cocoa powder makes the best impromptu desert!!
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Coconut Oil
Yes, you can cook with it. BUT even more importantly you can use it for your skin and hair. I am close to ditching my body lotion altogether and completely switch over to coconut oil. It is important to emphasize you should use organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil. If your hair is too fine you may not want to use it besides as a mask to nourish the hair. But if you are sporting a bushy lush head of hair – your hair will love you for using coconut oil.
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Btw – if you live in a cold climate the coconut oil will naturally solidify, that does not mean it is bad. This is normal, it will easily turn liquid with a bit of warmth.

How do you enjoy your coconut ??

Almond Meringue Torte

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Some sweet-dreams anyone? Who doesn’t like a sweet-dream like this you don’t have to dream-big to get this sweet! wait!! Surprisingly I made this torte many times and it’s foolproof so don’t be afraid to try it it’s guaranteed recipe but you can be afraid for only to get addicted or addict others unfortunately I made this mistake during one of the Easter time and every Easter when family and friends visiting asking me if I made Easter-famous almond meringue torte. This photo is from last Easter I’m sorry I even couldn’t took another photo to show you when you serve this torte how beautiful it stands in a plate because swept away immediately anyway when you will try it yourself you’ll see how sweet it looks & tastes!

Let’s start hand’s on-to dream-big to get our sweet-dream!

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs milk

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup flour

For Top

4 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 tbs sugar

Filling

1 box instant vanilla pudding

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-3/4 heavy cream

Fresh strawberries, black berries, raspberries, blueberries

Preheat oven 175 c

Line 45 x 35 x 3 cm. pan with non-stick parchment or grease the pan.

Cream together butter, sugar salt and egg yolks

Add vanilla, milk, baking powder and flour beat.

Spread the batter in pan.

Beat egg whites till light.

Continue beating gradually add sugar.

Till meringue is smooth and stiff.

Spread meringue on batter.

Sprinkle almonds then cinnamon and sugar.

Bake it 30 min. till lightly browned.

Remove it from oven cool it 15 min.

Gently loosen the edges measure it cut it into half  then cut one half into half again to make it easier to handle it.

Mix vanilla pudding with heavy cream and vanilla till thick spread it over one half of the cake layer of meringue side.

Add layer of berries I use small strawberries sliced into half.

Top other layer of cake layers meringue side up if almonds will fall off just sprinkle them back on top.

Enjoy immediately or refrigerate till you would like to enjoy it!

Honey bee Quince

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My mother told me a lot about how they were happy when they had a chance to get a quince from the tree; they were putting it in their wardrobes between their clothes to give nice smell to their clothes at that times when they did not have perfumes. I can imagine quince scented wardrobes it was very nice, safe and healthy way to smell good…. and she adds those time the quinces and all fruits were smelling really good but now days unfortunately and sadly they didn’t…  and after it begins to getting ripe in the wardrobe they took it and made it into a dessert like this — during those days nothing was to throw but to use it use it reuse it! When she prepare this dessert always as I use to ask her what were they doing that times it’s always nice to hear old quality stories especially during long winter nights.

Favorite winter dessert!

I’m always getting very exited when doing this veryyy simple but amazing dessert. The smell, the taste, the look Oh my GOD it’s terrific!

This is why honey bees like it :)))

First you need fire if you have fire place or stove like me you are very lucky you just have to wait until the log is turn to a nice fire it’s relaxing to sit in front and watch for a while.

Come on get up it’s time to take one nice smelled organic quince wash it well.

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I wish I had a tree.

Wrap it with aluminium foil like this

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Put it on top of the fire-coals. I remember my mom was covering it with fire-coals as well you can do the same or turn it every 10 min. to cook every part of it.

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I check it out. It wasn’t cooked yet it wasn’t soft and the skin should be burned. Cover the foil again put on fire-coals to wait more.

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It should be burned more than the picture more than half of it should be burned. This takes 40 min. with me because I didn’t have enough coals and the quince was big.  If you have enough coal and to cover it with them maybe this will take 15 or 20 min. I think.

Remove it from foil cut it in half first.

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Peel the burned skin. Remove the seeds from the pits. It smells amazing.

Put 1 tsp of honey in each half of quince cut nice slices. If you like more honey drizzle over more honey or you can serve it with scoop of ice cream.

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This is for 2 person but I ate all of it veryyummmmyyyy.

The end…. happily!

Nothing left behind sorry.

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