Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Layer Cake

The Salted Caramel recipe I posted the other day was made for this cake. There are no two flavors that go better than vanilla and salted caramel. I made this cake for a friend’s dinner party and the stakes were high! She’s a great baker herself and told me about some really amazing desserts she’s made for past dinner parties. Nothing like my trusted salted caramel recipe to the rescue!

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Layer Cake| The Whisking Bowl

The buttercream for the cake really stole the show! The complexity of the salted caramel really came through in the buttercream and I could stop my self from eating spoonfuls of it.

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Layer Cake| The Whisking Bowl

The vanilla bean cake layers were sandwiched with buttercream and a good drizzle of salted caramel. All that salted caramel added to the moistness of the cake.  I was worried that the cake would be too sweet, but that’s the beauty of salted caramel. The salt added to the caramel really balances the sweetness, so there is no way you will have a tooth ache! You can happily cut your self a big ol’ slice of the cake, sit in a quiet corner of the house and just polish your way through it! Its just that good!!

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Layer Cake| The Whisking Bowl

To add that extra pizzazz to the cake, I topped it up with some spun sugar. It takes a bit of trial and error to get it right, but it end result is so beautiful! I youtube’d it to get the technique down!Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Layer Cake| The Whisking Bowl

Ingredients
  • 11/4 cup white sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or a combo of extract, vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean)
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce, cooled.
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and line with parchment 2 8×8 round baking pans. If you only have one pan, make sure that the pan comes to room temperature before re-using it for the second layer.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beat on high speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, starting and ended with the flour mixture. Don’t over-beat the batter.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pans evenly, smoothing tops with the back of a spoon. Another tip to ensure that the tops are flat and not domed while baking is to wrap the sides of the pan with a wet cotton cloth. It works every time!
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
For frosting:
  1. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and beat until well combined. Add ⅓ cup of the caramel sauce and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk if desired if your frosting seems a little dry. (If you don’t want to make homemade caramel, store bought is fine- just add a teaspoon of sea salt.
To assemble.
  1. The cake should be completely cooled at this point. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Use a fork to poke some holes along the surface of the cake. Carefully spread ⅓ cup of the caramel sauce over the cake layer, letting it soak into the cake. Top with a thick layer of frosting.
  2. Add the second cake layer with the flattest side facing up. Repeat the process of poking the cake with a fork, adding the remaining caramel sauce, and topping with frosting. Frost the sides of the cake and pour some caramel sauce on top and down the sides of the cake.
  3. To make the spun sugar: Put a wooden spoon in the fridge till ready to make spun sugar. Melt 1/4 cup sugar in a pan till it melted. Set the melted aside for a few minutes till the sugar syrup is at a pouring consistency. Dip a fork in the sugar syrup and stretch the sugar syrup back and forth across the cooled wooden spoon, going as quickly as possible. Make sure not to move the fork, rather using moving the wooden spoon back and forth as quick as possible.  Gently gather the spun sugar and place it on a dessert plate.
This entry was posted in Cake.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Everything home-made is better right? It could not be any truer when it comes to Salted Caramel Sauce. For one, it doesn’t have all kinds of preservatives and other ingredients that you can barely pronounce. The best part though is how deep the flavor is for the sauce that I make at home. And while you’re making it at home, you can totally personalize it, if you like it less saltier than go easy on the salt, and if heavily salted sauce is your jam, so right ahead and sprinkle an extra healthy pinch of salt. After making the Salted Caramel Cupcakes, I had promised to do a special post on how to make salted caramel sauce and here it is!

 

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

 

It is so easy to make, you have to make it at home. There is no special piece of equipment for it, no candy thermometers either. Just five ingredients that are pantry staples and ten minutes later, you could be spooning your salted caramel sauce over ice cream and going about your thing! Now that’s my kind of goodness!! If you plan on using it any other recipes, you will have to let it cool completely before adding it.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

I have a sequence of pictures and some GIFs that can help you understand the process of making the salted caramel. The key to making it is to have all your ingredients prepped before hand, so you don’t have to run around at the last minute, while the sugar burns.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 1½ cups caramel sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste if you have it.)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
 
Instructions
  1. Before you begin, get all your ingredients prepped and ready and have them waiting near your stove-top.
  2. Place a heavy-bottomed 2 or 3 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat and sprinkle the sugar into the pan. You can do this in batches too, by gradually adding sugar to the pan as the other sugar melts..
  3. Lift the pan over the heat and shake/swirl the sugar until it starts to melt. Continue swirling the pan around until the sugar is all clump-free and melted. It is important to keep swirling and shaking the pan, so that the sugar is well distributed and does not burn.
  4. Add the butter and whisk until totally melted and combined.
  5. Remove from heat and slowly stream the cream into the caramel. (It may seize up and foam a bit!) Whisk it rapidly until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and sea salt.
  6. Pour caramel in a glass jar or measuring cup and allow to cool. It will last in the fridge for up to a month in an air-tight container.
Notes
If adding the cream causes the mixture to seize up and separate- No biggie! Just stir the whole mixture over low heat until the clumps of caramelized sugar melt completely.
Sprinkle the sugar in the pan over  medium heat and keep shaking/swirling/mixing it around over the flame still all the sugar is melted.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

During the melting process, the sugar will clump. Just make sure to keep swirling the pan or mixing the sugar, so that it  doesn’t burn.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Once the sugar is all melted, add the butter. Be careful, the mixture will bubble up. Whisk rapidly until it is completely melted.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Remove pan from heat and slowly pour the cream in while continuing to whisk. Stir in the sea salt and vanilla.

Salted Caramel Sauce_The Whisking Bowl

Wanderlust: Galle, Sri Lanka

Last week, I took you guys through the first half of our travels in Sri Lanka. However, we spent a large portion of our holiday in Galle. Galle is on the south western coastline of Sri Lanka. It has an interesting history, being first established by the Portuguese then taken over by the Dutch before the British having a turn. All these influences makes Galle an interesting place to explore. An important thing to note before visiting Sri Lanka is that it has two monsoon seasons. The south-western monsoon brings rain to the south-west of Sri Lanka between May and September, while the dry season in this region runs from December to March. In the north and eastern coastal regions of the country, the weather is influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, which brings wind and rain between October and January, and dryer weather between May and September. Since it was my husband’s birthday in June, we ended up being in Galle during its monsoon season. It was just our luck, that while we were there, there was no rain and the seas was calm! The only regret I have is not being able to whale watch off the coast of Merissa. This area is known for extremely frequent sightings of whales and not far off the coast is one of the world’s densest populations of Blue Whales as well as Bryde’s Whales, Sperm Whales and Finn Whales, not to mention Bottlenose, Spinner and Striped Dolphins. I will have to go back to see these magnificent mammals!

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

We woke up to these views everyday! You cannot tire of it! The azure water was so warm and welcoming! We stayed at The Fortress Resort in Koggala, which is a twenty-thirty minutes car ride from Galle City. It provided us the perfect peaceful backdrop without the crazy of the city. The service and everything about the resort was perfect! They gave us have the perfect birthday getaway.

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

We spent the first day at the resort, just hanging by the pool and beach side. The next day we went to the nearby beach called Unawatuna Beach. The water there is very calm and clear, and made for a great morning of swimming and sunbathing. Unawatuna is also known for plenty of offshore wreck and reef diving opportunities. There are a number of dive sites just 10-15 minutes boat trip from Unawatuna. If you are in the are for longer, another town close by with great sandy beaches is Weligama.

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

After our morning at Unawatuna Beach, we spent the rest of the day exploring Galle Fort which is a 17th century Dutch fort (and now a UNESCO World Heritage site). The fort has an assortment of municipal offices, places of worship (famously the Dutch Reform Church, museums, shops and old Dutch colonial homes. It is the walls of the fort that broke the wave of the tsunami tide which prevented damage to the fort. The cricket stadium next door was completely destroyed! The views from the vantage points of the fort are breathtaking! Inside, there is a lot to explore with a myriad of stores with merchants selling gems and jewelry and other vintage finds. Get a taste for local art at Hempel Galleries and take home 1950s travel posters from Stick No Bills. Most of the shopping can be found on Pedlar or Church Street. The street adjecent to the lighthouse also has some gem stores that I visited to get a good bargain on a Sapphire solitaire. The fort also has some famous hotels and restaurants. The Jetwing Lighthouse and the newly opened boutique hotel 41 Lighthouse Street, are two options if you would like to live in the fort and closer to Galle City.

 

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Lighthouse

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Museum, Galle Fort

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Cricket Stadium, Galle

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Banyan Tree at the Square at the Galle Fort

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

Dutch Reform Church

Galle|The Whisking Bowl

 

If you still have days left over, you could make a trip to another beach town called Hikkaduwa, or visit the Pinnawala elephant orphanage about half an hours drive away. Galle is also a good place to start your exploration of inland Sri Lanka where the tea plantations are at. Kandy is one of those famous cities to visit.

Even though its been a while since we visited Sri Lanka, the memories we made there have totally stayed with us. I am actually in the works of planning to go back there in the next month!

 

 

This entry was posted in Travel.

#BundtBakers: Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

There is something about Bundt cakes that make me so happy. Its probably because I associate it with eating Marble cake bundt cakes when I was younger. I also used to keep an eye out for them at bakeries and cafes, and truth be told, still do. I haven’t come across any recently that have blown me over. What does a baker do in that situation? Make their own, of course!!

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

I have joined a community of Bundt bakers, that come together every month to make a bundt cake based on a pre selected theme. This month the theme was tropical vacation. This theme came at just the right time. After posting the pictures from my travels around Sri lanka, a tropical vacation has been the only thing that I can think of. Imagine, loads of tropical fruit, fresh coconut water all while sitting on the beach and taking the occasional dip in the sea! I wanted to repackage all those images into one dessert and I present to you, Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake, because chocolate makes everything all that much better, right?

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

 

While eating the cake, the tres leches will totally transport us back to Tulum, Playa del Carmen or any other latin American getaways we’ve had. For those who haven’t been yet, what better way to savor those feelings of being on a holiday then by relaxing at home with a slice of this cake and a steaming cup of coffee. The tres leches really does transform this dessert from a cake to a decadent dessert.

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

This bundt cake could not be easier to make and assemble. There is something therapeutic about spooning the tres leches over the cake and watching it absorb the liquid. The base chocolate cake-which is like a sponge cake- is sturdy enough to hold up to all the liquid poured onto it (I used nearly all the liquid, reserving some for pouring onto the cake while serving). The cake might been thick before going into the oven, but that’s where the egg whites will lighten them up. Also, i wanted the cake to be a little dry so that it could soak up all the liquid.

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake | The Whisking Bowl

Please take a look at the rest of this month’s #BundtBakers. There are so many beautiful cakes this month and I am excited to share them all with you. Take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

 

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.

 

Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the leches
  • 1 small can evaporated milk
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 16oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

For the Ganache

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the inside and sides of a bundt pan. Sprinkle with cocoa- set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and ½ cup of the sugar. Whisk until smooth and pale. Next, add the egg yolks and whisk till creamy.  Add vanilla and set aside.
  3. In a very clean stand mixer bowl or a large mixing bowl, Beat egg whites on medium high using a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Gradually 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt while the mixer runs and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cocoa and baking soda.
  5. In an measuring cup, mix the milk and yogurt or sour cream.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture to the eggs in batches, making sure to start and end up with flour addition. Do not over mix.
  7. Pile about one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold them together until smooth. Repeat with another third of egg whites,  mix and then the last third of whites. Do not over-mix, but batter should be smooth, airy and fluffy.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Then flip the cake right side up so it can cool.
  10. While the cake is baking, combine the soak ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  11. After the cake has cooled for about 15 minutes, use a fork to prick it all over, not forgetting the sides, edges and all over the top. Try to get pretty close to the bottom of the cake.
  12. Use a spoon or pour the soaking liquid over the cake, a little at a time, waiting for it to absorb before adding more. I would use the spoon and gently press the liquid into the cake. It may seem like a lot of liquid, but use as much as you can to soak the cake.
  13. Chill the cake in the fridge for an hour (or more) to really let the flavors soak and set.
  14. Meanwhile, mix the ganache ingredients and set aside. when ready to serve, pour on top of the cake.
  15. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Wanderlust: Sri Lanka Part 1

When I started this series, I really wanted to take you all on a journey of the many places we have been to, even if they were a few years ago. Today, I’m sharing pictures of our trip to Sri Lanka. It was a surprise birthday getaway for my husband! I feel like a short getaway is such a perfect way to celebrate birthdays! Or maybe, its me finding reasons to travel!! 😉 I am totally planning getaways for our birthdays this year… any suggestions?

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Image courtesy of the Galle Face Hotel

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

We went to Sri Lanka with not much research in hand and no idea of what to expect! Not only did we get blown away by some of the most beautiful beaches, but the friendliness and resilience of its people is something we took back home with us. After years of civil war and a tsunami that completely destroyed the  coastal areas of Sri Lanka, there is a spirit of growth and rebuilding.  Our first stop was Colombo, where we stayed at the Galle Face Hotel. It was the perfect selection since it eased us into Sri Lanka’s colonial history, but with a modern twist.  If you decide to stay there in the future, a tour of the museum is a must! It even has the carriage used for the British monarchy when they visited Colombo.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Image courtesy of the Galle Face Hotel

What to do in Colombo:

  • Wander around the famed Paradise Road, stop for a coffee at the Paradise Road Gallery Cafe, browse through the art gallery  and shop at the various stores on site! If you have time go to the other outlets of Paradise Roads for a larger assortment of goodies.
  • A meal at the Ministry of Crab is a must! Its where cricket and Sri Lanka’s fresh produce  come together!
  • Another iconic store is called Barefoot. It has a great Garden cafe and a store with local linen and fabrics, clothes and other interesting finds. The theme at Barefoot represents what is spontaneous and in touch with the earth. All goods are local and made by local artisans.
  • Try to get your hands on some amazing linen clothing by the brand Linen and Life. They have great quality dresses at great prices. The dress I’m wearing in the pictures in from them.
Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Courtesy Barefoot Garden Cafe

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

After spending a day in Colombo, it was off to Galle. We chose to take the longer route that drove us by the coast and through the various resort towns that came in the way. I totally recommend renting a chauffeur driven car and getting around. Renting a car for a few days is quite economical in Sri Lanka. The bonus was having a tour guide with us the whole way through. I have to admit, he was quite eager to tell one too many stores about the destruction caused by the tsunami and making sure we did not miss a single road side scene that reminisced about the destruction caused by the tsunami. I will agree though, that the drive really shows the resilience of the Sri Lankans.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Sri Lanka is a country of diverse people and beliefs. Dotted along the stretch of the road connecting Colombo and Galle are a myriad of mosques, churches and temples.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

An amazing colonial house built on an island, still standing strong after the tsunami.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

People from Sri Lanka have a very close relation to the sea. It took from them, but they say it’s what provides for them also. It really speaks about the relationship of man with nature.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Some of the houses that were left standing bare after the tsunami

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

The Tsunami Monument

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Another Tsunami Monument

 

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Stilt Fishing (source unknown)

On our way to our resort, we stopped at a turtle hatchery in Bentota. It was a great way to see the work the locals are doing to save these endangered sea turtles.

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Turtle Hatchery

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

The eggs are collected from the beach and are allowed to hatch. A few days after the turtles hatch, they are returned to the sea

DSC_0235

DSC_0240

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

This one put quite a dance for us, floats and flipping around the water!!

Colombo |The Whisking Bowl

My new albino turtle friend

 

The rest of the trip will have to be continued next week, because this post has gone too long! Stay tuned for our travels through Galle, with a list of what to do and what not to miss there.

This entry was posted in Travel.

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

 

After making the Caramelized White Chocolate Tart the other day, I was left with egg whites. Now I’m not one to waste ingredients, so I had to think fast of what I wanted to make. Pavlova was one option, but I’ve shared that with you a few times already, so that was out! Then next option, which seemed like a no brainer later, were Marshmallows.

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

I love marshmallows, and after seeing some salted caramel marshmallows on a friend’s Instagram, I couldn’t get them out of my mind. I was so glad I got over my laziness and made these! There is no turning back after you make homemade marshmallows! The store-bought just do them no favors at all!!

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl  Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

The next step was to decide what type of marshmallows i wanted to make. I wanted salted caramel marshmallows, but after a whole day of recipe testing, making one more thing was going to kill me! I’m glad I got lazy, because the chocolate swirl in these marshmallows are to die for!!

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

 

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Truth be told, the husband and I have been eating these by the mouthful ever since I’ve made them! Its hard to resist, since they are so pillowy soft, and LITERALLY melt in your mouth! Best part is, they aren’t agonizingly sweet and totally let the dark chocolate flavor stand out! We are guilty of having a few too many cups of hot cocoa, topping them with these marshmallows. It may have been my breakfast yesterday! (sorry, but not sorry!! :P)

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some s’mores that have my name written on them! Try them out too! I can guarantee you, you will not be disappointed! They are hassle free and no work at all! The mixer does all the work really! There are so many different things you can do with homemade marshmallows! S’mores pie? Grasshopper pie? The options are endless and I cant wait to make other recipes with these marshmallows!

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows| The Whisking Bowl

 

Chocolate Swirl Marshmallows

Ingredients

17 g powder or sheet gelatin (2 packets or 8 to 10 sheets)
1/2 cup (125 mL) water + 1/3 cup (80 mL) water
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/3 cup (100 g) corn syrup
4 large (110 g) egg whites
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1//2 tsp vanilla bean (or vanilla bean paste)
4 oz bitter sweet or dark chocolate (if you prefer milk chocolate, use that)
1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. If using powder gelatin, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water to dissolve and soften. If using sheets, soak them in about 2 1/4 cups (500 mL) of cold water.
  2. Dust a baking sheet or brownie pan completely with icing sugar, making sure there are no bare spots. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/3 cup of water. Place over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Pour the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until frothy. Add the pinch of salt.
  5. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high. When the sugar syrup reaches 100 degrees C (210 F), increase the speed of the mixer to high until the egg whites are thick and fluffy.
  6. When the syrup reaches 118 C (248 F), slowly pour the syrup into the mixer, trying to get it between the bowl and the whip so it does not touch the whip.
  7. Scrape the powdered gelatin and water into the saucepan that you used for your sugar or put the sheets about 2 tablespoons of water into the saucepan. Let the residual heat melt the gelatin, then add to the egg whites.
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler.
  9. Whip the mixture for about 5 minutes until it has cooled down, then add the seeds from half of a vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Whip for a minute to distribute everything.
  10. While the mixer is running, pour the melted chocolate  into the mixture and allow only a few folds of the rotor. Turn off the machine and fold the mixture gently one or twice, making sure not to over mix. At this point we do not want the chocolate to be evenly mixed in the mixture to create a swirl pattern. If you want the chocolate to be evenly mixed, fold the chocolate completely into the mixture.
  11. Pour the marshmallows onto the prepared sheet or brownie pan and smooth the surface.
  12. Allow the marshmallows to dry for 4 hours or preferably overnight. When you wish you cut them, dust your knife or scissors with icing sugar and cut into your desired shapes. Once you have cut them, place them in a bowl with some of the icing sugar and toss to coat them evenly.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Caramelized White Chocolate Pastry Cream tart

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl  Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

I wanted to make a fancy dessert for you guys. I’m totally guilty of trying to impress y’all out there! So, I ended up making a Caramelized White Chocolate Pastry Cream Tart and then to kick up the flavors and the presentation of the tart, I made a raspberry gel and pipped some lemon curd. Now, truth be told, conceptually I knew the flavors were going to work, but its not till you have the first bite to get that affirmation. Needless to say, I couldn’t stop my self after the first few bites! Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

There might be an overdose of pictures in this post, but I love the brightness of this tart, especially on a day when its raining and dreary outside!

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

I had read about caramelized white chocolate a year ago, but never ended up getting to it. I have never really been a fan of white chocolate. I find it too milky and sweet, but once this batch of white chocolate was done caramelizing, I was in love!

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

White chocolate is made of three things, sugar, milk and fat (in the form of cocoa butter). So basically when you heat the chocolate up and expose it to heat, the sugar in the chocolate caramelizes. It totally also gets that amber caramel color too!. To learn the step by step process, David Lebovitz has an entire post on how white chocolate is transformed into caramelized goodness! The basic idea behind caramelizing white chocolate is to chop it up very finely, and then heat the chocolate in a mild-medium oven. The chocolate needs to be stirred and mixed every ten minutes for between 30-60 minutes. When the chocolate turns amber, you know its done! Your house and your kitchen will smell divine!! Once the white chocolate was caramelized, I added it to the pastry cream that I have prepared. The best part of this pastry cream was the intensity of flavor that the chocolate provided, without it being overtly sweet!

caramelized white chocolate- food52

Photo by Food52

The tart base was perfectly crispy, just the right compliment to the pastry cream and sweetened cream topping. It can totally be scooped up! The raspberry gel and the lemon curd add the extra flavor and the necessary tartness to the creaminess of the rest of the tart. It almost feels like spring in your mouth! They aren’t essential, but if you have the extra time, please make that extra effort and make some! It just takes the tart over the top!

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart| The Whisking Bowl

 

This tart is a bit laborious to make, but I promise it’s totally worth it! Make it for a special occasion!

 

Caramelized White Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Gel and Lemon Curd

Yield: One Large Tart

 

Ingredients

For the Crust

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, more if needed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

 

For the Pastry Cream

Adapted from Martha Stewart

 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt

 

 

For the Caramelized White Chocolate

4 Ounces White Chocolate (try for one with a higher cocoa butter content)

 

For the Raspberry Gel

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup raspberries (any other berry will do as well)

1 envelope powdered unflavored gelatin (10grams)

 

For the lemon Curd (optional)

  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup  sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely grated  lemon zest,
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh  lemon juice
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 

For the Whipped Cream

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

 

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. For the tart dough, combine the egg yolk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are no bigger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and stir until a dough just comes together. If it is too dry, add another tablespoon of ice water. Give it a few kneads, but be careful not to knead it too much. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Take the dough out of the fridge and put it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to fit a 9 inch tart tin. Transfer the dough to the tart tin and press the dough into the sides of the tin so the dough rises a bit over the edge of the tin. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put an oven rack in the lower third of your oven. Remove the tart from the fridge. Using a piece of parchment paper or tin foil, place it in the tart and fill with dried rice, beans, or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the weights, and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes. If bubbles form in the crust during baking, press them down with a fork. Do not prick them or you could create holes in your crust.
  4. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool completely.

For the Caramelized White Chocolate

Preheat the oven to 250F (120 C)

1. Chop the white chocolate into small coarse pieces.

2. Distribute the white chocolate on a rimmed baking sheet and heat for ten minutes.

3. Remove it from the oven and spread it with a clean, dry spatula.

4. Continue to cook for and additional 30-60 minutes, stirring at 10 minute intervals. At some points it may look lumpy and chalky (and even unpleasant), but keep stirring and it will smooth out and caramelize.

5. Cook until the white chocolate is deep-golden brown, and caramelized.

If it’s lumpy, scrape it into a bowl and smooth it out with an immersion blender, or in a food processor.

Store in a jar, at room temperature, until ready to use.

 

For the Pastry Cream

  1. Place milk and 1/4 cup sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat; cook until just barely boiling. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks with remaining tablespoon sugar until thickened; sprinkle in cornstarch and continue whisking until well combined.

  2. Slowly pour half the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly; transfer egg yolk mixture to remaining milk mixture in saucepan, whisking to combine. It is important to constantly whisk to avoid getting scrambled eggs at the bottom of the pan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thick, about 4 minutes. Once done, add the teaspoon of vanilla.

  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is touching the surface of cream to prevent a skin from forming. When the white chocolate is ready, mix in. At this point you can strain the mixture again through a fine mesh sieve. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled.

  4. Pour the caramelized white chocolate pastry cream on top of the baked tart, and put in 200C (375F) oven for 15 minutes. The filling should be slightly puff and should be set in the center. Allow to cool completely before adding whipped cream. Top the tart with pipped raspberry gel, lemon curd and fruit.

For the raspberry gel

  1. Puree the raspberry in a blender till smooth
  2. Make a simple sugar syrup by combining the water and sugar. Heat the sugar and water over medium heat. Once the sugar is been dissolved, take off heat and add the gelatin. Mix well to combine.
  3. Combine the raspberry and sugar-gelatin mixture and pour in a pan. Refrigerate
  4. Once set, cut the gel into small cubes and blitz in a blender till smooth
  5. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl and refrigerate again.
  6. Once ready to use, add the gel to a pipping bag and pipe desired design on top of the tart

For the Lemon Curd

For the Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in lemon zest and juice and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time. Let the curd cool completely

  3. Add 1/4 cooled lemon curd to a pipping bag and pipe on top of the whipped cream. Reserve the rest of the lemon curd. Make Lemon Tartlets or Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes with the rest of the curd. The curd freezes well too, for up to a month.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. Whip together the cream and sugar till stiff. Add vanilla. Spread over the cooled tart.