I remember the first time I went to Dublin as if it was yesterday. I loved the city, the people and the special spirit there. But most of all, I liked the Queen of Tarts and their carrot cake. Back then you couldn’t find it in a tourist guide, it was a secret shared with my by a colleague and we stumbed into the new place that they just opened in Cows Lane. The carrot cake was juicy and fresh, full of flavours and melt-in-the-mouth. Since that time I’ve been looking for a good recipe that meets the taste of my menory. The flavour may have faded away over time but I find the recipe is totally awesome. Continue reading »
We traveled to India last Christmas for our friends’ wedding and stayed there some more days as you might know already. We hired a driver to show us around in Goa for one day. He showed us temples, cities and beaches, but the most amazing thing on that day was the best desert ever! We stopped for lunch at Hotel Fidalgo in Panjim and randomly picked one of the many restaurants there. It had Indian and International food on the menu and looked nice. And after burger and chicken we wanted some desert. I wanted to order cheesecake but there was none left, so the waiter recommended to definitely take the sizzling hot brownie. Looking back, I can’t tell how thankful I am for this…
Two waiters came up to our table, one carrying a very hot, sizzling pan and the other one with a small mug. Then they placed the pan in the middle of the table and poured the content of the mug over the Brownie that was topped with a scoop of ice cream. But see yourself what this looks like. When hot chocolate sauce combines with a fudgy brownie and vanilla ice cream – that is a dream come true.
When we returned from our vacation and went for dinner at our favourite Mexican place the waitress served Fajitas in one of those hot pans at the table next to us. And then this idea came to my mind… When the owner came up to our table and asked us about our holiday, I had to tell him about the brownie experience. And so I suggested he could adopt the recipe with a Mexican twist: Chocolate-Chili-Brownies and Tequila-Chocolate Sauce. He got hooked with the idea instantly. We agreed to give it a try after the Easter holidays. I had troubles with making brownies before, they were never fudgy enough, they were either too moist or too dry, something was always wrong with them… And that is why I couldn’t wait and I tried to invent a chocolate-chili brownie.
How do you get flavour into brownies? There are two possibilities: Add the flavour directly to the dough or cook the flavour out. I decided to do the latter, as I learned in the Patisserie course. So I was looking for a recipe that includes milk or cream. I found one and tried to adjust it to my needs. I was told that in order to bring flavour into a mass, use the best ingredients and cook the flavour in. So I bought very nice habanero chilies, dark chocolate and the best cocoa powder. The first attempt to flavour the cream was with a quarter of a red habanero chili, but that was not enough. I retried with a full habanero and passed the mixture through a sieve to squeeze out all the flavour and no parts in my brownies. I tasted the batter before I baked the brownie and it had a subtle hot chili taste *cough*. Well the batter was pretty hot but after it was baked, the chili got subtle. I am still not sure if I can taste the chili because I know it is there or not, but I will find out tomorrow after my colleagues did some blind-tasting. I am dropping off a piece of cake at the Mexican place tomorrow, let’s see what that might bring.
As you might have read before I took a Patisserie class a month ago and I’ve been dying to do the recipes on my own. I was just curious to find out if I am capable of making a competitive Tarte au Citron all by myself. And yes, I CAN!
Now I know why these little things are so expensive and I also have to admit that I will keep buying them instead of making them myself… I was also a little confused with the quantities in the given recipes. But after preparing the cream for what felt like ages and what was only enough for 3 little tartelettes, I recalled that we multiplied and divided some of the recipe parts… I try to give you quantities that should match but I haven’t tried yet. Continue reading »