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Made with almond milk and dark Lindt chocolate, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, this hot chocolate from Sweet and Savory by Shinee is a indulgent warm drink you will be making again and again this winter as you pull on your favorite pair of patterned socks and reach for that faded patchwork quilt to keep you cozy all night.

SPICED ALMOND HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoons ground cardamom

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

85g semi-sweet chocolate

Pinch of kitchen/ kosher salt

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon caster sugar

Method:

  • In a medium pot, simmer milk with spices over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Remove from heat and add a small pinch of salt.

  • While the milk is simmering, whip the heavy cream with sugar using an electric mixer.

  • Whip cream until hard peaks form and set it aside in the refrigerator until serving time.

  • Pour the hot chocolate into a large mug. Top with dollops of prepared whipped cream.

  • Decorate with slivered almonds or chocolate curls or cinnamon and serve immediately.

Spiced Almond Hot Chocolate

Waking up early on Sunday to make crêpes or pancakes for breakfast is something of a ritual at my place. Crêpes are and still remain in my belief, delicate, lacy creations that one can gracefully flip over on a crepière until they are just golden and ready to be served with a spoonful of pineapple jam. The idea of savoury crêpes struck me as being absurd and I was never tempted to try one till I was pleasantly surprised by a salmon filled crêpe at the Pancake Festival held at Grain d’Sel restaurant years ago. In a feeble attempt to recreate this rich gastronomic experience, I managed a close replication of the flavours as I remember them using a basic crêpe recipe from Nigella and deliciously creamy seafood filling from Kraft Cheddar cheese. Not all crêpes have to be sweet, right?

SEAFOOD CREPES

Ingredients:

For the Crêpes

30g unsalted butter, melted

150g all purpose flour

375 ml full cream milk

1 egg, room temperature

For the Filling

3/4 cup cooking cream

150g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

100g smoked salmon, sliced

300g peeled shrimp, cooked

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons spring onions

Method:

  • For the crêpes, put the flour, milk and egg into a blender and whiz to amalgamate.

  • Pour the mixture into jug and stir in the melted butter. Heat a seasoned crêpe pan.

  • Ladle 1/4 cup batter into pan, then quickly hold it up and swirl it around carefully.

  • The batter should form a thin pancake covering base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute.

  • Flip crêpe over and cook for another 20-30 seconds on the other side, then remove.

  • Stack the crêpes between layers of baking paper on a hot plate until ready to serve.

  • For the filling, place cream in a small saucepan and heat gently over medium heat.

  • Stir in grated cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon, pepper and spring onions.

  • Gently fold seafood through sauce. Place a spoonful of seafood sauce on each crêpe.

  • Fold in half, then in half again and serve immediately with extra cheese. Serves 5-6.

Seafood Crêpes

Welcome to our May Bakealong challenge. Each month, we’ll announce a new recipe for you to try, along with helpful tips and step-by-step instructions here on our blog. We invite you to bake this month’s recipe, Berry Blitz Torte, then share a photo of your creation, tagging it #bakealong. Enjoy! May means graduations. And wedding showers. Throw the potential for birthday celebrations in there, and you’ve got all kinds of reasons to bake a cake. Or multiple cakes, if you’re the designated family cake baker.

Most of us have a go-to cake recipe, one we religiously bake for one party or gathering after another. Maybe it’s a chocolate layer cake, like our Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake. Or perhaps a simple pound cake, such as our Lemon Bliss Cake. For me, that signature cake is Berry Blitz Torte. A wonderful mix of tender cake, delicately crunchy topping, and creamy filling layered with fresh berries, it’s a visual stunner with flavor to match. It is easier to make than it looks and there’s no need to polish up your pastry skills; this cake is reachable by any baker.

BERRY BLITZ TORTE

Ingredients:

For the Pastry Cream Filling

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cornstarch

3 large egg yolks

1 large whole egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh raspberries

For the Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

For the Meringue Topping

4 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

Method:

  • In a medium saucepan, stir together 2 cups milk, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir to dissolve sugar. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch, egg yolks and whole egg with remaining 1/2 cup milk.

  • Whisk some hot milk mixture into egg yolks to temper yolks and prevent them turning into scrambled egg.
  • Pour egg and milk mixture back into simmering milk, pouring through a strainer to capture any bit of egg.

  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • The mixture will thicken significantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Transfer to container.

  • Top it with a piece of buttered plastic wrap and refrigerate the filling until it is cool, for up to several days.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line it with baking parchment.

  • To make the cake, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks until well combined. Beat in vanilla.
  • Add milk, baking powder, and flour and beat; batter will be stiff. Spread the batter into the prepared pans.

  • Using an electric mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they are foamy.
  • Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and continue to beat till the meringue is smooth, glossy, and somewhat stiff.

  • Spread meringue on cake batter. Sprinkle almonds over the meringue. Dust the top with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned. The cakes will puff up significantly.

  • Remove the cakes from oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully loosen the edge of each cake.
  • Gently turn out on a rack to cool completely. Now remove pastry cream from refrigerator and stir it gently.

  • To assemble cake, place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving plate. Spread with the filling.
  • Add a layer of fresh berries. Top with the second cake layer, meringue-side up and serve cake immediately.

KAF May Challenge: Berry Blitz Torte

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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