Tag Archive: chocolate

Plum and Chocolate Cakes

Plum and Chocolate Cakes | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

I can’t say there’s a lot of baking done those days. Might be the constant warm weather or maybe the erratic oven I have that deter me from one of my favourite pastime…
Lately, I spent my time preparing editorial photo shoots and meeting lovely people along the way. So in the kitchen, it stays simple.

After putting my hands on some Whittaker’s chocolate though, the idea of making a chocolate cake was quick to follow. It’s ages we didn’t have any chocolate cake, I said to Paprika.
So here they are, baked in muffin tins, these plum and chocolate cakes are a free interpretation of the recipe in Béa’s cookbook. Plum and chocolate is a lovely combination and useless to say the cakes disappeared quickly.

Plum and Chocolate Cakes | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Plum and Chocolate Cakes (makes 10-12)

100 gr almond meal
30 gr wholemeal flour (or amaranth flour for a gluten-free cake, as in the original recipe)
2 eggs
3 small plums, pitted and sliced
70 gr sugar
75 gr chocolate
5 tbsp olive oil (or 90 gr unsalted butter, as in original recipe)
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp fruit brandy

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
Melt the chocolate with olive oil in a bain-marie and set aside. In a bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
With a hand-held mixer whip eggs and sugar until the batter is light and pale in colour. Stir in the fruit brandy, then the melted chocolate and the flour mixture, until just combined. Pour the cake batter into muffin moulds lined with paper liner and arrange the slices of plums on top. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the blade of a knife inserted in the middle comes out dry. Remove from the oven, lightly brush plum slices with honey and let cool before removing from moulds.



Muffins & Greens

Radish and Snow Pea Shoot Salad | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

There’s a lady on the farmer market who sells all sort of herbs and greens. I usually go and visit her small stand when I need fresh herbs. And from time to time, depending on the season, there’s a bunch that catch my attention. She has become my usual purveyor of kale and I’ve discovered Vietnamese mint and Thaï basil through her. Lately when I spotted snow pea shoots, I was curious to try. I mainly added them to mixed salad. They have a mild taste of pea, add crunch and color.
I have to say that I like to see how vegetables make their appearance one after another as we are going towards warmer days. Like characters stepping on a stage and telling us a story with each season being a different act.

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins | At Down Under | Viviane PerenyiSnow Pea Shoot and Radish Salad | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

As part of the natural cycle, produce mature and sometimes overripe, like the bananas I had at home. In our household, this rarely happens as they are usually all gone before they reach this stage.
My first thought was turn them into a banana bread and then I remembered a recipe from Béa‘s book.
I’ve made slight changes with almond for hazelnut and the mix of flours I had in stock. I think the taste remains pretty similar and both Paprika and I have enjoyed much these muffins. They aren’t too sweet and the combination of flours and nut brings out well the taste of banana and the chocolate bites are a bonus.

Banana Chocolate Muffins  | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Banana and Chocolate Muffins
adapted from La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook – Makes 12
Personal changes are mentioned between brackets

1 cup / 120g quinoa flour (rice flour)
1/2 cup / 70 g buckwheat flour
1/2 cup / 60g hazelnut flour
40g roasted hazelnut, roughly chopped (100g almond meal instead of the hazelnut flour + roasted and chopped hazelnuts)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup / 100g sugar cane
8 tbsp / 113g unsalted butter, melted
3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork (4 ripe bananas)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (omitted)
3/4 cup / 90g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350˚F / 180˚C. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners or use silicon muffin molds. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs with the sugar until pale in color. Stir in the melted butter (and the yogurt). In another bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, until just combined. Add the bananas and chopped chocolate and mix gently. Divide the batter among the muffin holes, place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the blade of a sharp knife inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out almost dry. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


Nashi & Choco

© 2012 Viviane Perenyi Chocolate & Nashi Pear Cake
Don’t be deluded with the glitter of the caramelized nashi pear wedge.
This is about a chocolate cake.
Okay, a nashi pear and chocolate cake. The one I baked for our autumnal picnic.
After one of my readers requested the recipe, I baked it again writing down this time measurements. My mind has been distracted on the way though. I forgot to add to the batter pieces of nashi pear that bring a little extra to the texture of the cake and a distinct taste of the fruit. Nonetheless, the nashi pear compote gives moisture to the cake and it’s fully enjoyable that way, just plain.
But because I had already peeled and sliced a nashi pear, I wanted to use it and hence the caramelized version…
Enjoy !

© 2012 Viviane Perenyi Nashi Pear & Chocolate Cake
© 2012 Viviane Perenyi Chocolate & Nashi Pear Cake

Nashi Pear & Chocolate Cake

3 nashi pears, peeled, core removed and diced
1 tbsp of brown sugar
215g flour (I used 105g APF, 70g wholemeal, 40g buckwheat)
1 egg
120g dark chocolate
80g unsalted butter
90g brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 nashi pear, peeled, core removed and cut in wedges
2 heaped tbsp of honey (optional)

Prepare the nashi pear compote: In a sauce pan over low fire, place diced nashi pears and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top, cover and let it cook for 30 minutes or until soft. Transfer the compote on a plate and smash with a fork. Keep it aside.
Preheat oven to 175°C. In a saucepan over low fire, melt butter and chocolate. In a big bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda and sugar. Add egg, nashi pear compote and mix throughly. Add melted butter and chocolate and stir well. (At this stage you can add the wedges of nashi pear to the batter or keep them to caramelized them later) Pour the batter in a cake pan (18cmX12cm) and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the blade of a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. To caramelized the nashi pear wedges, line a baking tray with baking paper. Coat well fruit wedges with honey and place them on the tray. Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes or until nicely caramelized. Serve hot on top of generous slice of cake.


This is my contribution to Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blogging event, hosted this month by Jemma at Time For A Little Something

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