My latest favourite chef… Bill Granger!

23 Jun
Passionfruit Happy Birthday Cake
Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake
Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake

My friend gave me a book by Bill Granger called “Holiday” for my birthday.  I have heard of Bill Granger and know he is rather popular in Sydney, especially for his breakfasts.  However, perhaps it is because he hasn’t been in the media as much as compared to Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, that I have sorta brushed past him and his recipes.  I’m so glad I got given his book :)  Bill Granger should not be brushed past!  His recipes actually work!!! :)

He makes an incredible flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake!  I love it!  Let me share with you what I wrote in my recipe journal (yes I have recipe journals, and I have decided that from now on, I’m going to write personalised comments all over my journals and books!)  the other night about this new awesome dessert:

”  This is a fantastic awesome recipe!  I love it!  The mix of hazelnut and chocolate is perfectly balanced!  Many similar recipes highlight the hazelnut too much and the chocolate becomes the background.  However, this recipe manages to star both key ingredients in the right proportion.  This is a winnter!  Not a high cake and also make sure you smooth the top properly to prevent cracking.  Perfect dinner dessert!”

The above picture was from the launch of Deliciouz in May 2009 – this was my second time baking it – the first attempt was actually better.  I was so sad to see the top cracking – next time I must remember to smooth the top a bit better!

Lovely kiwi fruit and mandarin slices

Lovely kiwi fruit and mandarin slices

What I loved about this recipe was that it was pretty much a dream to put together.  The cake was fairly solid so it could take the weight of all the layers on top – I had images of a falling cake!  Ahh!  So I was a nervous wreck when putting it together on the morning of the launch.  It took about 1 hour to put it together.  The vanilla sponge layers are sandwiched with fresh cream, topped with a very sweet passionfruit icing and fresh kiwi fruit and tin mandarin slices.

If I remember correctly, I did 1.5 recipes to get this 4 layer tall sponge cake.  I love such tall solid cakes.  The sponge was not as soft as I would have liked it to be – it was a fairly solid crumb type of cake.  The middle layers were more moist.  Next time, I will drizzle some syrup between the layers to keep the moisture. 

I was so proud of the look of the crumb :)  (But need to work on the moisture level in the sponge.)  Sounds odd, but you have to bake to know the satisfaction that comes when it all works out.  It’s an incredible feeling.  It’s as if everything is going to be okay, because you have made a pretty cake!

Hope you get a slice of some yummy cake this week! :) :) :)

Hmmm... a good old fashioned cake!

Hmmm... a good old fashioned cake!

p.s.  I’m lazy to write out the recipe – sorry!  But if you do google for it, you can find it! :)
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