Rocky Road

We ended our 2 week vacation in Denmark, with a lunch at Hansens Familiehave (on Pile Alle- Frederiksberg) – my pseudo belated birthday and farewell lunch with the family. We were flying off the very next day back to Singapore. I agreed with my husband, that I preferred a typical Danish lunch in your old fashioned , traditional Danish restaurant. So I got my wish. Nice!

Danish lunch is very much all about open sandwiches, various toppings on rye bread.  I however,  opted for a ‘herresfrokost’ or “a gentleman’s lunch”.  My choice raised a few eyebrows in the family.. but they were quite impressed I could chow down most of it. So what did a ‘gentleman’s lunch’ consists of?

– marinated herrings (spiced)

– biksemad with a fried egg (chopped potatoes, fried with onions, pork cubes, bacon) – see photo above.
Famous as a merchant sailors’ dish after their night duty. It is just what ever was left over all chucked together.

– old cheese with rum and sylte (head cheese or brawn without the meat, just the stock, jelled up)

with slices of rye bread!

I will admit that lunch was definitely fit for a man! I couldn’t eat dinner that night, not after the cakes  we had later on. It was yummy though, the taste of bacon and pork cubes, nicely fried with bits from the pan, as  it was quite salty, fitted excellently with the fried egg. You then have the preserved beetroot slices which were sour/sweet complimented and balanced the saltiness of the dish.

What did the others have? Equally yummy toppings – marinated herrings, smoked salmon, etc.

After lunch it was nice languid walk to ease the tummy ! We  headed back to my parents in laws place for coffee and cake. Little did my niece and nephew know what was in store for them.

My niece and nephew had s’mores at the barbeque at the summerhouse in Enoe… and they really got all worked up about marshmallows – so my attempt to surprise them by making a Rocky Road ‘cake’ for my birthday tea, was a success. I know it is after all my birthday  – but to give it the ‘bragh  bragh’ for the children, was more fun !

They thought it was awesome – I heard only their squeals of delight when they saw their 2 best candies slapped together , marshmallows and chocolate and they even got permission from their parents to goof it down that afternoon!

My mother in law made a strawberry layer cake for the adults so that everyone’s taste was catered for! It was a yummy for the tummy day for all of us . A great lunch and a solid sweet ending !

Rocky Road Recipe

  • 550 g dark chocolate
  • 150 ml double cream
  • about 15 large marshmallows cut into half
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • chopped  nuts or maraschino cherries (optional)

I used a cling film, lined over a quiche or pie (20-23 cm diameter) greased dish. This makes it easier to loosen the solid rocky road out of the pie dish once it has hardened.

I placed pieces of Marie biscuits as the base in the pie dish. You can choose to add some coarsely chopped hazelnuts or almonds if desired as the next layer , on top of the Marie biscuits. Then followed by the marshmallow pieces. In between the gaps, if you have some maraschino cherries, you can fill those gaps with them.

Bring the cream to boil first, then add the chocolate pieces (break them easier to melt). Do this in a bowl over a pot of simmering hot water. Add the butter. Stir until they become a smooth paste not grainy. If it becomes grainy the chocolate has overheated. Pour the chocolate ganache over the marshmallows/biscuit. Give the pie dish a gentle shake and 3-4 knocks/taps to get the chocolate ganache in between the cracks and down at the bottom under the biscuits. Place the dish into the fridge , let it set in there for at least 5 hours.

Take the Rocky Road out, turn over and peel out the cling wrap bottom.  Turn it right side up and on a chopping board, cut slices of the Rocky Road out. Serve them immediately.

Chocolate Ganache Birthday Cake

After I went back to the workforce, my time for baking was severely reduced. So sad.. , and not being in the full swing at work for almost 2 years – did take a bit of a toll on me. Was practically exhausted daily, and I needed time to get into the rhythm again. Sometimes I wonder for the meagre salary is it all worth it to lose your freedom ? Unfortunately in such times, you need to still accummulate what you can and save for a rainy day. With that, I ploughed on.

To be fair the job isn’t that bad, salary could have been better, but you know as a foreigner working in Singapore, you don’t really get much rights or protection (even for your regular Singaporean, what more as a foreigner). I did lose out a large chunk of pension legally bound by employers to pay their employees because I am a foreigner, good deal for the employer! Suffice to say, when one is already unemployed and have left the workforce for 2 years, not likely you are in much of a bargaining position. 😦 OK enough of my griping about work.. back to the cake!

Anyways, so for the first time after a long time (since Nov 2010), I am trying a new recipe – back to NON GLUTEN FREE. It is Henrik’s birthday today – Jan 16th. A nice dinner was planned yesterday evening at Au Petit Salut – a French restaurant,  good – yes pricey but not overly , serving above average  French food.  For a little nicey surroundings, this place is not that bad, service, ambience and foodwise. (ps -I was told that Bistro du Sommelier serves very good down to earth Frenchie food, will need to check that out next time)

But as a tradition goes birthday cakes in this household will always be homemade – come hell or high water!

Went through Rose Levenbaum’s  cake recipes (her Heavenly Cakes) and decided upon her wicked Chocolate Devils Cake with Midnight Ganache. This chocolate cake is intense but not quite heavy (kidding – it is a very dense chocolate cake) . We really liked the addition of the cognac cherries. It is a grown up cake, no fancy cake decoration , just loads of chocolate piled in the cake itself and on the frosting. Yum..

Lessons in baking, I made 2 mistakes in baking the cake, first the sugar – it asked for superfine, not icing, but castor. I had only fine sugar in the store, so thought I could just use that. It does not affect the taste or texture too much, but the lumps you get does make difference to how the cake looks. Secondly, the speed of the mixer, the last part when everything else has been incorporated I should have beat it in medium speed (2-3 , for my Kenwood Chef Major) and not at ‘min’! That would have help even out the sourcream and the rest of the batter with the chocolate paste mixture.

Be warned! This cake needs to be made in stages, especially the cognac cherries which needed to be soaked for 8 hours. So obedientlythe last 2 evenings, I made part of the cake for the final assembly today! The ganache needs time, so don’t be like me, not patient enough to let the ganache thicken on her own. It has to sit for at least 5 hours. In our tropical heat, probably longer even in the fridge – so ideally, when the ganache is hot, let it cool for 1 hour at  room temperature , then cover it let it rest for 5 hours before popping into the fridge for the last 2 hours. Consistency should be like softened butter it says but  not a runny paste.

It did not look as it should, but tastewise, it was yum..So did Henrik like it? Of course, that was his wish, he wanted a chocolatey chocolate cake and he got it. For any chocolate lover this cake will hit the spot!

Dessert Truck, location – NYC 40°N 074°W

New York city – which happens to be my favourite city. In 1995-1996, I worked in New Jersey – close enough to Manhattan for many frequent trips. Our office was in Madison and I lived in Morristown. With a couple of friends, we headed to Manhattan pretty often enough to shop, eat, attend concerts, theaters, museums, club hopping, the usual stuffs you do in a big city like that!  As you can imagine pretty much after this job posting,  I returned home to KL without much savings left! Anyway, I still follow the Manhattan scene once in a while to keep updated on what is the -latest going -ons.

New York, New York: “.. if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere”, which is so true!  A certain persons – actually a couple of guys by the name of Jerome Chang and Chris Chen did make it there and did it their way! (Sorry I can’t stop quoting from Sinatra’s songs).

Dessert Truck - Jerome & Chris
Dessert Truck - Jerome & Chris

Their aim was to make people or new yorkers happy, and how? By selling sophisticated and scrumptious desserts out of a retrofitted postal truck on the streets of Manhattan. Yes a truck – and not pretzels or hotdogs but senseless desserts for about usd5 each!

I must confess I  have not tried it, but just reading the article on an inflight magazine was enough to perk my interest ( I have an extremely weak spot for chocolates and chocolate desserts), came home , looked it up and read their website, read enough testaments on it and decided to put a note down in my moleskin, as another thing I should check out when I am next in town! Apparently one of their speciality is chocolate bread pudding with creme anglaise and bacon(optional)!

So there you go,  should you be in the neighbourhood of Park Avenue, between 51st and 53rd Street during the daytime or St. Mark’s place, 8th Street and 3rd Avenue at night – try it out and let me know – was it worth it?

Molten Chocolate CakeWebsite: http://www.desserttruck.com/