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Classic Cheesecake Cinnamon Mousse Sparkling Raspberry Jelly Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes















A brief introduction to gelatine, where it comes from, why we use it and how to avoid those common mistakes

A brief introduction to meringues, their history, usefulness in the kitchen and how to avoid those common mistakes

A brief introduction to egg-set desserts,when was it first used, where we use it today and how to avoid common mistakes

Balancing classic techniques with an explosion of flavour, you can’t help but to love these subtly seductive works of art

13 Q&A

We love to here from you and we hope that this page answers some of your questions. If not, drop us a line.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Carelse STYLIST: Clire Gritten





Test your food knowledge and prove that you are the foodie you know you are.

What’s hot on the bookshelf and online.


If you had to compare your self to an animal,what would it be? Rotweiler

When I grow up... I am going to be Batman Movie Quote...

Go ahead, make my day


If you had one minute to speak to someone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them? Jim Morrison I wouldn’t ask him anything, just listen If you could change you name, would you? Yes, I’d call myself Untitled

ED’S LETTER I am so excited about this issue as it covers some of my favourite topics: Meringues, tell me, how could you not love meringues? Gelatine, in my all time favourite, Chocolate Mmmousee; and Custards, rich creamy and smooth. These desserts are ancient and yet, timeless in the way that they form the basis of many popular and convenient desserts today. In this issue we cover the history of the three styles of dessert making and what not to do in order to get the perfect results you are looking for. We discuss the relevance of these desserts in modern cuisine and how they are used. In the Dark Decadence story we have also included some great recipes. Mike and I had so much fun shooting it at the wonderfully vintage, Wandel Street Studios. It was the perfect location to get the results we were looking for and we look forward to shooting there again for the next issue. I absolutely loved working on this issue, as it just proves that there is no end to learning and creating something out of seemingly nothingness. The only problem with this issue is that there is so much to say and so little space to say it... Perhaps this calls for another round?




I am so excited to introduce the new and improved Baker’s Dozen Whisk. Like in the ad, it is something that I use for every whisking requirement and it is definitely something I just can’t do without. It is available at most good bake ware stores and is undoubtedly the]\\ true value for money. Trust me, you will love it! Enjoy and happy baking!

HelloJello! Here is an ode to the long-endearing, mult-purpose and now convenient use of gelatine Text Claire Gritten Photographs Google

While making yet another batch of my “famous” white chocolate mousse this weekend, I asked myself, “Why gelatine? As an enthusiastic, self-proclaimed foodie, the use of gelatine is not entirely lost on me, but how did someone come up with this? I can’t imagine that someone woke up one day and decided to boil some bones until it excretes a gelatinous mass that I can use to make wonderfully wobbly floating food blob with.

That being said, research suggests that its discovery was completely by chance. The use of gelatine can be traced back to when the Egyptians used it in the form of glue and traces were even found on the banqueting table. But only years later, circa 1400, did the definition of gelatine truly become clear, as did the understanding of where it came from. It is a flavourless, transparent thickener made from animal collagen that dissolves when heated and congeals when cooled. Despite it’s origins, gelatin is an extremely useful and versatile product which provides unique textural and sensory properties to sweet and savoury dishes alike. It usually comes in two forms, leaf and granulated, but another granulated variety exists in the form of agar-agar, for vegan and/ or Muslim consumption. Today gelatin is used in a host of common foodstuffs including mouses, gummy bears, Turkish Delight, nougat, Bavarian cream, aspic and of course, Jello-O. Not only used as a setting agent but also for it’s stabilising qualities in marshmallows, yogurt and ice-creams. It’s nutritional value was noted as early as the Napoleonic Wars when it was used as a source of protein by the French army. To this day, commercial gelatin contains no fat or cholesterol and very little calories, making it the preferred dessert with those suffering with heart disease or concerned about their weight. It has an infinite shelf life, especially when not exposed to moisture. It’s not very difficult to use and when you follow the pointers below, it will be plain sailing for all your gelatine-set desserts. • • • • • • • •

Read your recipe clearly, it essential to have the correct ratios Gelatin needs to set for several hours in the fridge Gelatin melts at 35’C therefore serve it cold. Never boil gelatin Never freeze gelatin Never over stir gelatin mixture as it will weaken its strength Do not use fresh or frozen pineapple in your gelatin, as it wont set Milk in a gelatin mixture makes it set stronger

Just ADD milk

add the chocolate mousse mix to 125ml milk, whisk for 30 seconds until combined. whisk on high for 3nminutes until pale and fuffy. in a seperate bowl repeat process for white chocolate mousse. spoon or pipe mouse into glasses alternating between ark and white. serve with fresh berries and tuille bisuit. Go to for recipes and more gantastic desserts.


asterful eringue

Light, airy, sweet, the only apt description being a melt-in-your-mouth piece of heaven, Text Claire Gritten Photographs Google

The beauty of a meringue based dessert is that it is usually fresh, light and doesn’t leave you feeling like you have eaten a rock at the end of the evening. The three most common meringues are French, Italian and Swiss. French meringue is known for its crisp shell after baking, giving a dish structure. It is usually used as a topping for pies and tarts, or as a shell such as vacherin or pavlova. Italian meringue is made by whisking a hot syrup into already whisked eggs whites, it is most commonly used as frosting in buttercream or as a filling, or even a topping for flans and other desserts. Swiss meringue is also a hot meringue where the sugar and egg whites are whisked over a bain-marie. It is definitely my least favourite of the three but it has it’s place in the kitchen when covering petit fours or decorating cakes and desserts.

not weepy. To achieve this, follow the tips and tools below, for stress free meringue making. There are really only a four points to consider, when attempting any meringue based dessert. Keep these in mind and it with be plain sailing... 1. Temperature and time - when you get this wrong it opens the door to a whole host of problems, such as beading, cracking, unattractive colour and generally not the puffy clouds of perfection that dream are made of. 2. Ratios - if you are using the incorrect ratios of egg whites to sugar, you can end up with cracked meringues. The standard ratio to use is 2:1, egg whites to sugar.

3. Meringue history is a bit of a misnomer. Some historians claim it was invented by Swiss pastry cook, Galasparini, while others claim it was invented by a chef in service of King Stanislas I Leszczyn’ski, who later became Duke of Lorraine. The king passed this recipe to his daughter Marie, who introduced it to the French. Careme has not been left out of this tail, because it was he who first thought to pipe vs spoon, the delicate confectioneries. 4. The perfect meringue should be crisp, almost glassy on the outside, crack-free and definitely

NO fat - any sign of fat will deflate your meringue, whether it is the slightest bit of egg yolk or a greased pan, your egg whites will not have the volume you want if it comes into contact with fat. Therefore it is imperative that all utensils are clean and grease free and that you line your tray with nonstick baking paper (or the like) and NOT oil or butter. NO water - humidity will kill any meringue, therefore it is best to make meringue in a dry environment otherwise corn starch could be added for more stability.


Simply egg, milk and sugar resulting in creamy, rich and versatile products Text Claire Gritten Photographs Google

I am passionate about eggs! I can not explain to you how much so. Not as a breakfast accompaniment with bacon and toast, (how boring!) but as an essential ingredient in food preparation at large. Since the beginning of time, the use of eggs as a setting agent, in savoury and sweet dishes alike, have been essential. You can not deny the properties off an egg. OK, the beginning of time might be a little overexaggeration, the Romans were the first cooks to recognised the binding properties of an egg, creating dishes such as patinae, crustades and omelettes. But the sweet custard known today dates back to the Middle Ages. Custard might be the term most frequently used , but creme anglaise or vanilla sauce, creme patissier, pastry cream, creme caramel, creme brulee and so many more fall under the collective term of egg-set desserts. Custards/Egg-set desserts come in two (some say three) varieties, being baked, stirred and starch bound custards (basically stirred with starch.) Each one of these have their unique pedestal in modern cuisine. It is absolute skill and patience to create that perfect creme brulee. Although not difficult, I know many people who judge a restaurant and chef by the way the have prepared their creme brulee. It is just one of those magical timeless pieces that you can have over and over again, like a good painting. Once you taste a real homemade custard, you’ll never be able to eat the powdery yellow stuff that comes from a box. Trust me! Most faults when making custard is from overcooking and baking and generally being impatient. This results in a variety of not so hot results such as splitting, curdling and weeping. To avoid this you need to be patient, use a low temperature and continue stirring as this cools the overall temperature and prevent patchy over coagulation/ overcooking. Basically what happens is that the egg protein binds together so closely that they expel all moisture. That is why you sometimes see a pool of liquid while baking cheesecake, some people mistake this as a sign that it is ready, but it is a bad sign. When this happens remove it immediately. PS: I am truly sorry, dear vegans, you are missing out!

dark desserts Balancing classic techniques with an explosion of flavour, you can’t help but to love these subtly seductive works of art Recipes and styling Claire Gritten Photographs Mike Carelse

CLASSIC CHEESECAKE WITH LEMON AND STAR ANISE BLUEBERRY COMPOTE 160g ginger snap biscuits/45g softened butter/560g cream cheese/130g sour cream/130g castor sugar/half a vanilla pod/90g eggs/25g lemon juice/15g unsalted butter/30ml castor sugar/1 star anise/zest of half lemon/100g frozen blueberries Preheat oven to 130’C. Line the bases of 8x 6cm diameter rings with baking paper. Crumb biscuits to a fine consistency. Rub butter into biscuit crumbs and until biscuit comes to together when pressed. Spoon biscuit into moulds and press gently with the back of a whisk and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Add whisked eggs one tablespoon at a time to prevent lumps and splitting. Lastly add lemon juice, spoon or pipe mixture into moulds three-quarters up the sides and bake for 14min or until firm to the touch. Cool completely, cover with cling film and refridgerate for an hour to set or until ready to serve. Baked chessecake can be stored for up to three days. To release from mould separate edges and place hot cloth around the edges, give a good shake and they should slip right out. For the compote, in a small saucepan melt butter over a low heat. Stir in the lemon zest and star anise. Add sugar and Cook gently until the sugar is dissolved. Toss in the berries, stir gently and cook for 2-3 minutes with a lid on, until the berries start to soften. Compote can be reduced to create a thicker consistency and kept sealed in the refrigerator for one day. Serve warm with the baked cheesecake. Serves 8 to 10

SPARKLING RASPBERRY JELLY WITH PISTACHIO TUILLES 8 leaves of gelatine/300g castor sugar/1200ml water/550ml sparkling rose’/5ml rose water/200g raspberries/1 egg white/50g icing sugar/50g flour/50g margarine, melted/45g chooped pistachios/whipped cream Soak gelatine for 5 minutes. In a large saucepan, over a medium heat stir water and sugar until dissolved. Raise heat and bring to the boil, allow to reduce to more or less 1l.. Remove from heat and stir in gelatine until completely dissolved, add sparkling rose water and raspberries. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour liquid into glasses, drop a few raspberries into the glasses as well, cover with cling film and place in refrigerator overnight to set. Jelly can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days but it is NOT advised to freeze it. For the tuilles. Sift icing sugar and flour. Incorporate egg white and cool margarine. Spread thinly using template and palette knife, no more than three per tray. Sprinkle with pistachios and bake till pale golden for 3- 5 min at 140’C. Shape over a rolling pin whilst warm, this takes a bit of practice, so be prepared for a few breakages. Tuilles can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry area for no longer than two days to prevent them going soggy. Serve jelly with a decorative tuille and fresh cream on the side. Serves 15 to 30

HAZELNUT MERINGUE CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM 140g flour/10ml baking powder/pinch of salt/110g softened butter/ 300g castor sugar/4 eggs, separated and at room temperature/45ml vanilla essence/100ml milk at room temperature/1.25ml cream of tartar/30g icing sugar/90g chopped hazelnuts Preheat oven to 160’C. Line 2x 20 cm baking trays or 2 muffins pans. In a medium sized bowel, sift flour, baking powder and salt. In a bowl of an electric mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream butter and 100g castor sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk egg yolks and add to butter 1 tablespoon at a time, until combined. Remember to scrape down the sides of your bowl regularly. Add the vanilla essence to milk and alternating add the milk and flour to the egg mixture. Ensure that you start and end with flour to prevent to splitting. Batter should be smooth. Divide batter evenly between pans. And set aside. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer , with a whisk attachment whish egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peak stage and gradually whisk in the rest of the castor sugar with the icing sugar. Spread the meringue over the batter in the pans and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Bake cakes for 30-40 minutes and cupcakes for 15-25 min. Cool cakes completely and sandwich layers together with strawberries and cream. Serves 8 to 10

WHITE CHOCOLATE CINNAMON MOUSE WITH PANCAKES AND BLUEBERRIES 10ml powdered gelatine/2 eggs, separated/60ml milk/5ml cinnamon powder/180g chopped white chocolate/185ml whipping cream/375ml flour/7,5ml baking powder/1 egg/15ml oil/500ml milk/500ml water/150g fresh blueberries Soak gelatine in 30ml water. In a medium heavy based saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, milk and cinnamon until combined. Add the chocolate and stir continuously over a low heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the soaked gelatine. Set over a bowl of cold water. Using an electric mixer, whisk cream until soft peak stage and in another bowl, whisk eggs white until soft peak stage. Starting with one third of the cream, fold it into the cooled chocolate mixture. Then starting with one third, fold in the egg whites. Pour mixture gently into a bowl, cover with cling wrap and refridgerate until set. Mouse can be stored for a maximum of three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For the pancakes, sift flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl roughly mix the egg, oil and milk. Make a well in the flour and pour in wet ingredients, mixing until it just comes together. Add the water little bit at a time until the mixture is runny but not watery. Cover bowl with cling wrap and refridgerate overnight. On a hot Teflon coated pan, pour more or less one cup of mixture. When edges curl up flip and fry for another 20 seconds. Place on warm plate, continue until each you have enough pancakes to serve. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Serve pancakes warm with quenelle of mousse and some fresh blueberries. You can decorate your plate or pancake with cinnamon sugar, if you choose. Serves 12 to 15

CHOCOLATE STOUT CUPCAKES WITH TREACLE SUGAR ITALIAN MERINGUE 220g self-raising flour/30ml cocoa/110g castor sugar/45ml milk/ 125ml stout beer/1 egg/180ml oil/150g fresh mulberries/250ml treacle sugar/60ml water/1.25ml cream of tartar/3 egg whites/1.25ml cream of tartar Preheat oven to 180’C. Place cupcake liners in the holes of a twelve-hole muffin pan. Sift flour, cocoa and castor sugar. In a separate bowl mix milk, stout egg and oil. Stir liquids into flour mix until just combined. Fill the cupcake liners until one third capacity, then poke two to three mulberries into the centre of the mixture. The the cup cake to two-thirds up the sides and bake for 20- 25 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave till cool. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for a three days but should be served at room temperature. With Italian meringue and fresh mulberries. For the Italian meringue dissolve sugar, water and cream of tartar over low heat. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Whisk egg whites with second quantity of cream of tartar till stiff. Whisk in syrup in steady stream, until thick and glossy. It is not advised to try and store Italian meringue for more than a day but if you do, it should be in a clean airtight container in a cool dry place and NOT in the refrigerator. Moisture will break down the meringue and you will lose your volume and smooth texture. Pipe neatly over cupcakes and decorate with more mulberries. Finished cupcakes should be served immediately but can be stored for a maximum of 24 hours in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Serves 10 to 12

Q&A I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY MY MERINGUE IS CRACKING? MARIA BOTHA, PORT ELIZABETH This could be for a number of reasons. Firstly, you could be cooking your meringues to fast. When drying meringues think, lower and slower. Best temperature is usually 100’C for about an hour. Another reason could be that your ratios are incorrect, too much egg or too little sugar can cause your meringue to crack. The general rule of thumb, is to use the ratio of 1:2, egg whites to sugar. Better luck next time and let me know how they turn out. WHEN I MAKE LEMON MERINGUE PIE, THE MERINGUE SHRINKS AND LOOKS TERRIBLE. WHY IS THAT? LENA VALENTINE, RICHARD’S BAY Oh, the lemon meringue, what a classic but it can such a nightmare too. There are a number of things you can do to prevent this, starting with your filling. Spread your meringue onto a warm filling as this will aid the cooking process and thus prevent shrinkage. Make sure that the meringue is spread to the edge of the pie casing so that it sticks to it when baked and won’t pull away. Otherwise, you could add 1tbs cornstarch dissolved in water to your whipped egg whites as this produces a crisper and neater meringue that is easier to cut. Send me a pic when you next attempt it. CAN YOU MAKE GELATINE AT HOME? JANA HEYNS, PRETORIA What a question! Challenge accepted. Gelatin is made from collagen, tissues that hold us and other animals together. Usually the cleaned skin and bones are ground up and then boiled until chemically altered. In the middle ages wealthy households had a team of people making gelatine, as it was such a time consuming job. Cattle hooves were boiled for six hours, the stock was clarified as it dripped through a jelly bag, boiled again, and then allowed to sit. So yes, you CAN make gelatine, but is it worth all that time and effort? You decide and let me know how it turns out, if you do. CAN GELATINE BE USED FOR DISHES OTHER THAN DESSERT? JESSE FINE, CAPE TOWN Of course you can, gelatine was initially used for savoury dishes such as terrines and aspic as far back as Ancient Egypt. It became especially popular in the 1950s through to the 1970s with recipes such as crab meat mouse, tomato fish moulds (which is a tomato based jelly set in a fish shaped mould,) chicken noodle ring, tomato and cheese ring, usually dishes set in a ring or ridiculously decorative mould. But if you think that savoury gelatin based products is a thing of the past, think again, because believe me it isn’t. Most mousses and foams incorporate gelatine to stabilise it. So haul out and old recipe book and try making a something-mould, just rather than setting it in a ring, use a shot glass and see how your next dinner guests will react. Enjoy! WHAT IS THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR CUSTARD? STIRRED AND BAKED? ELMARE WEST, JOHANNESBERG Again, low and slow. Eggs are extremely delicate and when they overcooked the proteins bind close together and expel all moisture, resulting a rubbery overcooked scromblette, otherwise known as over coagulation. Therefore we use bain-marie style baking, where you place your mould(s) in a roasting dish and fill it with water to the same height as the custard. This creates an even distribution of heat and eliminates your chance of over coagulation. Most egg-set desserts should be baked at low temperatures such as 160’C and 90’C - 100’C over the stove, depending on how brave you are ;0)

We love to here from you and we hope that this page answers some of your questions. If not, drop us a line.

z i u Q e i ood

F e Th

, if you t s e t e h t e k ? Ta ink you are


ou th

oodie y F e h t u o y Are

1. If you are whisking meringue do you have to add an acid to the egg whites when using a copper bowl? 2. When making Italian meringue, to what temďż˝ perature do you cook your syrup to? 3. There should be not trace of ______________ when whisking egg whites into a meringue? 4. When making a creme patissier, how many egg yolks would you use to one litre? 5. Would the addition of milk to eggs raise or lower the coagulation/cooking temeperature? 6. Two tablespoons of gelatin powder is equal to how many gelatine leaves? 7. True or False? When using gelatine, the more you stir, the better. 8. True or False? When liquid oozes out of your baked cheesescake, it is a sign that it is cooked properly. 9. True or False? The colour of an eggshell is usually an indication of the colour of the chicken.

2. 1.

No, because the copper reacts with a protein in the egg whites, giving it the same stabilising properties as the acid. 114’C soft ball stage

6. 3. 4. 5.

fat 12 It raises the cooking temperature by dispersing the egg proteins. 6

9. 8. 7.

False, the more you stir, the less it holds. False, it is a sign that it is OVER-baked. True.

GOOD READS Cakes, to celebrate love and life. Maritz,Callie and Guy, Mari-Louis. Struik Lifestyle, 2009. The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts The French Culinary Institute. Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2009. spice it Murdoch Books Pty Ltd, 2006. The Entire Beast: From Ear and Beer to Ale and Tail Chris Badenoch. Penguin Books Pty Ltd, Australia 2006. Larousse Gastronomique Hamlyn, 2006. Cookery in Colour: A picture encyclopedia for every occassion Marguerte Patten. Books for Pleasure Ltd. (Paul Hamlyn), 1960.


we are Eggstatic!

about whisking For meringues, creams, custrads and every whisking requirement, there’s the Baker’s Dozen Whisk TM.


Baker’s Dozen

more than you’d expect


One of my course assignments for Patisserie

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