RECIPE: Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cake, Dill & Honey Labneh, Caramel Macadamia Crumb, Rosemary

2018 Appetite for Excellence One-to-Watch Jess McEwan from Hogget Kitchen created a delicious dessert canape for our Awards Evening

1kg Salted Butter
1kg Sugar
1.25kg Dark Chocolate
1kg Almond Meal
30 Egg Yolks
30 Egg Whites
100g Pink Salt
50g Black Cracked Pepper
4 litres Yoghurt (Strained Immediately – 2 Days)
100ml Honey
½ Bunch Fresh Dill
800g Peeled and Raw Macadamias
300g Castor Sugar
Rosemary Flowers (Garnish)

Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cake

Melt the Butter and sugar in a large pot, add the salt and pepper and bring to a light simmer.
Once the sugar has melted, remove from direct heat and add the chocolate and almond meal. Stir immediately until combined.
In a mixer add half the egg white and beat to a medium peak. Meanwhile add the egg yolks to the chocolate mix and stir until the egg yolks have completely been mix in and the mixture is slightly glossy.
Fold the egg whites gently into the chocolate mix.
Beat the remaining egg whites to a medium peak and then fold into the mix.
Line four gastro trays with backing paper and divide the mixture evenly over the four trays. Careful not to lose any air. The mix should only make a 1/3 high of the tray.
Bake in the oven at 170 degrees for approx. 30 mins.
Place in the cool room to cool completely.
Once cooled, using a pastry cutter (1 ½ inch) circles and place on flat tray ready to garnish.

Once the yoghurt has been strained through muslin cloth for two days, remove the whey.
Add the Labneh to a medium bowl.
Finely chop the fresh dill (leave some sprigs for garnish later) , add to the Labneh and gently fold in the honey.
Put mix into a few piping bags for service.


Caramel Macadamia
Lightly roast the raw macadamias until golden, then roughly crush until the size of a pea.
Spray and line a tray with baking paper ready for the nuts are coated.
Pour the sugar and macadamias into a high saucepan at medium heat.
Continually stir the nuts until the sugar begins to melt and turn into a caramel. At this point it’s important to monitor the heat.
Stir the nuts until the sugar starts to crystalize, then eventually the sugar will re-melt and coating the nuts.
When the macadamias have been evenly coated in the remelted sugar, immediately pour and separate the nuts onto the line tray and cool at room temp.
Once the sugar has set and nuts are cool, using a mortar and pestle, gently crush the nuts into a chunky crumb ready for service.

Rosemary flowers
Clean the rosemary flowers and place on a lightly sprayed cold chux or paper towel ready for service.

To assemble
Snip the Labneh piping bag end to aprox 0.8cm.
Pipe directly onto the chocolate cake rounds, making sure the ratio of Labneh to cake is more.
Be generous with the caramel macadamias on top
Garnish with a few rosemary flowers and a sprig of dill
Then gently transfer to serving tray

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