Posts tagged chocolate
White Chocolate + Passionfruit Cheesecake Recipe

Hi everyone! It's Rachel and this month I'm sharing a super simple, but impressive White Chocolate and Passionfruit Cheesecake. This recipe was inspired by my recent trip to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland (on the East Coast of Australia) a couple of weeks ago with my family. We stayed right on Marcoola Beach and enjoyed a week that felt much like summer. The sun in the Northern parts of Australia rises and sets quite differently to how it does in Melbourne, and it would poke its rays above the horizon just a little after 5.30am. I am usually not a morning person, but the lure of golden rays dancing over the breaking waves at dusk was just too enticing. Every morning I strolled down to the beach with my camera in hand and soaked up the sun as it shone on my face. I watched the surfers catch a break or two before they headed to work, fisherman trying their luck knee deep in the surf and others just simply there to enjoy the sound of the ocean. Rachel Korinek for decor8

This recipe was inspired by that and I'd like to show you how to make it. But first, for the passionfruit topping, you can either use fresh passionfruit, (maybe you even have some growing in your garden?), or you can opt for the quick and dirty passionfruit pulp with syrup in a can. The tinned variety will spread easier onto the top of the cake, however a little bit of orange juice added to fresh pulp should help break it up a little. A thin layer will look more appealing for serving.

Rachel Korinek for decor8

If you’d prefer to have a more traditional cheesecake look by just using the biscuit mixture for the base, you can halve all of the base ingredients I've listed below. A spring form pan is such a lifesaver for a recipe like this so if you don’t have one, please change that! I’m known to take shortcuts whenever I can, and there is nothing worse than buying all of the ingredients, prepping and cooking only to find the cake is stuck in the tin! Trust me, I have been there many times (and I am food photographer, but we all have to learn the hard way I guess!).

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Food for me is as much about colour as it is taste. When a dish is bright and fun, it only adds to the experience. Blue skies and sun filled days are ahead for a lot of you (lucky readers!) and I hope this dish makes it onto your as the warmer weather approaches.

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Ingredients BASE 2 1/2 cups Butter Snap biscuits (or any light coloured biscuit), crushed 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 shredded coconut 100g butter, melted 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Cheesecake Filling 500g cream cheese, softened and cubed 1/2 cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon orange zest 2 teaspoons gelatine, (dissolved in boiling water and allowed to cool slightly) 200g white chocolate, melted 1 cup cream Topping + Garnish 1/2 cup passionfruit pulp, (or passionfruit pulp + syrup) Mint to garnish

Method Using a spring form cake tin, 20cm, lightly grease and line with baking paper. In a bowl, combine the crushed biscuits, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, coconut, melted butter and coconut oil. Press into the tin so there is a thin layer at the bottom and around the sides. Freeze for 20-30 mins to set. Remove.

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, sugar and orange zest with an electric mixer until smooth and combined. Add the white chocolate and cream. Stir in the gelatine (whilst warm and still dissolved but not boiling). Pour the cheesecake mixture into the base. Allow to set in the fridge for at least three hours or overnight. Once ready to serve, top with passionfruit pulp and a few sprigs of mint.

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Rachel Korinek for decor8

Rachel Korinek for decor8

I hope you love this recipe and will make it! I'll meet you back here on May 4th with another recipe from my kitchen. Take care and enjoy!- Rachel.

(Photography, Styling, Text, Recipe: Rachel Korinek/Two Loves Studio. Editor: Holly Becker)

Easter Hazelnut Torte with Chocolate Orange Buttercream Recipe

Hello everyone! It’s Emma back to say hi with my March column for decor8 and today I’m celebrating Easter with you and giving you a sweet treat idea for your upcoming celebration. I always see Easter as the turn in the season - the days can still be beautifully warm but as three o’clock hits the air temp becomes crisp and a jumper has to be pulled on. This year, however, Easter is super early and with the above average sunny and hot days that we have been experiencing here it’s all set to still feel like summer. Many of you will be experiencing the first hint of spring with blossom on the trees, daffodils shoots poking through the soil and longer, brighter days. It’s such an awakening time of year after the hibernation of a long winter so enjoy the change! Emma Duckworth for decor8

Excitingly I’ve hit my third trimester in my pregnancy and as much as I love long hot summer days, I am longing for the cooler air of autumn to provide some respite (I'm in Sydney, Australia). The nights are still so warm and with this growing belly of mine it’s harder to get a full nights sleep comfortably. I like to think it of getting prepared for the broken nights sleep when the baby comes! My girls are relishing in the prospect of baby’s arrival. Being so close in age themselves (only twelve months apart) this experience of having a younger sibling to care for is exciting them to no end - it is quite the loveliest thing to see.

Emma Duckworth for decor8

Back to Easter. With a long weekend we usually celebrate with a family get together, usually breakfast and have a mini Easter egg hunt in the garden. Regardless of what time of day it is our get together will have to involve chocolate and of course Easter eggs (my two still sweetly believe in the Easter bunny!). I’m thinking a breakfast of french crepes with chocolate sauce (recipe on my blog here) and a selection of fruits and good ol’ avo on sour dough (inspired by Rachel’s last column)... And of course this hazelnut cake that can easily be made into cupcakes if you prefer.


I love love love nuts in cake and this hazelnut torte is delicious! My aim was to keep the components of the recipe simple and so have teamed the cake with a fragrant orange buttercream. This buttercream packs a bunch with jaffa flavour which is delicious (I’m a strong fan of chocolate orange anything!!) but if this isn’t your thing then team the torte with a simple chocolate buttercream. The variety of Easter eggs that you decorate with on the top of the cake will give you an additional hit of chocolate!. You should have seen my girls’ eyes light up when they saw all the eggs - they thought they were in chocolate heaven!!

INGREDIENTS: For The Cake: 1 Cup plain flour 1 Cup hazelnut meal 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened 1 Cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar 3 eggs 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 Cup sour cream 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional) Selection of edible Easter eggs of your choice

For The Frosting: 2 c unsalted butter, softened* 4 c powdered sugar 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted a pinch of kosher salt zest of one orange 2 tsp orange juice

METHOD: 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. 2. Whisk together flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then put to one side. 3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. 4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla extract. 5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of sour cream. Mix until a few streaks of flour remain. Stir in chopped hazelnuts if you would like a bit of crunch throughout the sponge (this is optional). 6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth batter evenly in pans. 7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cakes are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 8. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Transfer cakes from pans to a wire rack to cool completely. 9. In a separate bowl beat all frosting ingredients together until smooth.


10. To construct the cake: Place one layer of sponge cake on your cake stand or plate, spoon buttercream and spread to edges. Place second layer of cake on buttercream and spoon a final buttercream layer on the top. Allow to cool in the fridge for 20 mins. This will firm up the buttercream and give your cake more stability. Now is your chance to get creative with the top. I sprinkled a layer of flaked white chocolate in an arc shape and using this as my ‘template’ then topped with varying sizing of Easter eggs. The different scale and proportion of the eggs allows the top of the cake to have a main focal point (here it’s the large egg cracked oped with mini ones spilling out).



Enjoy your Easter dear readers and I’ll see you next month on 16th. We’ll have just come back from a week in Bali on a long awaited for family holiday and so I am thinking of a sweet treat inspired by the tropics. - Emma

(Photography, Styling, Recipe and Text: Emma Duckworth. Editor: Holly Becker)

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly

Hi there, I’m a brand new columnist here on decor8 and my name is Gintare Marcel. I'm a cookbook author (4 of them so far) and an avid traveller. I’m originally from Lithuania, but now I divide my time between the mountain covered Swiss countryside and sunny Provence with my French husband, with a few other stops here and there. I’m very excited to join Holly and the whole team at decor8. Each month I’ll be sharing a delicious recipe and sometimes a glimpse of food from my travels. I hope to inspire you to roll up your sleeves to cook, enjoy food, and perhaps dream a little. To begin, I have something very indulgent and all about chocolate since February 14th is just around the corner. GintareLOWRES Chocolate seemed like an appropriate topic for Valentine's Day to linger upon and it is my firm belief that chocolate is indeed a quintessential ingredient to a happy life. What do you think? There can never be too much of it. So, how about a smooth and decadent cup of chocolate for you today?

_DSC9723LOWRES Pot de crème is a French classic that has as many variations as stars in the sky but for a good reason. It is a quick and easy dessert that results in wonderfully indulgent chocolate cups with delicate orange notes and a touch of liqueur, if you like that sort of thing (wink).

Untitled-1LOWRES However, the unsung hero of this desert is the rosemary. Yes, really. I love to add a bit of a savory kick to my desserts and rosemary goes so well with chocolate. It makes an easy dessert a little more special. The rosemary cream is simple to make and you can use the same method to infuse any regular cream with lavender, thyme or any flavor of your choice for experiment.


Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème 130g dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped 4 egg yolks 1 tbsp sugar 1 orange zest, finely grated 1 cup/250 ml milk ½ cup/120 ml cream 1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Rosemary Chantilly ½ cup/120 ml cream a few rosemary sprigs 1-2 tsp sugar

How To: Place the chopped chocolate in a blender, set aside. Heat milk and cream until just simmering. Beat egg yolks with sugar and zest and pour in the milk stirring vigorously. Stir in Grand Marnier. Return to the stove and continue stirring on medium heat until it starts coating the back of a wooden spoon (it will take a minute or two). Pour everything on top of chocolate and blend till smooth. Divide between 4 cups or glasses and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make rosemary whipped cream, bring cream with rosemary sprigs to simmer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Then, strain and chill until needed. Whip cream with sugar and top each pot de crème with a spoonful.


Enjoy, Happy Valentine's Day, and I'll see you in March with another delicious recipe from my kitchen to yours! - Gintare.

(Photography, Styling and Words: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)

Yummy Chocolate Babka Recipe

Would you like to learn how to make the ultimate holiday comfort food, a chocolate babka? Oh yes! Hello everyone, this is Liz and I'm back with another delicious recipe for the month. Only a few days until first Advent! Slowly I’m getting into the mood. As the days grow shorter and the leaves have been blown from the trees completely, now I like thinking of cozy December weekends. chocolate-babka-newyork-christmas-lisanieschlag

A few weeks ago my newest book (Available only in German) that I co-authored with Lars Wentrup with special photography by Brooklyn-based photographer Julia Cawley, New York Christmas, was published after months of work. We were excited to finally see our “baby” in the bookstores. After months of work in 2014, baking and cooking, shooting the recipes and designing the book, it always seems like a little miracle when you finally see the result. With this book we want to invite our readers on a journey to the Big Apple during Christmas time. The book is filled with delicious cookies, cakes and pies, festive main courses and seasonal sides and salads. We assembled over 50 recipes for celebrating the season.




Here is a recipe from the book for Chocolate Babka that we hope you will try and enjoy this holiday season.

Chocolate Babka

For the dough: 290 g flour 3/4 package dried yeast 40 g sugar pinch of salt 2 eggs 60 ml lukewarm milk 70 g butter

For the filling: 50 g hazelnuts or almonds (skins removed, roughly chopped) 1 tablespoon brown sugar 70 g dark chocolate (70%) 50 g butter 25 g powdered sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

butter for the pan

For the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk and butter and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place plastic wrap over the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

In the meantime roast the nuts in a pan. Caramelize them with the sugar. In another pot, melt the chocolate with the butter and let cool. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa and stir until smooth.

Butter a loaf pan. Place the dough onto a floured workspace and roll the dough to a rectangle (approx. 35x25 cm). Spread the chocolate filling evenly onto the dough, sparing the edges. Sprinkle with caramelized nuts. Tightly roll up the dough from the short side. Then slice the roll in two along its length with a sharp knife so that the layers fan out. Combine the ends and twist the two cords. The cut face should show upwards. Place the twisted cords into the loaf pan and let rise for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Bake the Babka for 30-35 minutes. If it turns too dark during baking, cover with aluminum foil. Let cool completely before serving.

I hope that you will enjoy this yummy cake! - Liz

(Photos: Julia Cawley except for food photo: Lisa Nieschlag)

Outstanding Chocolate Pear Cake Recipe

Want a yummy Autumn cake recipe? This isn't just any fruit cake either. Hi, this is Liz from Liz & Jewels and I'm back again with my monthly recipe for decor8 and this time, we're making chocolate pear cake. Honestly? I don’t like eating pears. Somehow the texture always feels odd to me. What a pity, because when I bought my house and garden a few years ago, I bought it with a whole trellis of fruit trees in my driveway, one of them a pear. I do like it in spring when the buds begin to burst open and light pink flowers appear ever so delicately. I love to watch the bees buzz by and always hope they do a good job dusting the flowers, so that lots of little pears can grow. And when they start growing I’m happy about every one of them. It feels like magic. I’m always startled by what nature can do. I pass the pears all summer, observing, and am reluctant to pick them because I know I’m not a pear-eater. But last weekend it just had to be done. Chocolate-Pear-Cake I couldn’t leave them there any longer, otherwise the wasps would have eaten them all, so I went out and harvested, with mixed feelings. Every time it’s time to pick fruit, it becomes so obvious that summer is over. And so it was — the weather had changed rapidly from really hot to uncomfortably cold in just a few days. It was drizzling, grey and wet. I didn’t want to give them away because I only had 6 pears this year and they were precious. Homegrown food always leaves me with a little feeling of pride.

pears Back in the kitchen, I was feeling ambitious, wanting to make something really delicious with the pears I had nourished all summer long. Maybe combining them with something I really like would do the trick? What about chocolate?! While baking my cake I listened to some slightly blue, moody music and said goodbye to summer. I guess that’s why my pictures turned out a bit darker than usual this time. But now: Autumn, I’m ready for you! My opinion about pears is starting to change. Tucked into this delicious, moist chocolate cake …. they’re really lovely!


Chocolate Pear Cake

4 cups water 5 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon juice of 1/2 lemon 6 pears, peeled and cored

7 oz dark chocolate (70%) 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1/2 cup ground almonds 1 1/2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cocoa 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


How to: In a pot, combine water, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the pears and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pears and drain on a rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter, set aside. In another pot, combine chocolate and butter and let them melt at a very low heat. Stir often until chocolate and butter are melted. Allow to cool for a bit. In a bowl, mix sugar and eggs using the mixer until fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and stir. Mix in the almonds, flour, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Pour a bit of the dough into the loaf pan. Place the pears on the dough and carefully add the rest of the dough until the pears are completely surrounded. Bake for 50 minutes. Cover the top with aluminium foil so that the top doesn’t burn. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


Enjoy! I'll see you in October with another lovely treat. See you soon! -Liz

(photography, styling, text: Lisa Nieschlag/Liz & Jewels)