Monday, 25 May 2015

Brioches Nid d'Abeille

adapted from the recipe of Christophe Felder


for the brioche:

250 g flour
30 g sugar
1 tsp salt
3 g dry yeast
3 large eggs
130 g butter, softened

1 egg, beaten, for the wash

1. Scale the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
2. Add the yeast.
3. Add the eggs and knead to form a dough.
4. Add the butter piece by piece until well incorporated.
5. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours.

for the huney-almond paste:

100 g honey
80 g butter
80 g sliced blanched almonds

1. Heat the honey and butter in a pan. Let it cook for about 10 seconds.
2. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Set aside to cool.

Tailoring:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Take the brioche out of the fridge. Roll the dough 6 mm thick.
3. Using 8 cm round cutter, cut out the rolled dough in small brioches. Let them rise for 2 hours.
4. Give each brioche an egg wash. Spread a teaspoon of the honey mixture on top of every brioche.
5. Bake for about 10 min. Transfer on a wire rack to cool.

Store at room temperature.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Blueberry Mousse Cake

I made this cake for a colleague of  mine who is passionate about sewing. She is a perfectionist and could sew a button with such an elegance and grace as if she were an impressionist who creates the art of a lifetime.    


Well, yes... she has spent most of her life identifying notions, drapery hardware, fabrics, rods, threads, trims and more. Her cake had to be a piece of reminder, that these drapery and fashion "ingredients" could build a deliciousness. 


The way I piped the pins does not at all describes her system of organization. But why not get messy for once. 

I baked and constructed the cake the same way I had done it for my Pastel Cake. Instead of using a stencil, I piped the notions and the stitches. Oh, my..., the stitches! They had to be matched perfectly. Did you know, that when you buy fabric, you always have to consider matching the pattern (if any)?

  
Well, not perfect, but nice attempt. Hope she wouldn't notice ;) ...



for the blueberry mousse:

6 egg yolks from large eggs
125 g sugar
25 g corn starch
250 ml milk
250 g blueberry purée
5 g vanilla

10 g gelatin, preferably sheets
cold water for soaking

500 g heavy cream


1. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water.
2. Heat the milk and the blueberry purée.
3. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and corn starch. Add half of the milk and blueberry purée, whisking continuously to dissolve the sugar. Pour the egg mixture back to the pan with the rest of the liquid. Place over a water bath and stir until the cream thickens. Add the vanilla extract, after the pot is away from the heat.
4. Add the gelatin to the hot cream, discarding the water. Stir to dissolve.
5. Place in a bowl of a self-standing mixer and beat the cream with the paddle attachment to cool to ambient temperature.
6. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Keep in the refrigerator until needed.
7. When the pastry cream is cooled, fold in the cold heavy cream.
8. Fill the cake and let it set overnight.
9. Decorate as desired:
I decorated with shaved 'Lindt' dark chocolate, piped whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

Store in refrigerator.
Serve cold





Friday, 15 May 2015

Cupcake Brownies


My beautiful "Marguerite" made this for a friend. I was just an adviser on some details and a provider of the ingredients. 

She is an amazingly gentle, beautiful and innocent flower (she has always been) and I have always called her my Marguerite. She is special, special, special - clumsy and passionate in her actions, thoughtful and impulsive, pedantic and chaotic, joyful and gloomy... she is a constant opposite to herself and I adore her devoutness to everything she loves. My best friend, my little, grown up daughter... 

for the brownies:

90 g butter
170 g dark chocolate
40 g Dutch cocoa powder

60 g flour
30 g corn starch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
180 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract


Nutella topping:

80 g Nutella
1 Tbsp cream cheese
1 Tbsp whipped cream

prepare the brownies:

1. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt together the butter + chocolate + cocoa powder.
2. In a bowl, mix together the flour + baking powder + salt
3. Whip the eggs + sugar + vanilla for 4 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture. Beat. Add the dry ingredients and fold gently to combine.
4. Distribute the mixture in the lined with paper cup pan. Bake at 170 C for 15-20 min. Check with a toothpick regularly. Do not dry the brownies out.
5. Transfer on a wire rack to cool.

prepare the topping:

Mix all the ingredients well to homogenize.
Top each cupcake. Decorate as desired.

Store at room temperature in an air tight container for no longer than 2 days.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache


for the cupcakes:
(makes 9)

160 g egg whites
180 g sugar
200 g unsalted butter at room temperature
120 g almond meal
140 g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 g vanilla extract


for the chocolate ganache:

300 ml heavy cream
300 g dark chocolate
20 g sugar


prepare the cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. 
2. Beat the egg whites and 2/3 of the sugar until firm peaks are formed.
3. Beat the softened butter with the rest of the sugar.
4. Sift the flour in a bowl. Add the almond meal and the baking powder.
5. Add one third of the dry ingredients to the butter, Beat until well homogenized.
6. Add one third of the egg whites. Beat well.
7. Follow with the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the egg whites. Stir to homogenize. Work very gently, to keep the volume of the whites.
8. Distribute the batter in 9 cup cakes forms. 
9. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25-30 min. Check with a toothpick.


prepare the chocolate ganache:

1. Bring the cream and sugar to boil.
2. Have the chocolate chopped in a bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let stay for 5 min.
3. Stir the mixture gently until well homogenized and glossy ganache is formed.
4. Leave at room temperature. Use before it hardens completely.

Tailoring:

1. Fill a piping bag with the chocolate ganache. Use any tip you'd like.
2. Arrange the cupcakes in a plate.
3. Pipe swirls or mounts, whatever interests you at the moment. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
4. Store and serve at room temperature.



Sunday, 10 May 2015

Mother's Day Cake

I am so blessed!

Two beautiful girls, who think all good about me and who make all my days worthy. They fill my life with joy, inspiration and gratefulness. I am happy to be a part of this celebration. 

I made this cake for a good friend of mine and a good mom of two kids. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!


This is the chocolate Genoise from my very first post in this blog. You could never go wrong with a chocolate cake. I used simple syrup and Meringue Butter Cream.


Roses and raspberries make this cake very princess-y looking.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Mini Puff Pots




Some creations speak for themselves.
Fresh puffs, filled with chocolate pastry cream are a classic dessert.


for the chocolate pastry cream:

250 ml milk
3 egg yolks
50 g sugar
30 g corn starch
20 g Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Bring the milk to boil.
2. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, starch and cocoa without over beating. 
3. Pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly (dissolving the sugar). Pour the yolk mixture back to the pot where the other half of the milk is and place over medium heat. 
4. Stir constantly with a whisk attachment, until thickens.
5. Place the pastry cream in a deep dish, cover it with cling foil, (the foil should touch the cream). Leave to cool at room temperature.
6. Stir the cream and fill a piping bag with a star attachment. 
7. Cut "the lids" of the puff pots and fill with the cream. Cover with the lids.
8. Serve the same day.





Monday, 4 May 2015

Spring Chocolate Mousse Mini Cakes

with the glorious help of Chef Ani:


Chef Ani made working on the Joconde sponge a pure satisfaction. She worked very passionately stencilling the shells in the following steps:

1. Prepare the Ribbon Sponge
2. Divide in batches.
3. Colour each batch.
4. Stencil.
5. Refrigerate.
7. Prepare the Joconde sponge, spread, bake and cut, following the instructions in Flower Power post.




There are few early flowers in the garden. There are much more on the table. I can not wait to see my garden in full bloom. 

The chocolate mini cakes are decorated in different colours and represent different flowers. All of them - great favourites of mine. 



Which else to start with, but with the Queen of all flowers - the rose....

My childhood memories are always full of colours. Most favourite are the ones I built in the meadow, braiding head wreaths out of wild flowers. I close my eyes and I feel the sun rays, kissing the flowers around, I sense the aroma of the warmed, fragile grass, I am sitting in..., I am a child again. Wild - flower head wreaths are so innocent!

Violets!... beautiful, gentle, scented flowers. This mini-cake is Chef Ani's favourite - first of all it is  violet - chef Ani's favourite colour, but most of all - it is the only one mini cake from the collection, filled only with chocolate mouse, without any other distractions like whipped cream and strawberries.  

The flower, that is considered these days a weed - the one, I chased happily as a kid and waited  impatiently for it to grow through all of its stages, so to make a wish and blow all of its seed on the wind. The one flower that is a wish-o-metre (after the daisy "loves-me-loves-me-not" leaves count), now banned from the lawns, is well presented on our table.

for the chocolate mouse filling:

150 ml heavy cream
30 g sugar
200 g dark chocolate - 75% cacao
150 ml heavy cream whipped


1. Have the chocolate chopped in a heat proof bowl.
2. Bring the heavy cream and sugar to a boil. Pour over the chocolate.
3. Stir until the ganache is glossy and smooth. Let it stay at room temperature.
4. When the ganache cools down to room temperature, fold in the whipped chilled cream.
5. Pipe the ganache in the mini-cakes.
6. Optional: Pipe whipped cream and decorate with fresh strawberries.