Monday, 27 July 2015

Lemon Cookie mini-cakes


for the cookies:

180 g unsalted butter
70 g vegetable shortening
grated zest from two lemons
310 g sugar
5 g salt
1 large egg
8 g vanilla extract
60 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed 

625 g flour
18 g baking powder



prepare the cookies:

1. Cream the butter, shortening and the zest together. Add the sugar and beat until creamy fluffy. Add the salt.

2. Add the egg. Beat until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and half the lemon juice. Mix lightly.

3. Incorporate half of the flour, alternating with the other half of the lemon juice and the rest of the flour. Mix until the dough is formed.

4. Divide the dough in two. Roll it out between two pieces of wrapping foil. Place on a flat surface and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

5. With a round cookie cutter, cut out cookies.

6. Using a cookie cutter with a smaller diameter, cut the centre of half of the cookies to form a ring. Make the cut out centres into button cookies.

7. Place all the cookies in a lined with parchment paper sheet pan and bake in a preheated to 180C oven for 8-10 min, or until golden.

8. Leave the cookies to stay in the pan for 5-8 min and remove on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container until assemble the mini-cakes.


for the Lemon Filling:

1 g gelatin sheet (1/2 gelatin sheet)
175 g butter, diced in a bowl (1 1/2 stick, 6 oz.)
2 eggs
135 g sugar (3/4 cups, 5 oz.)
130 ml lemon juice (1/2 cup)
30 g ground almonds (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp, 1 oz.)

1. Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water until softened.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk lightly.
3. Whisk in the lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat. 
4. Cook the mixture, until thickens. Remove from the heat.
5. Squeeze the gelatin dry, add to the lemon cream and stir, until dissolved.
6. Strain over the butter. 
7. Stir the almonds into the cream.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.




Tailoring:

1. Spread some filling in the centre of each of the plain round cookies. 
2. Cover with the ring cookies. Press down gently, until the filling fills the rings evenly.
3. Store in a refrigerator.




Sunday, 26 July 2015

Royal 16th Birthday



What is better than chocolate cake? I, truthfully, couldn't think of anything.

When my sweet angel decided that she wants a chocolate cake for her celebration, I remembered, that she found a Queen Elizabeth's favourite cake recipe posted  in Tweeter earlier this year, and thought that this would be a nice coronation for her sweet 16th birthday. I copied the recipe, with slight change of the technic. My birthday girl wanted strawberries, so I added a ring of fresh strawberries. The cake is worth every effort. Every bite is heavenly delicious.

Here is the original recipe. Chef Darren McGrady used "Ghirardelli" dark chocolate. I couldn't find any, but to keep the classy taste, I decided that "Lindt" is not any worse (if not even better).


for the filling:

285 g heavy cream
227 g dark chocolate Lindt

for the cake:

6 egg yolks
2 eggs
114 g sugar
57 g flour
30 g cocoa
57 g butter

for the topping: 

285 g heavy cream
227 g dark chocolate Lindt


prepare the filling:

1. Chop the chocolate in a bowl.
2. Bring the cream to a boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy.
4. Refrigerate for 6 hours.

prepare the cake:

1. Scale the flour and cocoa powder in a bowl.
2. Melt the butter.
3. Beat the yolks, eggs and sugar until pale and foamy. 
4. Sift the flour and cocoa over the egg mixture, fold in.
5. Gently fold the melted butter.
6. Bake in lined with parchment paper 20 cm pan at 180C, until inserted in the centre toothpick comes out dry.
7. Set on a wire rack to cool.


prepare the topping:

in the same manner as the filling was prepared. Keep it at room temperature. Use it while still slightly warm (not hot).

Tailoring:

1. Cut the sponge in three layers.
2. Distribute the filling evenly between the layers, leaving some for the top and sides of the cake. Cover the cake completely and refrigerate.
3. Take the chilled cake out of the fridge. Place the cake on a wire rack. Place the rack over a cookie pan. Pour two thirds of the topping over the cake, making sure that all the top and sides are covered. Refrigerate.
4. Whisk the rest of the chocolate topping. Spoon it in a piping bag with star attachment.
5. Pipe small mounds around the top edge of the cake and arrange the strawberry halves. Pipe small star snail shaped edge around the outer edge of the strawberries. Pipe rosettes on the bottom edge of the cake. 
6. Refrigerate. Store in a cool place. Serve cold.


Шоколадова торта
(само за кралски особи)

За 16 - тия си рожден ден моята принцера си поръча шоколадова торта с ягоди. 

Веднага се сетих за любимата шоколадова торта на кралица Елизабет II. Рецептата беше поместена по-рано тази година в Tweeter. Всяка година, за рождения си ден, Нейно Величество си поръчва тази торта. Според рецептата на главен готвач Darren McGrady, шоколада е "Ghirardelli", но моя избор беше "Lindt", черен шоколад.

за крема:

285 g сметана 35%
227 g черен шоколад Lindt

за тортата:

6 жълтъка
2 яйца
114 g захар
57 g брашно
30 g какао
57 g масло, меко

за заливката: 

285 g сметана 35%
227 g черен шоколад Lindt

пригответе крема:

1. Начупете шоколада в купа.
2. Затоплете сметаната до завиране.
3. Залейте шоколада със сметаната и разбъркайте, докато оформи лъскав ганаш.
4. Охладете в хладилника за 6 часа

пригответе тортата:

1. Изтеглете брашното и какаото в купа.
2. Стопете маслото на слаб котлон.
3. Разбийте жълтъците и яйцата, докато сместа удвои обема си и избледнее
4. Пресейте сместа от брашно и какао върху яйчената смес и смесете с леки движения. 
5. Добавете маслото. Разбъркайте.
6. Изпечете в постлана с хартия 20 cm тава при 180C. Проверете с клечка в центъра на тортата. Ако клечката излиза суха и пандишпана пружинира при допир, извадете от  фурната.
7. Извадете тортата върху решетка да изстива.

пригответе заливката:

приготвя се по същия начин, както крема. Дръжте на стайна температура, докато изстине малко. Използвайте топла.

Сглобяване:

1. Разрежете тортата на три слоя.
2. Намажете една трета от крема върху пърия блат. Покрийте с втория и повторете с половината от останалия крем. Завършете с третия блат и покрийте добре цялата торта с остатъка от крема. Приберете в хладилника да се стегне.
3. Извадете тортата от хладилника. Сложете върху решетка, а решетката върху тава, която ще събира изтичащия шоколад. Излейте две трети от мекия шоколад върху тортата. Трябва добре да покрие стените също. Загладете с шпатула, ако е необходимо. Поставете в хладилника.
4. Разбийте остатъка от шоколадовия ганаш. Поставете в торбичка за шприцване, сглобена с накрайник по ваш избор. Аз използвах звездовиден накрайник.
5. Шприцвайте малки рози върху тортата, които да оформят пръстен. Разпределете разрязаните на половина ягоди върху всяка от розите. Шприцвайте пръстен по външния ръб на тортата, около ягодите. Шприцвайте форми около долния ръб на тортата.


6. Съхранявайте в хладилник и сервирайте студена.






Monday, 20 July 2015

Lemon-Basil Macarons

(recipe of chef Christophe Felder)


for the macaroons:

200 g ground almonds (2 1/3 cups, 7 oz.)
200 g confectioners' sugar (1 1/2 cups, 7 oz.)
50 ml water (3 1/2 tbsp)
200 g granulated sugar (1 cup, 7 oz.)
150 g egg whites divided (about 5 eggs, 5 1/2 oz.)
yellow food colouring

Note: check my post for the chocolate macarons before start working on the lemon-basil ones

1. Combine the ground almonds and confectioners' sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Sift into a bowl. 

2. Cook the water and granulated sugar in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to boil. If using a thermometer, the right temperature for the syrup should be 118C. Otherwise, boil for couple of minutes and do not let the syrup to thicken. 

3. Beat half the eggs with a whisk attachment until soft peaks. Slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a thin stream, whisking at the highest speed of the mixer. Whip until the meringue cools to room temperature. Add a few drops of the yellow colouring for a light yellow meringue. The meringue should feel slightly warm to the touch and has a glossy thick peaks. 

4. Mix the remaining egg whites with the powder ingredients (almond mixture). Stir with a wooden spoon until thick paste is formed.

5. Beat in one third of the meringue to the almond paste. Fold in the half of the remaining meringue. Once it is well incorporated, fold in the remaining meringue. 

6. Have your baking sheet lined with the silicon mat.

7. Spoon the batter into a piping bag with 8 mm tip. Pipe mounds, on the silicon sheet. Tap the bottom of the baking pan with the palm of your hand to smoothen the surface of the cookies and get rid of the air bubbles. 

8. Bake one sheet at a time at 170C for about 10-12 min or until firm. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking. Let cool completely on the pan. 


for the Lemon-Basil Filling:

1 g gelatin sheet (1/2 gelatin sheet)
175 g butter, diced in a bowl (1 1/2 stick, 6 oz.)
2 eggs
135 g sugar (3/4 cups, 5 oz.)
130 ml lemon juice (1/2 cup)
10 medium basil leaves
30 g ground almonds (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp, 1 oz.)

1. Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water until softened.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk lightly.
3. Whisk in the lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat. Add the basil leaves.
4. Cook the mixture, until thickens. Remove from the heat.
5. Squeeze the gelatin dry, add to the lemon cream and stir, until dissolved.
6. Strain over the butter. 
7. Stir the almonds into the cream.
8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.


Tailoring:

1. Spoon the cream into a piping bag and pipe mounds onto half of the macaron shells.
2. Sandwich with a plain macaron and press slightly to spread the filling evenly to the edge.
3. Chill for at least an hour to develop the flavour and texture.
4. Store in refrigerator. Serve chilled.


Brownie mini-cake with Pistachio Praline Cream and Rainier Cherries

These mini cakes are an impressive combination between heavy brownie base, light and nutty pistachio praline and fresh and juicy rainier cherries. 



I used Irina's recipe for the brownies. I found her website a while ago and fell in love with her ambitious perfectionism and artistic skills. She is quite a collector of teasing recipes. I guess, we fall for similar baking products and confections. 

for the Brownie Base:

45 g unsalted butter
85 g dark chocolate
100g brown sugar

45 g flour
20 g Dutch processed cocoa powder
pinch of salt

4 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Butter 7 of the cavities of a whoopee-pie pan. Sift some cocoa powder.
3. Place the butter and chocolate together in a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat.
4. Add the sugar and stir to melt. Add the egg.
5. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir to combine well.
6. Sift over the flour, cocoa and salt. Stir.
7. Distribute the batter into the cavities and bake for 10 min. Do not let the brownies to dry out.
8. Place on a wire rack to cool.


for the Pistachio Praline Cream:

500 ml milk
6 egg yolks
125 g sugar
50 g cornstarch
10 g flour
50 g butter
4g vanilla extract

4 g gelatin sheet

30 g pistachio paste

100 g butter
40 g hazelnut nougatine crashed

Prepare the Pastry Cream first:

1. Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water.
2. Heat the milk, but without bringing to boil.
3. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar, corn starch and flour. Add half of the milk, whisking continuously to dissolve the sugar. Pour the egg mixture back to the pan with the rest of the milk. Place over a bain marie and stir until the cream thickens. Add the butter and 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. Add the pistachio paste and place in a bowl of a self-standing mixer. Beat the cream with the paddle attachment to cool to ambient temperature.
6. Whip the butter and hazelnut nougatine to soft peaks. Fold in the pastry cream. Cover with cling foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Tailoring:

1. Place the brownie on a serving dish as a base.
2. Pipe some of the pistachio praline cream on top of each brownie.
3. Cut the cherries in half and arrange the around the piped cream.
4. Cover with caramelized hazelnuts and crushed nougatine.
5. Serve cold. Store in a refrigerator.