Crème Brûlée mit Gewürzenspiced Crème Brûlée

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

As you noticed I didn’t had much time for blogging this month and so unfortunately not a single recipe found it’s way in my beloved blog in novembre. But I cannot bear it that novembre goes away empty handed.

So two weeks ago I made some delicious Crème Brûlée, which I spiced with some orange peels and cinnamon. But feel free to try the spices you like. Originally I wanted to do it with lavender and fennel seeds, but I didn’t had lavender at home. Fortunately I made some pictures of the crème, which didn’t turn out that pretty, but better than nothing this month.So here’s the recipe for you. You can also make some more for dessert the next evening, because they have to cool down anyway before caramelizing the top.

Crème Brûlée mit Gewürzen

As you noticed I didn’t had much time for blogging this month and so unfortunately not a single recipe found it’s way in my beloved blog in novembre. But I cannot bear it that novembre goes away empty handed.

So two weeks ago I made some delicious Crème Brûlée, which I spiced with some orange peels and cinnamon. But feel free to try the spices you like. Originally I wanted to do it with lavender and fennel seeds, but I didn’t had lavender at home. Fortunately I made some pictures of the crème, which didn’t turn out that pretty, but better than nothing this month.So here’s the recipe for you. You can also make some more for dessert the next evening, because they have to cool down anyway before caramelizing the top.

spiced crème brûlée

Zimt und Anis MacaronsCinnamon and Anise Macarons

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

This month challenge for the Daring Bakers were French Macarons. The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Zimt und Anis Macarons

I was a bit scared, because I tried macarons some weeks ago the first time and they went totally wrong. The shells weren’t really hard, almost no „feet“ (you can see feet in the picture of my succesful anis macarons below) and they were much too soft. But I was also eager to do it better.

Zimt und Anis Macarons

In the (english) food blog world everyone is about macarons. But here in Germany nobody knows them. Or precisely macarons are known as something different. Dessicated coconut with beaten egg whites and sometimes nuts or chocolate within. „Feets“ are not wanted, it’s more like small piles. Germans wake up and get to know french macarons!

The challenge itself was challenging. After my first mishappening and reading in the Daring Bakers Forum about the problems with the recipe given and the better-going recipes with Tartelette’s one, I decided to give the disaster not a chance again and go with Tartelette’s recipe.

The recipe is very easy to vary. I made the Cinnamon Macarons with hazelnuts and a Tbsp. cinnamon and a gianduja (rounded up with some cream) filling and the Anise Macarons with almonds a Tbsp. grounded anise and a white chocolate filling.

Zimt und Anis Macarons

Some tips, which I found important are:

Ground your grounded nuts again yourself (something like a Moulinette would be helpful). They are not fine enough. Sieve your powdered sugar before.

I used a silicone mat and normal parchment paper and I would prefer the parchment paper here, because the macarons sticked so much to my silicone mat, I didn’t get them off right. Also after baking let them cool for about 15 minutes outside, then move the baking sheet back in the warm (but not hot!) oven. Let them cool completely over the night. Mine were mostly *fingers crossed* easy to peel off the parchment paper. If it doesn’t work give some sprinkles of water under the paper, if the sheet is still warm or hold it over some steaming water. The steam dissolves the macarons from the paper.

For piping: stand your bag up in a high glass. It’s easier for filling and when you rest.

In my opinion the macarons are the better the smaller they are. Furthermore the ywill expand a little while baking. Hope all this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask! This is how my macarons looked like after piping, while drying, before baking.

Zimt und Anis Macarons

This month challenge for the Daring Bakers were French Macarons. The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

cinnamon and anis macarons

I was a bit scared, because I tried macarons some weeks ago the first time and they went totally wrong. The shells weren’t really hard, almost no „feet“ (you can see feet in the picture of my succesful anis macarons below) and they were much too soft. But I was also eager to do it better.

cinnamon and anis macarons

In the (english) food blog world everyone is about macarons. But here in Germany nobody knows them. Or precisely macarons are known as something different. Dessicated coconut with beaten egg whites and sometimes nuts or chocolate within. „Feets“ are not wanted, it’s more like small piles. Germans wake up and get to know french macarons!

The challenge itself was challenging. After my first mishappening and reading in the Daring Bakers Forum about the problems with the recipe given and the better-going recipes with Tartelette’s one, I decided to give the disaster not a chance again and go with Tartelette’s recipe.

The recipe is very easy to vary. I made the Cinnamon Macarons with hazelnuts and a Tbsp. cinnamon and a gianduja (rounded up with some cream) filling and the Anise Macarons with almonds a Tbsp. grounded anise and a white chocolate filling.

cinnamon and anis macarons

Some tips, which I found important are:

Ground your grounded nuts again yourself (something like a Moulinette would be helpful). They are not fine enough. Sieve your powdered sugar before.

I used a silicone mat and normal parchment paper and I would prefer the parchment paper here, because the macarons sticked so much to my silicone mat, I didn’t get them off right. Also after baking let them cool for about 15 minutes outside, then move the baking sheet back in the warm (but not hot!) oven. Let them cool completely over the night. Mine were mostly *fingers crossed* easy to peel off the parchment paper. If it doesn’t work give some sprinkles of water under the paper, if the sheet is still warm or hold it over some steaming water. The steam dissolves the macarons from the paper.

For piping: stand your bag up in a high glass. It’s easier for filling and when you rest.

In my opinion the macarons are the better the smaller they are. Furthermore the ywill expand a little while baking. Hope all this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask! This is how my macarons looked like after piping, while drying, before baking.

cinnamon and anis macarons

ApfeltarteAppletart

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

Have I already told you about my autumn mood? Ok, ok I see… But the result amongst others is this delicious fabulous looking apple tart, which I adapted (another time) from Michel Roux great book Pastry (Ofenfrisch).

I love this book! It’s worth every cent and it’s not even expensive. Every type of pastry is described with recipes, sweet or savoury, he has it all.

Apfeltarte

But back to the tart! Or what really is important…I bought a new kitchen machine! I always dreamed of a kitchen aid. And I’m still dreaming. Unfortunately I can not afford it as a student. But often I am upset about the hand mixer. Too less power, no hand free, because of helding the hand mixer, the yeast dough draws itself up the dough hooks (and nearly into the machine)… did I say I am upset? Sometimes I’m boiling with rage about this mixer. So last week surfing Amazon and bang! there was it! A kitchen machine, which got many many very good ratings AND cost a tenth than a kitchen aid. I didn’t hesitate long and ordered it.

But it came even better! I ordered it friday in the afternoon. I already thought „should have done it the day before, maybe then I would get it on Saturday and I can give it a try at the weekend“.

BUT Saturday afternoon – it was around five – Hermes was ringing the door and gave me my kitchen machine! And he was sorry, that he didn’t find the house in the morning to give it to me! I was just stunned… and very happy, because I just started to bake the apple tart. So the apple tart short crust was the first „experiment“ and it worked out very well.

The kitchen aid has to wait another two years until I’m earning my own (and enough) money to buy it. But until, I have a good solution for my baking feasts. If you have similar problems like me, I can heartly recommend you the Bosch MUM4405.

Bosch MUM 4405

But now REALLY back to the appletart. As I just mentioned it is a short crust filled with a delicious apple-vanilla-compote, which is pureed and topped with thin sliced apples arranged overlapped in a circle. The recipe calles for a 24 cm (springform) pan and 300g dough. Just having a 26 (and 28) cm pan I made the full recipe of 450g dough and used the 26 cm one . But it would also be enough for a 28.
Roux makes a glaze for the apple topping. But mine turned out into caramel, because the 5 minutes he provides were too long. I tried to give the caramel onto the apples, but after one night it vanished into the tart 🙂 . I mention the glaze in the recipe below, if you want to try. But mine tasted very good without (or with absorbed caramel).

Apfeltarte

Apfeltarte

Have I already told you about my autumn mood? Ok, ok I see… But the result amongst others is this delicious fabulous looking apple tart, which I adapted (another time) from Michel Roux great book Pastry.

I love this book! It’s worth every cent and it’s not even expensive. Every type of pastry is described with recipes, sweet or savoury, he has it all.

appletart

But back to the tart! Or what really is important…I bought a new kitchen machine! I always dreamed of a kitchen aid. And I’m still dreaming. Unfortunately I can not afford it as a student. But often I am upset about the hand mixer. Too less power, no hand free, because of helding the hand mixer, the yeast dough draws itself up the dough hooks (and nearly into the machine)… did I say I am upset? Sometimes I’m boiling with rage about this mixer. So last week surfing Amazon and bang! there was it! A kitchen machine, which got many many very good ratings AND cost a tenth than a kitchen aid. I didn’t hesitate long and ordered it.

But it came even better! I ordered it friday in the afternoon. I already thought „should have done it the day before, maybe then I would get it on Saturday and I can give it a try at the weekend“.

BUT Saturday afternoon – it was around five – Hermes was ringing the door and gave me my kitchen machine! And he was sorry, that he didn’t find the house in the morning to give it to me! I was just stunned… and very happy, because I just started to bake the apple tart. So the apple tart short crust was the first „experiment“ and it worked out very well.

The kitchen aid has to wait another two years until I’m earning my own (and enough) money to buy it. But until, I have a good solution for my baking feasts. If you have similar problems like me, I can heartly recommend you the Bosch MUM4405.

appletart

But now REALLY back to the appletart. As I just mentioned it is a short crust filled with a delicious apple-vanilla-compote, which is pureed and topped with thin sliced apples arranged overlapped in a circle. The recipe calles for a 24 cm (springform) pan and 300g dough. Just having a 26 (and 28) cm pan I made the full recipe of 450g dough and used the 26 cm one . But it would also be enough for a 28.
Roux makes a glaze for the apple topping. But mine turned out into caramel, because the 5 minutes he provides were too long. I tried to give the caramel onto the apples, but after one night it vanished into the tart 🙂 . I mention the glaze in the recipe below, if you want to try. But mine tasted very good without (or with absorbed caramel).

appletart

appletart

Mini Hokkaido Kürbis Quiches und nussiger FeldsalatRed Kuri Squash Mini Quiches and nuttily lamb’s lettuce

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

Autumn is coming finally. The leaves are falling from the trees, it’s not so warm anymore (but not cold yet) and everywhere you get the typical autumn food, like apples, pears, fennel and pumpkin. I love every kind of pumpkin or squash. Everytime I see another type, I have to buy it. Some weeks ago I bought a cooking magazine, which is all about pumpkins. I picked out one recipe, which I adapted. The combination of pumpkin and pastry is great. Ok I admit, combination with pastry is always great! And quiches are one of my favourites. Besides I made some field salad with caramelized walnuts and a hazelnut vinaigrette.

Mini Hokkaido Kürbis Quiches und nussiger Feldsalat

The quiches are filled with very small diced red kuri squash, onion, parsley and bacon. But if you like it vegetarian you can just leave the bacon. Also you have a stronger flavour of the squash then. Over that you give some eggs mixed with milk, mustard, salt and pepper and top it with cheese. I used gouda and mozzarella, because I hadn’t enough gouda. But it tasted very good. You can use the sort of cheese you like best. Gorgonzola would be also nice I think. The recipe originally goes for 12 pieces to bake in a muffin-pan. But I made it in my tartelettes pans, so I got 6 pieces (I only have 6 tartelette pans) and had some filling left. I was also generous with the dough. So if you have more pans, the dough and the filling is enough for more than 6 pieces. Just double the amount of the eggmilk for more tartelettes.

Mini Hokkaido Kürbis Quiches und nussiger Feldsalat

Autumn is coming finally. The leaves are falling from the trees, it’s not so warm anymore (but not cold yet) and everywhere you get the typical autumn food, like apples, pears, fennel and pumpkin. I love every kind of pumpkin or squash. Everytime I see another type, I have to buy it. Some weeks ago I bought a cooking magazine, which is all about pumpkins. I picked out one recipe, which I adapted. The combination of pumpkin and pastry is great. Ok I admit, combination with pastry is always great! And quiches are one of my favourites. Besides I made some field salad with caramelized walnuts and a hazelnut vinaigrette.

Red Kuri Squash Mini Quiches and nuttily lamb's lettuce

The quiches are filled with very small diced red kuri squash, onion, parsley and bacon. But if you like it vegetarian you can just leave the bacon. Also you have a stronger flavour of the squash then. Over that you give some eggs mixed with milk, mustard, salt and pepper and top it with cheese. I used gouda and mozzarella, because I hadn’t enough gouda. But it tasted very good. You can use the sort of cheese you like best. Gorgonzola would be also nice I think. The recipe originally goes for 12 pieces to bake in a muffin-pan. But I made it in my tartelettes pans, so I got 6 pieces (I only have 6 tartelette pans) and had some filling left. I was also generous with the dough. So if you have more pans, the dough and the filling is enough for more than 6 pieces. Just double the amount of the eggmilk for more tartelettes.

 Red Kuri Squash Mini Quiches and nuttily lamb's lettuce

Triple Mousse

Update: Nach unten scrollen für das deutsche Rezept!

Last week I’ve seen this wonderful recipe and photos of Tartelette’s Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Mousse and I knew immediately that I have to make it on my own. So last weekend I took the chance and followed her recipe.

It took me to the verge of despair at some points. The caramel wasn’t not so easy for me, as there were some mysterious hard chunks formed, as I added the heavy cream and the butter. So I picked them out, as they didn’t resolved after some stirring. But in the end the caramel mousse was the best of all! More problems came ahead, when making the chocolate mousse. Adding the heavy cream in the end made it an really hard chocolate „mousse“. Cannot really speak about a mousse so. Quite hard to bring it in my glasses then, also because the density was much higher than the density of the other two mousses. I tried three versions of layering: chocolate mousse in the middle, chocolate mousse above, chocolate mousse at the bottom. The first two versions didn’t work, because the chocolate mousse just settled down through the other layers. The third version worked, but unfortunately you couldn’t see much the difference between the vanilla and the caramel layer.

triple mousse

Problem no. 3 was the powdered gelatine. Since I never use that, I only had leaf gelatine. The conversion of powdered into leaf gelatine on the package said that it’s enough to use a half leaf. But the mousse didn’t get firm. So I added the other half. I think one leaf is just right, but I should have waited longer before layering, because after some chilling the texture was just right (excluding the chocolate mousse of course). So I don’t know what (some of) the problems really were. Maybe it had something to do with the temperatures, when I added the ingredients. So next time I will more care about the ingredients having the same temperatures when mixing. And maybe less chocolate would also work for me. In the end it was worth all the drama! It just tasted and still tastes (because I still have some in the fridge) delicious! I especially like the salted caramel mousse. I will definitely give it another try some day. Another option is just cooking the caramel mousse…

triple mousse

Last week I’ve seen this wonderful recipe and photos of Tartelette’s Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Chocolate Mousse and I knew immediately that I have to make it on my own. So last weekend I took the chance and followed her recipe.

It took me to the verge of despair at some points. The caramel wasn’t not so easy for me, as there were some mysterious hard chunks formed, as I added the heavy cream and the butter. So I picked them out, as they didn’t resolved after some stirring. But in the end the caramel mousse was the best of all! More problems came ahead, when making the chocolate mousse. Adding the heavy cream in the end made it an really hard chocolate „mousse“. Cannot really speak about a mousse so. Quite hard to bring it in my glasses then, also because the density was much higher than the density of the other two mousses. I tried three versions of layering: chocolate mousse in the middle, chocolate mousse above, chocolate mousse at the bottom. The first two versions didn’t work, because the chocolate mousse just settled down through the other layers. The third version worked, but unfortunately you couldn’t see much the difference between the vanilla and the caramel layer.

triple mousse

Problem no. 3 was the powdered gelatine. Since I never use that, I only had leaf gelatine. The conversion of powdered into leaf gelatine on the package said that it’s enough to use a half leaf. But the mousse didn’t get firm. So I added the other half. I think one leaf is just right, but I should have waited longer before layering, because after some chilling the texture was just right (excluding the chocolate mousse of course). So I don’t know what (some of) the problems really were. Maybe it had something to do with the temperatures, when I added the ingredients. So next time I will more care about the ingredients having the same temperatures when mixing. And maybe less chocolate would also work for me. In the end it was worth all the drama! It just tasted and still tastes (because I still have some in the fridge) delicious! I especially like the salted caramel mousse. I will definitely give it another try some day. Another option is just cooking the caramel mousse…

triple mousse

Vol au Vents mit BirnenkompottVol au Vents with pear compote

After one week I can finally reveal the secret I had to keep: Last weekend I made puff pastry for the first time of my life for the first challenge I did for the Daring Bakers. And it really was a challenge!

Whilst rolling out the first two turns I only thought „Oh no this won’t work! It looks terrible!“. But hey, after that I thought „hm does’nt look that bad“. Ok so I was satisfied until I baked them. They didn’t get really high. Maybe I should have chilled the vol-au-vents another time before baking. But I didn’t had the patience to try it again.

What I really liked was the filling. I made some pear compote with german William’s Christ, brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s so autumn. For me it’s feeling like autumn, although it’s still very warm here in southern Germany and the sun is shining almost all the time.

The September 2009 Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vol-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

vol au vents with pear compote

 

Recipe

Vol au vents

from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

Yield: 1- 1,5 kg dough

Ingredients:

  • 354 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 142 g cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
  • 300 ml ice water
  • 454 g very cold unsalted butter

plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Mixing the dough:

Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)

Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that’s about 1″ thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporate the butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10″ square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with „ears,“ or flaps.

Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don’t just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8″ square.

To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24″ (don’t worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24″, everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).

With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24″ and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:

If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.

The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Forming and Baking the Vol au Vents:

In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need: -well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below) -egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water) -your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage. See the “Tips” section below for more storage info.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.

(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.) For smaller, hors d’oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)

Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.

Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)

Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)

Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.

Fill and serve.

*For additional rise on the larger-sized vols-au-vents, you can stack one or two additional ring layers on top of each other (using egg wash to „glue“). This will give higher sides to larger vols-au-vents, but is not advisable for the smaller ones, whose bases may not be large enough to support the extra weight.

*Although they are at their best filled and eaten soon after baking, baked vols-au-vent shells can be stored airtight for a day.

*Shaped, unbaked vols-au-vent can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month (bake from frozen, egg-washing them first).

After one week I can finally reveal the secret I had to keep: Last weekend I made puff pastry for the first time of my life for the first challenge I did for the Daring Bakers. And it really was a challenge!

Whilst rolling out the first two turns I only thought „Oh no this won’t work! It looks terrible!“. But hey, after that I thought „hm does’nt look that bad“. Ok so I was satisfied until I baked them. They didn’t get really high. Maybe I should have chilled the vol-au-vents another time before baking. But I didn’t had the patience to try it again.

What I really liked was the filling. I made some pear compote with german William’s Christ, brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s so autumn. For me it’s feeling like autumn, although it’s still very warm here in southern Germany and the sun is shining almost all the time.

The September 2009 Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vol-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

vol au vents with pear compote

 

Recipe

Vol au vents

from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

Yield: 1- 1,5 kg dough

Ingredients:

  • 354 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 142 g cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
  • 300 ml ice water
  • 454 g very cold unsalted butter

plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Mixing the dough:

Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)

Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that’s about 1″ thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporate the butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10″ square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with „ears,“ or flaps.

Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don’t just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8″ square.

To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24″ (don’t worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24″, everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).

With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.

Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24″ and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:

If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.

The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Forming and Baking the Vol au Vents:

In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need: -well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below) -egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water) -your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage. See the “Tips” section below for more storage info.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.

(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.) For smaller, hors d’oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)

Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.

Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)

Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)

Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.

Fill and serve.

*For additional rise on the larger-sized vols-au-vents, you can stack one or two additional ring layers on top of each other (using egg wash to „glue“). This will give higher sides to larger vols-au-vents, but is not advisable for the smaller ones, whose bases may not be large enough to support the extra weight.

*Although they are at their best filled and eaten soon after baking, baked vols-au-vent shells can be stored airtight for a day.

*Shaped, unbaked vols-au-vent can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month (bake from frozen, egg-washing them first).

 

Knusprig, dünne PekannusskekseCrispy Thin Pecan Cookies

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

Back since one week I hadn’t had much time for the blog. But first I want to give you some impressions of my great holiday in Scotland and how we cooked there. We rented a car for three weeks and drove through almost whole Scotland. We were on the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Mull (climbing on Ben More), in Glasgow, Oban (love it!), Edinburgh, Inverness, St. Andrews (visiting the ruins of the great cathedral), Loch Ness, the beautiful white sandy beaches on the north coast, the Highlands of couse, Glenfiddich destillery and so much more. Think that are some impressions? 

camping in Scotland

So this pictures are originated on the Isle of Mull, the night before climbing Ben More. We did wild camping, between old murals of a low ruin near the sea. There we collected our own mussels and cooked them. It was so great! We ate them together with some filled tortelloni and tomato sauce. Thanks, Scotland is so civilized and you can get everything you want from the (bigger) supermarkets. And thanks, that I’m not eager to make holidays in India or so. 

I love just how much different food you can get in Scottish supermarkets. We have also a wide range, but it’s just different. So of course I had to buy some food to bring it home with, like Heather Flower Honey or Lavender Honey (so expensive here, just like Tahini, which I bought too), delicious (cheap) Darjeeling tea, ready to roll icing (you can’t buy icing here in supermarkets), liquid Glucose and more baking material.

But in the beginning I promised you cookies. I promised them myself this week, because I was so eager of cookies (none at home!). After seeing and tasting so much food with pecans in Scotland, like cereals or puff pastry with pecans and maple syrup (yummy!) I was fond of making cookies with pecans. Luckily I had some at home and found this recipe which I remembered, I have seen somewhere somethime.

camping in Scotland

crispy thin pecan cookies

Back since one week I hadn’t had much time for the blog. But first I want to give you some impressions of my great holiday in Scotland and how we cooked there. We rented a car for three weeks and drove through almost whole Scotland. We were on the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Mull (climbing on Ben More), in Glasgow, Oban (love it!), Edinburgh, Inverness, St. Andrews (visiting the ruins of the great cathedral), Loch Ness, the beautiful white sandy beaches on the north coast, the Highlands of couse, Glenfiddich destillery and so much more. Think that are some impressions? 

camping in Scotland

So this pictures are originated on the Isle of Mull, the night before climbing Ben More. We did wild camping, between old murals of a low ruin near the sea. There we collected our own mussels and cooked them. It was so great! We ate them together with some filled tortelloni and tomato sauce. Thanks, Scotland is so civilized and you can get everything you want from the (bigger) supermarkets. And thanks, that I’m not eager to make holidays in India or so. 

I love just how much different food you can get in Scottish supermarkets. We have also a wide range, but it’s just different. So of course I had to buy some food to bring it home with, like Heather Flower Honey or Lavender Honey (so expensive here, just like Tahini, which I bought too), delicious (cheap) Darjeeling tea, ready to roll icing (you can’t buy icing here in supermarkets), liquid Glucose and more baking material.

But in the beginning I promised you cookies. I promised them myself this week, because I was so eager of cookies (none at home!). After seeing and tasting so much food with pecans in Scotland, like cereals or puff pastry with pecans and maple syrup (yummy!) I was fond of making cookies with pecans. Luckily I had some at home and found this recipe which I remembered, I have seen somewhere somethime.

camping in Scotland

crispy thin pecan cookies

UrlaubVacation

Going to Scotland tomorrow, there will be no posts in the next three weeks. I’m looking forward to this vacation since months. Although the weather forcast says there will be only rain in the upcoming week. Hey that’s Scotland! And my new rain jacket awaits that… But I’m also looking forward to the next time I’m writing something new for you! See you in about 3 weeks, the ready for a holiday Lena 🙂

Going to Scotland tomorrow, there will be no posts in the next three weeks. I’m looking forward to this vacation since months. Although the weather forcast says there will be only rain in the upcoming week. Hey that’s Scotland! And my new rain jacket awaits that… But I’m also looking forward to the next time I’m writing something new for you! See you in about 3 weeks, the ready for a holiday Lena 🙂

Wachtel kalt und warmRoasted quail cold and warm

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

Last week my boyfriend was staying in the UK for working. For my comfort I bought a new cookbook, which caught my eye in an instant in my favourite book store. To celebrate the occasion, that he was coming home, I wanted to cook roasted quail cold and warm from Michel Roux Ofenfrisch or in english Pastry. In the end I wasn’t as far as I wanted, when he came home. Additionally it was more laborious than I thought. So he helped me a lot, although I wanted to cook for him.

The thighs of the quails were wrapped with Filo dough. The breast are coming along with some fat greek/turkish yoghurt, spring onions, orange filets and a little bit of a thick sweet sauce with honey in it. In the end it was worth the work and delicious! As the filo is more crunchy than puff pastry, I think that would fit as well and next time I will try that.

As Roux didn’t mentioned any side dish, I made polenta and it went very well together!

Wachtel kalt und warm

 

 Wachtel kalt und warm

Last week my boyfriend was staying in the UK for working. For my comfort I bought a new cookbook, which caught my eye in an instant in my favourite book store. To celebrate the occasion, that he was coming home, I wanted to cook roasted quail cold and warm from Michel Roux Ofenfrisch or in english Pastry. In the end I wasn’t as far as I wanted, when he came home. Additionally it was more laborious than I thought. So he helped me a lot, although I wanted to cook for him.

The thighs of the quails were wrapped with Filo dough. The breast are coming along with some fat greek/turkish yoghurt, spring onions, orange filets and a little bit of a thick sweet sauce with honey in it. In the end it was worth the work and delicious! As the filo is more crunchy than puff pastry, I think that would fit as well and next time I will try that.

As Roux didn’t mentioned any side dish, I made polenta and it went very well together!

roasted quail, cold and warm

roasted quail, cold and warm

Beginn mit Death … by ChocolateBeginning with the Death … by Chocolate

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

 What is the best way to make my blog attractive to you? Yes! Chocolate! I mean, who can resist chocolate? So last weekend there came some things together:

  1.  I acquired a squared-cut springform pan for pretty little money. I wanted it for long. It was cheap. And I was happy.
  2. I had an appetite for chocolate brownies or something similar.
  3. The thought of creating my own food blog was still skipping through my head.

In the end I came to the decision, that I bake a halvened recipe of the best chocolate cake in my new pan and cut them into sweet little Brownies.

Then came the thing with the blog. There must be photos. Good photos. Photos you want to eat or bake after. Unfortunately I’m not that good in photographing than in baking. But with a little bit of help (or even a lot more) from my boyfriend, I got some satisfying photos. But the best is, I got a lot of delicious brownies. The recipe is fast, easy and chocolatish. And if you can call a squared-cut springform pan your own, you can bake just as much as it lasts for one or two persons. Additionally you are able to bake something new soon, because the brownies won’t last long.I found that recipe some years ago in a cooking magazine. Since then I baked it several times. The following recipe is for one baking sheet and I halvened it for my pan.

Death by Chocolate

 Death by Chocolate

Update: Für das deutsche Rezept nach unten scrollen!

What is the best way to make my blog attractive to you? Yes! Chocolate! I mean, who can resist chocolate? So last weekend there came some things together:

  1. I acquired a squared-cut springform pan for pretty little money. I wanted it for long. It was cheap. And I was happy.
  2. I had an appetite for chocolate brownies or something similar.
  3. The thought of creating my own food blog was still skipping through my head.

In the end I came to the decision, that I bake a halvened recipe of the best chocolate cake in my new pan and cut them into sweet little Brownies.

Then came the thing with the blog. There must be photos. Good photos. Photos you want to eat or bake after. Unfortunately I’m not that good in photographing than in baking. But with a little bit of help (or even a lot more) from my boyfriend, I got some satisfying photos. But the best is, I got a lot of delicious brownies. The recipe is fast, easy and chocolatish. And if you can call a squared-cut springform pan your own, you can bake just as much as it lasts for one or two persons. Additionally you are able to bake something new soon, because the brownies won’t last long.I found that recipe some years ago in a cooking magazine. Since then I baked it several times. The following recipe is for one baking sheet and I halvened it for my pan.

Death by Chocolate

 Death by Chocolate

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, Inhaber: (Firmensitz: Deutschland), verarbeitet zum Betrieb dieser Website personenbezogene Daten nur im technisch unbedingt notwendigen Umfang. Alle Details dazu in der Datenschutzerklärung.
Datenschutz
, Inhaber: (Firmensitz: Deutschland), verarbeitet zum Betrieb dieser Website personenbezogene Daten nur im technisch unbedingt notwendigen Umfang. Alle Details dazu in der Datenschutzerklärung.