Tiramisu

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There are some desserts that everybody loves and Tiramisu is definitely one of them. It’s actually extremely easy to make and takes almost no time. In my opinion there are 2 very important ingredients that can make it special: good coffee and time. It’s very important to let it stand overnight in the fridge, it will be far better than any rushed version. You also need good, strong and flavourful coffee AND you need to really just lightly dip the lady fingers in it, leave them for too long and the whole thing will be soggy and not appetizing at all. So it’s simple, but don’t underestimate, done right it will deliver a great pleasure 🙂

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Classic Tiramisu

adapted from Emiko Davies

  • 3 eggs, separated,
  • 120 gr sugar,
  • 500 gr mascarpone,
  • 250 gr lady finger biscuits,
  • 100 ml strong, black coffee,
  • Powdered cocoa, unsweetened.
  1. Whip the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy – the sugar should be dissolved. Add the mascarpone and whip just until combined.
  2. Whip the egg whites until they hold a firm peak. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone in 3 batches.
  3. Pour the coffee into a shallow dish, one that will fit the full lady finger.
  4. Put very briefly one side of the lady finger in the coffee – this is crucial for getting the perfect texture of your tiramisu, be very quick, otherwise your tiramisu will be soggy.
  5. Place lady finger in the container coffee side up. Repeat until you have a tight layer that cover the whole dish.
  6. Cover the lady finger with a layer of the mascarpone. Continue layering lady fingers and mascarpone cream. Depending on the thickness of the mascarpone layer you should be able to make 2-3 layers. Finish of with a layer of the cream.
    Chill in the fridge overnight.
  7. Just before serving dust with bitter cocoa powder.

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Enjoy!

Buche Mont d’Or

2014-12-30 23.04.06

Past couple of weeks were a crazy mixture of work and holidays. For sure I was in a real need for the later ones. I spend a week in Rome, filling my belly with wonderful food. I could easily live in that city, it’s absolutely wonderful. It would probably require stepping up with the running routine to compensate for all the deliciousness, but still, definitely would be worth it.
Back in the Netherlands the winter seems to be still holding a grip. Hopefully not for too long, I cannot wait for all the wonderful flavour that he spring will bring. Today’s recipe is actually something that should be done during Christmas period, as the original Yule Log is. It is an incredibly light cake tough and I think it’s worth making a little bit more often. The filling is a kwark based mousse – very light and easy to combine with many different flavours. Here I used the apricot jam and a passion fruit juice, but I can only guess how well it will work with fresh fruit (actually I will probably test that as soon as they are available ;)).
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I think this will be the last recipe from the “Patisserie – Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry” book. It starts to get more complicated in there. I will of course continue my challenge, but if you guys want to do it with me, I suggest you get the book, it’s really way easier to do with the photos and you do need to read the recipe carefully. It is very exciting, but requires quite some time in the kitchen (I am obviously not a proffessional, but every recipe that’s supposed to take an hour according to Mr. Felder, somehow takes 3 for me. I’m pretty sure not so many people are crazy enough to spend that time on one cake ;).
But don’t worry, I won’t abandon the blog. I will be happy to share with you more of my own recipes, a bit simpler one and easier to make during the working week. It will still be delicious for sure :)!

 Passion Fruit-Fromage Blanc Yule Log
adapted from Christophe Felder
For the Lemon Sponge Cake:
  • 4 eggs separated,
  • 1 lemon,
  • 100 g sugar,
  • 100 g flour.
  1. Whip the egg whites until the hold a soft peak.
  2. Grate in the lemon zest, add the sugar and whip again until stiff and glossy.
  3. Very briefly whip in the egg yolks.
  4. Fold in the sifted flour in batches.
  5. Spread the batter thinly and evenly on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 180 C, until lightly browned. You should rotate the baking sheet half through baking, so that it colours evenly.
  7. Cover with a damp tea towel and let cool on a baking sheet. This way the cake will remain moist and easy to roll.
For the Fromage Blanc Mousse:
  • 300 ml heavy cream,
  • 4 gelatin sheets,
  • 250 g fromage blanc (or fat free kwark),
  • 2 egg yolks,
  • 75 g sugar,
  • 1 tsp. passion fruit juice.
  1. Pour the cream in a large bowl and chill.
  2. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water until softened, around 5 minutes,
  3. Lightly whisk the fromage blank and return it to the fridge.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until pale and thick.
  5. Warm up the passion fruit juice on a low heat. Squeeze the gelatin sheets and stir into the juice until completely dissolved. Scrape into a large bowl.
  6. Whip the chilled cream until it holds a firm peak.
  7. Carefully whisk in the egg yolk and sugar mixture into the warm passion fruit juice.
  8. Beat 1/3 of the whipped cream into the passion fruit mixture to loosen it up.
  9. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Then fold in the fromage blanc.
Assembly:
  • 150 ml of passion fruit juice,
  • 150 g apricot jam,
  • 100 g white chocolate.
  1. Remove the tea towel from the sponge cake. Invert on a sheet of a parchment paper and carefully peel off the parchment. Turn it again so that it’s right side up, with the long side facing you.
  2. Brush the cake with the passion fruit juice.
  3. Spread a thick layer of the mousse in the upper third of the cake, leaving around 7 cm on top.
  4. Fold the top of the cake over the mousse and spread a thin line of an apricot jam next to the mousse.
  5. Fold the top of the parchment over the cake and snugly tuck the paper under the cake with a piece of cardboard. Roll it tightly. Chill for 15 minutes. Chill the remaining mousse
  6. Carefully remove the parchment. Spread the remaining mousse on top of the cake.
  7. Shave the white chocolate with a serrated knife on the top and side of the rolled cake. Transfer to a serving plate and chill for an hour.
Enjoy!

Feuillete Mandarine

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I always loved puff pastry. The incredible amount of layers and an irresistible buttery taste are just on top of the list of the reasons why I like it so much. There is just one trick – if you want a really good one, you have to make it yourself. You have to use a proper 82% fat butter and spend several hours rolling the pastry and chilling it. It’s a commitment you make, but every second you spend on it will be worth, the end result is amazing. But, I don’t always have the time to make that commitment, sometimes you have to make a small short cut. I discovered this Quick Puff Pastry recipe. It is actually really simple and works perfect for both sweet and savoury pastries (I think some savoury stuff will be coming next week maybe).
The final texture is very flaky and taste taste buttery. I was honestly surprised by how good this pastry is compared to the amount of work you need to put in. I’m not saying it is a perfect replacement of a puff pastry, because I think you should take the time to make some at least once, but, it’s a good quick option. Definitely worth a try.
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Quick Clementine Neapolitans
adapted from Christophe Felder
For the Quick Puff Pastry:
  • 200 g flour,
  • 2 tbsp sugar,
  • 2 tsp salt,
  • 240 g butter, chilled and diced,
  • 90 ml ice-cold water,
  • 25 g confectioner sugar.
  1. Place the flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Add the sugar, salt and butter into the well and rub the flour and butter together until you get fine crumbs.
  3. Add the cold water and knead the dough to bring it together.
  4. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth.
  5. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in a freezer.
  6. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it’s 3-4 mm thick.
  7. Trim the tough to a 30 by 40 cm rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet
  8. Prick the dough with a fork and cover with a parchment paper. Place a wire rack or another baking sheet on top on the pastry.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C, until golden.
  10. Remove from the oven. Turn the temperature up to 220 C.
  11. Sift confectioner sugar on top of the pastry and return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar is caramelised. Watch it carefully, so that it doesn’t burn.
For the Pastry Cream:
  • 250 ml whole milk,
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped,
  • 60 g sugar,
  • 3 egg yolks,
  • 25 g cornstarch,
  • 25 g butter, diced and softened.
  1. Bring the milk, vanilla seeds and half sugar to boil.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar together in a separate bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg mixture into the milk. Cook for about a minute, until it thickens, whisking constantly.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter.
  5. Put it in a small shallow bowl and over the cream directly with a foil.
To finish:
  • 6 clementines, peeled and divided into segments.
  1. Using a serrated knife cut the pastry into 6 by 9 cm rectangles. Cut each rectangle on the diagonal into a triangle.
  2. Whisk the pastry cream until it’s smooth, pipe a strip of a pastry cream in the centre of half the triangles. Arrange clementine segments around it. Top with the remaining triangles. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!