A Friend and Vanilla Eclairs-Christophe Adam

25 Nov

This week has been a blur. I have been busy doing absolutely nothing :). Actually that is not true. Yesterday, I had went to a church group to record festive songs. It was fun. While there was laughter there is also sadness.

A member of our church community/friend will be heading back to her hometown to follow up on some preliminary results of a recent MRI scan. It’s tragic that within the few months I have known her, she has been through many trails and tribulations. All of which met with laughter and bravery. Despite the adversities she has faced, she always bounced back up to face the world again with renewed courage, tenacity and vivacity. This friend always looked toward the Lord for grace and support and as always the Lord never ceased to provide for her and to be her rock. It was very encouraging to witness it. She radiated energy and joie de vivre on our gatherings and won the hearts of many in our church community. You will be missed by many, SMJ Choi.

My friend had a knack for sweets and good company, not saying that I am good company ha ha. I hope to make some pastries (Christophe Adam) for her on our next meeting.

Christophe Adam’s Vanilla Eclair is comprised of a choux paste, Vanilla Cream, Caramelized Pecans and a Vanilla Glaze. I opted out the vanilla glaze and decided to do a white chocolate coating instead.

Vanilla Glaze
1 3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
2 tbsp cold water
2 vanilla beans
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 1/2 tbsp glucose syrup (I will use honey)
300 g white chochocolate
1 1/2 tsp rice starch

Vanilla Cream
2 vanilla beans
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
7 tbsp butter

Choux Pastry
150 ml water
150 ml whole milk
8 ml pure vanilla extract
7 ml sugar
175 ml unsalted butter
3 ml salt
295 ml all purpose flour
5 large eggs

Caramelized Pecans
175 ml chopped pecans
90 ml icing sugar

Results: Christophe Adam is known for his eclairs. In fact this recipe was one of his top ten recipes. It so goes to say, the eclairs did not disappoint. Light, crispy, velvety, fragrant and rich in vanilla, it is a symphony on the taste buds. Another winner of a recipe.

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Birthdays-Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

20 Nov

October has been a busy month filled with birthdays. It so happens that the young adults pastor birthday is in October. Events like this always give me an opportunity to show my creative side as well as try new recipes.
For this birthday, I am making a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. The cake consists of chocolate chiffon sponge cake, milk, white and dark chocolate mousses.

Method:

I first made the chiffon cake and baked it. With the cake resting, I then proceeded to make the dark chocolate mousse. To make the mousse, the gelatin was first bloomed in cold water to soften it. Next, whipping cream was whipped and set aside in the fridge. I then made the sabayon which was basically warming up the sugar/egg mixture over a double boiler till luke warm when touched. ***Make sure not heat up the mixture too much as it would start cooking. Once the sugar/egg mixture was luke warm, beat the mixture till light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate until combined. Add the gelatin and then incorporate the whipping cream making sure it is fully blended and homogenous. Once the mixture was well folded and mixed, it was poured onto the cooled cake.

Next came the milk chocolate mousse. I made the milk chocolate mousse in the same process. First blooming the gelatin, then melting the chocolate in a double boiler. While the chocolate was melting, I made the sabayon and whipped up the whipping cream. I then folded the melted chocolate into the sabayon and added the gelatin. Lastly whipping was folded in. Pour onto the cooled cake and set in the fridge.

The white chocolate mousse was to be the top layer on the cake before the glaze. Same steps were done as before. The key is not to let the gelatin become too cool before folding in the whipping cream. The final step prior to decoration was the chocolate glaze. When looking at the ingredients for the glaze, it resembled a ganache topping. The ingredients consisted of whipping cream, honey, sugar, chocolate, milk and butter. To make the glaze, first boil the whipping cream, milk, sugar and glucose. Then pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter lastly and stir until the mixture is mixed well.

Assembly:
To assemble to decorate the cake, I ladled the glaze onto the cooled set mousse cake while making sure it was covered evenly. It was necessary to work fast as once the glaze cools down, it would set. A handy tool to use was the spatula. Next I caramelized some hazelnuts and almonds to top the glazed cake as a garnish. While it was not necessary, I had made some chocolate stenciled squares. With them handy, I decorated the sides with them.

Voila.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
200 g Dark Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
240 ml Cream

Milk Chocolate Mousse
200 g Milk Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
4 g Gelatin Sheet
240 ml Cream

White Chocolate Mousse

200 g White Chocolate
2 Eggs
40 g Sugar
4 g Gelatin sheet
240 ml Cream

Chocolate Glaze
200 ml Cream
60 ml Milk
110 g Sugar
300 g Dark Chocolate
110 g Glucose Syrup (I used honey)
110 g Butter

Results: The cake was a hit. The mousses were dreamy and complimented the light chiffon cake. I would make this cake again. However for next time, consider using streusel to decorate the sides. ~Happy Baking~

Cake Project I-White Chocolate Mango Mousse Entremet with Raspberry Jelly

13 Nov

I have been away from blogging for a few months now due to the summer season. Having said that it was an amazing summer. Vancouver hardly had any rain which on the other hand prompted forest fires in BC’s interior. Nonetheless it was gorgeous. Not having to work for a few months, I had time to rest up and involve myself in a few activities. Some of the activities included hiking at Quarry Rock with my church group, going to Emma Lea and Krause Berry Farms and the beach. I always enjoyed going to the farms during summer despite the long drive. It brings rest and peace to the soul. As well, this year had a bountiful harvest. My mom, friend and I went to Krause Berry Farms one week to pick blueberries and came home with buckets filled of large saucer like plump blueberries. We were amazed by the quality of them. It will definitely be a motivational factor to go again next year for blueberries. Unfortunately, nothing lasts for forever and now we are in the fall. October had just past with Halloween being the last hoorahhh. I had been busy also during the fall as well. I volunteered to make cakes for a few occasions which included a couple of birthday parties and a going a way surprise party for a church friend, J.Wee.

I quite enjoy making cakes for these events as it allows my creative side to show. Furthermore, there are not restrictions when making them. While it can be a bit time consuming, I had enjoyed making them immensely. Which brings be to the topic of this little story, White Chocolate Mango Mousse Entremet. Not entirely sure of what kind of cake the J. Wee liked, I had asked his house mates opinion. Mango it was. With this knowledge I set out to make the cake.

Assembly: To make the entremet, I first made the chiffon cake and baked it. While the cake was cooling, I proceeded to make the white chocolate mousse. The gelatin was soaked first in cold water for it to soften. Then the cream was whipped and set aside in the fridge. The sabayon was maded next. In a baine marie, I whisked the sugar and raw eggs to mildly warm and then beated it until light and fluffy. I then melted the white chocolate and folded it into the sabayon. With the gelatin softened, I heated it up to melt it and combined it with the chocolate mixture. When the mixture had cooled a bit, the mixture was then folded into the whip cream. Time was of the essence so fold fast. Once the mixture was thoroughly mixed, the mousse was poured into the cake and set the in fridge to set.

The jelly was the next step. First bloom the gelatin. Then puree the fresh raspberries and add sugar for tasting. Combine the gelatin and the puree and pour onto cake and let set.

The final step was the mango mousse. I decided to follow the mousse recipe from a pastry school I had gone to a few years back. To make the mousse, first soften the gelatin by placing it in cold water. Next whip the whipping cream and set aside in the fridge. Combine the mango puree and sugar for taste. Warm up the soften gelatin until it becomes a liquid and pour into the puree mixture. Finally, fold in the whipped cream and pour onto the cake and put into fridge to set.

Decoration:
Mangoes were arranged in a flower like pattern and then whipped cream was pipped in the middle.

Voila!

Bavaroise Mango
160 ml Mango Puree
1 Lemon juice
60 g Sugar
5 g Gelatin (I used a gelatin sheet)
200 ml Cream

White Chocolate Mousse
200 g white chocolate
2 eggs
40 g sugar
4 g gelatin sheet
240 ml cream

Result: The cake was a hit and liked by member of the group members. The cake was light and sweet but no too sweet. The white chocolate mousse complimented the mango mousse and the raspberry jelly had a tangy sweetness that completed the cake. This recipe is a keeper.

~Happy Fall Baking~

Danish

30 May

It has been a while which I posted. School is over and work is done. I am relaxing these days getting over a nasty cold. The weather was gorgeous over the past week that I went out to bask in the warmth of it. Now with some free time I decided to blog again.

I have been taking a baking course called Basics 8 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. My intention was to home in my skills with tips from the instructors there. Indeed, I did get some tips. On the second week we made danishes. Danishes were quite similar to croissants in which it is a laminated yeast dough but richer as it contains eggs and sugar. They are time consuming to make but well worth the effort.

Keys to Laminating the dough:
-make sure the beurrage is pliable and at the same consistency with the detrempe
-3 turns is optimal
-Resting the dough for 1 hour in the fridge between turns or 30 minutes in the freezer. This allows the gluten to relax
-once shaped allow to relax again prior to proofing, 45-1 hour
-proof at 84F in the oven
-preheat the oven to the 400F to 425F this allows butter to melt creating steam and puff up the dough
-create steam when placing the danishes in the oven by spraying water on the bottom of the heated oven



Danish

Detrempe
650 g all purpose flour
80 g sugar
13 g salt
40 g fresh yeast
20 g butter
345 g milk, cold
70 g eggs

Beurrage
310 g butter soft
25 g flour

Pastry Cream
500 ml whole milk
120 g egg yolk
100 g sugar
2.5 g salt
30 g cornstarch
4 g vanilla extract

Result: When baked you do see layers in the danishes. Resting was crucial in laminating the dough. The baked product was nice, light and buttery and perfectly paired with pastry cream.

Caramel Eclairs-Christophe Adam

25 Apr

It’s Spring again….my time flies. Easter was just last week and I had made chocolate bunnies and eggs as gifts. There is something beautiful about Spring as the birds are chirping again and the trees and flowers are in full bloom. It is the time of year were signs of life is emerging again after a dreary winter. While it has been a month, I finally decided to add to my blog.

I have always been a fan of Parisian pastries in particular eclairs. I recently bought a beautiful book by Christophe Adam, L’Eclair Genie. He is known for his creative and beautiful eclairs. The book was quite well done as each page there photographs and step by step instructions. As I flip through the pages filled with gorgeous eclairs, I stopped at the caramel eclairs.

Caramel Cream
3/4 tsp unflavoured gelatin powder
2 1/2 tsp cold water
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
9 tbsp granulated sugar
8 oz marscapone cheese

Choux Pastry
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup whole milk
1 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
295 ml flour
5 large eggs

Result: It was very creamy and the caramel was not over powering. I will surely do another one of his recipes.

Pierre Herme Mango Tart with Coconut Cream

25 Feb

I had some time this week to flip through Pierre Herme’s recipe book “La Patisserie de Pierre Herme. He is known for creative yet delicious pastries. As I flipped through the pages, I stopped at the fruit tart w/ coconut cream and instantly fell in love.

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Coconut Cream
400 g butter
500 g confectioner’s sugar
200 g powdered almonds
300 g grated coconut
50 g custard powder
50 g dark rum
300 g light cream

Result: This is a delicious tart. Delicate and light, it carries hints of coconut. Definitely a keeper.

Valentines-Raspberry Pistachio Frangipane Tart

18 Feb

It was Valentines this week. To make this week special, I decided to make something sweet for my friends and family. I recently bought 2 boxes of raspberries. Initially I was going to make a cheesecake but at the last minute I craved tart. Tart it is. I have not made frangipane for a while thus I decided to make a frangipane tart with pastry cream.

Tips:
1. For a stronger pistachio taste, toast the pistachios first
2. Pour the hot milk into the eggs not the other way around.

To make the tart, I first made the pate sucre. The frangipane came next. I wanted a roasted pistachio taste to the frangipane so I toasted some pistachios and gournd them till fine. A coffee grounder will do the trick. Butter was then measured and heated. Whipped cream, sugar and eggs where mixed in with the pistachios to form a semi paste and then the cooled butter was poured in. I baked the tart shell for approx 15 minutes first. When done, raspberry jam was spread over the bottom of the tart shell. The Pistachio frangipane was then poured into the tart shell and baked some more. ** I suppose I could blind bake the tart shell with the frangipane in it. But will leave it till next time I make it. Once the pistachio frangipane and tart shell is cooked. The pastry cream was next to come. Once the pastry cream was done. Set it to cool. Once cooled pour over the pistachio frangipane tart and garnish with raspberries. Voila!!!

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Pistachio Frangipane

1 stick butter unsalted
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup ground pistachios
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream

Creme Patiserrie
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
2 table cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

Pate Sucre

1 stick butter
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 tablespoon ground almonds
1 pinch salt
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour

Bon Appetit!!! Happy Valentines Day.

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