Home made-Bouchon Better Nutters

23 Jan

Source: Home made-Bouchon Better Nutters

Home made-Bouchon Better Nutters

23 Jan DSC_0471

Boo hoo….I think I just threw my New Years Resolution out the window!!!!! My stomach is going to laugh at me again. You and your resolutions as it says.

Big surprise….Baking again. It has been a couple of weeks in which I did not bake and write on this blog and as a result I am craving some baked goods again. Don’t know why but recently I have been craving cookies again especially after work. I have been going to some local bakeries for some cookies to satisfy my cravings. While standing and pondering over the bakery counter and admiring the goodies, salivating no doubt, the peanut butter cookie stood out at me. Really…. I am Pavlov’s puppy. Better yet I must be related to Homer Simpson except I grow weak at the knees for cookies instead of doughnuts.
MMMMM…peanut butter goodness. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I would have gone back for more but that was when I recalled the Bouchon Book had a recipe for the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie called the Better Nutters. Made it I did.

Prior to making the cookie, I studied the recipe first. Unlike most peanut butter cookies, Thomas Keller uses oats in his cookies. He also uses vanila paste in the dough as well. I think he is trying to achieve crunchiness.

To make the cookie, fist measure the dry ingredients such as flour, baking power and soda and combine them into a bowl. Oatmeal and peanuts were next measured. Once the dry ingredients were measured, combine the peanut butter and butter and beat until creamy and light. Add the brown sugar once the peanut butter mixture is fluffy. Next add the egg and vanilla paste to the peanut butter mixture. Mix until every ingredient is well blended. Add the dry ingredients next. Alternate with flour, oatmeal and peanuts into the mixture. The dough will be soft once all the ingredients are added. To harden the dough, Keller mentioned to place the dough into the fridge for about an hour to harden. Once the dough is hardened, bring out the dough and roll out. Use a circular cookie cutter and cut out the cookies. Bake them at 325F for 12-15 minutes.

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In this version, I used a simplified peanut butter butter cream. Creaming together peanut butter, icing sugar and butter, I piped the icing onto the cookies and assembled them.

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Better Nutters

peanut halves 30 grams
all purpose flour 198 grams
Baking Soda 9.1 grams-1 3/4 teasp. + 1/8 teasp.
Baking Powder 3.8 grams
Unsalted Butter 210 grams
Creamy Peanut Butter 86 grams
Light Brown Sugar 106 grams
Eggs 54 grams- 1 large egg
Vanilla Paste 8.5 grams ( I used vanilla extract)
Oatmeal 106 grams

Result: This recipe is a keeper as it really as crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. As an alternative and spice things up next time, I will add jam to the cookies.

Happy Baking!!!!

Happy New Year-Hazelnut Macarons

1 Jan DSC_0463

New Years started off beautifully with the sun beaming down on frost laiden Vancouver. Brrrrrr…it certainly cold outside. I hate to be the one who has to scrape the ice of the car in order to go somewhere. Vancouver was back in New Years Eve tradition yesterday as it hosted a family New Years Eve Bash complete with Music and, at the stroke of midnight, fireworks. The beauty and sounds of the fireworks could been seen and heard at Boundary Road. The streets were filled with people honking their horns shouting, “Happy New Year!!!”

To mark this festive day, I decided to make macarons again. This time I am making Hazelnut Macarons. Unlike most macarons sold outside which uses ground almonds as a base, I am using freshly toasted ground hazelnuts to make the macarons.

Key to make Hazelnut Macarons
-use stale egg whites (fresh ones will do but older egg whites produce better results)
-when boiling the sugar syrup to pour over the meringue Pierre Herme suggests boil till 118C approx 240F then pour over the egg whites while beating and cool down to 50C.
-fold the italian meringue to the almond/egg white mixture
-let the pipped macarons develop a skin prior to baking them. (Tip to help the skin develop faster, preheat the oven and place the uncooked macaron sheets ontop of the warm oven for faster results)
-Bake at 285 F

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The recipe could be found here and instead of using almonds substitute hazelnuts.

Results: The macarons were light and chewy on the inside. They have a distinct taste of hazelnuts. The recipe is a keeper.

Happy New Year!!!!

Christmas!!!

25 Dec DSC_0457

Christmas is finally here. Vancouver is beautiful with the snow capped mountains. I am typing this while I munch on dimsum. Been baking up a storm in anticipation of the holidays this year. I made chocolates and cookies for gifts and finally hosted my first chrismtas cookie exchange. A memorable Christmas to remember with all the work involved.

First off, I made some roasted pistachio truffles

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Pistachio Truffles
Pistachios
Cream
White Chocolate
Butter

Coconut Truffles
Toasted Coconut
White Chocolate
Cream
Butter

To make truffles, first chop the chocolate into pieces. Next boil the cream and when the cream has boiled pour into the chocolate. Stir until the cream and chocolate become mixed together and develops a sheen. Add the butter and cool to set. Once set use a spoon or mellon baller to scoop out ball sized ganache. Dip into melted chocolate and set. Once set dip the chocolates again and into the toasted pistachio or coconut.

Next I made some Chocolate Kisses or Baci di cioccolato. To make these cookies, hazelnuts were toasted and ground finley. The dry ingredients were next measured and set aside. I then creamed the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Once fluffy, the rum and vanilla was added in and mixed. Finally the dry ingredients, such as flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, nuts were added in. At first the cookie batter seemed dry but once some kneeding and squeezing the ball of dough came together. Using a spoon, spoon out the dough and roll into spheres. Roll into granulated sugar. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

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Chocolate Kisses (Baci Di Cioccolato)

1/2 cup whole blanced almonds ( I used hazelnuts)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus more for rolling
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teasp. baking powder
1/2 teasp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teasp. vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum

The truffles and cookies came out well. The Chocolate kisses had a subtle hazelnut flavour to them and is a keeper. I definitely chose the right cookies to give as gifts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Pear and Chocolate Vanilla Caramel Mousse Entremet-Michalak Inspired

21 Nov

Source: Pear and Chocolate Vanilla Caramel Mousse Entremet-Michalak Inspired

Pear and Chocolate Vanilla Caramel Mousse Entremet-Michalak Inspired

21 Nov DSC_0441

Boy it’s getting chilly these days. Yes it is an indication that Christmas is just around the corner. As I strolled and shopped in downtown Vancouver yesterday, I noticed that all the stores were already decked out in their Christmas decorations. A sight to see!!! All it was missing was Santa Clause and gingerbread cookies. It really is a festive time of year where people are in good spirits.

I am baking again as a way to relieve stress and be at peace to myself. I have not made an entremet for a while thus thought of making it again. After flipping through the pages of various cook books, I settled on a Michalak recipe. Known for his modern take on desserts most of his creations are avant garde. The recipe I chose this time was a combination of lemon scented pears and a chocolate vanilla caramel mousse based dessert. Because I did not have lemons, I opted out to make that step and proceeded to make the chocolate vanilla caramel mousse. Instead of lemons scented pears, I did have pear puree in the fridge and decided to make a pear mousse which will compliment the chocolate vanilla caramel mousse.

The chocolate chiffon cake was the first step I did when making the entremet. It was basically a chiffon cake recipe plus 2 tablespoons of cocoa. The cake turned out quite nice. Next I made the vanilla chocolate caramel mousse.

Method:

1. I first measured the ingredients and split the cream into 200 ml and 50 ml measurements.
2. Melt the chocolate in the baine marie until melted. At the same time soak the gelatin in cold water until soften.
3. In another bowl Whip up the egg yolks. Add vanilla bean seeds in.
4. Create a light brown coloured dry caramel with the sugar. Once achieved, combine the 50 ml of the whipped cream to the caramel to deglaze it. The caramel will crystallize but keep stirring the cream with the caramel until the caramel becomes liquid form
5. Pour the liquid over the beaten eggs and return to heat and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. * Make sure not to cook the eggs.
6. Wring the excess water from the gelatin and place into custard. Stir until fully incorporated and then incorporate the custard into the melted chocolate. Cool. * Don’t excessively cool the chocolate mixture with the gelatin already in it as it will set. If set warm up again.
7. Whisk up some cream. Fold and work quickly. Pour onto cake.

Next I made the pear and white chocolate mousse. To make the mousse, I melted some white chocolate. Once melted I soaked the gelatin. Heated up some pear puree and whipped up some cream. Combine the white chocolate with the pear puree. Add the gelatin and fold in the cream. Spread onto cake
Voila!!!!

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Chocolate Caramel Vanilla Mousse (Michalak)
100 g milk chocolate
1/2 vanilla bean
1 sheet 2 g gelatin
30 g sugar
2 egg yolks
250 ml whipping cream divided in 50 ml (deglazing caramel) and 200 ml (folding)

Pear Mousse
1/2 cup white chocolate
3/4 cup pear puree
3/4 whipped cream

Result: It was a stunning entremet. The pear complimented the caramel. This recipe is a keeper. Enjoy making it!!!!

Matcha Honey Buns with Chestnut Cream

6 Nov DSC_0429

What a drag, its raining again in Vancouver. With all this rain and gloomy weather, I decided to bake again to warm up the house and my tummy :0. Yummmmm….bread gain. Nothing beats the aromas of warm bread in the household. One can’t go wrong when making bread and since I have a few packages of matcha and some freshly made chesnut cream, I decided to be adventurous and make some mathca honey with chestnut cream buns.

To make the buns, made a poolish. This consisted of warming up some milk and adding some sugar, 1/2 cup of the flour and yeast as a starter. Proof the poolish for about 1/2 an hour. After the poolish has proofed a bit, I added remaining ingredients to it. The remaining ingredients consisted of the remaining flour, sugar, green tea power, butter, milk powder, egg and honey. Once they are mixed together I began to knead the dough. Bare in mind, the recipe is quite moist thus add more flour if need be. I actually added another 1 1/2 cups of flour to 2 cups for the dough to be manageable. Thus use discretion. Once the dough kneaded enough and less sticky to the hands, proof the dough for 1 hour.

Once proofed punch down the dough. Knead again for about 5 minutes and divide the dough into 8 pieces. One could divide the dough into 10 pieces for smaller buns. Pat the dough flat and spoon the chestnut cream in. Squeeze the edges to seal the cream inside the dough after which roll them into balls.

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Decorate with black and white sesames

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Proof the buns for another 30-45 minutes until double in size.

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Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Once done brush with egg glaze.

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Matcha Honey Buns

250 g bread flour
3 g green tea powder
8 g yeast
130 g water
20 g fresh milk (I used all milk)
10 g butter
10 g milk powder
1 egg
40 g honey

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This recipe is a keeper. The chestnut cream played well with the matcha. As a suggestion for next time, dougle the sugar, egg, honey, matcha and milk powder in relation to the extra flour used.

Happy Bread Making.

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