Source: Home made-Bouchon Better Nutters
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
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!!!!
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.
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
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)
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!!!!
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.
Decorate with black and white sesames
Proof the buns for another 30-45 minutes until double in size.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Once done brush with egg glaze.
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
40 g honey
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.