Tag Archives: Chestnut

Holiday Cake Project-Mont Blanc-Angelina (Paris) Version

27 Dec

Key in making the chestnut puree:
1. Boil in chestnuts in water (milk) till tender aprrox 30 minutes. Sometimes, it will require more liquid depending on the size of the chestnuts.
2. Food process until you can pipe it and it will maintain its shape. Add the sugar syrup while processing.

Ingredients:

1.4 kg chestnuts ( I used 700 g chestnuts)
175 ml water ( I used milk)
1 vanilla bean ( I used 2 vanilla beans)
65 ml sugar

Result: Excellent version of chestnut puree. It was subtle and sweet and had a vanilla flavour. As an option I would add rum into the mixture. This recipe is a keeper.

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Matcha Honey Buns with Chestnut Cream

6 Nov

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.

Halloween and Chestnut Cream Cake!!!!

31 Oct

Halloween is here!!!! Yay my favorite childhood day. I can just see the children all decked out in costumes and running up and down the neighbourhood shouting, Trick or Treat!!! There was something nostalgic and enduring about Halloween and I can’t help but reminisce my own childhood blissful memories of trick or treating away with Jack O Lanterns and witches every where. By the time we got home, I be counting up my stash of goodies. I wish I was a child again. Just remembering it makes me want to be a child again weeeeee 🙂 Those were the good old days. Perhaps it was that Fall was in full bloom and the excitement of candies, costumes, tricks and creepiness away made it extra special but nonetheless it proves to be one of most thought of special days for kids and adults.

In light of this special day and fall, I thought of making something Fall-ish again. I making chestnut cake again this time but I wanted to try the Mont Blanc method. I first had Mont Blanc in Vancouver and again in Japan. Yum. I really liked the chesnut cream they used. Creamy, nutty, sweet and with a hint of rum, it was decadent. Mont Blanc originated from France and composed of a merinque, cream and chestnut cream but since then there have been variations of the treat. In Japan, they use sponge cake. Today, I am making my own rendition of a mont blanc variation using sponge cake and chestnut cream.

To start of I made the chiffon cake and baked it and set aside for cooling. Next I started making the chestnut cream. To make the cream, I bought some fresh chestnuts and using a sharp knife put a x on them. Place them in the water and simmer for a few minutes. Remove the chestnuts a few at a time and take out the shell and inner lining as much as possible. Once the chestnuts were de-skinned, I then placed them in milk and simmered them till tender. Use a fork and test them for tenderness. Once they are tender from the milk, cool and drain them. Reserve the milk for use when pureeing in the food processor. If the puree is stiff then add some of the milk bit by bit. Use your judgement as to how thick the paste you want since I pureed it into a soft paste as added more milk than the recipe called for after all I was making chestnut vermicelli with it.

To make the sweetened cream, I made the paste and added icing sugar to the paste along with rum. Stir until well incorporated. Whip up some whipped cream and fold into the chestnut paste to make it even softer. Use your judgement again as to how thick or thin you want the paste to be. As a tip from Christophe Michalak I then created the chestnut vermicelli with a potato ricer. Apply onto whipped cream cover cake. Weeee I am so happy. I finally made my version of Mont Blanc with Chestnut Vermicelli.

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Chestnut Puree from Rose Beranbaum
36 Chesnuts
1 cup of milk (use judgement towards the consistency)

Chestnut Mousse Cream
1 cup chestnut puree
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
heavy cream 2 liquid cups (use judgement towards the consistency of the paste)

Happy Halloween!!!!
Happy Halloween

Pear and Chestnut Financiers

15 Dec

Christmas baking was now in full swing. I already had a baking list to do and am continually adding projects onto it. The latest addition to the list was Chestnut financiers. Beaucoup Bakery recently promoted a chesnut financier made with chestnut honey. This served as motivation for me to bake some financiers as well. Traditional financiers often use ground almonds or hazelnuts, as I loved chestnuts, I included some toasted ground chestnuts into the mix. Pears were also added for a lovely light flavour. 🙂

To make the financiers, butter was first browned. Next I measured the icing sugar, flour, egg whites, almond and chestnut. The egg whites were beaten to foamy soft peak. When the whites were at soft peak stage, add in the sifted flour and icing sugar. Incoporate the ground almonds and chesnuts next. Lastly add in the browned butter. To assemble the financiers, scoop the batter into silicone molds and alternate with batter, pear and chestnut puree. Bake at 335F for approx 25 minutes until one could see the financiers puff up.

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Pear and Chestnut Financiers

120 g butter
4 large egg whites
80 g plain flour
80 g icing sugar
100 g ( 50 g almond meal and 50 g toasted ground chestnut)
25 g chestnut puree
approx 40 g pear

Results: I found the texture quite nice. The pear complimented the lightness in taste and the puree boosted the chestnut flavour of the financier. My only regret was the number of stairs I need to climb daily to burn off this excess calorie intake. Ohhh well, its Christmas and the holidays.

Let the baking and holiday cheer begin !!!!

Puff Pastry Spirals Revisited-French Invert

16 Jun

What a beautiful Sunday. Happy Father’s Day everyone. We have family visiting this week and as usual, I’ve baked up a storm. A recipe that has gained my curiosity was the puff pastry. While it was perfect at times, it proved to be disastrous recently . The pastries turned out like pimpled wrinkled pastries, a horror story for every pastry lover. As it turned out, the pastries were fried in the excess butter that leaked out. A inquisitive individual at heart, I researched what the problems were. Solution found there were two methods, traditional and french invert. During the Easter weekend we visited a pastry shop on Pike Street, Le Panier. They had amazing french pastries and the palmier tickled our taste buds. Light, crispy, airy with a touch of sugar best described the pastry’s qualities. Recreating that wonderful texture prompted me to try the french invert method.

Keys French Invert Puff Pastry
-Proportion of flour and butter is better thus oil won’t leak out as much
-Lighter, flakier texture
-Better volume in finished product
-temperature sensitive-as butter layer is on the outside
– Prior to laminating make sure the flour mixture and the butter mixture of the same consistency
-when making the butter half of the dough, if the butter starts to melt stick back into fridge to solidify
-work in a cool environment
-brush off excess flour, the extra flour will prevent the dough from rising
-Handle the pastry dough delicately
***I did five folds-4 folds is sufficient
-Bake at high temperature-***I baked mine between 400F-410F and keep an eye on the pastries.

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With chestnut puree and coconut in my stash of goodies, incorporating these ingredients left no doubt. I rolled out the dough and spread the puree. The toasted coconut was then sprinkled on top prior to rolling up the dough like a cinnamon roll. A neat trick, use a string or floss to cut through the delicate pastry. Knives would ruin the circular shape. Sugar was the final addition and bake at 410F for about 20 minutes. I was delighted to see the rising pastry with no butter melting :). Nothing beats fresh puff pastry, pure goodness. For next time, egg wash could be applied on the top or sides of the pastries prior adding the sugar. It would help with caramelizing. Enjoy!!!

Roasted Chestnut Cake II

31 May

I had some extra chestnut paste in the freezer thus decided to make a chestnut cake again. I love chestnuts thus usually buy a whole bunch during chestnut season before and freeze them so I could use them year round. This time I decided to make another chestnut cake. Since I’ve made candies recently, a 6 inch chestnut cake would suffice. As usual, I made the chiffon cake first and used the baking sheet method for even baking. Next I whipped up the cream. Preference leaned towards Avalon dairy cream as I found it richer and creamier. Once the whipped cream was the right consistency, I spread a thin layer on the cake layers first.

DSC_0358Another reason to why I made a chestnut cake was because of a recently bought potato ricer. I read on a book that one could use a potato ricer to make chestnut vermicelli thus decided to give it a try. Low and behold, it did work much to my pleasure!!! Next time, I would make the paste a bit softer by adding more cream or milk. Once the layering has completed, I decorated the cake with some watermelon, and apple. I then decided to make some caramelized sugar to add to the decoration.
Once finished this was how it looked like.

Roasted Chestnut Cake

25 Nov

Chestnut was and still is one of my favorite treats. Honestly, I really don’t know why. I really like the subtle sweet nutty taste to it. I have been trying to perfect this cake or experimenting with different textures.  I decided to make it as chestnut was in season.  I purposely left the cake all white and piped out the decoration with whipped cream as I wanted to make the candied chestnuts stand out more.  I first baked the chiffon cake on a roll pan that way it easier to bake because of surface area.  I then cut out the layers of the cake using an 8 inch cake ring.  Next I prepared the chestnut filling by roasting the chestnuts.  A combination of Italian and Korean chestnuts were used for texture.  The Italian chestnut was more fragrant and powdery in texture while the Korean chestnut possessed a sweeter and sugary taste.  They complimented each other perfectly.  Once the chestnuts were roasted, I proceeded to ground the chestnuts to make the paste.  Cream, brandy and sweetened chestnut paste were added to the freshly ground chestnuts to add flavour and texture.  When the paste was smooth, I used a star tip to pipe out the filling and assembled the layers of the cake.

For decoration, I used an idea I saw from a Japanese pastry magazine that was translated into Chinese.  With a Gateau St. Honore tip, I piped out the petals or fan like design.  To add colour to the white cream, freeze dried strawberries were grounded and then sifted onto the white cream to create a red and white contrast to the cake.  Deciding on a clean refined look on bottom of the cake, I choose to use Callebaut pearls and lined the cake.  The fun part was actually the sugar work.  I had taken a course in sugar once at Debrulle now Arts Institute to make curls thus added a couple of them.

Next came the glazing of chestnuts in sugar.  As a word of caution, sugar is very hot once you melt it to the hard crack stage as it hits 200F and above so be careful as anyone could potentially get burned.  I speak from experience.  Once the sugar was heated to the appropriated temperature, I dipped the chestnuts into them and allowed the sugar to drip off them.  Eventually, you would get a crystallized stem of sugar coming from the chestnut.  It was quite appealing to see as it added a 3D dimension to the cake.  I allowed the sugar to set and then placed the sugar curls and glazed chestnuts onto the cake and finished.  Note:  You don’t need to use different varieties of chestnuts but it does add texture to the filling.  Furthermore, roasting the chestnuts is optional, one could blanche the chestnuts to remove the skin and cook them but the flavour would be different; however, it was your preference.

 

 

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