Tag Archives: Pistachio

Pierre Herme-Truffles au Chocolat au Lait et The Vert Matcha

3 Dec

Christmas is around the corner. The city gets prettier and prettier each coming year with Christmas decorations around every corner and in every department store there is Christmas songs playing. Christmas would not be Christmas without snow and we are blessed as snow is on the mountains.

It has been almost 4 months without posting and now is the time as never to post as it is Christmas time!!! I have been busy with work and school and now that I have finished my final mid-term I am free till the final exam. I recently bought a book, “Chocolate,” from my favourite pastry chef Pierre Herme and flipping through its mouth watering pages I stopped at some of his chocolate recipes. I have always loved the taste of pistachio and matcha but am curious how they would work together. IMHO, Pierre Herme used the flavour combination so it can’t be so bad heheheh. Off I went to make the recipe.

To make the ganache, I first measured the ingredients. Herme mentioned to combine the chocolate together with the matcha and then pour the hot cream on it the mixture; however, how will that melt (for lack of better word) the matcha? You would get granules of matcha. Instead, I combined the cream together with the matcha and heated it up. Once heated up pour onto the chocolate and whisk out from the middle. Cool and set the mixture when it is homogenized.

Pierre Hermes truffles called for roasted pistachios thankfully I had some in the fridge. The ganache was quite soft hence after I scooped it out I froze them for a firmer texture to be rolled into chocolate. Once they were more firm, they were rolled in melted chocolate twice and on the third time coated with roasted pistachios.

Viola

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Ingredients:

200 g whole pistachios skinned

Milk Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Ganache
95 g butter
610 g milk chocolate 45% cocoa ( I used Valhrona Jivara)
30 g matcha green tea power
600 g cream

Result: This is an interesting combination. The ganache is not that sweet and has a hint of bitterness. However when combined with the enrobbed chocolate it becomes sweet. To top it off one get the roasted pistachios flavouring with the matcha. I would suggest this recipe for matcha lovers.

Let the holiday baking begin.

Christmas!!!

25 Dec

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!!!

Pistachio Sables

26 Oct

Cookies again. Nothing warms the heart like freshly baked cookies and the aromas when done mmmmmmm…….
This time I decided to make sables. I first fell in love with the cookie after tasting it at Thomas Haas Pastry but learned to make it on my own. The cookie is quite light and crispy in comparison to the other cookies nonetheless it contains the same key ingredients as found in most cookies. Flour, separated egg, salt, butter, nuts, icing sugar and baking powder were the key ingredients.

To make the cookie, instead of creaming the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, I decided to experiment with the method of pate sucre or biscuit dough where you combine the butter and flour and for lack of a better word sand between the hands until finley ground. Next came the icing sugar and continue to mix until I resembles loose sand. Add the baking power and vanilla to the mixture as the next step. The mixture will look like powder, nice and dry. Finally add in the yolk as a binding ingredient. The dough will be crumbly but mix well into a ball.

One could then roll the ball into a log to slice into rounds but I found it too dry. More importantly you could not acheive perfectly round cookies seen at pastry shops. I referred to Sadaharu Aoki’s tip. Unlike slicing the dough like ice box cookies, he rolled out the dough and used a round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Perfection, now I have round cookies!!!! Yippee 🙂 As a finishing touch, I brushed the white on top.

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Bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes.

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Pistachio Sables adapted from here

3/4 cup Pistachio (3 oz), toasted and cooled
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, separated
Special equipment: a 2-inch round cookie cutter

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Happy Cookie Baking.

Pistachio Tarts w/ White Chocolate Mousse

8 Aug

The weather sure is clouding over as I type this post. I can see the rain drops coming and with that an excuse to stay indoors and take some time to bake up a storm. Vancouver certainly needs the rain though as there are dry patches everywhere. The once greenery has turned brown and crispy due to the lack of rain in the forecast. But now back to the baking. I had some pistachio frangipane sitting in the fridge thus  I am making pistachio tarts with white chocolate mousse. To start of the tart I did a pate sucre again. DSC_0720 Next I did the pistachio frangipane. I first toasted the pistachios, grounded them and set them aside. Then I melted the butter and combined it with the egg sugar and whipped cream. The ground nuts were then added to make a frangipane mixture. The mixture was then piped into the shells and baked for 20 minutes at 350F. Set aside to cool. To make the chocolate mousse domes, I melted some white chocolate and whipped up some whipped cream. Once the chocolate has cooled a bit, the whipped cream was folded into the chocolate mixture and spooned into the silicone mold. Freeze until set. Assembling: I placed the mousse dome in the centre of the tart and arranged some raspberries around it and voila. Photo-0403 Chocolate Mousse

White Chocolate

Whipped Cream

Pistachio Frangipane

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup gound pistachios

2 eggs

1/4 cup whipped cream

Baking till I drop, Bon Appetit!!!

Strawberries and Pistachioes-Pierre Herme

18 Jun

In light of recent events, I am making another dessert. This time I am making something from Pierre Herme again. A couple of years ago I bought his book on Pastries and have not regretted it since. The book was filled with stunningly beautiful photos of desserts and enough to make one salivate. Amongst the post it notes tagging recipes that I wanted to try was the Montebello. In his words it is the modern rendition of the Fraisier. The recipe was a combination of two of my favorite ingredients to use, pistachios and strawberries. It was composed of a dacquoise, pistachio mousseline and strawberries. Because my family is partial to all that buttery goodness, I am making a partial montebello. I am making the dacquoise and filling it with a creme patissiere.

To make the pistachio dacquoise, I toasted some almonds and pistachios after which I grounded them with a coffee grinder. Next I measured the dry ingredients and separated the eggs. I then measured the pistachio paste and left it to warm up. The icing sugar was sifted and combined with the almonds and pistachios. *Note: in the recipe, the ratio of almonds to pistachios 2:1 but because I preferred pistachios I changed the ratio to 1:1. Next I whipped up the egg whites and added in the sugar; whipping it till stiff peaks formed. Part of the egg white mixture, not alot, was used to soften the pistachio paste. Finally I folded in the icing sugar/nut mixture. Note: Fold until it is homogenous and you do not see the dry ingredients. Pipe into a 9 inch 3/4 inch deep ring and bake at 340F for 30 minutes.

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Once the dacquoise was baked and cooled, I poured the finish pastry onto it and decorated it with strawberries and pistachios.

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Montbello Pastchio Dacquoise (Adapted from Pierre Herme)

1/4 cup (25g) pistachios ( I toasted and grounded mine and altered the ratio to 1:1 Pistachios and Almonds)
1 1/8 cups (135g) Icing sugar (I used only 130 icing sugar)
1 1/4 cups (115 g) ground almonds
5 egg whites
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
4 tsp (20g) pistachio paste
Extra Icing Sugar for sprinkling

Creme Patissiere

500 ml milk
100 g sugar
40 g Corn Starch
2 egg yolks
.5 piece vanilla bean

Result: It was delicious. The dacquoise was perfect, soft and crispy. It had a strong pistachio flavour and complimented the strawberries well. While it was a bit sweet, next time readers can adjust the icing sugar to 100 g instead to reduce the sweetness. I believe one the sweetness is reduce, the nuts would be more pronounced and work even better with strawberries. Pierre Herme definitely knows his flavours well!!!!

Baking and HALLOWEEN

31 Oct

Trick or treat…smell my feet, give me something good to eat…. My favorite time of the year was when you see tonnes of children running around the neighbourhood dressed as witches, princess, swordsman and animals in order to get treats. I grew up trick or treating and it was deliciously fun.

I am sitting by here with my bowl filled with candy waiting for the first group of kids run to the door anticipating a large payout of chocolate…yum…. Not too long ago, I was also trick or treating. It was tremendously fun running around the neighbourhood, which was completely decked out in jack o lantern, asking for candy.

Since I am sitting around the computer and waiting for the banging door, I might as well write the next blog. This time it was strawberry friands. Friands were quite similar to financiers. They are mini cakes which when done had a wonderful aroma of strawberry and vanilla. It was a light cake and is the perfect little cake for afternoon tea with friands.

Strawberry Friand (Adapted from here)

125g strawberries, hulled, halved
6 eggwhites
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste ( I used vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups (225g) icing sugar mixture, plus extra to dust ( I used only 200 g icing sugar)
1 1/4 cups (155g) almond meal (I used pistachio)
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour ( I used pastry flour)
150g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
Vanillin sugar, to dust

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I found it amazingly light. When eaten warm, the cake carried the aroma of berries and pistachio. IMHO, I think this cake would be a wonderful addition to afternoon tea.

Happy HalloweenHappy Halloween

Puff Pastry with Caramelized Gianduja Mousse

18 Aug

Wow August so soon!!! It’s almost like July blazed through and I did not do anything. Well that’s a lie, I actually went to pick berries at its best.

With steady sunlight and warmth, it is always a joy visiting the farms and bask in the warm sun light while picking. The farms which I normally or Vancouverites visit are Emma Lea Farms or Krause Berry Farms. Though it can be tiring at times crouching under the hot sun but the reward will be all smiles, relaxation and a bucket full of round plump blue berries. They are huge in comparison with store bought berries. After a hard afternoon of berry picking, a delicious strawberry milkshake hit the spot. I will distributing my pick with family. Blue berry muffins will be coming shortly 🙂 but prior to that, I decided to make puff pastry.

Over the course of the summer, I bought a couple of books. As I sifted through the pages, I found a recipe on Caramelized Gianduja. Being low on gianduja, and being adventurous I decided to beat up some inverted puff pastry and use the gianduja as a basis to form a mousse.

Keys to Puff Pastry Inverted

-as the butter is hard, chop or dice it to a size from which one can handle

-French inverted puff pastry has the butter dough outside while the dough is inside.

-once ready, roll the dough into a rectangle.

-if the butter becomes to warm or unworkable, place it back to the fridge allowing the butter dough as hardened again.

-do not roll too thin

-do not over fold 3-5 folds is good enough

-for every turn and fold one takes make sure to allow the dough to rest in the fridge. It will prevent the softening of the dough

-when rolling and folding the turns, make sure to be gentle with the dough.

-As an extra step, place the finished dough in the freezer to allow it to rest and solidify the butter a bit.  Putting the pastry in the freezer to rest while waiting for the oven to reach 400 F is a plus.  Think warm air as it expands in the layers; as air expands, it will raise the pastry as well resulting in better volumes.  it will raise the pastry as well.
-Bake about 20-25 mins at 390-410 degrees F.

Puff Pastry Rolls

Once the pastry was cooked, the molds are be removed immediately. Through this way, the pastry was easier to be removed from the molds.

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Next came the caramelized praline.

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Caramelized Hazelnuts or Almonds (adapted from William Curly)

250 grams hazelnuts

100 sugar

40 ml water

Once the caramelized hazelnuts where done and cooled, they were ground in a processer until fine. Melted chocolate was then incorporated with the ground nuts until smooth and let cooled. With the gianduja cooling, I then whipped up some cream and folded in the gianduja and pipped into the cooled pastry rolls. When making the mousse, make sure the gianduja is cooled or it will melt the whipped cream. Place it in the fridge and allow the mousse to set.

Finish by pipping it inside the cone and decorate with pistachio and icing sugar.

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Result: When ones buy puff pastry, recommended ones come with a pastry or whipped cream in the middle. I experiemented with flavours and made a Gianduga Mousse instead. While different from a typical puff pastry cone, the gianduja for me made a hit. 

Bon Appetit.

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