Tag Archives: Pistachio

White Chocolate Pistachio Mousse Cake w/ Pistachio Crunchy Insert-Bachour Inspired (Green)

25 May

Finally I have time to write in my blog again. As I am typing away I remember how at peace I am. The past few weeks have been quite busy and with work in full steam, well I got stressed out. A walk with a friend today solved the problem as it helped me unwind. There is nothing more peaceful than walking at the beach and around the neighbourhood on a warm spring day. Walking around beautiful surroundings definitely let me vent out and voice my frustrations allowing me to relax.

In the wake of the last few weeks, I also had a friends birthday to make a cake for. I wanted to surprise her thus made the cake extra special. In the last few months I went on a splurge buying baking books to try new recipes. Of them I bought Bachour’s recipe books. Apparently he is America’s 10 top pastry chefs and his works and recipes are to die for having mastered his art. As I was flipping through his recipe book, my eyes fell on GREEN. The reciped combined different elements of texture which was creamy and crunchy. Bonus it had my favorite ingredient pistachios. So off I went to make it and in the process challenged myself.

To make the cake, I first made a chiffon cake. I choose this cake as it is a favourite to my family.

Pistachio Crunchy Insert-I then made the crunchy insert. To do this, I toasted some sicilian pistachio and grounded into a fine powder. Next, the white chocolate was melted. Once the chocolate was melted, the ground pistachio, wafers, and chocolate were combined and mixed into a smooth paste like consistency. I then used a 6″inch ring and serran wrapped the edges and spooned the mixture into the cake ring to create a crunch disk.

Pistachio Cremeux-While the disk was setting, I then made the cremeux. To make the cremeux, the gelatin needed to be bloomed in cold water. I then boiled the cream and milk, added the bloomed gelatin and poured the liquid onto the white chocolate and pistachio paste and mixed until homogenous. Once the mixture had cooled, I spooned the cremeux into a silicone mold and froze the cremeux.

Pistachio White Chocolate Mousse-As with most mousses, gelatin needs to be bloomed. While the gelatin was blooming I boiled the milk and added the bloomed gelatin onto the chocolate and pistachio paste. As the mixture was cooling, cream was whipped until soft peaks. I then folded the whipped cream into the white chocolate/pistachio mixture.

Assembly-To assemble the cake, I placed the chiffon cake on the bottom and laddled the mousse onto the cake. Next I inserted the crunchy insert onto the mousse and laddled some more mousse. The cremeux came next and finally more mousse was laddled on top to finish the cake. When the cake setted, I made some white chocolate disks to surround the cake with, pipped whipped cream on top and decorated with strawberries.

Voila!!!

Pistachio Cremeux (Note these recipes make 3 6″ cakes)
12 g gelatin sheets
375 g cream
100 g milk full fat (I used 2%)
250 g white chocolate
200 g pistachio paste

Pistachio Crunchy Insert

150 g wafer crumbs
50 g toasted pistachio
200 g white chocolate
100 g unsalted butter (I did not add the butter)

Pistachio White Chocolate Mousse
26 g gelatin sheet
500 g full fat milk (I used 2%)
150 g pistachio paste
810 g white chocolate
750 g cream

Result: Fabulous. You got the creamy and nuttiness of the pistachio cremeux and mousse which is offset by the crunchy texture of the insert. This recipe is a keeper!!!!

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Pistachio Rum Creme Brulee

3 Apr

Pistachio Rum Creme Brulee (recipe adapted from here)

6 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream ( I think I will have a coronary here-substitute 1 cup milk less fat)
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon rum
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (I used pistachio paste)

1. Preheat oven to 330F.
2. In a medium sauce pan, heat whipping cream and vanilla pulp scraped from the bean until almost boiling over medium heat.
3. While cream is heating, take a medium mixing bowl and beat egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and pistachio paste until light in color
4 . When cream is about to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/2 cup hot cream to eggs and mix quickly
5. Pour the rest of the cream mixture into the eggs until combined
6. Add rum
7. Pour into 6 ramekins and place onto baking tray
8. Pour warm water into pan to create hot water bath and bake for 30 minutes until slightly set
9. Take out from oven to cool.
10. Divide remaining sugar on top of each dish.
11. Brown sugar using a torch.

Result: Delicious, rich and lightly sweetened.

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!!!!

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