Jan 27, 2009

Chocolate Cream Puffs

Everyone likes cream puffs, and for the first time I meet the chocolate version! I really liked this recipe, they were gone in a flash, and chocolate cream is just delightful! Vanilla cream is equally delicious, and looks awesome against dark puffs.

Chocolate cream puffs

For the choux pastry:
115g/4 oz/1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
250 ml /8 oz/1 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
115 g/4 oz/ ½ cup unsalted (sweet) butter
4 eggs

For the chocolate pastry cream:
450 ml/2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
115g/4 oz/½ cup granulated sugar
50g/2 oz/½ cup all purpose flour
150g/5oz plain semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
115 ml/4 fl oz/ ½ cup whipping cream
I have added ½ tsp vanilla extract because I decided to make half vanilla, half chocolate

First, I make the pastry cream. Mix egg yolks with sugar. Add vanilla, if you will make vanilla cream. Set milk to boil, before it does, take some hot milk (like ½ cup) and add it in the egg yolk mixture, mixing it in fast. Add flour to the mixture, then stir it in the boiling milk. Mix for few minutes, remove from heat, and immediately add chocolate, and mix it well. If you like you can make half chocolate, half vanilla, then you need only half of the amount of chocolate. Let it cool down, later chill in the fridge, while making pastry. When cooled, add whipped whipping cream.

For the choux pastry, it’s same old procedure. Preheat oven to 425 F. Set water, butter, salt, and sugar to boil, then remove from heat, add flour mixed with cocoa powder, and mix well. Return to heat, and cook for another minute. Remove from heat again, and add one by one, 4 eggs, working fast with a hand mixer.
Transfer mixture into piping bag, and pipe puffs about 3 inches across (or what size you like), and 2 inches apart onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Baker for about 30-40 minutes, take them out, cut of about top third of each puff, and return them to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to dry them out. Cool, and fill with cream.

Drizzle tops with chocolate glaze. There is a recipe for one, but I didn’t like it, so just use any chocolate glaze you like, or like I prefer, just dust with some powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible.

Jan 22, 2009

Raffaello slice

Raffaello slice
If you love Raffaello treats, then this is a cake for you! Desiccated coconut has much more flavor then regular shredded coconut, and it’s a winning combination with vanilla flavor. Easy to make too. I am thinking to incorporate almonds next time, like maybe add them in between layers or as a topping.

Raffaello slice

For the cake:
5 egg whites
250 g sugar
100 g sweetened desiccated coconut
100 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk to soak after baking

Mix egg whites with sugar until stiff, then add coconut, and flour with baking powder. Bake in a 9x13 inch pan for about 20 minutes on 350F, making sure it doesn’t brown too much, it should be just lightly golden. Cool it down slightly, and then evenly pour heated milk over it. Cool completely before putting the cream on.

Vanilla cream:
5 egg yolks
150 g sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp corn starch
4 cups milk
250 g/ 18 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine

Mix egg yolks with sugar, then add some of the milk, flour, and vanilla sugar. Let remainder of the milk to boil, reduce heat, and then add the egg mixture, stirring constantly for few minutes until it thickens. Transfer into a mixing bowl, and cool completely. When cool, add butter or margarine cut into thin slices, and mix well.
Spread over cake, and decorate with either some shredded coconut, or whipped cream. Cut into squares or slices. Chill well before serving.

Recipe adapted from “Fat but Happy” magazine, Serbian edition of Macedonian food and wine publication.

Jan 21, 2009

Tunnel Cake

Tunnel cake
I wanted to make this cake for so long, and finally I did. It is a luscious dessert, fit for royalty, and I am not talking about it’s original look, but rich nutty taste with tons of cream!

Tunnel Cake

For the filling:
6 egg yolks
300 g sugar (I only used 150g, don’t like it too sweet)
2 powdered vanilla puddings + 6 tbsp of flour
(if no such pudding available then 6 tbsp of corn starch + 6 tbsp of flour+ 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 liter/4 cups milk
250 g /18 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine

White cake layer:
6 egg whites
6 tbsp of sugar
6 tbsp of flour
1 tsp baking powder

Brown cake layer:
5 eggs
5 tbsp of sugar
100 g ground walnuts
2 tbsp plain bread crumbs

For the base/roll:
250g ground walnuts/walnut meal
150g ground biscuits/butter cookies
1 cup milk
4 oz semi-sweet baker’s chocolate
9 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
9 tbsp powdered sugar

To decorate:
Whipped cream with stabilizer, nuts to make it look like rocks on the side
Also chocolate can be drizzled all over, just play with it

Prepare to make the cake in the order above, starting with the filling. Mix egg yolks with pudding and flour, or corn starch and flour, sugar, and some milk from the one liter. Let remainder of the milk boil, reduce heat, and mix in the pudding mixture, stirring constantly, and cooking for few minutes.
Let it cool completely, stirring it often so it doesn’t get skin on the top. Once cooled, mix in previously mixed butter or margarine. This will reduce clumps of butter/margarine, and you’ll have a smoother filling.

When the cream is cooling, you can start with cake layers. For both layers I have used a jelly roll pan, because there were no instructions, but I think 9x13 inch baking pan would do better.
For the white one, mix egg whites with sugar until stiff, then add flour with baking powder. Bake on medium heat, about 380 F, making sure it doesn’t brown. Didn’t track time, so just test with toothpick.

For brown cake layer, mix eggs with sugar until nice and smooth, then add walnuts, and bread crumbs. Bake at same temperature, also until toothpick comes out clean.
Now make the base, which will allow for tunnel look, because of it’s cylinder shape. Mix walnuts, cookie crumbs, butter, powdered sugar, adding milk gradually, because you might not need the whole cup.
Once you get a workable mass, add melted chocolate, and mix well. You do all this with hands.
Then make a cylinder shape out of the cookie/walnut mass on a long platter. Top it evenly with about half of the filling, place the white cake layer over it(cut the excess, if any), top with about another half of filling, then place the brown layer over it (cut excess, if any), remember to leave just enough filling to spread over the last/brown layer so whipped cream would hold better. Decorate, cool well, and enjoy!

Recipe source:
My aunt from Serbia sent me a “Fat and happy” magazine, originally Macedonian publication, formerly known as “Food and wine” (hope I got all that right; also printed in few other Balkan countries. Thank you auntie Ljubica!

Jan 15, 2009

Potato Pie with Leeks, and Feta Cheese

Potato pie with leeks and feta cheesePotato pie with leeks, and feta cheese

For the dough:
1 medium sized potato
1 cup flour
5 tbsp margarine, melted and cooled a bit
2 tsp baking powder
½ smaller leek, chopped up
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp black pepper

For the filling:
5-6 medium sized potatoes
½ leek chopped up
½ cup sour cream
3 eggs
½ cup crumbled feta cheese, or cubed
Pinch of salt

First wash, and cook potatoes with their skin. Peel, and mash one immediately, and let the rest (for the filling) cool down.Preheat oven to 390 F. In a bowl with mashed potato, add margarine, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and knead with hands to get a smooth dough. Add half of chopped up leek, knead it in, then transfer the dough to a medium sized spring form pan, spread it around to cover pan bottom with it.

Peel and slice the remaining potatoes, or chop them up, and place them on top of the dough, along with half of chopped up leek. Sprinkle with some salt (you be the judge as to how much), and pepper.

Mix eggs with sour cream, add a pinch of salt, and feta cheese. Pour this over the potatoes, and place the pie in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, depending on the oven. Cool a little, then remove the spring form, and serve. Best if eaten right away, as most potato dishes.

Recipe adapted from a special edition of a Serbian culinary magazine Carobni Lonac - Slane Torte(Magic pot -Savory cakes)