Saturday, June 18, 2011

Travel Break

Hello all!
I'm off to Hong Kong for a week or so.  When I return I will share with you all my photos of food and travel!
Until then Happy Baking!
Brittany

Monday, June 13, 2011

Apple and Sour Cream Slice

 I had a few spare ingredients floating around the fridge, like sour cream and a tin of apples, and I immediately thought of what a good combination they would be together.  After a little search on the internet, I came across various recipes using similar ingredients.  So, I made up my own version based on those recipes for a Apple and Sour Cream Slice.  I absolutely loved it.  It was like biting into layer after layer of yumminess.  First, was the buttery short-bread like base.  Then, a layer of those classic pie apples.  And then the silky smooth sour cream topping.  I'll definitely be making this one again.

Ingredients for Base

1 x vanilla cake packet mix
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup desicated coconut
125g unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Filling
1 x 440g tin pie apples
300mL lite sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 30cm x 20cm loaf tin.  In a bowl, combine the vanilla cake packet mix, cinnamon and coconut; stir until well combined.  Then pour melted butter into bowl and stir until base forms.  Press base evenly into loaf tin and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oven and place apples evenly over the warm base.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla and eggs until smooth.  Pour this sour cream mixture over the apple-covered base.  Return to oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until sour cream looks set.  A slight wobble in the centre is fine.  Leave in tin for 15 minutes to allow slice to set. Serve warm or refridgerate before serving. Store slice in fridge for 2-3 days.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blog Change

Bonjour à tous!
I have had a blog makeover! I was in need of a change.  You may notice I have a different URL: http://www.dreamsofabaker.blogspot.com but I am still the same name "Les Rêves d'une boulangère." I wanted title of my blog and URL to match; complete with a girly new background for my new change.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dense Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are inspired by a tin of Bacio dark chocolates which I found on my kitchen bench yesterday.  I immediately remembered a recipe using dark chocolate and almond meal from my Crabapple Bakery Cookbook.  I modified it slightly to come up with this. And wow...it turned out to be one of the best chocolate cupcakes I've ever tasted.  (And boy, have I sampled a lot of cupcakes). These cupcakes are so moist, and dense - but not dense in a 'weigh-me-down' sort of way - in fact, I could far too easily polish off a handful of these cupcakes in one go. The cake itself has such a hit chocolate intensity, which is balanced perfectly with a good swirl of two-tone buttercream icing.  If there's one recipe you try from this site, this cupcake has got to be it.  Makes rougly 15

Ingredients

175g unsalted butter, softened
200g good quality eating dark chocolate
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup cocoa
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees (fan-forced).  Line 12-hole muffin trays. Combine butter, chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat.  Mix continuously with a metal spoon until melted and smooth.  Place almond meal and cocoa in a separate bowl.  Pour melted chocolate mixture in this almond-cocoa mixture bowl and beat for 1 min on low speed.  The mixture should be thorougly combined.  Add 2 eggs at a time, beating after each addition until mixture is smooth. Do not over-beat or too much air will be incorporated and cupcakes will crack during baking.  Add vanilla extrat and fold through well.  Divide mixture evenly between cupcake cases.  Bake for 30 min or until cupcakes spring back slightly when touched.  Remove cupcakes from oven and cool in trays before frosting.

Ingredients for Plain Buttercream

125g butter, softened
1 tsp milk
1 1/2 cup icing sugar

Method
Beat butter until smooth.  Add half of icing sugar and beat until smooth.  Add milk and beat again.  Add rest of icing sugar and beat until mixture is spreadable.  Scoop this plain buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle (eg. 1 inch wide)

Ingredients for Blue Buttercream
125g butter, softened
1 tsp milk
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
+ 2 drops royal blue food gel colouring

Method
Beat butter until smooth.  Add half of icing sugar and beat until smooth.  Add milk and beat again.  Add rest of icing sugar, along with food gel colouring, and beat until mixture is spreadable.  Add more food colouring if you'd like a darker blue.  Scoop this blue buttercream into the same piping bag which should be filled with plain buttercream.  Squeeze this down to reduce air bubbles.  Pipe, in a circular motion, onto cooled cupcakes.  Now top with a Bacio chocolate.  Bite in an savour the taste! Store in an air-tight container for 2-3 days

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Orange and Lemon Madeleines

Madeleines are among my favourite French sweets.  They are traditionally made with lemon zest; however, today I felt like combining the sweetness of orange zest and balancing it with the tang of lemon zest.  It created a beautiful smell in the oven; and an even lovelier light taste in the mouth.  I love the lightness of a madeleine sponge, and hope you will too.  Serve them with orange icing if you have a real sweet tooth; the recipe for which is written below.

Ingredients
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/4 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tbsp orange zest
65g butter, unsalted

Method
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees (fan-forced). Melt butter and cool to room temperature. In a bowl beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed until light. Beating constantly, gradually add sugar; continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in the bowl when beaters are lifted (eg. 5 minutes). Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding after each addition. Add lemon rind and orange rind and pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Spoon batter into prepared tray; batter will mound slightly above the tops. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes or until golden. These cook quickly so keep a close eye on them. Use a knife to loosen from the tray, but let cool for around 10 minutes beforehand. 

Ingredients for Icing
30g butter, softened
1 tbsp orange juice
1 cup icing mixture

Method
Beat butter and juice together until smooth.  Gradually add icing sugar; continue to beat until smooth and spreadable.

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