Guest Recipe: Strawberries and Cream Mousse Pie

How often have you felt harried or harrassed?  My guest this week is a full-time busybee: a part-time work-from-home, full-time wife, mother, obsessive foodie and, although “tends to be a worry-wart”, she still manages to have an adorable sense of humour while producing that harried magic in her kitchen.  I’m sure many of us can easily relate to Marsha; that’s what draws us to Marsha’s addictive blog, The Harried Cook. Would you believe The Harried Cook has only been going since March?  It’s with great pride to introduce Marsha Thompson as my guest on Mad About Macarons, as part of the egg yolk recipe series.

When Marsha emailed me with her recipe and photos, she certainly dropped a bombshell.  You’ll see what I mean.  Just look at that pie and read on.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and macaronivores: let me hand you over to Marsha.

Marsha, The Harried Cook

When Jill asked me if I would do a guest post for her, I literally jumped out of my chair. Not only was it my first ever guest post invitation, it was from THE Jill Colonna! How cool, right?

I took my own sweet time getting my post out to her. This was because every time I made something, I felt it wasn’t good enough for Jill’s blog! She’s got such a beautiful space here! Jill is also the funniest blogger I know! If you’ve interacted with her, you will know what I mean. She really cracks me up! Pun intended.

Speaking of which – the whole idea of cooking with egg yolks really egg-cites me! (You dared me to say that, remember Jill?) I have a lot of egg yolks left over quite regularly. Not because I have been brave enough to make macarons like Jill and so many of you wonderful bakers out there. I wish! Nothing that glamorous! It’s just that my husband loves his egg white omelettes -hence the spare yolks.

Now, on to the recipe. Pâte à bombe is a base made using sugar and egg yolks. I first read about it in a borrowed copy of Gordon Ramsey’s Passion for Flavor, and I noted it down in a little notebook. I made a few modifications from the original recipe, and I find it works for me. Using pâte à bombe gives the mousse fabulous texture!

This makes about 2 cups of pâte à bombe. You need only about half for this recipe, but I like to make double & save the rest for later. You can refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze it up to 2 months! This base can be used to make excellent chocolate mousse, French buttercream and parfaits too! It is a great thing to have in your freezer!

First I would like to share with you how I made the pâte à bombe, and then how I used it to make this mousse pie. I do hope you will bear with me, because the recipe is quite long!

Pâte à bombe

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp liquid glucose/corn syrup
1/3 cup water
4 egg yolks

Mix the sugar, glucose and water in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook them together until the syrup reaches 250 degrees (soft ball stage).

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a large bowl until creamy and fluffy. When the syrup has reached 250 degrees, start pouring the sugar into the egg yolks, all the while beating at low speed.  Make sure you pour on the side of the bowl and let it run into the yolks, to make sure you don’t end up with sugar strands.

After all the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer back on high, and continue beating until the mixture has cooled down, and is thick, light and creamy. Stop beating and lick the beaters. Yes, it is that delicious!

Set aside and try not to eat all the pâte à bombe with a spoon. Refrigerate in a dry jar if not using immediately.

Strawberries & Cream Mousse Pie

This pie is not difficult to make, but has a few stages and a LOT of waiting in between. In fact, if you use a store bought crust & have the pâte à bombe in your fridge or freezer, this could be called a no-bake, no-cook pie!

Biscuit crust

2 cups of digestive biscuit crumbs, crushed fine in a food processor
¾ tsp cinnamon powder
8 tbsp melted butter

Mix all these ingredients together well, and press into a 9-inch pie dish, covering the base and the sides.

Bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

Strawberry Mousse

170g (6 oz) hulled strawberries
4 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
1 ½ cup heavy cream
115g (4 oz) pâte à bombe
(approximately a generous ½ cup)

Puree the strawberries, and strain if desired. I didn’t. Mix in the pâte à bombe.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and allow it to soften. Melt it by heating it very briefly, and add it to the strawberry puree. Don’t let the gelatin get too hot, it will affect its setting ability.

Whip the cream till the soft peak stage, and fold the whipped cream into the strawberry puree.

Pour into the pie crust and allow it to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

I made a smaller portion of the white chocolate mousse, because I wanted the strawberry mousse to be the star of the show. Also, white chocolate is pretty sweet and I hate overly sweet desserts! The strawberry mousse, being sweetened only by the pâte à bombe, is only mildly sweet. The sweetness from white chocolate mousse balances that out really well!

White Chocolate “Whipped Cream” Mousse

85g (3 oz) white chocolate
2 tsp gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz pâte à bombe (approximately a generous 1/4 cup)

Prepare the gelatin like you did for the strawberry mousse.

Melt the white chocolate in over a double boiler. Stir in the pâte à bombe while the chocolate is still very hot.

Stir in the gelatin & set aside to cool.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. First, fold a third of the cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate till semi-set, about 2-3 hours. Then, whip it lightly and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe the ‘whipped cream’ over your strawberry mouse in whatever pattern you like. Allow to chill for a few hours before slicing. Garnish with fresh strawberries & serve chilled.

This pie is light & creamy, not too sweet and an absolutely perfect dessert for warm weather!

I hope all of you enjoyed this recipe from my tiny little kitchen. I am so sorry I was not able to get a better picture of a slice of the pie. Between taking pictures of the pie and walking to the kitchen to get a knife to slice it, there was a small accident involving me, the pie, a whining toddler and a nosy dog. 🙁 The crust and the strawberry mousse layer took most of the damage, but we salvaged most of it, and it tasted delightful!

It was light and tasty to eat on a hot summer’s day.

Thank you once again, Jill for asking me to write this post, and thanks to all you wonderful people for taking the time to read this!

Didn’t I tell you that she dropped a bombe-shell with this one?  See, she’s got me started, too. Poor thing, dropping it after all that work – at least we can still get to have a slice with that last photo. Thank you so much for sharing this glamorous crème de la crème of mousses with us, Marsha – and also for the lovely comments.

I don’t know about you, but after making that gorgeous pâte à bombe, I’m not sure there would be any left in our house to even make the strawberries and cream mousse pie! It’s great that you can make it in advance and use it for the pie later, or for more mousses, buttercreams etc.-  plus it uses up the egg yolks.

Don’t forget to check out Marsha’s blog, The Harried Cook.  This week she has been making the most delicious homemade boursin cheese, a fruity tropical smoothie, and check out her latest Lime & Pepper Cookies.  Yes, that’s right: lime and pepper.  Amazing!  I also hear she’s doing a giveaway of Mad About Macarons… so head on over and say hello from me.

Guest Recipe: Crème Caramel (Purin)

This has been a LONG week. I’m such a party-pooper since cancelled my trip to Provence this weekend en famille for my mother-in-law’s (belle maman) 70th Birthday Party. Just the thought of the TGV train and car trips back and forward is trop – too much.  The back/sacrum has played up so much that, if I sit longer than 30 minutes a stretch, I turn into a chair – just like that!

Just like that – my good friend, Nami (Namiko), author of her blog, Just One Cookbook, came to the rescue with the most perfect and best crème caramel recipe I’ve ever seen. I should say Purin recipe, as Nami is Japanese and lives with her husband (who is her blog assistant – what a team!) and gorgeous children in San Francisco.

For those of you who know Nami, I’m sure you will agree:  she not only has an amazing blog with perfect Japanese recipes and stunning presentations, but she is also one of the most genuine and sincere people I know. When you receive a comment from Nami, you can’t help feeling the need to leap out the screen and hug her for offering such encouragement.

I’m sure many of you know what I mean.  Blogging is fun but it’s also time-consuming: often when you post something into the great empty void of the w-w-web, there is nothing that can beat an adorable comment to prove that someone has not only read it, but actually liked it!  It’s what keeps the essential motivation going.

The other motivation is seeing a recipe like this to lure us into the kitchen. So let me hand you over to Nami with her gorgeous Purin recipe.  It uses up 4 lovely egg yolks…

Nami, Just One Cookbook

Hello everyone!  I’m Nami from Just One Cookbook.  I was so thrilled and delighted when Jill asked me to be her guest blogger.  I am a big fan of Jill’s beautiful macarons and love visiting her website to see what new macaron recipe she’s come up with.  Personally I don’t bake or make desserts too often but I definitely have a sweet tooth and I am also a recovering chocoholic.

As part of the “using up your egg yolk” series, I want to share a recipe for Crème Caramel and as you might have guessed it does not require an oven.  In Japan we call it Purin (it came from Pudding) and it’s definitely one of the most popular desserts.  We can buy very good-quality Crème Caramel from neighborhood convenient stores or fancy pastry shops.  My husband really loves Purin and today I’m sharing the recipe my husband said it’s the best ever.

Thank you Jill for having me over.  Cheers!

Crème Caramel (Purin)

Difficulty: Easy

Cooking Time: <45 minutes (excluding chill time)

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

10 g gelatin

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup)* water

Caramel Sauce

140 g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) water

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) boiling water

4 egg yolks

80 g (1/3 cup) sugar

400 ml (3/4 cup) milk

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. vanilla

* I also added measurement in US measuring cup in parentheses, but I highly recommend using a food scale to follow this recipe precisely.

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Caramelize the mixture on medium heat.  Shake the pan once in a while but you don’t need to stir with spoon.  Patiently wait until it turns into a nice caramelized color.

3. When you see nice (dark) golden caramelized color, immediately pour ½ cup of boiling water because it will quickly get darker and darker (resulting in bitter taste).  Make sure to wear a kitchen mitten so you won’t get burnt from the hot liquid splashing.  Remove from heat.

4. Quickly soak the ramekins under warm water so sugar doesn’t solidify right away.  Pour the caramel sauce in the ramekins.

5. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until it becomes creamy and smooth (That’s my husband mixing it up.  I asked my husband to be my assistant while I took pictures).

6. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring half of milk (200 ml) to a boil.  Remove from heat right before it starts to boil.

7. Slowly stir in a few drops of the hot milk at a time into the egg mixture and mix together.  Do not pour milk at once as the hot milk could cook the egg mixture and make it lumpy.  Whisk all together.

8. Pour the mixture back into the small saucepan.  Heat the mixture on low heat and whisk until it’s completely blended.

9. Once it gets warm again, add the gelatin and mix.  Make sure it melts completely. When the gelatin is completely mixed in, remove from the heat.

10. Pour the mixture over the sieve into the clean bowl.

11. Prepare iced water in a larger bowl and place the mixture bowl inside.

12. Add the rest of the milk (200 ml), heavy whipping cream, and vanilla.  Mix all together well.

13. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, and chill in the fridge for more than 1 hour.

14. After chilled, insert knife around the Crème Caramel and flip the ramekin on to the serving plate.  If it doesn’t come down, hold the ramekin like this (below) and shake once vigorously.  You should hear the Crème Caramel drop on the plate.

Enjoy!

My husband and my kids like lighter caramel sauce but I personally like dark and bitter caramel sauce like this…

 

Nami’s Crème Caramel (Purin)

When you caramelize, make sure not to make it really dark, because it will be too bitter.

Don’t you just love it? You can imagine what her savoury dishes are like if she doesn’t make desserts that often, my goodness. Nami is also a self confessed “recovering chocoholic”? Well, after Nami’s beautiful dessert I think I’ll have to admit that I’m not just a macaronivore but also a crème-carameloholic.  Thank you so much for sharing it with us and these beautiful photos.  Don’t forget to pop over to Nami’s blog, Just One Cookbook, and say cheers from me!  This week she has been making the most outstanding Japanese fish recipes.

Guest Recipe: Mango Egg Tarts

Do you ever get all soppy sentimental over certain foods?  It may sound silly, but mine is simply with egg tarts.  When I initially came to live in Paris, it was sometimes overwhelming trying to cope with the language.  Everyone spoke so fast!  As a lost Scottish chatterbox, I often felt dumbstruck following tongue-twisting euuh-ahh-oooh French lessons at Alliance Française. Antoine, who had the sweet tooth, would buy egg tarts frequently to cheer me up.  They remain a sweet comfort whenever I’m feeling a bit numb dumb.  Yes, even 20 years on, it still happens when my children now correct my French!

Just recently, I discovered a wonderful blog, Roti n Rice. Its author, Biren, was preparing fascinating recipes that were a mix of Asian dishes but somehow seemed familiar with Western influences.  Biren was brought up in Malaysia and so was used to her family serving a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines.  As she grew up, Western, Japanese, and other East Asian cuisines were thrown into the mix.  Now Biren lives in Minnesota. What more can I say?  Biren mixes the two cooking cultures of Roti (meaning bread in Malay, Hindi, and other South Asian languages) with rice and noodles.

I was delighted when Biren accepted to do a guest post for us today, to add to the egg yolk recipe series.  What kind of twist would she do to an egg tart?  Well hang on, folks; wait until you see how my humble studenty egg tart has been given the new dinner party treatment.  Let me hand you over to Biren.

mango egg tart egg yolk recipe

Biren, Roti n Rice

Greetings to all you Macaronivores! I am Biren of Roti n Rice and I am much honored to be here today, contributing to Le Blog’s new series on egg yolk recipes. First of all, I would like to thank my gracious host, Jill for the invitation and to congratulate her on “Mad About Macarons”.  I have heard many good things about the book.

This new series on egg yolks is such a brilliant idea. It fills a niche in using up egg yolks, saving the whites for macarons. I have enjoyed the recipes from the other guest posts and look forward to more in the coming days.

Now, it is my turn to share a recipe with you that is reminiscent of the egg tart, a dim sum favorite. Instead of a pastry crust, I made an easy pressed graham cracker crust* filled with a mango custard. The custard is light and slightly tangy, contrasting beautifully with the crust. These tarts can be made ahead if you are having guests. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge until ready to be served. Enjoy!

(* Graham crackers may not be found outside of the US. Please substitute with Marie biscuits or Digestive biscuits. Ginger snaps would also work.)

mango egg tarts for teatime

 

Mango Egg Tarts

(makes 6 tarts)

Graham Cracker Crust

1¼ cups (140g) finely crushed Graham crackers (Marie biscuits, Digestive biscuits, or ginger snaps)
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp (70g) unsalted butter, melted

Mango Custard

1 cup (240ml) mango puree
¾  cup (170ml) coconut milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp (30gm) butter
2 tbsp rice flour

Line a standard size muffin pan with 8 foil liners.

Graham Cracker Crust

Stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until well combined. Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of lined muffin pan. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 8 minutes. In the mean time, work on the custard. When crust is ready, remove and cool on a rack. Leave oven on.

Mango Custard
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly. Set aside.  Heat butter in a pan and cook flour. Pour in mango puree, coconut milk, and  sugar stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in egg yolks until well combined. Pour warm filling into baked tart shells. Bake in a 350?F (180°C) oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. When it is cool enough to handle, transfer baked tarts to a flat pan. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Mango egg tartlets yolk recipe
Many thanks, Biren, for sharing such a delicious yolky recipe with us.  Don’t forget to drop by Biren’s blog, “Roti n Rice” and say hello for me.  She has plenty more gorgeous sweet and savoury recipes to share.

Guest Recipe: Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

Nice driveway“, Kate had on her personal blog profile.  I was instantly intrigued.  What on earth? Then it all clicked.  Kate – or Katerina – hails from Macedonia and nice driveway is phonetic for Na Zdravje, which means “to your good health” in Macedonian.

It sums up Kate brilliantly.  She is herself a perfect picture of health and her mouth-watering recipes echo that via her blog, Diethood.com.  When I first got to know Kate, I realised just what a sincere person she is: I felt I’d known her for ages!  She had been looking at my book and asked me to do a guest post on her site, since she wanted to tell her friends about it.  I was – and still am – extremely flattered. We have a number of things in common: one of them is our love for a good trifle. Except the trifle I grew up with in Scotland is very different to the royal one she is sharing with us today. It’s not just creamy, it’s crrrrunchy!  So my friends, let me hand you over to the lovely Kate now…

Kate, at Diethood.com

A few months ago I asked my now dear friend, Jill, if she would do a guest post for me. When she accepted the invite, I was incredibly excited! I think I even did a cheer. Then, just a couple of months later, she invited me to guest post for her – How lucky am I? I was on cloud nine when I received that email. I thought, “Are you kidding me?! Of course I accept!”

Jill had only one requirement; egg yolks. I can do that!!  Or can I?!?

I went through lots of recipes, including my mom’s, but I kept coming back to the one that I always go to when I have a few egg yolks left – my egg yolk buttercream frosting! I got this recipe many years ago from my Aunt Sneshka when I was visiting my home back in Macedonia. She used this frosting as a filling for some cookies that were seriously the best cookies I had ever tasted. At that time she informed that this was a very popular frosting that was used in Macedonia during and after Easter because of the abundance of eggs.

If I only had the recipe for those cookies…sigh. But we’re in luck because at least I have the recipe for the frosting!  I use this frosting for cupcakes, cakes, cookies – whatever needs to be frosted or filled, this is the recipe I will use 99% of the time when I have some yolks that need to be used up.

Today I will share a dessert with you that I usually make when I need something creamy, something crunchy, and something delicious!  This is a three part recipe, and it may seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s not! Please trust me.

chocolate crunchy trifle egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Crunchy Trifle with Egg Yolk Buttercream Frosting

You will need:

For the Cake:
2 ½ cups graham crackers (or digestive biscuits), ground
1 cup walnuts, finely ground
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 orange, juiced
1 stick of butter
4 squares of Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, melted with 1 tablespoon Vegetable Spread

For the Egg Yolk Buttercream:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 egg yolks, poached
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Pudding Topping:
1 (5.1 ounces) package Jell-O Instant Pudding, Vanilla Flavored
1 (8 ounces) tub Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)

Directions:

First we are going to make the graham cracker/digestive crust.

In a large bowl put in all the ingredients for the cake and let your hands do the work. Or the wooden spoon. Mix well and combine. Set aside.

Poach the egg yolks by dropping the yolks, one by one, into almost boiling water; allow the yolk to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the yolk sit for another 4 minutes. Do this with the rest of the yolks. Set aside.

Into the bowl of your mixer cream together the butter and the powdered sugar; cream for 5 minutes. Add in the poached yolks, one by one, and the vanilla extract, and cream together for another 10 minutes.

Take out some aluminum foil and spread the graham crackers mixture on it. With your fingers press the graham crackers tightly together, just as you would do for a pie or a cheesecake.

Spread the frosting on top of the graham cracker crust.


At this point you can do one of two things; you can roll the cake like a log and put it in the freezer, or you can lay it flat and put it in the freezer. I usually roll it into a log because there is no room in my freezer to put it in flat. If you roll it into a log you also have the choice of cutting the cake into cookies! I do that, too, sometimes.

You can leave it in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day.  When ready to use, take out the cake and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, you can make the pudding.

In the bowl of your mixer prepare the vanilla pudding per the instructions on the package.

Add in the whipped topping and beat until well combined. Set aside.

Begin by crumbling the cake into a trifle bowl. Just break it off – don’t need to be fancy. It will be covered up with the pudding. 😉

Spread the pudding mixture over the top.

Put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Before serving, add chocolate shavings on top and serve with berries (optional).

Kate trifle 3

 

Before I go, I just want to thank my beautiful friend Jill for inviting me to do a guest post for her; I am truly honored! Thank you, my dear! xoxo

That looks one incredible trifle, Kate!  With 4 egg yolks in this, there are lovely egg whites left over for our macarons.  Thank you so much for sharing this.  Fabulous trifle and nice driveway! 🙂

Don’t forget to click over to Kate’s blog, Diethood, for many more delicious recipes and say cheers from me, will you?  I see she’s just made a batch of the most scrumptious strawberry cheesecake ice-cream…

Guest Recipe: Chocolate Pots de Crème

It has been a while since we’ve seen chocolate on the site.  Passing by a few chocolate shops this week, it has been uplifting to see beautiful pots of lily-of-the-valley arrangements, traditionally associated with 1st May to bring good luck. When my friend, Liz Berg told me that she had a recipe for chocolate pots to share for today’s guest post, I was so excited. It was just perfect!

Lily-of-the-valley pots in chocolate shops, Paris

A self-confessed chocoholic, one look at Liz’s blog, “That Skinny Chick Can Bake” and it’s confirmed.  She has – to date – 85 recipes for chocolate and more recipes including chocolate chips.  That can’t be bad for a skinny chick, n’est-ce pas?

Liz is not just a blogger but a friend to us as well.  Injected with humour, through her blog she shares her enthusiasm for cooking and baking in the family (even the dog isn’t left out!)  Liz is also so generous with her recipe tips and suggestions, and tempts us with her drool-worthy photos.

I am so proud that she has come today to share her pots of chocolately deliciousness for the egg yolk recipe series.  On top of that, they contain not just one or two but SIX egg yolks!  Topped with raspberries and white chocolate whipping cream.  No more from me – it’s over to Liz.

Liz of “That Skinny Chick Can Bake

I was delighted to receive an invitation from Jill to write a guest blog.  Jill is such a delightful blogger and friend…her warmth and good humor shine with every word she posts.  She’s seen me crank out dessert after dessert, so it was fun to be challenged to dig up a recipe which utilizes a lot of egg yolks.

Chocolate pots de crème are often found on our Christmas menu…and today’s version was for Easter.  I live in a household of chocoholics, so every holiday must have a chocolate dessert. You can serve these plain or, for special occasions, top them with a luscious white chocolate whipped cream.  If you use smaller dishes as I did, check for doneness early and often by doing a jiggle test…the outer edges should be set, though the middle may still wiggle when you gently tap the ramekin.

These make a stunning dessert…and use up 6 egg yolks.  I think I may have to whip up some macarons this week! Hope you all enjoy…thanks for this opportunity, Jill.

chocolate pots egg yolk recipe

Chocolate Pots de Crème

…loosely adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 300º. Place six 6-ounce ramekins in large baking dish.
2.  Add cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir till chocolate is melted.
3.  Whisk eggs and sugar in a large bowl, till thick and pale.  Drizzle a bit of the hot chocolate mixture into eggs to temper, whisking constantly.  Continue slowly adding hot liquid while whisking till all liquid is incorporated.  Avoid incorporating air into mixture if possible. If you find you have some small, unmelted particles of chocolate at the bottom of the saucepan, gently heat till melted and add to bowl.
4.  Place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup.  Strain custard.  Pour custard into the ramekins, then pour enough hot water into pan to reach halfway up ramekins.  Cover pan with foil and poke a few holes in foil to allow steam to escape.  Bake 25-30 minutes or till outer inch of custard is set.  Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate till serving time.
Serve with a dollop of white chocolate whipped cream and garnish with berries.

custard set in the ramekins

Now for the white chocolate cream…

White Chocolate Whipped Cream

…adapted from Bon Appetit

2 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup whipping cream

Combine chocolate and the 2 tablespoons whipped cream in small microwave safe bowl.  Gently microwave stopping and stirring frequently, till chocolate is melted and smooth.  Cool 10 minutes.  Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks.  Whisk in white chocolate.  Cover and refrigerate.
Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Et voilà: Chocolate Pots de Creme

Many thanks to you, Liz, for sharing such a scrumptious yolky chocolatey dessert with us.  Now you’ve given us plenty of egg whites to put aside for macarons!

Don’t forget to pop by “That Skinny Chick Can Bake!” for many more tempting and delicious recipes from Liz and say hello from me!

Passion Fruit Caramel Choux Buns & a Choux-Choux Train

I used to think that Choux pastry was complicated.  Until one day I opened up “The Black Book“. This was the recipe notebook my Scottish Granny kept, filled with simple, classic recipes from the neighbours, scribbles from the Jimmy Young Radio Show cooking program and bulging with cuttings from magazines and newspapers.

Today it’s encrusted with spatters with the proof that the recipes in her Black Book were tried and tested. I’m honoured that I was passed on her book to keep her recipes alive within the family. It’s amazing how my Granny had such a sweet tooth.  There is only ONE recipe that is savoury out of the whole repertoire. I’m particularly intrigued by newspaper cuttings of the latest trendy 1960’s hairstyles.  Why this is in a recipe cutting book beats me. Is there a recipe on the other side of this hair tinting advert? No.

Twice as fascinating? Control yourself.

Granny’s kitchen was the centre of the house and so her recipe book acts more like an agenda, telling a wee story. The only problem is it’s all scattered about and difficult to make out. I wonder if she tried this hair recipe to impress Grandpa, then? 😉

Granny had several entries for the classic Choux pastry in different forms, as they are the basis for many pastries such as éclairs, profiteroles, réligieuses, chouquettes, waffles and these choux buns.  The recipe (like many wartime recipes) used margarine instead of butter and just 250g water. Here, I’ve replaced some of it with milk and added a touch of orange blossom water.

CHOUX BUNS

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

150g water
90g milk
2 tbsp orange blossom water
4g salt
1 tbsp sugar
90g unsalted butter
150g flour
4 eggs
4 sugar lumps, crushed (optional for chouquettes)

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Boil the water, milk, orange blossom water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.

2.  Once boiling, remove from the heat and quickly add the flour. Whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.

3.  Transfer to a mixing bowl (or electric mixer) and gradually add the eggs until you have a lovely smooth, sticky paste.  At this point, you can seal the pastry in a bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

4.  Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking.

5.  Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water.  If you’re making chouquettes, then sprinkle on crushed sugar lumps.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

TipDon’t open the oven door.  Wait until they are cooked enough, light to dark brown – otherwise they could collapse if not fully baked.

Passion Fruit Cream

(based on Manu’s filling recipe for Genovesi Ericine, Manu’s Menu):

2 egg yolks
150 g sugar
60 g cornflour
250 ml milk
juice of 3 passion fruits

1.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan.  In a bowl, dissolve the cornflour in a quarter of the milk and then add the remaining milk.  Stir well, add the milk to the beaten egg yolks little by little and incorporate it while whisking continuously.

2.  Gently heat the cream, whisking continuously for about 12 minutes or until it thickens.  It needs to become as thick as a pudding.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes, covering with cling film so that no skin forms on the surface.

3.  Seive the seeds out of the passion fruits and whisk into the cooled mix.

4.  Transfer to a piping bag and, gently piercing a hole in the side of each choux bun, fill each bun with the passion fruit mixture.

Now make a salted caramel sauce (caramel au beurre salé), but instead of adding a touch of water to the sugar at the start of cooking, mix together the juice of 2 passion fruits to form a syrup with the sugar and proceed as in the caramel recipe. Dribble over the choux buns and prepare to float off to passion fruit heaven.

For some fun, why not decorate your choux buns for a different kind of birthday cake?  In this recipe, I made 12 choux buns for an adult stack above plus 12 buns below for my daughter’s fun ‘cake’:

Choux-choux!

See related post in Le Blog
on
Choux Celebrations