Archive for November, 2008

Bitter Chocolate Orange Peppermint Biscuits

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After the anniversary’s edition of KBB’s challenge, I  am still kind of having baking/cooking burnt out, and the fact that I’m going on vacation is not really helping either ;)

Again I was fooled by the recipe of this month challenge (host by Arfi and Ellen), by reading it I thought… yea it’s going to be  easy peazy simple recipe and ingredients, but…. NOOOOO…. making this biscuit need alot of work almost like making complicated cake.

The most difficult part is making the chocolate coat, you need to find the perfect thickness of the chocolate if it’s to runny yous biscuits will be dampy not crunchy and if it’s too thick it won’t cover your biscuit smoothly:) I add a little bit of orange essence to the dough to get some extra tangy taste.

 kbb-8-logo

 Source: Donna Hay for Canvas, NZ Herald.

Ingredients

185g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp peppermint flavouring
2 Tbs water
200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa)
1 cup cream
biscuits
Directions
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy, add the egg and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold through.

Gently knead the dough to bring together. Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to 2mm thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut out 36 x 7 x 5cm rectangles. Place on baking trays lined with baking paper and bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on trays.

Sandwich three biscuits biscuits together with peppermint icing. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Lightly grease a wire rack and place over a baking tray. Place the layered biscuits on a fork, dip each one into the chocolate mixture, place on the rack and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
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Caramel Cake with Chamomile infused Caramelized Butter Frosting

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Phew!!! Finally Dolores, Alex, Jenny with the help of Natalie brought back the sweet challenge, not just any sweet, it’s caramel sweet…yay!!!

I made mini cakes (loove minis) and adding chamomile extract in the butter frosting for some extra scent :)

PS: I hope I included every new rules (daringbakers now have a hightech-security) in my post, so I wouldn’t be kicked out off the blogroll :p

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CARAMEL CAKE WITH CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

Recipe from Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111

CARAMEL CAKE
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:

So the GF changes to the cake would be:

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I’m going to check)

I’ll let you when I get the cake finished, how it turns out and if the baking powder amount needs to be raised.

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.

CARAMEL SYRUP

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for “stopping” the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons chamomile extract

2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)

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Rose Madeleines with Glittered Honey Lemon Glazed

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Ok, I confess  I like everything ros-ey, pink-y, and glittery, yes…  I am a girly girl :)

For my favorite blog event the Sugar High Friday , host  this month by Susan, I used all my favorites above, with a little help from the Madeleine Queen, I present to you the sweetest small delights. 

Rose Madeleines with Glittered Honey Lemon Glazed

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

1 cup (140g) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (200g) sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 stick (4 oz/113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon rose water

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup (150g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Juice of a lemon, strained
  • 2 tabelspoons honey
  • Sparkling candy springkles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Lightly grease two 15 ½-by-9-inch (38x22cm) nonstick madeleine pans.

In a separate small bowl, combine the sifted flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and brown sugar. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined; the batter will be slightly stiff. Add the butter and rose water, mixing until just combined (do not overmix). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of the batter evenly into each madeleine cup and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until a hunchback has formed on the cookies and they are golden brown. Unmold them immediately onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

While the madeleines are cooling, make the glaze: in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, the lemon juice and  whisk until the mixture is smooth. Dip some glaze onto the ridged side of each madeleine, sprinkle the sparkling candy and let the glaze set for about 5 minutes before serving or storing. 

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Tea Time

Concept : something imagined or pictured in the mind ~

Mirriam Webster-Thesaurus

I take my pictures always seriously, but by grades, adjusting with situations and conditions ;) , when Dita decided that the theme for HFP#4 is concept, I had to take a moment to sink in.

Remembering in my old labour days I would have the privilege to have brain-storming meetings with my team for A “concept” and to get the best picture I would hire the best pro-photographer who has the fitting “style” for the “concept” , but now I had to cook and take my pictures on my stolen moments between my domestic chores time and time for demanding infant and a pre-schooler of mine ;)

Sometimes I feel it’s like a set back for my “creative” outcome but again sometimes we think about the concept to much we forget to have fun, yes… now I took pics for fun, serious but not to loose sleeps for a foodblog nor standing upside down for 72 dpi  quality pictures to put on the net, and as far as concerning the concept of my photography, with my limited timing and equipments (not to mention most of the time I took my pics with a baby hanging on my one leg), I tend to have the same BASIC concept for food photography, natural and a little bit dreamy.

With this Picture, I want to take you all to take time to relax and cool down, to really enjoy your 15 mins of “me” time with a good cup of tea, mini macarons and your favorite novel. Just laying back on a couch with simple indulgence on the side.

 

 

Also, I want to send  overdue thanks to my lovely blog friends Ventin, Ovenhaven and Dee  for giving me those great awards,  you all rock!!!

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