June Daring Bakers Challenge: Charlotte Royale

It seems that recently this has become daring bakers oriented. This is merely because I’m not finding the time to blog, I’m still baking incessantly. Anyway, this month, I bring to you the june daring bakers challenge:

For the June daring bakers challenge Rebecca from BakeNQuilt.comchallenged us to make Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe from scratch. Savory or sweet Charlottes were definitely tasty showstopper.

I chose to do a charlotte royale. A sweet one. Obviously. A caramel and passionfruit swiss roll paired with a caramel bavarian cream. But really, I want to do it all again with more flavours! The possibilities are endless and have definitely got my neurone firing (nerd speak for brainstorming).

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Charlotte Royale

Biscuite Roulade

Ingredients

33g sifted cake flour

23g unsifted cornstarch

4 large eggs (room temperature)

room temperature

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (113g) sugar, divided

¾ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8.  Grease the jellyroll/sheet pan and line it with parchment and then grease it again and flour it. You may use baking spray with flour included if desired.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour and cornstarch.

Separate 2 of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another.

To the yolks, add the 2 remaining eggs, and ½ cup of the sugar.

Beat the yolk mixture with the paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick, fluffy and tripled in volume.  Beat in the vanilla.

Sift ½ the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold it in gently but rapidly with a large balloon whisk (see notes), slotted skimmer spoon or rubber spatula until the flour has disappeared.  Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until foamy, add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.  Beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.  Fold the whites into the batter and pour into the prepared pan, using an angled/offset metal spatula to level it.

Bake for 7 minutes or until golden brown, a cake tester comes out clean, and the cake is springy to the touch.

While the cake is still hot, you will need to set aside a piece for the base and roll the remainder in a towel as described below.

Cut off a piece from one of the ends just wide enough to cut the top from later as shown in the photo below.   Set this piece aside to cool.  After this piece has cooled, cut it with shears or a sharp knife into the circle for the Charlotte base.

While the cake is still hot, roll the remaining piece of cake up tightly in the dishtowel.  Roll from the longest side with the darkest side of the cake on the inside.  Cool the rolled cake/towel on a rack.

When ready to fill, gently unroll the cake and leave it on top of the towel.  Spread up to ½ cup of curd in a thin layer on top of the cooled cake and drizzle with caramel sauce, leaving it on the towel.

Roll up the cake as tightly as you can about 1/3 of the way and then use the towel to pull the roll towards you and press on the other side of the roll with a bench scraper or your hands to help make the roll tight as you continue to use the towel to help roll the cake all the way up.  The completed roll should be about 2” (5 cm) in diameter.  It is important to get this roll as tight as possible as you do not want gaps in the spirals.

Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze until firm enough to slice, at least a couple of hours.

Bavarian Cream:IMG_2681

Ingredients

65g sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon  unflavored gelatin powder

3 large egg yolks

400 ml milk

1 vanilla bean, split (you may also use extract/paste, but add it when the cream is cool

240 ml heavy cream

1½ tablespoon (22 ml) butterscotch baileys

Caramel Sauce (to taste)

Directions:

Refrigerate the mixing bowl for whipping the cream.

Have ready a fine strainer nearby, suspended over a small bowl.

whisk together the sugar, salt, gelatin and yolks until well blended, using a wooden spoon or mixer.

In another small saucepan heat the milk and vanilla bean to just below a simmer (170°F/77°C – 180°F/82°C).  There will be steam rising off the milk and there may be some small bubbles but it will not be at an active simmer yet.  Stir a few tablespoons of hot milk into the yolk mixture to temper it.  Gradually add the remaining hot milk and vanilla bean, stirring constantly.

Heat the egg and milk mixture, stirring constantly, to just below a simmer again (170°F/77°C – 180°F/82°C).  Steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream.  It will leave a well-defined track when a finger is run across the back of a spoon.   If the mixture gets too hot (above 180°F/82°C), the cream can curdle.  If this happens, immediately pour it into a blender and (with the vent open or a towel over the top) blend it to try to bring it back together smoothly.

Immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture through the strainer (unless making the orange or lemon variations), scraping up the thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan.  Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce.  Stir until the seeds separate.

If time allows, chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours (checking frequently and stirring occasionally) until whisk marks barely begin to appear when stirred.   For faster results, cool the sauce over an ice-water bath, stirring with a whisk, until whisk marks barely begin to appear.  The mixture will start to set around the edges but will still be very liquid.

In the chilled bowl, whip the cream until it mounds softly when dropped from a spoon.

Whisk the Baileys and caramel into the pastry cream and then fold in the whipped cream just until incorporated.  The mixture will be soupy, like melted ice cream.

Directions for assembly:

Lightly oil a 6-cup (1½ litre) round bowl or mold (the smaller the diameter at the top the better) and line it as smoothly as possible with plastic wrap, leaving a small overhang.  Measure the diameter of the bowl and make note of it.  You will need a round cake base of this size for the bottom of the Charlotte.   Note:  If the diameter of the top of your 6 cup bowl is very wide, you may want to make an additional 1/2 recipe of the cake in a smaller pan to make sure there is enough for the roll as well as the base.  Alternately, you can use a smaller bowl.

When the roll is firm, cut it into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices with a small, serrated knife.  You want to get as many spirals as possible, so be careful to evenly cut the slices as close to ¼ inch (5 mm) as you can.  Work quickly so the cake roll doesn’t thaw and soften too much.

To line the bowl, place 1 slice in the center and place other slices around it as tightly as possible to try to avoid gaps.

Cover the lined bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.

Make the Bavarian cream and spoon it into the lined bowl until it comes up to the top of the bowl or just to the place the top spirals last touch each other.  Trim the top spirals even above the cream if necessary.

Place the cake round on top of the cream and touching the edge of the spirals.   Press down gently on the edges of the cake circle so it makes contact with the edge of the spirals.

Cover tightly and refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours.

To unmold, invert onto a plate and lift away the bowl, tugging gently on the plastic wrap to release it.

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April Daring Baker’s Challenge: Foccacia

IMG_1894“For the month of April Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch”

So foccacia…. damn, more yeast. Not my favourite stuff in the world as I’m always scared it’s not going to workout alright; cakes are so much more reliable. However, they say practice makes perfect and what better way to practice than with a foccacia dough. It’s simple, versatile and makes a lovely addition to a lunch table, like mine did. In the future I’d like to try wholemeal or a sourdough version, but let’s learn to walk before trying to run. I topped mine with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan, but the possibilities are endless. Even a dessert foccacia is possible!

Ingredients

385g all-purpose (plain) flour

1/2 teaspoon  salt

1 teaspoon  white sugar

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon garlic paste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 pinch ground black pepper

1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil

1¼ cups (300 ml) milk

15g grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Toppings: sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parmesan, garlic

Directions

In a bowl mix the milk, yeast and sugar and wait until it becomes foamy and bubbly (This indicates that your yeast is active, if the yeast doesn’t bubble and foam it has gone bad and you can’t use it)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, , garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Mix in the vegetable oil, then add the milk-yeast mixture.

Stir with a wooden spoon till the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (around 10 minutes)

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil.

Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (If you are tight on time you could heat your oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 then turn it off and place the bowl with the dough in it)

Center your oven rack, preheat oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8.

Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a ½ -inch (15 mm) thick rectangle or any shape you desire.

To give the dough the dimples effect, use your fingertips , pushing gently all over the surface of the dough

Place your selected topping

Brush top generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, rosemary and salt.

Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes

Bake in preheated hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8 oven for 15 minutes, or until the sidesbegin to brown then place under the broiler (grill) till the top becomes golden brown.

Serve warmIMG_1896

Sachertorte: October Daring Bakers’ Challenge

 for-db The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.for-db2

Busy busy! Still baking a lot but I don’t have an awful lot of time to photograph and post. After this week I should have more time. But I made the effort with the daring baker’s challenge this month because it was a cake!!! After all the yeast challenges (and in my wintery kitchen with my rainy Perth weather they really were challenges), I was excited to finally have a cake challenge. Though not entirely a hit, it was fun to learn about and fun to make.

IMG_1603Cake Ingredients

125 g good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
125 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
125 g confectioners’ sugar (aka icing sugar or powdered sugar)
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
100 gm granulated sugar
125 g all-purpose (plain) flour
pinch fine grain salt

1. Preheat oven to 190˚C with a rack in the centre of the oven. Butter and flower the sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

2. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and heat over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure that the bowl is not touching the simmering water) or in the microwave until just melted. Set aside to cool completely, stirring often.

3. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed until very light and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar on low speed, then increase to medium speed and beat again until light and creamy.

4. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

5. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat until well-mixed and very light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

6. In a scrupulously clean bowl using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with about one tablespoon of the granulated sugar on high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the rest of the granulated sugar and continue beating the whites until they form soft, shiny peaks – they should hold their shape but flop over on themselves.

7. Vigorously stir about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few wisps of egg white remain. Do this carefully so as not to deflate the egg whites.

8. Stir together the flour and salt and sift half of it over the chocolate mixture. Fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated. Sift over the remaining flour and fold to combine completely.

9. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared springform pan.

10. Bake in the preheated moderately hot 375˚F/350°F fan/190˚C/gas mark 5 oven for 35-45 minutes (mine took exactly 40 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cake will crack and dome in the middle as it bakes but will flatten out as it cools.

11. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan and remove the sides. Carefully invert the cake onto a rack and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment paper, then turn the cake right-side up onto a rack and allow to cool completely.

12. Assembly: Turn the cake upside-down so that the perfectly flat bottom of the cake is now the top. Cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers.

13. Place 1 cake layer on the 8½-inch (22 cm) cardboard cake round and spread it generously with about half of the apricot glaze. Allow it to soak in.

14. Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze. Work quickly before the glaze has a chance to set and use a metal offset spatula to smooth the top. Place the cake on a rack set over a plate or baking sheet lined with waxed paper and allow the apricot glaze to set.

15. Make the chocolate glaze (it must be used immediately, while still hot) and pour it over the top of the cake, first around the edge and then in the middle. Spread the excess glaze over any bare spots using a metal offset spatula. Before the glaze has a chance to set, move the cake to a serving platter.

Apricot Glaze

1¼ cup apricot jam or preserves
2 tablespoons rum (or other liquor) or water

Directions:

1. Boil the jam and rum/water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and drips slowly from the spoon, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Strain through a wire mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the solids. You should have about 1 cup of glaze. Use warm.

Chocolate Glaze

1 cup (240 ml) (7 oz) (200 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 ml) water
(4 oz) (115 gm) good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

1. Place the sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. Attach a candy thermometer and cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches12°C
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. It might thicken up quite a bit. If it does, return it to low heat and add a few drops of water if necessary to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency. The glaze should be smooth and shiny.IMG_1606

Daring Bakers September Challenge: Dvojctihodné / Moravské koláče (Two fillings / Moravian Kolaches)

The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

Wow things are hectic at the moment. So much is going on with assignments due all the time, but considering I haven’t done the last two challenges I told myself I must try this one. My heart sank when I saw dough and yeast again, due to my recent failures with sourdough. I’ve had a bit of a confidence knock when it comes to bread. But thankfully all went to planned this time around. At the same time as making these czech treats, I dared a simple sourdough loaf, which, though  far from perfect, was edible and enjoyable. After all this was a Daring Bakers challenge!IMG_1488

Anyway, these koláče were lovely. The perfect saturday morning breakfast, I filled them with apricot and strawberry jam as I didn’t have plum. I also substituted cream cheese for quark as I didn’t have any… except of course for the usual subatomic particles that make up everything. Sorry, physics nerd….

Anyway, enjoy my daring bake, and attempt your own!

IMG_1489Ingredients

for dough
500 g all-purpose flour
100 g sugar
250 ml milk, warm
75 g butter, melted
30 g fresh yeast or  15 g active day yeast
pinch of salt
2 small egg yolks

for quark filling
750 g quark or cream cheese
1 small egg yolkIMG_1490
confectioner’s (icing) sugar to taste

for jam filling
strawberry, apricot, plum (jam of your choice)

for streusel topping
50 g plain flour
50 g butter, chilled and diced
50 g sugar

for finish
1 egg

Directions:
In a bowl mix together yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) warm milk, mix well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
In a bowl of your electric mixer (or in a large bowl) mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter, milk and leavened yeast. Knead with dough hook (or with wooden spoon) on low speed for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour to double its volume.

Meanwhile prepare quark filling – just mix all ingredients – and jam filling – mix jam with rum or water to soften it. Set aside.

Prepare streusel topping. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add cold butter diced in small cubes and with your fingers, mix all ingredients until crumbly. You can also use my mum’s trick – in a saucepan melt the butter, add flour and sugar at once and mix with fork until crumbly. Set aside.

When the dough is risen turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it with rolling pin to a thickness of about 2 cm (¾ inch). Cut with 10cm (4 inch) cookie cutter or just with a glass (if you want small kolaches) or divide the dough into 10 equal pieces (if you want large kolaches). Splat each piece with your hands and fill with quark filling. Wrap it into a “purse” shape.

Preheat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3. Line 2 – 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Put each kolach onto a prepared baking sheet with seam down. Press each kolach in the middle as you can see on the picture below. Brush it with egg wash and fill holes with plum filling. Sprinkle it with streusel topping. Bake for about 20 minutes to golden brown.IMG_1491

Daring Baker’s May Challenge: Pão de Queijo

So I decided to take a stab at the daring baker’s challenges, partially to make sure I post at least once a month and mostly because it would force me out of my comfort zone and to learn new things. So far, I have learnt that even though I was meant to post this on May 27th, I seem to be largely incapable of adhering to deadlines. However, this delay was due to the impending deadline of my final folio for this semester, and the tragic and sudden passing of my Macbook. So I spent a fair bit of time depressed over the loss of my hard drive, until it was returned to me. So I have all my photos back and everything else, which is the silver lining to the fact that I am still computerless. Anyway, on with this challenge! It was interesting, fun and delicious. Also a wonderful gluten free recipe.

This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us on a trip to beautiful Brazil! Renata of “Testado, Provado & Aprovado!” taught us how to make Pao De Queijo, tasty cheese buns that make the perfect snack or treat, and that will make your taste buds samba!

IMG_9772TRADITIONAL PÃO DE QUEIJO
Servings:
Yields about 20 small balls

Ingredients:

250 gm (2 cups) tapioca starch
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk
20g butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
1 1/2 cups 125g Monterey Jack Cheese (or another cheese of your liking, or a mix of cheeses), coarsely grated*IMG_9769
1 large egg

*I used gouda, parmesan and cheddar

Directions:

  • Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.
  • Pour the boiled (hot) mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork. The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that’s what it is supposed to be
  • Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.
  • At this point, preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6
  • Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.
  • Add one egg at a time, mix with your hands until dough comes together. I suggest you lightly beat the egg with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into a soft but pliable dough. You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead a yeasted bread. It’s OK if it is slightly sticky.
  • Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier. The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don’t over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.

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