Category Archives: baking

Saint Honore Cake ( Saint-Honoré aux crèmes chiboust )

Saint Honore Cake

Saint Honore was first created by chef Chiboust,  who worked for a  pastry shop located   in  Saint-Honoré st., and also in honor of St. Honoré, the patron saint of bakers and pastry cooks.

saint honore

Ingredients :

For the Puff Pastry:
450g Store-bought frozen puff pastry

Thaw pastry in the refrigerator overnight. Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a 0.11 inch (3mm) thick sheet.

Prick pastry using a fork  to prevent dough from puffing up too much.  Cut pastry sheet into 3.5 inch (9cm) individual disk using a cookie cutter and refrigerate. to prevent the disks from shrinking, cover with parchment paper and top with a plate or a tray.

     

For the Choux Pastry (Pâte à Choux)
1/2 cup (125ml) water
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
8 Tbsp (125g) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5g) salt
2 tsp (10g) sugar
1 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
4 to 5 ea. (200g to 250g) large eggs

Method:
Bring water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to   stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture for a bout a minute until the mixture leaves a mark on the bottom of the pot.

Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or just leave until it cools down a bit before you start adding the eggs. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute to get the steam out and cool down a bit, then add one egg at a time and mix after each addition, check for consistency after adding the forth egg, if the dough drops easily from the paddle attachment when lifted then you won’t be needing to add the fifth egg. if not, beat the fifth egg and add gradually while mixing until you reach the right consistency.

   

 

Saint Honore Piping :
Pipe a thin 1/2 inch (1.2cm) thick ring of dough on the edge of the pastry.  this will strengthen the base of the cake and stabilize the filling. Pipe out 30 or more small puffs.

Bake in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven. Bake pâte à choux in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes; one sheet at the time. Do not open the oven door during baking or it will deflate. Then, turn oven off leaving the door ajar for 15 minutes. The small puffs might take less time to bake (about25 min.) and they  won’t need more time to dry out. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.

سانت أونوريه    

   

Chiboust Cream (the filling) :

2 cups (500ml) whole milk
1 Tbsp (15g) sugar
1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) vanilla extract
4 ea. (80g) egg yolks
2 Tbsp (30g) sugar
2 Tbsp (20g) AP flour
2 Tbsp (20g) corn starch

Italian Meringue :
4 ea. (120g) egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp (2g) cream of tartar or lemon juice
Sugar syrup :
150g sugar (granulated or cubes)
3 Tbsp (45g) water
A few drops of lemon juice or 2 Tbsp (30ml) of corn syrup.

Method :
Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a simmer. Meanwhile, beat yolks and sugar to blend. Add flour and corn starch. Turn off the heat. Pour in hot milk gradually into the yolk mixture whisking constantly. Return saucepan to the stove. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes whisking swiftly. Turn off .

spread the pastry cream on a tray lined with plastic wrap and cover with plastic wrap tightly so the air does not come in contact with the cream ans form a crust, set aside.

 

  

In a clean mixer bowl, combine  the egg whites   with the cream of tartar or lemon juice. Set mixer speed to medium-low and beat until slightly foamy. cook the sugar syrup on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Continue to cook until syrup reaches 240/250ºF (118/121ºC). Pour hot syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl. Increase speed to high and whip until the meringue is formed but not too firm(until its temperature is 50°c). In the mean time, transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and  mix in one-third of the Italian meringue; Then, with a rubber spatula fold in half of the remaining meringue then the other half. Transfer Chiboust onto a clean baking tray. Use it warm or at room temperature. Fill puffs and refrigerate.

Save remaining Chibloust for the St Honoré.

 Caramel :
1/4 cup (60ml) light corn syrup or glucose or add a few drops of lemon juice
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1.1 lb. (250g) sugar

Method :
In a small saucepan combine corn syrup, water and sugar. Cover and cook mixture on high heat for 5 minutes; this will self clean the sides of the saucepan. Avoid stirring mixture. Remove the lid, reduce heat to medium high and cook to light amber caramel; 335°F (165ºC). Immerse the bottom of the saucepan in cold water quickly to stop cooking.

 

Saint Honore Assembly :
Dip one-third of each filled puff in caramel and place it head side down on a silicone mat or greased parchment paper. If caramel hardens, reheat it. When the caramel  has set, begin to assemble the cake. Dip each bottom puff in caramel and place them side by side on the ring of dough;   Fill St honoré with a thick layer of Chiboust and top with a nice finish using the St Honoré pastry tip (optional).

Saint Honoré cakes are better served the same day.

                    

 

 

 

Buche de Noel Cake

Bûche de Noël with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The Bûche de Noël cake comes from  an old European tradition of burning a huge log at the winter solstice to end the year and bring good luck, and later  during the Christmas season to celebrate Christmas. Whether the cake is religious or a celebration of a season, it really doesn’t matter , In any case, everyone now can enjoy them.

 

INGREDIENTS :

For The Cake :
    • 4 eggs
    • 50g cake flour
    • 30g cocoa
    • 30ml oil
    • 100g sugar
For The Ganache :
    • 225g dark chocolate
    • 1 cup heavy cream (240ml)
      To make Ganache:

      Chop chocolate into very small pieces and put in a medium bowl. Heat heavy cream to just before boiling. Add to chopped chocolate and leave for a couple of minutes without disturbing. Stir well with a spatula until completely mixed. Let it sit at least 3-4 hours to set, preferably overnight.

                       

   

For The Swiss Meringe Buttercream :
  • 8 oz (227g) egg whites
  • 16 oz (454g) granulated sugar
  • 16 oz (454g) unsalted butter,  softened
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract

To make the buttercream :

  1. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water, stirring every now and then , until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 160° F (71° C).
  2. Remove from heat and cool to 60-65° F (16-18° C). This can be done in the freezer, refrigerator, an ice bath, or at room temperature.
  3. Transfer the egg whites-sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the paddle attachment  to cool it down.
  4. After it reaches the room temperature, reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the butter pieces two pieces at a time to the egg whites-sugar mixture, taking care that the pieces are completely incorporated into the mixture before adding more.
  5. After all the butter pieces are fully incorporated, add the vanilla extract and scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl , beat on low for five more  minutes until creamy and satiny.

Buche De Noel

To make cake:
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175C°). Line an 11″ (28cm) square baking pan with parchment paper.
      2. Divide eggs into whites and yolks. Sift cake flour and cocoa together.  Set all aside.
      3. Beat yolks and 1/3 of sugar until  light colored .
      4. In a different bowl, whip egg whites. When the egg whites  are foamy, start adding the rest of the sugar in 3 parts. Whip until almost  stiff peaks.
      5. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to  the beaten yolks, and mix in carefully without deflating the foam. Add this mixture to the rest of the meringue, and carefully mix in the same way.
      6. Add flour mixture, sifting it into the egg mixture, and carefully mix. Finally add the oil and mix again.
      7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread evenly, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Take out from the oven, cool in the pan completely, then flip on another sheet of parchement paper. Peel off the the parchment paper from starting from one corner carefully.

      8. Place a sheet of baking parchment that is slightly bigger than the tray onto the work surface and dust with some caster sugar.

      9. Turn the sponge out onto the parchment paper, then peel off the parchment on the bottom of the sponge. Set aside to cool slightly.

      10. Roll the cake up in the parchment while it’s still hot, so it rolls up easier later.

      11. To make frosting : Mix the swiss meringue buttercream with the ganche (use as much ganche as dark as you want your filling to be).

To assemble the cake :

    1. Unroll the cake, then spread the filling all over, leaving a 1-inch border all around the edges.

    2. Take the longest edge, then using the parchment paper underneath, roll up the sponge quite tightly, making sure the filling stays inside.

    3. If you like, cut out pieces of the cake with round cookie cutters to make branch stumps. Fill the holes with the frosting, and place round cake pieces on top.
    4. Decorate as you wish, you can make  lines like the surface of trees using a fork and circles on the ends and stumps then sprinkle cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.

Note : I made some chocolate barks using tempered chocolate , i also used the sugar dough to make the mushroom and rosemary for decoration,  but that’s optional

  

    

 

     

  

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Sourdough Brioche Rolls

Pumpkin Sourdough Brioche Rolls

Buttery and rich with extra seasonal punch from pumpkins, these pumpkin  sourdough  brioche rolls have a thin, crisp crust, a cloud-soft interior and a rich, buttery taste.

The pumpkin adds a smooth and luxurious texture to these rolls.

These pumpkin brioche  rolls  get extra moisture and color from seasonal pumpkins, giving it a slightly orange-kissed hue.

I made these rolls  with White Whole Wheat flour for a lighter effect but feel free to substitute it with whole grain  flour or a mixture of both flours.

This recipe was adapted from here    based on lazy man’s brioche recipe, but i substituted the instant yeast for sourdough starter.

It was a bit challenging for me, as it was my first time to convert a recipe based on commercial yeast into sourdough  starter based recipe. In order to achieve this, i used Chocolate & Zuccini converting method, which worked just fine for this recipe!!

INGREGIANTS :

(Makes about 12 pumpkin sourdough brioche rolls)

500g strong bread flour

100g previously fed 100% hydrated  sourdough starter  (8-12 hrs ahead)

50 g sugar

5g salt

50g oil

55g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

150 g pumpkin puree

90g whole milk

2 eggs

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Egg Wash :

1 egg yolk

1 Tbsp milk

mix together with a fork

METHOD :

In order to calculate the amount of sourdough starter needed to ferment the dough, i added the amount of flour/flours to the amount of milk, as follows :

500g flour + 90ml milk =5090

The starter is 100g which consists of 50g flour + 50ml water

So i removed 50g from the flour and 50ml from the milk and substituted them for the starter.

Next, i added the remaining milk to the starter and dissolved it, then i added the rest of the ingredients except for the salt, and kneaded the dough  in  the bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment for about 10 minutes.

I noticed that the dough is wetter than it should be due to the moisture coming from the pumpkin puree, so i added a table spoon of flour at a time until i got the right dough texture and consistency.

The kneading process took about 20 minutes

( If necessary,  stop the mixer and push it back down into the bowl. It tends to crawl up the dough hook)

The gluten strands were not well-developed, so i performed the S&F technique  ( this video demonstrates the technique) for about 5 minutes or so, then i made the window pane test and the dough was ready.

I  covered the dough and let it autolyse   for about half an  hour, then i added the salt with 1 tsp of water and i kneaded until it was well-incorporated, i let the dough rest covered in the oiled bowl for 3 hours, the dough  did not rise much which was normal or common for sourdough bread.

Afterwards, i divided the dough to equal-sized balls each weighed 70g , put them in a baking pan, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated them over night.

The next day, i took the rolls out of the fridge and let them come bake to room temperature, then i put these rolls in a warm closed oven , the rolls took about 3-4 hours to double in size.

Next, i brushed them with egg wash and i sprinkled some sesame seeds on top.

I baked the pumpkin  sourdough brioche rolls in a preheated oven(375°F/190°C) for about 20 minutes until they were golden brown.

window pane test

pumpkin sourdough brioche rolls

 

 

 

 

 

Madeleine Cake

 Classic French Madeleine Cookie

madeleine cake

Madeleines are little cakelike cookies,the name “Madeleine” according to some was given to the cookies by French King Louis XV to honor  Madeleine  Paulmier who was his father in-law’s cook  around 1755. That is how long they have been a French  favorite cake.

génoise cake  batter is used. The flavor is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground  nuts, usually  almonds. A variation uses  lemon  zest , for a pronounced lemony taste, orange zest is sometimes used or vanilla.

English madeleines also use a génoise sponge but they are baked in dariole moulds. After cooking, the cakes are coated in jam and desiccated coconut, and are usually topped with a glacé cherry.

20161201_131002-2

INGREDIENTS :

4 medium-sized eggs  (200g).

3/4 cup (175g) granulated sugar.

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted.

1 Tbsp (15g) baking powder, sifted.

2 sticks (230g) unsalted butter, melted.

The zest of 2 lemons.

madeleinecake2

METHOD :

1- Melt butter and add lemon zest to it ; keep warm.

2- Gently beat eggs with sugar for about 4-5 minutes,  then incorporate the sifted flour and baking powder.

3- Add third of the batter to the warm butter, in order to ease the incorporation of the batter into the butter, then add the rest of the batter to the melted butter and mix  using a spatula.

4-   cover and refrigerate overnight (for best results) before baking.
5- Set the oven rack adjusted to the middle position, and preheat  oven at 500ºF (260ºC).

6-  Grease nonstick madeleine baking pan with  Softened butter then dust with flour.

7- Bake one cookie sheet at a time (12 madeleines). at 500ºF (260ºC). for five minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) and continue baking for 5-7 more minutes .

Note : Madeleine batter can be refrigerated up to 4 days before baking or freeze for months.
8- Store baked madeleines in an airtight container for a few days.

20161130_232300 20161130_232938

20161130_233041 20161130_233156

20161130_233316 20161130_233726

20161201_115905 madeleine cake

Summer Berry Layered Pavlova

 

pavlova

Summer Berry Layered Pavlova

Impressive as it looks pavlova makes a pretty incredible statement ! – it’s actually very easy to put together.

Chewy, marshmallow meringue, which goes perfectly with the mascarpone whipped cream and berries. Layering the meringue discs gives this festive  summer dish fantastic texture.

Making a triple layer pavlova is actually quite easy . you can bake the discs the night before and in  the morning  whip the cream and spread  the fruit.

Like all pavlovas, this is best made just before serving although assembly is straight forward – much more straight forward than a regular layered cake as there’s no trimming necessary or icing on the sides. It’s just a bit of sandwiching the  meringue discs  together and adding  some fruit and voila !

20161108_120200

INGREDIENTS :

For the meringue discs :
  • 200 g almond meal/flour
  • 250 g egg whites
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
     For the filling :
  • 600 ml thickened cream
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 punnets blackberries
  • 2 punnets raspberries
  • 1 punnet blueberries
Note : Make sure  when you separate yolks from whites that no yolk goes into the whites at all, and that the  mixing bowl and beaters are thoroughly clean, any fat or oil on these your pavlova will not beat up stiffly.

METHOD :

Whip  the room-temp egg whites and the salt in electric mixer  on low at first then increase speed gradually until it starts to get fluffy and holds soft peaks. Add  roughly 1/3 of the sugar by the tablespoon and mix . Then another 1/3 of the sugar gradually and beat until stiff and glossy and sugar has dissolved.  Fold in remaining sugar,almond meal, lemon juice and  cornflour.

20161106_123917

Mark three 20cm/8inch circles on three sheets of baking paper.

Spoon the meringue into a thick circle on the  parchment-lined baking sheet, and make a slight depressing in the center with a spoon (just so the edges are slightly higher than the center).

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

immediately turn down the temp to 130°C. Let it bake for 40 min., or until the meringue is crisp outside, but feels soft yet set inside. (If you notice that the different meringues are not cooking evenly, swap the shelves.) Switch off the oven and leave the meringue to cool down in the oven, Meringues may sink slightly and crack while cooling.

20161106_195438-2

To make the filling, pour heavy cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add in half the sugar, the lemon juice and the corn starch, beat until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone cheese and the remaining sugar, continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Note : keep the bowl and the beaters or  the whip attachment cold in the refrigerator before use.

20161106_200135

To assemble the pavlova, carefully peel the grease-proof paper off the bottom of the meringues. Place one disc of   meringue onto a large, flat serving plate. Spread one-third of themascarpone  whipped cream onto the meringue and top with some of the  and berries. Top with another meringue disc. Spread another third of the cream onto the meringue and top with more berries and . Top with the third meringue and fill with the remaining cream and berries.

pavlova6

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Nutella Cookies

cookies1What could possibly beat  the yumminess of chocolate chips Nutella Cookies ?

Brown butter and sea salt chocolate chips Nutella cookies ofcourse !!

The flavor and the aroma of brown butter takes the Nutella cookies recipe or any recipe for that matter to another dimension and the addition of sea salt on top of these cookies so you can really taste that delightful little twinge of salt every other bite or so. As salt heightens the complexity and makes the sweet taste even sweeter.

This recipe has been  a family favorite since the first time i made it , and  i keep making it over and over and seriously we can’t get enough of these ridiculously delicious cookies !!

This recipe suggests that you make the dough a day ahead and keep it refrigerated for the optimum taste.

 

Tip : make the brown butter  a day or more  in advance.

 

cookies2

INGREDIENTS :

2 1/2 cups  (312g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (230g) brown butter melted and cooled

1/2 (100g) cup white granulated sugar

1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar

1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk

1 TBSP Greek yogurt or labneh

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cup (270g)  semi-sweet chocolate chips

flaky sea salt to be sprinkled on top of the cookies prior to baking.

 

Method :

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the melted brown butter with the two types of sugar and mix until smooth and creamy then add the eggs and the vanilla extract and the Greek  yogurt or labneh

in another bowl add the salt and the baking soda to the flour and whisk to combine.

Gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar mixture on low speed then add the chocolate chip and mix just to combine.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and preferably over night,  the dough can be kept refrigerated up to 3 days.

15 minutes prior to baking bring the dough out of the fridge so it will be easier to work with.

Divide the dough into equal balls approximately the size of a walnut or  use  a table spoon.

Bring out the Nutella from the freezer and flatten  a piece of the dough  ball with the palm of your hand, put the Nutella piece in the middle and mold the rest of the ball to cover the Nutella and use excess dough to fill in any gaps, repeat in the same manner until you’re done.

Place your sheet into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill the cookies before baking.

Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top of each cookie and bake in the preheated oven for about 9-11 minutes, until the cookies look puffy and just about done. They will firm up as they cool. Enjoy !!

20161105_141859                   20161105_142349

20161105_142658                20161105_143033

20161105_142912-2          20161105_143305

20161105_143711                Nutella Cookies

20161107_180924     20161107_181017

20161107_181938-2        20161107_182226-2

Mini Tart Shells Sweet Or Savory

Mini Tart Shells

Whenever i have an occasion coming up, the first thing that comes to my mind is making mini tarts. So i prepare the mini tart shells few days prior to the occasion, and keep them in a food-grade container ready to be filled.

Mini tarts are easy to make, versatile whether sweet or savory and they  look absolutely adorable !!

Here i will give the basic recipe for making mini tart shells using pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry) because  it is such a flaky pastry that falls apart easily when eaten.

Note: it’s very important that all the ingredients are kept cold all the time in order to obtain a flaky crust.

20161012_121824-1

 INGREDIENTS :

200 g All-Purpose flour

100 g cold butter (cut into small cubes)

50 g sugar

4 tbsp ice-cold water

1/4 tsp salt

METHOD :

1.        Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

2. Add the sugar and the salt to the flour and combine using a whisk then add the butter cubes, using your finger tips incorporate the butter into the flour making sure to coat all the flour particles with butter as shown below :

 Some pieces of butter should be the size of peas, while others should be much smaller after they are coated in flour.

The larger pieces help with making a flaky crust and the smaller pieces help keep your crust tender by coating the proteins with fat and preventing the formation of gluten.

3.   Add the cold water to the egg yolk and mix using a fork.

4.   make a well in the flour and add the egg mixture.

5.   Using your fingers mix the egg yolk mixture with the flour.

6.                  Don’t over mix or you will end up with a very stiff dough and we certainly don’t want that, the less you mix the dough, the less gluten will be formed and the flakier the shortcrust pastry will be.

7.   Shape the dough into a disk with the side of your hand.

8.    Place the disk in zip-top bag and keep it in the fridge for at least half an hour or up to a week, you can also freeze it up to one month but the taste will be milder.

9.                  Start rolling the out on a lightly floured work surface. Always roll out the dough from the center out, rather than back and forth, to prevent gluten formation. Give the dough a quarter turn every few rolls to prevent it from sticking to your work surface.

10. Cut round shapes of the dough using a cookie cutter for example the size of your mini tart pan

11.  Place each round into one of the tartlet depressions.

12.  Press the center of the dough towards the sides of the depression until you reach the top of the sides using your thumb.

Note: you can add more dough pieces if the tart shell was thinner than how you want it but don’t add too much as it will puff in the oven.

13.   Prick the bottom with a fork, and at this stage it’s preferable to freeze the tart shells before baking for about half an hour so they don’t shrink in the oven and to make sure that the butter is firm.

14.   Bake for 15-17 minutes or until nicely browned on 350°F.

This method is called blind baking, meaning that you bake your crust before filling it with the desired filling to prevent it from being soggy, and it’s useful especially when using wet fillings.

20161008_151823   20161008_151857

20161008_152619  20161008_152736

20161008_152811  20161008_152541

20161008_153034 20161008_153254

20161008_153516 20161009_131910

20161009_132019 20161009_132219

20161009_132438 20161009_132519

20161009_132616    20161009_134424

Mini Tart Shells