Monthly Archives: November 2011

Baba au rhum (rum baba)

The rum baba originated from Poland (where it is called babka, which means granny). It was brought to France in the 18th century via Alsace and Lorraine. It is said that the exiled king of Poland, Stanislas, had brought a cake from his voyage but it had dried up so he had the idea of soaking it with alcool. In 1835, a pâtisserie in rue Montorgueil in Paris invented the modern version of the baba, soaked in rum. Several years later, they used a mixture of syrup and rum to soak the cake. Finally, in 1844, the Parisian pâtissiers Julien brothers, invented the Savarin: a cake strongly inspired by the baba but soaked in a different alcool and cooked in a ring cake tin (the baba being cooked in a round cake tin). Nowadays, this is the ring form that is traditionnally associated with the baba au rhum, although individual versions are still cooked in a round tin. (source: Wikipedia).

Source: Supertoinette forum

Ingredients

250g flour
3 eggs
100g butter, softened at room temperature
10g fresh yeast (use dried if you can’t find fresh)
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of salt

Syrup

75ml rum
250ml water
175g sugar

Method

  1. Warm the milk slightly and mix in the yeast
  2. Put the flour, eggs, butter, salt, sugar and the milk + yeast mixture in the TM bowl
  3. Lock the bowl, set the time to 1min30 and press the knead button.
  4. The dough must be quite sticky. Tip out the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a humid cloth. Leave to rise in a warm corner, away from drafts. It should double in size.
  5. Butter the tin using a brush and melted butter (use either a ring or a round tin). Make sure to cover any nooks and crannies.
  6. Punch down the dough and put in the tin. It should fill half the tin.
  7. Cover again and leave to rise in a warm place.
  8. When it has reached the top of the tin, preheat the oven at 200C.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 min.
  10. While the baba is cooking, prepare the syrup: mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and let it simmer until it has reached a syrup consistency (it should have reduced by half).
  11. When the baba is cooked, leave it to cool slightly and soak it with the syrup, a tablespoon at a time and let the liquid disappear before adding the next tablespoon. this will take some time but is worth it!
  12. Leave the cake to cool completely before turning it out onto a plate.
  13. Decorate with whipped cream and fruits in season (or tinned fruits in winter).


Smoked salmon soufflés

These are easy to make and impressive soufflés. The smoked salmon adds a nice fishy and salty note to the dish. The quantities in this recipe are perfect for 6 small soufflés as a starter or 2 as a main.

Ingredients

Cheese soufflé mixture

3 slices of good quality smoked salmon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 210C
  2. Make the cheese soufflé mixture as per instructions here.
  3. Cut the smoked salmon in small pieces and add to the soufflé mixture during the step where the whites are incorporated to the cheese sauce.
  4. Melt about 10g of butter and brush it inside the ramequins (brush the sides of the ramequins from bottom to top in a straight line so that the soufflé rises easier)
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for small ramequins or 40 minutes for big ones. Do not open the oven while the soufflés are cooking or they will collapse!
  6. Serve at once accompanied with a salad.

Croques soufflés

This is a recipe I got from my mother. It’s a posher version of the simple croque-monsieur. The great thing about this is that you can use the leftover soufflé mixture to make soufflés (but you have to make these at once as the beaten egg whites won’t stay fluffy for long).

Makes 8 croques

Ingredients

Cheese soufflé mixture

100g cheese (Cheddar, Emmenthal, Comté…) cut in chunks
30g butter
30g flour
300g milk (or half cow’s milk and half soja milk for a lighter version)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites

Croques monsieur

8 slices of bread (white or brown)
8 slices of ham
Butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 200C
  2. Put all the ingredients except the milk and the eggs into the TM bowl and mix 10 seconds, speed 5 to chop the cheese.
  3. Add the milk and cook for 7 minutes, 90C, speed 4.
  4. Add the 2 egg yolks to the cheese sauce and stir 20 sec, speed 3.
  5. Pour out the sauce into a bowl and leave it to cool slightly.
  6. Clean the TM bowl thoroughly with soapy water (you can self-clean the bowl first by covering the blades with hot water, add a drop of washing liquid and mix 20 sec, speed 10 and clean out the residues of sauce by taking out the blades from the unit and clean them with a small brush).
  7. Put the 2 egg whites in the bowl and add a pinch of salt.
  8. Add the butterfly whisk and whisk for 3 minutes, speed 3, measuring cup off.
  9. Gently fold the whites to the cheese sauce mixture until combined but careful to not overmix.
  10. Put the the slices of bread on a baking tray (line it with baking parchment as the soufflé mixture tends to spread)
  11. Butter each slice and add a slice of ham on each (or several slices if the ham is thinly cut).
  12. Spoon in the soufflé mixture but make sure to leave the edges of the bread free as the soufflé will expand.
  13. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes and serve at once.
  14. Use the leftover soufflé mixture if any to make those gorgeous smoked salmon soufflés.


Eclairs au chocolat/café (coffee and chocolate éclairs)

After a long pause, I have finaly found time to post again some mouth watering recipes and because it’s been a while, I will post 3 recipes today!

Now this is one of those pastries that are not too hard to make and are very impressive for an afternoon tea. Of course, it’s a walk in the park to make if you have a Thermomix as both components can be made effortlessly in it. However, I will also put the recipe for those who don’t have (yet) this wonderful appliance…

Source : Fast and Easy cooking for the choux pastry and crème pâtissière. Christophe Felder for the éclairs recipe.

Ingredients

Choux pastry

80g butter
120g plain flour
3 eggs
150g water
1/2 tsp sugar
A pinch of salt

Crème pâtissière

500g milk (or half cow’s milk/half soja milk for a lighter version)
100g sugar
40g corn flour
2 eggs
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tsp coffee extract

Icing

2 heaped tbsp of ready made icing (I used Betty Crocker “Rich and Creamy Icing”)
1 tsp coffee extract
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder mixed with 1 tsp of hot water to form a paste

Method Thermomix

  1. First, make the crème pâtissière: put all the ingredients except chocolate and coffee extract in the TM bowl and cook 7 minutes, 90C, speed 4.
  2. Pour out immediately in a bowl and cover with cling film (make the cling film touch the surface of the cream so it doesn’t form a skin). Leave to cool at room temperature.

    Step 2, make the cling film touch the cream so no air is in contact with it.

  3. Clean the TM bowl and proceed with the choux pastry recipe:
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  5. Put the butter, sugar, salt and water in the TM bowl and heat 5 minutes, 90C, speed 1.
  6. Add the flour and mix 1 minute 30 sec speed 3.
  7. Plunge the base of the TM bowl in cold water for 1 minute to cool the mixture slightly. Dry the TM bowl thoroughly (especially the electrical contacts) and place back on the base.
  8. Put on speed 5 and add the eggs one by one and continue to mix for 30 seconds.

    Step 8: this is what the choux pastry looks like once done in the Thermomix.

  9. Place the mixture into a piping bag with a wide nozzle either star shaped or not.

    Step 9: place choux pastry in piping bag. I use a coffee jar to rest my piping bag in so it’s easier to spoon in the mixture.

  10. Pipe 7 or 8 cm long and 3 or 3 cm wide lines on the baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave some space between them as they will expand while cooking.

    Step 10: Piping the éclairs

  11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When it’s cooked, open slightly the oven door (use the handle of a wooden spatula to keep it open if needs be) and let them dry and cool down completely in the oven. This step is important to avoid the pastry from collapsing.
  12. While the pastry is cooling down, prepare the chocolate and coffee crème pâtissière. Mix 50g dark chocolate in the thermomix for a 10 seconds, speed 8.
  13. Melt it for 3 minutes, 50C, speed 3.
  14. Take out half of the crème pâtissière and put it into a second bowl. Add the melted chocolate to one half.
  15. Add the coffee extract to the other half of the crème pâtissière.
  16. Prepare the icing: for the chocolate icing, mix 1 tbsp of ready-made icing to the chocolate paste. For the coffee icing, mix 1 tsp of coffee extract to 1 tbsp of ready-made icing.
  17. When the pastries are cool, cut them in half lengthway.
  18. Make the chocolate éclairs by either piping or spooning in the chocolate crème pâtissière in one half and close the pastry. Ice the éclair on the side that is flat (the one the éclair was resting when cooking) with the chocolate icing.

    Step 18: pipe or spoon in the crème pâtissière in one half of the pastry.

  19. Make the coffee éclairs the same way, using the coffee crème pâtissière and the coffee icing.

Conventional method

  1. Crème pâtissière: bring the milk to the boil.
  2. Beat the eggs with the sugar and the corn flour until just mixed.
  3. Pour the boiled milk little by little into the egg mixture while whisking
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on high heat while constantly whisking
  5. When the cream has thickened, take it out of the heat and pour into a bowl and cover it with cling film so that the cling film touches the surface of the cream. This will prevent the cream from forming a skin. Let it cool down at room temperature.
  6. To make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 180C
  7. Put the water, butter (cut into cubes), sugar and salt into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. WHen it starts simmering, take the saucepan from the heat and pour the flour, a bit at a time, while stiring until the mixture becomes dry.
  8. Put the saucepan back on the heat and stir vigorousy for 2 minutes with no interruption until the dough doesn’t stick to the side of the saucepan.
  9. Take the saucepan away from the heat and add 1 egg at a time and stir well until each egg is well mixed in before adding the next one (this is the hard part as the dough is very thick and the egg takes a while to mix in).
  10. Fill a piping bag (with a wide nozzle either star shaped or not) with the choux pastry mixture.
  11. Pipe in the mixture in a 7 or 8 cm length on the baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave some space between them as they will expand while cooking.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When it’s cooked, open slightly the oven door (use the handle of a wooden spatula to keep it open if needs be) and let them dry and cool down completely in the oven. This step is important to avoid the pastry from collapsing.
  13. While the pastry is cooling down, prepare the chocolate and coffee crème pâtissière.
  14. Melt 50g chocolate broken into pieces in the microwave (first 1 minute at full power, then heat in bursts of 20 seconds, stiring between each until melted). Careful not to overcook the chocolate. If there are only a couple of unmelted chocolate left, just stir until they are melted rather than put it back in the microwave.
  15. Take out half of the crème pâtissière and put it into a second bowl. Add the melted chocolate to one half.
  16. Add the coffee extract to the other half of the crème pâtissière.
  17. Prepare the icing: for the chocolate icing, mix 1 tbsp of ready-made icing to the chocolate paste. For the coffee icing, mix 1 tsp of coffee extract to 1 tbsp of ready-made icing.
  18. When the pastries are cool, cut them in half lengthway.
  19. Make the chocolate éclairs by either piping or spooning in the chocolate crème pâtissière in one half and close the pastry. Ice the éclair on the side that is flat (the one the éclair was resting when cooking) with the chocolate icing.
  20. Make the coffee éclairs the same way, using the coffee crème pâtissière and the coffee icing.