Monthly Archives: December 2011

Bouchées á la reine (Vols au vent)

I had never made vols au vent cases until I read a post from Helene of Superkitchenmachine where she explains all the step-by-steps to achieve those delicious puff pastries. Up to then, I was buying them from France so when they ran out (which happened pretty quickly),  I had to wait for my next trip home to get my hands on those beauties. Now, I can tell that I shall never have to wait to eat these again! Thank you Helene for sharing this recipe and giving me the motivation I needed to attempt to make vols au vent from scratch!

(Source: Superkitchenmachine)

Ingredients

Puffs

90g ice cubes
180g frozen unsalted butter (cut into 1cm chunks and freeze at least 24 hours)
200g flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

Filling

It’s up to your imagination really but we like it with Bechamel, ham, mushrooms, cheese and cooked chicken.

Method

  1. Put the ice cubes, butter, flour, and salt in the TM bowl and mix 7 sec, speed 7.
  2. Mix 5 sec, reverse, speed 5.
  3. Lock the lid and knead for 3 min while adding the water through the hole. The dough should look like beads at this stage.
  4. Tip out the dough onto a piece of cling film and bring it all together as quickly as possible. Wrap in the cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  6. Put the dough between 2 pieces of cling film (or on the floured worktop)
  7. Working quickly, roll out the dough into a rectangle shape about 5mm thick.
  8. Fold the top third towards the middle and the bottom third on top of the folded dough. Turn the folded dough 90 degrees to the right (or the left but keep turning the same way at each folding step).
  9. Repeat step 6 and 7 at least 3 or 4 times (this will create the layers on the puff pastry).
  10. If the dough gets too hot and sticky during the folding steps, put it back to the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  11. Roll one last time to a rectangle of 1 cm thick.
  12. Using a dough cutter, cut out circles into the dough.
  13. Either use a smaller cutter or a sharp knife to cut out the “hat” but careful not to cut through the dough (note that if you want bigger vols au vent, you put 2 circles of dough on top of each other, in that case, only cut out the hat on the top circle).
  14. Brush the dough with milk or egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp of milk).
  15. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes (more for bigger vols au vent) or until they are golden and crispy.
  16. Let them cool down a little before cutting out the hats and stuff with the filling of your choice. I usually put them back to a cooler oven (about 150C) for 10 to 15 minutes to heat the filling.

 

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. May you have a wonderful time with your family and friends.

Joyeux Noel á tous, paix et joie dans vos coeurs.

 

Demi lunes aux deux chocolats (Black and White chocolate half moons), palmiers & Lemon squares

There was a cake bake for charity at work, so naturally, I enrolled to bring a few home baked cakes to be sold for a very worthy cause.

I opted for 3 very different cakes: very fluffy and crispy palmiers, enhanced with some Christmas spices, lemon squares and black and white chocolate mini cakes. They all went a treat and all I was left with were the recipes to share with you!

(Sources: Lemon squares: Assiettes Gourmandes, Half moons: Au fil de mes recettes, Palmiers: Mon petit atelier culinaire)

Half Moons

Ingredients

(for 12 mini muffin cases)

150g white chocolate
60g butter
2 eggs
40g sugar
100g flour
80g dark chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven 180C
  2. Put the white chocolate  and the butter in the TM bowl and mix 6 sec, speed 6.
  3. Scrape down the sides and lid with the spatula and cook 5 min, 50C, speed 1.
  4. Add the sugar, the eggs and the flour.
  5. Mix 12 sec, speed 4 (scrape down the sides with spatula half way through).
  6. Pour mixture to 3/4 of your muffin cases (or silicone mould like I did).
  7. Cook for 15 minutes (check it’s cooked by inserting a toothpick in one of the muffins. It should come out clean).
  8. Leave them to cool down.
  9. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a bain-marie.
  10. Dip each muffin into the chocolate mixture and set in the fridge for at least an hour.

Lemon squares


Ingredients:

Shortbread biscuit

150g flour
30g icing sugar (make you own in the Thermomix)
4 tsp corn flour
125g butter
1/2 tsp salt

Lemon mixture

180g lemon juice (about 5 lemons) + zest
250g sugar
6 eggs
100g flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven 180C
  2. Melt the butter in the TM bowl for 3 min, 50C, speed 1
  3. Add the other shortbread ingredients and mix 20 sec, speed 6 (the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs)
  4. Line the bottom of a 20cm springform tin with baking parchment and butter the sides. Pour the shortbread mixture into it
  5. Flatten with the back of a spoon until all the mixture covers evenly the bottom of the tin
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (watch it aftre 15 min so it doesn’t brown too much)
  7. Take out the biscuit from the oven and leave to cool. Turn down the oven to 150C
  8. To make the lemon mixture, mix all the ingredients in the TM bowl for 20 sec, speed 4.
  9. Pour over the biscuit and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (check the top is not browning too much). It is cooked when the top is firm to the touch.
  10. Let completely cook down before taking it out of the tin.
  11. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Palmiers

Ingredients

1 puff pastry
2 heap tablespoons ground allspice
20g sugar + sugar to sprinkle
60g butter

Method

  1. Melt the butter with sugar and spice.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle (about 15cm wide and 30cm long), the smaller side facing you.
  3. With a brush, spread the butter and spice mixture all over the pastry
  4. Roll the left side of the pastry towards the center and stop at the center. Roll the right side towards the center and stop when it meets the other rolled side.
  5. Wrap loosely with cling film and transfer carefully into the freezer, keeping it flat. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven at 210C
  7. Take out the pastry from the freezer and cut slices of 1/2cm wide, widthway.
  8. Lay on a tray lined with baking parchment or a silicone sheet, cut side facing up
  9. Sprinkle generously with sugar
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until the palmiers are golden.

 

 

Moelleux chocolat-banane au coeur d’orange (Chocolate-banana muffins with an orange center)

This recipe was proposed by Christalie and I twisted it a bit as I had some orange marmalade in the fridge. I love the chocolate and orange association and the banana makes those cakes very moist. I actually made the marmalade with the Thermomix and I will post the recipe shortly but you can of course use shop-bought marmalade.

(Source: Christalie)

Ingredients

Makes about 12 small muffins or 8 big ones

1 banana
60g butter
100g light muscovado sugar (or demerara sugar)
25g dark cocoa powder (like Bournville)
2 eggs
150g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
100g chocolate chips
Orange marmalade

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C
  2. In the TM bowl, put the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and the banana cut into chunks and mix 3 to 5 sec, speed 8
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix 10 sec, speed 4
  4. Add the chocolate chips and mix for 10 sec, speed 1
  5. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture in each muffin case.
  6. Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of orange marmalade at the centre and add 2 or more tablespoons of the chocolate mixture on top until 3/4 full

    Add the marmalade at the center of the muffin

  7. Bake for 25 minutes.

Top up with muffin mixture before baking on the oven for 25 min.