Monthly Archives: December 2014

Liegeois Waffles

Here’s the last day of the year 2014 and with the holiday season, the breakfasts have become more copious. I recently got a proper waffle maker so the first waffles I wanted to make are the famous Belgium ones from Liege. They are not made of the usual liquid batter but rather with a brioche-style dough. It is therefore much longer to prepare (count 3 hours + between making the dough and letting it rise). However, they are totally different from their pancake-like counterparts. They are crispier outside, soft inside and of course, they are absolutely delicious!

GaufreLiege_002

Source: Chic-chic-chocolat

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Ingredients

370 g plain flour
75 g caster sugar
100 g milk (full fat)
2 eggs
2 tsp dried instant yeast
125 g butter, cubed
salt
150 g pearl sugar (or sugar cubes slightly crushed into chunks), optional

Method

  1. In the TM bowl, place the milk, sugar, eggs and yeast and warm 2 min/37C/speed 2.
  2. Add the flour and salt and knead for 6 minutes.
  3. After 1 minute kneading, add the butter cubes through the hole in the lid.
  4. Leave in the bowl to rise for 2 hours.
  5. Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten it with your hands and sprinkle the sugar pearls all over if using.
  6. Fold the dough to cover the sugar and cut into 16 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a ball and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Grease and heat the waffle maker and insert the dough balls (one per waffle) to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Eat warm sprinkled with icing sugar, or spread with jam or hazelnut paste.

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Sweet Bretzels

As I am writing this, the scent of freshly baked Bretzels has filled the room and it’s very hard to resist having a bite! To give you an idea, it smells of  brioche with a hint of orange flower water and it’s just heavenly. These goodies will take a bit of time to make (mostly waiting time) but you will be rewarded I promise.

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Source: Christophe Felder

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Ingredients

Starter dough
15g fresh yeast or 7g dried instant yeast
75g milk
70g + 255g plain flour

Dough
3 eggs
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
115g softened butter, cut into cubes
80g candied peel
1 tbsp orange flower water

Eggwash
1 egg and 1 tbsp milk

Glaze
35g sugar
35g water
1 tbsp orange flower water

Method

  1. In the Thermomix bowl, warm the yeast and milk 2 min/37C/speed 1.
  2. Add the 70g flour and mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  3. Add the 255g flour on top (don’t mix) and leave to rest in the TM bowl, lid closed, for 30 minutes or until the starter doubles in size.
  4. Add the 3 eggs, sugar and salt and knead 2 minutes.
  5. Knead for another 5 minutes and add the butter through the hole in the lid, orange flower water and candied peel.
  6. When the timer stops, check the consistency (it should be very soft and sticky dough but not runny. If it looks too much like cake batter, add a couple of tbsp of flour and knead again for 1 minute.
  7. Tip out into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 3 hours in the fridge to firm up.
  8. Divide the dough in 4 equal parts and roll each into a snake shape making the ends slightly narrower than the center.
  9. Cross the ends twice and fold them over the loop. Turn the bretzel upside-down (to have the ends tucked in underneath) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Do likewise with the other 3 doughs. You have those steps in images on the website Smittenkitchen.com (I forgot to take the pictures while making it).

    Image from Smittenkitchen.com

    Image from Smittenkitchen.com

  10. Place in a warm place (25C) and leave to rise for 40 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180C.
  12. Brush the bretzels with eggwash.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce to 170C and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Watch while it cooks and turn around the trays if one side gets browner (often the case with ovens with hot spots). Place aluminium foil over them if they darken too fast.
  14. While they bake, prepare the glaze by heating the water, sugar and orange flower water in the TM bowl 5 minutes/Varoma/speed 1/Measuring cup OFF.
  15. Brush the glaze over the Bretzels as soon as they are out of the oven. Leave to cool slightly before tucking in!

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Mont Blanc and Merveilleux au chocolat

I must apologise for my long absence from the blog. I have still been cooking but didn’t find the time or the will to post anything on the net. With Christmas coming, I have been trying new things that I wanted to make for a long time but never got the right ingredients or never got around to do. Since those 2 recipes have the same basis, as in: a meringue and some Chantilly cream, I decided to do them both so you are getting 2 for the price of one (this is my gift to you 😉 ).

So what are these 2 desserts? Both Mont Blanc and the Merveilleux are great French classics (although the first one originates from Italy and the second comes from Belgium). The Merveilleux has long been my favourite dessert as a child but the Mont Blanc is equally as delicious with its Chestnut topping.

I didn’t make these with the Thermomix although I could have so I will give you the instructions both ways.

MontblancCollage

Source: inspired by the Mont Blanc recipe by Christophe Michalak

Ingredients

Meringue
120g egg whites (about 4 eggs)
112g caster sugar
112g icing sugar

Chantilly
200g single cream
50g Mascarpone
25g caster sugar
1/2 vanilla pod

Chestnut topping
200g chestnut purée
150g chestnut spread (I put 75g)
200g chestnut paste (didn’t find it so omitted, hence the half amount of Chestnut spread)
50g softened butter (I used 50g of the Chantilly leftover)
10g Rum (I omitted)

Chocolate topping
75g chocolate, roughly chopped with a knife

Method

  1. Non Thermomix
    1. Make the meringue the day before: preheat the oven at 100C.
    2. Whisk the egg whites at low speed until foamy.
    3. Add the caster sugar and continue whisking while increasing the speed to medium until it form soft peaks.
    4. Add the icing sugar and increase the speed to high until all the sugar is combined and the meringues are firm.
    5. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and fill a piping bag with a round nozzle with the meringue mixture.
    6. Pipe little domes a few centimeters apart and bake 2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven (don’t open the door) until completely cooled down or overnight.MontBlanc_003
    7. Make the chantilly: whisk the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla beans until firm. Watch out not to over-whisk or you will get butter!MontBlanc_002
    8. Using a spatula, apply some chantilly on each meringue to cover the top.MontBlanc_001
    9. Make the chestnut topping by mixing all the ingredients with the flat beater/K whisk a few minutes at medium to high speed (or use the whisk if you don’t have a flat beater).
    10. Fill a piping  bag with a small round or star shaped nozzle and pipe over the little meringues.
    11. To make the Merveilleux, sprinkle the chocolate flakes over the meringues instead of the chestnut topping.
    12. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Thermomix
    1. Meringues: make sure you have a squeekly clean TM bowl, blades and whisk. Insert the butterfly whisk. Whisk the egg whites 1 min/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Add the caster sugar
    2. Whisk for another 2 minutes/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF. Add the icing sugar and whisk 2 minutes/speed 3.5/measuring cup OFF.
    3. Pipe with a round nozzle onto baking tray lined with baking parchment, a few centimeters apart. Bake as per the traditional method above.
    4. To make the chantilly, insert the butterfly whisk into the TM bowl and whisk all the ingredients 30 sec/speed 3 and watch through the hole in the lid. Stop when it looks like it’s reached soft peak. It will be firmer at the bottom.
    5. Use a spatula to cover the meringues with the chantilly to keep a dome shape.
    6. Make the chestnut topping by mixing all the ingredients 30 sec/speed 6.
    7. Pipe over the meringues using a small round or star shaped nozzle.
    8. To make the Merveilleux, sprinkle the chantilly  topped meringues with chocolate flakes instead of the chestnut topping.
    9. Refrigerate before serving.