One of my favourite French blog, Amuses bouche, is a treasure trove of beautiful cakes and pastries. This lady has a real talent for creating culinary enchantment and if you browse through her blog, you will surely find lots of ideas for birthday or celebration cakes as well as how to turn the most mondane dish into a creative and enticing marvel. This is the case for this sandwich cake. She has successfully turned the sandwich into a feast for the eye! For this cake, she uses Swedish bread and because I can’t find them easily in Ireland, I decided to opt for my friend Carine’s “Pain polaire” (recipe here). If you are going to make the bread from scratch, then start this recipe the day before. You can assemble the cake in the morning and keep in the fridge until serving but bear in mind that it would be best to eat the same day to avoid soggy cucumbers…
Source: Amuses bouche
4 Swedish breads
6 slices of smoked salmon (about 200g)
180g Philadelphia or cream cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
200g Philadephia or cream cheese
Chives, cut into different lengths
- Mix the Philadelphia, salt, lemon juice and minced dill together in a bowl.
- Thinly slice the cucumber.
- Place one slice of Swedish bread on the serving plate.
- Spread with some of the cream cheese mixture. Add smoked salmon slices to cover neatly the bread.
- Spread some cream cheese mixture underneath the second slice of bread and place on top of the salmon.
- Spread more cream cheese and add neatly the cucumber slices.
- Repeat step 5 and 6 with smoked salmon instead of cucumber.
- Finish with a slice of bread.
- Mix the cream cheese of the topping to make it smooth and ice the whole cake with it.
- Finally decorate with the chive around the cake, cherry tomatoes and slices of radishes.
If you haven’t tried Swedish bread before than you are missing out. This is one of my favourite sandwich bread because it is soft, delicately flavoured with fennel and goes wonderfully well with smoked salmon. I was looking to make this bread myself for a long time but after seeing the gorgeous Sandwich cake from Amuses bouche (more on that in a later post), I had the perfect excuse to finally make it.
Source: Chic chic chocolat
235g strong white flour (bread flour)
100g rye flour
50g creme fraiche
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp dried instant yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- Place rye flour and the fennel seeds in the Thermomix bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10. Set aside.
- Place the water, sugar and yeast in the Thermomix bowl and warm 2 min/37C/speed 1.
- Add strong white flour + rye flour and fennel seed mix, baking powder, salt and creme fraiche to the TM bowl. Knead 6 minutes.
- Leave in the TM bowl to rise for 1 hour.
- Take out of the bowl and roll onto a lightly floured surface.
- Place on a tray lined with baking parchment or silicone sheet.
- Cover with cling film and leave to rise for 30-45 minutes in the fridge. Carine says the dough must be cold so it doesn’t shrink when being cut.
- Using a pastry ring of about 17 cm (I used an extendable pastry ring), cut out individual circles. In her blog, Carine cuts them into squares but I wanted circles to make the sandwich cake.
- Re-roll the leftover dough to cut more circles until you have 5.
- Prick with a fork all over.
- Leave on the baking tray, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Heat a frying pan to medium heat.
- Cook each bread about 1-2 min per side until browned. Be careful not to cook too long as it would become too hard so less is more.
- Leave to cool and use for yummy sandwiches!
This is a second recipe from the great Persiana book I share on this blog. The first one being a dip, it’s natural that I give you a yummy flatbread recipe to go with it. This recipe makes 2 breads. You can freeze the second bread if you want to keep it for later.
Source: Persiana from Sabrina Ghayour
1 sachet fast instant yeast
700g strong white flour
2 tsp seal salt
60g olive oil
50g melted butter
- Place the yeast and water in the bowl and warm 2 min/37C/speed 2.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except butter & Nigella seeds.
- Mix 6 sec/speed 6 moving the speed slowly up.
- Knead 2 min.
- Leave to rest 10 min.
- Knead again 2 min.
- Leave in the bowl or in another bowl until triple in size (reaches the top of the TM bowl).
- Take out onto a floured worktop and cut the dough in half.
- Stretch the dough to a 40cm long oval shap. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment/silicone sheet.
- Do the same with the other half of the dough.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Nigella seeds.
- Leave to rest in a warm place for 30 min.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 220 (fan) and bake for 15-18 min until golden brown.
- Allow to cool at least 30 min before serving.
I love making bread. There is something deeply soothing in handling bread dough, letting it rise and shaping it. And I’m not even talking about the smell of freshly baked bread! Anyhow, I have been experimenting with different bread recipes lately and I particularly love bread with molasses in it. The caramelised flavour it confers to the loaf is just amazing. I’ve loosely used the recipe from Fast & Easy cookbook, the book that was sold with any TM31 in UK & Ireland.
Source: Fast & Easy cooking
270g strong wholemeal/granary flour
130g strong white bread flour
1 sachet fast instant yeast or 30g fresh yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
1tsp tsp sugar
50g olive oil
1 tbsp molasses
- Warm water and yeast 2 min/37C/speed 2.
- Mix in the other ingredients 6 sec/speed 6 (going progressively from speed 2 to 6 to avoid projection of water and flour onto the lid) to combine. The dough should form a ball and should begin to clean the sides of the bowl. If too dry, add a little more water and mix a few seconds more.
- Set timer to 2 minutes and set the Kneading function on. The mixture should end up soft and pliable and a bit tacky.
- Remove the lid, turn the bowl upside-down, undo the base unit and the dough will drop out, bringing the blades with it. Gather the dough together into a ball.
- Press lightly into a tin or make a loaf shape or rolls and place on the baking sheet.
- Brush lightly with olive oil, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes for a loaf or 10 to 12 minutes for rolls at 220C.
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.
Source: Christophe Felder
15g fresh yeast or 7g dried instant yeast
70g + 255g plain flour
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
1 egg and 1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp orange flower water
- In the Thermomix bowl, warm the yeast and milk 2 min/37C/speed 1.
- Add the 70g flour and mix 10 sec/speed 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.
- Add the 3 eggs, sugar and salt and knead 2 minutes.
- Knead for another 5 minutes and add the butter through the hole in the lid, orange flower water and candied peel.
- 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.
- Tip out into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 3 hours in the fridge to firm up.
- Divide the dough in 4 equal parts and roll each into a snake shape making the ends slightly narrower than the center.
- 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
- Place in a warm place (25C) and leave to rise for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180C.
- Brush the bretzels with eggwash.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brush the glaze over the Bretzels as soon as they are out of the oven. Leave to cool slightly before tucking in!
Each time I get an email notifying me that a new post was published on Valérie’s blog “C’est ma fournée”, my heart rate increases in anticipation. That’s because each and every post from Valérie is a gem. She has the knack to unearth the best recipes, her style is brilliantly funny and her step by step explanations are fool-proof. This time is no different and she sells this bread recipe so well that I had to try it the very next day. Indeed, the secret behind this bread is that it uses a mixture of water and flour cooked at exactly 65C (Tangzhong) until thickened, left to mature for 1 day before using it in the bread dough. Apparently, cooking the flour at 65C develops the gluten levels and makes the bread extremely soft and fluffy inside. I must say that my first batch wasn’t as fluffy as the one she had made but it tasted amazing and was a fairly good loaf overall. I guess I wasn’t sure as to what flour to use for this bread. She mentions the T45 French flour, which we don’t have in Ireland, so I used what I thought was the closest match: plain flour. Next time, I’ll use the strong white flour that we normally would use for breads to see if my dough rises more…
Source: C’est ma fournée
20g bread flour
350g strong flour
100g tangzhong (you will have slightly more than 100g so don’t use it all)
110g full fat milk
7g skimmed milk powder (I didn’t put it in)
5g dried instant yeast or 15g fresh yeast
- The day before, make the Tangzhong: place the water and flour in the TM bowl and cook 3 min/70C/speed 3.
- The mixture should be thickened. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to get the thicker bits to mix with the thinner ones and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to homogenise. Tip out into a small container and refrigerate minimum 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, place all the ingredients for the dough and mix 30 sec/37C/speed 3.
- Knead 3min30 at interval speed (wheat button) on the lid locked position. The dough should be quite wet. Take it out, scraping the dough out with the spatula. Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl covered with a tea cloth until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and cut into quarters. Roll one quarter on a floured surface into a rectangle.
- Fold in 3.
- Turn 1/4 to the right.
- Roll again into a rectangle shape.
- Roll over itself like a Swiss roll.
- Place in an oiled loaf tin.
- Repeat with the other 3 balls of dough.
- I let it prove in the fridge covered in cling film but you can prove it in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven at 150C and bake the loaf for 50 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack.
I have seen this brioche in many blogs recently and it looks so beautiful that I was set on making it one of these days. I have made my own Nutella because I don’t like what is in the shop bought version (mostly palm oil and sugar). This brioche is delicious and sure looks absolutely gorgeous!
Source: C’est ma fournée
500g plain flour
1 sachet of Fast action yeast or 20g fresh yeast
200g creme fraiche (I used sour cream)
1 tsp sea salt
2 eggs + enough milk to make up 180g (i.e. eggs weight + milk weight = 180g)
- Weigh all the ingredients in the TM bowl (make sure the salt and sugar are not in contact with the yeast).
- Mix 30 sec/37C/speed 3. Check the consistency. If it’s too tacky, add more flour.
- Knead 5 min (lock the lid and press the wheat symbol).
- Leave in the bowl for 2 hours to rise or place in a different bowl to rise in a warm place.
- Take out the dough from the bowl (turn the TM bowl upside-down on the bench, release the base and push the blades down).
- Split in 4 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a circle.
- Place 1 circle on a baking parchment or silicone mat and apply a thin layer of chocolate/hazelnut spread on it.
- Place a second circle and spread more chocolate/hazelnut. Do likewise with the 3rd circle and finally place the last circle of dough on top.
- Use a pastry ring to cut out a perfect circle.
- Twist the excess dough and turn it into another brioche.
- Use a glass to mark the center of the brioche.
- Cut from outside the glass marking towards the edges to get 4 quarters, then cut inside each quarter into 3 equal parts.
- Take 2 parts side by side and twist them in opposite directions 3 times. Do the same for each pairs.
- Place the ring around the brioche, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 2 hours in a warm place or overnight in the fridge. The dough won’t rise too much but don’t worry.
- Preheat the oven at 150C and bake the brioche for 30 minutes (along with the extra one made of excess dough).
- Eat quickly or freeze as this brioche doesn’t keep too well.
In the course of my Thermomix demonstrations, I come across a lot of different dietary needs or allergies so there is often a need to change or adapt the recipes accordingly. The most common allergy in Ireland is gluten allergy. I think this is where the proportion of coeliacs per capita is the highest in the world! So when I can’t make the yeast bread at a demo, I have found that these crackers are a perfect replacement. They are extremely tasty and easy to make. This recipe comes from Bernie Brennan, a consultant demonstrator from Galway, who herself has gluten allergy. Even if you are not coeliac, give these a go, they are so delicious!
120g whole almonds
35g seeds of choice (sunflower, chia, linseed or flax seeds, hemp seeds, psyllium husks or a mix of these…)
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper or piment d’Espelette or chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt (I omit of the cheese is already salty)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves only
150g cheese (Parmesan, Manchego, Pecorino pr any form full flavoured cheese)
2 cloves garlic
30g melted coconut oil or rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven at 180C (fan) or 200C (non fan).
- Grind all the ingredients except the oil and water at speed 10 until ground down.
- Add oil and water. Mix 15 sec/speed 4.
- Empty out onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Put another piece of parchment paper on top (so it doesn’t stick to your spatula) and flatten with a flat spatula or the back of a spoon. It should be about 3mm thick.
- Score with a knife to mark squares.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes – they may need longer depending on how moist the mixture was. If the edges start to brown too quickly, cover with baking parchment.
- Remove from the oven and transfer onto a cooling rack. Break into squares and keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Eat on its own or with any dips/patés/cheese you like. I served with some Philadelphia/Roquefort/Walnut paté and it is divine!
My family loves burgers but I don’t really like the buns you buy in the supermarket that are full of preservatives and sugar. I have tried a few recipes of soft buns before to try and match the moist texture of the traditional burger buns but each time the result didn’t come close. Then, I saw that my friend Nadine from Nuage de farine had posted a recipe that looked the business so off I went and made it. It was delicious and some went into my daughter’s lunch box and she ate it all (she usually wastes half the bread by not eating the crust because she doesn’t like it too hard)! This will be made again and again…
Source: Nuage de farine
500g bread flour
15g fresh yeast or 2 tsp of dry yeast (or fast action yeast)
2 tsp sea salt
75g milk (I used buttermilk because I had use it up)
25g olive oil
2 tbsp milk for the glaze and sesame/poppy seeds for the topping (optional)
- Weight the olive oil in the measuring cup and set aside.
- Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into the TM bowl and mix 30 sec/37C/speed 3 (you can leave the measuring cup OFF).
- Lock the lid and knead 3 min, leaving the measuring cup off. After 1 minute of kneading, pour the olive in a slow trickle through the hole in the lid.
- Finish the kneading time and tip out the dough into an oiled bowl. The dough is quite sticky at this stage so remove the blades to take it all out. Cover the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size (an oven heated at 50C for only 1 min or a plate warmer make great rising chambers!).
- Punch down the dough and flatten it on a floured worktop then fold it in 3 while flattening it. Divide the dough in 8 equal buns then cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes to get the gluten to relax.
- Shape the buns and place on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/silicone mat. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another hour in a warm place.
Buns after their rise, glazed and ready to be baked.
- Preheat the oven at 200C.
- Brush the buns with milk and sprinkle with seeds if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack and enjoy!
- Note: these buns, like any bread, can be frozen after the first rise or after the cooking time.
I needed buttermilk for a recipe but as usual, I only needed a small amount and since they only sell buttermilk by the litre, I was left with about 900ml of buttermilk that I didn’t what to do with.
A little google search later, I found this bread recipe, which sounded delicious. I added a bit more flour than the recipe called for because the dough was still quite wet and I also added a few seeds for the crunch and health benefits. It turned out beautifully with a dark, crispy crust (due to the honey and a ball of water I had placed on the sole of the oven) and tasted fantastic! It was the perfect match to my Smoked cardamom infused apricot jam!
Source: Home cooking at About.com
Makes a 2lbs loaf
1-1/2 cup buttermilk (375g)
3 Tablespoons honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups bread flour (I added 1/2 cup to that so in total 375g)
1 cup whole wheat flour (150g)
2 teaspoons yeast
50g nuts and seeds (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in the order above in the TM bowl.
- Mix 15 sec/37C/speed 3 to mix all the ingredients. If too wet or too dry, add flour/buttermilk accordingly.
- Knead 3 min. Tip out into an oiled bowl (take the bowl upside and free the blades to easily get the dough out). If any dough sticks to the blades, just whiz on speed 10 for 1 second and scrape the dough from the sides.
- Cover the bowl and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
- Shape the dough in 1 big or 2 smaller loaves and leave to rise for another hour in a warm place, covered with a tea cloth.
- Preheat the oven at 200C (fan oven) with an ovenproof bowl of water sitting on the sole.
- Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife a few times and bake for 30 minutes. Leave to cool on a rack.