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 cake is dynamite. Don’t do it if you don’t intend to do it again and again and again afterwards. This cake is so good, your kids will ask you to have it at every single occasion. So stock up on Guinness, turn on your Thermomix and get cracking!
250 g Guinness or stout
250 g unsalted butter, diced
60 g cocoa powder
400 g sugar
140 g sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
280 g plain flour
2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder)
250 g dark chocolate
250 g double cream
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp unsalted butter
- Weigh Guinness into the TM bowl. Add butter and melt 3 min/50C/Speed 1 (the butter should be softened or melted).
- Add cocoa, sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Mix 45 sec/Speed 5.
- Add flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix 20 sec/Speed 3. Pour into a buttered and lined 23cm springform tin.
- Bake for 45 to 70 minutes at 180C without fan/160C with fan/Gas Mark 4.
- Cool completely before applying ganache topping.
- Ganache: heat all the ingredients together 3 min/50C/Speed 2 or until chocolate is completely melted. Pour onto cooled cake and smooth over the edges.
Each time I ask my daughter what she wants for dessert, the reply is always the same: “chocolate mousse!”. I came across this quick and easy version for chocolate mousse recently where you whisk the whole eggs and it works beautifully. The texture is a bit denser and firmer than the traditional mousse but it is equally as delicious.
Source: chic chic chocolat
1 tbsp water
180g dark chocolate
60g strong coffee (or orange juice if you don’t like coffee)
- Place the butterfly whisk in the TM bowl with the eggs, sugar and water. Whisk 3 min/70C/speed 3.5.
- Whisk another 5 min/speed 3.5.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and coffee (or juice) in the microwave in short bursts and stir between each until the chocolate is just melted.
- Fold gently some of the egg mixture into the chocolate. Add the remaining egg mixture and fold gently until combined.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set.
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.
I am not a big fan of Starbucks I must confess. I find their coffee pretty weak and horrid and I can’t remember much from eating their pastries. However, when I saw this recipe going around in Facebook, the picture looked very delicious and lemon cakes are my soft spots. So I tried it and it is every bit as delicious as it looked. Here is the recipe, adapted to Thermomix and the European measurements (I include the cup measures also for those who use it).
Source: someone on Facebook…
240g (1 1/2 cup) plain flour, sieved
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
215g (1 cup) SUGAR
30g (2 tbsp) butter, Softened.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
80g (1/3 cup) lemon juice
100g (1/2 cup) oil
230g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) caster sugar
30g (2 tbsp) whole milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract
- Preheat the oven at
180C 170C (fan ovens).
- Insert the butterfly whisk in the TM bowl. Blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in the TM bowl 1 min/speed 4. Remove the butterfly whisk.
- Add the sieved flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 10 sec/speed 6.
- Add the oil and mix 10 sec/speed 6.
- Pour the batter in a greased 9×5 inch loaf tin (23x12cm) and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cook on a grid.
- Clean and dry the bowl.
- Grind the sugar for 30 sec/speed 10.
- Add the milk and lemon extract and mix 10sec/speed 6 or until combined and smooth.
- When the cake is completely cooled down, pour over the lemon icing and let it set before slicing.
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!
370 g plain flour
75 g caster sugar
100 g milk (full fat)
2 tsp dried instant yeast
125 g butter, cubed
150 g pearl sugar (or sugar cubes slightly crushed into chunks), optional
- In the TM bowl, place the milk, sugar, eggs and yeast and warm 2 min/37C/speed 2.
- Add the flour and salt and knead for 6 minutes.
- After 1 minute kneading, add the butter cubes through the hole in the lid.
- Leave in the bowl to rise for 2 hours.
- Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten it with your hands and sprinkle the sugar pearls all over if using.
- Fold the dough to cover the sugar and cut into 16 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
- Grease and heat the waffle maker and insert the dough balls (one per waffle) to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Eat warm sprinkled with icing sugar, or spread with jam or hazelnut paste.
This is a quick and super tasty dish to make with Thermomix (which comes in handy to prepare all the components of this dish). I got the idea for the salad from Mamina in her blog “La table de Mina” and the dressing is the secret dressing recipe from Wagamama, a chain of Asian restaurants in the UK and Ireland (curtesy of C’est ma fournée for the recipe). When I say secret, it’s not anymore since Wagamama revealed the recipe in their latest cookbook after being so jealously guarded for so long (it’s THE dressing that gets the customers coming back for more!).
Source: La table de Mina and C’est ma fournée
Serves 4 people
200g Basmati rice
500g jumbo prawns (I used fresh but if frozen, thaw them first)
1 handful of fresh coriander
1 small red chilli
2 garlic cloves
2.5 cm fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove
1 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp water
90g sunflower oil
10g sesame oil
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
- Place the rice in the internal basket with 1 L water in the bowl. Place the basket in the TM bowl and rinse the rice 5 sec/speed 5.
- Cook 10 min/Varoma/speed 1.
- Wash the courgette and cut it into ribbons lengthways using a Y peeler or a mandoline. Place on the Varoma tray.
- When the 10 minutes are up, remove the measuring cup and place the Varoma on the lid. Cook for a further 10 min/Varoma/speed 1.
- Meanwhile, peel and cut the mango and peel the garlic and ginger. De-seed the chilli.
- When the rice is cooked, set it aside. Rinse the bowl in cold water and run the blades at speed 8 while dropping the garlic and ginger for the dressing. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
- Add the remaining dressing ingredients and blend 15 sec/speed 6.
- Pour into a small bottle (you’ll have enough dressing for a few dishes). Keep the leftover in the fridge for up to a week.
- Rinse the bowl and drop the chilli, the remaining garlic and ginger for the salad on speed 8.
- Add some oil and cook 3 min/100C/speed 1.
- Add the defrosted prawns and cook 3 min/100C/speed 1. Test to check the prawns are cooked or add 1 minute if not.
- Place the rice into a serving bowl. Tip out the prawns and mix in. Add the pieces of mango, the chopped coriander and pour over the dressing. Enjoy!
Most French children have a memory of semolina cake, either made by their mum or bough from the shop. I have this fond memory of a semolina cake with chocolate ganache from the brand Yabon that I just couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, nowadays we can’t find decent semolina cakes in France anymore as they have “changed” the recipe (replacing natural ingredients with cheap processed ones to increase their bottom line as usual). But anyway, nothing beats homemade so here is a nice recipe to turn back the time…
Source: Espace Recettes Thermomix
125 g fine semolina
1000g whole fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
Pinch of salt
90g dark chocolate
- Put the butterfly whisk in the bowl.
- Add the milk, sugar, semolina, seeds scraped from the vanilla pod and salt.
- Cook for 11 min/100c/speed 1.
- Add the eggs and cook a further 4 min/100C/speed 3.
- Pour out into a dish and let it cool down before refrigerating a couple of hours to set.
- Meanwhile, make the ganache: in a clean and dry TM bowl, break the chocolate into chunks and grate 5 sec/speed 6.
- Add the cream and melt for 3 min/50C/speed 2, scraping down the sides half way through.
- Let it cool and thicken before pouring over the semolina cake.
Charlottes are a French dessert made with special biscuits (called biscuits á la cuillere) and a mousse inside. I have already published an Orange charlotte a while ago but this time I made a chocoholic version, which is very rich and decadent. Forget about dieting and your beach figure for the time being and indulge yourself with some of this delicious Charlotte. Yummy.
Source: La popotte de Manue
For a 20cm Charlotte, serves 6
Makes about 28 biscuits
12g unsweetened cocoa powder
50g egg yolks
100g dark chocolate
3 gelatine leaves (2g each)
- Make the biscuits: preheat the oven at 200C.
- Separate the whites from the yolks and whisk the whites until foamy, then add the sugar in 3 thirds while whisking until firm and glossy.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk for 5 seconds to combine.
- Add the sieved flour and cocoa powder and fold in gently.
- Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. You will need the biscuits to be the same length so draw lines on the paper 8 cm apart using a pencil (I was able to mark 3 rows of 8 cm bands, each band separated by 2 cm). Turn the paper upside-down.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle with the biscuit mixture. Pipe the biscuits using the bands as delimiters and leaving space between each biscuit.
- Dust with icing sugar.
- Bake for 10 minutes (watch during the cooking).
- The syrup: while the biscuits are cooking, place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes and take out of the heat. Add the rum and set aside to cool.
- When the biscuits are cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool before lifting them gently with a flat spatula (be careful as they are quite brittle).
- Make the Bavarois cream: place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
- Place the milk, sugar and egg yolks in the TM bowl and cook 8 min/80C/speed 4 to make a custard.
- Add the drained gelatine through the whole in the lid on running blades at speed 3 until melted.
- Add the chocolate and mix 20sec/speed 8. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
- Clean and thoroughly dry the TM bowl. Insert the butterfly whisk and add the cream to the bowl.
- Whisk on speed 4 measuring cup OFF peeping through the whole as you will need to stop as soon as it looks softly whipped (underneath will be firmer).
- Add the whipped cream to the cooled custard (no more than 37C to avoid thermal choc). Mix using a whisk.
- Cut about 15 biscuits to 6cm high.
- Line the bottom of a 20 cm springform cake tin with some baking parchment. Place the biscuits around the tin, icing sugar side facing out and cut side down.
- Brush the rum syrup over 3 or 4 biscuits and line them at the bottom of the tin.
- Pour half the custard over the biscuit base.
- Brush 4 more biscuits with the syrup and place them on top of the custard. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Pour the remaining custard over the slightly frozen Charlotte and freeze again for another 2 hours (or overnight).
- Take out of the freezer and heat the outside of the tin with a blowtorch or a hairdryer so you are able to release the sprinform tin gently. Lift out the frozen Charlotte and place on a plate.
- Sprinkle with grated chocolate or vermicelli.
- Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before serving.
Looking for a recipe to use up some lemon curd leftover, this recipe from J’en reprendrai bien un bout caught my eye because of the addition of a pistachio cream on the base. The colours looked beautiful and the taste was obviously going to be fantastic (pistachio and lemon seem to be a mariage made in heaven).
Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout
For a tart tin of 26cm diameter
140g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (or peel using a paring knife)
250g plain flour
25g ground almond
1 pinch salt
125g shelled unsalted pistachios
30g ground almond
3 drops almond extract
1 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, canola…)
Pistachio/almond cream (I give you double the quantities of the original recipe as I find the layer could have been thicker)
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g ground almond
80g pistachio paste
300g lemon curd
120g egg whites
- Sweet pastry: place the sugar and lemon peel in the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 10.
- Add the butter and mix 10 sec/speed 6 to cream the butter.
- Add the other ingredients and lock the lid, then press turbo until the dough clings together (check often as you don’t want to over mix).
- Tip out the dough and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Pistachio paste: roast the pistachios in the oven 10 min at 150C.
- Make a syrup: place the water in a saucepan, add the sugar and boil until it reaches 121C (use a food thermometer).
- Take out of the heat and add the pistachios and stir until it coats the pistachios and the sugar crystallises.
- Place the pistachios, ground almonds, almond extract in the TM bowl. Mix 20 sec/speed 10. Scrape down the sides with the spatula.
- Add the oil and mix a few times 15 sec/speed 10. Keep on scraping down the sides between each mix. Continue until the pistachios releases their oil.
- Tip out into a jar.
- Almond/pistachio cream: place the butter and sugar in the Thermomix and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
- Add the egg and pistachio paste and mix 20 sec/speed 6 until combined, scraping down half way through.
- Add the ground almond and mix at speed 6 until well combined (scrape down every so often).
- Roll the pastry (you won’t need the whole lot) and line the buttered and floured tart tin.
- Place a greaseproof paper on the pastry and scatter dried beans or ceramic beads on top. Bake blind in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
- Remove the dried beans and greaseproof paper and pour the pistachio cream on the pastry.
- Bake again 15 minutes at 180C.
- Leave to cool completely on a grid.
- Spread the lemon curd.
- Italian meringue: place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Boil over high heat until it reaches 115C.
- Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks.
- When the syrup has reached temperature, slowly pour in a small stream over the egg white while whisking. Make sure the syrup doesn’t touch the whisk.
- Continue whisking until the egg whites have cooled down to about 40C.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a nozzle of you choice (I used a Saint-Honoré nozzle),
- Pipe over the tart. You can sprinkle chopped pistachios over and serve cold.