{Baba au Rhum with Jasmine and Raspberry} – Baba cu rom si iasomie

baba au rhum

Baba au rhum or savarin are two pastry products that are best sellers in Romania – every pastry store features them in a way or another. I do remember eating them as a kid, they were incredibly sweet and had a cloud of whipped cream on top, decorated with a red jelly – quite appealing for a kid attracted to contrasts and anything fluffy, right?!

But as I grew up and began baking, I realized that what I used to eat as a kid has nothing to do with the real baba au rhum or savarin. They were merely trying to copy the shape, but the taste wasn’t there – how could it be when you use ready made mixes and vegetable whipping cream?! For years, I ignored these little beauties, but a few days ago, as I was browsing Pinterest, I stumbled upon a picture of Christophe Adam’s Rum Baba – he served it in a glass and it was floating in syrup, topped with a cloud of natural freshly whipped cream. I resonated with the picture right away and my mind was set – I was going to bake a rum baba and flood it with raspberry sauce, combining the taste of raspberry with a delicate jasmine flower aroma.

baba au rhum

I’m not usually a fan of yeasted dough, but this particular recipe yields a very soft, almost runny dough which can be kneaded in pretty much any mixer you have on hand. That surely simplified my job! Once mixed and the gluten properly developed, the dough is very easy to handle, especially with the help of vegetable oil. After shaping, the dough is left to rise and then baked – pretty simple, right?!

The fun part is soaking the baked babas in syrup – the options are endless. You can go for a simple vanilla syrup or be more adventurous and pick a flavor that brings everything to a whole new level. Star anise, lemon, orange, lime, cinnamon, cloves, rose or your favorite tea – how delicious all of these sound?! The baba au rhum itself is a base, while the syrup is the element that brings flavor, being well balanced by the topping – either chantilly or pastry cream.

BABA AU RHUM

Baba au rhum is a classic dessert with East European origins, the one product that stood at the base of creating the more famous savarin. The two of them are very similar though, the recipe is pretty much the same, the main difference being their distinctive shape – savarin is round, baked in a ring mold, while baba is either baked in a small, tall, round mold or in a miniature Bundt cake mold. Baba sometimes includes dried fruits in the dough as well, but they’re not compulsory. Both these desserts are baked until golden brown, then soaked in syrup and topped with whipped cream flavored with vanilla, also known as chantilly. Some sources quote vanilla pastry cream as option for filling the babas or savarins, while others indicate any cream that has a mousse like consistency.

{Jasmine Raspberry Baba au Rhum}
 
Author:
Serves:: 6-8 babas
Ingredients:
Enriched yeasted dough:
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 2g teaspoon salt
  • 4g dried instant yeast
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 100ml milk, slightly warm
  • 15g honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70g butter, melted and cooled
Jasmine syrup:
  • 300g white sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tablespoon jasmine flower buds (culinary use)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split legthwise
  • 40ml white rum
Raspberry sauce:
  • 100g frozen raspberries
  • 20g white sugar
  • 20ml water
Chantilly cream:
  • 400ml heavy cream
  • 60g powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split legthwise
Directions:
Enriched yeast dough:
  1. Combine the yeast, egg yolks, milk, honey, butter and vanilla in the bowl of your electric mixer.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix well for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Split the dough into 6-8 pieces and place them all into greased miniature Bundt pans.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
  5. Bake the babas in the preheated oven at 350F - 180C for 20-25 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and slightly crusty.
  6. Remove from the oven and from the pans and place aside to cool down completely
Jasmine syrup:
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then add the jasmine buds, as well as the vanilla pod.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat and place aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Drain through a fine sieve and place aside.
  4. Add the white rum as well.
Raspberry sauce:
  1. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes then pass the sauce through a fine sieve.
  3. Allow it to cool down then fill the pipettes.
Chantilly cream:
  1. Combine the cream, sugar and the seeds of the vanilla bean in a cold bowl.
  2. Whip with an electric mixer until fluffy and stiff.
  3. Spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle.
To assemble the baba au rhum:
  1. Heat up the jasmine syrup just until it's warm - don't boil it once more, it has to be hot, but not steaming hot.
  2. Place the babas in the syrup and allow them to soak up for 10 minutes, making sure they are covered in the syrup all the time.
  3. Carefully transfer the babas on a platter.
  4. Top each of them with chantilly cream and finish with one or two pipettes filled with sauce.

baba au rhumROMANIAN

Cred ca suntem toti familiari cu savarinele romanesti, imbibate in sos lipicios, imbracate cu frisca vegetala si decorate cu o pensula de jeleu rosu. Sigur, aveau un farmec aparte cand eram copil si nu stiam prea multe despre deserturi – nu-mi dau seama exact ce ma atragea, poate norul acela pufos de frisca vegetala, poate cantitatea generoasa de blat si crema. Cert e ca de cate ori paseam intr-o cofetarie, savarina era prima care imi atreagea atentia si care sfarsea inevitabil in farfurie. Optiunile erau oricum extrem de limitate in cofetariile din acea perioada, nu prea aveai ce alege. Dar era buna pentru o papila de copil care isi dorea doar sa fie dulce dulce dulce.

Intre timp insa, m-am mai scolit putin, am incercat tot felul de retete si papilele mele au devenit mult mult mai selective cu ceea ce mananc. Asa se face ca nu am mai mancat o savarina de la cofetarie de ani buni. M-am orientat in schimb spre a mi le face eu acasa si am avut de-a lungul timpului cateva incercari, care mai de mare mai mult sau mai putin reusite. Am ajuns intr-un final la concluzia ca savarina adevarata se face cu aluat dospit si ca o savarina asa cum o fac francezii nu are nicio legatura cu cea pe care o facem noi, romanii. In plus, nici nu sunt asa de greu de facut de fapt. Sa fiu sincera, partea cea mai grea mi s-a parut spalatul tavilor de mini guguluf!

Dupa ceva munca de cercetare, m-am lovit de doi termeni: savarina si baba cu rom. Concluzia a fost ca cele doua produse sunt oricum foarte similare, diferentele fiind in special de forma: savarina se coace intr-o forma de inel, in timp ce baba se coace fie intr-o forma rotunda, foarte inalta, fie intr-o forma de guguluf in miniatura. O alta diferenta ar fi faptul ca aluatul de baba se imbogateste cu fructe uscate, desi nu e obligatoriu. Eu am optat sa nu pun fructe uscate din simplul motiv ca nu prea imi plac adaugate in creme sau aluaturi, dar e vorba strict de gustul personal, nu de o practica obligatorie.

baba au rhum

Ce m-a inspirat pe mine in realizarea acestor mici prajituri a fost un desert apartinand lui Cristophe Adam – reprezenta o baba cu rom, servita intr-un pahar inalt, scaldata in sirop si acoperita cu chantilly din belsug. Mi-a placut mult ideea asa ca am pus mana pe prima carte pe care am vazut-o (Wayne Gisslen) si m-am pus pe treaba. Mi se pare oricum ca acest aluat si prajitura in sine sunt o baza extraordinara si iti permit sa modifici aromele ori forma. Pentru siropul care de fapt da gustul si aroma prajiturii, am ales iasomia si vanilia, insa voi puteti ramane pe clasica vanilie ori puteti plusa cu scortisoara, anason stelat, lamaie, portocala, lime ori cuisoare. Aici aveti cu adevarat libertate!

Nu sunt cel mai mare fan al aluaturilor dospite – framantatul nu e o activitate care sa-mi placa foarte mult – dar acest aluat e foarte hidratat si merge mixat cu orice mixer de mana pe care il aveti acasa. Si asta mi-a usurat mult munca pentru ca prin mixare obtineti un aluat omogen si elastic mult mai repede decat daca l-ati framanta. In plus, aluatul mixat astfel e atat de fin si elastic incat se si lucreaza foarte usor mai apoi.

Partea pe care o asteptati cu totii este insiroparea – fara acest sirop, babas ar fi destul de banale, simple brioche prea putin dulci. Siropul pentru savarine ori baba are procentaje destul de fixe de zahar si apa – de obicei in cantitati egale pentru a obtine un sirop gros, fluid. Eu insa prefer sa reduc zaharul cat de mult posibil, aducand un plus de aroma prin alte ingrediente. In plus, nu mi-am dorit un sirop lipicios, ci unul care doar sa-mi indulceasca usor desertul, pastrand iasomia, vanilia si romul in prim-plan.

Ingrediente:

Aluat:

  • 200g faina alba
  • 2g sare
  • 4g drojdie instant
  • 5 galbenusuri
  • 100ml lapte caldut
  • 15g miere
  • 70g unt, topit si racit
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie

Sirop cu iasomie:

  • 300g zahar alb
  • 500ml apa
  • 1 lingura flori de iasomie
  • 1 pastaie de vanilie, taiata in jumatate pe lungime
  • 40ml rom alb

Sos de zmeura:

  • 100g zmeura congelata
  • 20g zahar alb
  • 20ml apa

Crema chantilly:

  • 400ml smantana pentru frisca
  • 60g zahar pudra
  • 1 pastaie de vanilie

Mod de preparare:

Aluat:

  1. Combinati drojdia, galbenusurile, laptele, mierea, untul si vanilia in bolul mixerului electric.
  2. Adaugati faina si sarea si mixati 10 minute cel putin, pana obtineti un aluat elastic si fin.
  3. Ungeti-va mainile si masa de lucru cu ulei apoi impartiti aluatul in 6-8 bucati si puneti-le in forme de guguluf in miniatura, unse cu unt in prealabil.
  4. Lasati la crescut pentru aproximativ doua ore apoi coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pana devin aurii.
  5. Lasati sa se raceasca in forma apoi dati deoparte.

Sirop cu iasomie:

  1. Combinati zaharul, pastaia de vanilie si apa intr-un vas si puneti pe foc.
  2. Dati in clocot apoi adaugati florile de iasomie. Fierbeti 2-3 minute pana zaharul se topeste complet apoi dati deoparte si lasati sa infuzeze 10 minute. Treceti siropul printr-o sita fina si dati deoparte.
  3. Adaugati si romul alb.

Sos de zmeura:

  1. Combinati ingredientele intr-un vas mic si dati in clocot.
  2. Gatiti pentru 2 minute apoi treceti sosul printr-o sita fina pentru a inlatura semintele.
  3. Lasati sa se raceasca apoi umpleti pipetele cu acest sos.

Crema chantilly:

  1. Combinati smantana, zaharul si semintele pastaii de vanilie intr-un bol.
  2. Mixati pana obtineti o frisca bine batuta.
  3. Puneti frisca intr-un pos cu dui stea si dati la rece pana o veti folosi.

Pentru a asambla baba:

  1. Incalziti siropul cu iasomie intr-un vas – nu-l dati in clocot, trebuie sa fie cald, dar nu sa clocoteasca.
  2. Puneti prajiturile in sirop si lasati-le sa absoarba sirop cel putin 10 minute, asigurandu-va ca sunt inundate in sirop in permanenta.
  3. Luati cu grija prajiturile apoi umpleti-le si decorati-le cu chantilly, finisand cu o pipeta plina cu sos de zmeura.
  4. Si pentru ca mi-am dorit mult sa ma apriopii de varianta lui Cristophe Adam, am pus o baba intr-un pahar cu picior inalt – mi se pare o prezentare extrem de eleganta si classy!

Sa aveti pofta!

baba au rhum

{Caramel Pear Pavlova} – Pavlova cu pere si caramel

caramel pear pavlova

My love for meringues is unimaginable. I know there aren’t many clues of this on my blog, but this is about to change with the arrival of my new electric oven. The way electric ovens works allows me to make, you guessed it, meringues. It was one of the reasons I bought the oven in the first place. So expect to see more similar recipes on the blog in the near future.

But for now I went back to a recipe I tried many years ago and failed to master it – Pavlova. My oven back then, gas one, had troubles keeping the temperature stable so a dessert of this kind was impossible. My first try involved raspberries and whipped cream so I decided I should upgrade my game a bit and chose a mix of flavors I absolutely love – white wine poached pears, caramel chocolate sauce and whipped cream, decorated with spun sugar threads and dark chocolate shavings.

This caramel pear Pavlova is what my brother called it “the food of the Gods”. The mallow meringue, the rich caramel sauce, the airy cream and the texturized pun sugar threads lead to a tasting experience that is hard to forget. Plus, it’s a dessert that totally fits with the season – pears are easy to find, wine seems to be a permanent ingredient in my kitchen during winter, caramel is heart warming and the whipped cream is like a fluffy winter cloud. What a great way to spend a winter day!

The dessert itself, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, has a long history behind. This meringue like nest, topped with whipped cream and all sorts of sauces or fruits, it is said to have been created in the honor of the famous dancer during or after one of her tours in Australia or New Zeeland. It is looked at as a summer dessert, but I believe it’s just a matter of what you top it with. Pears, thick caramel and whipped heavy cream surely doesn’t sound like summer to me, but a rich late fall or winter day, the kind of comfort food that I absolutely adore!

caramel pear pavlova

5.0 from 1 reviews
{Caramel Pear Pavlova}
 
Author:
Serves:: 6-8 mini pavlova or 1 large
Ingredients:
Pavlova:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel sauce:
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • 100g caramel flavored chocolate chips (butterscotch chips)
White wine poached pears:
  • 6-8 small pears, ripe but firm
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 150g sugar
  • In addition to this, you will also need at least 1 cup of heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • Spun sugar and chocolate flakes to decorate
Directions:
Pavlova:
  1. Mix the egg whites and salt in a bowl until fluffy.
  2. Star adding the sugar, spoon by spoon, mixing well after each addition. Continue mixing for a few minutes until the meringue is thick, stiff and glossy.
  3. Stir in the vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper then drop 2-3 tablespoons of meringue on the tray to form small nests.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 100C for 1 hour then turn the oven off and let them cool down in the oven.
Caramel sauce:
  1. Bring the cream to the boiling point in a small saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the butterscotch chips. Mix until melted and smooth then place aside.
White wine poached pears:
  1. Combine the wine, water, sugar and spices in a deep saucepan.
  2. Pour a few cups of water in a bowl and add 2-3 lemon slices. Carefully peel the pears and core them then drop them in the lemon water to prevent browning.
  3. When the wine mixture begins to boil, drop the pears in.
  4. Cover the pears with a lid made of baking paper (a round sheet of baking paper placed on the surface of the water) and cook for 30 minutes on low flame. Turn the heat off and allow the pears to cool down in the syrup.
To assemble:
  1. Place a pavlova nest on a plate. Cover the meringue nest with dollops of whipped cream then drizzle with the caramel sauce.
  2. Place a pear on top and decorate with spun sugar and chocolate flakes or shavings. Enjoy!

ROMANIAN

Pavlova este un desert de origine australiana sau neozeelandez, adesea asociat cu vara, soare, fructe proaspete racoritoare, insa eu cred cu tarie ca e doar o chestie de topping. Pere, sos caramel si frisca batuta sigur nu ma duc cu gandul la vara, ci la o zi racoroasa de toamna tarzie sau iarna. E o combinatie de arome clasica, intensa, o combinatie care imi incanta papilele de fiecare data. Perele sunt printre fructele mele preferate, asa ca nu e de mirare ca imi plac atat de mult in acest desert. Au ele o prestanta aparte, un aer regal daca vreti si acoperite cu fire de caramel, devin adevarate vedete!

caramel pear pavlova

Acest desert e ceea ce fratele meu a numit “mancarea zeilor”, atat de mult i-a placut! Si e intr-adevar un desert minunat, pe cat de simplu de facut, pe atat de bun. Singurul lucru care va poate da de furca este bezeaua – un cuptor electric este mult mai indicat pentru o bezea care isi pastreaza culoarea alba si devine usor crocanta la exterior si  umeda, pufoasa la interior. Nu va descurajati daca aveti cuptor pe gaz insa – daca lasati usa intredeschisa obtineti un efect asemanator.

As putea zice ca am trisat putin la sosul de caramel – in loc de clasicul zahar topit – frisca, am folosit ciocolata cu gust de caramel, obtinand un fel de ganache caramel gros, aromat, delicios! Insa sosul de caramel clasic e la fel de bun!

Ingrediente:

Pavlova:

  • 4 albusuri
  • 200g zahar alb
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 1 lingurita otet
  • 1 lingura amidon de porumb
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie

Sos caramel:

  • 100ml smantana pentru frisca
  • 100g ciocolata cu aroma de caramel

Pere posate in vin alb:

  • 6-8 pere mici, coapte dar ferme
  • 2 cani vin alb demi-sec
  • 1 cana apa
  • 150g zahar alb
  • 1 baton scortisoara
  • 3 stele anason
  • 2 cuisoare

In plus, veti mai avea nevoie de cel putin 1 cana smantana pentru frisca, batuta bine si fulgi de ciocolata ori fire de caramel pentru decor

Mod de preparare:

Pavlova:

  1. Mixati albusurile cu un praf de sare pana devin pufoase.
  2. Adaugati zaharul, lingura dupa lingura, mixand bine cateva minute pana obtineti o bezea ferma, lucioasa si zaharul e topit complet.
  3. Incorporati otetul, amidonul si vanilia.
  4. Puneti bezeaua cu lingura intr-o tava de copt tapetata cu hartie, formand 6-8 mici cuiburi de bezea sau o pavlova mai mare.
  5. Coaceti pavlova in cuptorul preincalzit la 100C pentru 1 ora, apoi stingeti sursa de caldura si lasati pavlova in cuptor sa se raceasca.

Sos caramel:

  1. Incalziti smantana pentru frisca intr-un vas, apoi luati de pe foc si adaugati ciocolata.
  2. Amestecati pana la incorporarea completa si dati deoparte.

Pere posate in vin alb:

  1. Combinati vinul, apa zaharul si condimentele intr-un vas adanc si dati in clocot.
  2. Intre timp, curatati perele de coaja si scoateti-le cotorul. Pastrati perele intr-un vas cu apa si lamaie pentru a impiedica oxidarea.
  3. Puneti perele in lichidul fierbinte apoi acoperiti-le cu un capac din hartie de copt – taiati hartia de copt intr-un cerc si acoperiti lichidul chiar la suprafata. Acest disc de hartie ajuta perele sa ramana in lichid si sa se gateasca uniform.
  4. Fierbeti pe foc mic pentru 30 minute, apoi stingeti sursa de caldura si lasati perele sa se raceasca in lichid.
  5. Pentru a asambla desertul, puneti un cuid de bezea pe o farfurie, acoperiti cu frisca si sos caramel, apoi puneti deasupra o para posata. Decorati cu fire de caramel si fulgi de ciocolata.
  6. Sa aveti pofta!

caramel pear pavlova

{Raspberry Mascarpone Choux a la Creme} – Choux cu mascarpone si zmeura

raspberry mascarpone choux a la cremeDerulati in jos pentru limba romana!

In my latest post, we took a dive right into choux pastry and tips and tricks on making choux and eclairs. It was a rather informational post, one aimed to introduce you to the world of choux pastry and its endless possibilities. So I thought it was maybe time to actually give you a proper example of what you could do with the choux once baked, how versatile it is and how pretty it looks. It’s an exquisite dessert, elegant and rich, yet not too heavy on your taste buds. The mascarpone adds a certain smoothness and richness to the filling that I totally loved and found to be perfect accompanied by the raspberry sauce.

raspberry mascarpone choux a la creme

I find these raspberry mascarpone choux a la creme to be one dessert that doesn’t take much time to make and yet impresses not only with its deisng and simple decoration, but also with its taste. Now imagine the same choux filled with a dark chocolate mousse and bits of fresh fruits inside or maybe a luscious matcha whipped ganache or even a lavender lemon cream. The possibilities are truly endless and the flavor combinations you could make are sometimes surprising, but that’s the beauty of this dessert and choux a la creme or eclairs in general!

{Raspberry Mascarpone Choux a la Creme}
 
Author:
Serves:: approximately 20 choux
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 95g light brown sugar
  • 95g all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
Choux pastry:
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 150g bread flour
  • 4-5 eggs
Mascarpone mousse:
  • 150g mascarpone cheese
  • 150g white chocolate, melted and chilled
  • 3g gelatin
  • 15ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300ml heavy cream, whipped
Raspberry rose sauce:
  • 150g raspberries
  • 30g white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rose confiture (or 1 teaspoon rose water)
  • 3g gelatin
  • 15ml cold water
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl for a few minutes until creamy and pale.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix well.
  3. Transfer the dough on a sheet of baking paper and cover it with another sheet of baking paper. Roll the dough into a very thin sheet, about 2-3mm thickness. Place the dough in the freezer until needed.
Choux pastry:
  1. Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Once the butter is melted completely, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  3. The moment it comes to a boil, remove off heat and immediately add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the flour is well absorbed. Place the saucepan back over medium flame and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, mixing all the time, until a layer of dough remains on the bottom of the pan - keep the flame on medium to avoid burning and mix all the time with the spatula or spoon to cook out the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool down for 10 minutes.
  5. Start incorporating the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the last egg bit by bit to make sure you're not adding too much egg. The number of eggs used depends on the humidity of the dough, even on weather and the size of the eggs.
  6. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon and leaves a streak that doesn't collapse on itself if you run your finger through it.
  7. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitter with a round nozzle then pipe small dollops of dough on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (baking paper yields wrinkled choux or eclairs).
  8. Remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut small rounds of dough using a cookie cutter that is just as large as your piped dollops of dough. Carefully arrange the craquelin discs over each choux.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C - 350F for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 160C - 320F for another 15 minutes.
  10. When done, the choux needs to be crispy, dried, well risen, golden brown and hollow inside, they shouldn't flatten when cooled and they should remain crisp and dry.
Mascarpone mousse:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix the mascarpone cheese and chocolate in a bowl. Stir in the vanilla as well.
  3. Melt the gelatin over a hot water bath then gradually stir it in the chocolate and mascarpone mixture. It's important that all the ingredients are at room temperature or everything could go wrong.
  4. Fold in the whipped cream then spoon the mousse in a large pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle. Don't pipe the filling yet as it may be too runny! Instead, place it in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Raspberry rose sauce:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the raspberries, sugar and rose confiture or water in a saucepan and place over low heat. Cook until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. When done, puree the mixture through a fine sieve.
  3. Stir in the gelatin then allow the mixture to cool down. Spoon the sauce in a small pastry bag and place aside.
To assemble the dessert:
  1. Cut the top of each choux. Pipe a bit of mascarpone mousse inside the bottom part of the choux then top with raspberry sauce. Pipe mascarpone mousse again then cover with the cut out choux top.
  2. Decorate with fresh rasperries.

raspberry mascarpone choux a la cremeROMANIAN

In ultima mea postare va invitam sa descoperim impreuna mai multe detalii despre choux, eclere si aluatul oparit folosit pentru acest gen de desert. Va spuneam si atunci cat de versatil este acest aluat, iar reteta de astazi vine in sprijinul acestei afirmatii.

Aceste mici choux-uri umplute cu o crema de mascarpone si ciocolata alba, precum si un sos contrastant de zmeura si trandafir au fost micile delicatese care ne-au incantat in seara de Ajun a Anului Nou. Sigur, puteam alege o mie de alte combinatii de arome pentru a le umple, dar mi-am dorit ceva cu branza, apoi mi-am dat seama ca mascarpone in sine e destul de gras, asa ca un sos dulce-acrisor i-ar prinde bine. Si am ales zmeura pe care am innobilat-o cu putina dulceata primita in dar de la o buna prietena de Craciun.

Ingrediente:

Craquelin:

  • 85g unt la temperatura camerei
  • 95g zahar brun
  • 95g faina alba

Aluat oparit:

  • 150ml apa
  • 100ml lapte
  • 100g unt
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 1/2 lingurita zahar
  • 150g faina alba
  • 4-5 oua

Mousse de mascarpone:

  1. 150g branza mascarpone
  2. 150g ciocolata alba, topita si racita
  3. 3g gelatina
  4. 15ml apa rece
  5. 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  6. 300ml smantana pentru frisca, batuta

Sos de zmeura si trandafir:

  1. 150g zmeura
  2. 30g zahar alb
  3. 2 linguri dulceata de trandafir
  4. 3g gelatina
  5. 15ml apa rece

Mod de preparare:

Craquelin:

  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul pana obtineti un amestec cremos.
  2. Adaugati faina si amestecati bine. Veti obtine un aluat asemanator cu o pasta groasa.
  3. Transferati aluatul pe o foaie de hartie de copt si acoperiti cu o a doua foaie de copt.
  4. Intindeti aluatul intr-un strat foarte subtire, aproximativ 2-3mm grosime apoi puneti in congelator pentru cel putin 20 minute ori pana cand aveti nevoie de el.

Aluat oparit:

  1. Combinati apa, laptele, untul, zarea si zaharul intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic la inceput, pana cand untul se topeste complet. Dati focul mai tare si dati amestecul in clocot.
  2. In momentul in care incepe sa fiarba, luati de pe foc si adaugati faina, toata o data, apoi amestecati energic cu o lingura de lemn ori spatula, pana obtineti un aluat gros, omogen.
  3. Puneti vasul inapoi pe foc mediu si gatiti aluatul 2-3 minute, amestecand continuu pana cand se formeaza o crusta de aluat pe fundul vasului. Aveti insa grija cand amestecati sa nu incorporati bucati din crusta in aluat. Acest pas e foarte important pentru ca reduce umiditatea aluatului.
  4. Luati vasul de pe foc si lasati 10 minute sa se racoreasca.
  5. Incepeti sa adaugati ouale, unul cate unul, pana obtineti un aluat gros dar care totusi curge de pe lingura, arata matasos si fin si luceste. De asemenea, daca treceti cu degetul pe suprafata aluatului, acesta formeaza urme care nu se acopera, isi mentine forma.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund sau stea si formati mici gramajoare de aluat pe o tava tapetata cu o foaie de copt de silicon (merge si de hartie, dar talpa choux-urilor va fi usor incretita – hartia se increteste de la umiditatea aluatului).
  7. Acum e momentul sa scoateti si craquelin-ul din congelator. Folosind o forma de fursecuri rotunda cam de marimea gramajoarelor de aluat, taiati mici discuri de craquelin apoi puneti fiecare disc peste choux-uri.
  8. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 20 minute apoi reduceti la 160 pentru inca 10-15 minute.
  9. Cand sunt gata, choux-urile trebuie sa fie aurii, crocante, bine crescute si goale pe dinauntru.

Mousse de mascarpone:

  1. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece pentru 10 minute.
  2. Mixati mascarpone cu ciocolata topita apoi adaugati vanilia.
  3. Topiti gelatina pe baie de aburi si incorporati-o usor in amestecul de mascarpone si ciocolata.
  4. Adaugati si frisca si amestecati usor pentru a o incorpora. Turnati mousse-ul intr-un pos mare cu dui stea, insa sigilati varful pentru ca momentan crema e prea lichida pentru a o pune cu posul in choux-uri. Asadar, legati posul la capat si puneti-l in frigider pentru 30 minute.

Sos de zmeura si trandafir:

  1. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece pentru 10 minute.
  2. Combinati zmeura, zaharul si dulceata de trandafiri intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic. Gatiti 5-8 minute pana zmeura se inmoaie.
  3. Luati de pe foc si treceti amestecul printr-o sita fina.
  4. Adaugati gelatina hidratata si amestecati bine. Lasati sosul sa se raceasca apoi puneti-l intr-un pos mic.

Pentru a finisa desertul:

  1. Taiati partea de sus a choux-urilor apoi puneti putin mousse de mascarpone, urmat de sos de zmeura si din nou mousse de mascarpone.
  2. Acoperiti mousse-ul cu partea de choux taiata si finisati cu zmeura proaspata.
  3. Choux-urile sunt mai bune in ziua in care se umplu pentru ca se inmoaie destul de repede de la crema.

Sa aveti pofta!

{Nigella’s Everyday Brownies} – Brownies Nigella

Nigella's everyday brownies

It’s not like I were short of great brownie recipes – I’ve been baking quite a few over the years, the latest being these Coconut Brownies, but then I found Nigella’s recipe and I was intrigued. It’s definitely cheaper than most recipes I’ve baked or seen and it’s done in a very interesting way. I was intrigued more than anything else so I decided to give it a try. Made with cocoa powder and studded with white chocolate chips and bits of walnuts, these brownies ooze with richness and chocolatiness. Nigella’s everyday brownies are just that – a recipe to make for your day to day sweet tooth bursts, a simple, less extravagant recipe, but delicious nonetheless. The original recipe calls for dark chocolate chips, but I opted for white chocolate and walnuts instead just because I wanted to add a color and texture contrast. I’m thinking to add M&Ms next time or caramel bits, maybe dried fruits or almonds or salted peanuts. The sky is the limit!

Nigella's everyday brownies

Apart from the ingredient list and the way it’s made, these brownies come forward with another out of the ordinary thing – they call for baking soda. That’s quite unusual given the fact that brownies in their fudginess don’t use baking powder or baking soda. However, I suppose Nigella knows what she’s doing, right?! I trust this gorgeous woman when it comes to desserts, pasta or simply food that is comforting more than I trust other well-known cook book writers so without further talking, let’s get to the recipe itself.

{Nigella's Everyday Brownies}
 
Author:
Serves:: 10-12 small squares
Ingredients:
  • 150g buter, melted
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 140g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g white chocolate chips
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a small square pan with baking paper.
  2. Mix the melted butter with sugar then stir in the cocoa powder, salt, flour and baking soda and give it a good mix. The mixture will be pretty dry at this point.
  3. Mix the eggs with the vanilla extract then add them over the cocoa batter and mix well.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts then pour the batter in your prepared pan.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, maximum 25 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan then slice into small squares and serve.

Nigella's everyday browniesROMANIAN

Nu e ca si cum ramasesem fara retete bune de brownies, dar Nigella e Nigella, nu-i asa?! Si cand am dat cu ochii de reteta asta, m-a intrigat suficient de mult incat sa o si fac a doua zi. E o reteta mult mai putin costisitoare decat altele si se si face intr-un mod usor deosebit. In plus, spre deosebire de alte retete de brownies, reteta cere si putin bicarbonat de sodiu, un agent de crestere care nu se regaseste in reteta traditionala de brownies, acestea fiind prin definitie mai dense. Am plecat la drum insa cu ideea ca stie Nigella ce face si am respectat reteta, cu o singura diferenta: am inlocuit fulgii de ciocolata neagra cu ciocolata alba si miez de nuca. Mi-am dorit putin contrast, atat coloristic cat si textural, insa puteti pune ciocolata neagra fara probleme sau puteti adauga alte alune, migdale ori fructe uscate. E o reteta usoara, suficient de ieftina, dar delicioasa, cu un gust bogat, ciocolatos.

Ingrediente:

  • 150g unt, topit
  • 250g zahar brun (light)
  • 75g cacao
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 140g faina alba
  • 1 lingurita bicarbonat de sodiu
  • 4 oua
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 50g fulgi de ciocolata alba
  • 50g miez de nuca, tocat

Mod de preparare:

  1. Preincalziti cuptorul la 180C si tapetati o forma mica patrata (sau dreptunghiulara) cu hartie de copt.
  2. Amestecati untul topit cu zaharul, apoi incorporati cacaoa, sarea, faina si bicarbonatul de sodiu. Veti obtine o compozitie destul de uscata.
  3. Amestecati ouale cu vanilia, apoi turnati-le peste blatul de cacao. Amestecati usor cu o spatula, apoi incorporati fulgii de ciocolata si miezul de nuca.
  4. Turnati aluatul in tava pregatita si coaceti pentru 20, maxim 25 minute.
  5. Lasati sa se raceasca in tava apoi taiati in patratele mici.

 

Top 5 Peanut Butter Desserts

top 5 peanut butter desserts

Peanut butter is a fairly new ingredient for me. I was able to source it for the first time about 2 years ago, but I loved it from the very start. Since then it seems to have become much easier to find in most supermarkets though. Lucky me that I don’t have to hunt it down online! Peanut butter is not just for sandwiches after all! Tarts, cakes, rolls, they all take advantage of the amazing taste, richness and consistency of peanut butter! Here’s a round-up of the top 5 peanut butter desserts found on Pastry Workshop. Enjoy!

Caramel Peanut Butter Tarts

caramel peanut butter tarts

Creamy filling, crisp shell, these peanut butter tarts are a delicacy. The caramel aroma is the cherry on top and brings these tarts to a whole new level of deliciousness! You won’t regret making these, especially the peanut butter mousse which I could eat all day long without feeling guilty about it.

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

peanut-butter-sandwich-cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter is a match made in heaven and who am I to say no to a piece of heaven in just one tiny bite?! The richness and creaminess of the peanut butter filling complements the intense chocolate taste of the brownie cookies. The two elements of this dessert could easily be served in separate ways – the cookies are delicious on their own and the peanut butter filling is amazing in cakes or other combinations too.

 

 

Peanut Butter Swiss Rolls

peanut-butter-swiss-roll4-947x1024

A chocolate sponge cake filled with peanut butter mousse then covered in a deep chocolate ganache – this is what this dessert is all about. It’s quite impressive with its beautiful design, but despite your expectations, it’s easy to make and beyond delicious!

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

peanut-butter-pretzel-cookies

The purpose of these pretzels is not just to add a salty taste that complements well the peanut butter, but also to add texture, creating a delicious contrast. A touch of chocolate and these cookies become tiny pastry masterpieces that you can enjoy with a cup of milk or a mug of warm tea.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

Although the recipe is quite old, the cookies are delicious! These were the first cookies I ever made using peanut butter and it was love at first sight. They are crunchy, studded with chocolate chips and absolutely perfect next to a glass of warm milk or a cup of coffee.