{Croissants} – Croissante cu unt

croissants

My first encounter with pate feuilletee happened years ago and let’s just say that it didn’t end up with the best results. But it did leave me with the feeling that viennoiserie was just not for me. So for the years to come I completely avoided making any sort of puff pastry thinking that the amount of work involved is not necessarily worth it at the end of the day. But oh boy, how wrong was I! It took 2 days and over half kilogram of butter to make me realize that homemade puff pastry is million times better than any store-bought dough, not just in terms of taste (real butter does wonders in terms of taste, trust me!), but also in terms of texture. Plus, let me say this loud and clear – making pate feuilletee may be time consuming, but it’s incredibly therapeutic as well! I found myself looking forward to checking my dough, to laminating it and checking that beautiful layering. I did tests, checked texture, took temperatures, I felt happy, I felt motivated! Somehow, these croissants managed to light a spark where I thought there was none!

croissants

I’ve had my eyes on croissants for a very long time. I kept seeing these gorgeous pictures of croissants on Antonio Bachour’s Instagram account and I felt motivated to give them a try. Sure, mine are miles miles away from his, but hey, it’s my first time actually making croissants from scratch so allow me to be proud of what I’ve achieved. I do look up to him and I won’t stop until my croissants will be just as puffed up and impressive! It’s a promise I’m making to myself today and at the same time a challenge for my pastry skills. I will get there!

croissants

Croissants are challenging to make, no doubt about that, but here’s a few tips and tricks to ease your work:

  • don’t rush the dough – keep count of the time it spends in the fridge and follow the recipe. If the dough or butter are not cold enough, it will be difficult to roll.
  • allow the dough to rise properly, following the time indicated in the recipe – this is crucial if you want fluffy, airy croissants.
  • use a mix of bread flour and all-purpose flour to achieve the right amount of gluten – I used a local stronger flour, but some people say that French flour works the best. I have yet to test other types of flour.
  • the preferment adds not just a better taste to the final dough, but it also makes it more elastic.
  • detrempe is the term used for the dough (without the addition of butter, before laminating it)
  • brushing the croissants twice with egg wash will yield a better crust.
  • the taste and flavor of your butter surely impacts the final taste of the croissants so use a good quality butter.
5.0 from 6 reviews
{Croissants}
 
Recipe adapted after Wayne Gisslen
Author:
Serves:: 30 croissants
Ingredients:
Preferment:
  • 200ml water (see Notes)
  • 40g fresh yeast (or 16g active dry yeast)
  • 150g all-purpose flour
Detrempe:
  • The preferment from above
  • 80g white sugar
  • 25g salt
  • 350ml milk
  • 70ml water
  • 600g bread flour
  • 350g all-purpose flour
Beurrage:
  • 600g butter, softened (see Notes)
You will also need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Directions:
Preferment:
  1. Combine the three ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Detrempe:
  1. Mix the sugar, salt, milk and water in the bowl of your stand mixer until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
  2. Add the preferment, bread flour and all-purpose flour and mix with a spoon to combine well.
  3. Turn your mixer on and knead on low speed for 2 minutes, then on medium speed for 3 minutes. Don't mix longer than this - we don't want to develop too much gluten. If you're doing this by hand, knead for a maximum of 8 minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl on a floured working surface and shape it into a 40cm square for now.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with flour and roll into a rectangle that has between about 1cm thickeness.
  7. Take your softened butter and spread it over two-thirds of the dough, leaving one third clean and exposed for now. Dust off the flour if needed then fold the unbuttered third over the butter. Fold the remaining third (buttered) on top. This is called a simple fold.
  8. Wrap the dough into plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1½ hours.
  9. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured working surface, making sure it's turned to 90 degrees compared to how it was when you folded the first time.
  10. Roll the dough into a rectangle that has about 1cm thickness. Be gentle while rolling - the risk of tearing the dough apart is high. Always roll in one direction - lengthwise.
  11. Complete one simple fold as described above then place the dough back in the fridge for 1 hour.
  12. Repeat the simple fold process 2 more times, remembering to turn the dough 90 degrees before rolling.
  13. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  14. The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured working surface.
  15. Roll it into a rectangle that has about 40x110cm. If the dough resists or shrinks back during rolling, fold it and place it in the fridge to relax for 20 minutes then unfold and continue rolling.
  16. Cut the dough into strips of 20cm width then cut it into triangles as shown below.
  17. Roll each triangle into a croissant: start by making a small cut at the bottom of the triangle then roll the two wings obtained by moving your hands outwards from the center. While rolling, gently pull the tip of the triangle to slightly elongate it. Continue rolling until you reach the end.
  18. Place the croissants in a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure they have enough space to rise and bake.
  19. Mix the eggs with milk then brush the croissants with a thin layer of egg wash - this is only the first coating.
  20. Allow the croissants to rise at room temperature (22-26C) for about 2 hours. To test if they are proofed enough, gently shake the pan - if the croissants seem to wiggle, they are ready for the oven.
  21. Brush the croissants once again with egg wash - be gentle as they can easily be deflated at this point.
  22. Bake in the preheated oven at 190C (fan oven on) for 6 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170C for another 10 minutes. The final croissants should be golden brown and crispy. If they're not, continue baking a few more minutes. The ideal temperature and baking time can only be learnt by trying, especially since every oven is different.
  23. They are best eaten fresh, but they can be frozen as well. Simply re-heat them when you want a warm, buttery croissant for breakfast!
Notes
- The water used for the preferment, as well as the milk and remaining water for the detrempe should be room temperature, considering that your room temperature doesn't go higher than 22C.
- The butter used for beurrage should be slightly soft, easy to spread, but still a bit cold to the touch. Don't be tempted to heat it in the microwave!
- Sift the flours before using.
pate feuilletee

How to do the first simple fold

cutting croissants

How to cut croissants

croissantsROMANIAN

Prima mea intalnire cu aluatul foietat/laminat s-a intamplat acum ceva ani, iar rezultatul a fost departe de ceea ce ma asteptam. Am concluzionat atunci ca acest tip de aluat nu e pentru mine, ca nu-mi iese si pace. Si nici ca am mai avut curaj sa-l incerc in anii care au urmat. Mi-au trebuit doua zile si mai bine de jumatate de kilogram ca sa realizez ca acest tip de aluat, desi migalos, merita orice secunda pe care o petreci in bucatarie! Gustul si textura finala a croissantelor e mult peste orice am cumparat vreodata de pe piata!

Sa nu credeti insa ca aceste croissante sunt perfecte. Graba strica treaba mereu si acesta reteta nu a fost lipsita de peripetii si mici greseli, toate plecand de la faptul ca am incercat sa grabesc timpii de asteptare. Nu faceti ca mine! Lasati aluatul la rece cat trebuie, permiteti-i sa creasca pana atinge volumul maxim, realizati impaturirile la timp!

croissants

Pentru a obtine croissante perfecte trebuie sa stiti urmatoarele:

  • nu va grabiti si nu incercati sa scurtati sau sa sariti pentru pasii de pregatire si impaturire ale aluatului.
  • folositi un amestec de faina alba, normala, pentru uz general si o faina mai puternica, cu un continut ridicat de gluten, denumita adesea faina pentru patiserie/pizza/paine.
  • scopul maialei nu este neaparat acela de a testa drojdia, cat mai degraba acela de a imbunatati gustul produsului final si de a da mai multa elasticitate aluatului.
  • detrempe este termenul pentru aluatul de baza, inainte de a-l lamina cu unt.
  • folositi apa si lapte la temperatura camerei, avand grija ca aceasta sa nu depaseasca 22-26C – temperaturile prea mari ingreuneaza lucrul cu acest tip de aluat deoarece untul incepe sa se topeasca.
  • cerneti faina inainte de a o folosi
  • nu va speriati de cantitatea de sare – cantitatea de aluat obtinuta este destul de mare, iar sarea este exact cat ii trebuie pentru a obtine un aluat echilibrat.
  • untul folosit pentru beurrage trebuie sa fie moale, dar inca usor rece la atingere. In niciun caz nu il incalziti la microunde sau lasati pe masa prea mult timp!
  • aluatul pentru croissante este diferit de aluatul de foietaj folosit pentru palmieri de exemplu, acesta din urma neavand in compozitie drojdie.
  • se practica des ugerea croissantelor de doua ori cu ou, acest lucru producand o crusta mult mai buna.
  • intindeti aluatul intodeauna doar pe lungime.
  • untul e un factor important in determinarea gustului final al croissantelor, asa ca folositi un unt de calitate si sub nicio forma nu inlocuiti cu margarina sau alti inlocuitori!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Croissante cu unt
 
Author:
Serves:: 30 croissante
Ingredients:
Maia:
  • 200ml apa
  • 40g drojdie proaspata (sau 16g drojdie uscata)
  • 150g faina alba
Detrempe:
  • Maiaua de mai sus
  • 80g zahar alb
  • 25g sare
  • 350ml lapte
  • 70ml apa
  • 600g faina pentru paine (cu continut ridicat de gluten)
  • 350g faina alba
Beurrage:
  • 600g unt, temperatura camerei
Veti mai avea nevoie si de:
  • 2 oua
  • 1 lingura de lapte
Directions:
Maia:
  1. Combinati ingredientele in bolul mixerului si amestecati pana la omogenizare. Dati deoparte 15 minute – veti observa ca amestecul incepe sa creasca.
Detrempe:
  1. Combinati zaharul, sarea, laptele si apa intr-un vas si amestecati pana zaharul se topeste complet.
  2. Adaugati maiaua si faina, apoi mixati 2 minute la viteza mica si 3 minute la viteza medie. Nu mixati aluatul prea mult. Daca framantati de mana, nu depasiti 8 minute de framantat.
  3. Acoperiti bolul cu folie alimentara si lasati la crescut 1 ora la temperatura camerei (22-26C).
  4. Puneti aluatul pe suprafata de lucru usor infainata si dati-I forma unui patrat de aproximativ 40cm latime/lungime.
  5. Presarati cu putina faina (intotdeauna lucrati cu putina faina – nu incarcati aluatul mai mult decat e necesar) si intindeti aluatul intr-un dreptunghi cu grosime de aproximativ 1cm.
  6. Luati untul moale (aveti grija sa nu fie incalzit peste masura – ideal ar fi sa se simta inca usor rece la atingere, desi maleabil si usor de intins) si intindeti-l peste ⅔ din aluat, lasand ⅓ libera.
  7. Trageti cu grija treimea de aluat neunsa cu unt peste untul intins peste aluat, apoi finisati acoperind acest aluat cu treimea ramasa (unsa cu unt). Acesta se numeste impaturire simpla. Infasurati aluatul in folie alimentara si dati la rece 1 ½ ore.
  8. Puneti aluatul pe masa de lucru exact in aceeasi directie, apoi intoarceti-l la 90 grade in comparatie cu directia in care l-ati laminat mai devreme. Intindeti aluatul din nou pana atinge o grosime de aproximativ 1cm – intodeauna intindeti doar pe lungime, obtinand astfel fasii lungi de aluat, pastrand aproximativ aceeasi latime de la inceput. Efectuati inca o impaturire simpla ca mai devreme, apoi dati la rece 1 ora. (verificati fotografiile de mai sus pentru a vedea cum se realizeaza impaturirile)
  9. Repetati inca 2 impaturiri simple, apoi infasurati aluatul in folie si dati la rece peste noapte.
  10. A doua zi, scoateti aluatul de la rece si asezati-l pe o suprafata infainata usor. Intindeti aluatul intr-un dreptunghi de aproximativ 40cm latime si 110cm lungime, avand o grosime de apoximativ 0,5cm. Daca aluatul se intinde greu si se retrage in timp ce il intindeti, impaturiti-l usor si dati-l la rece 20 minute pentru a se relaxa, apoi continuati intinderea.
  11. Taiati 2 fasii de aluat de 20cm latime apoi taiati fiecare fasie in triunghiuri cu baza de aproximativ 12cm.
  12. Faceti o taietura mica la baza tringhiului (1-2cm adancime e suficient), apoi rulati croissantele cat mai strans posibil, intinzand usor varful tringhiului pentru a-l lungi. Aveti grija sa inlaturati excesul de faina cu o pensula inainte de a rula.
  13. Asezati croissantele intr-o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt, avand grija sa lasati suficient spatiu intre ele pentru a le permite sa creasca.
  14. Bateti cele doua oua cu laptele apoi ungeti croissantele cu ou.
  15. Lasati-le la crescut la temperatura camerei (22-26C) pentru aproximativ 2 ore. Pentru a testa daca sunt crescute suficient, miscati usor tava – daca croissantele joaca usor ca un jeleul, sunt pregatite pentru copt.
  16. Ungeti croissantele a doua oara cu ou apoi coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 190C cu ventilatie pentru 6 minute, apoi reduceti temperatura la 170C pentru inca 10 minute sau pana croissantele sunt aurii uniform si au o crusta crocanta, in timp ce la interior sunt bine crescute, uniforme. Tineti cont insa de faptul ca fiecare cuptor e diferit, astfel incat timpul de coacere si chiar temperaturile ar putea fi putin diferite.
  17. Sunt perfecte calde, insa pot fi congelate dupa coacere. Pentru a le servi, pur si simplu reincalziti-le in cuptor timp de 2 minute pana redevin crocante.

croissants

 

{Matcha Swirl Marshmallows} – Bezele moi cu ceai verde

matcha swirl marshmallows

For the longest of times I had this crazy and totally unrealistic idea about marshmallows – that they are empty calories without taste, that their texture is weird and they’re basically not worth making. My only time making marshmallows besides these was years ago and I clearly forgot all about the entire experience since then. Because otherwise I can’t explain why I’ve been missing out on such a treat! (Seriously, look at the picture below, see that gorgeous texture? Totally in love with it!)

matcha swirl marshmallows

The process of making these swirl matcha marshmallows is pretty easy, although not lacking risks. Afterall, you are going to be working with an extremely hot sugar syrup! Check out this article to learn more about working with heated sugar!

I only had a bit of matcha powder left (someone has to re-stock on green tea powder btw) so I thought I really needed a recipe that would emphasize this green valuable powder, not just in terms of taste, but also in terms of color. It happens that green is my favorite color and the matcha green is an absolute feast for the eyes! So I really wanted to preserve the color as it is. Marshmallows were the first and the best thought to come to my mind and I wasn’t wrong!

These fluffy cubes of deliciousness are easy to make, fairly quick if you have a stand mixer at your disposal and they are a great base for pretty much any flavor you can think of. Add dried fruits, fruit purees, melted chocolate and boom, there you have it, a whole new treat for the satisfaction of your sweet tooth!

4.7 from 3 reviews
{Matcha Swirl Marshmallows}
 
These matcha marshmallows are not just brightly swirled, but also intense and fluffy, the perfect little bites to chew on when your sweet tooth goes crazy!
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 500g white sugar
  • 30g liquid glucose
  • 185ml water
  • 20g gelatin + 100ml water
  • 120g egg whites
  • 2g salt
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 8g matcha powder
  • 30ml cold water
  • 50g powdered sugar + 50g cornstarch
Directions:
  1. Prepare a 20x20 square pan by greasing it slightly with oil. Place aside until needed.
  2. Mix the matcha powder and 30ml cold water in a small bowl and place aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, liquid glucose and water in a pot – choose a large one as it will foam up later on! Place on medium heat. And cook until it reaches 127C.
  4. Bloom the gelatin in cold water until needed.
  5. When the syrup reaches 115C, start whipping the egg whites in bowl of your stand mixer for a few minutes until foamy. Add the salt and whip 1 more minute.
  6. When the syrup reaches 127C take the pot off heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin. Mix quickly, being careful as it tends to foam up.
  7. Start pouring the syrup over the whipped egg whites in a steady, low stream, whipping all the time.
  8. Once you’ve added all the syrup, continue mixing for 7-10 minutes until the meringue is glossy and stiff and the bowl is almost cold.
  9. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  10. Take 4 tablespoons of marshmallows mixture aside in a small bowl and mix it with the matcha syrup.
  11. Return the matcha marshmallow back to the bigger bowl and mix with a spatula a few times just to swirl it in.
  12. Pour the marshmallow batter in the pan you prepared earlier and place in the fridge for a few hours to set.
  13. Sift the powdered sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.
  14. Cut the marshmallows into small squares and roll them through the cornstarch mixture – optionally, you can roll them through shredded coconut to add not just texture, but also taste.

matcha swirl marshmallowsROMANIAN

Pentru mult timp am evitat cu inversunare bezelele moi. Prima si singura data cand le-am facut, acum cativa ani, nu ma impresionasera atat de tare. Dar atunci cand m-am trezit cu un rest de pudra matcha intr-un borcanas in dulapul meu cu ingrediente, primul meu gand a mers spre marshmallows. Asa ca m-am hotarat sa le mai dau o sansa, nu doar pentru ca imi doream o baza neutra care sa ii permita pudrei de ceai verde sa straluceasca, ci si pentru ca vroiam un desert care sa pastreze culoarea verde incredibila pe care eu una o ador!

matcha swirl marshmallows

Si cu aceasta ocazie mi-am dat seama ca de fapt bezelele moi sunt chiar delicioase si merita facute mai des. Plus ca ele vin intr-o multime de posibile gusturi si forme ori culor! Ceea ce le face perfecte pentru petreceri ori candy bar!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Bezele moi cu ceai verde
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 500g zahar alb
  • 30g glucoza lichida
  • 185ml apa
  • 20g gelatina + 100ml apa
  • 120g albus
  • 2g sare
  • 5ml extract de vanilie
  • 8g pudra de matcha
  • 30ml apa rece
  • 50g zahar pudra + 50g amidon
Directions:
  1. Pregatiti o tava de 20x20cm – ungeti peretii cu ulei – si dati deoparte.
  2. Amestecati pudra de matcha cu 30ml apa rece si dati deoparte.
  3. Combinati zaharul, glucoza si apa intr-un vas suficient de mare. Puneti vasul pe foc mediu si gatiti pana siropul atinge 127C.
  4. Hidatati gelatina in apa rece pana veti avea nevoie de ea.
  5. Cand siropul atinge 115C, incepeti sa mixati albusurile pana devin spumoase. Adaugati sarea si mixati inca 1 minut la viteza medie.
  6. Cand siropul atinge 127C, luati vasul de pe foc si adaugati gelatina. Amestecati pana la omogenizare, avand grija la spuma care se formeaza.
  7. Incepeti sa turnati siropul fierbinte peste albusurile spuma in fir subtire, mixand continuu.
  8. Continuati sa mixati 7-10 minute pana obtineti o bezea ferma, lucioasa si bolul e aproape racit.
  9. Adaugati extractul de vanilie si amestecati bine.
  10. Luati 4 linguri de amestec deoparte si incorporati amestecul de matcha. Incoarceti aceasta compozitie inapoi in bolul mare si amestecati usor cu o spatula doar pentru a o marmora in compozitia alba.
  11. Turnati amestecul in tava pregatita mai devreme si dati la rece cateva ore pentru a se inchega.
  12. Cerneti zaharul pudra cu amidonul intr-un bol.
  13. Taiati bezelele in cuburi mici – rulati-le prin amestecul de zahar si amidon. Puteti sa le rulati si prin nuca de cocos maruntita pentru a adauga putina textura si gust.

matcha swirl marshmallows

{The Best Banana Bread} – Chec cu banane

banana bread

I don’t usually post recipes that wear “the best”, “the most delicious” or other similar names. Not because my recipes don’t deserve these names, but because I am well aware that not everyone’s taste is the same, so my likings may not always be the same as yours. Claiming one recipe to be the best does come with a certain responsibility that I don’t wanna bear too often. But once in a while, there comes a recipe that deserves it all, there comes THE recipe, the one that turns your world upside down for a while, the one that mesmerizes you and proves you that what you knew before about baking was wrong.

banana bread

The best banana bread is something I’ve been searching for a long time, often with results that never made it to the blog simply because they didn’t worth wasting ingredients on them. So I was a bit held back by my past experiences when I first found this recipe. Michael Suas is the one “guilty” for this fluffy, moist, packed with banana bread – the recipe is an adaptation from his Banana Bread recipe, found in one of the best books I’ve got my hands on lately: Advanced Bread and Pastry.

5.0 from 2 reviews
{The Best Banana Bread}
 
Author:
Serves:: 2 breads
Ingredients:
  • 360g banana puree
  • 40ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 230g white sugar
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium-size eggs
  • 145ml vegetable oil
  • 345g all-purpose flour
  • 7g baking soda
  • 7g baking powder
  • 3g salt
  • 3g cinnamon powder
  • 100g walnuts, roasted and chopped
Directions:
  1. Combine the banana puree, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl and place aside.
  2. Sift the flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.
  3. Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, eggs and oil in a bowl with an electric mixer for a few minutes or until pale and double in volume.
  4. Stir in half of the flour, followed by the banana mixture and the rest of the flour.
  5. Lastly, fold in the walnuts then spoon the batter into 2 20x9cm bread pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven at 335F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow the breads to cool down in the pans for 10 minutes then transfer on a cooling rack.

banana breadROMANIAN

Ma feresc de a numi unele retete drept “cele mai bune” ori “cele mai gustoase”, cu toate ca tot ce ajunge pe blog este testat si nu devine articol decat daca imi place rezultatul cu adevarat. Stiu ca gusturile nu se discuta si ceea ce imi place mie mult, s-ar putea ca voua sa nu va placa la acelasi nivel, asa ca evit astfel de titluri pompoase. Dar din cand in cand dau peste o reteta care ar merita-o, care se dovedeste o adevarata comoara, precum acest chec cu banane.

Aparent simplu, un astfel de chec, in conceptia mea, trebuie sa fie pufos, aerat, intens aromat si sa-si mentina aspectul perfect. Am incercat de-a lungul timpului o multime de retete de chec cu banane, mare parte din ele rezultand intr-un chec fie dens, fie complet nearomat sau lipicios – clar nimic care sa ma duca cu gandul la ceva delicios, o gustare cu care sa ma rasfat din cand in cand. Eram gata sa renunt la cautari pana cand o prietena mi-s sugerat ca aceasta ar putea fi reteta, acea reteta pe care o tot cautam. Multumesc, Raluca!

Pot acum sa va spun ca a luat sfarsit cautarea – am gasit checul cu banane perfect! E aromat, extrem de pufos, cu bucatele crocante de miez de nuca, se feliaza minunat si e excelent alaturi de o cana de ceai, lapte ori cafea!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chec cu banane
 
Author:
Serves:: 2 checuri
Ingredients:
  • 360g piure de banane (banane foarte bine coapte)
  • 40ml lapte batut
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 230g zahar alb
  • 100g zahar brun
  • 3 oua medii
  • 145ml ulei vegetal
  • 345g faina alba
  • 7g praf de copt
  • 7g bicarbonat de sodiu
  • 3g sare
  • 3g scortisoara
  • 100g miez de nuca, usor prajit apoi tocat
Directions:
  1. Combinati piureul de banana, laptele batut si vanilia intr-un bol.
  2. Cerneti faina, praful de copt, bicarbonatul, sarea si scortisoara intr-un alt bol.
  3. Combinati ouale, cele doua tipuri de zahar si uleiul vegetal intr-un bol si mixati pentru cateva minute pana obtineti un amestec care si-a dublat volumul si arata deschis la culoare.
  4. Incorporati jumatate din faina, apoi piureul de banane, urmat de restul de faina.
  5. Adaugati miezul de nuca, incorporandu-l cu o spatula.
  6. Turnati aluatul in doua tavi de chec de aproximativ 20x9cm tapetate cu hartie de copt.
  7. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 170C pentru 45-50 minute.
  8. Lasati sa se raceasca 10 minute in tavi apoi transferati pe un grilaj de racit.

banana bread

{Coconut Lime Eclairs} – Eclere cu lime si nuca de cocos

coconut lime eclairs

If there is a flavor I can’t live without (except chocolate, of course), it has to be lime. The aroma and the color of these little green beauties is mesmerizing and completely addictive! I always have them in my fruit bowl so whenever I need a hint of freshness, I slice one lime and release its flavor in the entire kitchen. Lime based drinks or cakes are not strangers of this house either! As long as it has lime, it’s a winner for me!

So when I saw Megan’s coconut lime eclairs a while back, i couldn’t stop thinking about them! Like literally couldn’t stop imagining their flavor, along with their zesty, coconutty taste. So with the very first occasion I had, I whipped up a batch of these creamy, delicious little treats. So thank you, Megan, for your inspiring posts – it’s always a pleasure to read your blog and see your gorgeous photography!

coconut lime eclairs

I did make a few changes though. One and most noticeable one being the fact that I used a different recipe for the choux pastry. Not that I don’t trust Bouchon Bakery (the recipe Megan used), but I already have a few recipes that I know for sure work pretty well, so I wasn’t willing to try a new one this particular time. Another little change was adding a bit more thickening agent to the cream – I found my first batch to be a bit too runny for my liking, so adding a bit more cornstarch (oh yes, I used cornstarch instead of flour) worked out great and the cream was just incredible! And I’m really not a person to be easily impressed by desserts, but these eclairs proved me that a clever mix of flavors is the key, but without a proper technique and well done elements, the satisfaction is just not the same!

5.0 from 2 reviews
{Coconut Lime Eclairs}
 
Author:
Serves:: 15-20 eclairs
Ingredients:
Choux pastry:
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 150g bread flour
  • 4-5 eggs
Coconut pastry cream:
  • 160 g whole milk
  • 300 g coconut cream
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 100 g eggs
  • 20 g egg yolks
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 35g cornstarch
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Lime fluid gel:
  • 100 g simple syrup
  • 80 g fresh lime juice
  • 2 g agar agar
You will also need:
  • Extra lime zest for decoration
  • Coconut flakes for decoration (optional)
  • Edible flowers (optional)
Directions:
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 in a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe small and even eclairs on a baking pan lined with baking paper or a silicone mat.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your eclairs.
  9. The eclairs are done when they are golden brown and crusty. Place aside until needed.
Coconut pastry cream:
  1. Start by heating the whole milk in a saucepan. Add the lime zest then remove off heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve then place the milk back on heat. Add the coconut cream as well and bring them to the boiling point.
  2. In the meantime, mix the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.
  3. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and mix well. Return back on heat and cook for about 2 minutes until thickened.
  4. Remove off heat and cool down for a few minutes by whisking it. Add the butter, a spoon at a time, and mix well until incorporated.
  5. Stir in the vanilla as well.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate for a few hours.
  7. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a small round nozzle.
Lime fluid gel:
  1. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and place over low heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove off heat and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  5. When set, place in a blender and pulse until smooth. Spoon the gel into a pastry bag or a sauce bottle and refrigerate.
To assemble the eclairs:
  1. Using a small round nozzle, make 2-3 holes on the bottom of each eclair then fill the eclairs with coconut pastry cream. Place them on a platter.
  2. Decorate the eclairs with drops of coconut cream, lime fluid gel and lime zest or coconut flakes. Edible flowers can really make an impression if you have them on hand!
  3. Enjoy!
Notes
Coconut cream is the thick part found in a coconut milk can once you remove it from the fridge and open it, it's the white, thick, fatty part that tastes heavenly and has a silky, smooth consistency.

coconut lime eclairsROMANIAN

Eclere – un desert mult prea putin valorificat la noi, dar atat de versatil si frumos de pus in practica. De fapt, aluatul oparit in sine e magnific. Ce obtii din cateva ingrediente banale depaseste orice limite si posibilitatile de a umple acest aluat sunt nenumarate. Poate si de aceea in ultimul timp am tot facut coji de eclere si am tot incercat retete. Insa din toate una mi-a atras atentia si s-a si lipit de sufletul meu – Eclere cu nuca de cocos si lime. Reteta am gasit-o pe Hint of Vanilla, blogul lui Megan, o canadianca pastry chef careia ii place sa scrie la fel de mult pe cat ii place sa stea in bucatarie. O urmaresc de ceva timp, dar nimic nu mi-a umplut imaginatia de fantezii precum aceste eclere. Asa incat cu prima ocazie (prin ocazie a se intelege o zi bine-stabilita in care fac prajituri si incerc retete) le-am pus in practica si dupa cateva incercari am ajuns la un rezultat care sa-mi satisfaca toate simturile.

Am pastrat ideea de a decora eclerele, mi s-a parut mult prea interesanta, insa am modificat reteta de aluat oparit. In plus, si crema de nuca de cocos a suferit cateva modificari astfel incat rezultatul final sa fie de o consistenta perfecta si gustul sa fie desavarsit.

coconut lime eclairs

Gustul, oohh gustul acesta intens si totusi bine echilibrat! Fiecare imbucatura produce un dans al papilelor gustative, fiecare picatura de gel fluid acrisor e minunata si iti trezeste simturile. As putea spune fara nicio urma de indoiala ca aceste eclere au ajuns cu usurinta in top 3 deserturi, alaturi de Poire Belle Helene. Asa ca va invit sa le faceti, nu veti regreta!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Eclere cu lime si nuca de cocos
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Eclere:
  • 150ml apa
  • 100ml lapte
  • 100g unt
  • ¼ lingurita sare
  • ½ lingurita zahar
  • 150g faina alba, cernuta
  • 4-5 oua
Crema de patiserie cu nuca de cocos:
  • 160ml lapte integral
  • 300ml crema de cocos*
  • Coaja de la 1 lime**
  • 100g oua intregi
  • 20g galbenus
  • 100g zahar alb
  • 35g amidon
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 80g unt, temperatura camerei
Gel de lime:
  • 100ml sirop simplu***
  • 80ml suc de lime
  • 2g agar agar
Veti mai avea nevoie si de:
  • Coaja de lime pentru décor
  • Fulgi de nuca de cocos
  • Flori comestibile pentru décor
Directions:
Eclere:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele, untul, sarea si zaharul intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic spre mediu. Dati amestecul in clocot apoi dati deoparte.
  2. Imediat adaugati faina, toata o data, si amestecati rapid cu o lingura de lemn sau spatula pan ace faina absoarbe intregul lichid si nu se mai observa cocoloase de faina.
  3. Puneti vasul inapoi pe foc si gatiti, amestecand continuu, pana ce aluatul se desprinde de pe peretii vasului, lasand un strat foarte subtire de aluat pe fund. Dureaza aproximativ 1-2 minute.
  4. Cand e gata, luati de pe foc si lasati sa se raceasca cateva minute, apoi incepeti incorporarea oualelor.
  5. Adaugati ouale treptat, amestecand bine cu o lingura sau un tel dupa fiecare ou. Cand ajungeti la al cincilea ou, adaugati-l putin cate putin pana cand aluatul obtinut este lucios, matasos si daca treceti cu degetul prin el, formeaza o urma care nu se acopera.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui zimtat si formati eclere de marimea dorita pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt sau folie de silicon.
  7. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 40-50 minute, in functie de marimea eclerelor. La final, ele trebuie sa fie aurii si crocante, suficient coapte la interior.
Crema de patiserie cu nuca de cocos:
  1. Incepeti prin a incalzi laptele integral intr-un vas impreuna. Adaugati coaja de lime si dati deoparte. Lasati sa infuzeze 10 minute apoi strecurati.
  2. Puneti laptele inapoi pe foc, adaugand si crema de cocos. Incalziti amestecul pana la punctual de fierbere.
  3. Intre timp, amestecati ouale, galbenusurile, zaharul, amidonul si un praf de sare intr-un bol.
  4. Turnati laptele fierbinte peste galbenusuri, apoi intoarceti inapoi pe foc si gatiti 1-2 minute pana obtineti o crema groasa.
Notes
*Crema de cocos inseamna partea alba care se aduna in conserva de cocos atunci cand sta la rece.
**In aceasta reteta, se recomanda taierea cojii de lime cu un cutit pentru a fi mai usor de inlaturat mai tarziu.
***Sirop simplu inseamna un amestec 50/50 din apa si zahar.

 

{Double Chocolate Stout Brownies} – Brownies cu bere neagra

double chocolate stout brownies

You may have noticed a few trends on my blog, but one of them definitely is using booze in my desserts. And not just any drinks, but the ones that can print a certain earthiness on my desserts, ones that don’t yell “look at me, I’m here”, just those that support the other flavors or enhance them. So it was the case with my Chocolate Bacon Cake or Red Wine Chocolate Cake and the list can easily go on. The funny thing is I don’t even really like drinks like wine, beer or stout if I were to just drink them. Mind you, I just had to google the difference between beer and stout. But in desserts is a whole different story!

If there’s one thing the stout does for these brownies, that’s enhancing the flavor of the chocolate to the point where the deep, intense taste of chocolate swipes off you feet. It does have a double dose of chocolate though! And a good dose of dark, intense stout – any brand will do, but make sure it’s rich and strong.

double chocolate stout browniesThese double chocolate stout brownies don’t taste like beer though. They’ve got a certain bitterness and an earthiness coming from it, but the focal point surely is the chocolate….and the fudgy, silky inside. Biting into these brownies is heaven on earth for each of your taste buds – it tastes like all the chocolate is flooding your senses and making you reach for a second serving.

The recipe starts off as a classical brownie – chocolate and butter, melted together, then eggs and sugar whipped to double volume, followed by folding in the flour and cocoa powder. Nothing new here – until you pour in the dark stout and end up with a quite liquid mix, but one that will bake to perfection in the oven!

double chocolate stout brownies

{Double Chocolate Stout Brownies}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 200g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 200g butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g white sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120ml dark stout
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a hot water bath.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugars and vanilla in a bowl and whip for 5-7 minutes until triple in volume.
  4. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix quickly just until incorporated.
  5. Pour in the stout and mix quickly then add the flour mix and fold it in.
  6. Pour the batter into a 25x25cm square pan lined with baking paper.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until the center looks almost set. Don't bake more than 30 minutes as it will dry out too much.
  8. Allow to cool completely in the pan then slice and serve.

double chocolate stout browniesROMANIAN

Poate ati observat pe blog cateva trenduri, unul dintre ele fiind folosirea bauturilor in prajituri. Un trend a mult spus totusi, dar recunosc ca imi place mult cum se comporta alcoolul in prajituri. Ma refer in special la vin ori bere, desi folosesc des si rom si Amaretto, acestea din urma avand scopul de a aromatiza creme mai degraba decat blaturi.

Aroma bruta pe care o adauga vinul sau berea unui tort/blat/chec este inconfundabila. In plus, si textura este mult imbunatatita, asa incat nu ma dau in laturi de la a folosi un vin rosu intens ori o bere neagra in prajituri. Nu pe principiul Juliei Child insa: “imi place sa folosesc vin in bucatarie; cateodata il pun si in mancare”!

brownies cu bere neagra

Va ziceam acum ceva timp, la reteta de brownies a lui Pierre Herme, ca am gasit reteta perfecta, ca o ador. Si inca o fac, insa aceste brownies cu bere neagra au o cu totul alta textura si un alt gust, mult mai intens, merg pe o tehnica de preparare clasica, iar rezultatul final e o prajitura umeda, densa dar nu tare, care se pastreaza bine destul de mult timp si care merge perfect cu o cupa de inghetata si un sos matasos de ciocolata!

Brownies cu bere neagra
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 200g ciocolata neagra 70%
  • 200g unt, cuburi
  • 4 oua
  • 200g zahar alb
  • 50g zahar brun
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 120ml bere neagra
  • 100g faina alba
  • 30g cacao
  • ½ lingurita sare
Directions:
  1. Cerneti faina cu cacaoa si sarea.
  2. Topiti ciocolata cu untul intr-un bol pe baie de aburi apoi dati deoparte.
  3. Combinati ouale, cele doua tipuri de zahar si vanilia intr-un bol si mixati pana obtineti o compozitie pufoasa, deschisa la culoare, care si-a triplat volumul.
  4. Adaugati ciocolata topita si mixati scurt, apoi incorporati berea neagra.
  5. Adaugati faina si amestecati scurt cu mixerul la viteza mica.
  6. Turnati aluatul intr-o tava de 25x25cm si coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pntru 25-30 minute sau pana centrul arata copt, usor crescut. Nu depasiti 30 minute intrucat se vor usca mult prea mult.
  7. Lasati sa se raceasca in tava apoi taiati cuburi.

double chocolate stout brownies