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Daring Bakers’: Maple Mousse in an Edible Container April 27, 2011

Filed under: The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 9:16 pm
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The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

So the rules for this challenge were as follows: 1) We had to make one of the two Maple Mousse recipes provided (I have listed the one that I used below), and 2) we must make an edible container for the mousse to be presented in.

As soon as I read the rules, I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Of the many cookbooks that I have, I actually have a few that are strict pastry and plated desserts.  One that has always drawn my attention was a bowl made out of chocolate.  It is actually made by taking a small balloon, blowing it up, and dipping it in melted chocolate.  Once the chocolate has set you can remove the balloon.  The easiest way I have found to do this is to just pop it 🙂  I actually had a bit of trouble with dipping the balloon in the chocolate because the bowl I melted the chocolate in wasn’t big enough.  In the end I just spooned the chocolate over the balloon and them smoothed it out in a swirl pattern with the back of the spoon.

The maple mousse was pretty straight forward to make.  At first, I was only going to make half a recipe, then I discovered that I only had 1/4 cup maple syrup.  Which is just enough for 1/4 of a recipe.  I decided that 1/4 of a recipe was perfect, even though I knew my containers wouldn’t very full.  The recipe came together without a hitch, and when the mousse was set I piped it into the chocolate cups.  The flavor of the mousse was very nice.  My first thought when I saw the recipe is that I didn’t want the maple to be too strong of a flavor, and it actually was perfect.  You tasted the maple, but it wasn’t overpowering at all.  Definitely a mousse recipe that can be modified for any type of flavor that you like 🙂

Maple Mousse:

Source: Adapted from Jaime Oliver is not my boyfriend

• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content)

1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies April 26, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:51 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Valerie of Une Gamine dans la Cuisine.  She picked Dorie’s Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies which are located on page 130 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  These cookies are essentially lemon shortbread cookies with a hint of cornmeal in them.

I decided to only make half a recipe, however, I did use the zest from one lemon because I love that citrusy flavor.  The dough came together without any problems, and I just used one bowl and a spatula to mix everything.   The longest anything took was the wait time for the dough to firm up in the fridge before baking.

I probably should have cut these into smaller squares, but they turned out great none the less.  I really liked the flavor of these cookies with the lemon, and I couldn’t really tell that there was any cornmeal in it.  It essentially just gave the cookie a pale yellow color.


French Fridays With Dorie: Vanilla Eclairs April 15, 2011

I know I really haven’t been cooking/baking the French Fridays With Dorie stuff, but I guess that is just me being a slacker.  However, as soon as I saw that this week was vanilla eclairs I knew that I would be making these. 1) Because I love eclairs, and 2) My in-laws were coming over for a Crawfish Boil and they could help me eat them…little did I know.

Eclairs have three parts to them: Pastry Cream (Vanilla), Pate a Choux, and a glaze (Chocolate Ganache).  Pastry Cream and Chocolate Ganache are pretty straight forward but when it comes to making and baking with Pate a Choux, that is when the problems sometimes arrive.  I have noticed that with some recipe the baking time is a little too short for me because the eclairs aren’t browned enough and then when you take them out they deflate.  I have learned a few times, (Here), that you have to bake them just a little bit longer to dry them out to get the perfect eclair.  With Dorie’s recipe, I baked them an extra 5-7 minutes.

I ended up making mini eclairs, about 3 inches in length, the recipe made 24 of those and then I made 6 small cream puffs to use up the rest of the dough.  Everyone really enjoyed the Vanilla Eclairs, but the problems was that for the Crawfish Boil I also made a Key Lime Pie.  So in the end not very many of the eclairs got eaten and I have been randomly sneak eating a few each day.  I think I justify it because they are small and very yummy…oh well 🙂

Go pick up Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table to get this wonderful recipe.


Daring Cooks: Savory Edible Container April 14, 2011

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

The rules for this challenge are as follows:

Mandatory Items: To make a SAVORY edible container and fill it with something appropriate.

Variations allowed:

  • You may want to use one of the ideas provided here as described, or give them your own twists and your own recipes for the content.
  • Or, you can choose to create something totally new, from scratch.
  • As long as it is a container, it is edible, and has a content suitable for it, I want you all to have a lot of fun challenging your creativity!

For this challenge I decided to go with a recipe that I have wanted to bake for awhile now, but just ended up putting it on the back burner, Bacon and Egg Pastries w/Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers.  The edible containers is actually puff pastry, something that is very yummy, and something that I have made for a Daring Bakers’ Challenge.

These pastries were very yummy, and can be eaten anytime of the day.  We actually had them for dinner, and they were fantastic.

Bacon and Egg Pastries

with spinach and roasted red peppers

Source: Cuisine at Home, April 2008, Issue 68, page 32-33

Makes 4 pastries

Total Time: about 1 hour

Fry; Add and Saute:

2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced

2/3 cup white or red-skinned potatoes

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 t. minced fresh rosemary (I omitted this)

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Beat; Add:

2 oz cream cheese, sofened

3 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup Gruyere or Swiss Cheese, shredded

1 T. all-purpose flour

1/2 t. zosher salt

1/8 t. cayenne

Roll out; Brush Pastries with:

1 sheet purchased puff pastry, slightly thawed

1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Coast four 4″ quiche pans with removable bottoms with nonstick spray and arrange on a baking sheet (I used 4″ round springform pans because I didn’t have quiche pans.  They turned out great, but just not as pretty).

1) FRY bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp; drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Pour off all but 1 T. drippings and return pan to burner.  add potatoes, onion, peppers, and rosemary; cook covered, until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in spinach, reserved bacon, salt, and pepper; set filling aside.

2) Beat cream cheese in a bowl with a hand mixer, then blend in eggs.  Add milk, cheese, four, and seasonings; beat to blend.

3) Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12″ square.  Cut into four 6″ squares, then lightly press 1 square into each prepared pan.  Spoon about 1/3 cup potato mixture into each pan, then pour about 1/3 cup egg mixture on top.

4) Fold corners of sough onto filling, brush with egg wash, and bake until crust is browned and filling is set, 20-25 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before unmolding.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp April 12, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 6:57 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Sarah of Teapots and Cakestands.  She picked Dorie’s Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp which is located on pages 420-421 in Baking:From My Home to Yours.  Anything strawberry rhubarb reminds me of Mike and his parents because the first time I had a strawberry rhubarb pie was when Mike’s mom (my mother-in-law) made one for dessert.  It was very tasty, and I loved it.  The first time I tried my hand at making the pie for Mike I didn’t bake it long enough because the rhubarb was still a bit crunchy.

After I had made the pie a few times I knew that I should slice the rhubarb pretty thin just to make sure it cooks in time.  For this recipe I was actually worried about the rhubarb not cooking enough since you cook the strawberry mixture first.  So I decided to slice the rhubarb up relatively thin and cook it with the strawberry filling just to make sure.  It turned out perfectly.  I love Dorie’s idea of a double crisp with the crisp topping as a topping and a crust.

This tasted great straight out of the oven, and it when perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Unfortunately, I made the crisp last week and when it came out of the oven it was already dark outside.  I took a few pictures inside, but they just didn’t turn out as good.  What I should have done was taken a picture of the crisp with ice cream on top.  But once I had it portioned out for myself there was no way that I was going to take the time to get the camera, take it outside, and take a picture.  All I wanted was to take they first bite, and it was perfect.  The ground ginger and the crystallized ginger have the crisp a nice spiciness which I appreciated.

This is definitely something I will be making again because it was very simple and extremely yummy 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Coffee Ice Cream Tart April 5, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Ice Cream,Tarts,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Jessica of Domestic Deep Thought of the Day.  She picked Dorie’s Coffee Ice Cream Tart which is located on pages 358-359 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

My first thought when I saw this recipe was that I would finally get to use the heavy cream in my fridge, but then I realized that the recipe only called for premium store bought ice cream.  So, I decided to make my go to Vanilla Ice Cream via David Lebovitz and add 2 tbsp of Espresso Powder to the milk part of the recipe to make it coffee ice cream.

My other addition to the Vanilla Ice Cream recipe was 1 tbsp vodka (at the very end).  Mike had heard a trick about adding a little bit of vodka to homemade ice cream recipes to make them not harden up so much.  I had asked him how much to add since I can’t actually have alcohol due to the current symbiote occupying my body 🙂 but he had no idea so I figured 1 tbsp would be okay for 1 qt of ice cream.  The ice cream actually turned out perfect, the only thing that I could have done without was Dorie’s addition of ground almonds to the ice cream.  It gave the ice cream a gritty mouth feel, since I was expecting that it didn’t bother me too much.

The end product was very easy to put together.  Since I was making my own ice cream I just added all the additions to the ice cream straight to the base before I put it in the ice cream maker.  It made for less dishes in the end 🙂  The ice cream tart was very good, and I loved the combination of coffee and almond flavors.  FYI when cutting this tart, it is best to use a big knife so that you can get through the crust.  It is a little tough to cut through when it is frozen.