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Archive for June, 2013

Rhubarb Muffins with Orange Zest

Rhubarb Muffins with Orange Zest

It’s Rhubarb season! Well actually, the season is almost over and I have been wanting to bake something special with my wonderful tart Rhubarbs that I picked up at the store. This recipe has two of my favorite ingredients in it, marzipan and rhubarb, yum! It also has orange zest which can sometimes be a little potent. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of orange zest and I think maybe next time I make these scrumptious muffins I may scale it back to 1 1/2 teaspoon, allowing the Rhubarbs to shine a little more. If you are looking for some more Rhubarb recipes check out these posts: Rhubarb Granita, Rhubarb Koldskål and Rød Grød Med Fløde. Enjoy your Rhubarbs!

Rhubarb Muffins With Orange Zest (makes 12-14 muffins)

Ingredients:

125 grams butter (4.5 oz), at room temperature

175 grams sugar (6.2 oz)

150 grams all-purpose flour (5.3 oz)

2 teaspoons orange zest, organic

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

100 grams shredded marzipan (3.5 oz)

200 grams rhubarb (7.0 oz)

2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 100 degrees C (390 degrees F). Cut rhubarbs into 1 cm slices (0.4 inch). Place into small oven-proof dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, set aside.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (345 degrees F). Place muffin liners into muffin tin, set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Combine flour, orange zest and baking powder. Add flour mixture to butter and mix until combined. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Fold in marzipan and baked rhubarbs. Scoop batter into muffin liners and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool completely before enjoying.

Rhubarb Muffins with Orange Zest

Rhubarb Muffins with Orange Zest

Source: hendesverden.dk

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Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles

Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles

Vandbakkelser has a reputation of being difficult to make, that they collapse easily. I personally have never experienced that problem. I think the most important thing to remember when making Vandbakkelser is not to open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking. When you start researching Vandbakkelser you’ll find that there are many different theories out there on how to make them. Some go into great detail about starting the oven at a high temperature and then finish baking at a lower temperature. Some bake and then cut a slit into the vandbakkelse to allow steam to escape. Some bake and then turn off oven and let Vandbakkelser sit in the oven for another 10 minutes (this sound like a good idea if your having trouble with your Vandbakkelser being too moist on the inside). Or you can bake, then turn off oven and crack open door and allow to cool inside oven. And finally, some simply just bake and place the baking sheet with Vandbakkelser on a cooling rack, which is what I did today. To test for doneness remove one pastry from the oven and if it does not collapse the remaining pastries should be done as well, just remember not to open the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking.

Butter and water brought to a simmer. Add all flour at one time.

Butter and water brought to a simmer. Add all flour at one time, stir vigorously.

There are also several different ways to place the Vandbakkelser onto the baking sheet. You can use two spoons to form a rounded ball of dough or simply just drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Or you can load the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip and pipe onto parchment paper. You could also use a small ice cream scoop, load and drop onto baking sheet. Whichever method you choose, have fun with it. If your dough ends up having a small pointy tip on it, wet a finger and gently push it down to avoid the tip baking and browning faster than the remaining dough.

Vandbakkelser (2)

Dough comes together in a ball, let cool a little. Add egg, stir vigorously. Dough will separate a little, keep stirring. Dough comes back together in a ball. Add egg, stir vigorously. Dough will separate and come together again as a smooth sticky mass.

I cut the original recipe in half so I would only get 8-10 Vandbakkelser but if you want the original larger portion it’s simply just a matter of doubling the ingredients up (water 2 1/2 deciliter or 1 cup, butter 100 gram or 3 1/2 oz, flour 130 gram or 4 1/2 oz, 4 eggs). Also, I did some experimenting with dropping the dough onto the baking sheet. I used two spoons (left side of picture below) and I piped the dough (right side of picture below). I prefer dropping the dough with spoons because when you pipe it, it is easy to lift up just a little with your piping bag at the end creating a small extra top of dough. As you can see on the finished pastries below (right) it forms as an extra little top on the pastry.

This recipe came from the Danish web site Kvalimad where Max has a really nice video showing the process of making the Choux pastry dough . If you are not Danish of course you won’t understand the words but the video speaks for itself 🙂

Leave some space between dough balls, they will rise quite a bit.

Leave some space between dough balls, they will rise quite a bit.

Alternative fillings: soft ice cream, your favorite flavored jam, pudding, 50/50 Chantilly cream (flødeskum) and custard, Chantilly cream with strawberries, instead of the chocolate sauce you could also use a simple chocolate icing (glasur).

Vandbakkelse with Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Vandbakkelse with Chantilly Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

Vandbakkelser aka Profiteroles: (makes 8-10)

1/2 cup water (1 1/4 deciliter)

1 3/4 ounces butter (50 grams)

2 1/4 ounces flour (65 grams)

2 eggs

Chantilly Cream:

1 cup heavy cream (240 milliliter)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Sauce:

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (170 grams)

1/2 cup heavy cream (120 milliliter)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).

Bring water and butter to a simmer. Add all flour at one time and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough comes together in a ball. Remove from heat and cool down until you can keep a finger in the dough without burning yourself (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time stirring vigorously after each egg until dough is a smooth thick sticky paste. Spoon or pipe dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there is a pointy top on your dough, wet a finger and gently press it down. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Do not open oven door during the first 20 miuntes or they may collapse. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.

To make Cantilly Cream:

Beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until desired consistency.

To make Chocolate Sauce:

Bring heavy cream and vanilla extract just to a simmer. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, and using a submersion blender, mix until you have a smooth sauce.

The Chocolate Sauce can also be made by placing chocolate, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, stir until completely melted and smooth.

To assemble Vandbakkelser:

Cut cooled pastry in half and place a dollop of Chantilly cream. Place cut off pastry top, on top of cream. Pour warm chocolate sauce on top and serve. Enjoy!

Source for Vandbakkelser: Kvalimad

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

I have been soaking up the last little bit of spring here in Virginia Beach before the summer heat hits us. I went to the local Farmers Market to get fresh fruit and I came home with a couple of trays of the most amazingly fragrant and sweet Pungo strawberries. Some of the strawberries went into the freezer and a lot of them went into these beautiful cupcakes. Although this recipe for the Strawberry Meringue Buttercream is a little challenging, let me assure you that it is well worth the effort. The buttercream is silky smooth and sweet and the cupcakes are soft and fluffy. This recipe is a keeper. Enjoy!

Making strawberry cupcakes

Making strawberry cupcakes

It is important to pay attention to the details in these two recipes. When measuring out the strawberries for the cupcakes they should be finely chopped, however, when measuring out the strawberries for the buttercream they are coarsely chopped, it makes a difference in the finished weight of strawberries you’ll end up with. I would have measured the strawberries for you but my scale finally gave out on me. When making this frosting make sure you are accurate, not generous, with the amount of strawberries you end up using for the buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure they are completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Coarsely chopped strawberries. Strawberry puree and other ingredients. Starting to beat egg whites and sugar over waterbath. Finished beating, making sure the egg whites feel completely smooth between your fingers. Beating meringue to a stiff, shiny peak. Finished buttercream.

Strawberry Cupcakes (makes 34)

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large whole eggs plus 1 egg white, at room temperature

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and finely chopped, plus 10 more for garnish if desired

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream Frosting (makes 5 cups)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries (8 ounces), rinsed, hulled and coarsely chopped

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), cut into tablespoons, room temperature

Directions for Strawberry Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Sift together both flours, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until  thick and smooth. Add whole eggs and the egg white one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk, beating until well combined. Add chopped strawberries to the batter and fold them in by hand.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating tins half-way through, until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of cupcake come out clean. Place tins on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn cupcakes onto rack and allow to cool completely.

Directions for Strawberry Meringue Buttercream:

Puree strawberries in a blender and set aside. In the bowl of your stand-mixer, combine egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a cooking pot with a small amount of simmering water. Whisk egg whites and sugar constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between two fingers).

Attach the bowl to stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing speed to medium-high mix until stiff and shiny (not dry) peaks form, 10 to 15 minutes. Mixture should now have cooled down (test by touching bottom of bowl). With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter have been added, scrape down sides of bowl and switch to the paddle attachment. Continue to beat on low speed for 2 minutes to eliminated air bubbles. Add strawberry puree and beat until combined.

Cupcake assembly:

Load buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip. Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake. Store cupcakes in an airtight container in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Buttercream storage:

Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

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