Simplest and laziest galette des rois au chocolat

Belated due to technical hiccups… I had to eat 3 such galettes to post one, but I’m really devoted. Or too gourmande. I couldn’t resist. So here is a 2013 vintage galette des rois (French kings’ cake for “King’s day” on January 6th). It’s filled with chocolate.

That’s far from the classic one with butter pastry like here. It takes 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s quite healthy, dairy free, vegan. But it does taste decadent, don’t worry.

Just mix boiled azuki, sugar and cocoa.

No puff pastry, but quick and crispy pastry : about 1 cup of flour, baking powder, kurozato (black sugar) to taste, a little turmeric for gold reflects, 3 tbs of olive oil. Then add just enough hot water to get a very soft dough.
Don’t forget to hide a fève (token) in the filling.

Paint with oil, bake gently, caramelize the top.

Serve warm. Cut. Ask the youngest person to dispatch the wedges. The one that finds the token is a king or a queen for a year. He or she will have to pay next year’s galette.

Rose petal and cranberry for a romantic panettone


Let’s have a bite of dolce vita

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Blog-checking lines: The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

Yes, the flavor has just been invented. Sweetened dry cranberries, soaked in a little Christmas tea and dry rose petals. I added a little orange blossom water to the dough and that’s all.

Yep, broken. I tried to hang it to dry. Well, never again. LOL.

It’s very “cake-like”, maybe next time, I’ll use bread flour. But besides, it’s delicious for me. I wouldn’t trade it for those industrial ones like M*tt*.

My recipe. I mix in my home-bakery :

For 3 mini panettoni

A
25 cl lukewarm water (or skim milk)
2 ts dry yeast
350 g cake flour
1/2 ts sea salt
B
60 g black sugar
0.5 ts dry yeast
1 tbs orange blossom water
3 egg yolk
90 g softened butter
C
1/2 cup dry sweetened cranberries
prepared tea
dried roses

Day 1 : Mix A and knead. Let overnight.
Day 2 : Add B, knead. Let double. Add C. Let triple.
Bake a 160 degree Celsius.

Gourmande November round up

Sweet potato (satsuma imo), potato and persimmon (kaki) season is back.

That’s the album about most of my November meals : November eats. And for vegan menus here.

These are the main topics and visitors’ current obsessions :

Tian casserole with potatoes
Satsuma imo soufflées
Kakicannelle persimmon

Classic revival :
kneppes (Lorraine’s pasta)
roasted chicken
French fries
tarte orangette
simple tarte au chocolat (silky chocolate pie)

Nordic wave :

Mousse de saumon et pain polaire

Swedish bean balls

Plus :
polar bread shrimp wrap
crispbread
mini buckwheat blinis salmon bites

American mood :

Natural yummy banana pudding

raw pumpkin pie

creamy pumpkin pie
Obama pizza
Chicago pizza

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On the road to Christmas :
nutty truffles

Saint-Nicolas, Kurisumasu, Christmas, Noël on Pinterest

sesame Japanese Xmas

Christmas desserts

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Kabocha forever

Steamed rice pudding and burnt kabocha.

Kabocha pumpkin on pinterest

kabocha and hijiki

kabocha mousse

Nougat glacé aux noix et au miel

Walnut honey nougat ice-cream.

With raspberry coulis. Sweet and sour. That’s one of my favorite party dessert. I made some for the 13 desserts of Christmas and I had a few servings left. It is ice-cream so it can be stored in the freezer very conveniently.

The classic nougat is made of egg white, honey, roast nuts. This version is a honey Italian meringue, mixed with whipped cream. It is enriched by walnuts bits in caramel, a little Grand-Marnier soaked raisins and mandarin orange peel and grated lemon zest.

Then in the freezer, in a mold.

Crack… the bits of caramel nut stay deliciously crunchy. It really has the honey meringue flavor of nougat. And the citrus hints of Grand-Marnier.

The unsweetened raspberry sauce is a little sour. I didn’t add any sugar, on purpose. That makes a great contrast with the nougat.

Mandarin Stollen

This is the second post of the sourdough series. You know this guy :

Lawrence sourdough

That was the bubbly sourdough. I mixed a cup of it with 2 of flour, a little honey, water. And I’ve let it 24 hours :

Here is the “sponge”. I added, more flour, salt, sugar, kneeding, then the egg, then butter, kneeding, and the fruit mix. That also marinated 24 hours :

Grand Marnier, raisins, mikan mandarin orange peel, kurizato black sugar, roughly powdered almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seed, ginger.

Folding the Stollen. That looked nice at that point. Too perfect…

I baked 2 chibis with the leftover of dough. That’s convenient to eat a sample without cutting the big one. If that’s terrible, you’ll know it… before serving it to guests or giving it to friends.

Yep, s. happens.

Really stuff happens :
1. Lawrence never pushes the dough up… it makes it softer. So the bread spreads around. And the Stollen lost its Stollen shape.
2. I passed butter on the top of the freshly baked bread, which was OK. I was supposed to do that.
3. I covered it with confectioner sugar imediatly thinking : the butter will “hold” the sugar. Stupid idea. Where is the delete key… Let me go back in past and not do it.

As you can see : crack ! crack !

I have eaten the babies after 1 day, 2 days, 3 half-days… and they were gone. Well the inside looked nice :

From the second days, they tasted good the citrus flavors of Grand Marnier and mandarin orange were already operating their charm. SUCCESS ! Well, wait…
The big freak has matured a week, I sugar-coated it on the cracks.

It tastes as good as the samples promised. It’s great. Well… half of it.
But…

The other half was like that. It definitely didn’t raise enough.
What to do ? I’ll tell you soon.

Retro Christmas (3) : Les 13 desserts

That’s a tradition of Provence to conclude the meal with a symbolic number of desserts, often 13. The Thirteen Desserts.

I don’t have one photo with all of them.

This one. But what can you see ?
Well, you will believe me, I displayed and ate the 13 types.

And that doesn’t matter. That’s the game of superstitions. 13 like the Christ and Apostles some say, and for Christmas that makes sense. Or not. But in some families, they had only 12 or 7. Others would eat 7 dishes. And you needed 3 table clothes and 2 candles. Not everybody agrees, but everybody disagrees.
Then let the leftovers should be left on the table overnight, so the angels can come to eat their share during the night. Isn’t that a cute excuse for not cleaning ?

Very recently some kind of “official” lists of desserts have been published. They are all false. Each family has its truth.

Most have :

-La pompe à l’huile (a sort of sweet fougasse)
-Les 4 mendiants, reference to 4 orders of monks and the color of their clothes (almonds, figs, raisins, walnuts or hazelnuts or…)
-Le nougat blanc, le nougat noir (white and black nougat)
-Dates, a fruit symbol of the origine of Christ
-Pears, apples. Oranges, fresh melon, fresh grapes could be available in certain places in the South. They had techniques to preserve the last fresh melon and white grapes.
-Fruit sweets : candied fruits, jam, pâte de fruit, calisson…
-spiced hot wine

That was for 19th Century and all that was luxury for them. Now that looks like the bottom of our pantry. We should count as one of our blessings to have such an availability of sweets.
More sophisticated desserts are very recent and the dainty sweets of Christmas markets were for the princes.

So my list :

-Fresh fruits : 1.pear 2.apple 3.raspberries 4. mandarin oranges
-Dry fruits : 5. prune 6.raisin 7.apples (that I dried)
-Nuts : 8. walnuts 9.chestnuts
-Baked : 10. biscotti 11.mince pies 12. pompe à l’huile

13th : iced nougat

Nougat glacé. That’s my 21th century white nougat.

If you put an almond in a fig, you get a “poor man’s nougat”. So let’s say with the walnut that makes my black nougat.

Christmas biscotti and “convenient” mince pies made with all leftovers (dough, marinated fruits, egg yolk) and baked in a corner of oven. Of course, these 2 don’t exist in traditional Provence.

La pompe à l’huile closes the parade.

It should be broken, not cut otherwise you bring bad luck for the year.
The name means “oil pump” because it is a bread enriched with olive oil. It is flavored with orange blossom water. Today mine is made of the buckwheat dough with these 2 additions and cane sugar.

And it “pumps” the “sauce” of desserts (or hot wine).
One serving is not too decadent :

Retro Christmas (2) Jambon en croûte aux marrons

CHAUD DEVANT ! Beware, I’m carrying hot stuff !
That’s the masterpiece of the meal. A rustic bake ham in a crust of soft and crispy bread.
Christmas ham is very old tradition. Middle-Age, or even before. In some places the baked ham or the baked ham pie has survived.

It is a very simple version with chestnut stuffing and buckwheat (plus wheat) bread. The luxury ingredient is the shallots. I find them very irregularly in Japan, and I stock them for French dishes.

The ham, shallots and chestnuts marinated with white wine and black pepper. The stuffing was stir-fried and flambe-ed with shochu liquor.

Packed !

Hot from the oven.

That really has a Christmas taste. Hot ham, melting sweet stuffing, soft bread… what more do you want ? The buckwheat brings a nutty flavor very pleasant.