Et dans le baba… Recidivist !

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I really baked many babas/savarins to test doughs, so I eat them one by one, with variation in serving style. They are all listed here. I hope that’s not getting too boring.

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Today, it’s soaked in syrup flavored with vanilla and a little rum.

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Served with crème anglaise (vanilla custard), decorated with dark chocolate and rum raisins.

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Devoured with infinite pleasure.

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A la recherche du baba de Stohrer…

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Maybe it looked like that…
I am not an historian, just playing the costumed dessert game. And I have really love this retro version that I made not very sweet. It’s much lighter and fresher than the average baba.

For recipes to bake the baba/kouglof : click here.

The oldest pastry shop in Paris

In the year of grace 1725, Louis XV married Marie Leszczynska,
daughter of King Stanislas of Poland.His pastry chef Stohrer follows her in Versailles.

Five years later, in 1730, NICOLAS STOHRER opened his bakery
at 51 rue Montorgueil in the second arrondissement of Paris.

In its kitchen, where desserts were invented for the Great Court,king’s delights are still prepared.

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Thanks to a dry Polish brioche, the King Stanislas had brought back from a trip, Nicolas STOHRER invented the BABA.

Un baba. Un kouglof.

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The inside. It’s good fresh, but yes very soon, it’s stale.

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He enhanced the dry brioche by basting Malaga wine, flavored by saffron

The amber syrup : white wine, brown sugar, orange peel and saffron. A little Brandy to punch it up.

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Did they serve crème anglaise (vanilla custard) as a side ? That was very popular. And the orange, if they could afford the precious exotic fruit.

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Mango coconut restaurant millefeuille

Even if it’s not exactly restaurant grade for the shape, the freshness and the taste are here !

Yummmm…. fingerlickungud…
What make it a restaurant millefeuille is it’s prepared last minute, on the plate. The concept is different from the take out millefeuille, prepared advance by the baker. The plated version plays more on freshness.

Coconut milk and cream custard, vanilla flavored.

I’ve let it creamy and very soft.

A red mango, on sale because it’s super ripe.

Lots of fibers, but they are soft and it’s delicious, super fragrant.

Quick pastry dough.

Baked just before.

So let’s compose it : still hot pastry cookies, fresh coconut cream, mango cubes.

Finish touch : dry coconut flakes.

Thousand leaves, nearly classic millefeuille

Leaves of Autumn are not here yet, so let’s eat leaves of pastry…

Yes, this month’s it’s a millefeuille…

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Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!

So I’ve made these vanilla ones, classic and also
Mango coconut millefeuille
And a while ago I made lemon ones :
Mille-citrons

Making pâte feuilletée…

The caramelized pastry, cut at the good size.

Vanilla crème with lots of vanilla powder and a hint of Grand Marnier.

Mmm… I need to train at piping the cream. That’s not pretty. Don’t watch that.

The icing is simply chocolate.

Recipe :

Source : the challenge

Pâte feuilletée /Puff Pastry

Servings: Makes 8-10 mille-feuille (yields: 675g pastry)

Ingredients
1¾ cup (250g) plain/all-purpose flour
Scant ¼ cup (55 ml) (1¾ oz)(50g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 teaspoon (5ml) (6 gm) salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5/8 cup)(150 ml) cold water

14 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz) (200g) butter (for the beurrage), room temperature
3½ tablespoons (55ml) (30g) plain flour (for the beurrage)

Additional flour for rolling/turning

Directions:

1. Cut the larger quantity of butter into smallish pieces and set aside at room temperature.
2. Put the larger quantity of flour into a bowl with the salt and the cold, cubed butter.
3. Lightly rub the butter and flour between your fingertips until it forms a mealy breadcrumb texture.
4. Add the cold water and bring together with a fork or spoon until the mixture starts to cohere and come away from the sides of the bowl.
5. As the dough begins to come together, you can use your hands to start kneading and incorporating all the remaining loose bits. If the dough’s a little dry, you can add a touch more water.
6. Knead for three minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth.
7. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
8. While the dough is chilling, take your room temperature butter and mix with the smaller amount of plain flour until it forms a paste.
9. Place the butter paste between two sheets of clingfilm, and either with a rolling pin or your hands (I found hands easiest) shape it into a 4.5”/12cm square. You can use a ruler (or similar) to neaten the edges.
10. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes so the butter firms up slightly. If it’s still soft, leave it a bit longer. If it’s too hard and inflexible, leave it out to soften a touch. You want it to be solid but still malleable.
11. Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a 6”/15cm square. Place the square of butter in the middle, with each corner touching the centre of the square’s sides (see photo below).
12. Fold each corner of dough over the butter so they meet the centre (you might have to stretch them a little) and it resembles an envelope, and seal up the edges with your fingers. You’ll be left with a little square parcel.
13. Turn the dough parcel over and tap the length of it with your rolling pan to flatten it slightly.
14. Keeping the work surface well floured, roll the dough carefully into a rectangle ¼ inch /6 mm in thickness.
15. With the longest side facing you, fold one third (on the right) inwards, so it’s covering the middle section, and ensure that it is lined up (see below).
16. Then, fold the remaining flap of dough (on the left) inwards, so you’re left with a narrow three-layered strip (see below).
17. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16.
18. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
19. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16 twice.
20. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill again for at least 30 minutes.
21. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16 two final times.
22. Wrap up in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed. The dough keeps a couple of days in the fridge.

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Pastry Cream / Crème Pâtissière:

(full batch; makes enough for 8-10 mille-feuille)

Ingredients

2 cups (450ml) whole milk
¼ cup (1¼ oz)(35 gm) cornflour/cornstarch
1 cup less 1 tablespoon (200gm) (7 oz) caster sugar
4 large egg yolks (if you’re making the royal icing, reserve two egg whites)
2 large eggs
¼ cup (2 oz) (60gm) unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla essence

Directions:

1. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with ½ cup of milk and stir until dissolved.
2. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan with the sugar, dissolving the sugar and bringing the milk to the boil. Remove from heat.
3. Beat the whole eggs into the cornflour/milk mixture. Then beat in the egg yolks. Pour in 1/3 of the hot milk, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.
4. Now, bring the remaining milk back to the boil, and add the eggy mixture, whisking as your pour. Keep whisking (don’t stop or it’ll solidify) on a medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and thoroughly whisk the pastry cream. At this stage the pastry cream can look slightly lumpy, but a good whisking soon makes it smoother.
6. Beat in the butter and vanilla until fully incorporated.
7. If you haven’t already, pour the pastry cream into a stainless steel or ceramic bowl, and then place clingfilm over the surface to stop a skin forming.
8. Refrigerate overnight to give the pastry cream time to further thicken.

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Mille-Feuille/ Napoleon/ Custard Slice

Servings: Makes 8- 10

Ingredients
1 x batch pâte feuilletée/puff pastry (see above)
1 x batch crème pâtissière/pastry cream (see above)

2 ¾ cups (660 ml) (12⅓oz) (350gm) icing sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
2 large egg whites
½ cup (2¾ oz) (80gm) dark chocolate

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200 °C /400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Lightly dust your work space with flour and remove your dough from the fridge.
3. Roll into a large rectangle, the thickness of cardboard. The recipe I followed specified no other dimensions, but I rolled mine to about 12”/30cm x 18”/46cm.
4. Cut into three equal pieces and place on a baking tray. If you don’t have space for all three, you can bake them separately.
5. Prick the pastry sheets all over with a fork.
6. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper over the top and then a heavy baking tray. This will prevent the layers from puffing up too much.
7. Bake each sheet for about 25 minutes in a moderately hot oven 200 °C /400°F/gas mark 6, removing the top layer of greaseproof paper/tray 10 minutes before the end for the tops to brown. Keep an eye on them and lower the temperature if you think they’re browning too much.
8. Remove the baked sheets from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
9. Once the pastry has cooled, you’re ready to assemble your mille-feuille. Get a sturdy flat board, your pastry and the chilled crème pâtissière from the fridge.
10. Lay one sheet on the board and spread half the crème patisserie evenly over the top.
11. Take the second sheet and place it on top, pressing down lightly with your hands to ensure that it sticks to the filling.
12. Spread the remaining crème pâtissière and place the last sheet of pastry on top, pressing down again. (Don’t worry if there’s some oozing at the sides. That can be neatened later.)
13. Pop in the fridge while you prepare the icing / chocolate.
14. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie, stirring periodically. Once melted, transfer to a piping bag (or plastic bag with end snipped), resting nozzle side down in a glass or other tall container.
15. To make the icing, whisk 2 egg whites with 2 teaspoons lemon juice until lightly frothy.
16. Whisk in about (2 cups) 300gm of the icing sugar on a low setting until smooth and combined. The mixture should be thick enough to leave trails on the surface. If it’s too thin, whisk in a bit more icing sugar.
17. Once ready, immediately pour over the top of the mille-feuille and spread evenly. I found that I didn’t quite need all of the icing.
18. Still working quickly, pipe a row of thin chocolate lines along the widest length of your pastry sheet (see below). You can make them as far apart/close together as you like.
19. STILL working quickly (phew), take a sharp knife and lightly draw it down (from top to bottom) through the rows of chocolate. A centimeter (½ inch) or so further across, draw the knife up the way this time, from bottom to top. Move along, draw it down again. Then up. And so on, moving along the rows of chocolate until the top is covered in a pretty swirly pattern.
20. Once you’ve decorated your mille-feuille (no doubt far more beautifully than I did), with a clean knife mark out where you’re going to cut your slices, depending on how big you want them to be and leaving space to trim the edges. I got ten out of mine – two rows of five.
21. Chill for a couple of hours to give the icing (etc.) time to set.
22. With a sharp knife, trim the edges and cut your slices.
23. Dig in!

Very vanilla shocking pink flans.

Shocking pink is bold and intense. It takes its name from the tone of pink used in the lettering on the box of the perfume called Shocking of Elsa Schiaparelli in 1937.
source

For some mysterious reason, pink desserts taste better.

But what is really shocking is there are veggies in my dessert !
To make the vanilla infused beets, I’ve added cane sugar, briefly cooked them and ts of apple vinegar, a little more sugar and some vanilla powder. I’ve let them 2 hours.

Coz I was given vanilla powder. Happy !

That would be a pity to not use this…

Only the juice, mixed to the custard.

Voila !

Oh a hole ?! Are there mice here ?

Do you think he made the hole ?

Or there was a spoon attack ?

They taste better cooled, the next day.
Which is tough. Try to make them a day you are not at home to be sure you don’t eat them immediately.

Rising Sun melon-pan

Melon Pan or Sunrise

Caution : cult food !

That’s Hina Matsuri (festival of little girls) in Japan this week-end, so I can get a sweet treat, coz I’m a little girl, just bigger.

If you have never had them, that’s a soft sweet bread roll that has a crunchy rind, unlike a melon… Contrarily to some rumor, they are not melon flavored. Unless they are, in which case they would become “melon melon pan”.

When I came to live in Japan, I put on 200 kilos in the first 3 months because those freaks are sold everywhere. Each baker adds his/her personal touch to the recipe and Osaka has 40 000 bakeries so I had to try the 100 000 variations. Then, when you stop eating them, you will lose the gained weight. But will you be able to stop ?

Total vice : they double as cream pan. They are filled with vanilla custard cream.

Making of :
Sweet roll bread (milk bread here, butter roll is OK), filled with the cream (or not), covered with a layer of cookie/tart dough (pâte Sucrée, flavored with lemon zest and vanilla), rolled in crystal sugar. Etc.

The bad news. This is for ONE little melon :

Cal 394 F16.1g C56.1g P8.2g

A cookie make with the leftover of “melon rind”.

Would you say this one is the melon pan ? or the sunrise ?
The 2 names exist, the 2 shapes exist. Nobody seems to agree. They made some surveys all over Japan to know what % of people called them this or that…

Cinderella gourmande, recipes of golden carriage

Beware little pumpkin, the hunting season is officially opened !
Well, the kabocha (pumpkin) is on the tables year round in Japan.
Read more here.

photo kabocha menu

Most Japanese pumpkin are the sweet non-watery type (potimarron, chestnut-pumpkin). They are delicious just steamed or simply cooked… If you want more ideas for variation, here is a little compilation.

Japanese meal with kabocha skin and kabocha bread toasts

kabocha mousse

kabocha waffles

Velouté of kabocha

kabocha pizza

pumpkin bread

pumpkin samosa and roast kabocha

pumpkin tofu jewel cake

raw pumpkin pie

creamy pumpkin pie

kabocha cardaman buns savory tarte au potiron

Pure potiron

Foamy soupe de potiron
Pan-fried kabocha
Fitness creme de potiron

Japanese kabocha classics

Kabocha no nitsuke
Tempura with kabocha
Okowa (steamed sticky rice) in kabocha

Not on photo :
Summer food rainbow
Shrimp doria with kabocha
Dengaku tofu, kabocha…

World pumpkin

Noodles with kabocha and bamboo shoots
Spring rolls
Ramen soup with kabocha
Pumpkin “risotto”
Pumpkin rosemary spaghetti
Pumpkin couscous

See also :
Appam kabocha lunch
Eight treasures on domburi

Sweet citrouille

Kabocha yokan
Souffle de potimarron
Vegan pumpkin chi’cake
Thai steamed pumpkin custard

See also :
Compote de kabocha (kabocha spread)
Kabocha coco gelato

with soba (poached)
roast (chick sand)

Purée

kabocha salad
millas (cake)
chana dal chilled soup
kabocha yokan (Japanese sweet)

The grated raw flesh

August veg’
color slaw
shred veggies

miso soup
salad with fried tofu
mabo tofu


grilled
opened with the teeth
the green seed, to enjoy with a little salt