Etxeko biskotxa : the Basque pie invasion !

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My etxeko biskotxa. Home-made gâteau basque. No, you’re never too rich. Particularly if you’re a cake. Or if the currency of your fortune is a delicious specialty…

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Yes. I have 5 ! But they are small. And I shared. And they could have been bigger and I could have not shared and eaten them all too…

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Vanilla cream. This is the classic ! There is a good recipe given by the museum dedicated to this pastry.

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Framboise (raspberry) and cassis (black currants). Bought jams.

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Home-made ume plum jam to fill the 4th type :

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Yes, that makes 5. There were 2 vanilla ones.

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Savarin battle

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Savarin is the crown cake.

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Well, the crown sponge. LOL.

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Blog-checking lines:Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenges us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling! We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes!

There will be several posts about it :

DSC01072-001 Stohrer’s old baba

DSC00238-002 baba au chocolat

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sesame Ali-Baba

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The classic French “savarin” or “brillat-savarin” was made with the help of the famous food writer Brillat-Savarin, and named like him to thank him.
It has this shape in small. The large one is a huge donut, which represents a crown, and the hole is not filled as you would not be able to serve it nicely. The syrup is kirsch (cherry liquor flavor). The chantilly (vanilla whip cream) is a decoration or can be served as a side. Creme anglaise (vanilla custard sauce) is an optional side. When it’s not a savarin, it’s a baba. Well, that doesn’t matter.

On the photo, it’s nearly classic. I had no kirsch so I’ve used crème de framboise (raspberry liquor).

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I compared Natalia’s recipe for the challenge with mine.

So this is the battle of the two savarin doughs :

*New* is the challenge’s recipe. The big difference :
The *classic* is 50 g of egg per 100 g of flour (all purpose or cake flour) and of course, hand made (light kneading). So about 1/2 the amount of egg. It’s replaced with milk. My classic batter was harder.

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I have only individual savarin molds. I’ve used a mini-cannele mold to make “babas bouchons” (cork babas), and a small kouglof mold.
They were baked the same time, which was short due to size.

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From the outside, the new is more regular, nicer, looks more pro.

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Inside that looks similar. The new is dryer. Maybe it’s convenient if you want to soak it the same day.
So the new recipe might seem better in appearance.
For the taste, the difference is big. The new one tastes of egg mostly. The classic tastes more of butter. The syrup covers most of the taste anyway. As I usually eat a few dry, I prefer the classic.

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Challenge’s recipe from Daring Bakers

Savarin

Servings: 8/10

Ingredients
2½ cups (600 ml) (12-1/3 oz) (350 gm) bread flour
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, lukewarm
6 (320 gm) large eggs at room temperature, separated
½ satchel (1½ teaspoons) (4 gm) instant yeast or 15 gm (½ oz) fresh yeast
4 teaspoons (20 ml) (20 gm) sugar
2/3 stick (1/3 cup) (80 ml) (75 gm) butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) orange and lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
¼ cup (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter for greasing the work surface, hands, dough scraper & baking pan

Directions:

Sponge
In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons (1 oz) (25 gm) flour and yeast , cover with cling film and let rise 60 minutes

Dough
1.After 30 minutes put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and start working with the paddle at low speed adding flour until you have a soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 2 cups or 270 gm) and work until it comes together , cover with cling film and let rest 30 min
2.Add the sponge to the mixer bowl along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing at low speed (if you wish to add the zests do it now)
3.When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl add one yolk and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour
4.Add the second yolk , the sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour
5.Raise the speed a little
6.Add the third yolk and the salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour
7.Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later
8.Mix the dough until is elastic and makes threads
9.Add the butter at room temperature and as soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour
10.Keep on mixing till the dough passes the window pane test
11.Cover the dough with cling film and let it proof until it has tripled in volume 2 to 3 hours.
12.You can prepare the Pastry cream now if you chose to use it, and refrigerate it
13.While you wait prepare your baking pan buttering it very carefully not leaving too much butter on it
14.Grease your dough scraper, your hands and your work surface and put the dough on it and fold with the Dough Package Fold two or three times around (5 folds twice or three times). Cover with cling foil and let it rest 15 minutes on the counter
15.Turn the dough upside down and with the help of your buttered dough scraper shape your dough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2_h6Qogp0 in a rounded bun
16.Make a hole in the center with your thumb and put it in the prepared pan
17. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan about 1 hour
18.Pre-heat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3
19.Bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown
20.Meanwhile prepare the Syrup
21.When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven, let it cool and remove carefully out of the pan
22.You have two choices now : you can immerse it in syrup right now or you can let it dry out (so it will lose some of his moisture that will be replaced by the syrup) and soak it later on.
23.To immerse it in syrup it is a good idea to place it in the mold you baked it in (I’m afraid a spring-form one wouldn’t work for this) and keep adding ladles of syrup until you see it along the rim of the pan. Or you can just soak it in a big bowl keeping your ladle on top of it so it doesn’t float. Once the Savarin is really well soaked carefully move it on a cooling rack positioned over a pan to let the excess syrup drip
24.The soaked Savarin gains in flavor the next day
25.Whatever you decide the day you want to serve it glaze it and fill the hole with your filling of choice and decorate it. You can serve the Savarin with some filling on the side
26.Enjoy it !

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Mine (you know me, it’s shorter) :

Gourmande’s baba/savarin
A :
100 g flour (all purpose or cake or a mix. Roughly 9 or 10% protein)
50 g beaten egg
50 g milk
1 tbs honey (liquid or melted in the milk)
1/2 ts yeast in 1/4 cup of milk, 10 minutes before
1 tbs vanilla extract
(more milk)
B :
30 g butter (salted) or add a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredient A in a bowl. Let 15 minutes. Turn slowly with a pair of bamboo chopstick or a wooden spoon to knead the dough, till it gets a bubble gum texture.
Melt the butter without cooking it, combine with the dought, knead a little more. Let covered in a hot place (40 degrees),
When it raises, put in molds, let raise, bake.

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Desserts de France…

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Les crêpes !
Crêpes Suzette mandarineCrêpes boisettes (berry) Crêpes little sunCrêpes soufflées tropicales

More : crêpes compilation (sweet and savory)

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Noël et Rois (Xmas and Kings) :
Pompe à l’huile (sweet fougasse)Nonnettes (fluffy gingerbread)Flocon de neige (snowflake cake)Nougat glacé (honey ice-cream) Galette des Rois (Kings’ cake)Galette des Rois au chocolat

More : Christmas dessert compilation

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Les fruits !
Poire pochée au chocolat Baked pineappleFruity papilloteTartelette aux figuesPomme lampion (baked apple) Crémet aux fruits rouges

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Classiques :
GénoiseCygne et choux (cream puffs and swan) MillefeuilleTarte au chocolat Religieuse (cream puff “nun”)

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Regions :
Brioche de Pâques (Easter bread, Provence)Gâteau de Metz (retro chocolate cake, Lorraine)Croustade or Pastis aux pommes (apple pie, Gascogne) Millas (corn and pumpkin, South-West) Farz fourn (butter cake, Bretagne)

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Chocolat.
Coffee sunglassesGâteau truffe aux kumquatsWhite chocolate cinnamon apple cake Raspeberry choco-carob cake

More chocolate sweets.

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Festifs.
Pets de nonne (‘farting nun’ carnival donuts)Mango coco millefeuilleStar anise mandarin chocolate tarte Crémet in mint sauceGâteau de la bergère (Shepherd’s cake made with potato) Petits flans a la betterave (sweet beetroot puddings)

More ? French dessert compilation.

Le nouveau gâteau truffe au chocolat , with soy yogurt

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Not your grandma’s usual yogurt, not her salon de thé ‘s truffe au chocolat. I had no intention to remake them. The cake ended up similar just like that as I was improvising. Lucky !

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Freshly made soy yogurt

It’s the greatest soy yogurt for me. Commercial soy yogurt are always on the runny side of creamy, or on the jello side. And the Japanese soy yogurt, oh my, I’d never eat that, it’s over-sweetened and flavored with with stevia that I loath.
This one has a texture of… yogurt. And a taste of soy. It’s perfect.
Don’t skip the sugar, it helps maturation and the result is not sweet at all.

Easy recipe :
-make one liter of thick tonyu soy milk (tutorial)
-in a small cup mix 1 tbs of potato starch, 1/4 of agar, 1/2 cup of soy milk. Cook a few seconds in the micro-wave till its thickens. You get a mess.
-in the blender, mix the warmed soy milk, the cup of starch, 1 tbs of sugar, 2 tbs of store bough soy yogurt
-let overnight in a yogurt maker

Tip : you can take a thermos/thick pot with a lid, place glass bin in the middle, very hot water around…and you have a yogurt maker. I do that for smaller batches.

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Freshly made soy ‘Greek’ yogurt.
Drained in a cheese cloth (from the pharmacy), let overnight in the fridge. Drink the whey or use it for cooking, it’s full of healthy probiotics.

Other dairy-like ideas : my diary-free diary.

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Now, let’s make the cake : I whip all that to make a chocolate mousse.

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A nutty biscuit base (just blend all together).

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Composition : the base, a layer of mousse, slices of kumquat, more mousse, cocoa.
The result is really bluffing. That’s not exactly looking like those from the pâtissier‘s, but that’s as close as you dream of getting for some sweet you make like that in 10 minutes. Taste is divine…

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These kinkan (kumquats) are still in season and visible in the streets.

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Gâteau de la bergère. Rum raisin shepherd cake.

Why shepherd ? You could think it’s because it looks like a sheep. It’s a woolly moist cake, deliciously flavored with the liquor infused fruits.

There is a relation with the shepherd pie too. The recipe is a little unusual. Apparently that was done a lot in France in the early 19th century as this ingredient had not been yet type-casted as savory side. Yes, a potato dessert ! And it’s delicious. Actually this is a great base to bake cakes without gluten nor grains nor nuts, so that may be a useful recipe for people with certain food intolerances. Anyway that’s good for everybody to vary.

RECIPE :
Beat in that order :
1 egg yolk + 1 or 2 tbs of sugar
+ 2 tbs of coconut cream + a splash of vanilla extract.
+about a cup of mashed potato flesh
+ water to get a creamy texture.
Mix in 1/4 cup of raisins soaked in rum overnight (there were goji berries too).
Add in 3 times the egg white (beaten and sweetened with 1 tbs of sugar).
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius till top is firm and golden.

Let cool a few hours. Serve chilled.

Nobody will guess what the main ingredient is. That appears like some baba au rhum soaked biscuit.
Well, the presentation could be better. That’s not a good idea to take it out of the mold. Next time, I’ll serve in individual cups or cocottes like a flan.

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.

Nonnettes et flocons de neige, fluffy December sweets


Double dessert, but so light that they could fly…

Plain nonnettes, the soft ginger bread. (recipe here).
These are not filled, only glazed in a syrup of kurozato black sugar.

Mini Flockensahne tortes, topped with sesame seed streusel. It’s light low-fat plant based cream and vanilla for the whip.