Monday, 27 July 2009

daring bakers challenge: teacakes! ...(mallows)...

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network. time and life stopped me make the milan cookies, saved for a later date for sure, but I did conquer the mallows!
totally splendid, was pretty nervy about the marshmallows but was really happy with them. I think next time I will have a bit more confidence to make sure the mallow top covers the cookie nicely - was more worried about getting it all over the place so think I may have been a bit over cautious - but that did result in more mallows! Mallow...teacake, for the brits...Recipe For the cookie base 3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/8 bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon...which I forgot! darn.
170g unsalted butter
3 large eggs, whisked together
homemade marshmallows - as below
chocolate gaze - as below
1. blend the dry ingredients in amixer
2. on a low speed add the butter and mix til sandy
3. add the eggs and mix to combine
4. form the dough into a disk, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour - up to 3 days
5. line baking trays with baking paper
6. preheat oven to 375F/180C
7. roll out cookie dough to 1/8" thick, on a lightly floured surface. use a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter - or a small plastic tube
if you are me - to cut out small rounds of dough
8. transfer to the prepped pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown - let cool to room temperature
9. pipe a 'kiss' of marshmallow onto each cookie. let sit at room temperature for 2 hours
10. line a cookie sheet with baking paper
11. one at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze
12. lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl
13. place on the prepped pan and let set at room temperature until coating is firm, about 1-2 hours
marshmallow recipe
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup - i used golden syrup
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp powdered gelatin - I could only find sheet gelatin, 4 sheets of which I softened in water, drained and added to the
syrup off the heat
2 tbsp cold water - omitted due to use of sheet gelatin
2 egg whites, room temp
1/4 tsp vanilla extract - omitted, I split the mixture and added 1tsp rose water with pink dye to one half, and 2tsp cocoa
in 1tbsp water to the other
1. in a saucepan, combine the water, syrup and sugar, bring to "soft-ball" stage (235C)
2. sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve - if sheet gelatin like me, soften in water for 10 mins
3. remove syrup from heat and add gelatin (drain first if using sheets)
4. whip the egg whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites
5. add the vanilla - or as I did, rose water or chocolate - and continue whipping until stiff
6. transfer to piping bag - I piped the rose half, and poured the chocolate half into an oiled and icing-sugared tray to set, for cutting int o squares and tossing in cocoa
chocolate glaze - I made half with milk chocolate and half with dark...yummy!
12oz chocolate
2oz vegetable oil
1. melt the 2 ingredients together in a bowl set over simmering water

Sunday, 12 July 2009

cherry french royale tart

the sun has returned after a rather soggy few days and has put me back in the baking mood after the mammoth cake weekend. spent far too long in bookshops yesterday looking at cook books, two of which are now squeezed in on my bulging kitchen bookshelves...hee!
the recipe for these beauties is adapted from one of the books i could not resist, a piece of cake by leila lindholm, which is one of the most beautifully put together books i have perused in a long time. it is one of those lovely recipe books that you can just read as it is and it is almost as good as baking itself, brilliant. the recipe calls for curd cheese, which i was unable to get in my local shop, so i substituted with cottage cheese that i drained and creamed first. i used cherries in my tarts as i am obsessed, but you should definitely get the book to have a look at the numerous other variations suggested.