Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Vols-au-Vent with Pastry Cream and Raspberries

I MADE IT! Here is my first Daring Bakers challenge. For this month, it was Vols-au-Vent with homemade puff pastry. Even though I have never consider making my own puff pastry before, I knew I could do it, but I also needed a little push. The anxiety was there, as I didn't know how it would turn out, but I was very happy with the results. It took some time to make it, but it was well worth it.

Vols-au-Vent brings back childhood memories, since we would always eat it for New Years Eve. My Mom would fill  them with Ragout Fin, which is a ragout made with veal and some chicken meat in a cream sauce. Traditionally it is made with veal and its innards. For the challenge, however, I decided for a sweet filling with vanilla pastry cream, topped with fresh raspberries.

Making puff pastry took a lot of patience. Between each layer, I had to allow time for the butter to cool, or the butter would penetrate through the layers of dough (which would ruin the whole thing altogether). I found the first couple folds more difficult because of it. So I had to be very careful. Just cool, wait, and repeat the process. After finishing the required six folds, I decided to cool it overnight. It made the dough very easy to roll. I cut it in three portions, and put two in the freezer for later use.

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apricot-Nectarine-Peach and Almond Galette

Stone fruits are still at the markets, and lots of those fruits are grown locally, which makes them extra sweet. I got the idea of making this galette from Williams-Sonoma: New Flavors for Desserts, where it is just made with apricots. I added nectarines and peaches to the recipe. The combination of the three fruits gave the galette a good mix of sweet and tartness.

The recipes in the book are categorized by season, and are inspired by what you will find on farmers' markets. The majority of the recipes are fruit desserts, often with a new twist, like adding an unusual herb or spice. Each recipe has a beautiful photograph, and you will also find information about the ingredients.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Plum-Streusel Cake

Fall is approaching fast and, as one of the last summer fruits, plums are hitting the market stands. My favorite kind of plums are the dark, small ones, also called Italian plums. In Germany they are called Zwetschgen. They are more tart then the normal yellow or red plums and their flesh is usually firm. These qualities make them perfect for baking. The Zwetschgenkuchen is a traditional fall cake in Germany. You will find it in any bakery and family gathering at this time of year.

Plum cakes are traditionally made with either a shortcrust or a yeast dough, often with streusel on top. The following recipe is a very easy one, using a basic shortcrust, which is also used for the streusel. I made a smaller cake as in the recipe and just froze the leftover dough. Leftover dough is great to have for making up something fast. For example I often use it to make some small fruit tartlets.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Berry Pavlovas

This is my first official blog entry. I have a few postings before, but I needed some time to practice and see how everything works. Well, there is still a lot to learn, but I get a lot of inspiration from all those wonderful food blogs out there. So, welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by.

Since I call this blog berry lovely, I definitely want to start off with a berry recipe. Since I had some leftover egg whites, pavlovas came to mind. They are a great way to use up your egg whites and can be topped with any fruit combination you might desire. Berry season is slowly coming to an end, but I still managed to pick some wild blackberries. Together with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, they made great toppings for my little pavlovas.

Instead of normal cake-sized pavlovas, I prefer to make them small. So they can be served in single portions, because I just have no idea how you would cut a big one into nice looking pieces. We always make a huge mess on our plates eating them.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...