On the first christmas day we met with my family at my sisters place. To reduce the work for her (and because I like to do it) I offered to make dessert. For a long time I was lacking a good idea. But when I was decorating our flat with my Christmas apples I knew what to cook: Mini baked apples with ice cream. In our childhood my mum always bought marzipan ice cream (shaped as christmas tree) for us. And so I knew the flavour for the ice cream as well: Marzipan! Inspired by Michas cream cheese ice cream I created a new recipe and it is perfect for christmas time because you can make it in advance, freeze it and serve it directly from the fridge. Due to the high amount of invertsirup and cream cheese it will be soft and perfect to eat!
And the combination of cold ice cream, hot apples and crunchy almonds was the perfect end of a delicious Christmas meal!
When I bake my Sourdough Pandoro with the special (not sour) sourdough called sweet starter last year I knew already that I would have to make my own Panettone recipe for the following christmas. Similar to the Pandoro recipe I planed to build the dough in some steps so that the yeasts in the sweet starter would get used to sugar and fat which would help to let the dough rise fast. The sweet starter I kept during 2014 alive and baked rather a lot of different breads with him.
On 22. December I refreshed the sweet starter tree times to make him strong and fast rising. He was so strong and fast rising that he only needed two instead if three hours to double his volume when I started the sweet starter for the Panettone at the 23. in the morning. And even the sugar and the butter in the following first and second dough did not slow him down, and tripled its volume in 90 minutes instead of 2 hours. But anyway the third (and last) dough had to take 3 hours for rising because I had to run some errands. Coming home again I formed the Panettone (Susans Tip to grease hands and counter with a lot of butter is really helpful!) and during forming I calculated: I’m now two hours earlier then planned… but it will need about 12 hours at least to proof… and at seven in the morning I’m normally already awake. So there is no problem at all…
At five o’clock the next morning, on my way to the bathroom, I quickly checked the Panettone in the kitchen. And turned the oven on. Ten hours were what they needed to reach the rim of the form. And who needs sleep?
One hour later the panettone was already hanging between two chairs and I crawled back into bed to have another little nap. Later that day we took some pictures and sliced one cake. And it was so delicious: soft and fluffy, the crumb could be teared into long strands, flavours of orange and vanilla and subtle, but complex notes from the sweet starter. And it keeps fresh for a long time, we eat one with my family on the first christmas day, and had some on second christmas day as well and it still tasted like freshly baked. It is a fussy cake and I could less sleep then normal but it is worth everything! It is the perfect christmas cake!
Christmas Eve is very near now and I want to use the time to wish you all a merry and peaceful Christmas! The dearest and me will have a piece Panettonne (recipe will come soon) before we leave to meet with the family.
All the best!
Du you already have a plan for breakfast during the holidays? I prefer baking the one or other overnight recipe where either the dough rise over night or the already shape rolls. And during the holidays I love everything which is made with sweet brioche dough. But the high butter amount in this dough get solid in the fridge and hinder the dough to rise properly. A solution for this problem is using cream as liquid in the dough. That adds enough fat to make the crumb soft but will not keep the dough from rising.
This Sunday I made a test run and baked already my Christmas wreath. It is made with sweet Starter (if you have no sweet Starter please refer to the Biga recipe at the end of the recipe as replacement) and some cream makes its crumb nicely soft. The segments of the wreath are formed by dough “roses” made of four circles each. I saw this idea somewhere in the internet some time ago but I did not save the site. But luckily it worked with the facts I still had in mind.
As finish I glazed the dough with a cooked sugar glaze. A sweet bread with sugar glaze is somehow essential for my Christmas breakfast!
I like white nougat very much. And most I like hart variant, the Turrón Duro. In the last years I tested different recipes but I never found the perfect recipe for me because I always get the soft white nougat.
So I optimized the recipe once more this year and was successful at the end. With more sugar, a little bit of invert sirup and and summer flower honey is the nougat not as white as it could be but it is very delicious and just the way I love my nougat!
My entry for the christmas party in the lab looked like that: Bread (of course homemade). That was an easy decision. It was more difficult to decide what to bake. We are a very international team and everyone should bring something special from his country. And so I decided to honour the swabian part of my family history and baked pretzels. For the second kind of bread I chose my favourite bread. With this dough you can do every “mischief” you can imagine when forming a bread. And so I decided to bake a Santa Claus bread. I saw similar breads before but I did not like the fact that they were painted with food colouring and the way how they were formed did not fit to my ideas complexly either. But I had my own ideas already…
… and the ideas worked well and the breads turned out to be the most photographed part of the buffet. And one colleague asked me to bake such a bread for christmas eve for her (what I will love to do).
About the bread itself I can just repeat what I said before: It is delicious crusty with a soft crumb and great flavour. It is my personal favourite. And that makes it a good candidate for Michas new permanrnt blogevent where she looks for “Undiscovered Blog Buster” (german: Der Unendeckte Blog Buster =DUBB)!
This Month I published another recipe in the staff journal of the university of cologne. And this time it is a chocolate cardamom sablé recipe, perfect for Christmas.
Sablé is French and means “Sand” and as tender and friable is this cookie inspired by the French original. With cacao, cardamom and cinnamon the cookies are very aromatic and the little salt crystals of the fleur de sel are the perfect contrast to the sweet cookie.
When making the dough you have to take care of two things: Butter and egg white should both have room temperature, to ensure a soft dough perfect for piping and you should just fold the flour under to ensure a tender cookie. But then they are easily made and a perfect treat for Christmas time!
The last month was a quite busy one and I was not so much at home. Time for blogging was rare and time for reading other blogs or leaving comments was even rarer. And so I enjoyed it very much to read all your post last weekend. I was so happy that so many people baked something for our virtual breakfast! I tried to leave a comment on every page, I hope you get them all because everyone did such a great job!
So please take a seat on our virtual table. Do you want a cup of coffee, or tea or a cappucchino? Or better some juice or water? Here we have honey (from granddad), homemade jams and jellies, some chocolate spread, quark and cheese. Does anyone would like a boiled egg? Or scrambled eggs? For bread, please help yourself from this stunning selection:
After to weeks of hibernation in the fridge my little sweet starter longed for fresh flour. To use the leftovers after feeding I decided to mix a dough with a little bit starter and a tiny little bit of fresh yeast and let it rise over night at roomtemperature.
The next morning the dough was very well risen and lively and so I formed some rolls and let them rise for a short time before baking. After one hour I could serve warm rolls for our breakfast.
They flavour was very complex and delicious, and thats convinced me to share the recipe with you, even when it was planed “only” to use up leftovers.