Before we look back at the Blog year 2015 tomorrow, there is one last Christmas recipe I want to share with you. The little chocolate rounds are a delicious addition for the cookie plate and are a very nice little Present for everyone with a sweet tooth. And as they are easy to make they are a good last minute present as well!
For a good, shiny surface it is important to temper the chocolate. I do this by melting part of the chocolate, then adding the remaining part and then carefully heating it up to 30°C. This work best with a digital thermometer!
For the topping you can use what ever you like: dried fruits, nuts, candid fruits. I for myself prefer highly the variant with chopped (homemade) candid orange peel, as I like the contrast of sweet chocolate and the slightly bitter, fruity flavour of the Orange!
Upps, there was for a short time a blog post online which should be the last of the year. But there are still some recipes from my Christmas Cookie Plate waiting form which I want to tell you before the new year starts.
One of these are dark Nogat, Turrón de Chocolate. It is similar to the white nougat, but some additional chocolate is folded in before adding the nuts.
Turrón making is a exercise in multi tasking, and it makes sense to think about the process before starting. You need to have ready at the same time point melted chocolate, whipped egg white and the boiling sugar syrup at the right temperature. It helps to have kitchen machine for whipping the egg white or a second person who is willing to help. A sugar thermometer is a muss for this recipe as well, as getting the right temperature is essential for the consistence of the final product. To cold syrup will result in a not setting turròn while to hot syrup will starts to caramelize. It is a challanging recipe but the flavour is worth every trouble!
My mother and me are cut from the same cloth. Wenn one of us says that she baked the “favourite bread” we know that we both mean the same bread. It tastes gorgeous and we love its crisp crust and tender crumb, but besides that it is great to play with. And so my mum send me some pictures of some breads she baked for her colleagues shortly before Christmas. Instead of decorating it with a rose, she made breads with a star decor. I fell in love with this idea immediately! Especially as I planed to bake a “thank you” bread for some friends who gave me beautiful paper stars for my christmas tree. A bread decorated with a shooting star would be great gift for them. On the first day of Christmas I then started the dough and decorate the loaf with a star, some long slashes for the comet tail and poppy seeds for the night sky. It worked as well as I hoped and I got a beautiful bread for Christmas time!
The Pompe à l’huile is a traditional french Pastry which is part of the “Les treize desserts”, the thirteen desserts served on Christmas. It is a very rich, sweet Bread and flavoured with orange blossom water and Orange peel. It’s crumb reminds on a rich brioche but it is not prepared with butter but with olive oil. Since I made the Schiacciata di Pasqua for Easter I knew that olive oil in a sweet bread is not a strange but a very delicious idea.
The recipes which I found in the net where all made with a lot of yeast. As this is something I don’t like so much, I decided to use some of my sweet starter as preferment, as I was feeding it anyway to make it strong for the Pandoro I plan to bake. The sweet starter is so mild, that even with this long fermentation it just gives a complex flavour to the bread, but with no sour tones. It harmonize very well with the orange flavour and the subtle spiciness of the olive oil.
When Petra bake Jodekager last year, I realized that it has been ages since I bake the very similar Brune Kager. I couldn’t find my old recipe and so I read different swedish recipes to reconstruct it according to my memory. It is a kind of gingerbread which is made with a light syrup. And as I read the labeling of this light syrup in the supermarket some weeks ago and learned that is just made of glucose and invert syrup, I went directly for my homemade Invert syrup instead. This knowledge is really useful as I have always invert syrup in the pantry for making ice cream!
The Brune Kager made with Invert syrup turned out as good as I had them in my memory: thin, crisp and so delicious!
When I stroll over the Christmas market I’m often wondering about the enormous prices for little helpings of Schupfnudel, fried mushrooms or molten raclett cheese. And so I’m little tempted to spend my money there. But what I take with me this time was an inspiration for “Handbrot”. The name means literally hand bread and is a pieces of bread dough filled with Cheese, bacon or mushrooms. The versions sold on the cologne Christmas market where baked to pale for my liking and the dough contained surely to much yeast, but while looking on the breads a recipe started to appear in my mind.
As basis I used my favourite bread recipe but added some additional potatoes for a softer crumb. The filling is a mild gouda cheese, mushrooms and crisp fried smoked tofu. For non-vegetarian persons you can of course use bacon as well! Served still warm from the oven this little breads are a great treat with the gooey cheese. But they taste delicious when cooled, too. Then you can taste the complex flavour of the bread as well as the flavour of smoke tofu and cheese. And while eating my dearest and I started already to think about new variants: using raclett cheese instead of gouda or filling the breads with feta and dried tomatoes. There a millions of possibilities laying before us …
Christmas time can be a hectic time as well. To makes things easier, I like to have desserts that can be prepared in advance. Like this little mousse cakes, which can be prepared one week before time and then wait patiently in the fridge for their great day. You just have to remember the night before to take them from the freezer and defrost them in the fridge over night. The next day, they just have to get a little cocoa dusting and their dried apple star decoration and they are ready to be served.
With almond sponge, Cinnamon Mousse and a core of apple curd they are light and delicious end for any festive meal during Christmas time! And if you like to keep life even more simple, then skip the sponge and fill the mousse in little glases. This tealight holders have the perfect size!