June 28, 2015

Choc Chip Cookies (Anna Olson)

I always love trying new choc chip cookie recipes - they're such a staple cookie and each recipe brings different results.  My favourite part of this particular recipe is the dough - it has a great blend of brown and white sugar, and the corn flour makes the texture really smooth (it tastes amazing!)

Recipe adapted from: Clockwork Lemon
125g butter
90g brown sugar
65g white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
195g flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).  Beat the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until combined.

3. Add the flour, corn flour, bicarb soda and salt - mix until fully combined.

4. Finally, mix the chocolate chips into the dough.

5. Create tablespoon sized balls of dough and bake for about 10 minutes.  The cookies should be golden on top.

6. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.  Or...enjoy them warm!

June 16, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a classic food, and so delicious!  These ones come with a nut option and plain cinnamon sugar.  Either way, they're fantastic - soft, sweet and yummy!

Recipe adapted from: Joy The Baker
Ingredients - dough (8 large buns)
1 sachet active dry yeast (7g)
63mL water
125mL milk (at room temperature - just heat it in the microwave for a few seconds if it's straight from the fridge!)
62g white sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1 egg yolk
426g flour
Pinch of salt
113g butter (at room temperature)

Ingredients - filling
125g white sugar
46g brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp maple syrup
40g butter

1. Warm the water so it's just lukewarm - about 45C/115F.  In the bowl of your mixer, combine the yeast, water and half a teaspoon of white sugar.  Let the yeast proof for a few minutes until it's frothy.

2. Add the milk, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, egg and egg yolk to the yeast mixture, mix with a whisk until combined.

3. Add the flour and salt to the mixture, and mix with the dough hook attachment for your mixture.  Mix the dough (or knead if you're not using a stand mixer) for a few minutes so it all comes together.

4. Add the butter (113g) and keep kneading the dough until everything's combined and smooth.

5. The dough may be sticky - if it's too sticky, you can add up to 1/3 cup more flour and knead it in.

6. Grease a bowl (I just use the mixer bowl I've been doing everything in) with some extra butter, then plop your dough in.  Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

7. When the dough's nearly finished rising, you can start making the filling.  Finely chop the pecans and walnuts (I only used about 1/8 cup of each type of nut because I wanted to do half the buns with nuts and half without).

8. Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon then work the maple syrup into the mixture.  I just used a spoon for this.  Also, melt the 40g butter.

9. Once your dough has risen, punch the air our and knead a bit more flour in if needed.

10. Flour your clean work surface and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 25cm x 50cm (10 inches x 20 inches).  It seems like this will be way way too big but trust me, the dough can go the distance!

11. Brush the dough generously with the melted butter, then evenly spread the filling onto the dough.  Leave about 5cm at one of the short edges of the dough without filling - this is so you can seal the edge down when you roll the dough up.  Press the filling down gently with your hands to make sure it's stuck down.

I only sprinkled the nuts on half of the dough.

12. Roll the dough up, starting with the short side that has filling all the way up to the edge.  Try to do this as tightly as possible, press the seam down to adhere it to the rest of the dough.

13. Cut the dough into 8 even slices.  Line a brownie tin (mine is 23cm x 32cm) with baking paper and place each bun slice into the pan, evenly spacing them out.  As the rolls do rise more, they squish up and become more rectangular - if you want them to be more circular, you can use two trays and spread them out.

14. Cover the tin with cling wrap or a tea towel and let the dough rise again for another 2 hours.

15. Preheat your oven to 190C (375F) after the dough has risen again, and bake the rolls for about 30 minutes.  If you insert a toothpick into the bread part (not the filling) it should come out clean.  When you touch the tops of the buns, the top should be crusty but they should be soft in the middle - I initially thought they might not be fully baked but fear not, they were perfect!

16. If desired, brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.  Let the rolls cool in the tin for a bit, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool a bit more.

17. When you're ready to eat, peel the rolls away from each other and consume them.  They're amazing when warm from the oven!

June 6, 2015

Decadent Chocolate Biscuits at Savour School

Hello all!

Last weekend I took the Decadent Chocolate Biscuits class at Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School - 'decadent chocolate biscuits' only scratches the surface of the amazing desserts I learnt how to make! The class was instructed by Paul Kennedy and together we learnt 5 recipes and lots of new skills including tempering chocolate, dipping, breton biscuits and fruit marshmallow.

This is the 'Almohada', a lemon crumble biscuit base with blackberry jam, pistachio praline and blackberry marshmallow - all dipped in chocolate.  When I first saw the recipe and the combination of flavours, I was a bit dubious; but everything came together and turned out to be absolutely delicious!  Using real fruit puree in the marshmallow made for wonderful taste.

This is the 'Drunken Raisin'; gianduja, hazelnut crunch, chocolate sponge and rum-soaked raisins in a bar shape.  It's finished by being dipped in chocolate and brushed with copper lustre dust.

I'm a sucker for gianduja and hazelnut praline paste!  (And the lustre dust was so much fun to play with...)

Next is the 'Menta', a shortbread base with mint-infused caramel and mint ganache.

I'm so glad that I learned how to make nice, chewy caramel.

These are the 'Circle Your Wagons' - coconut jelly and pineapple and ginger marshmallow sandwiched between gingerbread biscuits.

So delicious!  The pineapple and ginger flavour was so beautiful!

Finally, the 'Pacana', the simplest of the desserts!  They have a pecan breton base with caramel and a toasted pecan, dipped in chocolate.

I'm so glad I was able to attend the class, I had so much fun!