Apple Turnovers

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If you have six hours I have the project for you! The time doesn’t have to be all lumped together, you can spread it out between two days. Not all the time is actively working on the project either. Making traditional puff pastry comes with multiple rest periods during the folding of the dough. If you like Apple Turnovers the time invested is well worth it. You can freeze the turnovers before baking them for later use.

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The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need unsalted butter, lemon juice, bread flour, salt, water, cake, tart apples, granulated sugar, an egg, cinnamon, and sanding sugar. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

Saltand Lemon JuiceWork the butterAdd flour and lemon juiceWork into a doughmake a squarecover and refrigerate

Dissolve the pinch of salt in the lemon juice. Work the cold butter into a dough like consistency with the warmth of your hand. Mix the salted lemon juice into butter along with with the bread flour. I do this right next to the sink with warm water running so I can clean off my hands as needed. It can get a little messy if your not focused.

Shape the butter block into a 6 inch square, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

dissolve the 2 teaspoon salt and waterd the melted butter, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cake flour, and enough of the bread flour to make a soft, smooth doughdont over mix!Shape the dough into a tight ballcut a cross halfway into the ball cover with plastic and refrigerate

Using the dough hook in a mixer set on low, dissolve the 2 teaspoon salt and water. Add the melted butter, lemon juice, cake flour, and enough of the bread flour to make a soft, smooth dough. Do not over mix.

Shape the dough into a tight ball. With a sharp knife, cut a cross halfway into the ball. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Apples with ends cutpeeledcutsliced

Peel and core the apples. Cut two thirds of the apples into half inch pieces. Cut the remainder into one forth inch pieces and reserve.

apple in a sauce pan over medium heat apples have broken downpieces of apple and cook until they have softened but are not breaking down

Cook the half inch pieces of apple in a sauce pan over medium heat along with the sugar, water and lemon juice until the apples have broken down. Add the remaining one forth inch pieces of apple and cook until they have softened but are not breaking down. Remove from heat, allow to cool and reserve. It may seem like there is not enough, don’t worry, there is.

ull the corners of the dough out to make a square shapeull the corners of the dough out to make a square shapePlace the butter block in the middle of the squareold the triangles into the center of the butter blockseal the edges all the way around the block of butter

Pull the corners of the dough out to make a square. Place the butter block in the middle of the square, creating a diamond shape on top of the dough with the butter. Fold the triangles into the center of the butter block and seal the edges all the way around the block of butter.

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Do five single turns of the dough. This is accomplished by rolling the dough into a rectangle that is half and inch thick with a little flour to ensure it does not stick. Then fold into thirds, like you would fold a letter to put into an envelope. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes and repeat four times for a total of five turns. mark each turn with a light finger mark before returning it to the refrigerator to remember where you are in the process.

Durring the down time between turns, two and half hours, I make the other other parts that will be needed later on (not pictured). Make the egg wash by mixing the egg and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and reserve. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl to create cinnamon sugar and reserve for later use. Make a simple syrup by placing the sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat and to a boil, allow to cool and reserve.

rollfoldfold

Do a second turn and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

rollfoldfold

Do a third turn and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

rollfoldfold

Do a forth turn and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

rollfoldfold

Do a fifth turn and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough outcut 20 squaresBrush each square with the egg wash.Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture in the middle of each squaresprinkle with cinnamon sugar

Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick, 22 1/2 inches long, and 18 inches wide. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Create 20 squares that are about 4 1/2 inches by cutting the dough into 5 rows of 4 squares each. Brush each square with the egg wash. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture in the middle of each square, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

I have a large cutting board I roll the dough out on that is just slightly larger than the desired size. If you don’t have access to a large board roll out the dough on your counter top.

Fold Brush the egg wash over the topsprinkle with sanding sugarcenter of each turnover cut a slitXXX

Fold the squares into triangles and seal the edges by pressing lightly with your fingers. Don’t press too hard, it will break the layers created by the folding. Brush the egg wash over the top of each turnover and sprinkle with sanding sugar. In the center of each turnover cut a slit about 1 inch long.

Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven brush the pastries lightly with simple syrup. Serve warm or cold. If you wish to re-heat keep in mind the butter re-melting will damage the flakey texture but the flavor will still be good.

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Recipe: Apple Turnovers

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 20 pastries

Ingredients

Butter Block
  • 1 pound 2 ounces (510 g) cold unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 ounces (130 g) bread flour
Dough
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 ounces (55 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) cake flour
  • 11 ounces (310 g) bread flour
Apple Filling
  • 1 pound (454 g) tart apples
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/4 teaspoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
Cinnamon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 ounces (113 g) granulated sugar
  • Sanding sugar

Instructions

  1. Make the Butter Block. Dissolve the pinch of salt in the lemon juice. Work the cold butter into a dough like consistency with the warmth of your hand. Mix the salted lemon juice into butter along with with the bread flour.
  2. Shape the butter block into a 6 inch (15 cm) square, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).
  3. Make The Dough. Using the dough hook in a mixer set on low, dissolve the 2 teaspoon salt and water. Add the melted butter, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, cake flour, and enough of the bread flour to make a soft, smooth dough. Do not over mix.
  4. Shape the dough into a tight ball. With a sharp knife, cut a cross halfway into the ball. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Pull the corners of the dough out to make a square shape. Place the butter block in the middle of the square, creating a diamond shape on top of the dough with the butter. Fold the triangles into the center of the butter block and seal the edges all the way around the block of butter.
  6. Do five single turns of the dough. This is accomplished by rolling the dough into a rectangle that is 1/2 and inch (1.2 cm) thick with a little flour to ensure it does not stick. Then fold into thirds, like you would fold a letter to put into an envelope (see pictures above). Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes and repeat four times for a total of five turns.
  7. Make the Apple Filling. Peel and core the apples. Cut 2/3 of the apples into 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) pieces. Cut the remainder into 1/4 inch (6 mm) pieces and reserve.
  8. Cook the 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) pieces of apple in a sauce pan over medium heat along with the sugar, water and lemon juice until the apples have broken down. Add the remaining 1/4 inch (6 mm) pieces of apple and cook until they have softened but are not breaking down. Remove from heat, allow to cool and reserve.
  9. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, 22 1/2 inches (56.2 cm) long, and 18 inches (45 cm) wide. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Create 20 squares that are 4 1/2 inches (11.2 cm) by cutting the dough into 5 rows of 4 squares each.
  10. Make the Egg Wash. Mix the egg and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and reserve.
  11. Make the Cinnamon Sugar. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and reserve for later use.
  12. Make the Simple Syrup. Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat and to a boil, allow to cool and reserve.
  13. Brush each square with the egg wash. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture in the middle of each square, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Fold the squares into triangles and seal the edges by pressing lightly with your fingers. Brush the egg wash over the top of each turnover and sprinkle with sanding sugar. In the center of each turnover cut a slit about 1 inch (2.4 cm) long.
  14. Bake at 375° (190°C) for 25 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven brush the pastries lightly with simple syrup.
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Brownies with Walnuts

Brownies with Walnuts

Who doesn’t love brownies? This American classic first appeared in Chicago in 1893. A chef at Plamer House hotel made the brownie for dessert for a ladies group attending the Columbian Exposition. The earliest recipes were first published in 1904. The brownie has changed very little since, while there are variations, the earliest versions remain a favorite.

Ingredients

The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need walnuts, bittersweet chocolate, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, bread flour, and baking powder. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

chocolate and buttermeltedWhip the sugar and eggslight and fluffy

Place the chocolate and butter in a heat resistant bowl, and melt together over a water bath. The water in a water bath should be simmering not boiling. Set the chocolate aside to cool so that it does not cook the eggs when they are combined later.

Whip the sugar, vanilla and eggs at high speed until light and fluffy. The fat in the egg yolk will prevent the egg whites from forming peaks, so were looking for a light airy mixture rather than a specific peak.

Fold in the chocolateFold in the cooled chocolateSift the flower and baking soda into the mixturefolding

Fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture.

Sift the flour with the baking powder into the mixture and fold into the chocolate. You will want to do about a third of the flour at a time between folding it in.

all foldedadd walnutsfoldingin the pan

Fold in 12 ounces of the walnuts. If you want to add anything else you can fold it in at this point as well; the original recipe had an option of raisins, which I asume most Americans would rather skip!

Spread the batter evenly in a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces walnuts over the top.

bakedturned upside downremove paper and slicebrownies

Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes or until completely set, but still slightly soft to the touch. Let cool, then slice into serving size pieces. After the brownies have cooled I turn the half sheet over on a cutting board and remove the paper before slicing. This will help keep your pan in good condition by not cutting it, it will also help with uniform portion sizes by portioning the whole pan at one time.

Recipe: Brownies with Walnuts

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 30 servings

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces (400 g) walnuts, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 pound 8 ounces (680 g) bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound (455 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound 12 ounces (795 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (455 g) bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder

Instructions

  1. Place the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl with the butter, and melt together over a water bath. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whip the sugar, vanilla and eggs at high speed until light and fluffy. Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder into the mixture and fold into the chocolate, a third of the flour volume at a time. Fold in 12 ounces (340 g) of the walnuts.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in a half-sheet pan (16 x 12 inches/40 x 30 cm) lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces (55 g) walnuts over the top.
  5. Bake at 400°F (205°C) for about 30 minutes or until completely set, but still slightly soft to the touch. Let cool, then slice into serving size pieces.
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Cakes: Icings and Fillings – Assembling/Decorating

Cakes Weeks 2 and 3

Cakes Week Two and Three

Weeks two and three covering cakes consisted of only one main lecture and a lot of time spent on skills for cutting and decorating cakes in the kitchen. I’ve combined the two weeks into one post for that reason.

We covered four types of icings. Traditional American Buttercream is a mixture of sugar, shortening or butter, and milk that is combined with a paddle attachment. This type of frosting is heavy and does not pipe well. When using shortening rather than butter it leaves a film in the mouth. This is a result of butter melting at a lower temperature than shortening, which does not melt in the mouth.

Swiss buttercream is the easiest to make of the two traditional buttercreams. To make Swiss buttercream egg whites and sugar are heated over a bain marie (water bath) until they have reached 140° to 160°. The higher the temperature the harder the frosting will be. The eggs whites and sugar are then whipped on high speed until cool, which creates a swiss meringue. Butter is then added a little at a time and finally any flavorings.

The more stable of the buttercreams and the most difficult to make is Italian buttercream. Sugar and water are brought to a boil and pored into whipped egg whites. The mixture is whipped until the meringue has cooled and then butter is added and flavorings. When poring the boiled sugar and water into the egg whites one must be careful as to the placement of the poor so it does not splatter all over. Both Italian ans Swiss buttercream will last up to four days at room temperature.

When making a cream cheese based frosting butter and cream cheese are mixed with the paddle attachment at a low speed. When the butter and cream cheese are thoughtfully combined melted chocolate or flavorings are added followed by powdered sugar. The higher the speed used on the mixer the more air is added which changes the color to a lighter color and airy texture, usually this is not what one wants with this type of frosting.

In the kitchen we covered using a cake stand to decorate and slice a cake into layers. We also learned the different methods of piping. I’ll demonstrate some of this in future postings on cakes.

Heres what we made the last two week:

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Cakes: Types and Baking

Cakes Week 1

Cakes Week One

Cakes are a sweet variation of bread that is believed to first appeared in Greek and Roman society. In 1956 cake flour was invented by using a soft winter wheat.

The base for cake is usually a sponge,consisting at its most basic form of sugar, eggs and flour. A heavy cake has equal parts of the ingredients, like pound cake. A medium cake has less four and sugar than eggs, like a typical sheet cake. A light cake has very little flour, more egg whites and more sugar, like and angel food cake. A higher amount of egg whites will result in a lighter sponge with a bigger crumb (wholes in the cake). The higher the egg yolks the denser the sponge with smaller holes (crumb). If too little sugar is used it will effect the taste, color and texture of the sponge, making it darker and dense.

When mixing a cake the flour should be folded into the wet ingredients until it is just combined. This ensures the gluten is not overdeveloped which could result in a dense rubbery sponge. Cake flour falls as it cools, turning your cake upside down to cool will help flatten out the top of the cake. Vanilla and other liquid flavorings should be added to the wet mixture before folding in the flour mixture. Butter is sometimes used for flavor and extending the shelf life of the finished product. Melted butter that is close to room temperature should be added after the flour is folded in. Fruit and nuts should be added in at the end.

To use nut flour with regular flour, replace one ounce of flour for every three ounces of nut flour added. The quantity of nut flour can not exceed the weight of the sugar in the recipe.

Sifted cocoa powder can be added for flavor with the dry ingredients. It should not exceed the weight of the flour and no more than three ounces per pound of flour. Unsweetened chocolate can be added to flavor with no more than five ounces per pound of flour. If using sweetened chocolate reduce the sugar by two ounces per pound of sugar. Fold the melted chocolate in after the flour in three stages, with the first fold being only a small amount.

There are two common methods of making cakes, the warm and the cold method. In the warm method eggs and sugar are comined over a water bath until all the sugar dissolves. The eggs and sugar are then whipped on high until ribbon stage and then the dry ingredients are folded in. Sometimes melted butter or oil are added after the folding to produce a more moist cake. The fat in butter also acts as a preservitive prolonging the shelf life of the cake. If no fat is added the cack usually must is moistended with a glaze. A common type of warm cake is a genoise.

The cold method is a seperated egg sponge. Egg yolks are whipped with sugar and set aside. The egg whites are whipped with sugar to a specified peak and then folded into the egg yolk mixture aling with the dry ingredients. This creates a lighter and sweater sponge than the warm method. Common cold method cakes are angel food cake and chiffon cake.

Both methods produce a cake that has finished baking when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake is clean when removed, or the middle of the cake springs back when touched. When baking sponge of either method the pan should not be greased, this ensures the cake will raise up the side of the pan and not fall. Parchment on the bottom of the pan will ensure minimal sticking. Use a small knife to remove the cake from the sides of the pan. If you modify a recipe and are afraid it wont raise properly you can add up to two teaspoons of baking powder for every 12 eggs used. Don’t use baking soda, you will need to add an acid to your recipe for it to work.

Cakes are generally baked between 350° and 400°. When using a cake recipe for cupcakes increase the temperature and decrease the total baking time. Likewise when using a cupcake recipe and converting it to a cake recipe decrease the temperature and increase the baking time. Cooling either type of sponge is part of the baking process and should be allowed to complete before serving or decorating.

Tools

Heres what we made this week (only the Lemon Cake was finished, the other cakes will be used in the coming weeks):

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Professional Bakeshop Skills Level 2

Fall is here and the second part of my Bakeshop Skills class has begun. The first class was basic orientation, but we did cover a basic primer on cakes for next week. The class looks like it will be another interesting and eventful 100 hours.

We were also given out certificates of completion for the first 100 hours of the course:

Spring Certificate

Here is the schedule:

Professional Bakeshop Skills Level 2 Weekly Course Outline

September 16: Orientation
September 23: Cakes: Types and Baking
September 30: Cakes: Icings and Fillings – Assembling/Decorating
October 7: Cakes: Specialty Cakes – Classic and Modern
October 14: Cakes: Specialty Cakes – Classic and Modern
October 21: Chocolate: Tasting and Tempering
October 28: Chocolate: Desserts
November 4: Field Trip: TBA (Chocolate and Cake Decorating)
November 11: Chocolate: Confections
November 18: Sugar: Desserts
November 25: Thanksgiving: No Class
December 2: Sugar: Confections
December 9: Garnishes: Candied Fruit, Phyllo, Tuille, Chocolate, Sugar
December 16: Seasonal Plated Desserts
December 23: Winter Break: No Class
December 30: Winter Break: No Class

January 6: Crepes: Sweet and Savory Crepe Dishes
January 13: Mini Pastries: Mini Pastries
January 20: Mini Pastries: Buffet Presentation (Final)
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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

The owner of the company I work for recently celebrated his birthday. Carrot cake is one of his favorites. Having never made a Carrot cake before I set out to my usual books to see what I could come up with. Bo Friberg’s Carrot Layered Cake with Cream Cheese Filling fit the bill nicely. It’s well worth the time and effort. Several of those receiving a piece let me know it was the best carrot cake they had ever had. This cake took me close to 8 hours to complete, so compliments were both a relief and an encouragement.

If you ever wanted to try something ambitious in the home kitchen here is your chance. This recipe is both time and labor intense. In a commercial bakery all the parts would most likely already be available making the time needed to complete much less.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients

The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need eggs, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, salt, bread flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, carrots, walnuts, cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, vanilla buttercream, Marzipan, food coloring, powdered sugar, dark coating chocolate, and hazelnuts. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

EggsWhipped to frothy consistencyAdd the oilAdd the saleAdd the sugar

In a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment whip the eggs at high speed to a light and frothy consistency. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and gradually add the oil. Turn the mixer speed to low and mix in the sugar and salt.

Mixed Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powderAdd to mixtureMixed until combined

Mix until combined. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. I used a fine grade strainer for this rather than a traditional sifter. The main reason to sift is to ensure the ingredients are not lumpy and are evenly distributed. Add to the egg mixture and mix until combined.

Fold in Carrots and WalnutsFoldedPrepair panfill panAll baked

Fold in the carrots and walnuts, evenly distributing them into batter. Poor batter into a 10 inch greased cake pan. I use an oil spray and a parchment paper round on the bottom to ensure it does not stick to the pan. I saved the original cardboard liner in the pan to use as a template for both paper and the Marzipan in this recipe.

Bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes or until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Allow the cake to cool. It’s important the cake has cooled completely before attempting to work with it. If it is not cool enough it will be difficult to both cut the top off and slice into layers.

cream cheeseSoftened cream cheeseAdd butterAdd vanillaAdd sugarMix until spreadable

Soften the cream cheese, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer.Use a slow speed so no additional air is added to the cream cheese. Add the butter and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and spreadable.

CakeCut top offTop offCut into two layersFillingSpread evenlyPlace on topCover with Buttercream

Cut the top off the carrot cake to make it level (again – make sure the cake is completely cool before doing this). Evenly cut the cake in half horizontally.

Evenly spread the cream cheese filling over the top of the bottom half of the cake. Place the top portion on top of the filling. Make sure the layers line up or you will end up with odd shaped individual pieces when they are cut later on.

Frost the top of sides of the cake with the buttercream. You can use any vanilla buttercream recipe you like or a store purchased buttercream if you are pressed for time.

Place crushed hazelnutsRoll out and cut MarzipanMarzipan circleMarzipan on top

Cover the sides of the cake with the crushed hazelnuts. Roll out 5 ounces of the marzipan, using powdered sugar to prevent it from sticking, to 1/8 inch thick. I used a lot of powder sugar to roll it out, the day was very warm and the Marzipan kept falling apart. One of the main ingredients of Marzipan is powdered sugar, so don’t worry about using too much. Cut out a circle the same size as the top of the cake and place it on top of the cake. As mentioned above I used the cardboard insert that came with the pan as a template for this. You can make your own by tracing the bottom of your cake pan and cutting in to size.

Lots of powdered sugarCardboard on topFlip to coolflipped

Invert the cake on a cardboard round and refrigerate upside down for no more than two hours. I used a heavy layer of powdered sugar to ensure the Marzipan would not sweat and stick to my cardboard. You don’t want to leave this in the fridge for more than two hours or it will start to stick.

Color the MarzipanCoverMeasureCutRoll into ballsMake carrot shapesake hole in the end

Color 1/2 ounce of the marzipan green. Combine the red and yellow food coloring to tint the remaining 2 ounces of marzipan orange. Cover and reserve. If you don’t cover it the Marzipan will dry out.

Roll the orange marzipan into a 9-inch rope and the green into a 4 1/2-inch rope. Cut the orange and the green ropes into 12 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap.

Roll the orange pieces into round balls. Roll each ball into a cone shape about one inch long by rolling them back and forth against the table. With toothpick make a slight indentation in top for stem.

MeasureMarkCutMark and assembleCarrotCarrots

For each green piece of marzipan roll into a 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) string. Tapper the string on both sides. Cut and fan the green end to resemble a carrot top.

With a toothpick make horizontal lines around each piece of the orange Marzipan carrots. Insert on end of a the stem into the hole of the carrot. If they don’t stick use a little water on the tip of the green Marzipan before inserting the green stems.

Remove and place platter on topInvertRemove powdered sugarMark and cutMelt chocolatePlace a dot on the cakePlace carrots

Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Turn the cake right side up, remove excess powdered sugar and cut it into desired number of servings. I created a template to get 12 even pieces. The cake is easiest to cut when cold. I recommend pre-cutting the cake at this point, but there is no reason you could not slice it when you serve it (as long as the marzipan carrots are placed evenly for the number of pieces you need).

Pipe a dime sized dot of the melted coating chocolate on each slice, 1/2 inch away from the edge. Place a marzipan carrot on top of each of the chocolate spots. You can use white chocolate for this as well if you want to “hide” how the carrots are stuck to the Marzipan.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

You may want to use these recipes for Buttercream and Marzipan (or use your own or store bought).

Recipe: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 1 Cake, 12 servings

Ingredients for the Carrot Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cups (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces (398 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 9 ounces (255 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (8 g) ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking powder
  • 1 pounds (455 g) peeled carrots, grated finely
  • 2 1/2 ounces (70 g) walnuts, chopped

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 7 ounces (200 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces (58 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113 g) powdered sugar, sifted

Ingredients for Decorating

  • 4 ounces (113 g) vanilla buttercream
  • 7 1/2 ounces (213 g) Marzipan
  • Green, red and yellow food coloring
  • Powder sugar
  • Dark coating chocolate, melted
  • Hazelnuts, toasted and finely copped

Instructions

Make the cake
  1. In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment whip the eggs on high until a light and frothy consistency. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the oil. Turn the speed to low and mix in the sugar and salt.
  2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture until incorporated. Fold in the carrots and walnuts, evenly distributing them into batter. Poor batter into a 10 inch (25 cm) prepared cake pan.
  3. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 30 minutes or until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Allow the cake to cool completely.
Make the cream cheese filling
  1. Soften the cream cheese, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. Add the butter gradually, blending until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and spreadable.
Decorate the cake
  1. Cut the top off the carrot cake to make it level. Evenly cut the cake in half horizontally.
  2. Evenly spread the cream cheese filling over the top of the bottom half of the cake. Place the top portion on top of the filling.
  3. Frost the top of sides of the cake with the buttercream. Cover the sides of the cake with the crushed hazelnuts.
  4. Roll out 5 ounces of the marzipan, using powdered sugar to prevent it from sticking, to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Cut out a circle the same size as the top of the cake and place it on top of the cake.
  5. Invert the cake on a cardboard round and refrigerate upside down for two hours.
  6. Color 1/2 ounce (15 g) of the marzipan green. Combine the red and yellow food coloring to tint the remaining 2 ounces of marzipan orange. Cover and reserve.
  7. Roll the orange marzipan into a 9-inch (22.5 cm) rope and the green into a 4 1/2-inch ( cm) rope. Cut the orange and the green ropes into 12 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Roll the orange pieces into round balls. Roll each ball into a cone shape about 1 inch long by rolling them back and forth against the table.
  9. With a toothpick make horizontal lines around carrot. Dip toothpick in oil if sticking to marzipan.
  10. With toothpick make a slight indentation in top for stem.
  11. For each green piece of marzipan roll into a 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) string. Tapper the string on both sides. Insert on end of a the stem into the hole of the carrot. Cut and fan the green end to resemble a carrot top.
  12. Remove the cake from the refrigerator. Turn the cake right side up, brush off excess powdered sugar and cut it into desired number of servings. Pipe a dime sized dot of the melted coating chocolate on each slice, 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) away from the edge. Place a marzipan carrot on top of each of the chocolate spots.
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Buttercream (Swiss Method)

Vanilla Buttercream - Swiss Method

There are probably thousands of recipes for buttercream. This recipe uses what is known as the Swiss method. The eggs are pasteurized by heating them, along with sugar, to 140°C (60°F). The eggs and sugar are then whipped until they have reached stiff peaks and have cooled off enough to add the butter without it melting. The end result is a very light and versatile icing that is easy to work with. The flavor of the frosting can be can be changed by replacing the vanilla extract with any other flavor.

Buttercream Ingredients

The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need unsalted butter, soft vegetable margarin, egg whites, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

butter and margarinecombinedeggs and sugar140 degrees reached

Thoroughly combine the butter with the margarine. If your butter or margarine is cold wait until they have reached room temperature before mixing them together. Reserve at room temperature.

Combine the egg whites and the sugar in a non-reactive heat resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and heat while constantly whipping, to 140° (60°C).

place in a mixer with the whip attatchmentstiff peaksadd the flavoringsadd the butter mixture a little at a timeFrosting is formed

Remove from the heat and whip the mixture at high speed with the whisk attachment until it forms stiff peaks and is lukewarm, lower the speed to medium, add the vanilla, and gradually whip in the butter mixture.

Recipe: Vanilla Buttercream

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 8 ounces

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (114 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 ounces (36 g) soft vegetable margarine, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cups (60 ml) egg whites
  • 3 1/2 ounces (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons (1 ml) vanilla extract (or other flavorings)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl mix the butter with the margarine until thoroughly combined. Reserve at room temperature.
  2. Place the egg whites and the sugar in a non-reactive heat resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and heat while constantly whipping, to 140° (60°C).
  3. Remove from the heat and whip the mixture at high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and is the mixture is lukewarm, lower the speed to medium, add the vanilla or other flavorings, and gradually whip in the butter mixture until the frosting comes together.
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Marzipan

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Marzipan is a combination of sugars and almonds that have been crushed to a powder. It’s used as a filling, frosting, and even candy. When I lived in Norway I would eat Marzipan straight from the tubular packaging it came in at the grocery store. Scandinavian countries use Marzipan molded in the shape of a pig around the holidays as a special treat. A rice pudding is served with a single hidden almond in the pudding. The child who discovers it wins a marzipan pig. The pig represents wealth, since in old times the amount of live stock a family owned determined its wealth.

Marzipan is very flexible and can be used in many ways, as you can see from these pictures from Wikimedia Commons:

Marzipan CakeMarzipan FrogMarzipan FruitMarzipan Pig

Rather than show how to make Marzipan every time it is used in a recipe, I have decided to make one master post on it and link back to this post when it is used. This is a fairly simple process if you have the right equipment. If you do not have a food processor you can purchase Marzipan in most grocery store’s baking isle.

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The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need granulated sugar, water, dry blanched almonds, powdered sugar, and light corn syrup. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

Sugar and waterSugar and water boilingBlanched almondsAlmond flour

First were going to make simple syrup, which is fifty percent water and fifty percent sugar. You can buy this at the grocery store, however its very expensive considering it’s ingredients.

Bring the water and granulated sugar to a boil for 30 seconds in a small sauce pan. Allow to cool and reserve. Don’t boil this longer than needed because it will lose water content the longer it boils.

Place the almonds in a food processor and process to a powder. Be careful that you do not process too long and create almond butter.

Add powdereed sugarmix in evenlypoor in simple syrupalmond paste

Mix in 5 1/2 ounces powder sugar. With the machine running, gradually add the reserved sugar water and mix until a paste is formed. The simple syrup needs to cooled to room temperature or barely warm before adding it. You may not need to add all the simple syrup if your almonds have recently been blanched and contain some residual moister.

Almond paste and light corn syrupall combinedadd powder sugar about a cup at a timeadd powder sugar about a cup at a time

In a mixing bowl flitted with with the hook attachment, mix the paste with the corn syrup at low speed until combined. Be use to use a non-reactive clean mixing bowl. Marzipan is white and will show any dust or reaction to metal.

Add the 1 pounds sifted powdered sugar a little at a time. I use a cup and do about four additions.

add powder sugar about a cup at a timeadd powder sugar about a cup at a timeMarzipan all finished

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary until a smooth dough has formed. Store in an air tight container. This will keep for a long time when air tight. Marzipan does not need to be refrigerated.

Recipe: Marzipan

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 2 Pounds

Ingredients

  • 2.7 ounces (75 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 5 1/3 ounces (142 g) dry blanched almonds
  • 5 1/3 ounces (142 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces (60 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 pounds (455 g) sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring the water and granulated sugar to a boil for 30 seconds in a small sauce pan. Allow to cool and reserve.
  2. Place the almonds in a food processor and process to a powder. Mix in 5 1/3 ounces of powder sugar.
  3. With the machine running, gradually add the reserved sugar water and mix until a paste is formed.
  4. In a mixing bowl flitted with with the hook attachment, mix the paste with the corn syrup at low speed until combined.
  5. Add 1 pounds sifted powdered sugar a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until a smooth dough has formed. Store in an air tight container.
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Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

There is nothing in the world like the smell of freshly baked bread. Unfortunately, there is no way of embedding the smell into a webpage. This bread not only smells wonderful but taste amazing. This picture is deceiving, each piece is about six inches long.

I used this bread as the base to an open face tuna melt, french toast, and as sandwich bread. All three were really good uses. It’s also great on it’s own, toasted, or with some jam or butter. I will definitely be making this one again.

Honey Wheat Bread Ingredients

The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need milk, kosher salt, honey, unsalted butter, active dry yeast, warm water, whole wheat flour, bread flour, an egg, and table salt. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

milk, kosher salt, and butter115 degreesWater at 105 degreesyeast and waterall combined

The original recipe called for table salt. I replaced it with kosher salt, which can easily be done by weight. I highly recommend a scale for weighing ingredients. If you don’t have one and want to use table salt reduce the total volume by a third (or in this case use two teaspoons). In a saucepan combine the milk, kosher salt, and butter. Bring to 115°F (46°C). Set aside. Don’t get it hotter than this or it will kill the yeast.

In a mixing bowl, fitted with the dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Use a whisk to quicken the time needed to dissolve the yeast.

milk mixture mixed with yeastadd floursmix with dough hookmixmixed for about 8 minutes

Add the milk mixture, whole wheat flour, and all but about 1/3 a cup if the bread flour. Mix at low speed, for about 8 minutes, add the reserved bread flour if needed. I added mine in at about two minutes when I could see the dough was still sticking to the sides of the bowl a lot. This is a wet and sticky dough at first so dont over do it on the flour. The dough should reach a smooth, elastic, glutinous consistence, but will still be a little wet.

Cover and raiseRaisedpunch downpunch down again

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until it has doubled in volume. It was a nice warm sunny day here in San Diego, I placed mine in a sunny window. I also sometimes place it on top of the stove or in the oven thats been pre-heated to 200°F and turned off for 10 minutes. Punch down the dough, I used a little flour to keep the dough from sticking to my hand. Cover, and allow to double in volume again.

RaisedPunch downDevideflatten

Once the dough has doubled in size again punch it down and divide the dough evenly into two portions. Flatten with your hands into a 12 by 6 inch square. It does not have to be perfect.

rollseamegg washcover with flour

Roll up the dough and seem it on the underside. Place both loaves on a baking sheet. Mix the egg and the 1/8 a teaspoon of salt and coat the dough with it. Sprinkle whole wheat flour over the top.

raisenearly doubled in sizeslashslashbaked

Allow the loaves to rise until they are almost double in volume. Using a sharp knife make three slash about 1/4 an inch deep lengthwise on each loaf.

Bake for 10 minutes at 410°F (210°C). After each minute spray water into the oven on the bread for about 5 seconds. Reduce the temperature to 400°F(205°C) continue baking for 30 minutes, until dark golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Honey Wheat Bread cooling

If you want to check out some amazing breads, be sure to check out YeastSpotting on the Wild Yeast blog.

Recipe: Honey Wheat Bread

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 2 Loafs

Ingredients

  • 7/8 cups (210 ml) milk
  • 2 2/3 teaspoons (10 g) kosher salt
  • 6 ounces (170 g) honey
  • 4 1/2 ounces (100 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 ounce (8 g) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (240 ml) warm water (105° to 115°F/40° to 46°C)
  • 10 ounces (285 g) whole wheat flour
  • 10 ounces (285 g) bread flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • Whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. a saucepan combine the milk, kosher salt, and butter. Bring to 115°F (46°C). Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, fitted with the dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk mixture, whole wheat flour, and all but about 1/3 a cup if the bread flour. Mix at low speed, for about 8 minutes, add the reserved bread flour if needed. The dough should reach a smooth, elastic, glutinous consistence, but will still be a little wet.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until it has doubled in volume.
  4. Punch down the dough, cover, and allow to double in volume again.
  5. Divide the dough evenly into two portions. Flatten with your hands into a 12 by 6 inch square. Roll up the dough and seem it on the underside. Place both loaves on a baking sheet. Mix the egg and the 1/8 a teaspoon of salt and coat the dough with it. Sprinkle whole wheat flour over the top.
  6. Allow the loaves to rise until they are almost double in volume.
  7. Using a sharp knife make three slash about 1/4 an inch deep lengthwise on each loaf.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 410°F (210°C). After each minute spray water into the oven on the bread for about 5 seconds. Reduce the temperature to 400°F(205°C) continue baking for 30 minutes, until dark golden brown.
  9. Cool on a rack.
Posted in Bread, Recipe | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

When you hear the words “Strawberry Shortcake” what comes to mind? If your an American, its likely you have had Angel Food cake with Cool Whip and strawberries. That is not what were making here. Shortcake is really a biscuit. The name Shortcake comes from the fats in the biscuit that keep the gluten from forming long strands. A true Strawberry Shortcake is a biscuit with whipped cream and strawberries. Making the shortcake, the biscuit part, from scratch makes all the difference in the world. Once you have made it from scratch you wont want the supermarket version of this dessert again.

Feel free to make the biscuits ahead of time and/or clean and slice strawberries ahead of time. These taste best the same day you assemble them. If you want a sweeter version, add more sugar to the cream and place more sugar on top of the egg washed biscuits before baking them.

Strawberry Shortcake Ingredients

The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe we need bread flour, salt, baking powder, unsalted butter, an orange, heavy cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, strawberries, and powdered sugar. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…

I quadrupled the recipe for a special event, so the amounts in the picture are not per the recipe.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powderSift together the flour, salt and baking powderadd the buttermix until the butter is the size of peas

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in your mixing bowl. (You could use a whisk instead.) Using the paddle attachment add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

Stir the orange zest into the creampoor into the flour mixturemix only until a soft dough is formedPlace dough on a floured work surface

Stir the orange zest into the cream and poor into the flour mixture. Mix only until a soft dough is formed (this takes less than 20 seconds, don’t over mix). Place dough on a floured work surface.

Using your hands pat out to a 6-inch (30-xm) square give the dough a single turn give the dough a single turnRoll the dough into a rectangle measuring 3 1/2 x 9 inches (8.75 x 22.5 cm) and about 3/4 an inch (2cm) thick

Using your hands pat out to a 6-inch square and give the dough a single turn. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring 3 1/2 x 9 inches and about 3/4 an inch thick.

Cut the stip in half lengthwiseCut each half into 4 triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheetCut each half into 4 triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheetBrush the tops with the egg wasSprinkle with the granulated sugar

Cut the stip of dough in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake the biscuits at 400°F (205°C) for about 15 minutes.

Cool on a rack.Whip the heavy cream, 4 teaspoons (20 g) sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks formWhip the heavy cream, 4 teaspoons (20 g) sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks formClean and hull the strawberriesut the berries into thin slices lengthwise,Whip the heavy cream, 4 teaspoons (20 g) sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form

Cool baked biscuits on a rack. Clean and hull the strawberries. Cut the berries into thin slices lengthwise, cover and save for later. You can prepare the strawberries ahead of time or while the biscuits are baking.

Whip the heavy cream, 4 teaspoons (20 g) sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Depending on the sweetness of your strawberries, or if you preferrer a sweeter version, you may want to add more sugar than the recipe calls for. Place in a pastry bag with the tip of your choice.

Cut the biscuit in half horizontallyWhip creamStrawberryWhipcreamStrawberryTopped with powdered sugar

Cut one of the biscuits in half horizontally. Pipe the whip cream onto the bottom half, coving it with a zig zag pattern. Cover the cream with sliced strawberries. Pipe a second layer of cream on top of the berries. Make a second layer of berries. Place the top of the biscuit on the top and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat with the remaining biscuits.

Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint RecipeYield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Biscuit

  • 11 ounces (313 g) bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (18 g) baking powder
  • 2 ounces (58 g) cold unsalted butter
  • Grated zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 & 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (390 ml) heavy cream

Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces (340 g) strawberries

Garnish

  • Egg wash (1 egg and 1 teaspoon salt mixed together)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in your mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
  • Stir the orange zest into the cream (1 & 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons) and poor into the flour mixture. Mix only until a soft dough is formed (this takes less than 20 seconds, don’t over mix).
  • Place dough on a floured work surface and using your hands pat out to a 6-inch (30-xm) square and give the dough a single turn. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring 3 1/2 x 9 inches (8.75 x 22.5 cm) and about 3/4 an inch (2cm) thick. Cut the stip in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 8 triangles and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake the biscuits at 400°F (205°C) for about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  • Clean and hull the strawberries. Cut the berries into thin slices lengthwise, cover with plast wrap and reserve.
  • Whip the heavy cream, 4 teaspoons (20 g) sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place in a pastry bag with the tip of your choice.
  • Cut the biscuit in half horizontally. Pipe the whip cream onto the bottom half, coving it with a zig zag pattern. Cover the cream with sliced berries. Pipe a second layer of cream on top of the berries in a zig zag. Make a second layer of berries. Place the top of the biscuit on the top and dust with powdered sugar.
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