23.12.12

Merry Christmas!




Merry Christmas my dear friends! Wishing you a wonderful time filled with love and a lot of sweets!

For this Christmas, I prepared this beautiful dessert table with five marvelous sweets: gingerbread bauble cake with caramel white chocolate ganache, marrons glacésMont-Blanc aux marrons, orange sponge cake with cranberry mousse and orange whipped cream, and pistachio marzipan covered with dark chocolate ganache.







Gingerbread Bauble Cake with Caramel White Chocolate Ganache

The gingerbread cake recipe was adapted from the book Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller. You can find the bauble tutorial on this magazine

Gingerbread Cake
Makes 4 bauble cakes

170 g all-purpose flour
½ + ¼  teaspoons baking soda
½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ + ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup + ½ +¼teaspoons light brown sugar
½ cup + 1 teaspoon unsulfured molasses
107 g unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
168 g boiling water
4 g candied ginger, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the mini balls pan with nonstick spray. Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the salt and whisk together.
Place the brown sugar in the bow of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed to break up any lumps. Add the molasses and mix for about 1 minute, or until smooth. With the mixer running, add the melted butter in a slow, steady stream and continue to mix for about 1 ½ minutes, until completely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs and mix for 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the dry mixture in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each. With the mixer running, add the water 30 grams at a time, incorporating each addition before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl again. Fold in the candied ginger.
Divide the batter in mini balls pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the mini cakes out onto the rack, remove the pan, and cool completely upside down.

Caramel White Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from here
 
11 ounces white chocolate, chopped or chips
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
80 ml heavy cream

Put the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and stir just until the sugar has dissolved. Put down your spoon and let the syrup come to a boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cook the syrup until it turns a dark amber color. Swirl the pan to distribute the color and heat.
Once the syrup reaches the desired color, take the pan off the heat and pour in 1/3 cup of the cream. Do this carefully, as the caramel is very hot and will bubble up when you add the cream. Once the ingredients are all incorporated into the caramel, pour it over the chocolate. Swirl the bowl so that the chocolate is completely coated with the warm caramel, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes. With a whisk, stir the mixture slowly, starting with small circles in the middle and working your way outward, whisking a bit more briskly as you go, until you have a smooth, glossy frosting. Leave the ganache on your kitchen counter, stirring now and then to help it cool, until it reaches spreading consistency, about 3 hours. If it stiffens up too much, simply put it someplace warmer than your counter.
Covered with plastic wrap at room temperature, this frosting keeps for up to 3 days.



Marrons Glacês

Marron Glacê, or crystallized chestnut, is a confection candied in sugar syrup. 
I wish I could be in Paris on this wintertime, enjoying some of the best marrons glacês at Pierre Hermé or Fauchon. Unfortunately, I didn't have luck this year, so I made my owns. I took 4 days to prepare them, but each minute worth it. I’m really happy!

750g sweet chestnuts (skin on)
500g granulated sugar
1 vanilla pod

Peel chestnuts using small, sharp knife and leaving inner skin.
Preheat oven to 190°C - 375 F.
Place chestnuts in shallow heatproof dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin dries and peels off easily.
Place granulated sugar in a pan with 250ml water. Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, then add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil.
Add the prepared chestnuts to the boiling sugar syrup and stir the chestnuts until the whole mixture returns to a boil. Continue cooking the chestnuts, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Allow the chestnuts to soak in the syrup for 12 to 18 hours. Repeat the process boiling them for 2 minutes, and then soaking the mixture, loosely covered, for 18 to 24 hours. Repeat the entire process a total of 3 to 4 times, until the sugar syrup has been absorbed by the chestnuts.




Mont-Blanc aux marrons


Adapted  from here
Makes 6

With my wonderful marrons glacês, I prepared my Mont-Blanc aux marrons. I have to say that they were fantastic! Mont Blanc or Mont-Blanc aux marrons is one of the oldest French desserts, becoming popular in France since the early part of seventeenth century.  But the snow-capped mountain of meringue and whipped cream covered with chestnuts purée was only invented in 1903 by Antoine Rumpelmeyer, the founder of the famous tea salon Angelina. Every day, this historic belle époque tearoom sells over 600 Mont Blanc. You can see how Mont Blanc is made on La Maison Angelina here.

Meringues
2 egg whites
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
95 g sugar

Preheat oven to 120°C - 250 F.
Grease a baking sheet, sprinkle with flour, and mark one 23 cm circle or ten 9 cm circles (this may require more than one baking sheet).
In large bowl, beat egg whites with salt until foamy.
Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
Beat in 25 g sugar until mixture holds long, stiff peaks when beater is lifted.
Fold in remaining sugar and vanilla.
Place in pastry bag fitted with 1,25 cm plain tube and pipe 1 large round or 10 small ones onto prepared sheet.
Bake 1 hour or until meringue is firm to the touch.
If meringues brown during baking, reduce heat.
Transfer meringues to rack and let cool.

Chestnut purée
400 g Marrons glacês
½ cup sugar syrup from marron glacê preparation
Water

Place the marrons glacês in food processor, and purée. Beat enough sugar syrup and water into chestnut puree to make it thin enough to pipe through pastry bag but still thick enough to hold its shape. Then put through a sieve.
If using canned puree, sweeten to taste, making sure it is thin enough to be piped.
Fit pastry bag with 0,3 cm plain tip and fill with purée.

Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream until stiff, and then add vanilla.
Place cream mixture into pastry bag fitted with star tip.

Assemble

Arrange meringues on serving platter, pipe cream, then pipe chestnut puree in bird's nest shape around edge of meringue.
Sprinkle icing sugar and chill until serving time.

















7 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal! Parabéns pelos lindos e deliciosos (ainda que nao tenha experimentado mas os ingredientes falam por si!) doces natalinos! Vc é uma maestra na decoraçao! Um grande abraço, Lu

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  2. Wish you a loving, warming, peaceful and joyful Xmas!

    kisses and a big hug!

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  3. these are the loveliest Xmas treats!!!

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  4. Chiquérrimo, Lu!
    Feliz Natallll

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  5. This is spectacular!! I want Christmas at my house to look like this. (Next year. It's too late for 2012...)

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  6. omg...this is beautiful...I love mont blanc and chesnut!!! Will try...how did you get the strands of chestnut...I found it is hard to pipe out strands....what tip did you use?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you so much for your comment! To pipe the chestnut cream I used the Wilton round tip 7.

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