Swanlake – Choux Pastry Swans

SONY DSCThere many things I’m very fond of besides baking and ballet is certainly one of them. I love both dancing ballet myself and watching ballets. Recently, a friend and I went to see Polina Semionova and Friedemann Vogel in “Giselle” at the Opernhaus Zürich. That was absolutely breathtaking! The movements looked so perfectly effortless, it was a great pleasure to watch them perform.

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Before the show, very excited to see “Giselle”.

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Polina Semionova and Friedemann Vogel

But what has this got to do with these little Choux Pastry Swans? A lot – because, of course, I also love the ballet which is often considered the epitome of classical ballets: Swanlake. Tchaikovsky’s music, the romantic love story, … ❤ And my little Choux Pastry Swan are exactly as soft, light and delicate as a Swanlake performance.SONY DSCSONY DSCThe rhubarb-strawberry filling is very fruity and refreshing on a warm spring day. The dough is crisp and fluffy. And they look lovely too, don’t you think? If you like your dessert to be super romantic you can also position two swan facing each other, which will give you a heart shape.SONY DSCI wish you the most wonderful Sunday,
Bettina.

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Swanlake – Choux Pastry Swans

Yield: about 12 swans
Preparation time: 1.5h
Total time: 2h

Ingredients:

tools:­       piping bag­       round nozzle; star-shaped nozzle

 

for the choux pastry:

­       2.5 dl water

­       60g butter

­       1 pinch of salt

­       3 tbsp. sugar

­       150g flour

­       4 eggs (slightly beaten)

for the filling:­       2 rhubarb stalks­       3 strawberries

­       2-3 tbsp. sugar

­       1 tsp. cornflour

 

­       3-4 strawberries, cut into small pieces

­       1,5 dl cream

­       ½ sachet whipping cream stiffener

­       2-3 tbsp. confectioners‘ sugar, sieved

for the decoration:

­       confectioners‘ sugar

Preparation:

  1. First, prepare the rhubarb-strawberry-compote: Peel and cut the rhubarb into small slices. Cut the strawberries into small cubes. Put everything into a pot, add sugar and sieved cornflour and bring to the boil. Then, cook on medium heat until the rhubarb and strawberries fall apart. Let it cool down.SONY DSC
  2. Preheat the oven (or, if possible two ovens) to 190°C.
  3. Put water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat.
  4. Add all the (sieved) flour at a time and stir 1-2 minutes until a soft dumpling forms which doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot anymore
  5. Take the pot away from the stove and let it rest shortly.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and stir them into the dough. Make sure that the dough gets soft but doesn’t dissolve.SONY DSC
  7. Put about ¼ of the dough into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe 12 S-shaped swan necks onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment).
  8. Put the rest of the dough into a piping bad with a star-shaped nozzle (or change the nozzle, if you only have one piping bag) and pipe 12 oval heaps onto another baking sheet.SONY DSC
  9. If possible, work with two ovens from now on, if you only have one oven, bake the heaps first. Bake the heaps for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Bake the swan necks 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. Be careful: Don’t open the oven during these 30 minutes!
  10. While the profiteroles are in the oven, prepare the filling: Whip 1.5 dl cream (with whipping cream stiffener and confectioners’ sugar) until stiff. Mix (carefully!) with 3-4 EL of the compote (the rest of the compote can be served alongside the swans, if you like).SONY DSCSONY DSC
  11. Cut 3-4 strawberries into very small cubes.
  12. When the 20-25 or 30 minutes, respectively, are over, switch off the oven and let the profiteroles dry in the slightly opened oven for about 10-15 minutes. Then, take the profiteroles out of the oven and let them cool down completely on a cooling rack.SONY DSC
  13. Cut the heaps horizontally, the half the lid (as on the picture). SONY DSCSONY DSCFill the lower part of the heap with the rhubarb-strawberry-crème. Put 1 tablespoon of the small strawberry dices onto the filling. Stick the swan neck into the cream and decorate with the wings, which will also stabilize the neck.
  14. Store the swans cool until you serve them, then dust them with confectioners’s sugar and enjoy!

(idea and recipe of the profiteroles adapted from „Luftig-leichter Brandteig“ by Luise Lilienthal)SONY DSC

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Swanlake – Choux Pastry Swans

Schwanensee – Brandteig-Schwäne

 

Berry-Cake in a Jar

SONY DSCI can hardly wait for the berry-season to arrive! And I will have some berries in my own garden, too, which is very exciting! But even more exciting is this: A berry-cake in a jar – it can be transported anywhere without difficulty and it is ready in a jiffy. It’s really a berry-cake to go!SONY DSCI adapted this recipe (slightly) from the one in “Klitzekleine Glücklichmacher” by Daniela Klein whose absolutely marvellous blog you can find here.

The dough of these little beauties (which, by the way, can be prepared in either ovenproof jars or small ovenproof dishes) is moist an soft and, of course, the cake contains full berry power!SONY DSCAnd let me tell you a secret: You can even bake these cakes with frozen berries! No need to wait for the “real” berry season – I officially open it NOW.

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Berry-Cake in a Jar

Preparation time: 15 min
Baking time: 20-25/28-33 min
Yield: about 4 jars or 8 small ovenproof dishes

Ingredients:

  • 120g butter (softened)
  • 120g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • lemon zest (of a natural lemon)
  • 200g flour
  • ½ sachet of baking powder
  • 250g berries (mixed; frozen or fresh)
  • confectioners‘ sugar
  • butter to grease the jars/ovenproof dishes
  • ovenproof jars or small dishes
  • fresh raspberries to decorate

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a big bowl until the mixture is light, soft and creamy.SONY DSC
  3. Whisk the eggs slightly and add them together with the lemon zest, the sieved flour and baking powder to the butter mixture. Continue whisking. Wash and dry the fresh berries/ use the frozen berries cold.
  4. Grease the jars/ovenproof dishes and put some berries into them.
  5. Distribute the dough and berries alternately until they are filled up to ¾ of their height. (The ovenproof dishes can also be filled more highly, if you like.) Finish off with a few berries.SONY DSCSONY DSC
  6. Put the jars (without lid!)/ovenproof dishes into the oven and bake them for 28-33 or 20-25 minutes, respectively. Check whether they’re done using a needle/fork. (Stick it into the cake – if it comes out clean, you can take the cake out of the oven.)SONY DSC
  7. If you need to transport the cake or if you would like to store it for a bit longer, just put the lid onto the jar. Decorate with confectioners’ sugar and fresh berries when serving.

(recipe adapted from „Klitzekleine Glücklichmacher“ by Daniela Klein)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Berry-Cake in a Jar

Beerenkuchen im Glas

Guest Post: Orange Profiteroles with Chocolate Ganache

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~~~ TODAY: A GUEST POST WRITTEN BY MY DEAR FRIEND KATHRIN! ~~~

When Kathrin sent me a picture of these absolutely gorgeous profiteroles, I knew at once that she absolutely HAD to write another guest post! So…I kept sending her (subtle) 😉 reminders to do so – as of course she’s very busy with University stuff, too. And then, today was the day… ❤ I can’t wait to try out this recipe myself..!

Bettina

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A while back, I was watching one of my favourite TV shows: The Great British Bake Off. What the bakers had to do to impress the judges this time was to make some pretty profiteroles. As I had never worked with this particular kind of pastry, I thought why not give this French choux pastry ball a try. And let me tell you, they weren’t nearly as difficult as I expected. You can basically fill them with whatever you like. In my case, the combination of the chocolate icing and the orange filling was simply delicious – no wonder these round beauties were gone within only a day!

Ready, set, bake! Good luck 🙂

Kathrin (@bakingkate)

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Profiteroles Filled with Orange Chantilly Cream

Inspired by Mary Berry’s profiteroles. Written by @bakingkate.

Yields: 25-30 profiteroles
Preparation time: 30 minutes to an hour
Baking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the choux pastry:

o   220ml water
o   2tsp caster sugar
o   85g butter
o   140g plain flour
o   3 eggs

For the filling:

o   250ml double cream o   1tsp orange zest
o   1tsp orange juice

For the chocolate icing:

o   100g chocolate
o   30g butter
o   4tbsp water
o   150g icing sugar, sifted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to the water and melt in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Once the sugar and butter are melted, increase the heat and quickly ‘shoot’ the sieved flour into the saucepan.
  4. Remove the heat and stir with a cooking spoon until the pastry starts to come away from the side of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the pastry mixture is a bit cooled, gradually add the whisked eggs while stirring vigorously. For a while, nothing will happen, but don’t give up yet! Keep stirring and like magic you suddenly start getting dough. Keep mixing until the dough is smooth and shiny.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a large round tube and make blobs of about 3cm in size. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  7. Once they’re turning golden brown, take them out and carefully pop a hole in their bottoms (this allows the steam to escape so the inside don’t get soggy). Put them back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
  8. While the profiteroles are cooling, whip the double cream and orange zest until soft peaks form. Carefully mix in the orange juice.
  9. To make the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Add the butter and 4 tablespoons of water. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the icing sugar until you get a smooth texture.
  10. Once the profiteroles are cold, pipe the orange Chantilly cream into them through the hole we made earlier. Dip each one into the chocolate icing to coat the top part. Leave to set, then serve.Orangen Profiteroles_1

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Orange Profiteroles with Chocolate Ganache

Profiteroles mit Orangensahnefüllung und Schokoladenganache

Sweet Choux-Pastry Rabbits

SONY DSCTo top off my Easter-Baking series I’ve got the cutest rabbits ever ready for you! Sweet in both appearance and taste they are my favourite Easter treat.

Baking them took quite a bit of time and effort, but it was SO much fun! =) The decorating, too, was very enjoyable as I wasn’t following strict instructions, but rather creating my own rabbits based on some I had seen on http://cuisine-addict.com/.SONY DSCAnd the best thing out my rabbits is yet to come: they taste absolutely FABULOUS!! I’m sure you, too, know the feeling of disappointment when you eat a very beautiful treat whose taste can’t match its visual brilliance. Not here! Every part of the rabbits is delicious…from the crisp choux-pastry over to the sumptuous chocolate ganache and the creamy vanilla filling up to the chocolatey earss – pure relish!SONY DSCSo, don’t hestitate and let these sweet little cuties be your Easter bunnies, too! ❤

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Sweet Choux-Pastry Rabbits

Yield: 6 rabbits
Preparation time: 1.5h
Total time: 2h

Ingredients:

tools:

­       piping bag

­       1cm round nozzle

­       small brush

 

for the choux-pastry:

­       0.75dl water

­       0.75dl milk

­       60g butter

­       1 pinch of salt

­       3 tbsp. sugar

­       100g flour

­       2 eggs (lightly beaten)

­       ½ vanilla bean

for the filling:

­       3 egg yolks

­       50g sugar

­       10g flour

­       10g corn starch

­       2.5dl milk

­       ½ vanilla bean

­       1 tbsp. Grand Marnier

for the decoration:

­       100g dark chocolate

­       30g butter

­       3-4 tbsp. confectioners‘ sugar

­       white marzipan/fondant

­       pink marzipan/fondant

­       a bit of confectioners‘ sugar

Ingredients:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Put water, butter, salt and sugar in a medium pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat.
  3. Add all the (sieved) flour at a time and stir 1-2 minutes until a soft dumpling forms which doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot anymore
  4. Take the pot away from the stove and let it rest shortly.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and stir them into the dough. Make sure the dough gets soft but doesn’t dissolve.SONY DSC
  6. Put the dough into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Pipe 6 big and 6 small heaps onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment).
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes in the middle of the preheated oven. Be careful: Don’t open the oven during these 30 minutes!
  8. While the profiteroles are in the oven, prepare the filling: Put the milk into a pot. Add vanilla, vanilla bean and Grand Marnier. Bring to the boil, then take it off the stove and let it rest for a few minutes before removing the vanilla bean.SONY DSC
  9. Whisk egg yolks and sugar thoroughly. Add flour and corn starch. Add the egg-mixture to the milk mixture and heat it again while stirring. When the crème has thickened, take it off the stove, cover it with cling film and put it into the fridge.
  10. When the 30 minutes are over, switch off the oven and let the profiteroles dry in the slightly opened oven for about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Take the profiteroles out of the oven and let them cool down completely on a cooling rack.
  12. Put the crème pâtisserie into the piping bag and pipe a portion into each profiterole.
  13. Make the chocolate ganache: Melt 100g dark chocolate and 30g of butter over a bain-marie. Add 3-4 tbsp. of confectioners‘ sugar (sieved).
  14. Pipe a circle of chocolate ganache on each belly and head of the rabbits. Put the head onto the belly.SONY DSC
  15. Form the eyes out of the marzipan. Decorate them with the chocolate ganache using a small brush. Use the pink marzipan to create the nose. (You can put a bit of confectioners‘ sugar onto your hands when forming the marzipan.)SONY DSC
  16. Melt the chocolate couverture and pipe dots onto a baking parchment. Form the ears using a small spoon. Cool them for 5 minutes in the fridge, then make small cuts into the rabbits‘ heads and put the ears into these cuts. Store them cooled until you serve them and enjoy!SONY DSC(recipe of the profiteroles adapted from „Luftig-leichter Brandteig“ by Luise Lilienthal; decoration inspired by http://cuisine-addict.com/)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Sweet Choux-Pastry-Rabbits

Süsse Brandteig-Häschen

Recipe Testing: Yellow Carrot Cake with Cream-Cheese-Frosting from “Lisbeths”

SONY DSCSONY DSCHappy Easter to all of you! What a wonderful occasion to bake a “Torte” and this is very special one: with yellow carrots fresh from the market!SONY DSCEven tough my “canton” (or region) Argovia is very famous for carrot cake (or as we call it “Rüeblitorte”), this Torte is neither based on the traditional recipe (which would be without layers and with a lemon juice-confectioner’s sugar frosting instead of cream cheese) nor on one of my own creation. I discovered the recipe a week ago on “Lisbeths” and decided to make it my “Oster-Torte”.SONY DSCThe recipe worked out very well indeed! As I own only one 16cm (about 6 inch) round cake pan I had to bake all the layers in succession which took a lot of time – still it was worth it! Besides from the that, the recipe was very quick and easy to follow. It will give you a moist and quite spicy cake, sumptuous and rich (so prepare small slices 😉 ). We all liked it a lot. If I bake it again I might think about lightening the frosting up a bit, maybe with Quark or something of that sort. Still, it is also wonderful the way it ist!SONY DSCSo, Easter is not ever yet – get your recipe right HERE, right now and Happy Baking!SONY DSC

“Hearts on Fire”-Rabbits

SONY DSCDid I say that we need more rabbits? I meant, of course, we need MANY MORE RABBITS!SONY DSCThese here are made of the cookie dough used in my Hearts on Fire-recipe. You can find it right here.SONY DSCJust pipe some little rabbits (or Easter eggs) as I did here and decorate with dark chocolate couverture. (I used a 1cm round nozzle to pipe and a little brush to apply the chocalate.) So easy and so cute! ❤

SONY DSCYou can make some of these even before Easter Sunday as you’ll probably have all the necessary ingredients at home anyway. Give it a shot!SONY DSC