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Archive for the ‘Sweet bakings’ Category

Haven’t forgotten how to bake, and I think I can still recall how to type, too. Think I just haven’t done anything so special lately – say for 6 months, well hmm.. No, actually I have learned to make excellent choux pastry and so delicious éclairs out of it with the most gorgeous vanilla-pudding filling. You ain’t getting that recipe (yet) though. Instead this post is about something more christmassy, and actually, I’m quite happy to serve you the recipe for marzipanstollen.

Sliced

I’ve tried making stollen before and somehow then they weren’t that successful at all. And something about the usual over-powering amount of raisins kills it for me. Therefore, these marzipanstollen are simply made with almonds and candied peel, no raisins included. And I always thought stollen were a tricky bake. Ha, these were simple to make, trickiest part would the the buttering-sugaring-action after baking, but it can be done.

Marzipanstollen (2 medium ones)

Mother dough:
175 g   Luke-warm milk
200 g   All-purpose-flour
35 g   Yeast

Actual dough:
300 g   All-purpose-flour
60 g   Sugar
200 g   Butter, cold
50 g   Egg (1 egg)
5 g   Salt
Aroma (lemon, vanilla)

Fruits and almonds:
100 g   Almonds (slivered, chopped)
50 g   Candied orange peel
50 g   Candied lemon peel

And
200 g   Marzipan (Almond paste)
100 g   Sliced almonds
100-150 g   Butter
Sugar, vanillasugar

1. Make the mother dough. Warm up the milk, dissolve the yeast into it and knead together with the flour into an elastic dough. Let it stand covered for 30-45 minutes in room-temperature.

2. Meanwhile, measure the slivered and chopped almonds into a cup. Pour warm water over them, so that they are covered. This way they soften and do not suck away the moisture from the actual dough.

3. After your mother dough is ready, add the ingredients for the actually dough into it (flour, sugar, butter, egg, salt and aromas). Use cold butter, for too warm butter melts into the dough and ruins its structure. Knead into a smooth dough and let it rest covered for another 30 minutes.

4. Drain the almonds. After the actually dough has rested for 30 minutes, knead the almonds and the candied peel gently into it.

5. Divide the dough into two (about 600 g each) and form balls. Divide the marzipan into two as well and form sticks (about 10 cm long). Flatten the dough balls and place the marzipan sticks in the middle of them. Close the dough around the marzipan. Brush the stollen with water, or go over them with wet hands. Then roll them in the sliced almonds and place on a baking tray with a paper with the seam side down. Let the stollen proof covered for 30-45 minutes in the room-temperature.

6. Heat up the oven to 210°C.

7. After proofing, place the stollen into the lower level of your oven. Turn the temperature down to 190°C as the stollen go in. Bake for 45 minutes.

8. Melt butter in a pan. Mix an amount of sugar with vanilla sugar in a box enough big for the stollen to fit in.

9. Once your stollen and nicely browned and baked, cover them properly with the butter using a brush or by plunging them shortly in the melted butter. Roll the buttered stollen in the sugar mixture and leave them to cool on a baking rack.

Out of oven

10. Cut and enjoy once cooled. Stollen ough to keep good for quite the time, and this really is the Lembas come true. Even the smallest piece fills you up for the day (me and Carlos might be Hobbits, since half a stollen seemed to make just a nice mid-day snack for the two of us…).

Merry not-so-white Christmas (+7°C and raining, yay..)

-Marika

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My boyfriend loves these puff pastry bakings, and well, I do also have trouble keeping my fingers away from them. But being a baker, I’m the most excited about the fact that all one needs for such a delicious treat is flour, butter, sugar and water. The trick lies in the lamination of the dough, the key to which is using cool ingredients and giving the dough a plentiful resting time between the folds. I’ve had my practice with this dough, so I think, I can now share it with full confidence that it indeed, does work.

Serve

Elephant ears

250 g   All-purpose-flour
250 g   Butter (83 + 167 g)
150 g   Cold water

and quite an amount of sugar

Mix the flour with one third of the butter (83 g), ’till crumbly. Add the cold water and mix quick and shortly into a smooth dough. Roll out into a rectangle, about 1cm thick. Wrap the sheet into a cling film and place into the fridge.

Crumbly

Dough

Rolled

Roll the rest of the butter (167 g) into a rectangle as well, this being about half the size of the dough sheet. Place the butter sheet into the freezer.

Rectangle

Do dishes, take a walk or find something else fun to do, while waiting for the ingredients to cool. I always tend to let my butter get too cold, and then it starts crumbling into pieces as I’m rolling out and folding the dough. Too warm butter can start melting through the dough layers, thus resulting into a faulty lamination. You can try to rescue the situation either by placing the dough into the fridge for a time, or letting it warm up on the table, depending on the case. Anyway, do not panic. You’ll still end up with a puff pastry in the end, after all rough puff pastry works, too.

So, once your butter feels ready for it, start the folding. First place the butter in the middle of the dough and seal it in. Don’t be afraid to use some flour to keep the dough from sticking to the table.

Perfect fit

Seal

Roll the dough out ’till about 1,5 cm thick and make a simple fold. Fold one third in the middle, and the rest on top of this.

Simple fold

Roll the dough out again and make a double fold. Fold the dough almost in half, leaving the bottom part just a bit longer. Then fold this end towards the middle meeting the other end of the sheet. Finally fold this in half.

Double fold

Double done

Now let your dough rest wrapped in cling film in the fridge for a minimum of one hour. After the resting time, make another doubled fold and finally one last simple fold. Then leave your dough covered in the fridge for overnight. This is required for the dough to rest and not to shrink when working it further. At this point the dough is very bland having no flavor to it. From this same dough I have made salty puff pastry bakings, filled with tuna or minced meat.

The next day start by rolling out your dough to a rectangle of 30cm x 40cm, using just enough flour to avoid it from sticking to the table.

30cm x 40cm

Now cover the dough with sugar, turn it over, and cover the other side with sugar as well. Roll out slightly to make the sugar stick into the dough. With a ruler, make a marking to the middle point of the side that is 40cm wide, also to 20cm. Then turn the ends towards the middle, so that they are in the halfway to the middle point. Put some more sugar on these folds.

10cm in

Then carefully turn the folds to the middle, so that they meet.

In the middle

Cover with sugar, and fold one side over the other, so that you are left with a long, somewhat-roll-like-shape.

Like this

Be patient, and freeze the dough for a while now. It makes a lot easier to divide into equal pieces and to place onto the baking sheets. Meanwhile, you can heat up your oven to 210°C degrees and prepare two baking sheets for the elephant ears.

Once the dough is cold, divide it into 18-20 pieces and place onto the two sheets, leaving enough room for the puff pastry to PUFF. Be sure the elephant ears are totally unfrozen and then bake in the middle of your oven for about 7-10 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. My oven heats up quite well from the bottom, so I usually have to place the tray a bit higher in the end, so that they brown evenly.

Divided

Two sheets

Hot hot hot!

Be careful, they are hot when eaten straight out of oven. But don’t worry, they cool down pretty quickly, too.

One of my earlier versions, think I’ve improved.

Marika~

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Better than your average hobbit, been there and back again, oh so manieth time this year. Finland, I think I’ll make it once more this year. Still six unused holiday days, but if my luck doesn’t work it’s wonders, I think it will be yet another Christmas in Germany. But let’s get over with Halloween first, before we start thinking about Santa. Well, kinda did that already, or why else would there have been so many pumpkins?

Everybody make yours!

Came back with cranberries, and in no time had they turned into a cake. Was too impatient with the layers, though, and everything mixed into a lovely pink mess. Waah, I may never learn.

Swirls

Many other cakes have appeared, too. Today I met one, actually four small ones, with kiwis and butter-cream inside them. I was too impatient once again, though, as I used fridge cold butter for my butter-cream. But at least I had the patience to let the custard cool properly this time. Maybe next time I’ll do it all properly.

Little cakes

Macaroons worked out. Well, spite the air-pockets inside that do bug me. Even if I banged the tray against the table a dozen times. But otherwise, quite nice. Filled with blackberry jam, yum yum.

Blue daba dii

Bread has been baked, too. Some archipelago loaves and one with quite a bit of quark. Everything works.

Marika~

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Being inspired by my mother, I decided to post the recipe for the Florentine biscuits, Florentines I’d simply call them. And why not sharing this, these are yummy, and do not require that much playing around with. Simply boil the ingredients together and bake. And these do resemble a lot the ones you can buy from bakeries and stores. Meaning to me, it’s a good recipe. So, to the recipe, more pics can be found here.

The final result

Florentines (makes 1 baking tray, mine are about 35cm x 45cm)

45g    honey
210g    sugar
45g    glucose syrup – I do not possess this, so I simply used light brown syrup, also not the dark one, anyway
75g    butter
150g    cream
330g    crushed and flaked almonds

and 150g milk/dark chocolate for icing

1. Measure all the other ingredients but the almonds into a pot. Warm up over a low heat, keeping an eye on the mixture and stirring it once in a while. The heat should be so high, though, that the mixture begins to boil. Allow it to boil for a while, it will somewhat thicken and turn slightly golden. Anyhow, do not let it turn darker brown or it will end up burning in the oven. If you do have a thermometer fit for the task, the optimal temperature for the mixture would be 112°C degrees.

2. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. Pour immediately onto an oven pan covered with oiled baking paper. Spread evenly, while you still can.

3. Bake in the middle of your oven, 190-210°C, ’till golden brown. Don’t burn it, also don’t let it out of your sight for over a minute. Then again, the longer the bake, the crispier result.

4. Remove the Florentines from the oven and slide the paper off from the tray, so that they don’t keep baking. Let the sheet cool. Once set, turn it carefully over, so that the smooth side is on the top. Remove the oily paper, and if you wish, you can already cut off some edges to taste…

5. Anyway, melt the chocolate in the microwave, or bain-marie-pot, whichever way you know how to. Pour the melted chocolate over the sheet of Florentines. Let the chocolate set overnight. Cut or break into pieces and enjoy! You can also cut the Florentines before coating them with chocolate, even while the sheet is still warm, and then coat them individually, like I did – check the pics, to see it better.

Have a happy weekend! Now I’m making caramel ice cream.. Hoping it doesn’t turn out to be too sweet.

Marika~

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Huh, time to post my second pulla recipe. About time, though. Pulla is so typical Finnish yeast baking, and I also bake it from time to time. This is basically the very basic recipe for pulla, for the twist comes only after baking when the yummines are made even yummier with some whipped cream and such. The whipped cream and such gives the pulla it’s festivity, which is needed for it is Laskiainen afterall. So, these pullas are eaten only once a year, just like the Runeberg’s baking portrayed in the previous post. Traditions, traditions.

The time has come

Laskiaispullas

2,5 dl   milk
egg, small
1 dl   sugar
2-4 ts   cardamom
1/2 ts   salt
25 g   fresh yeast
about 7-8 dl   all-purpose flour
100 g margarine

another small egg for brushing
some sugar crystals

For the filling:
strawberry jam and/or marzipan
2 dl whipped cream
2 tbl sugar

1. Soften or melt the margarine. Also, margarine at room-temperature would work fine.

2. Measure the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom into a bowl.

3. Warm up the milk ’till lukewarm and dissolve the yeast into it. Mix together with the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom.

4. Add the flour in couple batches kneading well all the time. Knead ’till the dough starts to come off from the edges of the bowl and you have obtained a smooth dough.

5. Add the soft/melted margarine and knead ’till fully combined. Cover the dough and let it rest for about an hour in a warm place ’till doubled in size.

6. Once the dough has proofed, take it out onto a floured working table. Knead the dough a bit back together and divide into 12-14 equal pieces (I weighed out 14 x 75-80g). Form the pieces into balls and place onto an oven tray with baking paper. Leave about 2cm gap between the pullas so they have room to rise. Better to divide the pullas onto two trays than place them too close together.

7. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the pullas proof for further 30 minutes. Heat up the oven to 225°C.

8. Brush the pullas with some egg and sprinkle some sugar crystals on the top. Bake in the center of the oven for about 10-15 minutes ’till golden brown. Turn the tray around in between if needed.

9. Let the pullas cool down properly before filling them. I filled only eight to begin with. The 2 dl cream was enough for them, but if one wants to fill more, also increase the cream amount. And also, if you are not planning to eat that many pullas at once, better to fill just a few, and store the cream separately in the fridge and fill more as you eat them. Once filled up, they don’t keep good that long.

10. So, after the pullas have cooled down, cut the hats away from the ones you are going to fill. Also, keep the knife in a slight angle, so that you cut deeper in the middle than on the edge. This way you’ll have a little “hole” where to place either couple slices of marzipan of a nice spoonful of strawberry jam.

11. Having filled the pullas so far, whip the cream and add some sugar for flavor. I love piping the cream on my pullas, but you can simply just add a spoonful or so on each. Once the whipped cream is in, place the hats back on.

12. Enjoy! Another delicious thing from Finland!

13. Pullas are best eaten fresh, so simply freeze some right away, if you feel like you can’t manage them all in a few days.

Too kneaded

Looking cute

Getting better

Can I eat now?

Mine

Marika~

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Could almost say that this recipe goes for my sister, who actually is in Dallas now. Though I guess one might eat doughnuts instead of pullas over there…

Actually I don’t know where the name for these pullas derives, but I doubt it has much to do with the actual Dallas. Reading some forums it seems that Dallas was a popular TV-series the time these pullas were invented and that would have led to the name. Who knows…

Well, but I know that they are super delicious. The absolute best recipe for these pullas was published by a Finnish food magazine “Maku” some years ago, and luckily it still can be found online.

And this is my version of it in English, some pictures of the process can be checked here.

Dallas-pullas

3 dl   Milk
Egg
1 dl   Sugar
2 ts   Cardamom
1/2 ts   Salt
25 g   Fresh yeast
about 7 dl   All-purpose flour
100 g Margarine

For the filling:
150 g   Margarine
200 g   Quark
1/2 dl   Light syrup
65 g   Vanilla sauce “custard” powder, the one that can be prepared also with cold milk
1 tbl   Vanilla sugar

Egg for brushing

1. Soften or melt the margarine.

2. Measure the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom into a bowl. I really think cardamom is a must in any pulla-dough, but if you don’t like the taste after trying, then drop it.

3. Warm up the milk ’till lukewarm and dissolve the yeast into it. Mix together with the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom.

4. Add the flour in couple batches kneading well all the time. Knead ’till the dough starts to come off from the edges of the bowl and you have obtained a smooth dough.

5. Add the soft/melted margarine and knead ’till fully combined. Cover the dough and let it rest for about an hour and a half ’till doubled.

6. Prepare the filling. Melt the margarine and mix together with the other ingredients ’till smooth.

7. Once the dough has proofed, pour it onto a floured working table. Dust the top with a little bit of flour and roll out into a rectangle, ’till the dough is about 1-1,5cm thick.

8. Spread about 3/4 of the filling evenly on top of the dough. Wrap the dough into a roll and cut into 2cm thick slices.

9. Place the slices on a baking paper. Leave some space between the pullas for them to rise freely. I made mine in cupcake molds ’cause my oven is so small and this way I could bake them faster. Works ok too, though the pullas stick a little bit to the paper forms.

10. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the pullas proof for further 15-30 minutes. Heat up the oven to 225°C.

11. Brush the pullas with an egg and put about a teaspoon of the filling on top of each. (If you don’t have enough filling left also some pearl sugar would do – or then you can glaze them with powder sugar glazing after baking.)

12. Bake in a few batches in the center of the oven for about 10-15 minutes ’till golden brown.

13. Cover again with a kitchen towel so that the pullas stay soft. Let them cool down a bit and enjoy with a cup of chocolate!

Marika~

ps. Starting to be quite a summer here in Germany – reached already 19.6 degrees yesterday and I’ve already counted 7 butterflies! And yes, I’m still baking bread too, trying to learn to make baguettes and.. ..not so good results so far.

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At the moment I’m very keen on baking macarons and therefore would love to have recipe here as well. Guess I’d better post it then! But I shall only post the recipe for the shells ’cause you can actually fill macarons with anything from olive oil to rhubarb or peanutbutter. Or at least so is described in the book where I got this recipe from, “Macarons – délices et gourmandises” written by Sylvie Aït-Ali (can be found in Finnish under the name “Pariisilainen macaron-leivos”).

Note! More pictures of the process are displayed on the Gallery-page

Dough, makes about 50-60 macaron shells (also 25-30 bakings)

100g          Egg whites (it’s said to give a better result if you separate the egg whites already a few days before baking, store them in the fridge and then take them out in room temperature about an hour before baking)

25g             Sugar

110g           Almond powder

200g          Powder sugar

(powdered food coloring)

1. Add a little bit of the sugar into the egg whites and start mixing them. When the eggs start foaming add the rest of the sugar in little batches. Mix untill the dough becomes shiny and forms peaks when lifted. The dough shouldn’t be too stiff or crumbly either.

2. If you want to color your macarons, add the powder into the beaten egg whites now. Tip of a dining knife should be enough.

3. Mix the almond powder and powder sugar well together and pour on top of the beaten egg whites. Mix well by using a rubber spatula. The dough should be well mixed and spreadable, but not too runny.

4. If possible, put the dough into a piping bag with a round tip (⌀ 8mm). I’ve had couple bad experiences using awful piping bags with too small tips or otherwise too broken, and it has made the macaron baking quite difficult.. So use a good bag, or then just work with a spoon. With spoon your macarons might not end up as round but otherwise the result should be as good.

5. Prepare two oven trays with baking paper. You can put a little bit of the dough into the corners of the tray in order to help the baking paper stay down.

6. Make circles (or hearts etc.) into the covered tray. They should be about the size of a 2€ coin (⌀ 3cm). Once done, knock the bottom of the tray a bit so that your macarons set nicely. Then let the macarons rest on the table for about 20 minutes, so that they become a nice crunchy top when baked.

7. Heat up the oven to 150°C degress.

8. Place the macarons to bake into the middle level of the oven. They should bake for about 12-14 minutes and it’s recommended to turn the tray around in the half way. Take them out, and bake the next tray.

9. Let the macarons cool properly before touching them.

10. Mmm.. and now you just have to figure out, how you would like to fill them! Unless you end up eating them just like that..

Marika~

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