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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

Close up

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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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