Sunday, July 28, 2013

                                     Sponge cake
                                     80gr                                                                sugar
                                     68gr                                                                cornstarch
                                     68gr                                                                bread flour
                                     5                                                                     egg yolks
                                     190gr                                                              egg whites
                                     1                                                                     zested orange 
                                     Pastry cream
                                     480ml                                                              milk
                                     35gr                                                                cornstarch
                                     115gr                                                               granulated sugar
                                      2                                                                    eggs
                                     55gr                                                                 butter, room temperature
                                     1/2                                                                  vanilla pod
                                     1/4tsp                                                             salt
                                    Chocolate glaze
                                    182gr                                                                sweet dark chocolate
                                    56gr                                                                  butter
                                    16gr                                                                  cocoa powder
                                    24gr                                                                  dark rum
                                    102gr                                                                 honey

For the pastry cream heat the milk with the vanilla seeds and pod and whisk eggs with sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Just before the milk starts to boil, slowly pour one third of it in the egg mixture whisking rapidly and then return it to the remaining milk and on medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixtures comes to boil and remove from heat discarding the vanilla pods. Finally incorporate the butter and let cool covered with baking paper before refrigerating. To make the sponge cake combine 34gr of the sugar with half of the cornstarch and shift the rest of it with the flour. Whip the egg yolks with 30gr sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy and whisk the egg whites with the rest of the sugar until foamy. Then lower the mixture speed and gradually add the cornstarch and sugar mixture. Fold half of the egg whites mixture in the yolks, add the flour and then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Quickly fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe 40 5cm wide and 2cm tall balls on parchment paper. Bake at 200C for 10min or until golden brown and let cool. For the glaze melt the chopped chocolate with butter on a bain marie and mix the cocoa powder in the rum until smooth. Add the honey and then stir into the chocolate mixture. If necessary let cool to a quite sticky and thick consistency. Then pair the sponge shells together as bottom and top half and cover the first with piped pastry cream. Hold the top halves with the bottom up and slightly push them against the glaze surface so that it sticks onto but not completely covers the sponge shells. Since they will strongly stick on the glaze, pull them forcefully taking along an excess of glaze that will spread into a smooth surface without dripping. Finally match the tops with their bottoms and optionally finish with a confit decoration.  
The first recipe from missed previous challenges that I tried was Rachael's chocolate and caramel tart under the title ''Life of pie''. Even though with the addition of a hazelnut mousse my variation seems to fall out of this category, I think it was a very complementing combination.

                               20gr                                                          cocoa powder, shifted
                               130gr                                                        flour
                               60gr                                                          butter
                               70gr                                                          powdered sugar
                               2                                                               egg yolks
                               as preferred                                              vanilla
                               2Tbs                                                          chopped orange confit
                               Orange caramel
                               170gr                                                         orange juice
                               48gr                                                           glucose
                               48gr                                                           sugar
                               48gr                                                           heavy cream
                               54gr                                                           white chocolate
                               54gr                                                           butter, room temperature
                               3,3gr                                                          sheet gelatin, softened in cold water
                               1/2tsp                                                        orange zest
                               Chocolate filling
                               2                                                                 large eggs
                              100ml                                                           whole milk
                              200ml                                                           heavy cream
                              200gr                                                            dark chocolate
                              Hazelnut nougat cream
                              6,87gr                                                           sheet gelatin, soaked in the liquor
                              40gr                                                              hazelnut liquor
                              400gr                                                            heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
                              140gr                                                            pastry cream
                              95gr                                                              hazelnuts
                              35gr                                                              simple syrup
                              as proffered                                                  vanilla

For the caramel layer heat heavy cream with the orange juice and zest and meanwhile melt the glucose in a separate pan. Gradually dissolve the sugar and cook the mixture to caramel. Pour in the cream and continue stirring until the caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat, let slightly cool and dissolve in the softened gelatin. When the mixture is not too hot incorporate the butter and melt in the chocolate. Let cool and refrigerate until use. For the sablĂ© crust cream butter with sugar until fluffy and slowly beat in the yolks with vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and cocoa powder and mix only until incorporated. Then wrap well in plastic and chill until firm. Meanwhile prepare the pastry cream base for the mousse and while it is still hot stir and dissolve in the softened gelatin along with the liquor. Combine the hazelnuts with simple syrup in a blender, beat them to paste and also incorporate into the pastry cream mixture. Let it cool to room temperature, then fold in the whipped cream with a spatula and fill a 20cm-diameter ring sealed with with plastic wrap on the bottom. Chill in the freezer until set.

When ready, soften the chilled tart dough with a rolling pin and roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of 3-6mm. Fill with the dough sheet the bottom and sides of a 20cm-diameter and 4cm tall tart ring, force the confit pieces into the bottom dough and line with foil filled with dry beans or pie weights. Bake at 180C until set, around 9 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil and bake another 8 minutes, until dry. Prepare the chocolate filling by melting the chopped chocolate in heated cream and milk and after incorporating the eggs pour the mixture in the tart shell. Continue baking at 180C for 30 minutes, until the filling has set but is still wobbly in the center. Allow to completely cool to room temperature and cover the top with as much caramel as fitting. The caramel should have a viscid consistency when poured but if it has set, it can be broken by whisking and spread. Refrigerate the tart for a couple of hours and finish by placing the molded mousse layer on top and releasing the metal ring with a blowtorch. Finally decorate with tart crust leftovers, orange confit and optionally modeling chocolate.

Monday, July 15, 2013

                                   For 27 madeleines 30ml each 
                                   150gr                                                      cake flour
                                   150gr                                                      butter, melted
                                   150gr                                                      sugar
                                   165gr                                                      eggs
                                   1,5tsp                                                     lemon zest
                                   1tsp                                                        lemon juice
                                   0,5tsp                                                     baking powder
Bring in a saucepan some water to boil and remove from heat. Quickly cover the top of the saucepan with a metal bowl that doesn't touch the water's surface and combine the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in. Whisk the mixture with a hand mixer to 37C until thick and pale and then gradually shift and fold in with a spatula the flour and baking powder.
Before completely incorporating add in the butter and continue folding until homogenous but not deflated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate preferably overnight or at least one hour until the batter has set. When ready, pipe the batter in 6cm x 4.9 cm x 1.9 cm madeleine -silicon or buttered and floured metalic- moulds without filling completely and bake at 190C (convection) for about 15min and until golden with a small bump on top. Finally unmold, let cool anf dust with powdered sugar.