Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bread Baking Buddies : Gateau à la Crème (with strawberry jam...)

This month the Bread Baking Babes led by Lien decided to bake us a sweet tarte with a brioche dough. I should have filled the tarte with an egg custard but I'm trying to reduce the animal foods so I've used eggs in the dough but substituted corn's kernel oil for butter and jam for the custard..I hope it's ok.
The tarte looks so wonderful in all the Babes posts that I cannot wait to see mine (it's in the oven right now). I'm always too late posting for the BBB so writing a post while waiting for the oven's bell seemed a good idea.
If you have a mixer on hand this dough is very easy but by hand it would take lots of energy !
If you wish to participate to the bake along bake this bread and post before the 29th and send the links to Lien (notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com).

Gâteau à la crème
recipe for 2 small gateaux, or 1 gateau and a small brioche loaf (serves 4-6 per small gateau)
(PRINT recipe)
For the brioche dough
250 g strong plain flour
3,5 g sea salt
2 TBsp caster sugar
1 TBsp fresh yeast or 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3,5 free-range eggs, preferable organic (the other half egg will be used for the glaze)
150 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (cool room temperature)

For the crème filling (for two small gateaux, if you want to make 1 small gateau and 1 plain loaf, half it)
6 free-range egg yolks, preferably organic
60 g caster sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest
250 ml crème fraîche

For the glaze
1/2 egg, preferably organic
1/2 TBsp caster sugar
10 g (¾ oz) butter, cut into cubes (optional)
1/2 - 1 TBsp nibbed sugar, to decorate

Preparation method
1. For the brioche dough, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (keeping the yeast away from the salt as it will attack it and damage its ability to ferment), in an electric mixer bowl. Add the eggs and mix with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on low power until the eggs are completely incorporated (alternatively, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together for 5 minutes).

2. Increase the speed of the machine or your stirring and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl. Then add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.

3. Remove the bowl from the machine, if using, then cover with clingfilm and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to prove, then chill the dough for a further hour (it will be easier to work with).

4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/360ºF.

5. Lightly flour a work surface and your hands. Take half of the brioche dough and bring it together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place it on a baking tray and flatten it slightly. Starting from the middle of the dough, gently press the dough flat and spread it out to form a circle to approx 24 cm ( 9,5 in) in diameter, but leave a 2 cm (1 in) gap from the edge as this will create the rim of the tart. Be careful not to stretch the dough and try to keep the base even in thickness. Use the second half of the dough for another gateau or make a small loaf from it.

6. Cover with lightly greased plastic and a clean tea towel and place the dough in the warm area for 25 minutes.

7. For the crème filling, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a large mixing bowl and gradually mix in the crème fraîche. Set aside.

8. For the glaze, brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and sprinkle with the nibbed sugar and prick the base of the dough evenly with a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough. Pour 1/4 the crème mixture inside the rim of the dough of one gateau, sprinkle with the caster sugar and dot with the butter. Pour in the other 1/4 when the baking sheet is already in the oven, so you won't spill. (make the second one the same way)  and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the brioche has risen and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then serve.

NB: For this recipe you will need a food processor with a dough hook attachment.

(adapted from: Raymond Blanc "From Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets")


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Cake Slice : Honey Bee Cake

I'm finally blogging again and the Cake Slice group was so nice to keep me in after such a long iatus.  Here is my first recipe from the new book 'Vintage Cakes' by Julie Richardson .
This month the recipe is from the Every day section. It's a simple cake to prepare and was very fast to disappear ! I actually baked another one the next day seeing how sad my honey loving husband was while eating the last slice...

I made it using corn's kernel organic oil instead of  butter  and soy milk with lemon juice instead of buttermilk in the cake but made the glaze with butter. I really loved the smooth crumb and the honey smell.

from Vintage Cakes

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
3/4 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
heaping 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" cake pan (round or springform) and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper or wax paper.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then whisk the ingredients by hand to ensure they are well mixed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or just in a large bowl) combine the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Stop and scrape the bowl down often.
- Blend in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.
- Spread the thick batter evenly into the prepared pan. Rap the pan firmly on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan in the center of the over and bake for 45 minutes. The cake will turn a deep golden color and be firm on top, and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle will have moist crumbs attached. If the cake cracks on the surface while baking, that's ok. It will just soak up more glaze 
- While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Add the honey, sugar and butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until combined. Bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner to keep warm.
- When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour half of the glaze over the cake, evenly sprinkle the almonds over the cake, then pour the rest of the glaze over the almonds. Place the pan back in the oven (still at 350) for 5 more minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about an hour. Then turn the cake upside down onto a plate to remove it from the pan (not the serving plate), and turn from that plate back right side up onto your serving plate.

 The Cake Slice