Nearly Neapolitan Mousse Cake

As Nearly Headless Nick cannot join the hunt because of a technicality, this dessert is only nearly a Neapolitan Mousse Cake due to a couple of technicalities. Picky, picky picky.

neapolitanish-cake-3

The chocolate ice cream base is actually almond chocolate cake. the vanilla ice cream is white chocolate mousse, much like a white chocolate ganache but lighter and airier as the cream is whipped, and the strawberry ice cream is raspberry mousse, because I like raspberries.

I have to be honest, this dessert takes some time and patience. Experimenting with the cake recipe (two tries), making the mice, mousses, err… white and pink fillings took 2 or three recipes each adjusting the amount of pectin, when to add it, the amount of whipped cream and how much to whip it. The whipped cream for the raspberry has to be whipped to firm peaks while the white chocolate should be soft peaks. I have removed gelatin from my pantry and replaced it with pectin. Gelatin is easier and fine if you like processed skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and fish. I don’t. Pectin is sourced from fruit and vegetable peels. I am sure there are some nasty processing steps, but at least it didn’t start with Bessie or Babe or Miss Piggy.

The almond cake uses almond flour instead of food processor ground baked almonds. Its easier and I had some. The batter is pretty low viscosity but don’t worry, it about doubles in thickness in the oven. After cut, wrap the cake disks in plastic and they will stay fresh for 2 or 3 days so you can make them ahead.

I ordered some 3 mil acetate sheets online. I cut them to size (10 x 41/2″), cut 10 paper bands to hold the acetates in place around the cake. This obviated (not obliviate, we want to remember this recipe) the requirement to tape the acetate. I hope to use them again.

The vanilla mousse sets quickly so work with some speed. Varying the whipping time – Tied to the Whipping Post – can create a thinner mousse, but too short a time can make the mousse dense. I like to pipe the mice, mousses, errr… fillings so I can control the thickness of each layer.

The raspberry fruit has the most powerful flavor, but is the trickiest to make just right. Pectin requires sugar and acid to cross link. Pectin’s structure binds with water in an acid environment and sugar increases pectin’s ability to gel. The lemon juice (I used key lime juice, it was in the fridge) provides the acid and the berries and sugar provide the sugar environment. Vary the amount of each and when to add them. The method below worked well for me.

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 g (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 30 g (¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa
  • 60 g (½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120 g (1 cup) almond flour
  • 225 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Line rimmed jelly roll pan with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mat. Be sure to line the sides as well.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat, occasionally swirling pan, until it begins to brown and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, using fine mesh sieve, sift cocoa two times. Then sift together cocoa (for a third time), flour, almond flour and sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl.
  4. Add egg whites, one at-a-time, whisking until just combined after each addition (do not over mix).
  5. Stir the vanilla into the cooled butter.
  6. Gradually pour the vanilla-butter in a thin, steady stream into the batter, whisking to just combine. (Kitchenaid with beater on level 2)
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan.
  8. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Poke the cake gently, the depression of your finger should bounce back.
  9. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack. Let stand 5 minutes, transfer cake to wire rack. Let stand until cooled completely.
  10. Using a 2½” ring cutter, cut 10 round mini cakes from the cooled sheet cake.
  11. Line rimmed baking sheet with non-stick baking paper or silicone baking mat. Arrange cakes on baking sheet, spacing 2½ cm (1-inch) apart.

 VANILLA MOUSSE

 INGREDIENTS

  • 200 g white chocolate, cut fine
  • 350 g heavy whipping cream

METHOD

  1. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave. Heat 30 sec, then check the chocolate and stir. Heat another 30 seconds and stir again. Heat 15 seconds and stir. The chocolate should be liquid but not boiling. If more time in required keep reducing the time by 5 sec and check. Do not over cook.
  2. Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. If you overwhip the chocolate/cream mixture will set to quickly and will not form smooth even layers.
  3. Gently fold the liquid chocolate into the whipped cream using a figure 8 pattern. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  4. Add to a piping bag and fill the acetate cylinder with about an inch of vanilla mousse.

RASPBERRY MOUSE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon powdered pectin
  • 175 g fresh raspberries (about 1 pint)
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup cold heavy cream

METHOD

  1. Place lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle with pectin. Let sit until pectin softens, 3 minutes.
  2. In a blender, puree raspberries until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed.
  3. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids (you should have about 1/3 cup of puree); discard solids.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine raspberry puree and 2½ Tbsp sugar over medium. Cook until bubbles form at edge. Add pectin mixture and cook, stirring constantly, just until gelatin dissolves, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, 20 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and 1 Tbsp sugar on medium-high until firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not over mix.
  6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in raspberry puree mixture in 3 parts until combined.
  7. Add raspberry mousse to a piping bag and fill the acetate cylinders with about an inch of mousse.
  8. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours (or up to overnight).

 DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

 INGREDIENTS

  • 120 ml (½ cup) heavy cream, 35%
  • 113 g (4 ounces) dark chocolate, 70%

METHOD

  1. In a small saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup just to boil (small bubbles beginning to form around the sides of the pan) over medium heat, stirring until corn syrup is dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop the chocolate and place in small bowl.
  3. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand, 2 minutes. You may not need all the cream. I pour some to just wet the chocolate, wait a minute and stir. If it is too thick, I add more cream, too thin, more chocolate.
  4. Using a flexible spatula, gently stir together beginning in the center of the bowl gradually working toward the edges pulling in as much as chocolate as possible until the mixture is smooth, glossy and combined well.

 Assembling Mousse Cakes

  1. To make acetate collars, cut ten 10 x 4 ½” strips of acetate paper or non-stick baking paper. Also cut 20 1” x 8½” pieces of paper for use as bands to secure the acetate. Wrap one collar around the base of each cake keeping the base flush with the baking sheet. Slide paper band down to base to secure the acetate collar. Return to baking sheet. Cover loosely with a sheet of plastic wrap.
  2. Prepare Vanilla Mousse.
  3. Evenly divide the vanilla mousse between each acetate collar. (The layers should be no more than 2½ cm or 1-inch high.) Cover the cakes with a couple of sheets of plastic wrap (don’t secure too tightly otherwise the collars will lose their shape).
  4. Transfer the cakes on the baking sheet to the refrigerator. Let chill until firm, about 2 hours.
  5. When vanilla mousse layer is firm, prepare Raspberry Mousse.
  6. Remove the cakes from the refrigerator.
  7. Evenly divide the strawberry mousse between each acetate collar. (Again, the layers should be no more than 2½ cm or 1-inch high.) Again, cover cakes with plastic wrap.
  8. Place the cakes in the freezer. Let chill until firm.
  9. Remove the cakes from the freezer and immediately remove collars. (I recommend
  10. Removing collars immediately after removing cakes from the freezer because removal is much easier when the cakes are firm. It makes for best presentation too.)
  11. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of chocolate ganache in the center (onto the surface) of each cake, gently coaxing the ganache to the edges, leaving a 6 mm (¼-inch) border. Chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator until thawed, about 15 minutes.
  12. To serve, transfer each cake to a dessert plate, and top each cake with raspberry.

 

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Independent Pizzeria – Seattle WA

You may have read in other posts in this blog that I joined ChefSteps, a food and technology company based in Seattle. Through their app, they provide recipes, techniques and tutorials on a wide range of food to help people “cook smarter.”

I have had outstanding success with a number of their recipes and techniques but The diced-tomatosIndependent Pizzeria‘s crust may be “pizza de resistance” thus far. ChefSteps posted a tutorial with Joe Heffernan showing how to make his amazing crust. While visiting Neil and Maureen in Seattle earlier this month we went to Independent Pizzeria for dinner, 2-half-pizza-doughssampled his pizza (and fresh bread, warm honey and chevre cheese appetizer) and met Joe. For the “right” way to make this pizza dough refer to the tutorial. This post documents what I did, and proves it is possible to make this dough by a home, amateur baker. It is undoubtedly the best pizza dough I ever made. 2-uncooked-pizzas

I made the full recipe, used 1/3 and froze the other two balls, wrapped in heavy Darnel polycarbonate wrap after removing from the fridge the next day. There was enough sauce for two of the full sized pies. We like lots of sauce.

img_0022

Independent Pizza Dough

INGREDIENTS

 

METHOD

 

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix bread flour and salt thoroughly.
  2. Combine water and yeast
    1. Using a thermometer, adjust sink tap until it reaches a temperature of 65 °F / 18 °C. Add water to a new bowl.
    2. Add cake yeast and gently stir to combine.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour.
  4. Pour in the water and yeast.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, mix ingredients together until you have a shaggy, rugged mass of dough.
  6. In a stand mixer equipped with the dough hook, mix dough on medium speed for about seven and a half minutes, or until the dough has formed a uniform mass and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.
  7. Dust your work surface with flour.
  8. Turn dough onto the work surface and shape into a ball.
  9. Ferment dough for 5–8 hours in a covered container.
    1. NOTE: Make sure that the temperature of the room is conducive to fermentation. It should be around 65 °F / 18 °C in there.
    2. Using a scale, divide the dough into 230 g portions. Shape each portion into a ball.
      1. Pour a dollop of olive oil into the palm of your hand, and lightly roll each ball on the countertop to cover with oil. This helps the dough retain moisture as it rests in the next step.
    3. Transfer dough to the fridge and chill, uncovered, for 10–30 minutes.
    4. Cover with an airtight lid and let rest overnight in the fridge.
    5. Proof in warm room until dough is relaxed and ready to stretch, about 20 minutes.
    6. Stretch and shape
      1. Each pie should be about 36–40 cm (14–15 in) across.

Sweet and Salty Pizza Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons (4 large leaves) fresh basil, coarsely chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over a medium heat until hot.
  2. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring and mashing tomatoes with potato masher until crushed.
  4. Stir in basil.
  5. Place in small bowl; cool to room temperature This sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated or up to 2 months ahead and frozen.

 

Stand Back and Take Your Hands Off My DONUTS!

You probably don’t know just how much Homer Simpson and I have in common. We both live (or lived) in a city named Springfield. He drinks Duffs beer and I use Duff’s cake decorating products. Homer works at a nuclear power plant and I studied Radiation Science in grad school, and we both love DONUTS.img_0004

Yesterday morning was donut day in the 1y Kitchen.  I had a recipe for yeast donuts and Emeril’s recipe (modified) for raspberry jelly donut filling, plus, I had extra crème pat and chocolate ganache waiting in the fridge from some tartlets I made for a party last Sunday which were perfect for a few Boston Cream dessert donuts. What could possibly go wrong with this?

Notes to self:

  1. Check ingredient quantities in the pantry before starting. It may save a quick trip to the market while dough is rising, such as sugar for coating donuts while still hot.
  2. If you are totally out of sugar, save yourself a trip and buy two bags. You will need it eventually.
  3. Make the jelly filling while the donuts are rising. It will need to cool.
  4. Nuke the left-over ganache. You can add a little hot and heavy cream and sugar to sweeten. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. (Use confectioners or casting sugar, it will be easier to dissolve.)
  5. Add extra egg whites to the container in the fridge. You will want to make more pavlovas soon

Jelly Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ c milk (100oF – 110oF)
  • ⅓ c sugar (rounded, not level)
  • 2¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c fresh raspberry jam

Method

  1. Place yeast, warm milk, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowimg_0001l. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place flour in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and add eggs, yeast mixture, ¼ cup sugar, butter, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir dough starts to come together and is sticky. Flour a work surface and knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour if necessary). Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 – 1½ hours.img_0002
  3. Lightly flour a work surface, roll dough to ¼“thick. Using a 2½” round cutter, cut as many rounds as you can. I rolled the extra into small balls (< 1” diameter) and made donut holes. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 15 minutes. They didn’t rise much, but they will puff up in the hot oil.
  4. In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, carefully slip 2 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar while warm. Fry all dough, and roll in sugar.img_0003
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #230 tip with jam. Poke the pastry tip into and end of the donut, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Fresh Raspberry Donut Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • ⅔ c water (⅓ added to raspberries, ⅓ for cornstarch below)
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of citric juice (I used Key Lime juice as we had some in the fridge)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in ⅓ cup of water (There is a total of ⅔ cups of water)

Method

  1. In a saucepan combine the raspberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain with a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Return the stained mixture to the heat. (There should be about 2 cups of mixture.)
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in ⅓ cup of water.
  5. Whisk the slurry into the raspberry mixture.
  6. Bring the mixture back to a boil then simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat and cool completely. It will thicken into a thin jelly.

Boston Cream Donutsimg_0006

  1. Follow above directions substituting filling the donuts with crème pat instead of jelly
  2. Dip one flat side of the donut into warmed ganache and set aside to dry.

Pavlova is Dancing in the Street

“They’ll be laughing and singing, music swinging
Dancing in the street”

Ballet dancing, actually. Specifically, Anna Pavlova, Russian prima ballerina who is most recognized for the creation of the role The Dying Swan. We saw pavlovas made on GBBO yesterday and as I have made meringue cups for years, this seemed like a natural extension. (Plus, I had egg whites left in the fridge from making crème pat earlier this week.)

The recipe was created in either Australia or pavlova_0001New Zealand and is a favorite around Christmas in the summer. Wait! Is it a Christmas treat, or a summer treat? Isn’t that a North American oxymoron? Ah, well, it is Christmas Eve, therefore, this time, it is a Christmas treat. (I just realized, I could have used the blueberries and made it a Chanukah treat in Israeli colors of white and blue.)

pavolva_0004Deceptively easy and insidiously versatile. You can top your pavlova with berries, nuts, chocolate, mocha, fruit, lemon curd or as King
Mongkut of Siam was fond of saying “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.” It often depends what is in the fridge or what season it is, or whatever floats your current boat.

 

 

Ingredients

  • Meringue:
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (clear to keep the meringue very white)
    • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1½ Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1½ cups granulated sugar
    • ¾ cup (6 ounces, about 6) large egg whites, preferably room temperature
    • Pinch salt
  • Topping:
    • 2 pints fresh or frozen berries
    • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Whipped Cream for topping

Method

  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Pipe the meringue into 8-10 large round bowl like mounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. (I used a large 1M piping tip.) Leave an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
  6. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white — not tan-colored or cracked. The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.
  7. Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.
  8. Served topped with your favorite filling – lemon curd, raspberry or blueberry sauce, and freshly whipped cream, etc, etc, etc.

Sauce or Filling Directions

If you want to make a berry sauce, heat a couple pints of fresh or frozen berries in a medium saucepan with about a quarter cup of sugar. (I used a 4:1 berry to sugar ratio.)  Heat on medium heat, stirring once or twice, for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much the berries are falling apart. Remove from heat and let cool.

Biscuits – Revisited

I made buttermilk biscuits again this morning and added a few pictures to this old post. For second breakfast I tried one with just butter to QC check the biscuit flavor and one with home made blackberry jam, just because I could.

Biscuits, a.k.a. “breakfast” are delicious and are best with a dab biscuit_0002of butter, or butter and jam, or just jam, or with bacon and eggs, or… You get the idea.

Wikipedia defines: “A biscuit in the United States and parts of Canada, and widely used in popular American English, is a small baked good with a firm browned crust and a soft interior. They are made with baking biscuit_0003powder or baking soda as a chemical leavening agent rather than yeast. They are similar to British scones or the bannock from the Shetland Isles.”

Biscuits, soda breads, and cornbread, among others, are often referred to collectively as “quick breads,” to indicate that they do not need time to rise before baking.

 INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened.
  3. Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Sugar Cookies with Sugar Icing, I can’t stop shaking!!!

As if plain sugar cookies aren’t enough to start heart palpitations and have you bouncingsugar-cookies-chanukah_0005 off the walls with a sugar high, let’s coat them with sugar icing! There is no thought of balancing flavors or textures here, just sweet and crunch. I saw a hint somewhere of using squeeze bottles with medium fine tips rather than traditional piping bags to decorate cookies. At about $1 each, what go wrong? As it turned out, they worked great and provided squeexe-bottlemore fine motor control than piping.

I “piped” the edges of the cookies with a fairly thick batch of colored, or not, icing to make a damn dam. Be careful not to try to sugar-cookies-christmas_0005pipe thick icing. #1, it plugs the tip and “b” it takes a lot force (read: tired and cramping fingers and hands here). Once the damn dam is dried flood the inside with thinner frosting. Poke any holes with a toothpick. Let dry, probably overnight.

INGREDIENTS

COOKIES

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ICING

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

Method

  1. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired.
  4. For the icing, sift confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Mix water and lemon juice. Whisk in water/lemon juice mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thin, whisk in more sugar; if too thick, add more liquid. Spread over cookies with back of a spoon. Add other decorations, if desired. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes.

NOTES

Use flour on utensils to keep dough from sticking: Dip the cookie cutters, and dust the spatula before transferring uncooked dough to a sheet. You can store cookies in airtight containers at room temperature, up to 1 week.

Savory Gougeres

As mentioned elsewhere Frances and Daniel prefer savory to bleu-cheese-gougers_0007sweet. Not that they don’t like sweet but somehow they escaped our kitchens of sweets iniquity to be more sensible and healthier eaters than their parents. Not that we don’t like savory, but c’mon, we are talking sweets here.

bleu-cheese-gougers_0008

 

Anyway, they are not fans of goat or brie cheeses (I am) but do like bleu cheese, so I decided to make some bleu cheese filled gougeres with a caramel glaze topped with a little sea salt. This combination of flavors balanced very nicely.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE GOUGERES
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Table salt
    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white if needed
    • Vegetable oil cooking spray
    • Coarse salt, for sprinkling
  • FOR THE BLUE CHEESE FILLING (MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)
    • 140g crumbled blue cheese
    • 283g mascarpone cheese
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • Freshly ground pepper
  • FOR THE CARAMEL
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1½ cup water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the gougeres: See and follow recipe for pate a choux
  2. Make the blue cheese filling:
    1. Beat blue cheese and mascarpone in the clean bowl of a mixer on medium-low speed until well combined.
    2. Reduce speed to low, and beat in heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/8-inch round tip. Insert tip into bottom of each gougere, and fill.
  4. Make the caramel:
    1. Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystal from forming.
    2. Cook, without stirring, until caramel turns dark amber, about 10 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat, and set saucepan in ice-water bath to stop sugar from cooking.
    4. Immediately dip the top of each gougere into caramel, and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt. (If the caramel hardens as you work, reheat over very low heat until it loosens.)