Archive for July, 2011

Strawberry Fraisier – Daring Bakers Challenge July 2011

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011


Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

I’m glad this challenge came this month and not the previous month, as we have just started getting beautiful strawberries back into the fruit stores.

The challenge was quite good, especially being able to make all three components after work, then assemble it the morning, for a lovely weekend dessert.

I had my fingers crossed that the fraisier would stay up by itself once the plastic wrap was removed, but unfortunately it collapsed quite a lot when the first cut was made. I’m not entirely sure where I went wrong, so I may have to do a bit more research.

I used a bigger tin than the one used in the recipe (22cm vs 20cm) and found the cake sunk a bit in the middle once it cooled.
I also needed at least double the pastry cream filling – although only figured this out once it was too late to make more – so I used whipped cream in the middle of the filling. (this extra may have been needed because I used a bigger tin, or very large strawberries.) I didn’t use the almond paste either, as I had none.

It was a beautiful dessert that everyone enjoyed and I would consider making again, although trialling out the filling, to make sure it stayed together more when serving.

Basic Chiffon Cake

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zest, grated
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.
Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Pastry Cream Filling

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
1 large egg (I used 2 egg yolks – as there were extra from the cake)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin
1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream

Directions:

Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine
Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.
Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Simple Syrup

1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) (2⅔ oz/75 gm) of sugar, flavored or white
1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) of water
+ 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Directions:

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.

Fraisier Assembly

Components:
1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
1 recipe pastry cream filling
⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup
2 lbs (900 g) strawberries
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste

Directions:

Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.


Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.



Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Vegetable Burgers with Chilli Mayo

Sunday, July 10th, 2011


There are some recipes that once tried, just need to be shared with others.

I love burgers, my Mum and Nick both make great beef burger patties, and I will often order chicken schnitzel burgers and beef burgers when out for dinner or lunch. I never tend to buy vegetable burgers, as I’ve had a few dry and tasteless ones in the past.

Trying these though, have changed my mind totally on the vegetable burger, and I have my sister to thank. It was easy to make (and would have been easier if I had taken my food processor around) and tasted amazing. No one could wait to have them for lunches the next day too, which meant we couldn’t try freezing them (as that would be a great dinner to take out of the freezer, just thaw and cook). I guess this means we will just have to make them again 🙂

The patty was a little more delicate in structure than a normal patty, and this slightly worsened for the lunch meals, although perhaps we needed to pat out some of the liquid. Nonetheless – what an amazing dinner and lunch!

I think it’s about time we made another batch – let me know if you get a chance to try them 🙂

Vegetable Burgers with Chilli Mayo

Recipe adapted from Best Recipes

Makes approximately 12 burger patties

1 tablespoon olive oil, approx
1 onion, diced finely + a pinch of salt
2 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed in water, drained and patted dry, then roughly chopped or processed
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 teaspoons vegetable stock powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil for frying

6 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
6 tablespoons mayonaise

12 burger buns
1 lettuce (6-12 leaves, sliced or torn)
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, sliced + a pinch of salt
avocado, sliced, optional
sweet potato chips to serve, optional

Heat oil at medium heat in a medium saucepan, cook the diced onion, stirring occasionally until caramelised (will take about 10 minutes or more). Once caramelised, remove from heat and cool. Make caramelised onions for on top of the patty in the same saucepan with the 3 sliced onions and extra oil (will take more than 10 minutes) – Allow this to cook on low whilst making the patty mixture.

For the vegetable patty, mix the caramelised diced onions, chickpeas, sweet potato, zucchini, carrot, curry powder, vegetable stock powder, eggs and bread crumbs. Allow to stand for 10minutes, if the mixture is too moist, squeeze out excess liquid, or pat with a paper towel.

Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, roll and then pat into patties the same size/width as the burger buns. Heat a large saucepan or frypan on medium/high heat and cook the patties in a small amount of oil until cooked through, turning once the first side is nicely browned.

Place the cooked patty on a grilled burger bun and top with chilli sauce mixed with mayonnaise, caramelised onion, lettuce, avocado and tomato. Serve with sweet potato chips or a salad.

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