Tag Archives: Pistachio

Let’s change and have a Strawberry and Pistachio Mille-Feuilles!

1 Mar

Whenever you go to a Patisserie in France, you can ask for a baguette,  a croissant, a brioche or a pain au chocolat but among all the French specialties you can find in a Patisserie, you can also find the Mille-Feuilles.

That dessert is really a French basic. It is sold as a single portion or a larger desert to share. And when you go to a Patisserie, if you want a Mille-Feuilles this is what you have to look for: 3 layers of puff patry with 2 layers of pastry cream in between and a layer of fondant on top with chocolate fondant stripes to make it easy to identify.

As I learned how to make it, I really was thinking that it was among my least favorite desert. To me, it looks very old-fashioned and most of the time, the vanilla pastry cream is very heavy and the fondant on top makes it definitely too sweet… but it’s only a point of view! Most of my friends still love it as it is today!

Anyway, I came to look at new ways to make the Mille-Feuilles and I gave it another try… and I have to say that I changed my mind.

It’s still the same recipe but you can make it more glamorous by adding fruits, color and flavor and also make it look different in term of presentation…

Here it is…. the Strawberry and Pistachio Mille-Feuilles! And it is even quicker to prepare as you don’t have to spread fondant on top of the Mille-Feuilles!

Ingredients for the puff pastry layers:

  • one puff pastry sheets
  • icing sugar
  • 2 baking trays

Method for the puff pastry layers:

Roll out your puff pastry on a baking tray covered with a silicon mat or a piece or parchment paper. If you are using a block of puff pastry, roll it into a rectangle about 25 cm x 35 cm and about 5 mm high. Keep it about 1/2h in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 170° and once the pastry is firm and cold, cover it with another tray or a rack about the same size as the pastry. The pastry needs to be covered otherwise it will rise too much.

Bake it for about 20 min until the pastry gets a nice golden color. Let it cool down on the baking tray.

Increase the temperature of your oven to 250° or on the grill. Using a sieve, cover the puff pastry with a thin layer of icing sugar and put it back in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the surface is caramelized. Depending on your oven, you will have to stay close to your oven and maybe turn the tray after 1 minute if only one part of the pastry get caramelized.You can also finish it with a blow torch.

While the puff pastry is still hot and the caramelized sugar still soft, cut it with a serrated knife into 3 stripes of the same size (10 cm x 20 cm). As the edges may not be perfectly straight, cut the edges to be sure to have three layers matching perfectly.

Here is the result…

Ingredients for the pastry cream:

  • 25 cl of whole milk
  • 2 cl of vanilla extract or a vanilla pod cut lengthwise and seeds scrapped with a sharp knife
  • 2 yolks
  • 45 g of sugar
  • 1 tsp of pistachio paste
  • 25g of butter diced
  • 25 g of corn flour or flour or 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 gelatin leaves soaked in cold water
  • 1 tbsp of Mascarpone
  • Fresh strawberries cleaned and cut into quarters or whole raspberries.

Method for the pastry cream:

In a pan, bring to a boil the milk and the vanilla extract (even better if you have a vanilla pod!).

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and the yolks till creamy white. Whisk in the flour or corn flour then pour in the milk and the pistachio paste. Whisk it and pour it back into the pan.

Gently bring the pastry cream to a boil and constantly whisk it. The liquid will very quickly get thick and stick to the pan. If you have been using flour, keep on whisking as it is boiling (at least one minute) to get rid of the flour taste.

When the pastry cream is cooked, turn the heat off and incorporate the diced butter and the soaked gelatin leaves.

Whisk again then pour it into a bowl, cover with cling film and let it cool down. If you want your pastry cream very smooth and creamy, you can mix it with a hand held food processor then cover it with cling film.

Method for assembling the Mille-Feuilles:

Get the pastry cream out of the fridge and give it a good whisk. You can even incorporate a tbsp of Mascarpone at that stage to get it smoother.

Pour it in a piping bag with a nozzle about 8-10 mm.

On a flat surface or a rack, place the first layer of puff pastry.

If your layers are not all nicely caramelized or if one of them as a hole or any imperfection, keep it for the middle layer and keep the nicest one for the top…

Pipe the pastry cream on the puff pastry, about 3-4 generous heaps next to each others or nice lines a few millimeters from the borders of the pastry as it will expend a little with the pressure.

Now place the strawberries in between the pastry cream heaps and press gently on top of each one to make sure they will stick to the cream.

Cover them with another layer of puff pastry and keep going on with the same process until you have placed the last layer of puff pastry.

To finish, you can simply sprinkle icing sugar on top of the Mille-Feuilles.

I like to let a nice stripe of caramelized puff pastry apparent. I just place a piece of folded paper on top of the Mille-Feuilles and sprinkle the icing sugar on the puff pastry still uncovered.

Here you are…. Your Mille-Feuilles is ready to serve!

When it comes to cutting the Mille-Feuilles, use a long serrated knife such as bread knife and start to cut in the middle of the cake and on the edges. It will be easier and the slices will look very professional.

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Fancy more Macaroons?

15 Jan

If you have tried the Macaron Caramel Beurre Sale since I posted the recipe, you may want to try new fillings and new techniques such as butter cream, curd or flavored chocolate ganache.

Here they are, from lemon & basil to chocolate & chilli, I hope you will enjoy the flavors and play with the colors!

Just a quick reminder of the shells method….

Ingredients

  • 30g flour
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 212g almond powder
  • 190g egg whites
  • 90g caster sugar
  • Food Colouring

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Start by preparing your baking sheets (3), either buttered and lined with greaseproof
paper or lined with a silicone matt. Also prepare a piping bag with a plain tip.
Sift the flour, icing sugar and almond powder together, set aside in a bowl.
In the bowl, put the egg whites, measured precisely, and start whisking with a hand
electric mixer. Add half of the caster sugar as it starts foaming, keep whisking until it
thickens, and add the rest of the caster sugar near the end, you can add the colouring
as well at that point. The whites must be shiny and firm, but be careful not to over
whisk (the whites will become grainy if over whisked).
Add the dry ingredients (flour, icing sugar, almond powder) to the whites and start to
mix gently using a large flexible spatula. When the mixture is smooth and there are
no streaks of egg whites, stop folding and scrape the batter into the piping bag (if you
are alone, it helps to put the bag in a large glass).
Pipe the batter on the prepared baking sheets in 3cm circles (about one tablespoon
each of batter, evenly spaced 3cm.
Leave to rest for at least 20min.


Then bake for 12min. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
Assemble the shell and the ganache: pipe some ganache on one shell, put the other
shell on top.
The macaroons taste even better the next day.

Here they are…. the cooked shells!


Matching the shells now…

Ready to pipe the ganaches and other fillings!

Here they are…. the cooked shells!

Chocolate and Chilli Macaroons

Chocolate and Chilli Ganache

  • 1/2 red chilli or 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 130ml double cream
  • 130g dark chocolate
  • 30g butter

Boil the cream and chilli flakes together and let infuse.
Melt chocolate and butter over a bain-marie
Incorporate the cream to the chocolate, pour in a piping bag and refrigerate for at
least an hour.

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Macaroons

Chocolate and Passion Fruit Ganache

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 passion fruits

Put the dark chocolate in a bowl, broken into small pieces.
Put the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Pour over the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the passion fruit. Leave to cool down and then put the mixture in a piping bag. Refrigerate.

Rose & Litchi Macaroons

Rose & Litchi Ganache

  • 24 Litchis
  • 200g of white chocolate
  • Rose Water

Peel and remove the stones of the litchis and puree them in a pan with a little rose
water.
If needed, blend the litchis in order to have an homogeneous mix then add the white
chocolate and let it melt with the litchis until you have a nice and silky ganache.
Taste the ganache and add a little rose water if needed.
Pour the ganache in a piping bag and let it rest in the fridge.
Your ganache will be ready to pipe.

Raspberry Macaroons

White Chocolate and Raspberry Ganache

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g raspberries

Mix the raspberries to make a coulis.
Put the white chocolate broken into small pieces in a bowl.
Put the cream in a pan and bring to the boil then pour it over the white chocolate and
mix. Add the raspberry coulis, mix, and leave to cool down before you transfer it in a
piping bag. Refrigerate so that it sets.

Pistachio Macaroons

Pistachio Ganache

  • 300g white chocolate
  • 150g double cream
  • About 1 tsp pistachio paste

Put the white chocolate broken into small pieces in a bowl.
Put the cream in a pan with about one teaspoon of pistachio paste (more or less
according to your taste) and bring to the boil then pour it over the white chocolate,
mix. Leave to cool down before you transfer it in a piping bag. Refrigerate so that it
sets.

Lemon and Basil Macaroons

Lemon and Basil Curd

  • 1/2 gelatine sheet
  • 3 eggs
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 130g lemon juice (2 ½ lemons)
  • 10 basil leaves finely chopped by hand
  • 175g butter, diced

Put the gelatine in a bowl with cold water to soften it.
Mix the eggs with the sugar and the lemon juice. Put in a pan and heat slowly, always mixing. Add the basil leaves. Cook the mixture until it starts boiling and it thickens. Add the gelatine, put the mixture in a sieve and filtrate above a bowl that contains the diced butter. Mix the lemon cream with a hand electric mixer for 1 min.
Leave to cool and then transfer into a piping bag.

Orange and Cinnamon Macaroons

Orange and Cinnamon Curd

  • 1 1/2 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon or ½ cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs lightly whisked

In a bowl, whisk the sugar and the corn flour together.
In a pan, put the Zest of the oranges with the juice of oranges and lemon. Add the
mixture of sugar and corn flour, and the butter to the pan and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, take out of the stove and add the eggs, while stirring.
Put back on the heat still stirring until it thickens.
Then transfer to a container and let it cool down. You can either transfer into a piping bag or just spoon it on the macaroons.

Lavender Macaroons

Lavender Butter Cream

  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1tbsp lavender
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • red and blue colorings

In a pan infuse milk and lavender and let them rest then strain the liquid through a sieve.
Whisk the icing sugar and butter until it gets light and fluffy then add the food coloring purple first then blue until you get a nice lavender color.
Incorporate the milk while whisking until fully incorporated and beat for another 5 min until light and fluffy.
Pour in a piping bag and fill the macaroons straight away.
If refrigerated, give it a good whisk before piping.

Lavender Ganache

  • 250g white chocolate
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 2 tsp Lavender

Bring the whipping cream to the boil with the lavender. Leave to infuse for about 10min.                                        Grate the white chocolate and put it into a bowl.
Bring the cream to the boil again and pour it over the white chocolate (use a sieve if you don’t want any lavender bits).
Let it cool down and set before filling the macaroons.

Coffee Macaroons

Coffee Custard Cream

  • 50cl whole milk
  • 15 grams instant coffee
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g flour

In a pan bring the milk to a boil and add the instant coffee to dissolve it.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until it gets white and airy, add the flour and whisk until well incorporated.
While whisking, slowly pour the milk on top of it then pour back in the pan and cook on medium heat until it gets thick and start to boil.
Pour on a tray or in a bowl and cover with cling film to avoid the cream starts to crust. Before piping, give another whisk, pour in a piping bag and fill the macaroons.

Goat’s Cheese and Fig Macaroons

Goat’s Cheese Filling

  • 200g fresh soft goat’s cheese
  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • Fig jam

Soften the goat’s cheese with a fork and a bit of cream. Pour it in a piping bag and pipe a small amount on a shell then create a little hole in the middle of the goat’s cheese by pressing with your finger in order to create space for the fig jam.                                                            Pipe a little fig jam in the hole then cover with the other shell and twist and press at the same time to lock your macaroon.

Version Française : Les Macarons Caramel Beurre Salé

Ingrédients pour le caramel:

  • 80 g de sucre
  • 15 cl de crème liquide
  • 20 g de beurre sale
  • 1 cac de Fleur de Sel
  • 50 g de beurre à température ambiante

Méthode

Verser le sucre dans une casserole de taille moyenne à fond épais pour qu’il recouvre toute la surface. Faites chauffer à feu moyen afin de le transformer en caramel. Le sucre va se diluer et passer d’une couleur blanche transparente à une couleur dorée qui va progressivement brunir.
Ayez votre beurre et votre crème à portée de mains et dès que le caramel prend une couleur dorée profonde, versez la crème en faisant attention car le caramel peut réagir fortement si la crème est encore froide.
Remuez lentement avec une spatule et ajoutez le beurre et la Fleur de Sel. Le caramel va se détendre progressivement puis réduire. Continuez à remuer jusqu’à ce que le caramel épaississe pour prendre une consistance crémeuse.
Laissez refroidir pour éviter de faire fondre le beurre à la dernière étape.
Une fois que le caramel a refroidi, fouettez les 50 g de beurre restant dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid puis incorporez le caramel. Le caramel va prendre une consistance plus aérienne et blanchir un peu.
Versez directement dans une poche et garnissez les macarons

Ingrédients pour les Coques:

  • 30 g de farine
  • 350 g de sucre glace
  • 212 g d’amandes en poudre
  • 190 g de blancs d’œuf
  • 90 g de sucre
  • Colorant Pâte Marron

Méthode

Préchauffez le four à 180°.

Dans un premier temps, préparez votre matériel, 3 plaques de cuisson couvertes de papier sulfurisé beurré pour mieux adhérer à la plaque ou un tapis en silicone, une poche à douille munie d’une douille 9 et une autre poche pour garnir les macarons.

Ensuite préparez les ingrédients, tamisez le sucre glace, la farine et les amandes puispesez-les et mixez-les dans un grand saladier.

Versez les blancs dans le bol de votre Kitchen Aid et battez-les à vitesse moyenne.

Lorsque les blancs commencent à mousser, ajoutez la moitié du sucre en poudre tout en continuant à battre.

Les blancs vont épaissir et prendre un aspectsoyeux. Ajouter le reste du sucre puis le colorant (préférez le colorant pâteau colorant liquide qui risque d’altérer la consistance du mix). Les blancs sont fermes et soyeux mais faites attention de ne pas trop les battre au risque de les rendre granuleux.

Versez une partie du mix sec sur les blancs et incorporez-le à l’aide d’une large spatuleen prenant soin de bien atteindre le fond du bol. Incorporez le reste du mix et une fois que les blancs sont bien incorporés, versez la préparation dans la poche.

Commencez à dresser les macarons sur les plaques en formant des coques d’environ 3 cm dediamètre (environ 1 cas/coque) en prenant soin de les espacer les unes des autres.

Laissez les coques reposer et « croûter » au moins 20 minutes si ce n’est plusieurs heures. La surface doit devenir plus mat et résister a une légère pression du doigt. Cette étape permet aux macarons de bien gonfler sans que la surface n’éclate à la cuisson.

Enfournez lesplaques pour une durée de 12 minutes puis laissez les coques refroidir avant de les détacher. La coque est cuite mais l’intérieur reste tendre.

Une fois refroidies, vous pouvez garnir les coques avec une généreuse noisette decaramel centrée sur une des coques renversée. Recouvrir d’une autre coque etpressez-la tout en donnant 1/4 de tour afin de répandre la garniture jusqu’au bord des coques.

Conservez les macarons dans une boîte hermétique et au frais.

Lesmacarons se dégustent seulement quelques heures après leur préparation afin que la garniture ait eu le temps d’infuser les coques….

Si, si, je vous assure, vous réussirez à patienter!
Vous pouvez aussi congeler les coques ou les macarons en entier.

Let’s blog! and start with the Pistachio Financiers

23 Feb

As many of my friends ask me all the time about some of my cakes recipes, I decided weeks ago to creat a blog and I did’nt do it and they kept asking and I kept promising and so on….

So, here we are, me, myself and my blog…..

To begin with something usefull, I’ll put one of my recipies as an introduction…..

The ultimate Pistachio Financiers

  • 170 g butter
  • 120 g almond powder
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 40 g flour
  • 4 white eggs
  • 1 tsp of pistachio concentrate

Preheat your oven at 150°

Put the butter in a pan and melt it until it gets a hazelnut color…. don’t let it burn!

Mix well together the almond, flour, icing sugar and white eggs.

Pour the butter in the mix and keep on whisking.

Add the pistachio concentrate or another flavor if you have any other preferences. Just be careful to keep the mix not to liquid.

For example you can put some rose or lavender concentrate, keep it just almond or replace half of the almond powder with coconut powder or any other nut powder…..

Pour the mix in your mold (silicon is better as you don’t need to fight to get the cakes out of it!) and cook it for about 15′.

Let them cool on a backing rack and enjoy….

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