Mini chocolate madeleines

November 6, 2010

Mini chocolate madeleines

The other day I was reading one of my cooking magazines and there was a recipe of mini madeleines. Oh, those madeleines.. little cute baked cakes made with special pans.. I used to skip those recipes, simply because I didn’t have the shell shaped pan, knowing that it would be terribly difficult to find them here where I live.

Although I found normal sized madeleine pans I wanted mini. They are cuter, they fit better in my mouth (ahaha). I got obsessed about them.. I visited every single baking supply shop on my search for the mini pan. Took me days (and nights browsing the web too) until I finally found it. I felt very happy ^_^.

Instead of using the recipe I saw in that magazine I decided for another one this time. Chocolate madeleines, a perfect match for my coffee :P.

Mini chocolate madeleines

recipe from here , what I used and Finnish ingredients in parentheses

yield about 60 mini madeleines. I got 40 shell shaped and 16 heart shaped mini muffins.

  • 15 g dark chocolate, melted (I used Lindt 70%, about 4 pieces from the bar)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 70 g cake flour (I used erikoisvehnäjauho)
  • 15 g cocoa (I used Van Houten)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 70 g unsalted butter, melted (plus a little more for brushing the pans)
  • 80 g sugar

Heat oven to 170°C

Prepare the pan, brushing with a little melted butter.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Pour into the flour mixture and whisk gently. Add the melted chocolate and finally the melted butter.

Mix until just combine.

Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle (you can use small spoons but I found it easier to pour the batter into the molds with the bag).

Fill the pan with batter and bake for 10-12 mins, until the madeleines are golden and baked all the way through (if in doubt, make the skewer test).

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 mins. Tip out of the pan and bake another batch, if you need to.

Mini chocolate madeleines

My notes about the recipe:

I was very happy with the result! I am thinking about adding espresso powder to make mocha madeleines or a tiny pieces of candied orange peel for a “quick” filling next time.

The girls liked them a lot even with the strong chocolate taste. They kept popping them in their little mouths ^_^. Very easy to eat… they disappeared fast :).

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M´s Cheesecake

October 25, 2010

M´s Cheesecake

Some years ago I tried this cheesecake in a potluck lunch with friends. It was just delicious and the idea of that cheesecake stayed in my mind.

The lady who baked it and I became very good friends. I value her friendship a lot and we try to keep in touch whenever it is possible (she is not living in Finland at this moment).

Anyways.. I was thinking about making some sort of cake to celebrate my wedding anniversary and I wanted to try something different  this time. Talking this and that with my friend “M” , suddenly her cheesecake came to my mind and I had (HAD) to ask her for the recipe ^_^.

And lovely as she is, she promptly sent it to me! =)

“M” suggested to serve the cheesecake with bilberry/blueberry jam. Unfortunately we didn’t have it at home and I was too lazy to make some with my frozen blueberries. I served with the jams we had in the fridge. Each from the family could choose what jam they wanted on top.

Ja “M”, kiitos  reseptista! Arigatou! Olet tosi suloinen!

M´s Cheesecake

M´s Cheesecake

Yield a 18 cm cheesecake (about 12 small slices)

  • 6 – 8 Digestive biscuits, finely crumbled (I used 8, about 120 g total). Digestive cookies are similar to graham crackers.
  • 40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 pack Philadelphia cream cheese (200 g, full fat)
  • 2 dl (200 ml) cream
  • 70 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I used the lemon zest too, even if not mentioned in the original recipe)

Heat oven to 180 °C

If you didn’t brake your biscuits yet, put them inside a strong freezer bag and smash using a rolling pin (or use your hands, a meat hammer.. think about something that bothers you and release the anger on those biscuits! ^_^)

Mix the crumbs, butter and milk. Press onto bottom of 18 cm springform pan, line based with greaseproof paper.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and the rest of the ingredients. Pour over crust.

Bake for about 40 min until slightly golden or center is set.

Refrigerate after it cools from the oven. I left it inside the pan for the night in the fridge.

To serve, remove the rim of the pan by running a knife around the rim (I used a wooden knife because I didn’t want to damage my pan). Remove the rim carefully and “slide” the cake to the serving plate.

Slice and top with fresh fruits or jam and serve.

My notes about the recipe:

The cheesecake was very good and very easy to make (like “M” said!), perhaps too big for our small family. I will try to half the recipe next time and see how it comes out.

I prefer a more “tangy” taste for a cheesecake and would add more lemon juice ( update: reading about the subject I figured out to use sour cream instead. Should definitely bake another to compare! :P). Anyways, I fixed it by eating my slice with a big dollop of my homemade apple-lemon jam (and cherry jam the next day). ^_^

My girls got disappointed they couldn’t decorate a “normal” cake for the wedding anniversary so I allowed them to use some sprinkles…

Heh (♡:lla to Mr mies!)

M´s Cheesecake

Omenapiirakka

Last weekend my in-laws came for a quick visit. Girls were very excited about the fact they were going to see their grandparents and spend time with them. They live about 440 km from Helsinki and when they come to see us, it is almost a big happening for everyone.

Not only they brought happiness to the girls, they also brought us lots of produce.Those who follow me on twitter might know that my in-laws have a gorgeous vegetable garden which produces the most in summertime. Now it is Autumn and people in Finland are preparing for the cold months to come.

I got potatoes, carrots, swedes/ rutabagas , onions, some of my mother-in-law homemade pickles, a huge winter pumpkin and apples. We keep them in the cold storage downstairs that belongs to same apartment building.

I thought it was a good idea to use the apples as soon as it was possible. Those apples I got are slightly different from the ones you get normally from any supermarket. Finnish apples, most of them are small , very fragrant but also very sour. The sourness reminds me apple vinegar taste, no kidding.

Interesting thing is their flavor gets better when you cook them. Or when you use them in a pie :).

Omenoita. Apples

A little something about Finnish pies. The word for pie in Finnish is “piirakka” or “piiras” (and sometimes “torttu” ) and it translates to pie. You can see lots of pies in Finnish cuisine that don’t look the same, neither are made with same technique. It is a fact. You can find pies made of usual butter crust, shortbread crust, sweet bread crust, “pizza” crust, cake-alike crust, rye dough crust.  Imagine a dough with a filling and  we call it pie. Yep.

The apple pie I made this time is very common during the apple season. The dough reminds a lot a very heavy and rich butter cake in its softness and the filling varies according to what is in season. For example in Spring the same dough is used to make Rhubarb pie and in late Summer, Bilberry pie.

I forgot to mention.. my father-in-law has lactose intolerance and my mother-in-law has gluten intolerance. Because of that, I baked two pies : the first using lactose-free butter and the second, using a different dough recipe with almond meal.

Here follows both:

Omenapiirakka – Apple pie with “cake” dough

Adapted from the recipe that came on the package of my ceramic baking dish ( Kermansavi )

Yield a 25 cm pie

  • 125 g unsalted butter ( I used lactose-free butter )
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3-5 apples ( I used 5 small ones. A good substitute would be Granny Smith apples )
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 180 °C. Butter a 25 cm baking dish ( or a tin ) and line base with greaseproof paper. Wash and prepare the apples ( you don’t need to peel them if they are organic like mine ^_^ ).

Sift the flour and baking powder and reserve. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale. Gradually add the beaten eggs and the flour mix a little at a time , mixing carefully after each addition.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. The dough consistency looks like a heavy cake dough ( or a soft cookie one ). Try to spread it in a way it looks like it has borders, like a pie.

Remove seeds from apples and slice them thinly. Lay the slices on top of the batter, overlapping them in circles. Sprinkle the demerara sugar and cinnamon and bake for about 25 min ( check the border with a skewer ).

Serve alone, with vanilla sauce or ice cream :)

Omenoita. Apples

Gluteeniton Omenapiirakka –  Gluten-free apple pie

Yield a 18 cm x 24 cm rectangular baking dish

  • 100 g butter
  • 1 dl caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 dl potato starch
  • 80g almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of half orange
  • 4 small apples
  • 1tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 180 °C. Butter the dish (or tin ). I used the rectangular one because I didn’t have any better available :P . Wash and prepare the apples.

Combine the almond meal, potato starch, zest and baking powder and put aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale. Gradually add the beaten eggs and the dry ingredients mixture a little at a time , mixing carefully after each addition.

At this point you will think something is wrong. My dough got very liquid but I carried on with the recipe and it ended up perfect!!

Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish.

Remove seeds from apples and slice them thinly. Lay the slices on top of the batter, they will slightly sink in.  Sprinkle  the demerara sugar and cinnamon and bake for about 20 min ( check the border with a skewer ).

Let it set and cool before serving.

My notes about this recipe:

It is really necessary to leave the pie resting for a moment. Due to the crumbly nature of the dough, the pieces brake apart if you try to cut the pie while it is still warm.

The almond taste was so pleasant I myself enjoyed the pie so much and ate the rest of it after my mom-in-law left ^_^.

Gluten-free apple pie. Gluteeniton omenapiirakka

Apple pie

September 5, 2010

Apple pie

I like to bake. I like to do many things. Sometimes I just don’t have time. And.. sometimes I just don’t have patience ;)

That wasn’t the case on last friday. I baked an Apple pie to be served with a big ball of vanilla ice-cream. We had special guests and I wanted to offer a dessert.

To be honest, I cheated a bit. I used a jar of my homemade apple preserve for the filling to hurry up things. My homemade preserve was made from apples I’ve got last year from my husband’s aunt (she has lots of apple trees on her garden! Lucky lady. )  A simple preserve: apples, lemon juice, sugar and a vanilla pod.

I only needed to make the crust. Butter, flour, bread flour and water. You can’t go wrong when you add butter! :D

Apple pie

Pastry adapted from here, the Finnish ingredients I used in parentheses.

Yield a  ∅ 27 cm pie. Serves 8.

Pastry

  • 150 g cold unsalted butter chopped
  • 140 g  flour ( erikoisvehnäjauhoa: special wheat flour )
  • 50 g bread flour ( hiivaleipäjauhoa: dark wheat flour)
  • 5-6 tablespoons iced water (more or less depending on the dough consistency )

Filling

For the filling, about 250 g of apple preserve (my jar was 500 ml capacity)

In a bowl, rub together the butter and the flours with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add the cold water to the breadcrumb mixture a little at a time, mixing well, until the dough forms. You don’t need to knead it much and it is perfectly fine if you can still see dots of butter here and there. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 min – 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 175 °C.

Roll out about half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper (or on  floured surface) until 2-3 mm thick. Using your pie dish as a guide, cut a circle of the dough and line the dish. Pour the apple filling in.

Make strips from the remaining dough and arrange them in criss-cross pattern over the filling. Crimp the edges to “seal”, otherwise the strips can shrink during baking.

(You can brush the surface with egg wash but I didn’t.)

Bake for 25-30 min or until golden.

Best served warm with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.

Apples from Kangasala