Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Raspberry Cakes with Matcha - Cream Cheese - White Chocolate Frosting

Raspberry season has started. Our freezer is still packed with raspberries from the bumper harvest last summer and I'm trying to turn them into desserts in order to make place for the new ones, so you are going to see a lot of raspberry sweets in the coming weeks. Hope you like raspberries.

There are several combination which I'm totally mad about: raspberry-matcha tea, raspberry-chocolate and raspberry-milky flavour (sometimes infused with herbs and weeds like lemon balm/like in this melissa raspberry etremet/, mint, lavender, camomile or rose).

I had no intention of making these cakes. It was almost midnight and I was almost dozing over my laptop when I remembered I'd taken some raspberries out of the freezer so it was time for baking, and here's the result. They turned out to be delicious but I wanted the raspberry colour to be more vivid, although this one isn't so bad.

Tea: We had a certain discordance on this matter. I prefered those cakes with matcha latte, while Ivan liked them better with sencha tea.

Raspberry Cakes with Matcha - Cream Cheese - White Chocolate Frosting Recipe:

Makes: six 8,5 cm cakes
For the Raspberry Cakes:
  • 65 gr butter;
  • 85 gr sugar;
  • pinch of salt;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract;
  • 1 egg;
  • 75 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 1 Tbsp rum;
  • 140 gr self-raizing flour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Place 6 rings(Ø 8.5 cm) over the silpat.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in salt, vanilla and egg and then raspberry pulp and rum. At the end, beat in self-raizing flour. Fill rings no more than two-thirds full. Bake for around 15 – 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:
  • 150 gr white chocolate, melted;
  • 230 gr cream cheese;
  • 6 gr matcha green tea.
Whisk cream cheese to soften it, then add melted white chocolate and sifted matcha.

Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag equipped with star tip and cover the cakes with frosting stars.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Matcha-Chocolate Tangzhong Bread

Ever since we tried Aoki's matcha croissants I crave for them almost on a daily basis. We tried to recreate them twice with no significant results. I searched for the original recipe but couldn't find any, so now it's all about match and fix work. For now we had to stop our green croissant exploits due to the rising temperatures but we'll continue the straggle over that task when the weather permits.

Nevertheless, on the one hand, my craving for yeasty matcha goodness had to be satisfied somehow and on the other hand we had a jar of malted almond spread that needed the company of a nice slice of bread.

As a base recipe we used the tangzhong bread we made as part of the Fresh from the Oven Challenges earlier this year. We just divided the ingredients in two, added matcha tea to one of the parts and cocoa powder to the other.

Tastewise, although imbued with impeccable green colour the matcha taste wasn't as eloquent as I would have loved it to be, but never mind my opinion because I like the matcha notes to be vividly strong. However, it was a good breakfast bread and the addition of malted almond spread made it very special.

Tea: Tamaryokucha tea was our choice this time.

We are sending this bread to YeastSpotting - Susan's weekly bread show-case.

Matcha-Chocolate Tangzhong Bread

Makes 2 loaves 20x10 cm

For the Tangzhong
  • 30 gr flour;
  • 150 gr cold water.
For the Dough:
  • 350 gr strong flour;
  • 55 gr sugar;
  • 5 gr salt;
  • 15 gr fresh yeast (or 5 gr instant yeast);
  • 1 egg;
  • 125 gr milk;
  • 120 gr tangzhong;
  • 30 gr butter, melted and cooled;
  • 1 Tbsp (7 gr) matcha green tea;
  • 20 gr Dutch-processeed cocoa powder.

For Glazing:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten.

Prepare the tangzhong. Whisk together cold water and flour (there should be no lumps) and cook over low heat (stirring all the time) until the temperature reaches 65ºC. Cover and let the tangzhong to cool down before using it.

Prepare the dough. Dissolve yeast in the milk. Combine together dry ingredients: flour, sugar and salt, then divide in two into different bowls. Add matcha tea to one of the bowls and cocoa powder to the another.

Dissolve fresh yeast into the milk and add in the wet ingredients: tangzhong, egg and butter, mix well. Divide them in two – add one part to the matcha bowl and the other – to the cocoa bowl.

Use your hand or stand mixer equipped with the dough hook to mix the wet and dry ingredients into a soft dough. (I used the hand mixer for one of the doughs while the stand mixer was kneading the other one,) Let the mixer do the kneading part for around 15 minutes. Cover the bowls and leave the doughs to become double in bulk.

Knock each dough down onto a lightly floured counter top, give them a quick knead just to let the gas escape. Roll out each dough to a flat rectangular with the desired thickness – I rolled them out thinly – to around 3-4 mm.

Place a sheet of the cocoa dough onto the counter top. Brush it with water then place a sheet of the matcha dough on top. Brush with water again and roll up. Brushing with water ensures a good coherence of the layers.

Transfer to buttered loaf pans. Cover and let double in bulk again.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Glaze with egg and bake for around 35 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Melissa Raspberry Entremet

I'm expecting my head to burst out any moment. My mind is in a state of rattling elation, thoughts of all kind are hopping and popping forming a hodgepodge of exaltation, trepidation, expectation. A thread of sadness is coming through but it quickly and voluntary mingles with the growing mass of emotions. Questions are sprouting and my mind is trying hard on keeping track on them. I have the answers albeit not as obvious and I don't really know if these are the answers I'm looking for.

And just when my head is going to explode into at least a thousand tiny pieces here comes the mind stiffness. Everything becomes blind and blank as a sheet of white paper.

No, there are no weeds in the air, if that's what you are thinking. It's just the intoxication that gets over me every time I finish a good read.

When it happens so that my head bubbles with so many roaming thoughts the best way to put them in order is to make something fancy for dessert.

Tea: Firstly, we tried the melissa-raspberry entremet along with sencha tea and it was good, but then, when we ate it with jasmine green tea it was WOW, it was like an entirely new palette of flavours had erupted. The gentle jasmine flavour corresponds to perfection with the raspberry aroma and the mild melissa hints.

Melissa Raspberry Entremet Recipe:

Makes 6 entremets Ø 5,5 cm, height 6 cm  

Notes: The recipe for the butterless biscuit joconde belongs to Hidemi Sugino, as well as the look of his entremets are the inspiration for mine.

This is the second time I'm making this entremet. The first time my raspberry bavarian cream didn't set enough so this time I had to increase the agar quantity. As I'd said before, working with agar gets really tricky sometimes.

I didn't use any syrup to moisten the sponge layer since it's very thin and absorbs enough moisture from the cream and the mousse.

Melissa (lemon balm) is a weed that chases away the melancholy and brings joy to the heart (according to Avicenna). Together with the flamboyant colour and the profound aroma of the raspberries it makes a joyful bliss to the senses(according to my humble opinion).

Butterless Biscuit Joconde with Raspberry Jam:
  • 25 gr almond meal;
  • 25 gr all purpose flour;
  • 20 gr egg yolk;
  • 15 gr egg white;
  • 50 gr egg whites;
  • 40 gr sugar;
  • raspberry jam – I lacked this so I replaced it with pureed home made strawberry jam, this is why the colour of my jam strips is darker than it should be..
Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Prepare 35x24cm baking sheet lined with paper or silicon mat.

Beat together egg whites(15gr) and egg yolks.

In another bowl sift together flour and almond meal. Set aside.

Beat egg whites (50gr) and sugar until firm glossy meringue. Fold in beaten eggs, then fold in the dry ingredients. Spread the batter to a thin layer on the silicon mat and pipe thin lines of the raspberry jam on top. Bake for 5-6 minutes. Let cool.

Cut 6 cellophane strips with the height of the rings and 17cm long.

Cut 6 strips from the Joconde sponge – 3cm tall and around 16,5cm long. It's better to measure out precisely the inner side of the rings so the sponge could fit tightly. Fit each Joconde strip to the bottom side of a cellophane strip, jam side down facing the cellophane. Form the cellophane-joconde strip into a ring and enter it into the moulding ring. Gently push and press the ends of the sponge to meet together to make a seamless cake.

From the rest of the Joconde layer cut 6 rounds to fit inside the 6 rings and place each of them into the bottom of the rings but in that way that the bottom is encircled from the side layer.

Raspberry Jelly:
  • 100 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 20 gr sugar;
  • 2 gr agar agar powder.
Bring raspberry pulp to a boil. Combine agar and sugar and add to the pulp. Cook until dissolved, it normally takes a short time, even less than a minute. Pour into 2x1 cm silicon moulds, I used ice cube silicon mould.

Melissa Milky Mousse:
  • 3 sprigs of melissa officinalis (lemon balm);
  • 160 ml whole milk;
  • 35 gr sugar;
  • 3 gr agar agar powder;
  • 150 ml whipping cream, whipped.
Bring milk to a boil, turn off the heat, add in the lemon balm sprigs, cover and let infuse for half an hour.

Strain the milk, discard the lemon balm and add more milk to make 160ml.

Combine sugar and agar. Bring the milk again to a boil and add the agar-sugar mix. Cook until dissolved.

Fold the milky mixture into the whipped cream.

Fill the lined with the joconde rings with the melissa milky mousse just a little bit bellow the rim of the joconde. Work quickly since as soon as the temperature of the mousse drops bellow 45ºC it will commence to set extremely fast.

On top of the melissa mousse place a round of raspberry jelly, press it slightly into the melissa mousse.

Bavarois aux Framboises:
  • 120 gr milk;
  • 20 gr egg yolk;
  • 35 gr sugar;
  • 10 ml rum;
  • 120 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 4 gr agar agar powder;
  • 10 gr sugar;
  • 100 gr whipping cream, whipped.
Make crème anglaise. Whisk egg yolk and sugar until light. Bring milk to a boil, then pour it in a thin stream over the yolk-sugar mixture, whisking all the time to prevent yolks from curdling. Cook until the mixture reaches 82ºC. Set aside, but keep it warm.
Bring raspberry pulp to a boil. Combine sugar and agar, add them to the raspberry pulp and cook until dissolved.

Combine raspberry pulp with crème anglaise, add in rum and fold in the whipped cream.

As quickly as possible pour the bavarois over the raspberry jelly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Garnish and Glaze:
  • raspberries;
  • mint leaves;
  • 85 gr water;
  • 15 gr raspberry pulp;
  • 1 gr agar agar powder;
  • 5 gr sugar.
Combine water and raspberry pulp and bring to a boil. Mix together agar and sugar and add to the boiling liquid. Cook until dissolved.

The glaze is a liquid, so it sets much slower than the mousses and creams and it's easier to work with it. But if it sets, it's enough to heat it up and it will liquefy again.

Arrange some raspberries on top of the entremet then glaze with a silicon brush. Wait the glaze to set and repeat if you wish, then garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy with a cup of jasmine green tea.


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