Sunday, June 19, 2011

Swiss Buttercream Icing

I use this buttercream recipe for all my cakes. I love the light texture, rich flavour and the lack of grittiness that comes with buttercreams using icing sugar. Because it has such a high fat content you should use oil based colours or candy colours so the colour will blend in easier. You can also flavour it with any kind of flavouring like grand marnier or bailey's or add melted chocolate.Here's the recipe:

454g sugar
225g egg whites
550g butter - unsalted
1 Tbsp vanilla

Put the egg whites and sugar in a Kitchen Aid bowl and put the bowl over boiling water.
Stir with a whisk while bringing the mixture to 60C or until the mixture loses its grittiness, the sugar has dissolved and it is hot to the touch.

Take off heat and using the
whip attachment whip until cool - approximately 5-7 minutes.

Nice and thick and fluffy!

Gradually add the butter

and then vanilla.

Tadaaa! A beautiful buttercream that looks like thick whipped cream, tastes great and is easy to use!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough truffles.....

Honestly, these are really, really good and you can immerse them completely and make truffles but I didn't have the patience. I needed to eat them right away!! Try these and they will put you in a happy place!!

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (plain, thick yogurt)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, or couverture, melted for dipping

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine. Beat in yogurt along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop large spoonfuls or ice cream scoops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen, at least three hours.

Melt chocolate. If there are any left to dip ;-) remove balls from the freezer and dip. Return to the lined cookie sheet and return to the freezer to harden. Serve cold from the freezer.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Aunt Annabel's Recipes

I've started another blog to document my Aunt's recipes and trace some family history. Check out

Sunday, January 03, 2010

ABC's of Bread

I'm one of those people who make New Year's resolutions without fail. Some resolutions survive the year and others don't (but we won't talk about those!!) This year one of my resolutions is to bake more bread at home. I do a lot of baking and supervise a lot of baking at my job as a pastry chef instructor but my family misses out on a lot of these efforts. I also want to increase my knowledge and skill in bread baking as well. So here is my first effort - starting with A for Anadama bread.

There are many stories on how this bread got its name, one being that Anna left her husband for another man and left nothing at home but cornmeal, flour and molasses. The unfortunate husband put it all together, added some yeast all the while yelling "Anna, damn'er!" and this bread was created. I'm not sure about the accuracy of that story, but it sounds funny enough to keep repeating!

Here's an adaption of Mr. Reinhart's recipe. Thanks to my wonderful husband for the beautiful picture!!

Anadama Bread (adapted from Bread Baker's Apprentice - Peter Reinhart)

Soak for 24 hours:

1 cup cornmeal in 1 cup room temperature water

4 1/2 cups Bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast or 3 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted)

After your cornmeal has soaked for 24 hours add 2 cups of flour, instant yeast and lukewarm water to form a sponge. Stir together well, cover and let sit at room temperature until bubbles begin to form - about one hour. Stir in the rest of the flour, molasses, salt and butter. If using a Kitchen Aid mixer, use the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 6 - 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and cleans the side of the bowl. Stop mixing, remove dough hook and spray with oil. Cover and let double in size. Divide dough in two and shape into loaves. Place in parchment lined loaf pans and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan. Bake at 350F for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Wishes to All of my Friends!!

Wishing all the best holiday wishes to my friends around the world.

I hope you enjoy the simple blessings of food, family and friends.


Friday, October 30, 2009

One bread dough - three ways

One of the drawbacks of baking can be spending many hours in the kitchen and not have much to show for it, especially when baking bread by hand.

In my Intro to baking classes I have 3 hours where I have to demo the recipe then allow the students to create and bake the recipes. I use the following recipe to show my students that in less than three hours they can create a variety of items with one recipe. With this recipe I can make one loaf of white bread, a dozen cinnamon buns and a flat of foccacia. Try it and let me know what you think!!

White Bread – Three ways
Oven @ 350F

6 ¾ tsp active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
4 1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose flour

4 ½ Tbsp sugar
4 ½ Tbsp shortening or vegetable oil, at room temperature
3 to 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt

Sponge (use paddle attachment): In the mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve. Add the flour and mix at first speed until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (30 – 45 minutes).

Dough: Stir down the sponge with one or two rotations then add the rest of the ingredients (use only 3 cups of flour to start). **Switch to the dough hook.** Be careful to use LOW speed so the flour doesn’t get tossed out of the bowl. If the dough is too soft or sticky, add flour ¼ cup at a time. Run the mixer at 1st speed until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl – approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off machine and remove dough from the hook. Transfer dough to a clean and oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in volume. Once the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide into thirds.

You can make 1 loaf of white bread, 12 cinnamon rolls, and foccacia.

Cinnamon rolls
Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon. (you can add chopped up apples or dried fruit at this stage) Roll the dough up towards you and then slice into equal pieces. Place cut side down in a greased baking pan and brush with melted butter. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes and then bake.

To 1 cup of olive oil add a combination of your favourite herbs: garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley. Roll the dough into a rectangle and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Generously brush the olive oil mixture onto the dough. Allow the dough to rise. Just before you put the dough in the oven “dimple” the dough using your fingertips.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brothers and Battenberg cake

My brother, Andrew, just finished a quick visit to us on the East coast. As always, even though we don't see each other everyday and we haven't lived in the same city for over 20 years, we quickly reverted to the big bro', lil' sis roles. Good natured teasing combined with a Mom cooked meal made it seem like we were kids again. I made him his favourite blueberry pie to show him how much I appreciated his visit and he gave me hugs like he never did when we were younger.

I reminded him of the Bakewell tarts we used to fight over as children and he reminded me how his favourite treat from the British relatives was Battenberg cake from M&S - a pink and yellow cake wrapped in marzipan. It was always a bit too sweet for me but I came across this recipe in Nick Malgieri's book "A Baker's Tour". He uses cocoa to make the contrasting checkers chocolate and vanilla while others use just food colouring for pink and yellow squares. I didn't make my own marzipan but used store bought to make the production quicker. Either way it is still delicious!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp Dutch process cocoa
3 Tbsp milk
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two loaf pans and line with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and then scrape down the bowl and mix another minute until well combined. Sift flour and baking powder together and then add it to the butter mixture in 3 batches. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes until well combined.
Pour half the batter into one of the prepared pans. Combine the cocoa and milk into a paste and then add to the remaining batter. Mix well and then pour this chocolate batter into the second prepared pan. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Once the cakes have cooled trim the sides and level the top of the cake to make a 9 x 5 x 2 1/2 inch slab. Cut the cake lengthwise down the middle to make two "bars". Repeat with the other cake.
Warm the raspberry jam. (Assembly on a piece of parchment paper makes this less messy). Brush the glaze on the side of a vanilla cake bar and press it to a chocolate cake bar. Paint the top of the vanilla cake with glaze and place a chocolate cake bar on top. Paint the side of the chocolate bar and the top of the bottom bar (confused yet?) and place the vanilla cake. You should have two layers of alternating coloured/checkerboard cake.
Roll out the marzipan so that it will fit around and the length of your cake. A little bit of cornstarch will make it less sticky. Brush the cake with glaze, place it on the marzipan and then wrap the marzipan around the cake. Trim the ends of the cake flat. Enjoy with tea and big brothers!