Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Orange Foaming Cookies and Cappuccino Cookies with Chocolate


        Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

          I decided to wait for December to try all the recipes while making sweet gifts for my family and friends. Meanwhile, I chose a chose a recipe of Peta’s mother-in law – foaming cookies, and a recipe of Pierre Herme – cappuccino cookies – for completing this month’s challenge. So, I ended up having gift packs with two types of cookies (“black” and “white”)– similar in shape, but so different in taste!

          I loved the recipe of foaming cookies as it leaves a lot of space for creativity! Peta claims that one can make them with milk, water or juice, and use any kind of flour like rice or almond one. Besides, any spices, nuts, dried fruits and chocolate chips can be used for developing a flavor. I guess I will be experimenting a lot with this recipe from this moment on!

         Pierre Herme’s cookies turned to be softer and richer – probably, because of chocolate chunks and a good shot of espresso in them. I added crushed macadamia as the recipe called for but I guess any other nuts will work brilliant as well. The cookies are good in their own and sinfully awesome after being put for a quick while in a cup of morning coffee and eaten – almost at the edge of falling apart!

         A great challenge and a great way to feel the atmosphere of the upcoming holiday season!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blueberry and Lime Millefuille

   Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it! I was happy to learn that this month’s challenge is Mille-fuille because I’ve never actually made a real puff pastry myself – I only had an experience of making the soc called “quick puff pastry” which does not require laminating the dough a lot. My huscband was also very happy to learn that this month I’m gonna cook a mille-fuille – “napoleon” slice was his favourite dessert from the childhood! We even argued a bit because of it: I wanted to go creative with this challenge and he wanted to have a classic version of the cake!
   We reached a compromise: I made a classic French mille-fuilee instead of making traditional Russian Napoleon. For those who do not know the difference, let me explain: in Russia the slice is made with lots of thin layers of puff pastry and cream (which is usually not cream patisserie but more like a buttercream – a combination of butter and condensed milk) and is covered with crushed pieces of puff pastry (no icing – never!); the cake is left overnight in the fridge so that it becomes soft. Well, you see, that is what my husband always loved – and I wanted him to taste an original mille-fuille, French-style! So Ive made a custard-based cream and three layers of puff pastry and even an icing with strips of chocolate!

   One week later, however, I felt like doing something more. I remembered “Milena” – a beautiful slice by Pierre Herme consisting of raspberry jelly, dacquiouse biscuit, mint mousse and two layers of puff pastry. Taking it as an inspiration I decided to cook something similar – an idea of blueberry and lime ice cream mille-fuille came up! 

    Was it better than French millefuille or Russian napoleon? It was - just because it was different and it had more complicated textures and flavours: crispiness of puff pastry and softness of a sponge, sweetness of ice cream and sourness of jelly, zing of lime and freshness of blueberries. 

    Don't you like a fresh touch on a traditional dish?
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