Holiday Baking Kick-Off

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~ Orange & Cinnamon Madeleines ~ 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest from 3 medium oranges 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour a madeleine pan.
  3. Beat together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale in color.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture little by little. 
  7. Mix together 1/2 cup of the batter with the melted butter to lighten it up then transfer it back to the original batter.
  8. Transfer the batter to the madeleine pan. (It helps to use a small ice-cream/cookie scoop)
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 

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First Attempt at a Genoise Cake

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~ Butterscotch Genoise Layer Cake ~

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Ingredients:

 

Genoise – 

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup all purpose flour, divided into 3 parts 

2 tbsp cornstarch

4 eggs

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

orange zest from 1 orange 

 

Orange Pastry Cream – 

1 1/4 cup 2% milk 

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp cornstarch 

1 tsp cinnamon

orange zest from 1 orange 

 

Butterscotch Ganache – 

1 cup butterscotch chips

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp butter 

 

Syrup – 

Juice from 2 oranges

1 tsp light brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon 

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a loaf pan with parchment paper
  2. To make the genoise, in a heatproof bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly.
  3. When the mixture is lukewarm, remove from heat and use an electric mixer on high speed to whip it until it has more volume and looks thicker and paler in color.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
  5. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt and sift in 1/3 of the flour mixture into the batter. Fold it carefully to prevent the batter from deflating.
  6. Repeat step 4 two more times with the rest of the flour mixture.
  7. Melt the unsalted butter in a separate bowl.
  8. Add some of the butter to the melted unsalted butter to lighten it up and then transfer that mixture back to the original batter.
  9. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  10. To make the pastry cream, combine the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch, and orange zest in a heatproof bowl.
  11. In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and add it carefully to the egg mixture while whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  12. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and return it to the stove top.
  13. Whisk the mixture constantly until it becomes thicker and creamier.
  14. At this point, take it off the heat and add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  15. To make the butterscotch ganache, bring the heavy cream and butter to a boil.
  16. Place the butterscotch chips in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over them, making sure all of them are submerged.
  17. Wait 3-5 minutes before stirring the mixture together to allow the chips to melt.
  18. To make the syrup, combine the orange juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
  19. When the genoise cake has cooled completely, carefully cut it horizontally into 3. 
  20. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap and a sheet of parchment paper at the bottom.
  21. Over the parchment paper, pour 1/2 of the butterscotch ganache, then place one of the cake layers carefully over it.
  22. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  23. Drizzle the cake with the syrup using a spoon or pastry brush.
  24. Over the cake, spread 1/2 of the pastry cream and pour the other half of the ganache on top.
  25. Then place another piece of cake over the ganache and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  26. Drizzle the cake with syrup and spread the rest of the pastry cream over it.
  27. Before placing the last piece of cake over the cream, drizzle it with syrup and place the side covered in syrup down and the dry side up. 
  28. Refrigerate the cake overnight.
  29. Flip the cake onto a platter so that the butterscotch ganache layer is on top and the last layer of cake is at the bottom.

Apple & Brie

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French apple tart or tarte aux pommes is a classic pastry that I
always see in bakeries everywhere. It’s one of my favorite apple
desserts because it has a good balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

For this recipe, I wanted to twist the classic recipe and try a bolder
combination of flavors and textures so I decided to pair apples with
brie cheese.

I chose to make a sweet pastry crust (also known as pâte sucrée) as
the tart shell because it tastes similar to a vanilla shortbread
cookie. Inside the crust, there is a two-layer filling. The bottom
layer is melted brie cheese and the top layer is a simple homemade
apple sauce. I used red delicious apples because they tend to be
softer which makes them easier to mash, and they are also sweeter, so
I do not have to add as much sugar. Then, for the topping, I switched
to granny smith apples because I wanted the apple slices to hold their
shape so I could arrange them into a flower.
For the glaze, I opted for orange marmalade jam instead of the more
commonly used apricot jam, but both help to give the tart a glossier
finish.

~ French Apple & Brie Tart ~

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