Wednesday, 28 May 2008
... well sort of. we were baking an opera cake. quite a fancy little challenge we were doing this month. but a nice one. with loads of buttercream to make, with a soft cake, a chocolate mousse and a decent ganache to top it all.
when i talk about "us" and when i say "we" i am talking about a big bunch of crazy & fun bakers all around the globe who bake something fancy, nice or just simply delicious once a month. it's for fun, you know. but it comes with rules...
... rules like: you are not allowed to use any vanilla. or: you must follow the original recipe. or: you are not allowed to skip the bavarian cream. or: you are not allowed to use any brown flavouring like chocolate or coffee this time.
you know i am swiss. we have loads of rules. for everything. i know what it means when you break the rules. not fun. not at all. better not do it.
but i had to. i was stuck in the kitchen with 700g of white chocolate. not that i dont like it but it's just something i never work with. i just think the brown stuff is the real mccoy - so white chocolate is something i haven't even thought about using in my kitchen.
pah - i better had! such a simple humble thing as melting the white chocolate was - lets be honest here, my girls - a pain in the ass! IT JUST WOULDNT MELT! no. melting. at. all. then it did, but only for about a nanosecond and then it turned into a clump and before it burned and it was ready for a decent little swearword (when the rest of the cake was so much fun to make!).
so me and the white chocolate = no good friends. not gonna happen.
so i had to break the rules and use the brown stuff instead. if you know us swiss, you know it breaks our hearts and no we dont think this way you will make it to heaven and yes i am ready for a week of kitchenduty.
although... let me think: i did make it to heaven anyway. the cake is so soft and delicously sweet... the white buttercream with vanilla... the choclate mousse in between and the generous amout of almost kinky ganache - when you eat that, that's what it must feel like going to heaven.
this month's challenge was hosted by the lovely fran of apple peaces pumpkin pie and shea of whiskful. to check out a recipe of the opera cake, visit out our queen bees blog tartelette.
Monday, 19 May 2008
i have this thing for goats cheese. not the stinky one. no! i am talking about the creamy, soft and nice stuff. one day (yes, must have been after a long night out...) i felt like a savoury bread for breakfast. so i invented the savoury filled zopf with goats cheese. i added some ham & sundried tomatoes - but you can adjust the recipe just the way you like it best (no long night out required...). a basic recipe (minus the vanilla pod!) and a "how to" for zopf you will find right here.
1kg white (zopf)flour
40g fresh yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
5 dl milk
2 eggs, whisked
160g cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons of fresh tyhme, finely chopped
6 slices of ham (or bresoala)
5-6 sundried tomatoes, finely diced
150g soft goats cheese (spreadable)
a hand full of grated parmesan
1 egg mixed, to brush
mix the flour with the sugar and salt in a bowl. mix yeast with the milk and add with thyme & eggs. form into a dough and knead well (best done with your stand mixer) until soft. slowly add butter and knead until dough is silky and soft. cover and let rest for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
heat the oven to 220 c°,
cut dough in half and roll each into a 60 x 20 cm long rectangle. spread with the goats cheese, coat with the ham, sprinkle the suntried tomatoes on top and finish with the grated parmesan. roll each rectangle into a log and pull a little, so you get kind of a "long rope". loop / wrap each rope around the other and form a wreath. put on a tray with some baking paper and let rest for about half an hour. then glaze with the egg.
bake in the hot oven for about 35 minutes (ev. add some underheat for the last 10 minutes, you want the bottom to be supercrisp and nice.).
slice open and serve when still warm.