Yeah so let’s not pretend this is me making a durable return to updating this blog. It’s just that I actually kind of like being the obnoxious baker that once every blue moon posts something. This time, I come to you with a pie that’s not really a pie, and that’s a subtle hijack of a much more difficult piece of baking: a peach and almond pie.
The conversation pie that’s not one, but an almond and peach pie instead:
Ingredients for about 1 damn sugary dough:
- 100gr butter
- 125gr caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 250gr flour
Ingredients for the peach purée:
- 1 large can of peaches or 4 generous ripe peaches
- 50gr sugar
- 1 vanilla pod (you can use vanilla sugar, I won’t hate you more for that)
Ingredients for the almond cream of heaven:
- 75gr butter
- 75gr sugar
- 75gr almond powder
- 30gr double cream
- 75gr of eggs (yeah, weight them)
So this one is going to ruin your weekend anyway. Start with the dough. The butter must be “pommade”, as in creamy but not melted. Some people pretend there’s method to be had here, as in put the flour on the table, make a well, put the egg, sugar and butter in the middle and progressively mix the liquids and solids. I say put it all in the pastry mixer with the bread hook and let it be. Wrap the resulting crumbly ball into cellophane and let it sit one night in the fridge.
You may want to make the purée one night early as well, because it enables you to let the peaches’ juice to drain for longer. You’ll just have to skin them if you went with fresh peaches, dice them generously (they need to give you something to bite in when in the almond cream) and toss them in a pan with the sugar and vanilla. 10 minutes of light coating will be enough. Strain them overnight if you can, or simply remove the excess syrup in the morning.
Now, before you start working on the almond cream, prepare your pie pan. I used a cheesecake pan with removable sides, because I’m evil that way, but do your thing. You’ll have to roll the dough into a sheet about 5-8mm thick, and ease it into the pan. Remove excess dough on the side but keep it, you can make thin slices of it and use them to decorate the pie. Punch a fork through the floor to keep it from rising, and I personally add a bit of confectioner sugar on top to help absorb some of the peaches’s juices. Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
Now you can start making the cream. Put the butter, which again must be “pommade” and the sugar in a bowl, and work it with a spatula. Do not overwork it: the more you add air to the mix, the more it’ll rise when baking. Once the butter and sugar are mixed, add the almond cream, then the eggs and the cream.
Take the pie pan out of the fridge. Layer the peaches on the dough, and pour the cream over it. Dispose your remaining lines of dough on top for decoration, and let the thing set in the fridge for 30mintes to 1hour.
Pre-heat your oven at 180°C, and bake for 45 minutes. The dough must be a dark shade of golden, and the cream’s top a bit crusty and nicely brown. Let it cool down, enjoy. Now go clean the kitchen, you monster.
Best served with: Ice cold Perrier Citron.
Chocolate cake. That’s what people tell you when you ask them what they want for their birthday cake, and what the hell can you do about it. I’m not anti-chocolate cakes. Let’s no go too far with the craziness. But you’ll have to admit that they’re not the most exciting thing around, and when you’ve got about two hours to whip up something and some time to spend on the road with a cake, you have to lower your ambitions. But then again, it doesn’t mean you have to give up, so there it is: bake a chocolate cake. Any. Cut the top off, a pour melted chocolate or ganache on top of it. Place red berries and fruits on top, some chocolate chips and some confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy.
I have no credit for this recipe, and it’s probably one of the least healthy treat out there, so that should give you plenty of motivation to bake these. It’s one of the best cookie dough recipes out there in terms of texture and balance, I would however need to try it out without the soda and use baking powder instead – the former leaves an aftertaste, a bit like your mom (zing.)
Chewy cookies with M&Ms like YO MAMA:
- 2 and 1/4 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (try baking powder though, half a teaspoon, tell me how that goes)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup salted butter, melted (original is unsalted, with added salt. I say no.)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
- Vanilla extract (original recipe says 2 teaspoons, I say you know best)
- Whatever chips you want in.
So that one can be done while blindfolded, in the night, and with only one harm. So basically, you have your chances. First you’ll need to blend the flour with the baking soda and the cornstarch. No lumps allowed.
In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugars thoroughly. Add in the egg, then the egg yolk. You have to admit that’s not rocket science. As always, make sure there are no lumps whatsoever. You can add in the vanilla extract by now, making sure there’s not too much, which depends on what kind you’re using. The liquid, non-natural stuff doesn’t need much because it tastes awful.
Now blend the wet ingredients with the powders, mixing it all well, and you can then add the chocolate chips or M&Ms as you like. When it’s all done, you’ll have to let the dough set in the fridge for at least a day: this is really important for chewy cookies and you should not doubt me, when I have ever let you down, we’re practically brothers now.
When you’ve waited long enough, pre-heat your oven at the classic 180° and form tall (as opposed to round or flat) balls of dough, using about three teaspoons for each, well spaced on a non-stick baking tray. Put the unused dough back in the fridge, let it out only when it’s time to bake some more: it should never be allowed to go soft (like your mother, zing again). Let it bake for maximum 12 minutes, get it out, and let it finish baking and setting outside the oven for about 10 more minutes. That’s how they roll. Repeat, enjoy.
Best served with: Chaï tea latte.
So far, this Spring has been pretty shitty. Let’s all be honest here, if you’re in Western Europe, you’re having thoughts about finding your nearest weather drone and kick its metaphorical teeth in. While singing “Here Comes The Sun”. However, let’s not spoil our fun: some of the summery food and treats are there and we should use them. Therefore: strawberry tiramisu, yes, let’s do that. TULULULU.
Here comes the strawberry tiramisu of the sun:
Ingredients for about 6 glasses:
- 1 large pack of strawberries
- 250gr of mascarpone (thick cream cheese, look it up)
- 4 eggs
- 50gr sugar
- About 4 waffle biscuits
That’s going to be easy. First you prepare the strawberries. Pick 5 or 6 that are pretty enough and cut them in 4 or 5 pieces: what you’ll be doing with them is place them narrow-side up around a glass. Dice a few more if you want little strawberry bites in your cream, and juice the rest with a tablespoon of sugar in your blender. Pour one tablespoon of the resulting strawberry sauce in the bottom of the glass, along with the strawberry slices.
Now, the cream. Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar thoroughly. Add in the mascarpone, making sure no lumps are left. Now, beat you egg whites into stiff peaks, and fold them into the mascarpone mixture. You’ll have to admit that was pretty easy, and hard to do wrong. Even for you.
Now, pour about two tablespoons of this cream over the sauce and slices in each glass. Crumble some of the waffle biscuits over it, adding some sauce if you feel like it and repeat the layering until all your bases are belong to us (or ingredients run out).
Let it set in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight being best, the one picture below did’t have enough time). Serve with some more waffle biscuits and heavy metal in the background.
Best served with: Red Tea.
So this happened. Sometimes, life gives you corn it hasn’t even taken the time to make sweet and juicy. Can you believe it? Life, what a joker. As it turn out, corn kernels don’t make good limonade. But they do make awesome popcorn. I’m not going to give you a recipe for popcorn because, let’s be honest, it’d be insulting and you’re not quite worth the effort. However, I’d give you a little tip. While your corn pops and gets into its famous final form, get a little pan, put sugar and butter in it, and make a caramel. Toss in honey, a little cream, and pour over the freshly pop’d corn. Let it set…and there you go. Homemade toffee popcorn, and bowl that’ll take age to clean off. Yeah, I love you long time.
Let’s make this simple, I have been away. It’s not that you didn’t deserve me, it’s just that you didn’t quite make the cut. It’s not you, it’s me. Let’s just be friends. I’m doing this for you. And now that we’ve had our fill of clichés, I suggest we move on to this soft and sticky goodness of a cake up there, yes?
Yellow cake and its sticly salted caramel icing of renewed friendship:
Ingredients for one thick cake:
- 1 cup butter (salted. Anything else is garbage)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs well beaten (like you mean it)
- 1 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for one slick icing:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus extra if you overheat the sugar
- 1 Tteaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven at 180°. Set aside one round cake pan that you’ll have buttered up like a redhead kid at the beach.
For the cake: Whisk the softened butter with the sugar until it’s creamy. Add in the beaten eggs little by little, until it’s still completely creamy. Yeah, creamy creamy. Creamy. Now’s the fun part.
Add the flour and baking powder cup by cup, intersecting 1/4 cup of whole milk between each. Now, since you guys are all rocket scientists, you’ll have noticed you have 1/2 cup of milk left to use. Mix it in last along with the vanilla extract, using it to make sure there are no lumps left.
Pour that batter in the pan, and bake for 25 minutes. Use the usual knife test to make sure I’m not lying when I say 25 minutes. This is not an invitation, don’t come to my place with a knife, I will call the police. Once it’s ready, let it cool down a bit then invert in a nice plate to let it cool off completely.
Meanwhile, in icing land: Now the cake’s cooling fast, you’ll need to get working on that sticky icing. Put 1/4 cup of sugar into a first saucepan, and the remaining sugar into another. In that second saucepan, you’ll also need to put the butter and the thick cream.
Now, you’ll have to be strong, since both caramels will be cooking at the same time. Have your saucepan with just the sugar start a bit later than the creamy one. Bring the cream, butter and sugar mixture to a boil and stir occasionally. Once the other caramel starts to get dark and really fluid, you can pour it into the boiling cream, adding a taste of burnt caramel to the whole. Now, let the remaining saucepan on the fire until the caramel is ready, that’s when a drop of it into cold water forms a soft, gummy ball.
Let it cool down a bit, then give it a good whisk using a bain-marie and more cream if the thing gets too hard. Let the bowl sit on top of a bigger one filled with hot water and set out to cover the cake with the caramel, using an offset spatula. It’ll stick but it’ll also set pretty fast, so don’t panic and be mindful of any details you’ll want to create / hide with that icing.
Best served with: Dark Cherry tea.
This is not for the feeble at heart. You know the Belgian people. They are fierce, blood thirsty and they’ve all been trained in the secret arts of assassination. They’re also the masters of waffles, and one can’t help but think they can’t be so innocent in that enterprise either.
Liege Waffles for the strong of heart:
Ingredients for about 16 waffles:
- 300gr + 200gr flour
- 70gr + 200gr butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons dried yest or 3/4th off a cube of fresh yest (best)
- 70gr granulated sugar
- 300gr pearl sugar
Mix the warm water and the yeast together. Add the granulated sugar and let it rest for a while. If you’re using the budding kind of yeast, let it forth for 10 minutes until it smells like a men’s locker room and looks like a freshly served German beer.
Pour 300gr of flour in a large bowl. Add in the smaller portion of soft butter and the eggs. Mix well, adding the water and yest little by little. Once that’s done, pour the remaining 200gr of melted butter. Let the resulting batter rest for a while. 15 minutes later, you can sift the remaining flour.
Let the dough rise for at least an hour.
Preheat your waffle maker. Once it’s piping hot, pour the pearl sugar and stir gently. Using an ice scream scoop, form generous ball of dough and start making waffles!
Don’t let it cook to much, the whole point of the pearl sugar is to caramelise the outer shell of these treats. So you’ll have to be careful, and to clean the waffle maker’s plates every now and then with paper tissue so that the caramel doesn’t get too overburned.
Well that’s it then, enjoy now!
Best served with: Lemonade.