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terça-feira, 29 de junho de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - June 2010


Blog-checking lines: The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Mandatory items: The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. You must make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream using the recipes provided.

Variations allowed:
•You can use orange juice for the Grand Marnier in the mousse if you don’t use alcohol

•You can omit the sambuca from the mascarpone cream.

•You may substitute any crème anglaise recipe you might already have in your arsenal.

Preparation time: The recipe can be made in one day although there are several steps involved.

•While the pavlovas are baking, the crème anglaise should be made which will take about 15 minutes.

•While it is cooling, the chocolate mascarpone mousse can be made which will take about 15 minutes.

•There will be a bit of a wait time for the mascarpone cream because of the cooling time for the Crème Anglaise.

•If you make the Crème Anglaise the day before, the dessert should take about 2 hours including cooking time for the pavlovas.

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova)
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 g) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base)

1 ½ cups (355 ml) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
Grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 g) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 ml) mascarpone (I made this a few months ago - you can see it here)
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 ml) Grand Marnier (I used orange juice)
Put ½ cup (120 ml) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Recipe 3: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream below):

1 cup (235 ml) whole milk
1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 g) sugar
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Recipe 4: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 ml) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 ml) Sambucca (optional) - I used a ristretto espresso coffee
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Assembly:
Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.



Additional Information:


Videos:

Great video on Youtube – How to Make Pavlova
Another video that uses whipped cream instead of the Mascarpone cream - Pavlova
Epicurious – Australia Pavlova

Some great photos on Flickr:

La Tartine Gourmand – Red and Orange Pavlova
VROG in Bristol – Birthday Pavlova
Marco Veringa – Pavlova 6 (the fruit on this one is stunning)
My Food Obsession – Chocolate Banana Rolled Pavlova (something different!)

Also here: http://www.labgastro.blogspot.com/

quarta-feira, 23 de junho de 2010

Festa Junina


As it is explained in Wikipedia:

"Portuguese St. John's Day, brought to Brazil during colonial times, has become a popular event that is celebrated during a period that starts one week before St John's Day and ends one week after, although they are not hollydays. As this nationwide festival, called "Festa Junina" (June Festival), happens during the European midsummer, it takes place in the Brazilian midwinter and is most associated with Northeastern Brazil, but is today celebrated in the whole country. It celebrates also Saint Antony and Saint Peter.
As the northeast is largely arid or semi-arid these popular festivals not only coincide with the rainy seasons of most states in the northeast but they also provide the people with an opportunity to give thanks to Saint John for the rain. They also celebrate rural life and feature typical clothing, food, dance (particularly quadrilha, which is similar to square dancing). Like Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Portugal and Scandinavian countries, São João celebrates marital union. The quadrilha features couple formations around a mock wedding whose bride and groom are the central attraction of the dancing. A maypole is also raised, similar to those raised during May Day.
Usually taking place in an arraial, a large, open space outdoors, men dress up as farm boys with suspenders and large straw hats and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checkered dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of Brazilian country music and of themselves, some of whom are recent immigrants from the countryside to cities such as Olinda, Recife, Maceió and Salvador, and some return to the rural areas during the festival to visit their families. However, nowadays, Saint John festivities are extremely popular in all urban areas and among all social classes. In the Northeast, they are as popular as Carnival. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (bonfires, fireworks display, and folk dancing).
As Saint John festivities also coincide with the corn harvest, dishes served during this period are commonly made with corn, such as canjica and pamonha; dishes also include peanuts, potatoes sausages and also sweet rice. The celebrations are very colorful and festive and include amazing pyrotechnics. Bonfires and fire in general are thus one of the most important features of these festivities, a feature that is among the remnants of midsummer pagan rituals in the Iberian Peninsula"

Last Saturday a Festa Junina at my younger daughter's school






Some more pictures here

terça-feira, 22 de junho de 2010

Daring Kitchen

Ok, I'm really late with that.
I've posted the challenges in portuguese here and added a Google Tanslete button. So, as I'm still short of time i'll ask you to check the recipes there or in DK site.

Mai's Challenge

Blog-checking lines: Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on http://www.finecooking.com/ and written by Robb Walsh.

June's Challenge

Blog-checking lines: Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

Hope you enjoy. I'll try my best to be on time and post the next challenges right here again.

quarta-feira, 16 de junho de 2010