French Almond and Pear Tart // Tarte Bourdaloue

Been absent form the virtual world was almost unbearable, but it also allowed me to focus myself in certain aspects of my life that I left behind cause I was distracted.

I went back to sport, We moved to a new apartment, I did all the test to enter in the pastry school and I’m proud to announce you that I Did! Yeiii, so while I was away from the blog, twitter, facebook and others I achieved things that were very important for me.

Tarte Bourdaloue 1   Now is Xmas time, a mixed feeling season for me, happy cause I love Christmas spirit and melancholic cause I’m far away from my whole family, but to be honest baking have always helped me through the sad part of the holidays, that’s why today I’m giving you my very secret and special Almond-Pear French Tart.

For the Sweet Dough you will need:
Yield: For a tart of 22cm or 6 persons

  • 50 g of butter softened
  • 50 g of icing sugar
  • 25 g of egg
  • 125 g of flour
  • a little bit of water

In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid or else, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and smooth. Add in the egg.

In low speed incorporate the flour to the sugar butter mixture. Add a little bit of water until the dough comes together and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Do not over beat.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form a disk with it  and wrap in plastic film. Refrigerate for 30 min or more.

Tarte Bourdaloue 2For the Poached Pears you will need:

  • 3 Pears (aprox same size)
  • 100 g of lemon juice
  • 750 g of water
  • 375 g of Granulated sugar
  • The scrapes of 1 vanilla pod

Peel the pears and keep them in water with lemon, juice in order to preserve them from oxidation.

Prepare the syrup with the water, sugar and the vanilla beans. Bring the syrup to a boil and immerse the pears in it.

Keep the syrup simmering with the pears for around 20 minutes. Check the pears cooking point with a knife blade. It must go through the pear easily.

Remove the pears from the syrup. Let them cool and dry a little and then slice them.

For the Almond Cream:

  • 65 g of butter softened
  • 65 g of granulated sugar
  • 65 g of almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 15 gr of flour
  • 10 gr of rum
  • a little of pure vanilla extract.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, work the sugar and the softened butter. Add in the almond flour.

Add in the egg and combine. Beat the mixture until pale and fluffly. Add in the flour and vanilla extract and at last the rum. Mix until well combine.
Transfer the almond cream to a piping bag set with a 10 round tip and Reserve.

Line the tart ring with the sweet dough and pinch the edges.

Spread out the almond cream. Place the pears over the almond cream forming a star.

Bake at 180°C for around 35 minutes or until the almond cream rises and form a golden brown crust.

Let cool the tart, glaze with golden glaze (or warm apricot marmalade). Sprinkle with icing sugar and sliced almonds.

Tarte Bourdaloue 3This id just a perfect and easy tart for the holidays.

I serve it a lil bit warm cause I find that the rum and almond cream taste better.I always do it this season cause after a huge dinner a light dessert is always required.

Serve with tea and enjoy.

Tarte Bourdaloue 4

Love,

Sara

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Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Well, I know I’ve being away for almost 2 month (Jeezzz), shame on me, but I owe you all an explanation…. After a month and a half in Venezuela visiting my parents and 2 weeks in “la campagne française” , its been impossible to bake, believe me! I have a lack of sugar in my system.

Last week I heard about Cupcake Camp Paris 3er edition and their wonderful idea of a fund raise for the Make a Wish Foundation, the idea just touched me and I decided to participate (last minute emails) donating 50 cupcakes to be sold. Great experience by the way!  Later I’ll write a post with photos to tell you all about.

Halloween is here fellas and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to bake something with pumpkin… All those beautiful courges in all sizes and colors driving me crazy at the market, so I bought one gorgeous red/orange pumpkin, destinate to be the queen of my pie, that later switched to a cheesecake.

This time I went for Martha Stewart’s recipe, and as she is one of the homebaking queen, I decided to trust her.. Ohh God I was right! the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake turned out fantastic.

Here is the original recipe for 12 servings, ( I downsized to half)

Ingredients

  • For the Crust

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
    • Pinch of salt
  • For the Filling

    • About 700 g of fresh pumpkin puree
    • Unsalted butter, for parchment and pan
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 5 large eggs

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
    Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until dough comes together. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or an hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit into bottom of a springform pan. Freeze 15 minutes.
    Preheat the oven at 180° C, Bake until crust is firm and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
    Reduce oven temperature to 165°C
  3. Transfer 1 cup puree to a medium bowl; reserve remainder for another use. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  4. Wrap exterior of springform pan (including base) in 2 layers of foil.
    Butter sides of pan; set aside.
    Put cream cheese into the clean bowl of an electric mixer and; mix on medium speed until fluffy.
    Gradually add sugar and flour, mixing until smooth. Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and salt.
    Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until just combined; do not overmix.
  5. Stir 2 cups cream cheese mixture into squash mixture; set aside. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into prepared pan on top of the crust. Then the pumpkin-cream cheese mixture on top.
  6. Set pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake.Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about 50 minutes.Turn off oven; let stand in oven with door slightly ajar 1 hour.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

    I put a thin coat or sourcream on top of the cheesecake to make it look very smooth. Before serving, run a knife around sides of cake; unmold.

Happy Halloween to everyone and I hope you enjoy this great recipe.

Love,

Sara

Italian Biscotti

Hi I’m Sara and I’m doing Diet! =O Horror screammm!!
I’m so bad dieting, I have cravings all the time, there’s just something wrong in my head, as soon as I say the word diet, my body hurts and I need sugar. LOL
You know I’m all about pastry, so how the heck I’m supposed to do the diet? Well, with a lot of courage, water and sleeping I survived the 1st week! Yeahhh, so I needed to indulge myself and my hubs… Flavia, our Lebanese guest mentioned the other day, she loved Biscotti so, I said: Why Not! Biscotti it is!
Honestly, I never thought they where so EASY to make, takes a little time but when ready, these are just incredible.
Looking for the right recipe, I read some online articles about Gina DePalma and her Mosaic Biscotti, even saw a video and she is super funny so it was a “coup de foudre” and I went for her recipe with no hesitation.
I’m really glad I did cause they are so good.
Recipe by: Gina DePalma
Yield : Makes about 4 dozen biscotti
You will need:
  • 3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks, plus 1 egg white for glaze
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups of hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups whole, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and 2 cups sugar on medium speed until pale and thick, Beat in the vanilla extract,

In this moment you can separate your dough in 2 parts as I did. In one bowl I added hazelnuts and chocolate chips to the dough, and in another I mixed in the pistachios, cranberries, walnuts and almonds.

You can substitute the nuts as you desire, even add some white chocolate =P, incorporate the nuts until the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 165°C . Lightly grease two large baking sheets with parchment.

Using floured hands, divide the dough into 5 equal portions, to do the right size log (mines where way too big and difficult to cut)

On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion of the dough into a log about 1 ½ inches in diameter and 1 inches long.

Place 2 of the logs on one of the baking sheets, 3 inches apart, and 3 of the logs on the second baking sheet, also 3 inches apart.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. With a pastry brush, glaze each log with the beaten egg white.

Bake the logs until they are lightly golden brown, firm to the touch, and just beginning to crack slightly around 25 minutes.

Allow the logs to cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack until they are cool to the touch, about 40 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 135°C.

With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the biscotti slightly on the bias into wide slices. (Mi knife its just So Bad)

Lay the slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Return them to the oven and cook for 25 minutes more, or until they are toasted, dry, and crisp.

Cool the biscotti completely on the sheets, then store them in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy with coffee, tea or even milk.

If you try them please tell me what you think.

By the way, I put way too much chocolate so the cutting process wasn’t very smooth. Next time I’ll put less =(

Advice: If you have an offset serrated knife, you will be in heaven cutting the biscotti slices. Mine is a bad knife so the cuts aren’t too pretty.

My rustic biscotti were great in taste so see you next time ❤

Bon appétit,

Sara

The Best Vanilla Cupcake- Homemade Nutella Heart

For some, rainny days are totally lame and unispiring, for me are a baking opportunity, LOL! You heard right!
Somehow I’ve managed to fight my rainny cuddle time, to a pro-active baker style challenge.

Yesterday, (late) morning I was craving chocolate. I saw a nutella cupcakes recipe, but guess what? I ran out of nutella : Catastrophe! … Mmmm not so much, I really wanted to do a variation of the nutella cupcakes, so I prepared my homemade nutella with some quality chocolate and 100g of hazelnuts I had left from a previous recipe! Bingo

Doing the nutella is king of long, cause you have to roast the hazelnuts, process them, so they can let go their natural oil, then add the chocolate and process the whole until spreadable consistency. Pfff I spent like an hour doing it but is delicious! And the best part of it, is food additives or preservatives FREE!

Next step was the vanilla cupcakes. I’m super picky in cupcakes matter, and I have try Lots of vanilla cupcakes, but honestly none of them was great enough….. til’ a friend of mine gave me the Magnolia’s one. They are just great, light and perfect, so I’m sharing with you this piece of art.

For the Vanilla cupcakes you will need:
Recipe: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes from 
Food Network
Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 175 g all-purpose flour
  • 115g  unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 125 mL milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • pinch of salt

reparation
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 1 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mines are 12 in total.

In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners. Try to put the same amount of batter in each miner, this will allow you to have a uniform size of cupcakes.

Fill 1/3 of the cupcake, next add 1 teaspoon of homemade nuttella in the very center and the cover with the vanilla batter till 2/3 of the liner.

Bake for about 17 minutes (depending the oven), or until tops turn golden brown.

6. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the Chocolate light fluffy frosting:
Frost 12 – 17 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 225 g of unsalted butter softened.
  • 125g of icing sugar (sucre glace)
  • 1/2 teaspoons (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 150 g quality semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted (double boiler) and cooled.
  • 55 ml of whole milk
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

In a bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer cream the butter and add the icing sugar in 3 times. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add vanilla and continue beating until well combined.

Slowly, add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Incorporate  the milk and salt, and beat on medium speed for about a minute.

Put the frosting into a pipping bag and frost cooled cupcakes .

This Vanilla – Homemade Nutella Heart  cupcakes received an standing ovation from my family. My husband loved it and considering I’m not a buttercream fan, I ate at least 2!

Hope you like them,

Bon Appétit,

Sara