Chocolate and vanilla swirl mini panettoni

I am completely enamoured with festive breads. So much Pandoro and Panettone get devoured round here every year that I can barely keep up supply. This year, I picked up a pack of gorgeous little pandoro basso molds and my thoughts immediately went to chocolate! Then I decided swirls would be fun.

Just the right size to share with a friend :)

Chocolate and vanilla swirl mini panettoni

Because it is made in so many stages, I’d recommend reading through the whole recipe first, then dividing it up to suit your schedule. The sponge and the first and second dough stages are easily done in one day, then if you don’t want to cram the whole thing in to one very long day, you can rest the dough overnight and pick it up the next morning. If the night is getting down to around 4°C (40°F), I usually just pop it out on the balcony.

Makes 1 large panettone, 6 mini panettoni or 12 muffin-sized panettoni
Active time about 2 hours
Resting time about 8 hours, but up to 12, depending on ambient temperature
Baking time 40 – 60 minutes, depending on size

Sponge

1 x 7g sachet (2 1/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
60g (1/4 cup) warm water
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten, room temperature
15g (1 rounded Tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
50g (6 1/2 Tbsp) all-purpose (plain) flour

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast into the water.

Add egg yolk, sugar and flour and mix until smooth.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

First dough

155g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
25g (2 Tbsp) sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
28g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature

Add the flour, yeast, sugar and egg to sponge and mix with a wooden spoon or paddle beater. Add butter and beat until fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and stringy, about 5 minutes.

Scrape down the bowl and bring the dough together in the bottom of it, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate for the second dough in a double boiler or heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan with a little simmering water. When completely melted, remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.

Second dough

2 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
145g (1 1/4 sticks or scant 2/3 cup) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
250g (2 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
85g (3 oz) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

extra all-purpose (plain) flour as needed for dusting surface for shaping before second rise
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk, for egg wash
2 – 3 Tbsp pearl sugar for sprinkling

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract, add to dough and mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook on medium speed until completely combined, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together flour and salt and, with the mixer running on low, add a bit at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary and mixing well.

Add butter by teaspoons, scraping down the bowl and dough hook as necessary, mixing well, about 10 minutes.

Knead at low speed for 10 minutes, until dough is soft and light and comes away from the side of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a buttered surface and divide in two, roughly 2/3 and 1/3.

Form the smaller dough into a ball, place seam-side down in a buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Return the larger dough to the mixer and knead in the cooled melted chocolate and the cocoa powder, about 3 minutes. Form into a ball, place seam-side down in a clean buttered bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

First rise

Let both doughs rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. The chocolate dough will take longer than the plain dough, as it is much denser.

After this rise, you can refrigerate the doughs overnight then proceed the next morning, if desired.

Shaping and second rise

If refrigerated, bring the doughs to room temperature for about 2 hours.

Scrape plain dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using floured hands, gently press out to as large a rectangle as you can manage.

Turn the chocolate dough out and press out in the same manner to as close to the same size as you can manage.

Place the plain dough on top of the chocolate dough, press out more as you can manage (the two layers don’t need to be perfect) and roll up from the long edge into a log.

For one large panettone, you can join the ends and form a ring and use a buttered bundt pan, or roll the log into a snail, shape into a ball and place in a buttered round mold or cake pan. If making small panettoni, cut with a bench scraper into the desired number of pieces, gently shape into balls and press into the molds.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled – anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.

Baking

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).

Brush panettoni with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake small panettoni 20 minutes or large panettone 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake another 20 – 30 minutes, depending on size, until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cool completely before cutting.

Posted in bread, breakfast, cake, dessert, italian, muffin, snack, sweet | 4 Comments

Sourdough adventures – brioche dinner rolls

I’m a day late for this month’s Sourdough Surprises challenge post, but it is worth the wait!

 photo briocherollsfinal_zpse17f75f2.jpg

A little lighter than their traditional counterpart, with fewer eggs and less butter, these sourdough brioche dinner rolls have a thin, crisp crust, a cloud-soft interior and a rich, buttery taste. They pair perfectly with a bowl of homemade tomato soup.

Makes 12 dinner rolls
Preparation – 40 minutes active time and about 7 hours resting
Baking – 30 minutes

Ingredients

50ml (10 tsp) tepid milk
100g (just under 1/2 cup) 100% hydration mature starter
250g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
12g (1 tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
3g (1/2 tsp) fine salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
115g (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash

Directions

Heat the milk in a small bowl, add the starter and stir to combine.

Put the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour in the starter mixture and beaten eggs. Mix on low speed for five minutes, until completely combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula,increase to kneading speed and mix for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth.

Scrape down the bowl again and, with the mixer running at low speed, add the butter a teaspoon at a time. It will look very buttery at first, and will take about ten minutes for the butter to be completely incorporated.

When the butter is all incorporated, increase the speed and knead for about ten minutes, until the dough is very smooth and comes away from the bowl.

Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about five hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock the dough back by folding it over two or three times with a bowl scraper.

Heavily butter a 12 hole muffin tin.

Scrape dough out onto work surface, knead gently together and cut into 12 equal sized pieces. Roll the dough pieces into balls, arrange seam side down in muffin tin and brush lightly with egg wash.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in sized.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Brush the rolls lightly again with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C (360°F) and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Turn rolls out onto a wire rack and allow to cool a little before serving warm.

*****

Check out the other lovely dinner rolls baked by my fellow sourdoughers this month…

Posted in bread, french, muffin, side, soup, sourdough surprises | 6 Comments

Brioche

Brioche is a classic French enriched bread, usually enjoyed at breakfast. Rich, soft buttery brioche is the perfect vehicle for jam, honey, nutella, even more butter… or just on its own! Personally, I’m partial to tearing up a thick slice and dunking it my coffee.

brioche

I’ve been playing around with several brioche recipes to come up with this one. It comes together easily (although I’d recommend a stand mixer, because it takes a lot of mixing and kneading), the final dough is soft but manageable, and a long, slow proof gives it a rich flavour without being overly yeasty. I baked it in a loaf tin for easy slicing, but it just as easily makes a boule.

Makes 1 large loaf
40 minutes active time, about 12 hours resting all up, and 45 minutes baking time

Ingredients

35ml (7 tsp) tepid milk
10g (about 2/3 of a US cake) fresh yeast or 1 tsp dry active yeast
300g (2 2/5 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
15g (1 rounded tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
3g (1/2 tsp) fine salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
175g (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

Directions

Heat the milk in a small bowl, add the yeast and stir to dissolve.

Put the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and pour in the milk and beaten eggs. Mix on low speed for five minutes, until completely combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula, then mix at medium speed for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth.

Switch to a dough hook, and, with the mixer running at low speed, add the butter a teaspoon at a time. It will look very buttery at first, and will take about ten minutes for the butter to be completely incorporated.

When the butter is all incorporated, increase the speed and mix for about ten minutes, until the dough is very smooth and comes away from the bowl.

Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock the dough back by folding it over two or three times with a bowl scraper. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours (overnight works well).

Remove dough from fridge and bring to room temperature for about 2 hours.

Heavily butter a 30cm (12″) loaf tin.

Scrape dough out onto work surface and knead gently into a ball, then stretch and roll into a log. Place dough in loaf tin and brush lightly with egg wash.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in sized.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Brush the brioche lightly again with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C (360°F) and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Let the brioche cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Keeps for 2 – 3 days wrapped well in aluminium foil in the pantry.

Posted in bread, breakfast, french, snack | 6 Comments

Bibimbap, vegan style

It’s “Better late than never” time for the Daring Cooks and I took the opportunity to catch up on the Bibimbap challenge from a couple of months back. This is an amazing dish – I strongly urge you to track down some Gochu Jang (Korean chilli paste) and make this! Sticky rice topped with crisp sautéed vegetables and a delicious hot sauce. You arrange it like so, then mix it all up with your spoon and dig in! I made a vegan version without egg, and, as always, the recipe here is the way I made it, but if you want the recipe for the original version, you can download the pdf here.

bibimbap_vegan

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately, but I have a good reason that I’d like to share with you! I’ve teamed up with my dear friend Sawsan of Chef in Disguise to take over the reins on The Daring Kitchen! It’s going to be such an adventure – I’m so excited! Check out our new recipe archive!

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a HUGE shout out to Shelley and Ruth for running the Kitchen since we lost Lis. If they hadn’t stepped up, the most awesome cooking and baking site on the internet would have closed its doors for good. Sawsan and I have some mighty big shoes to fill and we hope we make you proud!

Now, the Bibimbap!

Ingredients

Serves 5 and takes about an hour all up

500g (about 2 2/3 cups) sushi rice

400g (14 oz) firm tofu, well drained
1 red sweet bell pepper
1 yellow sweet bell pepper
100g (3 1/2 oz) snowpeas
1 large carrot
1 small (227g / 8 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained
3 spring onions (scallions), white and green parts
peanut or sunflower oil for sautéing

1 sheet nori (seaweed)

Sauce

2 – 3 tbsp Gochu Jang (according to taste – it’s quite spicy)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

Julienne the tofu and all the vegetables and lightly sauté in a little oil, one at a time. They should be just cooked and still crisp. I arranged mine in separate piles on a parchment-lined baking sheet as I sautéed them, and kept them warm in an oven heated to 120°C (250°F) while I finished getting everything ready.

Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the sheet of nori into thin strips. Set aside.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl.

Steam or boil the rice as per the directions on the pack.

Divide the rice between the bowls and arrange the tofu, vegetables and nori strips on top as in the photo.

Serve the sauce separately so people can help themselves to taste.

Put a teaspoon or two of sauce on top, mix it all together with your spoon and dig in!

Posted in asian, daring cooks, rice | 8 Comments

Homemade Monte Carlos

Monte Carlos, two crumbly, sweet coconut cookies sandwiching a double-whammy jam and icing filling, are an enduring childhood favourite for those fortunate enough to be growing up in Australia, and in a moment of nostalgia I set about recreating them for my own family.

Homemade Monte Carlos

There are plenty of versions of the recipe floating around the internet, but they are each a little different to the next so I adapted my own basic cookie recipe for these. The original version includes golden syrup, but my pantry was void of that particular delight. Go ahead and replace half the honey with it, if you happen to have some to hand.

Ingredients

Makes about 24 filled cookies

225g (2 sticks, or 1 cup) butter, room temperature
150g (3/4 cup, packed) light brown (demerara) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 large egg, room temperature
280g (2 1/4 cups, spooned & scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g (1 1/2 cups) desiccated coconut

Filling

about 1/3 cup raspberry jam

60g (1/2 stick, or 4 tbsp) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g (1 cup unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, honey and egg and beat until well combined. Stir in coconut

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, add to butter mixture and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined.

Roll walnut sized pieces of dough into balls, place on baking sheets and flattening slightly with your fingers. Leave about 5cm (2″) between them to allow room for spreading.

Bake one sheet at a time in centre of oven for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden. If baking in more than two batches, allow baking sheets to cool in between.

Allow to cool on baking sheets for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Heat the jam in the microwave and stir vigorously until smooth, then allow to cool.

When ready to fill the cookies, use a spatula to mix together butter, vanilla and powdered sugar, then beat until fluffy.

Spread a little bit of jam on the flat side of half the cookies and spread a teaspoon or so of frosting on the flat side of the other half, then sandwich them together.

Allow filling to set for an hour before eating.

Posted in biscuit, cookie, snack, sweet | 4 Comments

Sachertorte

The Daring Bakers were very much challenged this month! Our lovely host, Korena, of Korena in the Kitchen, set us the task of recreating one of Europe’s finest cakes, the Austrian Sachertorte. As I’d been making quite a few cakes lately (evidence will be provided soon!) and the family were beginning to have a hard time getting through them quickly enough, I opted to make mini cakes – I figured the glaze would keep the cakes fresher than if it was just one big one, and it worked a treat. I used 8 triangular molds and 6 round ones, before realising I could have just made the full cake and cut it before glazing *facepalm*

These certainly won’t win any beauty contests… but they taste spectacular!

sachertorte

Makes 14 mini cakes

Ingredients

Cake

125g (4 1/2 oz) good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 64%)
125g (9 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
125g (1 cup unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar
6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
125g (1 cup, spooned and scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
pinch fine salt

Apricot Glaze

240ml (1 cup) apricot jam
2 tbsp water

Chocolate Glaze

300g (1 1/2 cups) granulated (white) sugar
180ml (3/4 cup) water
170g (6 oz) good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 64%)

Writing Chocolate

50g (about 2 oz) chopped good quality dark chocolate (I used 92%)
1⁄2 – 1 tsp vegetable oil

Directions

Cake

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C (360°F) with a rack in the centre of the oven. Arrange 14 silicon (or greased and floured metal) mini cake pans on a baking sheet.

Place the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or heat-proof bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure that the bowl is not touching the water) and heat until just melted. Set aside to cool completely, stirring frequently.

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or electric mixer on medium speed until very light and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar on low speed, then increase to medium speed and beat again until light and creamy.

Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and beat until well-mixed and very light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

In a scrupulously clean bowl using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with about one tablespoon of the granulated sugar on high speed until foamy. Gradually add in the rest of the granulated sugar and continue beating the whites until they form soft, shiny peaks – they should hold their shape but flop over on themselves.

Vigorously stir about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few wisps of egg white remain. Do this carefully so as not to deflate the egg whites.

Whisk together the flour and salt and sprinkle half of it over the chocolate mixture. Fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated. Sprinkle over the remaining flour and fold to combine completely.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans, so they are about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 minutes, turn the baking sheet and bake a further 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cakes will crack and dome in the middle as they bake but will flatten out as they cool.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and remove the pans carefully, then turn the cakes right-side up on the rack and allow to cool completely.

Apricot glaze

Bring the jam and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and drips slowly from the spoon, about 2-3
minutes.

Strain through a wire mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the solids. You should have about 1 cup of glaze. Use warm.

Cut the cakes horizontally into 2 even layers.

Generously spread the cut surface of the bottom layers with about 1/3 of the apricot glaze. Allow it to soak in.

Replace the top cake layers and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze. Work quickly before the glaze has a chance to set. Place the cakes on a rack set over a plate or baking sheet lined with waxed paper and allow the apricot glaze to set.

Chocolate glaze

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, water and chocolate to a boil, stirring occasionally. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 112°C (234°F), about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir to cool and thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Use immediately.

Spoon it over the top of the cakes one at a time, using a silicon spatula to spread it around the sides as well. You need to work quickly or the glaze will thicken as it cools and become difficult to work with.

Writing chocolate

Heat the chocolate until just melted, then stir in enough vegetable oil to get a pipeable consistency (I used too much – be sparing and add it slowly!). If necessary, let the chocolate mixture cool slightly to thicken so that it is not too runny.

Place the chocolate in a disposable piping bag or small Ziplock bag and snip off the tip to make a small hole. I recommend a practice run on waxed paper before writing on the cake.

With the writing chocolate, pipe the word “Sacher” either on each cake or between 6 of them, and add any decorative flourishes you wish. Chill the cakes until the glaze is completely set, at least 1 hour.

Let the cakes come to room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

*****

Daring Kitchen blog checking lines: The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.

You can download the original Daring Kitchen recipe pdf here.

Posted in cake, daring bakers, dessert, snack, sweet | 12 Comments

Cream cheese swirl bread

Fancy a rich, sweet bread for breakfast this weekend?

Cream cheese swirl bread

Weekend breakfasts around here are rarely a family affair. Instead, it’s a slow trickle of people wandering out from under the covers to grab a coffee or a slice of toast. Once the temperature starts dropping, though, I am more inclined to rally them round the table (although admittedly it’s more like brunch before I can get some of them out of bed). Steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, slabs of sweet bread and a whole lot of laughter is a great way to start a day, especially if the sky is grey and the leaves are falling onto the damp ground.

Makes 2 loaves

Dough

500g (scant 4 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 x 7g sachet (2 1/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
50g (1/4 cup) granulated (white) sugar
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

200g (7 oz) cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g (2 cups unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar
65g (1/2 cup) all-purpose (plain) flour

Topping

1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
2 tsp sugar

Dough

In a large bowl, whisk together 250g (2 cups) of flour and the yeast.

In a small saucepan, mix the milk, sugar and salt, and warm over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk reaches 45°C (110°F).

Add the milk mixture, egg and vanilla to the flour and yeast and mix until smooth.

Add the remaining flour half a cup at a time, until you have a smooth dough, kneading for at least 5 minutes. It will start out sticky, but it will become soft and smooth as you knead.

Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, about one hour.

The dough can now be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight, if desired.

Filling, assembly & baking

Butter or spray two 25cm (10″) loaf pans.

Stir together cream cheese, milk and vanilla until smooth. Whisk together the powdered sugar and flour, then add to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 40 x 50cm (16 × 20”) rectangle.

Spread dough with filling then roll up from the short edge to form a tight log. Cut into two equal halves.

Transfer loaves to the pans, brush with egg wash, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about one hour. Rising will take longer if dough was refrigerated overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).

Brush loaves with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in centre of oven for about 25 minutes, until golden.

Cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (although fresh is best).

Posted in bread, breakfast, snack, sweet | 1 Comment