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December Bake-Off- Holiday Baking
Posted: 11 December 2010 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s holiday baking, round one.  These are projects for various events this past week.  For most of them, I only have pictures of the leftovers, it was just too busy and rushed, so I didn’t get photos before dashing out the door.  I’ll try to get better pictures of round two. smile

Since I had four desserts to serve (well, five, but I’m going to post the gingerbread cookies separately) in three days, one was made ahead and frozen (the lemon chiffon pie), while the others all shared a basic component, caramel pastry cream. 

First photo is the lemon chiffon pie from the PPB.  I loved the almond pate sucree with this, and the fact that the entire thing can be made and then frozen (I stabilized the whipped cream border with cassava, which freezes better than corn starch).  This pie looked better when I first made it, I had spiraled the rasberry puree and then webbed it (the spider web look), but when I defrosted it, the plastic wrap fell down onto the webbing and smeared it.  So, to save face I poured on the rest of the puree for a (somewhat) solid raspberry top.  I wasn’t sure that this pie would be a hit, but everyone seemed to like it a lot.  My daughter loved it best of all these desserts, especially straight from the freezer, like a semi-freddo.

Second photo is a last minute cake that I assembled out of things from the freezer:  Bull’s Eye genoise (RHC), caramel syrup, praline chiboust (RHC- first use of caramel pastry cream) and a little leftover caramel ganache (RHC), which I warmed to a thick but pourable consistency.  Sort of a praline version of Boston Creme Pie.

Third photo is the cocoa souffle roulade (TCB) filled with praline chiboust.  This was my favorite of the three cakes made with caramel pastry cream.  You can’t see it very well in this photo, but the buttercream around the outside of the roulade is praline silk meringue, which I made by adding hazelnut paste and melted chocolate to some caramel silk meringue that I had in the freezer.  It is to die for, I want to figure out the best way to use it again, something that will highlight the perfectly balanced flavors of the buttercream. 

Last up is a coffee-caramel chiboust layered with ladyfingers and chopped chocolate.  The presentation was a long, narrow rectangle, basically a row of slices like this one.  I’ve made the coffee-caramel chiboust before, but paired it with Amaretto genoise, which I loved.  This was good, but not quite as wonderful as the amaretto pairing.  The ladyfingers are a darker golden color on top because the sugar I sifted on top was finely ground caramelized sugar.

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Posted: 11 December 2010 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Julie,
Exquisite! You have been a very busy baker. tongue rolleye What about individual Bull’s Eyes with amaretto syrup and Midnight Ganache filling half way up the sides then add your silken praline buttercream the rest of the way and top with a drizzle of caramel? One can only dream.
Can’t wait to see your gingerbread delights.

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Posted: 11 December 2010 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Julie, absolutely stunning! Everything looks amazing.  You are very talented and very inventive

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Posted: 11 December 2010 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Wow, that’s some amazing baking, Julie!  All the colors, flavors, textures ... they all look soooooo wonderful!  Looking forward to Round 2 !!!! 

Thanks for all the info and ideas, too, in your descriptions.  They are very inspiring!

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Posted: 12 December 2010 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Aww, thanks guys red face  I wasn’t sure if I was even going to post these, as I didn’t have very good photos, so thanks for saying nice things about them!

Wow, Darm, your idea sounds like a fabulous genoise chocolate praline parfait-type thingy.

I still have gingerbread to complete, and a buche de noel, and teacher gifts…  the holidays are busy!

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Posted: 12 December 2010 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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teacher gifts

I’ll be tthose teachers fight to have your kids in their class!!!

I came back to look at your roulade again.  It looks sooooo good!!!

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Posted: 13 December 2010 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Julie, awesome work! I’m glad you posted even though the photos are a bit blurry. No worries though, it is clear enough that I know what it is. Plus your description is so detailed that I am still salivating smile.

I love that you put things together from the freezer leftover. And you always amazed me with your choice of flavor combo. I wish I can do that.

Here are my holiday baking results.

Pecan Pie from PP&B with bourbon stabilized whipped cream The pie is actually an excuse to use Lyle’s Golden Syrup that I finally purchased. It was my 1st time trying it and it is HEAVENLY. We are in love with Lyle now. And the pie is so good with the bourbon whipped cream.

The sugar cookies (not Rose’s recipe). It is my go to sugar cookie recipes. I wanted to try decorating cookies. It was fun and am pretty pleased with the results. Decorating is time consuming though, I started running out of time so some of them looked a bit uneven.

The gingerbread cookies are from RHC. It is actually a failure. The recipe called for light molasses and all I had was regular. Even though I reduced the quantity by about 1/2, it still taste too strong. I still decorated a few for practice though cheese.

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Posted: 13 December 2010 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gorgeous, Jenn!  Is Lyle’s the awesome or what?  You can use it in anything that calls for corn syrup, like caramels, fudge, toffee —all that stuff—and it just makes it better!!

Your whipped cream is a dream come true.

The cookies are so pretty!

And as for the gingerbread—there are lots of people (like me) who think there can never be too much molasses flavor in the world, so I can tell you now—they’re wonderful!!!

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Posted: 13 December 2010 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Jenn, that looks absolutely irresistible; really moist and delicious-looking.  The cookie are adorable

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Posted: 13 December 2010 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Anne, yes the golden syrup is so good. I tried a little taste of it - as it is - and it does taste wonderful (so different than corn syrup). I can’t wait to try it on other things now (like buttercream for example).

Anne in NC - 13 December 2010 07:45 PM

And as for the gingerbread—there are lots of people (like me) who think there can never be too much molasses flavor in the world, so I can tell you now—they’re wonderful!!!

Really? For me it’s a strong flavor that I’m not used too. It’s hard too though because I have no idea what gingerbread is supposed to taste like, having never had some. So maybe those cookies are good but I have no basis for comparison. Hm.. I should probably go to a bakery and get a cookie to try smile.

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Posted: 13 December 2010 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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If they’re more molassess-y than the gingerbread ones you try from a bakery, you can call them molasses cookies in people shape!!!  Probably bakery ones are really mild, too, to make them more MOR, you know?  I don’t know exactly what they’re supposed to be like, either, but I’m thinking a fairly strong molasses flavor, because I think I got my love of the molasses flavor from ginger and gingerbread cookies, as I don’t know any other context I ever had it in !!!  Hard to say what the Platonic Ideal of a gingerbread cookie is!!! 

Maybe compare it to a “recognized American authority” like Joy of Cooking or a “genuine” Euro-cookbook—or maybe one of our European members would have a reference recipe for quantity of molasses and type (light or dark)?

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Posted: 14 December 2010 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Jenn, your pecan pie is glorious!  I agree with you, the touch of bourbon is a great pairing.  Welcome to the world of Lyle’s worshippers!  My daughter always gets it out for pancakes.

Your cookies are soooo beautiful, I need to decorate a huge batch and I know they won’t turn out that gorgeous!  I use real maple syrup (not the stronly flavored fake syrup) in place of the molasses in the gingerbread, as I am also not a fan of molasses and there’s already dark brown sugar to give plenty of that taste. 

I had the idea this year to forumlate a gingerbread cookie with Lyle’s instead of maple syrup, but probably won’t get around to doing it until next year.

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Posted: 14 December 2010 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anne in NC - 13 December 2010 09:55 PM

If they’re more molassess-y than the gingerbread ones you try from a bakery, you can call them molasses cookies in people shape!!!

Anne, you are so funny! That is a good way of looking at it indeed. Are you going to do some Holiday Baking? I’d love to see what you come up with!

Julie, yes I am a convert - Lyle worshiper now. I can’t believe it took me this long to try it, but better late than never right?
I think I’m going to follow your suggestion of using maple syrup instead of molasses. Still have some real ones stashed away from last year or so. Does maple syrup go bad?

Decorating cookies is time consuming. I only made 1/2 a recipe of sugar cookies, and even that takes a while to decorate. I found this blog that has a lot of tutorial about cookie decorating. Her work is amazing - very inspirational - and her step by step is really easy to follow. Seeing what she did is what made me try decorating sugar cookie last week.

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Posted: 15 December 2010 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Anne in NC - 13 December 2010 07:45 PM

Gorgeous, Jenn!  Is Lyle’s the awesome or what?  You can use it in anything that calls for corn syrup, like caramels, fudge, toffee —all that stuff—and it just makes it better!!

Your whipped cream is a dream come true.

The cookies are so pretty!

And as for the gingerbread—there are lots of people (like me) who think there can never be too much molasses flavor in the world, so I can tell you now—they’re wonderful!!!

Thank you Anne, for that note on the Lyles.  I finally purchased some, having seen it mentioned on this forum.  Now I know what to do with it.

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So many recipes - so little time.

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Posted: 15 December 2010 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Julie, you are so creative!  Jenn, those cookies and the pie look great!

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So many recipes - so little time.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Jenn and Julie, Everything looks delicious!

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