Candy Sugar Cookie Xmass Tree

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Christmas is the perfect time for sugar cookies. They are everywhere: Decorating tables, adorning the tree, as gifts, as ginger houses and just being the perfect activity to join everybody in the kitchen for a fun time.

Here is the recipe I use for decorating cookies. It’s my favorite because I don’t have to wait for it to be cold to roll it. Still is a good practice to place the cut cookies on its tray in the cooler before the oven, because it helps them hold its shape.

You can swipe the vanilla extract for almond, or even some lemon zest. You can also color the dough, but I find the shade that comes out of the oven a little dull, unless you add too much.

I found this recipe in a great blog called Katrina’s Kitchen. Check her out she has great recipes and I love her pictures too.

Sugar cookies

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 6-8 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 38 minutes



1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

3 Cups flour


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes

3. Beat in extracts and egg.

4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Original recipe http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/best-sugar-cookie-recipe-ever/

Pumpkin and chocolate mousse

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Thanksgiving Dessert

I had this idea to combine chocolate and pumpkin together, but how?

MOUSSE of course.

For the chocolate part I have my eternal go to chocolate mousse I found on the book MIETTE.

Everything in this book is special and delicious and more so when you taste it in person at their San Francisco Store.

Now for the pumpkin mousse I had to try a few. Frist I tried one that used whipped egg whites, but the consistency was different between the two mousses. Then, I tried one with store bought custard in the ingredients. Very good but you can feel the “packaged” taste.

Next I found this delicious recipe made with condensed milk. And everything made with condensed milk is the best. Enjoy

Chocolate Mousse

From the book "Miette"

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

6 ounces of dark chocolate

6 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

Combine the sugar and water in a pan, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for approx 4 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in very short intervals, first a minute, than 30 sec. untill meted

Whisk the eggs yolks until thick and lemon colored. On a low speed pour in the sugar syrup until light and the mixture has doubled in volume.

On a low speed add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture. Scrape down and whisk until fully incorporated.

In another bowl whipp the cream until it holds soft peaks. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla extract to the cream. Carefully use a wodden spoon to fold the chocolate mixture in to the cream untill uniform.





Pumpkin Mousse

From the epicurius website

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups heavy cream

Heat condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until slightly darker in color, 10–12 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and salt; continue to cook, stirring often, until mixture bubbles up like polenta, about 4 minutes more. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids with a rubber spatula. Set aside to cool.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to medium peaks in another large bowl. Transfer one-third of cream to a small bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use. Mix a few spoonfuls of remaining whipped cream into pumpkin mixture to lighten, then fold remaining cream into pumpkin mixture. Transfer to 2-quart dish or divide among 8 glasses. Chill at least 3 hours.


Line a ring with acetate or parchment liner

Place rings on a tray lined with parchment paper.

Start by pipping the chocolate mousse up to half the ring. Move to the refrigerator until it sets.

While you wait make the pumpkin mousse

Once the chocolate mousse is set pipe the pumping mousse up to the rim

Set in the refrigerator, then move to the freezer until you are ready to cover with the chocolate mirror coating.





Chocolate mirror Glaze

This is originally Jacques Torres recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 water

1 envelope of gelatine

1 cup sugar

1/2 heavy creamy

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, sugar, heavy cream and cocoa powder. Simmer for about 20 minutes until mixture slightly thickens.

2. Place 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top and let soften 5 minutes. Remove chocolate mixture from the heat and whisk in gelatin mixture until thoroughly combined.

3. Set over an ice bath and whisk until the glaze thickens and reaches about 80 degrees, about 1 minute.




Fall Pumpkin Cake

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Fall is here…. The only thing is that I’m in Miami… So fall is…well, nice weather, with soft air, and less humidity. And it gets a little bit colder and nights. But not much leaves fall from the trees, or boots, sweaters and cute beanies.

But still, its fall and fall is pumpkin. Pumpkin decorations, pumpkin colored everything, and of course, pumpkin cake. And I LOVE pumpkin cake.

I’ve tried so many recipes, and this one is for sure the best. It’s from the book Layered by Tessa Huff. Please check out this book, if you love cake, you’ll love this book.

I filled and frosted this cake with maple syrup buttercream, that it’s only adding half a cup of maple syrup to my basic Italian merengue buttercream recipe. You can also try it with cream cheese buttercream, my daughter’s favorite.

In our YouTube channel, we have a tutorial for beautiful fall cake made with this recipe and decorated with buttercream and gum paste leaves, check it out!

 

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Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cake

From the book Layered by Tessa Huff

 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt

¼ ground cloves

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon grape seed oil. (I used vegetable oil and it came out lovely)

1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups pumpkin puree.

 

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar for about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs, one at a time.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing well in between. Just as the last streaks of flour begin to disappear, stop the mixer. Add in the pumpkin and mix until combined.

Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans. Once cool, carefully slice each cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife to create four even layers.

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Honey Cake. Rosh Hashana it's here.

Let’s start at the beggining, at New year’s.

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In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year. This start has a very distinctive scent: the perfume of honey and spices. This enveloping aroma comes from a kitchen where the traditional honey cake, the Lekach, is baking. The delicious smell emmited from the mix of the ingredients makes the baking process an absolute joy. Once your cake is in the oven, the mixture of cinnamon, orange, coffee, spices, and honey will douse your house with the sweet scent of tradition and family.

We made many loafs of these honey cakes at the bakery, which were sold out before they were finished. This is due to the customary jewish tradition of gifting them at the end of the Rosh Hashanah dinner. We baked A LOT of them, made sure they were decorated with beautiful ribbons for packaging, and reconnected with clients that come every year to make sure that everybody on their list gets a loaf.

The big secret of our Honey Lekach? Mix the batter and let sit all night in the cooler. Let all of those different flavors melt together and soften the batter, and the next day, let it come to room temperature before baking.

Add the honey syrup right after they come out of the oven. When cakes are hot they absorb the moisture better.

The following is my recipe for a delicious Honey Lekach cake:

Yields: one loaf. You can easily double this recipe if you are making more than one loaf

 

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom or nutmeg, optional

  • 3 large eggs

  • ½ cup (100g) Brown sugar

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 cup (80 ml) vegetable oil

  • 4 teaspoon instand coffee

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • ¼ cup (25g) sliced almonds.

 

For the syrup

  • ½ cup honey

  • 1 cup water

  • ¼ cup honey liquor

Instructions

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F/170°C. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. We used paper loaf molds for giving way as gifts.

2.     In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom/nutmeg. Set aside.

3.     Combine liquids together (orange juice and oil), add the coffee.

4.     In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and honey on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Turn off mixer. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the liquids in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.

5.     To prepare the syrup, boil the honey and water together. When boiling, take out of the heat and add the liquor.

6.     Cover the batter and place in the cooler overnight (optional). The next day, take the batter out and bring to room temperature. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Immediately coming out of the oven, pour the syrup on top until absorbed. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and set on a wire rack to cool completely. If using paper molds. Wait until completely cooled before wrapping.

7.     Store cake in an airtight container or aluminium foil at room temperature for up to a week. Serve at room temperature.