Monday, December 25, 2017

Danish loaf bread - 3 ways - Cocoa / Matcha / Ube ( purple yam )

Ho! Ho! Ho! 

How's the Christmas shopping er baking so far?

I've been too lazy lately to bake something Christmassy....

The weather here in smoggy Hongkong is just perfect for lazing around .....

I baked these 2 loaves , matcha and ube , few weeks back , you know , just to remind myself whether it's still easy to roll a buttery dough after more than 2 years of not doing it .

Yup ! It was ! 

Now , now ! No eye-rolling lol 

If you make matcha danish loaf 5 times within a two-week time frame , I'm pretty sure the last one will yield a better result ( fingers crossed ). I usually do the 3-times trial and error when it comes to bread making and if I still can't get it , I just move on to another new recipe .

But not with danish loaf , yeah , because even that 1st ugly bake , the loaf tastes out of this world ! Okay , it was probably the copious amount of butter hee hee ! 

The previous recipe has only 300 something grams dough and 113 grams butter insert , imagine making it for the first time ?! The dough in this recipe is more substantial so rolling it longer and wider is much easier .

These loaves are made the same way as croissants except danish bread dough is kneaded just like most Asian-style bread . And danish dough is not rolled as thinly as croissants .

I decided to add some flavourings to butter and each ingredient certainly adds an interesting swirls of colour and delicious flavour . 

I made the cocoa version 2 days ago and made 4 turns this time . I think I'll stick with 3 turns in making danish loaf from now on . The layers in the crust are much more finer so it doesn't look as distinctive as the layers in both the matcha and ube/purple yam version . 

Use good quality butter in making danish loaf , the higher the butterfat in butter ,  at least 82% , the less it will melt as you roll the dough as the texture is more drier compare to those butter with less fat . The flavour is much more better as well . I used Isigny Ste Mere in matcha and ube/purple yam loaves and Lescure in the cocoa version . Photo of Isigny Ste Mere butter below is salted , I ran out of the unsalted ones weeks ago . The 3 baking shops that I visited doesn't have stocks anymore . Yup , French butter shortage is real tsk tsk ! 

Texture of the crust is shatteringly crisp and the crumb is pillowy-soft . Best eaten the same day it is made , the crust will lose its crispness the next day but will stay soft for days stored at room temperature . I usually toast slices in a non-stick pan for about 2 minutes on each sides , crust may not be as crisp as the day it was made but still delicious nonetheless .

Recipe adapted from Original Flavours

Makes one 8x4-1/2x4-1/4 inch loaf

180 grams bread flour
50 grams cake flour
3 grams instant yeast
15 grams milk powder
1 egg
90 grams cold water
25 grams caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 grams butter , softened

115 grams unsalted butter to make a 5 x 5-inch square butter insert

Each ingredient below is for 115 grams butter / 1 recipe of danish loaf 

8 grams ( Valrhona ) cocoa powder 
6 grams ( Uji ) matcha powder
6 grams ube / purple yam powder

* Make the dough : You can knead the dough manually , use stand mixer or bread machine . Knead dough until it pass a window pane test , about 20 to 30 minutes - this is important if you want an enriched bread to be soft for days . Chill the dough in the fridge overnight to proof . Take out dough from the fridge and form into a smooth , round ball . Cover with tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes .

UPDATE, May, 17, 2020: If the weather is too hot, say above 25°C, once you chilled tbe dough overnight, you may roll out the dough straight from the fridge  immediately and do the 1st fold/turn.

* Make the butter insert : Cut butter into pieces and lay them down side by side on the parchment paper . Sprinkle cocoa / matcha / ube ( purple yam ) on both sides of the butter , pound butter with a rolling pin to soften it a bit , roll evenly and shaping it into a 5-inch square . Chill overnight before using . 

* Roll out dough into 8 x 8-inch square , place butter at an angle , just like a diamond . Roll out each flap/sides into about 4-inch length . Fold each of the flaps to encase the butter within the dough , press edges together to seal .

* Sprinkle some flour on the work surface , also on top of the dough to prevent sticking . Using the rolling pin , press it up and down , creating ridges on top of the dough , this will make both dough and butter adhere better so as elongating it . Do this before you start rolling out the dough .

* Roll out dough into 8 x 15-inch rectangle , do the 3-fold - fold one short side at two-thirds of the length of the rectangle then the other short side over it making 3 layers .

* This is the 1st turn , rotate dough at 90 degrees , the opening should be on the right side , just like a book . You'll have a 5 x 8-inch rectangle after each turn , do this 3 times . Wrap dough in a plastic wrap and put it into the baking sheet then place in the freezer for 20 minutes after each turn .

* Remember to fluff / lift the dough often as you roll it to prevent sticking . Sprinkle some flour as needed as you roll the dough and brush off excess flour using a pastry brush before you do the fold . If there are some holes or tear on the dough , lightly sprinkle with flour and gently tapping it with a finger . 

* After 3 turns , freeze the dough ( also 20 minutes ) for the last time .

* Lightly grease an 8x4-1/2x4-1/4 inch non-stick pullman tin . If using an aluminium pullman tin , grease generously .

* Roll out dough into 6 x 16-inch rectangle , the length should be twice of the pullman tin . Cut dough into 3 equal strips ; cut strips into 3 equal pieces , not cutting the top part through . Do the 3 strand braid , making sure the layered part is exposed at the top . If the strips has gone a bit soft , sprinkle some flour before braiding it . 

* Turn down the braid up-side down and fold into 3 layers , the top of the braid should be in the middle and the lower part should be at the bottom .

* Place the stacked braid , middle side up in the prepared pullman pan , spray dough with water to prevent drying . 

* Cover the pan/tin with plastic wrap / tea towel , place it on the baking sheet and let proof until it fill up about 90 % of the tin or nearly to the rim , 4 to 4 1/2 hours depending on the ambient temperature .

* Preheat oven to 210ºC . 

* Put the cover of the pullman tin , let proof for another 10 to 20 minutes , again , depending on the ambient temperature .

* Bake for 35 - 40 or until crust is golden brown .

* Take out danish loaf immediately out of the tin and place in a wire rack to cool completely before slicing .

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Matcha-pomegranate mini entremet

Entremet is a multi-layered mousse-based cake with various complimentary flavours and textures (Wiki). An entremet should adhere to the basic principles of visual appeal , textural contrast and of course , taste  (Pâtisserie)

These mini gâteaux may look a bit daunting or complicated but most components can be made in advance .

Bear in mind that Rome wasn't built in a day ......

The lists below are not an actual entremet recipe , I just combined 3 recipes from 3 books and came up with these pretty mini gateaux .

Making these layer cakes is easy but a bit time-consuming especially if you use small silicon moulds  ( scroll down for photo ) .

French words were uttered while assembling these cakes .....

Flavour-wise , the sweet-tart flavour of pomegranate jelly pairs perfectly well with matcha mousse .

The amount of pom jelly ( forgot to take photo ) and the joconde is more than enough for 8 cakes , I only used half of both .

The original green tea mousse which is made using 6-inch mousse ring is almost the perfect amount for the 8-cavity mini moulds that I used . You can see from the photo below that there are only 7 , well , somebody had taste tested it beforehand lol 

For the matcha mirror glaze , you can make 1/2 of the recipe , leftover should be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated ; use within 4 days . There's no condensed milk added in the glaze so sweetness is just right and doesn't overwhelm other flavours but rather complimented it perfectly . And the shiny glaze certainly looks very pleasing , isn't it ?

Joconde biscuit , recipe adapted from Pâtisserie ( below is 1/3 of the recipe ) 

42 grams icing sugar, sifted
42 grams ground almonds
13 grams plain flour , sifted
54 grams ( whole ) egg 
10 grams unsalted butter , melted
34 grams  egg white 
10 grams caster sugar 

* Preheat oven to 200ºC . Line a 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper . 

* Beat egg white until frothy , add in caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form , set aside until needed . 

* Combine icing sugar , ground almonds and flour . Add the whole egg and beat together until mixture is light and fluffy . 

* Melt butter ( make sure it's not too warm ) and slowly add it to the egg mixture , beating well until butter is fully incorporated . 

* Fold meringue gently into the egg mixture them spread evenly into the prepared pan . Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and the sponge springs back when pressed gently . Let cool completely before using .

* Cut out 8 pieces ( 2 1/2 x 1 1/4-inch ) sponge , chill in the fridge until needed . 

Matcha ( chocolate ) mousse , recipe adapted from Indulgence Mousse Cake , a bilingual cookbook

My modifications in blue 

150 grams whipping cream 
150 grams milk 80 grams 
8 grams green tea powder 5 grams matcha and 3 grams green tea 
70 grams white chocolate
45 grams sugar  25 grams caster sugar 
40 grams egg yolks 
10 grams gelatin sheets 6 grams 
10 grams drinking water 

* Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for 10 minutes . 

* Place white chocolate in a small mixing bowl . 

* Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form , do not over beat . Chill in the fridge until needed . 

* In a small saucepan , bring milk and green tea to a boil . 

* Whisk yolks and sugar until light and fluffy . Gradually pour in the warm green tea milk to the yolk mixture , whisking as you pour to prevent yolks from curdling . Pour back mixture into the pan , cook over low heat until thickens ( custard temperature should be 176ºF ; mine thickens rapidly and only reached 150ºF due to the reduced amount of milk ) . Immediately pour into the white chocolate , whisk until chocolate is melted . 

* Combine drinking water and softened gelatin ( squeeze off excess water ) in a small heat-proof bowl . Place bowl in a pan of barely simmering water , stir until gelatin is completely melted . Pour melted gelatin immediately into the green tea-chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly . Strain mixture  through a sieve . 

* Fold whipped cream into the green tea custard .

*** Original green tea mousse cake recipe is made using a 6-inch mousse ring with Digestive biscuit crust ( 60 grams crumbs and 30 grams melted or very soft butter ) 

Pomegranate jelly 

10 grams gelatine sheets , soaked in cold water for 10 minutes 
25 grams caster sugar
280 grams fresh pomegranate juice 

* Combine ingredients above in a heat-proof bowl . Place bowl into a pan with barely simmering water , stir until gelatine is completely melted . Pour mixture into a 7 or 8 inch-pan square , chill in the fridge until set . You can make this a day ahead . 

* Slice 8 pieces of jelly , the same size as the joconde . 

To assemble : 

* Place matcha mousse in a plastic piping bag . Pipe some mousse ( just guesstimate the amount ) into the base of the mould , top with pom jelly . Pipe some more mousse on top and around the jelly , leaving a small space to place the joconde biscuit . Smooth top using an offset spatula , adding more mousse if necessary . Continue with the rest . 

* Freeze until set , at least 4 hours , preferably overnight . 

* Unmould each mousse , place on the top of the wire rack and put it back to the freezer for 30 minutes before pouring in the glaze .

Matcha mirror glaze , recipe adapted from Pâtisserie 

Makes 850 grams

15 grams gelatine sheets
210 ml water
105 grams caster sugar
210 grams glucose
140 grams whipping cream
10 grams matcha powder mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp water
210 grams white chocolate I used Hershey's white chocolate chips 

* Soak gelatine for 10 minutes or until softens . Squeeze off excess water .

* Combine water , sugar and glucose in a saucepan , bring to the boil and heat to 103ºC / 218ºF .

* Add in the matcha paste , cream and softened gelatine , stir to combine . Pour mixture into white chocolate , whisk until smooth or use a hand-held electric stick blender . Strain glaze ,  place plastic wrap on top of the glaze to prevent skin from forming .

* Make the glaze a day ahead or several hours before using . Gently re-heat glaze and use a hand-held blender to smooth out lumps .

* Let glaze cool to 30ºC / 86ºF before using .

To finish : 

3 pieces mini matcha KitKat , finely chopped 
some pomegranate seeds 
matcha Pocky 

* Take out the mousse from the freezer , immediately pour the glaze on each piece , pouring glaze twice or 3 times , according to preference . Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes , remove the entremets from the wire rack and place on a serving plate or individual paper cake holder . Leave entremets to de-frost in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving .

* When ready to serve , decorate the lower edges / sides with crushed matcha Kitkat , top with pomegranate seeds and matcha Pocky .

Enjoy !!!