French croissant buns with peaches

French sweet buns you can buy on every korner of French cities and towns. Made of croissant like dough – yeast dough with large amount of butter which causes the effect of foliating and layering. It is a kind of puff pastry but the addition of yeast gives extra volume and fluff. This pastry is used in France for all kind of buns, Rolls and croissants. The filling is optional: fruits, chocolate, custard etc. I used sliced peaches and nectarines chich are very stable during baking and have nice, summer taste. Enjoy!

 

about 18 pieces

 

Dough:

  • 2 ¾ cups bread flour
  • 5 teaspoons dried yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup butter, softened

Filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5-6 fresh peaches and/or nectarines, sliced

 

 

Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture and melted butter, slightly cooled.  Add water and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes). Once the dough is ready set it aside, cover and let stand in a warm place for 20 minutes to rest.  

Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 10 x 15 inch rectangular, cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.  Dot the dough’s rectangle with half of the softened butter. Fold the top third of the rectangle down onto the middle, then fold the bottom third up, so the pastry is folded in thirds. Roll out into a rectangle again, fold into thirds again, cover with cling film and place in fridge for 40 minutes. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out as before. Spread the remaining butter over the dough and fold as before into thirds. Roll out into rectangle and fold into thirds. Cover and refrigerate for further 40 minutes. In this point you can leave the dough in the fridge for overnight and continue the work next day.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out into ¼ inch thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 3 x 3 inch squares. Brush each with egg wash and top with sliced peaches. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Allow to rest when the oven is preheating.

Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake buns for 12-14 minutes (until golden).


 

Category: Yeast cakes.

Tags: peach, yeast.

Ombre layer cake with strawberries and rainbow inside

Three-layer cake pink outside, rainbow inside. Vanilla sponge with colourful sprinkles has all rainbow colours and even more. Sponge layers are layered with strawberry mousse and outside mascarpone frosting gives additional dose of fruits with freeze-dried strawberries. For more varied look the frosting has three shades of pink with ombre effect. The whole cake is subtle and clearly strawberry. I made it for my little son’s birthday (yes, he chose pink) and I recommend it as children’s birthday cake (but not only).

 

3 x sandwich pan ø 7 inch

 

Sponge:

  • ½ + ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 ½ cups minus 1 tablespoon cake flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¾ cup colourful, small sprinkles

Filling:

  • 400 g strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar

Ombre mascarpone cream:

  • 500 g mascarpone cheese
  • 150 ml whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons powdered freeze-dried strawberries
  • pink food colouring

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and line pans.

Sponge: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks  – one at a time and beat well after each addition. With last yolk add vanilla paste. In a separated bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches alternate with milk, starting and ending with flour. When all ingredients are well incorporated add sprinkles and mix with a rubber spatula. Divide dough evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until a tooth pick inserted in to the center comes out clean). Leave cakes for 10 minutes in pans then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Filling: blend strawberries to the puree. Beat it to the cream cheese and add icing sugar. Beat until smooth mixture. Cool in fridge.

Ombre frosting: beat mascarpone cheese with icing sugar and strawberry powder. Whip the cream until stiff. Mix it carefully in the mascarpone mixture with rubber spatula.

Place the first sponge on a serving plate. Spread over ½ strawberry-cream cheese mixture. Cover with second sponge and repeat spreading. Cover with third sponge. Spread mascarpone frosting over the top and sides of the cake.  Divide remaining mascarpone mixture into three. Add to the first part a small amount of pink colouring. Add twice of colouring to the second part. Leave the third part without colour. Spread the darkest part over the bottom part of cake’s sides. Spread the light colour part over the middle part of cake’s sides. Spread the lightest part over the top part of the cake’s sides. Smooth the sides’ surface with wide spatula in order to conjoin colours and interpenetrate each other. Continue smoothing as long as you will receive satisfying result. Decorate the top with fresh strawberries and (optional) flowers.  


 

Category: Layered.

Tags: mascarpone, strawberry.

Hedgehogs shaped walnut rosemary cookies

These cookies are classic biscuits liked by children (and adults too). Convenient shaped for little hands, are crunchy but do not flake on the floor. Among ingredients I smuggle walnuts and rosemary which give some nutritive values. I baked them as hedgehogs to start school break with forest adventure but you can try other ideas as well. Enjoy!

 

about 40 pieces, depending on size

 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • ¾  cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

 

 

In the bowl of a standing mixer beat butter, sugar, rosemary, salt and pepper until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat. Add flour with baking powder and beat until the dough forms tight mixture. Add walnuts, mix until incorporated. This dough is softer than usual so can form not regular ball but should be smooth and homogenous in structure. Wrap in a cling film and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out cooled pastry into 1/5 inch thick circle. Cut out hedgehogs (or different shapes) and place them onto prepared tray. Bake for 8-10 (depending on the oven) until blushed and light brown on bottom. Cool on a wire rack.


 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: rosemary, walnuts.

Dark cocoa blackberry muffins

As all kind of muffins these one are simple and quick in preparing. And I can add: yummy, moist, soft and subtly smell of garden. I used partially lilac sugar made of lilac flowers covered with sugar in a jar and set aside for few days. You can easily omit it and just add the whole amount of ‘normal’ sugar. Dark cocoa (Dutch processed, alkalized) gives black colour and this distinctively sophisticated taste. Do not replace it with ordinary baking cocoa. Blackberries match perfectly other ingredients and enrich the whole flavour composition. Enjoy!

 

12 – hole muffin pan

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, soften
  • ½  cup minus 2 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup minus 1 tablespoon (40 g) lilac sugar*
  • 1 egg
  • 300 g sour cream (naturally soured)
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa
  • 2½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g blackberries (fresh or frozen)

 Icing:

  • 2/3 cup (100 g) icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon blue- or blackberry juice

 

 

Line 12 – hole standard muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and sour cream beating until combined. In a separated bowl mix flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Beat short, until just incorporated. Fill each pan hole to the ¾ of capacity. Top with few blackberries and press them lightly down. Bake for 25 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

Make icing: beat cream with icing sugar and juice until smooth, thick but still liquid. Pour over the cooled muffins and decorate with lilac flowers.

*Lilac flowers covered with sugar in a jar and set aside for few days. Lilac is edible.


 

Category: Cupcakes and muffins.

Tags: blackberry, cocoa.

No-bake lemon blackberry blueberry ombre cheesecake

No bake cheesecake, needs to spend overnight in the fridge. Perfect, light dessert for Summer time. Very delicate, foamy like clouds, you may eat it without compunction. Filled with fruits with cream cheese and yoghurt. Very pretty in its triple purple colour and yummy and triple tasty. I made it in silicon rose shaped mould but you may also use just round mould. Enjoy! !

 

You have to make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

silicon rose shaped mould about 9 inch

 

 Ingredients:

  • 500 g cream cheese
  • 20 tablespoons (about 300 g) natural Greek yoghurt
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 20 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 8 tablespoons gelatine

 

If using frozen fruits heat them in a saucepan until thawed. Blend in a blender (separately blue- and blackberries). Fresh fruit just blend (separately).

Place 2 tablespoons of gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell.

In a bowl of electric mixer place 4 tablespoons yoghurt, 1/3 cream cheese and 6 tablespoons icing sugar and mix together. Add lemon juice and zest. Soften gelatine heat gently in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly. Pour 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture to warm gelatine, mix. Pour next 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture, mix well. If the gelatine is smooth and all ingredients are well combined pour it in over the bowl of cheese mixture and mix shortly with electric mixer. In a separated bowl mix 100 ml whipping cream until stiff. Gently add the whipped cream to cheese mixture and mix with rubber spatula. Pour cheese-cream mixture to the mould and chill in the fridge.

Place 3 tablespoons of gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell.

In a bowl of electric mixer place 8 tablespoons yoghurt, 1/3 cream cheese and 8 tablespoons icing sugar and mix together. Add blackberry puree, mix.  Soften gelatine heat gently in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly. Pour 1 tablespoon of blackberry-cheese mixture to warm gelatine, mix. Pour next 2 tablespoons of blackberry-cheese mixture, mix well. If the gelatine is smooth and all ingredients are well combined pour it in over the bowl of cheese mixture and mix shortly with electric mixer. In a separated bowl mix 100 ml whipping cream until stiff. Gently add the whipped cream to cheese mixture and mix with rubber spatula. Pour the mixture to the mould over the lemon mixture and place the mould in the fridge.

Place 3 tablespoons of gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell.

In a bowl of electric mixer place 8 tablespoons yoghurt, 1/3 cream cheese and 6 tablespoons icing sugar and mix together. Add blueberry puree, mix.  Soften gelatine heat gently in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly. Pour 1 tablespoon of blueberry-cheese mixture to warm gelatine, mix. Pour next 2 tablespoons of blueberry-cheese mixture, mix well. If the gelatine is smooth and all ingredients are well combined pour it in over the bowl of cheese mixture and mix shortly with electric mixer. In a separated bowl mix 100 ml whipping cream until stiff. Gently add the whipped cream to cheese mixture and mix with rubber spatula. Pour the mixture to the mould over the blackberry mixture and place the mould in the fridge for overnight.

Note: the amount of sugar provided is an instance. You can try all mixtures in any time of preparing and add more/less sugar depending on your taste. Sweetness in dessert is less detectable if chilled or frozen.

The next day place chilled cheesecake on the plate (blueberry part as a bottom) and carefully remove the mould. Decorate with/or blue- and blackberries.

 

 

 Category: No-bake cakes.

Tags: blackberry, blueberry, lemon, yoghurt.