"Easy Baking"

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Chef Rachida
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Rachida Dukes - Chef



The French Canneles

CanelÚ de Bordeaux are little bites from heaven. It is a mini cake with egg custard that’s
baked at a high temperature so it’s caramelized on the outside and creamy inside.
CannelÚs were born in Bordeaux, France. They’re baked in the little copper molds.
The perfect CanelÚ is the one that has the perfectly and evenly baked shiny
crust with the color of mahogany without being burnt and contrasted
with the creamy, custardy, and sweetly addictive interior.


Ingredients:
(Yield 24 – 30 cannelÚs (2 inch / 5 cm mold)
1)   1 Liter of Whole Milk
2)   1 Vanilla Pod
3)   450 grams of Suar
4)   250 grams of Flour
5)   8 grams of Salt
6)   0.1 Liter (100 ml) of Rum
7)   50 grams of Butter
8)   6 Yolks
9)   2 Whole Eggs

Information:
1)   A few important things you need to keep in mind in baking the perfect cannelÚ:
       the molds – copper or silicone. The best way to get the perfect canelÚ with the
       crisp, caramelized, evenly dark crust and the custardy interior is with tin-lined
       copper molds that are made specifically for canelÚs. Recently Williams Sonoma
       started carrying very good silicone mold, called Moul’flex Canelle Silicone Mold,
       and the price is very reasonable.
2)   Cannele will stand out when we use the real fresh plump and flexible vanilla bean
       seeds. Some of us use beeswax/butter or beeswax/oil, I found out that brushing
       the frozen mold with melted butter is good enough.
3)   Make the batter 2 days before you plan to bake the cannelÚs.

Preparation:
1)   Lay vanilla bean out flat on a cutting board. Use a small knife – such as a paring
       knife – to make a long cut down the length of the vanilla bean. Use the tip of the
       knife to open up the vanilla bean down the cut you just made. Scrape with the
       back of the knife down the cut, pressing firmly to scrape all of the seeds from
       the inside of the pod. Cut the pods into small pieces.
2)  
Measure and then sift together the flour, sugar and salt.
3)  
Stir the eggs and yolks together with a fork or whisk, try to not to beat much air
       into the eggs at all.
4)  
Place the milk, butter, and vanilla over medium heat and bring to a boil.
5)  
Pour the eggs all at once into the flour mixture (don’t stir yet), pour in the milk
       mixture, and stir until well combined.
6)  
Mix all the ingredients an immersion blender or using a regular blender.
7)  
Pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and
       gently stir together until well-blended. By mixing you may incorporate some air
       in the batter – don’t worry about it since the batter will rest in the fridge for hours,
       the bubbles will disappear.

8)   Strain the batter over a fine mesh strainer into another, pressing the lumps through
       until you get a totally lump-free batter.

9)   Add the rum and stir until combined. By now you should have a very thin batter.
10) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 48 hours. Stir it
       once after 24 hours and put it back in the fridge to continue to rest.

Baking the Canneles:
1)   Freeze the mold for few minutes, then brush them with melted butter. Some time I
      use the high heat canola spray oil instead of the butter – works perfectly.

2)  Turn the oven on and set it to 475 ░F / 246 ░C at least 30 minutes before baking to
      get to the right temperature.

3)   Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place it on the lower rack in the oven
       to preheat.

4)   Remove the resting batter from the fridge, and stir it again.
5)   Brush the frozen mold with melted butter,
6)   Remove the molds from the freezer, fill each one up to about 1 cm / 0.5 inch to the
       top. I use 1/4 measurement cup to fill up the (2 inch / 5 cm) mold, it works perfectly.

7)   Arrange the molds at about equal intervals over baking sheet.
8)   Place the baking sheet back on the lower rack in the oven. Immediately turn the heat
       down to 450░F / 232 ░C.

9)   At the end of the 15-minute period, turn the heat down to 375 ░F / 190 ░C, and turn the
       baking sheet once to ensure even baking. Every 20 minutes or so, open the oven
       door to turn the baking sheet once.

10) The cannelÚ batter will slightly rise up over the molds. It is better to bake a batch of
        6 canelÚs at a time than 12 CanelÚs batch, unless your oven is better than mine.

11) Check out the cannelÚs about the 40 minutes. Remove one mold and tap it upside-down
       to let out the cannelÚ . If the crust is the desired color then we’re done. Give it a gentle
       squeeze too, you should be able to feel that the inside is custardy and soft. Cut one in
       half to check the inside just to be sure. Don’t bake until it’s totally harden even when
       still hot, that’s would be far too much. Once a while you have a pale spot or two
       around the top of the cannelÚs. You don’t need to worry about it, It’ll be fine.

12) Let them cool down for few minutes over a wire rack before you eat them or you’ may
       burn yourself.

13) The cannelÚs are perfect within a few hours. They’re still good the next day, but the
       crust will soften.



The French King Cake
 .
It is a classic French pastry made from the buttery puff pastry and cream almond, it is called
Pithivier – galette des rois, It is popular in the French pastry shop in the first two weeks
of January. When it is made by a good chef pastry, it is not only beautiful to look at,
but it is a delight to eat!  Bakers in France strive to offer various fillings from
chocolate, salted caramel buttercream, and praline creme au beurre,and more.


The Frangipane Filling (Cream Almond)
...Enough for 2 big Cakes...
Ingredients:
1)   120 grams Butter
2)   120 grams Sugar
3)   120 grams Egg
4)   90 grams Almond Powder
5)   30 grams Flour
6)   1/2 tsp. of Orange Blossom Water or Vanilla

Preparation:
1)   Blend the almonds and the sugar until very fine in the bowl of a food processor, 
       Add the butter, egg, orange blossom water or vanilla , and flour and process until smooth.
2)   Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a 6-inch round.
3)   Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.

The Puff Pastry
Ingredients:
1)   Puff Pastry

Preparation:
1)   On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry into a rectangle about
       18 by 9 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Using a 7 inch cake pan as a guide, cut two
       7 inch rounds from the dough with a very sharp paring knife.
2)   I used a pancake mold as a guide to cut two 7 inch rounds from the dough.
3)   Place the cakes on a baking sheet and freeze until very firm but still pliable, about 20
       minutes.

The Egg Wash
Ingredients:
1)   Egg Yolks
2)   A drop of Water

Preparation:

1)   In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. 
2)   This is the egg wash.


The Sugar Syrup
Ingredients:
1)   50 grams Sugar
2)   30 milliliters Water

Preparation:
1)   Mix the water and sugar together and bring to a boil. 
2)   This step should be done while the Pithivier is in the oven.
3)   This is the sugar syrup.

The Final Assembly

Ingredients:
1)   The Frangipane Filling
2)   The Puff Pastry
3)   The Egg Wash
4)   The Sugar Syrup

Preparation:

1)   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from freezer.
2)   Place frozen frangipane round in the center of the bottom dough circle.
3)   Brush the border with egg wash, taking special care not to let the egg wash drip down
       the sides, which would inhibit proper puffing during baking.
4)   Place the second round on top, and press to seal, using your fingers.
5)   Using a small paring knife, score the top of each Pithivier in a circular, decorative
       cross-hatch pattern.
6)   Transfer Pithiviers to a baking sheet sprayed well with water and chill for at least 1 hour.
7)   Remove Pithiviers from the freezer.
8)   Brush top with egg wash, not to let any excess drip down over cut edge of dough.
9)   Bake for 40 minutes in your pre-heated oven at 350░F in convection mode.
10) If you don‘t have a convection oven, bake at 390░F for 40-50 minutes.
11) Immediately after baking, brush the surface of the cake with the sugar syrup and bake
       for three more minutes.
12) Transfer Pithiviers to a wire rack, and let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
13) If you want to keep this cake for longer, wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.




Good Eating!!!