Dammsugare

I used  not to like the spring season - the autumn season is still my favorite season - but over the years I started to like and appreciate spring more and more. I still do not like spring in the city. As soon as it gets warmer people get fretful and hectic and I am not particular fond of this atmosphere. But spring in nature is another story. It is beautiful! It is a joy witnessing how quickly nature changes. Every single day nature gets a little bit greener; little flowers are making their appearances; birds are celebrating the arrival of spring by chirping louder and louder every day. And finally I can go on long bike rides again which I am very thrilled about being out in nature, picking the first spring flowers and having a little bouquet of wild flowers on my desk. 
Celebrating these "greener (and warmer) days" I am sharing a classic Swedish pastry recipe today which involves a little bit of green color. There are different names for the pastry but the most common names are Punchrulle, Arraksrulle, Trådrulle or Dammsugare. I like the name Dammsugare the best and I also think it is the most common name for this classic Swedish pastry. Dammsugare literally means vacuum cleaner(s) in Swedish.

There are different stories of the origin of the pastry name. One story is that the pastry is named Dammsugare because there was a vacuum cleaner which was designed in 1920s and the pastry looks exactly the same. It was a very popular vacuum cleaner and the model was sold for decades. My grandparents had such a vacuum cleaner model but in the color red and this vacuum cleaner is still somewhere hidden in my uncle's basement. But the reason why I like the name Dammsugare for this particular pastry is not only because it looks like the vacuum cleaner model from the 1920s but it also perfectly describes how the pastry is made. The main ingredient of these delicious delights are cake crumbs and the crumbs are soaked up, not by a vacuum cleaner, but by a delicious cream and marzipan coat and chocolate decoration. I often make these little treats when I have leftover sponge cake and this my favorite excuse to make Dammsugare. Since I make little cakes a lot and for the bottom of the cakes I use sponge cakes - which I cut out - and then I am left with sponge cake leftovers which I keep in a cake tin for a few days. When I have enough sponge cake leftovers I clean my cookie tins or vacuum my tins and in the end I have "clean" cookie tins and I have delicious little cakes. Dammsugare are addictive and I try not to make them too often because the temptation is too great to eat more than one little cake a day. 


NOTEIf you do not have any sponge cake leftovers you can make a simple sponge cake; my recipe is below. It is the best to make the sponge cake a day ahead because than it is easier to crumble the cake. If you do not have the patience do not worry but make sure that the sponge cake has cooled completely before crumbling the cake. 

Makes 10 to 12 cakes

Sponge Cake or 200 g Leftover Cake Crumbs

  • 2 eggs (medium size)
  • 85 g / 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 g / 5 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
  • 30 g / 3 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F. 
  • Line the bottom of a cake pan (20 cm / 7.5 inches in diameter) with parchment paper. Do not butter the side of the pan. 
  • Beat eggs and sugar light and fluffy which takes about five minutes. 
  • Mix pastry flour, corn flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Fold the flour mixture along with the vanilla sugar or vanilla extract into the egg sugar mixture. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake the sponge cake for 25 to 35 minutes. If you insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and it comes out clean the cake is done. 
  • Let the cake cool completely. 
  • Remove the cake pan and crumble the cake until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

Cream And Decoration

  • 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 50 g / 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon strong coffee, cold
  • 2 tablespoons rum or punch liqueur
  • 125 g / 4 1/2 ounces marzipan
  • A few drops of green food coloring or matcha powder
  • 125 g / 4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (50 %)
  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add cacao powder, coffee and rum or punch liqueur to the mixture and stir well. Add the cake crumbs and mix until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Sprinkle a surface with powdered sugar and place the mixture onto the surface. Form two logs out of the cake mixture. Each log should be 2 cm / 0.8 inch in diameter. Be prepared that this is a little bit of a messy situation. Wrap each log into plastic wrap and place the cake rolls into the fridge for about an hour. 
  • Add green food coloring or matcha powder to the marzipan. I prefer using matcha instead of artificial food coloring.  Add a few drops of lukewarm water to the matcha powder ( about 1/2 teaspoon) until it resembles a thick paste and add it to the marzipan. Knead the marzipan until it has an even green color. 
  • Roll out the marzipan - sprinkle your surface with powdered sugar -  until it it 1 mm thin. Wrap the marzipan around the cake logs. 
  • Place the logs again in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. 
  • In the meantime temper the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate into a cup or small bowl. 
  • Cut each log into 5 cm / 2 inches long pieces, Dip the ends of each piece into the melted chocolate. Let the chocolate dry. 
  • Keep the Dammsugare in an air-tight container or cookie tin. The little cakes keep up for at least a week.

The Best Kouglof in Paris ~ Vandermeersch Boulangerie



Last month I spent a few days in Paris. In the last minute I found myself travelling by myself which I made me sad. I made the best of it and it gave me the opportunity spending far too much time in cookware shops and visiting countless pastry stores and bakeries. One of the bakeries that I visited was the Vandermeersch Boulangerie which is situated at the outskirts of Paris and this was the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to this bakery. Years ago I read about Vandermeersch excellent kouglofs and I was very eager to try Vandermeersch's kouglof. So one morning I hopped on the subway and 45 minutes later ( I stayed in Montmarte) I arrived at the bakery and I found a beautiful display of kouglofs in the bakery. There were different sizes of kouglof available. I opted for two petite kouglofs - although I was tempted to buy a big kouglof - but there was no way that I could finish one big kouglof myself. The small kouglofs from Vandermeersch are sprinkled with granulated sugar whereas the bigger ones are sprinkled with powdered sugar and decorated with almonds but apart from the size I do not think there is difference between the kouglofs.
After my successful kouglof purchase I hopped back on the subway and went to the Marais ( it is just about 20 minutes from the Vandermeersch bakery away) and I sat down on a park bench in the Square Georges-Cain park (it is next to the Swedish institute with a lovely cafe with Swedish pastries) in order to have my kouglof breakfast. I literally devoured one of the kouglhofs, not because I was starving, but because it was so good. It was the very BEST kouglof that I have ever eaten in my entire life. It was fluffiest, moistest, airiest yeasted kouglof with a hint of orange blossom water. It really blew my mind. I really did not expect. It was truly one of the best breakfast that I had in a long time and I was glad that I bought two kouglofs (I saved my other kouglof for my dinner). Writing this blog post about Vandermeersch excellent kouglof is such a torture, my mouth is watering and I do not know when I have the next chance to eat a Vandermeersch kouglof. I have to find a way recreating these unbelievable delicious and mouthwatering kouglofs but I doubt is that I am able to make such delicious kouglofs. If you are in Paris and have some time left on your hand visit the Vandermeersch boulangerie. I promise that you won't regret it!

The Marais district is a part of Paris that I particular like. The "Place des Vosges" is an incredible beautiful square but there are so many beautiful little corners to discover in the Marais district. Do not miss the Victor Hugo Museum which is a beautiful museum, located next to the Place des Vosges (as a bonus the museum is free of charge).







Address: 
Vandermeersch Boulangerie 
278 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012 Paris
 Opening Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays closed, 
 Wednesday to Saturday 7 am to 8 pm, 
 Sunday 7 am to 4 pm. 
Subway station: Porte Dorée (line number 8); 
 it is a two minutes walk from the subway station to the bakery.

Neuigkeit

Ich habe eine Neuigkeit auf meinem Blog zu verkünden!
Ab jetzt werden meine Blogeinträge auch auf Deutsch veröffentlicht. Rechts oben auf DE klicken und man gelangt auf meine deutschsprachige Seite. Alle zukünftigen Blogeinträge werden dort auf Deutsch zu finden sein. Meine alten Blogeinträge werde ich nach und nach ins Deutsche übersetzen.

I want to let you know that there is a new feature on my blog.
Finally you can read my blog in German!
On the top right corner there is a DE buttom. If you wish to read my blog in German please click on DE. My old blog posts will gradually be translated into German.

Happy reading!

Marianne xxx

Hazelnut Financiers



When I was in Paris last month I fulfilled a dream a bought myself financier moulds. I already own a silicon financier mould but I wanted to have sturdy financier moulds made out of stainless steel. I was on the hunt for those financier moulds for a very long time but it was impossible to find them anywhere in Germany. As you can imagine I was very happy when I purchased stainless steel financier moulds in Paris. 
Every time it is a special moment when I use a new cake mould for the first time and I am always a tiny bit nervous since I am never sure if I will like the new cake mould. So when I used my new financier moulds for the first time I was nervous but I was excited at the same time. I created a hazelnut chocolate recipe for the inauguration of my new financier moulds and I could not be happier with the result. Traditionally financiers are made with almond flour but I used hazelnut flour instead and I added praline chocolate to the batter as well. This combination is a dream team. I like my hazelnut creation even better than traditional financier that are made with almond flour. The financiers are incredible moist and the nutty aroma harmonizes beautiful with the praline chocolate. 
I am also very, very happy with the financier moulds and finally I can make financiers that look exactly the same as in French bakeries. 
By the way, the rectangular shape of the financiers resemble a gold bar. There is a legend that the financiers were sold in a Parisian bakery, which was located in the financial district, for the first time at the end of the 19th century. The baker Pierre Lucam of this bakery supposedly paid homage to the bankers who often visited his bakery and bought these little cakes and named them for this reason financiers. 
I was inspired using hazelnut and praline chocolate as ingredients by the little cake named "Neptune" from the Parisian pastry store Stohrer. This particular cake is made of a chocolate mousse, a hazelnut core and the cake is covered with a praline chocolate glaze ( I have seen this flavor combination in other Parisian pastry stores as well). The cake was so incredible delicious and because of this cake I got a new appreciation for hazelnuts and I want to use hazelnuts more often as an ingredient in baking. Of course I also want to recreate the "Neptune" cake from the Stohrer patisserie. I like almonds a lot, I use it often in baking and I also like to snack on almonds but hazelnuts were never on my mind but this has changed since my last visit to Paris. Hazelnuts have such a wonderful aroma, in particular when they are roasted. It takes a little bit of time and effort roasting and skinning the nuts but it is worth it. You will be rewarded by the seductive hazelnut aroma and taste.





NOTEOf course you do not need to own financier moulds in order to make this delicious little cakes. You can use a muffin tin or other little moulds as well. Just make sure that you do not fill the batter high. Financiers are very flat, about 1 cm / 0.4 inch high.
Financier moulds come in all different kind of sizes. The financier moulds that I used for this particular recipe have the following measurements: length: 8.5 cm / 3.3 inches, width: 4.5 cm / 1.8 inches, height: 1 cm / 0.4 inch.

Makes 10 financiers, see my note above

INGREDIENTS

  • 60 g / 3/8 cup hazelnuts
  • 65 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 55 g / 7 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 20 g / 3 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
  • 60 g / 2 (medium sized eggs) egg white
  • 45 g / 1 1/2 ounces praline chocolate, cut into small cubes
  • Powdered sugar, for decoration

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 150 °C / 300 °F.
  • Place the hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast the hazelnuts for 20 to 25 minutes until the nuts are lightly golden color and the skin of the nuts are blistered.
  • You can also roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan (do not add oil) over medium heat and stir constantly, so you do not burn the nuts.
  • Place the nuts in a kitchen towel and remove the loose skins by rubbing against the towel. Do not worry if the skin does not come off of all nuts completely; it does not have to be perfect. Set 15 hazelnuts aside for the decoration. Cut these hazelnuts into halves. 
  • When the hazelnuts are completely cooled grind the remaining roasted hazelnuts.
  • Switch the oven to 180 °C / 355 °F.
  • Butter and flour financier moulds or a muffin tin.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan and heat the butter until it turns into a golden brown color and develops a nutty flavor. Set the butter aside and let it cool. 
  • Mix ground hazelnuts, powdered sugar, pastry flour and chocolate cubes in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle. 
  • Whisk the egg whites lightly until light foam. Add the egg whites to the well of the hazelnut mixture and stir until combined. 
  • Add little by little the melted butter to the mixture and mix well. 
  • Fill the batter into the financier moulds. Decorate each financier with three hazelnut halves (see my photos above). 
  • Bake the financiers for 6 to 8 minutes. Let the little cakes cool completely, remove the moulds. 
  • Sprinkle each financier with powdered sugar. 
  • Store the financiers in an air tight container or cookie tin up to a week. 
  • Bon Appétit!

Mandarin Yoghurt Mousse Cakes



I created this yoghurt mousse cakes with a mandarin orange core and an almond sponge cake for the Easter holidays. I planned on sharing this recipe with you before the holidays. As you can see this did not happen and I am a little mad at myself. My options were to post this recipe next year, forget about the recipe or post the recipe after the holidays and feel a little bit stupid. I was pondering about these three options and I decided for the latter one an be a fool. Although I decorated each cake with a marzipan bunny and an Easter egg it is not neceessarily a Easter cake. It is delicious any time of the year, though I think it is perfect for the spring season. Compared to rich chocolate mousse cakes these petite cakes are light, not too sweet and not too heavy because the mousse consists partly of yoghurt. This is the perfect dessert for a full course dinner because I think it is never a good idea to end a dinner with a heavy and decadent cake. These yoghurt mousse cakes are probably "the lightest" mousse cake recipe that I have posted so far on my blog. It taste different from a chocolate mousse cake but I do like the lightness of it.
Enjoy the recipe and forgive my dilatoriness.

NOTES: I used a silicone muffin pan for this recipe (I used the same one for my Passion Fruit Mousse Cake recipe and White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake recipe). The size of each mould is: 7 cm / 2.75 inches in diameter; the height is: 4 cm / 1.5 inches. I used little silicone moulds for the mandarin orange cores. The size of each mould is: 2.5 cm / 1 inch in diameter; the height is 2.5 cm / 1 inch.
Use 10 % Greek yoghurt. I made one version with non-fat yoghurt and it did not taste that great.

Makes 8 mini cakes (7 cm / 2.75 inches)

Mandarin Orange Jelly

  • 115 g / 4 ounces mandarin oranges (tangerines), canned and unsweetened
  • 35 ml / 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon mandarin or orange juice
  • 10 g / 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 ( 2.3 g) sheets gelatin, soaked or 2/3 teaspoon gelatin powder
  • Puree the tangerines for a second or two or until the tangerines are roughly pureed. I like having a few chunksin my jelly but if you like it smooth pureed the tangerines a bit longer.
  • Pour tangerine or orange juice into a small saucepan and add sugar to it. Bring the mixture almost to a boil. Set aside, add the soaked gelatin  or gelatin powder and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the tangerine puree to it and mix well. Pour the mixture into small (silicon) moulds, see my notes above, and freeze the moulds for at least four hours.

Almond Sponge Cake

  • 1 egg (medium size)
  • 15 g / 1 egg yolk (medium sized egg)
  • 30g / 1 egg white (medium sized egg)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 45 g / 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 25 g / 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 20 g / 3 tablespoons pastry flour, sifted
  • Preheat the oven to 190 °C / 375 °F. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Whisk egg, egg yolk and 25 g / 2 tablespoons sugar until fluffy (it takes about 3 to 4 minutes). Add almond flour and pastry flour and mix well. 
  • Whisk egg white and a pinch of salt until almost stiff. Add little by little the remaining sugar (20 g / 2 tablespoons) and whisk until stiff. 
  • Fold in the beaten egg white into the mixture. 
  • Spread the batter onto the baking sheet (25 cm 25 cm / 10 inches 10 inches).
  • Bake the sponge cake for 5 to 7 minutes or until light golden brown in color. 
  • Let the sponge cake cool completely. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter (the size depends on the size of your cake moulds; I cut out 7 cm / 3 inches in diameter circles).

Yoghurt Mousse

  • 125 g / 7 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (10%)
  • 15 g / 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 gelatin sheets (3.7 g), soaked or 1 1/3 teaspoon gelatin powder
  • 15 g egg yolk (1 medium egg)
  • 15 g / 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 175 g / 2/3 cup  and 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Mix egg yolk and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl. In  a double boiler heat the egg mixture - stir constantly - until it has reached 60 °C / 140 °F. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and continue to whisk until the egg mixture has cooled down. Set aside. 
  • Mix the Greek yogurt with the powdered sugar. Place two tablespoons of the Greek yogurt in a small saucepan and heat the yogurt. When the yogurt is warm remove from the heat and add the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Let the yoghurt cool. 
  • In the meantime whisk the heavy cream until creamy. 
  • Add the yoghurt (with the gelatin) to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the remaining yoghurt and stir again. Add one third of the whipped cream to the yoghurt mixture and mix well. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream to the mixture. 

Assembling

  • Fill the yoghurt mousse almost to the top of each mould.
  • Unmold the frozen tangerine jelly and gently press each core into the yoghurt mousse. 
  • Freeze the moulds for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can keep the mousse cakes in the freezer up to two weeks. 
  • Unmould the yoghurt mousse cakes. Place one sponge cake circle on each frozen mousse cake. Let the cakes defrost at room temperature which takes about 1 to 2 hours. 
  • Decorate the cakes to your liking. I decorated each cake with roughly chopped unsalted pistachios, a marzipan bunny (I dyed marzipan and cut out bunnies with a cookie cutter) and added an chocolate Easter egg.