[Paris flair and an Eclair] Caramel Eclairs with a Nutella mascarpone swirl

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Finally I am done with all of my exams. Weeks of studying will now switch into free days full of traveling, baking and quality time with family and friends. As I am planning some exciting trips (and recipes!) I thought about my last trip in December, where I have been to Paris for a couple of days. It wasn’t my first time there, therefore we didn’t visit Disneyland or Versaille again. Instead we went to my favourite places such as the Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin and of course the all-time classic: Musée du Louvre (I have to admit that I am a museum junkie!). I like the atmosphere and flair of the city so much. Sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower with some wine, baguette and cheese (I am in love with french cheese!) or walking besides the Seine with a big scoop of ice cream from Berthillon, located on Île Saint-Louis at sunset. And of course you have lots of possibilites to go shopping, in addition to the big department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, there are many tiny shops full of unique and handmade pieces.
Of course I couldn’t resist stopping by Café Ladurée. I had to buy my favourite macarons, pistachio! But another pastry catched my eye: Eclairs. Before then I never really tried making eclairs by myself. But when I thought about a new recipe for the blog I wanted to give them a new kick.
As the name of my blog reveals I am in love with french pastry. I already showed you my favourite recipe for macarons and crossaints and now I will show you my recipe for Caramel eclairs with a Nutella mascarpone swirl!
Eclairs are glazed and filled pastry made of choux pastry. There are approximately 10 cm long and the filling can be made of strawberry, raspberry, coffee, chocolate, vanilla cream, cream or pudding. It is often coated with chocolate, caramel, fondant or icing. I decided to make a mascapone cream with a nutella (nougat) swirl and a caramel and chocolate glazing!

Eclairs with a Nutella mascarpone swirl

ingredients:
250 g water
0,5 tablespoon salt
60 g butter
150 g flour (sifted)
4 eggs

filling:
500 g mascarpone
400 ml heavy cream
250 ml yogurt
3-4 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. Triple sec
2-3 tbsp. Nutella or nougat
decoration:
8 caramel candy
5 tbsp. heavy cream
150 g chocolate

Directions:
  1. In a heavy and wide saucepan, stir together the water, butter and salt and let it boil while stiring it the whole time. Remove from heat and add the sifted flour with wooden spoon until no flour can be seen anymore and it turns into a white clump.
  2. Now add add the eggs one after another until fully incorporated and the mixture is a clump again.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C and prepare baking sheets. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag. Now pipe dough into 8-10 cm lengths (as you prefer).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes (depends on your oven!). Then remove from oven and tranfer them to a wire rack. Now, when they are still hot, cut into two halves.
  5. Prepare the filling: In a bowl beat heavy cream until nearly stiff. In another bowl mix macarpone, yogurt, sugar and triple sec, in the end add the heavy cream. Melt the nougat/Nutella and add the swirl with a fork (like you can see on the picture above).
  6. For the decoration melt chocolate in a saucepan and in another saucepan melt caramel candy and heavy cream. Take the tops of the eclairs and decorate either with chocolate or caramel or both.
  7. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag. Pipe on the bottoms of the eclaires and put the tops onto it.

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice

[my favourite christmas market treat] Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

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Finally it’s time again: This week the christmas markets in Germany have started! This is one of the best things about celebrating christmas in Germany. Christmas markets are held during the festive season (Adventszeit).  The markets are offering specific goods such as arts and crafts for christmas decoration and food. It’s not only a nice place to buy last minute christmas gifts, but also the paradise for amazing food!

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On one hand you can enjoy things like sausages (Bratwurst), Schupfnudeln (a type of thick noodles made of potatoes, flour and eggs) or fried Camembert (fried cheese). Then you have many drinks such as mulled wine, apple punch and Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugarloaf lit above it).

And on the other hand you can eat so many sweet things such as Poffertjes (kind of mini pancakes!), candy apples, roasted almonds, fried baked goods and of course Schmalzkuchen (comparable to mini donuts!).

Depending on the local tradition of such markets, christmas markets have different names  all over germany. In some locations they are called Christkindlesmarkt and in Dresden the market is named Striezelmarkt. Sometimes the markets are also offering different food depending on the location.

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Nowadays the german christmas markets are known worldwide and are available in many other countries.

This year it’s the first time I am visiting the christmas market in Hamburg and I am really excited because I heard many great things about the different markets in the city. Therefore I would like to show you a recipe for a treat which has its roots originally in Hamburg: Schmalzkuchen.

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Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

ingredients:

500 g flour
30 g fresh active yeast
250 ml milk
100 g sugar
100 g butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
pinch of salt
oil for frying

200 g confectioner’s sugar
optional: cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough: In a bowl mix together flour and salt. Press a little whole in the middle.
  2. Warm up the milk in a saucepan (but not too hot!)
  3. In another bowl crumble the active yeast and mix with one tbsp. sugar and 6 tbsp of the warm milk. Mix until yeast solved completely. Then pour it in the hole of the flour. Add the rest of the milk, the eggs and the butter and knead until a dough comes out.
  4. Let the dough stand for 1 hour. Then roll out the dough. Cut into lines (lenghtwise) and cut into smaller pieces (you can decide the size of your Schmalzkuchen).
  5. Heat up the oil for frying. You can test if the oil is ready by putting a wooden toothpick into the oil, when it is bubbling its ready.
  6. Pour dough pieces into the oil (not more then 10 pieces at one time). Mine took about 25-35 seconds and then I had to turn them around.
  7. Then remove from oil and put on a kitchen paper to remove spare oil. Then sprinkle with lots of confectioner’s sugar!

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Happy first advent everyone!

xxx

Caprice

[the ultimative not-dry cake] Dark chocolate hazelnut cake refined with Rum

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It’s nearly time to start christmas baking of this year! So stay tuned for many delicious recipes. But before I start to show you my favorite christmas treats of this year…

Here it is: The ultimative not-dry chocolate cake! When I am baking birthday cakes or cakes for any other occassions I am asking people for their favorite cake. There are many answers like cheesecake, cupcakes with frosting, chocolate cake, Baumkuchen or lemon cake and so on… But there is one thing all people agree with. Nobody wants a dry cake! There ist nothing worse than a perfectly looking cake which tastes as dry as sand. I absolutely agree with this point! Therefore I would like to show you my favorite cake which is the opposite of dry and is a perfect option for your next birthday party!

This cake is one of the reasons many of my friends ask me to bake their wedding cake.  But thats another story! 😉

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First this cake contains  hazelnuts which are as well influencing the consistence and dryness of the cake. But the secret comes after baking. Then you have to drizzle the cake with Rum! It will not only prevent your cake from drying out, it will as well give it a nice aroma which matches nicely with the dark chocolate glazing. This cake can be stored a few days and won’t dry out as quickly as other cakes do! So its very suitable when you need to bake ahead!

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Dark chocolate hazelnut cake refined with Rum

ingredients:

300 g butter
300 g white sugar
7 eggs
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
150 g chocolate chunks
75 g grounded hazelnuts
200 g flour
2 tbsp. baking powder

10 tbsp. Rum
400 g chocolate glazing (dark or milk chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and oil a baking pan (preferably a loaf pan).
  2. Separate eggs and beat egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until stiff. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl mix together butter and white sugar until very creamy (the longer you mix the better the batter will be). Add egg yolks one after another and vanilla extract until nicely incorporated.
  4. Add flour,  baking powder, chocolate chunks and hazelnuts – Do not overmix! At last add stiff egg whites. Pour batter into the baking pan.
  5. Bake for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Now, take a tablespoon and drizzle Rum over the cake. Then let it cool completely in the baking pan.
  7. Then remove form baking pan and cover with chocolate glazing.

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Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice