The mini princesses will appear later. First a quick roundup of cakes made in the last two weeks. The char siu bao (steamed barbecue pork buns) were amazing. You could make them for Chinese New Year! 🙂
Other possible fillings for them are boeuf bourgignon stew, Chinese sausage and curry (um.. not all together but separately, lol). Any of your leftovers basically. I’m planning to make an English breakfast one with sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and mushrooms. And a touch of mustard. Yum. Any more ideas? The baozi steamed bun dough recipe is pretty easy and straightforward. Here’s the first part.
Inverted puff pastry adventures
Forget what people say about not having time to make this pastry. It doesn’t take that long and it’s delicious. Plus you can make loads of stuff from just one batch. Having made two lots of inverted puff pastry in the last 2 weeks, it was so easy to make fruit tarts like the baked gingery fruit and quark tart and also an apple, mincemeat and quark tart. Follow the instructions for shaping and baking a puff pastry shell then fill your partially baked tart with a layer of about 100g mincemeat, then a layer of 65g Quark, and finally some thinly sliced apples. Bake for another 30 to 40 mins. Finally, brush with warmed apricot jam.
The inverted puff pastry sausage rolls and chorizo bites were also simple to make. Great little snacks for parties or any time.
And finally la pièce de résistance: matcha, white chocolate and chestnut millefeuilles. Beautiful. And some not-so-beautiful but very yummy dreamy chocolate-hazelnut dacquoise mini cakes.
I’ve discovered these little squares can be made with Nutella! Muahaha. That solves the ‘Where-can-everyone-find-praliné-or-hazelnut-paste or the time to make them?’ dilemma. I’ve heard Nutella is the answer to everything. Recipe coming soon on the blog. Meanwhile here are some delightful little versions of that typical birthday treat from Sweden.
For 8 princess cakes. Follow the recipe for my big Swedish Princess cake. But substitute the healthier GF, DF, sugar-free crème pâtissière for the standard creme pat. And make a genoise sponge with ground xylitol and no butter, using Method 1 where you whisk it over heat till it reaches 45 degrees celsius and almost triples in volume. Then take off heat and whisk till cool (on your stand mixer if you have one). You’ll get a lovely sponge. Spread in a large 40x30cm baking tray and bake 15 minutes. Cool the sponge (it can keep till the next day in an airtight container). Cut out 8 larger circles of about 8cm diametre and 8 slightly smaller ones, about 6.5cm diametre. These mini princess cakes only have 2 layers of sponge (not 3 like the big cake).
Assembly: get some shop-bought sugar-free rapsberry jam if you want to save time. Use the same method as in the big Swedish Princess cake, spreading a thin layer of creme pat as the first layer then piping a border and filling the middle with raspberry jam. But then fold in all the remaining creme pat into the whipped cream and use this mixture for the layers and covering the outside of the cake. Finally cover with a very thin layer of marzipan, decorating with mini roses and leaves.
A word of warning: these cakes are light, fluffy and a bit delicate. But absolutely delicious.
Hope this roundup has inspired you in some way sweet and savoury reader! Always lovely to see you here and hope you have a wonderful end of the week and weekend! Happy baking, cooking and eating! And happy Chinese New Year and Pancake/Shrove Tuesday in advance! 🙂 x