Tag Archives: rum

Day 13 of Baker’s Dozen: Easy Panettone

We did it. We made it to the last day of the Baker’s Dozen. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know many organizations are off from work today, getting a head start on the holiday weekend. I hope you are all finished with your shopping and baking and can now sit back and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

This is the easy version of Panettone, which is an Italian fruitcake. You will see it in stores generally in the blue boxes. I’ve never bought one of those. I worry how dry and old they may be. And the whole preservative thing (obviously it has something in it if it is shelf stable for months!) Which is probably one of the big reasons it is commonly turned into French Toast (which will be my Sunday morning brunch. Can’t wait). But the traditional way to make panettone is a very long and tedious process. And really, who has time for long and tedious this month? Not me.

After all the baking I’ve done this month, I needed the easy version.  King Arthur Flour has the easy version and it was delicious. You’ll notice that there’s a hole in my panettone. Traditional panettone is baked high with no hole, which makes for a more difficult baking process.Remember, we need easy right now.

I followed their recipe almost exactly, except that I let my biga rise for almost 24 hours  and then I tossed my dried fruit in a little rum for about 30 minutes before adding it to the dough. And that’s it.  They did such a great job with the instructions that I’m just going to give you the link. You can still make it in time for Christmas Brunch and you won’t regret it. After all your hard work this month, you deserve a treat, don’t you think? Now you can have your cake and eat it too.

King Arthur Flour American Style Panettone

Be sure to read the tips right below the ingredient list.

Warmest wishes to you and yours! Happy Holidays!

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Spiked Eggnog Chocolates


Yes, I know. Christmas was last month and eggnog is meant for Christmas season. I’m still catching up, and these chocolates were too good not to share, even if it is the wrong season. As far as chocolates go, these are pretty easy. A little time consuming, but not bad. And they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!! They aren’t the prettiest chocolates in the world, but I’ll explain what happened there later. The important part is they tasted awesome!

As I mentioned, these are fairly easy chocolates to make and require no fancy chocolate making equipment. You just need a mixer, parchment, sheet pan, and piping bag with two different, but very versatile, tips. I used the recipe from Chocolate and Confections, page 169. It is the first and only recipe I’ve made. Most of the time, I am too intimidated to make the recipes, but this one seemed like a good starting point. The one special ingredient you need, however, is cocoa butter, which is very inexpensive from King Arthur Flour. I did not have cocoa butter, which is why the first picture has pretty swirls of chocolate. The ones below are what happened when I tried to dip them in just straight chocolate:

Yeah, ugly, huh? Lucky for me and the hubby, they still tasted amazing. But the butter ganache (filling) was too soft to dip in just straight melted chocolate. I live in a town where finding specialty items like cocoa butter is near impossible and I didn’t plan accordingly, so I had no cocoa butter. You’ll be happy to know that I now have two jars of cocoa butter waiting for me when the urge to make chocolates strikes again. They have a long shelf life in case you want to stock up.

Enough chatter. Let’s move on to the recipe. You need a scale for this one, so I guess I should add that to the list of tools needed.

First, you need to make 130 chocolate discs, which are the base for the chocolates. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, as I did. Simply take a piece of parchment and the back of a small pastry tip. You need 25 mm, which is about 1 inch. Trace the circle from the pastry tip onto the parchment with a marker or pen, and then flip the parchment over. You don’t want any marker or pen bleeding onto the chocolates (not that you’d be able to see it, but still!). Temper some chocolate and pipe circles. Go here for a basic instruction on how to temper chocolate.

Tempering chocolate isn’t difficult, so don’t be scared! Basically, take the amount you need, in this instance, about 15 ounces. Then set aside 1/3 of that amount, which is 5 ounces. Take the other 2/3 and melt over a double boiler. Take your thermometer (did I mention that in the list of tools needed? Ok, you need that too), and melt until 110F for milk chocolate, and 118F for dark chocolate. Watch the thermometer carefully because it will be slow at first, but it will burn if you aren’t careful. Then remove from heat and stir the rest of chocolate. Maintain the temperature because you don’t want it to cool off before you can use it. Put it into a pastry bag and pipe in the outline of your circles.

Let the chocolate set. Now, if you didn’t temper correctly or just didn’t want to, the candies will still be fine. The bottoms won’t be shiny, but who looks at the bottoms anyway?

After the bottoms have set, make your butter ganache. What is butter ganache, you ask? Only a mouth watering, delicious sugary center! It’s not really similar to chocolate ganache, except they are both delicious. This is my first experience with butter ganache.

Spiked Eggnog Butter Ganache, yield 130 chocolates

  • 170 g  (6 oz)  Butter, soft
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) Glucose syrup (corn syrup is fine)
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 500 g (18 oz)White chocolate, melted, tempered (bring to 115F)
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) Dark rum

1. Using a 5 q mixer, cream together the butter, corn syrup, nutmeg, and vanilla until well blended.

2. By hand, stream the white chocolate into the butter mixture, taking care not to allow chunks of chocolate to form in the butter mixture.  Also by hand, stream in the rum, stirring until mixture is homogeneous.

3. Using a larger star tip, pipe pointed stars onto the chocolate discs. If the ganache is too soft, let sit, stirring occassionally, or chill for just a few minutes. Too long in the refrigerator and the chocolate will set and you will have to start over. Let sit until firm.

4. Now comes the fun part, and if you have cocoa butter, this experience will probably go better for you. You saw my disaster up above. I tempered some chocolate and tried to dip, but was unsuccessful. I tried adding vegetable oil, still unsuccessful. So my darling hubby suggested just swirling the chocolate on. That was a pretty good idea, don’t you think? They look a little like Christmas trees!

But if you have cocoa butter, then temper some chocolate (I honestly can’t say how much, sorry!) and add cocoa butter until the chocolate is very thin. Then dip away!

Regardless of their appearance, these were mouthwatering delicious. They just burst in your mouth full of flavor and were silky smooth. And, they were gone in no time. So, if you are ready for the next Christmas season, or feel as though you didn’t get enough eggnog, give these a try! You’ll be glad you did.

 

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