Sweet Potato Eclairs with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Getting some more fall recipes in before winter hits.

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Use a sturdy wooden spoon to beat the choux so it doesn’t crack in half like my last wooden spoon.

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And boy do I hope you like marshmallows because there is a lot of them in this recipe.

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I added some mini marshmallows for cuteness.

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The eclairs are filled with a sweet potato pastry cream. So overall this eclair is pretty sweet. I’d say if that concerns you to go for a decorating style that tones down on the amount of marshmallow frosting (like spreading a thin layer of marshmallow over the top instead), or to reduce the amount of sugar in the pastry cream (at your own risk).

I got the recipe idea from here, but used my own recipe for the marshmallow frosting and choux pastry.

Ingredients (makes about 12 eclairs)

Choux pastry (Pâte à Choux if you want to be fancy)

  • 90g whole milk
  • 90g water
  • 85g butter (3/4 sticks)
  • 3/4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 103g all purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 30g large egg whites (slightly less than 1 egg white)
Sweet Potato Pastry Cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 75g sugar
  • 25g cornstarch
  • 55g egg yolks
  • 1g salt
  • 88g (about 1/2 a medium) sweet potato, roasted, cooled, mashed

Swiss meringue (marshmallow) frosting

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 160g granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Additional decorations and optional peripherals

  • Mini marshmallows (to decorate)
  • A petal tip to get the swirl marshmallow pattern (I used Wilton #125)
  • An open star tip to get pipe the eclairs (I used Wilton #827)
  • A blowtorch to brûlée the marshmallows

Method

Choux pastry

  1. Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, and then add all the flour at once.
  3. Beat the mixture very well with a wooden spoon until it leaves a film at the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking and stirring nonstop for another 3 minutes to dry but not colour the dough. At this point the ball should start picking up the dough from the bottom of the pan so there is less of the film.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and continue to stir the mixture until it has cooled down enough that you can touch the saucepan with your hands/it’s not hot enough to scramble eggs.
  5. Beat the eggs and egg whites together in a bowl and add the egg mixture to the dough in 3 additions, beating the dough well between each addition. The mixture might look wrong at first but just keep beating until a smooth, satiny dough forms. You know the dough has hit the right hydration when you drop the dough from the spoon and it forms a triangle shape.
  6. Scoop the choux dough into a piping bag (with an optional open star tip) and pipe medium-sized éclairs (I aimed for 2-3 biters), leaving some space between each éclair.
  7. Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for about 30-35 mins, rotating the baking sheets after 20-25 mins if one side starts to brown faster than the other. The choux is done when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow, and it looks golden brown.
  8. Transfer the choux to cooling racks, and place back in the switched off oven with the oven door ajar to dry the choux out further. Cool to room temperature.

Sweet potato pastry cream

  1. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until it’s a pale yellow.
  2. Add cornstarch and salt to the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
  4. While whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly stream the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Place mixture back on medium heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring continuously, until thickened (about 2-3 mins).
  6. Move to bowl and cool until slightly warm, with plastic wrap directly contacting the cream to prevent a skin from forming.
  7. Beat in the sweet potato until combined.
  8. Put the plastic wrap back over the pastry cream, making sure to directly contact the pastry cream, and cool until completely cooled to room temperature.

Swiss meringue frosting

  1. Place the egg whites into a large heatproof bowl, and set over a saucepan with gently simmering water, making sure the water is not in direct contact with the bowl. Whisk with an electric whisk until the egg whites are foamy, then add the sugar and salt. Whisk until you cannot feel the sugar grains in the egg whites any more (should take about 3 mins).
  2. Remove the bowl from heat, and whisk until the meringue is cool and you achieve stiff peaks. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Place the remaining meringue into a piping bag (with an optional petal tip attached) and set aside.

Assembly

  1. Take an éclair and make two small holes in the bottom with a chopstick.
  2. Place the tip of the piping bag into the hole and fill each choux well with pastry cream, making sure to rotate the choux so you fill all sides of the choux.
  3. Pipe the meringue frosting over the eclair in a zigzag pattern, with the piping tip perpendicular to the eclair.
  4. Top with mini marshmallows, and then torch the marshmallows and meringue with the blowtorch.

Notes

  • This is best served immediately for optimal crispness of the choux, but I refrigerated the choux and they still tasted good the next day. Try not to keep them too long though – they get moist.
  • Some alternative ways to fill éclairs is to cut each éclair lengthwise and then pipe the filling in. This would look especially pretty if you pipe the filling with a patterned tip and you’d probably squeeze more filling into each éclair as well. But I’ve always liked the aesthetic of an uncut éclair better (and it’s also easier to transport without smushing the filling all over the container).
  • A hack to pipe out éclairs is to use a large star-shaped nozzle to direct a circular and even expansion of the éclair while avoiding large cracks in the choux.
  • Also a light dusting of icing sugar over the éclairs before baking is supposed to help with improving the colour of the éclairs but I’ve honestly never noticed a difference with or without the icing sugar.
  • Sprinkling your baking tray with drops of water before baking is also supposed to help with crisping the choux but I think the choux is pretty crispy even without this hack.

Giant Levain-style Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

What an absolute unit.

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This recipe is based off New York City’s famous Levain bakery‘s chocolate chip cookie.

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Look at the size of each chip! I used Ghirardelli’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Grand Chips, which are about double the size of a standard chip. Which means MORE CHOCOLATE PER BITE.

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The size of the chocolate also contributes significantly to each chonk of a cookie.

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These cookies are beautifully crispy on the edges, but remain soft and gooey in the center.

giant chocolate chip cookie levain style

This recipe was based off this recipe, which was in turn based off this recipe.

Ingredients (makes 8 large cookies)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (227g)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (150g)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cake flour (125g)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (188g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups walnut halves (about 150g, not optional see notes)
  • 2 cups large semi-sweet chocolate chips (just dump in one standard 11oz/311g bag of chocolate chips, see notes for which brand I used)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugars and the butter until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated with the butter and sugars.
  4. Add the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold in the ingredients until the dry ingredients are mixed in.
  5. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips into the batter and gently fold in until they are well-distributed throughout the batter.
  6. Divide the dough into 6oz/170g portions, using your hands to shape them into balls (do not flatten).
  7. Bake each cookie for about 15mins (see notes). You most likely will have to bake these cookies in batches (do not crowd the cookies on the baking sheet). The cookies are done when the top and bottom is very golden.
  8. Let cool for about 15 mins before serving.

Notes

  • The walnuts are needed to give the cookies enough bulk to be a big cookie and still have the right texture.
  • I found that the original recipe’s suggested baking time of 11 mins was way too short for my tastes and you could barely pick up the finished product. So adjust to your tastes.
  • If you decide to refrigerate/freeze your dough before baking, make sure to let the dough thaw to room temperature before baking or the inside of the cookie will be too raw.
  • I used these grand semi-sweet chips from Ghirardelli.
  • These cookies freeze well, both before and after baking.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Spoopy spoopy.

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This all started when I watched this video from The Scran Line and I just really liked the aesthetic of skulls crying blood.

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(I flipped that corner tart on purpose to show that ~crisp~ bottom)

But I didn’t want to make an entire cake and wanted the flavours to be a bit more seasonal so I settled on mini pumpkin cheesecake tarts.

spooky skull mini pumpkin cheesecake tart

This is essentially a mini spice-y pie crust with a white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake filling. The tarts are topped with (slightly over-whipped by accident) stabilised whipped cream to add some lightness, and the stabilised cream means you can make this beforehand and the cream will still taste fresh and airy.

spooky skull mini pumpkin cheesecake tart 2

I got the tart recipe from here but added some ~pumpkin spice~ and ground ginger. The filling is from here, and I followed this for the stabilised whipped cream.

The mould for the skulls is from here.

Ingredients (makes about 10 mini tarts)

Crust

  • 2 1/4 cups (10 oz./281g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 oz./100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice + 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz./200g) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • Ice water, as needed
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (to brush the muffin tin)

Pumpkin cheesecake (will make more than needed for 10 tarts so you could double the crust if you wanted to make 20 tarts instead)

  • 2 cups cream cheese softened (458g)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed (100g)
  • 4 oz white chocolate melted (113g)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs room temperature

Stabilised whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp powdered gelatin (I used Knox)
  • 2 tbsp cold water

White chocolate skulls and bloody tears

  • About 12oz white chocolate (340g)
  • Corn syrup
  • Red food colouring

Method

Crust

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and spices.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the butter with the flour mixture until the mixture looks like corn meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the egg.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time until the mixture comes together and forms a big ball.
  5. Flatten the ball into a disc and cover the disc in plastic wrap. Place the disc in the fridge for 30 mins.
  6. Meanwhile, brush the cavities of the muffin tin with melted butter to make sure the dough does not stick to the tin.
  7. Remove the chilled dough and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rounds of dough larger than the cavity of the muffin tin, and use your fingers to press the dough flat against the bottom corners of the pan and up the walls of the cavities. If air bubbles form, use a fork to dock the dough and press down to get rid of the air bubbles.
  8. Freeze the dough in the pan for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  9. Remove the pan from the freezer and fit a cupcake liner on top of each crust and fill with pie weights (I used dried beans).
  10. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the cupcake liners with the pie weights from each crust and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. Let the pie crust cool for 10 minutes before adding the filling. Meanwhile, lower the temperature of the oven to 325°F/160°C.

Cheesecake filling

  1. While the crust is baking, make the cheesecake filling.
  2. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to blend the cream cheese, sugar, melted white chocolate, and pumpkin spice together until smooth, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  4. Add each egg one at a time, mixing well between, until the mixture is smooth and evenly blended.
  5. Add the cheesecake mixture into the cooled tart crust.
  6. Bake in the preheated 325°F/160°C oven for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is just set (if you jiggle the pan the middle should still be slightly wobbly but the edges should not jiggle).
  7. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the tarts from the pan to cool completely to room temperature.

Stabilised whipped cream

  1. While the tarts are cooling, make the stabilised whipped cream. Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling the gelatin over the water and letting it sit for 5 minutes (making sure all the gelatin is hydrated – this is to stop grainy lumps in the whipped cream).
  2. Once the gelatin is bloomed, heat in the microwave for 5 seconds to melt. If not fully melted, microwave in 3s bursts, stirring well in between each bust. Do not overheat.
  3. Add in 1 tsp of cream to the gelatin and mix.
  4. Whip the cream to soft peaks and add in the powdered sugar. Slowly drizzle in the melted gelatin, while whipping the cream. Continue whipping to stiff peaks.
  5. Pipe the whipped cream over the completely cooled tarts. Store the tarts in the fridge until completely chilled before serving.

White chocolate skulls and bloody tears

  1. To make the white chocolate skulls, melt the white chocolate and pour into the moulds. Tap the mould sharply onto the counter to ensure there are no trapped air bubbles. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Remove the mould from the chocolate, and use a paring knife to neaten the edges. You might want to wear gloves for this so the chocolate doesn’t melt in your hands as quickly and you don’t leave fingerprints over the skulls.
  2. To make the tears of blood, just mix corn syrup with red food colouring and pipe into the eye sockets of the white chocolate skull. Pipe the tears of blood right before serving (see notes).

Notes

  • The white chocolate skulls are basically pure solid white chocolate so it can be a bit rich.
  • The stabilised whipped cream can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • The tears of blood will thin out and get absorbed by the cream after a couple of hours so only pipe the blood right before you serve.

Rose Madeleines with Lemon Curd and Strawberries

Another fancy pan to add to your bakeware collection.

rose-madeleine

Madeleines look super fancy and taste fantastic too. Super buttery with a tender crumb.

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And of course, are they really madeleines if they don’t have the classic hump? Traditionally madeleines aren’t made with baking powder but I used baking powder in this recipe because you get higher humps.

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Look at the pretty shell pattern the pan leaves behind! (I swear the pattern is more apparent in real life)

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I flavoured the madeleines with some rose flavour because I’m in a bit of a floral kick right now. I also put some lemon curd in the middle of the madeleine so you get a bit more ~excitement~ with different bites, and plugged the lemon curd hole with some crushed up freeze-dried strawberries for the aesthetic.

rose madeleine lemon curd strawberries

The base recipe is from good old smittenkitchen.

Ingredients (makes about 11-12 madeleines depending on your pan, for me each madeleine was about 3.5 inches long and 2 inches wide)

Rose madeleine

  • 95g all purpose flour (3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 100g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 70g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (5 tbsp)
  • 1 1/4 tsp rose flavour
  • Freeze-dried strawberries (to decorate)

Lemon curd (will make more than you need)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • The zest from the lemons you used
  • 28g melted butter 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour

Method

Rose madeleine

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  2. In another large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until thickened and lightened in colour, about 2-4 mins.
  3. Beat in the vanilla to the egg-sugar mixture.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg-sugar mixture.
  5. Fold in the melted butter.
  6. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface to create a seal.
  7. Chill for at least 3 hours (important for creating the hump!).
  8. Meanwhile, brush your madeleine pan with some melted butter and put into the fridge.

Lemon curd

  1. Mix the yolks with the sugar vigorously. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  2. Microwave on medium-high for 1.5 mins. Stir.
  3. Repeat on medium or medium-high at 1 mins interval, stirring every time after you heat until the curd is thick.
  4. Sieve the curd.

Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
  2. Coat your madeleine pan with a second layer of butter – just to make extra sure that the madeleines don’t stick.
  3. Divide the batter between the madeleine moulds, filling them almost to the top. Don’t try to smooth out the batter – it will even out and some say this could affect the humpiness of the madeleines as well.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden-brown and dark brown around the edges. They should also spring back when touched.
  5. Cool the madeleines on a wire rack until room temperature.
  6. Using a large piping tip or a small paring knife, dig out a hole from the middle of the madeleine. Fill the resulting hole with lemon curd.
  7. Decorate by pressing some crushed-up freeze-dried strawberries onto the exposed lemon curd.

Notes

  • The madeleines taste best when fresh! They still taste good kept in an airtight container at room temperature the next day, but they’re just not the same.
  • If you’re not planning on filling the madeleines, you could also eat them slightly warm, which is delicious in a whole other way. The brown edges are slightly crisp, the inside of the madeleine more fluffy. All the people you’re sharing the madeleines with the next day are missing out.
  • The madeleines can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. Or you could just keep the batter refrigerated for up to 2 days and bake on demand.

Mini Pot Pies

Hey do you live alone too?

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Following the spirit of the masterpiece cookbook Microwave Cooking for One, I continue in my quest to portion out recipes so I can eat the same meal for 3 days in a row.

These cute pies are baked in muffin tins! And the crust stays flaky even without a blind bake, which is probably helped along by the viscosity of the filling.

pot pie individual muffin mini

And look at how appetising the pies look with the filling oozing out! I got the recipe from here and omitted the chicken and added some fresh herbs.

Ingredients (makes 6)

Pie crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (320g)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes (226g)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cups ice-cold water

Filling

  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots (I used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup chopped potato
  • 3/4 cup peas (I used frozen)
  • 1/3 cup butter (75g)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped herbs (I used rosemary and thyme, about 1 tbsp of each)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 to 1½ cups milk

Method

Pie crust

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together, and transfer to a food processor.
  2. Pulse the flour mixture with the butter, until the mixture resembles coarse meal/breadcrumbs (about 10s). Alternatively if like me you don’t have a food processor large enough, you could rub in the butter into the flour with cold hands.
  3. With the machine running, slowly stream in the water until the dough comes together. Don’t process for more than 30s or the dough might get too tough.
  4. Divide the dough into 2, and flatten out into discs. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Filling

  1. In a saucepan, combine the carrots, potato, and peas with the chicken broth and boil for 15 mins. Remove from heat and drain the chicken broth, but keep the broth! Set aside the vegetables.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until the onions are soft and translucent. Then add in the herbs and heat through.
  3. Stir in the flour and add some salt and pepper. Stir around until the mixture is smooth. Cook the flour for at least 1 min so it doesn’t taste raw.
  4. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and milk. Don’t worry too much if it clumps up just keep stirring and it’ll all smooth out. Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes until the roux thickens up.
  5. Add the vegetables into the roux and mix. You can adjust the consistency of the filling by adding chicken broth or milk 1 tbsp at a time but I didn’t have to.

Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
  2. Butter 6 muffin…holes? Cavities?
  3. Take one of the dough discs out of the fridge and divide into 6. Roll out the dough disc till thin and large enough to be pressed into each muffin hole.
  4. Press the dough into the cavity, making sure it’s making good contact with the bottom and sides. Leave a half-inch overhang so you can seal the pie later.
  5. Add the filling into the cavity, being generous so the pies bulge out slightly.
  6. Take the remaining dough disc out of the fridge and divide into 6. Roll out the dough to a round disc large enough to cover the top of the pie.
  7. Lay the disc over the pie and press the top and bottom dough layers together around the edge to seal. Cut off any excess dough.
  8. Use a fork to press along the edges to seal the pie further.
  9. Brush the top of each pie with some milk, being careful not to let the milk drip down the sides. (The milk helps give the pie some colour on the top, but if it drips down the sides if might make it harder to remove the pie from the mould).
  10. Cut a slit on the top of the pie to release steam when baking.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 mins or until pies are golden brown on the top.
  12. Let the pies cool in the pan for a couple of mins before using 2 forks to remove each pie. Let the pies cool down further over a wire rack. Serve warm.

Notes

  • I refrigerated the leftover pies and they heat up pretty well in a 350°F/180°C oven for 15-20 mins. Just note that the filling will not remain as flowy.