Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

The traditional Christmas barszcz (spicy beetroot soup) is simmering on the stove right now and I can´t wait to try it!

In a few hours we start celebrating Christmas, as usual I´m celebrating a Polish Christmas . I wish all readers around the world a merry and fantastic Christmas with your loved ones!

Menu for hope – reminder

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Don’t miss a chance to win a Moomin baking parcel with lots of Moomin cookie cutters, prize code EU08

I hope that you havn’t missed Menu for Hope 5, it´s a great opportunity to donate money at the same time as you have a chance to win fabulous prizes including lovely Moomin baking ware donated by me. If you still have Christmas presents left to buy you should definitly buy a few raffle tickets in your friend´s name. There are gift cards to print out here that you can give to your recipient.

Crispy chocolate treats with nougat

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

It’s just a few days left to Christmas. Hopefully you’re all done with the Christmas shopping so you can focus on the baking and candy making. This is a very simple recipe for very delicious homemade crispy chocolate treats with nougat.

    Crispy chocolate treats with nougat
    (makes two baking sheets of chocolate)

    200 gram nougat
    200 gram high quality dark chocolate (at least 70 %)
    125 gram Kellogg’s corn flakes (unsweetened)
    chopped blanched almonds

    Melt the nougat and chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave. When the mixture has melted, remove from heat and let cool a bit. Add the corn flakes and carefully combine until all corn flakes are covered. With a dessert spoon, divide the mixture into lumps on a parchement covered baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top and let cool in the fridge.

Menu for hope V: Win Moomin bakeware!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Moomin baking collection, prize code EU08

It’s December and for the fifth year in a row food bloggers from all over the world are raising money to the United Nations World Food Programme by offering wonderful culinary prizes to tempt people to donate money.

For every US$10, the you receive a virtual raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. Last year we collected the incredible sum of nearly $100.000!!! This year once again, all money will go to the UN World Food Programme and the money are earmarked to a school’s feeding program in Lesotho. We chose to support the school lunch program because providing food for the children not only keeps them alive, but helps them stay in school so that they learn the skills to feed themselves in the future. Everyone, no matter where you live, can participate. Make sure to check out all available prizes at Chez Pim, just check that the things you want to bid on can be shipped to where you live.

To read more about Menu for Hope 5, who benefits from it, what percentage of the funds actually goes to those we help etc, go to this link on Chez Pim.

So what do I do to contribute to Menu for Hope 5? I’m donating a very special prize to the raffle, quite similiar to last years prize, to tempt my dear readers. My prize for Menu for Hope is a baking collection for all Moomin lovers! It’s Moomin Mania, a special irresistible baking collection for all Moomin lovers (prize code EU08) that consists of:

1 Moomintroll cake mold
1 Moomintroll cookie cutter
1 Moominmamma cookie cutter
1 Moominpappa cookie cutter
1 Lilla My cookie cutter
1 Snork maiden cookie cutter
1 Groke cookie cutter
1 Snufkin cookie cutter
1 Hattifatteners cookie cutter
1 Grooke cookie cutter
1 Stinky cookie cutter
4 dessert spoons from Hackman with Moomin motifs
Moomin paper napkins
1 pot holder with Moomin motifs
1 oven mit with Moomin motifs

Everything is of course brand new in their original packages and I will ship them anywhere in the world. The 9 different cookies come out beautifully with outlines and people just love them. You can make any cut-out cookies with the cutters and decorate them as you wish. The cake mold holds 400 ml and results in a cute Moomin cake.

    How to bid for a prize:

    1. Choose a prize or prizes of your choice from our Menu for Hope prize list at Chez Pim.

    2. Go to the donation site at First Giving and make a donation.

    3. Each $10 you donate will give you one raffle ticket toward a prize of your choice. You must specify which prize you’d like in the ‘Personal Message’ section in the donation form when confirming your donation. You must write-in how many tickets per prize, and please use the prize code.
    For example, a donation of $50 can be 2 tickets for EU01 and 3 tickets for EU02. Please write 2xEU01, 3xEU02

    4. For US donors, if your company matches your charity donation, please check the box and fill in the information so we could claim the corporate match.

    5. Please allow us to see your email address so that we could contact you in case you win. Your email address will not be shared with anyone.

    6. Bids on prizes will be accepted from December 15-24th. The last day to bid on a prize is December 24th.

    7. Check back on Chez Pim on January 12, when Pim will announce the result of the entire raffle.

Coffee macarons with Baileys ganache

Friday, December 5th, 2008

On Monday I had a day off and I quickly decided it would be The Macaron Day. I’ve been wanting do bake macarons for a very long time and finally I found the right day when I had time and inclination.

My first batch actually had totally different flavor than the ones I’m blogging about. Flavor wise it wasn’t a bad idea and they came out with the characteristic feet and all, but they were a bit over baked and just a tiny bit too flat. So I decided to do a new batch, using a lower oven temperature. Before I knew it I decided to change approach and go for coffee instead. When the macarons were drying before baking them, I decided to create a Baileys ganache that came out delicious. I could eat it with a spoon!

This second batch was much better, but I’m still a macaron amateur. I think the key is to know your oven.

The finished sandwiched macarons taste best on the second day, when the flavors of the macarons and filling are “married”. Maybe they taste even better on the third day, however I can’t know that as they mystically disappeared by then.

    Coffee macarons
    makes around 25-30 sandwiched macarons
    (adapted from Tartelettes step-by-step instruction).

    100 gram egg whites
    50 gram caster sugar
    200 gram icing sugar
    110 gram blanched almonds, whole or ground
    3 tsp instant espresso coffee powder

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Ground the almonds by mixing them in a food processor until you have a sort of flour. Add icing sugar and mix for about 10-20 seconds. Add the instant coffee powder and mix again for a couple of seconds.

    Whip the egg whites with an electric beater until they start to thicken, then gradually add sugar until the egg whites have become a thick and glossy meringue.

    Combine meringue with icing sugar and almond mixture. Carefully fold the mixture, not using more than 50 strokes.

    Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe small rounds (about 3-4 cm in diameter) on the parchment covered baking sheets. Let the macarons dry for 1 – 1.5 hours in room temperature so the shells will harden. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 150 degrees C hot convection oven, leaving the door slightly ajar. Turn the baking sheet after 7 minutes. Again this is what works when using my oven. When looking online this really differs, so you need to test what works best for your oven. After a total of 10 minutes remove from oven and let cool. If the macarons stick to the parchment paper, brush water underneath and carefully remove them from the parchment paper.

    My own Baileys ganache
    50 ml double cream
    100 gram white chocolate
    1 tbsp Baileys

    Heat the cream in a sauce pan. Add chopped white chocolate and directly remove from heat. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Add Baileys. Fill a pastry bag and let cool in the fridge until it’s firm enough to pipe.

    Pair macarons of similar size and pipe Baileys ganache on the flat side of one macaron. Top with another macaron matching the flat sides. Even if it’s hard and you would like to eat all macarons directly try to refrigerate for one day so the flavors blend together.

Countdown to Christmas!

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Wow, it’s already December 1st! So little time and so many things to bake and cook, not even mentioning the Christmas shopping! But there’s no sense getting all stressed right now, first I’ll take another sip of mulled wine together with the first piece of handmade chocolate in the chocolate advent calendar från Sv. Michelsen that I bought overpriced (!) at the airport in Copenhagen a few days ago (I’ve been there again for work). Have a nice 1st of December!