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I was reorganizing the Recipes page the other day and realized that I don’t have too many desserts on my Blog.
I, therefore, decided to dedicate this week’s post to my favourite winter dessert recipes.
We have been very good last week with the boiled chicken, so now deserve some treats, especially if at home on a cold snowy winter’s day like it is happening this weekend in the East Coast of USA.
So I propose:
• My famous homemade freshly baked Cinnamon Buns.
• Mini Meringues that will not stick to your teeth.
• My version of Pavlova Recipe with Chestnut Mousse
• Butter Biscuits with Bronte Pistachios which you can make with very little effort.
Homemade freshly baked Cinnamon Buns
I know many of my friends and their children have been waiting for this recipe.
When Liam was in lower school, all his school friends were looking forward to his birthday.
In the morning he would arrive in class with freshly baked Cinnamon Buns.
Even older brothers and sisters would remember to stop by to wish him happy birthday!
I always made sure one was put aside for Mrs Tindle, the Lower school Headmaster.
There wouldn’t be any left otherwise!
Soft and buttery inside, crunchy and gooey outside, they are our special Christmas morning treat.
To have them fresh in the morning, I prepare the buns the night before and let them rise overnight.
Bake them at dawn, and the lovely fragrances of cinnamon and caramel will spread throughout the house, welcoming in the new day.
The ingredients to make the buns dough are:
• 100 ml water
• 100 ml milk
• 2 eggs
• 55 g of melted butter
• 55 g of sugar
• 500 g of flour
• 1 tsp of salt
• 1 package of dry yeast
I make the dough in the bread machine, option 10 on my Kenwood machine.
If you do not have the bread machine follow the instruction on the recipe brioche dough without the bread machine.
To prepare the buns, roll the dough over a well floured parchment paper and brush it with 55 grams of melted butter.
Cover it with a mix made of :
• 100 g chopped pecans
• 110 g brown sugar
• 1 tsp of cinnamon
Roll it and butter the outside with a pastry brush.
The parchment paper will help to roll it and minimize the mess.
For the caramel:
• 110 g brown sugar
• 170 g of butter
• 10 g chopped pecans
Using a baking tin, prepare the caramel with the brown sugar and the butter.
When the sugar and the butter form a foamy caramel take it out of the stove and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
Cut the dough into slices and put them around the baking tin.
The size of the tin will depend if you want to have less but large cinnamons buns or many and smaller ones.
If you use a large tin you will have to make a longer and thinner roll with the dough.
Let it rest for 1 hour, or overnight
Bake in 180 C oven for 30 minutes.
As soon as they are ready take them out of the oven and turn them upside down on the serving dish.
This will allow the caramel and the butter to penetrate inside the buns making them nicely soft and gooey.
Mini Meringues that will not stick to your teeth.
To make a thick crunchy meringue that doesn’t stick to your teeth I have a secret:
“wine vinegar and corn flour”
I know, I was also sceptical at first but I tried it once and never made a meringue again without adding these two ingredients.
Brittle and crunchy it melts in your mouth.
So here are the ingredients to make them:
- 3 eggs white
- 175 gr of sugar
- 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp of corn flour
Whisk the egg whites until they become firm, then gently add half of the sugar.
Combine the vinegar and the corn flour to the rest of the sugar and gently add to the mix.
The mixture is ready to be piped into the desired shapes.
Bake at 150C for 1 hour
Pavlova Recipe with Chestnut Mousse
….Though my favourite is to make 2 large round shapes like a pavlova, covering them with chestnut mousse.
It is my version of Mont Blanc!
The mousse de marrons is made with:
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 300 gr of chestnuts puree
- 2 dl of cream
Yes, it is sweeeeeet!
I separate the egg yolks from the white, and whip the yolk with castor sugar. Once it becomes white-ish and little bubbles starts to appear, I add the chestnut puree.
Separately I whip the egg whites and the cream, and once ready I add them both to the chestnuts mousse.
Spread ¼ of the mousse over the first meringue ring and add some marrons glace broken into pieces.
Overlay the second meringue ring and cover completely with the mousse.
Let it rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
Butter Biscuits with Bronte Pistachios
If you want to make your children or your guests happy with the minimum effort, butter biscuits are the way to go!
The base for the dough is actually the French Sablè biscuits.
The name Sablè is the name of the town where they originated from, because they are very ‘sandy’ meaning ‘crumbling’.
And the reason is……… a lot of butter.
You can make it in advance and keep the dough in the freezer ready when you need it.
Ideal for when unexpected guests arrive, or if you are blocked at home during a snowy winter weekend – they are perfect companions with a cup of tea and a good book.
I have cooked them many times, each time experimenting with different spices.
The best is the one with Bronte Pistachios, my son Francesco can eat the entire batch by himself.
And I could too….that is why I don’t make them very often!
The ingredients are:
• 230 grams of good quality butter at room temperature
• 320 grams of flour – type 00
• 100 grams of sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 30 grams pistachios
• 1 pinch salt
Combine all ingredients adding the pistachios at the end. Roll it in two sausage shapes and wrap in cling foil. Keep in the fridge until the butter solidifies again, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
When you are ready to bake them, cut the sausage into slices and lay them over a baking tin covered with parchment paper.
Sprinkle with sugar and cook in a hot oven at 180 C for 15 minutes.
Once they are done, wait at least 10 minutes before placing them on a rack to cool down.