Monday, 29 April 2013

Daring Bakers - April 2013

Well, I know I am late, but at least better late than never!
Between me being sick, Ioanna being sick, a million things to do in the office, I took half the pictures with one camera and half with onother.
So... now I cannot find the second half and there are no pictures of my finished savarin....

Yes, you read correct. It was a savarin challenge!

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina was our host this month.

Strawberry Savarin

350 gm bread flour
30 ml lukewarm water
5 eggs at room temperature, separated
15 gm fresh yeast
50 gm sugar
75 gm butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed strawberries
a little butter for greasing the work surface, hands & baking pan

A) Sponge
In a small bowl mix the lukewarm water, 25 gm of the flour and the yeast , cover with cling film and let it rise 1 hour.
After 30 minutes have passed, put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and start working at low speed adding flour until you have a soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 270 gm) and work until it comes together , cover with cling film and let rest 30 min

Add the sponge to the mixer bowl along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing at low speed. Add the orange zest

When it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl add one yolk and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour

Add the second yolk, the sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour

Raise the speed a little and add the third yolk and the salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour
Add the strawberry puree.
Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later.
Mix the dough until is elastic and makes threads and then add the butter. As soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour.

Keep on mixing until it is very elastic and cover the dough with cling film until it has tripled in volume 2 to 3 hours.

While you wait butter your baking pan.Grease your hands and your work surface and fold with the dough two or three times around. Cover with cling foil and let it rest 15 minutes on the counter

Turn the dough upside down and shape your dough in a rounded bun.

Make a hole in the center with your thumb, lift the dough and put it in the prepared pan

Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan about 1 hour

Bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown in a pre-heated oven 170°C.

Meanwhile you can prepare the syrup of your choice. I made a simple strawberry syrup with 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and fresh strawberries. I let it boil, until the colour and the taste were what I had in mind.

When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven, let it cool and remove carefully out of the pan. When it is completely cold, put it back in the pan, poke it around with a skewer and start adding ladles of syrup until you see it along the rim of the pan.

I left my Savarin in the pan until it was time to serve it. I put strawberries in the hole and drizzled it with white chocolate ganache. Also, because of the red syrup, my Savarin was pink!!!!! (I wish you could see it....)

Thank you Natalia!


Thursday, 4 April 2013


Loukoumades is a traditional dessert here in Greece.

It is essentially a yeast dough which is fried and while warm, sprinkled with cinnamon and confectioner's sugar or drizzled with honey or chocolate.

They are rather easy to make, as long as you are patient!


750gr all purpose flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

350gr honey
300gr sugar
220gr water

Sift the flour and mix in the salt, sugar and cinnamon.
Put it in a large bowl and make a hole in the middle.
Mix the yeast with a little warm water until it is dissolved and pour it in the hole in the flour.
Mix lightly and add a little more warm water until you have a sticky porridge like dough.
Use a hand whisk to mix all the ingredients very well.
Leave the dough in a warm place to rise and double in size. When little bubbles appear, it is ready. See the first picture? That's the idea.
Using a teaspoon, take little dough and drop it (carefully!!!!) into a deep pan with hot olive oil to fry. When the loukoumas is ready and golden brown remove it and place it on a plate, which is lined with kitchen paper towel, so that the excess oil is absorbed.

In the mean time, prepare the syrup (if you want to use it). Boil all the ingredients together, until thick and well, syrupy!

Put your loukoumades on a serving platter and drizzle with syrup, or just drizzle with some good golden honey, as I did!!

Nice golden brown colour!

Excuse the dark picture, but it was getting late and I just want you to see the honey.....

You can play around with the dough, the toppings, the flavors of the syrup. The possibilities are so many!
I like to add cinnamon in the dough, but you can omit that and dust a little on top.
Also, they are AMAZING with nutella on them!!!!
You can add chocolate chips in the dough or small pieces of fruit. Can you imagine apple bits in the dough and cinnamon with confectioner's sugar on top?

Seriously, you have got to try them.