daily news

Choux Trouble – Fig and Mascarpone Puffs

Fig and Mascarpone Choux Puffs by Yudhika Sujanani

Fig and Mascarpone Choux Puffs by Yudhika Sujanani

The first time I made choux puffs was when I was about 16 years old. My mom was a huge fan of the Food and Home magazine and there was a feature on choux pastries which I found intriguing. I marched myself to the kitchen with my mother egging me on to make up a batch and they turned out perfect.

This started a craze and the Saturday arvie Swiss Roll was replaced by Profiteroles or Eclairs. The pastry was filled with scoops of fresh cream and then drizzled with chocolate. For some reason, I can’t even remember why, we just stopped making them. I have been working on some recipes for Eid, and remember that these puffs are a Persian favourite. They are called Nan Khameii.

I created these with a fig and mascarpone cream – ordinary whipped cream tends to flop after a bit and makes these pastries go soggy. The thicker the cream, the better the puff. I have tried these with chopped dried figs in the cream but much prefer a swirl of good red fig jam instead.

Fig and Mascarpone Puffs – Nan Khameii

Ingredients

For the choux pastry:
250ml cold water
125g butter, cubed
140g cake flour
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs

In a thick bottomed pan, bring the water and butter on a medium heat until the butter melts.
Add the flour and salt, then stir until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat, and leave to cool until slightly warm.

Cooking up the flour butter and water in an AMC pot!

Cooking up the flour butter and water in an AMC pot!

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pipe the mixture onto a greased baking tray leaving enough room in between them.

Piped choux pastry on a baking sheet

Piped choux pastry on a baking sheet

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and bake for 20 minutes.
Switch off the oven and leave to cool in the oven.

Pretty and puffed!

Pretty and puffed!

For the filling

2 x tubs Mascarpone Cream
2ml vanilla paste or essence
120ml icing sugar
50ml red fig jam

70g white chocolate, melted

Place the cream and vanilla into a mixing bowl, then whisk while gradually adding the icing sugar.
Continue whisking the cream until stiff.
Stir the fig jam into the cream.
Slice through the puff and fill with cream.
Drizzle white chocolate over the puff to garnish.

Advertisements

Wanted: Yudhika Sujanani – FED or ALIVE

The Diwali Burfee Macaron!

The Diwali Burfee Macaron!

It might be paranoia but I am beginning to feel that I am ‘wanted’! I hope been posting full fat Diwali recipes for the last week and judging by my depleted ‘SPAR BUTTER STOCK’, the calories count is rising rapidly! With the whole Diwali weekend to go, my daughter’s birthday and a ‘BOLLYWOOD DIWALI PARTY’ next weekend…the calorie count shows no signs of dropping!

I am going to grin and bear it! The way I cook on-screen is the way I cook off-screen and that is the ‘Sugar n Spice’ secret of my show! A splash of butter here and a drizzle of cream there…it’s all good as long as it’s in MODERATION! I have never eaten a salad as a meal – I just can’t!

Diwali is a time where splashes and drizzles becomes chunks and large glugs! And yes, I do wish there were low-fat versions but sadly not!!! I hope that the Heart Foundation, Weightwatchers and Weighless are not looking out for me….I am beginning to think that I am public enemy No 1!

I am not a heart specialist, dietician or a nutritionist – just a happy hearty cook with a sparkle in my eye and a love for food! In other words, I plead not guilty!

Shabnum Moosa from the Daily News said I just make something to tickle her dessert loving taste buds…and this is how the Diwali Macaron was born….bright red to symbolise a happy occasion and good fortune, filled with white chocolate and leftover burfee bits and a hint of cardamom to zhoosh them up! In other words, to die for!

After I submitted this recipe to Jenny Kay from The Star Newspaper, we met for coffee at Tasha’s in Hyde Park…she explained that Macarons are a pretty ambitious dessert to make and I was quite surprised…I have always just popped into the kitchen and banged up a batch…she tested the recipe and I got a late night sms with a picture saying they worked…for those of you who don’t know….Jenny Kay is ‘Angela Day’ from the Verve section of the newspaper! I have worked with her for a few years and have to admit that she is our very own ‘recipe guru’! For more recipes from her, log onto http://www.angeladay.co.za

Here is another recipe perfect for a Diwali treat!

Macarons!

Macarons!

Diwali Burfee Macarons

Makes 18

Ingredients

100g ground almonds
180g Spar icing sugar
Pinch of salt
90g egg whites
25g sugar
Pinch of cardamom
Red gel food colouring

Filling
60ml fresh cream
100g white chocolate, chopped
60g burfee, finely chopped

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
Draw 4cm circles on silicone baking paper and turn it onto a baking sheet.
Place the almonds in a coffee grinder and process until fine.
Sift the icing sugar with the ground almonds into a bowl, then add salt.
Whisk the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the sugar.
When stiff peaks form, add the cardamom and red colouring – brighter colours work best!
Gently fold the almond mixture into the egg whites.
Pipe the mixture onto the baking paper.
Gently tap the tray to remove air bubbles.

The macarons...fingers crossed!

The macarons…fingers crossed!

Leave aside for an hour so that the macarons set.
Bake for 12 15 minutes and then leave the oven door ajar for 5 minutes.
Leave to cool and then remove from the baking paper.

For the filling:
Heat the cream and then add the chocolate.
Whisk until the mixture is smooth, then add the chopped burfee.
Stir the mixture until smooth and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours.

...and now for the tasting....

…and now for the tasting….

Sandwich the macarons together with the filling.
Serve at room temperature once the filling has set.