Meringues, festive buns and chocolate dumplings
Lately I have been thinking about baking. It is different from cooking where I can just add things, sometimes on a feeling. There are a few things I can bake but I almost never stray. This time I wanted to make an effort and see how it would go. I set aside almost a full day, cleared space and got going.
The first thing I did was a chocolate ganache, meringue tart. Last time I did it the meringue didn’t work so I knew I had to re make it. This time I am pleased to say that the meringue did work out ok.
I also made hibiscus and rosehip meringues whilst at it. They turned out ok but I have to admit they got stuck in my teeth and were a bit on the sweet side for my tastebuds.
Hibiscus and rosehip meringues
preparation time 30 minutes
cooking time 1 ½ + 2 hours
oven 200C or 390F for the sugar
oven 120C or 250F
makes 12 medium meringues
- 3 dl raw caster sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup hibiscus and rosehip suryp
For the syrup
- 2 dl strong hibiscus and rosehip tea, let it brew for a minimum of 5 minutes
- 1 ½ dl or 3/4 cup raw caster sugar
Strain the tea and place in a pan with sugar. Boil down until it gets a syrupy consistency, this should take about 20 minutes but boil for longer if needed.
Set aside until cool.
Place the sugar in the oven until it feels warm to touch.
In a bowl, place the egg whites and the corn starch. Whisk until stiff and add the warmed sugar a little at the time. I am not quite sure what the corn starch did but someone told me to use it so I did.
Last I added the slightly cooled syrup and the placed the meringues on non stick baking paper. Drizzle over some syrup before baking. I also added a few cocoa nibs for a chocolate hit.
The meringues were good but should I get the urge I might buy them next time.
I made Christmas buns, here is a recipe example for the dough, I didn’t use any cardamon.
Whilst the dough was rising I mixed the filling. I wanted it to be Christmas inspired.
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 dl of cashew nuts, not salted
- 1/4 dl of pecan nuts, not salted
- 30 gr or about 1 oz of milk chocolate
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 dl caster sugar
- 50 gr or 1.7 oz of room temperature butter
Chop the nuts and the chocolate and mix with the remaining ingredients.
Roll out the dough and spread the filling on it.
Roll up the dough, cut across and place in a buttered dish.
Whisk an egg and brush the buns, add some sugar in top and bake in the oven, the recipe said 15 minutes but mine took 30 minutes. I might have cut them too large.
Once done I did an orange icing and the buns were done.
I liked the buns and the filling was very nice. Dried cranberries are not as sweet as raisins and I liked the slight acidity that they added.
The last thing I did was sweet dumplings. I had some gyoza wrappers left over and wanted to use them to make sweet dumplings.
Orange and nut chocolate dumplings
preparation time 15 minutes
cooking time 10 minutes
oven 175C or 350F
- 30 gr or 1 oz chocolate, I used Varlhornas milk chocolate with 40% cocoa
- 1/2 dl of cashew nuts
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup cranberries
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 6 gyoza wrappers
- 20 gr or 0.7 oz butter
Place the orange juice in a pan and gently heat it. Add the chopped chocolate and melt it. Add the chopped cashew nuts and the cranberries. Let cool and set slightly. Melt the butter and brucs the gyoza wrappers on both sides. Add a teaspoon of filling to each wrapper.
Fold it close it, it won’t stay completely closed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
The wrapper added a nice crispness and the ganache mix was lovely with the orange coming through. I didn’t make that many but they were so rich I can confirm that they were great the next day too.
It was almost a whole day of baking. Admittedly I did spend some of it in front of the oven watching things bake but I am sure I can buy all the things I baked from the baker and love it. I think it is the lack of experience that makes me hesitant about baking, besides the mess I always seems to make. It was better this time as I was cleaning straight away but I have to admit that I prefer cooking, most of the time.