Members Only – 2015 – September – Austria

It’s been a fun month this month.

I’d say our August launch was pretty successful, we had lots of good feedback and you all seemed happy for the most part, and willing to overlook my shortcomings and teething problems.

Moving into September, we faced some new challenges, had some new issues but I think overall we made some good steps forward.

2015-09-Bakes

I’ll treat this part like a bulletin board of some things that I want to share with you:

  • I think our website login problems are fixed now that I found the bit of coding that was causing some of the problem. Even if you don’t have or don’t remember your password, the password reset button/link is now working so you will be able to reset it if you need to.
  • I will NOT be making the mistake of sending you jam again – as I have already emphasised.
  • A couple of boxes this month had an absolutely spectacular boo boo from me, where I managed to put the seal and tape on the wrong side meaning they didn’t touch the join  at all.
  • There were some typos on the recipe cards and going forward, I will be getting everything thoroughly proof-read.
  • I will be trying to provide exact recipes in future months, so you can recreate the things you’re making from your boxes. I have included them for this month below.
  • I have included video walkthroughs as well. Much later in the month than I would actually like but video uploading is an absolute pain! I had these done at the end of August, but between uploading, not being sure about website logins and jam-gate as I am now calling it, getting this page ready kind of slipped off of my to-do list!

So on to the main parts of this month.

I dragged in a friend to help me this month so we could get some videos together. Unfortunately I realise that my narration is absolutely awful so I’m looking at what else I can do to make the videos a bit errm…..better.

I’ve also included the recipes with exact measurements so that you can recreate the recipes if or when you’d like to.

The videos were filmed before the recipes were finalised though as I couldn’t resist meddling a bit after we filmed, but for the most part the recipes remain the same.

Sacher Torte

A couple of key notes about the Sacher Torte video:

  • I used 80g of normal dark chocolate for the ganache topping in the video, however you have received around 110g of couverture chocolate if I remember correctly so you should have enough to cover your cake on the top and the sides
  • I didn’t have gold leaf when filming so I simply sprinkled over some ground almonds.

And The Sacher Torte Recipe…

In your box you had enough to make one 9 inch sponge. These directions are for you to make a 2 layer 9 inch cake. If you would prefer to make one tier, you just need to use half of everything.

Ingredients:

  • 110g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 120g plain flour
  • Pinch of vanilla, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 120g dark chocolate (1)
  • 220g apricot jam
  • 150g dark chocolate for covering (2)
  • 140g butter, softened
  • 250ml double cream

Method:

  1. Whisk together 6 egg whites with caster sugar to form stiff, glossy white peaks
  2. Melt dark chocolate (1) over a double boiler and allow to cool from hot to warm
  3. In a mixing bowl, pour in your flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, vanilla & sea salt and leave a “well” in the middle. In the well, pour in your 6 egg yolks and softened butter and use an electric whisk or beater to fully combine. Add in your melted chocolate, a little bit at a time, and stir to combine each time.
  4. Gradually fold in your stiff egg whites, again, a little bit a time, and fold very gently into the mixture to ensure the air doesn’t escape – you need the air to help your cakes rise!
  5. Assuming you’re doing two 9-inch cakes, split your mixture into two halves and bake in separate 9 inch baking tins at 170C for 35 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, remove from the baking tins. If your cakes formed a bit of a shell or skin on top – which is common when baking with ground almonds – it would be a good idea to have the tops of your cake facing each other in your cake sandwich – if that makes sense (so your top tier would technically be upside down)!
  6. Over a medium heat, bring your saucepan to the boil then allow to cool.
  7. Brush the top of one of your cakes with the apricot glaze, then place the second cake on top of it. If you’re putting it upside down like I said in point 5, this cake will go face down on to the other one, so the bottom of it is the top of your cake, giving you a nice smooth top.
  8. Brush the top with apricot glaze and allow to cool until the glaze is sticky and almost set.
  9. In a saucepan bring your double cream to the boil and then pour over your dark chocolate (2) in a mixing bowl and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool to room temperature then pour over your cake and spread evenly over the top and sides with a palette knife or flat edge. Allow to set.
  10. You have a few different options for decorating:
    1. Melt some milk or white chocolate and write ‘Sacher’ across the top of your cake.
    2. Sprinkling of come more ground almonds, ideally toasted
    3. Strands of gold leaf, a little bit for each slice you’re going to be serving.

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Viennese Whirls

This one actually stayed the same from video to recipe card!

And this is the method if you’d like to try making it yourself from scratch

Ingredients (Makes around 12-16 sandwiches, so 24-32 actual cookies):

For the biscuits

  • 240g plain flour
  • 55g cornflour
  • 55g icing sugar
  • Vanilla: 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • 250g softened or melted butter

For the filling

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Another measure of vanilla in the same measurements as above
  • Vanilla: 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • 80g raspberry jam

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (or 170C if fan assisted)
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together your flour, cornflour, 55g icing sugar, vanilla. Leave a gap or ‘well’ in the middle.
  3. Pour your butter into the gap and then beat the mixture together until fully combined.
  4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  5. Spoon your biscuit batter into a piping bag and using an open star shaped nozzle, pipe onto your greaseproof baking sheets into round circles.
  6. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden brown and remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. In another mixing bowl, beat together 100g of softened butter with 200g icing sugar and vanilla until it forms a stiff cream that is light and fluffy.
  8. Lay out your baked and cooled biscuits, top side down. Spread your jam over half of them and spread the buttercream over the rest. Then simply put together your sandwiches with one jam side joining with one buttercream side.
  9. You can dust with extra icing sugar if you’d like to.

Viennese Apple Strudel

This one stayed pretty much the same from video to recipe card (where I ended up referring to Vienna as Venice!! :-/ )

Ingredients (Makes around 12-16 sandwiches, so 24-32 actual cookies):

For the pastry

  • 145g plain flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 80ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

For the filling

  • 80g breadcrumbs
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g raisins
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (or lemon peel)
  • An extra 20g melted butter
  • 2 medium sized Bramley apples
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method:

  1. Combine half of your flour, sea salt and cinnamon with 80ml of water, 1 tbsp vegetable oil & 1/2 tsp lemon juice and stir until combined. Add the rest of your flour and sea salt and work with your hands into a doughy consistency.
  2. Knead for about 10 minutes and slam the dough onto a hard work surface a few times to activate the gluten. It should be quite stretch and elastic now.
  3. Grease a bowl, roll your dough ball around in it, then cover and leave to rest for an hour.
  4. In the mean time, toast your breadcrumbs and caster sugar with 40g melted butter then set aside
  5. Soak your raisins, lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg in 1 tbsp warm water
  6. Peel and thinly slice your apples and allow them to cool. You can sprinkle them with some lemon juice to stop them from browning if your pastry is still resting.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 190C
  8. Once your hour is up, on a clean floured surface, roll out your dough into a rectangular shape. Once you have got it to about 15 inches long, I would recommend transferring it to a long sheet of baking to complete rolling.
  9. It should be rolled to roughly the same width as the baking paper, and the thickness of the cover a standard hardback book.
  10. Transfer your dough, whilst keeping it on your baking paper, on to a towel laid out flat over your work surface. This is to make it much easier to roll it later on.
  11. Leaving about an inch around the edges, layout your breadcrumb mixture over 1/3 of your rolled out pastry. Lay out your apples on top of that and then sprinkle your raisins over the apples. With the half of the extra melted butter, brush it over the other 2/3 of the pastry.
  12. Fold in the edges around your laid out filling, and then by gripping the towel, start rolling your pastry into a fairly tight log, starting from the end with the filling.
  13. Once rolled, transfer to a lightly greased baking tray and brush with the rest of the melted butter.
  14. Bake for around 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. It will be ready when the crust is golden brown.
  15. Allow to cool and then dust with some more icing sugar before serving.

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And one more little tip…

The simplest and easiest way I have found to separate eggs, courtesy of Youtube…