Ginger Lemon Pinwheel Cookies

20180101_144943Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a very enjoyable holiday season full of good food and quality time spent with family and friends. As we welcome 2018 we all have likely set goals or resolutions for the new year. For me it is to continue the resolution I set last year, which is to always keep progressing by trying new things out of my comfort zone. As simple as these cookies may seem, they certainly fit the mantra of pushing myself.

20180101_144922.pngYou see, I am a drop cookie person. I hate waiting for cookie dough to chill in the refrigerator because I love raw cookie dough. Therefore, the longer it hangs out in the fridge the more of it disappears before it ever has a chance to hit a baking sheet. Once the dough is adequately chilled then you have to flour counters and rolling pins and despite your efforts you still end up with a mess of dough stuck everywhere.  Although I tend to avoid the rolled out cookie dough types, I decided these pinwheels would be the newest addition to the holiday table along with the regular offerings. I used sheets of plastic wrap to roll out both batters to reduce mess and clean up. Although these cookies do require a patient baker, they are not as challenging as they appear. Things went a lot smoother than envisioned (even with a 4-year-old kitchen helper) and I was really impressed with the results. These cookies are a great combination of flavors and make for a beautiful cookie!

20180101_144906

Ginger Lemon Pinwheel Cookies

Ginger Dough Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 6 oz. (1 1/3 cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¾ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • Dash of Allspice

Lemon Dough Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg White
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Extract
  • ¾ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz. (1 1/3 cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Salt

Preparation:

  1. To prepare ginger dough: Place the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add the molasses and egg yolk and beat until well blended. Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice and stir with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat at low-speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. To prepare the lemon dough: Place the butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add the egg white and beat until blended. Beat in the lemon extract and vanilla. Combine the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat at low-speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Unwrap chilled ginger dough and roll between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 8 1/2 inch rectangle. Chill dough for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap the lemon dough and roll between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Chill dough for 10 minutes. Carefully stack ginger dough on top of lemon dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border along one long edge. Starting with the long side without a border, roll up dough, jelly roll style. Seal the edges but do not seal the ends of roll. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap dough. Cut with a sharp knife into 40 slices that are about ¼ inch thick. Reshape the rounds, if necessary, or return dough to chill in the freezer. Arrange slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake, 1 batch at a time, for 8 to 9 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

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Spicy Gingerbread Cakes w/ Cheesecake Frosting

gingerbread cupcake3

12 days until Christmas all you foodie lovers. Boy has time flown by this year. I hope you’ve all finished your crazy gift shopping and can relax and enjoy the next week and a half unlike myself lol. This week I have taken a break from the hunt for unique Christmas cookies and decided to bring you a post about another holiday favorite… the classic Gingerbread. Now I could have just done the typical gingerbread cookie to stick with my cookie themed posts for the holidays but what fun would that be. Gingerbread cookies are classics not unique additions to the confection table so I switched it up a bit and put a twist on both the Gingerbread cookie and cake formulas I had found, turning it into a kid-friendly holiday table-snatch recipe as much as those quaint little gingerbread men (& women) are.

gingerbread cake

Now I love the flavor of gingerbread, especially in coffee, but I have never been a huge fan of the cookies. This is usually because they are always dry and either too bland or too overwhelming spicy, as if I poured an entire jar of powdered ginger and cinnamon in my mouth. ICK!!! If the original gingerbread formulas tend to be so consistently bad, how in the world then could I expect to translate a dry, dull cookie into a moist mini cake full of bold ginger flavor? Let me tell you it is a challenge but not impossible and totally worth it!!!

gingerbread cupcake stout

To start the Gingerbread makeover, something had to be added which could compliment the flavor of ginger without overwhelming it. I wanted a bold and spicy mini cake that wasn’t dried out and dusty on the palette. Step one is, surprisingly, to find a good stout. Reason is, stout provides a malty tang that compliments the molasses already in standard gingerbread formulas. I chose to use Weyerbacher Old Heather Imperial, which is a unique brand found at Whole Foods, but I recommend Guinness as well since it’s an affordable and widely available stout.  Buy yourself a 6 pack and drink one (or a few) as a reward once you finish baking 😉 If your against using alcohol, which I know many people out there are, you can substitute coffee for the stout although I don’t recommend it as it does impart a bitter flavor as opposed to the perfect compliment of the stout. Another substitute often used is orange juice but that is far too sour in my opinion… but hey if you don’t like alcohol and love to experiment then go ahead and try it. You may fancy it.

gingerbread cupcake4

With the stout adding a complimentary flavor and much needed moisture to the cake, it was time to turn to the spicy portion of the formula. Too much powdered or ground spice will give an undesirable dusty texture I was trying to avoid at all costs. So I stuck to a reasonable amount of ground ginger for bite and a little cinnamon and allspice to support the ginger flavor. Without the abundance of ground ginger the flavor lacks. Using black pepper and blooming it with the other powdered spices helps draw out the ginger’s pleasant burn without having to increase the powdered spices further. An additional punch of ginger is added with some grated fresh ginger and viola ginger is back in gingerbread!!!

gingerbread cupcake trio

On to the frosting. I needed something simple and delicious that wouldn’t distract to heavily from the bold, spicy ginger flavor I worked so hard to achieve and was going to without a doubt make sure I maintained. Cheesecake came to mind and seemed to fit that bill with ease. Three ingredients and a bit of whipping provided me with the perfect Cheesecake frosting to pipe onto the gingerbread cupcakes. The formula produces approximately 24 cupcakes. Try them for the holidays. Even the gingerbread skeptic like myself will find them a delight!!!

 

Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cheesecake Frosting

Gingerbread Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Cake Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 16 tbsp. Unsalted Butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 tbsp. Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ground Allspice
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper, finely ground
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar
  • 4 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
  • ¾ cup Molasses, Robust or Dark
  • ¾ cup Stout Beer

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. Instant Cheesecake Flavored Pudding (small box)
  • Milk
  • 1 pkg. Cool Whip

Gingerbread Cake Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 375°. Fill a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Stir in ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 
  2. Whisk eggs, sugar, and fresh ginger in a large bowl until light and frothy. Stir in the melted butter/spice mixture, molasses, and stout until incorporated. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk until no lumps remain. 
  3. Pour the gingerbread batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean (a few clingy crumbs is perfect), about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cheesecake Frosting Formula:

  1. Empty contents of instant Cheesecake Pudding mix into a medium bowl. Add half the amount of milk called for according to the package directions. Whip until the pudding thickens and begins to set, about two minutes. Gently fold in the container of cool whip. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and serve.

 

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM ERIKA BRUCE

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Happy Tuesday everyone. Sorry for the momentary disappearance from my blogging recently but I have just acquired a new job and have been dedicated to learning my training. Let me tell you it took too much out of me and whenever I would come home it was way too much to even think about looking at a computer screen, let alone writing all night. So on my day off, my gift to you is a post on Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. My mood was feeling simplistic and this is the result. It probably would have been better to post this around Halloween or Thanksgiving perhaps…well at least the fall season, but of course me the procrastinator waited until almost Spring! Oh well, as the saying goes better late then never.

 So to start these simple Pumpkin inspired cupcakes, you can do one of two things based upon your skill level or your alotted time needed. You can either make the cupcake batter from scratch or you can buy a boxed spice cake mix and build on it from there. I suggest for the best results to make the batter from scratch but as always sometimes we have short notices and we all have lives and it is often hard to spare enough time for kitchen matters. Completely understandable. Regardless they will turn out delicious, impressive, and best of all… simple. If you choose to make the spice cake batter from scratch you will need a handful of spices on hand. For the most important spice, Cinnamon, I chose to use a certain variety for in this formula.

Although it is not required that you use China Cassia or Ceylon Cinnamon as I did, I do recommend using either as it does add an exoticism to the flavor of the cupcake. Some of the other spices you will need is Allspice, Nutmeg, Ginger, Mace, and Cloves. This combination of spices provides a perfect compliment to the Pumpkin and gives rich flavor to the cupcakes without overpowering the pumpkin flavor, only enhancing. Keeping in mind not to overpower the pumpkin or spice flavoring of the cake itself, I chose a Simple Buttercream formula for the frosting, flavored only with a hint of vanilla as not to detract from the cake but rather enhance it with a smooth creaminess up top. With the theme of pumpkin in mind, the frosting is tinted orange. For this I used Wilton’s Orange dye to achieve a light pastel orange that remains soft and elegant on the eye. You don’t want it to be the actual color of the pumpkin which is much darker and brighter as it will take away from the sheer elegance and look more like a store bought kid’s party cupcake, which is fine for your child’s birthday but for this particular formula we want adult, classy cupcakes here 🙂 One the pastel orange color is mixed, grab your decorator’s bag and a star tip (I used #843). You can choose to decorate the tops in any way that you wish however. I have provided you two simple examples. The first and perhaps easiest is simply piping the typical swirl topping around the entire surface of the cupcake. I did two sweeps around to give height to the cupcake then topped it with some prepared nut topping anyone can find in your local supermarket near the packaged nuts of your baking aisle or near the ice cream toppings. The other option is to use a small star tip and gently press down and lift to create mini stars across the entire surface of the cupcake. These look fancy but are extremely simple to create. I suggest you do some of both to add contrast to your presentation. Now for those who do not like pumpkin, you can also leave out the pumpkin puree and solely have a spice cake. Both are delicious!!!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

*Cake*

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix or the following…
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • ¼ tsp. Allspice
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. Mace
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened/room temperature
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Pumpkin Puree

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350°. Line two 12-count cupcake pans with paper liners. Grease lightly with cooking spray. In a bowl, either prepare the spice cake mix according to package directions, stopping before proceeding to the step asking you to fill the cupcake tin with batter…or sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and mace together. 
  2. In another bowl, mix together the sugars, butter, and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If using the homemade version or the box mix, be sure to add the pumpkin puree now. If making a spice cake without pumpkin, proceed to step 3. Whisk in the pumpkin puree until combined and smooth.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each no more than halfway. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, being sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Prepare the buttercream frosting.

*Buttercream Frosting*

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Vegetable Shortening
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. Milk

Formula:

  1. In a bowl, cream the shortening and butter together until smooth. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sifted Confectioners’ sugar until all sugar is added and combined. The mixture will appear dry. Add milk and whisk well until smooth and creamy. Add a few drops of orange food color until desired pastel color is achieved.
  2. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large or small star tip. Pipe along the top of the cooled pumpkin spice cupcakes in a circular motion, building up a round height or gently press down and gently pull up and away creating mini stars all across the surface. If not piping the mini stars, sprinkle some nut topping or your favorite chopped nuts on top. Serve.

Special Thanks To:

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012

Dessert Plating: Creme Brulee

Happy Friday everyone. I don’t know about you but I am ever so glad to see this week come to a close. It was a rough one let me tell you. This past week at Le Cordon Bleu the plating was focused on custards. We could choose any custard we wanted. Examples include Panna Cotta, Creme Caramel/Flan, Bread Pudding, or the famous Creme Brulee. I opted for the Creme Brulee as it has never been my friend when making it in the past and I seeked out to perfect it before graduating in four weeks. So without further ado let us start breaking down this plate…shall we 🙂

 As instructed by my chef, I made sure not to use any traditional flavors of Creme Brulee…or even textures. I started out my adventure by toasting some Almonds in some butter with Ginger. Once toasted, I added Honey and quickly worked to place the Almonds in the bottom of my gratin dish. Once cooled, the Almonds melded into a crisp candied bottom layer.

For the traditional Creme Brulee custard filling, I began by heating my dairy with a bit of Saffron. The Saffron was my supporting actor to the main star of the custard…the sweet Blood Oranges. To compliment the Blood Oranges I added a dash of Honey, which draws hints back to that bottom layer of Honey encrusted Almonds I mentioned earlier. This all leads to the final component which is, of course, the notorious crunchy top layer. No matter how amazing the creamy citrus custard was underneath, I received most satisfaction from torching the sugar.  Nothing is better than playing with fire in the morning to ease your culinary frustrations. Regardless of my bad relationship with Creme Brulee in the past this one turned out quite delightful. I finally think Creme Brulee and I can maintain a lifelong friendship. The finished custard is certainly a perfect representation of how to use Central Florida and it’s Citrus!

To add height to the sweet and crispy custard, I created a heart-shaped Tuille flavored with Myer Lemon juice and Poppyseeds. The Tuille’s heart shape was created by drawing a heart on a hard piece of cardboard or thick paper and creating a stencil. I then made a small batch of Tuille batter (a little goes a long way…tuilles are very thin and require very little batter to fill the stencil). I laid the stencil down on a parchment lined baking sheet and using my offset spatula, spread an extremely thin layer of Tuille batter (also known as Stencil Paste). My Tuille Heart is then held upright on the Creme Brulee by two pieces of Spun Caramel, which I fused together to created a pedestal base.

 To minimize waste and utilize my hard work of battling boiling hot sugar (290° to be exact), I incorporated the Spun Sugar into a decorative adornment for the plate. I started by ladling a small amount of Strawberry Rhubarb Rum Coulis into a circle. I arranged four blackberries on top, two on each side to hold the Spun Sugar piece. To draw the eye to the decorative adornment, I placed three dots of Chocolate Sauce flavored with Tangelo and Orange Blossom leading toward the decor and also framing the front of the gratin dish of Creme Brulee.

Even with all the stress of the day I am pleased with the outcome. I am so ready for the weekend. I must plan for next week’s plated dessert following dietary guidelines. Since I am lactose intolerant I will most likely utilize that special dietary concern but am unsure what to choose as the other. Much research is in store along with costing sheets and possible baking sunday at home. If I am not able to bake sunday then I will see you all back here next friday for another installment in Dessert Plating.

 

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2011