seitan is my motor

Sunday

5

April 2015

14

COMMENTS

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

cinnamon buns with a chestnut swirl | seitanismymotor.com

For me there is almost nothing better than a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of espresso and a yeast based treat. These things are magical and great pick me ups for morning grouches like me. Yeasted pastries and sweet breads are a cosy and comforting way to celebrate a holiday as well. In Germany they are an essential part of Easter. Here you can find all kinds of stuffed or plain yeast braids or bunny shaped rolls and even yeast based easter baskets with a boiled egg in the middle. For many people the soft and sweet dough is a perfect comfort food and for others yeasted baked goods are just much easier to make than a large cream or frosting based cake. Well, if you are one of those people who say that baking with yeast is complicated, get over it. It really just does take some practice and I promise you will get the hang of it. Just start. My first rolls looked and tasted like cobblestones and now look at this.

In Germany cinnamon buns are not very common. We like to stuff our rolls and buns with poppy seeds, pudding, or nuts instead. This diversity and a couple of small tins of chestnut spread in our pantry made my mind wander to a chestnut and cinnamon filling for these little Easter treats. Since chestnut spread is mostly sugar, it does caramelise very nicely during baking and also makes for a wonderfully sticky filling. The most widely available chestnut spread is Faugier brand Crème de Marrons, which I used. (Okay, I bought it in France but I can get it at a department store in my town, too.) But you can also make your own, there are a couple of recipes online. For a simple alternative use a regular cinnamon bun filling  and leave out the chestnut spread. (Another idea is to substitute apple butter.) If you look at the preparation method for this recipe you will find that I have already included such a filling. So technically these could be called “double stuffed”. All this folding might look complicated to you, but it will improve the texture and make the buns a bit flakier. Of course you can skip that step and sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture right on top of the chestnut spread. Lots of variation possible here, so you can make the recipe work for you.

cinnamon buns with a chestnut swirl | seitanismymotor.com

 

 

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

Ingredients

For the dough
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
150 ml (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) luke warm water
For the filling
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
200 g (7 oz) chestnut spread

Instructions

  1. To make the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add oil and water.
  3. Knead dough well for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  5. Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for one minute or so.
  6. Roll into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle.
  7. Combine sugar and spices and sprinkle on top of the dough.
  8. Fold the dough as if you wanted to fit it into an envelope: Fold the short side over so that you have a rectangle half the size but still the same shape. Then fold it over again to quarter the size.
  9. Roll the dough into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle again.
  10. Spread the chestnut spread on top and roll the dough into a log, starting with the long side.
  11. Grease a 12 tin muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). (I used a square tin pan but a regular one with round indentions works just as well.)
  12. Cut the dough into 12 equally sized rolls and place them in the tins. Cover with a greased piece of plastic or with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  13. Bake for 25 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely before serving. (If they are still a touch warm that is okay, too.)

Notes

All your ingredients should have room temperature. (The water should be luke warm.) Let your dough rise in a warm place. If your flat is cold, the dough might take longer to rise. (For your first rise, you can also put the dough in the oven. No temperature setting, just the light switched on.

http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/04/cinnamon-buns-with-a-chestnut-swirl/

 

creme de marrons | seitanismymotor.com

 

Friday

3

April 2015

21

COMMENTS

Homemade Vegan Marshmallows

homemade vegan marshmallows | seitanismymotor.com

It’s been eight years now since I went vegan. It’s also been eight years since I started this blog. That is a reason to celebrate, don’t you think? But technically I am not even allowed to dance today. I am going to do it anyway. And eating a ton of these soft, fluffy, and sticky blog anniversary celebration marshmallows that melt the moment I pop them into my mouth. (After eight years I am allowed to use these clichés, don’t you think?) Anniversary miracle! Oh, wait. This is not a miracle. I cannot claim much of this idea for myself: The recipe is based on chickpea brine used as egg replacer. I found that idea here. I honestly would not have thought that it would be possible to follow a regular marshmallow recipe and simply replace the eggs with chickpea brine and the gelatin with agar. But it worked and so I used David Lebovitz’s recipe and modified it slightly. I also got a lot of helpful tips from this recipe for vegan marshmallows, especially the idea to boil the agar before adding it to the remaining ingredients. (Gelatin is usually soaked but not boiled.)

I have not had many marshmallows in my life. I do like to buy a package of Dandies from time to time though and when I compare my version to the storebought one, the biggest difference is that mine are softer and moister. They have a light and creamy mousse like texture. And still you can cut them into all kinds of shapes. If you have some egg or bunny cutters around, these would make some gorgeous Easter treats as well! And you can toast them.

A couple of recipe notes: 1. For this recipe you have to work with hot sugar syrup. Make sure all your equipment is heat proof. I only have a handheld mixer, but a stand mixer would be easier to work with. The recipe is a bit involved and you have to do a couple of things at the same time, so make sure you have everything in place. If you are new to baking and cooking maybe ask somebody to help you. 2. This recipe calls for syrup. I used a flavoured sugar syrup that is a mixture of inverted sugar syrup and glucose syrup. Golden syrup (lys sirup in Scandinavia) or light corn syrup should be fine, too. 3. I use my homemade vanilla sugar for flavouring. You can replace it with regular powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

toasted vegan marshmallows | seitanismymotor.com

Homemade Vegan Marshmallows

Ingredients

For the marshmallows
120 ml (1/2 cup) plus 80 ml (1/3 cup) water
1 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
200 g (1 cup) sugar
100 g (1/3 cup) syrup (see notes above)
120 ml (1/2 cup) chickpea brine from a can
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon homemade vanilla sugar (see note above) or powdered sugar plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For dusting
50 g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
60 g (1/2 cup) corn starch

Instructions

  1. Place 120 ml (1/2 cup) of water in a small saucepan and add agar powder. Dissolve and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, syrup, and remaining water in another small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook for about 6 minutes over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 100°C (210°F).
  4. Bring the agar mixture to a boil at the same time, cook for one minute while stirring and remove from heat.
  5. While the syrup is still boiling combine chickpea brine, guar gum, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Beat for about two minutes, then add vanilla sugar (or powdered sugar and vanilla extract) and beat for another two minutes or until the mixture is very stiff.
  6. Very carefully pour the hot syrup into the chickpea brine mixture while still beating. Don't worry if your mixture deflates and liquefies.
  7. Continue to beat for two minutes until everything is mixed well.
  8. Add agar mixture and beat for another five minutes or until the bowl has cooled down. This step is important as you can beat in some more air and improve the texture.
  9. Sift together powdered sugar and starch.
  10. Dust a rectangular pan (18 x 28 cm or 7 x 11 inch - alternatively use a 8 x 8 inch square pan) with half of the starch and sugar mixture. Make sure the whole bottom is covered.
  11. Carefully pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan.
  12. Let cool for two hours (at room temperature) or until set.
  13. Cover with starch and sugar mixture and cut into small squares or use your favourite cookie cutter.
  14. Roll in starch and sugar again to avoid stickyness.
  15. Store well dusted in an open container and don't keep them around for too long. (This probably won't be an issue, right?) Their surface will dry out a bit over time, but if you keep these in an airtight container they will get sticky.
http://www.seitanismymotor.com/2015/04/homemade-vegan-marshmallows/

homemade vegan marshmallows | seitanismymotor.com