Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate-Studded Swiss Sweet Buns from Basel (aka. Schoggiweggli)

These are a crunchy sweet yet salty bun that pair well with a hot coffee. They are laborious, but they are tasty especially for people who aren't so big on sweet things.

1 cup milk
2.5 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. semisweet chocolate (either chips or roughly cut into small chunks)

Eggs wash: 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it is lukewarm. Pour this into a small bowl and whisk in the yeast. Set aside.

2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment place the flour, sugar and salt. On the lowest setting mix together for 30 seconds.

3. Add the butter and mix until the butter is well mixed into the dry ingredients (around 1 min).

4. Add the yeast mixture you set aside earlier and beat together for 2 min on the lowest setting. Stop and let the dough rest for 10min.

5. Mix together for another 2 min, this time on medium speed. You want the dough to be fairly elastic.

6. Beat in the chocolate bits on the lowest speed until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Don't beat for too long as this may mean that the chocolate will melt and the dough will be chocolate brown.

7. Scrape the dough into a well oiled bowl and rub the oil all over the outside of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

8. On a lightly floured surface scrape the dough. Press into a rectangle and divide the dough into 14-18 equal pieces.

9. Round each piece of dough using your palms, let rest for 10 min under a tea towel.

10. Roll the dough pieces into ovals, and squash the ends in until the dough looks like a mini canoe (see the photo below). Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

11. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. At 45 min into the rising preheat the oven to 375F.

12. Paint with the egg wash.

13. With a pair of scissors cut slashes into the top (around 4 slashes depending on the size of the bun).

14. Bake for 15 min and then swap the trays around (middle to top and top to middle). Bake for an additional 10 min. You want the final product to be a deep golden color.

15. Slide the baking paper from the pan and onto a wire rack to cool.

Taken from Nick Malgieri's "A Baker's Tour" pp. 67-8.

Cappuccino Cupcakes

The cakes themselves are a combination of strong instant espresso with a a hint of vanilla, whilst the tops (the froth on the cappuccino) is mostly made up of white chocolate. A wonderful combination!

Ingredients: Cupcakes
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
7 Tbs. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 heaped Tbs. instant espresso
2-3 Tbs. milk

Ingredients: Icing
5.25 oz white chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. sour cream
1 and 2/3 cup sifted confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
a little cocoa powder for dusting

Method: Cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. In a food processor add all the cupcake ingredients except the milk and pulse to combine.
3. Add the milk and pulse again until the ingredients are well combined.
4. Place 12 cupcake liners into a muffin pan.
5. Spoon the batter into the liners.
6. Bake for around 20min (until a slight golden brown color).
7. Let sit for 5 min and then place the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool down completely.

Method: Icing
1. Melt the white chocolate and butter in the microwave.
2. After it has cooled a tad, add the sour cream and stir.
3. Gradually add the sifted confectioners sugar until it is a good consistency (malleable, but not wet).
4. Spread the icing on top of the cupcakes and then dust some cocoa powder on top.

Taken from "How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking" by Nigella Lawson p. 199.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Dedicated to my step father Ross: thank you for teaching me to try things, thank you for taking care of my mother and for making us a family. Thank you for the vegetarian dishes I know you didn't always enjoy making and thank you for the scrumptious souffles and eggs done my way.

Ross Ian Atkins: 1954-2008