….Is the title of a wonderful book which I received in the post this week. From my friend Francesca in Israel, it arrived carefully wrapped in cute cupcake paper, with a beautiful handwritten card telling me about some of the best recipes and tips.
I really appreciate this act of kindness, this pursuit of someone else’s happiness. Thank you Fran.
The book is by Carine Goren, First published in 2006 in Hebrew, then in English in 2010, Carine is apparently the “Baking Guru of Israel” if one is to believe the blurb on the back of the book. It’s not hard to see why – Ms. Goren has some amazing recipes in there, recipes I am really drawn to, probably because of my Cypriot background, recipes that are homely, delicious and one the whole don’t look too complicated, though there is a section in the book called ‘Show off’ for those who, er, want to, er, show off!
I can’t wait to try the two-toned chocolate spiral cheesecake in there and also the coffee cake which includes tahini and halva!
The first recipes I have tried however, are the ‘Heavenly rolls’ and the ‘Dreamy, creamy vanilla cupcakes’.
The heavenly rolls are egg and sugar enriched little, white, croissant-shaped rolls. Delicious and, yes, Heavenly!
|Just waiting to be punched down!|
|Cut into ‘pizza slices’ and roll from the outside in.|
|Rich, sweet and tender!|
I made the vanilla cupcakes as a surprise on my daughter’s birthday, they looked really pretty, with tiny gold and silver sprinkles and silver birthday candles, all lit up, and more importantly, I think I’ve found ‘THE’ cupcake recipe, you know, the one we’ve all been looking for?
|Pretty birthday cupcakes|
|Ready for lighting|
Sweet, tender crumbed, but substantial- and I don’t mean that in a stodgy way, but a good way! I could probably have got 14 cupcakes, not 12, from the mixture. They’re not flimsy little skinny Minnie cupcakes, but big, buxom, blondes!
Notice one huge difference between mine and the ones in the book? Yes, my frosting….
Note: Never, ever, try making a thick frosting using vanilla candy melts. It does not work! Don’t get me wrong, it was still deliciously vanilla-scented, but thin, really thin. I knew already that one shouldn’t let water anywhere near a candy melt, they are severely hydro (aqua?) phobic!!! But me, being me, had to try and figure a way round it. Can’t be done.
Heavenly Soft Rolls
3 and a half cups flour
2 and a quarter teaspoons instant yeast (1 sachet?) I used 2, as mine definitely didn’t contain that much yeast!
half cup lukewarm milk
quarter cup sugar
half cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and lukewarm
quarter cup vegetable oil
half tsp. salt
Glaze: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Makes 24 rolls.
1. In a mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook,mix together the flour and yeast.
2. Add the milk, sugar, eggs, butter, oil and salt, and knead for 5 mins until the dough is smooth, even and not sticky
3. Cover and leave to double in size.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into three.
5. Roll out each piece to a quarter inch thick circle** and cut into 8 pizza style triangles.Roll up each triangle from the base to the tip and place on a parchment lined sheet pan (Make sure they are spread out with ample space in between)
6. Cover and leave to double in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 190 deg.C.
8. Brush with egg wash and bake for about 15 mins until the pastries are golden and still soft to the touch.
**Carine doesn’t actually state in the recipe how big to make the circle,so I just guessed!
Marks out of ten ? 9
Would I make them again? Definitely!
Would I do anything differently? No, the instructions were very clear.
Dreamy Creamy Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter,soft
1 cup Sugar
2 Tsps Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk ( I used a little yoghurt thinned down with milk)
250g Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup (half a stick) Unsalted butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
120g White chocolate (Not Candy Melts!)
Make the Cupcakes:
1.Preheat the oven to 180 deg.C
2.In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift together the flour, ,baking powder.baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk.Make 3 additions, starting and finishing with the flour.
4 .Pour the batter into the cupcake pan lined with baking cups, filling the cups 3/4 of the way up.
5. Bake for about 25 mins until golden.Cool thoroughly.
While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting:
6. In a bowl mix the cream cheese with the melted butter and vanilla.
7 .Melt the white chocolate, add to the cheese mixture and mix until smooth.
Frost and serve:
8. Spread a spoonful of frosting over each cupcake. Keep refrigerated and serve at room temperature.
Marks out of ten? 9.5
Would I make them again? You bet!
Would I do anything differently? I definitely wouldn’t use candy melts in the frosting! ( I need to start following instructions correctly don’t I?
Note: 3 days later, down to the last cupcake..and it’s still fresh and delicious!