Mini mushroom tartlets with an unusual cheese dough

This recipe is one of those lined up to be posted. I’ve accumulated a lot during those 3 months when I stopped sharing recipes but for those following this blog on Facebook, you must have spotted these tartlets (It won’t be a bad idea to make them for this festive season).

 

The tartlets are easy to make as you will see, but I’m mostly posting this recipe today because I wanted to share the recipe for the dough itself..How to describe it? Hmmm..The moment you bite into it you get a puff pastry-style crunch but not too much, then you feel a softer texture.
The other thing is that the butter does not hit your taste buds as much as it would in a puff pastry or a shortcrust dough, but rather a nice soft cheese creamy and acidic light note…
You can use this cream cheese dough for sweet as well as savoury bakes, I name the tarts, the quiches, the turnovers, sausage rolls…..
I made these tartlets ahead of time and baked them the day I was going to serve them.
Ingredients
Makes 12 ish tartlets/barquettes
Prep: 1 hour – baking: 15 min
The dough ūüė¶ which is an¬†equal amount of cream and flour + 1/2 of that amount in butter)
  • 180g of cream cheese (petits Suisses, kirri, philadephia, or anything similar with 40% fat)
  • 180g flour, sifted (I used 200g because I used Quark cheese)
  • 90g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Herbs (if it’s going to be a savoury version), poppy seeds…
The filling (approximate weighting)
  • A handful of mushroom (button, chestnuts….)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 egg (beaten)
  • 6 tbsp of single cream or cr√®me fraiche
Preparation
The cheese dough
Drain the cheese at least a couple of hours before hand; kirri or philadelphia do not need draining but quark or petit suisse or any thick fromage blanc will still need this step.
Mix all the ingredients as if you are making a shortcrust dough: flour, salt and butter are mixed first for the crumbly texture, then fold in the cheese and form a bowl dough. And of course, DO NOT OVERWORK.
Cover with a cling-film, place in the freezer for 10 min..
Now that’s where you will make it look like a cousin of puff pastry:
Roll the dough, form an envelop (puff pastry) or a book buy folding the dough on 3 or 4 on itself. Turn it 1/4 and do the same two more time.
If you haven’t made puff before roll the dough to a rectangle (2 mm thick), then bring the right side to the centre then the left side, turn a quarter, roll in length and repeat…
Place in the freezer for 10 min.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C
Roll thin and place in tartlets or barquette cases or make a big tart/quiche.. Back to the freezer (Optional).
Just out the freezer (some with mushroom and some with other fillings)
Fill and bake
 
Cut the mushroom thin. Fill in the tartlets.
Mix the egg and the cream and pour a little bit without overflowing it..
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper..
Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 min or until dough is cooked through..
However I found that the best way to use this dough is to blind bake it about 15 min first than fill it it and bake again for 10 min..
The tartlets keep well in the fridge for 2 days, just use the oven to heat them (instead of the microwave) so you get that crunchy bottom back..


Marzipan Stollen and a recap. I saved the best for last

I hope you’ve been following me for the past couple of weeks in this German baking session over here as well as on my facebook page. In the case you’ve been doing so you must have noticed the number of stollen varieties I’ve baked recently.

It’s the fourth Stollen recipe that I’ve just tried. I can feel a softer texture in comparison with the previous recipes. I think this one has character and I’ll definitely keep the recipe.

I have sent a message to the owner of the blog asking for permission to post her recipe in my blog but I never got an answer, which is why I’ll just refer you to the blog post. The blog is called Hefe und mehr ¬†(yeast and more). It’s bilingual (German and English) but nowadays I does not matter because google Chrome does the automatic translation (I’m sure you knew that).

I thought I didn’t like marzipan Stollen but it turned out that I don’t like the store-bought stuff one might find it Lidl and co..The other thing I don’t like is the store-bought marzipan because of the strong taste of almond essence that hits the palate and kills my taste buds. So I made my own marzipan.

Having a homemade marzipan, a homemade citrus peels mix and a homemade spice mix…You can’t go wrong with that can you?

For more stollen recipes please visit these previous posts as well as the 2 external links I’m referring to (I tried their Stollen recipes):

  • Today’s post is about this marzipan stollen which you HAVE to try out. However, I spiced it up differently, I used 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder, 1 tsp of cinnamon, a good pinch of nutmeg, a small pinch of ground cloves.
  • Quark stollen: easy and quick, no yeast and no hard kneading required.
  • Marzipan stollen (posted in French a while ago) which is pretty much similar to this one posted in the German food guide¬†here (in English)

 

A previous version of stollen I made with less sultanas

I didn’t insist on the shape of the stollen but if you definitely want to have it here is roughly how it’s done (there are other ways as well)..These pictures were taking while I was making a simple stollen without marzipan in.

Bring the 2 opposite edges inside

 

Bring one side towards the middle but stop just before that

 

Bring the opposite long end to the top to wrap the previous edge 

 

Make sure you seal while forming the heaped middle part

 

The stollen needs to rest before baking

¬†I hope you do make the effort to try one of these stollen..They make a nice present as well..Just remember that stollens needs at least a week to age before they’re consumed. You don’t have to put them in an airtight container. You may actually need to loosen the grip of the container a bit.

A plate of pressed Moroccan aniseed biscuits

Aniseed pressed biscuits – Bechkitou be nafa’ – Spritz

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Aniseed pressed biscuits are yummy little things dating from my childhood. But while living in Germany I discovered that they’re a big deal especially during this season.

They’re commonly called Spritz and are quite famous in France, Germany and Austria, not to mention the many countries who have adopted them, for a good reason: they’re buttery, they just need a few ingredients (the usual available stuff), not expensive to make. I mean, it’s just the perfect biscuit with a hot drink (or cold milk for children).

I’m keeping the decoration simple, just as I remember them when I was a child

Spritz biscuits come in different shapes. Most of them are shaped using a cookie-press or a meat grinder fitted with special nozzles. In case you have none, a piping bag fitted with the right tip will do (usually a star tip).

If you don’t like the anise flavour, use vanilla or lemon zest..

 

Ingredients
Makes 50 ish
Prep: 30 min –¬† Baking: 12- 15 min

  • 180g butter, at room temperature
  • 80g icing sugar¬†
  • 1 pinch of salt¬†
  • 1 heaped tsp of anise, toasted and coarsly ground (just to intensify the flavour)
  • 1 egg¬†
  • ¬†230g of flour, sifted

 

I left some anise seeds in..I like it that way

 

Preparation
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat until creamy. Add sugar, salt and egg. Mix until all ingredients are combined then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix again at low speed until the flour is fully incorporated.
 
Preheat oven at 180 ¬į C and cover the baking sheets with baking paper.
Pass the dough through the press to shape the biscuits. Press them directly onto the baking sheets. Leave about 5 cm between each biscuits as they tend to spread a bit. 
I sprinkled these with those tiny candies
Bake for 12 to 15 min until golden from the edges.
Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
Store in a cookie box for up to a week.
The humble biscuits..yet very satisfying..