Sunday, April 28, 2013

Elaborate Pouding Antoinette aka Cabinet Pudding - to make for your beloved Mum for Mother's Day perchance?

Bonjour ma petite Pouding Antoinette - also heretofore known as Cabinet or Chancellor Pudding but renamed when adorned with furbelows of cream and magnificent glaceed fruit from Histoire Sucree - generously gifted to me by Isabelle White, owner of said online French confectionery store...ahhhhhh
I took my recipe from a charming little book called "Christmas Sweets and Holiday Treats" by Allison Kyle Leopold and made the recipe twice in order to refine it - the first time I didn't have the Histoire Suree delights to hand so I made my own candied orange peel and altered the recipe to work better the second time - when you are trying a recipe for the first time you really don't know what you'll get and I found the recipe as named above needed only half the cake amount but a full amount of the custard so if you are making something for the first time and want it to be perfect you should do a trial run before serving it at an important occasion - such as a Mother's Day dinner - I do think your Mum would love this so maybe do it for the US day Sunday May 12th.

There are a lot of steps involved but it is so worth the effort, each of the steps is relatively simple, and when you have decorated it with all the bells and whistles doesn't it look dreamy? Just like my idea of a dessert made for Queen Victoria who is believed to have been a great fan of said delight:)

So off we go...
Make the GENOISE CAKE first - I have learned a great trick to making this rise profusely which I have not been able to do until now, when I have made genoise before it has been almost as flat as a pancake!! So I am glad to be able to share it with you.

(You can use store bought genoise, or use lady fingers to reduce your time and possibility for error if you would like - you can even use a pound cake or sponge cake - of course the result will not be as light - but I bet will be just as delicious!!)


This recipe is for a pudding bowl that holds 32 fl oz of liquid and is 4" high by 6" diameter - it serves 4 portions for genteel people or for James and I, who like our puddings most enthusiastically, it serves 2!

2 large eggs separated
1/2 cup/ scant 4 ozs sugar
1/2 cup/ 2 ozs white flour sifted
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon orange juice or orange liqueur - your preference.

1. Preheat the oven to 350F

2. Butter and line a 10" square x 1" deep baking pan 

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks then gradually add half the sugar until peaks are stiff but not dry.

4. Whisk the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar until light and fluffy (that's THE trick - don't just whisk the whites, whisk the yolks too and the sugar helps with the volume!!! TA DAH!!!!)

5. Fold the grated zests and liquid into the yolk mixture.

6. Fold the yolks in to the whites very gingerly until just combined.

7. Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture and mix very very delicately until blended.

8. Gently spread into your prepared pan and smooth the top - the batter doesn't spread during baking so if you want a smooth top you need to do that before it goes in the oven.

9. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden in colour and springy to the touch. 

10. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan - then invert onto a surface and peel off the paper - don't worry if some of the sponge surface comes off with the paper - the cosmetic look of the sponge is irrelevant in the final pudding.
The next bit is a bit tricky as you need to cut two circles from the flat, cooled sponge to fit one in the bottom of your chosen pudding bowl and one at the top of the bowl - so a small one for the bottom - you can guesstimate this by holding the bowl over the sponge and gingerly marking a circle that you think will be a good size to fit in the bottom of the bowl - for the top layer turn the bowl upside down and mark a circle that is smaller by about 1/4" than the top circumference of the bowl - you do not need to be precise and the edges of the circles can be raggedy as above - the middle layer can be comprised of two halves of the rest of the sponge after cutting the top and bottom circles. and you can use torn pieces of the leftovers to fill in any gaps when you are assembling the pudding.

Next make the custard:
3 egg yolks
3/8 cup/3 ozs white sugar 
1 1/4 cups/ 6 fl ozs heavy/double cream
1 tablespoon marmalade 2 teaspoons orange juice

1. Heat the cream to just below boiling point - do not let it boil.
2. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
3. Temper the yolks by adding a bit of the hot cream and mixing all the time with a wire whisk
and repeat a few times until you are adding the last of the hot cream. Return to the pan over the heat and heat gently stirring all the time until the custard thickens to coat the back of a spoon:
Allow custard to cool - whisk occasionally so you don't get a skin - put into a pouring jug.

Next butter and line your bowl with grease proof paper - thus - again doesn't have to be perfect or smooth - as you can see mine certainly wasn't :)
...then start assembling your pudding... 

Jar of preferred marmalade - first time I made this I chose Bonne Maman which was very good, second time I found this gorgeous blood orange marmalade by Crofters - highly recommended!! I don't specify an amount as it will depend upon your taste for marmalade.
2ozs candied orange peel - chopped
2 ozs candied ginger - chopped

(You'll need the same amount again of orange peel and ginger for decoration)

(In the first version of the pudding I made I used my own homemade candied orange peel - it was good but the candied orange peel from Histoire Sucree was AMAZING - so soft and clear - put mine to shame - same was true of the candied ginger from Histoire Sucree - it is quite astonishing in it's tooth and visual clarity)
My homemade glaceed orange peel and crystallized ginger from the Belfast Food Coop
Now to put this all together: Have oven ready at 350F
Put one layer of sponge in the bottom of the bowl

Cover with a slather of chosen marmalade as much or as little as you like

Cover with chopped ginger and orange peel:
Put a second layer of sponge - comprised of halves or bits of leftover sponge after cutting out the top and bottom circles.

Repeat other two steps above.

Finish with biggest circle of sponge on the top.

NOW: Pour the custard gently over all of the pudding and allow it to soak in before putting into a bain marie/water bath with hot water about 2 inches up the side of the bowl:

 Bob into the oven and bake for about 1 1/2 hours until puffed up and the top is golden brown - do check the custard has solidified though - the first one I took out thinking it was ready and inverted onto a plate and all the custard ran out so I had to finagle getting it back in the bowl and baking for another 15 minutes - so when you take it out put your oven gloves on and push the sponge aside and tip the bowl to see if you see any liquid custard - if not take out, if you do return for another 15 minutes.

When it is ready take out of the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature before inverting onto a pretty plate.

Now cover as you will in fluffy pretty furbelows of Chantilly Cream - ie cream whipped with sugar to taste to soft peaks - get your piping bag out and go crazy and if you're lucky enough you'll have some Histoire Sucree delights to hand to make your Pouding Antoinette look fit for a Queen!!!

Isabelle sent to me Marrons Glace to die for, crystallized roses and violets that REALLY tasted of such in a beautiful delicate and non-soapy way, sugared mint leaves, candied/glaceed ginger and orange peel, glaceed calamondin orange - my favourite of the glaceed fruit - very intense and sublime, kiwi, apricot, peach and a perfect whole seckle pear, sugared almonds - that tasted just like the ones from my childhood, crystallized mimosa balls that brought back the memory of a little sweet shop toy I had as a child where they gave you mimosa balls as part of the items in the shop - those were the days!!! and silver dragees - this is the assortment I used on the pudding:
...and here is a picture of the first Antoinette I made when it was still called Cabinet Pudding - before it's ascendence to celestial and the marriage of France and England, who I've always thought of as great friends!!! in the sublimity of a divine pudding now called Antoinette:)
 ...more of Antoinette for you to swoon over...
 Look at those lovely layers of sponge and delicious ginger and orange peel...ahhhh.
Mimosa balls and silver dragees - and another plan view of the first try out:
If you are inclined do try this gorgeous pudding - it is very subtly, grown up in it's flavour - actually not too sweet if you can believe it and an elegance of taste that derives from the abundance of marmalade and citrus therein.

Happy Baking, Custard Making, French Confection Buying and Steamed Pudding making to you all - let me know if you make it and feel free to post pictures at my Facebook page here:

Thank you so much Isabelle and Histoire Sucree!!!! Merci Beaucoup...  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

World Baking Day May 19th 2013

I just learned about World Baking Day on May 19th 2013 recently via Pinterest and am pulling together a little Bake-Off between a few of my friends scattered around the US and in Blighty. We are planning on keeping our recipes a secret until the day of the post - but I will divulge that they will be sweet recipes with one or more unusual ingredients. I haven't decided upon my recipe yet but I do have some possibilities in mind which I have gathered on these boards at Pinterest: 

Do you see a recipe there that intrigues you? Please let me know...

Monday, April 15, 2013

I now have wrapping paper available at my Spoonflower shop!

I am so thrilled to announce that a few days ago Spoonflower revealed that they have added wrapping paper to their roster of print on demand items and after having adjusted all my designs over there accordingly now I can offer my work as wrapping paper too - yea!!!!

Here's a little sampling of my designs in repeat - as you can see they are quite varied in style - some days I like to create illustration style designs, some days I'm happy to do geometrics both of which are fun and challenging for me to create. If you ever see a design of mine that isn't being offered over at Spoonflower but you are interested in it as either fabric, wallpaper, decals or wrapping paper please just drop me a line via the "Be in touch" heading above.
"Blue Rhapsody"
"Pink Rolling Star Quilt"
"Just Call Me Cupcake"
There's a clever little button on the giftwrap page of each design which when you click it gives you the design to scale on a package thus:
"Country Days Zig Zag"
Here is a link to my SPOONFLOWER SHOP

I recently added a listing and links to all of my online shops to this blog - look above and click on My Online Stores to view my online arcade :)

Thanks for stopping by - see you soon - Patricia

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In honour of World Autism Awareness Day 2013

Today, April 2nd, is World Autism Awareness Day and in honour of my dear friend Luisa, her family and most especially her wonderful son Kristofer I have tagged the above designs and Angel of Belfast in all their iterations in my CafePress shop to donate 10% of the retail price to the following 2 charities, Autism Speaks and The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, for the month of April - another design will be added later today so keep posted. My thanks to CAFEPRESS for making this possible :) 
April 8th 2013: Just added this design to the mix - painted and designed in honour of Kristofer. 

 This is also available as a print at my Etsy shop - $5 from each print purchase will go to Autism Speaks in perpetuity - thanks - here's the LINK to the Etsy listing.

My thanks to you for your support of this cause - Patricia