A gift to a friend – This bake really took the toil out of me.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 24th Dec 2013

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This is a 2 days project. Due to the numerous components involve, I have to start early to ensure that I can hand this to a dear friend’s Christmas Eve party on time. I know some of the decorations look awfully familiar since they appeared in my log cake bake as well. I must said, I have baked the decoration pieces for this project instead. Anyway, here goes.

Breakdown:

1) Pate Sucree
2) Pistachio Fillings
3) Biscuits dough
4) Almond Mascarpone Cream
5) Pound cake

Actually all these components have been made in my previous bake. The reasons why I kept using it is because its tested, its reliable and its taste good in my opinion.

I started off the process making the biscuit dough. I usually like to make a big batch and freeze it up. If you wrapped it up well and store in an airtight container, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.

For this, I made a fresh batch.

Biscuits.

Ingredients:

225g Butter
200g Granulated sugar
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Egg
375g Plain Flour
A pinch of Salt
1.5 Tsp of Baking Powder

Directions:

Cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer until pale in colour. Mix in the vanilla extract and then slowly incorporate the egg into the butter mixture. I split into 3 parts.

After which, mix the flour with the salt and baking powder.

Add this powder mixture into the butter mixture in 3 parts ensuring all are incorporated properly.

I usually made this one day in advance and chill it. If you are in a hurry, you can chill it for 1 hr before use.

For the Xmas tree decorations, I used different sizes of the star shaped cookie cutters. probably use 6 sizes. Cut 2 stars of each size except for the smallest which you only need one.If the dough has softened, refrigerate it to hardenbefore cutting again.

The snowman and the reindeer are basically mold with hand to the desired shape.

Preheat oven to 180 degree and bake them for about 10 minutes or until the edges started to brown. Let it cooled before storing it in an airtight container while you work on the rest.

Next, I made the pate sucre and the pistachio Fillings.

Pate Sucree and Pistachio filling

Pate Sucree: A square pan of 18cm * 18cm. Lightly Greased.

Ingredients:
A dash of Pure Vanilla Extract
15g Almond Powder
10g Pistache Powder
45g Icing Sugar
25g Egg
75g Unsalted Butter (softened – Room Temperature)
0.5g Baking Powder
125g Cake Flour

Directions

Cream butter with sifted icing sugar. Add the vanilla before slowly adding egg. Ensure all incorporated before adding more egg.

Mix almond n Pistachio power, baking power and cake flour together.

Add this mixture into the butter mix. Lightly knead with hand till the dough is smooth. I roll it up into a rectangular shape of about 18cm*26cm and placed it in the freezer.

After which, slice up the dough into a square shape of about 18*18cm and strips of 18cm*2cm. Work it onto the tart pan. Use pie weights and blind bake for 10 mins at a 180 degree oven. Remember to preheat the oven for 15 mins prior to baking.

Next, work on the Pistachio filling. I usually mix this while waiting for the tart to be blind baked.

Ingredients:
1 egg
50g Butter
55g Icing Sugar
30g Pistachio powder
25g Almond powder
A dash of rum
5g cake flour.

Directions:

Mix the almond, pistachio powder and cake flour together. Cream butter and icing sugar together until light in colour before adding in the rum and mix. Incorporate the beatened egg in part and make sure its incorporate fully. Then fold in the powder mix.

Once done, the tart should have been baked. It is not fully cooked yet but its alright. Take it out. Scoop the fillings into the tart. Fill it till 1/2 full.

Bake at 180 degree for 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.

The next day, I worked on the pound cake and the cream.

Pound Cake

Ingredients:
2 eggs
85g Sugar
60g Cake Flour
20g Corn Flour
90g Butter

Directions:

Melt the butter and let it cool down for 30 minutes.

Sift the Cake and Corn Flour together.

Cream the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale in colour. It is best to use an electric mixer for this. I used a hand whisk and its really tough.

After which, fold to combine the sifted flours before pouring the cooled melted butter into the batter. Fold to combine.

Preheat the oven to 180 degree. For this project, I just a square molds. Each of the size of 6.5cm * 6.5cm. This batter is enough for 5 square molds. Scoop the batter into the molds and bake for 18 minutes.

Once done, de-pan and let it cool down completely.

While waiting, I made the cream.

Almond Mascarpone Cream

Ingredients:
225g Mascarpone Cheese
112g Shortening
112g Unsalted Butter
A dash of salt
210g Powdered Sugar
50g Almond Meal

Directions:

Cream butter, shortening and salt together in a mixer. Add in the cheese and combine well. Sift powdered sugar and Almond meal together before adding spoonful by spoonful into the creamed items. Mix well.

Leave it in the fridge before use. Get ready piping bags with Wilton 1M Swirl tip.

Assembly:

1) Pipe the Almond Mascarpone Cream onto the Tart. As per picture below, I piped a rose and star pattern using the 1M Swirl Tip. You can simply scoop and level it onto the tart if you like since most of the pattern will likely be covered by the cake subsequently. I decide to pipe it into a rose shape largely because I am trying to practice my piping skill.

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2) Layer a thin amount of cream on the sides of the square pound cakes and covered it with fine chocolate shavings. I did not shave the white chocolate since I do not have a shaver. I sliced it up instead.

3) Position 4 square pound cakes onto the tart as per photograph with a small space in between each.

4) After which, I piped stars onto the top of each square pound cake.

5) Next, stacked the star shaped biscuits. Pipe a small amount of cream onto each before positioning the next star until it stacked up into a Christmas tree. Start with the biggest ones and work you way up.

6) The rest of the decorations is only limited by your imagination.

Viola! There you have it! I just hope this dear friend loves it.

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