Baking and Pastry Valentine’s Day Contest Winners

We are happy to announce the winners from our baking and pastry Valentine’s Day Contest! The contestants were asked to submit a Valentine’s Day themed baking and pastry related dessert or bread and the winners were announced on March 6th during Chef Susie’s webcast. We thank everyone that participated and congratulate the winning recipes below (please note we had a tie for third place). We will keep you posted as to when Chef Susie will be preparing the winning recipe, German Chocolate Whoopie Pies by Janet Lee Scott, during her webcast. We encourage the continued enthusiasm each of you have for baking!

1st place: Janet Lee Scott
Recipe: German Chocolate Whoopie Pies

1- 4 oz pkg baker’s german’s sweet chocolate
1/2 cup water, boiling
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp real vanilla extract
2 cup flour, all-purpose
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp  salt
1 cup buttermilk

4 large egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
7 oz. baker’s angel flake coconut
1 1/2  cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven @350
Prepare cupcake pans
Break up chocolate, place in your 1/2 cup boiling water to melt, whisk until blended and set aside to cool.
In your standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, add the softened butter and cream until smooth then add the sugar.
On medium to low speed, gradually beat in egg yolks one at a time making sure to scrape down the sides.
Stir the vanilla in with your chocolate and add to your mixing bowl. Mix on medium to low just until blended. Scrape your sides again.
Sift flour, soda and salt. blend in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk. Starting and ending with flour.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form then gently fold into batter.
Place two tablespoons of batter in each section of your cupcake pans and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let these cool on a bakers rack before frosting and decorating

Beat egg yolks with a whisk into your milk and vanilla until completly incorporated.
Blend in your sugar and butter.
Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown.
Remove from heat and add your pecans and coconut, mix well and let cool before frosting

The tops of the mini cakes will be your centers.
Coat one generously and place the other on top. Press gently.
Roll side ways on a plate with red candy sprinkles to coat.
Continue doing this until all are finished.
Make a chocolate ganache at a 1:1 ratio, while it’s still warm carefully spoon on top of your whoopie pies allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Top with a cherry or cherry candy, garnish with a pretty mint leaf.


2nd Place:  Isabelle Edwards
Recipe: Brioche Heart Shaped Dough

Makes:1.2 kg dough
70ml tepid milk
15g fresh yeast
500g plain flour
6 eggs, beaten
350g butter, slightly softened, plus extra to grease
30g caster sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

1. Pour the milk and yeast into a bowl and stir to dissolve the yeast. Put the flour, one teaspoon fine salt and beaten eggs into an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Mix on slow speed to combine and knead the dough for five minutes.
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then knead at medium speed for about 10 minutes. By this stage, the dough should be smooth, elastic and combined well.
3. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the butter and sugar together. Add a few small spoonfuls of the butter mix to the dough, then with the mixer running at low speed, add the rest a piece at a time.
4. When the butter mixture is all incorporated, increase the speed and work for six to ten minutes, until the dough is very smooth and shiny and comes away from the bowl
with perfect elasticity.
5. Remove the dough hook, leaving the dough in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about two hours, until the dough has doubled in volume.
6. Knock the dough back by flipping it over two or three times with your hand. Cover the bowl again and refrigerate for at least six hours (but not more than 24 hours). The dough is then ready to use and mould.
7. To shape a large brioche: Form into heart shape, egg wash and place in a warm place until double in size.
8. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Brush the brioche lightly again with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the setting to 180C/gas mark 3 and bake for another 30 minutes. Leave the brioche in the mould for five minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack and leave the bread to cool before serving.

3rd Place: Diane Schofield 
Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise Sauce Garnished with Rose and Cardamom Meringues

The meringues can be made ahead and the Creme Anglaise needs to be prepared in advance so it is ready when the Souffles come out of the oven.

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles
Makes 6
5oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, Chopped
1 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Plus 3 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 Large Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
5 Large Egg Whites
1/4 tsp. Coarse Kosher Salt

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl.  Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Bring the milk and vanilla to boil in a heavy small saucepan.  Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the flour mixture to blend .  Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms, approximately 2 minutes.  Using a spatula scrape hot mixture into the bowl of chocolate and butter.  Stir until the chocolate is melted  (the mixture may look curdled).  Add the egg yolks and whisk mixture together until it looks shiny and creamy.
Butter six 8oz. souffle dishes and dust with sugar.  With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy.  With mixer running gradually add the remaining 3 Tbs. of sugar and the 1/4 tsp. of salt until soft peaks form.
Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until well combined.  Gently fold in the remain egg whites, just to blend (some white streaks may remain).  Divide batter among the dishes and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Let stand until batter reaches room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake the souffles until puffed above the rim of the dish, tops are flat, and edges are set about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Cardamom Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise
Makes 2 Cups
2 Tbs. Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Sugar, divided
1/4 Vanilla Bean, Split lengthwise
4 Large Egg Yolks

Place cardamom pods with seeds in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir pods until they brown approximately 5 minutes.  Add  cream, milk and 1/4 Cup sugar.  Scrape the seeds from vanilla bean add seeds and bean to the milk mixture.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 Cup of sugar.  Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.  Return to the saucepan and stir constantly over medium-low heat until mixture thickens to a light custard (the mixture will coat the back of a spoon and when a finger is drawn across it will leave a path). Do Not Boil.  Cover and chill until cold, about 3 hours. Strain into a medium pitcher.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Rose and Cardamom Meringues
Makes 12 Large Cookies
2 Egg Whites
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
2/3 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1 tsp. Rose Water
1/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 drop Red Food Coloring

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  With an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar together until the mixture forms stiff peaks.  Place the sugar, water, rose water, salt, ground cardamom and food coloring in a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for an additional couple of minutes, stirring constantly. With the electric mixer on high speed slowly pour a thin stream of the syrup into the egg whites until completely incorporated and the meringue is shiny and stiff.
You can pipe into shapes or just drop by the spoonful onto the lined sheet pan.
Bake in a preheated oven until the meringues are hard 1 to 1 1/2  hours.  Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool inside the oven so the insides finish baking.  If piping be careful not to burn  the meringues.


3rd Place: Dana Kemper
Coffee and white chocolate mini heart cake

Jaconde base
0.9 oz. almond meal
0.9 oz. icing sugar
0.7 oz. egg yolks
2.2 oz. egg whites
1 oz. sugar
0.8 oz. cake flour
0.07 oz. coffee granules (not instant)

Cream cheese – coffee crème chibouste (the crème chibouste and crème  patissiere are taken from the Escoffier database)
7 oz. sugar
2.5 fl oz. water
3.5 fl oz. egg whites
2 gelatin leaves
12 oz. crème patissiere
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
4 oz. softened cream cheese

White chocolate truffles
3.5 oz. white chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 f.
In a bowl, mix the almond flour, icing sugar and egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, mix the cake flour and coffee granules.
In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites to a soft peak form. Gradually add the sugar and keep beating until the mixture reaches a strong peak form. Gradually fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk-almond mixture. Fold in the flour-coffee mixture.
Smear the mixture on a small cookie sheet (lined with parchment) and bake for approx  7 min, until golden brown. let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, cut with a heart shaped cookie cutter. (you’ll need 4 hearts for this mini dessert).
For the cream cheese-coffee crème chibouste, begin whipping the egg white in the mixing bowl on low. Simultaneously, cook sugar and water in a small pot until it reaches a soft ball stage. Slowly add the hot mixture to the egg whites in the mixing bowl. Increase speed and keep beating until the mixing bowl is cooled down and the mixture has volume and shine.
Soften the gelatin in cold water. Make the crème patisiere (I used the same recipe as in the Escoffier database) and whisk in the softened gelatin. Mix in the cream cheese and coffee. Fold in the meringue mixture. Put the crème in a pastry bag and pipe the cream on each heart (don’t stack them over each other yet!). Put the hearts in the refrigerator until slightly set. Stack the hearts on one another.
Make the white chocolate truffles – melt the chocolate and cream in a bain marie. Pour the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet and let cool. Cut a heart shaped truffle from the chilled mixture. Create another round truffle and roll in cocoa. Stack the white chocolate heart on top of the mini cake. With a little melted chocolate, “glue” the round truffle to the top of the cake.

Recommended Posts