Welcome back to another Yamahomo baking battle. Now that I have completed my macaron battle (yeah, I can still come up with different colors amd flavors, but this basics are covered and completed), I needed something else to tackle. When I saw Anders' post on a flødeboller from Summerbird in Copenhagen (basically a chocolate covered marshmallow; said to have been created in Denmark over 200 years ago, according to Wiki), I decided this is the one.
Remember when Anders posted this? It's beautiful.
The hard part is, there's no Danish bakery around me in NYC (I don't think?) to try out the real kind and master each step. So for now, I am basing this on Anders' explanation on how to make and assemble it.
This is what he said composed his flødeboller:
1. Macaron base-layer of crusty, rough almonds.
2. On top of the base a chocolate ganache
3. Inside of the ganache, a chocolate ball is hidden, containing apple compot.
4. On top of that, a caramelized piece of apple is placed.
5. The foam is a mixture of caramel and vanilla.
6. On top of, a sprinkled mixture of spicy almonds.
Let's tackle this one step at a time, per Anders' directions.
1. Macaron base-layer of crusty, rough almonds
I researched around recipes, but there aren't that many. Many said the bottom crust is basically a dried marzipan, but I don't like the taste of marzipan, so I decided to make a crunchy cookie layer.
1 stick of butter, softened
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup of almond flour
3/4 cup of flour
Mix everything together, and roll out into a 1/8 inch thick slab of dough. Since this has a lot of butter, it is better to make the dough into a disc and rest it for a while, then roll it out, put in freezer for about ten minutes, so that it doesn't stick.
Roll out, using flour as dust so that it doesn't stick.
Since I don't have cookie cutter, my Assless Chap Man tumbler works wonders here.
Bake these in 390˚F oven for about 10 minutes. It looks good, but a bit large. Instead of the two inch thickness I wanted, they rose to be more like four inches.
2. On top of the base a chocolate ganache
This one was easy, warm heavy cream, and add to chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet).
3. Inside of the ganache, a chocolate ball is hidden, containing apple compote
This is rather complicated. I am not a professional baker to surprise my clients with a chocolate ball with secret apple compote inside, so I decided to take an easy road.
I simply grated three apples, added 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 of lemon juice, and about 1tbsp of brandy. Cooked this down for about 30 minutes. Let's see how this one works.
4. On top of that, a caramelized piece of apple is placed
Cut one apple into a piece like the pic below, saute with butter, one tbsp brown sugar, and a dash of cinnamon until tender/caramelized.
5. The foam is a mixture of caramel and vanilla
As I was researching around for recipes, people were making this foam part either with meringue or marshmallow. I thought meringue might be too soft to hold it when coated by chocolate, so I decided to take marshmallow route. Original version may be vanilla flavored marshmallow, but I wanted to add an apple flavor to it instead, so I boiled down apple juice.
I cooked it down to 1/5th of the original juice.
Marshmallow is gross. I don't necessarily like it, but for this recipe, I followed something like this.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water divided
1/2 cup corn syrup
3.5 packages of gelatin
2 egg whites
3/2 cup of apple concentrate (above boiled down apple juice)
First sprinkle gelatin into half the water, and wait for five minutes. Add sugar/syrup/water/salt into a small pot and boil it until it reaches 250˚F. You should buy a candy thermometer.
When the sugar mixture is about to reach 250, start mixing the egg whites.
Once the sugar mixture reaches 250˚F, remove it from the heat and add gelatin. It will melt pretty quickly. Once it melts, add the hot stuff into egg whites. It looks quite soupy in the beginning, but as the temperature comes down, it solidifies. When the bowl is just a bit warmer than room temp, it's done.
At this point, my kitchen is filled with dirty dishes, spatulas, spilled chocolate, flour, sugar-- it's a complete mess. I'm also starting to lose patience and interest. But you can't leave the marshmallow for too long since it starts firming up, due to shit load of gelatin in it.
I quickly placed the bottom cookie layer onto a wire rack.
Smeared ganache on each one.
Apple compote on top of ganache.
Pipe out a single layer of marshmallow, then add the caramelized apple.
Cover the apple with additional layer of marshmallow.
Kinda cute and ice cream looking, don't you think?
Damn, I fucked up. The melted chocolate wasn't smooth enough, and I tried to dump the above into chocolate, and the whole thing fell apart. I then decided to drizzle chocolate over it, and that didn't work either. I thought the chocolate was too thick. Without thinking, I was like, I need to thin this out, so I warmed more heavy cream, and added into chocolate. Yep, I basically made another batch of ganache, which meant the outer layer wouldn't solidify. Fuck. Not only did this look quite ugly, it is so chocolate heavy.
You can still see apple parts inside, but it's basically chocolate with some kind of foamy thing (no apple flavor), and some fruit (no apple flavor either). Chocolate is WAY too overpowering.
This is shit, literally.
Up until the chocolate coating, I think I did pretty well (size is too big though), but I only tasted chocolate. This needs to be investigated further. Since I am not a big fan of chocolate, this was gross. I need to figure out how to dip this thing into chocolate without it falling apart, and how to make the apple part so that you can still taste apple when you bite into it.
To be continued.