After a longish break to have a holiday and get together with the family to celebrate Lundulph's birthday, I decided it was time to pick a new recipe from my Swedish book "277 types of cakes". Besides, Lundulph and I recently cleared out the last of the white chocolate and cherry scones from the freezer. So I opted for a Scandinavian cake called Napoleon Hats. According to the book these are "really easy and quick to make".
Makes about 25
half a batch of 1 - 2 - 3 pastry (link)
30 g egg white (from one large egg, save a couple of teaspoons)
500 g marzipan of the type 50-50 (50% almonds and 50% sugar)
1 egg yolk (from above)
1 pinch of salt
25 g chopped pistachio nuts
100 g apricot glaze
200 g dark chocolate, 65% cocoa solids 100 g royal icing
2 - 3 drops of red food colouring
- Make the 1 - 2 - 3 pastry and make sure it rests in the fridge for at least 1 h.
- Wash the lemon and grate the zest.
- Mix together the zest with the egg white and the marzipan well, then divide up into pieces of 20 g each.
- Using a little flour on your hands, roll each marzipan piece to a ball.
- Whisk together the remaining egg yolk, the whole egg and the pinch of salt to an egg wash and set aside.
- Dust the work surface with flour and roll out a piece of the pastry to 3 mm thickness, making sure it hasn't stuck to the worktop.
- Cut out circles of about 85 mm diameters and brush each with egg wash.
- Place a marzipan ball in the middle of each pastry circle,
then fold up the pastry around the marzipan from three sides and squeeze together into a triangular "hat".
- Place the hats on a baking tray lined with baking paper, allowing a few cm of space between each.
- Put the whole tray in the fridge, while making the remaining hats.
- Once all hats are ready, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Chop the pistachios and place the apricot glaze in a saucepan.
- Bake each tray for 15 minutes. When the baking time is almost out, heat up the apricot glaze so it is runny and bubbly.
- Remove the ready baked tray and immediately brush the top of each hat with the apricot glaze and sprinkle a few pistachios.
- Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- When all the hats have cooled, melt and temper the chocolate in a flat dish.
- Dip the bottom of each hat in the chocolate, remove the excess, then place on a piece of baking paper to set.
- In the mean time, make royal icing with the saved couple of teaspoons of egg white and colour it with red food colouring. It should be thick enough to pipe and keep its shape.
- Once the cakes have set, pipe a small blob on top of each.
- The cakes are best eaten on the day, but should be good for a further couple of days. They can be frozen, but should be allowed to thaw in room temperature, not microwave.
Well, the "quick and easy" part turned out to be a load of rubbish, I made the 1 - 2 - 3 pastry the evening before and unfortunately it was rather sticky this time. I hoped a hight in the fridge would sort it out, but sadly no. I think the butter I used was too warm, since I'd had it in the kitchen the whole day while baking other things. The kitchen had reached tropical temperatures and the butter was on the verge of going liquid.
I also didn't use enough flour in the first lump I rolled out, so it took forever to get the circles off the table. The book also implied that I needed a whole batch of pastry, but I had half of it left over, so I've frozen it. A bit annoying that it was so sticky.
Even after I generously doused half the kitchen with flour, the whole thing was still fiddly. I spent most of the day baking these. I also don't think I managed to temper the chocolate. I followed my notes from my chocolate course, yet it didn't seem to work out, however, I don't think it matters much in this case.
When I was ready, Lundulph was having his afternoon tea, so I gave him one to try. He said he liked it, but I got a feeling he wasn't entirely convinced. He said he had no reference point to compare to. So although I didn't really feel like eating sweet at the time, I decided to try one anyway to be on the safe side. All I can say is, that's what happiness tastes like.