First things first, the dough recipe you can find HERE along with a video tutorial to make the dough.
Once you've made the dough, you will bulk ferment (1st proof) as you would in the recipe for honey buns so that the dough is double in size.
For the filling you'll need:
4 ounces (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
Once doubled, punch down the dough and press the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan (make sure you've liberally sprayed the parchment with non-stick cooking spray or have greased with butter). Press into a rough rectangle and cover completely in plastic wrap. Cool the dough by either placing in the fridge for 1-2 hours OR in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. This step of cooling the dough allows the butter to "seize" and makes the dough much easier to handle.
On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough out to between 1/4" and 1/8" or a 18" x 12" rectangle.
Spread the butter over the dough and then sprinkle the sugar on top of the butter. Press the sugar mixture down to adhere and then roll the dough from the long side into a cylinder. Every now and again, pull back on the dough before your roll to tighten. Once you've managed to create a cylinder, stretch the cylinder at the middle if it's thicker at the center.
Cut the roll into 12 even pieces (about 1 1/2" to 2" thick) and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and proof until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
While proofing, preheat the oven to 375ºF. My preference is for softer buns, so I cover the top loosely with foil. Bake covered for 30-35 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for 10 minutes more.
Allow to cool 15-20 minutes before slathering on the icing.
For the icing you'll need:
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Using a wooden spoon, stir together until smooth. Add the confectioner's sugar and stir until combined and smooth. Add the vanilla and the milk a small bit at a time, stirring between each addition, until a spreadable icing forms. Slather all over those buns. Make extra if you're feeling it. Transfer to a serving platter while still a bit warm so you get every bit of the gooey stuff underneath.
These treats were a hit at my pastry shop in Montpelier, Vermont and I shared the recipe with my friends at Walton's in Austin, Texas. But you can make them at home and share in the comfort of Gigi's famous Vermont treat.
Gigi's GOLDEN EGGS
Whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside for finishing the eggs.
To bake the eggs:
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Spray non-stick egg molds with non-stick BAKING spray OR line a muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl every few minutes (this is the creaming method and can take much longer than you think it should, up to 10 minutes. Be patient).
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition and scraping down bottom and sides of bowl. Add vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.
Alternate between the flour and buttermilk, starting by adding 1/3 of the flour, then ½ the buttermilk and ultimately ending with the flour.
Mix until just incorporated and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any butter clinging to the bottom. Divide the batter evenly among the molds about ½ to 2/3 full and bake15-20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when gently poked or the internal temperature reaches between 200ºF and 210ºF on a digital thermometer.
To finish the eggs
Unmold the cakes onto a cooling rack and while still warm, brush the eggs with the melted butter and dip in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
I make things for my mother. She's been gone for close to 23 years and I still bake to please her.
While this brings with it great sadness and regret, it also brings her closer.
And nothing draws her more near than marzipan and chocolate.
Dominosteine littered our house during Christmas. The package from Germany would arrive early in the month and we'd be knee deep in those ginger cake, marzipan, currant and chocolate squares for days.
I know I can buy them in the states now; I don't have to beg my family to ship them across the pond. But I'd rather conjure a batch that recalls the best of my mother's favorite things, so that the sweet smell of baking almonds can reach high to her perch and surround her with earthly baking love. And this version I invented to please her particularly, trading the dry plain sponge for a moist almond cake. Doubling the almond love.
PS My upcoming book, My Vermont Table, includes a host of recipes inspired by mom .
FOR THE CAKE:
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
FOR THE PUREE:
FOR THE ASSEMBLY:
Preparation For purée:
Place your berries (4 cups / 760 g small berries) or other red fruit like cherries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, or to taste. (Berries such as currants and gooseberries are tart and may require more sweetness — do a taste test.) Simmer the fruit over low heat until the sugar has melted. Allow the mixture to cool. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the fruit mixture until smooth (you can use a blender or an immersion blender for this process as well). Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds, and voilà! Purée! Freeze any extra purée in a zip-top bag. Purées are lovely in mousses, as sauces to accompany plated desserts, and as toppings for sundaes! You can also buy fantastic pre-made purées in an array of flavors from ordinary (raspberry) to exotic (passion fruit). My favorite brands are Boiron and L’Epicerie. Check the internet for availability.
For the glaze:
Place the chocolate in a large metal bowl. In a large saucepan, combine the cream, butter and vanilla bean paste and simmer over low heat until the butter has completely melted and the mixture simmers. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, making sure the chocolate is completely covered. Allow to sit undisturbed for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture has emulsified. Keep warm by placing the bowl over barely simmering water.
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325ºF degrees (165ºC). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick baking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond paste, butter, honey and granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and white pepper and mix to incorporate. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the almond/egg mixture until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among three bowls. Leave the first bowl plain; mix the black currant purée into the second bowl; and mix the cocoa powder into the third bowl. Transfer the batters onto the prepared pan in three sections, spreading them evenly so that each batter takes up one-third of the pan (each section will measure approximately 6" x 13". If you want it to be neater, you can pipe each batter from a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip.) The batters will touch while baking but we'll trim those edges. Your objective is to have three individual blocks of cake: one plain, one currant and one cocoa. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you touch it and begins to slightly brown. Allow to cool completely. *Note: Packaged almond paste is often dry; I know it is against store policy, but I surreptitiously squeeze the box to make sure the stuff is fresh and malleable before I buy it.
Trim the cake edges. Place the chocolate cake layer on a clean piece of parchment. Spread about 1/4 cup of jam evenly over the cake and place the plain cake layer on top. Spread 1/4 cup of the jam over the plain layer and top with the currant cake layer. Spread another 1/4 cup of jam evenly over the currant cake layer and then lay the rolled out almond paste layer over top the currant cake layer. Spread the chocolate glaze over the almond layer and allow to set in the refrigerator, about 20 minutes. Using a sharp knife, trim the sides of the cake. You can serve this as a cake just as it is OR you can serve in the traditional manner by cutting the cake into 1", bite sized cubes.