Maple & Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Wreath

Soft pretzels, fall edition. These bread wreaths are flavored with pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices. All with the soft pretzel crust. They are best when they are hot, right out of the oven. You can make them any shape you wish, I just went with wreaths this time. It’s easier if you make them small, since the dough is quite soft. If you make them too big, you risk the dough falling apart while transferring it to and from the water bath. So keep that in mind. This is not a very sweet pretzel, but you can always brush it with a bit of melted butter after it is baked and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar on top.

This recipe makes 3 medium wreaths.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup of warm water

1 package of dry yeast (7gr)

2 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup of pumpkin puree

1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

For the water bath:

10 cups of boiling water

2/3 cup of baking soda

For the maple egg wash:

1 egg

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Extras:

Vegetable oil

 

 

To make the pumpkin puree, just chop a small pumpkin into chunks (skin and all). Place it in a microwave-safe plate. Cover it with plastic film and microwave it for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft. Then remove the seeds and scoop out the pumpkin flesh. Place the pumpkin flesh in a bowl and mash it. Allow it to cool down.

Place the warm water and the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead the dough with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Do it on low speed for about 5 minutes, until it stops sticking to the edges and it forms a ball. You can also knead it by hand.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with some vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the greased bowl and cover with plastic film. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil.

Start making the water bath. Mix the boiling water with the baking soda in a large pot.  Make sure it is not completely filled to the top because the baking soda bubbles a bit. Leave the heat on medium, while you work on the dough.

Place the dough in your working area sprinkled with a bit of flour. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.

Grab one piece and roll it into a rope of about 40 cm, then slice it into 2 lengthwise. Twist together the 2 halves and then pinch the ends together to seal them. Finally form a circle with it, tuck the ends underneath and give it a pinch to seal them. Repeat for the other 2 pieces of dough. It’s better not to make them too big. The circumference of each wreath shouldn’t be that much bigger than the circumference of your slotted spoon, otherwise it’s going to be hard to place it and remove it from the water bath. The dough is quite soft and you don’t want it to fall apart.

Place one wreath in the water bath for 30 seconds. Then carefully remove it from the water using a large slotted spoon an place it on the prepared baking tray (once you place it in the parchment paper, you can’t move the wreath anymore until it is baked, so keep that in mind). Repeat for the other wreaths.

Once they are all done, brush them with the maple egg wash.

Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden. Serve warm.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

Brie & Butternut Squash Chocolate Cake

Processed with Snapseed.

I’ve been teasing you guys with this cake on Instagram for over a week now. I made it for the watch giveaway and for a small tea party that I hosted for some blogger friends. I know that the initial thought of brie, squash and chocolate might sound a bit weird, but it works. Think of it as a kind of cheesecake. I keep it in the fridge because of the cheese, but I prefer to eat it at room temperature. So you can just take it out 20-30 minutes before serving if you have time. I prefer it this way because you can taste the spices a bit better. It’s a very simple but rich fall cake.

This recipe is for a 19cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate part:

120grs of dark chocolate, chopped

57grs of butter

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

Pinch of salt

1 ½ teaspoons of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of cardamom powder

For the brie & butternut squash part:

100grs of brie, weighted without the rind

1/3 cup of butternut squash puree

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, use honey instead)

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

For the butternut squash puree, just chop 1 small butternut squash and place it on a microwave safe bowl. Cover it tight with plastic film and microwave it for about 7-10 minutes, till it becomes soft.  Let it cool down. You can do this the day before and just keep it in the fridge.

Line the bottom of your cake mold with parchment paper. Grease and flour the edges of the mold.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

While the chocolate-butter mixture is cooling down, start making the brie-butternut squash part. Place the brie in a bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute until it becomes very soft and melts a bit. Then add the butternut squash puree and blend it until smooth. Then add the ginger syrup, flour, powdered sugar, ginger and cinnamon powder. Blend it again. Finally add the egg yolk and blend until everything is well combined. Set it aside.

Then continue making the chocolate part. Place eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Then slowly whisk in the cooled down chocolate-butter mixture. Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the butternut and chocolate mixture, to make the top swirl.

Pour the butternut mixture into the bowl of the chocolate mixture. With a spatula fold the mixture in. Then carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold.

Use a spoon to drizzle the reserved chocolate mixture over the top. Then drizzle the remaining butternut squash part. Using the back of a spoon of knife, swirl it around a bit.

Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the cake has cooled down, carefully remove it from the mold. Because of the cheese, store it in the fridge. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Butternut Squash & Charred Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Feta, Coriander and Sumac Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

IMG_2186

Fall vegetarian tacos. I made these this past Tuesday and we devoured them. I love the combination of the creamy butternut squash with the crunchy Brussels sprouts and pumpkin seeds, and the saltiness of the feta. 

IMG_2410

This recipe is for 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the butternut squash puree:

1 small butternut squash

¼ cup of cream

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the sumac roasted pumpkin seeds:

1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds

Drizzle of olive oil

1 ½ tablespoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

For the Brussels sprouts:

350gr of Brussels sprouts, cleaned & halved

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of Salt

Toppings:

1 pomegranate

200gr of feta, crumbled

A handful of chopped coriander

Extras:

12 small tortillas

 

To make the sumac roasted pumpkin seeds, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Spread the seeds over an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Set aside.

To make the pure, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take the seeds out and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and place it on a medium bowl. Add the cream, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Transfer the puree into a small saucepan. Over medium heat, let it thicken for 5 minutes while stirring.

For the Brussels sprouts, pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the Brussels sprouts, lemon pepper, cayenne and salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until charred, stirring from time to time. Set aside.

To serve, warm up the tortillas in a pan. Spoon some of the warm butternut squash puree into each tortilla, add the charred Brussels sprouts and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds, feta, pomegranate seeds and coriander.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.