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BÉBÉ PASTRIES

Bébé pastries These frosted pastry cases filled with flavoured butter cream are one of my favourite pastries. In Finland, they are sold in various flavours and colours, from hazelnut, mocha and chocolate to strawberry and lemon.

The following recipes were created to imitate the flavour of the store-bought bébés, with the exception of using real butter and as natural ingredients as possible to replace the preservatives, artificial flavourings, hydrogenated vegetable fats and other cheaper, low-grade ingredients found in the commercially made pastries.

The recipes below are for hazelnut and strawberry flavoured bébé pastries of miniature size.


HAZELNUT BÉBÉS Hazelnut bébé

pastry cases:

25 g finely grated almonds (unpeeled or peeled)
25 g sugar
50 g butter
1 egg yolk or ½ egg white
60 g coarse wheat flour
filling:
25 ml water
2 - 3 tsp sugar
25 ml cream
½ tsp vanilla sugar
50 g butter  —  unsalted or slightly salted (salt max 0,9 %)
20 g finely grated hazelnuts (unpeeled or peeled)
icing:
100 ml icing sugar
pinch of vanilla sugar
about ½ - 1 tbsp strong regular coffee (not espresso)

Pastry cases:
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and the grated almonds. Rub in the softened butter and the egg yolk. Finally add the flour, mix and knead lightly by hand until the mixture is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in refrigerator to harden.

Between two plastic sheets, roll out the dough into a sheet about 3 to 4 millimetres thick. Cut out round disks using a round cutter, a drinking glass etc. Thoroughly butter and flour about 20 round and smooth mini-tartlet tins (Ø about 4 to 5 centimetres). Either use individual tins or a mini-tartlet pan. A silicone mould works best here  —  it does not even have to be buttered or floured. Line the tins or the moulds on the pan with the dough disks. Press the dough on the bottom and sides of the moulds.

Prick the pastry cases with a fork and place in refrigerator to cool and harden before baking. Bake at 150 - 175 °C for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the pastries start to turn golden around the edges. Let the pastries cool just until they are firm enough to be removed from the tins/moulds without breaking. Place the pastry cases on wire rack to cool thoroughly. If the edges of the cases are a bit rough and uneven, you can gently scrape them with a sharp knife to even them out.

Filling:
Place the water and the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream. Set aside and let cool completely. Meanwhile, beat the soft butter and the vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and cream mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating vigorously after every addition.

Beat the mixture until pale, light and fluffy. Fold in the grated hazelnuts. Fill the pastry cases with the butter cream and smooth the surface with a knife or a small spatula or palette knife. Place the pastries on a plate, cover with plastic and place in refrigerator until the butter cream is firm and set.

Pastry cases with filling Arrow Pastry cases with icing
Fill the pastry cases
with butter cream
  Spread the
icing on top

Arrow Garnished pastry cases
  Garnish with
a whole hazelnut

Icing:
Pour or sieve the icing sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Stir in enough coffee to get a smooth mixture, not too stiff nor too runny. Instead of using brewed coffee, you can mix ½ teaspoon of regular instant coffee granules (eg "Nescafé Gold Blend" etc) and ½ - 1 tablespoon of boiling water. The coffee flavour must not be too detectable, so do not use too strong or dark coffee types like espresso, French roast etc.

Drop a small amount of the icing on top of every pastry and spread it flat and even with a knife or a small palette knife (see the pictures above). Press a whole hazelnut on top of each pastry as a garnish. Place the pastries in a cool place until the icing has set.

Store the pastries refrigerated, in an airtight container to protect them from moisture. Take them out to room temperature for about half an hour before serving, for the butter cream to soften. Serve the pastries with coffee or tea.
Makes about 15 - 20 pastries.

Recipe source: family recipe.


STRAWBERRY BÉBÉS Strawberry bébé

pastry cases:

25 g finely grated almonds (unpeeled or peeled)
25 g sugar
50 g butter
1 egg yolk or ½ egg white
60 g coarse wheat flour
filling:
50 - 100 ml frozen strawberries
2 - 3 tsp sugar
25 ml cream
½ tsp vanilla sugar
50 g butter  —  unsalted or slightly salted (salt max 0,9 %)
icing:
100 ml icing sugar
pinch of vanilla sugar
about ½ - 1 tbsp juice from strawberries

Pastry cases:
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and the grated almonds. Rub in the softened butter and the egg yolk. Finally add the flour, mix and knead lightly by hand until the mixture is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in refrigerator to harden.

Between two plastic sheets, roll out the dough into a sheet about 3 to 4 millimetres thick. Cut out round disks using a round cutter, a drinking glass etc. Thoroughly butter and flour about 20 round and smooth mini-tartlet tins (Ø about 4 to 5 centimetres). Either use individual tins or a mini-tartlet pan. A silicone mould works best here  —  it does not even have to be buttered or floured. Line the tins or the moulds on the pan with the dough disks. Press the dough on the bottom and sides of the moulds.

Prick the pastry cases with a fork and place in refrigerator to cool and harden before baking. Bake at 150 - 175 °C for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the pastries start to turn golden around the edges. Let the pastries cool just until they are firm enough to be removed from the tins/moulds without breaking. Place the pastry cases on wire rack to cool thoroughly. If the edges of the cases are a bit rough and uneven, you can gently scrape them with a sharp knife to even them out.

Filling:
Let the strawberries thaw in a colander, catching their dripping juices in a bowl underneath. The juice will be used to make the icing (see below). Push the strawberries through a sieve to get about 25 to 50 millilitres of strawberry puree. Mix the puree (25 ml) with the sugar and the cream. Beat the soft butter and the vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the strawberry cream one tablespoon at a time, beating vigorously after every addition. Add some more strawberry puree, if you want the flavour to be stronger.

Beat the mixture until pale, light and fluffy. Fill the pastry cases with the butter cream and smooth the surface with a knife or a small spatula or palette knife. Place the pastries on a plate, cover with plastic and place in refrigerator until the butter cream is firm and set.

Pastry cases with filling Arrow Pastry cases with icing
Fill the pastry cases
with butter cream
  Spread the
icing on top

Arrow Garnished pastry cases
  Garnish with
nonpareils, etc

Icing:
Pour or sieve the icing sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl. Stir in enough of the reserved strawberry juice to get a smooth mixture, not too stiff nor too runny. Drop a small amount of the icing on top of every pastry and spread it flat and even with a knife or a small palette knife (see the pictures above). Sprinkle some chopped green pistachios, colourful nonpareils, etc on top of each pastry as a garnish. Place the pastries in a cool place until the icing has set.

Store the pastries refrigerated, in an airtight container to protect them from moisture. Take them out to room temperature for about half an hour before serving, for the butter cream to soften. Serve the pastries with coffee or tea.
Makes about 15 - 20 pastries.

Recipe source: family recipe.


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