Delicious Baskets

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Ingredients

for dough:
150 g powdered sugar
150 g butter, softened at room temperature
1 egg
flour
for filling:
2 cups milk
3 tbsp flour
5 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
4 tbsp butter
for fondant:
(optional)
7 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp syrup
food coloring

Preparation

  • Mix the sugar and the butter using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until creamy and homogeneous.
  • Add the egg, and mix for 1 minute to incorporate the egg into the cream.
  • Slowly start adding flour as you reduce the mixer speed. Use the paddle that is for making dough. A soft dough should form.Knead the dough and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Roll the dough on a flat surface (about 3-4 mm thick) and using a metal ring, cut out circles. place the circles in cupcake cups as you lightly press the dough to the sides and the bottom of the cups. With some of the dough you can make the baskets’ holders.
  • Bake in a preheated oven (375 degrees Fahrenheit) until they become golden brown. Check periodically because you don’t want to burn them.
  • Take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before adding the filling.
  • Mix together in a bowl the flour and the cocoa powder. In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Slowly start adding the flour and the cocoa powder mixture to the eggs, trying to form a smooth and homogeneous mixture (no lumps). Add a little bit of water to prevent it from becoming too thick.
  • In a saucepan put the milk, sugar and the vanilla extract. Heat the mixture as you constantly whisk it in order for the sugar to dissolve. The milk should to be boiling, just hot enough before adding the eggs, flour and cocoa powder mixture.
  • Once hot enough, turn off the heat and slowly start adding the cocoa powder, eggs and flour mixture as you constantly whisk. Once fully incorporated, turn the heat back on (medium heat). Don’t forget that at this time you are supposed to whisk the mixture at all time until a thick cream has formed. Turn off the heat, add the butter and let the filling cool down a little bit.
  • Using a spoon fill the baskets with the cocoa cream, and place the holders on top. At this point you can start thinking about the decorations.
  • To prepare the fondant you need to add the sugar, syrup and water to a pot. Heat this mixture at medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Once the sugar is completely dissolved, close the lid and let it boil for 2 minutes. Afterwards open the lid and heat until you reach a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit for the liquid.
  • Once the temperature is reached, turn off the heat and pour the syrupy liquid on a baking sheet. Leave it for 2 minutes at room temperature.
  • At last, with a wooden spoon start mixing the liquid by making the number 8. Initially, you will have a clear liquid but as you mix it, it becomes thicker and white, and it hardens. Once it is in that state, with wet hands, start kneading a dough. Let the dough cool to room temperature before using it.

Notes and Tips: For the dough, you can add 2 eggs instead of 1, and also some lemon or orange zest to improve the taste (even finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts will improve the taste). Next time when I make these baskets, I will share my experience adding nuts and zest to the dough.
The filling may also be different.Some may like to fill the baskets with fruit jam, lemon, orange or even caramel flavored filling, or even cream made out of mascarpone and semi-sweet chocolate topped with fresh berries. I made my filling from scratch but you can use pre-packed chocolate mousse powder which you add to the milk (this is the lazy way but it works for those who don’t have much time, and want to impress their guests or even their family). The “WOW” factor with these baskets is guaranteed even if you don’t make the fondant decorations. A huge improvement to the fondant will be the addition of food coloring.

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