Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tulumba Pastries

So, what is a Tulumba? It is a Greek/Turkish beingnet. They kind of look like a churro. They are made using choux paste, piped out of a pastry bag with a star tip into hot oil and soaked in lemon sugar syrup. They are delicious.
What is a choux paste? It is a French dough that is used typically for eclairs, cream puffs, Paris Brest and beingnets. They are simple to make and are quite impressive to serve to guest. If I am having a dinner party, I will make a double batch of Tulumbas, serve it in individual bowls for each guest and make different sauces for dipping, like chocolate, raspberry and crème anglaise. 

 It is very typical in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to soak their confections in sugar syrup and honey syrup. Either you love it or you hate it. I grew up on these type of desserts and I adore them. If you love baklava then your in the right place. You can make these Tulumbas and not dip them in syrup, but I would sift a lot of powder sugar on top while they are hot and serve with the sauces. I have included sauce recipes below that I use. The texture is crispy and the centers are somewhat hollow, the syrup just adds something to it. It's sticky, crispy and slightly chewy. My 14 year old daughter is the official taste tester and she can't get enough of them.

Tulumba Dough:
choux paste

1 2/3 cup water
3 T. unsalted butter
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups flour
3 eggs

2 cups canola oil or peanut oil for frying in heavy duty pot

Heat the water, butter and salt in pot.

When it starts to boil, lower the heat and add in the flour.
Stirring constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the pot and becomes doughy.
Remove from heat put aside for a few minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, blend well before adding the next.
Heat the canola oil in a large cooking pot on medium heat.

Fill Pastry Bag with Choux Paste.
Squeeze out pieces about ¾ inch long over hot oil. Break them off with a dull knife and let them fall right into oil.  Fry each piece uniformly, push under using a slotted spoon, until golden brown and crispy.

With slotted spoon scoop Tulumba onto kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Let cool completely.

Lemon Sugar Syrup:
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. Lemon juice and add large cuts of lemon rind into syrup to boil.

Put all the syrup ingredients into a heavy duty sauce pot and stir well. Bring syrup to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes until thick in consistency like thin maple syrup. While still warm throw Tulumbas in small batches in warm syrup for about 5 to 8 minutes remove and put into a colander for excess syrup to drip off. Make sure they all soak in syrup. Leave to air dry so that syrup gets sticky. Cover loosely with clear wrap or foil.

These are three dipping sauces I make when I am having a party.

Chocolate Sauce
Makes 2 ½ cups of sauce

1 cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup or agave nectar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch Processed)
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup or agave nectar and cocoa powder.

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it is just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.

Serving: You should let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will giv e it time to thicken a bit.

Storage: Store the chocolate sauce in a covered container in the fridge for up to 10 days. Rewarm before serving.

Raspberry Sauce: 
(Make 2 cups)
1 half pint package fresh raspberries
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 T. Framboise liqueur optional

Place the raspberries, the sugar, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and Framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Creme Anglaise:
Makes 2 cups

2 cups light cream or half and half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and caviar removed
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
5 large egg yolks

Have a fine medium sized strainer and bowl ready near stove.

In a stainless steel bowl stir together, using a wooden spoon, the sugar and yolks until well blended. (Do not let this mixture sit too long or a film will develop on the yolks.)

In a small saucepan heat the cream and vanilla bean just to the boiling point. Remove from heat and whisk a few tablespoons of the cream into the yolk remix. Then, gradually add the remaining cream, whisking constantly.

Pour this mixture into a medium sized saucepan and over medium heat, gently heat the mixture to just below the boiling point (170 – 175 degrees F). You will notice that steam will begin to appear and the mixture will be slightly thicker than heavy cream. Do not boil or the eggs will curdle. Check to see if it is the right consistency by holding a wooden spoon sideways that is covered with the custard and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the streak remains without the cream running down throughout the streak, it is ready.

Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the strainer, scraping up any thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until seeds separate. For maximum flavor, return the pod to the sauce until serving time.

The creme anglaise can be refrigerated covered with plastic wrap for a couple of days.

Note: If sauce was overheated and curdling occurs, pour instantly into a blender and process until smooth before straining. If necessary, add a little heavy cream to the mixture before blending.

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