Thursday, October 10, 2013

Croissant.....part deux

Boy am I feeling pretty 'chuffed'! My croissant dough has turned out beautiful.
I made some Pain au Chocolate.....and Croissants aux Amandes. Everything turned out....except my Pate Amandes leaked.....back to drawing board.

I used Julia's recipe for the almond cream...but I seem to remember a yolk was added with my french recipes. I will try again. No worries......family is pleased with my success and mistakes alike!







Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Puff Pastry.....1000 layers!

Back in the kitchen again!

I can't find any fresh cake yeast any where.....so I decided to make the next best dough. Puff Pastry.
You know, the mother of all pastry doughs! 
I always thought once you mastered this dough, you could pretty much accomplish anything! (that sounds pretty pompous!)







I dug out my trusty recipe, you remember, the one that started my whole teaching gig. I had some President butter in the fridge this time. My homage to France! I'm always surprised to find little French friends in the grocery. A cool morning and I was prepping my detrempe!

Again, all was well in the baking world and I had some great dough to play with.


Easy to roll out and shape. I had some Serrano ham in the fridge along with feta and thought a little lunch 'braid' would work well.

My next pastry temptation was a cream cheese cherry turnover. I added a little lime zest and it really brought the cream cheese mix to life.

Guess what I found at the grocery today? Yep.....fresh yeast. Got my Croissant recipe out again. I'm on my way to make some dough. I'm thinking Almond Croissant & Pain au Chocolate this time. What do you think??


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Croissants.......do I still have 'it'?



Fall is just teasing us to come inside and start baking! Already at the 'cooking emporium' where I work, we are all about Pumpkin. Pumpkin quick bread, muffins, butter, pancakes, ice cream sauce.....well, you get the picture? Fall has fallen! I am ready.

It was high time to get busy with a challenging dough, I prepare Pizza Dough a lot, leaving it in the fridge to ferment for a few days....it always tastes great!

It has been a while since I made Puff Pastry Dough, but what I really wanted to make were Croissants! That particular dough is always tricky. Most of the time I had the dreaded 'butter leakage'. This can be caused by the detrempe and butter temps being different. Butter leaking can be also caused in the proofing. The baking Croissants end up swimming in their own butter. A bit of a mess, and the results are terrible. Sometimes it just happens.....one can only shake their head. But after all that work making the dough, we eat the mistakes.

I had some fresh yeast in the fridge, the date was still good. I had flour and butter! I didn't have 'good' butter, I just had Land of Lakes.... I was in the mood to get going.












I usually take three days to make a Croissant dough. I make the detrempe, then 2 turns, leaving the dough in the fridge overnight. But, I was in a hurry and finished up the turning process in one day. Left the dough overnight in the fridge and next day I shaped the dough. All was well, dough was behaving, I shaped and proofed. The results were great!

Just needed to wait while they were baking to see if there was butter leakage.....
SURPRISE, DELIGHT.....they were cooking up perfectly!



Once I find some more fresh yeast, I have got some Kerry Gold butter to try next. It really feels good to get back in the kitchen, and what feels even better is the fact that I still might have my cooking chops!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Perfect Day!



You know I have NOT blogged in a heck of a long time! But would you just look at that beautiful Quiche, it is quite the perfect example. Guess what? I didn't prepare it.

My son asked what I wanted for Mothers Day this year. I responded with, "Just cook me a meal, your choice. Breakfast, lunch or dinner".  He did not disappoint. He found the Quiche recipe on this site. The addition of the Apple juice was so tasty! The recipe is a keeper. He used an 'all ready' pie crust. I can't find fault.

Murphy is very interested in what is going on in the oven.


I also requested that we spend a bit of time hanging out in his apartment. Really! I didn't want to spy around, just wanted to see what he needed in his kitchen. Since I'm working at the mecca of cooking stores, I love to spend my 'hard-earned' on pots/pans or gadgets that he might need at my discount. I was also in hopes for a little trip to Jungle Jims! That is always a fun side-trip!


Before we could set off up North, my bearded baby informed me that he was also cooking dinner for me. He had Salmon crêpe on the menu. WOW, more that a mother could want!
Again, he sussed out the recipes and came up with another winner. He didn't use my  crêpe recipe, but his recipe proved fantastic results!



You can see how great he did with my DeBuyer pan! The more you use that pan, the better is gets!

He prepped the dish and we carted it up north. I had a ball in Jungle Jims and we did score some Cidre Brut while we were scouting around the market.  It brought back great memories!
 
 
I hope everyone had a great day! Lots of love to my son and his efforts!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Another comfortable dessert





There is just something about a custard based dessert to make you feel all warm and comfortable. I found a Melissa Clark recipe from the NY Times and thought I 'have to make this one'. Baked Tapioca Pudding with a Brûlée top sounded good! Looking through the pantry sent me hunting for Pearl Tapioca. I had a box of instant, I didn't think this was going to produce the same results in her photo. No luck at Walmart and Kroger, and then the 'old man' reminded me of the new bulk store in Georgetown, Mill Stone Market. They had Seed Tapioca, I seem to remember they are the same thing.

FYI, Mill Stone Market has an in-house bakery and when I walked in I was hit by fresh bread baking, delish. She also had a tray of chocolate chip cookies baking away. They feature a daily soup and sandwich. There are little tables to eat in, and one of my buddies said when she stopped in for lunch after a yoga class, all tables had filled up at noon.


If you think this recipe sounds like a winner to you, click on the recipe title link, and you too can find all the secrets to making this recipe. I did use a Bain Marie to ensure an even bake just like Melissa Clark suggested.
Always on the ready to fire up my blow torch, I did Brûlée the top with some Demerara sugar. My son deemed this dessert the Poor Man's Crème Brûlée.