Molasses Crumb Cakelets

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Crumb is the word

This weeks Alpha Bakers recipe from our baking group is Molasses Crumb Cakelets from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new baking book:

 

Baking_Bible-thumb-230x290-2938

 

HOW IT WORKS:

 Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

FAIR WARNING:

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.Thank you all for your comments!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I cheated and added other things not in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s original recipe.

  • I used both white and dark brown sugar
  • I used 1/3 Dark Molasses and 2/3 Golden Syrup
  • I created my own spice mix
  • I used different baking pans ( see notes below )
  • I love my additions

I am so happy I read Vicki Granny’s comments before I began this recipe as she was the inspiration for the Molasses substitution listed above.  Please visit Vicki Granny’s blog at:

Heavenly Cake Walk

You’ll be glad you did

I also looked over the recipe a couple of five times as I always do with Rose’s recipes and I felt the recipe was a great base but lacked the potential for warm ginger spices which marry so well with our star ingredient : Molasses.

So I thought it through and created my own spice mixture reviewing the ratio of each spice and I was very happy with my final outcome formula.

Mise en place

Mise en place

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VOILA the spice mixture begins....

VOILA the spice mixture begins….

Spice and molasses mixtures

Spice and molasses mixtures

 

We first mixed the crumb topping in the stand mixer

reserving a portion for the crumb topping

Reserving a portion for the crumb topping

At this point, we added the remaining ingredients of which  one surprisingly was simply hot boiling water

The mixture was then processed just until incorporated in the stand mixer and then scraped into a 4 cup measure for easy poring into the prepared pans.

Speaking of prepared pans, the recipe calls for Four 12 cup mini muffin pans of which I only  had two 6 cup mini muffin pans.  I looked online and my local store had the Wilton 24 mini cup cake pan in stock…or so they said

Wilton 24 count mini muffin tin

Upon arrival to the store, I found NO Wilton 24 mini cup cake pan in stock…

VERY ANNOYED BAKER

So I went back home and rummaged again to see what cooking jewels I had in MY stock…..

I came up with these…

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The math didn’t exactly work out for me as the recipe states the yield should be 46 to 48,  1/3/4 inch cakelets, but because of the equipment substitutions a home baker must make, I simply had less equipment and more batter…

SOLUTION: I kept the same volume for the mix but the yield based on the equipment was half of the original recipe at 24 mini cakelets.

The black 6 mini carbon steel tin worked the best of the three and cooked closer to the recipe time table than the rest.

The aluminum 6 mini tin took forever to cook the cakelets which was only about 17 minutes in real time, but over the recipe guideline of 8 to 10 minutes.

The Nordic Ware mini cake pan took the longest at about 22 minutes.

Lesson learned; purchase the carbon steel 24 mini muffin tin in black for the best results

 

Two Recommendations:

WebstarurantStore24-cup-steel-non-stick-mini-muffin-pan-1-5-ozThis 24 cup carbon steel mini muffin pan is great for making appetizers, desserts, quiches, cupcakes, chocolates, brownies and, of course, muffins in! The smooth, non-stick design allows for easy cleanup, while small cups let up to 24 muffins be prepared at a time.

Overall Dimensions:
Length: 15 1/4″
Width: 10″

Compartment Dimensions:
Top Diameter: 1 3/4″
Bottom Diameter: 1 3/8″
Depth:13/16″
Capacity: 1 oz.

Wilton® Perfect Results Mini-Muffin Pan

available online only

This mini-muffin pan offers all the right qualities for better baking results.

  • non-stick coating
  • heavy gauge construction spreads heat evenly and prevents warping
  • cooks 24 muffinsWilton 24 count mini muffin tin BLACK BASE

 

With the additional spice mixture, I LOVED these cakelets

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I really enjoyed the two styles created with the two mini carbon tins and the variation with the Nordic pan

Non-Nordik Tin

Non Nordik Tin with crumbs on the top

Nordic Tin

Nordic Tin with crumbs on the bottom

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. De-ville

I’m ready for my close up, Mr. De-ville

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Would I bake these again?

ABSOLUTELY

Would I change anything?

Just the pan as recommended above

This week I decided to forgo the Test Group and try an experiment.

I am shipping the batch to a friend of mine in Texas; so I will be experimenting this week with packaging, learning what works and what doesn’t; review of carrier cost and ease of use; and the final decision is

How did they taste once they arrived at my friend’s house?

My lucky friend; Carl in Texas

My lucky friend; Carl in Texas

 Happy Baking Ya’ll!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Praline Pecan Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

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While I have never been a big fan of Meringue, I think that I have finally determined that it is because some recipes create what I call:

Cloyingly, Hyper-Sweet Products. 

Fortunately, Rose has saved us from the CH-SP!

 I found that the dark brown sugar balances just to the edge of sweetness. 

I did opt out for the OPTIONAL: Rose Blend Ganache Piping Glaze as I felt the white chocolate would simply push me over the CH-SP edge… but more about that later….

 

This weeks recipe from Rose Levy Bernabaum’s new baking book, THE BAKING BIBLE….

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……was the Praline Pecan Meringue Ice Cream Cookie which can easily be upgrade to a Sandwich Cookie per Rose’s variations.

HOW IT WORKS:

 Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

~

We started with the simplest of ingredients; there were only three.

I had to do a double-take and look at the page numbers to verify that a thief had not broken into my library and stolen the VERY  page or two for the list of ingredients. 

I did this three times….

Mise en Place for the Praline Pecan Meringue Cookies

Mise en Place for the Praline Pecan Meringue Cookies – yes it’s a mystery

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I purchased two bags of pecans and I PROMISE I only tried a couple before and after roasting – for quality control of course. However I came up a tad short of pecans – So I went with it….

I wasn’t as happy with the “roasting” flavor after using the recipe’s appointed about of time in the oven, so I kept roasting the nuts for 1.5 minute intervals until I was pleased with the robust depth of flavor I achieved.

We were instructed to divide the nuts in half and chop some while leaving the others whole.  I discarded any nut dust that collected upon cutting as I did not want this additive to create a grainy texture.

Brown Sugar was added to the mystery ingredient and then...

Brown Sugar was added to the mystery ingredient and then…

whipped until light and fluffy

whipped until light and fluffy

Pecans were added

Pecans were added

and folded in delicately

and folded in delicately

On prepared parchment lined cookie sheets, dollops of cookie dough were strategically measured and placed

On prepared parchment lined cookie sheets, dollops of cookie dough were strategically measured and placed

An offset spatula was used to coax the cookie into a specified circle - well as much as possible

An offset spatula was used to coax the cookie into a specified circle – well as much as possible

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After cooling on wire racks, Rose stated to use a small pancake turner to release the cooled cookies off of the parchment. However, I found that this tool actually caused the delicate cookie to shatter or crumble even with the lightest of touch.  What worked for me was to gently raise the parchment off of the cookie sheet and gently press from behind the parchment, folding the paper back and peeling the cookie off of the parchment.  I did this with the remaining cookies and did not break a single one.

I placed the cookies in air tight freezer bags separated by parchment and called it a night.

DELIGHTED… that the recipe called for store bought ice cream, I wanted to purchase the Dulce de Leche or the Caramel Ice Cream with Sea Salt but my store was all out.

I didn’t feel like running from store to store so I decided upon:

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There are several options for the type of ice cream you use for the Ice Cream Sandwich filling.  It really depends upon your personal preference or if you prefer to make your own, that is ALWAYS an option.

I found it best to freeze the cookies before working with them as the cookies are subject to easy crumbling at room temperature.  Per Roses instruction, I let the frozen ice cream De-thaw for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator but I found that the ice cream was still too hard, so I microwaved the container for about 10 seconds.

I found it best to wrap the cookies in plastic wrap, scoop one 1/4 cup scoop of De-thawed ice cream on to the base cookie, cover with the top cookie, wrap and freeze before applying the Chocolate Glaze.

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I had mentioned earlier that I did not want to use the OPTIONAL Rose Ganache Piping Glaze because of the white chocolate blend, so I had on hand a mixture of bittersweet, semi-sweet and dark chocolate already in the Wilton piping bag, sealed securely and double protected in two freezer bags.  I microwaved this chocolate mixture at 15 second intervals until the chocolate was soft enough to pipe.

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I began to design various shapes with the piped chocolate but I soon found my groove…

Rose mentioned that the cookies would develop cracks, which I thought gave the cookie design much more character.  I found that if you piped along the natural baked cracks, that the piping “blended” in naturally with the cookie design and esthetic.

I also found that you should double check the amount of plastic wrap you have on hand before you begin assembling the cookies.  The first wrap is for decoration purposes only as the ice cream will at some point melt making the plastic wrap an unattractive finish…so after freezing open air on a cookie sheet…

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…the frozen end product could safely be wrapped in fresh plastic, and stored in air tight freezer bags until service.

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Would I make these again?

ABSOLUTELY

What would I change?

I think I will add cocoa powder to the mystery ingredient on my next go around;

Honestly, you could

  • add almond extract,
  • add cocoa powder to only half the meringue
  • create two cookies;
    • TOP COOKIE: Rose’s recipe above with almond exact added and
    • BOTTOM COOKIE: with the additional cocoa powder
    • and fill the sandwiches with:

H Vanilla Swiss Almond

 or add chocolate chips and use:

 haagen-dazs-gelato-dark-chocolate-chip-italian-style-frozen-dessert-pint-new-2013

Or go with my original recommendation of:

Talenti-gelato-sea-salt-caramelIf you haven’t tried Talenti, you need to get in your car now

( unless you are having a cocktail or on medications that prohibit heavy machine operation )

and get some – you will thank me later…

ANY flavor will be amazing as a stand alone ice cream or gelato!

HAPPY BAKING or FREEZING YA’LL!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Double Damage Oblivion

The DDO Monogram - Double Damage Oblivion

The DDO Monogram – Double Damage Oblivion

20150625_094726 Priscilla DDO

This weeks recipe from Rose Levy Bernabaum’s new baking book, THE BAKING BIBLE….

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….was simply amazing, breath taking and, per my focus group today, this is in the TOP THREE of all time. The list of TOP THREE includes this recipe, The Double Damage Oblivion, The Strawberry Shortcake Genoise, and of course the Lemon Jammies.

I also received confirmation today, per the tasting event, that The Double Damage Oblivion will be one of the desserts that I cater for a client’s birthday celebration this fall.  I am also creating a special cookie just for my client and preparing two savory appetizers.

Back to our topic at hand…..

 Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

The Oblivion is the first part of the recipe to prepare.  The equipment list was a little daunting at first blush but luckily I have many equipment items that I have collected through out the years.

Oblivion Mise en Place

Oblivion Mise en Place

 

A 9 x 2 or higher spring form pan was buttered but only the bottom

A 9 x 2 or higher spring form pan was buttered but only the bottom

Heavy Duty Foil was placed at the base to prohibit leakage

Heavy Duty Foil was placed at the base to prohibit leakage

Preparation for the double boiler

Preparation for the first double boiler

Preparation for the second double boiler

Preparation for the second double boiler

Chocolate was chopped for easy melting

Chocolate was chopped for easy melting

Land-O-Lakes butter was brought to room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F

Land-O-Lakes butter was brought to room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F

Butter and Chocolate were melted slowly to a homogenous state

Butter and Chocolate were melted slowly to a homogenous state

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Eggs were beaten with a long balloon whisk until warmed through

Eggs were beaten with a long balloon whisk until warmed through

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Eggs were brought to triple volume

Eggs were brought to triple volume

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and folded gently into the chocolate mixture

and folded gently into the chocolate mixture

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The Oblivion was placed in a hot water bath and left to bake uncovered for the designated period of time in the recipe

The Oblivion was placed in a hot water bath of which Rose confirmed should be 121 degrees F and left to bake uncovered for the designated period of time in the recipe

In order to gently add the boiling water bath, I devised the following procedure:

  • Boil water
  • Pour water into a LARGE measure in the sink
  • Pour BOILING water from LARGE measure to a SMALL measure with a spout in order to pour the steaming liquid into the small space between the delicate product and the outer edge of the bain marie
  • Worked like a charm
The Oblivion was covered with a lid and steam baked until the temperature reached 170 Degrees F

The Oblivion was covered with a lid and steam baked until the temperature reached at least 170 Degrees F

almost.......there

almost…….there

3 more minutes then I NAILED IT!

3 more minutes then I NAILED IT!.

The delicate structure was left to cool on a rack for an hour then placed in the refrigerator with a paper towel draped covering secured with an inverted dinner plate to protect from moisture.

Now, onto the Chocolate Passion Cake…..

Cocoa Powder was mixed with boiling water and left to rest for an hour, covered to avoid evaporation

Cocoa Powder was mixed with boiling water and left to rest for an hour, covered to avoid evaporation

The Chocolate Passion Cake required similar set up but Rose gave us an interesting procedure to weigh, measure and prepare the dry ingredients to be added to the wet....with Chocolate Passion Mise en Place

The Chocolate Passion Cake required similar set up but Rose gave us an interesting procedure to weigh, measure and prepare the dry ingredients to be added to the wet….with Chocolate Passion Mise en Place

While the cake cooled and was refrigerated, the ganache was made, covered and left to cool for 3 to 4 hours....well, I cheated and brought to down below temperature by freezing the ganache covered for 30 minutes then flipping the top over so that any ice crystals formed would not drop into the ganache upon coming back to the proper frosting consistency and temperature

While the cake cooled and was refrigerated, the ganache was made, covered and left to cool for 3 to 4 hours….well, I cheated and brought to down below temperature by freezing the ganache covered for 30 minutes then flipping the top covering over so that any ice crystals that may have formed would not drop into the ganache upon coming back to the proper frosting consistency and temperature.  Clever me…

 

bubbles just at the periphery of the heated cream

bubbles just at the periphery of the heated cream

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Now the fun begins as the ganache is coming back up to correct temp….

I had an idea for decoration as I was falling asleep the other night and woke up with an idea.

WHY NOT MAKE A MONOGRAM FOR THE CAKE!??? DDO

So, not having a stencil, I looked online and found Calligraphy Alphabets that were appealing.  Unfortunately, none of the D’s and O’s were the same size and I wanted proper proportion so, I ….

  • printed one letter out as a guide
  • grabbed a hard stock file folder as the stencil base
  • while looking at the letters, I spaced three squares of equal proportion and began to fill in each letter by hand drawing the curves, crosses and such
  • I then searched the house and sanitized some small tip, curved scissors to gently punch holes in the hard file folder stock and gently maneuvered the scissors carefully to cut out my template
  • In my mind, I wanted to have a white powdered sugar base then place the stencils I had just made and then sprinkle cocoa powder on top of the stencils creating a monogram effect

 

And VOILA....said stencil was created

And VOILA….said stencil was created

The cooled Chocolate Passion was cut into and I used 8 toothpicks to so that the tops and bottoms could be aligned once put reassembled

The cooled Chocolate Passion was cut into and I used 8 toothpicks to so that the tops and bottoms could be aligned once put reassembled

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I prepared the raspberry liquor of choice and I had made more Strawberry Syrup just in case I wanted to play

I prepared the raspberry liquor of choice and I had made more of the 8 hour Strawberry Syrup just in case I wanted to play.  I was a boy scout so, I’m always prepared….

Liquor applied with a silicone brush

Liquor applied with a silicone brush

Strawberry syrup applied to both the top and bottom of the split Chocolate Passion

Strawberry syrup applied to both the top and bottom of the split Chocolate Passion

Next the Oblivion was retrieved and a kitchen torch was used to warm the base for easy removal of the spring form pan

Next the Oblivion was retrieved and a kitchen torch was used to warm the base for easy removal of the spring form pan

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Half of the prepared ganache was spread evenly onto the Oblivion

Half of the prepared ganache was spread evenly onto the Oblivion.  The bottom of the Chocolate Passion was placed on top and the entire piece was inverted so that the spring form base could be removed

The kitchen torch was also used to warm the still cool spring form base and the parchment was removed.  The remaining ganache was spread evenly on the other side of the Oblivion and the top of the Chocolate Passion was placed lining up with the toothpicks prearranged.

 

A final coat of Strawberry syrup was applied to the to of the Chocolate Passion

A final coat of Strawberry syrup was applied to the top of the Chocolate Passion

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A final coat of Strawberry syrup was applied to the to of the Chocolate Passion and the the base o

The powdered sugar base was sprinkled on with a small sieve and a gentle touch

Stencils were applied

Stencils were applied

Top coating of cocoa powder over the stencils

Top coating of cocoa powder over the stencils then removed

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The completed cake was then covered air tight in a transport cake container which locks the cover to the base for safe transport

The next day upon the BIG REVEAL…..

...you can see how the Strawberry syrup absorbed the powdered sugar leaving a glistening effect for the cake monogram effect.

…you can see how the Strawberry syrup absorbed the powdered sugar leaving a glistening effect for the cake monogram effect.

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 I AM A VERY HAPPY BAKER!

THE FOCUS GROUP

and comments….

Erica was quite delighted and said after her first taste, " Tony! I simply MUST have this for my birthday celebration! Can you please make that ? Sweetest words I've ever heard.....

Erica was quite delighted and said after her first taste, ” TonyB! I simply MUST have this for my birthday celebration! Can you please make that ? Sweetest words I’ve ever heard…..

Vikki is so wonderful,,,She always wants to know how much and when can I deliver .... Such the problem

Vikki is so wonderful,,,She always wants to know how much and when can I deliver …. Such the problem

McHerold was speechless .. he just kept say, " This is SO GOOD."

McHerold was speechless .. he just kept say, ” This is SO GOOD.”

THANK YOU ROSE!

Until next week…Ice Cream Sandwiches!

HAPPY BAKING YA’LL

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

 

The Red Velvet Rose

Red Velvet Rose Finals 22015-06-16 01.22.33

This was the first recipe picture from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s new baking book The Baking Bible that drew me in…LITERALLY

.…The Brilliance of the color, the Memories of ole Southern Charm, the Decadence of a time past….. all flooded my memory as I first gazed upon the back cover photo…..

So needless to say, I was excited about baking this recipe…

……because you don’t really see Red Velvet Cake today as you did when I was a kid in the same light.  

I suppose mainly because the bakery market place and home baking has evolved so much since that time frame and we have so many more creative options.  But upon processing this memory, Red Velvet Cake and cupcakes were, at that time, a cutting edge idea, an event to get excited about and call your neighbor from the huge, black wall phone in the kitchen while looking at your avocado green appliances, and sipping on freshly squeezed lemonade.  But I digress…..

Baking_Bible-thumb-230x290-2938

Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

It all started with the Raspberry Sauce as Rose gave fair warning to plan ahead and make this several hours before baking the cake.

Oblong ceramic bowl as base, topped with colander, filed with frozen raspberries, topped with lemon zest and sugar, enclosed by plastic cover with an elastic band

Oblong ceramic bowl as base, topped with colander, filed with frozen raspberries, topped with lemon zest and sugar, enclosed by plastic cover with an elastic band

I created the above technique when we baked the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise using the plastic bowl cover.  It is breath taking when you unveil the macerated fruit and experience the sweet essence of the gases they release while they release their juices into the container.

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I must admit I was a bit perplexed about creating the puree from raspberries; Strawberries were easy, blueberries of which I have also used this technique are simple, but the seeds from raspberries do pose a problem and require additional time to process.  Rose references the use of a food mill however she gives fair warning that the seeds can still pass through the food mill.  I didn’t get a picture of my solution, however, I used two sieves pushing the pulp through with a firm silicone spatula.  This really still did not truly release all of the juices and I found that a mass of pulp and seeds were left as unpassable.  This issue then relies in balance for future resolution as I plan on using raspberry sauce quite a bit this summer in other desserts I am creating in my chef brain right now…..

Rose states that there should be 1/2 cup of puree released, however, I think I had excess of on tablespoon before I abandoned the idea.

Juice produced from frozen raspberries through maceration

Juice produced from frozen raspberries through maceration

As I would not have the volume indicated in the recipe, I reduced the juice in the microwave until I felt comfortable that the flavors had developed and were concentrated. I allowed the liquid to cool then added lemon juice, lime juice and my favorite French raspberry liquor, DRILLAUD.

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OHHHH if you look really hard, you can see my double sieve in the far left hand corner….

Onto the cake….

So I let the butter temperature rise to room temperature ( 65 to 75 degrees F ) and also the egg whites.

4.2 oz of egg whites

4.2 oz of egg whites

Cake mis en place

Cake mis en place

Wet ingredients were mixed first….

I personally hate drama, but it all began here.....

I personally hate drama, but it all began here…..

The dry ingredients were mixed and whisked in a bowl – no picture

The batter was created by creaming softened butter and sugar

The batter was created by creaming softened butter and sugar

Rose indicated to add the buttermilk and flour in one step, but I just couldn’t do that.  My instincts as a pastry chef told me to migrate the mixtures in threes beginning and ending with flour with the buttermilk addition in between.

Egg mixture added

Egg mixture added

Batter scraped into prepared pan

Batter scraped into prepared pan

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The cake took longer to bake than the recipe indicated.  I kept testing the cake with my paring knife as I do not trust toothpicks as an indicator, and there was dough residue after the 45 to 55 minutes of suggested baking time.  I kept checking at 1.5 intervals until there was no residue however the cake seemed “less moist” than what I had expected.  A delighted baker I am, but not thrilled at the texture outcome.

I let the cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting to a lightly spayed grate.

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As you can see, the cake has just begun to pull away from the edges of the sides of the pan as Rose indicated it would.

To move the cake to the cake stand, I used the bottom of my tart pan which worked wonderfully well.

To move the cake to the cake stand, I used the bottom of my tart pan which worked wonderfully well

I placed wax paper under the edges of the cake so the raspberry sauce would not effect the final plating design.

And VOILA…… I give you my final out come below:

 

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Classic Brioche Loaf

 

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I recall, it seems ages ago, baking Brioche in cooking school but that was so fast paced and we were doing 7 other things at the same time which is a bit sad, not to give the Brioche the appreciation it truly deserves.

You really can not enjoy the “Art of Making Bread” in cooking school as you can at home.

This weeks assigned recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible was Brioche of which I choose the Classic Brioche Loaf option.

Baking_Bible-thumb-230x290-2938

Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

I was commenting to a friend in the group just last night that, “If you just follow Rose’s recipes exactly, it is amazing at the outcome you will achieve!”

So it all started last Friday night with the Dough Starter or Sponge.

We added the water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg to begin the starter

We added the water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg to begin the starter

After mixing the starter, the flour blanket was made to cover the starter.  Rose gave several options of how to let the starter ferment.  I chose to cover and leave my flour mixture in a cozy, warm environment for about an hour then I tucked it away in the refrigerator, covered, for right under 22 hours.  It was so exciting to watch the starter bubble through the flour blanket, beginning to grow and do it’s yeasty magic.

Now comes the fun part of the Brioche – the BUTTER

Of course we add more eggs, it’s Brioche after all, then the softened butter is added a tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.

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I didn't get a picture of it but I like to place the softened butter right at the tip of the dough hook and the dough so that it is forced into the dough as it kneads

I didn’t get a picture of it but I like to place the softened butter right at the tip of the dough hook and the dough so that it is forced into the dough as it kneads

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The dough is then placed in an oiled proofing container to let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled

Top of take is my goal mark

The top of the tape is my goal mark

VOILA - Over and above my expectations !

VOILA – Over and above my expectations !

As it was late, I began my sleep deprived evening getting up at 3 AM to baby sit and then again at 4 AM to begin the dough massaging –

 

HEY, wait a minute; this dough is treated better than I am …..

But I’m not complaining

We first rolled out the dough into a rectangle

We first rolled out the dough into a rectangle

The dough was folded into a business tri-fold shape dusting off any access flour

The dough was folded into a business tri-fold shape dusting off any access flour

A second business size turn was made at a 90 degree angle

A second business size turn was made at a 90 degree angle

then the sides were folded up, dusted, a prayer was said, some faint humming of monks could be heard in the distance ...

then the sides were folded up, dusted, a prayer was said, some faint humming of monks could be heard in the distance …

After the chanting subsided, the dough was wrapped loosely in cling free wrap and....

After the chanting subsided, the dough was wrapped loosely in cling free wrap and….

then placed in a air tight gallon size back and refrigerated for at least 6 hours

then placed in a air tight gallon size plastic bag and refrigerated for at least 6 hours

The next morning…well afternoon…after coffee….

The dough was deflated again and rolled into a rectangle

The dough was deflated again and rolled into a rectangle

The dough is then rolled the size to fit your pan

The dough is then rolled the size to fit your pan

I was sure I had a Brioche pan, but I either lent it out, moved it or perhaps never bought it…. so I choose my trusty aluminum MIRRO pan 10 and 1/4 x   3 and 5/8   x 2 5/8 sprayed with butter cooking spray.

A lightly sprayed piece of non-stick wrap was placed on top of the dough and pushed down

A lightly sprayed piece of cling free plastic wrap was placed on top of the dough and the dough was pushed down

Then the final rise began for the next 2 hours

Then the final rise began for the next 2 hours

Egg wash with cream was made and applied with a silicon brush

Egg wash with cream was made and applied with a silicon brush

I first tried to use my pastry brush, as in the photograph above, to apply the cream egg wash but the dough was so light and airy that it was to course of a utensil to use for the delicate dough.  The lighter silicon brush worked just fine

Cream Egg Wash was applied and gashes cut with a sharp paring knife

Cream Egg Wash was applied and gashes cut with a sharp paring knife

Rose mentioned placing the gashes at either end but I found it more uniform to begin the first gash in the center of the loaf at an angle and then work my way backwards on either side, but that’s just me…

and in to the oven we go

and in to the oven we go

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The smell of the dough baking is worth the price of admission, believe me!

The TASTE! As half of the loaf has already disappeared, I keep trying to put my taste buds on what type of cheese would go well; I think I’ll pick up some Emmental, or a cave aged cheeses like Gruyere.  I think the nuttiness of a rich, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano  might really work here.

OMG now that I think about it, I’m wondering about a nice creamy Irish room temperature BUTTER would be amazing

Imaging that… more butter and Brioche!

HAPPY BAKING YA’LL!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

 

 

 

 

Stilton Baby Blue Cheesecakes

2015-05-26 22.19.29

Oh MY WORD!

___

STILTON:

  The Taste is amazingly complex; deep, rich and full of nutty flavor. 

The taste reminded me of an extremely rich and intense Parmesan that makes your toes curl in a very good way…..

I was a very happy baker in that moment of taste

___

THE STILTON BABY BLUE CHEESECAKES:

The rich, cold complex creaminess of the cheeses is accented by a hint of a mystery nutty flavor; it’s the Stilton of course

____________________________________________

So we began with toasting the roasted walnuts.

I increased the walnut volume by 2 Tablespoons which gave me roughly 1 cup of walnuts to be divided by 12 individual silicon molds plus more for garnish.

2015-05-25 20.24.44

2015-05-25 19.36.57

After preheating the oven and allowing the oven to heat for 20 minutes, I toasted the walnuts for 3.5 minutes, turned and shook them to avoid over browning, and continued toasting for another 3.5 minutes until I could smell the aroma of the nut.  Afterwards, the oven temperature was reduced to 225 degrees F.

Rose Levy Beranbaum always recommends rubbing the walnuts after toasting to release the bitter skins.

I found it easier to use two sheet pans lined with tea towels and rubbing the warm nuts between one of the towels….with clean hands, I picked up a bunch and rubbed them until the entire batch was skin free.  I then transferred the cleaned walnuts to the second tea towel and checked for any remaining skins.

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Individual silicon molds were sprayed with butter cooking spray as mentioned above.

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Next we were instructed to make the walnut base by pulsing the cooled nuts until chopped but no further.

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A tablespoon of nuts were placed in each of the individual prepared silicon molds.

I don’t believe this next step was in the recipe but I believe I saw this from Vicki Granny’s photos to use an implement to adhere the nuts to the mold.

Please visit Vicki Granny’s blog site at:

Heavenly Cake Walk

for details

I looked around my kitchen….and VOILA..

2015-05-25 20.45.26After washing and drying the base of my Fennel Seed spice bottle, I proceed to press firmly to adhere the nut base.

Before Adherence

Before Adherence

During Adherence

During Adherence

Post Adherence

Post Adherence

2015-05-25 20.45.34-1

Next we make the filling…

Mix the sugar, eggs and cornstarch in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment until blended.

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Add cubed cream cheese at between 65 and 70 degrees F.

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Mix the cream cheese with the sugar mixture

Mix the cream cheese with the sugar mixture

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Now for our STAR Ingredient….

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Isn’t he beautiful?

As there has been controversy on the Face Book site over the “smelliness” of the cheese, I opened the Stilton packaging with abandon.

I actually LOVE Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, etc… and as I haven’t had Stilton in ages, I was excited…

 

Next, we mixed the sour cream with the Stilton

LOVING the Stilton, I went with the full flavor option of 1.8 oz / 52 grams

LOVING the Stilton, I went with the full flavor option of 1.8 oz / 52 grams

We added the sour cream and Stilton and mashed together with a fork until uniform in texture

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We added the sour cream / Stilton mixture to the stand mixer bowl and blended for about 30 seconds more

 

Stilton Mixture in the far bottom right corner

Stilton Mixture in the far bottom right corner

 This is the stage ( BEFORE THE EGGS ) where I tasted and fell in love

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Rose mentioned that the easiest way to fill the molds was to pipe the filling using a disposable pastry bag.

I find that if you open the bag as wide as you can and place the bag in a large measure, it is much easier to fill the pastry bag.

2015-05-25 22.24.32

If not using a coupler and metal tip, I find it is helpful to seal off the end of the pastry bag with a small binder clip.  This way you can fill the pastry bag then decide the size you want to cut away from the tip to create the opening.

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Now for the piping…

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Smooth out with a small offset spatula

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Bake per recipe time table

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Rose stated to bake until 160 degrees F

Not there yet

Not there yet

When done, cool on wire rack for 30 minutes

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When cooled, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours

When cooled, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours

The Stilton Baby Blue Cheesecakes baked in the individual silicon molds are not cooperating at coming out of their nice and comfortable homes… While each mold was coated lightly with  cooking spray, after baking and upon refrigeration, when one tries to release the individual cheesecake, the cheesecake does not release from the silicon mold but rather moves with the direction of the mold when pressure is applied much like the old STRETCH ARMSTRONG dolls from the 70’s.

STRETCH ARMSTRONGI am not a happy baker at the moment.

My next thought was to freeze the baby cheesecakes in hopes that in the freezer that the silicon will “release” from the cheesecake after slightly freezing.

 After freezing for two hours, the cakes began to peel away from the silicon molds.

Be still my heart!

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Lemon Jammies

Lemon Jammies

Lemon Jammies

2015-04-30 07.21.38

I was so wanting to use my food processor for this recipe to make the cookie dough, as I have always made cookie dough in my stand mixer. So I read Rose Levy Beranbaum, recipe for Lemon Jammies in her new baking book entitled, The Baking Bible, several times.

Then a few days went by and I just KNEW I’d remember all that I had read……

Well, when I went to get my ingredients out to bake, I remembered reading that the butter and eggs needed to be room temperature.  So I got the butter out to let it achieve room temperature of between 65 degrees F and 75 degrees F.

I started the recipe and realized that the COLD butter was for the food processor method and that the softened butter was for the stand mixer.

So we used the Stand Mixer Method by default. Also, there was no mention in the recipe to bring the egg to room temperature after further review.

Well, so much for that daily Ginkgo Biloba supplement….

For thousands of years, leaves from the Ginkgo biloba tree have been a common treatment in Chinese medicine. In the U.S., many take ginkgo supplements in the belief that they will improve memory and sharpen thinking.

.Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide From WEB ME

 

The butter was weighed to exactly 6.5 oz

The butter was weighed to exactly 6.5 oz

Cookie Dough Mise en Place

Cookie Dough Mise en Place

Cream the softened butter and sugar

Cream the softened butter and sugar

Add the lightly beaten egg, Mine was at room temp, the vanilla and the lemon zest

Add the lightly beaten egg, Mine was at room temp, the vanilla and the lemon zest

Empty dough from mixer bowl onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and gently fold together until all of the dry sandy bits come together incorporated well

Empty dough from mixer bowl onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and gently fold together until all of the dry sandy bits come together incorporated well

Divide the dough into thirds and wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours so that the dough may absorb the small amount of moisture used and become incorporated

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LEMON CURD 101

As I have never made lemon curd before, I was excited and a bit curious.

Lemon Curd Mise en Place

Lemon Curd Mise en Place

What was very difficult to do was to not let the curd mixture curdle. This takes one of the Alpha Bakers most desirable and refined skill sets being patience, a constant watchful eye and then more patience.

QUESTION:

How do you raise the temperature of the curd to just below 196 degrees ( as we know 212°F (99.98°C) is the boiling point for water and liquids ) without allowing the mixture to form bubbles which are the beginning stages of reaching the boiling point?

Tiny bubbles kept appearing around the periphery  as well as inside the mass as I constantly stirred and I removed the sauce pan from heat, string and talking the external temperature but the mixture would never reach beyond 176 degrees without forming tiny bubbles.

I kept string and removing the sauce pan from the heat, and early on the tale tale signs of a hollandaise  sauce was evident as the back of the spatula remained clean when a finger was ran across the back of the spatula.

I kept string, and removing from heat until the liquid began to thicken.  The mixture never reached close to 196 degrees ( 176 tops) but the mixture did eventually become very thick.

2015-04-28 21.20.53

I tasted the curd and it was divine! So I guess it all worked out extremely well for the first time making Lemon Curd.  Thank you Rose for such a wonderful recipe!

I read Marie’s post last night and as always was delighted and amused to read her stories and adventures.  The problem that seemed to surface ( as I paraphrase ) was….

How do you get the inner circle exactly perfectly centered when cutting the inner circle for the top cookie ?

I searched my cookie cutters and found a 2.5 inch daisy cutter in my Wilton kit but I could not find the scalloped cutter that I just KNEW I had put back in there…..

So I began looking at other cookie cutter options in which both the outside and the inner cutter would marry in design…

In order to solve the problem, I used Scotch Colored Plastic Tape.

This is the same tape I use when baking yeast dough and I mark the outside of the bowl with the colored tape to indicate the desired rise.

~Works like a charm~

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I  stationed the inner cookie cutter securely to the outer cutter  securely so that the baker can simply depress the cutter once and get two cuts at the same time.

2015-04-28 20.40.31TOP SIDE

2015-04-28 20.40.41UNDERSIDE

Of course this theory involves math.  You will need to calculate the number of cookie tops you need, cut them, then remove the inner cutter for the remaining cookie bottoms.  I found that the inter metal heart cookie cutter adheres very easily if you need to reapply for final cuts.

I took two approaches under review:

1) Take Rose’s estimate of sandwich cookies made and extrapolate the number of tops and bottoms

2) As the dough was divided into three batches, determine the number of tops and bottoms per the batch count

I wound up using a Hybrid Theory as follows:

Rose states that the recipe makes about 36, 2.5 inch sandwich cookies.  This would mean that double the amount of cookies would be made, so 72 cookies in total.  If there are three batches, make one full batch of tops from the first, one full batch of bottoms from the third and divide the number evenly between the second batch between tops and bottoms.

BATCH 1 = 24 Tops

BATCH 2 – 12 Tops and 12 Bottoms

BATCH 3 = 24 Bottoms

TOTAL: 36 tops and 36 bottoms

Which equals the amount of sandwich cookies Rose states.

So the cookie process begins………….

Frozen Pastry cloth, dough from frig, uncovered and flowered and covered again with plastic wrap to bring to malleable rolling state, rolling pin covered with pastry cloth pin cover

Frozen Pastry cloth, dough from frig, uncovered and flowered on both sides and then covered again with plastic wrap to bring to malleable rolling state for 10 to 15 minutes, rolling pin covered with pastry cloth pin cover

Rolled cookie dough with plastic wrap on top. Careful attention to the plastic wrap is necessary to ensure that there are no overlapping plastic which would produce an imprint in the soft dough structure

Rolled cookie dough with plastic wrap on top. Careful attention to the plastic wrap is necessary to ensure that there are no overlapping plastic which would produce an imprint in the soft dough structure

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Tops from the first batch are baked, cooled the awaiting their counterparts and lemon curd filling

BAKING:

For me, I found the baking time to be best as follows:

Preheat to 350 – rack in middle of oven

Place two cookie sheets on oven racks

2.5 minutes turn for even baking

8.5 minutes bake

I found that if the cookies baked ANY longer, they became too brown and the taste of the cookie itself, while still good, was on the verge of becoming bitter.

I couldn't resist baking the top insert hearts just for fun

I couldn’t resist baking the top insert hearts just for fun

FINAL PRODUCT:

JUST LOOK AT THEM!

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NOW the focus group and the Tasting

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Lauren loved them but she could not decide if she liked the Strawberry Shortcake Genoise or the Lemon Jammies the best; I think she will need to place an order for both then give me the final verdict.

2015-04-30 09.54.40 2015-04-30 09.54.52 2015-04-30 09.55.00Marsha` said that she likes this best out of everything we have made so far from Rose Levy Bernabaum’s, The Baking Bible.  She wants to have these cookies on hand for the upcoming Mother’s Day Holiday.

Karen is a new addition to our focus group and she loved the intense favor of the lemon curd and the crispness of the cookie.  She was very impressed.

2015-04-30 09.54.15Vicki loved them but she wanted to know how much the Dattelkonfert will cost and when I was going to covert that recipe into my Hazelnut, Fig Meringue Cookie with Hazelnut Ice Cream with Frangelico Sauce.

 

Melissa and Paul were a bit too excited about this

Melissa and Paul were a bit too excited about this, but I LOVE them for their support and enthusiasm

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Melissa just saying MMMMMMM and she wants these for cookies for Mother’s Day as well.

2015-04-30 09.56.47 2015-04-30 09.56.50 2015-04-30 09.56.57Paul also enjoyed the flavor of the lemon curd and how bold it was against the crisp lemon flavored cookie sandwich

2015-04-30 10.02.00 2015-04-30 10.02.05 2015-04-30 10.02.06 2015-04-30 10.02.07Nonna is a new addition to my focus group and she loved the cookies as well.  She stated she had just gotten back from a cruise and she so wished they would have had these cookies on board!

2015-04-30 10.07.32Erika’s face says it all as she asked for seconds

I actually also got a hug which was the best review ever!

2015-04-30 10.07.30 2015-04-30 10.07.31Ericka and I discussed wine parings and we both agreed that a white, dry Chardonnay would be best. I thought the flavor profile through and I recommend looking for a Chardonnay with:

  1. a citrus aroma, derived from lemon,
  2. a flavor profile also derived from lemon,
  3. with an elegant style with smooth and complex fruit flavors with a smooth and buttery texture

That said, I recommend:

Ramey Chardonnay Hudson Carneros, 2011

Ramey Charodannay Hudson Carneros, 2011Elegant, Tropical, Citrus, Cream, Full-bodied

Int’l Wine Cellar – Carneros, CA- “At once rich and energetic on the palate, offering intense orchard and pit fruit flavors and a bracing jolt of Meyer lemon. Picks up an exotic tropical fruit quality on the finish, which clings with outstanding mineral-driven persistence.”

Ramey Chardonnay Hudson Carneros, 2011

 

Until then

HAPPY BAKING YA’LL!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

DATTELKONFEKT ( Date Confections )

2015-04-14 09.48.462015-04-14 01.23.48

Dattelkonfekt vs. Pruneelkonfekt

Well you know me, Mr. Chatterbox….

So I was in the store to purchase the “DATES” for this recipe and I struck up a conversation with a fellow shopper…

Low and behold, when I got home, these were my ingredients I had purchased…..

Dates do not equal Prunes

Pitted Dates do not equal Pitted Prunes

So such is life, and I used the prunes instead.

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog. Thank you all for your comments!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I cheated and added other things not in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s original recipe.

  • Pitted Prunes
  • Almond Extract
  • Edible Gold
  • Omitted back-oblaten

I also toasted the almonds prior to grinding them for a richer, more complex flavor.

After searching High and Low for Back-Oblaten and Nugget Paper or Rice Paper for the base of these cookies, I could only find rice paper.  However after discussions with Kimberlie Robert, we discovered that the type of rice paper I had purchased would not work for our assignment.

2015-04-10 20.59.50

Please visit Kimberlie at her WONDERFUL blog, The Finer Cookie

So the back-oblaten or any substitutes were not used and I simply piped the cookies on parchment.

Thanks to Peggy Pegs, I switched from a large star tip to a large round tip for piping.

2015-04-13 23.40.47

So the almonds were roasted, prunes semi chopped from our assigned baking project this week from:

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe DATTELKONFEKT featured in new IACP award winning cookbook “The Baking Bible”

Baking_Bible-thumb-230x290-2938

Please visit Rose’s website at, Real Baking With Rose  for more information about Rose and her creations.

 

Roasted Slivered Almonds were ground in the food processor until fine but before paste stage

Roasted Slivered Almonds were ground in the food processor until fine but before paste stage

Semi-Chopped Pitted Prunes ready to be chopped as well

Semi-Chopped Pitted Prunes ready to be chopped as well

 Mix the two together

What a beautiful combination

What a beautiful combination

It has been constantly raining here in the Atlanta area and I stopped and started the egg whites a couple of times as meringue is very difficult to whisk in humid environments, but I made it work…

Handy Dandy egg separator - a gift from a true friend who knows me well

Handy Dandy egg separator – a gift from a true friend who knows me well

2015-04-13 22.55.08

The egg yolks were frozen for another purpose –

Who would have EVERY thought I’d one day decide to freeze my eggs?

After whisking the egg whites on medium low speed for which seemed forever, eventually soft peaks began to evolve.

I used Kitchen Aid speed # 4

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The mixer speed was then increased to medium high in which I increased the speed to # 8

sugar was added for a glossy finish

sugar was added for a glossy finish

Vanilla and Almond Extracts were added, then the prune / almond mixture was added to the mixing bowl and beaten slightly to incorporate

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Cookies were piped onto parchment and baked 15 minutes until the kitchen was filled heavily with the aroma of almonds – I was in heaven!

2015-04-13 23.45.112015-04-13 23.56.09

I had purchased some edible gold back when I was working out the details for my black and white sesame brittle to add spark, interest and intrigue so I decided to add the gold to the tops of the cookies as they were pretty but looked kind of bland with only the badge and black color scheme.

2015-04-14 00.07.39

Rather quickly I will share with you my Black and White Sesame Seed Cake, Roasted Sesame Seed Ice Cream with Black and White Sesame Brittle using the gold

Black and White Sesame Brittle with gold fleaks

Black and White Sesame Brittle with gold freaks

IMG00228-20140702-1239

IMG00229-20140702-1250IMG00231-20140702-1250

So I then took the cookies to my focus group and they ABSOLUTELY loved them.  Very soon I was being asked for pricing information.

After the first bite, Vicki had to do a double take at the cookie and study it more closely

After the first bite, Vicki had to do a double take at the cookie and study it more closely

After her taste buds were acclimated to the texture and taste, she said she really LOVED them and could eat the entire tray of cookies if I would let her

After her taste buds were acclimated to the texture and taste, she said she really LOVED them and could eat the entire tray of cookies if I would let her

2015-04-14 09.48.35

Paul also did a double take on the cookie

2015-04-14 09.50.56

 

After his first bite, he stated, "Man, I have never had a cookie with this texture, so light and delicate but so fulfillingly good! "

After his first bite, he stated, “Man, I have never had a cookie with this texture, so light and delicate but so fulfillingly good! “

 

Great Job Tony!

Great Job Tony!

2015-04-14 00.35.312015-04-14 01.23.072015-04-14 01.23.212015-04-14 01.23.272015-04-14 09.48.252015-04-14 09.48.352015-04-14 09.48.46

So my culinary mind got to thinking……

What else could I create using this concept?

Currently I am testing a version replacing the almonds with Hazelnuts, the dates with the same dates that Peggy Peg used, Medjool pitted dates.  I used the Medjool pitted dates in an appetizer for a dinner party I catered:

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Manchego

Unfortunately, they were all gone before I could get any pictures of those

and I will also be creating a Hazel nut ice cream and a Hazel nut liquor dipping sauce to spoon on top.

Please visit Peggy Pegs blog to see her amazing creations at, diary of Faithy, the baker

HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

  PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog. Thank you all for your comments!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Genoise

2015-04-06 22.20.04

Nordic Ware Mini-Strawberry Shortcake

Nordic Ware Mini-Strawberry Shortcake

2015-04-06 22.20.35

What a wonderful recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible! 

I was honored to read fellow Alpha Baker, Raymond Zitella comments as he shared a childhood memory about the Duncan Hines Tiara Dessert Pan his mother had purchased.

2015-04-05 08.10.58

My mother had one as well and I inherited this pan after her passing.

I was ecstatic when I read that he had used his Tiara Dessert pan for this recipe, so I decided to follow suit.  The recipe makes 10 cups of batter however the Tiara Dessert pan only holds, according to Raymond, 3.5 cups, SOOO I had no choice but to purchase the Nordic Ware Strawberry Shortcake pan to hold the additional batter.71CNbo6Q4GL._SL1500_Please visit Raymond’s food blog at  Your Just Desserts  to see his beautiful cake and read his instructions as well.

FAIR WARNING:

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog. Thank you all for your comments!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I cheated and added other things not in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s original recipe.

 

First we created the Strawberry Syrup from frozen Strawberries and let the berries drain for 8 hours at room temperature along with other ingredients.

2015-04-04 22.53.46 2015-04-04 23.04.35

The Strawberries will later be used to create a pure and the separated juice will be used to moisten the inside of the shortcakes, adding flavor.

Pans were prepared and then …

2015-04-05 19.06.56 2015-04-05 19.07.07

Next the batter was made in parts

Again, excitement….I get to make Brown Butter ( Beurre Noisette ) ! 

YAY !

Extreme low heat just to melt the butter

Extreme low heat just to melt the butter

Butter melted smooth

Butter melted smooth

increase the heat to low

increase the heat to low

Per Rose in other recipes, I just used the technique here, use a white spatula to help gauge the color change of the butter from yellow to deep tan

Per Rose in other recipes, I just used the technique here, use a white spatula to help gauge the color change of the butter from yellow to deep brown – not quite there yet

Ahhh there we are, deep rich nutty aroma developing and flecks of brown are a sign that you are almost there

Ahhh there we are, deep rich nutty aroma developing and flecks of brown are a sign that you are almost there

in a prepared cut measure with cheese cloth, pour the Beurre Noisette onto the cloth and push the solids through with a small spatula

in a prepared cup measure with cheese cloth, pour the Beurre Noisette onto the cloth and push the solids through with a small spatula

BEAUTIFUL I tell you

BEAUTIFUL I tell you

Pour into a holding container and allow to cool to between 110 and 120 degrees F

Pour into a holding container and allow to cool to between 110 and 120 degrees F

Stir in the vanilla and cover to avoid evaporation and keep in a warm, holding environment

Stir in the vanilla and cover to avoid evaporation and keep in a warm, holding environment

Heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm over a double boiler using a long whisk to avoid curdling

Heat the eggs and sugar until lukewarm over a double boiler using a long whisk to avoid curdling

Transfer heated mixture to the stand mixer and beat until the mixture has quadrupled in volume

Transfer heated mixture to the stand mixer and beat until the mixture has quadrupled in volume

When set, mix a cup of the batter in with the warm Beurre Noisette

When set, mix a cup of the batter in with the warm Beurre Noisette and combine with the batter

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Look how delightful the Tiara Dessert pan worked!

Look how delightful the Tiara Dessert pan worked!

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The unmolding was a bit different because of the delicate texture of the Genoise.  For the larger Tiara shortcake, I cut a round of parchment using a 10 inch cake cardboard disk as a template and then I also used the cardboard disk as a base.  The parchment was used so that the cake would not stick to the cardboard.  For the mini Nordic shortcakes, I simply prepared a cooling rack for invertation. I also cut a 10 inch parchment disk during decorating, but did not use this until later.

Next we made the Strawberry Grand Marnier Syrup,  however, I personally do not like Grand Marnier in desserts as I find it too sweet and thick. I prefer to use the French Liquor Drillard Orange Liqueur instead.  Actually, I had the same amount needed left over from the Luxury Oatmeal Cookies when I soaked the dried berries, so I used that.

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Refrigerate 12 hours

For the Fresh Berries…

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Next we go back to the reserved frozen berries and make a puree in the food processor and apply…

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Next, apply the fresh berries

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Luxury Oatmeal Cookies

2015-03-23 23.29.29 MAIN PIC 13 min

The first thing I think about when I hear cookies is

Cookie Monster.

So how then would Cookie Monster become Luxurious?

I have the answer below:

 

Project Runway: Luxurious Cookie Monster Day Wear

Project Runway: Luxurious Cookie Monster Day Wear

I am absolutely in LOVE with BOTH the Granola and the actual cookies themselves. I was just telling a friend , [… just finished baking my amazing cookies. I mean I knew they would be good but MAN, best oatmeal cookie I ever had..]

Thank you Rose!

FAIR WARNING:

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.Thank you all for your comments!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I cheated and added other things not in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s original recipe.

Vicki Granny, Heavenly Cake Walk, mentioned that she didn’t care for raisins as much and I have to agree with her.  She was going to use a mixture of dried fruits and I agreed that this would be an excellent idea.

Patricia Reitz, ButterYum, a tasty little food blog, recommended doubling the vanilla.

Thank you Ladies for your recommendations!

And with that, I was ready to create….

Dried Fruits Macerated in orange liquor and orange oil: Cherries, Cranberries, Blueberries and White Rasins

Dried Fruits Macerated 24 hours in orange liquor and orange oil: Cherries, Cranberries, Blueberries and White Raisins

Mise en Place for the Granola

Mise en Place for the Granola

For the maple syrup, I choose to combine different types of syrups in order to add depth in flavor to the granola: I used a combination of Maple, Lyle’s Golden, honey and Agave.  For the spices, the cinnamon was doubled and I couldn’t help but add Allspice, Mace and a dash of nutmeg.

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As we learned in earlier recipes, always shake away and “nut dust” that might accumulate in the package when adding nuts.

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Add all of the other ingredients….

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For me I drained the berries next

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As I smelled and tasted, I thought the granola was still missing something, so I added sliced almonds

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Now onto the cookie dough…..

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Separate into three divisions and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. I found it best to refrigerate overnight

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Preheat oven and bring one section of the dough to room temperature for about 10 minutes. Measure two, YES TWO, Tablespoons of dough and with lightly flowered hands, roll into balls

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Place on prepared cookie sheet, half sheet, and flatten out the cookies to about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch tall

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I began to experiment again

Just cant’ help it….

The recipe instructions stated to place the cookies in the oven and let them bake for 3 minutes, rotate pan then bake for another 3 minutes.  Next there was a range of time frames for baking the rest of the cookies – 6 – 9 minutes more.

In my focus groups, I have found that some people prefer harder cookies, some medium and others only want soft cookies; so I began to experiment with the cooking times as I had three batches anyway

The first batch I baked for 14.5 minutes in total

I give you:

Exhibit A: 14.5 minutes

The cookies were nicely browned on the edges and the top.  Also, the cookie felt “slightly soft“when pressed lightly with a finger.

Very crisp bite

Baked 14.5 minutes in total

Baked 14.5 minutes in total

Exhibit B: 14 minutes

A bit more delicate in texture with a more soft center with a firm but not as hard exterior

Baked 14 minutes

Baked 14 minutes in total

EXHIBIT C: 13 minutes

 Very soft and divine;  I personally prefer Exhibit C

Baked 13 minutes in total

Baked 13 minutes in total

Another factor in the crispness of the final cookie product is the actual temperature of the cookie dough prior to going into the oven.

After my three batches, I had enough dough to make 3 more individual cookies.

EXHIBIT D: Refrigerated Dough Balls

Cookie dough balls back in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes to harden before flatting, created a more delicious texture for me than before…. I baked these for 13 minutes in total as well.

Dough balls refrigerated for 20minutes before baking for 13 minutes

Dough balls refrigerated for 20minutes before baking for 13 minutes

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I really enjoyed this recipe and will be making it again; The addition of the orange liquor and the orange oil marry SO well with the bitter sweet chocolate chips. The orange flavor also unites all of the spices and other flavors.  I really wouldn’t change a thing, now that I have added my additions.

FAIR WARNING REVISITED:

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.Thank you all for your comments!

 Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.

You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha Bakers

Alpha Bakers Badge

Until next time,

HAPPY BAKING YA’LL!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Sour Cherry Pie

So has anyone ever had Pie for breakfast?

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I think I snuck a piece of pie when I was 9 years old when Mama wasn’t looking….

That would be my last time until now.

Well, I took the Sour Cherry Pie out of the oven at 3 AM and went to bed to let it cool, per Rose’s instructions, for 3 hours.

My alarm clock conveniently when off at 6 AM

Red Alarm Clock Image and I fixed coffee and went about doing things to begin my day.

 Amadaus Coffee Mug

Then I saw it….

From the corner of my eye….

Just sitting on the baking stone on top of the aluminum foil, all nice and pretty, calling my name quietly but boldly and kind of forceful at the same time.

So I wrestled with my decision and then said out load,

Oh well, who am I kidding.  You know your going to have a piece of Rose’s Sour Cherry Pie for breakfast so just go ahead and do it.”

And oh my; it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

_____________________________

I was terribly excited when I heard we were baking a Pie.  Even though my Black and Blueberry Pie was very good, I struggled with the dough.  I had posted earlier that Pie Dough was my nemesis because all of the recipes I had used never used enough liquid.

I love the group we have as Alpha Bakers and the sharing that goes on and the learning.  Someone, and I can’t recall who, I apologize for that, mentioned Joe Pastry’s techniques.  So I did some research and found that Joe Pastry actually uses Rose Levy Beranbaum’s technique for making The Perfect Pie Dough.

For details please visit his site at:

Perfect Pie Dough

FULL DISCLOSURE: Joe Pastry’s ingredients are not exactly the same as Rose’s in the Baking Bible for a base and top pie dough.  So I used Rose’s ingredients and the “Rose” technique that Joe Pastry illustrates.

So I cubed the butter and added the flour, baking powder and salt in a gallon plastic bag and headed for the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes.

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I prepared the cream cheese and I was amazed at how incorrect the volume measurement was on the package.

4.5 oz of cream cheese medium dice

4.5 oz of cream cheese medium dice

Just look at the residual amount of cream cheese is left from an 8 oz block

Just look at the residual amount of cream cheese that is left from an 8 oz block –                           Class Action Anyone?

The chilled flour was removed from the freezer and the 4.5 oz of cream cheese was added

The chilled flour was removed from the freezer and in a medium sized bowl, the 4.5 oz of cream cheese was added

The cream cheese was massaged into the flour mixture with your finger tips until the effect of "course meal" is accomplished

The cream cheese was massaged into the flour mixture with your finger tips until the effect of “course meal” is accomplished

 

The cream cheese / flour mixture is placed back into the gallon sized zip lock bag and the chilled, cubed butter is added

The cream cheese / flour mixture is placed back into the gallon sized zip lock bag and the chilled, cubed butter is added

Shake the bag to move everything around - kind of like you did as a child with Shake-N-Bake. Then with a rolling pin, roll the bag as flat as possible to create ultra-thin layers of butter, quite similar to the pastry technique of dough lamination

Shake the bag to move everything around – kind of like you did as a child with Shake-N-Bake. Then with a rolling pin, roll the bag as flat as possible to create ultra-thin layers of butter, quite similar to the pastry technique of dough lamination

When you roll the dough into the thin sheet, the desired effect looks like this

When you roll the dough into the thin sheet, the desired effect looks like this

 Ok, now here’s the part that always trips me up; the liquid.

I followed Rose’s instructions on the amount of liquids to add and worked it all in with the dough scraper.  And I just looked at it for a minute and thought, it’s that NOW or NEVER moment…

So I just began to add “liquids” a little a a time through the remaining stages until there were no more “sand” deposits in my dough.

At the stage above I added 2 tablespoons of ice water ( NOT IN THE RECIPE) then 1 tablespoon of cream, mixed it and added two more tablespoons of cream.  At this point, the dough held together pretty much on it’s own with a little bit of “sand”.

I was on to something here…

You shape it into two disk, one weighing 9.5 oz for the bottom and the remaining dough is used for the lattice top.

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Both doughs still had a bit of “sand” in them so I added 1 tablespoon of ice water to each and began to form the disk.  I notice that the dough had began to get a bit warm so I put both of them in the freezer for 10 minutes before I finished rolling out the disk for refrigeration.

I then formed the two disk, which came together nicely with “no sand” before the hour refrigeration stage.

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Now on to the filling

It seemed that “off-season” most everyone had difficulty finding the correct fruit for this recipe as the season for Sour or Tart Cherries is in July. However, I did learn that, per Rose’s recipe, you can buy, pit, season with sugar and freeze the cherries for pies during harvest so that you may have Sour Cherry Pies at your desire.

Rosie Odennel Pie Day

Nancy Barker, was instrumental at finding local ingredients and recommendations for me as both live in the Atlanta area.  Please visit her blog at Bread&Cake&More

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Lucky to have the lead, I found the cherries and the concentrate!

Rose mentioned a variation in which red currents could be incorporated into the Pie but they are not in season.

I happened upon….

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while shopping and decided to add these as well

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After the slow simmer to bowl, you get this…..

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Tasting as you go, as we all should do, I found a level of flavor missing; so I added Brandy

I’m quite surprised that lemon juice or zest wasn’t a part of the filling but, C’est la vie…

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After reaching the boiling point to activate the corn starch thickening agent, you place the filling in a long dish to cool to room temperature

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You roll out the base dough when the dough warms to 60 degrees F

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We learned before with the Black and BlueBerry Pie how to measure for the bottom; this worked for me - for questions, visit that blog posting please

We learned before with the Black and Blueberry Pie how to measure for the bottom; this worked for me – for questions, visit that blog posting please

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Base complete

Add the filling

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NOW the lattice top

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Baking requires turning after the first 20 minutes.  I purchased a aluminum pie dough shield for this recipe for a 9-10 inch pie, but it did not fit my 9 inch pie plate

Sigh….

So I used the aluminum foil ring

and Voila

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Until next time,

HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

For Orders, please click on the recipe name and the comment section will appear at the bottom of your screen.

Thank you for your future business !
PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.Thank you all for your comments!Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Roses’ Alpha BakersAlpha Bakers BadgeThank you for stopping by…. Please tell your friends about my food blog!
© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Caramel Buns

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This weeks Alpha Bakers recipe was another yeast bread, Carmel Buns, and I was simply in heaven making these.

Rose Levy Beranbaum was brilliant in using a buttery brioche dough as the base for this “Heavenly” dessert.  In her new book, The Baking Bible, she uses this same brioche base for two other recipes of which I cannot wait to bake…

Monkey Dunky Bread and Sugar Rose Brioche

First Rose had us make a sponge, or dough starter, to give more flavor to the end product

The dough starter ( sponge ) mise en place

The dough starter ( sponge ) mise en place

After the ingredients were mixed, we covered the mixing bowl to begin the fermentation process as we made the actual brioche dough.

Brioche Dough Mise en Place

Brioche Dough Mise en Place

In adding the room temperature butter into the brioche dough, I found a trick that made it much easier to incorporate  the butter into the dough…

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By simply placing the soft butter at the base of the dough hook, it “forced” the hook to incorporate the butter into the dough through the natural rotation of the dough hook.

Total butter incorporation

Total butter incorporation

Next is one of one of my favorite parts of the yeast, gas process as the “flour blanket” is like the hard, cold snow and the yeast burst forth much like the first spring flower; a sign of life and affirming renewal…

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Next I put on my scientist hat and watch all of the gases release as the dough doubles for it’s first rise from 2 inches up to 4 inches…

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We then chilled the dough for an hour so that the butter would be firm and not run as liquid when heat is applied…. During this cold rise, my dough actually grew another half inch or so.

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We deflated the dough and let it rest for another hour in the refrigerator.

Next we rolled out the dough on a floured surface, making a tri-fold business envelope from the dough, twice.

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The dough rested for 6 to 24  hours in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap and encased in a gallon size zipped locked bag.

Thanks to the comments from the other Alpha Bakers, I used my pastry cloth for the first time today in rolling out the dough.

I thank everyone for the recommendation! 

It worked flawlessly too.

It was SO easy to roll the dough.

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As pecan halves were already toasted and the raisins were plumping, the filling was made.

FULL DISCLOSURE 1: I only had white raisins in my pantry and I wasn’t going to go the the store just for regular raisins, so I used one half white raisins and 1/2 mixed dried berries ( cherries, blueberries and cranberries) for the fruit filling .

 FULL DISCLOSURE 2: I also just couldn’t help myself and when I added the cinnamon, my hands uncontrollably added nutmeg and allspice –  force of habit with cinnamon… I was resilient in that I left the cardamon at bay and held my ground….

We were instructed to roll the dough into a 12 x 14 inch rectangle.

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Isn’t this simply beautiful?

20150308_162655(0)A wonderland of fruits, spices and color…..

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An egg wash base was used before the spices, fruits and nuts were applied in order to create a foundation, allowing them to remain in place during the preparation and cooking process.

 The dough was so delicate and airy that Rose instructed that we use a plastic ruler to help roll up the loaf, making sure any flour from the underside was removed with each turn.

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Well, I should have re-read the instructions for the 4th time as I rolled the fruit by the 14 inch side and not the 12 inch side.  This caused two inches residual dough that I had to find a work around solution.  So I just pushed it all together and said, ” THERE!”

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I gained a new experience with this recipe as the dough was still so soft and airy that to cut it, you really needed to take Rose’s advise and use dental floss.  I processed this in “theory” as I read the recipe, but in practice, it was shier brilliance to use  dental floss to cut this fruit, filled delicate dough into 12 parts.

Two 9 x 2 cake pans were lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray as the cooking vessels for these buns.

Another stroke a genius, in order to impart a “steam environment” which is used for yeast breads, a Ball glass was used as the centerpiece for the cake pans filled with boiling water to impart… you guested it, STEAM during the baking process.

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Then the FINAL rise was here…. 1.5 hours later…..

VOILA….

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into the oven

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Then the Ball glasses are removed and the rolls are covered with foil during the final stages of baking

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

The glaze is being made and applied by reducing the reserved raisin, water and rum soaking liquid down to 2 Tablespoons, then adding butter for an enhanced glaze.

 

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Caramel is made and the first foundation of Caramel is applied to allow the previously toasted pecans to stick to the buns

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The remaining Caramel is applied to finish the dessert

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And there you have it

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Until next time,

HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

For Orders, please click on the recipe name and the comment section will appear at the bottom of your screen.

Thank you for your future business !
PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.Thank you all for your comments!Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha BakersAlpha Bakers Badge

Thank you for stopping by…. Please tell your friends about my food blog!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

18 thoughts on “Lemon Posset Shortcakes”

  1. Hi! I’m back here again! :D Your shortcakes look amazing! I love the raspberries as toppers. And you are so funny..I laughed when you said this recipe should be reclassified as L&W..hahaha..it’s so true! I cannot stop laughing after I read this line…i think not just the flu bug hit me..but also the laughing bug too. LOL!

  2. I congratulate you on your courage to make a true beurre noisette, i.e. browning the milk solids so that they are the color of hazelnut skin and the clarified butter becoming deep brown. this gives the best flavor.

    I should translate what I mean by “quick and easy”: by quick I mean the time it actually takes for the activity and not necessarily the waiting time! That is why we decided to list the make ahead but I see we did not give a time frame for the posset. I have to confess that as I am home 95% of the time it’s easy to work just about any time frame into my schedule but I realize this isn’t the case for everyone so I try to keep this in mind. I do like long and wait–better than long and slow which sounds more like a romance novel!

    • Thank you so much for your comment Rose!

      I LOVE to make beurre noisette as the flavors are so defined, inviting and the payoff is rich and rewarding. There are so many possibilities of what you can do. I made the beurre noisette the first time for a savory dish entitled “TonyB’s Spinach and Arugula Gnocchi with shaved Myzithra in a brown butter, white wine and lemon sauce” and I was hooked.

      Thank you for translating the “Q & E” concept!

  3. Wonder what happened to the little bit you scooped out in order to fill the desert haha they look beautiful wish you didnt live so far first because
    of our friendship 2nd because i like to eat good foods love ya by the way the topping was beautiful

  4. Tony, you are such a comprehensive cook! Love your post, and I am in agreement with your “long and wait” assessment. I did love this recipe, but I got sick of handling the fragile little cakelettes. Yours look perfect!

    • Thank you for that Patricia; Check out Sam’s Club in your area. I learned that if the SKU number ends in a 1, Sam’s has reduced the item for quick sale. Mine was cheep, I think I paid $15.00 for it and I’ve seen the same advertised for over $80.00 – Happy Baking!

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Lemon Posset Shortcakes

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This week’s recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible is the delightful and sublime [ no pun intended ] Lemon Posset Shortcakes.

For some reason this recipe was listed in the Q&E ( quick and easy ) category. However, I found that a new category needs to be established, L&W ( long and wait )….

After the review of the waiting periods when reading the recipe, I found it very similar to our yeast bread recipes where there are  lengthy time frames between steps as the bread is rising through various stages of development.  Therefore, you know me, I had to create a time line……

Well, I actually created two time lines.

The first, not listed here for brevity’s sake, was simply the steps listed in the recipe to identify:

  • the waiting periods,
  • establish time line thresholds,
  • identify the active vs. inactive periods
  • and then to define the overall time for the recipe.

When I realized that 10.5 hours would need to be “set aside“, I began to translate the timeline into realistic time management steps.  I evaluated the stop and start times for each step and then I identified the “natural order” of what milestones MUST be completed first prior to other steps start times.

I then began to “rearrange” steps that could help to speed up the work flow.  EG: Usually recipes which call for “groups” of mini recipes together are listed in the order in which you must perform or create the dish for completion.  I found that this wasn’t necessarily the case here….the cakes were vital to be made as top priority but I found that the Posset and the Lemon Syrup respectively MUST be made next as the waiting periods were simply so great.  The Apple Glaze, once applied, only has to set for 30 minutes on the shortcakes before filling the cakes.  Then the filling of the cakes was split into two different stages with an hour in between, then the completed cakes must rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator; 10 minutes at room temperature before service.

Below is the link for my final Time Line with Time Management Implications.

Please page down in the top left of the screen will allow you to see all three pages;

Timeline Lemon Posset Shortcakes

Let’s first then look at the mise en place in which shown below is the minus 1/2 Tablespoon of Wondra Flour – As we know, 1/2 Tablespoon is  equal to 1.5 teaspoons…… the other 1/2 teaspoon was taken out as well

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I could not find locally the Marianne or shortcake pan listed …71CNbo6Q4GL._SL1500_

However, I did have on hand 4 Anchor oval glass dessert baking dishes, 10 oz each. So I used those and for the other two shortcakes, I used my large cupcake pan.

Sprayed with cooking oil and flour the pans…..

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Now making brown butter is a real treat! The rich, nutty aroma is simply worth the price of admission alone!

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Spoon deep brown milk solids through strainer. I used cheese cloth catch unwanted solids

Spoon deep brown milk solids through strainer. I used cheese cloth catch unwanted solids

My handy-dandy infra red thermometer was such a great purchase; Let the brown butter cool to between 110 degrees F to 120 degrees F; 119.6 is just right to add the vanila

My handy-dandy infra red thermometer was such a great purchase; Let the brown butter cool to between 110 degrees F to 120 degrees F; 119.6 is just right to add the vanilla

Cover and keep warm. As my oven was on, it made perfect sense to put the vanilla brown butter on a coffee plate to keep warm

Cover and keep warm. As my oven was on, it made perfect sense to put the vanilla brown butter on a coffee plate to keep warm

over simmering heat, the eggs and butter were warmed while whisked to prevent curdling

over simmering heat, the eggs and butter were warmed while whisked to prevent curdling

move eggs and sugar mixture to the stand mixer

move eggs and sugar mixture to the stand mixer

Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes allowing the mixture to quadruple in volume

Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes allowing the mixture to quadruple in volume

take some of the voluminous egg / sugar mixture and add to the vanilla brown butter and....

take some of the voluminous egg / sugar mixture and add to the vanilla brown butter and….

Whisk to fully incorporate

Whisk to fully incorporate

Dust about half of the Wondra flour on top

Dust about half of the Wondra flour on top

Fold the flour into the mixture until the flour disappears and repeat with remaining flour

Fold the flour into the mixture until the flour disappears and repeat with remaining flour

Fold in the Vanilla Brown Butter and egg / sugar mixture gently

Fold in the Vanilla Brown Butter and egg / sugar mixture gently

Spoon batter into prepared baking vessels filling the Anchor Oval Baking dishes only about 1/3 full

Spoon batter into prepared baking vessels filling the Anchor Oval Baking dishes only about 1/3 full

Invert and allow the baked cakes to cool completely - notice the smaller darker shortcake in the background baked in the dark metal vessel

Invert and allow the baked cakes to cool completely – notice the smaller darker shortcakes [top left, back row]  in the background baked in the dark metal vessel

profile of the Anchor baking dish shortcake

Profile of the Anchor baking dish shortcake

Aren't my baking soldiers just so Handsome:?

Aren’t my baking soldiers just so Handsome:?

Now onto the Lemon Posset…

The Star of our show

Zested the washed and dried Meyer Lemons for garnish and placed in the freezer to protect the color and integrity of the product

Zested the washed and dried Meyer Lemons for garnish and placed in the freezer to protect the color and integrity of the product

Mise en place for the Lemon Posset

Mise en place for the Lemon Posset

Scald the cream, make the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup; combine and strain, again with cheese cloth, to create the silky and smooth texture

Scald the cream, make the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup; combine and strain, again with cheese cloth, to create the desired silky, smooth texture

Fill the chilling vessels and refrigerate uncovered for 3 to 4 hours - meanwhile, make Lemon Simple Syrup and let cool to room temperature

Fill the chilling vessels and refrigerate uncovered for 3 to 4 hours – meanwhile, make Lemon Simple Syrup and let cool to room temperature

I next “cut out”, with a paring knife, the tops of the shortcakes.  I found this to be more of an art project in which I could focus my creativity and skill with my paring knife.

I found it best to apply the Lemon Simple Syrup with both a teaspoon and a cooking paint brush.

I placed about 1/4th full liquid into a teaspoon and gently allowed the liquid to seep from the teaspoon onto the top outer edge of the 1/4 inch edged shortcake top.  I dipped the paint brush into the Lemon Simple Syrup and moistened the edges of the cakes and then retouched the top again to insure full saturation.

I then chilled the “lightly” soaked shortcakes in the refrigerator for 3 hours before applying the Apple Glaze.

Apple Glaze Application

Apple Glaze Application

Fill the shortcake well with the top harder formed lemon custard posset and let chill for an hour

Fill the shortcake well only half full from the top harder formed lemon custard posset and let chill for an hour

 

Fill the shortcakes and refrigerate for the final two hours

Fill the shortcakes and refrigerate for the final two hours

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Refrigerate for two hours and garnish allowing 10 minutes to come to room temperature

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Until next time,

HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

For orders or questions, please contact me at:

One Crumb At A Thyme

 

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.

You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha Bakers Blog

Thank you for stopping by…. Please tell your friends about my food blog!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

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This weeks Alpha Bakers recipe, Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache, was inspired by Luciano Pavarotti, the infamous tenor.  Rose notes that as he is the ONLY tenor she knows that creates sounds not of this earth; hitting [the E above high C].  Now that, my friends, is rich.  Much like the cake, Rose gives us a wonderful rendition combining both white, dark bittersweet, dark unsweetened….she had me at Chocolate.

 

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I love opera personally but I prefer my sopranos and my favorite is Cecilia Bartoli.  I’ve always loved Mozart since I was inspired by his work very early in my life.

Cecilia interprets every measure, every note, every silence with masterful perfection.  Her CD, this cake and a glass of Aberdeen Angus, a rich, bold wine from Argentina, my Birthday today will be  perfect as well……dinner and friends..great conversation…. but I digress

 

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So the mise en place begins for this recipe as…..

 

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There was a bit of discussion about different types of white chocolate used, but Rose stated that the main concern was that the white chocolate contain coca butter, per her recipe instructions.

Great rule of thumb,

“always buy the best chocolate you can afford”

…Life is to short without it

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I can’t help myself, I have to small dice chocolate that I’m going to melt…

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Works beautifully every time

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Bleached cake flour, sifted, then measured and leveled off

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Mix together the sifted flour, sugar ( superfine ), baking powder and salt

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Added the egg mixture in two parts to fully incorporate

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Add the melted white chocolate

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Pour batter into prepared 9 x 2 pan ( I used light aluminum by Wilton) with a secure, moistened cake strip

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  • I checked my cake at 30 minutes, still too jiggly in the center
  • then again at 40, still not there yet
  • then again at 45, paring knife inserted in the center still had a wet center
  • then finally at 47 minutes,  my paring knife came out clean.

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Allowed the cake to cool, then invert and remove parchment bottom

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WICKED GANACHE TIME, my favorite…..

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Again, I chopped both the unsweetened ( 99 % chocolate ) and the bittersweet chocolate with 60 % Cacao with suggested range of 60 to 62 %

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Allowed the corn syrup to boil by microwave heat:

15 seconds

then boiling at 8 more seconds

Then I added the bittersweet chocolate and stirred with a silicon spatula to fully incorporate

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In my Black and Decker food processor, I processed the bittersweet chocolate until very fine

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Watched the cream on medium heat until it began to create small bubbles around the peripheral of the sauce pan but not allowed to   boil beyond this stage

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Added heated cream to bittersweet chocolate, then pulsed in the corn syrup and unsweetened chocolate mixture, scraping down the sides of the food processor

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As previously established, I like spice and heat so I choose to add the full value of the cayenne pepper….. What a surprise!

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I strained the contents to catch any chocolate that did not melt fully

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There was a glass bowl under the strainer

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I talked to both Patricia, ButterYum and Rosa Simply Delicious to find a way to reduce the 4 hour wait for the ganache to cool.

We discussed an ice bath, but Maggie Rosa stated that it can become too cold very quickly and you must keep your eyes on it.  Patricia pointed out also that water is not chocolate’s best friend and can cause it to seize.

I would have HATED to have to call Willie Wanka’s Hospital for Chocolate because mine just had a seizure…. HE HE

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So I went with Patricia’s recommendation to use a sheet pan which makes SO much sense….

as you are distributing the mass into a single, thin layer which will allow the mass to cool at a much quicker rate as there is mass distribution vs. a bowl just sitting there waiting to cool a non-distributed mass

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Distributed Chocolaty Ganache Mass then covered in plastic wrap

20150216_231746 20150216_231826See, I did finally find a use for my infrared thermometer after all… works like a charm too

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Before the first crumb frosting of ganache, I cut the cake in half and placed the cake in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour so that the crumbs are less likely to be distributed during the frosting process

20150217_014751 20150217_015627 20150217_015637and VOILA

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Observations:

I really liked the heavy heat ganache and will be using this frosting with other cake recipes.  Upon cutting the cake and serving, I did find the cake to be crumbly and dry.

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In retrospect, a simple syrup brushed onto the cake, [ of course, Rose taught us to prick the cake to allow full absorption ] prior to freezing, would have created a cake with more moisture content and the dryness POSSIBLY may have been avoided all together.

However, the crumbly texture might need further research after this variation is resolved …..

Using this technique, you would be locking in the moisture as the moist cake will be covered by frosting.

I had a pretty good bit of orange simple syrup left over from the candied orange peel I made for the Panettone and that would have been a lovely compliment to this cake.

Think about it….

White and Dark Chocolate Cake

Orange Simple Syrup for moisture

Cayenne Spiced Chocolate Ganache

AND a bold glass of red wine

aberdine angus cab aberdine angus centenial

It’s a WIN WIN WIN WIN

I might try this addition / variation in a make up session.

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Until next time,

HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!

For orders or questions, please contact me at:

One Crumb At A Thyme

 

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.

You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha Bakers

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

ChefTonyB’s Lemon Spiced Ginger Cookies

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This week in the Alpha Bakers line up, we were scheduled for a “catch-up” week in which we could catch-up on any recipe we were not able to create thus far or redo a recipe that we felt needed more attention.

From my previous post entitled, “Gingersnaps”, I posted that I had been asleep and woke up WIDE awake with an idea on a variation on Rose’s Gingersnap recipe.

I quote myself,

“I want more heat and I want more spice!”

In the comment section of my original post, I had answered Peggy Peg’s question,

I’ve never heard or seen dry horseradish, what can i replaced or substitute it with?”

See her blog at diary of Faithy, the baker

My response was,

I had bought a small can of horseradish powder previously at Whole Foods but when I went last night to pick up a fresh can, they no longer sell this product. I called around to a number of places and horseradish powder, at least in my area, has been replaced with Wasabi Powder. There are a number of brands so I recommend reviewing the ingredients listed to choose one that has mostly horseradish. I purchased a small can by EDEN called Wasabi Powder Net Wt 0.55 oz 25g for $6.69 at Whole Foods. The only ingredients in this brand are Horseradish, Mustard and Wasabi. I am going to make the adaptation tonight! Thank you so much for your comment Faithy!”

UPDATE: 2/10/15:

Patricia shares below in the comment section that:

“….you can get horseradish powder from penzeys.com.”

You can visit Patricia’s site, here ButterYum to learn more about her and her wonderful site…..

 

Below is my variation:

TonyB’s Lemon Spiced Ginger Cookies

When adding the ground ginger:

  • add 1/4 teaspoon dry horseradish / Wasabi powder
  • add 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace

When the cookies have been rolled into three different logs and are in the refrigerator,

  • Zest 3 lemons and set in a container with a lid
  • Peel about an inch of fresh ginger and set along side the lemon zest
  • Let set for 30 minutes, refrigerated, with lid closed tightly
  • After 30 minutes, remove the fresh ginger

Spread the zest in a long open container.

When rolling the cookies, roll only the top portion of the cookies in the lemon zest mixture.

Bake as directed

I think from our Weekly Round Up that week, Marie must have thought I had gone mad with spices.

These were not added

These were not added

But what I did do was to prepare the dough listed above and let the dough rest in the refrigerator to mellow and allow all of the spices to meld.

The spice concept is very similar to a Speculoos ( or Speculaas, depending on the region)  Cookie Dough.

I personally created a Speculoos Chocolate Bar last year with Bacon, but that will be saved for a different post.

ChefTonyB's Speculaas Chocolate Bar with Bacon

ChefTonyB’s Speculaas Chocolate Bar with Bacon

As a teaser, the spices range from cinnamon, cardamon, black and white pepper, ginger and salt…well and maybe a little bit of cayenne….

In his blog, Eat the Love, Irvin Lin posted a tribute to Speculoos.  You should really check it out….

Moving on,

Lemon Zest on top of fresh, peeled ginger root

Lemon Zest on top of fresh, peeled ginger root

Tablespoon Measure to attain equal size cookies for equal baking time

Tablespoon Measure to attain equal size cookies for equal baking time

 

Ginger kissed Lemon Zest is rolled only on the top of each dough ball

Ginger kissed Lemon Zest is rolled only on the top of each dough ball

 

In the 350 degree oven for 2.5 minutes before the turn of the sheet tray, then bake for 9.5 minutes

In the 350 degree oven for 2.5 minutes before the turn of the sheet tray, then bake for 9.5 minutes

Move the entire sheet pan to rest for 5 minutes on a cooling rack

Move the entire sheet pan to rest for 5 minutes on a cooling rack

Transfer cookies to cooling station and allow to cool completely

Transfer cookies to cooling station and allow to cool completely

Notice the lemon zest

Notice the baked lemon zest

So what did I think of my variation?

My two goals were:

  • More Heat
  • More Spice

I’ll be right back, I need to sample again before I respond…..

And, drum roll please……..

I delivered on both….

While there was no more additional ginger added, the other “warming” spices accent the ginger flavor tremendously and bring it to the forefront, while the Wasabi powder and the white pepper are a nice finish in the back of your throat.

If your a spicy type of Girl or Guy, I HIGHLY recommend trying my variation and then please send me your feedback.

I think the next time I bake these, I might add about 1.5 Tablespoons of lemon zest into the actual dough.  I think lemon oil would over power and compete with the wonderful aroma of flavors created here.

For orders or questions, please contact me at:

One Crumb At A Thyme

 

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.

You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha Bakers

HAPPY BAKING EVERYONE!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

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Ingredients…..

       were a challenge this week as Pumpernickel flour is not available in my immediate area.  After researching for a viable substitute, I found that Rye flour may be used in place of Pumpernickel flour without a substantial change in the flour’s properties.  Delighted, I did find a new health food store close by that sells “Sprouted Rye Flour”.

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I had previously researched the benefits in general of a “Sprouted” flour and was pleasantly surprised such a viable alternative could be used for this recipe of the week.

According to the Food for Life Baking Company, their article What is Sprouted Grain Bread and What Health Benefits Does It Offer?,  they tells us… [The sprouted grain process involves soaking the grains in water until they begin to grow a sprout. The growing environment is highly controlled, including the water temp, air temp, and the time grains are allowed to sprout. Once the grains sprout, they are drained and mixed together to be ground up and used. Before the sprouted grain is used, it is a living food. Enzymes are released during the sprouting process, which break down proteins and carbohydrates. This process helps make sprouted grain food low glycemic and easier to digest. Traditional grain breads are harder to digest, and the body loses a good portion of the nutrients because it is unable to digest them. Sprouted grain breads provide the body with grain that has already been broken down due to the enzymes that exist in the living sprouted grain. Nutrients are absorbed immediately into the body, and are not lost in the digestive process.]

So when I saw a yeast bread, I immediately created a feasible timeline.  Please see the link below:

Timeline Swedish Walnut Apricot Bread

As I had three cakes to bake and three frosting recipes to create on the day the Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread was to be created, my timeline shifted a bit, but that’s the life of a business…

you readjust gladly, and with confidence you forge ahead, smile deeply both inside and out, and humbly say thank you for this and all future opportunities to do what makes me truly happy …

So…..WHAT IS A

S.R.T.?

         I never really understood the comments of bakers that claimed they found “stress relief” in baking until today.  I had always enjoyed the activity but it was simply a means to an rewarding end…but Today as I was separating the biga into small pieces [ which I chose to do by hand ] and not kitchen shears, I did actually become one with the “experience” and all of my ( S.R.T.’s  [“Stress Related Thoughts“] simply vanished as I felt myself “meld” with the activity.  I think the choice to use my hands pulled me into that zone of which I will be forever grateful.

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The smell of the biga was enhancing as well… I was one with that moment in smell, sight and touch…. What a wonderful experience to have as a baker….Thank you Rose!

OK…..this post is getting WAYYYY too heavy…

Please see below a sad bit of news juts released from Pillsbury…..

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I really needed that…..

Thank you and onto  other news…..

I have a passion for certain flavor and texture combinations, dried cranberries and walnuts are one of my favorites, so when I saw this recipe, I had to add dried cranberries to the golden raisins….

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Note my Service Date and Expiration Date on the Golden Raisins from the Golden Panettone a few weeks back….

Again, I find the mosaic beauty in the work; just look at this…..

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So previously when we wanted dough to rise by half, we identified the problem with “MISSING TAPE”…

Where is the tape marker?

Who moved it?

Is there REALLY a health hazard or did you find it?

SO, as a remedy, I purchased an ANCHOR 2. qt measuring bowl with the most tight fitting lid I’ve ever seen

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From this point forward, all measuring tape will be placed on the OUTSIDE of the said measuring bowl….

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In this case, no need tape; just let it rise….

The dough was to rise double in size and be left in a warm, dry place with a temperature range of 75 degrees F to 85 degrees F.  I choose to turn my oven on and set it to 400 degrees F and place the dough close by.

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As the vessel was more round the dough did double but horizontally, not vertically.

Next we sprayed a silicon spatula with cooking spray and gently separated the dough from, in my case, glass and moved the dough to a lightly floured surface.  I used bread flour of course.

Create a rectangle, fold the sides in like an envelope and then fold it back under itself to create a nice shaped rectangle.

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Spray the bowl again with cooking spray and place the dough back in the bowl and cover tightly with the lid.  I then moved the bowl back to the spot next to the warm oven and allowed the dough to rise, doubling again for about 2 hours.  I then place the container in the refrigerator overnight to allow the dough to rise again.

I did not really notice a lot of rising activity in the cold environment. 

I would like to discuss this technical step with the group to see what the chemical benefit really are for this dough.  If this step could be shortened, it would be ideal.

Please leave me your comments of your personal experience as an Alpha Baker below.

I turned on my oven again and let the dough set close by for two full hours to allow the dough to loose the chill and come to room temperature.   20150202_01053920150202_020307

A friend of mine, Jean, recommended a new product to me which I love.

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In the previous post here regarding Rose’s technique for rolling pie dough in which you utilize two strips of plastic wrap on the counter top, I found that it was difficult to move the pie dough with two different “materials” underneath.   I had posed the question what ONE material could be used so that the product could be moved with greater ease.  Many of you taught me about the pastry cloth, but I haven’t purchased this item yet.  I saw the Reynolds Plastic Coated Freezer Paper at Walmart for $6.81 and you get a ton of it so I grabbed it.  Works like a charm.

Thank you Jean!

I will still purchase a pastry cloth but now I have options….

So i pulled off a large piece, placed it on the counter and lightly tossed bread flour on top.

We were to create next a rectangle approximately 7 x 5 inches with the longer portion facing you…

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Fold the two top corners down creating a triangle at the first half of the rectangle, and place the dried apricots in a row just below the end of the folded over flaps….

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You then gently roll the top and bottom together, making sure to encase the apricots and pinch the dough ends together where they meet to form a seam. Continue to work with the dough gently until you have formed a torpedo shaped loaf about 10 x 3 x 2 inches.

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Line a sheet pan with parchment and move the loaf, seam side down to the prepared sheet pan.  Spray plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover.  I moved the loaf back next to the oven to allow for the FINAL rise for about an hour.  Move the oven rack to the lowest position and place a small 1/4 sheet pan on the base of the stove.  Adjust the oven temperature to  450 degrees F.

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Get the sharpest knife in the kitchen and cut three gashes in the top about 1/2 inch deep and over the surface of the loaf, about 2 1/2 inches long.

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I then get a cup of ice and my mister.  I mist the top of the dough, fling the ice cubes into the bottom of the oven onto the 1/4 sheet pan, CAREFULLY place the bread on the sheet pan on the lowest oven rack and close the oven door very quickly.  This creates a steam environment and allows a nice firm crust to form on the bread as it bakes.

After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 400 degrees F and wait for 7.5 minutes. For even baking, turn the tray around and then set your timer for 22.5 minutes.

An instant read thermometer should read around 205 degrees F when the loaf is baked fully. After the 22.5 minutes, my temperature was just under 200, about 190 or so.  I set my timer for an additional 5 minutes and the house was smelling fantastic!

After the final 5 minutes, we have temp…. it actually was at 205, I just snapped the picture too soon….

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I then CAREFULLY transferred the loaf to a cooling rack where it will hang out for about 2 hours to cool totally.

Rose recommended a triple creme brie as a cheese to accompany the final loaf at service, but my Whole Foods was out.  I did find a delightful double creme brie at Sam’s for about $6.00

I was most impressed with Vicki’s use of apricot jam from Trader Joe’s in addition to the brie in her post this week, in her blog, Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread with Cowgirl Triple Creme and Trader Joe’s Apricot Jam

Patricia has an excellent blog for this recipe this week at her site, ButterYum

Her instructions are educational, precise, beautifully photographed and simply a joy to read.

I haven’t seen everyone’s blog yet but I know there are some wonderful blogs to review this week!

UPDATE: Wednesday, 2/4/15

I took the last of this wonderful bread to my focus group today because I wanted to get feed back and hear their story as to the:

  •   Taste
  • Texture
  • Possible Parings
  • Market Value
  • Recommendations

One person shared only that this bread was “VERY GOOD!” as they tasted after the group dissembled and their comments did not fall in line for a true ranking in a market research study or analysis for this product.

Erica stated, ” My God, this is good…. I’m not going to finish this right now because I have an excellent wine at the house that this would pair with beautifully….”

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When I asked Erica what type of wine she was thinking of, […a Pinot Noir or a full bodied Merlot would be excellent…] she stated.  Erica has very refined taste as her husband Jeffery is an amazing and extremely talented Chef.  Therefore, her comments are not only reminiscent of a world of good taste from their family catering business with husband Jeffery, but in her own right, her ideas and combinations are simply amazing to hear and to witness.

When you think of the flavors of the richness of the biga starter, the development of flavor, the sweetness of the dried fruit and the creaminess of the double or triple creme brie, a full bodied red would compliment all of these flavors so well.

THANK YOU ERICA!

20150204_095415Lauren really liked the flavor and texture.

What a fantastic bread Tony!  This is amazing…..”

I loved watching Paul’s face as he tasted the bread and double creme brie in his first bite… it was that face that all Chef’s and Home Cooks look for secretly.….. the eyes close and the head starts slowly shaking back and forth, savoring the taste and the moment.

I was so proud

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Paul and I discussed the marketing aspects of the bread in a gift basket perspective.

” What would you charge for just the single loaf?” he asked.  I thought for a long moment and said that because of the time and flavor development, it would have to begin around $25.00.

He liked the idea of the gift basket with web site personalization options such as:

  • Two loaves [one as is and one using cherries and pecans ]
  •  Two bottles of wine [ one Pinot Noir and the other Merlot ]
  • Triple creme brie and
  • Either a cranberry or sour cherry jam / preserve or a hearty chutney from Vicki’s recommendation above

Paul did not care for the cherry or pecan substitution and voted for one basket with two loves of the same type of bread.  He did however like the wine selection, cheese and was excited about the jams, preserves or chutney options.

IN CONCLUSION,

I really enjoyed this experience, personally, professionally as I will be adding this bread to my product line with a few key accompaniment items per the above discussion….

Do I sense a romantic gift basket for two in my business future?

For orders or questions, please contact me at:

ONE CRUMB AT A THYME

HAPPY BAKING EVERYONE!

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

20150202_235148 20150202_235214 20150202_235306 20150202_235324 20150202_235352

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Gingersnaps

How do you make Ginger Snap?

Ginger one

Tell her that Maryann was the leading lady!

Maryann Satisfied

Oh come on… that was hi-larry-us!

 

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GINGERSNAPS

This weeks recipe was a Q&E ( quick and easy ) one for sure!

HOWEVER, I learned that you can never prejudge any on of Rose’s recipes and assume you know exactly what to do…..because even if it may appear to be quite simple; you should always read and re-read the recipe a few times….

Case in point – the section on page 339 BAKE THE COOKIES:

[…An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a cookie should read 200 degrees F…]

If you read that a bit too fast, one might have heard [...An infrared thermometer…..

So guess who went to Sam’s Club Warehouse and purchased the item behind door number 1/2 below:

Let's Make A Deal

Goat Door options

and the winner is….

20150125_200323

oh well,  I will use it for something in the kitchen one day.

Moving on to Key Ingredients:

I could not find the India Tree product, golden syrup but did find a very nice substitute at Whole Foods called ” Lyle’s Golden Syrup

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I always date the “Service Date” for all of my new kitchen products as purchased as well as note the “Expiration Date“.  I find it’s just easier to locate the date information needed when either preparing the shopping list or baking if I seal the product in a plastic zip lock bag and write the date information on the bag itself.

And yes…I have been called a “BAG MAN” before as well….

I also did this as the lid did not fit as tightly as I thought it should have.

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I was able to find the caster sugar at Whole Foods but the Expiration Date was not listed on the package; 20150125_201115

 I did find the code 14260

on the bottom of the package

Does this mean the expiration date was 2/6/14? 

Can someone please clarify 

 So I placed my butter in my sauce pan along with the golden syrup to meld together:

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Melded

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Mixed my dry ingredients

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Added the egg and egg white, whisked

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and voila…. gingersnap dough appears

It smelled SO good as it mixed together!

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Divided the dough into three sections

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Rolled the dough into 3 logs for refrigeration

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Prepared baking sheets and preheated oven to 350 degree F with the oven rack on the middle of the oven.

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Dough was in the refrigerator more than 30 minutes.  Allowed dough to come to room temperature for 10 minutes.

With gloves, rolled dough into balls that were 1 1/4 inch in diameter

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Then placed each ball 2 inches a part

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HOW UNIFORM!

From the first batch, I learned the following timing:

Place the filled sheet pan in the oven rack longways for 2.5 minutes, turn the sheet pan around for even baking VERY SLOWLY.  Then set your timer for 9.5 minutes.

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After about 5 minutes, you can see the balls begin to take form; after about 7 minutes, they are curved 1/4th moon shaped with cracks beginning.  The last two minutes, the cracks really deepen and a definite separation occurs, leaving wider cracks.

As you are taking the sheet pan out of the oven to cool on a rack for 5 minutes in the baking sheet, be VERY careful that your oven mitts do not come in contact with the surface of the cookie as the mitts can harm the shape of the cookie eternally.

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Set your timer for the 5 minutes mentioned above and then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until completely cool.

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Transfer to serving platter for service

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Overall, I really enjoyed making the recipe.  The aroma was amazing.  I enjoyed watching the transformation of the shape of the cookie as it baked. I also appreciated how delicate the cookies are during the cooling stage.  It’s quite a transformation to see the final product become firm and of course delicious!  The texture was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside – simply delightful.  I hear that the softness will transform to a more firm cookie in a few days…..

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

HAPPY BAKING!

Update: 1/26/15 3:06 AM

Well….. I was asleep, then I kept thinking about Rose’s Gingersnaps and I had to get up and get two more….

And then this hit me…..

As I took the first batch out and placed the cookies on the rack to cool, I took in deeply the aroma of the warm cookies and I smelled the lack of Lemon…

Puzzled by this, I stored that thought away until now…

As I savored the 3 am cookies, I can taste the heat of the ginger from the cookie, but I want more heat and I want more spice

I have the following adaptation to the Gingersnap recipe as follows:

TonyB’s Lemon Spiced Gingersnaps

Adaptation

When adding the ground ginger:

  • add 1/4 teaspoon dry horseradish
  • add 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace

When the cookies have been rolled into three different logs and are in the refrigerator,

  • Zest 3 lemons and set in a container with a lid
  • Peel about an inch of fresh ginger and set along side the lemon zest
  • Let set for 30 minutes, refrigerated, with lid closed tightly
  • After 30 minutes, remove the fresh ginger

Spread the zest in a long open container.

When rolling the cookies, roll only the top portion of the cookies in the lemon zest mixture.

Bake as directed

I’m preparing Patricia’s version of “Patricia’s Sweet and Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork” from her website ButterYum tomorrow night which takes 6 hours in the oven.  I”m adding wet chorizo and finishing with added cilantro and lime zest.   But after that,  I need to make this adaptation, observe and then post…

Please share your thoughts and comments.  I would love to hear them.

ChefTonyB

 

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

 

Golden Orange Panettone with Chocolate Sauce

The Birth of a Biga,

The Death of a beloved kitchen appliance and

A Whole lot of “Risin`” going on….

ChefTonyB

1/18/15

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UPDATE: 1/19/15

PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

It all started exactly at the 6th hour of the Biga’s first rise; 1:41 AM to be exact……

I had set my alarm clock to get myself out of bed to simply move the Biga, the dough starter used in Rose Levy Bernabaum’s subject bread recipe, from the kitchen counter to the refrigerator.  It wasn’t that difficult of a task, or so I thought.

On my way to the kitchen, stumbling and still in a vegetative state somewhere between twilight, REM sleep and ” why the “*&%# am I up again?”, I was hit with the most HIDEOUS scent.  Suddenly, I was transformed from planet peace and happiness to the universe of my last exposed raw nerve, with a salt chaser.  “Had the biga really gone that bad so quickly?“, I mumbled out load. It’s just flour, water and yeast.  That can’t be it.

I had set my dishwasher to “on” before I had laid down to rest and the spinner had somehow dis-contorted itself from the base and lay there like a sad Picasso, melting loosely over the hot iron rods.  The stench was unbelievable.   I dialed 91 on my cell phone then got a grip and put away my happy trigger finger.

If we may all please bow our heads, I ask for a moment of silence as our dear and beloved kitchen appliance drifts off into the sunset of desolate landfills.

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I noticed on last weeks

Midweek Roundup: Nice as Pie

that Marie had stated that Vicki ( Baking with Granny ) had a recipe for  Candied Orange Peel

Very excited to see this, I linked to Vicki’s blog and saw that she had some concerns with her recipe;

  • One of the problems that Vicki identified, [… Near the end, it was difficult to tell how much syrup was left due to the amount of bubbles produced while simmering.  Taking it on and off the heat was the only way to tell…. It would be very easy to burn at the end thinking there was more syrup underneath all the bubbles… ]
  • After careful consideration I decided to use my Vision Ware to blanch and prepare the orange peel. You not only can see how high the bubbles reach, but you can easily see how much syrup is left in the pan so that you avoid burning the orange peel. This also allows you QUICK access to reducing the heat so that the bubbles do not boil over and make a terrible mess.

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Exited again by the challenge of the process, I set out to make my own Candied Orange Peel.  See my full recipe and pictures and full disclosure at:

ChefTonyB’s Candied Orange Peel PDF

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After reading the recipe several times and seeing the complicated processes of activity then non-activity, I would be remiss if I did not construct a timeline of events, times, etc… before I began to keep myself on course.

For a full copy of my “revised” and POST timeline, and to see how late I actually stay up, please see the link below:

Alpha Baker Group Recipe Timeline

Now for the other bit of planning, purchasing the products….

I found both the Orange Oil by Boyajian and the paper Panettone mold at, Sur La Table   The oil was $6.95 and I actually got one of the Panettone molds free.  I had called to ask them to hold two – I was a boy scout waayyyyyy back when – always be prepared.  When I went to pick up my items, all of the Panettone molds had been gashed at the top.  They also had been bent and were not very pristine in form.  So the flustered clerk who was so embarrassed at the products milady, graciously gave me a discount. I was a  very happy shopper.  Sur La Table actually did not have the 6 x 4 inch mold Rose recommends in her recipe so I had to settle for a 7 x 4, which worked out just fine.

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Now that all products were in hand, I could begin baking.

The marriage of the aroma of the triple sec, vanilla and orange oil, began my culinary juices flowing as a very happy baker.

Just look at the beautiful jewels of color after the “marriage” had done all of it’s work.

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A bit apprehensive about what other kitchen appliance I might have to give up that night, I headed for the biga to start the sponge.

Rose had said that the biga should make 1/3 cup.  I was tickled when my biga measured exactly 1/3 cup.  It was SO calming and soothing to slowly cut the biga with my kitchen sheers and watch each small piece plop into the water that was 75 degrees F.

When I added the yeast, the colors all seemed to me like a beautiful impressionistic culinary painting…..well they did to me

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Next the dough…. YAY!

One of my favorite parts of yeast dough bread is watching the first patches of life bubble up.  It reminds me of a April crocus sprouting up brilliantly amidst the white frozen backdrop.

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I did learn a new trick.

I had everything planned out so nicely, waited the correct amount of time and then re-read the recipe which called for “SOFTENED” butter.  Well, you can guess it…. still in the frig, hard as a soft rock.

So my oven was on at 400 degrees so I took my butter and placed it on a bread plate and placed the plate on the oven and hoped for the best.  I turned the butter every 15 minutes and voila!  In 40 minutes, I had soft butter!

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Adding the soft butter was so fascinating to watch to change in the chemistry of the dough.

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Next the sprinkling of the fruit

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Simply breath taking… again, well to me

At midnight, I put the dough in a well oiled container to rise.  I was so happy with the process.

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A word of caution…..

When you are placing a piece of tape at the doubling point to see when the dough is risen to the desired level, I learned NOT to use regular transparent tape.  You can never find it after the dough is emptied.  There lies the choking hazard question, ” WHERE IS IT??

My solution for my next Panettone, is to use RED culinary tape.  You can see it, feel it and I guarantee you’ll never TASTE it!

Now the business envelope please…..

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Getting closer to the end….

Time to rise and shine

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Sunday morning was simply glorious.  Just look at the dough in all of its glory.

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Oven ready, ice in sheet tray, cross gashed…..

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Foil hat went on after 30 minutes

I tested the Panettone after 40 more minutes and it needed about 3 more minutes for the exiting clean paring knife test to be successful.

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The transfer….

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The unveiling……

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So now the beautiful bread is resting, kinda mellowing out for the next 8 hours.

Tomorrow after work, i will cut, present and add the Chocolate Sauce and post final pictures.

UPDATE: 1/20/15

I decided to create a focus group and I organized a meeting of a few of my friends with discriminating taste…..

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20150120_094131        Almost ready for everyone to enter the room….

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The crumb……!

Look at how nice the texture turned out

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Now the TASTING BEGINS!

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I love the chocolate covered candy orange peel.  I would buy that as a decoration all by itself.”

 

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“So tasty and moist!  This is so good! “

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“The bread was light and moist and just enough chocolate.”

DISCUSSION TIME

I asked the focus group if they preferred the Panettone WITH the Chocolate Sauce or WITHOUT the Chocolate Sauce and 90 Percent stated they liked the Chocolate Sauce while the remaining 10 Percent wasn’t a real fan of chocolate in general.

There was also discussion about the ratio of chocolate and the 90 Percent who liked the Chocolate Sauce stated that the ratio presented was just right.  We also discussed other accompaniments, and comments were:

“I would like to have the bread warmed and toasted and then add a smear of smooth, rich Irish butter on top…”

I would like to try this bread with a jam or even Orange Marmalade or perhaps a cranberry sauce….”

“Well, I like it just the way it is!….”

FAIR MARKET VALUE

I was asked what would I sell a Panettone for and I stated about $45.00 plain and $50.00 with the chocolate sauce with instructions on how to warm the sauce for service.

What does everyone think?  Is that a fair market price or because of the work involved, am I underselling? 

Please comment.

In order to comment, please return to the top of the blog and click on the recipe name.  The comment section will then appear at the bottom of the blog page.

I asked the focus group if they would like to meet once a month for a “TASTING and DISCUSSION SESSION”, and the answer was OVERWHELMINGLY YES!

So, my focus group was a success…..

Now, I am off now to create survey questions with a rating scale to better assess my product and services.

Overall, I found this recipe to be extremely motivating, very fun, challenging at patience but a joy to have worked with.

HAPPY BAKING!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Black and Blueberry Pie

Blueberries and raspberries are one of my all time favorite fruits.  So I was very excited to see this weeks recipe featuring one of them.  Then it hit me…..

it was dough time.

I love pies but one of my all time culinary nemesis is pie dough.  I’ve read technique after technique, made several amazingly great doughs by default, but most of the time the dough is dry and crumbly.  I find that the moisture content listed is always lacking and the dough doesn’t come together firm and elastic after resting.

So I meticulously read Rose’s recipe several times to make sure I followed her method specifically.

20150112_211216                             Dry ingredients and butter in the freezer

20150112_223246                             Mise en place ready to go

– apple cider is there, you just can’t see it

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Measured my pie plate from inside not including the rim.

No Rim = 11 2/8

Rim = 1 inch x 2 = two inches

Therefore my total was 13 2/8

I also divide my dough by measuring in ounces until the dough was evenly distributed between the two plastic freezer bags

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I took the temperature of my dough before rolling to ensure I had brought the dough to 60 degrees F. ( No need for a picture of that.)

After following the steps, measurements, etc…, I STILL  found that after resting the dough, it was dry and non-elastic.  The dough was actually rather brittle and fell apart and crumbled in large chunks around the ends.  In order to manipulate the dough to become more elastic, I added small bits of ice water and kneaded the dough until it became more supple and manageable.  I returned the dough to the refrigerator to set.

As I do not have any expandable flan rings just yet, I do have nesting stainless steel chef mixing bowls.  To my delight, the rim of one bowl measured 13 4/8.  So when rolling out my dough from the inside out, I simply placed the light weight bowl upside down over my dough to make sure my measurements would be correct and said a little prayer on the inside.

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I did find that using the two strips of floured plastic wrap on top of the counter, did make it more manageable to move the dough around.  However, I was wondering what could be used that would allow only ONE piece of material so that the dough could be moved with ease. 

The dough still maintained some brittle qualities when rolling and placing in the pie plate.  Small pieces needed to be patched in order to create a foundation for the pie.  I was not a very happy baker at this point.

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After adding the colorful macerated berries to the foundation, I rolled the dough top.  I cut 4 small holes with a Wilton flower press for fondant for ventilation. I also made some leaves for decoration.

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I did deviate one step from Rose’s instructions and placed the prepared pie in the freezer for 30 minutes as opposed to the refrigerator for an hour.  Every minute helps.

20150114_003347                                    Foil ring attached for baking

And finally the end result:

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

Hello everyone and welcome to my food blog!

The goals for my blog are to:

1) Show various recipes and techniques for:
a. Savory Foods
b. Baking with both sweet and savory applications

2) Elicit two way conversations about creating food and what it means to each of you

3) Celebrate the richness of a food marriage where the flavors really work in harmony and find mutual balance

4) Hear each of your kitchen successes as well as the problems…together we can all help recommend other techniques that have proven successful for each of us

5) Create a web family of food lovers who appreciate and celebrate all aspects of creating, sharing and eating great food

So welcome aboard and soon ideas, pictures, forums and discussions will be open for all of us to enjoy!

Thank you for visiting and as always, a big southern thank you for your support!

Best regards,

ChefTonyB

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014