Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hearty Breads

Oh beautiful grainy, hearty breads I seriously like you. I think it's something that I have learned the more I make breads, the more I like some substance to them. For me, this means grains. Some serious grains at that. Lately I've been 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over rye. Not rye the flour so much as cracked rye. It has this lovely nutty flavor and a beautiful soft/chewy texture that I adore.

I've made a ton of bread at school: rye baguettes (the photo on the bottom of this post), dreikornbrot (the first photo. It has flax, rye chops, sesame and oats), a rosemary levain bread (which looked more like a roasted potato than a loaf of bread but was amazingly tasty and moist) miche, sunflower and rye bread, plenty of baguettes (ranging from straight dough to many preferment's), pumpernickel bread (takes 24 hours in the oven in order to get the color and taste that pumper has! AND it's basically all rye chops [cracked rye soaked with water]) and many more fabulously grainy breads.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I've been making chocolates lately. A lot of hard work, but I'm really enjoying it. Chocolate is challenging due to the finicky nature of sugar crystals - in order to make a pretty chocolate that has a beautiful shiny coat, with snap and an interesting filling. I've been loving the booze thing - all these exotic (at least to me) liquors such as St Germain (Elderberry), Pernod (seriously strong black licorice) and Absinthe (which I like to call "Van Gough" - just a really strong Pernod with a stronger 'chemicalness' to it).

I made Advocaat as well - it's an egg based liquor (egg yolks, brandy, condensed milk and vanilla bean) which I made into a ganache using white chocolate and filled dark chocolate molds. Chocolates are something I have really enjoyed. So watch out all you people I know (and like!) you may be getting some experimental choc's for xmas!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pink Macaroons

I finally found a good recipe. One that really works - consistently works. An Italian meringue base (egg whites whisked until bubbly, then add soft ball stage sugar water slowly down into the egg whites while whisking) adds stability. Cook in a convection oven (low around 160C), cook until you can pick up the macaroons freely off the sheet pans.

Small things make all the difference! Macaroons are so fickle it's awfully nice to find a reliable recipe!