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Showing posts from February, 2014

Sweet Yeasts

Yeast is an amazing thing.  You take this dried stuff, add some liquid and other "food," and it puffs up unbelievably! I have a star pan from King Arthur Flour that I bought a few years ago. I don't think they carry it anymore but it is a great pan for brioche or just any sort of sweet yeast. A variation of this recipe came with the pan.

When I say variation, it's basically the same recipe but they give different fillings and toppings ideas. I decided to make it with an almond filling and
that it didn't really need a topping. I opted for the lemon zest, also opted for the vanilla, and used regular yeast instead of "instant" (more on than in a sec). I opted out of the dried fruit and nuts.  I thought since I was using a filling the added bits would be a little too much.
 Before:  After:
You might have noticed that I put the dough to rise on my radiator. Supposedly this is a big no-no in the bread making world but I always put a towel beneath the bo…

Homemade Orecchiette

I made this recipe almost as soon as I saw it in Bon Appetit (Orecchiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts). Today was the second time I made it (you know I had those extra egg yolks from yesterday's cake). The orecchiette may seem a little fussy to begin with but after you get the hang of it, they are quite easy to make. This time it went much quicker. The video on this page really makes it easy (the actual pasta making process is towards the end of the video). There is also a step by step slide show of how to do it but I think the video is better. I would say the whole dish took about 45 minutes including making the orecchiette (not including 1 hour dough rest). I think making the Brussels Sprouts into "leaves" was more tedious than making the pasta!

 This is the dough while it is resting in plastic wrap.
 Orecchiette done and waiting for the water:
Be careful not to salt the Brussels Sprouts too much because the salt from the pancetta may make the dish a little…

Taking the Plunge

So I've decided to take the plunge. I've been told by a few people that I should blog about my cooking adventures but never really gave it a serious thought.  But since I seem to be in between gigs for a bit now and have a little free time on my hands - I decided to give it a go. 

However, I'm not really starting off with a success story. I saw this cake a while ago and wanted to try it. I'm not real sure who Aunt Sassy is, but she makes a pretty good cake. There is a local bakery that does a really excellent Pistachio Cake and thought this might be comparable.

Here is how it came out. Darn butter cream curdled! I've made butter cream before (and I'm not talking the confectioner's sugar super sweet stuff - the real deal stuff) and not had a problem.  I went on the webby web afterwards and discovered all I needed to do was grab a hot towel and place it around the bowl and beat the living daylights out of it with the mixer. Butter cream is really an emulsific…