And the Winner... CREAM PUFFS!

I stand by my word... And when the voters chose Cream Puffs, I said...

I shall make cream puffs! And here they are!!

I think that it's such culinary magic that this... Paste can become these magic little PUFFS! My husband watched the sheets go into the oven, looking suspicious. How could this goo become anything?!

His reaction, when I handed him one? "Holy Crap! They're Cream Puffs!!"

The lovely thing is that they really don't have much sugar in them (I made half a recipe, and it had 1/8th of a tsp of sugar), so they could be used for savory applications... I could see this filled with smoked salmon cream cheese, and maybe some chopped chives?

Instead, I filled them with "Creme Patissiere", or Pastry Cream. It's a custard, thickened with cornstarch... Sweet and Vanilla-ey, and really lovely to find when you bite into the innocent looking puff. 

For the finisher, I reduced some Framboise, and served it on the Cream Puffs!

I'm going to be away for a few days, so I won't be doing much baking in the next little while... But I'll be back before long! After all, I still have cheese danishes and chocolate genoise to make!

Happy (slightly belated) Macaron Day!!


Today's cooking adventures started with a bit of a mishap, courtesy of an error in "The Book"... The recipe for Chocolate Macarons calls for granulated sugar with the almond flour, which I found a bit odd, but I figured: Benefit of the doubt, right?

Don't get me wrong! They're actually quite tasty, and crispy... I think they're gluten-free, and I think they're a great cookie...

But they aren't a Macaron!!

I made a second batch with the same weight-measurement of powdered sugar instead of the granulated sugar the recipe called for, and suddenly, a Macaron appeared! "Hurray! They have feet!!" (The foot is the ring of bubbly-ness around the bottom.)

The cookies themselves aren't SUPER chocolatey... They have a bit of cocoa in them, and you could probably identify them as chocolate, but to punch up the flavour, they're sandwiched with Chocolate Ganache!! Lindt dark chocolate (the gold-wrapped bar) and heavy cream... Fabulous stuff!

And, of course, some love for the 'special' cookies... I think it was due to my piping technique, but about 12 cookies came out with not-so-lovely defects... Fortunately, they taste delicious!


Hold the Phone!!!

I've found out something AMAZING! Truly Spectacular!!

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 is...


(there's also a french site, the official site, but I don't know how many of you read en Francais...)

So, before I make whatever it is you're voting for (there's still time!), I think I shall have to make Saturday Macarons! Plus, I now have the proper piping tip, so they should be a little more consistant this time!

How lucky are we to live in a world that celebrates things like Macarons?!



Viewers' Choice

That's right! You, my lovely readers, get to choose my next endevour into the world of pastry making!

Here are your options:

  1. Cheese Danishes (requires making danish pastry)
  2. Cream Puffs (or possible eclairs?) (requires making pate a chou)
  3. Chocolate cake (requires making a genoise, and possible a buttercream)
There they are folks! Choose well!

And if noone answers? Well, I'll just have to go all WILD a make a salad or something!

(polls close whenever I choose to make the recipe.)

UPDATE: Polls are CLOSED! By a fairly close vote, Cream Puffs are the WINNER!


Was there a birthday recently?

Could it have been... Mine? :-D

So, for my birthday, out came The Book! And from the book: Chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate frosting. 

This recipe involved lovely quantities of butter. And cocoa. And made the BEST batter I have EVER tasted!

The batter was surprisingly simple to make, even though it wasn't the traditional 'beat butter and sugar, blah blah"... You actually mixed butter, oil and cocoa over heat until everything was melted and combined, and then mixed that with a flour/sugar/baking stuffs mix. Mix in some buttermilk, vanilla and eggs (1 whole, 1 yolk) and you have 12 lovely cupcakes!

The icing was made in a very similar way - Butter, cream, icing sugar and cocoa. Combine over heat. Then you let it cool until it's thick enough to not drip. 

But for the ease of the recipe, the results are REALLY, truly wonderful. No mix beats this, I tell you. 

One note, though: Those giant confetti sprinkles? Adorable! And not very tasty...


Biscuits in the morning...

2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter...
3/4 milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sift (or mix, in my case... Sifting on a saturday morning?!) the flour, sugar, bp and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is about the size of peas.

Mix in the milk until barely combined. Turn out onto a floured countertop, and knead about 10 times, until everything is smoothly combined. Roll or press the dough out to 1/2 an inch thick (or thereabouts). Cut with a floured round cutter of some sort... I use a glass. The number you get depends on the size...

Bake for 10-12 minutes on an UNGREASED cookie sheet until puffy and golden brown.

For me, the trick is to work them as LITTLE as possible. 



My favorite topping for biscuits? Butter and Corn Syrup, of course! It takes me right back to my childhood.