Posted on June 29, 2008 by Michelle
I did a little dance of joy when I saw what the June challenge would be for Daring Bakers. I have been wanting to make a homemade danish (or really any pastry) for quite some time now, but had never taken the plunge before now. So thank you to this month’s hosts, Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’, for choosing such an awesome challenge! I am not sure what I waited so long for, because this was definitely not as difficult as I envisioned it might be. The process for making the dough was much the same as bread, with the added step of rolling a block of butter into it (the key to the flaky dough that is characteristic of pastries). The results were fabulous! I made this early in the month for a visit by my mom and sister and made three varieties: the apple in the recipe, peach (my mom’s favorite), and cream cheese (MY favorite).
More about the braids, the recipe, and more pictures after the break…
Filed under: Daring Bakers, Pastries | 30 Comments »
Posted on June 26, 2008 by Michelle
Another Thursday installment of the Barefoot Bloggers, and this Thursday features Ina Garten’s Parmesan Chicken, a wonderful selection from Megan of My Baking Adventures. Chicken pounded thin, coated in a traditional breading of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs/Parmesan, and then sauteed in a combination of olive oil and butter – this is a classic dish that Ina has managed to perfect. Served over a bed of greens, this is a wonderfully satisfying meal.
Filed under: Barefoot Bloggers, Chicken | 14 Comments »
Posted on June 24, 2008 by Michelle
Dressed up as a Mushroom, Sage, Fontina, and Parmesan Pizza.
The search for a great pizza dough recipe is very similar to the one I just discussed regarding the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. There always seem to be new recipes making the Internet circuit before fading out when another one comes along. Last year I tried a recipe that was all the rage; it was from Allrecipes.com, and I had blogged about it, but that post has mysteriously gone missing. No matter, I wasn’t much of a fan – I found it to be much too doughy. I then moved on to Cooking Light’s Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust, which, while not doughy, seemed to err too much in the other direction. Likely because it is a “light” recipe, the crust was paper thin. Tonight, I think I hit the jackpot. Yet another winner from my Baking Illustrated cookbook from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. This crust is the perfect combination of a wonderfully crisp outer crust and chewy interior.
What’s behind the perfect pizza crust and recipes after the break…
Filed under: Pizza | 17 Comments »
Posted on June 18, 2008 by Michelle
My final cake, a 2-tier wedding-style cake. This cake consists of 10-inch and 6-inch cakes, covered in fondant with fondant roses and leaves, and buttercream borders. I actually completed this cake on my own at home because I came down with a little bug and couldn’t make it to my final class. I am pretty proud of completing this with only the instruction of the book and not a teacher!
These roses were definitely time-intensive, as it probably took about 5-6 hours total to construct the 38 roses that went on this cake. Other than that, it was a pretty typical decorating job. I am having a great time doing cake decorating and will move on to the Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste class in July.
More pictures after the break (I went a little crazy with the camera)…
Filed under: Cakes/Cupcakes, Wilton | 24 Comments »
Posted on June 17, 2008 by Michelle
You may notice that my post does not have a “TWD” header on it as you have come to find on most Tuesdays here at Sugar & Spice. Sadly, I have taken a break from Tuesdays With Dorie, as I have found recently that the commitment was getting to be a lot given some other things I have going on, and I wanted to free up some of my time and grocery budget (not to mention my waist line!) to ensure I had the opportunity to begin tackling things that have been on my “to make” list for quite some time. I still may bake along unofficially some weeks as well as use the recipes as inspiration to tackle those things that I’ve been dying to make.
That is exactly what I did this week – I have wanted to make éclairs and cream puffs for ages, but never made the time. After seeing that this week’s TWD pick was the Peppermint Cream Puff, I decided to roll up my sleeves and finally conquer a pastry!
Continue reading to find out how the pâte à choux went, the secret ingredient to the richest pastry cream ever, pictures of the cream puffs, and recipes of course!
Filed under: Pastries | 22 Comments »
Posted on June 14, 2008 by Michelle
This special-series Microplane is absolutely fabulous for zesting lemons and oranges. Look at how perfectly it zested this orange, not touching an iota of the bitter white pith:
More about this tool and where to get it after the break…
Filed under: Kitchen Products | 4 Comments »