Updates from June, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 12:02 am on June 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Danish, dough, fruit filling,   

    Daring Bakers Challenge 8th Challenge : Danish Braid 

    Been a while since I had a chance to post here. The month of May was particularly nutty, so I had to skip the Opera Cake challenge. I was excited when I saw the June Challenge. The Danish braid was another opportunity to try my hand at flaky dough. We had done it once in cooking school and I was looking forward to trying it again. I read the recipe a couple of times, a little too quickly, I might add. It was not until last Sunday, the day I had set aside to make this recipe, that I realized the amount of time needed. I kinda missed the “5 hours, or overnight”, final resting period. So, I ended up doing it over two days.

    The recipe, from Sherry Yard’s The Secrets of Baking, was relatively straight forward.  I used a mixed fruit filling instead of the apple one suggested. We had a choice, luckily, and I had these frozen berries I wanted to use. I did a simple jam, based on the recipe presented in the video, included as a reference by our hosts for the challenge, Kelly of Sass & Veracity, and Ben of What’s Cookin’? The video also included a demonstration by Beatrice Ojakangas of the braiding techniques. Despite that, and the fact that I carefully counted slats on each side, I think I came out short somehow. There was a bit of last minute tucking and hiding (grin). The smell that emanated during baking was just incredible. The combination of orange and cardamom is to die for.  I could barely wait long enough for it to cool before cutting a slice off. Turned out quite nicely. Another wonderful recipe added to the repertoire. Thanks again Daring Bakers for this opportunity!

    BTW, Daring Bakers has moved to a new site and now offers a forum for non-members who wish to hang out with other bakers. The new site is here.  Of course, new members are always welcome. Details on how to join are available here

     
    • Robyn 8:07 am on June 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Glad your back. I like the neat little swirl look to the side of your braid.

    • Dolores 9:33 am on June 29, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Funny how for many of us this month the challenge was in the timing. Great job, and glad to have you back among us.

    • MyKitchenInHalfCups 2:42 am on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oh I do love your picture making it look so rich . . . oh wait it was rich! Loverly braid.

    • Angela 8:09 am on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, your layers look perfect! Great job on this month’s challenge!

    • Lorrie 8:16 am on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      your braid looks delicious!

    • breadchick 8:56 am on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Well done! It’s nice to be back in the DB saddle again isn’t it?!

    • Sophie 1:32 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      We’d like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me, sophiekiblogger@gmail.com, if you’re interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details. (Click on my name in the message header link to visit our blog. 🙂

    • Claire 8:10 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Nice job! Glad you’re back.

    • giz 4:10 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Very cool looking braid –

    • Jen Yu 8:35 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my goodness, look at the layering in your dough! It looks fantastic. Congrats on your successful challenge 🙂

    • Lisa 9:06 pm on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      You’ve got like 54 layers! Nice 🙂

    • Jenny 10:53 am on July 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Lots of layers, always a good thing.

  • pixeltheatre 10:13 pm on June 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cuisine, , nanaimo bar, , , sugar, sweet   

    Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition 

    Jennifer (The Domestic Goddess) is hosting this year the Mmm…Canada – The Sweet Edition. In 2005 she asked Canadian bloggers and non-bloggers to talk about their favorite meal, the one that really said Canada to them. This year she decided to up the ante:

    This year let’s make our proverbial pot a little bigger; a little sweeter, if you will. Let’s get together as many bloggers as we can to share their favourite Canadian confection, indulgence, dessert, sweet…anything really! As long as says Canada to you and you can get some sort of Sugar High from it, we want to know about it.

    As mentioned below in the Savoury Edition, I am Québec-born and bred. Quebecers are renowned for their sweet tooth. The dessert that most typifies this for me is Sugar Pie (with a name like that, how can you go wrong?). Tarte au sucre is one of those recipes that offers a lot of variations: maple sugar, brown sugar, flour, no flour, butter or not, cream, etc. Some families guard their version and pass it down generation to generation. I blogged on this last year. The full post can be found here.This entry is the most popular on my site, thanks to an incoming link from Wipedia. I never realized how many people were interested in this dessert…

    Here’s the recipe I usually use. It’s foolproof and quick to prepare.

    Quick Sugar Pie
    (Recipe: courtesy of Mme Paquin, Trois-Rivières)
    1 cup of brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    1 tablespoon flour

    Mix ingredients in bowl until smooth. Throw in a frozen pie crust and bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. It tastes even better cold, the day after.

    Now, living on the West Coast, my other favorite sugar high is provided by the Nanaimo Bar.  You can’t beat it for a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon (followed by the inevitable crash). Here’s a recipe from The City of Nanaimo’s website:

    Nanaimo Bar - Stephanie Spencer - Wikipedia Commons Nanaimo Bar Recipe
    Bottom Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 5 tbsp. cocoa
      1 egg beaten
    • 1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
    • ½ c. finely chopped almonds
    • 1 cup coconut

    Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
    Second Layer

    • ½ cup unsalted butter
    • 2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
    • 2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
    • 2 cups icing sugar

    Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
    Third Layer

    • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
    • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

    Note: This dessert/snack also comes in prepackaged mixes for the time-pressed.

    (Photo: Stephanie Spencer, Wikipedia Commons)

     
    • Jennifer 11:55 am on June 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, sugar pie…very few things are more Canadian than that! Thanks so much for joining in on Mmm…Canada!

    • Candice 10:18 pm on June 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Last time I made sugar pie, it turned out a bit too runny. Next time I’m going to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    • madcapCupcake 7:56 am on July 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      TWO sweet delights – and both looks delcious 🙂

    • ileygilbert 7:11 pm on July 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      oh my gosh these all look amazing!

  • pixeltheatre 9:49 pm on June 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cretons, french canadian, meat pie, , tourtiere   

    Invitation: Mmm…Canada – The Savory Edition 

    In early June I was invited by Jasmine (Confessions of a Cardamon Addict) to blog about “which savory dishes or drinks tastes like Canada to you?” This invitation was in anticipation of July 1st, Canada’s official birthday. It certainly was an interesting question, one I had often thought about, but usually in the context of: Does Canada really have a distinctive culture? Food is definitely part of a culture, I think. But as difficult it is to answer the culture question, the food angle is no easier.

    I was born and raised in Québec, predominantly in the french-canadian culture. I now live on the West Coast of Canada, in Vancouver, a city with distinct Asian and East-Asian culinary influences.  Though I absolutely love that cuisine, and consider it part of my heritage now, I have to admit the first thought and taste that came to me when I received the invitation was my mom’s meat pie (tourtière). I also “smelled” maple sap reducing in a cabane à sucre (sugar shack), and felt the soft, sweet texture of maple taffee on my tongue. All, really, childhood memories.

    Christmas time is a big cooking and baking period pretty much around the world. It’s no exception in Québec. Though my mom now lives in Toronto, I was really happy last Christmas to finally help her prepare a traditional dish, usually served in the winter: Ragoût de pâte de cochon (Pigs feet stew). I blogged about this here. Another traditional fare at that time of year is a type of quick paté called cretons.  It’s a nice little appetizer. Here’s the recipe:

    Cretons à l’ancienne

    Source : Jehane Benoît

    1 lb minced pork, lean
    1 cup milk
    1 cup bread crumbs (or dried bread, finely chopped)
    1 onion, finely chopped
    to taste, Salt
    to taste, Pepper
    to taste, cloves, grounded
    to taste, cinnamon, grounded

    Instructions :Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 1 hour on low heat. Stir once or twice during cooking time. Store in containers. Can be frozen.

    Thanks again, Jasmine, for this thought-provoking subject. Now, I wonder, to which cuisine will I turn to celebrate this July 1st?…

     
    • jasmine 4:24 pm on June 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Good post. I really enjoy reading about the treats that come from the Québecois kitchen.

      Thanks for participating!

      j

    • Joanne at Frutto della Passione 2:15 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      It is amazing how many of us have talked about childhood memories in our posts for this event. I have never had your dish, but it looks and sounds very tempting! Thanks for sharing.

    • Liliana 10:03 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Mmm…I love cretons although I have never made it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

      Happy Canada Day!

    • Christine 11:07 am on July 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Aaahhh the “sugar shack” smell. I can smell it now. We took our daughter for the first time this year, and hope to do it every year for a long time. I can smell it now. Happy Canada Day!

    • Hélène 6:43 pm on July 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Moi aussi je suis née au Québec et j’aime bien les cretons. Que c’est bon.

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