Updates from December, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • pixeltheatre 4:24 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: stollen   

    Daring Bakers 45th Challenge: Stollen 

    The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

    I was late in checking the new challenge this month. It goes live on the 17th of every month. Hilariously enough, I looked at it after coming back from the first German Christmas Market in Vancouver. A open-air market with vendors selling typical German-fare such as gluhwein and…stollen! I had bought one, as it is one of my favorite Christmas treat. I told my partner that it was something I always wanted to to make, but never got around to it. I had bought some marzipan a couple of years ago with the intention of making it, but it was still in my cupboard. No more excuses. I particularly liked this recipe, though it’s a multi-day affair. I made this a couple of times, adding marzipan both times. The first, despite reading the instructions over and over, I rolled the wrong side of the dough, ending with a very fat wreath. Still good, though. The second time around, rolled it the right way, but it took a lot longer to bake than the time indicated in the recipe. Still turned out right. This will become a staple of my Christmas baking. Thanks Penny for a great challenge!

    Stollen Wreath

    Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

    Ingredients

    ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
    2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
    1 cup (240 ml) milk
    10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
    5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first – then sift- plus extra for dusting)
    ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
    ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
    2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
    ¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
    1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
    3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
    12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
    1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
    Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
    Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

    Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

    Directions:

    Soak the raisins
    In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

    To make the dough

    Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

    In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium – low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

    Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

    In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

    Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

    Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

    Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

    Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
    Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

    Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

    1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
    2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
    4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

    Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

    Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

    This was before I pinched it together

    Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

    Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

    Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

    Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

    Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
    Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
    Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
    The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
    Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

    When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

    The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea….mmmmm

    Storage
    The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
    The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
    1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
    2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
    3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

     
    • Audax Artifex 5:00 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I just love that first photo your stollen looks so perfect and rustic wonderful effort and the snow effect on you blog is so cute.

      Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    • Coz 7:37 pm on December 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think your stollen looks like a snow topped mountain. I like how you did your cuts to make it look that way.

    • Erin 8:13 pm on January 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful job on the challenge this month!! Your stollen is beautiful and just looks so festive. I love that you made the recipe a couple of times during the month. Well done!

  • pixeltheatre 12:02 am on December 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Daring Bakers 14th Challenge: French Yule Log 

    french-yule-log

    This month’s challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand. Last December, we were challenged with the traditional version of North American yule log. This year we went to Europe for the French version of this dessert. This was the most complex recipe I had done so far for DB. Reading the recipe through the first time, I started laughing at Item number 3, of this 6-parts challenge. Oooh…boy…Though time is always at a premium at this time of the year, the components were too enticing to skip.

    The recipe was taken from Flore from Florilege Gourmand.. The yule consisted of six different components:

    1)  Dacquoise Biscuit
    2)  Mousse
    3)  Ganache Insert
    4)  Praline (Crisp) Insert
    5)  Creme Brulee Insert
    6)  Icing 

    How can you say no to a dessert that includes crème brûlée and dark chocolate mousse?… Despite a shaky start (a comedy of errors more than anything), I completed this challenge over a period of two days. Luckily, since it was a frozen dessert, it could be done ahead of time. Though incredibly rich, (thin slices go a long way) it was a nice way to end  our Christmas meal and was well received. Looking forward to January. 🙂

     
    • Jo 3:23 am on December 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on your challenge and it sounds as if you enjoyed it as well. Have a happy new year.

    • Chris 4:13 am on December 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Well done! Looks great.

    • Gretchen Noelle 9:30 am on December 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Most complex indeed, but you completed it very well. I agree that creme brulee along with mousse – who can resist??

    • Lynn 11:54 am on December 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I wish I had done mine in a more traditional log, like yours. It shows off the layers much better. Your yule log looks great. Well done.

    • Cirri 6:07 pm on December 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Luce fantastico!!!Felicidades

    • Debyi 2:37 pm on January 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your log looks great! Your layers look so good, very well defined.

    • Madam Chow 4:58 pm on January 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Very well done – it looks wonderful! I still have to get my R2R challenge up, too. I’m so impressed that you’re getting everything done!

    • Renee 10:24 am on January 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful Log!! Awesome.

    • Lisa 11:38 am on January 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your yule log looks super yumm!! I think mine would have looked like yours if I let it set up before devouring a little prematurely! Great job!

    • Y 11:57 am on January 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      That looks great! I found it quite rich too.. but in a good way! :9

    • Hilda 1:59 pm on January 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It looks wonderful and I’m glad you enjoyed the taste of it! A version with less elements still qualifies as a French yule log btw, you can make it with just a mousse, an insert and icing and voila! And after all that work you can feed a lot of people really well since it can be very rich, so that’s worth it too.

    • Barbara 5:01 pm on January 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your log looks perfect! Nice job!

    • Breadchick Mary 2:41 pm on January 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Oh your layers are fantastic looking. Well done.

    • rainbowbrown 7:31 am on January 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      A little does go a long way with these slices – rich is the word. Nicely done!

  • pixeltheatre 9:34 pm on January 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , meatballs, Pigs's feet stew, , , , tradtional recipe   

    Passing on the tradition…Ragoût de pattes de cochon 

    Ragoût de pattesFinally, with craziness of the holidays behind me, I can settle down once more and get my life back on track. It’s nutty – all this hoopla for one day…

    Although I haven’t contributed much to this blog recently, the holidays were all about baking and cooking for me. I went back East to spend the holidays with my mom. It had been a couple of years since I had been to T.O for the holidays, so it was my turn to make the trek. Luckily the weather cooperated and stayed mild throughout my stay. Despite that, I wasn’t in the mood to confront mobs of people in stores this year. Luckily, my shopping excursions extended to grocery stores. I was determined this year to learn the technique for making Quebec’s traditional stew of “Ragoût de pattes”, or pigs’ feet stew. Since we were hosting the Christmas dinner, it all got rolled into a week of non-stop cooking and baking. It was great!

    The recipe my mom uses as her base for the stew is from Jehane Benoît, a famous Quebec cook. With a few modifications, we came out with this recipe. (Hint: caramelize your onions and hocks until dark brown for a richer sauce).

    Ragoût de pattes de cochon

    1.5 kg pork hocks
    1 tsp Salt
    1/4 tsp Pepper
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 pinch Nutmeg
    4 tbsp Butter
    4-6 cups Water
    1/2 cube of chicken stock, dissolved in water above
    1 Cup onions, caramelized
    4 tbsp flour, roasted
    1/2 Cup Water

    Instructions :
    1. Season pork hocks with salaison (salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
    overnight .
    2. Caramelized onions in a deep saucepan in 2 Tbsp butter. Remove from saucepan.
    3. In same saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter and sear well pork hocks.
    4. Add water and dissolved chicken stock cube, and onions to pork hocks. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for at least two
    hours, until meat falls from bones.
    5. Remove pork hocks from saucepan and cool overnight in fridge. Remove/skim congealed fat.
    6. Roast flour in oven until caramel brown (350F).
    7. Remove meat from bone and set aside.
    8. Thicken pork hocks liquid with roasted flour until nice thick consistency. Season with
    salt, pepper (and allspice) to taste.
    9. Add cooked pork meatballs and pork meat and heat thoroughly.
    10. Traditionally served with boiled potatoes.

    Pork Meatballs
    1 lb ground pork, lean
    1 Cup Milk
    1 Cup bread crumbs
    3/4 Cup onion, finely chopped
    1/2 Cup celery, finely chopped
    to taste Salt
    to taste Pepper
    to taste Allspice

    Instructions :
    1. Mix milk and bread crumbs well
    2. Add pork, celery and onions. Mix well.
    3. Add seasoning to taste and refrigerate overnight.
    4. Roll mixture into 1-inch meatballs and fry in a bit of butter until 3/4 cooked.
    5. Add to Ragoût de pattes to complete cooking.

    This was one of the best ragoût we ever made. The key being patience in caramelizing your onions and hocks. The flour should also be dark brown, but not burnt. It took us over an hour to get it the right colour in the oven. But it was well worth the wait… 🙂

     
    • Léon Eno 8:03 am on December 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I have been searching for this recipe for so long. I’m in my mid 50’s and my father use to make this once a year but he never wrote down anything, he use to make all the great Quebecqois food and now that he as been gone for over 20 years, I have been drooling to have some of these. The closest thing I’ve found is in Montreal, ‘La Benerie’ on Rue Mont-Royal proche de Rue St Denis, but he wouldn’t share his recipe. If anyone is reading this and has the recipes for the following, I’d be so happy if you would email them to me @ enobdaysetc@gmail.com.
      Tourtiere
      Gortons or Cortons or in english ‘pork scraps’
      Turkey stuffing: Pork, hamburger potatoes & spices, I think their is some clove and or allspice.
      Fèves au lard sans sirop d’érable
      and lastly – Soupe aux pois jaunes

    • Judy 7:34 pm on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for publishing this recipe. My father’s family was from St David Canada. My mother was Irish but learned to cook this and my Meme said it was better than hers!!! –

      We use to have this every New Years day. My mother never wrote down the recipe but from what I remember this is how my mother made this…..I always remember my mother worried about burning the flour…but she never did.

      I think I may try this for New Years…..

      Thanks again and enjoy your holidays.

    • Margaret 9:24 am on October 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My mother tore the page from her old Ogilvie Chef Royale cookbook to send it to me when I was a young wife years ago… I am simmering my meat on the stove as I write, because the meat was on sale here and I can freeze it ahead and do the flour bit closer to the holidays.

      The smell in my house is sooooo reveillon memory making… Montreal… fur coats…cigarettes going… cold snowy Christmases in the late 1950’s and 60’s…those were the days… The Ogilvie recipe is very similar to yours except the salt is ‘gros sel’ and there is no chicken broth. It is simply water to cover the well-browned (that is the secret! well-browned!) meat.

      Note: To be a little leaner in the pork, these days I mix pork hocks with some cut up lean pork shoulder I have trimmed of all fat. And skimming the liquid as it comes to a boil gives a clearer broth.

      bon appetit! I am so happy to see this online. I remember years ago wanting Canadian Living to feature this recipe and they never did.

    • Marguerite 10:20 pm on January 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I love ragout de pattes! My grandmother used to put farfadelle pasta (the little bowties), and I clearly remember ragout de pattes de cochon being by all time favorite Christmas meal! Thank you for the recipe, though I’m positive that no recipe will ever amount to be as great as my Mamie’s ;).

  • pixeltheatre 9:56 pm on December 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , cooking challenge, cranberry, fudge, peppermint, profiterole   

    Blog Party#29: Another Bite of Dessert: Cheesy Fudge Cranberry Tarts & Peppermint Profiteroles 

    With wet snow falling outside my window this morning (again), it was a perfect day to tackle this month’s Blog Party Challenge: Another Bite of Dessert, hosted by the Happy Sorceress. The theme was straightforward: dessert canapés.

    So many choices…Last week, for the first time, I finally got access to the Food Network as part of my new digital TV system. And for the first time, I got to see the Iron Chef of America show. Well-timed, the show was titled: All-Star Holiday Dessert Battle: Cora/Deen vs. Irvine/Florence. From the Food Network website:

    In another All-Star culinary showdown, the Chairman has invited Paula Deen to partner up with Iron Chef Cat Cora and compete against Food Network’s own Tyler Florence and Robert Irvine.

    The hour was filled with a myriad of desserts and sweets. My fillings were hurting at the final offering to the judges. Tina Fey was comatose by the end of it all. But, I had found my inspiration for this challenge.

    Paula Deen’s Chocolate Cheese Fudge was intriguing. I had baked cream cheese with chocolate, but Velveeta cheese?…I decided to tone down the richness of that fudge by using it as a base and adding cranberries as a topping.

    Chocolate Cheese Fudge Cranberry tartsCheesy Fudge Cranberry Tarts

    Base
    Paula Deen’s Chocolate Cheese Fudge

    Press one tablespoon into greased mini cupcake molds. Refrigerate.

    Topping
    1 cup frozen or fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
    1 tbsp sugar
    1/4 cup water
    Splash of Southern Comfort (could also use Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
    Fresh mint leaves, chiffonade

    In a small saucepan, heat up the Southern Comfort with the chopped cranberries over medium heat. Add the sugar and water, reduce. Remove from heat and cool.

    Assembly
    Unmold the fudge cups, spoon some of the cranberry mixture in the cup and garnish with mint chiffonade.

    The ladies also concocted a peppermint martini for the judges. This triggered my second canapé:

    Peppermint Profiteroles
    Base
    Profiteroles: Choux paste recipe

    Filling
    Peppermint Pastry Cream:
    2/3 cup whole milk
    2 inch vanilla bean
    2 egg yolks
    3 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp cornstarch
    1/4 tsp peppermint extract

    In a small, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine the milk and vanilla bean and bring to a simmer.Peppermint Profiterole

    Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until well blended. When the milk reaches a simmer, remove it from the heat and gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture.

    Return the mixture to the saucepan and place it over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream thickens and boils, about 1 minute. Stir in the peppermint extract. Discard the vanilla bean and cool.

    Toppings
    Chocolate ganache
    Candy cane, crushed

    Assembly
    Pipe the pastry cream into each choux. Dip each choux into warm ganache. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane.

    For the cocktail, I decided to keep it simple: Brandy Toddy, from DrinkMixer website.

    Brandy ToddyBrandy Toddy
    2 oz brandy
    1/2 tsp powdered sugar
    1 tsp water
    1 twist lemon peel

    Dissolve powdered sugar in 1 tsp. water in an old-fashioned glass. Add brandy and one ice cube and stir. Add twist of lemon peel on top and serve.

    Happy holidays all!

     
  • pixeltheatre 11:22 pm on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cooking classes, Cooking school, cooking video   

    Virtual Professional Cooking Classes…Coming soon to a monitor near you! 

    RouxbeHere’s another Christmas gift suggestion for that foodie in your life…an online professional cooking course. Rouxbe.com, offers online cooking videos. I came across this company through my cooking school, Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, who are also partners with this site. Starting in 2008, Rouxbe will be offering a full cooking school curriculum via the web. Subscribers to the site will have full access to this course, as well as all of the additional videos already present. Details are available here.

    There is a 30-day free trial you can sign up for to check up the site. Annual memberships are $US49 and lifetime memberships are $US149. There is another option also available, and it’s a very interesting model I had not seen yet. You can still access the site for free after the 30-days if you sign-up for the sponsorship model. Rouxbe will find you a company, based on your tastes or interests, who will sponsor your access to the site. More details here.

    To add to the fuzzies, Rouxbe donates 15% of all subscription fees to hunger relief agencies around the world through its Rouxbe for Life program. They are also Eco-neutral certified.

    *********
    Disclaimer: I am not associated with Rouxbe either personally or professionally. I did get a free annual subscription earlier in the year, as a graduate of Northwest Culinary, and because they were looking for people to test drive the site. I am not getting any commissions or kickbacks from promoting this site. I just like what they’re doing, the fact that they’re a local company and in my partnership with my school, and think they did a very nice job with the site. I also like their giving back to the community. End of story. 🙂

     
  • pixeltheatre 8:52 pm on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    45 days to Christmas…Time to publish your own cookbook 

    tastebook.comStumbled onto this news item today in my Epicurious newsletter. You can create a custom cookbook using up to 100 recipes found on the epicurious site, or add your own recipes if you wish, or leave some blank space for later add-ins. Browse and borrow from some already created books by famous chefs. The book is hardcover and spiral-bound. You can even put your name on the cover. Cost: $us34.95. For more details, go to: epicurious.com. You will need to create a free account on Epicurious to use this feature.

     
    • Julius 10:17 pm on November 11, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi LizG,

      Thanks for the head’s up. A cookbook/compilation is a great idea.

      I’m glad to hear the tourtière recipe has your vote. 🙂

      Julius

    • pixeltheatre 3:47 pm on November 14, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Julius!

      I thought it was a pretty neat concept as well… 🙂

      Thanks for the post.

    • peabody 4:31 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      You can also use MyPublisher and that way you can use your own photos.

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel