Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bake 52: Week 13

A French dessert in a pretty dish.  A rich custard topped with caramelized sugar.  A name accented in some ` and a ^  that I can't figure out how to do.   But what's lost in translation is made up for in taste.  This was my first experience with Creme Brulee and I loved it!  I usually opt for something chocolatey and cakey, but this dessert with heavy cream, lots of yolks, and a crispy sheet of caramelized sugar on top satisfied every sweet tooth in my mouth.  Plus, you know how I feel about a good-looking outcome.  I just knew a dessert with a pretty French name and cute little ramekins pampered in a bath while being cooked was bound to be lovely.  And it was.  Thank you, Jen, for hosting such a great recipe this week!  You can go to Jen's blog HERE for the recipe. 

A tip:  Use the tips and recommendations in the cook book.  I used the torbinado sugar as suggested and I think it turned out fantastico!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Just had to show my cute flower bouquet to all my peeps.  How cute is this?!  Thanks to an idea I saw on Pinterest from flowerduet.  Love Pinterest!  Love Spring!  Love Peeps (well, now I love Peeps)!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bake 52: Week 12


 Palmiers are kind of like the "girl next door" pastry.  I had never heard of palmiers - sometimes called elephant ears (that didn't help me either) - before now.  The picture and ingredients looked plain and boring and I really wasn't expecting much.  But then I starting making them and it all changed.  Just for the record, pastries are WAY more fun to make than bread:)  It started with making the butter square, then folding the dough around it.
Then rolling and folding.  And folding.  And rolling.  And rolling and, well there's a pattern here.  Even though my arms were sore the next day from the all the rolling, I gotta say, it was fun.  And the shape they were cut into was fun.
 And baking them was fun!  They looked pretty and smelled divine and tasted superb.  Because they are a pastry!  Yum.  Thank you, Rebekah for hosting this week.  You can get the recipe at her blog HERE.  By the way, I added a drizzle of glaze on some of mine because they looked like they wanted it, but they tasted yummy without as well.  Also, I found they are one of those desserts that somehow manage to taste even better the next day, so if you have the will power to save a few, do!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bake 52: Week 11


I really thought after I got my KitchenAid that bread making would be all roses and rainbows and me humming a merry tune.  But the picture of my Ciabatta bread pretty much speaks for itself.  Ugh!  I'm so embarrassed to post a picture this ugly.  If you want to see what Ciabatta bread should look like, follow the links at the end of this blog - my fellow Bake 52ers did a great job on their bread!
There is a little Deli just down the road from me that serves up a yummy sweet red pepper chicken on ciabatta bread and I was looking forward to creating somewhat of the same thing.  This rustic Italian bread is made with a starter flour/yeast mixture called a sponge.  And as unappetizing as "sponge" sounds, it did summon up another Jerry Seinfeld reference that had me and a friend LOLing about if the Ciabatta bread is really "sponge worthy".  I felt it was.  The raising, the fold over, and the envelope folding (see recipe) all went really well and I was feeling very confident about this bread - until the last step.  Instead of the dough rising up at all, mine expanded out, looking like not much of anything.  Actually, maybe a little like flubber, but white.  I hoped it would rise a little when it cooked, but it didn't, and I think the recipe called for to much cooking time as my crust was very hard.  Also, the parchment paper burned so it's the first time EVER that I baked bread and crinkled my nose at the smell.  I couldn't even bring myself to make a sandwich with it, so we ended up tearing pieces off and dipping it in olive oil and vinegar.  Not sponge worthy after all.  I don't think I will make Ciabatta again, I'll leave it up the little Deli down the road.  But I do think it's worth trying.  Especially when you see how good it looks elsewhere!  Emily was our host this week and you can go HERE for the recipe.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bake 52: Week 10

Lunchbox Brownies

Is there anyone who can resist the wonderfully scrumptious nature of brownies?  Whether they are covered in a thick blanket of frosting, swirled with cream cheese, packed with chocolate chips, or just hot and gooey from the oven - brownies are the best!  And this brownie really was delicious all by itself, but I decided to dress it up with some salted caramel, thanks to a Pinterest salted caramel recipe. Add saltiness to sweet caramel and rich chocolate and you get possibly the best brownie ever!  The original recipe has yummy variations to try as well, but like I said, even if you left the brownies naked, you still get a dense, rich brownie that will have you eating the whole pan.  Which is okay because it only makes a small batch.  Just get rid of the evidence before the kids get home, or even better, make another batch. Or two.  Thank you, Liz, for hosting this must-try lunchbox brownie recipe.  You can get the recipe HERE at her blog.  Go now.  You wont be sorry!