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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pan Marino (Rosemary Bread)

Ah Rosemary. I love rosemary.
Since moving to California, I've discovered I can have rosemary growing in a pot outside year round. This was a huge discovery, as I'd never been able to keep rosemary alive for the winter months in Wisconsin (perhaps my thumb wasn't green enough, perhaps I wasn't growing it properly, perhaps I should have let the rosemary winter inside...). Anyway, I also love bread. And when one combines rosemary and bread it's just heaven. Heaven on the nose, heaven in the mouth. It has a yum factor of 11 (I know, the yum factor only goes to 10, but it's just that good). So today I present to you Pan Marino! This is my go-to bread for many meals, but mostly I love this bread with soup. I'm making a corn and "sausage" chowder for dinner this evening, so naturally I'm making some rosemary bread to go with it.

I think I've babbled on enough! I'm guessing you understand that I love rosemary and bread and when combined it makes me so very happy! So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Rosemary Bread (Pan Marino), makes 2 Batards:

1 ounce yeast (active dry)
8 ounces (1 cup) H2O
8 ounces (1 cup) Milk
1/4 cup fresh Rosemary, chopped fine (if you like even more rosemary in your bread, by all means add more)
3/4 ounce Salt (I use kosher salt for this, but any salt will do)
2 pounds of Bread Flour
3 ounces Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to sprinkle over the loaves before they go into the oven
1. Place the active dry yeast, the water and the milk into a large bowl. Whisk to moisten the yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt for sprinkling, and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn this out onto a lightly floured work surface (I use a wooden cutting board) and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl that is large enough to allow for the dough to double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and allow it to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface:
Gently press the dough down and divide the dough in half:
Shape the loaves...I press each half into a rectangle shape, fold up the bottom third of the loaf and then begin tightly rolling the top of the rectangle towards me. When I am at the end, I press the ends together with the heel of my hand to seal the seams together. I then roll the loaf back and forth a bit to "taper" the ends with my hands. This is how I form a Batard:

5. Place the batards onto a sheet pan that has been sprinkled with corn meal (I use a baking stone, so I place them onto a cutting board that is sprinkled with corn meal, and then use that as a peel when I want to slide the bread onto the stone), spray them lightly with a bit of oil and cover with plastic wrap (or a damp cloth) and let them rest for about 40 minutes, or until you can press your finger lightly into the loaf and the indentation just stays. At this point, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

6. When the loaves are ready to go into the oven, uncover them, spray them lightly with water, sprinkle them lightly with the kosher salt, give them a good few slashes (I use a double edged razor blade attached to the end of a chopstick...a serrated knife will do, or a lame, if you have one):
Place them in the oven (or slide them if you are using a peel and baking stone), if you have a way to add steam to the oven, do so (I have a really old pan that I put in the bottom of the oven, and add hot water to after the bread is on the stone), set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower the oven temp to 400 degrees F, give the bread a turn, and then let it bake anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes longer, depending on how dark you like your crust. The bread should feel light when you take it out of the oven.

7. Allow the bread to cool, if you are able..really, it's best to let the crumb cool and set up! Although bread right out of the oven is lovely. Slice and serve!

As I mentioned above, this is great with's also wonderful sliced thin with a drizzle of olive oil, a smear of goat cheese and a little toast time in the oven. Mmmmmm.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Summer Pudding Unmolded

In keeping with my promise of photos of the Summer Pudding after it's overnight chill, here you go!

The whole Pud:

Pudding innards:

I have to report that the Summer Pudding was as delicious and light as I had hoped it would be! The perfect berry ending to a wonderful Fourth of July. I garnished it with some unsweetened whipped heavy cream. Yum!

Happy Independence Day to those in the USA!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Well Hello There!

It's good to see you. How have you been? I know, I know..I've been away a long time. I understand if you don't forgive me, but I thought I'd try to win you over with some nice photos and a little recipe. How does that sound? I understand if you are reluctant...I've been really unreliable about posting anything here for over a year and I cannot say for sure how often I'll be posting again, but I am going to make an effort, I am (my goal is one post per month)! I'll stop apologizing now and get to the recipe!

The 4th of July is tomorrow and I thought I'd try making Summer Pudding. Yes, nothing says Happy Independence Day like a British Dessert! But if you look at my ingredients, they are very patriotic colors, right?

Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries are a lovely Red and Blue. Paired with some White Bread (crusts cut off) or Angel Food cake and you've got a great 4th of July color scheme!

So, what does one need for this dessert? It's so simple, and I'm hoping for super delicious, but I won't know until tomorrow when I unmold it (Picture will be posted once the unmolding has taken place...really it will. I know, it's hard to believe me after such a long absence, but a photo will happen).

Summer Pudding:

1 loaf of day old white bread (you want something with a tighter crumb here and stale makes for better soaking of the juices... Wonder bread will not work, it will turn to mush) with the crusts cut off, or one Angel food cake (which is what I am using, bread is traditional, but I thought I'd give the low sugar angel food cake a try)'

2 cups of fresh ripe strawberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
(I'm saying fresh for all the berries, but I have a feeling that frozen would work just fine. Fresh is what I have on hand, so that's what I'm using)
1/4 cup sugar
Cream or Ice cream to garnish (optional, of course)

So, here's what I did:
1. Line a 6 cup capacity bowl with food film leaving enough to hang over the sides so you can wrap the pudding once you have it assembled. Slice the bread or angel food cake into 1/4 inch slices (cut off the crust if you are using bread). Line the bowls' bottom and sides with the bread (or cake), leaving a few slices for the top:2. Place the Raspberries, blueberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the berries release some juice. Remove from heat and let cool:3. Mash the strawberries either in the food processor (just pulse it a few times) or with a potato masher, which is what I did (this is just a photo of the initial mashing. I mushed them up a bit more until they were rather saucey):4. Mix the strawberries together with the raspberry/blueberry mixture, and pour into the bread (or cake) lined bowl:
5. Place a few slices of bread (or cake) over the top to cover the berries like so (or you can be neater about it):
6. Wrap the cling wrap over the top of the bread to seal it in and then place a plate that is just smaller than the bowl on top and place a can of something on that to weigh it down:

(I don't have a photo of it weighed down, but you get the idea)
7. Refridgerate overnight and unmold the next day (I'll show the turned out pudding tomorrow, complete with garnish).

What you are hoping to achieve is a lovely fruit soaked bread-y pudding-y brightly colored dessert. We shall see tomorrow if I have achieved that! Photo's to follow!

Do you forgive me for my absence yet?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nothing Says "Happy Valentine's Day" Like Tiramisu (Really, Nothing says "Happy Any Day" Like Tiramisu )

Yes G and I are one of those sappy couples that got engaged on Valentine's Day. I never was a fan of sap, but really, this kind of sap was quite all right for me. So, this year I wanted to be nice and sappy and make one of our favorite desserts, tiramisu. Tiramisu is yum. Tiramisu is comfort dessert. Tiramisu can be made with store-bought ladyfingers, but why use those, when you can make your own fresh ones at home with loads of egg whites, yolks, a piping bag and whipping utensils?

If you want more information about this wonderful dessert, you can check out this entry about Tiramisu at Wikipedia, they also have an informative entry about LadyFingers.

So, to begin your tiramisu, you will need to make (or buy) some ladyfingers (I chose to make them because well, I'm a bit nutty and I like the fresh ones). There is no shame in buying these already made:

Ladyfingers: (I decided to make more of a tiramisu cake then just plain ole tiramisu, so this will make 2 piped layers of lady fingers and then enough fingers to line the outside of the "cake")

8 egg whites
8 egg yolks
7 1/2 ounces granulated sugar, divided in two parts, one being 3 ounces and one being 4 1/2 ounces
6 ounces sifted cake flour (I confess to having no cake flour on hand, so I am using all-purpose, shhhh don't tell the lady finger gods)
-Preheat oven to 425F.
-Line a few sheet pans with parchment. If you are going to to make this like a cake you will want to pipe circles of the ladyfinger batter the size of your springform pan (or a little smaller actually) by tracing the pans onto the parchment and placing that parchment on the sheet pans marked side down (you don't want ink in your lady finger cake..well, you might, but I don't recommend it). Have a piping bag with a large plain tip ready to go.
-In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whipping attachment (Or you can whisk by hand if you are strong of wrist, I whisked these by hand because, well, as I said earlier, I'm just plain nuts) place the egg yolks and 3 ounces of sugar. Whip on high until the mixture is thick and light lemon colored. This is called a "cold sabayon".-Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer with a whip attachment (I used my mixer for these, cause I'm not that crazy, my arm was unhappy with me after doing the sabayon..geesh, I'm out of practice). Begin whipping the whites until they start to become a little foamy and then start to slowly add the 4 1/2 ounces of sugar. Whip a bit between each addition. You want your whites to be a medium peak, like so:-Take 1/4 of the whipped egg whites and fold them into the yolk mixture to lighten it (this is called "sacrificing" always sounds neat to "sacrifice 1/4 of the whites"). Gently fold the remaining whites into the yolks until it is just about blended, then add the sifted flour and fold until it disappears into the batter.-Fill your piping bag with the mixture and pipe out the cake rounds (I'm doing 2 thin ones)

and then pipe out your fingers (you want them to be fairly even in length as they will be used to decorate the outside of the cake). Pipe the rounds so they are about 1 inch smaller than the diameter of your springform pan. You can just make all fingers if you want to go for a more traditional tiramisu layered in a square pan.
-Lightly sprinkle the tops of the ladyfingers with powdered sugar, and bake for about 5 to 10 minutes at 425f.
-Cool on a rack and if not using the same day, store in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers.
*Please note, I had forgotten that my original recipe was more of a production recipe (I haven't made these in ages) so the amount of batter I have is insane. I have halved the recipe here for you, so don't worry if your batter appears to be a bit less than what I have. I have ladyfingers coming out of my ears.....I'll be freezing them. No wonder my arm hurt from whisking the yolks. Don't be surprised if you see them show up in the future*

Now that you have your dainty little ladyfingers, you can make the tiramisu soaking syrup and the wonderful loverly insides.

Soaking syrup for the Ladyfingers:

2 cups of coffee or espresso (I had espresso powder on hand, so I made 2 cups of it)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Rum (some people use marsala in the syrup, some people use rum, some people use other things....depends on how you are feeling or what you have on hand)
-Mix these three together and if you feel the need to adjust sugar amounts or other amounts, do so. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer until the mixture is reduced by about 1/4. Place in a shallow container for dipping if you are using all finger shaped ladyfingers , or in something else if you are using ladyfinger rounds (really like a sponge cake) and will be brushing on the syrup.

And now for the mascarpone goodness...

Tiramisu Filling (I made a double batch of this because I was being very enthusiastic, the single batch listed here should be plenty)

3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cups sugar
1 container mascarpone cheese (16 ounces or about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp orange liqueur (you don't have to add liqueur to the filling, I just like the slight citrus touch it could also add marsala wine, or rum, or whatever you feel like adding..)
-Beat the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar by hand -or with your mixer and a whip attachment- until the yolks are thick and light in color (just like you did for the ladyfingers).
-Add the mascarpone to the yolk mixture and beat until just blended.
-Whip the heavy cream and liqueur (if you are adding booze) in a chilled bowl by hand or machine until it holds soft peaks.
-Whip the egg whites in your mixer with the whisk attachment until they are just foamy and then slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar while whipping on high speed. You want medium peaks again, as for the ladyfingers.
-Fold the heavy cream into the mascarpone and yolk mixture, sacrificing 1/4 of it first to lighten and then gently folding in the rest. Then fold the whites into this mixture.
*the filling does have raw eggs in it, so if this bothers you, there are other recipes you can find online that use no eggs*

Begin Assembly.

Springform mold: Take the first cake layer you piped and place it in the bottom of the spring form mold. Place a ring of ladyfingers around the edge of the pan. Brush the cake layer with the coffee syrup until it has had a fairly good soaking and spread 1/3 of the tiramisu filling over the top. Repeat this with the remaining layers ending with a layer of tiramisu filling.
Generously sift cocoa powder over the top, gently cover and chill for 6 hours or overnight to allow it to set up. Decorate with chocolate shavings or strawberries or however you would like. This is not really a firm set, so if you go this route, take care when you slice the "cake" as it will be soft, but not unmanageable. I skipped the berries and chocolate shavings for my presentation, however I think a few chocolate shavings would be really really nice. And maybe a raspberry or two as well.

Layers of ladyfingers: dip each ladyfinger into the coffee syrup and place in the bottom of a square pan. Cover the layer of fingers with half the mascarpone mixture, do one more layer of ladyfingers, one more layer of mascarpone. Sift cocoa powder over the top and allow to chill for 6 hours to overnight.

Happy Baking, and Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

How Barmy Got Her Groove Back

Well, more like how I'm working on getting my groove back. I decided that I needed to just start browsing my baking books again, this was a daily habit of mine awhile back and when I lost my baking mojo I just kind of let the books sit on the shelf collecting dust. I have now turned to one of my favorite (also a favorite of many many other people)baking books, left my baking mojo to fate and let the book fall open to where it would. As I'm a bit rusty on the blogging bit of things, I'll just get right to it and present you with the Double Apple Bundt Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It was quite a fortunate fall open, as it was a recipe I hadn't tried yet from the book and the ingredient list reads like heaven. So without further ado, on to the recipe!

Double Apple Bundt Cake (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours) :

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I do think next time I'll add a full teaspoon of cinnamon)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (I don't really measure my fresh ground nutmeg, I just grate it over the flour and guess when it's enough..mmmmm, fresh ground nutment...)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsps or 5 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup store bought apple butter, spiced or plain (I didn't have any of this on hand, but I had quite a few apples. I made them into a cranberry applesauce and then cooked that down to apple butter consistency the day before I baked this cake. I used approximately 7 apples peeled and sliced, 1/2 cup cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and a few grates of fresh nutmeg. Cook it over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan, puree once the apple are soft and then continue to simmer it over low low heat until it reduces by about half.)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (I have my seemingly endless supply of booze soaked raisins, so I used those here...the ones I currently have on hand are soaked in bourbon)
Confectioner's sugar or Icing to finish (optional, Icing recipe to follow)

-Preheat oven to 350f and position a rack in the center of the oven.
-Butter and flour a 9 to 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
-Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.
-With a stand mixer and paddle attachment, or a hand held mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for about five minutes on medium speed.
-Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each before adding another beating one minute for each addition.
-Add the apple butter on low speed. The mixture may appear curdled when you add the apple butter, but that's ok!
-Mix in the grated apple on low speed until completely blended in.
-Continuing on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix only until the flour just disappears. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts.
-Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth it out evenly.
-Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes or until a little knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
-Cool the cake for five minutes on a rack and then turn the cake out of the pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature and then either wrap it up, or dust with confectioner's sugar or ice and serve!

the Icing:
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp or so of fresh orange or lemon juice
-Mix together until you get a nice smooth consistency and drizzle over the finished cake.

This cake is moist and delicious, the smell of my apartment was just heavenly. I'll make this again and again for company. Really that's all I can say about it...need I say more?

I do hope G's coworkers enjoy it!

Serve it up with your favorite beverage of choice. I enjoyed my little slice o' heaven with a nice cuppa.

Happy Baking!

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