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Gougeres

8 Oct

Hello! These are gougeres, a French choux pastry mixed with cheese. And what exactly is choux pastry you ask? Well, choux pastry is the type of pastry that’s typically used to make profiteroles (fancy name for cream puffs), éclairs, crullers, and beignets. Choux pastry is made up of flour, water, eggs, and butter, and uses a high moisture content combined with heat to puff the pastry. Thus, there is no use of a leavening agent, like baking soda or yeast.

In this particular recipe from the Tartine cookbook, the gougeres were baked with grated gruyere and thyme! Absolutely delicious! They were fluffy and light, and had an eggy custardy inside mixed with melty cheese. Perfect to eat with breakfast or just by itself!

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Cinnabon-inspired Cinnamon Rolls

16 Feb

On a cold, dreary day like this, there’s nothing more I want than to curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and a cinnamon roll.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe adapted from Tartelette

Makes 12 rolls

For the dough:
1 pkg. active dry yeast (1/4 oz. size or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup warm milk (105º to 110º F.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

For the icing:
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 oz.) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
Mix together the sugar, butter, salt & eggs. Add flour and milk and mix well
Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands lightly dusted with flour. Put in a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough flat until it is approximately 21 inches long and 16 inches wide. It should be about ¼ inch thick.
Preheat oven to 400º F and position a rack in the middle.

Prepare the filling:
combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the surface.

Form the rolls:
Working carefully from the top (a 21 inch side), roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
Cut the rolled dough into 1 ¾ inch slices and place 6 at a time, evenly spaced, in a lightly greased baking pan. Let the rolls rise again until doubled in size (about 30 min.). Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden on top.

Prepare the icing:
While the rolls bake, mix the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, then add the milk and flavorings. Mix on high speed again until the icing is smooth and fluffy.
When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes, then coat generously with the icing.

Tips:

  • To create a more homogeneous mixture of the brown sugar and cinnamon filling I threw it in the food processor for a few pulses.
  • On cold days, it’s rather difficult to find a warm place for the yeast to rise. I ended up turning on the heater in the living room and placing the dough nearby.
  • My coworker, also an avid baker, gave me a great tip for cutting the rolled dough. Floss! Simply use a piece of floss, preferably unused, place it beneath the rolled dough and cross the ends above the roll and pull. Essentially, you’re just tying a knot to make a clean cut. Using a knife will just squash the dough.
  • If I could go back in time, I’d put the icing on the cinnamon rolls while they’re still warm. By doing so, it’d help melt the icing to get in between the layers and create more of an ooey-gooey sticky cinnamon rolls result. Microwaving it for ten to twenty seconds does the trick too.

Stay warm!

Yes, it’s more than just a spoonful.

26 Jan

For the past year or two, I’ve become obsessed with reading food blogs. I just can’t believe how many great recipes there are out there. Oh, and the food photography – amazing! I get such inspiration from reading these blogs. I’m constantly trying new recipes and modifying them to become my own. Baking is a hobby of mine, it’s also a way for me to deal with stress, and a way to share my love for sweets with the people around me. But, there’s still so much that I haven’t discovered about baking yet. I want to improve my skills and learn more! This blog will document my journey in mastering the art of baking. My failures, successes, and any tips I gather will all be shared here :)

The first recipe I want to share is Cinnamon Roll Griddlecakes with Apple Walnut Topping. I stumbled upon this recipe about a year ago, and just after one bite I immediately stowed it away in my recipe book.

Cinnamon Roll Griddle Cakes with Apple Walnut Topping

Adapted from The Best of Inn Cuisine

For the Griddle Cakes

dry ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (may substitute whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

wet ingredients

  • 1 extra-large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (may substitute milk) *see note in recipe
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup (I suggest Karo Lite)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Apple-Walnut Topping

  • 1 large apple (your favorite variety) peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the Homemade Cinnamon-Roll Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 & 1/2 to 4 & 1/2 teaspoons milk (start with less, may need more to obtain desired consistency)

In a large bowl, combine all 6 dry ingredients for griddle cakes, tossing to combine. In another, smaller bowl, combine all 5 wet ingredients, whisking to combine. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients, stirring gently until just combined. *Note: if using buttermilk, batter may appear a bit thick—add plain milk by the single tablespoons to thin out as necessary. If using milk in place of buttermilk—batter may appear thin—it will thicken as it rests. Allow batter to rest for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients—batter will thicken as it rests.

Working with the apple-walnut topping ingredients, melt butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan; stir in brown sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Stir in apples, cover and cook over low to medium-low heat for 10 minutes (or until tender), stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Cover and set aside.

To make the homemade icing, combine all 3 ingredients in a bowl. Add more milk (or more confectioner’s sugar) as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Cook pancakes (dropping by the 1/4 cup or slightly less) onto hot, non-stick griddle or non-stick skillet that has been preheated over medium heat. Flip when bubbles appear on top and bottom is lightly golden. Cook second side until lightly golden. To serve, top with apple-walnut topping and drizzle with homemade cinnamon-roll icing.

Makes approximately 8 pancakes.

*Note: The ingredients list is long, but I promise you that these are super easy to make. By the way, I used Braeburn apples – one of my favorite apples of all time. Sweet and crisp!

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