The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

desserts

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turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


The story of michetta:



The Marquis Doria sent a young bride who refused to give herself to him to prison to die. The population of Dolceacqua rose up and forced the Marquis Doria (1364) to stop this abuse of power and on the 16 of August there is a festival to celebrate the event.  The women of the village created the “michetta” to celebrate this occasion.  It is now the symbol of love and freedom. Michetta are small sweetbreads similar to a raised doughnut.



http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/dolceacqua-apricale-the-riviera-dei-fiori/


 



turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


You ask, what could be more decadent, and I say absolutely nothing. Cartellate are traditionally made during Christmas. They are traditional Pulgiese fried pastries, filled with roasted almonds, honey, spices and chocolate.


They are a holiday cookie and although mostly made at Christmas time, they are our star dessert on our Thanksgiving table. They just seemed so suited to a beautiful Thanksgiving dessert table. 


These cookies are a labor of love and not easy to make, but the good news is that you can place the shells in a brown paper bag and keep some for Christmas.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/traditional-holiday-cookie-cartellatecluster-are-filled-with-honey-nuts-spices/ 



 

turosdolci's picture
turosdolci


A friend on Foodbuzz was looking for a way to use Ficoco - fig jam with cocoa. In Italy sugar was expensive to produce so many things were made with jams or mosto cotto (grape syrup) to sweeten cakes, cookies etc. Itlians have many jam filled cookies and ficoco would be perfect for raviolo dolci, in fact figs were also used to make mosto cotto. A recipe we make during holidays, Ravioli Dolci is a great way to use different jam fillings and make your cookie different everytime.


http://turosdolci.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/ravioli-dolci-di-pulgia/ 


 



 

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Struan is the bread that truly launched his bread baking career, Reinhart says (p. 102). In Gaelic, struan means “the convergence or confluence of streams,” a good description for multigrain breads where all kinds of grains and seeds are coming together (the combinations are, of course, endless).


Because I love breads full of grains and seeds, I have bought Peter Reinhart’s book “Whole Grain Breads.” Most of the recipes in there consist of three parts: a soaker (part of the flour, the seeds and grains and part of the salt are soaked in water or often in milk, buttermilk or yoghurt for 12-24 hours), a biga (to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or up to three days) and the final dough.



The flour for this multigrain Struan is whole wheat (67%) and to it I added in about equal parts: sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds, and millet (seeds and grains 33%). Reinhart says that he prefers to cook the millet, but it can also be added to the soaker uncooked. I prefer it that way since it gives a beautiful crunch to the bread that we like very much.


I made a school lunch with this bread for my 15 year-old son and thought he’d tell me upon his return to never use such a seedy bread again. To my big surprise he announced that this was the best sandwich ever.




For guests I made one of my favorite desserts. It’s a Swiss recipe called “Quarktorte” which in English gets translated as cheese cake. Most cheese cakes in the US are made with cream cheese as you all know, in Switzerland however we use a product called “Quark” which is a type of fresh cheese, much lighter than cream cheese (kind of like a firm yoghurt) and very tasty. It comes in plain form (which is needed for this dessert) or in many fruit styles. It is available in the US in some specialty stores, at about 10 times the Swiss price. To substitute I use sour cream light. I had to get used to the different taste, but it works very well. Only the base gets baked, the rest is a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, stiff egg whites, sour cream, whipped cream and gelatin. I always import my yearly supply of gelatin leaves from Europe whenever I go there, thus I have never had to get used to gelatin in powder form, the only one readily available here, as far as I know.


It’s an elegant, fresh dessert that has a somewhat airy texture and the appearance of being very light.



I also made this typical, very common and simple French summer dessert: a clafoutis with apricots and blueberries. It is a very easy and tasty way to use up fresh fruit. The most common version is with cherries.


 


And finally for brunch at our neighbors this past Sunday I baked these cinnamon rolls (I myself don't like cinnamon in sweets much, I prefer it in savory dishes). They came out very light and fluffy. I used a recipe from the King Arthur site and substituted the potato flakes (which I don't have) with a freshly cooked potato (before cooking it was around 120g) that I mashed finely with a little water. This ingredient, I read, makes cinnamon rolls very soft, and it's true, as several people commented on how fluffy and light they were. 


 


 

cookingwithdenay's picture
cookingwithdenay


Have you ever developed an original recipe? Most people think it is some long drawn out process, but remember you are not Pillsbury test kitchen with thousands of dollars and test kitchen cooks to address ever question or issue.


When you find a recipe that is good, reliable and consistent...that's a keeper. If it is not, you have a couple of choices. Rework the recipe, refine it so it works, put it in the "to-do" pile for a later date or toss it. What you do depends on how much time you want to devote to recipe and only you can answer that question.


As you test, and retest, you will find a pattern to the process and it will fall into an everyday groove. I would suggest that you schedule time each month to test or at least review the recipes you are working on. Remember it's not just about recipes, this is a listing of products you can enter into contest, feature in a magazine or newspaper, include in a future cookbook or sell in your home-based bakery. When your bakery is up and running and a local journalist ask...may we have a recipe to attach to your story? What will you say, no they are all secret...


Always have a dozen or so recipes that are uniquely yours that you don't mind sharing...just in case.


You may also want to place a recipe in your marketing materials...not that people will prepare them necessarily, but to show you are open to sharing your knowledge and skill. You are a great baker and this is not the time to be shy!


Now with that said, you don't have to give out your best recipes, just things you don't mind sharing. Give it some thought.


There is an old saying, there is nothing new under the sun, and it is so true. It is easy to add a new twist to something, but food companies spend millions to create new products, it's a real challenge; but every once and a while an independent culinary innovator comes up with a unique and inspiring food, spice or taste. Take a look at what is missing out there on the grocery shelves... get creative. I would love to see an alternative to buttercream frosting, but I have not yet figured out what it should be, something sweet, creamy and not made with all that fat.


 

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Posted on www.evilshenanigans.com on 4/13/2009


If you do not like chocolate jam packed inside a fudgy brownie, turn back now!


 Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies


This recipe is adapted from one we made in culinary school.  The brownies we made were ok, but we did not use dark chocolate or dutch processed cocoa powder.  I do and the result is superior.  There is also more chocolate chips in my version.  I see it this way, if you are going to have chocolate, why go half-way? 


These are really easy to get mixed up, they cool pretty quickly and are wonderful covered in a shiny layer of dark chocolate ganache.  Again, why go half way?


Frosted Brownies 


The brownies are rich, chewy, melting, and fudgy.  I like them warm, with the kiss of the oven still on them, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or some whipped cream and a drizzle of fudge sauce.  As good as they are warm, however, I also like them cold from the refrigerator.  For some reason these brownies are SO GOOD cold, which makes them excellent for the summers here in Texas when it is ten kinds of hot.  There is nothing like a cold, chewy brownie when it is 105F outside.  Trust me!


Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies 


You can easily double this recipe.  In fact, the original recipe was enough to fill a full sheet pan.  I scaled this down to a quarter of that amount - mostly because my thighs could not take it.  Just know you can scale it up easily and with much success. 


Dark Chocolate Chip Brownies   Yield 20 brownies


3 oz butter
2 oz dark chocolate, at least 62%, chopped
Sugar 14 oz
4 oz golden syrup or honey
3 oz butter
5 oz eggs (about three large)
.75 oz water
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5.25 oz cake flour
1 oz dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 oz chocolate chips


Heat the oven to 350F and prepare a 1/4 sheet pan (9″x13″) with non-stick spray, line the bottom with parchment and spray again.


Melted Chocolate and Butter 


In a bowl combine the butter and the chocolate.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir then microwave for an additional 15 seconds.  If the mixture is not completely melted heat at ten second intervals until completly melted.  Set aside to cool slightly.


In a bowl combine the sugar, golden syrup/honey, and second portion of butter.  Mix until well combined. 


Disolve the espresson the the water.  Add that along with the eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture.  Mix to combine.


Stir in the melted chocolate mixture.  Blend well.  Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well so that the mixture is completly combined.


Batter - Mixed 


Sift the dry ingredients then add them to the wet mixture.  Mix until just beginning to mositen then add the chips.  Mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated and there are no lumps.


Batter in the Pan Brownies - Out of the Oven


Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center is just set.


Brownies - Turned out of the Pan 


Cool completly in the pan before turning out into a cutting board. 


Brownies Topped with Ganache


Frost and slice as desired.


Dark Chocolate Chip Brownie

manuela's picture
manuela


This is a very simple yet very good traditional Italian jam tart, made with pastafrolla--Italian-style shortpastry. The original post is from my blog

 

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi
In: La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” , 1891–Italy

Ingredients

2 cups (250 g) AP flour, unbleached
1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup (110 g) sugar
1 medium egg
1 yolk
1 cup (260 g) fruit jam (such as apricot, plum, or sour cherry)


If the granulated sugar is coarse, it is preferable to process it briefly in a food processor or coffee grinder. Mix flour and sugar, then work the butter in with the tip of your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and work briefly until the dough just holds together.
It is important not to overwork the dough (do not knead it) or it will harden when baked.
A food processor works perfectly to make the dough: start by placing flour and sugar in the work bowl, process for a few seconds to mix, then add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and process a few seconds more until the dough forms. Do not overprocess.

Wrap the dough in wax paper and let it rest in a cool place for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured board roll 2/3 of the pastry dough to a 1/8-in (3 mm) thickness, and line with it the bottom and sides of a 9-in (23 cm) tart pan with scalloped edges and a removable bottom. The sides should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 1/4-in (0.5 cm). Fold back in the dough that is hanging over the sides to make a thicker lining along the sides. Cut of excess. Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork in a few places, then spread with the jam. Do not use a deep tart mold.

Roll the remaining pastry on a lightly floured board slightly thicker than 1/8-in (3 mm), then with a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut it in strips 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) wide and make a lattice on top of the jam layer. There might be some leftover pastry. I usually make a few cookies with it, or tartlets.

You can see how the lattice should look here.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the tart until golden, about 25 minutes. Unmold the tart as soon as it is ready and let it cool on a rack. If left in the pan it will turn irremediably soggy. It is great freshly baked but it definitely improves after a day or two, if kept in a closed container.

A note on the fruit jam: select a jam that is relatively low in sugar, 38% to 40% content of sugar is best; jams that contain a higher percentage of sugar tend to be adversely affected by the baking temperatures, turning sticky and ruining the final result.




 

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