The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Long but good day in the kitchen at the cafe

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Long but good day in the kitchen at the cafe

Today the cafe was packed out for lunch. It was a good kind of packed as it seemed to be full of the groups of peoples that I can now somewhat call regulars. Several of them even waited for a table to clear - that meant waiting about 15 minutes... not something Hong Kong people are generally keen on.

The high point was that a table of regulars asked for a loaf of bread. The lady who I see more and more often came up to look at the breads I had on offer and chose my Pear/Walnut Bread. It's a heavy loaf - about 2lbs! She wanted half of it with the meal and half of it to take home with her.

It was pretty cool to see a table of people happily munching away on bread at lunch hour. As well - it was nice to see that she was willing to pay for my loaves what you'd pay for loaves from the bigger bakeries. :)

So I hand sliced half the loaf for her and heated it up a bit in the oven. This loaf can be a bit moist because of the amount of Pear bits in it... so it seems to go over well when toasted. I served it with a side of pure creamery butter and a quick explanation of what was in it. They were thrilled... so was I.

On a pragmatic note I found out that the smaller bread bags I bought work out well - even though they're smaller they fit a half boule in perfectly! :D Make note to self to include an ingredients list and short sales blurb about why this bread is special.

Early morning was time to make Mousse. Long before anyone else was awake I was already down at the shop whipping up an Italian merengue. This time I adjusted from my normal Mousse recipe and added 7 egg whites... I found that the extra whites really help to keep it light. That and I cut the amount of chocolate from 450grams to 400. The mousse seemed to pour better and seemed to settle better. I was happy with the efficient manner in which I knocked out 12 servings of dark chocolate mousse - 6 for dine in and 6 for take-away. Though there has to be a bowl out there made for pouring... with a lip or something. The chocolate can get a bit messy to pour. Though since I started becoming more deft with my spatula there isn't really that much chocolate waste. So by 9am.. it seems that I'd accomplished something. Not too shabby for someone who has spent so much of his life waking at noon.

Tonight I baked up Peaches stuffed with Ricotta and walnuts. Interesting. I had soaked the peaches in dark rum - though since they had been liberally sprinkled with lemon juice prior - they maintained a good color. I let that sit overnight in the fridge along with the ricotta filling that had been mixed. I added a bit more crumble to the mix today just before baking and dusted them with brown sugar just before popping in the oven.

Some notes:

The color of the Ricotta and walnuts isn't very nice
(somehow must get more toasty or golden - but not greyish)
I wonder how much of that was affected by the overnight sit in the fridge?

The Rum may have not been the proper ingredient for them to marinate in. The flavor was just OK.
But didn't really come across like a good Tiramisu comes off. Then again - how can you beat Brandy, Mascarpone and Espresso?!?!

The peaches could have been sweeter. I noticed that after they were baked I found them far more 'peach' flavored if I sprinkled them with regular white sugar. Unitl that point the peach flavor didn't really seem to have much flavor at all.
Strange. Maybe the sweetness is the catalyst for the peach flavor somehow.

This dessert can only be done for in house - these for delivery would be a nightmare. Not only for packing but also the kitchen is far too chaotic most of the time to pull these off - though could they be anymore hassle than the pear/apple crumble?!

Ok - plenty to work on.