Wednesday, April 7, 2010

chocolate brioche

Well the Easter/Passover dust has settled. I've taken it kinda easy the last two days. The Sox opener, NCAA final game, the Cubs gettin' shelled, it was all part of the crazy holiday weekend.

Got our pan washer motor back on Friday. mid-day. Works great, much quieter than the old motor. we had stuff piled up all over waitin' to get washed. Don't tell the health department. We had stacks of lamb molds, but they got soaked over the weekend and now they look great. We never did find our large egg cake molds. We had to run over to Tag's bakery and borrow theirs. I'm figurin' ours got buried in the basement, last fall, behind stacks of farmer's market tents/tables. We'll find 'em just in time for Mother's Day.

Markets start May 8th, Evanston. May 12th, Green City, and others, mid June. The gang is gettin' stoked, to start workin' like men again. They have lots of plans,i.e. new bread and pastry varieties they want to try out. I have one new idea I saw in France, a very simple brioche pastry filled with pastry creme. They made a chocolate brioche yesterday. Looks really cool, it's proofing as I type. Actually got a call yesterday from a French chef friend of mine, turns out there is some huge beer/brewers party at the Sheraton Chicago this weekend. He wanted this chocolate brioche. They are making some type of bread pudding with chocolate brioche and caramelized brewers malt? It's apparently a really big deal, they have flown the kitchen staff here from Belgium to prepare this meal. They need to do a hundred twenty five hotel pans of this bread pudding. They also have some guarded bread formula, they managed to smuggle out of Belgium. I'm supposed to hear about that today. Made with some special malted hops or somethin'.

So we unloaded our holiday goods very well. We had one or two large egg cakes, one or two lamb cakes, five or six pans of chic/bunny cookies and maybe twenty four loaves of our coloured Easter bread. Based on all we sold, that ain't much. Sold all our Passover stuff. Tossed one sponge ring, and two macaroon sponge cakes. Business overall, was very good. Our traffic was up, I look at the holiday as a whole. I checked Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yes, we're open Easter Sunday. We were up about sixty customer's for the three days. Sales dollars were up, proportionally more. We didn't raise any holiday prices, they were the same as 2009. Tells me that folks ate closer to home this Easter. Although the few country clubs we deal with ordered the same as last Easter.

Tables went out on the sidewalk last Thursday. Funny thing, I know of four phone calls for sure, that inquired about seating in the bakery, in the last week. On nice days, the tables are full, 'specially around lunch. I guess we need to start takin' notice if our sandwich sales are stronger on nicer days.

Gotta run, head upstairs, check on the chocolate brioche


Blogger Bob said...

Be careful...before long you'll be like all the other "bakeries" in the country, a sandwich/coffee shop with a small bread counter on one side.

April 7, 2010 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

Not likely, got no room inside for seating. Tables are outside from April 1st to November 1st. But it's worth sayin', while I was in France, I spoke with three American bakers, all three said the same thing, "If I had more seating, I would have no problem keeping it full".

I don't think it's fair to say "All the other "bakeries" in the country". There are a number of true "bakeries", here in Chicago. I mean the kind of places where you see the lights on, in the back, all night. And outside, you can smell cake donuts being fried at midnight. In the winter, the windows are frosted over, from the inside.

April 7, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Laminatrix said...

The Craft Brewers conference is actually also taking place in bars all over the city--including the Map Room--where a lot of small brewers are tapping special/rare kegs (e.g., something aged in a bourbon barrel, or a merlot cask). I'm hitting the Map Room tonight for some special stuff from Capitol Brewing (in Madison). Other venues include Quenchers, Brasserie Jo, Clark Street Ale House, Goose Island, Hopleaf, etc.

I'll be interested what happens with the brewers malt; it's probably like the malted barley sugar I was telling you about. Lemme know if the formula works well; I've been looking for something that picks up the malted barley flavor.

April 7, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Jory Downer said...

chocolate brioche just came out of the oven, i was very pleased, it's on ot's way to my frenchy chef friend, we'll see what he says.

April 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

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