Friday, April 16, 2010


Our second find during last Saturday's Green City Market was a pastry idea I saw in Nice. Very simple, sixty grams of brioche dough, rounded up and elongated, placed in the fridge overnite. Saturday morning we took it out and "Creased" it pretty deep with a dowel rod. So the two outside edges were very thick and the middle was paper thin. We egg washed 'em and placed twelve on a sheet pan. We used our pastry creme, flavoured with a little orange flower water, and piped quite a bit down the center of the crease. We proofed 'em and baked 'em. Once they cooled a little we brushed 'em with melted butter and dipped 'em in vanilla sugar. Done. As Kim Montello would say "Deeeeelicious". We only sent twenty three to the market, so it was the first thing we ran out of. We baked our second run of sweet city loaf, carrots, onions, flax & honey. Really, really nice.

I also mentioned about cocoa powders, natural or dutch. Dutch cocoa is treated with alkaline, to neutralize some of the natural acids in the cocoa. In doing so the colour changes as well as the flavour. Ice cream manufacturers use natural cocoa in ice cream, because it imparts better chocolate flavour. It is also the choice of powdered hot cocoa mix producers. As bakers, typical devil's food cake is made with buttermilk. Not because of flavour profile, but because it is rather acidic. We also add a high percentage of baking soda. The soda reacts with already alkalized cocoa and produces richer colour, by enhancing the Maillard reaction. The acidic buttermilk is needed to counteract the excess baking soda, otherwise the cake would taste very "Soapy". It's all cause and effect. Kinda like the song "I know an old woman, who swallowed a spider, she swallowed the spider to catch the fly.........".

Thursday morning I woke up at 2:30am. Within a minute, I had an idea for a new macaroon flavour, red velvet. I had to be thinking about it while I was asleep. Yesterday, I tried it, very cool. I filled them with a cream cheese ganache, made with white chocolate. I'm told there is an article about our macaroons in Chicago magazine, but I haven't found it yet. We are really burning thru macaroons lately, so it must be true. Macaroons and sandwiches. We've sold out of sandwiches three days in a row. I guess it makes sense, nice days, folks can sit outside and eat lunch.

Yesterday we made a pastry that we haven't made in years. "Eierschecke", is an old German pastry, that we haven't made in twenty years. There's a fellow that works down the street at the locksmith shop. I don't see him very often, but every time I see him in the store, he asks me about it. We start with a thin layer of yeast dough. We make cheese filling, not to sweet, spread that on and sprinkle on raisins, toasted, sliced almonds and streussel. We then make a topping that starts with pastry creme, we lighten it by adding soft butter and egg yolks. We whip the egg whites with sugar and make a soft meringue, and fold in the custard part. We spread that mixture on the sheet and bake it. We're gonna cut it to today, it's Friday. We have enough folks cross our threshold on Fridays, we'll sell the whole sheet today. Less the piece that my dad eats, two or three the store folks will eat, can't ask them to sell it until they taste it. I gotta take a few down the street to the locksmith shop.

Anybody been shoppin' here as long as he has, deserves it.


Blogger Laminatrix said...

You know, most people would not think to use egg yolks AND butter to LIGHTEN something.

Just sayin.

But it does sound like it wouldn't suck.

(Go Hawks.)

April 16, 2010 at 7:55 PM  

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