Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Braided Cardamom Bread

I figured I haven't made much bread here on The Sunday Pastry, and it is a very go-to thing to make on a Sunday morning. I think most people agree that freshly baked bread is a thousand times better than the stuff sitting out on your counter or in the supermarket isle. Nothing can beat fresh bread: bagels, brioche, you name it! So, I stumbled across a beautiful new blog this week called Slovakia For the Soul, which was full of beautiful photography, (and I have to say I pinned probably her whole website!). This recipe in particular intrigued me because of the cardamom layers. Cardamom is something I don't bake with it often, if at all, so the recipe had me digging into the back of the spice cabinet trying to find it!
I'm very pleased with my results, and this bread is great to kick back and relax with on a Sunday morning!




Braided Cardamom Bread

From, with edits to: Souvlaki For the Soul

For the Bread:
200ml milk
60g butter
1 x 7g sachet (packet) of yeast
400g plain flour
60g caster sugar
pinch sea salt


Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and allow the butter to melt and the mixture to come to a lukewarm temperature. (If it heats too much cool it down by pacing the saucepan in a sink with cold water).
In a separate bowl combine the yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and pour the milk/butter mixture in. Mix thoroughly until you have a dough. (You may need to add a little more flour here to stop the dough from being sticky).
Turn the dough onto a clean surface add a little more flour and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
Preheat your oven to 190 deg C and butter and flour a 22cm bundt cake tin and set aside.

For the filling:
100g butter softened
1 tsp ground cardamom
50g sugar

Prepare the filling by beating the softened butter, cardamom and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

For the Assembly:
1 egg, lightly beaten
80g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped (salted is ok)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)

Remove the risen dough, punch it out with your fist and roll into a large rectangle measuring approx. 40cm x 30cm in size. Spread the cardamom/butter mixture over the dough, sprinkle 3/4 of the pistachios and drizzle the pomegranate molasses. With the long end facing you roll the dough into a long cylinder/sausage shape. Starting about 1 inch from the top with a very sharp knife, cut down the length of the center of the rolled dough to expose the layers and filling inside. Alternate the two long pieces of dough over each other and shape into a ring. Gently place into the greased baking tin, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle any remaining pistachios on top.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden. Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes before gently removing. Allow to cool for a further half hour before slicing and serving.

I know pomegranate molasses can be hard to find, so I found a great recipe for it here. Its pretty easy to whip up. I left out the lemon juice though, and I highly suggest doing so.

Mmmm this bread makes the kitchen smell amazing, perfect for a weekend morning.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

Last weekend, I was up at my cabin for a family friend's birthday. Of course, for pastry people like myself, that means it's time to whip out the turntable and create a cake.
I made this red velvet cake this summer, and didn't get around to posting it (like many other things recently... oops). So I decided to go back to it, as this was our family friend's favorite cake.

 Just a nice picture of the view from my cabin.

The original recipe calls for halved raspberries in filling between the layers of cake. So, I put a half pint of raspberries on the grocery list. To my frustrating dismay, every single one was a grey-ish red with some mold specks. I just then remembered that raspberries are not in season. This brings me to another point many people tent to forget: when developing and recipe with fresh ingredients, it's so important to know whats in season. So, setting the raspberries aside, I continued with a traditional red velvet cake. It was an instant favorite!


Red Velvet Cake

Adapted from: Bon Appetit

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs red food coloring
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a two 9 inch round of parchment to fit in the bottom of two 9-inch-diameter round cake pans. Butter and flour the bottom of each, then place the parchment paper at the bottom of both and butter and flour the parchment. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla to combine. With a handheld electric mixer beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with buttermilk mixture. Divide batter between the two pans.

For the Frosting:
2 8oz packaged cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl. Beat in vanilla and sugar until smooth.

For the Assembly:
blueberries (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

Place cake layer, bottom side down onto turntable (or work surface, but if you don't have a turntable I would suggest you should get one). Spread approximately 1 cup of frosting on this layer. Place the next cake layer top side down and spread remaining frosting on the top and sides of cake.

For help with frosting a cake here is a great video. (The frosting starts at 22:15) You can skip a crumb coat if you want, but I never do because a crumb coat makes the cake look cleaner. If you are worried about running out of frosting just make a double batch!




So, I hope you enjoy this late post! The cake is always a favorite and I highly recommend it for birthdays. I have another post coming your way this week, so stay tuned!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Chai Cookies

This weekend wasn't quite what I was expecting schedule wise. I got appendicitis on Friday, and had to go to the hospital to remove it. So this weekend I was just laying around my house to recover, so I was pretty bored. However, I did get in a nice amount of Netflix and got through a season of Orphan Black, which is a show that I would highly recommend. There are also no pictures this week because I'm just not quite psychically feeling up to it yet but I plan on updating the post later on.

I did as well get off the couch long enough to whip up some really good fall cookies. I wanted to incorporate fall tastes into an amazing chewy cookie. After a lot of adding spices and testing out dough, I am very happy with the results and I think you will be too!

Chewy Chai Cookies

Adapted from: McCormick
Makes 4 1/2 dozen


For the Tea:
1/4 cup water
2 black chai tea bags

Boil water in microwave. Steep with two tea bags until water is cold (about 15 minutes).

For the cookies:
 2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. creme of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tbsp. chai tea
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. crushed cloves
1/8 tsp. crushed anise seeds

Additional sugar, for rolling

Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix well. Add vanilla, tea, crushed cloves, cinnamon, and anise and stir to combine. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate dough 2 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.


These cookies are perfect for a quick snack, and have an true chai flavor with the chewiness of a sugar cookie.
Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Apple Pie Bites

Hmmm, fall anyone?
I think it's safe to say yellow leaves are topping off the trees, and the air has a crisp feeling about it. However, if you're like me, you're still holding onto that last bit of warm sun and thinking of fried summer foods handed out of food trucks. Food trucks are pretty amazing aren't they! I've always had a thing for street food, and I especially love when trucks fuse together to different aspects of food. I'll take an Asian-Mexican burrito over a sit down restaurant any day.

So, this week I'm combining some fall tastes with that light, fried taste of summer:


Apple Pie Bites with Caramel Sauce

Adapted from: The Sugar Hit

For the apple pie bites:
100g fresh ricotta cheese
40g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
vegetable oil, for frying

To make the fritters, place the ricotta, flour, baking powder, egg and 1 tbsp sugar into a mixing bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined. In a small, deep saucepan, heat about 2-3 cm of oil, until a piece of the ricotta mixture bubbles and floats to the surface when added. Using two teaspoons, drop teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil, and cook for about a minute or until golden brown. Flip and allow to cook for 30 seconds to a minute more. Remove the fritters, and drain briefly on paper towels, while you continue until all the batter is cooked. Serve immediately.

For the caramel sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
Measure out butter and heavy cream and have them ready to go next to the stove. Put sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and watch it. As the sugar begins to melt, swirl the pan gently to promote even carmelization. Once the sugar has reached a deep-ish amber color. Be careful, as it will burn quickly if the heat it too high. Add butter and whisk like crazy. Its going to bubble and spit and then calm down into a smooth, creamy looking caramel. Then slowly add your heavy cream, whisking again the whole time. It should now look like slightly runnier than you would like it sauce. Pour it in a container of some sort and place in the refrigerator to cool until needed.



So good, and the batter can be made in advance, so they can be fired right before serving. These are a perfect snack fix!

For the rest of this week, I have 50 cupcakes to make for a school event on Friday. We are giving them out as prizes, and I have to make them in between soccer and school, so I'll let you know how that goes.
Until next week!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crumpets

This weekend I got a call from my cousin who was having a tea party and art sale at her house, and she asked me to make crumpets. I was pretty intrigued actually, I've seen the packaged crumpets in the fridge section next to the butter and cheese in my local grocery store, but I always kind of thought they were something you can't make at home, like goldfish. Ok... maybe not quite like that, but you get the idea.

This weekend I've also looked into starting Pro-Start, a high school culinary team of sorts, that would help to propel me into the culinary industry (hopefully to have a little bakery on a city corner), and it would expose me working in actual kitchen as well as culinary schools within the area. Its a great opportunity and I'm really hoping I have time for it this year.

Back to crumpets...


So, I looked them up, and they actually didn't seen that bad! Throw together a batter and put them on the griddle, a pancake of sorts really.

So, here you have it! They are best served with jam and/or tea, or you could get a little creative and throw down some peanut butter.

Crumpets

From: Cooking Chanel
You will need some metal rings to griddle the batter in, any size works depending on how big or small you want the crumpet.

For the Crumpets:
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups water, lukewarm
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Nonstick spray

In a small saucepan, heat the milk until lukewarm. Combine the milk, flour, water, butter, honey, yeast, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on high speed until completely blended and a soft dough has formed, 2 minutes. Remove the bowl, cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and put in a warm spot until risen and bubbly, about 1 hour.
Lightly spray a cast-iron or nonstick skillet or griddle with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Spray the metal rings well with non-stick spray and place them in the pan or on the griddle. Fill each ring with a scant 1/4 cup of the batter.
Cook until the crumpets are set and the bottoms are lightly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the rings, flip the crumpets and cook until completely cooked through and the bottoms are lightly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes longer. While they are cooking, wash and spray the rings with nonstick spray for the next batch.

Let them cool slightly before serving. You may serve them warm or cold, pop them in the toaster of a 350 degree oven for 7 min to reheat.
Top with jam and serve with tea.







The recipe is great of breakfasts and the crumpets last up to week covered and in the fridge.
Until next week!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Cookies in a Jar

To sum up some of the baking I've been doing but not posting: although I haven't gotten puff pastry down yet I did make some very good croissants last weekend. They were perfect to reheat every morning for a great breakfast. Unfortunately I've been super busy with high school just around the corner and fall sports setting in, so the posts have been pretty much non-existent this month.

However, the end of August brought around a great inspiration for today's post.
In the last two weeks of August, 5 of my best friends have birthdays. This calls for gifts that could potentially add up to being quite a bit of money.  This got me to brainstorming some inexpensive gifts that anyone would like.
Then, I stumbled across an old recipe book for cookies in a jar.

The book had some great recipes that could be made for under $3, and who doesn't like an easy way to make fresh cookies?



Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

 Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Adapted from: Cookies in a Jar

You will need a 32 oz canning jar.

For the mix:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups  flour mixed with 1 tsp. baking soda and a dash of salt

Staring with the sugar and working down the list, add each layer to the jar firmly packing down each layer before adding the next.

For the recipe card:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened

Empty jar into large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
Shape into approx. 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on sheets before transferring to racks to cool all the way.


Cookies in a jar can be gifts for just about anyone! You can also substitute chocolate chips for other flavors such as butterscotch, toffee, or chocolate candy pieces!

Until next week!