Food Update: I've been busy baking

April 24, 2018

Its been a while since I sat down to update this guy, but there are a some big exciting (professional) changes in my life I want to write about and share, so I figured it was *finally* time share the details about the tasty treats you've seen on my instagram over the past few weeks.  We're talking all of it; donuts, macaron, croissants and my weekend breakfast staple, scones/biscuits 

 

I've tried to link to all the recipes I use, I'll mention if there are any tweaks I made.  I'm a little confused about how much I need to change a recipe to call it "mine" so rather than step on anyones toes, I've just linked to the originals.   Also, coming soon, a life update - filling you in on life after 100 days of pasta, new jobs and new favorite foods.   Stay tuned...

 

Lets start with macaron

 

 Macarons are hard for many reasons: egg whites are tricky, almond flour is expensive, the weather matters, your oven has to be exact - basically there are a million reasons not to try making macaron.  But its really not that bad.  What no one tells you is that once you get it, or even come close, you'll be hooked, and try desperately to replicate exactly what you did.  This is because the end result is so satisfying and pretty you'll want to make more and more and more.  I didn't want to make pasta for weeks, all I wanted was to make these. 

 

I use a Martha Stewart recipe, she has a few, but this one has worked pretty well for me; and I've made quite a few flavors.  Lucky for you, my favorite one doesn't require anything too crazy, so would be a great place to start - chocolate with ganache.  The almond ones are easy and tasty too.  My biggest piece of advice - don't make them when its humid or rainy outside, and make sure you give them a chance to set up before you put them in the oven.  And if you're looking for something to do with all those extra yolks, I've got plenty of suggestions (they're all pasta) 

 

I have nothing but really good things to say about making donuts.  This recipe is to die for, they make a rich tender donut, and they make A LOT of them.  Maybe not a great breakfast for two, good for special occasions and groups.  We made boston creams, and raspberry jelly.  Please don't ask me to pick a favorite.  The recipe is from the NY Times, which is tricky because you're only allowed so many free recipes /month/year. I don't know, all I can tell you is I'm out, and I wish I had screen shotted the whole thing.  Two things I recommend you have before giving these a go - a candy thermometer (for reading the temp of your oil) and a heavy pot to fry in (like a dutch oven).  If you try them, please let me know in advance so I can make my way over for breakfast.  

 

*Croissants* This is hands down one of my proudest baking accomplishments to date.  I've been teaching cooking lessons at a cooking store (more on that later) and occasionally I'll come in after/during croissant class to prep for my class.  I kid you not, its one of the best parts of my job because usually there are leftovers and not much beats a hot croissant.  Yeah, these require a little planning and a lot of butter, but the pay off is phenomenal.  Taste wise, off the charts, and then mentally, you will literally be so proud of yourself.  Like smiling for days telling everyone what you made proud.  

 

Watch a few youtube videos or Instagram videos about laminating the dough and all the folds, and most importantly DON'T RUSH through the resting times/rises etc. Try to keep everything cold and don't stress.  Even if they're not perfect looking they're sure to be tasty (anything with that much butter usually is).  The recipe I use is from the class, but check this one out instead... I have a feeling its more than comparable.  

 

I make scones or biscuits or some type of hybrid almost every weekend.  They're fast tasty and basically a perfect vehicle for butter/jam/honey.   I use mostly this recipe from Martha Stewart (I've changed it around a little) and recently gave this Paula Deen recipe a try too.  I have a lot of questions regarding the difference between scones and biscuits, most of the recipes I've read are so similar.  The biggest difference I've seen is in regard to how you treat the butter and the dough itself.  Big flat chunks of butter layer give you flakey pull apart bisuits/scones, whereas smaller pea sized pieces of butter and a dough just barely kneaded together give you a super fluffy KFC-esqe texture.  There will be more on this later, I think this deep dive into butter size and treatment deserves its own post.  

 

                                                                all my friends are croissants

 

As always, thanks for following along.  If you use Instagram be sure to check out my featured stories.  I'm pretty sure there is one for each of these projects.  Shoot me an email if you have questions, and let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!  

 

Here are some of my favorites photos from these projects.  For more photos and to see what I'm cooking now find me on instagram @100daysofpasta 

 

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