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Jahresarchive: 2007

Peaches 'N Cream Rose Tartlets

Peach Rose Tartlet
Late last night Old Chef called me and "wondered" if I could make 50 apricot tartlets "on the fly" (last minute/quickly) for a function thursday night. I put the verb wonder in between quotes because this man never just "wonders". When you pick up the phone, he is on the other end trying to make sense of his crazy ideas before you even can say "hello".

Nothing crazy or out of the ordinary with his request this time, and as usual he was leaving me with most of the execution choice, flavor, plating, etc… However….I had told him how I showed Lisa the rose fruit trick last weekend and he mentionned I could make them pretty like that for the function. Oy! Ok…I am extremely patient (Lis?) and the thought of 50 pretty apricot roses did not phase me much. What bothered me was finding decent apricot that I could poach and slice to make them. I had to supplement my batch with jarred ones, got home and got cranking.

In the middle of my stirring the pastry cream (my question at the time was "which alcohol should I flavor it with this time"…see! I wish I had more days like that), Old Chef calls. Change of plans. We are now at 100 tartlets and no more apricot but they want peaches. Oy again! Talk about trying to be cost effective….back to the store, back to see Charlie and his homemade jarred fruits and now the fun an resume. I was still pondering that alcohol issue, in case you were wondering…and in the end I opted for spiced rum because nothing else floated my boat and I was trying to be a little cost effective with what I had.

The tartlets are easy to put togehter and if you do not have the patience to play around witth making the roses, just place them on the pastry cream, in a spiral pattern.
I downscaled the recipe for home use as I doubt that no matter how pretty or good they turn out that you want to be stuck with 100!!

Peaches 'N Cream Tartlets:

Makes 8

Tart Dough: (pate brisee)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup chilled (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
2 Tbs ice water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Place flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ice water then the egg yolk, processing just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form into a disc. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
Roll the dough out thin and with a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut as may rounds as needed. Lay them on a parchement lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 TB. sugar and bake at 350F until golden brown and cooked through.

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (throw the seeds in the pot with the milk)
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulate sugar
1/4 cup (40 gr)cornstarch
3/4 tablespoon (10 ml) spiced rum (or other liquor of choice), optional

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together, add the cornstarch mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a saucepan combine the milk and vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling, (pour through a strainer if this happens) Remove vanilla bean. Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.
Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the liqueur (if using). Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed

For the Peach Roses:

Use ripe fruits, canned fruits or poached fruits.
To make the roses, cut thin slices of fruit. For the bud, choose a small piece and roll it between your fingers. Let rest on flat surface and start adding slightly bigger fruit slices around it, overlapping a little. Before you know it, you will have a pretty fruit flower, and remember that practice makes perfect.

Peach Rose Tartlet

Banana Raspberry Frozen Parfaits

Banana Raspberry Frozen Parfait
News flash…the heat is scorching here down south….My solution? Something frozen, quick and satisfying.

When I got off the plane yesterday, I felt I was wilting on the spot. I had easily forgotten that with heat comes high humidity here in Charleston. I kid you not, my pants were wrinkle free in no time flat and my energy level sucked out of my body. I had not realized how my long weekend away had left me somewhat tired and I ended sleeping most of the time on the airplane, and that meant I was wide awake at midnight. I started looking around the kitchen, wanting to bake something to calm me down (works as good as drinking hot milk sometimes). Five days without his mate and B. had left quite a few bananas to go past their prime. I thought about muffins, scones or cake for breakfast the next day but that meant turning the oven on and oh..did I mention how hot and humid it was? Yes, bad idea…That’s how I ended up making a frozen parfait, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum!

I am a summer gal for the produce but a winter/fall one in regards to the weather, so I can’t help but stock on fresh with berries, peaches, nectarines, plums, watermelon, you name it. However, I like to keep me some naners (bananas) around for substance. I am constantly filling that fruit basket so much so that my produce guy said he thought I moved or left to see greener pastures when he did not see me these past few days. What can I say? “Hi, my name is Tartelette and I am addicted to fresh produce…what’s up doc?!”

I feel sleep deprivation is calling my name, so without further ado, here is the recipe:

Banana Raspberry Frozen Parfaits:

Serves 8 -10

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pureed bananas
1/2 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 pint raspberries

In an electric mixer bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir the banana puree and mascarpone until smooth. Fold the yolk mixture into the banana mixture. Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 Tb. at a time and continue to whip until glossy. Fold the whites into the banana mixture. Whip the cream to soft peaks and add to the banana mix. Line the inside of a narow loaf pan with plastic wrap and let it hangs over the sides. Pour half of the banana parfait in the mold. Scatter raspberries on top and add the remaining half of the banana mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
Cut out slices and plate.

Banana Raspberry Frozen Parfait

Ice Cream Pops Look Good In This!

Chocolate Ice Cream Pops

* Chocolate Ice Cream Pops*

These little bites of creamy goodness were too cute to keep for myself so when I shared them with the judges of DMBLGIT, I had no idea they would win a prize in the Originality category.

Thanks Bea for organizing, and Matt, Aun, Fred, Jules and Stretch for judging.

Chocolate Ice Cream Pops

Note: I am home after 5 days visiting the rocking Lisa, chilling, cooking and baking. Gotta admit, the only walking we did was through the aisle of food and food equipment stores….! I am glad to be hugging my Cookie Monster again, but I already miss my big sister! Her warmth and "joie de vivre" are truly contagious. Stay tuned for a few surprises unexpected pictures!!

An Interview With The Tartelette

A while back, Gilly from Humble Pie was interviewed as part of an game going arond food bloggers (and others I am sure). The end of the interview gave instructions for anybody to ask to be interviewed also. I hesitated for a while and then I took the plunge and asked her to send me my five questions.

So here it is! I hesitates because some are very personal, but in the end I kept some details for my closest friends and my own private garden, but in the end this is it in a nutshell.

1) What brought such a sweet little Tartelette to the United States from
France? Do you travel back to France very often?
Let’s try to make a long story short. I came to Charleston, South Carolina August 1996 to do my Masters degree in American/English History. My major back in France was English, which did not mean we learn English, but that we learn everything history/arts/literature related in English relating to both American and British civilization. I was taking classes here at the College of Charleston, I was also teaching French conversation and doing my research. I found a 4th occupation thanks to my very cool roommate: college socializing…something that we do very differently in France. Local bands and local venues soon had no mystery to me…a wonder I passed m thesis with honors!
I don’t go home as often as I wish. Since I have been here I only went back 4 times on vacation and twice for funerals. I wish I could go home more often, especially now that I have come to know my nieces, that my grandfather is going to be 98. I am very lucky that my parents come once a year and spend one month with us.

2) As a fellow builder-of-their-own-house – I’m really interested… What
was your favourite part of the whole process? What did you like the least?
Would you ever do it again?
There are two things that I really liked about the process. One was looking at the lot, the blueprints, looking how the land and house would become one. Looking at the house plans and trying to grasp the coming months was like inhaling adrenaline.
The other favorite thing was working alongside my husband painting the house in over 100F heat “honey, is it a problem if my sweat dripped in the paint bucket” “Keep going”, or putting the hardwood floors until 3 or 4 in the morning. It took us 15 months winter and summer, but we have learned so much about each other and our couple.
When I was saying that we did over 75% of the work ourselves, I was not kidding…and that’s where the least favorite part come into play: I did not enjoy seeing my man suspended on a 2×2 putting up sheetrock or nailing tiles on the roof.
Would we do it again? Yes! Actually my husband still does…being a foreman for the neighbors who operate a building company and who admired his work…on top of his “real” job.

3) How did you and your husband meet?We met on May 17th 1997 during a History conference held at the College Of Charleston. It was a Franco-American conerence on the fate of the Huguenots in America and I was working as an intermediate/translator/ receptionist between the French guests and their American counterparts. My husband was not working a a professor then (sabbatical) and came the very last day to listen to the lectures and attend the gala dinner. When he checked in, I was so tired after days of high maintenance published authors that I clearly remember not lifting my head when he approached the reception desk to pick up his lecture material and dinner ticket. Then he spoke, and I slowly raised my eyes…the volice clearly matched the sexiness of the man it belonged to…and as they say the rest is history. Ok…ok…a little bit more: we spend some time chatting that day. We sat down at dinner together and when another professor asked about my ongoing history research I felt like telling him to get a life, please can’t you talk about something else?!! So I turned to B. and said “pinch me and save me now”…and he intervened with a good joke. He drove me home and when we realized we were 19 years apart, well things cooled down a little…no kiss goodnight…The next day there was a big card on my doorstep, telling me that we did not chose to be born when we were that the distance between France and America is only what we make it to be and that he had fallen in love with me at first sight.
That’s what happened kids, no lie. We knew the moment our eyes met, it felt like being home again.

4) While working as a pastry chef, what was your favourite item to create,
and why? Your least favourite item, and why?
First of, I still work as a pastry chef but on a freelance basis: friends in other restaurant who need a hand one weekend they want to take off, helping old chef on his catered parties, word of mouth orders and parties. When I was full time at the restaurant, my least item to make was crème brulee…The owner of the restaurant hates flavored crème brules, so when it was all the rage to infuse the batter with extracts, flowers, herbs,…I was stuck to the vanilla one. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolute beauty in vanilla specked crème brulee, but the magic disappears fast when you make 100 a was our best sellers.
My favorie : the “special”. I was responsible for a menu of 14 items plus one daily special, and I had complete free range of what I could make…oh freedom! I could finally showcase my skills, love for one particular product, technique or play with some new tools, take full advantage of “no restriction”. I know it does not help much but it could have been a simple molten chocolate cake to a more complicated sugar basket filled with sorbets or fruits, a plate of petit fours, an assortment of molded chocolate truffles, anything. Out of the menu, my favorite to make was the “nougat glace”. It always reminded me of home, my grandma was from Montelimar, the nougat town and that turned into an ice cream served with raspberry sauce, that thing is a killer!

5) What is one food that you dislike that most other people seem enjoy. How
about one food you like that most others seem to dislike?

I don’t like egg dishes: omelettes, scrambled, fried, Benedict…I don’t like the taste of the yolk. I am the weirdo who orders an egg white omelette, and not because I am watching my weight. I really can’t take the yolks.. Weird, since I use them everyday…
I love organ meat: sweetbread, tripes, kidneys,blood sausage especially…I don’t make them but once a month B. needs to watch his cholesterol and they are rather on the pricey side. Everytime I go home, I ask mom for blood sausage and kidneys. At a restaurant I always steer toward the sweetbread app… I guess I’ll never be a vegetarian, sorry folks!

1. Leave a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Beware, I’m not shy of
asking personal questions! Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.Answer as little or as much as you’d like. And don’t forget to add the directions at the bottom of your post
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in
the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five

Click here for the recipe for the Lemon Tartelettes you see in the picture.

Interrupting Our Regular Programming…

Yes folks….I am leaving today to spend 5 days with Lisa from La Mia Cucina. We plan to trade Italian recipes and secrets for French ones, walking the markets and relaxing our tired feet.

Since I hate to leave you guys again without anything sweet for a few days, here are some of my favorites from the archives:

Pink Macarons

Mirabelles Clafouti

Nutella Cream and Macarons

Raspberry and Tapioca Verrines

Not sure how much I’ll be around, but I 'll try to post some of our creations and disasters (I hope not!) if we have time…we might be way too busy chatting and eating!

3-2-1 Sorbet ! Hay Hay It’s Donna Day !

It is that time again for another round of Donna Hay inspired creations known as "Hay Hay It’s Donna Day" masterminded by Barbara of Winos and Foodies. The winner from last month, Laura, from the magnificient blog Eat Drink Live has chosen sorbet as the theme for July. How fitting! Not to mention that my ice cream maker seems to be churning nonstop these past couple of weeks!

The "3-2-1" part of the title needs to be explained, otherwise the sorbet you see in these pictures does not make any sense at all. As usual, when Laura announced the theme I could not make up my mind. I was thinking of mango, lychee, peach, strawberry, rapsberry….the list goes on. Finally after a week of churning flavors in my head, I decided I would make two, plate them up and let friends decide which one they prefered. One evening I made a lemon sorbet and an apricot sorbet, turn the ice cream maker on and let it do its own little dance. I could not help but try them and I swooned….they were awesome. "Oh dear! How to decide?" I thought. I was glad friends were going to do it for me! The next day, I served one scoop of each in separate bowls and drizzled both with raspberry sauce. I watched guests take a spoon of the lemon, then the apricot, then back and forth for a few times until they all combined both in one bowl and started mashing them all three together. When I timidly asked their favorite, they all showed their bowl and said "that one!"…The one they had created by churning together lemon and apricot sorbets with raspberry sauce. So you see, 3 elements became 2, made up 1: Lemon-Apricot-Raspberry Sorbet. I am telling you, along with 6 other people that it totally rocks!

For the recipe, I used the one posted on her blog from Donna Hay. It is easy and straightforward and give the silkiest sorbet ever. I have not tried to remake the sorbet by mixing all the ingredients prior to their churning in the ice cream maker. Mine is not big enough to accomadate both quantities. It does not take much longer to do both flavors and freeze them together or separately. Each is delicious on its own, but combined…hmmhmmhmm…Divine! The decoration is simply some caramel sesame tuiles: big drops of caramel sprinkled with sesame seeds and left to dry.

Lemon Apricot Raspberry Sorbet:

For the lemon sorbet:

3/4 cup 150g caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup 240ml water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

To make the basic syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat and stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil for one minute. Set aside to cool.
Combine the lemon juice, zest and sugar syrup, place in an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions or the instructions below for a thick and scoopable sorbet. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, place the juice and syrup mixture in a metal bowl or cake tin, cover and freeze for an hour or until just beginning to set at the edge. Beat with an electric hand whisk and return to the freezer. Repeat three times at hourly intervals or until the sorbet is thick and smooth.

For the apricot sorbet:

3/4 cup 150g caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup 240ml water
2 1/2 cups apricot puree

To make the basic syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat and stir without boiling until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring to the boil for one minute. Set aside to cool.
Combine the fruit puree and sugar syrup, place in an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions or the instructions below for a thick and scoopable sorbet. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, place the fruit and syrup mixture in a metal bowl or cake tin, cover and freeze for an hour or until just beginning to set at the edge. Beat with an electric hand whisk and return to the freezer. Repeat three times at hourly intervals or until the sorbet is thick and smooth.

For the raspberry sauce:

1 pint fresh raspberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tb. water

In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries and sugar. Cook over medium low heat until the fruits release their juices. In a separate ramequins, dissolve the corstarch with the water. Slowly add to the raspberries and continue to cook until the mixture is thickened and does not appear cloudy anymore. Let cool and refrigerate.

To make the Lemon-Apricot-Raspberry Sorbet:

In a large bowl, combine equal scoops of lemon and apricot sorbets, drizzle with raspberry sauce and smash, mash, beat, churn until it comes together. Do not worry if some small chunks remain of each sorbet, they are like little pockets bursting with flavor.

Check out Laura’s blog around July 15th for the round up and voting instructions.

Nectarine and Banana Crumble

You know that Georgia Peach Ice Cream I was tempting you with the other day?….Well, it goes really well with a warm nectarine and banana crumble! Sounds like an awkward combination but I am telling you, it works! I have to add that we have eaten this with pretty much any kind of ice cream, from peach, banana, vanilla to chocolate and my favorite was salted butter caramel, but that will be for another post…if I can save enough for a picture!

I know a crumble is not a typical summer dessert but my friends in the Southern hemisphere might appreciate a little comfort food. The rest of us can have a perfect excuse to dish out more ice cream just to cool things off!
The beauty of a crumble or a crisp is that you can change and substitute the fruits at will, and play with the topping ingredients. I chose walnuts in the streusel topping, but I also think that coconut or almonds would work quite well.

Nectarine and Banana Crumble:

Serves 4

4 nectarines, pitted and cut into small pieces
2 bananas, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
2 Tb lemon juice
2 Tb cornstarch

Streusel topping:
1 stick butter, cold
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the filling: in a large mixing bowl, combine the fruits and the rest of the ingredients. Toss well, but gently not to break the bananas too much.
Divide between 4 ramequins, place the ramequins on a baking sheet as the fruits are most likely to release their juice, causing a spill. Set them aside while your prepare the topping.

For the topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, walnuts, add the butter cut in small pieces and mix with your fingertips until you get coarse crumbs.
Divide evenly among the 4 dishes.
Bake at 350 until for 20-30 minutes.

Update: It looks like the good folks of Blogger have named me "Blog Of Note". I am sincerely touched and for all new readers, well, I hope you hang around a little and get your virtual fill of sweets and sugar! Thanks for visiting!

Georgia Peach Ice Cream

Well these georgia peaches
Son they know their way around
They can take your money, son before you get sight of town
Well they talk a little funny, but they look so fine
Nine out of ten of them gonna sell you a dime
I think they’re cute, think they’re cute as they can be
Talkin’ about a funny talkin’, honk-tonking georgia peach

Well, peaches, peaches
Love them georgia peaches
Well, peaches, peaches
Love them georgia peaches

Excerpt from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Georgia Peaches

Yes, I know that me and the boys from the band were not talking about the same kind of peaches, but I could not help myself and kept humming the tune while peeling the fruit to make this ice cream.

When I got to the farmer’s market this morning and found a bounty of gloriously fragrant and yellow Georgia peaches, I knew some would end up in a cake, some cut up on my salad and some would turn out into an ice cream. It has been so hot and humid the past few days, we keep filling up on frozen fruits and icy cold smoothies while the ice cream machine is dying from boredom. I just was not that inspired until this morning. Oh sure, I could whip up some of our favorites again, but we are craving light, fresh and if possible incredibly tasty and there is nothing fitting the description better than a Georgia peach.

There is not much to add, other than giving you the recipe, and urging you to make it with fresh fruit and not frozen or canned are we are here in the US in full peach season. The base is a light custard and a little lemon juice or crystallized ginger can really perk it up.

Peach Ice Cream, adapted from Cuisine at Home (thanks Lisa for my birthday present!)

Makes 5 cups

2 cups fresh peaches, skinned, pitted and diced
1/4 sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split in half or 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Macerate the peaches with the lemon juice in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar for about 10 minutes or until syrupy. Simmer over medium heat until the peaches are soft for about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale. In the meantime, heat the milk, cream and vanilla bean until steam rises. Gradually add the hot cream to the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent them from scrambling. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cream coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes.
Strain the cream and let cool completely. Stir in the peaches. At that point I used an hand-held mixer to puree some of the peaches and leave chunks into the base. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maer according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.

It is so good that I am taking it to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle. She is on a well deserved vacation, so check back after the 7th of July for a cold and creamy ice cream round-up.

Waiter, There Is Something In My Nutella Ravioli…!

Yes, I know…it may sound weird but they were utterly delicious! What prompted me to venture into the world of dumplings, ravioli and other dough wrapped around a filling was this month’s installment of Waiter, There’s Something In My…Dumpling, hosted by Johanna from The Passionate Cook. The directives were very generous with the definition of "dumpling" so it enabled your little Tartelette to go ahead and make one of her favorites: Toasted Hazelnut Ravioli.

It all started one winter weekend that we hosted a crepe party with our neighbors and I made my favorite crepes by filling them with Nutella and smothering them with a Frangelico Caramel Sauce. After the guests were gone and our plates licked clean, I started looking for a way to make sweet ravioli. I have made pasta dough before, painstakingly rolling it out by hand since B. said no to a pasta machine (he likes his countertops bare…like that is possible with a baker in the house!!), so that process was not new to me. I love toasted and grilled everything and very often end up toasting leftover savory ravioli and topping my salads with some and some cubed mozzarella and freshly cut basil..yumm..But I disgress, this is a sweet blog after all…

The sweet ravioli dough comes together very fast in a food processor and beside the rolling (very thin) part, it is a cinch to make. I thought about serving them with a dark chocolate ganache on the side, but after everybody had a couple of bites, the general consensus was that the Frangelico caramel sauce was quite enough. It is a multi step recipe but the dough needs to rest for a couple of hours and up to one day. You can make it, roll it out, fill and boil the ravioli later on and toast them right before serving. They are great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more caramel sauce drizzled on top!

Toasted Nutella Ravioli:

5 oz. semolina flour
1 ½ oz almonds
1 oz flour
1 oz. sugar
1 egg
¼ cup to 1/3 cup milk

Put all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the eggs and ¼ cup milk and pulse until the dough comes together. If it does not seem smooth, slowly add the remaining milk, one tablespoon at a time, until soft and smooth but not sticky. If your dough seems to wet, you can add some flour, one tablespoon at a time until it becomes a little dryer. The dough is versatile enough to let you play around until you get it to the right consistency.
Place it a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to one day.

When ready to use, roll it out very thin on a lightly floured surface. If you have a pasta machine, I’ll let you decide the setting since I am not familiar with them, but it want the dough to be paper thin. Cut out rounds with a cookie 3 inch cookie cutter, fill with a heaping teaspoon of Nutella. With a pastry brush, lightly brush some water around the edges, place another round of dough on top, smooth out any air pocket and seal gently with your fingertips.

Boil the ravioli like you would fresh savory ones, about 5 minutes, drain. At this point you can layer them in between sheets of parchment paper and refrigerate until you are ready to toast and plate them.

For the sauce:
Melt together 2 Tb. butter, 2 Tb brown sugar ad 2 Tb Frangelico until the sugar melts and the sauce becomes thick. Set aside.

To assemble:
Melt some butter in a sauté pan (or coat with cooking spray) and toast the ravioli until golden brown. Plate them and drizzle some caramel sauce over and enjoy!

Got Bagels?

If you don’t, be sure to stop by my house because we have more than we can wrap our stomachs around. Part of it is my fault, part is due to this month Daring Bakers challenge. Our mission given by Jenny and Freya was to make Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels. They were honestly good and since I made mini ones, twice, I ended up with a bunch…

Funny thing is that I had never had a bagel prior to moving to the US. I am sure you can find them in France but my catholic provencal background probably shunned me from knowing this delicacy. I made up for lost time, believe me! I love how versatile they are. We eat ours with sweet spread sor breakfast, pile halves with pizza topping, or use mini ones with snoked slamon and mascarpone for little munchies with friends. I like having a bagel around the house even if I won’t eat all of it…it’s bumpy smooth belly brings me comfort…I know I am weird…but if you know me you kow I am also the one who makes bread like crazy just for the smell and feel of it, even if I don’t eat that much.

Toppings (I had 32 mini ones and free time so I played around), left to right, back to front:
Herbes de Provence, poppy seeds, bacon, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, coarse demerara sugar, cheddar cheese and maldon sea salt.

Our challenge was to follow it without changes so we could all compare notes. Seems like we all pretty much experienced the same things. For more reports, you can click on the side bar blog roll for Daring Bakers. All this to say that I had a blast making these and would make them again. Actually I did make them twice, just to see if the recipe would end up differently if halved. A few observations to keep in mind if you decide to try them: the dough was wickedly rising fast and high. Kneading does not take that long, about 8-10 minutes but do not skip this step. It’s good for the nerves and it really helps the texture of your bagels in the end. When the time comes to shape your bagel, divide the dough in half and refrigerate the batch that you are not working on. The recipe mentionned that the bagels would sink to the bottom of the pot and then rise and float in the water. My first batch yielded about 32 mini ones, and only 10 sank, the rest nagged me by floating their little merry way … Floaters or sinkers, they still tasted the same. I used all of the flour measurement, kneaded appropriately, respected rising times and still floaters. Same issue when I made them again a couple of weeks later and halved the recipe. I decided to go for the poke method to form them, and I had to push a rather large hole in the middle as the bagels had a tendency to swallow it back up upon their rising before their little trip in the water.

Thanks Jenny and Freya for a fun challenge. I will keep the recipe and make it again with some tweaking….I still want to make my bagels sink!

Since we eat them mostly at breakfast and since we are a mostly sweet household, these are some of the spreads we have with our bagels: mirabelles jam (yellow plums), cherry preserves, coconut honey and wildflower honey. Since I have so many bagels, I have been using them for mini sandwishes also with a spread of chive cream cheese, sprouts and some turkey slices.