Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bread Baking Day # 31 : Bread with Nuts

Bread Baking Day #31 - 3rd anniversary and giveaways (last day of submission July 1st)

In occasion of Bread with Nuts for BBD's 3rd anniversary hosted by 1x umrühren bitte aka kochtopf I baked a Spanish Bread with Pistachio Nuts and Saffran.

I loved this bread, the saffran doesn't show much maybe because I used the threads (?) and not the powder.

(from il Libro del Pane by Alessandra Meldolesi)

700 gr all purpose flour
150 gr shelled Pistachios Nuts
1 envelope Saffron
25 gr fresh yeast
1 pinch of sugar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
14 gr salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1 dl water adding some water.
Mix flour, coarsely ground pistachios, yeast, 2,5 dl water, saffron and 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, start kneading and after a while add the salt. Knead for about fifteen minutes. Let it rise until doubled. Shape, and proof for about three quarters of an hour. Meanwhile turn the oven on to 200° C . Add some steam and bake your bread for about 45 minutes if you made 2 loafes.

June BOM Bagels

I found the Artisan Bread Bakers group on Facebook thanks to Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, who is really making wonders on her blog.
This group chooses to make a different bread each month and this time it was bagels that are a favorite of mine so I couldn't help but join and here are mine !


Adapted from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by; further adapted by your host.


1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounce/1.56 grams) instant yeast
2 cups (9 ounces/255 grams) high-gluten flour
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces/295 milliliters) water, at room temperature


1/4 teaspoon (.028 ounce/.8 gram) instant yeast
1 3/4 cups +2 tablespoons (8.5 ounces/240 grams) high-gluten flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (.3 ounce/8.5 grams) salt
1/2 tablespoon malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar (or 1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder)

Finishing Touches

1 tablespoon baking soda
cornmeal for dusting
optional toppings: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, kosher or sea salt, cinnamon and sugar, etc.

A day (or two) before you want the bagels (see below for instructions on making the bagels in one day):

Prepare the Sponge.

In a large bowl (if using a stand mixer, go ahead and start it in that bowl) mix 1/2 teaspoon yeast, 2 cups high-gluten flour, and 1 1/4 cups water until it forms a thick batter. This is a very stiff dough, so hand mixing and kneading is recommended. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until bubbly, nearly doubled in size, and on the verge of collapse, about 2 hours.

Make the Dough.

Add 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast to the sponge and stir. Add the salt, malt syrup or powder, and 1 1/2 cups flour. If using a stand mixer, mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, or by hand for a few minutes or until a dough ball has formed. Slowly add the remaining flour, and mix on medium speed for 6 minutes (or knead by hand for about 10 minutes) or until all of the flour is incorporated. The dough should be smooth, stiff, stretchy, and not sticky or tacky. If the dough feels dry and tears easily when stretched, add a little water, a teaspoon at a time, and knead some more. If the dough feels sticky, add some flour.

Divide and Shape the bagels.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil. Divide dough into 2 3/4 to 3 ounce pieces, or, if you don’t have a scale, into 9 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place on parchment, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes. With your finger or thumb, poke a hole in each piece and stretch to about 2 inches in diameter. Try to stretch the dough evenly to avoid thick and thin spots. Place on parchment, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 20 minutes. To test to determine whether the bagels are ready to go into the refrigerator, fill a medium bowl with cool water. Drop one of the bagels into the water. It should float within 10 seconds. If it doesn’t, pat the bagel dry, return to parchment and let rest for another 10 minutes before testing again. If it does float, pat the bagel dry, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap. Be careful to create an airtight seal, otherwise the bagels could dry out. Place in the refrigerator overnight (or for up to two days).

If you want to bake the bagels on the same day, after shaping them, let them rest covered for 30 minutes, then proceed with boiling and baking.

On the day you want the bagels (one or two days later):

Get everything ready.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with oil and dust with cornmeal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon ready. If you are topping with seeds or salt, have those out and ready.


Remove the bagels from the refrigerator. Place a few bagels into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot–the bagels will puff up a bit in the water. Boil for 1 minute, then turn the bagels over and boil for another minute. Place on prepared parchment. If using seeds or salt, top when the bagels come out of the water. Repeat with the rest of the bagels.


Place baking sheet on the middle rack on the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 450°F, rotate the baking sheet 180° and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on racks for about 15 minutes. If topping with cinnamon and sugar, brush tops of bagels with butter just after they come out of the oven and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture and let cool.

Yields 9 bagels.

In Memory of Rosie

Today it’s been forty days without Dear Jules, aka Rosie of Baking Cakes Galore, who left us quite unexpectedly of heart attack. This event was created to honour Jules but also to bring awareness about heart diseases and the best cure is to know what causes it and how to prevent it.

As much as I hate repeating myself, I am going to tell you not only to look after your own health, but since WE are responsible for putting food on the plate to feed our families we should think twice of what to eat and what not to eat.

According to Mayo Clinic, heart disease may be the leading cause of death for both men and women, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.

Take steps to avoid heart disease — don’t smoke, get regular exercise and eat healthy foods. Avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today.

What Is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, is a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is calledatherosclerosis (ATH-er-o-skler-O-sis).

What Causes a Heart Attack?

Most heart attacks occur as a result of coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is the buildup over time of a material called plaque on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. Eventually, a section of plaque can break open, causing a blood clot to form at the site. A heart attack occurs if the clot becomes large enough to cut off most or all of the blood flow through the artery.

National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

This is the what Ivy wrote when she organized this event in honor of Rosie Actually it's thanks to Rosie if I met Ivy because I joined the Sweet and Simple Bakes group that Rosie had created with Maria and between all the bakers I met Ivy.

I never met Rosie but I feel that I did, only from the contacts we had thanks to internet.She was so kind and nice to everybody that I was very sorry to hear she was unwell and I couldn't even imagine it could be true she was not with us any longer.

I decided to make healthier puffs to make my previous Profiteroles lighter.

I got the recipe from Luca Montersino a very health-conscious Pastry Chef.


(from Le Dolci Tentazioni)

Bring to a boil 260 gr organic sunflower oil

with 320 gr water and a pinch of salt.

Add 160 gr all purpose flour all together

and mix for at least a minute until the dough forms a ball (I added some flour because it looked very oily and nothing bad happened)

Put the dough in a mixer and add 70 gr egg whites followed by 390 gr of whole eggs.

Form the puffs, either with a spoon or with a sac a poche and cook in a 220° oven until golden.

I noticed the puffs tend to dry sooner than the ones made with butter so fill right away or freeze in an airtight bag.

Bread Baking Buddies : Korni

Now ...Finally the Babes decided fixed rules for the buddies and I (who baked this wonderful hearty anf gigantic bread on the 17th of June) waited until too late !
I'm sorry.
I loved the bread, the way it taught me to use soy beans in breads, its crunch, and I even owned the book !!!
Thank you Lien !!!

(in red what Lien used)
Soy bean mixture
1/2 cup organic (dried) soy beans (85 g)
1 cup boiling water (235 g)

1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons; 1/4 oz) active dry yeast (1 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups warm water (2 1/4 cup = 533 g)
1 cup organic rye flour (100 g)
1 cup organic whole wheat flour (130 g)
1 1/2 cups organic unbleached white (or all-purpose) flour (180 g)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
(60 g)
All of the starter from the previous step
3 cups organic, unbleached white (or all-purpose) flour
(420 g)
1 tablespoon sea salt (2 tsp)
1 tablespoon ground caraway seeds* (1 tsp)
1/4 cup organic flax seeds (37 g)
1/2 cup organic millet (100 g)
All of the soy mixture
Glaze: 1 whole egg whisked with 1 tablespoon milk

Prepare the soy beans:
Place them in a small bowl, cover them with the boiling water, and let them soak for 10 minutes. Drain the beans and let them cool. Process the beans in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until they roughly chopped.

Place the beans on a cookie sheet and roast them in a preheated 350°F oven between 15 and 20 minutes, until they are completely dried out. Set them aside.

(to make your own, grind a few tablespoons of whole caraway seed in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine powder. If your powder still contains large chunks of seed, sift the mixture and use 1 tablespoon of the sifted powder)

Prepare the sponge/poolish:
First proof the yeast, in a large bowl, in 1 cup of the warm water. When it is creamy, mix in 1 1/4 cups warm water and slowly add the rye flour, whole wheat flour, and 1½ cups of white flour by handfuls while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.
Set the batter aside, in a large bowl, covered with a dish towel, for between 8 and 10 hours or overnight.

Make the dough:
Proof the yeast in the warm water, add it to the risen sponge, and mix the two together. Start adding the flour, handful by handful, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. After all but 1 cup of the flour has been added (this will take about 10 minutes), turn the dough out onto your worktable, sprinkle the salt and the ground caraway over the dough, and incorporate them by kneading the dough for about 5 minutes while adding the last of the flour. The dough should be very moist.

Add the flax seeds, millet, and roasted soy beans and knead the dough to incorporate them.
Set the dough aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Flatten out the dough again and then shape it into a round loaf. This loaf is best proofed in a canvas-lined basket and then baked on a baking stone in the oven. It can also be placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the loaf rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Glaze the loaf with the egg and milk mixture and bake it in a preheated 425°F oven for between 30 and 35 minutes.

(source: "The Village Baker" -Joe Ortiz)

TWD : Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes

This was the week when it was Wendy of Pink Stripes 's turn to choose a recipe and she went for this simple yet delicious and easy to fancy up cake.
The crumb as Dorie states it's wonderful, I used dark rum and let it rest for two days well wrapped airtight and it was a hit with everyone.

I must apologize for being in late but I'm leaving for the holydays and not knowing wheather I'll have an oven on hands I baked and cooked like a crazy in the last two days also because I hosted some friends and family for both my inlaws birthdays yesterday evening.
I'll trust Blogger to post my next recipes on time sorry if I won't be able to visit you in this next month but I'll catch up in August !
Happy Holydays to you !

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

This super chocolatey challenge was very friendly because it could be made in different days and each step was not too difficult.
The pavlovas which I was used to were softer thanks to the cornstarch while these were more like chocolate meringues but nonetheless the results were very yummy.
I was lucky enough to live in Italy so I used store bought Mascarpone for the rest I followed the recipe.

Here you can find a printable pdf with the recipe.


Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
  2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
  3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  5. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):

1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone (don't forget we made this a few months ago - get the printable .pdfHERE)
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)


  1. Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
  2. Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
  3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream


  1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):

1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
  3. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD : Dressy Chocolate Loafcake

Here is the no fuss cake that Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes chose for us. It is a very simple cake to assemble, doesn't need strange ingredients, and it's suitable for a fancy dinner too !
The loafpans that are common in Italy are 11,5 by 4,5 so I didn't have problems with that either.
I've used a raspberry jam in the cake but maybe I should have put more: I'm always afraid of a too sweet cake.
Please visit the others TWDers for more and Amy for the recipe.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Cake Slice : Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake

Here is my mixed berry cake, I used frozen berries and we do not get only blueberries here.
The cake was delicious, easy and much loved here !
You can find a printable recipe here and visit the other Cake Slice Members for more views !

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TWD : Raisin Swirl Bread

I want to warmly thank Susan of Food Baby, our weekly host, because this was almost the first time my husband showed his enthusiasm for something sweet and asked for more !!
This loaf is actually delightful I made it a bit less fat and sweet omitting the sugar and the butter from the filling not loosing any deliciousness I think.
I realized I should have rolled my dough thinner but I know this will be a recipe made a lot so I'll get a better look in the future !

Pleas visit Susan for the recipe and my colleagues for more swirls !

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge : Tricolor Patè

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

We all enjoied the patè very much which was very simple to make even if I had a problem when unmolding it and had to rush it to the freezer for a few hours. Apparently I was the only one with this issue so maybe I did something wrong !
As a bread I baked some simple torcetti with sourdough with 400 gr of sourdough, 4 TBS olive oil, 4 TBS flour and salt : no kneading, no proofing only delicious crunch !

THANK YOU EVELYNE AND VALERIE for the fun challenge !!


Three Spice Liver Pâté
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

1 lb / 454 grams pork liver (or beef or combination)
1/2 lb / 227 grams ground pork
1/2 lb / 227 grams pork fat (or pork belly)
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cinnamon
1/2 tsp / 2 ml coriander (ground or crushed)
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cumin
3/4 tsp / 3 ml salt
1 tbps / 15 ml coarse freshly cracked peppercorns
2 tbps / 30 ml cognac
2 bay leaves
1 package of bacon

Preheat oven to to 350ºF (180ºC).

Cut liver and pork fat into small pieces and add to food processor. Add ground pork, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grind until smooth.

In mixing bowl, incorporate the meat and liver mixture with the cognac and eggs.

Line bottom of baking or ceramic pan with overlapping pieces of bacon. Place a bay leaf on the bottom and then fill with meat/liver mixture. Cover top with another bay leaf and then overlapping pieces of bacon.

Place in oven in the larger baking pan and add enough water to cover 2/3rds of the pan containing the meat/liver mixture. Bake for about 1-1.5 hrs.

The pâté will contract and the juices will be on the bottom. Allow to cool and soak up the juices. Remove any excess bacon and discard the bay leaves.

Chicken Liver Terrine
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

1 tbsp duck fat, or butter
2 onions, coarsely chopped
300g (11 oz) chicken livers, trimmed
3 tbsp brandy, or any other liqueur (optional)
100g (3 1/2 oz, 1/2 cup) smoked bacon, diced
300g (11 oz) boneless pork belly, coarsely ground
200g (7 oz) boneless pork blade (shoulder), coarsely ground (or ground pork see note below)
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp quatre-épices (or 1/4tsp each of ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger is close enough)
2 eggs
200 ml (7 fl oz, 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) heavy cream
2 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
Salt and pepper

NOTE: If you cannot find ground pork belly or blade, buy it whole, cut it into chunks, and pulse in the food processor. You can also replace the pork blade with regular ground pork.

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6).

Melt the fat or butter in a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken livers and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until browned but still slightly pink on the inside.

Remove the pan from heat. Pour in the brandy, light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol to flambé. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.

Put the minced pork belly and blade in a food processor, then add the onion-liver mixture and the chopped shallots, and pulse until you obtain a homogenous mixture – make sure not to reduce it to a slurry.

Transfer to a bowl, and gradually stir in the chopped bacon, quatre-épices, cream, eggs, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a terrine or loaf pan, and cover with the terrine lid or with aluminum foil.

Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.

Put the water bath and the loaf pan in the oven, and bake for 2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. The terrine should be cooked through, and you should be able to slice into it with a knife and leave a mark, but it shouldn’t be too dry. Refrigerate, as this pâté needs to be served cold. Unmold onto a serving platter, cut into slices, and serve with bread.

NOTE: This pâté freezes well. Divide it into manageable portions, wrap tightly in plastic film, put in a freezer Ziploc bag, and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge before eating.

Tricolor Vegetable Pâté
Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

White Bean Layer

2 x 15-ounce / 900 ml cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce / 210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer
2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.

Trout and Shrimp Pâté
Yields one 6x3 inch (15x7,5 cm) terrine or loaf pan

1 tbsp / 15 ml butter
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 120g medium raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (about 12 medium shrimp)
1/8 cup / 30ml Grand Marnier (or cognac, or another strong liqueur of your choice) (optional)
1/2 lb / 8 oz / 240g trout filet, skinned and cut into thick chunks
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 110g raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (any size)
3/4 cup / 180ml heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Green peppercorn, coarsely ground, to taste
Chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

In a heavy, flameproof frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the 1/4 pound of medium shrimp, stirring often, until pink and cooked through. Remove the pan from heat. (NOTE: These shrimp will be used to form layers within your pâté. If you feel they are too thick – like the ones in the photograph, you might want to slice them in half lengthwise.)

Pour the Grand Marnier over the cooked shrimp. Light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol, to flambé the shrimp. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.

Put the trout and the remaining raw shrimp in a food processor and pulse. Gradually pour in the cream and keep pulsing until you obtain a smooth mixture that is easy to spread, but not too liquid (you may not need to use all the cream). Season with salt and green pepper.

Butter a 6x3 inch (15x7,5 cm) loaf pan or terrine, then line it with parchment paper. Spoon in half the trout mixture, and spread it evenly. Place the flambéed shrimp on top, in an even layer, reserving 3 or 4 shrimp for decorating. Top with the remaining trout mixture.

Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.

Put the water bath and terrine in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. The pâté should be cooked through and firm in the center.

Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool. Carefully unmold onto a serving platter. Decorate with the reserved shrimp, and sprinkle with chopped chives. Cut into thick slices and serve at room temperature, with crusty bread.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD : Tender Shortcakes

This wonderful shortcake was baked thanks to Cathy of The Tortefeasor, she says she was not actually there when she chose this recipe but apparently it was a wonderful pick for everyone (I should try her method next month !).
These shortcakes are very fast to put together and can be frozen until 15 minutes before you need them, I made half batch but now I repentish, I was afraid I would have the issues I had with biscuits ( I can't really tell you the difference between Shortcakes and biscuits ) , but they were easy and super delicious !!!
If you never met Cathy hurry up here you'll find the recipe and a lot of very great posts to enjoy.
Please visit the other bakers to see what wonders were baked this week !

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

TWD : White Chocolate Brownies

This was our very sweet Dutch friend Marthe's week, she chose this recipe because the sound of it it's fantastic but I'm sure she didn't imagine all the trouble we all went through !
I'm joking no big deal, it's only baking but we all dream of getting near perfection and this time it was harder.

There were several problems: the biggest one was cooking time the others being not trusting the double turn of the meringue, rasperry sinking, too sweet, no chocolate and (mine only) my cat right now sitting exactly in front of the monitor!
My luck was that I'm very pressed for work in these days so I've just finished my brownies/blondies/whity and took advantage of all my fellow friend's advise.

I processed my almonds with the sugar until very fine like Nancy and Mary suggested in the P&Q section of our site.
I did beat the eggs like crazy as Clivia suggested.
I didn't even dream of tilting my brownies like many of us.
I topped them with the meringue after a while that the base was cooking, and used muffin and mini muffin pans like our gracious host Marthe did.
I made half recipe like many others.
I diminished the sugar because I don't like sweets too sweet.

Even with all these issues I really did enjoy these brownies, that do not even take too long to prepare, and have a very fancy face !
Please visit Marthe at Culinary Delights for the recipe.