Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
4. Next, fold the bottom half of the sheet of dough up to the middle, then fold the top down, overlapping it (Julia Child astutely notes you should do it just like you would fold a business letter).
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I say, "Brava!" to the First Lady for her latest project to plant a vegetable garden in the White House lawn. What a good example she is setting for the country!
Check out the NYT article here:
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Bryan and I decided to scope out some of Julia Child's old haunts in Paris.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Two baguettes: On the left, a "Traditional" baguette, on the right a "Rustic" baguette. The rustic baguette uses a darker flour and has a deeper and more rich flavor than the Traditional but I think they're both delicious.
This cheese is called Morbier. There is a thin layer of ash in the middle of the cheese which harks back to a fun story of how the cheese was first made. A French woman would milk her cow first thing in the morning and then use the milk to make the cheese. She would cover the top of the cheese with ash so it wouldn't spoil from the air. In the afternoon, the French milk maid would milk her cow again and place that layer on top of her first layer. It's a cute little story and I was happy they still carried on the tradition. The cheese is a more mellow French cheese and absolutely delicious.
More cheese! This was only 1/5th of the varieties at one local market.
Here a French man lays out his seafood products on a busy sidewalk for people to buy. This is a typical scene in Paris. Fresh food daily.
Okay, so I admit it. I became OBSESSED with pastries. We were staying close to a two famous bakeries in Paris: Pierre Hermes (known for their French Macarons) and Gerard Mulot (a chocolatier but also my favorite pastry and bread-maker).
Cakes from Gerard Mulot
A cake from Gerard Mulot that I actually got to eat!
Gerard Mulot also had some amazing main courses. Take a look at that Coulibiac...the artistry involved in creating that pattern out of pastry...incredible!
Pastry from a random bakery
A window display at Pierre Herme (the Louis Vitton of French Macarons) . These display macarons are much larger than their bite-size counterparts. The traditional bite-size macarons at Pierre Herme cost roughly $2.10 a piece.
Mogador: Fruit de la Passion & Chocola au Lait: biscuit macaron, ganache au fruit de la passion et chocolat au lait
My personal Favorite. Rose: Biscuit macaron rose, creme aux petales de rose
An olive oil chandelier!
The recipe itself is very simple and uses nothing out of the ordinary. The ingredients are as follows:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter, preferably natural
1 ounce 99% unsweetened chocolate, melted
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
In terms of the above ingredients, we did deviate slightly since we wanted to use things we had. Instead of dark brown sugar, we used lite. Instead of 99% unsweetened chocolate, we used a 75% variety. Lastly, we used jumbo bittersweet chips instead of breaking a block into smaller chunks. The cookies still came out delicious, but I'd be interesting in sticking literally to the recipe as well to see if the darker flavors make a difference.
Preheat the oven to 325 and line a 17x12x1 baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In your kitchen aid (of mixing bowl) combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and mix on medium to blend, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, egg, and peanut butter and mix for 2 more minutes. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until just combined. Stop the mixer, then add the dry ingredients, save the bittersweet chocolate pieces.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate pieces.
Drop large mounds of dough, about 3 or 4 heaping tbsps each, onto the prepared baking sheet with about 2 inches in between each blob. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly cracked on top, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets, then on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Last but not least enjoy!