Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a New Year!

...and I am still battling the desperation of being unemployed, by baking! The holidays actually hindered my baking slightly, due to the loss of my main recipient - the school at which my mother works. So, while I do love sweets, having a plethora of baked goods around a household of three, while my mother was off work for winter vacation turned out to be very dangerous ... and you may now see another lull as I go on a very low sugar diet for the next month!

Anywho, back to the jam filling of this little doughnut. I had some pretty exciting adventures, beginning with the dusting off of a classic 1980's American-Italian legend: the electric pasta maker. With this baby I mixed up a recipe of Nonna's Vegan Pasta Dough to make a delectable curried butternut squash ravioli. Sauteed with a little garlic and olive after boiled, these little gems starred in a filling repast.

In the bread department, I finally hunkered down and pulled together a couple of loaves of Potato Rosemary Bread from Peter Reinhart's A Bread Baker's Apprentice. I think I need a little more olive oil in the final brushing to give it that golden glow in the book, but the bread itself was moist and delicious. I used dried rosemary, because of the torrential rains preventing me from accessing my garden-fresh herb. Also, it makes two loaves, so feel free to freeze one and defrost it at a later date.
Bet you weren't expecting these little beauties on a (mostly) vegan blog. Well, I've purchased a dozen eggs from a local farm in my area for the express purpose of trying my hand at macaron and French chocolate cake. Needless to say, macarons with need a take II. I used a recipe from the Grand Central Baking Cookbook, but there are countless recipes floated around out there. Based on the less-than-shiny appearance and rather moist texture, I would say that I did not beat my egg white to the right consistency. I also need a better filling, although I tried a coconut chocolate ganache and a failed golden beet puree. Oh well. A la prochaine fois!

While I could go on about my failed vegan petits fours attempt (I probably should have found a recipe) and the savory blue potato, zucchini, carrot latkes, I will skip straight to the Magical Cookie Bars courtesy of PPK that marked my first baking adventure of 2010! With an oatie shortbread crust, these deviated slightly from Isa and Terry's vision. While they were tasty - I mean what can really go wrong with shortbread, chocolate, coconut, and walnuts? - these would have been even more delectable and probably stayed together better if I had headed the warning and used sweetened flaked coconut instead of dried unsweetenend (I just started my health kick) and used pecans instead of walnuts, a slightly more bitter nut. Although, I did get a dose of omega-3's!

All in all, it was a lovely 2009, but I am looking forward to a whole new set of baking challenges! Next on my plate, coconut pudding with new So Delicious coconut milk! I also see a birthday cake in my near future...

No comments: