I still have some hazelnut macarons, and made myself stupid sick on eating fistfuls of caramel, so I figured that if I made a breakfast thing this time, I’d at least eat it slowly enough that I wouldn’t end up feeling like death.
It wasn’t as cinnamon-y as I’d hoped, but I was happy with the addition of pecans and raisins. I figured that it would make it a slightly healthy breakfast .
I mean….There’s orange (extract) in the icing. That’s Vitamin C, right?
I wasn’t super-thrilled with the icing though. I mean, yes, it’s good, but it’s basically a buttercream with orange extract, and overrides the flavor a bit. I suspect if I’d had a heavier cinnamon filling it might’ve paired well, especially if I’d made an orange icing that wasn’t just….sugar and butter.
Overall it’s good, but definitely not quite as cinnamon-y as I’m used to with baked goods.
I have some friends staying the night this weekend, as well as my parents, who both were interested in macarons. Per my buddy’s request, I made chocolate hazelnut ganache-filled macarons, as well as practicing some light decorating with a gel pen.
I made a double batch, which tested the limits of the handful of pans I had at my disposal. In the end, they went off without a hitch.
A few things I learned, however:
- I forgot to attempt wet-on-wet with the gel, and tentatively attempted on unbaked shells, after the skin had developed. The results were comical, but a tad horrifying (you can see one in the bottom left of the photo above).
- Gel will pretty much not dry, so the next time I decide to do this, I should really just bite the bullet and make royal icing.
- While the ganache I used was quite delicious, I don’t believe it will harden in the fridge like a normal ganache.
Last week I made a lemon meringue pie – the first I’d ever made! Rather than the classic meringue, however, I substituted Italian, which turned out quite nice.
The only issue I ran into was when I made a mistake with the meringue, and had to run to the store to grab more eggs. While the recipe said to keep the filling warm, I didn’t think anything of storing it in the fridge while I did so – and ran into the issue of the pie becoming watery as the days went on.
From what I read online, if the filling is kept warm, the heat will filter through the meringue easily, as opposed to re-heating it from cold.
On the plus side, the large star tip I used added a nice flair to the finished pie.
This week was something I’ve done quite a bit in the past (though not from scratch – at work, the dough came in pre-formed, and I just had to spread the filling), but not recently. Many of the recipes I found called for various fruits and/or nuts, but to be honest, the first time I’d ever made homemade babka had been a cinnamon and cream cheese one.
I couldn’t actually find the recipe I’d used way back when, so I simply modified this one. I left out the apricot filling, and as you can see in the photos, I decided against the usual “loaf” style. Instead, the dough was cut in half, braided, and twisted into a circle. Also, I used ceylon cinnamon instead of the usual. A bit more expensive, but it’s a much more subtle flavor, in my opinion.
The finished product was fairly similar to how I remember it being before. The cream cheese/cinnamon had baked into the dough, leaving it with a sweet, buttery flavor, and only a very light cinnamon taste. The main thing I’d recommend to anyone wanting to try this, is to make the dough the previous night or evening. It’ll keep well enough in a greased bowl with plastic wrap on top, and given the amount of rising time, it’ll end up being much less trouble if it’s simply brought out to rise early on in the day, rather than being made early in the day.
This was my first attempt at making pastries (the recipe I used came from here). It wasn’t as daunting in practice as I’d heard from others, and letting the dough chill was the most time-consuming part of the process. When I was ready, I filled some with sliced banana, and others with chopped apple, both kinds sprinkled with cinnamon.
Though they came out well, in the future I’ll make a point of using a brush for the egg wash, to ensure better coverage, and give myself enough time to let them rise a bit longer.