The idea of cinnamon toast has been drifting in the back of my head since This American Life ran John Gravois’s story on the origins of four dollar toast. With his sleuthing cap on, Gravois traces the ultimate hipster food to Giulietta Carrelli and the Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club.
Months ago, I went to Japan and part of my self-prep was to learn about Japanese culture. I came across this video of Japanese foods and I became obsessed with a bagged pasta sauce made of spicy pollock roe or karashi mentaiko. Although it would be far more expensive, I finally decided to try my own version.
I recently started reading a blog called Joe Pastry. I read it mostly for techniques and baking science, but I have been eager to try his recipes. When I decided to make brownies, I hopped over this his site to see if he had a recipe. He had two. The first didn’t have measurements, I skipped to his other one.
His second recipe is adapted from another prominent food blogger, Dorie Greenspan, and his praise for this particular brownie was high indeed.
All that is beside the point to me, as I consider this recipe to be the highest expression to date of the American brownie-making art. These are my personal died-and-gone-to-heaven brownies. As a chocolate experience, I vastly prefer them to flourless chocolate cake, which is so decadently chocolate-y as to be almost profane. These are dense and rich, but somehow also light. Try them, friends.
Today was a whopping 82 degrees Fahrenheit, but it felt a lot hotter with the humidity. I didn’t feel like going out to eat so I was left with a few cans of diced tomatoes, anchovies, butter, pasta, and spices. My friend suggested I use Supercook and voila, there were several recipes to choose from.
When I posted those vol-au-vents, I knew I would have to write about the hell that is homemade puff pastry. This is not an exaggeration. There is much swearing in the kitchen as is, but none so much as when I make puff pastry. Below is a step-by-step tutorial of how to make puff pastry as taught to me by my friend Alice.
For a few glorious months, I had a food processor and it was a beautiful thing. I no longer regarded cold butter with dread. A few pulses, a whirling of blades, and voila! Scones, pie crusts, done!
So it is with great sorrow that I inform you that this recipe is quite impossible without a food processor, unless you can obtain walnut flour or meal. I have heard of almond meal and hazelnut flour, but never walnut flour. Please let me know if you do.
As I don’t trust myself to make a positive first impression, I often bring a baked treat when meeting new people. Usually, it works out. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Once I went apartment hunting with a box of cookies, they took the cookies, but didn’t want to become my roommate.
This caramelized almond tart is an old staple, but I tend to underestimate how much time it takes. The dough has to be chilled, allowed to come to room temperature, and then frozen to prevent it from falling. I’ll let you in a secret. If you don’t care about falling crusts, you don’t have to freeze it. However, chilling it the first time allows the dough to come together. It’s too crumbly otherwise and won’t roll or press out properly. If you’re making this in one sitting, give yourself three hours. If you’re going somewhere else, up the time to four. The tart has to cool a while before transport. I don’t know if moving a hot tart has any adverse effects to the tart, but it sure does to your hands. Continue reading
A friend who’s opinion I value tells me that I have to write an intro paragraph. For many food blogs, I regard the first few paragraphs as a foofy nonsense so I’ll try to keep this short. Vol-au-vents are traditionally savory, but I wanted an aesthetically pleasing puff pastry with a cream cheese filling. If I had a cupcake tin, I would have made pinwheel danishes. If I had a larger baking pan, I would have made danish crossovers. But alas, I do not. Continue reading
I’m a huge fan of coffee, not so much for the taste, but the countless college papers and late nights it has gotten me through. I won’t describe myself as an aficionado, because I don’t appreciate the individual terroirs of differing regions (Sumatra, Bali, Ethiopian, etc.), and most of the nuance is drowned out by a healthy dose of milk and often sugar.
This trip to London is the first vacation where I have plan things, as my previous vacations involved my sister, a rabid planner, or I was taken around by a local. So, how does one take a stab at a new city that has more than a thousand years of history? Continue reading