March 31, 2013

Marshmallow Eggs

Happy Easter! To celebrate we've hopped over to the Confections chapter at the end of the book to make these Marshmallow Eggs. Instead of Peeps, we have homemade marshmallows molded into egg shapes and coated in colorful sanding sugar. The process is a bit messy and sticky but when it comes to opening the eggs to reveal perfectly oval marshmallows, it is like a grown up's version of a reward at the end of an egg hunt

Thomas Keller did an Easter feature for NPR that includes this recipe

March 27, 2013

A Day at Bouchon Bakery

This post is the first in a three-part series documenting the Bouchon Bakery Book Project team’s visit to Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.

Lemon tarts with perfectly toasted whisps of meringue, a spring-colored line up of French macarons and a glistening golden breakfast pastry spread. These are just some of the delicious sights that you’re greeted with at Bouchon Bakery. I haven’t even mentioned the heavenly smells that come from the kitchen next door and continue to whet your appetite as you make your way from the bread baking in front to the buttery pastries browning in back. 

March 22, 2013

Financiers, 2 ways

This week, our subject is financiers. These are small cakes, often shaped as rectangles, which it is said resemble bars of gold, hence the name. However, the shape of the cake is not what defines it, the ingredients do. Two essential ingredients that set this cake apart from others are almond flour and brown butter. The result is a tiny, spongy, nutty and earthy cake that pairs well with a mid-morning cappuccino or cup of tea. Financier molds are difficult to find, so our bakers opted to use mini muffin pans instead. The cakes are still delicious, no matter the shape!

March 15, 2013

Madeleines, 2 ways

This week we start a new chapter in the book: cakes! This will be a challenging subject, although very delicious, I'm sure. 

We start off with a fairly simple cake, madeleines. These are small, shell-shaped cakes that are best enjoyed with a cup of tea or cappuccino. The cake batter is a sponge, or genoise batter, very light and airy. The book offers a traditional and a pistachio version. Everyone enjoyed making (and eating) these tiny treats. Also, it seems we are not the only ones inspired to bake through the book, as our guest baker this week is doing the same! 

Update: The recipe was featured in a USA Today article so we will share it with you here (Thanks Julie!)

March 8, 2013

Muffins, Part 2

Our second week of muffins we baked the richer, denser carrot and banana muffins. Carrot was unanimously the more popular choice and all agreed that the muffins were moist and delicious. The streusel adds great texture top the tops as well. Leticia, one of our team members decided to welcome Spring with her garden-inspired food styling. The carrots look ready for picking.

Thomas Keller did an Easter feature for NPR that includes the recipe for the carrot muffins

carrot muffins

March 1, 2013

Muffins, Part 1

This week, we're all dividing up a few muffin recipes. With so many different flavor variations, it seemed best to divide and conquer. The options to choose from are: corn, bran, blueberry, or lemon poppy seed. Most use similar technique and basic ingredients, so we are all still learning, without having to make so many muffins. All recipes call for a jumbo muffin tin, which makes a big fluffy muffin. This was a bit of a different week for our group (which we'll go into later), so we don't have everyone's input yet, but here's what we have so far.