April 28, 2013

Rum Cake

Continuing in the cakes chapter, this week we made rum cake. Everyone was looking forward to this recipe. The description in the book of Sebastien's memories of eating this rum cake was really inspiring. Whether it was one big cake or many little cakes, our bakers enjoyed making this recipe.

April 21, 2013

Coffee Cake

What's a cup of coffee without a cake to go with it? We made Bouchon Bakery's coffee cake this week and aside from some overfilling issues, the recipe is simple to execute. The crisp streusel topping has a nice crackly appearance on top and the dusting of powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa is a must. You'll want to make this to go with your morning Starbucks from now on.

April 14, 2013


This week's recipe is pain d'├ępices, or bread of spices. We call it gingerbread, because that is the most dominant spice. It also uses cinnamon and cloves, with a generous amount of molasses.

All of our bakers enjoyed making, and eating, this recipe. It was fairly simple and definitely satisfying. This is one that we all agree we will make again, especially at the holidays, or whenever we need a little more ├ępice in our lives. 

April 10, 2013

Bread Demonstration with Chef Matthew McDonald

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

In addition to giving us the grand tour of the bakery, Chef Matthew McDonald took us through the process of making a baguette from shaping to baking. We became nervous students when we found out it was hands-on but whom better to show us the ways of Bouchon Bakery’s bread than the head baker himself.

Here Chef Matthew is using his favorite Ikea scissors to create what I call the “fingers” of the epi baguette before placing them in the oven but let’s go back a couple of hours to the shaping.

April 7, 2013


We made bouchons this week. The bouchon is recognized by word alone as it part of Thomas Keller's establishments, Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery. But what is it exactly? This classic item offered at Bouchon Bakery is small and the perfect portion for indulging a little and getting a lot. The richness and decadence making it the ultimate chocolate treat. Glass of milk please.

The iconic shape comes from the fact that "bouchon" translates to cork or the stopper at the mouth of a wine bottle. In French "bouche" means mouth. At Bouchon Bakery, they use a specific mold to get the shape and it can be purchased exclusively through the Williams-Sonoma website. This week the bakers used the pan, while our guest baker had success making the bouchons in an aluminum muffin tin. These little cakes come out great, regardless of the type of pan.


April 3, 2013

In Conversation with Pastry Chef Janine Weissman

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

During our visit at Bouchon Bakery we sat down with Head Pastry Chef Janine Weissman. She started out at The French Laundry before moving over to the bakery where she has been developing and perfecting pastries for the past four years. Chef Janine was very much involved with the making of the bakery’s book so we were eager to techniques and favorite recipes.