Sunday, 31 March 2013

Gateau à la crème and brioche bread

It's still March, just, so here is my result of the March baking mission given to us by Bread Baking Babe Lien (Notitie van Lien). Lien chose a sweet recipe based on Raymond Blanc's "Gateau a la Creme". Since Raymond Blanc is one of my favorite TV chefs too -well behind Michel Roux Jr though!- I was even more tempted to try this recipe.
I had never made brioche, thinking it would be far too complicated and not for the ones-without-KitchenAid or Kenwood-on-the-counter. But hey, out came the good old hand mixer with dough hooks and the result was overwhelming!

The recipe was fairly easy to follow too! The amount of butter and eggs seem a bit scary at first, but since my friend keeps free range hens, good eggs are always available in abundance.

I choose to make one gateau and one small brioche bread as suggested by Lien. I did make the gateau in a spring form to keep it in shape. And yes it rose! The sides almost folded over the lemon custardy filling. For decoration I used some bashed up sugar cubes, because no nibbed sugar available around here.

And it tasted even better than it looked! 
This recipe is a keeper! You'll find it at Lien's blog.

The leftover egg whites were easily turned into almond merengues, what more could you wish for?

Well, one more thing .... THE badge!!!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dutch baking

As a birthday gift I got a fabulous Dutch baking book by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra: "Het Nederlands Bakboek", only available in Dutch at the moment I believe, but loosely based on her previous "Windmills in My Oven".

"Het Nederlands Bakboek" is filled with culinary history on Dutch baking and loads of traditional recipes, making this Dutch-lady-living-abroad feeling very proud of our Dutch baking tradition.
Since moving away from Holland I have been trying to replicate the various breads we used to love and also some typical sweet baking that is so different from what bakeries (let alone supermarkets) here in Scotland produce.

Not so much because we miss things -there are wonderful alternatives out here-, but just for sentimental reasons, you know .....

It's obvious, I cherish this Dutch baking book, love the look and feel of it, and of course started baking! My first attempts were on various cookies; "krakelingen" (yeasted sweet, crisp, pretzel shape cookies) and "eierkoeken" (large soft, eggy, sweet, slightly lemony cookies).

Both were a huge success!

So, to be continued ...