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A little while ago I made some chocolate cookies. I had some left over dough that I had to do something with! So I baked that dough up, crushed up the cookies, and made some verrines out of them.
A verrine is the actual name of a glass container, but has become the name of a diverse selection of multi-layered desserts of various textures and flavours in a glass. In this instance, I used some chocolate ganache, strawberry compote, chocolate mouse, and chocolate cookie crumbs to put together a delightfully rich dessert! The whole thing was very easy to construct, especially when you have a bunch of “spare parts” from other baking projects.
The cookie recipe can be found here.
The ganache recipe is here (just omit the kahlua and espresso powder/coffee grinds).
The chocolate mousse is very easy to make. Just take a cup or so of cream, and whip it to soft peaks. Melt about 1/4 cup chopped chocolate in a microwave, and slowly pour into the whipped cream, as it whips to stiff peaks.
The strawberry compote is VERY easy. Takeabout 1 1/2 cups whole fresh (or frozen) strawberries. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the berries, adding 2-3 tbsp of sugar (optional). When the fruit softens, mash it as you would mashed potatoes. Let the mixture cool.
Combine all of the ingredients in whatever order you please! I did some cookie crumbles, some ganache, some chocolate mousse, some strawberry compote, and then repeated the process.
You might recognise the multi-seed mixture from the pain d’epices I made a little while ago. Well, I had a lot left over, so I needed to do something with it.
I hate buying bread. I can never get anything of good quality from the supermarket, and the only bakery I trust is at least an hour’s drive away, and is only available in Salt Lake during the Farmer’s Market. So, during the winter months, I have to be content making my own bread. Which is very, very difficult, since my apartment is very cold and it takes a long time for bread to proof. I usually have to plan ahead: watch the weather reports for the upcoming warm days, bake something else so the kitchen is warm, and do my baking as close to mid-day as possible (which means the weekdays are out, since I’m stuck at work, daydreaming about baking).
I made this bread quickly one day to give to a friend as a surprise. Since I was giving it away, obviously, I couldn’t cut it open and show you how great it is on the inside. You’ll have to wait for another post, I guess. Or, you could trust me in regards to how great it is (and easy!), and make your own loaf! Here’s the recipe:
Honey Wheat Multi-seed Bread
1 scant cup warm water (110-120 F)
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbs sesame oil (for a nutty flavour)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package instant dry yeast
Combine flours and dry yeast in a large bowl. Mix everything else in a smaller bowl until it is well combined. Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir vigorously (or use the dough hook on your electric mixer–I prefer to do this all by hand). Turn the dough out onto a VERY well-floured surface and knead. At first, the dough is going to be very sticky, but as it absorbs flour and the gluten develops, it will be easier to handle. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray/oil whatever, put the ball of dough in, turn it so it is well oiled, and cover with plastic wrap or foil, and put in a warm place.
Let the dough proof for an hour or so, or until it is doubled in size. Give it a good punch, then form it into a loaf shape, grease your loaf pan, put the dough in there, brush it with an egg wash (a lightly beaten egg with some water added, or some milk), then spinkle the seed mixture on top, then carefully brush again with the egg wash (or milk) to “lock in” the seed mixture. Cover, and let rise about 30 minutes in a warm place.
Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Let it cool almost completely, slice it open, and enjoy!
The “seed mixture” I refer to is here.
Tulie Bakery is the new kid in town. I couldn’t find a website, but the address is 863 East, 700 South in good ol’ SLC. This is one of the finest bakeries I’ve been to in this city, so I hope they weather the economic situation and emerge victorious. They are deserving for the quality of their product. I’ve been a handful of times, but here are some of the highlights:
Some of their items are a bit pricey, but for the quality and the size, it is well worth it. Tulie Bakery uses local and natural cream and eggs, the best chocolates, and pure vanilla. They also try to use as much organic produce as possible (though in the winter, I’m sure this gets difficult). The selection varies from day to day, and the frangipane croissant is probably the hardest thing to find, but when it is available, it is like gold… SO GOOD!
The setup of the bakery is unique, but probably challenging for traditional American customers. The sitting area only has two long tables, which means customers have to sit elbow-to-elbow, which can be uncomfortable for some, since most people don’t like sitting next to someone they don’t know. The setup is definitely European in nature, so I think this adds to the bakery’s overall charm.
So far, my experiences with Tulie Bakery have been very positive, and I plan on frequenting it as much as possible! You should do the same!
Here’s a completely random post of real, healthy food. I know, this is a bakery blog (specifically, my bakery), but… this food was phenomenal, so, it deserves some mention. This fine lunch we had at the Asheville Bier Garden. Heaps of beers on tap (and bottled), and some seriously good food!
Here’s a Chicken and Apple Sausage sandwich. Tasty. The sweet potato fries were interesting. They were generously sprinkled with cinnamon, and sugar. This didn’t quite work for me, because when I want fries, I want SALT! Not sugar…. but, whatever. It was an experience.
And here is the best Caesar Salad I’ve ever had. Why? Because it was coated in a lemon/oil mixture, and then GRILLED. Seriously. YUM. All things taste better when licked by flames. It’s true. Look it up. There was the perfect amount of creamy Caesar dressing, some grated parmesan, and, the best part: roasted cashews. MY GOD! What a great, creamy, lemony, grilled combo. I loved it. And surprisingly, it’s something easy to make at home. I’m sure you can all figure it out. Or just experiment and see what you get! But it will never be as good as this:
The buttery foccacia bread was coated in crushed pecans and herbs, then baked. Really good.