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:

$3.00, 12 oz

$3.00, 12 oz

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!

I had a HUGE hankering for some good ol’ fashioned wheat bread. Unfortunately, I don’t have any wheat bread recipes, so I made a quick trip to the (best ever) library. I snagged a copy of Country Breads of the World by Linda Collister and Anthony Blake. WHAT A BOOK!

What I ended up making was Pain d’epices, or Spiced Bread. Not really realising how much honey is in the recipe, it was MUCH sweeter than I wanted, but the result was beautiful. I added some seed mixture I thought would be interesting, and have been snacking on it, bit by bit, ever since. I’ve also given out a few loaves to friends, since I baked them in ramekins and flower pots.

Just look at the quality of that crumb! The end result is a spicy, delicate crumb with a lot of natural clover sweetness. No need for butter or any kind of spread, the bread is perfect all on its own! And the seed mixture adds just the right amount of crunch…… here’s the recipe, adapted from the above-mentioned book:

 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used bleached… shame on me!)

1 cup rye flour (I didn’t have rye, so I used unbleached whole wheat flour)

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cloves, and quatre epices (a mixture of seven parts ground black pepper to one part each cloves, ginger, and nutmeg)

2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

1 cup honey, slightly warmed

2 egg yolks

5 tbsp milk

Glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons milk

Seed Mixture:

1/4 cup each: poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, blanched almond slivers, pumpkin seeds, oats, and flax seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift the flour, salt, spices, and baking powder into a powl. Stir in the almonds. In a separate bowl, mix the honey, milk, and egg yolks, then add to the flour mixture to make a sticky cake batter. Spoon into the prepared pan (or flower pots, or ramekins) and bake until gold brown, roughly 45 minutes (about 30 minutes for the ramekins/flower pots). Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Heat the sugar in the milk until dissolved, then simmer for 1-2 minutes to make a sticky glaze. Brush this over the hot loaf, and let the bread cool until you can handle it comfortably, then ENJOY!


The blue rose signifies mystery and attaining the impossible. They are not found in nature, but after 13 years of research scientists were finally able to create a blue rose by cloning pigment genes from petunias, and adding it to a specific type of rose. Funny that people spent thirteen years doing this, while I spent two evenings making blue roses out of gumpaste. To each his own, I suppose.

This is the most creative Valentine’s Day gift I’ve seen yet. A yellow cake with strawberry filling, covered in vanilla frosting and vanilla-almond fondant. The wording, “Eres mi tesoro” is “you’re my treausre” in Spanish. Very cute and adorable! It’s a good thing it’s a Valentine’s Treasure Chest, and not a Valentine’s Chest…. he he!

This just wouldn’t be a food blog unless I posted something sweet and Valentine’s-themed. Though I’m not really doing anything for V-Day (besides indulging in my love affair with Super Mario 64), I made these cookies in advance to mail out to my Meem, who just had a(nother) nasty ankle surgery…

These are some simple chocolate cookies, cut in various shapes and sizes, then sandwiched with a layer of hazelnut chocolate spread, strawberry jam, or apricot preserves. Here’s the recipe for the cookies, loosely adapted from the Confetti Cakes book:

2 1/3 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 oz chocolate morsels

1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla extract. Slowly melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, and add to the butter mixture in a steady stream while mixing. Sift remaining dry ingredients together, and slowly add to butter mixture. Roll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or so. Roll the dough out to be about 1/2″ thick. Using a circle cutter (about 1.5″ in diameter), cut circles and bake on prepared pan at 350 F for approximately 8 minutes. When the cookies have finished baking, quickly take them out of the oven and cut the desired shapes. Using a small round cutter, flower cutter, or heart cutter, cut a small window in half of the cookies  you make, so that each cookie (comprised of two cookies) has one cookie that does not have the window, and one cookie that has the window.

Let the cookies cool, and then spread the window-less cookie with store-bought hazelnut spread, strawberry jam, apricot jam, or any other filling of your choosing. Sandwich with a windowed cookie of the same shape, then eat and enjoy!

It is a very busy week for me, all baking things considered. If it takes a little while for me to post something new and exciting that’s just how the cookie crumbles, but I promise I’m up to some sneaky good things, and will have posts with recipes and pictures soon. Expect to see cakes, bread, verrines, flan, and the aforementioned cookie–before and after the crumbling! =)

Back in the day (waaaay back in the day), I had the dream of opening a recording studio in my homeland of Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado. I wanted to name the recording studio “All the C’s”. Incidentally, I also had a cat named C. Seriously, just the letter “C”. And no, it didn’t stand for “cat”. I’m far more creative than that.

Since that dream has faded (and because it’s an illogical notion to open a recording studio in a remote canyon), I’ve forgotten about “All the C’s”. But now, the name can be reborn–in cupcake form!

YUM!

So, these are your basic chocolate cupcakes. No, I’m not giving you my chocolate cake recipe. It’s something I’ve spent 3 years perfecting. However, I will discuss my frosting and ganache filling!

Coffee Ganache filling:

1 part cream

2 parts coarsely chopped chocolate

2 tbsp kahlua

1 tbsp fresh finely ground coffee

Heat the cream until boiling. Put the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then slowly stir in ground coffee and kahlua. Stir until the mixture thickens. You can refrigerate this and whip it, if you so desire. Alternatively, replace the fresh coffee grinds with instant espresso powder. With a pastry bag and a bismarck tip (or a star tip), fill each cupcake until it is about to burst. You really can’t have too much filling, so don’t be shy!

Chocolate frosting:

1 scant cup coffee chocolate ganache (from above recipe), melted until pourable (but not hot)

2 tbsp kahlua

8 tbsp room temperature butter (NOT margarine or shortening)

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp fresh finely ground coffee

Cream butter and sugar together. Add coffee grounds and kahlua. Continue to mix while slowly adding coffee ganache. Add more powdered sugar to make the mixture as thick as you would like. With a pastry bag and tip (I used some kind of star tip, but I don’t remember which), create swirls on top of your cupcakes.

The freshly ground coffee gives just a hint of coffee flavour, as does the kahlua. For a stronger coffee flavour, use instant espresso powder or good quality coffee extract.

I’m also a big fan of the photograph. I think I’ve come a long way with my photography skills, don’t you?! =)

Not that I ever wish to be caught in a beer tsunami, but I’ve had so many good beers (especially Granville Island Brewery’s Winter Ale) that I might welcome the opportunity….

I made some more macarons recently. In my efforts to try out a few more flavours, I decided to go for lemon basil macarons and cardamom vanilla macarons. Both macarons were filled with a simple Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I flavoured the buttercream vanilla (for the cardamom vanilla, duh!) and lemon basil (for the lemon basil macarons, double duh).

The cardamom vanilla macarons:

These were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Moist, slightly crunchy, and full of flavour. And I only added 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom to the macaron recipe. What a result! I could probably add a bit more for some extra oomph, but I’m happy with 1 teaspoon.

The lemon basil macarons:

These were just OK. I’m not a huge fan, really, but they’re good. I used a handful of fresh basil leaves for the meringue cookies, and also mixed some dried basil and fresh lemon juice into the buttercream. Unfortunately, the lemon juice overpowered the basil almost completely, so you can’t really discern the basil. Better luck next time.

Also, you’ll note that both macarons are pretty much the same colour. I should probably revise that in the future to make it a bit more obvious which is which. I’ll work on it. After all, it’s all about the learning experience!

I think I’ve most definitely decided that once the bakery opens a storefront, I’ll be serving a variety of macarons. Now I just need to come up with more flavours. Suggestions welcomed! =)