Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daring Bakers - January ~ Tuiles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Tuiles ~

Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

Oven: 180C / 350F

Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

This was a super easy challenge considering what we had to make last month! These were very simple little cookies that were a blast to decorate. I might make them again but if you are going to all the trouble to make cookies I think they should have chocolate or peanut butter in them. ☺

Monday, January 19, 2009


I am so excited about Obama's inauguration tomorrow. I decided to celebrate by making 70 cookies for Sean's office and Agnes' school.

Obama cookies!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Kitchen, My World - Cuba

I am so happy that My Kitchen, My World is back after a holiday hiatus. This week we travelled to Cuba. I have always wanted to go to Cuba. It is definitely on my list of places to go before I die. My friend Holly and I even started planning a trip there but with our crazy lives it didn't happen...yet!

Those of you who know me well know my love of a good sandwich. I love sammies so very much. So much so I made a Cuban sandwich. Loads of pork, pickles, and freshly baked Cuban rolls.

Cuban Rolls ~

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (17 ounces)
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (instant or active dry)
4 tablespoons butter (can substitute 3 tablespoons fresh lard, cut into small pieces)
1 1/4 cups water


In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Gently fold the dough in upon itself and turn it upside-down after 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into six pieces and shape each piece into a rough log. Let the logs rest for 15 minutes, covered, then shape each piece into a smooth batard shape (a log about 8 inches long, slightly tapered at each end). Place the loaves on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

Let the loaves rise, covered, for 1 hour. Brush or spray them with water, and slash one long lengthwise slit down the middle of each loaf. Preheat the oven to 375°F while the loaves are rising. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

Sandwich Cubano ~

Cuban bread
Butter, softened
1 pound ham sliced
1 pound lechón asado (roasted Cuban pork) (recipe below)
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
Sliced dill pickles

Preheat a pancake griddle or large fry pan. I cheated and used our George Foreman grill.

Cut bread in half. Make each sandwich with the ingredients in this order: pickles, roasted pork, ham, and cheese. Be generous! Spread butter on the top of the roll.

Place the sandwich on the hot griddle (fry pan) sprayed with a little "Pam" or lightly greased. Place a heavy iron skillet or bacon press on top of the sandwich to flatten. (You really want to smash the sandwich, compressing the bread to about 1/3 its original size!) I pressed down on our grill really hard to flatten them.

Grill the sandwiches for two to three minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally and serve.

Roast Pork

(1) 2 to 4-pound pork shoulder roast OR pork loin roast (NOTE: You'll only need about 1 pound of the cooked meat for the Cuban sandwich recipe above.)
1 head garlic -- about 10 to 15 cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup sour orange juice (If you can't get sour oranges in your area, use two parts fresh orange to one part fresh lemon and one part fresh lime)
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 cup Spanish olive oil

Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in sour orange juice, onion, and oregano. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan until hot, but NOT deep frying hot! We’re looking for something in the neighborhood of 220 degrees F. Remove the oil from heat and quickly whisk in the garlic-orange juice mixture until well blended. Let cool before using as a marinade!

Pierce pork roast as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork. Pour garlic mixture (save a little for basting while roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for two to three hours.

Using a suitable roasting pan or rack, sprinkle remaining marinade over pork and cook uncovered at 325°F. Roast until completely cooked (160°F), about 20 minutes per pound. Baste occasionally. Bring pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by half. Sprinkle some juice onto the pork when you put it in the sandwich.

Yum!!! I can't wait to make them again!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

You're not trying to Dot the I ~ Sean Dargen

A few months ago I joined a support group for fat girls who are honestly working on losing weight. These women have been so supportive and have really helped me stay on course. I am still 43 pounds down. I have hit a bit of a plateau with loss but at least I am still losing inches!

Well, a few weeks ago someone brought up the idea we should all start running. WHAT? I don't run! Even if someone was going to kill me I wouldn't run. I would tell them to just kill me because there is no point in them chasing me because I don't run! But since others are going to suffer with me I decided to give it a go.

Supposedly you can learn how to run a 5K in 2-3 months. I am thinking it is going to take me 6 months because I don't know how to run. I swear to god! I haven't run since I was in college. If you can call sprinting with high heels in hand to the Billabong to do shots before the bar closes running. Anyhoo, I started running toe to heel and Sean told me that was wrong. He said I need to really try to run heel to toe. Well, I look like the worlds biggest idiot. I was trying to run heel to toe and some how started swinging my arms up in front of me while leaning backwards and kind of kicking my legs. Sean got freaking hysterical and informed me "Michelle, you aren't trying to dot the I!!" He then went back to laughing so hard he couldn't breathe. "Dotting the I" is a tradition with The Ohio State Marching Band where a 4th-5th year sousaphone player marches out to dot the i of the word Ohio. Now for those of you who don't know what "dotting the i" means here is a quick video. The dotting starts at 1:42

I am a huge dork.

Sunday, January 11, 2009