Sunday, November 5, 2017

Brioche Loaves

In our household, my husband is usually the one making the bread.  But, I make the brioche.  I haven't made it for a few years though and the last time I made it, I recall it being an easier experience.  Perhaps it was that I had less distractions and was not multi-tasking as much as I seem to be now. 
We bought a loaf (for $11!!) at the farmers market a few weekends ago and I told myself that I would just make it myself next time.  Now, I know why they were selling it for $11 for a small loaf. I think I would sell the loaves I made for $50 as there is a lot of patience, care and TIME that is involved in making it.  It's SOooooo worth it though.

I used the Martha Stewart brioche loaf recipe. However, her recipe didn't indicate how to form the loaves, so while I kneaded the dough, I had fun watching a few brioche fanatics on YouTube.

I made the dough the day before, let it rise a few times and then let it sit overnight. I wasn't able to get to it right away the next day so it was left all day in the refrigerator until I had time to get to it in the evening. So, it was a bit sticky, but I worked with it to see what would come of it anyway.

I made one large loaf and two smaller loaves. One with the balls of brioche dough and one where I braided it slightly.

This is before rising:

And after rising:
(with how sticky the dough is, I was happy it did!)

They baked very nicely and the internal temperature read of 205 degrees was spot on.  While my dough was not as smooth this time, I was really happy with how they turned out (and taste!).  We have had brioche toast, brioche french toast, brioche sandwiches and with the remaining loaf, I'm planning to cut it up in cubes and save it to make stuffing for Thanksgiving.  How decadent will brioche stuffing be?!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Spiderweb Cupcakes

We were having a few friends over for Halloween night to have dinner prior to going out trick or treating so I wanted to make a fun dessert.  It's not that you need MORE sweets on Halloween, but I have been wanting to try piping chocolate decorations and thought I'd give this a try for the occasion. 

I made a different chocolate cupcake recipe that I found by Ina Garten as I wanted to do a glossy ganache on top. It was definitely a different cake recipe that called for no leavening or cocoa but Hershey's chocolate syrup instead? I was skeptical but gave it a try. They baked nicely and they were definitely more dense, but it was perfect to hold the ganache frosting and it didn't soak through after we dipped the tops in the glossy chocolate and heavy cream mixture. 

It was SO fun piping the white chocolate! I melted down Ghiradelli chocolate disks and put it in a quart size bag with the corner snipped off to make a piping bag. It worked well, but you need to work quickly before the white chocolate starts to solidify in the bag. 

I used a template for the spiderwebs that I found online and piped along the lines on wax paper.  I placed the cobwebs in the freezer to harden and continued with piping. I bought a bag of plastic spiders and decorated each one with a spider. 

I even had a little extra white chocolate so I tried my hand at piping a short "Boo!" on a few. 

They were a hit for dinner and enjoyed after a long walk around Georgetown for trick or treating. Happy Halloween!