Archive for the ‘Pastry’ Category

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

So this is my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I was so excited for it. The best part was that it was something completely new and really challenging. Strudel sounds hard, but it is really fun to make. The recipe involved stretching a dough to paper thinness, before adding the filling and rolling it up. Even though mine never got to the recommended size of 2×3 feet (something my dad thought was a crazy size!) it still turned out pretty incredible if I do say so myself.

I did a sort of test batch for my mom’s birthday. It was filled with cherries and chocolate and it turned out okay. My biggest mistake was putting too much filling so I only got two layers. It still tasted great though.

My successful batch, or what I count as my successful batch, surprised me with how good it tasted! Someone at work requested that I make them an apple strudel (not knowing about the Challenge, believe it or not). I wanted to do something a little more creative so I ended up making a mango apple strudel.

It was amazing. Seriously.

The sweetness of the mango went perfectly with the texture the apples provided. I ground up some walnuts to use as a little base and I had added a sugar/cardamom mixture to the mango and apple filling to give it a touch more sweetness. What was great was that it wasn’t too moist and the apples let the whole filling hold its shape a bit more. It wasn’t mush.

The flavour was sweet and delicious, I had no complaints and neither did anybody else! It was gone by the time I came home from work a few hours later.

This strudel was a huge accomplishment for me and now it’s a dessert that I would love to make again and again. I’m so happy I did this challenge and I can’t wait until the next one!


Happy Baking:)

PS. What happened unfortunately with the pictures was I didn’t have the camera when it came out of the oven. Then I asked my parents to photograph it while I was at work. Today I realized that they just took this one photo. Now I know. hehe.


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So this is a two part post. Back to the 50th anniversary…there had to be a dessert! This was the hardest part for me to choose. What happened in the end was actually quite funny.

Two weeks before this party, I had made the dinner for my cousin’s 19th birthday. . So for the dessert there I made a Pear Frangipane Galette from the Williams-Sonoma New Healthy Kitchen: Desserts Cookbook. Turned out delicious, everyone loved it, and I had never made a pate brisee before so it was a new thing I tried.

So now I had to decide what to make for this dinner. Thought about it, thought about it, and decided to make another galette but with another filling. I would choose the filling at the store so that I got something less expensive (I’m known to rack up the grocery store bill pretty quickly). I’m in the grocery store and guess what is cheapest…pears! So I buy pears and to ‘change it up’ get some apples too so that this dessert doesn’t end up being exactly the same. After all that indecision I end up making almost the same thing.

So the only part I really took from the book this time was the cooking of the pears and I actually took the pate brisee and frangipane recipe from Joy of Baking. I tripled the recipe so that there was enough for everyone at the table.

The tarts were a success again. Except for the fact that I messed up on the pastry. I had made up the dough in the food processor and then just stuck all the crumbs together before putting them in the fridge. Obviously when I took the dough out it was still crumbly. My sister saved the day by softening it up into actual dough for me. Now I’m not sure if I should have kneaded it before putting it in the fridge or if it was supposed to be done after…suggestions?


Now. The following week. Half of the frangipane is still left over. Nobody wanted to throw it out (huge waste!) so I am told to make something with it. I ended up deciding to try my hand at a crumble, another thing I’d never made. Using the Williams-Sonoma book again I got a crumble recipe. I used apples with a mix of frozen blueberries and raspberries for the filling. I coated the filling in the frangipane before putting the crumble on top. It ended up so good that I didn’t even have a chance to find the camera it was all gone.

Great Week.


Apple-Pear Frangipane Galette

(serves 12)

Filling –

5-6 medium-sized pears

3 apples (I used Granny Smith)

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp sugar

Frangipane –

3/4 cup sugar

9 tbsp butter, softened

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups ground almonds (almond flour if you have)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

Pate Brisee –

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 cups butter, cut into small pieces, chilled or frozen

1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. For the filling: core and chop the pears and apples into a 1/4-1/2 inch dice. Put the apples aside. Heat a large saute pan with the butter over medium heat and put in the pears and the sugar. Cook until softened and put aside.
  3. For the frangipane: Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, then add the ground almonds and flour. Mix until it forms a paste. Cover and refrigerate until assembly.
  4. For the pate brisee: Process flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter, and process until has the texture of coarse sand. Add 1/8 cup of ice water and process quickly. Only add more as needed. If it holds together when you pinch it then it is fine.
  5. – gather dough into a ball and refrigerate for one hour. After chilling, roll the pastry out and cut into circles about 6 in in diameter.
  6. Assembly: put about 2 tbsp of frangipane in the middle of each circle and spread out so that there is still a 1 1/2 to 2 inch border. Spread apples on top of frangipane and then the pear filling. Fold up the border.
  7. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden

Apple-Berry Crumble

Frangipane (recipe above)

6 apples, cored and chopped to 1 inch dice (I used Granny Smith)

2 cups frozen berries of choice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped almonds

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup butter melted (I used half butter, half honey)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spread apples and berries in a baking dish and cover in frangipane (recipe above).
  3. Stir flour, brown sugar, oats, almonds, cinnamon, and ginger together in a bowl. drizzle with melted butter and stir to combine. Sprinkle evenly over fruit.
  4. bake for 45-50 minutes.

– Natasha






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