Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peach Challah Bread

This weekend is Rosh Hashana and I had a bunch of bourbon peach preserves left from a cheesecake I made last week.  So I combined two challah recipes from smitten kitchen and made this! 
 Peach Challah
I combined these two recipes and used some leftover bourbon peach preserves for the filling

One tip: If you measure your oil in your 1/3 cup measuring cup first, and then your honey, the honey will slide right out.
Makes 1 round woven challah

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard 1/4-ounce packet) active dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (79 ml) plus 1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup (79 ml) neutral oil, plus more for the bowl
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) table salt
4 1/4 cups all-purpose (530 grams) or bread flour (578 grams), plus more for your work surface

Peach Filling:  make a day before (you’ll need 3 cups)

    8 ripe but firm peaches (about 3 pounds)
    6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    2/3 cup Bourbon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

450°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.

    Dice peaches Arrange in single layer on 1 prepared baking sheet.
    Whisk together melted butter, bourbon, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle on diced peaches. Sprinkle sugar on diced peaches. Toss peaches to coat and rearrange in single layer. Roast until peaches are tender and liquid is syrupy, about 15 minutes, alternating baking sheets’ positions halfway through. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes.
    Transfer peaches to a heavy sauce pan and cook until peaches fall apart (or put in crock pot on high until cooked down)

Egg wash
1 large egg
Coarse or pearl sugar for sprinkling (optional) I left it out

Make your dough: Whisk yeast and 1 teaspoon honey into 2/3 cup warm water and let stand until foamy, a few minutes.

With a stand mixer: In the bowl of a stand mixture, whisk together yeast mixture, oil, remaining honey (1/3 cup), eggs and yolk. Switch to dough hook and add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt. Use dough hook on a moderate speed until it pulls all of the flour and wet ingredients together into a craggy mass. Lower the speed and let the dough hook knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth, elastic and a little sticky.

By hand:: In a large bowl, whisk together yeast mixture, oil, remaining honey (1/3 cup), eggs and yolk. Add flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a craggy mass of uneven dough. Turn dough out onto a floured counter and knead it into a smooth, elastic dough, about 5 to 8 minutes. Try to use as little flour as necessary when kneading the dough; you don’t want to toughen the bread. A bench scraper can make it really easy to remove it from the counter if it gets stuck in a spot.

Both methods: Transfer dough to large oil-coated bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.

Insert Peach preserves: After your dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and divide it in half. Roll the first half of the dough into a wide and totally imperfect rectangle (really, the shape doesn’t matter). Spread half the peach filling evenly over the dough, stopping short of the edge. Roll the dough into a long, tight log, trapping the filling within. Then gently stretch the log as wide as feels comfortable (I take mine to my max counter width, a pathetic three feet), a divide it in half. Repeat with remaining dough and peach filling.

Weave your bread: [See photos in post.] Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll and stretch each one as carefully as you can into a rope — don’t worry about getting it too long or thin, just 12 inches or so should do. If any apple chunks fall out as you form the ropes or at any other time in the forming of the loaf or risings, just poke them back in with your finger.
Arrange two strands in each direction, perpendicular to each other, like a plus sign. Weave them so that one side is over, and the other is under, where they meet. So, now you’ve got an 8-legged woven-headed octopus. Take the four legs that come from underneath the center and move them over the leg to their right, i.e. jumping it. Take those legs that were on the right and again, jump each over the leg before, this time to the left. If you had extra length to your ropes, you can repeat these left-right jumps until you run out of rope. For me, this was enough. Just as you had with the folded packet of apple dough above, tuck the corners/odd bumps under the dough with the sides of your hands to form a round.
Transfer the dough to a parchment-covered heavy baking sheet or baker’s peel (if you’ll be using a bread stone). Beat egg until smooth and brush over challah. Let challah rise for another hour but 45 minutes into this rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Bake your loaf: Before baking, brush loaf one more time with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar if you’re using it. Bake in middle of oven for 40 to 45 minutes. It should be beautifully bronzed; if yours (like mine, except I didn’t catch it in time) starts getting too dark too quickly, cover it with foil for the remainder of the baking time. The very best way to check for doneness in any bread but especially on like this where the wetness of the apples can slow down the baking time a bit, is with an instant read thermometer — the center of the loaf should be 195 degrees.
Cool loaf on a rack before serving. Or, well, good luck with that. 

Peach Challah Bread, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cup (125 grams) graham cracker crumbs (can use crushed digestive biscuits)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar
5 - 6 tablespoons (70 - 85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
One 14 - ounce (390 grams) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) key lime juice (can use regular limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (outer skin)
1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat content)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

Key Lime Pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter or lightly spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) pie or tart pan.

Graham Cracker Crust: Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool while you make the filling

Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the lime juice and zest.

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once it has completely cooled, cover and refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Once the filling has chilled, in the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Either pipe (I used a Wilton 1M star tip) or place mounds of whipping cream on top of the filling. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) pie or tart.

Cherry Cream Pie

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

I bought a ton of canned sour cherries and decided to make this pie for my mom for mother's day.  I made the cherry pie filling the night before and it was a little runny the next day.  I'll try adding 1tbsp of corn starch next time to thicken it up.

Cherry Cream Pie

Brown crust at 350 for 10 minutes

Boiled mixture do this first to let it cool!

 ½ cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
Mix and bring to a boil, until it gets clear
Let cool on the counter


3 egg whites, beat until stiff with beater
When stiff add
¼ cup sugar, beat until stiff again
Add boiled mixture and beat until stiff again

3 egg yolks
⅓ to ½ cup sugar
4 rounded tbsp cornstarch
3 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 bean)

Beat 3 egg yolks, add 1/3 – ½ cup sugar.  Dissolve 4 rounded Tbsp of cornstarch in 3 cups milk.  If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds into the milk mixture and let the bean pod cook in the mixture.  Remove pod when finished.  Cook over high heat until it thickens, stirring constantly.  (if not using a bean add 1 tsp vanilla after you take it off the heat)

Pour pudding into the browned crust, top with cherry pie filling, pour meringue on top (leaving the middle open so you can see the cherries) and brown the meringue in the oven at 350 until the meringue looks done.

Cherry Filling (you can use 1 can of canned pie filling, but it’s not as good)

2 can sour cherries
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar

Drain the juice off the cherries (reserve juice). Add cornstarch to the some of the juice to dissolve it. Cook juice, sugar and corn starch until it thickens.  Add cherries after the juice thickens.

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

vanilla pudding, look at all the vanilla caviar!

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Cherry Cream Pie, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strawberry Jello Cake

Strawberry Jello Cake
make 2 dozen cupcakes

1pkg white cake mix
3oz strawberry jello (wild if you can find it)

Put 3 ½ tbsp of jello powder in the cake mix and follow the directions on the box

Strawberry Frosting,186,158172-247194,00.html

1 sticks butter
3 cups confectioners sugar (about 1 lb)
1/2 box of 10 oz frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped in food processor
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat 1 stick butter until smooth. Add 1 pound confectioners sugar and half of strawberries. Beat until smooth and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. If frosting is too thick, thin with a little milk or cream.

Caramel for turtle bites

Turtle Bites, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.


1 Cup Cream
2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
(2 cups pecans chopped) if making turtles
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Prepare pan by buttering large pan and covering with chopped pecans.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until smooth and blended, about 10 minutes.

Stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage), about 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat; Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan).

Melt 12 oz chocolate chips in microwave. Heat for 1 minute, stir and then heat for 10 seconds at a time until completely melted.

Cool. Cut into 1-in. squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper.

Yield: about 2-1/2 pounds.