Straight From the Source

I was lucky enough to be gifted a can of maple syrup straight from the source - Quebec, Canada.  I vowed not to open it until I found the time to make yeast waffles from scratch. Boy was it worth the wait!  I made Belgian Waffles topped with gently Whipped Cream and a Homemade Blueberry Compote.  Right before digging in, I drizzled it with the rich Maple Syrup

I used the following waffle recipe:

0.25 oz   Active Dry Yeast
1t           Dark Brown Sugar
1/2c        Warm Water
1c           Warm Milk
1c           Warm Cream
2             Eggs, rt
1/2c        Butter, melted/cooled
2c           AP
1t            Salt
1/8t         Baking Soda

Combine first 5 ingredients, let stand for 5 min
Beat in eggs and butter
Combine dry ingredients and add to yeast mixture just until combined
Cover and allow to double, 45 min
(I turned on the heater and placed it in front of a vent and it took 15 min)
Cook according to your waffle maker

*I like to dust the waffle iron with sugar before pouring on the batter for an unmistakable crunchy and chewy exterior.

The waffles come out extremely light and fluffy on the inside.  They also hold up very well, so I would recommend making a double batch at least.  They can be frozen and heated up in the toaster - just as good the second time around...I promise!


Not So Sweet

You may have wondered with all these sweets in my life if I ever cook in my kitchen.  Generally, the answer is NO.  Besides my kitchen being my "bakespace," it's mainly dedicated to heating up food, making sandwiches, housing snacks and feeding my dog as opposed to any real cooking.

Sometimes though when the stars are aligned, I don't know what gets into me and I do the unthinkable!

Spicy Italian Sausage & Margherita Pizzas [11.27.2010]

Chevre & Cipollini Tarts [01.17.2011]

Although I love going out for pizza, I also find it nice to make it at home - you can prepare it just the way you like.  When photographing, I was excited that I was able to capture the steam from the hot out-of-the-oven pizzas.

I first had a Chevre & Cipollini Tart at Chez Papa Resto in San Francisco.  I loved it so much that I needed to try my own hand at it.  I find that I more and more often find myself craving this savory little tart!

If you haven't caught on, both of these two savory ventures do involve dough - so my pastry skills do come in handy!


Sweet Memories

For the longest time, I've wanted to make "oreos" at home.  I finally got around to it and used the Chocolate Salt & Pepper Sandwich Cookie recipe from the Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented cookbook.  I did however take a few liberties with the filling recipe.

Chocolate Cream Sandwich Cookies [03.08.2011]

These cookies really hit the spot.  Everyone who tried them fell in love at first bite.  For me, it was the saltiness, the slight kick from the pepper and of course the nostalgia factor.  These cookies hit a serious soft spot - a part of Americana packed in a little cookie.  As much as I love dainty, beautiful and elaborate desserts, sometimes you just need a little something sweet that comes close to home.