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Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)


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Let's make this very clear: I don't do sweet things. I don't make them and I generally don't eat them. With very, very, very rare exception. I can't remember the last time I attempted to tackle a cake or tart. So when a friend told me to make chocolate and chilli icecream, just as a throwaway thing on Facebook, within three days I owned a Cuisinart icecream machine and had some milk and cream in the fridge infusing with a handful of anchos. These things happen.

The icecream is churning right now. I followed the New York Times' recipe for bittersweet chocolate icecream, only I infused the cream with some ancho chilli and a little bit of nutmeg and clove. This will be the first time I've made icecream. I hope it's not shit.

I'm also candying some jalapeno, as my friend's 'plated dessert' idea also had a bit of that going on. Jalapeno might be too hot for this application: I'll test the pieces out and maybe duck down to the supermarket to 'downgrade' to some standard 'green'/'red' chillies.

EDIT

I just tasted the icecream before putting it in the freezer. The chocolate flavour is very good and for a minute there I thought it totally dominated the flavour of the ancho chilli: I wanted that, to a point, but I also wanted to be able to tell the chilli is there. But you can. Just when you think, oh, it's not there, how sad, you a nice warming after taste. Reasonably happy with it for a first attempt.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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My take on a Brownie Sundae. Malted Chocolate Ice Cream, Pecan Brownie, Caramel, Spiced Pineapple Relish, (the spices are vanilla bean, cardamom and ras el hanout)-

001.JPG

Sounds quite appealing. I did not recall you being a sweets person. Must pay more attention. I like the spice combination on the pineapple with the chocolate background.

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My take on a Brownie Sundae. Malted Chocolate Ice Cream, Pecan Brownie, Caramel, Spiced Pineapple Relish, (the spices are vanilla bean, cardamom and ras el hanout)-

001.JPG

Sounds quite appealing. I did not recall you being a sweets person. Must pay more attention. I like the spice combination on the pineapple with the chocolate background.

I love sweets, but I'm not much of a pastry cook. I do make a mean ice cream though and I love experimenting with fruits and exotic spices. Pineapple and chocolate is a lovely marriage.

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This weekend I had the opportunity to partake in what was definitely one of the coolest hands-on learning experiences ever. A good friend whose family is primarily Croatian is getting married in May, and these people do not have a reception without plenty of liquor, sausage, the occasional fist fight, and "povitica". For those who haven't even heard of it, povitica (POE-vu-TEETZ-uh) is a sweet bread made of micro-thin (if you are doing it correctly) dough layered with a filling of very finely ground walnuts, sugar, and other stuff I promised not to give away. I grew up eating this stuff in Kansas City, Kansas, where there has always been a large population of Croatians and Serbians on "Strawberry Hill". Whether the bread is originally Polish, Croatian...I have no idea, but I'm always shocked when I run into people from this area who haven't even heard of it before. And I'm even more shocked when people gush over the commercially produced version from the "Strawberry Hill Povitica Company". If you've ever eaten that stuff, comparing it to the real, grandma-made version is like Wonder Bread vs. whomever makes your favorite artisanal small batch breads. For the wedding they needed 16 loaves to put in the freezer, so Saturday we made 8 and yesterday they made another 8. It is NOT a short process, and so even though I've got a few photos, I don't have any of the finished, baked product yet....but I'm going to put together a whole blog write-up with a ton of photos (and as I promised the ladies- absolutely no detailed recipe intel, lol). This was the first time in my 42 years I've ever actually seen this stuff made....

Enough dough for 2 loaves-

Pov01.jpg

It is stretched thin on top of a floured cotton bed sheet-

Pov02.jpg

Once you can read a newspaper through it without destroying it in the process, the filling is dumped in the middle and spread as thinly as possible to cover every square millimeter. Oh, and speaking of the filling...I got to take a small leftover amount home, and on the instruction of our host we picked up some Pillsbury crescent rolls and rolled the filling into those before baking. It wasn't terrible.

Pov03.jpg

And the "no guts no glory" moment when you lift that sheet and send the dough rolling down onto itself....

Pov04.jpg

Repeat the above process four times and you've got eight loaves ready for the oven....

Pov05.jpg

I'll post a pic of a finished loaf when I get them, but this was a crazy amount of fun. I might try and make it at home sometime, on a smaller scale, but I have a feeling the ladies who have baked it their entire lives made it look much easier than it is, lol.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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WOW, that dough is awesome!

So, is it kind of like a flaky cinnamon roll?

After it bakes, the top layer or two is kind of crispy/flaky, and a commercial/mediocre loaf is more like a cinnamon roll in that the layers are a little looser (the dough layers MUCH thicker) and if you tried picking up a slice you'd have layers flake and fall away and filling would spill out. Even bad povitica is still pretty good, but the good homemade stuff is way, way more dense and extremely heavy. The layers don't really flake, but you could unroll them if you wanted....they'd just be moist and buttery, and the filling would adhere much tighter. It will fall apart under its own weight, and is best eaten with a fork after you nuke it for a few seconds and add a pat of butter on top.

Edited to add: I thought I'd at least find a decent example of the good stuff via Google images, but what I got was twelve pages of pretty sorry examples...nothing remotely close to the thin/tight layers you're going for in a good batch.

Edited by Zeemanb (log)

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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WOW, that dough is awesome!

So, is it kind of like a flaky cinnamon roll?

After it bakes, the top layer or two is kind of crispy/flaky, and a commercial/mediocre loaf is more like a cinnamon roll in that the layers are a little looser (the dough layers MUCH thicker) and if you tried picking up a slice you'd have layers flake and fall away and filling would spill out. Even bad povitica is still pretty good, but the good homemade stuff is way, way more dense and extremely heavy. The layers don't really flake, but you could unroll them if you wanted....they'd just be moist and buttery, and the filling would adhere much tighter. It will fall apart under its own weight, and is best eaten with a fork after you nuke it for a few seconds and add a pat of butter on top.

Edited to add: I thought I'd at least find a decent example of the good stuff via Google images, but what I got was twelve pages of pretty sorry examples...nothing remotely close to the thin/tight layers you're going for in a good batch.

*adding this to my list of things I must eat before I die*

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Zeemanb, does povitica taste anything like strudel? The doughs look similar and the process for stretching them is similar. Wish I could have a taste. :hmmm:

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Jerry – what a great experience! The odd thing is that I KNOW I’ve seen that bread. Here, in Richmond, I mean. Now where the heck would that have been?

I made some Buttermilk Spice Muffins yesterday for Mr. Kim to take to work:

med_gallery_3331_119_126232.jpg

The recipe is from Mimi's Cafe. This is the muffin that we always get when we go.

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Zeemanb, does povitica taste anything like strudel? The doughs look similar and the process for stretching them is similar. Wish I could have a taste. :hmmm:

It's somewhat similar, but I think the dough recipe is different and the mouthfeel with the "goo" vs. fruit is pretty different. Funny you ask, because the same ladies I know who are great at povitica also do a MEAN apple strudel. Using Shelby's comparison to a cinnamon roll, I think flavor and texture-wise it's pretty close to the whole thing being made of the center part of a cinnamon roll, minus the cinnamon (at least in the traditional recipe) and throwing in a Baklava-ish nut filling.

And Kim- if you DID find it in Richmond, unless the family making it could trace its tree back to "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair you didn't eat the genuine article! :laugh:

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Kim - we are actually in Louisa county, but I work in Richmond, so that's what I list as home. We moved here from TN about a year ago. Obviously, there is not much for a food lover out where we live. Twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store. We do most of our shopping and eating out in Richmond.

Jess

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Zeemanb, does povitica taste anything like strudel? The doughs look similar and the process for stretching them is similar. Wish I could have a taste. :hmmm:

It's somewhat similar, but I think the dough recipe is different and the mouthfeel with the "goo" vs. fruit is pretty different. Funny you ask, because the same ladies I know who are great at povitica also do a MEAN apple strudel. Using Shelby's comparison to a cinnamon roll, I think flavor and texture-wise it's pretty close to the whole thing being made of the center part of a cinnamon roll, minus the cinnamon (at least in the traditional recipe) and throwing in a Baklava-ish nut filling.

Yes, looks like strudel, but the dough? Yeast, right (from the pic) or not?

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Heres an ice cream I churned today. Its the basic recipe from 'Jenis Splendid Ice Cream,' I added about 9 bags of early gray tea to the hot ice cream base, allowed it to steep over night, a touch of Baileys, and it came out wonderful.

Earl Gray Ice Cream.jpg

Edited by minas6907 (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Tried the "Cheesecake Mosaic" recipe from Pierre Herme's new book, Pastries. There were some reviews that said the volume conversions in the recipes were off, so I worked off the weights, instead. Unfortunately, the pistachio cheesecake part did not set well, so was a bit runny. The pistachio mousse turned out well, with good texture and flavour. I did not have sour cherries, but used fresh raspberries, instead. Overall, the flavours and textures complemented each other, with nuttiness from the toasted pistachios/pistachio paste, freshness from the raspberries, and a touch of saltiness from the salted white chocolate and base.

Cheesecake Mosaic 2.jpg

Cheesecake Mosaic 1.jpg

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Tried the "Cheesecake Mosaic" recipe from Pierre Herme's new book, Pastries. There were some reviews that said the volume conversions in the recipes were off, so I worked off the weights, instead. Unfortunately, the pistachio cheesecake part did not set well, so was a bit runny. The pistachio mousse turned out well, with good texture and flavour. I did not have sour cherries, but used fresh raspberries, instead. Overall, the flavours and textures complemented each other, with nuttiness from the toasted pistachios/pistachio paste, freshness from the raspberries, and a touch of saltiness from the salted white chocolate and base.

OMG! That's a thing of beauty! Where did you find red raspberries fresh at this time of year?

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Bro-in-Law's Paul's 60th birthday cake half demolished...or why we didn't have pie for National pie/pi day. Five kinds of chocolate. Not too shabby.

Day-UMMM Darienne. You had me at "five kinds of chocolate", lady ! Fabulous, just fabulous.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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OMG! That's a thing of beauty! Where did you find red raspberries fresh at this time of year?

Fortunately, the perpetual sun in California allows us to have raspberries in winter here in Canada!

minas6907 - That Earl Grey and Bailey's ice cream combination sounds so good - must try it when the weather warms up.

Darienne - Agree with Pierogi about the five kinds of chocolate. Wow!

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