Today is a great day.
Today is a great day for various reasons.
Today is a great day because I went to work and I enjoyed it. It’s been quite peaceful and drama-free around there lately and that makes my soul calm and happy. While being in my pastry kitchen I made flour-less chocolate cake and it tasted wonderful. I also made hazelnut financiers and a few other treats that made me feel sweet inside. So yes, today was a great day at work.
Today is also a great day because I will be eating dinner with a good friend of mine. She and I usually laugh, sip on wine, and share a few stories about our week. Okay, okay…we also gossip a bit, but we always keep it very light and innocent.
Today is also a great day because the official count down before Mark gets home has begun. He will be home soon. So soon. It’s been 5 weeks since he left and I can’t wait for his return. This tour has been kind of rough on me.
And finally, today is a great day because I have the ultimate pleasure of guest-posting at Hip Foodie Mom, an outstanding food blog operated by my dear food blogger buddy, Alice Choi.
Did I mention that today I also got to munch on these Cream Puffs with Caramelized Apples? Well, I did. My day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?
That’s all I will say for now. To get the full recipe and story please feel free to check out Alice’s site. And while you’re there, why not stay a little while longer and browse through all the other delicious recipes that Alice has to offer?
But before you leave, let me just say one more thing…I hope you have a great day!Read More
I feel like being bad today. I’m such a rebel, right? No, not really.
I tend to bottle emotions up and then explode. Do you ever do that? It’s not healthy, so don’t. And when I do it for too long, I either feel like making peace, giving up, or fighting back.
And although I’ve gotten much better at voicing what I feel, I’m more of a silent-keeper of emotions. I am getting better though and am more opened with expressing my mini-frustrations, but it’s not in my nature, so it’s work sometimes. Hard work.
Some people are very good at constantly communicating their mood level and state of mind with those around them. I personally have always found that kind of annoying. I’m sorry. It’s like they’re offering a continuous weather forecast of emotions. “I was really bothered by what you said earlier…” or “I’m really really upset at how you acted in there, how could you?” It should be so simple to do, right? I know it’s the recommended thing to do by psychologists or by anyone who has a logical way of thinking. However, sometimes I feel like a defective and incompetent human being who has never developed the trait of communicating emotions. Other times I feel that I have, I just don’t want to apply it…Because certain facial expressions should be obvious to interpret…right?
My smile from cheek to cheek should let you know that I’m a happy girl. A slight smile could be deceiving though, I understand. My lost gaze into space should tell you that I’m potentially analyzing a situation, worried, or simply daydreaming. My choice to be isolated in my room with the door semi-closed could either mean that the T.V. is too loud, that I’m a bit bothered, or that I really want to be in my own little world. Use process of elimination to figure that one out. I have nearly to perfect vision so the squinting of my eyes at you most certainly means, “are you serious?”
I know it’s work, but since I have never been the talented communicator, I have a developed a keen talent to perceive peoples’ emotions and I wrongly just assume that other people are just as attuned to those subtleties.
So how do I deal with my little episode today? Well today I will simply treat myself to cinnamon churros with ganache. This is how I fight back. I’ll save the words for another time.
A little birdie has told me that the ratio to make churros is the same one to make pate a choux. I’ll be using the ratio for pate a choux–>2 (liquid) : 1 (butter) : 1 (flour) : 2 (eggs) to make this churro recipe.
For ganache, use the basic ganache ratio of chocolate to cream–> 1 (semisweet chocolate) : 1 (heavy cream)
– The few times that I’ve made pate a choux has been in a standing mixer and I really don’t own one…so..Will mixing the eggs vigorously with a wooden spoon work well and develop the same puff in the dough as when mixed in a standing mixer?
– Will using the dough that is typically used to make the famous profiteroles, éclairs, and cream puffs also work fantastically to make crispy and breathtaking churros?
– The hot and crispy sugar-coated churro will taste wonderfully on its own but dip them in ganache and oh. my. God.
– I will assume the dough for these churros will be very puffy and airy. I am kind of cheating since I’ve already witnessed how this dough puffs up and creates a hollow cavity in a hot oven. I assume that it will react in a similar way when it comes into contact with hot frying oil.
– Incorporating the eggs one by one with a wooden spoon will take much longer but it will happen! I will not give up even if the dough doesn’t seem to hold together. Pate a choux is deceiving like that…at first it will appear as if the dough doesn’t accept the eggs. But I will persist until it does!
– The churros will become wonderfully crispy when submerged in the hot oil.
– The high protein in the eggs will help create good structure in the churro.
– When the butter comes into contact with the hot oil it will rise and steam, causing air pockets to form inside the churro.
1 C water
4 oz butter, small pieces
7 oz AP flour
(2 tsp sugar)
½- 1 tsp salt
8 oz eggs
water to adjust
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 C sugar + 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, combined
** Yields about 2 dozen small churros **
Materials/Ingredients for ganache:
8 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz heavy cream
Procedure/Recipe for Ganache:
Tip: Make the ganache first. The churros should be made and fried immediately for serving. The ganache however has to rest at room temperature before serving and it can wait for the churros. The churros won’t wait for no one! They should be made last because they will become soggy if kept at room temperature for too long before serving. They’re enjoyed best as soon as they’re fried and sprinkled with sugar…and of course..dipped in chocolate.
1. Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
2. Put chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour simmered heavy cream over chocolate. Allow cream and chocolate to rest for about a minute so that chocolate softens and melts.
3. Stir mixture gently from the center until everything is well combined.
4.Set chocolate-heavy cream mixture aside and allow it to cool completely at room temperature before use.
Procedure/Recipe for Churros:
1. Bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Add flour, sugar, and salt. Stir on stove just enough to dry dough out a bit and make panade. (Panade is what you call the dough at this point before you add the eggs).
2. Place panade into mixer and mix with a paddle attachment. Allow panade to cool off a bit while it mixes before adding eggs.
3. Begin to add eggs one at a time and allow each egg to blend well into the panade before adding more.
4. Do a test to know if choux paste is ready. For example, you can do the Hershey’s Kiss test. Dough should form a slight hook on your finger and not be stiff. If dough is too dry, add water to dough in small quantities and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
(If you’re like me and don’t yet own a stand mixer, remove pan from heat and allow it to cool slightly for a few minutes. Choux paste should be warm to hot. Add the eggs one at a time by hand, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated into the dough. Remember, at first it will seem as though the dough won’t accept the eggs. The dough will go through different stages while adding the eggs:
to slippery ->
5. Place dough into a pastry bag that has a #5 star tip. Pipe strips of dough into hot oil and fry until golden. Drain mini churros on paper towels.
6. Roll drained mini churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
7. Serve churros with ganache. Enjoy!
– Super airy and fluffy churros.
– Since the churros had a lot of hollow space inside, the hollowness really helped them absorb chocolate when dipped.
I’m about to go have some more churros right about now. I really can’t stop eating them!! DELICIOUS!! I should rebel like this more often.Read More