Week 1 of the Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge. Let's do this! Here's this week's Drizzle Cake, by Paul Hollywood.Read More
French Style Macaron Shells
85 gm almond flour
150 gm powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature
65 gm granulated sugar
Assorted gel food colorings and fillings
Combine almond flour and powdered sugar and pulse in food processor 10-15 times.
Beat egg whites to medium soft peaks, add the granulated sugar and beat in high until stiff peaks form. Add food coloring, and mix.
Fold almond/sugar mixture into egg whites, then use macaronnage technique to loosen the batter so that it flows in a ribbon from the spatula and slowly flows to smooth surface. This is done by smearing the batter against the bowl with the spatula to delate the batter until it loosens and the ribbon from the spatula settles into the batter.
Using a pastry bag and 1/2 tip, pipe in on to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. You can create a template so all the macarons are the same size.
Rest the macarons uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the surface feels dry when gently touched. While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 275-300 degrees F.
Bake 15-25 minutes, or until the macarons are firm to the touch. It is better to overbake than under bake.
The Little French Bakery 2017
Allow the macaron to cool completely, then peel from the paper/Silpat. Fill with flavored buttercream, jam or paste such as Nutella. Refrigerate 24-48 hours before serving. This process is osmosis, and will make the shells chewy, keeping the crisp shell. This is the process used by French patisseries and is very important. Don’t plan on eating your macarons the same day you make them. (though it’s very tempting!)
Spring has sprung and we're so excited for Summer. Our strawberries are popping, it's radish season and we're scheduling summer and early fall classes.Read More
While in Paris, it's so fun to track down delicious patisseries and boulangeries. Join us October 22-29, 2017 for a week you'll always remember. Here's sneek peak at one of the beautiful hotel rooms.Read More
Thanksgiving is approaching and it's time to gather recipes for your dinner. I've created a Brandy & Cranberry dressing using Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Pork Roll. I love making Thanksgiving dinner. There has been a few disasters over the years, but they've made great memories. What are your favorite memories?Read More
Paris! I'm back from the first tour, and so excited for the next one. The jet lag has worn, off and the suitcases are packed away. We had such a fun time. Here are a few stories and photos from the trip.
My deepest sympathies go to those affected near and far by the attacks on Paris. Our world needs peace.Read More
This post is sponsored by Jones Dairy Farm
As summer winds down and children of family and friends begin heading off to school, I'm amazed at the bounty of summer produce around us. It's been hot, cool, dry and wet all in the matter of a few weeks leading to bumper crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and many other summer favorites. For as long as I can remember, summer suppers could be made of corn on the cob, tomatoes and lots of napkins (and butter!).
Another favorite summer meal is a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich). While we can find tomatoes in the grocery year round, nothing beat the taste of a garden fresh tomato fresh from the vine.
I've got some huge, beautiful tomatoes and lettuce from our CSA growers (a shout out to Fox Line City Farm!) I'm nearly half way to my BLT. Perfect Sandwich Bread (from The Little French Bakery Cookbook) just begs to be made into toast. A week ago, I made several loaves, so I pulled one from the freezer and it's ready to go. Now for the fun part. The bacon. Don't you LOVE bacon? Crisp, perfectly cooked bacon. Jones Dairy Farm makes delicious Cherrywood Smoked Bacon, sliced thick and just what makes the sandwich complete. Instead of using plain mayo, I've made it a bit spicy for a fun twist. And one more twist... shaved turkey! It's approaching Club sandwich status, but still fits the BLT bill.
The bacon smelled so good as I cooked it. Sometimes I bake it in the oven. This time I cooked it in a grill pan on the stovetop, and set it on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Next, using a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I mixed about 1 tablespoon of the sauce into about 3 tablespoons of prepared mayonnaise. If you don't like it too spice, add less and if you'd really like a kick, add more to taste.
The bread is toasted, the tomatoes sliced and I'm ready to assemble. I know some people have a special order of assembly, I like to add mayo to both slices of bread and have the tomato closest to the bread so the juice gets soaked in the bread, and doesn't run down my wrists. When I assemble, rather than breaking off the bacon to fit into the sandwich, I like to keep it hanging out. those bacon end are my first bites. And they're SO GOOD!
I'm sure you'll love Jones Dairy Farm bacon. Give it a try the next time you're making a BLT or serving bacon for breakfast!
Are you looking for a great bread recipe for making sandwiches and toast? My Perfect Sandwich Bread recipe makes four loaves. One to eat now, and a few to eat later. The bread freezes really well, so you could even tuck one in the freezer for another day.
I've got a few classes coming up this fall. There's still room in the November 7th Croissant and Pain au Chocolat class. Hope you'll join me. Or, gather a group of friends and schedule a class of your very own.
Have a great summer supper, be safe and be kind.
Peace, Love and Dessert,
What a fun summer day! Friends Old and New joined me for a fun day in the country.Read More
It's a perfect morning here in Wisconsin. It's the kind of day we dream about in January when it's too cold to go outside and your eyelashes feel like they're going to freeze.
Not this morning. The birds are chirping, the breeze in perfect and I got to enjoy fresh strawberries with yogurt and granola on my deck with a steaming cup of coffee.
I have a few favorite things I'd like to tell you about. I'll keep it short but they're very fun and may make your life easier.
Living here in the Dairy State, we have all kinds of dairy events. June is dairy month, and events are happening all over. Cows on the Concourse brings cows to the Capital square in Madison. Each county has a dairy breakfast where a farm is featured and breakfast is served to hundreds of visitors. Today I'm making butter. Make from the best organic heavy cream. It's easy and so delicious!Read More
What an exciting Spring! I spoke at ALT Summit and had a blast at the Sweet Paul Makerie. The Utah mountains provided a gorgeous backdrop for the week. What make it even better a delicious Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake recipe. This time I've made it gluten free.Read More
Happy belated St. Patrick's Day and Happy Spring!
As I write this, I'm looking out the window at snow. It's Spring, and the snow won't last long but it would be really nice to have our warmer temperatures back. I'm ready for crocus, daffodils, tulips, and muddy dog paws. There are so many fun things coming up, and I want to be sure you know about them.Read More
Oui! You've read that correctly. It's going to be so exciting! I'm heading to Paris in October and this time you can join me.
We'll eat, tour and shop our way around Paris enjoying all my favorite culinary delights. Burkhalter Travel is making all the arrangements for us. If you live somewhere other than the Madison/Baraboo area, I'm sure they'll help you figure out a way to meet us, or leave from your city.
At tomorrow night's BRAVA Salon event, Denise from Burkhalter Travel will be there to answer questions and tell you all about it. Then, on March 25th, we'll have a information session at Burkhalter to meet and talk more about the details.Read More
It's Ground Hog's Day, and it looks like we'll have six more weeks of winter. That's okay, because there is so much happening around The Little French Bakery
If you're got a copy of the cookbook and would like it signed, I'll be at Bekah Kate's on February 6th from 6-8 p.m. during the Chocolate and Wine event. It's such a fun night. What could be better than chocolate and wine? I'll be bringing my thermal pumper filled with Sipping Chocolate. Stop by and say hi!
Wow! Last week was incredible It was an exciting week of firsts. My first TV appearance and first radio interview. What fun! I'll hopefully be able to share a link to the NBC 15 interview with you.
If you'd like to listen to my interview with Laura and Karen from AM 950 in Minneapolis, here's the link:
What else is new? The BRAVA Salon on February 19, 2015 at Nonn's Flooring in Middleton, Wisconsin.
It's going to be a great evening! I'll be demoing and talking with Kate Bast, the Editor-in-Chief of BRAVA. There will be French inspired food and drinks, and very cool pop-up shops. I'm so looking forward to seeing you there!
Last by not least, I'm working away adding classes to the schedule. I've just added a few more today. More classes will be coming, stayed tuned! Feel free to add a comment and tell me what classes you'd like to see on the schedule.
We're shoveling out from yesterday's snow. Hope you're having a nice sunny day wherever you may be.
Be safe and be kind,
Hi everyone! The Little French Bakery Cookbook is finding its way to your homes. I'm having a wonderful time seeing you at signing events. It makes me so happy that you're reading the book and trying the recipes. Thank you! Oh how I wanted my book to be perfect. But guess what? Please say it isn't so. There are a few tweaks and corrections. If you've read the story, You're My Favorite Chicken, you've learned I'm from perfect. I tried, I really tried to get the recipes perfect. Lots and lots of eyes read and prepared the recipes and some goofs still snuck through. I'm trying to remain calm, and get you the corrections right way. It's so strange that many the corrections are related to flour.
Grab your copy (first edition.. Yay!) and here are some notes.
- On page 137, add 1 1/2 cups flour to the Kitchen Sink Cookie Recipe.
- On page 148, Perfect Birthday Cake. I transposed the numbers for the grams of flour. It should be 438 grams. This recipe make a lot of batter. Fill your three pans just over 1/2 full. If you have batter left over, you could make cupcakes!
- In the croissant recipe, the detremor should include 4 2/3 (595 gm) all-purpose flour
-On page 155, Marry Me Flourless Chocolate Cake, fold the flour ( or gluten free flour) into the chocolate mixture after you've stirred in the butter.
- Just a note about the Banana Cake. It's sweet, dense and similar to Banana Bread. It's very tasty, though some are finding the cake texture a surprise. Use yellow, not squishy ripe bananas and it won't be so sweet.
I'll keep you updated with any other changes. Thank you for your support and kindness.
A few readers have asked why there weren't any pictures of the resident pooches. Mike and Heather Krakora of Krakora Studios took several when they were here. Here are a few of my favorites.
Happy Thanksgiving to my USA readers!
It's been in the works for over a year, and I'm counting the days until The Little French Bakery Cookbook is released. I can't thank you all enough for your kind words of support, and interest. It's just over two weeks away, and there are some great venues available to stop by, and pick up a copy or bring your pre-ordered copy in for me to sign.
For my readers too far away to stop by in person, I'll have some bookplates available (SOON!) in my website's store. Just let me know in your order who you'd like the bookplate signed for, and it will go out in the mail.
Here's the list on upcoming events and locations:
Thanks again! I'll keep you posted on The Little French Bakery Facebook Page with additions, and more details for each location.
Travel safe, and be kind.
What could be better than make from scratch flaky, delicious croissants and pain au chocolat. This is one of my very favorite classes to teach. Here's the recipe for making your very own French vienoiserie at home.
What could be better than using three sticks of butter and pounding it into a cute little square!Read More
Happy Fourth of July weekend! To celebrate, I've made all-American biscuits with Strawberry Jam. We don't eat a lot of biscuits here in the northern states, but we certainly enjoy them. There are many not-so-good (think hockey puck) biscuits. I think mine were pretty good. They were light, fluffy and had a really nice flavor.
Early this Spring, Gary and I traveled to the South on a road trip. One of our stops was Charleston, South Carolina. We enjoyed a delicious dinner was at Poogin's Porch. Upon arriving, we were presented with a basket of light, fluffy biscuits. I became obsessed with biscuits and set off to find the secrets for making them, just right.
As luck would have it, our hotel had a Southern Living Magazine. One of the articles was on making biscuits. I've used those tips, with others, to make some pretty darn good biscuits.
Another one of our stops was Chattanooga, Tennessee to see our friends, Jerry and Nancy. I needed Martha White Flour, and my guess was I needed to pick it up before heading home if I wanted to find it. Ta-da! I quick trip to a market and I had just what I needed. As an aside, downtown Chattanooga has some great new restaurants.
Back to business. The biscuits are made with flour, cold shortening, sugar, baking powder and buttermilk. To put the finishing touch on the biscuits, I'm topped them with homemade strawberry jam from my friend, Dana. She picked the berries about 1/2 mile from my house. It's SO pretty and delicious!
To make the flour as light and well-mixed as possible with the other dry ingredients, I used a tamis, or French sieve. Any sifter will do. I sifted three times.
Here the tips for making biscuits:
1. Be sure all the ingredients are cold.
2. Handle the dough as little as possible.
3. Make a claw shape with your fingers and use them to stir in the buttermilk.
4. Dip the biscuit cutter in flour, press straight down, and pull up. Don't twist the cutter.
5. Place the biscuits "shoulder to shoulder"on the baking sheet so they rise and don't spread out.
To print recipe click HERE
Recipe: Southern Biscuits
5 cups self-rising flour (I used Martha White)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 pound (113 grams) cold shortening
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and crumble together with the flour mixture until the shortening is in pea to marble sized pieces. Add the buttermilk in three additions, gently used your fingers to mix, until just combined.
Pat the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough to 1 inch thick. Dip a 2 inch cutter into flour, then press into the dough to cut, pull straight up/out. Repeat to cut the about 16 biscuits. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter when just out of the over if desired.
I've got lots more to tell you about our trip. Have a great holiday weekend. Be safe and be kind.
Lemon and Blueberries go so well together. Make this for a delicious Spring brunch.Read More