Monthly Archives: May 2008

Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

As had mentioned in my Pecan Honey Sticky Buns post, I planned on making a chocolate bread pudding with my brioche loaf. I started this recipe with the intentions of making Jill O’Connor’s Banana Bread Pudding. After letting the cut up brioche sit out for two days to get stale, the prepping began.

Danielle Bilton

Danielle Bilton

Danielle Bilton

I realized her recipe did not have chocolate in the custard. So I added a couple of things to her recipe, semi sweet chocolate and kahlua. I cracked the 8 eggs, measured the cream, milk, kahlua, melted the chocolate and butter before I noticed I didn’t have a bowl large enough to whisk all the ingredients together. That’s when I took out two large bowls and had to divide the liquids to really make sure everything was whisked together well. Once that was done, I combined the bread and the chocolate mixture to let sit for an hour covered in the fridge. When the pudding was done baking, my apartment smelled like a chocolate factory! After letting it rest for ten minutes, I handed my sister a spoon, and we simultaneously dug right into the fluffy, buttery, chocolaty, (and a bunch of other ‘ey’s) Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding…mmmmmmmm.

Danielle Bilton

Danielle Bilton

Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

1 loaf brioche (13 ounces) cut into 1 inch thick cubes, left out to dry and get stale, 2-3 days or you may toast cubes in oven and let cool

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

12 ounces of semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

1/4 cup kahlua

1/8 salt

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits

2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular or oval baking dish.

In a large bowl big enough to hold the custard and the bread, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and the vanilla. Whisk in cream, milk, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in melted and cooled chocolate and kahlua.

Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared dish, add the brioche and stir to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the pudding from the refrigerator and dot with butter bits. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover bread pudding with aluminum foil. Pierce a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the pudding and continue baking until it is puffed and golden and when a knife inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut the pudding into squares or spoon out filling. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

by Danielle Bilton

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was brought to you by Madam Chow of Madam Chow’s Kitchen

The broiche dough recipe is a really nice one. Very buttery and beautiful texture once baked.

These buns would’ve been perfect, had I checked them at the 20 minute mark, and not after the full 30 minutes. As a result, the sticky pecan topping came out like a hard caramel candy. Aside from that, I found one of the less cooked ones and after unhinging my teeth apart, I got a nice chunk of fluffy brioche bun. The whole thing wasn’t a complete loss, there were a few salvages among the ruins, but next time I’ll keep a closer watch on my buns in the oven!

Oh and stay tuned for a chocolate bread pudding that I’m going to make with this georgous broiche loaf.

by Danielle Bilton

Grade B Maple Vinaigrette

A few weeks ago Tara of Crumbs On My Keyboard Wrote this post about Grade B maple syrup. She explained the labor of love that goes into making one gallon of the syrup. The following Saturday, I brought home a jar of the dark syrupy goodness. I spooned it over my Greek yogurt  every morning and for dinner made Tara’s maple vinaigrette. By the time I finished my salad, I was wiping my plate clean with pieces of bread.

I also made sure there was enough left over for Nick and I to take to work the next day.

Grade B Maple Vinaigrette

April 4th, 2008 by Tara

Makes ½ cup

1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ c canola oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots in the hot oil just until soft and fragrant, not brown (about 1 minute). Transfer hot shallots to a small mixing bowl.  Add maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Add ¼ cup canola oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Madelines de Framboise

Danielle Bilton

This Tuesday’s Traditional madeline recipe was chosen by Tara of Smells like Home.

Raspberry Madelines de Framboise… A few things, I decided to make raspberry madelines to go with the pink feeling for a baby girl shower I was attending.

As I preped the batter, I sprayed and floured the pans, big mistake. As you can see in the photos, the spray clumped up, along with the flour. No wonder Dorie buttered the pan and didn’t spray it. I should have known better. Aside from that, the mom-to-be and her hungry guests, really enjoyed them. I also added about 2 drops of red food coloring to help with the raspberry color, otherwise they would have been a brown/mauve color after baked.

Danielle Bilton

Danielle Bilton

Danielle Bilton

Madelines de Framboise :

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup Fresh raspberry puree, passed through a strainer
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter, and raspberry puree. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

Danielle Bilton

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.

storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.

Rhubarb, Ramps, and Greens

What a weekend! We kicked it off with a well needed trip to the NYC union square farmer’s market. Walking off the subway, we were immediatly exposed to rhubarb bunches, baskets of eggs, piles of greens, and so on.

I picked out some rhubarb to top off my ginger cream tart for a baby shower I was attending the next day. And we stocked up on the best greens in town from Windfall farms

…and on our way out we picked up ramps.

Confection at One Girl Cookies

danielle bilton

Perfection. This past Friday night at Confection at the Brooklyn bakery, One Girl Cookies, we were licking our plates clean. I slurped down a medjool date and vanilla ice cream milkshake accompanied by a cardamom spiced french doughnut. Then we moved onto the lemon, olive oil, and almond torte topped with basil ice cream and basil seeds. I’ve been enjoying this wave of olive oil in desserts (ice cream, cakes, french macaroons…etc.). Olive oil is definitely the new lavender. Last, there was the chocolate panna cotta served with whipped creme fraiche and strawberry rhubarb sorbet. Nick is not one for soft textures, he prefers crispy and crunchy anything, as well as everything chocolate. As his eyes popped out of his head, he blurted out to Dave, (one of the owners and pastry chef), ‘This is the best thing ever!’. I thought, What?! ‘Hey Mikey! He likes it!’ I must have this recipe ASAP….Note to Dave and Dawn: may I please have that chocolate panna cotta recipe. Till next time folks.

Florida Pie

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was brought to you by: Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes

The Florida Pie was a cinch to make. It has 3 sinful layers, the German chocolate like coconut filling. The creamy, key lime filling. And the meringue topping with coconut flakes floating throughout. This pie is a tease though. As the coconut filling is reducing, the aroma spreads to everyone’s noses triggering the question, ‘Is it ready yet?’

Florida Pie

After assembleing the pie, and letting it rest in the freezer, I topped it off with the coconut meringue. Which then got a nice brulee under the broiler.

Florida Pie

I was pleased with the end result. Just a couple of thoughts: I think if you toast the coconut and then fold it in, it will give more depth to this pie. Instead of just raw chewy coconut, which is in the first layer. Also, I would make more key lime filling. Due to all of the coconut in the bottom and top layer, the key lime just gets a little to lost. In the end, I could not resist all the tropical goodness….

And then there was none….

Florida Pie:

1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar

Getting Ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.

Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.

Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.

To Finish the Pie with Meringue:

Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.

Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

Peanut Butter Torte

Peanuts Chopping
This weeks recipe was brought to you by: Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food

I think any dessert with peanut butter in it makes you think of your childhood. When I was 4 years old, I went a whole year eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. I still pile it high on my sliced apples.

Peanut Butter

The recipe was simple enough to make. I left the salt out in the crust, and used honey roasted peanuts, because that’s all I had.

Peanut Butter torte

I thought this was a good recipe to make for a kids party, but It is so rich, I didn’t use up all the filling. The nuts and the chocolate chunks in the mousse added a nice contrast in the torte. More thoughts to come later….

Peanut Butter Torte