I love me some soda bread.
Finnish Rieska is a flat quickbread (ie. leavened chemically with baking soda and powder instead of yeast) made in Finland that can be similar to soda bread, depending on how you make it.
Though Rieska is a traditional Finnish flatbread, its preparation varies across the country. Often it’s made with barley flour, sometimes it’s oat or rye, and even potato is popular. The thickness of rieska can vary too from cracker-thin to thick-and-bready.
I’ve never been all that interested in making it until I saw a version containing oats on the King Arthur Flour website. I love oats! Their flavour imparts a nutty quality that I absolutely adore in pretty much anything.
Finnish Oat and Rye Rieska
From King Arthur Flour
This was my first rieska attempt and it turned out awesome! Instead of spreading my rieska batter thinly out over an entire baking sheet, I piled it up in a 9″ round cake pan to garner the “thick-and-bready” texture that reminded me of a muffin. This bread tastes fantastic with a robust cheese and if I sandwiched a fried egg in there too it made the perfect breakfast.
35g (1/2 c) rolled oats
113g (1 c) rye flour
128g (1 c.) all-purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
25g (2 T) sugar
57g (1/4 c) butter
1 1/2 c buttermilk (or 1 1/2 c milk with 1 1/2 T vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 500°F (high temperature is good for a wet dough like this).
Grease a baking pan or baking sheet. The original recipe calls for a 9×13″ baking pan which would make a thinner bread than the 9″ round pan that I used. I’ve seen some recipes where the dough is spread very thinly on a whole baking sheet too, so the choice is yours. Just remember that the thinner the dough the quicker it will bake.
In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.
Crumble the butter into the dry ingredients with your hands until it is thoroughly distributed. Stir in the milk or buttermilk to get a very sticky batter.
Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and, using wet hands, pat it out so it fills the pan.
Bake the bread for 15 to 17 minutes (for a 9×13″ bread), until the top is light golden brown and springs back when gently touched.
Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack before slicing.9 Comments
Remember the pheasants that Matt brought home from one of his co-workers?
Well, we cooked them.
The first pheasant Matt roasted in the oven with a dry rub of miscellaneous spices that he enjoys. The bird was rather tough and I felt that I was gnawing at it with my teeth. It had a typical poultry taste but reminded me more of turkey than of chicken.
I took a different approach with the second bird since I knew what I was in for (ie. tough meat), I figured a good way to prepare it would be in a hearty pie. Because, obviously, I love pie.
It tasted much better this way. The meat was still tough but was tenderized by the longer cooking and the sauciness of the pie filling. . . plus everything tastes better topped with a flaky crust.
Pheasant Pot Pie
1 recipe for Perfect Pie Crust, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4 c chicken broth
1 pheasant cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 breasts, 2 thighs)
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
In an large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add all the pheasant pieces, return to a boil, then lower to heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pheasant pieces and transfer to a plate to cool for about 10 minutes.
Strain the stock and reserving both the vegetables and stock separately. Remove and discard the herbs.
While the pheasant is cooling, preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare the pie dough by rolling it out to the size and shape of the baking dish you will be using for your pie (I used a 9×13”).
When the pheasant is cool enough to handle, pull the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour then whisk in the stock one ladle at a time. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Continue cooking until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream then stir in the chicken pieces and vegetables until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer the filling to a baking dish. Cover with the rolled out pie dough and bake for 40min or until the crust is golden brown.3 Comments
While I’m talking about cakes, here’s one that was leaps and bounds more successful than the last.
This recipe comes from Pellegrino Artusi, the author of the veritable bible of recipes from all regions of Italy: La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiare Bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well) which he published in 1891.
As an uber-geek interested in both food and history, I get overly excited by historic recipes like that time I found out that the National Archives has a full copy of The New Galt Cookbook on their website(!)
I like to think about how much more work it would have been 100 years ago to prepare food compared to today. I think’s it’s amazing both how little and how much recipes have changed over the years. And I think eating food from historic recipes gives you a real connection to the past.
In my grade 12 Modern European History class, we had a project where we had to prepare a dish typical of revolutionary France. I still recall showing up to school smelling like fried bacon and onions from the roasted squash dish that I made that morning. Best. Project. Ever.
Italians love simplicity– seriously, just ask my Nonna. If she calls you “simple” it really is the utmost compliment.– even in their desserts. In this sense, Torta Margherita is classically Italian.
It’s an unintentionally gluten free and dairy free cake that has only 4 ingredients. It is made with potato starch (not potato flour) and leavened with egg whites. It’s cheap to make, it’s easy to make (although it would have arguably been a hell of a lot more labour intensive before the age of electric mixers and beaters), and it is a really great, light cake.
The taste and texture sort of reminds me of ladyfinger cookies which makes me think it would be awesome in a tiramisu. I ate mine with a very hefty drizzling of coconut curd (which is also coincidentally gluten free and dairy free).
Pellegrino Artusi’s Torta Margherita Recipe
This is a very simple cake that can be served in many ways. Simply with a dusting of icing sugar and dunked in a caffe, or served with a berry compote, or as part of a trifle or tiramisu, or you can drizzle it with an Asian coconut curd called Kaya if you want a really cool cross-cultural fusion like I did.
You can also play around with the flavours, swapping orange zest or vanilla or perhaps even a little rum for the lemon zest.
120 grams potato starch, sifted (not potato flour)
120 grams granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
Zest of 1 lemon
Butter a round cake pan and line with parchment. I used a 6″ pan for a taller cake but you can also use an 8″ pan for a wider cake and bake it for less time.
Preheat the oven to 350*F
In a large bowl, beat the yolks together with the sugar until very pale and creamy. Add the lemon zest and the potato starch and beat until combined. Note: the potato starch will make the batter very tough and tacky, but don’t worry the egg white will lighten it up so it’s smooth and pourable.
In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold the whites gently through the batter a little at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake at moderate heat for an hour or until the cake is firm and passes the toothpick test.
Remove from the pan to a wire rack and let cool. Serve as desired with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or with whatever accompaniment that you like (like coconut curd, for example).5 Comments
It’s the 15th of the month, that means it’s time for this month’s Baking Partners Challenge.
The theme for this month is Cheesecake!
I personally love rich desserts, so I can never say no to cheesecake (not that I ever say no to any dessert). Plus, it’s super versatile and lends itself well to countless different flavours and varieties.
I’ve made a handful of cheesecakes before and they’ve all been delicious, rich, creamy cakes. So I was excited to try a cheesecake of a very different variety: chiizukeiki or Japanese cheesecake.
(Sidenote: How fun is it to say chiizukeiki? Honestly, I’m never going to call it cheesecake again.)
What’s the story?
Chiizukeiki is the Japanese version of cheesecake.
Unlike American cheesecakes which are thick, crusted custards, Japanese cheesecakes have no crust and are made in the style of a soufflé instead, that is, it has a base of eggs yolks and cream cheese and is leavened with whipped egg whites. But, don’t worry, there is sufficient enough flour, sugar, and cornstarch in a chiizukeiki recipe that it won’t deflate like a soufflé does.
As a result of this technique, the chiizukeiki is light and airy unlike any American cheesecake you’ve ever had.
It should look like this (source)
. . . that is, unless you fuck it up like I did and your chiizukeiki ends up with the consistency closer to fudge than soufflé. Wah waaaaaah.
I’m not exactly sure where I went wrong with this. Admittedly, I did sub all purpose flour for cake flour (I never have cake flour on hand) and then I accidently forgot to bake the cake in a water bath, so it could have been one of those 2 changes. The chiizukeiki ended up rising quite nicely in the oven, but then when I took it out it fell flat and was super dense.
I’m not sure whether I want to go through the effort to try making this again. I found the flavour a bit egg-y and not as sweet as I’d like, so I’d need to have a nice sweet sauce to pair it with.
Granted, lots of people in the baking partners group did execute this recipe effectively, so maybe it was just me. Maybe it’s totally worth making.
Chiizukeiki – Japanese Cheesecake
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter
8 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) milk
2 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) cake flour
1 ounce (1/4 cup) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 egg yolks, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 325F and line an 8″ springform pan with parchment paper and wrap the outside with aluminum foil (as the pan will be placed in a water bath before baking).
Combine the cream cheese, butter, and milk in a microwave-safe bowl microwave on high long enough to melt the cream cheese and butter, stopping and stirring occasionally, until you have a homogenous mixture. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together, then whisk that into the cheese mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt then whisk that into the cream cheese mixture.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the cream of tartar and all of the sugar and whip the mixture to soft peaks. With the machine on low, add the cheese mixture and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, place the pan in a water bath, and bake for 45 minutes, until the cheesecake is browned, firm, and set.
So I haven’t been doing too well with my Sugar Free Lent these last couple of weeks. My sugar cravings have come back and I’ve been sampling more and more desserts. Also I’ve been caving completely on Sundays (because, technically, Sunday’s don’t count). Today for instance I had a piece of pie and ice cream, and I sweetened my coffee with cinnamon sugar.
Last Sunday I ate these:
Nutella Banana Rolls
This is one of Matt’s favourite types of bread that I make.
Use a soft white bread dough (like this one)
Roll it out with a rolling pin into a big rectangle
Spread nutella and mashed banana on top
And then roll it up like a cinnamon bun.
You can either bake it as a loaf or cut it into buns (cinnamon bun style) and bake it that way. 350F for 30min or so should do the trick.
Spread nutella on top after it’s baked for extra luxuriousness. It totally hits the spot.3 Comments
It’s the 15th of the month, that means it’s time for this month’s Baking Partners Challenge. The theme for this month is Gelatinized Starch.
It can go by many names—tangzhong method, scalded flour, water roux—but they’re all essentially the same thing: Gelatinized Starch.
How Gelatinized Starch Works to Make a Soft Bread
Flour is made up of starch granules. Let’s think of them as bricks.
If you take some of that flour then add water and heat up, the starch gelatinizes. The starch granules in the flour will suck up all the water until they explode (think of a brick crumbling into sand) into starch molecules which suspend themselves in the water.
Your standard bread recipe doesn’t have the moisture, heat, or time for the starches to gelatinize during the baking process, so the bread is like a sturdy house built of starch ‘bricks’. It’s dense.
However, if you make ‘sand ‘ by gelatinizing the starch before baking the bread, then you’ll build yourself a sandcastle or, in bread terms, a soft and fluffy pillow of deliciousness.
Super Soft White Bread
Makes two 9”x5” loaves
Adapted from Christine’s Recipes
So in this recipe your starter is some flour that’s been heated up with water to 65*C to create a gel (known as the tangzhong method). This is added to the final dough, making a soft and fluffy bread.
This recipe is great on it’s own as a sandwich bread. It also makes a really good base for sweet breads (like cinnamon bread, or hot cross buns, or buns filled with custard) which are best with dough that has a soft crust and light crumb like this one does.
50g/ 1/3 cup bread flour
250ml/ 1 cup water
Final Dough Ingredients:
700g/ 5 cups bread flour
110g/ 1/2 cup sugar
10g/ 2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
250mL/ 1 cup water
All of the starter
12g/ 4 tsp instant yeast
60g/ 3 Tbsp oil
Directions – starter:
In a small saucepan whisk the flour into the water and remove lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Heat the mixture to 65*C. It will be thick and hold the ‘lines’ made by stirring with the whisk.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking right onto the surface of the starter. Let cool. It can be used immediately once cool or stored in the fridge for a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey.
Directions – final dough:
Combine all the dough ingredients into the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and then switch to the dough hook. (You can also mix the whole thing in a bowl with your hands and knead it manually). Knead on high speed for 6-10 minutes until the dough is elastic, smooth, and not sticky. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Proof in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
Transfer to a clean, floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Flatten each portion of dough into an oval shape. Fold like a letter: 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press, then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press. From the narrow end, roll the dough into a cylinder. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Place 3 side by side into each of 2 greased 9”x5” loaf tins, with seal facing down. Cover and proof in a warm place until double in size.
Bake in a pre-heated 356F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it’s thoroughly cooled.
Since Lent started last week and while I < em>been craving sugar, it’s not as much as I expected to.
. . . perhaps because I’ve been substituting sugar with more than my fair share of nuts and dried fruit. But in an attempt to stop myself from just eating them by the handful I decided make little truffles.
These are similar to the rosemary sea salt larabars that I’ve made before. They’re super easy. It’s just dried fruit and nuts in the food processor and formed into balls.
You can really do any fruit and nut combination. You can add spices or herbs or cocoa or flavour extracts. Anything goes.
For the nuts, I really like peanuts because they process smoother than almonds or other nuts. But any nut will do.
For the dried fruit, dates work best because they are sticky and smooth and hold together well when processed. I made this same recipe twice, one with dates and once where I subbed apricots for the dates. I preferred both the flavour and the texture of the date balls better so that’s the recipe I’m putting here.
Date & Peanut Truffles
makes about 15 balls
170g/6oz pitted dates
85g/3oz unsalted peanuts
a dash of sea salt
28g/1oz unsweeted shredded coconut
In a food processor, blend the dates, peanuts, and salt for 3-5 minutes until the mixture comes together into a smooth paste. Form with wet hands into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the shredded coconut.2 Comments
It’s the 15th of the month, that means it’s time for this month’s Baking Partners Challenge. The theme for this month is Macarons.
I know you guys, I gave up sugar for Lent but luckily for me I whipped these up a few weekends ago when I was still indulging in the white stuff.
I think I’ve only eaten macarons twice in my life and neither time was I all that impressed, so naturally I wasn’t excited for this challenge; I’d rather be eating macaroons instead (mmm… macaroons). But in a way I was excited because otherwise I probably would have gone my whole life without making macarons and that would have been a damn shame.
They were enjoyable, delicate, and eating them felt really indulgent though that last part may be because making them myself allowed me to fully appreciate all the effort that went into making these fickle little sandwich cookies.
I did a bit of research on macaron making before diving into it since I’ve heard they can be a bitch to make. I read blogs and books and magazines and watched the Sandwich Cookie Episode of Bake with Anna Olson more times than I care to mention.
Finally I was ready to start.
What is a Macaron?
Basically it’s a fancy sandwich cookie. The cookie part is made from almond meal, sugar, and well beaten egg whites to make a sweet biscuit that’s crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside. They’re so delicate that they pretty much have to be sandwiched together to hold up.
The filling is usually a jam or curd or ganache but I went with a buttercream which was really rich and very sweet (too sweet for some, but not for my sugar loving family).
The recipe I used was Martha Stewart’s recipe for French Macarons not to be confused with her recipe for Parisian Macarons which is somehow different in ways I fail to understand. (Are Parisians not French, Martha?)
Now of course a macaron is nothing without its filling and Martha has a number of recommendations that are just as complicated (if not more so) than the macarons themselves.
I liked the sound of Martha’s coconut filling because it is a Swiss meringue buttercream filling with coconut flakes stirred in . . . and I myself am equal parts buttercream and coconut fanatic.
I’ve never made Swiss meringue buttercream before since it involves complicated things, like double broilers and candy thermometers, of which I like to steer clear. So before starting I consulted my sister, the buttercream guru. (Legend has it she once made 18 different buttercream variations to find the perfect recipe.) She confirmed that Swiss meringue is a bit time consuming but figured I could manage it without experience. And manage it I did.
The Swiss meringue buttercream took a bit more attention than other frostings, but it had a nice smooth consistency that’ll get me making it the next time I tackle a cake.
With a successful buttercream under my belt (Quite literally. I ate a lot of it by the spoon.) I moved on to tackle the main event – the cookies. Making them wasn’t as complicated as I thought. I followed the recipe exactly, using a few extra tips that I learned along the way and I got good results.
The only issues I had were:
1) Piping perfect circles took a bit of practice and I was practically out of batter by the time I got the hang of it.
2) It was difficult to get the baking time right. I wish that I would have baked them maybe one minute longer because many of them were too soft and stuck to the parchment when I tried to pry them off.
Immediately after I made a batch, I wanted to make another. I wanted to get them perfectly right (ie. perfectly round and baked slightly longer) and I wanted to try adding a different flavour to the cookie and I wanted to experiment with different fillings. I liked the buttercream a lot, but if you’re not a fan of super sweet things , then try a ganache or a citrus curd filling instead.
Obviously I’m going to be making these again. . . in 40 days.
Tips and Techniques
Here are a few posts I found useful when it came to making my macarons.
Sandwich Cookie Episode of Bake with Anna Olson
Coconut Cardamom Macarons
From Martha Stewart
For the Filling:
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
For The Macarons:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup almond flour (aka ground almonds)
Pinch of freshly ground black cardamom seeds
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
For the Filling:
Place egg white and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and whisk on high speed until mixture is cool and stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes.
Leave meringue in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, on low speed, mixing after each addition. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut.
For the Macarons:
Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pulse the cardamom, confectioners’ sugar, and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift the mixture 2 times (don’t skip this step, sometimes there are big chunks of almond in the almond flour and you don’t want those).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add the sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on the baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks.
Tap bottom the of each backing sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let the cookies stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to 30 minutes prior to baking so that a sheen forms on the cookie and you can touch it with your finger without the batter sticking.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 8-10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macarons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macarons.)
Sandwich 2 same-size macarons with 1 teaspoon filling. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
So I finally made a Soufflé for the first time(!) thus crossing another item off my Winter Bucket List.
I got an HBC gift card from my brother-in-law for Christmas so on Saturday I went to Home Outfitters to find a soufflé dish to add to my growing collection of bakeware. I scoured all the shelves and all I the closest thing I could find was this round Corningware casserole dish.
It seemed a little bit wider and shallower than a normal soufflé dish (which is smaller in diameter and a bit taller) but I went with it for lack of other options. On the plus side, it rang up at $17 instead of the $39 sticker price (score!).
I decided to go with a recipe from the Keys to the Kitchen cookbook by Aida Mollenkamp.
I won the cookbook a while back in a blog giveaway and every. single. thing. that I’ve made from it (and I’ve made quite a few) has been a hit. I’d highly recommend this book for anyone who needs a broad staple cookbook (slash reference guide) with lots of tips, techniques, and recipes.
There are variations of almost every recipe and tips in the sidebar of each recipe so you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. I love that.
The book has a couple recipes for soufflé—an oatmeal breakfast soufflé and a herbed goat cheese soufflé—of which I tried the latter (though now I really want to try the former as well).
Making this wasn’t as hard or tricky as I thought it would be. I used all the tricks in the book (literally) and others that I read about online to make sure that I didn’t mess anything up.
Mine rose nicely and was light and fluffy. Also it tasted delicious. Absolutely, remarkably delicious.
The only problem, I think, was my soufflé dish. My soufflé came out perfectly cooked everywhere except it was slightly undercooked in the centre. I think maybe the size (slightly larger than what was recommended in the recipe) and shape of the soufflé dish might have had to do with it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So obviously with one semi-successful soufflé under my belt I’m no expert, but I did do some research before attempting my soufflé so to keep you from having to do all the research yourself, here are some soufflé making tips that I’ve discovered after my extensive reading:
Souffle Making Tips
Separating the Eggs: It’s super important to keep any specks of yolk from getting into the whites. Fresh eggs are key here because they are much easier to separate than old eggs whose membranes have broken down (so the yolk may break into the white when cracked). Cold eggs just out of the refrigerator separate more easily.
Whipping the Eggs: Just when you thought that fresh eggs were better, you learn that the whites from older eggs actually whip up much faster and higher than fresh egg whites. But stick with the fresh eggs because they will produce a foam that is more stable and will hold up better in soufflé-making.
Oh and those cold eggs that you just separated? Get them to room temperature before whipping because they’ll whip up much higher that way.
Finally, make sure the bowl and whisk that you use for whipping are completely clean and dry since any fats or oils will prevent the whites from whipping up nice and high (the same way the yolk specks would).
Folding: Be quick but gentle about folding the whites into the soufflé base.
In Advance: You can generally make the base a few days in advance without sacrificing the outcome of your soufflé as long as you bring it to room temperature before folding in your whites (which should, as mentioned above, also be room temperature)
While Baking: Keep the oven door shut. No peeking!
Rising and Falling: Soufflés have exactly two states of being: rising (as they heat up) and falling (as they cool down). When they’re not rising, they’re falling. So serve this bad boy right away otherwise it, like any other soufflé, will fall. Not that a fallen soufflé won’t be delicious—it will—but it does lose some of it’s oooh-la-la factor.
Herbed Goat Cheese Souffle
By Aida Mollenkamp Keys to the Kitchen
3 T unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1/3 c. grated Parmigiano cheese
3 T. all purpose flour
1 c. half-and-half cream (I used heavy cream)
1 T. fresh thyme leaves
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
pinch each of freshly grated nutmeg and cayenne pepper
6 large fresh eggs, separated when cold then brought to room temperature (you will only need 4 of the yolks and all 6 whites)
5 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled.
Heat the oven to 375F, arrange the rack in the middle and place a baking sheet on the rack. Generously coat a 6 cup soufflé dish with butter and sprinkle evenly with half of the parmesan cheese to coat. Set aside.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and stir occasionally until the flour has cooked slightly, about 3 minutes.
Gradually whisk in the cream, thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne, and bring to a simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat an whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Whisk in the goat cheese until evenly combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (be sure that both the whish and bowl are very clean). Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until the whites are glossy and peaks are droopy but hold onto a spatula, about 3 minutes more.
Fold one-third of the egg whites into the base mixture until well blended and no white streaks are visible. Add the remaining whites and gently fold until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared dish and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.
Place the soufflé dish on the heated baking sheet and bake until it is well risen (no peeking!), the top is browned, the edges appear dry, and the center is set, 25-30 minutes.
Serve immediately.7 Comments
It’s time for this month’s Baking Partners Challenge. The theme for this month is PIE!
This time around I had the chance to pick one of the recipe options for the group and I went with a tourtière– a classic French-Canadian meat pie.
I’ve never made a tourtière before and I wanted it to be good, so I searched out a recipe from my favourite French Canadian chef, Martin Picard of Au Pied de Cochon.
I love the hell out of pie.
I don’t make pies as often as I’d like because they’re dangerous in my company but I really, really love them (even if they’re not all that cool).
I’m fond of a flavourful and flaky crust (even if its flakiness sacrifices its appearance) and the filling is just an added bonus.
So for this recipe Picard’s crust was forgone in order to allow me to experiment a bit. I normally make my crusts with butter, but I figured there would be no better time to try a lard crust than in a pork-filled pie.
Lard is known for making very flaky pastry and, since I wanted to get more flakiness without sacrificing the flavour of butter, I split the fat in my pie crust recipe into a ratio of 60% lard to 40% butter. It was fantastic.
The lard crust seemed to me to be slightly harder to work with. As usual, it didn’t look the prettiest but the flakiness was stellar. I still have some lard left over that I would really like to try in a sweet pie next time.
Oh yeah, and about that filling? SO GOOD. This recipe was a huge hit with both Matt and I.
Martin Picard Tourtiere du Shack
I increased the amount of spices slightly from Picard’s original recipe to give it more flavour. The filling makes more than enough for one 9 inch pie, so I used the extra to make pork filled fatayer.
This recipe took me a full day to make but it’s not all hands-on time. If you plan it out properly you can make a lot of the components ahead of time and just pop the pie in the oven right before you want to serve it. I’d like to try freezing a prepared pie to see how that works.
Makes 1 very deep 9 inch pie.
Adapted from Martin Picard
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. cold lard cut into 1/2” pieces
1/2 c. cold salted butter cut into 1/2” pieces
8 – 10 Tbsp. ice water
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped, divided
4 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
5 whole black peppercorns plus freshly ground black pepper
5 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 2″ pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 medium button mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pounds ground pork
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup grated, peeled russet potato
All-purpose flour (for surface)
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
Pulse the flour, salt, lard, and butter in a food processor 4 or 5 times until you get large quarter-sized crumbles. (Forget the pea-sized business. You want big chunks here)
Add the water tablespoon at a time, pulsing once between additions until the dough just starts to come together. It will still be pretty crumbly but you should be able to form it into a ball with your hands.
Divide the mixture in half and form each half into a ball. Wrap them in plastic wrap individually and, once wrapped, flatten them into a disc. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before using. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 325°. Combine broth, 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, whole peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves in a medium pot. Add pork shoulder; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cover pot. Transfer to oven; braise until pork shoulder is tender and shreds easily, about 2 hours. Remove from oven; let cool.
Transfer pork shoulder to a work surface. Shred meat with your fingers and transfer to a medium bowl. Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve; add 1/2 cup juices to pork; discard solids in strainer.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 chopped onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves; cook, stirring often, until soft, 5–7 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until almost all liquid is evaporated, 5–7 minutes. Add wine; stir, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring often, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Add ground pork, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add potato. Cook until potato is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded pork with juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper; let cool slightly. Chill until cold, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
Roll out 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a 12″ round. Transfer to a deep 9” pie dish, leaving overhang. Fill with cooled meat mixture. Roll out remaining dough disk into a 10″ round. Place dough over meat filling. Fold overhang over top crust and crimp edges. Brush crust with egg yolk. Cut three 2″ slits in top crust. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°. Bake tourtière for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 40–50 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
If you’re looking for some more savoury pie recipes, here are a few that I’ve made and loved.
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