Puff Pastry

Puff pastry frightens many bakers. For sure, one needs to leave enough time to prepare it.
It takes just a few strokes of the rolling pin to spread the dough and mix the butter with the moistened flour to create the puff pastry. Try it. It’s fun!
3 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature*
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups ice water
4 sticks unsalted butter
Moistened flour:
Add sifted flour and salt to mixer (with mixing paddle or dough hook) and pulse adding small amounts of water at a time. We want to form a crumbly loose ball. Do not over mix because that will toughen the dough.
Or by hand:
Make a fountain or a mountain of the sifted flour. Add salt around the outside and then make a hole in the center from top to bottom. Slowly add small amounts of water to the flour, pinching with your fingers or gently mashing with a fork until you can form crumbly loose ball.
Wrap the dough in parchment and then put it into a plastic bag. Let it rest in fridge for 20 min.
Making the dough:
Roll the dough into a square.
Place the rolling pin on the diagonal leaving the center intact and roll to the corner. Repeat it in each of the four corners. (see diagram) 
Wrap the butter. 
Step 1: Roll dough into ½-inch thick rectangle and fold it into thirds. 
Make a one-quarter turn and repeat step one. 
Rest the dough in fridge for 20 min.
Repeat step one two more times.
Rest dough again in fridge for 20 min.
Repeat step one two more times.
It’s done!


Pound-cake with my friend Karen

My friend Karen and I meet together on Wednesdays. We translate, make and taste some of my French recipes. Here is the first one. It is also, the first one I  learned how to bake when I was a child.

The Pound Cake, as the name indicates, is an assemblage of 4 ingredients all of the same weight. 
Each ingredient must have the exact same weight.
For example: 4 eggs, each egg weighs 2 oz.
Total eggs = 8 oz.
Sugar = 8 oz.
Butter = 8 oz.
Flour = 8 oz. (or 4 oz. flour and 4 oz. corn starch)
Baking soda = 1 tsp.
Loaf pan approximately 12x5x3
Pre-heat oven 350°F
Part 1: Separate yolks from whites.
Part 2: Mix or whisk yolks with 3/4 of the sugar.
Part 3: Add melted butter (warm not hot) to the yolks.
Part 4: Beat the whites with a whisk or a mixer. When whites begin to turn white, add remaining sugar. Continue beating until the whites become completely white.
Part 5: Add flour and baking soda to butter/yolks/sugar mixture.
Part 6: Stir 1/4 of whites into flour/butter/yolks/sugar mixture.
Part 7: Fold above mixture (part 6) into remaining whites.
Pour into a buttered loaf pan (approximately 12x5x3) or line with parchment paper.
Bake for 40 minutes.
To make sure it is done put a toothpick into center. If it comes out clean, remove from oven.
Serve with fruit salad or chocolate mousse.
Tip 1: To increase flavor add: 1/2 tsp. vanilla or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or pinch of nutmeg or 1 tsp. lemon zest or 1/2 cup chocolate chips or 1 tbsp. rum.
Tip 2: For gluten allergies replace the flour with chestnut flour or quinoa flour.
Tip 3: For dairy allergies replace the butter with coconut oil or almond oil or hazelnut oil.
Tip 4: No idea for egg substitution!!!!
Tip 5: If you replace the sugar with honey do not add additional flavors. The honey alone will suffice and bring originality to your Pound Cake.

Cacao pasta salad

This is a very uncommon recipe. I found cocoa pasta in Boston and I bought 3 packs. Unfortunately the store is closed. When I am out of stock I am going to try a recipe by myself and I’ll post it. 
Chocolate pasta can be ordered on line. I know it is expensive so I suggest you to find a recipe on line to make pasta before I give you mine. 

Cocoa pasta from Hotel Chocolat or homemade
Vanilla Custard 2 cups
Raspberries 1 or 2 cups
Small Chocolate chips 1 cup
Small Marshmallows 1 cup
Leaves of Mint
Cook pasta in big quantity of water following the direction on the package
Leave pasta cooling after pour it in a nice dish
Add custard, 2/3 cup of raspberries, 2/3 cup of chocolate chips, 2/3 cup of small Marshmallows and mint cut with scissors (keep few nice leaves).
Mix the ingredients together and refrigerate 1 hour
Before serving garnish with raspberries, chocolate chips, small Marshmallows and mint remaining

Ready to serve original and delicious!

Winter tutti frutti salad

Very easy to make, this salad is a rich source of vitamines.
The quantity of the ingredients depend of the size of the salade you want.

Crumbled cookies ( for this recipe I added dried waffles and amaretti but you can put other cookies. Flavor will be different.)
Apples in lemon juice
Clementines in cubes
Kiwis in cubes
Small marshmallows
Oranges in circle
Make it in a very beautiful jar. 
I bought this one in Homegoods few years ago. I suppose they still sell it. I saw it in stores more than once.