Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For me?! Thank you!

Look at what I've just been handed by Mother Humble, fresh from her flight across the Atlantic. A gorgeous box of Ladurée Macarons.

What do you think... chill and slice up some of the world's best macarons? Give the macaron fanatic bakers out there a good visual idea of how these are done when they're done just right.

Who is interested? :)

Or, I could just eat them. Immediately.

Photos are ready! Cut them all up and not a gap to be found. Perfectly executed (didn't expect anything less). This is actually my first batch of professional macarons where I could not find even one gap or hollow when subjected to the Global knife test.

I'm going to post a few of the photos in full-res, that way any obsessive baker types can click them and get a better idea of the texture of matured macs (though a couple of these were a hair on the dry side for my own tastes). There are relatively few photos of actual matured macarons on the blog. I usually photograph them the same day I bake them, so this should be helpful.

Top left: Vanilla, Top right: Raspberry, Middle Right: Salted Caramel, Bottom Right: Rose

Salted Caramel & Rose
Raspberry & Vanilla

Pretty darn perfect, don't you think?

Enjoy the photos, I'm going to go enjoy the cookies now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

French Crullers with Honey-Sugar Glaze

Crullers are such gorgeous donuts, I could snap photos of them all day with sticky fingers. That is... if they ever lasted that long around here.

Not only are they photogenic, they're not terribly difficult to make. Perfect for the absent minded pregnant lady who wants a sweet treat asap.

For those unfamiliar with French crullers, they're different than your average yeast or cake donut. French crullers are light, airy and eggy morsels of powdered or glazed dough. (I usually tell folks: If you like Dutch baby pancakes, you'll enjoy these too.) They don't pack the same bellyache inducing carbohydrate-wallop that other donuts do. Which is a good thing, until you find yourself helping yourself to a second and then a third...

Monday, April 4, 2011

French Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Is it already April?!

Well, I'm wrapping up the final weeks of my pregnancy and I feel like a Weeble Wobble. Only I do fall down.

I've been devoting my energy towards getting things ready for the baby. Nesting, as many call it. One cannot deny the powerful hormonal urge to put things in absolute order. So I've been tearing up my house, reorganizing everything in sight and writing 'Honey-Do' lists that span pages. I've even been waddling around, cleaning the garage. Though, I suspect the newborn will spend little time in there.

The house looks great but I admit the kitchen has been neglected, logging only two baking sessions this month. I've had to fulfill my cravings with store bought treats. (Mr. Humble wants me to admit publicly that I threatened to kill Mr. Stinky, our sourdough starter, if he didn't bring me home chocolates one day after work. As they say, desperate times call for…) Though, I admit that I should probably knock that off, since store bought treats can be sub-par.

I had the most terrible eclair last week. How does one mess up choux, anyway? Hard, crunchy eclairs? Why, why!?

Anyway, I've been keeping up on the blog-work, but not doing a lot of posting. I may have some help here soon though, blogging and otherwise. We've had some big news in the Humble family: Mother Humble is hanging up her English Wellies and moving across the pond to sunny, tropical Seattle. We expect her here in two weeks and she has promised to lend a hand, as I will be recovering from a caesarean next month. She has also expressed some interest in doing a little guest food blogging on NSHP.

Mother Humble is a terrific cook and someone who I credit for much of my comfort in the kitchen. I'm pretty excited about her posting. She may prove more entertaining than myself, since she has a rather quirky streak in her nature. Whatever she posts, it will likely be delicious and help relieve some of the lulls we've been experiencing while I'm down and out from babies.

So enough updating as to my status, let's get down to the food!
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