Archive for October, 2014


Okay, it’s been a few months since I participated as a buddy with the Bread Baking Babes. Enough already. The funny thing is that I have actually baked the bread every month….

Polenta Bread









Historical Bread


BBBuddy Badge Oct 14







So this month, Katie, from Thyme for Cooking chose a delicious bread that is meant to be eaten from the oven. Mmm….who doesn’t love warm bread oozing with gooey cheese??? Since it is just days before Halloween I made my version  a spooky blend of sourdough, pumpkin,roasted garlic (to ward off the vampires), onions carmelized with blood-red balsamic vinegar, and orangey cheddar cheese. Half was gone 20 minutes out of the oven. Enough said.

Please visit Katie’s site for the original recipe!

Make 1 large loafDSC_1621

3 oz  active 100% hydration starter
4 oz (1/2 c) pumpkin puree
1 tsp instant dry yeast
2 oz (1/4 c) water
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 oz whole wheat flour
6 oz AP flour (I had to add another tablespoon of flour)
3/4 tsp salt

Mix the starter, yeast, water and pumpkin puree together in a large bowl. Add  the flours and salt. Knead together for 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down and place in the fridge overnight in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, make the filling…DSC_1604

2 heads garlic, roasted and the cloves peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten (for a wash)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat and sauté the onions until soft. Add the herbs, the roasted garlic, and the balsamic vinegar; continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

The next morning…..

Take the bread dough out of the fridge and roll it into a rough 10 x 13 inch rectangle. Spread the mustard down the center in a strip, leaving about a 1 inch border at the top and bottom. Pile the onion/garlic mixture over the mustard strip then sprinkle liberally with the cheese, saving a small amount to sprinkle over top.


Using sharp knife and starting at 1 corner of dough, make diagonal cuts 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart almost to filling to form strips along 1 long side of dough. Repeat on other side, cutting diagonal strips in opposite direction.Alternating strips from each side, fold strips over filling to resemble braid, overlapping ends by 1 inch (2.5 cm) and brushing with some of the egg to seal. (which I totally forgot to do)


Cover with towel; let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Brush with the beaten egg .and place in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes then pull it out and sprinkle with the remaining cheese that you saved. Bake for another 5-10 minutes. Serve warm (or let cool completely).


You could also sprinkle the bread with black sesame seeds and paint a goblin face on the bread for a Halloween treat. My 8 year daughter loved it.

Happy Halloween


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The infamous Viennese Sachertorte is taking center stage today. This is a very traditional cake that has been made famous by the argument of who originated the recipe. This is between the Sacher hotel and the Demel Bakery, and it has even gone before the courts to decide, with intense legal battles ensuing between 1954 and 1963. In the end, the Sacher hotel won the rights to call it’s cake the “original” sachertorte  and gave the Demel the rights to decorate its tortes with a triangular seal that reads Eduard-Sacher-Torte.

In the end, it is a chocolate sponge cake brushed with apricot glaze and covered in a chocolate glaze. Perfect after a night of music at the Vienna opera house. Better yet, at your house after a delicious meal with friends.



This months Baker’s challenge is hosted by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. Korena is a crazy good baker, so I insist that you must visit her blog and show her lots of praise. She deserves it.

It has to be 15 years since I made a sachertorte, so this was a treat to bake. It really is a pretty dessert. Please visit Korena’s page to see her recipe for a 9 inch torte. Since I have don’t have a need for such a large cake, I made a 6 inch version, which will easily serve 6 people.

Overall, it is a pretty simple cake to bake if you break it down. You will need 2 bowls to make the cake; one to whip the egg whites, another for the eggs/butter/flour portion. I whipped my whites, then transferred them to a clean bowl while I then mixed up the remaining batter. The apricot glaze is just strained jam. The boiled chocolate glaze is traditional, but does require a candy thermometer. I am going to say that if you don’t have a candy thermometer that you could just use a chocolate ganache poured over it with the same results. It’s all about working recipes around what you have. So my friends, Bake On!


Chocolate sponge:

3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (2.2 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4  cup (1 oz) almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz (3/4 stick ) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Apricot Filling/glaze:

2/3 cup apricot preserves (I actually used low sugar spread and I  eyeballed the amount)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon rum

strong>Boiled chocolate icing:

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (30 g)  cocoa powder
1/3 cup (80 ml) water

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease and flour (I prefer to use cocoa powder) a 6 inch springform pan.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until firm peaks form. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the butter and the remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then gently fold in the beaten egg whites until no white streaks are left. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, level off the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tested with a clean toothpick. Let cool for 10 minutes then loosen the ring and let cool completely.

Invert the cake onto a cake board or plate (the bottom is now the top). Slice the cake horizontally in two.

Sept 26, 2014

make the filling/glaze

Put the preserves and the water in a bowl and heat until warm. Give it a good stir, mix in the rum, then strain to get out any big fruit bits.

Place the bottom layer of cake (on the cake board) onto a wire cooling rack  set over a piece of wax paper.This is to catch the drips; if you skip this step you will have a mess on your hands! Brush the top of the layer with some of the warm jam. Let it set up for 5 minutes before placing the top on. Remember, your top layer started out as the bottom of the cake. Brush the entire outside of the cake with the remaining jam mixture. Let this set while you make the chocolate icing.

October 27, 2014

make the boiled chocolate icing

Place the sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder and water into a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until blended and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sauce registers 220 F on a candy thermometer.

Pour the hot sauce (be careful!) into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and glossy. Stirring makes it thick and smooth.


Pour the chocolate icing over the top of the cake and spread with a spatula to cover the cake completely. Work as quickly as possible as to get the smoothest surface. Let stand until the icing is set (about 20 minutes) Lift the cake with two flat spatulas onto a serving plate. ..

NOW… if you want to get fancy (and who doesn’t?) you can melt a little chocolate and pipe it over the top to write out “sachertorte” or some pretty designs. Feel free to thin the chocolate out a little with a pinch of coconut oil or shortening. I used semisweet chocolate for my writing so it would show up better against the dark chocolate glaze. It really looks just a pretty without it so don’t stress yourself out if you are afraid of piping on your now beautiful cake.

Serve with a large dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!!!



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