Food Trip Friday 090 : Homemade French bread

Coming back again to Food Trip Friday, I hope you guys still find me here.

So what’s new, you ask? Not much except that I’ve been making bread at home. For the first time, I made French bread. I was a bit hesitant to do it at first because it requires accurate measurements. Many of my friends know that I do not follow specified measurements nor instructions at all. To make the story short, I tend to do cheat and veer towards shortcuts when it comes to cooking and baking.

This time is no different but the end result is just right, lucky me. See for yourself. The baking deities must be pleased, lol

Fresh from the oven, still warm, of course!

Now imagine how quickly the Mister runs down the stairs after catching the aroma of baked bread in the air. Ooh, now all I can think of is that fresh bread and the smell wafting from my very own oven. Ahh, I can even imagine the smell of it right now while I’m typing this. Pardon moi.

Not counting calories here.

Food Trip Friday 083: Dulce de leche brownie

I’ve been experiencing chocolate and caramel cravings lately and as a result of that I’ve been making all sorts of baked goodies during odd hours. This week’s cravings resulted in this – dulce de leche brownie:

Sweet, creamy, fudgy dulce de leche brownie!

I used David Lebovitz’s recipe for this yummy treat. Although my brownie doesn’t look much and far from the ones that come out of David Lebovitz’s oven, I can attest to its fabulous flavour – the fudgy, chocolatey taste of the brownie plus the oh-so-luscious caramel is a heavenly combination.

***

Luscious dulce de leche!

Many years ago, my Venezuelan friend challenged me to make Venezuelan dishes. Out of that challenge, I was only able to make one, the corn-based snack called arepa. Actually there was one more thing that was in the list that I wanted to make but didn’t get around to doing, a dessert called arequipe, also known as dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is a favourite dessert in all of South America. It is basically sweetened milk cooked slowly until it is thick, golden brown and have a taste similar to caramel.

I made a big bottle of dulce de leche from two cans of milk and, oh my, when I tasted it, I almost ate half of the contents! It is sinfully sweet and sticky and I guarantee you you’d be licking your spoon. Yes, it is that gooooood! I use my homemade dulce de leche as palaman (spread) for my homemade hot pandesal or store-bought nom pang (local baguette). I discovered that vanilla and chocolate ice cream flavours taste more exciting with a dollop of dulce de leche as topping. Promise!! I didn’t stop there, naturally. I had to look for more ways to use dulce de leche and that’s when I came across David Lebovitz’s recipe. Next in my to do-list is dulce de leche banana bars. Can’t wait.

Food Trip Friday 079: Birthday profiteroles

Also shared at (first entry):

Two weeks ago we celebrated my husband’s birthday at home and with just the two of us. It has now become a “tradition” of sorts between us (and possibly will continue on as we build a family) to make the celebrant choose what he/she wants to do on his/her birthday instead of throwing a party (which he/she doesn’t really want, anyway) that we usually do on this occasion. So my dear husband just wanted to have a barbecue dinner with beer. As simple as that. And I thought of something to give him as a surprise, nothing fancy but at the same time, something that he would love and remember. Hence, the birthday profiteroles I baked for him:

My husband's birthday profiteroles. I would've wanted a luscious chocolate sauce pouring down on them but birthday boy likes chocolate frosting - made with dark chocolate and cream - so be it. It's his birthday, anyway 🙂

It took a lot of guts on my part to make them, to be honest. My husband and I love profiteroles and I’ve been wanting to make them for ages but the idea of making the choux pastry is V-E-R-Y intimidating. Who wouldn’t be? This pastry is classic French and very light that if the (very delicate) dough isn’t treated properly then everything will be a disaster.

Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate frosting. Next time I'm going to try the choco-custard filling and dip it in chocolate ganache. Obviously, we are a couple that's big on chocolates 🙂

I made a leap of faith at that moment because it was something that my husband wanted for his birthday and not a birthday cake. Just imagine how many times I prayed to the baking gods and goddesses to guide me in preparing a perfect dough to make the choux pastry. Once I’d gathered all the ingredients and started the procedure, this home-baker actually found it doable! It only takes confidence. Kumbaga, palakasan lang ng loob! So these were the results (above). And as mentioned above, be careful with the dough, otherwise, they will puff prematurely and deflate once taken out of the oven. I was glad my profiteroles came out just right the first time. Was it beginner’s luck or what? You be the judge.

P.S. There are lots of recipes to choose from online.