5.27.2018

Sfogliatelle Adventure with Karen

Karen and I had a meet-up in her new refurbished kitchen and Karen suggested that we make Sfogliatelle, apparently the symbolic dessert of Naples, Italy.

We used this recipe from Nonna Box [the same ingredients show up on most Google recipe searches].
Some of the instructions were vague, and I'll add my comments in the photo essay that follows.

The Dough.
Dough, before kneading.

Karen kneaded
and kneaded
and kneaded.
"Then gradually add water," says the recipe
We added too little too slowly.

After 1.5 hours (WAY too long), we were finally happy with the dough's texture.
We were mistaken!

First strip of dough after running it through the pasta attachment on the Kitchenaid. 

Four strips completed.

Rolling up the dough "sausage shape" [burrito].
The dough had to rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours. We ate snacks and then made the filling.

The Filling.
We substituted chopped dried apricots for the candied orange peel.
The Assembly.

Cross sections of "burrito"

Slicing into 1cm rounds
"Use your fingers, greased with lard or butter, to make an impression on the center to create a cone shape." 
What does this mean? We did the best that we could. We had no Nonna to boss us around.
Our best guesses.
The Baking.
"...bake the pastries for about 30 minutes"
Are they done yet? I don't think so, what do you think?
15 minutes later...
The Finale.
Embellishing with powdered sugar.
They looked OK.
Alas, the taste was underwhelming -- after all that work, we wanted spectacular!
We tried dousing them with glazed strawberries.
It didn't help.
The Verdict.
The filling was great. The dough came out too tough and had a blah flavor.
Will reuse the filling recipe and put it in something less labor-intensive. Like mini pastry cups.

Yesterday, I found this recipe on Epicurious (not quite same ingredients) that goes into more detail on the process. Don't think I'll bother trying it!

The best part was hanging out with Karen. We're going to go for something savory next time.

3.29.2018

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery

All hail the Eagle Rock Italian Bakery Almond Cookie! 

Loads of delicious Italian cookies to be found here:
We got Almond Cookies, Pistachio Cookies, and Pignoli Cookies -- all delicious.
Severo shops.

The colossal 10 pound Chocolate Egg, for Easter gluttons.
Severo also got some cake slices -- he couldn't resist!
(Just give me the Almond Cookies and I'll be happy).
Eagle Rock Italian Bakery
1726 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Tel: 323-255-8224

OPEN DAILY
Monday - Saturday . 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday . 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

3.08.2018

Republic of Pie

Return visit!
The Republic of Pie serves THE best pecan pie I have ever had!
What makes it so good? I hint of orange zest.
(from an earlier visit)
After our Oaxacan feast (read about it on The Glutton), we still had room for dessert.
Oh yeah!
We got Pecan, Blueberry Peach (YUM!) and Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding (behemoth serving!).
(in case you didn't click to the Glutton post)
Kim, my second cousin, in town from Boston for a business trip, was elated? horrified? to discover that RoP is across the street from her company's HQ. I don't know how she resisted going until we met her the last night of her stay. And I doubt she'll wait when she next visits!

Republic of Pie, 11118 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA, 91601

2.23.2018

Hey there, dessert lover...

I'm too busy eating cupcakes and other sweet things to post here often.
Nah, just distracted.

SOME DAY, I'll get back to working on my Dessert Safari project.

Meanwhile,
[Not my art -- available on Etsy]

7.24.2017

Milk Jar Cookies, Los Angeles

Desserts have been on my mind more than usual lately (which means I've been thinking about them A LOT).
My gallery, TAG Gallery, had to move out of Bergamot Station (goodbye most excellent brownies and mint lemonade from the Bergamot Cafe) due to an impossible rent increase. It has relocated to the "Miracle Mile" district at 5458 Wilshire.

Milk Jar Cookies is two doors west, at 5466.
The cookies are REALLY GOOD.
Severo got me hooked, when he obtained the Lemon Blueberry and Chocolate Caramel Pecan the night of my latest reception [#mycommute, which is up until 8/5/17, btw].

I brought home this haul with the intention of sketching them.
Ha.
Cinnamon Sugar, Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip,
Lemon Blueberry, Chocolate Caramel Pecan, Banana.
Only managed to get the Chocolate Caramel Pecan done [and I fear that it looks kind of, um, unsavory].
Looks like I'll have to get more Lemon Blueberry and Banana (my favorites)!
What a shame.

And WHY are desserts on my mind?
January 2 - 27, 2018 will be my next exhibition at TAG -- dessert themed! NOPE, didn't happen.
Sometime...

2.01.2017

Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City

Two slices of rye bread offered as a sample to get us addicted.
The result is affirmative. 
Do you like all things almond like I do? Copenhagen Pastry is your mecca.
We "happened" to drive by the other morning (I think Mr Glutton had it in mind) and picked up an assortment of goodies. We asked the clerk to point out the most almondy items and following are our choices. [I copied the descriptions from Copenhagen Pastry's website. They describe things better than I would.]

Raspberry Macaroon

A rich cake-like piece with a puff pastry bottom topped with generous portions of almond paste, custard and raspberries all covered with crispy almond macaroon
Five Yums


Coffee Bread

“The Perfect Companion” twice baked bread topped with almond meringue with a crunchy shell and a soft center
One Yum -- I was expecting Biscotti and got plain bread with almond. Snore.

Kransecake

Cream of the crop for any almond paste enthusiast this 100% almond paste piece de resistance is dipped in delicious dark chocolate
Five Yums -- but don't try it after the next item

Almond Mazarin

The Almond Mazarin has 3 delicious layers.  Cookie Crust with creamy almond filling, topped with almond brittle and finished with dark Belgian Chocolate.
Five Yums -- OMG
And, if almond isn't your thing, I present the ultimate coconut treat:

Coconut Top

The ultimate, “just right” sweet coconut top with a soft center dipped in rich dark chocolate
Five Yums -- THE best macaroon in town!
Copenhagen Pastry has two locations:
Culver Store, 11113 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232 (310)839-8900
Pasadena Store, 3731 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91107 (626)792-7200

Ready for more, Mr Glutton!

7.06.2016

Black and White vs Half Moon

It's NYC vs Utica in a cookie taste test. 
"Look to the cookie," Jerry Seinfeld.

The Black and White (or Half and Half) from William Greenberg Desserts, NYC.
Vanilla and chocolate fondant over a firm sponge cake.
The Half Moon, from Hemstrought's Bakery, Utica, NY.
Fudge and buttercream frosting on a cake base.

Half vs Half
Which was better?
The Central New Yorkers favored the Half Moon, though conceded that the Black and White's  chocolate fondant had a better chocolate flavor. I preferred the Black and White. If the frosting on the Half Moon had been a higher quality buttercream, I might have been swayed. I love a good buttercream!

I flew the test home to LA, to get Severo's opinion.

The Black and White WINS, in our household at least.
Here is a Wikipedia link that goes into detail on the two cookies and their history.