Poached Pears

poached pear

Poached pears are one of the easiest and sexiest desserts there are. They sit on the plate like a jewel, filled with the essence of wine and in this case pomegranate. The house becomes scented with spices and vanilla. Once these regal beauties are tender and succulent they can be paired with pastry cream, ice cream, sorbet or even blue cheese. A sprinkle of crushed praline and you have a classic dish that takes very little effort. Read More

Chocolate Rum Cake for Children’s Heartlink

Chocolate Rum Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Children’s Heartlink asked several pastry chefs from all of the top restaurants in the Twin Cities (I’m talking the BEST our city has to offer!) to come up with the most decadent dessert for Valentine’s Day that they could think of. This team of pastry goddesses and one very talented guy, includes: Michelle Gayer (Le Belle Vie & Solera), Christina Kaelberer (Chambers), Khanh Tran (Cosmos), Margo Bredeson (Patisserie Margo) and even Andrew Zimmern with his best ever fudge brownies. I’ve worked with Andrew and if there is one thing that man loves, its chocolate! Well, they asked me, too. WOW, what an honor to be in this line up!!!

For the Warm Chocolate Rum Cake recipe and more information about Children’s Heartlink: Read More

Crepes My Kids Love

crepes

May Chen asked me what I fed my boys when they were little, as part of an article she wrote for Cribsheet, a blog about kids at the Star Tribune. My guys are very adventurous eaters, borderline extreme. Yeah, they will try anything once. The raw oysters were not a huge hit but sushi is a favorite. I suppose they have to draw the line somewhere, for now!

As part of the article I gave her a recipe for crepes, because my boys LOVE them, depending what you fill them with they can be a meal or a sweet treat!!!

For the recipe and a demo on making crepes read on:

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How Should Rising Bread Dough Look?

Buckets Of Bread Dough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Several of you have had questions about the right type of bucket to be using when storing your dough from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. I have many that fit the bill beautifully, these are just a few! It depends on the size and shape of your refrigerator and how much dough you intend to make. There are a few basic guidelines to storing your dough in a bucket: Read More

Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry (Plus tips on vanilla pastry cream!)

Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Photo by Mark Luinenburg from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

In Minnesota for the past week it has been a little too gray for my taste. The one consolation to all the cold and snow we get around here are the endless clear blue skies. They are rather remarkable and make the winters tolerable. When they refuse to show themselves through the clouds I go cold. This means I need a little something to brighten up my day. Something sweet! Something easy and quick. Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Pastry (p. 225) will do the trick. A combination of buttery brioche, luscious vanilla pastry cream and tangy sweet apricots. Read More

Back to Basics: The Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

They are the chocolate chip cookies we all ate as kids and probably still make on occasion. Toll House, of course. The recipe right off the bag. It is the cookie by which all others are measured. The perfect balance of sweet, salty, gooey, chewy and crisp. Most of us, as we got more confident in the kitchen, ventured from the bag and experimented with other recipes. We dared to add oats, nuts, dried fruit, black pepper, and even pumpkin puree to our chocolate chip cookies but there is still a place for the original. Read More