Johnny Cake

When my sister and I were growing up our father worked out of town a lot. We only got to see him a couple times a year usually but when we did it was always a special treat. One of my fondest memories growing up was one morning waking up to the smell of some kind of corn bread wafting through the house. I came downstairs and my dad had made something called Johnny Cake for breakfast. What? Cake for breakfast? I was sold.

Now on some of those rare mornings I have time I throw together this simple recipe and then smother it with butter and maple syrup for an amazing breakfast treat.

If you ever feel like something other than pancakes and waffles definitely try this recipe out, eat it warm, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oil

Sift all the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre. Blend all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. Fold together only until clear. Put into greased 13×9 inch pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 425F. You could also add cheese, sweet corn, or even sausage if you so please.

Serve warm with pure maple syrup and some butter and you have cake for breakfast!

johnnnny

 

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Japanese Cheese Cake

Hello there, Today I had made a Japanese cheese cake that with the recipe by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbaP5MoLIHk  with the instructions step by step. you might also get detracted by the adorable dog as well.

Probably one of the best cakes I have ever tasted in my life. very light and fluffy, not such a sweet cake where it is overpowering yet still great to eat as any dessert. what I find pretty awesome about this cake is how you can actually eat it plain. like, out of the oven or cooled down plain. Even though in the recipe it says it goes best with apricot jam after it is not so hot, (not a fan) it still taste great in my opinion.

What made me really want to make this cake was because I have always liked food culture in Japan, and Tend to read about alot of little snacks and desserts that are popular there. Turns out that one the the most popular treats is this wonderful goodness, the cheese cake. I recommend this to everyone who loves desserts that are light and not too strong in sweetness.

Here is my Final baked cake and what it turned out to be

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Definitely does not look like the one that is like the recipe looks like. how ever the taste is still there. still light and fluffy and not too sweet. Some mistakes happen. how ever I will most likely make this cake many more times this month in march because its just that good.

Social Media in the Pastry World

It is undeniable that social media has become our main source of communication nowadays. This is a fantastic opportunities for businesses or individuals to jump on the bandwagon and try going viral with their creations and attract new customers.

In the span of a few seconds we can see customer reviews for any place we are thinking of going; the first thing I do when trying a new place is google it and see what comes up. Between TripAdvisor, Yelp, Facebook, and google reviews, I can get a snapshot first impression of a place before even clicking their website or Instagram page. This can be dangerous for some businesses, especially if one bad review taints their image. However I strongly believe having such harsh, revealing critics online at all times will put pressure on businesses to uphold a high standard of quality goods and services. We must respect the power of social media and use it to help us succeed.

Whenever I travel and we’re looking for somewhere to eat, I always google “best restaurant/cafe/bakery near me” and it’s amazing how fast you can get an idea of what’s popular. I like to use TripAdvisor while traveling because it seems to have the most honest reviews. As an example, when we search bakeries in Edmonton and sort by ranking, we get a list of great bakeries with honest reviews, Duchess being in the #1 slot.

Many people use social media as a way to discover new trends in the pastry world. For example, when mirror glaze cakes peaked in popularity, Instagram user Olganoskovaa gained a huge following for her gorgeous cakes.

Home bakers are constantly finding inspiration in gifs and videos all over Facebook, with the most popular being Tasty by BuzzFeed. These sped up, easily digestible videos are popular because of their visual representation of recipes in a short time frame.

My all time favourite social media platform in the pastry world is YouTube. I love watching how-to videos that are detailed and commentated with great visual aids. I watch them for learning and on my free time. YouTube is especially useful for cake decorating videos, a few of my favourite channels are Rosie’s Dessert SpotCupcake Jemma, and Greggy’s Digest. Having a YouTube channel as a part of your business is a brilliant marketing strategy; good quality videos with likeable personalities will spike curiosity about the business and gain a worldwide customer base. Cupcake Jemma has been so successful with her shop that they recently opened a new location, and I believe their YouTube channel success had a big role in growing their business.

Social media will undeniably be a huge part of our future, and as aspiring pastry chefs we can take advantage of it to help advance our careers.

Happy websurfing!

~ Tierany

Simple Cocoa Brownie

Hello there, welcome to my blog. today I wanted to post something I made the other night that  everyone should try to bake someday when they have time.

First things first to say is that I was never much of a brownie lover in my life till baking with this recipe.

Recipe can be found in the link right here  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/10549/best-brownies/ 

Now the steps on simple to follow for this recipe, way to easy that can create something so good, just by pretty much placing all the ingredients in 1 pot and mixing.

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Perfect for eating at anytime of day, a soft and moist brownie that takes less then an hour to make that can also serve many others by adjusting the recipe.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough – Creating a Formula

I love all aspects of baking, however bread is definitely not my strong suit. But when I started thinking about competing in the Chef’s Hat competition, I knew I wanted to create something all on my own. It was a perfect opportunity to challenge my bread making ability and come up with a formula of my own, which I had never done before.

My inspiration for doing a chocolate bread came from this reddit post I saw a few months ago. I hadn’t even thought of chocolate in a bread dough before this! What a great, unique idea that contains one of my favourite ingredients – chocolate. The reddit user who posted their bread used this recipe, which contains dried fruit and walnuts.

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“Sourdough Noir,” from Emilie on “the clever carrot

Turns out chocolate sourdough hasn’t been done very often, because my internet surfing for recipes to compare with was pretty dry. Most recipes have chocolate chips and dried fruit as inclusions, but I wanted the impactful, deep dark coloured loaf like the “sourdough noir.” There was one recipe that seemed to be the front runner – Chocolate cherry loaf. Chef James Bartlett of Metropolitan bakery in Philadelphia specializes in this bread, and I managed to find a few  videos of his makeup process. My friend Halsey found me a recipe for a chocolate cherry bread just like it, so I had a good base to start creating my formula from.

Instead of cherries, I wanted to have one of my favourite flavour combinations – chocolate and hazelnuts. In our NAIT formula books there is a recipe for “Rustic Hazelnut Sourdough (#52),” so I took that one and compared it side by side to the chocolate cherry loaf formula. Here are my first set of notes comparing the 2:

Bread notes 1

I knew I had to play around with the yeast levels and hydration to get the right balance, so I started with 65% hydration and 1% yeast in addition to my sourdough starter. I also decided to cold brew espresso into my water for the bread overnight since espresso is a natural flavour enhancer to chocolate. As for procedure, I did an autolyse method and retarded the dough overnight. Here is the first formula and procedure:

Choc test 1

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Everything went as planned for the first go round…except I forgot to add the yeast. The levain alone did not do well overnight in the fridge, and the dough temperature was very low. The bread smelled amazing, however it was way too dense. I also got feedback that the amount of chocolate chips was a little high. A disappointing first attempt, but not a complete failure. Back to the books!

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I did two more tests, keeping everything constant except for the hydration, levain amount and chocolate chip amount. I reduced the chocolate chips by 10% for both loaves, and followed the same procedure. This time I actually added the yeast though, and did not retard overnight.

IMG_6903

Much better. The chocolate chip amount was just right, and yeast definitely helped a lot. I would have liked to retard overnight for that nice bubbly skin and better flavour development, but overall I was pleased. The formula I decided to go with was test #2, with 70% hydration and 65% levain. I ended up using that formula for our final practical assessment:

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They weren’t the prettiest loaves, but they did turn out pretty good. I did not retard them overnight, and in the interest of time I ended up doing a hot brewed espresso instead of a cold brew which actually made the bread quite sour compared to the previous attempts. The sourness balanced pretty well, but I found that it was less of a chocolate enhancer and more of a hazelnut suppressor.

I still have some tweaks to do until it’s perfect, but I like the flavour of it and overall I think I achieved my goal. This bread tastes and smells amazing when toasted with a bit of butter. The Chef’s Hat competition is soon, and I intend on using test #2 with cold brew espresso and retarding overnight. Ask me later how it turns out!

If you wanted to try it for yourself, here is the formula:

Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough

4 loaves @ 650g each

Bread Flour 820g
Water 572g
Salt 20g
Malt Powder 8g
Levain 532g
Yeast 8g
Espresso 40g
Cocoa powder 80g
Hazelnuts 328g
Dark Chocolate Chips 252g
Levain:
Bread flour 220g
Water 240g
Sourdough starter 76g
Procedure:
  1. Cold brew espresso and water 12-24hrs before mixing. Toast hazelnuts beforehand.
  2. Prepare levain 12 hours before.
  3. Combine espresso water (drained), flour, and levain till hydrated, autolyse for 20 min.
  4. Add cocoa powder, yeast, malt powder and salt; mix for 4 min on 1st speed and 2-4 min on 2nd speed, until gluten formation.
  5. Add chocolate chips and crushed hazelnuts on speed 1 until incorporated.
  6. BFT for 90 min at room temp with 1 fold. (RDT 24C)
  7. Scale and divide, retard overnight.
  8. Proof in floured baneton for approx 1.5 hours at room temp.
  9. Bake between 425-450F for 30 min.

Thanks for reading! Happy baking,

~ Tierany