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On Pastry and Cabbage


We have been making a number of tiny treats. Here are some almond bars and pecan bars people were raving over.
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Also, we recently had an afternoon demonstration on gluten-free cooking. Rosemary Kearney made a number of breads and sweets that were gluten-free (using substitutes like rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, dried fruit, ground almonds, and xanthan gum). This photo includes some sweet white scones and mini-raspberry muffins.

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This week we all made choux pastry, as Darina is demonstrating here. You have to keep adding eggs to your flour-water-butter mixture until your pastry dough is yellow and glossy and can slowly run off the spoon. It’s ready just before it’s able to run off the spoon in velvety sheets. I am quite intrigued by this idea that the pastry can only take so much egg and being able to eyeball the texture of the pastry dough to determine just the right amount.

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We used choux pastry to make eclairs, profiteroles, and caramel salambos.

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Apparently the name of the dough comes from the resemblance of the pastry to cabbage (choux in French). It’s a good enough excuse for me to insert my favorite cabbage photo of the week:

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Huge and beautiful, eh? I used it to make a cabbage, raisin, and mint salad that went along with the bacon chop and Irish whiskey sauce I mentioned earlier. The salad went really well with the main dish, I think because the salad was so full of shredded apples. Remember the old rule? Pigs eat apples, so eat your apples with pigs.

I saw my first episode of Come Dine With Me last night with a few friends. It’s a show where a few different home cooks each prepare dinner for the group. After each dinner, the rest of the group rates the food, and the winner gets 1,000 pounds. Anyway, the guy who won in last night’s episode cooked a rabbit terrine with carrot puree. Makes sense, no? (Although I think rabbits only eat the tops of carrots, but it all still makes sense to me.)


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