Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What dreams are made of

It's been snowing in Paris a lot lately. It hasn't snowed this much in Paris since the 80's and airports are canceling flights left and right. Luckily for me, I'm already tucked away in California reaping temperatures that are at least 10-15 degrees Celsius higher than I'm used to. However, a couple weeks ago one of my former classmates and I decided to trek around in the Parisian blizzard to do a mini pastry crawl. The shop that impressed me the most was Philippe Conticini's Patisserie des Reves.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Missing molasses

'Tis the season to be baking holiday treats and I couldn't think of anything more festive to bake than gingerbread cookies. I just love soft and chewy gingerbread cookies! True those flat crispy disks you can get year around at Ikea aren't bad, but they're nothing compared to the soft gingerbread I had in Alsace, or the iced oval shaped cookies in Finland. So on my quest to make gingerbread, I had to find myself some molasses.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nutella Whoopie Pies

I've never really put much thought into whoopie pies, why they're popular, or where they get their name. My trusty source Wikipedia states that these desserts come from New England and are a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. According to food historians, Amish women baked these desserts and put them in farmers' lunchboxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!" Makes sense. Who wouldn't shout for joy stumbling on one of these cake sandwiches.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Marbré chocolat

The other day I had to make a cake that would travel well. Interestingly enough, there's a category of French desserts that are called 'gâteaux de voyage', or rather traveling cakes. These are generally drier, less complicated cakes that can withstand transport. Some examples of gâteaux de voyage include madeleines, lemon cake, pound cake, fruit cake, almond cakes, and pastries made with puff pastry dough and almond cream such as pithiviers or pain complet.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Could Maoz possibly trump the Ace of Falafels? I think so. To be honest, I didn't have high expectations of this chain that has locations all over the world. We ordered our falafels that took less than ten minutes to make. True they're not as fast as the places on Rue des Rosiers, but we could see that our falafel balls were crisping away in the fryer.