The Baking Blog of Patrissherie

Have your cake and eat it too

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William Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Bread Review

Posted by Trish on April 20, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I have this thing for William Sonoma.  I ooh and ahh at everything in the store, no matter what it is.  I purchased their seasonal Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix (yes it has 2 spices in it's name) during my last visit.  At $16 for a quick mix, I had to do a review. 

Disclaimer: nothing on this blog is made from pre-packaged or pre-made products unless specified.  98% of my baking is from scratch.  I occasionally like to check out the short cuts for fun.





Likes:

-Easy to prepare.  Just add eggs, water and butter.

-Pecans.  These really made the texture of the bread.  I will be adding these to my future pumpkin breads.

-Fragrant smell.  My kitchen smelled like everything Fall while the bread baked.



Dislikes:

-Price. This is definitely a gourmet product at this price.

-Greasiness.  This wasn't due to the cream-cheese topping, but the bread itself.  It left a greasy feeling in your mouth afterwards that brings on guilt, because you probably just consumed the same calories as a slice of cheesecake.

-Over spiced. There was too much spice.  It overpowered and overshadowed the rest of the ingredients.  I can still taste the spice in my mouth afterwards. Too much cloves, maybe too much ginger and probably nutmeg.


Overall, I don't think I will be purchasing this mix again due to my issues with the price, texture and spice level of the bread.  I give it 6.5 out of 10.


William Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread with Cream-cheese frosting

Chocolate Pretzel Tart

Posted by Trish on March 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Remember the failed x-mas dessert of 2011? I do.  Very clearly at that.  Like I've previously mentioned, the universe hates me on x-mas and everything that I make fails.  It turned out so awful that I couldn't document it with a photograph.  I basically served soupy chocolate tart.  Well, I decided I wouldn't admit defeat to the Chocolate Pretzel Tart from the Food And Wine Magazine (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/milk-chocolate-tart-with-pretzel-crust).  



I adjusted the whipping cream to chocolate ratio and it set beautifully. 



Instead of using powder sugar, I processed granular sugar with pretzels in my magic bullet.



Instead of pulling out the rolling pin to roll out the crust, I pressed it into my pan as I would with a graham cracker crust.


Lindt chocolate ganache with pretzel crust, topped with a sprinkle of sea salt and pretzel pieces



If you love salted caramel, you'll love this tart. It is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavours. Did I mention the chocolate of choice was Lindt? I almost went with Godiva but I think J loves Lindt more. Which would you prefer, Godiva or Lindt? Or perhaps a 3rd alternative? I went with milk chocolate as suggested by Food and Wine, but I'm pretty certain I wouldn't mind a dark chocolate version.



Gotta love eating your cake and having it too.

Sparkling Cocoa Cookie Recipe Review

Posted by Trish on January 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year everyone!

Over the holidays, I went on a cook book/baking book haul.  One of the books were Desserts 4 Today by Abigail Johnson Dodge.  The book's speciality is the ability to pull together desserts using only 4 ingredients.



I tested their Sparkling Cocoa Drops recipe which consisted of flour, cocoa, sugar and butter.

The book also includes a list of additional add-ons and substitutions you can make to the recipe itself.  I chose to use brown sugar instead of white sugar as an option suggested by the author.




The results:

1. Cookies were visually unappealing.

2. Cookies were extremely dry.  Even J wouldn't eat them.

3. Cookies were bland even though the cocoa taste was too strong.


I believe the author's focus on having only 4 ingredients to make this cookie took away the recipe's potential to make a yummy and appealing cookie.  It really needed an egg amongst other things like vanilla.

I give this recipe:

 



Duchess and High Level Diner

Posted by Trish on October 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (3)

I'm really excited to finally share with you a bakery that is fantastic!!!  For the lucky Edmontonians, there will actually be 2 reviews of awesome places to dine today!


Let's start with Duchess:javascript:mox();




This is my kind of bakery!!  Upon first steps walking in, the smell of sweet yeast fills the air.  You can tell they produce all their products in-store and freshly made.  It's adorable, french-inspired decor is just as sweet as their gorgeous mini cakes and treats.  They offer a wide range of gourmet baked goods from lavender madelines to macarons; our product review of the day!



They offer over 12 different flavours of macarons such as Rose-water, Coconut, Lemon, and Passionfruit!! I purchased 7:

(From left to right: Maple Brulee, Strawberry, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Lavender and Pistachio)



I tasted Lavender and Maple Brulee and saved the rest for J.  J is visiting for 2 hours tomorrow and this will be a surprise for him since he does not read this blog frequently.  


The flavours are phenomenal!  The lavender is not overpowering (as if you're eating potpourri), and the buttercream filling is so fresh.  The maple brulee exceeded my expectations.  The brulee topping added an extra crunch to the macaron, creating a texture much like the ones from Vancouver.  The brulee itself was perfectly executed and did not leave a bitter taste.  




The macarons are soft without the crispy shell but still retains an excellent texture when bitten into.


These are much superior products than the macarons from a bakery I've previously reviewed.  Notice how clean the presentation is?


Cost: $1.50 each

Size: Small (Loonie-sized)

Texture: 8/10

Variety: 10/10

Flavour: 10/10


Overall: 8.5/10


Earlier in the day, a girlfriend and I had brunch at this lovely diner: High Level Diner javascript:mox()




They offer a delectable menu from Mimosa to Farmer's Omelet with home-made ketchup.

What they're really famous for is their Cinnamon Rolls.  They come to the table warm and fresh from the oven.  My girlfriend suggested we order ours to go, as they are the size of half a loaf of bread.  


The modest brioche is knotted and crusted with gorgeous blend of cinnamon and brown sugar.  I recommend eating it warm (microwaved mine after bringing it home).  However, don't let it cool again after re-heating as it becomes too chewy afterwards. 




This is not the kind of cinnamon roll you find at the franchise stores, covered in cream-cheese frosting.  This is a gorgeous breakfast bread, made with time, patience and care.  The cinnamon sugar is carefully baked into the bread, creating a crunchy sweet crust.  The sugar caramelizes beautifully without leaving a messy goo.  


Despite it's rustic appearance, it's definitely swoon-worthy.


Cost: $3.75

Flavour: 8/10

Size: Half a loaf of bread

Texture: 8/10


Overall: 8/10


Cheers!!! Happy Dining!