Posts Tagged 'bakery'

Favorite Shot: Chastity Belt Bakery

purity bakery 4

Look at this old building I found! It is called Purity Bakery. I don’t think it is currently producing delicious yeast breads, I can only imagine what the bakery must have been like in its golden years…

The most delicate white breads with crusts unblemished by homely bubbles. Spotless counter space filled with the most organically sourced ingredients. And bakers who, in addition to having flawless skin, donned chastity belts every morning before work.


Rando Tuesdays: Italian Bakes

The pastry you see above is the inspiration for yesterday’s recipe. In addition to my regular diet of pizza, gelato and pasta, Italy afforded me a constant stream of ‘bigne con chantilly,’ otherwise known as ‘choux avec chantilly’ if you are in France. While I kept up the tradition in France, I first discovered these little balls of joy in Venice. And I was a literal ball of joy after eating like that for three weeks.

Bakeries in Europe are just so different compared to bakeries in the states. In Italy, there was a bakery around every corner, it seemed, and picking up a pastry and espresso for breakfast was the norm. How I wish that were the norm in Minnesota!

Speaking of coffee, I had one called a ‘caffé nutté,’ which was essentially a double shot glass spread with Nutella inside, then filled with espresso, whipped cream, hazelnut sauce and hazelnuts. My relationship with hazelnuts can never now be the same.

I also had sfogliatelle a number of times. I was so excited to try them after seeing the ‘lobster tails’ on Cake Boss. They were filled with anything from lemon pastry cream to chocolate and taste just as you’d imagine that many layers of delicious pastry to taste.

I think I’ll go running now,


Pipe Dream #114: To Stay Flated – Choux Chantilly (Cream Puffs)

I will tell you tomorrow how obsessed I was with these pastries. But until I reveal my ultimate shame, I suggest you find out for yourself how easy this pastry is to work with and how addicting these little babies can become.

Especially if you have some spare strawberries lying around.

I have to say, pastry dough in any form is usually pretty intimidating to me. You know, don’t chill it for long enough or handle it too much and it’s all to waste. But all you really need to watch with choux dough is its consistency. It should be really soft, but not so soft that you can’t pipe it into shapes. They key is to add the eggs slowly and test the consistency often. If you pull a spoon out of the dough, the tip of the peak should fall over. If it stands up, you need more eggs.

Also make sure to bake the choux to an even golden brown–no light sides. They’ll deflate like a week-old birthday balloon if they have light sides. Sad, really. But once that is out of the way, you’re really golden any way you look at it.

Oh dear,


Choux Chantilly

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes.

With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.

When cool, whip 1 cup (or more as needed) heavy cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. When ready to serve, cut the cream puffs in half and pipe cream onto the bottom halves of the pastries. Replace top half and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, as the pastry will become soggy once it is filled.

Rando Tuesdays: Glazed Berry ‘Sperry

Continuing in our theme of French baked goods, I decided to try a little experiment. I told you that while in Paris, I visited La Durée, this cuter than cute bakery that sold the most perfect pastries. Well, I was inspired. See that strawberry tartlet thing on the right? And see how the berries look shiny? I have always wanted to know how they do that. I also want to know where they found so many teeny tiny strawberries, but that is beside the point.

I did some research and found out that all you need is a bit of apricot jam (or any flavor, probably) and a pastry brush. Just heat up the jam, brush it on, and voila! Shiny berries. Having all of these ingredients, I undertook the experiment.

A little sloppy, but all in all, I was pleased with the result. I will have to try it on a real dessert sometime.

Au revoir mes amis,


Rando Tuesdays: French Bakes

All the pastries in France were beautiful. I mean, compared to Germany, where it seemed like everything was heavy bread and cream cakes, France was full of whipped cream and puff pastry. I tried croissants here (clearly), and ate a multitude of other pastries for breakfast every day. Beignets, profiteroles, meringue tarts, you name it.

La Durée was one of the best pastry shops I visited. Everything was cute and pastel and perfect. The pastries were immaculate, and the attention to detail astonished me. Look at them! And they were 10 euros each, or something ridiculous like that.

The macaroons were also really fun. They come in all colors and flavors. They seem really fussy to make, so I’m glad I could try them without doing the work.

And I visited one place with walls full of chocolate and caramels. Yes please. I couldn’t help myself. I bought a little jar of caramel sel here, which is heaven in a jar.

Happy Tuesday,



Rando Tuesdays: German Bakes

Since I’m back in the country and I have a bit more time, I felt I should go back to posting four times a week. I just have a lot of feelings (name that movie). Speaking of movies, one of the deep realizations I had about myself this past year at Bible school was that I only quote from three movies: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Princess Bride. I don’t know why; I just know that it is true and that barely anyone my age knows quotes from those movies, which makes me one of those unfunny people who doesn’t know all the hilarious YouTube quotes/Will Ferrell quotes everyone quotes all the time. Whatever. I’m fine.

Anyway, this week’s Rando Tuesday is devoted to all the neat German bakery items I observed when I visited Nüremberg and Röthenberg. Every European country I visited had a different feel to its baked goods. In Germany, there were a lot of heavy breads and pretzels and things. This bakery was one of the famous ones in the area, and my sweet relative took me there one morning for breakfast.

We also had afternoon coffee and cake on days that we were out. I was in Bavaria, so there were a lot of cream cakes like this.

And also, basically every country I went to did croissants. I didn’t eat one here, though; I was saving it for France.

The other bonus about having foreign relatives is that they make a whole bunch of traditional, nice things for you. This is stollen, which is a traditional family Christmas bread. It was a heavy bread filled with dried fruits. Delectable!

Reveling in the random,


I Got It Right: Bakery Buttercream

Oh, but I am a lucky girl.

I have these massive lists of bookmarks on my web browser marked “To Try.” The “To Try” folder is filled with recipes that look irresistible and/or are impossible for me to recreate due to my lack of skill/time/patience. But I still stick the impossible recipes in there to inspire me and to push myself to be better. I was looking through the folders trying to clear out recipes that I had already tried and links that had expired when I came upon this frosting recipe.

It was such an unassuming web page. The design wasn’t super appealing, and the recipe sounded unusual. And the recipe included shortening. That is actually the main reason I decided to try it–I actually had shortening on hand. “What up, Lauren? You had shortening on hand?” Yes. I did. And I’m not sorry.

This frosting is incredible. It pipes beautifully (my piping adventures to be posted soon), has a smooth, firm consistency, and didn’t crust over forEVER. It is like the fries in the Extras on the DVD “Super Size Me.” I’m sure if I would have left these cupcakes under a glass jar, they never would have gone moldy.

I used my go-to one bowl recipe, and used a piping tip to add some chai-spiced cream cheese frosting in the middle. They were fab.



Really Awesome Buttercream

Adapted from

Makes 3 3/4 cups

1 cup vegetable shortening

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract (or regular extract–it didn’t turn brown or anything)

3 ounces heavy cream

Food coloring as desired

With an electric mixer, beat shortening until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
Add salt, vanilla, cream of tartar and heavy cream, beating on low speed until moistened, and adding more heavy cream if you feel the frosting is too dry. Add food coloring if desired. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.

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