Masher

How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day - Day 4

What we are adding to our chocolate croissant recipe today:

1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon of water, for egg wash (you can substitute water or milk.)

Our recipe for chocolate croissant appears in full at the end of this post, with a variation for plain, crescent-shaped croissant.



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Today’s the day we bake the chocolate croissant. What’s this about? Click here.

If you’d like to join us, begin with Day 1, then Day 2, and Day 3. Today, Valentine’s Day, Day 4, we are going to finish our recipe.

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Take the croissants out of the refrigerator where they have been having their last rise before baking. Let them sit out, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for about 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen, until they warm a bit and rise a little more, as pictured above.

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Masher

How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day - Day 3

Today we will add the following ingredients to our chocolate croissant.

8 - 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 egg, for brushing dough
enough flour for rolling out dough

For a complete list of ingredients, click here.



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Welcome to day three of “How to Make Chocolate Croissant Without Taking An Entire Day.” Wondering what this is all about? Click the link in the box above this post, then click on Day 1 and Day 2 to get up to speed and join us if you like.

Take the croissant dough you refrigerated yesterday out of the fridge. It should look like the picture above, puffed up from its overnight rise. Unwrap it.

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Masher

How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day - Day 2

What we are adding to our recipe today:
3 sticks sweet unsalted butter, softened at room temperature to pliable consistency but still cool, not greasy (about 1/2 - 1 hour sitting out of refrigerator.)
3 T. all-purpose unbleached flour
more flour as needed for rolling dough

For a complete list of ingredients, click here.

Another reminder: For tomorrow, Saturday, February 13th, please also have one egg available for egg wash to seal the croissant. Alternatively, you can use water or milk.



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If you are just coming upon this post and want to join in making chocolate croissant with Nancy for Valentines Day, click here and then here to get up to speed, then return to follow today’s directions.

For the rest of you who have already been following these posts, welcome to day 2.

Above you see the three sticks of sweet unsalted butter that we are going to add to our recipe. I hope you remembered

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Masher

How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day - Day 1

The part of the recipe for chocolate croissant we’re using today:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 T. sugar
1 1/2 one-quarter-ounce-packages dry yeast (or 3 teaspoons plus f1/4 teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups whole milk

For a complete list of ingredients, click here.

One correction: For the third day of baking, Saturday, February 13th, please also have one egg available for egg wash to seal the croissant. Alternatively, you can substitute water or milk.



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We are ready to make chocolate croissant! What’s this about? Click here.

My sister, who is baking with us today, told me that she saw the film “It’s Complicated,” and that Meryl Streep makes chocolate croissant for Steve Martin in the movie. Her comment? “Yum!”

So let’s do it. If you really want to streamline this because you’re super-short on time, you can measure out your ingredients early in the morning (like before you go to work if you have a job) and then throw the dough together when you come home in the evening. Otherwise you can do both at the same time.

Put three cups of flour in a large mixing bowl, as pictured above. Here’s a tip

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Masher

In Praise of Nick Malgieri (Or How I Got My Favorite Chocolate Croissant Recipe)

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I am about to bake chocolate croissant with you here on Jellypress. (What’s this about? Click here.)

My recipe for chocolate croissant comes from my Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School binder. The school, founded in 1975 by Peter Kump, has a new name now, I.C.E. and a new space in Manhattan. All the recipes in my original binder are pastry chef Nick Malgieri’s, the former director of Kump’s, and all are fail-proof and delicious. I still treasure this binder and use it constantly, and I love Nick’s books. Above is a picture of his new Modern Baker. His Perfect Pastry is one of my bibles. If you’d like more information on Nick Malgieri and his great books, check out his website.

I met Nick when I was a lowly, lowly pastry acolyte at Kump’s and he was the director, then on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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Masher

We Begin Baking Chocolate Croissant Tomorrow, Thursday, February 11

What’s this about? Click here.

I hope you have your ingredients by now, but if you don’t and want to join me to learn to bake chocolate croissant for Valentines Day, click the link above and get ready for tomorrow.



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Masher

No Knead Bread Craze

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A few weeks ago, my friend a Lou told me to come over to his house with a bowl.  I showed up with the bowl and my nine-year-old son.  He said to my son, “Can you say your name?” And of course Simon said yes.  “Then you can bake this bread,” Lou said.  He’d been trying to get me to bake bread for years, and I just never got to it.  “Laura, listen to me.  This is nothing.  Soon the bakeries are gonna go out of business.”

Of course I’d heard of the “no knead bread phenomenon,” and the article in the New York Times that spawned endless email. 

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Masher

Sweets (But Only For Days that Start With The Letter S)

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I am a former pastry chef.  So I love to make these beautiful homemade sweets. But I feel compelled to write this post because I also keep my body healthful and thin (emphasis on the word healthful as I am sensitive to the unhealthful obsession that most women have to be slender.)

People always say to me “How can you be such an avid baker and not be fat?” It’s no mystery: because

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Masher

Thing of the Day - Luc Tuymans

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The Perfect Table Setting, Luc Tuymans, 2005

Luc Tuymans is from Belgium, now an Antwerp-based painter who is considered one of the most important of his generation (See the current issue of Art in America for an interview confirming this by Steel Stillman, so fresh from the press that it’s not online yet. I’ll provide a link when and if I can.) I feel compelled to share his painting, The Perfect Table Setting, above, as it slowly reveals,

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Masher

The Rise and Fall of the Restaurant Review

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Should restaurant reviews be fluff pieces or food porn? 

Should they read like interesting adventure stories with sensual descriptions? 

Should they be a factual service to the ordinary consumer? 

Should you take their word for it on Chowhound, or is the job best left to elite professionals?

Here is a wonderful article that addresses all this and more, including a terrific history of the restaurant review genre at The New York Times, from Craig Claiborne to Gail Greene, Ruth Reichl and the unanonymous Sam Sifton of present.  Loved this piece in the Columbia Journalism Review.


Masher

How To Make Chocolate Croissants Without Taking An Entire Day

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I’ll say it like it is — so crappy — that’s what I think of my 12-year old son’s favorite chain grocery chocolate croissants, pictured above. Really look at them. Knowing that I am a former pastry chef, can you feel my pain? This for a child who dreams of visiting Paris one day, and for me, who opens the little box holding the engagement ring I stashed there since my divorce and thinks of hocking it for the trip . . . then puts it back thinking of more practical things like saving for college.

People are surprised when they ask what my favorite pastries are and I answer with ubiquitous things like croissant or eclairs. They don’t know how extraordinary these things are fresh and homemade. If they did, they would agree. So I am going to make chocolate croissants for my son for Valentines Day, and I’m going to show you how too.

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Masher

Thing of the Day - Last Dance with HoneyBell (Oranges, that is)

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Most of you know how much I love these oranges. Look at the dripping juice. Clean, thirst-quenching flavor. And that color! It rivals the vermilion oil paint, so dear and rare, that I portion out in tiny dabs because it’s so strong and hard to harness in a composition. I mentioned in a previous post that my sweet family sends me these oranges every year as a gift. No, that last statement is not true entirely: honeybells are not oranges at all. They’re a hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit, grown by grafting to sour orange root stock. The mystery of their origin is debated here and there. Some say their history reaches back in part over 3000 years ago to Southeast Asia. Others report they were the grafting project of a creative Florida farmer in the 1940’s. They’re here on jellypress again because if you’d like to try them, there’s still time to order them but not much. Today the company that sells them, Cushman’s, sent me this link

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Masher

How Much Do You Spend a Month on Food?

I recently was talking to someone who raised an eyebrow at our grocery bill.  I’ll confess it right here:  about $1,000 a month, at least.  Should I feel embarrassed of this?  We cook and eat at home quite a lot (really a lot), not to mention that I’ve got three guys in the house and we live in the greater NYC area.  To be honest, I’m not even sure if my $1,000 number is a completely accurate assessment--might it be more, like 1100?  If it is I don’t want to know it.  Let’s just say $1,000 a month.

I started looking into the cost of food just to see if this was so outrageous and if we were all a bunch of slothful greedy overeaters.  I was surprised to discover

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Masher

Not To Be Forgotten — Shepherd’s Pie

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Here it is, One Badass Shepherd’s Pie.  It all started, as jellypress readers know, when I announced my search for the kind of shepherd’s pie that a beloved nanny cooked for my family when I was a child. When I finally figured it out and brought it to a friend’s potluck 50th birthday party, party-goers were drawn to it like moths to porchlight and the entire pot’s contents was consumed in fifteen minutes flat, despite the availability of four other main dishes.

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Artist's Notebook

Thing of the Day - Cezanne

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Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Apples and Peaches, 1905

As a woman and mother of a young child but part of the generation that has been given nearly every freedom to leave the house, why do I still feel a longing for the domestic space of the household and more than that, depictions of it like this Cezanne? What pull does it still exert upon me? Why such intense longing for the stability and beauty of traditional domestic space along with an equally intense desire to escape it? It is usually in paintings or poems that I find clues to ambiguity like this, and in particular, in this painting.

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A Thousand Years Over a Hot StoveA James Beard Award winning book that tells a history of American women through food, recipes, and remembrances. Recipes and illustrations from prehistory to the present day.
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The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and FamilyLaura's memoir about a search for a recipe, happiness, and mythic Italy--with many unexpected adventures along the way.
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Walking on WalnutsIn this culinary memoir, Nancy Ring combines funny and poignant stories of love and work with warm remembrances of a family that celebrates food with gusto and cherishes memories with passion...
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