Monday, March 28, 2016

2015 Into 2016 – The Answer To The Questions (Part The Third)

Let's see. Where was I? Right.

Appetizers! I made appetizers for a post-Christmas dinner with friends. Years ago, I first baked up some "Russian Pastries" for a Ukrainian violinist who swore they tasted just like what her grandmother used to make for her. (Thank you, Good Housekeeping Cookbook!) I love them but they're kind of a pain in the neck to make. Small rounds of dough, stuffed with a ground beef/egg/dill/relish filling, folded and crimped then baked. After a few dozen of these, you just get pooped. So, I decided a change-up was necessary, especially since I was going to be making bread for this same dinner. Add a small muffin pan, subtract the folding and crimping, et voila! Please to observe:

So much easier! And artistic!
Still bite-sized, still delicious but a heck of a lot easier to make! 

Detail of deliciousness.
True to form, I'll refine the process – pay more attention to how I seal the dough, maybe add an egg wash, bake a little longer for color. And totally make them in a puff pastry.* I need to work on making them look a bit neater and but I'm over the moon with the way these turned out. And they were devoured pretty darned quickly!

*Of course, I need to learn how to make puff pastry first.

What else? Michele-O-Mars! I bought a second set of silicon molds so that I can make what I consider a normal sized batch of these. 

Yes, they're pink. What of it?

My biggest problems, which I'm still working to solve, are tempering the chocolate to get a good shine...

Cool down, already!
...getting the cookies sized just right (they're not turning out uniformly round or thin enough)...

So close!
...figuring out how thick the chocolate dome needs to be (and the best way of coating the molds)...

Still a bit messy, yes?

...and finding the right piping bag for the marshmallow, a better way of filling it, and a better technique for actually piping the marshmallow into the molds. 

Mmmmmmm! Marshmallow filling!
Okay. So there are more than a few things I still have to work out with this. I'm getting there!

Well, at least one of them turned out the way I wanted!
Oh, and I need to learn how to pop them out of the molds a little better. 

I think I'm close to wrapping up the wrap up! I've actually started baking bread in the new kitchen, so I'll have reports on the new oven and work space next time. I'm excited!

Currently listening to: Said The Sky - Disciple (Feat. Melissa Hayes)



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