I recently found this book at the library and only a few hours later I decided that I had to have it. This baking book is very different from others. First of all it is very heavy and in that aspect more a coffee table book. It is not a book you can take to read comfortably in your bed. Thankfully my son made me a very sturdy book stand for the kitchen so I am all good.
The recipes are very unusual for a home chef. They call for glucose, vanilla paste and pate a glacer. The recipes have metric measurements which are silly accurate as in 342g flour. I have never seen that. The techniques used to make all the treats are very professional and that is exactly why I bought it. If you have ever wondered how the pros make beautiful eclairs, tarts and macaroons this book will tell you.
Last week I made Madeleines. They were my stepfather’s favourites and I always think of him when I see them. I bought a Madeleine baking pan years ago, but the recipe I tried then did not turn out that tasty and I had put it aside. These Madeleines were great. The recipe calls for three types of sugar: white, brown and honey. It tells you to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight and put the buttered baking pan in the freezer for a moment, so that the Madeleines come out of their molds more easily.
My little cakes came out perfectly and looked and tasted great. Unfortunately I did not take any photos.
Anyway, if you want to improve your baking, learn from the professionals and eat wonderful food I highly recommend this book!
My husband saw a photo of a bread with an irregular crust. He asked me if I could bake a bread just like it. I think what he especially liked about it was that the tips of the opened crust were very dark.
After learning how to properly shape and score a bread I was a bit puzzled how to achieve this crust. Then I had the idea to shape the bread as usual, but let it rest and bake upside down. It worked! When you shape a bread you basically pull the dough smooth on one side and tuck the excess under the opposite side. So when you bake the bread with the folds facing up it will rip open along those lines.
Unfortunately the bread itself was a disappointment. It was a spelt and wheat blend with added herbs: dill, parsley and chives. The bread smelled wonderful when I baked it, but you could barely taste the herbs in the bread at all. So you are probably much better off sprinkling them on your buttered slice of bread afterwards.
I want to show you my new rainbow socks, modeled here by my daughter. I have had so much fun knitting these socks! I don’t quite remember where I had the idea to dye a rainbow yarn, but the inspiration for the construction came from several places.
First of all they are knit with several mini-skeins. I was inspired by the Blender Socks on Ravelry. The special method is that you change skeins gradually. You start with the new skein for a row, then knit from the previous skein and change again until you finally drop the old yarn. When you are done knitting you have several ends to darn in, but it was not too bad.
These socks are knit toe-up to make sure that I would have enough “room” for all the colours of the rainbow. I used a new-to-me method to cast on, that is very easy to do. I love it! You can see it in a video here.
The heel is the Smooth Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi. She explains it in her video here. Again, I am very happy with this heel. It is very easy to do and most importantly I love the way it fits my foot. ( The socks are a bit too large for my daughter.)
To cast-off I used the sewn bind-off by Elizabeth Zimmerman. You can find very good instructions on Knitty (scroll down.) The bind-off is very stretchy and well worth the effort.
If you like to make your own rainbow socks you can find the yarn in my Etsy shop. Happy knitting!
Each year when Valentine’s day nears my kids have high expectations. I know they are not thinking of their Mom, but still I thought could surprise them with a little gift. For my daughters I made these rings.
The rings are knitted out of silk lace yarn and the hearts are needle-felted and then sewn onto the ring. It took very little time to make them and my girls like them very much.
Here is how I made them:
Silk lace yarn ( I used my Swiss Silk) , 2 mm DPNs
Cast on loosely 18 (small) or 21 (medium) stitches using long-tail cast on. Distribute the stitches on 3 DPNs. Knit 6 rows in stockinette, cast off. Let the fabric roll inwards.
I needle-felted the hearts free-style with several shades of red and orange wool fibers. I added the fibers in several layers because I wanted the hearts to be very plump. You can find basic instructions for needle-felting hearts on this blog.