Archive for March, 2012

Holy Week and Easter 2012

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

As you read this post, if you start thinking you read something similar last year, you are right!  When I sat down to write this year’s description of the products we will have available for Holy Week and Easter, I looked at last year’s post and thought, “Why reinvent the wheel?”  What follows is mostly copied from that post.  Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday – April 1st, and ends with Easter Sunday – April 8th.  We will be open Tuesday through Saturday — our normal days and hours.

Lamb Cake

Lamb Cake

Lamb Cakes are a tradition that is probably strongest in eastern Europe.  Our lamb is made from lemon zest butter cake, decorated with Swiss butter cream flavored with flecks of vanilla bean, and sitting on a bed of coconut “grass”.  One cake will serve 10 to 12 people.  Most people will be picking them up on Saturday, but we should be able to accommodate you any day.  They must be ordered in advance and the number we can make is limited.  We will sell out.

Easter Egg Cake

Easter Egg Cake

If you don’t need a full size cake, we will also be baking Chocolate Easter Egg Cakes sized to serve 2 or 4.  They are layered with vanilla bean butter cream and covered with brightly colored and decorated marzipan.  Most of them will be solid colored marzipan.  The “the-die” one in the picture was made from scraps and turned out really groovy!  Call ahead with your color preferences and they can be customized with names and messages too!  The Egg Cakes will be available Wed – Saturday.  They are really cute, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Cardamom Easter Bread

Cardamom Easter Bread

Following the precedent we’ve set for other holidays, we will be baking a celebratory holiday bread that is spectacular!  Our Cardamom Easter Bread is made from cardamom spiced sweet dough heavily enriched with eggs, butter and brandy soaked golden raisins.  Strands of the dough are twisted into a ring and 3 colored Easter eggs are nested amongst the strands and baked right into the bread.  (The picture shows one made with 4 eggs.)  It tastes as good as it looks, and will serve 10 to 12 people.  The cardamom Easter bread will be available Saturday April 7th.

In addition to the Easter Bread, we will be baking our “normal” Cardamom Bread this week, too.  It is not as sweet and rich as the Easter version, and doesn’t have the brandy soaked raisins, but it is still something special.  Look for it next Thursday.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Throughout lent, we have been baking Hot Cross Buns every Wednesday.  We will continue that during Holy Week, and we will also bake one final batch on Good Friday (April 6th) — the day most associated with Hot Cross Buns.   The buns are spiced with allspice and contain currants and golden raisins.  They are a traditional British favorite and the ones we make come from that tradition.

We are continuing to make our delightfully rich and delicious Sugar Cookies as quickly as we can.  For Easter, they will be shaped and decorated as eggs, bunnies, chicks and other Easter classics.

Parisian Macarons

Parisian Macarons

Another cookie we will be baking next week is our Parisian Macaron.  These pastel colored meringue cookies are sandwiched with a variety of fillings.  One bite will transport you to springtime Paris.  They will be available Wednesday – Saturday

We will continue to bake our usual assortment of breads and french rolls throughout the week.  In addition we will be baking roll versions of our Cracked Wheat and Multi-Grain breads, and cutting breads into croutons and drying them for stuffing.  Please call ahead so you are sure to have rolls and stuffing for your Easter dinner.

Around the holidays, many items sell out quickly!  We accept special orders for any of our breads and pastries.  Please let us know what you want in advance so we can hold them for you.

I wish everyone has a happy and blessed Easter.  See you at the bakery!

Peter

Urology Pearls

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

This column by Dr. Madjar was published in Tuesday’s Mining Journal. Unfortunately, it isn’t on their website, so I scanned it so I could publish it here.  (Click on the picture to get to the full size image.)

Urology Pearls

Urology Pearls

All Things Irish

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, so we are bringing out our Irish favorites.  Some you know,  some you think you know, some you’ve heard of, some you’ve never experienced but are wonderful, and some are just for fun.

Brown Bread

Brown Bread

White Soda Bread

White Soda Bread

We will be making three different types of Irish Soda Bread.  Brown Bread, or Wheaten is the most traditional.  It’s made with coarse ground whole wheat flour (organic if you are interested).  I’ve never been to Ireland to compare for myself, but the Irish that have eaten ours say it’s “Right”.  We’re are baking a batch of it today (Friday) and will also have it available tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day.

Spotted Dog

Spotted Dog

For those looking for a lighter, milder, sweeter flavored (more modern?) soda bread, we will be baking White Soda Bread tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, we will be baking Spotted Dog, or Railway Cake.  This is a sweeter white special occasion soda bread dotted with lots of juicy raisins.

Irish Whiskey Brack

Irish Whiskey Brack

Soda breads represent the simple austerity of the common Irish folk many of us identify with, but we also need to have something special on the other side of life — something decadent.  To that end we are baking Irish Whiskey Brack tomorrow.  This is a once a year specialty bread that is not to be missed.  Irish Whiskey Brack is an extremely rich and buttery round yeast bread loaded with currants and golden raisins that have been soaking in Jameson Whiskey for nearly two weeks.  Don’t worry, the alcohol gets baked off, but the fruit stays very moist and flavorful because of it.  It gets topped with a dusting of powdered sugar when it comes out of the oven.

Now, if you are 21 or over, and enjoy the taste of Irish Whiskey, we made up some Whiskey Butter to spread on your Brack, or anything that could use a spread.  It’s simply European style butter (higher butterfat content and lower moisture) that is whipped with some sugar and Jameson — really large amounts of Jameson.  I did the calculation this morning — As delivered, it’s almost 30 proof and after a few pieces of toast you will start to feel pretty warm and relaxed.

Celtic Knot

Celtic Knot

One item that might be unique to our bakery is our Celtic Knot Bread.  A couple years ago we had the idea of taking a triple long baguette and shaping it into a Celtic knot.  I don’t have any pictures of it, but it is simple and elegant.  If you are looking for a simple lean bread to have with dinner tomorrow, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Parisian Macarons and Cupcakes

Parisian Macarons and Cupcakes

On the pastry side of things, we have Parisian Macarons filled with Irish cream white chocolate ganache.  We also have Irish Chocolate Stout Bundt Cakes — both full size and mini.  And our usual selection of Cupcakes decorated in an Irish theme.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.  It’s going to be crazy warm and sunny.  We may even get a few bakery employees playing jigs in the courtyard.  Please stop by.

Peter

 

 

St. Piran’s Day and Purim

Monday, March 5th, 2012

We are celebrating a couple holidays this week with some special items.

St Piran's Flag

First, today (Monday) is St. Piran’s Day. St. Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall, and in honor of his day, we are baking an extra batch of Cornish Saffron buns.  They will be available first thing tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Jewish holiday of Purim begins at sundown on Wednesday and runs until sundown on Thursday.

Hamantaschen

Hamentashen are fruit filled triangular cookies/pastries and are only baked and eaten for Purim.  We will have them available on Wednesday and Thursday.

That’s it for now — Peter