Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

This new recipe was intended to be for St. Patrick’s Day, but then the recipe didn’t turn out and I was left very disappointed…then I said a week later I am going to try this one more time and I’m happy to say my Lemony Letdown turned into a fairly decent whole wheat bread. See my picture here apart of the Cooking Club Gallery.

Attempt #1

Yield/Serving: 14 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Should be easy, or rather looks easy

From Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
1. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
2. Stir ½ cup water with molasses and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
3. Let stand for ten minutes.
4. Stir in flour, remaining water and salt using a wooden spoon until combined.
5. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
6. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
7. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
8. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
9. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
10. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
11. Slice and serve.

Attempt #2

Yield/Serving: 8 slices
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, for me

Altered from Chatelaine

Ingredients
• 2 ½ – 3 cups warm water, divided (about 110°F)
• 8g pkg active dry yeast
• 1 tbsp molasses
• 1 tbsp honey
• 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp salt

Assembly
12. Spray a metal loaf pan with oil.
13. Stir ½ cup water with molasses, honey and yeast into a large bowl until combined.
14. Let stand for ten minutes.
15. Stir in flour, and add in the remaining water using a wooden spoon until combined. You may not need it all, but I did.
16. Lightly flour the clean counter and transfer the dough.
17. Knead once or twice and shape into a log.
18. Place in the prepared pan and cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about forty-five minutes.
19. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
20. Bake in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about forty-five to fifty minutes.
21. Let stand for five minutes and then turn out the loaf and let cool completely, about one hour.
22. Slice and serve.

Tips
• If the bread looks too crumbly and is not coming together, like the picture below; the dough is too dry and for some reason more water is needed.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Attempt #1
What a disaster! Who would think such a simple recipe would have such a disastrous outcome. When I was mixing in the flour the dough was crumbly and not coming together at all. I still kept going hoping it would still rise and turn out ok. Of course it did not and I really don’t know what went wrong as I followed the recipe precisely. Usually I try to redo a recipe again, but I’m not wasting more flour. The recipe is what it is and once it baked the crust was rock hard but the inside wasn’t absolutely terrible, but still it was bad, you’d think I didn’t put yeast in at all and I made sure the active yeast wasn’t expired and it did bloom properly.

Attempt #2
I decided to suck it up and waste more flour to give this another go. My second try turned out much better, but I added a lot more water than listed in the recipe and I really don’t know why it was needed. I just went with my instincts and it turned out better, the crust may have been a touch hard, but compared to my first try it was leaps and bounds better. I omitted the salt as I don’t see the point to adding salt to bread because I can never detect the salt in the bread I consume regularly; butter and other food going on the bread will always have salt in it. I added honey on a whim to add another layer of flavour and I was debating adding some whole oats, but then I thought that would be too much experimenting when I don’t know what the outcome would be. I’m so happy I didn’t give up; sure I was up till 11:30pm making and sampling a slice of buttered bread but it was worth it. Truth is I probably will never make homemade bread again, unless I make a gluten-free or another other type of bread as I have never liked whole wheat bread since my childhood.

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Salt-Free Irish Brown Bread Attempt #2- Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough - Candy Coated Culinista

Irish Brown Bread Dough – Candy Coated Culinista

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Gluten-Free Pistachio Almond Coconut Cream Pie

Gluten-Free Pistachio Almond Coconut Cream Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Gluten-Free Pistachio Almond Coconut Cream Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Pie crust and I just don’t get along, but a pie made from nuts or cookie crumbs and I’m all in. This gluten-free pie is a great idea for those who can’t have gluten and for people like me who have trouble with making pie dough.

Slightly Altered From: The four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
For the crust
• ¼ cup shelled raw pistachios, salted
• ¼ cup almonds,
• ½ cup shredded coconut
• 3 tbsp granulated sugar
For the filling
• 2/3 cups shelled raw pistachios, salted
• 1 ½ cup 2% milk
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 5 egg yolks
• 6 tbsp cornstarch
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
• Zest from one lime
• 3 tbsp, unsalted butter, at room temperature
• Juice from 1 lime
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
• Pistachio chopped, to decorate (optional)
• Almond slivers, to decorate (optional)
• Cinnamon, decorate (optional)

Assembly
For the crust
1. Over medium-high heat toast pistachios and almond in a frying pan, about 5 minutes. Ensure to shake pan frequently so the nuts don’t burn. Pour into a small prep bowl to cool.
2. Meanwhile toast shredded coconut in the same frying pan until slightly brown in colour and pour into a small prep bowl to cool.
3. Transfer pistachios, almonds, coconut and sugar into the food processor bowl and process until finely chopped.
4. Pour the crumbs into a non-greased metal pie pan.
5. Spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan and use a glass to firmly press down the nut crust, working it up the sides.
6. Freeze the crust for about ten minutes.
For the filling
1. Place the pistachios into the food processor bowl and process until chopped into medium and fine pieces.
2. Using a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, pour nuts in along with the coconut and 2% milk and bring to a boil.
3. Remove from the heat and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. In a large bowl whisk the eggs together and set aside.
5. Using a large saucepan whisk together the cornstarch and sugar.
6. Add in the coconut milk and lime zest and whisk further.
7. Using a sieve strain the milk mixture into the coconut milk mixture over medium-high heat.
8. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken and continue to cook for 2 more minutes and then remove from the heat.
9. Slowly pour one-third of the custard into the eggs yolks whisking constantly, as to temper the eggs.
10. Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan and return to the heat at medium-high, stirring constantly until it boils about 1 to 2 minutes.
11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time along with the lime juice.
12. Pour custard into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight until firm.
13. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream along with the confectioners’ sugar until medium-stiff peak form.
14. Using a spatula spread the whipped cream over top of the pie and decorate if desired.
15. Slice and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe took me a little while to complete as I had to shell my pistachios. Overall I am on the fence with this one as I like the idea of this recipe, but I find it terribly sweet and if I ever made it again I would reduce the sugar by half or more. The texture of the pistachio cream was silky and smooth I just think I’d prefer more contrast in textures even though there was a nut crust.

Macaron Diaries: Nadege Patisserie

Macaron Diaries: Nadege Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Macaron Diaries: Nadege Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 120 Adelaide Street West (The PATH) – Richmond & Adelaide Centre
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 6:30 pm

While walking in the PATH back in 2014 on a lunch break exploring I saw a sign that Nadege Patisserie would be opening a location soon. I said finally as I still hadn’t managed to make it out to their Trinity Bellwoods location in over 3 years. Friday being Macaron Day I decided to celebrate by visiting here. Of all the patisseries giving back a portion of their sales Nadege topped them all by giving 50% of all their macaron sales to the Sick Kids Hospital for Macaron Day.

Today I purchased 12 macarons and also a box of their marshmallows. The flavours I got were: passion fruit milk chocolate, olive oil, Guinness (the last day to catch these from St. Patty’s Day), coconut lime, grapefruit cayenne, banana chocolate, orange zest, bacon maple, camembert, mojito, cotton candy, cappuccino and gin & tonic flavoured marshmallows. Twelve macarons cost $27.50 and the marshmallows were $6.

I found a lot of the fillings tasted the same to me even though the flavours were different. I think the flavours could be bumped up a touch so they could shine more. The grapefruit cayenne was my favourite of them all and I could taste both flavours and there was a slow after kick of the cayenne. The savoury flavours tasted like any other macs and I was expecting a distinct taste of cheese or olive oil which didn’t happen. As for the macarons themselves they had spaces in the shells so they crumbled on the first bite and didn’t retain their structure.

These aren’t in my top three for macarons in the city I think, but I will visit when I am in the area and they have the most selection of macarons on a given day. I am happy to finally have tasted from this patisserie after all this time.

A is for … Asparagus Tart

Asparagus Tart - Candy Coated Culinista

Asparagus Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: A is for … Asparagus Tart

A new food series to kick the first day of spring. I will be creating recipes with ingredients beginning with a letter of the alphabet and trying to make interesting and unique dishes I haven’t made before.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 sheet puff pastry (usually half of the package / box) – thaw at room temp and then keep in fridge in not using immediately after thawing
• 1 egg, beaten
• ½ cup ricotta cheese
• ½ lemon, juiced
• 20 asparagus, with ends cut off
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 6 slices soppressata, sliced into small pieces
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place thawed but cold puff pastry into a rectangular tart pan.
3. Using a medium size bowl, beat the egg yolk.
4. Fold the edges in towards the centre corners of the tart pan.
5. Brush the inside with a little egg wash and press to seal the edges.
6. Place tart pan in the refrigerator to keep the puff pastry chilled.
7. In a medium saucepan, steam the asparagus until just tender, about 3 minutes.
8. Transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process and to also cool.
9. In a small frying pan, fry the soppressata until it’s crisped up a little.
10. Using a food processor place 4 chopped asparagus in and add the remaining egg and ricotta and combine.
11. Remove the tart pan from the fridge and spread some of the ricotta mixture over the puff pastry.
12. Arrange the asparagus in the pan and sprinkle with more ricotta mixture and soppressata.
13. Bake for 25 minutes.
14. Serve warm or at room temperature. Do not reheat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even after the baking the asparagus was still crunchy and the saltiness of the soppressata came through lovely. Mr. C. Suggested reheating it even though I thought that would be a bad idea and I was right reheating this tart will result in a soggier tart. Not really appetizing to me.

Uncooked - Asparagus Tart - Candy Coated Culinista

Uncooked – Asparagus Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake - Candy Coated Culinista

Cookies & Cream Shamrock Shake – Candy Coated Culinista

A holiday can’t pass without me trying to make something themed. It’s St. Patrick’s day so enjoy this minty, chocolately shamrock shake.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Chocolate syrup
• 1 scoop cookies & cream ice cream
• 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
• 1 tsp peppermint extract
• 6 drops green food colouring
• 1/3 cup 2% milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Shamrock sprinkles

Assembly
1. Pour chocolate syrup into a pint glass and set aside.
2. In a blender put in ice cream, peppermint extract, food colouring and milk and blend.
3. Pour milkshake into the pint glass.
4. Whip the whipping cream and put on top of the milkshake.
5. Add sprinkles and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this for Mr. C. and he really enjoyed it and he like hint of mint in the milkshake.

Fused Glass Jewelry Making Workshop

Fused Glass Workshop - Candy Coated Culinista

Fused Glass Workshop – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Glass Mosaics Canada
Location: 709 The Queensway, Etobicoke , Ontario, 647-977-3030
Hours: Mon: Closed, Tues & Wed: 12 – 7pm, Thurs & Fri: 12-8pm Sat: 11-6pm, Sub: 11-4pm

Another artsy workshop for me and this time it was fused glass jewelry. Fused glass is a new form of jewelry making that is no more than 20 years old. The instructors were giving us some back history and mentioned Murano Italy and immediately I thought of those glass charm beads on my Pandora bracelets that are made from Murano glass.

Fused glass has to be fired in a kiln from around 1000°F to 1500°F to simply melt the glass and therefore fuse it together. The glass you use for one piece must have the same COE (Coefficient of expansion) Canada uses basically one COE which I believe is 90 or 96. (There was so much information in this class) When the COE is the same you can expect all the glass to melt at the same time and rate and therefore prevent breaking and shattering as the glass cooled because they share the same COE.

The two techniques we used today were: stacked and overlay. Stacked involves layering thin pieces of glass on top of each other; but not stacking to high while leaving a minimum 1mm space between each piece of glass to allow each different colour to be seen. Overlay is laying pieces of glass flat beside each other and then placing a clear piece of glass bigger than the pieces below. When the clear glass melts it makes a nice cover or seal over the pieces or glass below and bonds them together.

Once again I found it hard to select the size and colours I wanted to use. The shapes for beginners were pretty much rectangular or square in nature yet it was still so hard to make my selections. After each of us laid out our designs we has to wash the glass to remove any dirt or debris, dry them and then place a little solvent in between each layer of glass to get them ready for firing. The third option we could try was a combination of the stacking and overlay techniques into one piece.

The studio also sells pendants, earrings and coasters. There are many classes offered here and I’d like to try them sometime. I went back a month later to pick up my jewelry and they turned out beautiful. The instructors affixed the pendant hooks for us and I can’t wait to wear my new pendants.

Fused Glass Workshop - Candy Coated Culinista

Fused Glass Workshop – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby

Sweet Dutch Baby - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby – Candy Coated Culinista

This sweet popover eggy pancake also known as a German pancake can be easy turn from a breakfast treat to a savory meal much like a crepe. Just a few simple quality ingredients and you have an absolutely magical treat. This was apart of the Chatelaine Cooking Club see my picture here in the gallery of participants.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Chatelaine (Altered the cooking time though)

Ingredients
• ¼ cup butter
• 4 eggs
• 2/3 cups 2% milk
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup tsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• Confectioners’ sugar
• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Raspberries
• kiwi

Assembly
1. Over medium heat melt butter in a 12” cast iron skillet.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
3. Using a large bowl whisk eggs and milk until uniform in colour.
4. Add in flour, sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until well combined.
5. Pour batter into the hot skillet.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and add fruit as desired.
8. Serve immediately.

Tips
• Watch closely in the last 5 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This tasted like an eggy pancake to me and it was just okay. I did like all the fresh fruit and confectioners’ sugar on top, but still it was just okay for me. I turned out well and I had no issues with the recipe, I wanted a little more fluffiness to it. I alerted the cooking time by turning the temperature down a little and extended as baking at 475°F for 9 to 11 minutes it only going to guarantee me fire alarm to go off and I wasn’t in the mood for that in the morning. I did notice the Dutch baby deflated quite fast much like a soufflé.

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