25 January 2006

Oregon Hazelnuts + Recipe : Praline Paste 18

copyrighted. All rights reservedHazelnuts. Have you seen the groves of trees while in Oregon? . Drive toward Wilsonville, Oregon and you will see them. Interspersed between suburban sprawl and small businesses, the further you proceed --- slowly the vast quilt of these orchards starts to fully engulf the land. Hashed out in a herringbone pattern, these are stubby trees with intricate canopies. They spread their branches enveloping the crops of nuts in an umbrella of leaves

The Willamette Valley is responsible for %99 of U.S hazelnut production. A great site to find out more about Hazelnuts, including tasty formulas (recipes) and other links, is Oregon's Hazelnut Industry website.

Nuts are unfairly avoided due to misconceptions of being unhealthy and full of fat. This may be true for certain varieties of nuts, but Hazelnuts are a heart healthy choice. They contain %91 percent mono unsaturated fat and less than 4 percent saturated fat. Not to mention significant amounts of protein, fiber, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, folate and many other essential nutrients.

Today I will share a great way to introduce hazelnuts to your palate. Learn how to make this paste from scratch. Praline paste is usually a baking item you rarely see in supermarkets. It is mostly found in specialty shops such as cake decorating suppliers. However, I couldn't find it at The Decorette Shop , Portland Oregon's own cake specialty supplier. To purchase praline paste you are most likely going to run into prices ranging from $15 -20 per 2 lb container. It can be very expensive to purchase retail.

Praline Paste Formula:

Lightly Toast whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet.

In a stainless steel sauce pan, combine equal parts sugar
and water. Do not stir . The mixture will reduce --- allow
caramelize (you will see the sides start to color first).

Once the sugar reduction has caramelized, remove from heat.

sugar reduction & nuts are briskly stirred to coat nuts

The lightly toasted hazelnuts
added to the sugar
reduction.Nut carmel is cooled on marble slab
They are then stirred briskly,this should
be done very quickly as the sugar reduction
start to harden.

You want to coat the hazelnuts in the caramel.
The heat from the caramel will warm the nuts
and allow the hazelnuts essence to permeate
the caramel.

The nut caramel is then poured onto a greased
marble slab. The cooled caramel will be less reddish
brown in color.

art 067

Allow the caramel to cool. Once cool use a spatula to
once cool the nut carmel is spread and flipped over
spread and press the nut caramel in an even layer.

Flip the cooling layer
over. Allow to harden.

Once the nut caramel has hardened, use a rolling pin or some
other weighty tool to break up the hardened nut caramel.The nut brittle is broken up and processed in a FP until a fine paste
The pieces should be small enough to fit in your food processor.

Put nut caramel pieces into the food processor and pulse unit the pieces begin to smooth until a paste. Continue to process until desired smoothness.

Store in an airtight container. This paste is great to jazz up your pastry cream -- just add a small amount of praline paste to the cooled pastry cream before adding to
cream puffs.

22 January 2006

Photog: Finished paris brest 5

A Paris-Brest is a French dessert, made of choux pastry and a praline flavoured cream.

Finished paris brest, originally uploaded by Amber *.
The pastry was created in 1891 to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race. Its circular shape is representative of a wheel. It became popular with riders on the Paris-Brest cycle race, partly because of its energy-giving high calorific value, and is now found in pâtisseries all over France.

07 January 2006

Baking Is?? 0

According to googlism.com the list below is what Baking & Pastry is, according to google --- a very interesting take on Baking. I have divided the results into subcategories. The list is compiled using the most popular phrases when the term "baking" or "pastry" is searched for on the internet.

bake 615 by Amber *

Scientific :
  • baking is math
  • baking is a great way to do mathematics since you need to combine ingredients in a certain order with a specific
  • baking is math estimated time to complete activity
  • baking is one of the most versatile of cooking techniques because it can achieve a variety of unique results
  • baking is a science
  • baking is an artisan style bakery serving desserts to the hotel
  • baking is excited to offer a new dessert that is guaranteed to heat up your sales
  • baking is the technique cooks and chefs use to pre cook a pastry
  • baking is also a cooking method which turns out goodies that are unbelievably tasty
  • baking is in the manipulation and the fermentation
  • baking is a very important unit operation in the food industry
  • baking is not an exact science
  • baking is possibly one of the oldest form of cooking
  • baking is more scientific than other cooking techniques and requires careful measuring
  • baking is a precise science and not something to which you can take a lackadaisical approach

  • baking is as much a science as an art
  • baking is one of my joys
  • baking is an intensely creative activity
  • baking is the art of turning various items into edible food
  • baking is important too
  • baking is the language we use to tell our families and friends we love them
  • baking is in morabito family's blood

  • baking is terrifying
  • baking is not for you
  • baking is funny not funny ha ha
  • baking is to cut out or cut back on the nuts that you use
  • baking is on the rise
  • baking is now the thing to do to impress friends
  • baking is easy enough for even the most culinary challenged men
  • baking is a fun skill but of somewhat limited usefulness


  • baking is the food of love
  • baking is poetry to businessman's soul
  • baking is a millenium dedication to the american flour milling industry and to those who bring us our daily bread

Pastry IS??

shaping danish - Pinwheels By Amber *
Scientific :
  • pastry is tacky to touch
  • pastry is judged by the evenness of the flakes when it is baked
  • pastry is the title given to baked articles of food made of paste or having paste as a necessary ingredient
  • pastry is kneaded
  • pastry is first mixed to develop the gluten until a smooth silky dough is formed
  • pastry is my life
  • pastry is one of the great delights of the french kitchen
  • pastry is as good as it gets
  • pastry is so good that it seems a shame to limit it use to a breakfast roll

  • pastry is bergin's idea of good time
  • pastry is very sticky
  • pastry is either flaky or tough
  • pastry is an elegant pastry that can be given as a chic & unique gift to anyone with a sweet tooth & impress them
  • pastry is always shrinking
  • pastry is not one of my strongest suits

  • pastry is a light
  • pastry is given the correct perspective
  • pastry is like feathers

04 January 2006

Recipe: Italian Turdilli 8

I have typically generalized on this blog, spoken not too specifically, mainly I have danced around the subject of my personal life. Well for those of you readers who know a little more about me then the words that glare at you from my blog pages, those that have emailed me or had fleeting cyber conversations...You are in for a treat.

Today I will share a small glimpse into that vault of memories from my childhood. A place I keep wrapped up --- to be reviewed when sorrows over shadow my life. I breathe in the smells of wheat farmed country sides, I eye the kitchen tools and ingredients that are all too familiar --- they create the foundation of food appreciation that I have today.

Of the many cultural influences in my life, there is one tributary branching off the meandering river I call my family heritage.

This tributary is peppered with Mediterranean accents. The migration of strong, willing inhabitants across a harsh sea. There is calling from the hills, to savor seasons! Making a life, if not harvests --- there is no discrimination from vine or fowl.

My maternal great-grandparents each made their own journey to America, they shuffled through Ellis Island. Into the dirty streets of New York. In search of a place that embodied the green rolling hills they had left behind.

They eventually settled, and indeed found their rolling hills. From the descriptions I have been given their farm was something of a foodies dream --- they made their own Italian cheeses,Prosciutto,salami & Italian meats and their own wines. There were great feasts to be had.

I grew up to appreciate little jewels of Italian heritage. One of my favorite sweets are Turdillis [pronounced TOR-DEE-LL-EEs]. We would get these at the annual Italian dance and festival. They are simple , but very suitable for any palate. The wine gives them a very pleasing contrast to the honey which they are rolled in. Enjoy!

  1. 1 cup oil
  2. 1 1/4 cup white wine
  3. 2 cups flour, or more depending on consistency..
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. dash of nutmeg & cinnamon
  6. 3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  7. Plate of honey, heated for dipping
Bring oil and wine to boil, let stand for 5 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl, add flour mixed with spices. Knead well, divide dough into thirds. Pin out (roll) to 1 1/2 inch thickness, you want long strips. Cut each strip into 2 inch pieces. Fry in deep hot oil. Cool and dip in hot honey.

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