Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Yeast

No recipe just an observation on the amazing powers of fresh yeast.  Ever heard of it? Well, if you have the mindset to bake anything with yeast and the whereabouts to find the product, go for it!

I feel the need to summarize my past bread-making adventures in three words: Hunk-of-brick. I don't know if I use too hot of water to dissolve the yeast or just stink at the overall process. However, I was recently bestowed a pound of fresh or "wet" yeast to experiment with. I was told that this magical ingredient would help me overcome my fears of bread making...that, or I should just give up on such endeavors. If wet yeast didn't produce a successful product than I am truly a lost cause.  OK, they didn't quite put it in such terms but that was the general drift. And these bakers should know, they own Franklin Street Pizza and Pasta in Chapel Hill, NC.  Which if you ever have the chance to try, I HIGHLY suggest the spinach pizza (although Mr. F would argue that the Florentine is the best). SIMPLY Mouthwatering... but I digress.  They were nice enough to notice my bread failures and offered some help in the form of wet yeast.

Fresh yeast has a much shorter life span than dry yeast, about a week in the fridge.  Keeping it tightly wrapped isn't necessarily a requirement but more of suggestion as the product smells like wet feet *yum*. Another concern I had were the directions on how to incorporate into a recipe that traditionally uses dry yeast. As none were included, I set out researching and discovered that the same "feeding" procedures were to be used. Some warm liquid and sugar would liven up the yeast to use in bread. 

The picture is worth a thousand words. I could scream from the rooftops "I CAN BAKE BREAD!" All is not lost. Not only did my brioche loaves turn a beautiful golden brown, they were light and fluffy inside.
If you can find the fresh yeast, I highly recommend using it.

Thanks Pizza and Pasta for helping me overcome my yeast- baking hurdle. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chocolate Cake in a Cup

Two posts in one day?!?! I know I have been a post slacker the past few weeks so I couldn't just post a recipe on corn and call it a day. That would just be cruel. So I have decided to share one of my newest discoveries. Chocolate cake in a cup...is this cupful of deliciousness for real?

This cake is so rich, I usually cut this recipe in half and even in the best cases can I even finish that. However, I must share with you that I have discovered a coconut ice cream that only makes this dessert more sinful. A few tablespoons of this, teaspoons of that, 3 minutes in the microwave and this can all be yours.

Is that your stomach rumbling I hear?

Creamed Corn with Spinach

On the rare occasions that I eat a steak, a starchy, creamy, and/or cheesy side dish is a must with the meal. This usually translates into some variation on the potato. In fact, this same meal contained both but I could have easily done without the baked potato. This creamed corn can stand its own with a steak.

It may be hard to tell based on the photo but this corn and spinach combo is creamy and full of fresh cut flavor. In this case, a steak is the perfect pairing.

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