Friday, May 29, 2015

FFWD ~ My Aha Moment…Betcha Can’t Just Choose Five

Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés 
Salty-sweet treat that spawned my Aha moment 
As I baked and cooked my way through “Around My French Table”, I had many Aha moments! So many in fact, I could never honestly pick one…or five for that matter! Since my passion is baking, most of those moments happened while I was elbow deep in flour, baking something new and exciting! Something I never tried before, or something that turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. Learning new techniques along the way, with Dorie’s help! One of my favorite French Friday picks was the Bubble Top Brioche. I’d made Brioche previously, but with Dorie holding my hand, I had incredible results! Another favorite for me was the Paris Brest. Again, I was no stranger to Pate Choux, but doing something complex, and having it turn out so gorgeous, was quite rewarding!  

No list for me would be complete without the sweetest little pastries, born and bred in France (according to Dorie), called Fianciers and Chocolate Fianciers. I've made them many times, to rave reviews! They are my “go to” little cake, whenever I need an elegant dessert to add to a dessert platter. They are requested most often! Another moment of surprise came to me when I first tasted Shrimp Filled Zucchini Blossoms! If you are growing zucchini, give these little gems a try…you will not be disappointed! And yet another, I always dreaded the thought of making mussels, something I avoided for years. Making Dories Moules Mariniere brought on one more aha moment! They were easy, what was I so afraid of? Easy and absolutely delectable! 

And the one recipe that gave me the biggest surprise was, the very magical little butter cookie known as Sablés (French Shortbread).  I fell head over heels for them. Any variation will do!  Although, the one that caused my Aha moment was Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés. Salty-sweet or sweet-salty…such a surprise! They are absolutely delightful, served with a glass of wine, champagne, or maybe some sherry.  Honestly, I enjoy them with my tea! I adore salty-sweet treats! I decided to make these as my FF pick. A recipe that stands out for giving me one of my best aaha moments! 

However, five is too few! I fell in love with many... Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, is now one of my Thanksgiving traditions! The Osso Buco a l’arman was amazing, and will be made again and again!! And who could resist the Coeur à la Cremea huge hit with my family! I could go on and on and on…but I will leave it where it is, and just say Happy Friday Everyone!!

To see what the other Dorista’s picked for their Aha moments check it out here. All of these wonderful recipes can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook, “Around My French Table”. 


Bubble Top Brioche 
Paris Brest
Fianciers

Moules Mariniere
Shrimp Filled Zucchini Blossoms



Pierre Hermé’s Olive Sablés

From Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan  


Serving Great with white wine and Champagne, these are also perfect with cocktails.

Storing The logs of dough can be frozen for up to 2 months; there’s no need to defrost before slicing and baking.

1 large hard-boiled egg, white discarded or reserved for other uses
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons potato starch (available at health food stores and in the kosher section of supermarkets)
15 tablespoons (1 stick plus 7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup olive oil (a fruity oil is best)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2½ ounces (about 1/2 cup) pitted black olives, preferably oil-cured, chopped

Grate the hard-boiled egg onto a piece of wax paper. Put the flour and potato starch in a strainer set over a large bowl and sift into the bowl; whisk to thoroughly blend.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy. Beat in the olive oil, followed by the grated yolk. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar, reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough just comes together—there’s no reason to beat this dough, and you shouldn’t—then stir in the chopped olives. You’ll have a soft, pliable dough. (If you prefer, you can make the dough by hand, using a rubber spatula to blend the butter, oil, yolk and sugar and to fold in the dry ingredients and olives.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into thirds, and shape each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for several hours or, better yet, overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can freeze the logs for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to bake the sablés, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Working with 1 log at a time, slice the cookies 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on the baking sheet—you want to bake these one sheet at a time.
Bake the sablés for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the midway mark, or until the cookies are firm, but not colored. They may turn golden around the edges, but you don’t want them to brown. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool, and repeat with the remaining logs of dough, making sure to use a cool baking sheet each time.
Makes about 60 cookies. 


26 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous Paris Brest! That's one on my makeup list. Actually, the olive sables are also on my makeup list. They will be made! Eventually. Not until after I move. It really was hard to choose only 5 recipes. There are too many to love!

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  2. Beautiful Kathy, and yes, there are too many to choose from. Have a great weekend.

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  3. Oh, I did love those olive sables, and I went into them thinking they would be a disaster. So, so hard to pick a favorite, but I'm loving seeing all the different choices we ended up making.

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  4. What a beautiful list, Kathy! The Paris brest looks divine. I should make a mini version of that one. Maybe the olive sables can be a never-doubt-Dorie moment for me. :-)

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  5. It is such fun to see what everyone is choosing for their favorites! Yours are spectacular. I love those olive sables, too. They are just so interesting and delicious. You always have such beautiful photos. I heard from Gaye that you all had a fabulous time in NYC, she was so excited to meet you! Someday. :-)

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  6. Your list would be my favorites that my daughter made. I remember the brioche for the egg and mushroom dish amazing. The Brest was out of this world and the fianciers light as feature... love your list.

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  7. My mouth is watering ,kathy. They all look amazing, but the first must try for me is those olive sablés.

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  8. Lots of winners in your list, Kathy!!! Hasn't this been a blast??? So glad to share my Fridays with you for the past 4+ years!!

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  9. I might have forgotten about those olive sables had you not reminded me! I really enjoyed them too. I think the Paris Brest would be up there too...only because I so surprised myself by actually making one. Great list!

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  10. Beautiful photos! Like Trevor I forgot about those olive sables! Love your aha moments. :)

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  11. I love your list, Kathy! So many different recipes, it's hard to pick just a few. These were one of my favorites too, though I was waiting to say something about them in a later week. I'm going to miss comparing notes with you every week, though I look forward to seeing what you do after we're done with this project.

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  12. Great list, Kathy. I'm glad you had success with the Brioche. I wasn't so lucky, but perhaps I should try again. :)

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  13. I love your top 5 list. I have not made any of those recipes yet so that really helps me out.

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  14. Oh my, Kathy - everything you chose is so beautiful! And your choices could easily have made my list. The Paris Brest is one I mean to revisit, as mine didn't turn out very well the first time. The brioche is something I never thought I could make at home, but now is a semi-frequent treat. Your photography and styling are so gorgeous.

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  15. Great picks Kathy and your photos are gorgeous. I did love the baking too, as baking is my passion. It was lovely to meet you and Bill - thanks for taking time out to catch up - a highlight of my trip meeting you and Cher.

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  16. All of your choices look spectacular! So exciting to see what everyone has chosen, and to read why. What a list! What a project! Well done!!

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  17. Oh I had forgotten so many of these- even as I took my own trip down memory lane. Love that you picked the olive sablés and love the reasoning. So fun to get this insight into everyone's perspective of this adventure. Just like the "top five" - some we could have seen coming and some were a surprise. Kind of like this whole adventure :) And as always, gorgeous photos Kathy- gorgeous !

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  18. What a fabulous post, Kathy. And, the pictures, wonderful memories. You are an extraordinary baker. As you already know, I have always thought that since Day 1. What I've also enjoyed about your posts are stories about your family and your eating traditions as you grew up. I think it's very interesting that everyone has made so many different food choices. The Moules Mariniere were in my top five also. If there had been a biscotti recipe in FFWD, I'm sure it would have made your list also. That's a speciality.

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  19. Lovely post! I too was surprised how quick and easy mussels are to prepare. And the Paris Brest is to die for! Your photos make everything look so delicious.

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  20. The garden is going strong so I hope to have squash blossoms soon and I will give the stuffed blossoms a try. You are right about financiers and I should make them more often. Okay, I told myself when my mother died that there would be no more shoulds for me so let me rephrase that, I want to make financiers more often:) Everything on your list looks great and I loved them all. The successful completion of the Paris Brest was an ego booster! Take care Kathy!

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  21. I love the idea of "aha" moments! And I can easily see why you can't choose only five! I have yet to tackle a Paris-Brest, but your photo gives me home I will someday soon. Everything looks soo beautiful, Kathy. - whata great extension for FFWD! ~ David

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  22. All these look absolutely delicious Kathy!!
    I love all!!!But I really love your Paris brest:)

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  23. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. Your Paris-Brest is so impressive. I'm looking forward to making the stuffed zucchini blossoms as soon as the garden starts producing them.

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  24. It is not fair that I am looking at these while sitting in a hotel room in Houston while munching on a dinner of shredded wheat.
    I don't think that picking five recipes is possible. Any one who can narrow it down to five is in denial. Yup, denial.
    XO

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  25. What a great tribute to the experience. Now I really regret not getting my act together and joining. I do think I'll need to do some belated recipe testing--perhaps starting with the sables--can't have too many "aha" moments!

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  26. the zucchini blossoms were the best - I really enjoyed making them and eating them! everyone in my family enjoyed them actually! :)
    I'm hoping that I can find some around here to buy so we can make loads! :)

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