Sunday, January 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Strike Again!!!

And this time it was a Lemon Meringue Pie... Now, you'd think this was an easy pie to make... It's not difficult, but it's not easy either... Steven has always made the pie crust, usually Whole Wheat for his Apple Crostinis... But this was MY first attempt... I took a clue from the Daring Bakers blog and tried grating the chilled butter, but we didn't have a grater, so i used a Microplane...

I am buying a grater... or a food processor...

Anyway, when all was said and done, the crust came together just fine by hand... Steven prepared the crust for the pre-baking and when we removed the pie weights about 2/3 of the ay through, I was concerned because the bottom of the crust looked soggy with butter... But in the end, it came out really flaky!!!
I'm pretty well-versed in working with Lemon Curd at this point (mainly for our AMAZING Lemon Flip Cake) so the filling wasn't too difficult to make, but cooking the cornstarch base was kinda gross...
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Once the filling went in, all that was left was to make the meringue topping...
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This was another job for Steven... And he did magnificently, piling it up and spiking it so that it would color up nicely in the oven... We thought about maybe piping the meringue, but thought a free-form would look much better just mounded and mounded on top...
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So, our second challenge is complete... And of course, we HAD to have a slice and let me just say, and I know Steven will agree, when it comes to Lemon Meringue pie, from scratch tastes infinitely better than from a box...
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Steven took the rest to work on Sunday, and the consensus was that the pie was "magical", and "heaven on a plate" ...

I'm putting this on our menu...


Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Return to The Sweet Life

Hello, folks - Steven here, finally getting back into the swing of things after a much needed break in Florida, visiting mom, and enjoying temperatures above 40 degrees!

Today Joey is baking, but I can't tell you what, exactly, as it's a secret and will be revealed when he blogs about it (come back on monday for results)...but I can tell you that it is something I can't wait to taste, and I am sure many of you will feel the same.

On our trip, we checked out Hyde Park Florida (a sub-division of the Tampa area) and we are really considering opening a bakery there within a few years. It is lovely - old homes with a bit of a Key West feel to them - wrap around porches, Banyan trees with roots and branches spreading as far as you can see, and of course, those beautiful Gulf Coast sunsets...nothing compares to that view. To gear up for that, we will, of course, be coming up with all kinds of citrus inspired goodies, because those are the kinds of things that sell well in that area - but fear not, we will always carry our signature chocolate delights, including, but not limited to: Joelts espresso brownies, Chocolate toffee bread puddings, Sour cream chocolate cake and the many wonderful cheesecakes you've grown to love and dream about (Peanut butter and Chocolate, Creme de Menthe, Tropical Paradise, Cappuccino...well -you name it and we most likely make it, or will in the near future.)

Just a reminder - Valentines Day is right around the corner, so don't forget to pre-order a flavorful and romantic Red Velvet cake, cupcakes, Chocolate toffee brownies, or any of our other signature desserts to tempt and tease your honey's palatte as a prelude to...well... whatever other romantic persuits you may have in mind for that particular evening. (wicked grin in place!)

Ciao for now -


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Heads Up and Happy New Year!!

We wanted to extend a special thank you to all of you wonderful people who felt the urge to support us (and your sweets habit!) as we started our small but fastly growing business in 2007. That last few months of the year were filled with orders galore, new recipes, and the wonderful Daring Bakers Challenge, which we are so happy to be a part of. You folks kept us on our toes, and kept our kitchen smelling fantastic. Thank you so much!

We extend to you our wishes for a wonderful, and prosperous New Year, and we hope that you will continue to try our delicious baked goods, and always keep those suggestons coming...we love hearing from you and finding out what floats your boat.

And now a quick commercial message from Joey Biscotti: Due to a combination of the cold weather, Steven's mother's 81st birthday, and the fact that we haven't had a vacation in a year, we are hanging the "gone fishing" sign on the door for 10 days - from January 11th to January 20th, 2008, and will be unable to fill your orders for that week, but rest assured, we'll be back and raring to go after a brief pause for the cause. Know that you will be thought of warmly (well, we hope it will be warm in Florida!)

Happy New Year again - and we look forward to hearing from you all in 2008.

Ciao for now -

'Da boys.