Got to spend the day today with my family. Kyle gave me an awesome gift certificate to the Red Door Salon for some much needed pampering and I gave him a beautiful knife from Korin in NY. All in all, it was a pretty great Christmas!
One of the reasons I love this job so much is that I get to create so many different kinds of desserts, from fussy to simple. The goal is the same no matter how complicated or simple… That it taste delicious.
The new chef at Evening Star, Jim Jeffords, really let me loose on the menu. I was able to develop a simple but yummy bread board that includes a savory sweet potato biscuit dusted with sea salt and black pepper and a chive corn bread fresh from the oven.
For dessert I wanted to go simple but seriously yummy and comforting. Enter the Seasonal Cobbler. Baked to order and using the fruit of the moment topped with creme fraiche biscuit and paired with ice cream whipped cream and sauce. We started with apples, (because I firmly believe that people should consume as many apple desserts as possible during the winter months) and served a whiskey ice cream with a serious kick and caramel sauce. Piping hot and enough for 2-4 people to share. Oh, and we had to work pralines into the menu so we serve those with peanut fudge and pecan sandies along side a rich cup of hot chocolate.
So far so good but I can’t wait until spring when we get the chance to re-invent the cobbler. Rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, blackberry, PEACHES… Can you tell I’m excited for peaches?
For Brioche Dough:
3.5 Cups + 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup loosely packed (1.25 ounces) fresh yeast
2 tbsp Warm Water
5.5 Ounces Butter, room temperature
1) In the bowl of a 5-6 qt kitchen aid mixer fitter with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar and salt. Mix on low.
2) Place yeast, water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
3) Whisk (or blend with an immersion blender) the whole eggs into the yeast.
4) Pour the wet into the bowl and mix on a medium low speed until the wet and dry and combined. Mix for 5 minutes.
5) Add the butter in 3 additions, allowing the butter to fully incorporate between each addition. Once the butter is all added, mix an additional 5 minutes on a medium speed.
6) Pour into a sprayed bowl and wrap in plastic. Place in the refrigerator at least 5 hours or up to 12.
1) In 2 large, sprayed muffin pans place 1 TBSP Toffee (recipe follows) and 1.5 TBSP chopped toasted pecans into each cup.
2) Turn the dough onto a dry surface. If needed use a little spray to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces.
3) Roll each piece of dough into a log about 5-6 inches long. Roll in cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon).
4) Drop 3 teaspoon sized pieces of cream cheese that has also been tossed in cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Roll the dough into a spiral and place in each cup (this can be done 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.
5) Allow to proof in a warm place 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled
6) Pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees F. Place the muffin pans on a tray and top with another tray to weigh it down. bake on the middle rack 14-18 minutes or until a deep golden brown (peek under the tray to see the color.)
7) Remove from oven and invert onto a clean tray. Gently wiggle the muffin pan and the buns should fall right out. Coat with more toffee and enjoy!
1 1-lb box of dark brown sugar
2 cups cream
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
1) Combine all in a medium sized pot
2) Bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Allow to simmer 5-7 minutes
3) Blend with an immersion blender or whisk briskly. Store in the refrigerator until needed (up to 2 weeks)
To watch a video demo of how to make Sticky Buns that I filmed with the Washington Post, click here.
Thank you to Olga Berman of Mango & Tomato for allowing us to use this photo!