Monday, October 4, 2010
Lately, this morning included, I've caught myself talking wearily to it under my breath. "Searching? I just bet you are." Or, in more philosophical mood; "Searching? Well, aren't we all."
This week, I channeled my searching into the making of a heavily caramelized, remarkably complicated Pineapple Bread Pudding. It began with the making of a brioche. Actually, I made two brioches, using Rose's recipe; one large one to sell at the bakery, one small one to use in the pudding. I trimmed the little loaf into cubes (it came just shy of the ingredient list's required weight, but I went with it), and then ravenously ate all of the trimmings.
Then came the caramel. This recipe has not one, but two caramels. The first, a quick water/sugar mix, with a little butter added, went to line the pudding molds--a shallow corningware dish and a larger oval IKEA number. The second was a kind of poaching liquid for the pineapple, with pineapple juice (or in my case quince poaching liquid) and corn syrup added in. I poach-roasted the pineapple, then cut it up, which was nice, because it had a clean yellow interior and a caramel crust, sort of like the smoke ring on good barbeque. As all this went on, I ravenously consumed the other half of the pineapple. Sensing a pattern?
Oh. The unmolding didn't go so well--as many other bakers have pointed out, the caramel stayed in a hard, thick layer in the pan, as all the rest flipped semi-neatly out. I went after it with a spoon and it cascaded down onto the pudding in taffy-like waves. Very pretty, actually, just not exactly right for such an otherwise soft dessert.
Next week, the Heavenly Cake Bakers continue the search with Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cakes.