cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Peter Piper Pipped

Cracked: Vols-au-Vent for Daring BakersWhy the hell does it seem ages since i have been here? Probably because it has. I will tell you how truly painful it is for a blogger to be cut from their lifeblood, from their home: (play your small violin now) it is not unlike pepper spray reaching your cornea, or being stabbed in the thigh with a dull blade, or hitting your head on the corner of a pointy cabinet; a hiatus here at the Salty Cod is like, well it is......making us realize that life is not always as easy as we would like it to be.

I don't think we ever stop going through transitions, whether it is adapting to a new place of habitation, a new job, a new relationship or a new idea; we are constantly going through today what changes our habits of yesterday. When i started this blog almost two and a half years ago (had to make sure to get that half in there...i'm 5'9 and a quarter, don't forget that quarter) i started a habit of myself that i fell in love with. Nothing could keep me from blogging. I'm in a random foreign country alone on a park bench: blog. Last karaoke night of the year at the Irish Pub down the road: blog. Easter, Christmas, thanksgiving: blog. It's 2am and there are yet 3,000 more words due on Alexander's trek through the Orient: blog. Will you go on a date with me: blog. Sleep: blog. Girl's night out cocktails: blog. I have chosen blogging over many things; aside from an ailing family member or friend, what is there that i do, or could do that is more important than this?

Oops. It appears that there is something after all. This revelation, however, does not attach any less importance to Salty. no no nothing like that. In the end what it is is realizing that i don't blog because i have to, i blog because i choose to. And sometimes, i have to choose to wait. Transitions. Transitions are glasses that let you go from dark to light without changing them. But they are also moments when you stack your priorities and weigh the outcomes. Oftentimes, the result is an exploded suitcase and a never-ending cup of tea.

I am twenty three years old. I am sure you were twenty three years once. I graduated college nearly 5 months ago, and am adjusting to two new jobs that take six of my seven days....i'm back with my parents for a bit, did you know? Do you care? I am preparing my rook, bishop, and queen for a move that you will not believe; and it is in the middle of this that i have realized that there are times when we have to sacrifice what we want in the moment in order to get what we want for the future.

But now, we have a post. Three weeks in want, we have a post. In conversation with my editor (who obviously hasn't had much to edit) i realized that the ducks were finally falling into the basket, and that it was finally ok to blog. and the tears come streaming down my face! But oh holy crap! I had forgotten i had finally signed up for the Daring Bakers, after a two (and a half) year stint of protest (daringness for being different) i sucked it up and cracked and wanted in! and i'm almost ready to be kicked out on the first challenge, ahk!

so apparently there is an actual due date that is not just the end of the month...forgive me, i'm
blond. will that work? If anyone yells at me, i would just like to point out that Christy at 5 Types of Sugar was late too. Saying that sounds like she's pregnant (she's not) but i love giving her a hard time.

So i rushed to the secret club page (only secret club members are allowed in)...puff pastry. ah ok. i've done puff pastry. wait....puff pastry, dear god why! of all things other than baguettes, puff pastry takes hours! gaw! I don't mind making puff pastry, had i not spent many hours making it about two months ago, i wouldn't have minded so much....but it really is (pardon me) quite a
bitch to make. Well. a challenge is a challenge is it not. Touche.

Vols-au vont is the actual challenge; a puff pastry cup filled with a sweet or savory. My only edge is that i have made these before, a Christmas party about three years ago filled with a spinach concoction i have yet forgotten. But on a strict time budget, puff pastry is no bueno. Meh. Salty is no wimp. Alright, Sunday we make the puff pastry dough, and Monday we bake it up. Now we must be creative with the filling...did you know that red peppers can grow in a Seattle backyard garden? they can. hmmm. peppers. Pepper, cheese, cream, cilantro, salsa cream pipped into a puff pastry! Ah sweet that's fast!

The recipe for puff pastry dough can be found here, as the September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. The Vols-au-Vent are based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Pepper pipped mouse:
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1 bell pepper
2 tsp bloomed gelatin
chopped cilanto
enough salt to taste
red/cayenne pepper (did you know they're the same?)

method: mix all ingredients (except cream) in blender or food processor until smooth. Whip cream until stiff, gently fold in mixture, and pipe into your cups.

As i've already said, i've made puff pastry for croissants before. However what was produced here, was not puff pastry. hard. dense. where are the flakes? are there any flakes? i am not exactly sure what went wrong, perhaps i was too violent with the poor dough, or went too fast. but i think in the end it was my attitude. in mallory fashion, of course. Well, now we know. take more care, or you will have a ton of pie dough in the freezer.

So i guess i'm a daring baker now, right? no hazing? well. maybe not yet. i'm on the in-crown of baking blogging now eh? we'll see how long i keep it up. but. you know. i think i just may do it.

Change is good. change means we're learning. i like this home here too much to ever give it up. but i must drop my infantile ideas of its condition-less priority. Maybe there will be three weeks again where i cannot come home. In a perfect world, i come home every week. but life's not perfect.


A challenge just means i have to work harder to get it. if you didn't fight for it; sometimes it is not worth having. we're here. we're baking. we're photographing. we're growing. and we're figuring out the tricks. so keep with me friends. i won't disappoint.

a bientot.


Aran said...

it's ok to take your time. you have plenty of time ahead of you mallory! and what are you saying about the pastry not turning out? it looks amazing. perfect layers! welcome to the db!

Jo said...

I must say that your puff pastry looks fantastic .. look at the layers. And the mousse filing sounds equally delicious. Lovely pics.

M.Lane said...

Your posts are so interesting [and make me so hungry] that however long the gap between them they are a wonderful treat. I'm looking forward to the next one!


KMDuff said...

What a fun pepper mousse idea. :) Way to be creative!

peasepudding said...

what perfect vol au vents! so flaky, beautifully round and the filling sounds delicious

Wic said...

your post is amazing. love the pictures, adore your pastry and have a lot of fun reading.

alana said...

Ah yes. sometimes the best thing in these transitional moments is a day of pastry. lovely post....

Half Baked said...

Lovely post and nice job on your vol-au-vents. I love the filling it sounds delish!

Colloquial Cook said...

oh you're daring alright. Now I want a recipe for those seedy (yes, seedy) cookies appearing on the last pictures with the spoons.

Et hop!

Moira said...

Well Mallory,
I guess life is made of changes and challenges ;))
I'm glad you're back with another delicious recipe and hope you come back again with the recipe of the cookies that appear in the last photo.
And i would like to invite you for another challenge, there's an invitation here:
This one occours just once in a year (16th October) and i think you may like to bake something special or unsual :)
Um grande beijo

deb@accessoryalamode said...

Yum, yum! Heaven is what I was thinking when I saw this posted! It looks delicious and I am sure there are rave reviews!!

Jill said...

Beautiful pictures!! You are very talented and I've enjoyed reading your blog! :)

sweetakery said...

Lovely post! Perfect layers, great puffy pastry...the filling sounds delish! =)

shaz said...

No small violins available - will keyboard tapping do? Bravo on your first challenge and it's worth the wait to hear from you :)

(Ps, I think you're allowed to be a week late - but don't quote me)

Poulet said...

impressive. u manage to improve ur quality every single new blog post!

Mallory Elise said...

well. thank you everyone for your kind words about my flakes and layers!

Moira - obrigada! eu vou participar!

Clare - i'm going to harass you until you join now too. and a seedy cookie recipe to come in the future :P

poulet - what can i say, we improve everyday. i promise ;)

Maria said...

Wow, this is my first time visiting and your photos are stunning!

Sierra said...

I miss being able to eat these delicious treats!!!!!

Christy said...

I'm here!! Good job watching my back, btw!! I thought we were friends!! Hehe.

Anyway, yeah, I know how you feel. It's hard for us at this point, where we're still trying to figure out our next move on the human chessboard, and at the same time thinking about what we want to do for the rest of our lives. I agree that for everything that we prioritise in our lives, there are certain things that we have to give up. I suppose it will be a couple of years of this, and then we'll find our groove (hopefully).

The vol au vents look great---they look really flaky and 'high' to me---not even close to as bad as you told me they were!!

Shannalee said...

Mallory. I am SO glad you left a comment on my site because, seriously, I am smitten with yours now. We are kindred spirits and not just because of a love for food, but for a love for talking about it. Oh and as far as not finding time to blog---there is a sadness with that, no question, but you are very wise to see that there are transitions in life that sometimes prevent us from doing what we love. But those transitions usually, gracefully circle back and, I hope, that means we'll be hearing from you more.

Pemula SEo said...

haha delicieus...nice your cake in week

belajar bisnis said...

majority of Indonesia's like a cake.Nice your post.

Grosir Sepatu Futsal said...

nice post


like that...2 thumbs..

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