Walking into Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Exotic products, tight corners and packed shelves can lead to missed goodies and overlooked treats. This holds true in the bakery, too. Right now, we have four different baking syrups and, at first glance, you might wonder why you would buy one over another? Curious myself, I did a bit of research and in this post, I share what I gleaned. I’m going to breakdown each syrup into its profile, process, and when to use it, so that you can decide with confidence about what to choose for your next baking venture. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Bakery’ Category
Posted in Bakery, Bakery Supplies, Belgium, Breads, Desserts, Recipes, tagged Belgian Pearl Sugar, Belgian waffles, breakfast, dough, Liège waffles, sugar, waffles, yeast on April 3, 2013 | 30 Comments »
Growing up, my favorite waffles were, of course, Eggos. Flavorless, with a fun catch-phrase, they were the perfect vehicle for syrup and butter. It’s no wonder that I always preferred pancakes at renowned breakfast restaurants, like IHOP and Denny’s. In college, our cafeteria was equipped with a flip-waffle iron and a bowl of batter. You could make waffles at any time of day. But, after eyeing the thin batter and tasting the outcome, it was clear that these were merely pancakes posing as waffles.
Then, I moved to Massachusetts, where I learned a lot about food (Aunt Jemima’s isn’t real maple syrup!?). I worked at a creperie as a barista who didn’t drink coffee. The crepes were filled with strange, exotic ingredients I had never heard of, like arugula and Brie. I also learned that the owner actually specialized in a variety of waffle called “Liège waffles” (also sometimes known as Belgian waffles). I had no interest in trying one – I knew what waffles were all about. But an extremely enthusiastic coworker convinced me to give it a go. She took the deep-pocketed rectangle, toasted it, got out the whipped cream and strawberries and impatiently watched as I took my first bite. And then my taste-buds exploded (with flavor, not literally exploded). Sweet, dense, yeasted, chewy, filled with sweet crunchy pockets of sugar that also caramelized on the surface of the waffle – why ruin this with whipped cream and strawberries? Eggos were no competition – in fact, I wasn’t even sure if they were really waffles at this point – these were the best waffles I had ever had!
Posted in Bakery, Desserts, Produce, Recipes, tagged apple crisp, apples, baking, baking apples, crisps, eating apples, food, heirloom apples, pie, pie apples, raw apples, Recipes, taste test on October 17, 2012 | 6 Comments »
Inter-departmental cooperation? We’ve got that in spades! Two Sundays ago, this manifested itself in a team effort between the bakery and the produce departments. Emily, produce buyer and home chef extraordinaire, brought the apples: 10 different kinds, most of them heirloom varieties. I represented for the bakery and turned each variety into an individual mini-crisp and sliced extras for a “raw” tasting. Our goal? To find out which were the best baking and which were the best eating apples. (more…)
For New England bakers, the time of year has come when pumpkin makes its appearance on the menu. These goodies are invariably accompanied by crisp, autumn days, clear blue skies and beautiful fall foliage.
I recently learned that canned pumpkin in the supermarket is not a reduced form of jack o’ lanterns. What you get in those cans is a type of squash, just not the one we cut up and decorate for Halloween.
In the US, about 80 percent of the canned pumpkin market is held by Libby’s and they use something called the Dickinson pumpkin, which is paler and a bit more oblong than jack o’ lantern pumpkins. (more…)
In our Cambridge store, our bakery sits next to our produce room offering our baker Alice a chance to browse around the bins and shelves to find inspiration for her breads, pies, crostatas and muffins. At this time of year, it’s all about apples. From her award-winning apple pie to the simple muffins in this recipe, Alice makes the most of each apple variety from our local farms. (more…)
In April, I walked into the bakery and saw rhubarb piled high on the work bench, waiting to be added to a strawberry-rhubarb crisp. At the time, the weather had turned spring-like but we were still several weeks away from our own local rhubarb season. Still, that first sight of rhubarb was a lovely indicator that warm weather was on its way. This week, our produce manager, Julio, told me that we have just started getting in local rhubarb to the shop!
Rhubarb reminds me of home – my mom makes a fantastic strawberry-rhubarb pie and, as a baker myself, the bellwether rhubarb sets my mind racing with ideas for what will soon be a profusion of fruits to choose from for crisps, breads or crostatas… (more…)
Yesterday, after I finished work, I popped into the back of the bakery and experimented with chocolate fondue. I wanted to do a test run because today, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, we are sampling out fondue to customers. While chocolate fondue is not difficult to make, I wanted to make sure we had just the right ratios before preparing a large batch!
First off, I decided to use our Callebaut 60% bittersweet chocolate. Personally, I tend to like dark chocolate but, my own preferences aside, the acidity of chocolate is somewhat mitigated by the secondary ingredient in fondue: heavy cream. As a result, it is better to err on the darker end of the chocolate scale. (more…)