Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 baking goals

Last week I wrote about the baking goals I set for myself in August. I didn't do too shabby; I completed seven of eight. Now it's time for my new baking goals for this year. I'm thinking I give myself until the end of May or so to do these. It's a very loose timeline.

1. Beignets — I won't lie, seeing these little New Orleans pastries in last year's Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog" really made me want to make them. Good thing I haven't gotten it into my head yet that I should make the whole dessert spread from the "Be Our Guest" scene from "Beauty and the Beast" (that's what I'm watching right now...seemed like a good comparison). Another inspiration for these? My friend Jonathan made them with one of his friends. I'd like to try my hand at them.

2. Souffle — Another thing I saw in a favorite movie, although this one goes much farther back than a 2009 release date. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Sabrina" with Audrey Hepburn. In that movie, there is a scene where her souffle goes terribly, but it's because she forgot to turn on the oven. Often, the biggest problem I hear with this dessert is that it doesn't rise appropriately. I'm hoping that's not a problem for me. Completed in here.

3. Crepes — I had this tasty French dessert on a couple trips in the last year or so, most recent in Las Vegas and before that New York City. Both of those times I had sweet crepes, and now I'd like to try making them myself. I think the toughest part will be making the paper-thin crepe and getting it off the pan without breaking it!

4. Homemade pudding — I've made a number of custards and pudding-like things, but never plain ol' pudding. I appreciate the simplicity of instant pudding, but I want to try it the old way.

5. Cannolis — I really dislike frying things. Oil spitting freaks me out and I hate getting burnt by it, despite the fact that I got burned multiple times while working in food service. So cannoli shells are going to be an interesting feat for me. I'd like to try some traditional ones with a pastry cream and chocolate chips, but also some more interesting fillings. Suggestions are welcome! Completed in here.

6. Truffles — I've made a few versions of truffles before, of the cookie dough and Oreo variety. But here I'm talking the more difficult stuff, tempering chocolate and the like. It involves a lot of temperature changes and very specific directions. But they just look too good not to try. Completed in here.

7. Petit fours — These are yet another French dessert, little mini sweets for the end of a meal. I first saw them in a Martha Stewart cookbook my mom got me for graduation. There are a number of varieties, but they're often decorated and iced. It seems tedious work, but I will just have to hold my own interest I guess.

8. Jayhawk cake pops redux — This is the goal I did not achieve last time. So here's hoping I do it this time. I'm thinking March Madness... Completed in here.

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