Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morsel: Charles M. Schulz

“All you need is love. 

But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” 

  Charles M. Schulz

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8th Stop: Armenia

Armenian Nutmeg Cake


Like many recipes that catch my eye, the one I found for this promised to be easy. It was! Super easy. If you ever have anyone over for an afternoon coffee, try making one of these to impress. The only requirement is you (and your guest) like nutmeg. Because nutmeg rules here. I liked this cake. But my fellow Bakery Travelers in the house are not fans of nutmeg, so they didn't care for it as much as I did. 


Here is Armenia (see red arrow):


A cake with a crust - it is brilliant. Below is the crust in its early stages:

The mixture all ready to be baked:

And a final product, after being mostly gobbled-up:

The crust is really key (and really easy) in this cake. I mean, if you are fond of crusts, as I am, you will appreciate this. For excellent step-by-step instructions, check-out this link:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bruiser Approved Book for Lil' Bakers

Don't all moms have tricks up their sleeves when it comes to keeping the peace? In Everybody Bakes Bread  by Norah Dooley and illustrated by Peter J. Thornton, a mom has got two querulous kids (a son and a daughter) stuck in her home on a rainy day. Well, this could lead to trouble, or it could lead to discovery. Mom sends her daughter on a quest for an unusual object in order to help make her Italian bread. The daughter's quest takes her around the block seeking the help of neighbors. In so doing, the daughter travels the world - and wonderful bread recipes like Coconut Bread, Challah, and Pupusas are shared. Indeed, everybody bakes bread, and when it comes to keeping the peace, everyone helps.


Totally Bruiser Approved.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morsel: Julia Child

It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.
Julia Child

Thursday, September 13, 2012

7th Stop: Argentina

Tarta de Ricota 

Ahhhh, Argentina, forgive my poor baking skills...









I knew I had over-baked this recipe. I am very new to making tart crusts. I over-baked the crust. Below is the tart cooling off. I know, I know, burnt edges. Sigh.


You might notice, I didn't have a proper tart pan with a removable bottom as the wonderful Rebecca from suggests.   Here is a photo of the ideal tart pan for this recipe:



So I figured, oh well, at least I tried. Then, I didn’t want to like it. I don’t know why - I guess because I knew it was a little overcooked, and I didn't have the proper pan.  But, wow, did I LOVE this!  The creamy ricotta and the lemon zest on top of a shortbread-tasting crust (even if over-baked) was decadent, yet, light. 




I can see (and taste) why Argentinians are fond of this treat. For more details (and the recipe I followed),  I encourage you to check-out the link below. You'll see a more appropriate photo of what a real Tarta de Ricota should look like and you'll learn more about its little origins as it made its journey from Italy to Argentina.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6th Stop: Antigua & Barbuda

The baked treat above (photo courtesy of a mini-Bakery Traveler) is called Papaya Pie and is from Antigua and Barbuda. I found it to be easy (I love easy recipes best of all) and refreshing. Any treat that is refreshing is especially important right now in this wild west. It's September and temps are not going below 100 degrees - not during the day, when I'm awake.


Wild West:








 Antigua and Barbuda:







First off, you get to mash some ripe papaya, mix it with a tiny little bit of flour as well as a little sugar, cinnamon, lime juice, and lime zest. The recipe calls for a dab of orange extract, too. But I didn't have any and I don't think it mattered.To this papaya mash-up you add stiffened egg whites. This photo below is the egg whites in their early stage before becoming properly peaked to fold into the papaya mixture.

This photo below is of the mashed papaya mixture after the egg whites were folded in. So light!

Then, you pour the mixture into a medium (pre-made/bought) pie shell. I used this kind:

The recipe I followed (link is below) called for about 45 minutes of baking time. But my version (and probably my oven) required more time to get a little golden on top. It took me about 60 minutes.

I discovered this delightful recipe from  In addition, this recipe is found at a kindred-spirit blog called Travel by Stove and (same author from the site) is found here:  Thank you Travel by Stove!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bruiser Approved Book for Lil' Bakers

How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world by Marjorie Priceman almost sounds like it has a secret in the title, doesn't it? And it does! See,it is easy to make an apple pie, unless the market is closed. In which case, pack up your bags, kiddo, because it's time to travel the world (like go to Italy for the grains to make the dough, and then France to get the eggs from what must only be superior chicken in France). This is a fun book! I am totally biased because it involves travel and baking. I mean, hello! The illustrations are whimsical, and there is an apple pie recipe on the last page.

Totally Bruiser Approved.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5th Stop: Angola


Angola is a beautiful country in Africa, recovering from a 40-year civil war. Its primary language is Portuguese, and its most famous dessert is a custard treat called Cocada Amarela. This is considered a "western style dessert." It has been very challenging finding non-western desserts from Angola.  The best recipe I found for this custard calls for six egg yolks. I have four eggs total at the moment. The recipe also calls for grated coconut, which I do not have, either.  Normally, I would go to the store and get the ingredients - eggs, coconut....

But seeing the four eggs got me thinking...I'd like to try a non-western Angolan dessert more. And also - as trite as it may sound - the Arizona heat has got the best of me right now.


I urge you to go beyond this recipe (as I have on my own) and simply get to know this country a little bit more. There are countless people working toward a better Angola.


In fact, my research has been humbling. My lack of eggs - simply an embarrassment. (My laziness to drive in this heat to get the ingredients is - sigh- simply total laziness.)  Endless heat does that to you: makes you lazy!  If you, sweet readers, happen to know of a non-western Angolan dessert recipe, please share. I actually may come back to this western-style recipe at some point, mostly because I am still curious about it and my Bakery Traveler Hubby sure likes the sound of a coconut custard. In the meantime, I give you this recipe for Cocada Amarlea from a website after my own food traveling heart. 


My next stop is Antigua and Barbuda. I vow not to let the heat influence my baking curiosities again.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Morsel: Mark Twain

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
Mark Twain

Sunday, September 2, 2012

4th Stop: Andorra

First off, it's still hot in the southwest. As one of my favorite local columnists, Karina Bland, wrote for the Arizona Republic newspaper today:

"This year, it hit 100 degrees for the first time on April 21 in Phoenix, a week and a half earlier than normal. Now it is September, and it feels as if I've been hot forever. Last month we were breaking records not only for our high temperatures each day but -- and this is how we know we're really in trouble -- for our highest lows."


In other words - it is too hot to deep-fry anything right now.  Still, this is my favorite Andorran dessert recipe I have found, because, frankly, deep-fried anything pretty much trumps all other options. (Andorra is a small country between France and Spain.) So this fourth stop for the Bakery Traveler World Tour is full-on armchair travel. It's too hot to bake, deep-fry, even go outside to pick-up the mail. 


To get back on track, this recipe below, for Party Crispies, further validates my theory that deep-fried dough goodness is recognized around the world. I believe every country loves itself some deep-fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon or sugar, or a cinnamon-sugar combo, and Andorra is no exception.


Express Train: September Sweets

I’m doing the research and finding the best international desserts and baked goods recipes from around the world for you as we step into September. I’m visiting some wonderful travel-the-world-via-food blogs, web sites, and old-school cook books. I cannot wait to share them with you! Are you ready for September? Is your passport still intact? We’re taking the express train this month. Pack lightly. Who needs the extra baggage? I've got my light shawl packed (see photo above). Its Greek key design reminds me of train wheels, so I couldn't resist snapping a photo of it for this entry.