As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs. My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.
Scones have a lot of different methods of preparation, usually depending on varying geographical interpretations. There’s even different pronunciations of the word “scone”–some rhyme it with “tone”, while others rhyme it with “gone.”
Simply Delicious‘ take, 17-11: Scones, seems to most closely adhere to the British version of scones in that they make theirs into round cakes, score them, and then break them apart into triangle shapes after baking. The North American versions tend to be individually-sized, round, and more often than not closely resemble what we refer to as biscuits.
One of my first memorable experiences with scones were at an 18th birthday tea party I attended in the last few months of senior year of high school–we had just come back from a Spring Break trip to England & Ireland, and I came to the tea party prepared with white gloves and pinkies up. They had scones with clotted cream & jam, finger sandwiches, and lots of flowery, delicate pots of tea. ☕️
Wouldn’t have been my choice for an 18th birthday party (I spent a good portion of mine in my dorm room hungover from a wild freshman-year-of-college Halloween extravaganza the night before), but it was definitely unique.
17-45: Light Coffee Rolls were made as part of a gift box for a family friend. These coffee rolls can hardly be described as “light” in my opinion. The batch I made came out rather heavy, but buttery and delicious. 😋
The rolls were best served fresh from the oven, upon cooling, the rolls got heavier and less airy.
The other of two desserts that I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe (the first was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte). With my family, it’s REQUIRED that there be a chocolate dessert option when having a big dinner, so I decided to give this one a whirl–I thought it’d be a nice contrast of flavors and textures when compared to the other options (the aforementioned torte and a pumpkin pie my mom made). 🍫
This was the third dish I made, continuing the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since the pudding needed to chill, I thought letting it rest in the fridge overnight would give it the best chance of holding together when served the next day. 🍮
Since it’s currently summer, I’ve been experimenting more with the Cold Desserts section of Simply Delicious. Come fall & winter, we’ll get back to more of the Hot Desserts. 15-2: Chocolate Mousse is not the first mousse I’ve attempted (check out 15-1: Lemon Mousse for a citrusy variation), but it is a pretty solid chocolate mousse recipe–these are great for entertaining, or even making in individual servings and freezing for later. 🍨
As noted above on the card, chocolate mousse is a classic and popular dessert. There are a variety of ways to approach it, as explained in this Serious Eats feature on the dish, but Simply Delicious’ version is super easy–5 ingredients are all you need. 🍫
Here’s some easy breakfast or snack rolls to make that can get super addictive. 17-33: Coconut Coffee Rolls don’t necessarily need to be consumed with coffee if that’s not your bag, but they do pair nicely for a morning pick-me-up. 🌴☕️
I’ve made coconut rolls before, but they were somewhat different (17-67: Coconut Crescents) and I used those as part of my 2015 holiday gifts. Most of these rolls didn’t even make it out of the house–usually I try to distribute the majority of the baked good products of this project to my friends and family to avoid eating all of it ourselves.
Looking for a way to use up some apples? 🍏 🍎 16-45: Colonial Apple Cake is a easy way to do that with some very classic-looking results. This even looks like something American colonists would have eaten (take it from a former U.S. history teacher).
I made this to take to a get-together, but it’d even be nice as a simple birthday cake or for a dinner party.