October 25, 2012

Muse of the Month

Romy Schneider

Schneider was born Rosemarie Magdalena Albach (1938) into a family of actors in Nazi-era Vienna.
After establishing herself in Austria, she moved to Paris with her French actor fiancée, Alain Delon, in 1957.

She made a name for herself in France but made only a few appearances in American film. One of them being the comedy Good Neighbor Sam, with Jack Lemmon, and the other being from Woody Allen’s first screenplay (which he also co-starred in).

Her personal life was somewhat tragic. After ending her relationship with Delon in 1966, she married German director and actor Harry Meyen. They conceived a son David Christopher shortly before their divorce. Meyen committed suicide in Hamburg, Germany in 1979. In 1975, Schneider married her secretary, Daniel Biasini. They had a daughter several years later.

Her son David died at the age of 14 by puncturing his femoral artery trying to climb a spiked fence at his grandparents’ home. After her son’s death, she began to drink heavily. On May 29, 1982 she was found dead in her apartment in Paris. It was suspected she committed suicide by ingesting fatal amount of alcohol and sleeping pills. 

October 13, 2012

Augustus Gloop Apple Strudel

Augustus! Save some room for later!

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice
1/2 cup white wine
3 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise
1/3 cup (packed) dried bing cherries
1/3 cup (packed) pitted prunes or plums, halved
1 1/4 pounds Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar

9 (17x12 inch) sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
Combine 1 cup of juice, the wine, star anise, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. Add cherries and prunes/plums. Cover and simmer until fruit is plump, about 5 minutes. Discard star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla pod. Mix in apples and sugar; simmer until apples are tender but hold shape and liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. 
Mix in cornstarch and 2 tablespoons apple juice. Add to filling; stir over medium-high heat until filling thickens and boils, about 3 minutes. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and chill.)

For the strudel:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly butter heavy large baking sheet. Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until nuts are finely ground or pound in a plastic bag with mallet. Place 1 phyllo sheet on towel (cover remaining phyllo with plastic wrap and damp towel). Brush phyllo lightly with melted butter. Top with second phyllo sheet; brush with butter. Sprinkle with 3 or 4 tablespoons nut mixture. Continue with 6 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with scant 3 or 4 tablespoons nut mixture. Top with remaining phyllo sheet. Brush with butter. Spoon filling atop phyllo stack in 12x3 inch log, starting 2 inches from 1 long side and 2 1/2 inches from each short side. Fold short edges over filling. Using towel as aid and beginning at edge close to filling, roll up strudel jelly-roll style. Place strudel, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Brush strudel with butter. 
Can be made 4 hours ahead. Chill. Pre-slice the roll two-thirds of the way through before putting it in the oven to make it easier to cut after baking.
Bake strudel uncovered until golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes. 

Lovely Weekend Mixtape

I haven't blogged since April!

That is all about to change, baby.

February 29, 2012

Waffle Wednesday

Nutella Waffles with Peaches and Cream
(adapted from cakestudent)

Nutella Waffles
1 batch of waffle batter
1/3 cup nutella

Peaches and Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 super ripe peach

For the nutella waffles
Mix the nutella in the waffle batter. Make the waffles according to your waffle maker.

For peaches and cream
In an electronic mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip up the cream until soft peaks form. Add the brown sugar, whip for a few more seconds until stiff peaks form.

Serve with the nutella waffles.

February 26, 2012

Woody Allen

"I'm not saying I didn't enjoy myself, but I didn't."


Patisserie No. 8
Laurent Duchêne
2, Rue Wurtz, 13th Arr.

I stumbled upon this place while walking to a park not too far from my apartment. The storefront had earthy, christmas colored goodies arranged in the window and thought it would be a sin not to give into the holiday spirit and buy a mini bûche de noël.

Patisserie Purchased: Bûche de Noël Marron Glacé
Cost: 480

For those who aren't hip to the cuisinier game, a bûche de noël is a spongey sheet cake that has been layered with a buttercream frosting, rolled up like a rug, and cut into pieces to shove in yo' mouf! 
And excusez-moi? Marrons glacés? Ya, those are chestnuts glazed and candied in sugar syrup. You will either love em or spit it out in the hand of the person who gave them to you. I just happen to like the heavy, gritty texture and earthy/nutty flavor of them candied. And thankfully I do, because this patisserie was jam packed with the stuff!

 These little bûches are the thicker, haute-couturer, French versions of the Twinkie. The cake casing was a tinge dry but the chestnut cream drizzled on top and and marron glacé paste filling compensated for it- leaving my mouth in a well balanced creamy chestnut nirvana. 

Scale from ONE to TEN: