Bostock

Two things I miss most from visiting b.patisserie in San Francisco: one is chef Brenda Leong’s delicious kouign amann – I have yet to find anything like it in Seattle.  The other is Bostock.

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Bostock is toasted brioche soaked in pastry syrup, topped with almond cream(frangipane) and sliced almonds. It is quite easy to make, as long as you have day-old brioche. I didn’t have day-old brioche at hand, so I made one from scratch and waited till the next day to make bostock. I know it sounded like wasting a good loaf of freshly baked brioche. But when one wants a bostock, one must have it!

Ingredients:

Orange Pastry Syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
orange juice, Grand Marnier, Cointeau or Triple Sec (to taste)
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring syrup to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and cool. Add orange juice or liquer to syrup. Syrup keeps up to one month in the refrigerator. Continue reading “Bostock”

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Brioche

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The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
―MFK Fisher

It’s been a while since I baked brioche. I almost forgot how intoxicating it smelled when one is in the oven. This recipe, adopted from L’Academie de Cuisine, yields approximately two pounds of dough, which will make 4 small, 2 medium or 1 large load of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups (1lb) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz)  room temperature butter

Continue reading “Brioche”

Apricot Walnut Bread

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Today a friend asked me what my blog is all about. Without hesitation I told him, it’s about food, it’s about travel, it contains recipes…and then it suddenly dawned on me that most of my recipes are from the food I sampled throughout my trips, inspired by the looks and tastes of a particular local dish and the anecdotes surround it. Cooking or reproducing it simply becomes an extension of the fond memories, back home. Continue reading “Apricot Walnut Bread”

Banana Bread

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My friend Jing and I went to Whole Foods Market after work.  As I was walking along the produce aisle, I suddenly realized that I had a bag of bananas from last week’s shopping I don’t recall eating.  Senior moment already?  Looks like someone could use some Bananas (Banana as Brain Food).

Of all the fruits in the whole wide world, banana is my least favorite.  Unripe it has a waxy texture and a slight biter taste; Overripe it’s mushy, over sweet with an alcohol like smell.

But I am not ready to admit my defeat and threw away these overpriced organic dark skinned fruits, so I decided to make my first ever banana bread.

I like this recipe on Food Networks because the addition of the pecan nuts:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Continue reading “Banana Bread”