Thursday, October 13, 2016

Better Homes and Gardens, October Feature. An inside peak at the making...

If you haven't pick up a copy of this month's Better Homes and Gardens, RUN don't walk and get one to see all the Harvest/ Oktoberfest fun from Freegrace. 

I share everything from my Bavarian soft pretzel recipe to drunken chicken to Helga's potato salad. And to finish it all off? Plum tart. 

To get a taste, watch the video for an inside look at the feature (and get a glimpse of our maples in full fall colors. Such showoffs).

Sunday, October 9, 2016


We had a special guest join our Sunday session today, Tate of the famous Tate Pie (as seen in my book Pie It Forward).
To be honest, I switched it up a bit and made chocolate cream pie instead of chocolate mousse pie since she'll be traveling with it back to school on a bus AND a train but delicious nonetheless. And it's still chocolate.

If you miss the live tutorial, here it is along with the ingredient lists.

For the pastry

(I misspoke at the top of the pastry section of the video, saying I was doing a book turn and immediately fixed the error by continuing by correctly stating that it was a letter fold, not realizing that I'd even uttered book fold. To clarify, a letter fold as demonstrated is the correct technique!)

1 pound all purpose flour (I use King Arthur All Purpose)
1 pound unsalted European butter, cooler than room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ice cold water

For the ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 ounce unsalted butter

For the chocolate pastry cream

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch salt
5 egg yolks
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used Guittard's 60%)

For the lightly sweetened whipped cream 

2 cups heavy or whipping cream
4 ounces mascarpone
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Apfel and Topfenstrudel...LIVE!


As promised here are the recipes from today's Facebook LIVE strudel demo along with some step-by-step photos of the Topfenstrudel that Ray took!

Topfenstrudel with sour cherries
For the strudelteig (strudel dough)

250 grams bread flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
3 grams fine grain sea salt
100 ml lukewarm water
20 ml vegetable oil
1 large egg, room temperature

Whisk together the water, oil and egg.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the flour and pour the wet ingredients into the well.

Using your hands or a dough whisk, combine everything into a rough mass. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5-8 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl and turn the dough over a few times in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover and allow to rest 2 hours.

For the Apfelstrudel fühlung (apple strudel filling)

7 large apples (tart and firm baking apples) peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup to 3/5 cup sugar (to taste)
1 cup sultana raisins
1/2 - 1 cup toasted almond slices
juice and zest 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shot dark rum
cinnamon to taste
pinch nutmeg

1 cup cake crumbs

Toss the apples in the lemon juice and zest.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add apples, sugar, raisins, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir over medium head until the apples are tender. Allow to cool completely. Once cool and just before filling the strudel, stir in the cake crumbs.

Vanillesauce (vanilla sauce/creme Anglaise)

120 ml whole milk
120 ml heavy cream
3 egg yolks
55 grams granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch salt

In a saucepan, bring the whole milk, heavy cream and vanilla bean paste to a simmer and take from the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt. While whisking, slowly add a small amount of the hot milk/cream mixture and then gradually a bit more, whisking all the while.

Transfer the tempered egg/sugar mixture into the saucepan with the remaining heavy cream/milk and whisk over low heat until the custard mixtures until the coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Strain into a small pitcher.

For the Topfenstrudel fühlung (topfen strudel filling)

514 grams quark or ricotta (2 containers worth)
120 grams, European butter melted and slightly cooled
3 eggs, separated
150 grams granulated sugar
200 grams creme fraiche
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dried and sweetened tart cherries

Line a sieve with 2-3 overlapping pieces of cheesecloth. Place over a bowl. Add the quark and creme fraiche and gently squeeze the as much moisture out of the fresh cheese as you can. Place in the refrigerator to allow as much moisture to escape as possible.

Turn the cheese mixture out into a bowl and add egg yolks, cooled butter, lemon zest and cherries (if the cherries are very dry, otherwise, leave out until ready to fill). Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour but preferably overnight.

When ready to fill the strudel, place the egg whites with a pinch of salt into the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until very foamy and then slowly add the sugar, whisking on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.

Spread onto the strudel dough as indicated in the video and the following step by step tutorial.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

COMING ON SUNDAY....STRUDEL. LIVE! Sunday the 18th @ 11am EST

Join me on my Facebook page, @gesinebp, on Sunday, September 18th at 11am EST for a LIVE encounter with strudel. The dough looks intimidating but it's so damn fun to make and stretch. And there's more than Austrian strudel on the table. You can make baklava, savory meals in a flaky dough pouch and even Lobster Tails!

See you then, Sweet People!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Croissant LIVE Part Deux: Cronuts, Cinnamon Buns, Bear Claws, OH MY!


Hello, sweet people! We had a wonderful LIVE croissant part two session and, as promised, I'm including the recipes for the Cronut filling (vanilla pastry cream) and for the Bear Claw/Pain au Raisin almond filling below.

If you missed Croissant LIVE part one, you miss the dough part! Here's a LINK to that video as well as the recipe (the formula, really. The instructions are in the video).

Chocolate croissant! For the dough recipe and instructions for plain and chocolate, go HERE

If you have ANY questions, please go to my Facebook page HERE and ask away!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cronuts, Croissant Cinnamon Buns and Bear Claws, OH MY! Facebook LIVE Croissant Demo, Part Deux

This past Labor Day, I showed you how to make my croissant dough on Facebook Live. Along with the dough, we made plain croissant and a Pain au Chocolat (chocolate croissant).

STRETCH that plain croissant!

But Croissant are SO much more than just the plain and chocolate. You can make Cronuts, bear claws, the Best (and I mean the BEST) cinnamon buns ever and so much more. 

Join me September 11th at 11am/est for Gesine's FB LIVE Croissant, Part DEUX

Monday, September 5, 2016

Croissant! With a full demo.

If you joined me live on Facebook today on my page, you participated in some high wire baking! Croissant.  LIVE! If you missed it, you can still experience all the thrills and spills while I take you through my croissant technique. As promised, my recipe follows.


For the butter block (beurrage)

550g unsalted butter (I used a combination of European butter/high butter fat content and traditional) butter
10 grams all purpose flour (King Arthur All Purpose)

For the dough (détrempe) 

This dough yields a dough with 56% hydration. For very dry areas or when you feel you need it, you can add up to 30 grams more to reach 60% hydration.

800g All Purpose Flour (I use and only use King Arthur All Purpose. It has a high gluten percentage at 11.7% that is needed for the dough.

150g whole milk, room temperature (to scald or not to scald. Really up to you. See video for more!)

300g filtered water, room temperature (with 30g more in the event your dough is too dry)

100 g granulated sugar

25g nonfat milk powder (I use King Arthur Flour Baker's Special. Make sure to only use a milk powder with very fine texture)

25g fine sea salt or baker's salt

18g instant yeast (I use Red Star Yeast's instant yeast)

50g melted and cooled unsalted butter

To finish

1 egg, beaten

For full instructions, watch the video (for easier viewing, watch on full screen)! If you have questions, join me on my Facebook page: Gesine BP (you can click the Facebook icon over on the side there and it will take you to it).