Brownies-galette

SUMMARY: three kinds of chocolate and three separate layers of flavor elevate these brownies far above anything from a box!

“These brownies are killer!” exclaimed my roommate after eating one.

I have to agree.

Even after spending an entire day working on some component of the brownies, and finishing up the galette.

I thought, nothing can be good enough to be worth all this trouble. No wonder Woody’s mom only broke these out for the holidays. What a pain!

It was totally worth it for these brownies.

Of course I did a few things differently. Some deliberate, some accidental 😉

baked-brownieFirst, I used toasted slivered almonds and chopped hazelnuts. I thought I had pecans, but I guess I used them on the coffee cake I made for the fair. I like almonds and hazelnuts better anyway 😛

chocolate-barsI used darker chocolate for the brownies. I figured that part could take it better than the ganache.

I forgot to wrap the brownie pan with the strips and forgot to spray the parchment! That’s OK nothing got over browned and nothing stuck.

white-chocolateBTW the white chocolate layer? It took me FOREVAH to do it! My problem was that I kept whisking the mixture after I added the eggs to the white chocolate and butter. Whisking seemed to work better than stirring, because I used a round bottom bowl over a pot. But the temperature wouldn’t go up at all. So I stopped stirring, walked a way for a bit, and that seemed to work.

unmolded-browniesI didn’t trim the brownie top (because I would have eaten it) and I used all the white chocolate butter cream (again, because I would have eaten it). I kept everything together in the pan so I didn’t have to worry about drippy ganache. It came out fine 😉

2015-08-23 21.07.31I think I may have found my first recipe for fair baking next year!

About the peach galette. I finished it. YAY! The weather cooled off and I would work pie dough.

2015-08-23 09.38.47I splurged and bought myself a magic dough mat. I also put it in the freezer to cool the dough even more. It seemed to work well, although logistically, it’s a bit hard to wash in my tiny sink.

The dough followed my inverse pie crust rule – the more difficult to roll the dough, the better the crust will be.

baked-galetteI made sure to keep the galette cool before baking it. It was a little leaky but not too bad.

brownie-galette-platedFunny enough I served both the galette and the brownies for dessert. Bad mistake. After eating the brownie, the consensus was that the galette was merely OK! But I brought the other half of the galette to work and my coworkers enjoyed it.

I shared some brownies with the neighbors and the gals at the local coffee/convenience store.


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.

Needless to say … the peach galette will be delayed 🙁 since my kitchen is too hot to roll out the pastry crust nicely.

I did get the filling done and it’s sitting in the fridge awaiting cooler temperatures!

peach-galette-fillingI entered 3 items to the Altamont Fair for judging: raspberry-champagne cupcakes, carmel-topped salty-sweet peanut butter sandies, and pecan coffee cake.

coffee-cake    raspberry-champagne-cupcakes    peanut-butter-sandies

I got a 3rd place ribbon for the coffee cake, which wasn’t even the best thing! Go figure! And I got $4 in prize money, which paid for a pound of butter and a couple of eggs. I’ll go into more detail about the recipes when I don’t feel like a candle left out in the sun.

2015-ribbonsHopefully it will cool off so I can roll out the pastry and make the galette. And the brownies … I am sure my neighborhood, family and workplace tasters won’t mind having a choice 😉

Later taters! Keep cool!  Aimee

Summary: a starter plus two risings make a surprisingly light, well-flavored and tender fully whole wheat walnut bread.

bread-crumbI don’t like homemade whole wheat bread.

It’s either flavorless or bitter. It’s dry and weighs as much as a cement block.

I don’t like making it either. You either have to trust the market to have reasonably fresh flour (which it usually doesn’t) or drive to your local coop and buy it in bulk because their turnover is better.

This bread changed my mind.

It was full of great flavor, light, tender and really, really good. Plus it had nuts and who doesn’t like nuts?

I did cheat a little. Or maybe a lot. I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. Yes it looks white to start but it does bake up a little darker. Plus it’s what I had on hand since I don’t use the other whole wheat flour enough to keep it around. I’d rather use my freezer real estate for other things, thank you very much. I made a couple of other changes that you will see later on.

But first, the starter.

wholewheat-starter

My only deviation from the recipe was to mix the water, honey and yeast together first, and let them get acquainted a little before adding the flour. I had regular yeast, not instant, so I thought blooming the yeast first would give it a kickstart and make sure there was some yeasty activity going on under the blanket of flour.

starter-coveredI have never used this particular technique for a starter. The closest I have come was using sourdough. But I think I may try this the next time I make bread, or even pizza dough.

I also let it sit in the bowl a bit longer than called for, only because it was Sunday and I had other projects going on, i.e. laundry 😉

starter-bubblingIt was a little hyperactive from sitting on top of the fridge. But it smelled really good!

roasted-walnuts-sesame-seedsI had already toasted the nuts. And now I know you can skin walnuts like hazelnuts! That is completely awesome. There’s some sesame seeds there too.

Since I didn’t have quite enough walnuts and no walnut oil, I added sesame seeds and used a bit of toasted sesame oil with plain canola oil. Yes this was a “clean out the pantry” baking project.

nuts-addedThe dough came together nicely and it was really sticky. Rose wasn’t kidding about that!

Several hours and two risings later, the dough was looking pretty good.

after-1st-risingIt was still sticky so I was generous with the bench flour.

loaf-formationI formed it up into a loaf. I didn’t work it that much at that point. I just tried to form it up so it would rise evenly.

loaf-ready-for-ovenInto the loaf pan. At that point it was pretty late on Sunday. So I popped it into the fridge to rise overnight. I have had good luck with that in the past. And from sad past experience, I knew I would probably be up early on Monday so I could bake it then.

In this case, when I checked it Monday morning, it really didn’t rise too much in the fridge. I left it in a warm spot while the oven heated up. It didn’t help. I put it in the oven on a baking sheet with a handful of ice cubes anyway.

The whole house smelled like the best bread ever. I guess that’s my reward for getting up early!

baked-loaf-dishAlthough it didn’t rise as much as I wanted, it looked really good coming out of the oven. The crust was going to be soft because I baked in glass. I didn’t mind that.

Before I left for work, I put it on a cooling rack.

baked-loaf-coolingAfter work, I came home to a great snack!

baked-loafIt sliced nicely, since there was no tough crust to break through. Even my household white-bread eaters liked it!

bread-slicesI will definitely using the starter technique again. And probably making more of this bread.

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BTW I am very glad this weekend is a make-up weekend. I have fair competition baking to do!

This year I am entering pecan coffee cake, champagne-raspberry cupcakes and carmel-glazed peanut butter cookies.

I will be sharing pictures with everyone, and please keep your fingers crossed!


This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.