Sunday, March 30, 2008

Butter + Cream cheese + Chocolate = Yum

I had wanted to make a little babka this weekend, but after scouring literally a dozen recipes, I realized that to make it properly, I really needed a proper stand-up mixer with a dough hook. So I went for the next best thing - rugelach! I went with the Joan Nathan version.

It was quite a process. First a very rich dough of butter, cream cheese, a little flour and some sugar. Then that sat in the fridge for an hour or so, while I created the filling. I had a choice between chocolate and apricot, and while I love fruit cookies, since I'd been craving chocolate babka, there was really only one way to go - I grated eight ounces of bitter sweet chocolate and combined it with sugar. The thing I really wanted to achieve here was aesthetics. I'm a decent enough baker in terms of taste, but I really need to bring up my points for presentation. I just have no patience for rounding edges and smoothing dough. So I concentrated a lot on making these guys look pretty.

Rolling them out

Arranging the filling

Finished product

In the end, I'm pleased with the way they came out. I may search around for a slightly chewier recipe (these are very sophisticated.) But I feel that I'm on my way to being a neater, prettier baker.

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