Le Boulangerie (16) Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I did not have time nor inclination to bake this week. The weather turned warm and it was all I could do to keep my head out of the clouds. So instead of a bread or baked dessert, I thought I’d share one of my favorite decadent smoothie recipes. Actually it’s not even that high in calories – 320 for a 16 oz glass. And it has some nutritional value as well. Smoothies come out best in high powered blenders like the Ninja, the Nutri-bullet or what I use: the Vita-mix. The older blenders tend to leave chunks in your drinks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole bananas cut into chunks and frozen overnight
  • 8 ounces milk (or almond milk – I like for this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts (or almonds, actually any nut of your choice)
  • alternatively instead of whole nuts, use 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or other nut butter of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (only adds 10 calories)

All ingredients go into the blender, blend on high until smooth. In the vitamin, it takes just about 30 seconds. I drink this as a breakfast smoothie and add in a little protein powder for some extra nutrition. But seriously it tastes like dessert! Enjoy!

Le Boulangerie (15) Brioche

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

This is the recipe I use for making brioche. This is such a pretty thing. Traditionally, the dough for the brioche is separated into one large and one small piece with the smaller piece resting atop the larger one as in the header image (not mine, but I wanted to show you what it looks like). You do not have to bake it that way. It can be baked in a standard bread pan or a round baking dish. Additionally, you can turn this dough into one big loaf, two smaller ones (what I do) or even into 10-12 rolls depending on how large you want them. It’s a light, airy bread that makes amazing French toast for breakfast! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 10 tablespoons butter

Method:

  •  In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together all of the ‘wet’ ingredients: water, eggs, butter… and the sugar and the yeast. Then add in flour and salt. Knead to form a smooth, shiny dough. It will look like a sticky mess to start but it becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. For that to happen, however, you need to knead (ha!) for up to 15 to 20 minutes in the stand mixer. Also, it’s not really a good dough to knead by hand.
  • Form the dough into a ball (it’ll be very soft), place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and it let rise for 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight. This will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to shape.
  • Place the dough into a greased pan (I use a 10 inch round cake pan), cover lightly, and let rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until it’s doubled and looks very puffy.
  • Place the pan into a preheated 400°F oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more. Check the brioche after 15 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. Brioche should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190°F at the center using an instant-read thermometer. (It’s easy to underbake, since it browns so quickly!) Remove the brioche from the oven, and after 10 minutes remove it from the pan to cool completely on a rack

Le Boulangerie (13) Bailey’s Bread Pudding

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I love bread pudding. As long as you keep raisins and other dried fruit out of it. Not that I don’t like a raisin now and again, just not in my desserts. Bread pudding was invented to make good use of stale bread. And what better use than to turn it into dessert? I have a couple recipes in my repertoire including one for brunch that I’ll probably post at some point. I came up with this recipe for a friend of mine who is vegan. I used almond milk, thickened with corn starch instead of using eggs and so forth. The vegan version is pretty great, I have to tell you… Nevertheless, I’ve returned the recipe to omnivore status for this post with the vegan instructions in parentheses. And you’ll notice there is no added sugar. The Bailey’s, the chocolate and the potato bread make it sweet enough.

Bailey’s Irish Bread Pudding

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk (1 ¾ cup almond milk)
  • 1/2 c Bailey’s Irish Cream (¼ cup coffee liqueur like Tia Maria)
  • 2 eggs (2 teaspoons cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 loaf potato bread cubed (potato – Irish… get it?)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method:

  • Whisk together milk, Bailey’s Irish Cream, egg and salt. (Or the vegan ingredients, including the cornstarch)
  • Pour over bread cubes and chocolate chips.
  • Bake in greased casserole dish at 350 for 40 min
  • Serve warm with ice cream (vegan ice cream is not horrible) if you like… and maybe an Irish coffee ☘️