Sunday, September 26, 2010

Central Baking Depot Almond Crossaint

My first experience with an almond croissant was back some time in high school. I was on my way from Canberra to the South Coast for a holiday with my best friend and her parents and we stopped in at the Braidwood Bakery. I still clearly remember it - it was a very large traditionally-shaped croissant, sliced open and filed with a thin layer of chocolate and a thin layer of pastry cream. On top was lots of toasted flaked almonds and lots of icing sugar. It was love at first bite.

The Braidwood Bakery has long since changed hands and no longer does an almond croissant. But I still love them dearly and buy them often. So I thought I should start an occasional series of almond croissant reviews.

The Central Baking Depot in Erskine St is an outpost of the famous Bourke St Bakery. They have lots of yummy pastry items in the window, including no less than 4 kinds of croissant –plain, chocolate, almond and almond chocolate.

The almond croissant is a traditional crescent shape filled with a small amount of pastry creme. It is topped with almond paste and flaked almonds, then sprinkled with icing sugar. It looks gorgeous, but for me the pastry of the croissant is a little too dense and oily tasting, and the pastry creme is too sweet. I never met an AC that I didn’t like, but I have been known to walk past this bakery and not buy one, so its clearly not up there with my favourites. In the interests of research I think I will have to try the almond chocolate version in the future, but that really does seem like gilding the lily whatever that means.

Central Baking Depot - 37-39 Erskine St Sydney no website!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tropical Toasted Museli

I love the crunch of toasted museli and like to make it at home using apple juice and honey. It is yummiest with really cold milk, topped with chopped fresh fruit and a dollop of fruit yoghurt. But its also good sprinkled on top of a bowl of bircher oats or porridge or just plain yogurt. The only problem is that Tom loves it too and he can eat faster than me.

I make it with a tropical twist partly because I love the macadamias and partly because I compulsively buy little packets of dried pineapple, papaya and mango from Aldi. I cannot go in there without coming out with another packet.

This is a very flexible recipe. You could use vegetable oil or no oil instead of the coconut oil. You could use more or less or different fruits and nuts and seeds. If you want it sweeter just add sugar to the juice mixture to taste. You could also add some salt.

Tropical toasted museli

400 grams rolled oats
100 grams sunflower seeds
100 grams shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 cup apple jucie
1/4 honey
1 Tbs coconut oil
150 grams macadamia nuts chopped
1 cup finely sliced mixed dried fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya and banana)
100 grams shredded coconut extra

Mix oats, seeds, coconut and spices in a large bowl
Combine juice, honey and oil and heat in microwave for about 1 minute until all melted and combined
Pour juice mixture over oat mixture and mix well.
Spread oats in an even layer in two baking tins
Bake for 20 minutes, stir well, then bake for another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
When cool combine oats in a large bowl with nuts, fruit and extra coconut
Store in an airtight container and if necessary hidden from other householders.