There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. And Madeleines. And hamantaschen. Yum.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today was a brilliantly beautiful and sunny day. And, just our luck, we had a braai planned with the lovely Mr and Mrs Agnew so we could take full advantage of the heat, sunshine and pleasant afternoon. And, also, Graeme's brother Stuart arrived to stay for a few weeks. And we had Graeme's work folk over on Friday night for a really, really good braai with lots of delicious treats and excellent company with Stewart and Chris (and Stuart arrived midway too). And we went to a very bustly and fun 50th birthday party last night. And, I resigned from my job on Wednesday. And I got glasses. And we haven't yet made our wedding invitations which are now a little overdue. So today was the end of quite a week.

I baked.

These are the poppy seeds which I'm preparing for the Hamantaschen in celebration of Purim. I was inspired to bake these little hat pastries by Ms Deb from Smitten Kitchen who baked these delights in her New York Kitchen with this recipe.

The poppy seeds look like the grey-white stones of pebble beaches ... but I'd hazard a guess that they're infinitely better tasting ;)

The filling is a rather complicated blend of poppy seeds, raisins, orange zest and milk but it's oh-so delicious.

Here's the finished product. It didn't hold its shape very well, but it's more or less what I remember them to look like and best of all they were delicious! The dough is a lemony shortbread type of dough and the filling is a rich orange and buttery poppy seed mix. I think the dough could have been harder (or perhaps should have been harder because the recipe warns against cracking dough) but it turned out just fine.

There were also orange madeleines to be had; I adapted the from the Rosebud Madeleines recipe I made last week but I substituted orange zest and squeezed orange juice for the rose water.

Here's an orange zest madeleine next to Graeme's miniature espresso cup. Yum.

Ah, and in the spirit of keeping with Purim and all things from the typical Jewish kitchen, here's a delicious batch of miniature challah to have with the braai.

They're an excellent variation of the Kenwood Basic White Bread recipe made with warm milk instead of water, and glazed with an egg yolk-and-water glaze. A 'normal' challah recipe is an egg-based dough with honey and oil - it sounds delicious, I'll have to give it a go soon.

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