Author Archives: hfletcher

Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Spiced Coffee CakeThe dough for this Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake is based on a recipe from one of my favorite bakers, Beatrice Ojakangas. Her book, “The Great Scandinavian Baking Book” is a classic that is in the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame. She has given us so many wonderful Scandinavian baking recipes. I would happily make anything she wrote about because her recipes work.

The recipe for the dough is interesting in that it has no egg and receives its initial rise in the refrigerator straight out of the processor. Continue reading

Cocoa Brownies in No Time-or a Little Time!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Cocoa BrowniesCocoa Brownies have never been in my wheelhouse and I’m not sure why, although I have a sneaking suspicion I am prejudiced in favor of chocolate. However, while wandering around the internet recently, an article on cocoa brownies caught my eye. Continue reading

A Heartfelt Thanks to All

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

As we go into 2018 several things are on my mind. First of all, I’d like to offer my thanks to all of you that read my blog, whether once in a while are on a regular basis. You are very special friends who share the same interest as I do and it makes my writing a joy.  The comments are always a treat for me and I never mind answering questions sent to me via email.  I am committed in 2018 to making my blog even better.  Any suggestions you have are welcomed and will be taken into consideration.  So do let me hear from you whether on the types of recipes, or white papers on ingredients, techniques, photos, – anything.

First of all, I’d like to offer my thanks to all of you that read my blog, whether once in a while are on a regular basis. You are very special friends who share the same interest as I do and it makes my writing a joy.  The comments are always a treat for me and I never mind answering questions sent to me via email.  I am committed in 2018 to making my blog even better.  Any suggestions you have are welcomed and will be taken into consideration.  So do let me hear from you whether on the types of recipes, or white papers on ingredients, techniques, photos, – anything.

Second of all – how did we get here so fast? I say this every year and every year I try to slow things down, but I have come to the conclusion that the older I get the faster time flies.  And, truthfully, most of the time I am enjoying what I do.  There are times I could do without.  LIke the time the restaurant needs six special cakes for a party.  This wouldn’t be a problem normally.  I can manage 6 or more any day – except when I need 10″ pans and I have only two.  Each cake takes two layers so I have to make the cake layers six times.  Fortunately, the ganache can be made all at once!  But this is rare and as long as my husband and I remain in good health, I don’t think I have anything to complain about.

This year I hope to finally get my Sixty Second Brioche book finished and ready for Kindle and paperback. I had hoped to get it finished last year, but a bad head fall near the end of the preceding year kept me busy with doctors, cat scans, hospital stays and MRI’s as they looked for the reason I couldn’t see properly.  The first six months were just putting one foot in front of the other.  All is good now so I am thankful for that and that my eyes have returned to normal.

I am also starting a book of cookies (just what the world needs – one more book of cookies remarked one of my readers) but I promise this one includes recipes from around the world as well as those I’ve come up with and American favorites.  They all have something special about them and I am excited to get the testing underway.

This brings me to my last point.  If any of you reading this or know of anyone who uses a gluten free mix in baking I’d like to know what you or they use if you buying the mix (as well as the name of the mix). If you or they make your own, it would help a lot if you would share it with me for my research.  I won’t use it or publish as  I am at the beginning stages of formulating a mix to use in the cookie book so that those that need to be gluten free can enjoy the cookies as well.  However, my son suggested that not all people will want to make their own mix so testing of readyi made mixes has to commence also.  Gads, writing this down, the work sure seems to have escalated!

My son was diagnosed several years ago and he loves the gluten free hermits I send him which gave me the idea for including GF conversions in the book.  This will be a ton of testing since I won’t include anything I don’t know will work.  Especially the European cookies as they are sometimes easier, such as shortbread, or sometimes more involved such as the dozens of recipes for Lebkuchen.

I would like to end this blog by going back to the beginning and thanking all of you again for your interest, comments and just being here.  I wish you all the best New Year ever in 2018 as we all try to make sense of how fast the world is swirling around us.  I am going to try to read more, watch TV less and enjoy my family, work, plants and pastries.  As my son would say – later!

Warm Chocolate Lava Cakes with Bailey’s Sauce

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Warm Chocolate Lava Cakes with Bailey's These Warm Chocolate Lava Cakes with Bailey’s Sauce comes to us from Cork, Ireland via the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Orlando, Florida. Booth after booth after booth from all over the world featured food from their countries. This and the Belgium Waffle booth had the longest lines and were indeed standouts. They are quite different than the usual waffles.

This is so easy all you need is a whisk, a bowl and a few measuring ingredients. Continue reading

Quick and Easy Two Step Banana Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Banana Bread for Two Step Banana BreadI’ve often wondered if the first person to make banana bread actually started out to make it or if the bananas sat in a corner, got overly-ripe and something had to be done with them, which is usually what happens in my house. That doesn’t make it any less wonderful – just necessary.

This Two Step Banana Bread is great as a quick gift to someone on your list or to yourself.  it is sure to be well received and appreciated.  It’s also great to have tucked away in the freezer for those times you need to have a bit of something for drop in guests or as a morning treat for house guests.

Bananas are actually one fruit that is picked green and best allowed to ripen off the tree. Produce wholesalers often have “banana rooms” where the fruit is purchased really green and then ripened in these 70 degree rooms to a yellow color with green tips. Continue reading