Tag Archives: cloves

Chocolate Spiced Coffee Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. 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

Phyllo at its Finest – Baklava

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

BaklavaMy mother was a fantastic baker and cook.  She could take nothing and make something wonderful from it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate it when I was growing up.  They practically had to force feed me like those poor geese for foie gras.  But what I did love, was anything my mother baked and is why, in hindsight, I went into the baking business.

My mother and grandparents were immigrants from what was then, Yugoslavia.  Just as in this country, different parts of the country had different assets.  Mother lived in an area rich in dairy with butter, eggs and cream at their disposal.  I would watch my mother and grandmother on Sunday’s, spread a clean, white tablecloth over a large, round table over which freshly made phyllo would be stretched.  I could scarcely understand a word as they chatted away in Serbian.

My job was to sweep up the scraps after the thick edges were removed and some of the paper thin dough fell to the floor.  While most people can’t imagine a dough being stretched so thinly a newspaper could be read through it, I thought everybody made it.  After it had been stretched to transparency, a spoon would be dipped into melted butter and I can still see my mother and grandmother  holding it  high and waving it over and over  the transparent dough as the golden drops of liquid fell from the spoon dotting the surface.  It would then be folded upon itself and more butter would be drizzled. Continue reading