Tag Archives: raisins

My Easter Bread

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

Easter BreadThis Easter Bread started to be a blog about making Kulich, the Russian Easter Bread. In my research, I was led to believe that Paska was the same as Kulich. However, it seemed to me that Kulich had fruit in it as well as being finished with a powdered sugar glaze and colored nonpareils whereas Paska had no fruit and was usually beautifully decorated with braids on top but no nonpareils. Continue reading

Hot Cross Buns Revisited

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

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

I posted these Hot Cross Buns five years ago but feel it’s worth repeating this season.

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.   Continue reading

Orange Bread Pudding

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

Orange Bread PuddingOrange Bread Pudding with Orange Cream Sauce is the type of dessert I once joked about.  I was going to write a book named, “363 Bread Puddings and 252 Crème Brulees” because almost every restaurant in business serves these two desserts. But none of them comes close to this different take on everyone’s favorite dessert.

While technically any bread can be used, Challah or Brioche are my breads of choice for this bread pudding. Challah is the Jewish Bread rich in egg and braided.  It’s very close to Brioche.   Pecans and raisins work well with the orange flavor of the bread pudding. The Orange Cream Sauce accentuates the orange flavor while adding the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Continue reading

Apple Cake with Pecan Caramel Top

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

Finished 4While apple pies get most of the attention  an Apple Cake with all of its spices, lots of apples and raisins is no slouch. We made many of these for catered events where there was no refrigeration as the plated deserts could sit for hours at room temperature.

This is a dense cake filled with fruit. The pecan caramel top compliments the cake and adds a luxuriousness that a buttercream would not.

Any apple that bakes well can be used. Many prefer Granny Smith apples,but  Pink Ladies or Gala apples are also good choices. Continue reading

Traditional Carrot Cake – An American Classic

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

Finished wholeCarrot Cake is truly an American Classic cake. With both fruit and nuts, it can have a bevy of add ins including coconut and pineapple. This is the carrot cake that we made at the bakery.

When I opened my bakery I was making more European cakes than American ones. I preferred Italian buttercream to finish my cakes and most of the American cakes used powdered sugar as the base.   It didn’t take me too long to figure out my clients were going to my competition to get the carrot cake as well as a good old American chocolate cake.

So I went into the carrot cake testing phase.  Some were too sweet, some too dry, some didn’t hold up five days in the refrigerator – a must for selling wholesale.  As much as you want to believe all of your desserts are flying out of the restaurant, they’ll usually be around for a few days.  So it is really important they have a shelf life so they won’t dry out. Continue reading