Of Bread, Kouign-amann, and Mousse Cake

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Last week I made my first ever mousse cake (it was triple chocolate). Working with gelatin was an interesting experience. It turned out okay. Two of the layers weren’t fully separated because I didn’t wait long enough for the second layer to set. I ended up topping it off with a blend of cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar (a.k.a. icing sugar).

I also finally made a decent loaf of bread. I forgot to put some salt in it, so it was bland. The texture was alright. As it turns out, I was using too much flour. There wasn’t enough water to support the dough. So when I’d knead it for half an hour (an excellent workout), I’d still get a heavy dough.

Saturday I finally made some Kouign-amann. They turned out pretty nice, with just enough salt in the sugar to give it a good savory twist to the sweetness. The recipe was a bit complicated, and I think I was making a “rough puff” pastry instead of a full puff pastry. Part of me likes the full puff because it’s easier to manage the butter.

My next project will be another mousse cake. This time, I want to try to put a chocolate mirror glaze over it. However, I will have to freeze the cake and buy a good mesh strainer. And I’ll have to freeze the cake. I might just opt for a dusting of cocoa powder instead.

7 thoughts on “Of Bread, Kouign-amann, and Mousse Cake

  1. Hello SB. Grand! I really mean it. I am getting into baking / cooking more and the terrain online for recipes is so slippery and hard to follow. I am searching for good dessert recipes but I am too much a beginner for most of them. Please feel free to share any recipes you wish with me and also tips, as I find that there are gaps in recipes that experienced people go right over but newbies like me flounder on. I am so happy to know you like cooking,I do not feel so alone in that. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Scottie, sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

      I’m still a novice when it comes to baking. The thing that got me started was the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Watch that for things you think might be delicious (not flavors, but general stuff like pastries and cookies and such). If you want to eat the end product, the process of learning to make it is easier.

      And most recipes have gaps in them, unfortunately. Some people skip steps just to make it look easier. Complicated recipes can be nice because at least the author won’t assume you know what you’re doing.

      There’s also a YouTube channel called “Food Wishes.” If you’re a fan of cayenne pepper, you’ll like Chef John.

      Oh, and for simple recipes, I’d start with homemade cakes. I might share a lemon bar recipe I used a few times. And if you ever make any mistakes, I’ll send you my address so you can ship them to me. I’ll be happy to make them disappear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello SB. Thank you for some solid good ideas. The last few days have been full of cooking and new ideas. My spouse watches food channels on YouTube and likes them, describes them to me and we try to recreate them. Mostly with success, but not always. I was also thinking of subscribing to a cooking magazine or two. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I confess I cheat when it comes to bread making. I tend to use prepackaged bread mixes in preference to making my own from scratch. But most definitely, the ratio of dry ingredients to water is critical – even more important than the ratio of yeast to flour. I usually start of at a 3 to 1 ratio of dry ingredients and water. And here I play it by ear – literally. I use a bread maker to knead the dough (but not bake the bread) and my autistic ear is fine tuned to the sound of the motor as the paddle does its work. I can easily hear if the ratio is not quite right by the sound of the motor – even if the ratio is off by a teaspoon of flour or water. I’ve noticed that atmospheric humidity can have quite a bearing on the perfect ratio, and my ear is the best guide in making tiny adjustments.

    Glad to know that you are enjoying baking. It can be quite theraputic in so many ways.

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    • It’s not cheating if the bread is good. And I think it’s awesome that you can hear if the bread dough is right. Does it apply to the mixer you use, or can you listen if you use other ones?


      • I’d have to learn the relationship between the sounds emanating from the mixer and the result, but it would only take two or three times to get a good picture of the combination. It becomes more refined as time goes by.

        I think it’s an autistic trait in that I notice many subtle changes in sound that others are blissfully unaware of. In the home it also applies to practically every other device. I can hear how full the vacuum cleaner is. I can tell the weight of the load in the washing machine or when the heat pump filter requires cleaning as examples.

        While it has some advantages, it does come with disadvantages too. It’s a “skill” I cannot switch off. For example if I’m at a restaurant I get distracted by the different footsteps of patrons as they enter and leave, more so if I’m facing away from the sound source. I notice how the footsteps of the serving staff change during the duration of the meal, and here that can be several hours. In this regard I can confidently state that men are more inclined to choose comfort over fashion than are women, or perhaps fashionable men’s shoes are inherently more comfortable women’s.

        I hear changes in the breeze or hear a pebble caught in a car tyre tread when no one else notices. All these subtle changes are extremely distracting, so much so that I loose track of conversations.

        As yes, the bread is good. I’ve just tried a new bread mix – a German style whole grain. I’ll need to adjust the sound based on the result as it was somewhat lighter than what I thought it should be.


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