Category Archives: Desserts

February 20 Chocolate mini bundt cakes

The family has been watching the Kid’s Baking Championship and the little one has the volcano cake challenge on repeat.  Of course we needed to make our own.  But first we needed a base recipe for a chocolate mini bundt cake. 

Scouring my many cookbooks produced a whopping zero recipes!  One of the cake recipes could have been adapted, but with no knowledge of bundt cake baking dynamics, it wasn’t worth the risk.  As such, the Internet it is. 

My fast, easy and yet moist baking requirement was met with Two Peas & Their Pod chocolate bundt cake recipe, as it included sour cream. 

Next time, 1/2 the batter will be made.  The recipe yielded enough for 12 mini bundt cakes. Which I presume is a regular bundt cake size. I do dislike american measurements, difficult to scale appropriately. 

Here is an adapted recipe, for a 6 mini bundt cake pan. Note that I use significantly less sugar but increase the cocoa powder ratio.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup water
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

December 27 Morning Buns

One of the benefits of a cold house is that laminating dough is easier. Got a request for morning buns, and I haven’t had an opportunity to make some in the new house. This batch used Peter Reinhart’s all purpose sweet dough recipe in “Artisan Bread Every Day.” The dough was prepared the night before, and the morning buns assembled the morning off. However, given the rise time requirement, it was more of a lunch bun treat.

The bake was at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

morning buns

December 25 Pan Perdu

Christmas morning requires a special breakfast, and breakfast treat for me is pan perdu. While I did bake a day before so I had some boules to sacrifice, I don’t routinely stock the fridge with cream. As such, we were forced with a low fat, milk version. Not as decadent, but surprisingly good.

pan perdu

March 9 Donut Bread Pudding

Since I didn’t go into work on Thursday, I had a box of Stan’s Glazed Donuts at my disposal. Since there was no way I was going to throw them away, I knew it was time to let necessity take action. The best donuts in California will beget the best bread pudding, right?

Donut bread pudding


  • 5 glazed donuts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 g salt
  • 4 eggs


  • Combine heavy cream, sugar, salt, and eggs and mix thoroughly with a wisk.
  • Pour mixture over cubed donuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Bake for 1:15 – 1:30 until knife comes out clean.
  • Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup (or condensed milk if you’re going Thai style).

Oct 29 Pain Perdu

Pain perdu with left over bread

We had some left over country loaf from Sunday’s bake. After a two days of eating bread with dinner, find I thought it would be good to have bread for dessert. A few months back, we had been watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate’s Rise and Shine Episode. What caught both our eyes was the thick cut pain perdue.

We only used one 2″ thick slice of bread, so I quartered the recipe.


  • 1 2″ slice of country bread
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • AP flour and sugar for sprinkling
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  • Combine heavy cream, sugar, salt, and eggs and mix thoroughly with a wisk.
  • Pour mixture over bread, let sit for a few minutes, and flip the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Heat large oven proof pan over medium to medium high heat. Melt butter.
  • Sprinkle flour and sugar on the bread, and when the foam subsides cook the bread on one side until richly colored, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Flip the bread and put the pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked.
  • Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup

March 28 Bake Sale Bake

Our friends also had a newborn in recent weeks and we arranged to meet up today.  I had baked some sourdough batards, rubella but unfortunately we cancelled on them.  Our daughter’s eating is taking too long, abortion which makes long excursions impossible.

note the slight overproof.
For Cancer research, troche
our company had an internal bake sale.  Spent the morning making morning buns.

Those in the foreground were mini buns (regular muffin/cupcake pan) and others were the standard size buns (large muffin pan).

Morning buns for the bake sale

Fluffy Baked Donuts Recipe

Mid-week bread baking was successful as I found a way to work the Tartine recipe into a weekday schedule.
1. Feed starter at night
2. Leaven the next morning
3. Mix and shape the dough in the evening
4. Proof overnight
5. Back the following morning.

In total time, that’s 2.5 days. But since I was able to stack schedules, I baked two days in the row.

The first day, I baked 650g batards. Of the 6 batards made, only 2 were photo worthy. All 6 had nice rise and had a moist crumb.

The second day, I baked twelve 325g baguettes. While my standard recipe baguette recipe yielded physically larger loafs with better rise, the coloring and ear was more pronounced on the sourdoughs. Still can’t get the proper overlap of scores. This will require more work.

Sourdough baguettes

Because I made twelve baguettes, I needed to bake in two batches. For the first batch, the stone oven was a comfortable 475 degrees. By the second batch, the stone oven had dropped to 425 degrees. As you can imagine, two very different breads.

Lower and higher heat baguettes

Rise, color, interior texture was less desirable on the lower temperature bread.

At 475 degrees:
Sourdough baguette frontal

At 425 degrees:
Sourdough baguette frontal low heat

While this matters if you’re making baguettes to sell, for co-workers, the blond baguettes are still desirable. Here’s the dozen, packed and ready to go.

Baguettes in a bag

Fluffy baked donuts


  • 280 g AP Flour
  • 150 g sugar (plus 50 g for coating)
  • 5 g salt
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g vanilla extract
  • 30 g melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 170 ml of milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray donut pans
  2. Mix flour, sugar,
    salt and baking powder
  3. Mix vanilla extract, butter, eggs and milk
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, do not overmix
  5. Pour into pan, filling 3/4 full
  6. Bake for 8 minutes
  7. Allow to cool until only slightly warm and then place donuts on wire rack
  8. Dip each donut into sugar to coat, returning to rack to completely cool

Pain au Chocolat

Another fine use for laminated dough is pain au chocolat.  I’ve been making mine with semi-sweet chocolate and rotating between using an egg wash and not.

pain au chocolat from the oven

The egg wash does provide a nice sheen, gerontologist and is more professional in appearance.  However, ailment for homemade versions, I don’t find it necessary.  Okay, that’s really an excuse.  The real reason is that I’m usually too eager to eat and I forget the wash on most occasions.

pain au chocolat unwashed

Morning Bun Recipe

Morning Bun ala July 14

I have been making morning buns as of late.  But after a two week hiatus, I almost forgot the recipe.  In prior bakes, I wasn’t documenting (rare) since I was baking in rapid succession.  I was simply working off a base recipe while making my own adjustments. However, with me almost forgetting the recipe, I thought it best to write it down for prosperity.

Morning bun crumb ala July 14

Morning Bun Recipe

Makes 12 morning buns.



  • 600 g all-purpose flour
  • 60 g sugar
  • 12 g kosher salt
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 200 g tepid water
  • 200 g tepid milk
  • 30 g of melted butter or oil


  • 100 g sugar
  • 20 g cinnamon
  • 2 tbs of melted butter

Butter Block

  • 2 stick unslalted butter, sliced horizontally into 18 planks


  • Mix flour, sugar, yeast, and salt
  • Mix in milk, water, and butter/oil until ingredients are incorporated
  • With a dough scraper, fold the dough once so that it’s not a shaggy mess. However, don’t overwork.*
  • Rest for 60 minutes, until dough doubles in size
  • Roll dough into a 14″ x 18″ square
  • Place the butter planks on the dough, emulating a butter block**
  • Fold the dough so that the butter is completely covered and letter fold #1
  • Roll the dough out and letter fold #2***
  • Rest the dough in the refrigerator, covered, for 20 minutes. Prep 2 large muffin pans with butter.****

  • Melt about 2tbs of butter.  Mix sugar and cinnamon for topping mixture.
  • Roll the dough out into a 14″ x 18″ rectangle
  • Brush dough with melted butter and spread the topping
  • Roll dough into cylinder
  • Cut into approx. 2.5″ pieces, yielding 12 rounds
  • Place each round into a muffin spot
  • Proof for 60 minutes, about 30 minutes before preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Put the morning buns into the oven and lower heat to 375 degrees.  Bake for 18-25 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven, let cool a minute or two, then remove the morning bugs from the pan and cool on a wire rack
  • After you can gently handle, coat each bun in sugar.

* One fold smooths out the dough. I don’t do more folds or knead as I don’t want to develop a lot of gluten.

** I thought I was all slick for doing this cheater lamination, until I looked at a Jacques Pepin book and he’s been doing for ages.

*** I used to do 3 folds ala a croissant, but found that I like the texture of 2 folded dough for my morning buns.

**** If I only do 2 folds, I don’t rest the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. With 2 folds the gluten hasn’t been worked sufficiently and the dough remains easy to roll out. With 3 folds, the rest of the dough is quite welcome.

Morning bun prep station