In other news, I have been happily baking the days away. Although I am not able to partake of too much in the way of my baked goods, the joy of baking is alive and well in my little heart. In fact, just a couple of hours ago I took two piping hot trays out of the oven loaded with Mexican conchas. I have been wanting to try my hand at making this very popular Mexican pastry for almost two years, but somehow kept getting off track in doing so. Some time back I purchased a lovely baking book "My Sweet Mexico" by Fany Gerson, and I had to try one of the recipes. Shame on me for it having taken so long! Based on the results of my conchas, I am now anxious to tackle more of her recipes. Baking is so pleasurable, it just really stimulates the senses. I love the aromas wafting from the oven and filling the whole house- the most wonderful aroma of freshly baked yeasty bread. Oh, to be able to bottle that fragrance!
I made all of them with a chocolate topping, although they can also be made with a white, pink, or yellow topping. My family prefers chocolate, so I made them all that way.
The dough itself is made very much like a brioche, rich with eggs and butter. The crumb topping recipe calls for butter, confectioners sugar, and flour. Which was somewhat of a relief to me, because most Mexican bakeries use shortening instead of butter. Truth be told, most all bakeries use shortening in their frostings and such. I can see how it is much healthier to make your own pastries because you know exactly what ingredients you used. It goes without saying that because you're baking for your own family, you would use the best ingredients. I was only able to take a couple of bites of one of the conchas, and believe me, they are pretty darn big! They puffed up so nicely, even the topping expanded so prettily.
A couple of weeks ago I made a Rustic Sourdough Bread using a King Arthur Flour recipe, and I really liked the results. I have to add that every recipe I have ever used from the King Arthur Flour website has always yielded spectacular results. It is one of my best go to sites for baking inspiration.
I will try and make a post soon about a wonderful Mexican cooking book I acquired recently. I highly recommend it. So until next time, Have a little faith!