Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Tackle My Culinary Mt. Everest: Homemade Strudel

Sorry the photo above isn't too good - the others mysteriously disappeared from my hard drive. After shelling out $600 last year to "repair" our desktop, we are coming to terms with the sad reality that we are going to have to replace it. The good news? We are going Mac!

Now, about the strudel. Pulling my own strudel dough has mesmerized me for years, the way making macarons has affected other bloggers. I read a ton of cookbooks, and even watched videos on You Tube (this one is humorous and instructive). The night before I made the dough, I dreamed all night that I was making strudel. I practically worked myself into a tizzy. Finally, I turned to Carole Walter's fabulous book, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight.

Unlike Ivonne, of Cream Puffs in Venice, I did not have much luck pulling the dough, despite my best efforts (but I'm not giving up!). Instead of a twenty-inch strudel, I ended up with a ten-inch stump:

Note the filling explosion on the bottom, left.

This little strudel endeavor triggered the loss of my baking mojo, much to my dismay. I tore the dough repeatedly, and finally decided to stop while I had something left in which to roll up the tasty filling. And tasty it was, folks: a cherry cheese filling from Ms. Walter's book, a filling that I made using sour cherries that I had pitted and frozen last year. I was eating the stuff with a spoon, and had to restrain myself. Luckily, the horizontally challenged strudel was too short to accommodate all the cheese filling, so I was able to eat that for breakfast the next day. What's a few thousand calories among bakers?

Needless to say, I'm going to tackle this again, but with a different dough recipe the next time. If any of you are interested in making your own dough, here are some books that have recipes and instructions: A Baker's Tour: Nick Malgieri's Favorite Baking Recipes from Around the World;A Baker's Odyssey, includes DVD: Celebrating Time-Honored Recipes from America's Rich Immigrant Heritage;A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking;Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague;Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts; and Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever.

6 Comments:

Blogger Deborah said...

Wow - I'm impressed that you tackled this!! Maybe I'll try one day...

March 06, 2008 5:54 PM  
Blogger Brilynn said...

I've never attempted strudel, but I love to eat it, so really, I should make it at least once...

March 08, 2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Nice to find someone else crazy enough to try this. I learned years ago -- even have a special table designated as my 'strudel' table that I've carried around with every move. Now, I need to find my recipe again. It never failed me in the past. Keep trying -- you can't beat fresh strudel!

March 09, 2008 11:31 PM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

Deborah - I discovered that my fear of this was worse than actually doing it. Go for it!
Brilynn - I love to eat it, too, and the taste was great, even though it didn't look too good.
Judy - crazy is the word! I have a friend who's going to pastry school, and she told me that they don't do anything as wacko as this. I will keep trying.

March 10, 2008 8:51 AM  
Blogger rhid said...

Despite the filling explosion this looks tasty!

March 17, 2008 1:07 PM  
Anonymous aria said...

helloooo madam chow - htis strudel looks wonderful!!

March 23, 2008 1:12 AM  

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