Thursday, December 27, 2012

I am late on my posts X's two.

I have two posts to catch up on, the first is the Daring cooks challenge of Pate Chinois a Canadian sort of Sheppard's pie.

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

Between being sick, the holidays, and well just life in general it has been near impossible to get on here and get things posted. I was not terribly crazy about this because I dislike this type of meal, but I did it. I did a sort of Mexican inspired Pate Chinois with taco meat, beans, corn, tomatoes, and a mashed potato with Mexican blend cheese. It was okay. Here is a photo.

Meat mixture cooking.

Meat and veg in the casserole.

Ooey Gooey Cheesy.

A little too watery, but okay.
For my Daring Bakers Challenge we completed Panettone, an Italian fruit bread.
Blog-checking lines: The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!
I love this challenge, and in light of being sick, and super busy I made two batches! I did the traditional fruit filled one, then one that I filled with chocolate pieces both milk and white, as well as some dried cherries. The Chocolate Cherry was my favorite though less traditional is my guess.
I did the traditional version first and tried to do it all in one day! It was time consuming and it turned out, but for one day it was a lot of work! I started at about 8am on Wednesday, and finished at 2am on Thursday. I will never try and do something like this in one day. So initially I could only find a fruit blend, then I located the citron and candied orange peel; I learned that I dislike citron. I also realized after the fact that I neglected putting in the orange and lemon extract, not that this took away from it. I took the bread to work and shared with many friends and co-workers. One of my girlfriends who I cook with regularly felt the bread was a bit dry; she was right. I think I over cooked the first batch. The other thing that was frustrating, is that I tried hanging the bread upside down in some stock pots, I was so excited to check on my work when I woke that I was near devastated when I found that the breads had broken away from the skewers and the tops had crashed into the bottom of the stock pot causing a slight collapse.
The many ingredients.

Blooming yeast.

This is incredibly sticky dough.

Doubled in size.

The dough laid out with fruit filling.


Waiting for the final rise. 
This is after cooking, before falling into bottom of pan.

This is what the final looked like from the bottom, also a bit too done.

Here is the bread with a slice out of it.

I do have to say that I was thrilled with the end results as I had a friend who came by to drop of a cookbook and I had her try a piece. She is Italian as in her parents immigrated to the US shortly before her birth, anyway she has had a number of Panettones and i am pleased to say that she reports it tastes just as it should! I was pleased about that.
The last version I did was with, as I said, Chocolate and Cherry. This was my favorite version. I took the two days to complete this one, did not rush it, and used the alternate cooling technique where I rotated the bread every 30 minutes. I used the recipe above but substituted the cherries and chocolates for the dried fruit, and I used cherry and almond extract instead of the citrus extract and I left out the zest. Additionally made three smallish panettone instead of two largish. The Chocolate Cherry was perfect not dry at all!
The three rising.

Three baking.

Three after baking.

Such a rich slice!  

This is a whole loaf sliced in half!

YUMMM, with a warm cup of coffee or cold glass of milk this is how one should end the day!
So I have a large amount of both left over and I plan on trying the whole bread pudding or French Toast casserole. I will have to keep you all posted about the outcome.
So sorry to have two challenges in one post, hope you all don't mind. I can't wait for the next challenges in both areas cooking and baking. Hope that your winter and New Year are fantastic. Fun cooking to you and yours! 


  1. I am so glad you enjoyed the challenge so much just a shame the first one broke. The taste is what matter though! The choc cherry sounds fabulous!

  2. Such a rich slices! Great job on the challenge!

  3. Haha - glad to see I wasn't the only person doing a double Daring Kitchen late post! Both your pate chinois and panettoni look delicious though - great job