Foodiva's Kitchen: Of Figs, Mangoes, Pull-Apart Bread and Pudding Cake. A Guest Post Exchange with Evelyne of CEE.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of Figs, Mangoes, Pull-Apart Bread and Pudding Cake. A Guest Post Exchange with Evelyne of CEE.

Have I got something special for you today! Well, it's two recipes here and one over at Evelyne's blog, Cheap Ethnic Eatz, because we have both decided to do a guest post exchange cooking something that inspired us out of the other person's blog. By way of an intro, I first met Evelyne at an online cooking party (IIP). Through her various posts, I got to know that she's one adventurous gal and pretty fearless at trying out exotic and unusual flavors in her recipes. She's plenty of fun, has a big heart and gets really excited whenever she's out at the farmer's market because she tries to buy a little bit of everything.... Wait, am I describing Evelyne here or myself? Definitely Evelyne! But we're so much alike and that's probably why I said yes! when she asked me to do this fun project with her. 
I chose to bake her sweet potato pudding cake because I'd been dazzled by her description and photos of it from the word go. You can check the recipe out on my guest post on her blog. In the meantime, please join me in warmly welcoming Evelyne with her sweet-savory version of my pull-apart bread. The flavor combinations here just blew me away, and I know you'll feel the same way!

When Maya posted about her savory pull apart bread I was salivating. Within less than a week she posted a second pull apart bread, this time a sweet chocolate and matcha version. There was no turning back, the obsession seed was planted in my brain: I HAD to make his bread. Of course I wanted to come up with my own flavor combination. I decided to go with an all in one sweet and savory pairing for my pull apart bread. Now if you follow my blog you know already how I like to match unexpected flavors at times, especially with my ice creams.

Flavor pairing is a relatively new science where the theory put forward claims that if the major volatile molecules (smells) of two or more foods are the same, they should taste great when eaten together, even if the match seems very unusual. After some research following this line of thinking I settled on a blue cheese and dark chocolate dough combo with a fig fruit filling. I knew all 3 pairs worked together, but would all 3 together be palatable? It turns out YES, absolutely. The blue cheese flavor definitely dominates over the chocolate and figs but you can distinguish all three, making a happy harmony for your taste buds. It was tried and taste tested on 2 friends of mine who both gave it a thumbs up. Are you courageous enough to give it a go?

Fig, Blue Cheese and Dark Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread
(Inspired by Foodiva's Kitchen)

Blue Cheese Dough
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
4.5 oz (125 gr) blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon milk
1 to 2 tablespoons extra flour, for kneading

Chocolate Dough
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
4 oz (100 gr) dark chocolate, chopped small
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1tablespoon milk
1 to 2 tablespoons extra flour, for kneading

1 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fennel seeds or a big pinch of Spanish saffron (optional)

Egg wash
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

1. For both the blue cheese and dark chocolate doughs, stir in the sugar and yeast into the lukewarm water (separately) and leave to foam for about 5-10 minutes.

What you want your yeast to do

2. Make the blue cheese dough first. Mix the flour, salt and blue cheese in a bowl, make a well in the center and add the foamy yeast solution and milk. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough becomes pliable and is non-sticky. Add the extra flour as necessary to achieve this texture. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly-oiled bowl, leave to proof in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

3. Make the chocolate dough. Mix the flour, cocoa, salt and chocolate in a mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add the foamy yeast solution, butter and milk. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough becomes pliable and is non-sticky. Add the extra flour as necessary to achieve this texture. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly-oiled bowl, leave to proof in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

Proofing tip: I knew about it and Maya heard it from a friend too. Microwave 2 cups of water for 5 minutes, then leave the dough bowls in the microwave with the cups. The environment or warmth and humidity is ideal for yeast.

4. Roll out the blue cheese dough into a rough rectangle about 10x8-in. Wrap the chocolate dough ball inside the blue cheese dough. Turn dough over so the sealed side is at the bottom. Flatten out the dough again with a rolling pin and roll carefully out into a 12x10-in rectangle. Take the long-side and roll into a thin cylinder. Slice the cylinder into 12 fairly even pieces.

Déjà vu from Maya's post

5. Take a piece of cut dough and with the cut-side down, roll out into a disc. Take a spoonful of the mixed filling, place on one half of the disc and fold the other dough half over it. Press lightly to seal, then take a fork and press down along the edges firmly. Repeat with the other dough pieces.

6. Arrange filled slices in a well-buttered baking pan, in a fan pattern of lined upright against one another. Leave to rise again for another 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

7. Mix the egg and milk and brush tops with the egg wash. Bake for 30 -40 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Leave it to cool for 10 minutes before turning out and serving.

A note on fillings: fresh fruit will make bread wet inside so a dried fruit is best. I found semi dried figs at a Middle Eastern grocery store a few blocks away from my place. I love it there and they have a huge counter of nuts, spices and dried fruits. Semi dried figs were the perfect thing for my filling.

Thank you Maya for this awesome experience! I had so much fun exchanging emails with you for this little project of ours and enjoyed every minute in the kitchen preparing the bread you inspired me to bake. Don't forget to go check out her Purple Sweet Potato and Mango Pudding Cake on Cheap Ethnic Eatz.


Nancy said...

Hi Maya, I hope the move is going smoothly. Talk to you soon.

Hi Evelyne, Wow loving your pull-apart bread. What a great guest post!

Unknown said...

Hiya Nancy, thanks! We're settling into the new house slowly. Will blog about my red kitchen soon.

See, now I've gotten Evelyne onto the pull-apart bread bandwagon. Isn't her recipe adaptation fantastic? I drool just looking at the pictures!

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

Oh Maya yes indeed this has been a fabulous and so fun experience. You are a doll and can't believe you did it in the middle of a move.

And I will have to try your version with purple yams...your pudding cake is to die for.

Anonymous said...

I just love the look of that pull apart bread!

Sandra said...

Wow..this looks fantastic..really beautiful bread full of flavor!
Great job Evelyne!
Maya I see you are moving at new place..congrats and good luck!!!

Unknown said...

The bread looks so delish! I would never think of adding blue cheese in a bread.

adorasbox said...

This is pure genius. I have never had these three ingredients together but I can imagine how their flavours would work together. I absolutely love figs and chocolate together and the surprising contrast of blue cheese would definitely accentuate their sweetness. I adore your purple sweet potato and mango cake.

Torviewtoronto said...

colourful bread Maya this looks delicious

Unknown said...

Sandra, thanks. The new place is fab but trying to arrange 12 years of living into the new space is err...not so fun! LOL. Managing, though, just taking it one day at a time ;-).

PFx said...

Hello pull-apart Queen! :D

Looks like an awesome offering with a humble tea. Not a big fan of the dark choc bakery, but definitely a bluecheesoholic!

The Cilantropist said...

Wow I love how adventurous you were with your fillings, so daring and it sounds like they worked so well together! I loooove figs, just showing up at the farmers markets. Great guest post!

Unknown said...

Pfx aka bluecheesoholic, thanks for bestowing the title. I shall accept it for both Evelyne and I, and I assume it's a reference to the bread and nothing else that's being pulled apart around us! LOL.

BigFatBaker said...

I love the flavors in the bread. I can't even imagine how good it must taste. I love figs and chocolate.. and blue cheese. This is a must try!

Valérie said...

These flavours just sound like heaven!

Kathy said...

Figs and chocolate…it can't get much better for me. This looks amazing…I would love to give it a try. And I have never heard of purple sweet potatoes but I want some! Great posts from both of you ladies!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Maya: Congrats on your move and I can't wait to see THE red kitchen you were dreaming of! I'll go to her site now.
Evelyne: What a beautiful pull-apart bread!! Your combination is very unique and I wish I could try this bread!

Victoria said...

How flattering to have someone create this great bread inspired by yours!! Hope you're doing well! Talk soon :)

FOODESSA said...

For as long as I've known Evelyne...this exchange has by far motivated her the most. What an outstanding creation and adaption. BRAVA ;o)

Maya...your cake was certainly one I'll be trying...especially since I too love the purple potato treats...and Mango of course is a fruit I can take baths in. LOL

Great exchange.
All the best,

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

What a fabulous idea...a double guest post! Wow, what gorgeous bread...the texture is perfect and I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes!

Magic of Spice said...

This is such a fun idea! And Evelyne this looks amazing...I can almost smell the beautiful sweet and savory aroma, wonderful combination :)

Unknown said...

Everyone, it was sooo much fun to do this double guest post exchange with Evelyne. I recommend you to do it too (but not only with Evelyne, of course, but I imagine she would love the challenge!).

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