Twelve Stages of Artisan Bread Making.. and Info on Flours..

Last night in my Artisan Bread Making class we learned about the Twelve Stages of Artisan Bread Making, and Flours (Hard, Soft, Ash, etc)..

So what are the 12 Stages you ask? Well.. here they are just in case you are curious ;):

1) Mise en Place
2) Mixing
3) Bulk Fermentation
4) Dividing
5) Round Up
6) Bench Rest
7) Shaping
9) Final Proofing
10) Baking
11) Cooling
12) Packing and Storage (and I like to add Eating.. 🙂 )


Chewy Currant Bars and Pumpkin Bars

On Saturday I had my second Bars and Squares class, and this week we made two different bars recipes. We made Chewy Currant Bars and Pumpkin Bars! 😀

Now I will be honest… unlike last week, this week’s bars recipes were more like coffee cake than bars or squares. Still very yummy, but definitely more cake-like than bar-like.

Both recipes are great for the Fall season. They are yummy, spicy, and have that ‘comfort food’ feel. The Chewy Currant Bars were made with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, dried currants, and coconut. They were then topped with an orange glaze, then a generous spoonful of Vanilla Anglaise. The Pumpkin Bars were made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, chopped nuts and pumpkin. They were then topped with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

We also learned how to make Vanilla Anglaise, which we served poured over the Chewy Currant Bars. So delicious! 🙂

Chewy Currant Bar.
Chewy Currant Bar with Vanilla Anglaise.
Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Icing.
Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Icing.

Yummy Cupcakes…

Yesterday I decided I wanted cupcakes, so I made Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes with chunks of Lindt Chocolate. In the centre there was a Dark Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cream Filling. And they were topped with a an Orange Cream Icing. Yummy!! 😀

Dark Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes filled with a Dark Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cream Filling, topped with an Orange Cream Icing. 🙂
Inside shot of the cupcake featuring the Dark Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cream Filling.


Monday September 12, 2011: The 60th Anniversary Winner of Miss Universe is… Miss Angola!

The winner of the Miss Universe Pageant's 60th Anniversary is Miss Angola! 🙂
Miss Angola being crowned the new Miss Universe.

Last night’s 60th Anniversary of Miss Universe was held in São Paulo Brazil, broadcast live from Credicard Hall. Miss Angola, Leila Lopes, age 25 was crowned Miss Universe, beating out 88 competitors from around the world.

But was it surprising? Not really.

Although probably not considered a front runner in the pre-pageant polls, the moment she walked on stage in the opening number introductions, you were hooked. Yes, she is beautiful, just like the other 88 contestants, but there was also something else. She had a genuine sweetness and likeability about her. And as a spectator, you found yourself cheering for her as she got continually better and better as the pageant continued. Then when the dreaded final question was presented to the Top 5, her answer just sealed the deal. She was asked what physical trait she would change if she could. “Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lopes said. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.” And although not a particularily difficult question, it was answered very well. Miss Angola’s win was definitely deserved! 😀

The Miss Universe Pageant began a little differently this year. Usually beginning with the parade of National Costumes, this year the contestants came out in matching dresses and introduced themselves by name and country. It felt very much like the typical Miss USA pageant, and lost that international feel that Miss Universe usually has.

Miss Universe 2011 Opening Number Introductions.

The pageant then moved onto the announcement of the Top 16. In the past, it has always been the Top 15. But just like this past year at the Miss USA pageant, they added an additional finalist (Miss Portugal) voted by the viewers in advance via an online voting system. The Top 16 contestants then re-competed in Swimwear, followed by the announcement of the Top 10. What was most surprising about the Top 10 contestants was more about who wasn’t in the Top 10, than who was in the Top 10. Front runners like Miss Venezuela, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Kosovo, Miss Netherlands, and Miss USA were shut out. Especially when you consider that all previous scores were wiped clean and the only scores that mattered were those Swimwear scores. How does Miss Venezuela, who was in the best shape and obviously gorgeous, get eliminated? Yet, contestants like Portugal made the Top 10? No idea…

The Top 10 contestants then re-competed in Evening Gown. After that the Top 5 were announced: Angola, Ukraine, Brazil, Philippines, and China. These five were then asked the infamous Final On-Stage Questions. In general, they all answered their questions well, though China was by far the weakest, and the answer was even a little bit odd. Yet a couple of the finalists answered their questions extremely well, definitely stronger than in years past where the answers tend to be drastically different in terms of quality level, this year the results were much closer. Then one final look of the judges as each of the Top 5 posed one by one.

One final look at each of the Top 5 as they pose before the judges one by one.

Ultimately the Top 5 were slowly announced backwards.. 4th Runner Up – China… 3rd Runner Up – Phillipines (who really should have been in the Top 3, or maybe even in the Top 2)… 2nd Runner Up – Brazil… then the new Miss Universe – Miss Angola.. thus making the 1st Runner Up – Miss Ukraine.

Top 5.

Top 5:
Miss Universe 2011: Angola – Leila Lopes
1st Runner Up: Ukraine – Olesya Stefanko
2nd Runner Up: Brazil – Priscila Machado
3rd Runner Up: Philippines – Shamcey Supsup
4th Runner Up: China – Zilin Luo

Top 10.

Miss Universe 2011 Top 10:
Australia, Costa Rica, France, Ukraine, Portugal, Panama, Philippines, Angola, China and Brazil.

Top 16 in Swimwear.
Top 16.

Miss Universe 2011 Top 16:
France, Kosovo, Colombia, China, Angola, Australia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Netherlands, USA, Ukraine, Panama, Costa Rica, Portugal, Philippines and Venezuela.

Special Awards:
Miss Congeniality: Montenegro – Nikolina Lončar
Miss Photogenic: Sweden – Ronnia Fornstedt
Best National Costume: Panama – Sheldry Sáez

Miss Angola Leila Lopes is congratulated by the other contestants after being named Miss Universe 2011 during the Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo Brazil.
After being crowned the new Miss Universe.