For the second ATXSwappers meetup I made homemade dog biscuits, sourdough French bread from Tartine Bread's recipe, and rochers (see recipe below).
There were almost twice as many participants for the second meetup- apparently word got around after the first swap. The amount and quality of the swap offerings was truly amazing. We have some crazy talented cooks here in
. If you’re interested in checking out the swappage action, Jo Ann posted a great video. Austin
When swapping time rolled around, it was tough to choose from all the gorgeous offerings and I missed out on quite a few items I would have liked. I did go home with a beautiful bouquet of herbs from Susan, homemade oreos and pop tarts from Andrea, Kathryn’s whole wheat beer bread mix, Kristina’s meyer lemon and blood orange sorbets, JW’s peanut butter semifreddo and poundcake, Gemma and Michael’s millionaire’s shortbread and marshmallows, and some awesome benne wafers and biscotti.
Kathryn's Milk Chocolate Chai Truffles
Susan's majoram infused vodka above and her mini fougasse below
adapted from Tartine
I’ve made rochers previously but didn’t include the recipe in the old post so here it is. I decided to make the crunchier, drier version of rochers this time. Rochers can be baked at a higher oven temp so that just the outer layer of the meringue is crispy - when you bite into one, the center of the meringue is cooked but still on the gooey side. I tend to prefer the dryer version but I was a little sad these rochers were missing the pretty cracking and coloring that occurs when the rochers are baked at a higher temp. For my next batch, I think I’ll tinker and increase the oven temperature somewhat but still see if I can bake the rochers long enough to dry out the meringue.
1 c ( 4 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted
2 egg whites
2/3 t vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 c confectioners' sugar, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 200º Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Use a rolling pin to coarsely breakup the toasted almonds into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside.
2. Add vanilla, salt, and the egg whites to the bowl of an electric mixer and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites until frothy and then slowly add the confectioner sugar. Continue to whip until stiff, glossy peaks form. By hand, using a spatula, fold in the almond pieces. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a No. 6 or No. 7 plain round pastry tip. On the prepared baking sheet, pipe out mounds shaped similar to a Hershey’s Kiss about 1 1/4 inches at the base, with a peak about 2 inches high. Leave approximately 1/2-inch space between each cookie. Have a toothpick or some such handy as larger pieces of the broken almonds pieces may stick in the pastry tip and need to be dislodged. (You can also skip the pastry bag and drop spoonfuls of the meringue onto the pan.)
3. Place the rochers in the oven with a wooden spoon inserted in the oven door opening so that it remains slightly ajar. Bake rochers until the meringue has completely dried, about 50-60 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.