TGIF/ FFWD – My go-to beef daube

6.30am
I think the mind is aware that it’s gonna be a busy day for me and I woke up at 6am, lazed in bed for about 30 min before I decided to get up. The hubs, as usual, made coffee for me ( I think this practice started when we were on our honeymoon) and the bed. Thank you!

6.40am
Started to make baguette. The recipe makes 2 loaves but I’m going for 1 loaf. The kneading started in the mixer but strange…the dough is so dry. So I decided to put in more water. Oh darn…now it’s wet! So demoralising. Oh anyway, let’s just try and put it in the lightly oiled container for its first rise. This takes about 30 – 45 min.

30 mins have passed. The dough has not risen one bit! I don’t know why this is so. CIA’s recipe calls for room-temperature water between 68 – 76F which to me is rather cool. All other similar recipes from other cookbooks call for warm water – to activate the yeast. Maybe it’s the temperature of the room? Too cool?

8am
The dough has risen a wee bit. Maybe, I need to give it more time? Meanwhile, QT for us.

9am
The dough has risen about 1.25 times. I shall start baking my Devil’s Fudge Cake!

10am
While waiting for the cake batter to be ready, I browsed Joanne Chang’s Flour website and realised that on 7 Dec, she will be at The Brattle Theatre to sign her cookbook and there will also be a screening of Kings of Pastry, a film that was screened in Boston (which I missed) and they are going to show it on that day! Woohoo! Double Woohoo! This will make that dayvery very very meaningful indeed and the hubs is going with me! Thank you Lord for such a perfect timing!

 Watch Trailer here: KINGS OF PASTRY Theatrical Trailer

10.15am
Checked on the baguette dough. It has at last risen to twice its previous size. Gently pressing down, I was relieved to hear the hissing sound and folding the dough gently, I left it there for another 45 minutes.

The kitchen is smelling of the chocolate fudge cake now. Wooo! Nice aroma! Inserted the stick and no crumbs came out. Great! Just nice! They are ready!

The cakes came out well. They were a little short in height which was what I wanted so that I didn’t have to slice them into half. They came out this way because the recipe calls for two 8″ cake pans while I used 9″ cake pans. It worked well for me!

11am
Proofing the baguette and getting ready for lunch and grocery. HUNGRY!

11.30am
We went to Whole Foods Market near our place which was a 15-minute walk. It was getting increasingly difficult to run in the cold and I thought walking would be a good form of exercise.

Food here was a tad more expensive than other supermarkets. Well, I guess you have to pay for good produce. I like this supermarket because they have lots more ingredients than Shaws (for example, a whole array of mushrooms, some of the which were alien to me) and we could buy fresh meat from over the counter. And I seriously mean FRESH. This place is such a good classroom for me to learn more about the ingredients! Yay!

1.15pm
Into the oven the baguette goes! Chatted with S and watching Kitchen Nightmares at the same time. My goodness, I am so distracted!

1.55pm
The baguette is done! Woohoo! It’s hard but I think baguette is supposed to be like this? No?

2pm
Started on decorating the cake. First, get the buttercream out and then add melted bittersweet chocolate to the buttercream. Nice colour and not too overwhelming for the chocolate. Nice combination. 

Had difficulty spreading the buttercream well. No turntable! Recalling what I have learnt from LCB, I need to cover the cakes with a layer of buttercream, let it set before icing the cake. But really, I didn’t have the luxury of time and went ahead to do the icing and decorating. I hope they like the cake!

4pm
Cake decorated! At last! Gosh! I can’t believe I took 2 hours to decorate one cake! Argh! Next! Beef daube. It take 2.5 hours to cook this dish and I’m behind time!!! Don’t panick! Mise en place! Did a bit of washing and getting the ingredients ready.

Half the bottle of the wine is gone. Do I really have to pour so much? When I tasted it, it was full of the taste of wine. I hope I’m doing things right!

5pm
Into the oven it goes! Yay! Now, I have to clean up the mess (it’s a war-zone here; do not enter!) and relax.

5.30pm
Ohhhh! I so love a clean kitchen and I felt I had my dose of exercise for today. Yipee!

6pm
Took out the dutch oven to stir everything once before putting it back for another 1.5 hours. Gosh! The dish looked so bloody red! Hmm…is it supposed to be like that (first time trying this)?

7.30pm
It’s time to eat! The dish was okay. The meat was tender and red inside but it definitely is not a dish that makes me go ‘hmmmm…’. Instead I was like ‘huh?’. It came out rather dark and Ken couldn’t taste the red wine in the meat. Beef Daube…are you supposed to look like this? Or maybe I should ask Dorie Greenspan why it is like this. =)