Sourdough Pretzels


3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed/discard
180 g bread flour
216 g ivory wheat flour
35 g nonfat dry milk
1 tbsp organic sugar
1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1- 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg for egg wash


  1. Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
  2. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 70 g.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch (46 cm) rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
  5. Boil 6 cup of water with 2 tbsp baking soda. Blanch pretzels in batches for 30 seconds each side.
  6. Brush each pretzel with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water).
  7. Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. (There’s no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.)
  8. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.

Makes 12 pretzels.

Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour


Whole Wheat Waffles with Sourdough Starter


1 cup milk, plus more as needed
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/3 cup mature whole wheat sourdough starter, risen and stirred down to the consistency of a thick batter
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda
Mascarpone or crème fraîche, for serving (optional)
Brandied cherries, for serving (optional)


  1. The evening before you plan to make the waffles, in a small saucepan heat the milk and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove and let cool completely.
  2. In a large (2-quart) liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the milk mixture and the sourdough starter. Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Cover the batter and let rest at room temperature until risen dramatically, about 6 hours or up to 12. (Batter may begin to sink slightly in the center after rising, a sign that it has matured and is ready to use.)
  3. Whisk the eggs and baking soda into the mixture. (The batter should run off the whisk, but just barely. If it does not, adjust the consistency with more milk.)
  4. Bring a 10-inch square Belgian waffle iron up to its highest temperature setting. Add batter just to fill (do not grease the iron) and cook until golden brown and set, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. Extra batter will keep for up to 6 hours in the refrigerator. (It will thicken and sour some. Just whisk it down gently before using.)
  5. Serve the waffles warm, topped with a dollop of mascarpone and a few brandied cherries if desired.

Makes Six 5-inch Waffles.

Source: Saveur magazine

Chocolate Cake with Sourdough Starter and Chocolate Frosting


1 cup fed sourdough starter
1 cup full-fat milk
1-3/4 cup spelt flour
1 to 1-1/2 cups evaporated cane juice
1 cup unrefined, virgin coconut oil, just barely melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs

Chocolate Frosting

3/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Chill.
  2. Combine the fed starter, milk, and spelt flour in a mixing bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 8 hours. If not ready to bake the cake, transfer this mixture to the refrigerator until ready to finish the cake, but allow it to come back to room temperature before proceeding.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease (1) 9- x 13-inch cake pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  4. Take out frosting from the fridge and allow to return to room temperature.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the evaporated cane juice, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Beat. Add the eggs and beat well.
  6. Combine the sourdough mixture with the chocolate mixture. Mix gently until smooth.
  7. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.
  8. Once cool, tip the cakes out onto a platter. Spread frosting on top. Slice and serve.

Source: Traditional Cooking School

Poached Eggs with Goat Cheese on Quinoa and Sauteed Spinach


4 eggs
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp Butter
pinch of garlic powder
2 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1 cup dried, tri-color quinoa
1 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes to garnish
home-made Hollandaise sauce to serve


  1. Add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa in a pot. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. When ready, toss with a fork, set aside and keep covered.
  2. Heat butter in sauté pan and add a pinch of garlic for a flavor boost.
  3. Add spinach and toss until completely wilted and glossy. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat a pot or deep skillet with 1 to 2 inches of water (just enough to float the eggs), add vinegar by swirling the water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Crack eggs into water one at a time.
  6. Set timer for 3 minutes (white will be cooked, yellow will be runny). Periodically spoon water over the top of eggs.
  7. While the eggs are cooking, plate up the quinoa, top with sautéed spinach.
  8. Put the finished egg on top of spinach and dress with goat cheese and hollandaise then a few sun-dried tomatoes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Canadian magazine

An Intricate Dessert with White and Dark Chocolates, Mascapone, Meringue and Berries


Meringue Kisses

100g egg whites
100g caster sugar
50g pure icing sugar, sifted

Raspberry Financier Sponge

60g unsalted butter, cut into large cubes
60g egg whites
60g caster sugar
25g plain flour, sifted
25g almond meal
canola spray, for greasing
6 raspberries

Strawberry Coulis

250g strawberry purée
65g pure icing sugar, sifted

Cara Crunch Insert

75g dark chocolate (53%)
50g Cara Carkine paste
25g black sesame seeds

White Chocolate Domes and Shapes
1.5kg white chocolate (34%)
100g cocoa butter
30g white titanium powder
chocolate cooling spray

Raspberry Curd Dome

8g leaf gelatine, titanium strength
200g frozen raspberry purée
206g caster sugar
206g eggs
70g unsalted butter

Mascarpone and Vanilla Mousse

60ml milk
2 vanilla pods, split and scraped
30g egg yolks
30g caster sugar
80g white chocolate (34%)
100g mascarpone
120ml thickened cream

White Titanium Spray

100g cocoa butter
10g white titanium powder

Pink Graffiti

30g pink coloured cocoa butter

To garnish

6 strawberries
6 raspberries
micro basil leaves
50g reserved tempered white chocolate
1 test tube filled with pop rocks
1 Anna Mohawk disc


  1. Preheat two ovens to 160ºC and 75ºC.
  2. For the Meringue Kisses, place egg whites in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Set mixer to high and whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Reduce mixer speed and gradually add in the caster sugar, one teaspoon at a time, whisking well between each addition.
  3. When sugar is well incorporated, return speed to high and whisk until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove bowl from the mixer, and carefully fold the icing sugar into the egg whites, working quickly to prevent meringue from losing air. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a size 9 plain piping nozzle.
  5. Line a baking tray with a sheet of silpat. Pipe small tear drops of meringue onto lined tray. Place in oven preheated to 75ºC and bake until dry but not coloured, about 2 hours.
  6. Once dry, remove from oven, and set aside on bench to cool completely. When completely cold, store in an airtight container on the bench until required.
  7. For the Raspberry Financier Sponge, first make a beurre noisette. Place butter into a 2 litre saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the saucepan to agitate the butter until it melts and then stop swirling and allow the butter to cook. Watch for lightly browned specks forming on the bottom of the pan and a nutty aroma. When butter is nut brown, remove from heat and pass through a sieve into a glass bowl. Set aside to cool until needed.
  8. Place egg whites and sugar into an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, place the flour and almond meal into a medium bowl and mix together. Add the cooled beurre noisette to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  10. When the meringue has reached stiff peaks, remove bowl from the machine, add 1 tablespoon of the meringue to the butter mixture and fold in well. Add the butter mixture back into to the egg whites and gently fold in until well combined.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare a baking tray and ring mould for baking. Line a round metal tray with baking paper. Spray the inside of a 10cm metal ring with baking spray, and line with baking paper and place on to the lined round tray.
  12. Place 6 raspberries in the base of the metal ring. Spoon the Financier Sponge mix into the ring on top of the raspberries until full. Level off and place into the oven set at 160C. Bake until sponge is golden brown and springs back when gently pressed, about 21 minutes. When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool on the bench until needed.
  13. When sponge is cool, carefully remove the metal ring and baking paper. Trim the sponge horizontally to 1cm in height, discarding the top. Reserve the trimmed sponge on the bench until needed for assembly.
  14. For the Strawberry Coulis, place strawberry purée and icing sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring just to the boil. Once mixture is just boiling, remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve. Transfer mixture to an airtight container. Cover the surface of the liquid with go-between, seal with the lid and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  15. For the Cara Crunch Insert, place dark chocolate and Cara Crakine paste into a glass bowl. Place into the microwave and heat in 30 second bursts, stirring after each interval, until completely melted.
  16. Once completely melted, remove from the microwave and stir until combined. Add the black sesame seeds and stir until fully incorporated.
  17. Place a piece of 30x20cm baking paper onto a flat bench and pour the Crunch on top. Place another piece of baking paper on top of the Crunch and roll out the mixture with a rolling pin until 0.5cm thick. Transfer to a flat tray and place into the blast chiller until just set but not hard, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  18. Once set, remove from the blast chiller and use a 9cm ring cutter to cut out a disc of Crunch. Place the disc on a small round tray lined with baking paper. Place another square of baking paper on top of the disc and place in the refrigerator until needed.
  19. For the White Chocolate Dome and Shapes, first prepare the domes by polishing the 12cm dome moulds with a cotton ball to ensure the insides are completely clean, then set aside until needed.
  20. Place 1kg of the white chocolate into a plastic tempering bowl and melt in the microwave in 40 second bursts, stirring after each interval, until roughly three quarters of the chocolate has melted. Remove from the microwave and continue to stir until the remaining chocolate has melted and is completely smooth.
  21. Gradually add the remaining 500g of white chocolate in small handfuls, stirring between each addition until most of the added chocolate is melted. The chocolate will begin to cool and retain small lumps.
  22. Meanwhile place the cocoa butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat in 40 second bursts, stirring after each interval, until completely melted. Add titanium powder into the cocoa butter and use a stick blender to blend the mixture until completely combined.
  23. Strain through a fine sieve. Pour the mixture into the melted white chocolate and use the same stick blender to combine until the remaining lumps of white chocolate have melted.
  24. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large metal bowl and stir continuously until chocolate reaches 28 -29ºC. Pour the white chocolate into the polished dome moulds to 1cm from the top. Place a tea towel on the bench and place the filled moulds on top of the tea towel. Using a rocking motion, swirl the moulds to ensure the inside is completely coated with the white chocolate. Tap the bases firmly on the bench to ensure the air bubbles have risen.
  25. Quickly turn the mould upside down over the bowl of melted chocolate and allow most of the chocolate to drain off, leaving a thin coating on the inside of the mould. Tap the mould firmly to remove any excess chocolate. Level off the edge of the chocolate dome with a large metal scraper to create a clean edge.
  26. Sit moulds on their side, lengthways, on the tea towel for 1 minute then place, upside down, on to a tray lined with baking paper. Transfer to the blast chiller until set, about 5 minutes. Remove from blast chiller and set aside in fridge until needed.
  27. For the white chocolate discs, take a little of the remaining melted white chocolate and spread onto a piece of acetate sheet as evenly and thinly as possible. Allow to set until firm, but not hard. Once set, use metal circle cutters, cut out 1 x 11cm circle, 2x 5.5cm circles, 2x 5cm circles and 2x 3cm circles. Place the discs on to a tray lined with baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top and weigh down with another flat tray on top. Place the trays into the blast chiller until set, about 5 minutes.
  28. Remove from blast chiller and set aside in fridge, leaving the tray on top, until needed.
  29. To make the white chocolate stand, transfer some of the remaining white chocolate to a piping bag.
  30. Place a 7cm doughnut mould onto a metal tray. Pipe melted white chocolate into the moulds to 1/3 full and smooth surface with a small metal palette knife. Set aside in fridge to set until required.
  31. Transfer 50g of the remaining tempered white chocolate into a bowl and set aside until needed for assembly.
  32. For the Raspberry Curd Dome, place gelatine in a bowl of iced water and set aside to bloom.
  33. Place frozen raspberry puree in a 3 litre saucepan over medium heat until melted completely. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  34. Meanwhile, place sugar and eggs into a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
  35. Once the puree has cooled, carefully pour onto the egg mix and whisk well. Add the mix back into the saucepan and whisk until well combined.
  36. Return the saucepan to a high heat and whisk continuously until mixture reaches 86ºC and has thickened. When mixture has reached 86ºC, squeeze out gelatin to remove excess water, then add softened leaves to the mixture and stir until gelatine has dissolved completely.
  37. Strain the curd through a fine sieve, place over an ice bath and allow to cool to 40ºC.
  38. Place the 7cm dome mould onto a flat tray. Blend the butter into the cooled raspberry mixture using a stick blender until well combined. Fill the dome moulds to the top with the curd mixture. Level off the surface with a spatula to create a clean edge. Place into the blast chiller to set, about 25 minutes. Once set, transfer to freezer until needed.
  39. For the Mascarpone and Vanilla Mousse, place the milk, split vanilla bean and seeds into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
  40. While the milk is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar, in a medium bowl, until completely combined.
  41. When the milk has come to the boil, remove the vanilla pods and carefully pour onto the egg mix, and whisk well. Add the egg and milk mix back into the pot and whisk together until well combined.
  42. Return the saucepan to medium heat and, using a spatula, continuously stir the anglaise until the mixture reaches 86C and thickly coats the back of a spoon.
  43. Take the saucepan off the heat. Place the white chocolate into a medium bowl and pour the anglaise on to the chocolate, through a fine sieve. Whisk the mixture together until completely combined, chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Place over an ice bath and cool to 40ºC.
  44. Place mascarpone in large glass bowl. Pour the cooled anglaise mixture over the mascarpone and whisk well until completely combined.
  45. In a separate bowl, gently whisk cream by hand to soft velvety peaks and fold through mascarpone and anglaise mix. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag, fitted with a size 9 plain nozzle, and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  46. To make the White Titanium Spray, place the cocoa butter into a microwave safe bowl and heat in 40 second bursts until completely melted, stirring between intervals.
  47. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the titanium powder until completely combined. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside to cool to 34ºC.
  48. Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove raspberry curd domes from freezer and gently unmould on to the lined tray. Set aside in freezer until needed.
  49. When White Titanium Spray has reached 34ºC, transfer the mixture to a spray gun. Remove Raspberry Curd Domes from the freezer and spray with the White Titanium Spray until coated. Make sure to lightly coat the whole dome, being carful not to overspray with too much colour. Place the domes back into the freezer until ready to flick with the graffiti.
  50. For the Pink Graffiti, place the bottle of pink coloured cocoa butter into the microwave and heat in 30 second bursts until the colour has melted, shaking the bottle between intervals.
  51. When the colour has melted, take out of the microwave and pour approximately 30g into a small, clean bowl. Stir until the colour has cooled down to 34ºC.
  52. Take the tray of Raspberry Curd Domes out of the freezer and, using a small pastry brush, flick the sprayed domes with cooled, melted pink coloured cocoa butter to create graffiti splatter pattern. Return domes to the freezer until needed.
  53. To graffiti the white chocolate discs, remove the tray of discs from the fridge and uncover. Line a second tray with baking paper and transfer 1 x 5.5cm disc, 1 x 5cm disc and 1 x 3cm disc to the second tray. Use the same pastry brush to flick the pink colour cocoa butter across the three discs on the second tray only, to create graffiti splatter pattern. Set both trays aside on bench until graffiti spray is dry and dome is ready to assemble.
  54. Remove the tray of white chocolate doughnut moulds from the fridge and gently turn out white chocolate rings. Place the white chocolate rings into an airtight container lined with baking paper and set aside on the bench until needed.
  55. Remove the 12cm dome moulds from the fridge and, wearing cotton gloves, carefully unmould two domes on to a tray lined with baking paper. Place a 4cm round cutter on to a small round tray and place one dome on top to form the base of the sphere.
  56. Pour in 100g of the Strawberry Coulis in to the bottom of the dome, making sure not to drip on the sides of the dome.
  57. Carefully place the 9cm Cara Crunch Insert on top of the Coulis.
  58. Carefully place the disc of Raspberry Financier Sponge on top of the Crunch Insert.
  59. Pipe in the Mascarpone and Vanilla Mousse carefully around the edge of the Financier Sponge and work in to the centre, leaving 2mm from the top of the dome.
  60. Place the 11cm white chocolate disc on top of the Mousse.
  61. Remove tray of Raspberry Curd Domes from freezer. Place one dome on top of the white chocolate disc, just off centre. Set the filled white chocolate dome aside in the fridge until needed.

To assemble

  1. Place small bowl of reserved white chocolate in microwave and heat on high in 30 second bursts, stirring between intervals, until completely melted. Once melted, transfer to a small piping bag and set aside until needed for assembly.
  2. Slice tops off strawberries and cut in half and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Cut raspberries in half and set aside in a bowl.
  4. Remove tray with filled white chocolate dome sitting on ring cutter from fridge and transfer to bench to finish assembly.
  5. To garnish Anna’s Mess, place 6 strawberry halves onto the top of the filled dome, to one side of the Raspberry Curd Dome.
  6. Arrange 6 raspberry halves in between strawberry halves. Top the berries with 10 Meringue Kisses and 6 micro basil leaves..
  7. To finish the top white chocolate dome, wear cotton gloves, light a blow torch and heat up the edge of the 7.5cm ring cutter.
  8. Working quickly and carefully, gently press the hot edge onto the surface of the dome until melted through to create the first circular hole. Repeat the process using the 6cm cutter and then the 5cm cutter.
  9. Carefully place the cut out white chocolate top dome onto the garnished bottom dome, making sure the edges meet seamlessly and all filling is encased within the sphere.
  10. To finish off the Anna’s Mess, place the test tube full of pop rocks through the 6cm cut out circle into the middle of the dome.
  11. To adhere the white chocolate discs and graffiti discs to the sphere, pipe a small dot of melted white chocolate on to the back of the graffiti splattered 5.5cm white chocolate disc and affix to the side of the sphere. As the disc is placed on the sphere, spray the join gently with the cooling spray to secure.
  12. Repeat the process with 1 plain and 1 graffiti splattered 5cm disc, and again with 1 plain and 1 graffiti splattered 3cm disc.
  13. To finish the garnish, use tweezers to gently place the Anna’s Mohawk disc through the 7.5cmcut out circle, perched on top of a raspberry so that it is visible through the hole.
  14. To plate Anna’s Mess, place one white chocolate ring in the centre of the serving plate.
  15. Wearing cotton gloves, carefully lift the completed sphere off the 4cm cutter and place gently on top of the white chocolate ring and serve.
  16. At the table, lift the sphere off the plate, and drop to create a mess.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Chef Anna Polyviou