Latest Recipe Testing

kitchenaid stand mixer on the floor with a broken bowl

I suppose it was only a matter of time until my kitchen gadgets began dancing off the counter because my singing voice is just that atrocious.

But before we get to that story, welcome back to another recipe testing post! A little behind-the-scenes look into my recipe adventures before the recipes make their way onto my blog. Curious about previous testing posts?

My entire baking life has been consumed by croissants lately, so that’s where all the focus is today.

croissant on a baking sheet before baking

MY DANCING MIXER

It was a Monday morning, naturally. I was testing chocolate croissants, a recipe I’m publishing in a couple days. I usually hover over my mixer as it mixes dough, but I stepped over to the sink to clean a silicone baking mat so I could use it. The dough wasn’t too heavy, so the mixer would be fine. Surely the mixer wouldn’t unplug itself and fall off the counter, right?

Wrong I was! That really happened! The piercing bang on the floor jolted through my body. I screamed at the unexpected sound, which startled the dogs, who began barking, which woke up Noelle from her nap. It all happened in about 2 seconds. I looked down at my shattered glass bowl, a direct representation of my heart because I had to begin all over again. Croissants, man, croissants.

Seriously though, it wasn’t that big of a deal. After I blockaded the pups from the kitchen and catered to my girl, I cleaned up the mess and started over again later that day. My mixer miraculously still works, but I’m left with a gnarly dent in my kitchen floor. I’ll just call it my croissant scar. I’ll show it off proudly. 😉

dent from stand mixer on kitchen floor

I thank my lucky stars that sweet Jude wasn’t laying there because he’s usually by my side in the kitchen. Though if he was, I likely wouldn’t have walked away from the mixer. Regardless, I learned a lesson: stand by the mixer at all times or place the whole thing on a silicone baking mat so it doesn’t dance away. Do you do that?

RECIPE TESTING

Like I mention above, croissants have been my main focus in the kitchen. I studied a couple recipes, tested them, tweaked what I found necessary, and played with recipes for weeks. I was really happy with the croissant dough and lamination process, but I kept facing hurdles when it came to shaping and proofing. My croissants always flattened out.

overhead image of croissants on a baking sheet after baking

I began rolling the croissants a little tighter, which helped them stay raveled as they baked. Additionally, I took a second look at my proofing process. Proofing, the process of rising, allows the shaped croissants to puff up before baking. I was proofing them at room temperature for 2 hours, which I concluded was too much time out of the refrigerator. Croissant dough, as you learned, loves being cold.

I began proofing the shaped croissants at room temperature for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for some time before baking. This gives the shaped croissants time to puff up in warmer air, then finish proofing in a cold environment. A lot of bakers do this the other way around (fridge then room temperature), but I found the croissants flatten out too much.

After several success batches, I moved on to chocolate croissants.

What a mess.

overhead image of chocolate croissants on a baking sheet after baking

I don’t know which sight is worse: my mixer on the kitchen floor or these deformed chocolate croissants. My problem here is that (1) the dough rectangles rolled around the chocolate were too skinny and (2) I didn’t roll them up tight enough. They unraveled and/or toppled over. Both easy fixes.

Luckily I still had dough leftover in this particular batch. I shaped it a little differently and rolled each chocolate croissant up suuuuuper tight. Success!

chocolate croissant on baking sheet after baking

After another test batch, I was ready to photograph them.

Can you spot a Jude? ↓

kitchen counter with croissants and baking supplies

Croissants have been a baking bucket list item for years, so I feel like an absolute rockstar for tackling this delicate pastry!!! Worth all the time and mess in my kitchen. Chocolate croissants are coming Monday!

chocolate croissants on a wood serving tray

TWO QUESTIONS

  1. Cheesecake. Nothing fancy, just simple cheesecake. Do you like it?
  2. Baked goods with rhubarb. Thoughts?

Have a great weekend!

224 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh. I literally gasped out loud when I saw your photo and scared my dog LOL. The croissant curse continues hahaha. I LOVE cheesecake but mostly our family recipe which is made in a 9×13 baking dish and is more creamy than regular cheesecake. And, yes I absolutely LOVE strawberry-rhubarb pies. Yum! Good thing it’s summer because I think I need to make one soon …

  2. Great job, Sally!! It takes a lot of patience to make several batches of croissant dough. I tried croissant dough once a couple of months ago without success-I think my butter was too hard and didn’t laminate properly. I certainly intend to try again one day so I can check them off my baking list…I’ll be sure to give yours a try.
    I absolutely love New York Style Cheesecake and I have never tried baking with rhubarb-would love to try!

  3. Sylvie... from France says:

    So sorry… it’s a bad day. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and your machine isn’t broken.
    Your croissants are perfect. So beautiful as those whom I buy in my bakery.
    Cheesecake ? Yeeees ! It’s one of our favorite desserts.
    Rhubarb … Why not ? It’s the season and it’s delicious, for example, with strawberries =).
    I’m impatient to read your new recipes.
    Thank you !
    Have a great week-end.

  4. Can’t wait for your chocolate croissants, I’ll spend my weekend making those! And those KitchenAid mixers are beasts, they really keep working no matter what.

    Love plain cheesecake, and its hubby’s favorite. As for rhubarb… umm… no. For me, if you have to drown it in sugar and strawberries to where you mask the sourness, what’s the point? Just make a strawberry pie. (same feelings about grapefruit)

  5. I can’t wait for the chocolate croissant recipe!!! And I love rhubarb:) We have a rhubarb plant so I’m always looking for new ways to use it!

  6. Cheesecake can be great, but it’s never been one of my favorite desserts. I know, I’m difficult. I just know there’s a whole world out of pastries out there, so go away and make room, cheesecake. However, ice cream is a different story. I always have room for ice cream. 😉 I actually have a bunch of CSA rhubarb that unexpectedly showed up yesterday, so I’m wigging out slightly. Change of plans for the weekend…this means running out to grab a couple of corn flours and finally getting to try out Kim Boyce’s rustic rhubarb tart recipe (from her Good to the Grain baked-goods book). I tried her whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe, absolutely convinced it would disappoint me (not a whole-wheat fan, also your AP-flour recipes never disappoint, Sally), but those cookies turned out amazing. So I’ll try to be confident and have fun!

  7. So glad no one was hurt in your rogue mixer mishap.  Pleeeease do something with rhubarb!   It was my grandmother’s favorite pie and the flavor would no doubt remind me of  when my dad would surprise her with one.  With both of them gone, a little rhubarb reminiscing would be so nice. :0)  Plus it’s perfect for the warmer weather that’s coming.  Thank you for all the wonderful recipes Sally!

  8. Yehoshua Paul says:

    1. I miss cheesecake. I’ve had a lactose intolerance for the past several years (pills don’t work) so I had to give it up. I’ve been very successful at adapting your recipes to make them dairy free (and even gluten free for friends). Never tried doing a dairy free cheesecake though. Any chance you could save me some research and suggest substitute ingredients?

    2.. Rhubarb works great with strawberries. I’ve done both pie and crumble. No idea what else it goes with though. Or what other types of recipes to try. Give us some suggestions!

  9. Do you think you will try a no yeast croissant?
    New York cheesecake : )

  10. Yes to rhubarb and cheesecake!

  11. Diane VandenPlas @ Snowflakes & Coffeecakes says:

    Hi Sally,
    Thanks again for sharing the behind-the-scenes-stories – and for showing us that we all have baking disasters and recover! My family LOVES rhubarb – and I cook with it a lot. Very excited that our 2 dozen rhubarb plants are finally popping up in the garden and I should have fresh rhubarb to bake and cook with soon. It is so amazingly expensive (and not so fresh) from the market! I’ve posted quite a few family-favorite rhubarb recipes that I’m happy to share with you:
    https://www.snowflakesandcoffeecakes.com/rhubarb.html

  12. I can take or leave cheesecake, but I love rhubarb! I am right this very moment eating a piece of rhubarb apple bread (the apple bread from your first cookbook, with frozen rhubarb from last summer) I love rhubarb with apple or strawberries, but I have a great recipe for rhubarb cake from my Nanny too.

    I love your new mixer! I love my red KitchenAid but I dream about the color I’ll pick if I ever upgrade!

  13. 1) Not a huge cheesecake fan….
    2) LOVE LOVE LOVE rhubarb!

  14. 1. Cheesecake – YES
    2. Rhubarb – I have actually never tried it, but everything that incorporates it just looks so darn pretty, especially for spring!

  15. I was just speaking to a friend the other day about how she loves rhubarb and how I’ve never tasted it. Since I love sweet-sour things, I’d imagine it’s right up my alley – I just need a good recipe to get me started 😉

    And I am a long-time cheesecake lover, so YES to that! A good, plain cheesecake is the best, plus you can always drizzle some chocolate or raspberry sauce or cherries on top if you want to get fancy.

  16. OMG – my kitchen aid fell off the counter once too when kneading bread. It still works, but I was scared!!! Looooove any cheesecake. So good, even the simple “plain” stuff. And my kids love it! Rhubarb, not so much. 

  17. SherryinChicago says:

    Yes to rhubarb but something other than strawberry rhubarb pie. We were out to dinner last night & had a rhubarb shortcake with sour cream that was amazing (Girl & the Goat), so I have rhubarb on the brain now. 

  18. I love that the dent in your floor is literally shaped like a croissant. Totally destiny! 😉

    I loooooove cheesecakes of any kind and my love for rhubard runs deep. My ex-MIL used to make this custard rhubarb pie with a crumble on top. SO SO good.

  19. First things first…..croissants OH MY!!! I tried the regular ones for the baking challenge but they all flattened out too–it seems like they never proofed in the cold, the butter was still visible in my dough after all laminations (so I’m going to increase those) also I’m at altitude so I have to tweak baking time (maybe doublish). More work, but dedicated to try again 🙂

    Cheesecake? Very picky about it so……yes…..if its the perfect recipe.
    Rhubarb? I want to love it, but I’ve never tasted anything (attempts very few) that I absolutely loved so, meh….but I’ll try it if you do something fantastic!

  20. I LOVE anything with rhubarb and have it growing in my garden.  I have a section in my binder of printed out recipes that use rhubarb because it’s such a favorite!

  21. Oh my gosh! That mixer picture really made me cringe! Lol I can’t believe it still works! Good thing, though. Can’t wait to give chocolate croissants a try! 
    Also, always yes to cheesecake. And I LOVE rhubarb! Strawberry rhubarb crisp is my all time favourite kind of crisp! 

  22. Hi Sally! Can’t believe your mixer did that. I have a KitchenAid and have never had any issues even when it has been working on a rather large batch of cookie dough. Good to know they do need supervision. Absolutely yes to cheesecake. Every time we go out for a meal my son insists on having cheesecake for dessert. He and my husband always request cheesecake when I ask what they want me to make for dessert on holidays too. As for rhubarb I’ll pass. I can’t personally stand it although I know I’m in the minority. People are always bringing rhubarb dishes to work in the spring and raving about them. Since we’re in a blizzard warning today I guess I won’t have to worry about rhubarb making its appearance too soon.

  23. Sara Anderson says:

    I have a scar in my floor from my mixer, too! I was making bread or pizza dough. I walked away as well and there was just too much dough for my mixer to handle. My mixer worked afterwards but it was never the same. The head didn’t stay locked as well. I’ve made croissants one other time, which turned out quite well, but now you’ve inspired me to do it again. 

    Cheesecake always seems too much of an indulgence, too heavy. I enjoy it, but never end up making it. 

    Rhubarb is a huge yes! Have only baked with it once in a strawberry rhubarb pie, but loved it!

    Thanks, Sally!

  24. How about lemon cheesecake with fresh berries and whipped cream? I also like it with simple mix-ins like chocolate chips or caramel. I feel like chocolate flavored cheesecake can be too rich.

    I don’t care for rhubarb.

  25. LOVE CHEESECAKE!

  26. I would request cheesecakes 5-6″ in diameter.  A regular size is nice but for a family with two adults and two younger children we could use a smaller size.  I could see a cheesecake bar party in my near future.  

    The first time I tasted rhubarb I thought it was not pleasant.  Then I tried a different recipe involving a delicious crumb topping and I was instantly hooked. 

  27. Danette Smith says:

    Hmm, good ol’ plain cheesecake is like an empty canvas for a multitude of yumminess to sit atop it. It’s ok but it’s WOW when paired with something else.
    Rhubarb I love in baked goods. My favourite is Rhubarb Custard dessert.
    I have taken on croissants/chocolate croissants before. Such a beast to me but well worth it. Your pics are wonderful and your blog inspiring. I feel so lucky to have discovered your ‘addiction’!!!!

  28. Sorry about your new dent, but glad you’re choosing to embrace it! Yes to cheesecake and to rhubarb. How about rhubarb sauce over cheesecake? Yum! I have a beautiful big rhubarb plant that is growing quickly again this spring. It’s fun to watch the bright reddish pink stalks pop up with gigantic leaves. I collect rhubarb recipes because I feel it’s an uncommon vegetable used like a fruit. People are often surprised at how much they like rhubarb. Thanks for all your recipes.

  29. Yes to cheesecake! I love studying your recipes and incorporating your tips for items that I already have a tried-and-true recipe for, like chocolate chip cookies and biscuits. (I have actually completely adopted your biscuit recipe, though!) So I’d love to see your cheesecake tips.
    I made mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan once (with greased foil liners, take them out of the liners when cooled and they have a nice little scallop at the bottom) and it was a bit of extra work, but they came out great, and were perfect for the wedding shower we served them at; we provided different toppings for the guests to choose from and they were a hit. So minis may be a fun variation to try!

    I’ve never tried rhubarb, so I can’t help there. It’s kind of fun to say though, haha.

  30. The other option is to get a Bosch mixer. They are totally different than a Kitchen Aide (not cute) but can easily handle upwards of 12 cups of flour and don’t need any babysitting. 

1 2 3 4 5 7

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×
Skip to toolbar