Purple Rain Ombre Cowl

Ombre Cowl | BakeNQuilt.com

Were you a fan of Prince?  I can’t say that I currently have any of his music, though I know a lot of it and remember listening to his songs on the radio when I was in high school.  His music was definitely part of the fabric of my young adulthood.  I was in the process of knitting this purple Ombre Cowl when he passed away, so it seemed fitting to name my project after one of his most well known songs, Purple Rain.

The Ombre Cowl (pattern by Hilary Carr) was a very easy project – the yarn really does all the work and it’s just plain knitting.  The pattern uses three colors of Mohair & Silk yarn (light purple/gray, reddish purple and dark purple),  all of which I purchased from Neighborhood Fiber Co.  The strands are doubled and swapped out in such a way as to go through 5 color changes.  The resulting cowl is feathery light but pretty warm.  It’s unfortunately too warm to wear it now, but I will hide it away in my drawer where it will be a nice surprise next fall!

Ombre Cowl Flat | BakeNQuilt.com

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The Daring Bakers’ April 2016 Challenge: Kouign Amann

Kouign Amann | BakeNQuilt.com

Meredith from the Daring Kitchen challenged us this month to make a buttery rich pastry called a Kouign Amann (pronounced “kwee-amahn”).  Kouign Amann is a round crusty pastry that originated in Brittany in roughly 1860. It is made with a bread dough that is laminated (layered with butter like a croissant or puff pastry) and then sprinkled with sugar before being cut into squares and baked in muffin tins.

Kouign Amann have actually been on my baking bucket list for some time, so it was good to have a reason to actually try making them.  The dough goes together pretty easily.  Like croissant dough, a plain dough is rolled out and a block of butter is encased in the dough.  The dough/butter package is rolled out into a rectangle and folded like a book, creating multiple layers of butter and dough.  This process is repeated 3 times, refrigerating and resting the dough in-between.  The dough is rolled out one more time and sprinkled with sugar before folding it.  To bake the Kouign Amann, the dough is rolled again into a rectangle and cut into squares.  Each square is gathered up at the corners and pinched together to kind of look like a clover (sorry, no pictures of this, my hands were covered in sugar and flour!).  These bundles are placed in greased muffin tins and baked until golden brown.

Since the Kouign Amann I’ve tasted have been fairly plain in flavor, I decided to fill mine with some almond paste that I had left over and to use some raspberry sugar (freeze dried raspberries pulsed with sugar) in place of the plain sugar layer.  I enjoyed the flavor of both of these in the pastry.  Check this one off the bucket list!

Full recipe and step by step photos can be found at The Daring Kitchen.

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