Chocolate brownie pecan tart

Chocolate brownies are the best, so why not turn it into a fabulous tart! One of the best things about this easy recipe is the homemade pastry crust. Don’t worry if you’ve never made pastry before, it’s a straight-forward recipe and easy to make (and a lot better than store-bought). Perfect for the holiday season!

Make the pastry

Put the flour, cocoa, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse again, until you have a sandy texture and the butter has disappeared into the mixture. Pour mixture into a bowl. Add ice-cold water (1 tbsp at a time) mixing in between until the pastry comes together in clumps. Don’t over work the pastry or it will become too tough. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and draw up on all sides – gently press the pastry into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (you can also freeze for up to 3 months).

Heat oven to 350F. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 9.5-inch tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge. Line with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Take out the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Let sit while you make the filling.

Make the filling

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Remove bowl from heat. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla, then the flour. Stir in the pecans, pour into the tart case and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool and then serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Let us know how your tart turned out in the comments below! 

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Easy to make cinnamon & raisin bagels

This is our very own hybrid bagel recipe. A combination of what we’ve found works best and results in the most delicious, chewy bagels. Bagels have a reputation for being time-consuming and difficult for beginners. We disagree! This easy to make recipe for cinnamon and raisin bagels couldn’t be easier, and don’t let the boiling part put you off, it’s not as hard as it looks –  in fact, it’s a lot of fun.

In a mixer bowl sprinkle the yeast over 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Add 1/4 tsp of sugar and stir gently. Allow to sit in a warm room until the yeast dissolves and is foamy (about 5 minutes). 

Sift together the flour and then add to the bowl along with salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. 

Mix until combined by hand.

Kneading by hand

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand.

Add the raisins and cinnamon, fold in until combined. The dough should form into a ball easily and be smooth and not too sticky to handle. Add additional flour if necessary.

Place the dough in a bowl which has been lightly greased with oil, cover and allow to rise (about an hour in a warm room or until doubled in size).

After your dough has doubled, punch it down and allow it to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. While it’s resting, preheat your over to 400F and cover 2 cookie sheets or baking pans with parchment paper. 

Whisk together the egg and 1 1/2 teaspoon water to make an egg wash.

Turn your dough onto a floured surface and divide it into the number of bagels you require (makes 8 large bagels).

Shape each piece into a ball and using your thumb make a whole in the middle (or roll out each piece and then join to make a doughnut shape). Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Time to boil the bagels!

Bring a large pot 2/3-full with water to a boil and add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the baking soda.

Place 3-4 bagels in the water at time. Cook for 1 minute and the flip to boil the other side for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon or a strainer.

Place the bagels on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the sheet with cornmeal (so your bagels won’t stick).

Brush bagels with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut in half before freezing – this makes it easier to place straight into the toaster 

Happy bagel making! Let us know how your bagels turned out in the comments below! 

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Discover the amazing Akatsuka Orchid Gardens

If the Big Island is the orchid isle then Hilo is the capital of the everything orchid. Just outside Hilo is the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, a great place to view an amazing variety of spectacular orchids. Whether you’re an orchid aficionado, a part-time gardener, or just curious about what makes these flowers such a special part of the Big Island – be sure to make this a stop on your road trip.

Where is it?

The Akatsuka Orchid Gardens are located between mile markers’ 22 and 23 on Highway 11 near Volcano National Park on the Big Island. It’s about a 25 minute drive from Hilo and a 10 minute drive from Volcano.

When can I visit?

The Akatsuka Orchid Gardens are open limited hours in 2020 due to the pandemic. Currently they’re open Tuesday and Thursday between 10am – 3pm (closed between 12pm-1pm for cleaning). Access is easy and is wheelchair accessible (check their website for the latest opening hours).

A popular stop for tour buses, the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens features a large showroom – an open warehouse-like space displaying an amazing variety of colorful orchids. There are over 500 blooming orchids on display! These include dendrobiums, oncidiums, phalaenopsis, miltonia and odontoglossums. There are also anthuriums, bromeliads and tillandsia plants.

History

The Akatsuka Orchid Gardens have been specializing in the cultivation of orchids on the Big Island of Hawaii for over 30 years. The founder, Moriyasu Akatsuka, moved to Hawaii from Japan and started the gardens as a family business in 1974. It began life as a cymbidium orchid farm before Moriyasu changed direction, growing the more vibrant Cattleya orchid.

The first garden showroom opened to the public in the 1980s. It was at this time that Moriyasu began creating his own original Cattleya orchids.

By the 1990s the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens had grown in popularity, attracting many visitors from around the country and around the world. The gardens expanded, adding a gift shop and gaining the required certification to ship orchids to customers.

In 2000 the gardens renovated the showroom and a modern greenhouse was also added.

In 2016 the gardens created the world’s first orchid maze! You can experience the maze on a self-guided tour of the gardens (all 8,000 square feet!). There is also a 45 minute tour through the maze and the greenhouse growing facility (COVID-19 may have postponed this tour, please check their website for the latest details).

The tillandsia (above and right) are air plants, native to northern Mexico, the US southeast, and Mesoamerica. They have the ability to cling to precarious locations on trees and rocky outcrops. A minimal root system means they can survive easily on even a small piece of bark! They do not require soil in order to survive, are easy-care and low maintenance. Tillandsia typically produce a brightly colored flower.

Tillandsia
One of our recent acquisitions from Akatsuka Orchid Gardens

The Volcano Queen orchid

If you’re on the Big Island during the months of April and May make sure you check out the Volcano Queen orchid. This orchid only blooms once a year and is the gardens’ most famous resident, worth approximately $20,000! The orchid is originally from Thailand and is not a hybrid. It can’t be cloned, so propagation can only occur through division.

Volcano Queen Orchid
Photo credit: Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Purple orchid
On our last visit we added this amazing purple anthurium to our growing anthurium collection here at Horizon Guest House

Take the time to visit the orchid gardens and you’ll understand why the Big Island is also called the orchid isle!

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Making Paul Hollywood’s rainbow bagels

The British Baking Show (aka The Great British Bake Off) is on constant rotation here at Horizon Guest House. In one of the TV show’s latest episodes the contestants were asked to bake rainbow-colored bagels for their technical challenge. This recipe is a little more work than the average bagel recipe but the vibrant results are well worth the effort. Have fun and celebrate all things Pride! (don’t worry, the food coloring doesn’t change the great bagel flavor!).

You will need five mixing bowls (one for each colored dough), two baking sheets (greased and lined with baking paper) and two proving bags. 

Place flour in a mixing bowl, add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other. 

Add three-quarters of the water and, using your fingers, mix together. Add the remaining water, bit by bit, until all the flour is incorporated. This should give you a rough dough.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5–10 minutes.

Once you have a soft, smooth dough, divide into 5 equal pieces. 

Cover the pieces of dough with a damp tea towel. Working with one piece of dough at a time, turn each into a different colour.

Add 3 pea-sized drops of food coloring onto the dough, then fold up and over the colouring. Knead to an even colour. You may need to add more coloring to achieve the correct level of brightness. Add additional drops one at a time. Place the coloured dough into a greased bowl.

Repeat the process with the other four pieces of dough until you have five brightly coloured pieces of dough. Cover each bowl and leave to rise for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size. 

Turn out each piece of colored dough, one by one, onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to a 8″x 5″ rectangle. Set each piece aside.

Place the orange rectangle of dough neatly on top of the red. Add the yellow, green and blue rectangles, until you have a stack of five layers of dough – red at the bottom, then orange, yellow, green and blue. 

Cut the stacked dough into six 8″ x 2″ wide slices, slicing down through the layers, so each strip has five layers of colour. 

To shape the bagels, lay one of the stacked dough strips on your board and place the palm of your hands at either end.

At the same time, move your right hand forwards and your left hand backwards to twist the dough into a rope about 10 inches long. Pinch the ends together to form a circle and gently roll the join back and forth to seal. Repeat with all the pieces of dough.

Place the bagels on the lined baking sheets, then into the proving bags. Leave to prove for about 20 minutes, until risen and puffy.

While you wait, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) / 350°F (180°C) fan / Gas 6.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the baking soda (this will help give the bagels a shiny, chewy crust).

Plunge the bagels into the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time depending on the size of your pan. Cook for 30 seconds on each side, until the bagels puff up and the shape sets. Allow the water to reach boiling point again between each batch of bagels you plunge.

Using a slotted spoon, remove each bagel from the water and place back on the baking sheet (note: if you like you can sprinkle cornmeal on the baking sheet to ensure the bagels don’t stick to the sheet).

Bake the bagels for 25–30 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

rainbow bagel Hawaii Horizon B&B

Serve with your favorite bagel toppings!

Bagels are best enjoyed fresh so if you’re not going to eat them soon after baking it’s best to freeze them. The best way to do this is to make sure to cut them in half first – that way you can put them straight into the toaster from the refrigerator when you want to (no need to hurt yourself trying to saw a frozen bagel in half!).

We hope you enjoyed Paul Hollywood’s bagels. How did your rainbow bagels turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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The creamy goodness of mango & haupia pie

Haupia pudding is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert. Popular since the 1940s, it is most often chilled in a retangular pan and then cut into blocks and served. Here, we add it as a topping to a delicious fresh mango filling. 

This recipe utilizes a ‘soft set’ recipe for the haupia, keeping the haupia creamy without letting it harden too much, unlike the traditional ‘hard set’ recipes for haupia that result in a much more gelatine-like consistency.

Mango base

Cut mango into cubes (about 1 inch in size) until you have about 4 cups worth. If you’re using frozen mango, make sure you thaw prior to use. Place in a large bowl.

Mix together the corn starch, sugar and cinnamon. Add mixture to the chopped mango and stir.

Pour into the pie shell (you can use a frozen shell, or make your own).

Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 350F for about 35-40 minutes (until bubbling). Set aside.

Haupia topping

Add corn starch to 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Stir until all dissolved.

Pour the remaining coconut milk into a saucepan. Add the sugar and the salt. On a medium heat, cook until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Then slowly add the corn starch mixture as you whisk. Keep stirring with the whisk until thickened (this should take about 2-3 minutes).

 

Pour thickened mixture over the mango pie. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 1-2 hours.

Serve fresh from the refrigerator with a spoonful of whipped cream!

Traditional haupia pie includes a layer of chocolate or purple sweet potato. The old Hawaiian recipe for haupia actually specifies ground pia instead of the corn starch used today. Ground pia is also known as Polynesian arrowroot.

We hope you enjoyed our version of haupia pie. Have you created a haupia pie with a different filling? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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The cattle egret: Hawaii’s elegant predator

Late summer has brought with it the arrival of a flock of cattle egrets to Horizon Guest House. These brilliantly white birds have found a summer home in the monkey pod tree in the upper pasture. Here they roost at night while during the day they follow the animals, keeping flies and insects at bay.

Cattle egrets originated from Africa, arriving in South America in the late 19th century before spreading through most of the continental United States in the 1940s.

They were first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1959 by the Board of Agriculture and Forestry, in conjunction with local cattle ranchers. The birds were an attempt to try and combat the plague of flies that were affecting cattle herds. The flies were responsible for causing lower than usual weight gain in cattle, as well as causing damage to their hides.[1]

In total, 105 birds were released across the islands. By the early 1980s their population had exploded to approximately 30,000 birds.

Cattle egrets typically grow to around 20 inches and are usually seen in large flocks, within close proximity to wetlands.

Our visiting cattle egrets have quickly found a home in the pasture with the horse, donkeys and goats. The birds are content to follow the herd as it migrates about the pasture during the course of the day. Typically, you’ll find the birds perched on the backs of Sunny (the horse) and Poncho and Lefty (the donkeys).

In this way they provide a useful service to the animals, feeding on the flies that might be bothering them, as well as any insects.

Nest predators

Their impact on other endangered birds though is significant. Cattle egrets are known nest predators. In particular, they prey on the nests of the Hawaiian duck (koloa), Hawaiian stilt (aeo), Hawaiian common moorhen (alae ula) and the Hawaiian coot (alae keokeo). There are even instances of cattle egrets taking prawns from aquaculture farms![2]

The original intention of introducing cattle egrets was to use them as ‘biological control agents’.[3] Instead, these birds have joined a long line of other introduced species that, having failed to solve their original objective, have become part of a bigger problem – causing disruption to indigenous fauna.

Control order

In 2017, a control order was introduced for migratory bird species in Hawaii.[4] This control order targeted cattle egrets and barn owls. It identified them as invasive and threatening to native species. It also concluded that these bird populations could not simply be keep under control by non-lethal means. The order sanctioned the culling of cattle egrets by state and federal employees of specified agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Recognizing the fragile nature of Hawaii’s ecosystem is important to understanding why such action is necessary. Invading or introduced birds like the cattle egret have changed the habitat of some of our most precious and endangered species.[5] Controlled culling of cattle egrets may be the only way Hawaii can safeguard some of its most precious residents from the threat of extinction.

The cattle egret is an elegant bird and provides a service to cattle and other animals, but it’s relationship with endemic species remains problematic.

References

Cattle egret. (n.d). [1] Kaelepulu Wetland. https://kaelepuluwetland.com/birds/cattle-egret/

Cattle egret: Bubulcus ibis. (2012, August 13). [2] Hawaii Forest & Trail. https://www.hawaii-forest.com/cattle-egret-bubulcus-ibis/

Fish and Wildlife Service Interior. (2017, August 24).[4]Migratory bird permits: control order for introduced migratory bird species in Hawaii. Federal register: the daily journal for the United States government. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/25/2017-15471/migratory-bird-permits-control-order-for-introduced-migratory-bird-species-in-hawaii

Gosser, R. (2017).[5] From solution to problem: the irony of invasive species. Ke Kalahea, (4). https://hilo.hawaii.edu/news/kekalahea/the-irony-of-invasive-species-2017

Paton, P.W.C., Fellows, D.P. & Tomich, P.Q. (1986). [3] Distribution of cattle egret roosts in Hawaii with notes on the problems egrets pose to airports. ‘Elepaio, 46(13), 143-147. https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/paton/paton6.pdf

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Easy peasy fettuccine: making pasta from scratch

Homemade Pasta cover image Horizon Guest House Hawaii

Making homemade fettuccine may seem like a daunting task but with a simple recipe, a steady hand, and a bit of patience, you’ll be twirling freshly cooked, homemade fettuccine around your fork in no time!

*(Note: for best results we recommend using a machine but you can hand roll it).

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 1

The three key ingredients to fresh, homemade pasta are simple. Flour, eggs, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of water.

Beat flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt together in a bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to the flour mixture until a smooth and very thick dough forms.

Either let a dough hook on your stand mixer do the kneading or turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Let the dough rest for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Why is it important to let it rest? Resting the dough gives the gluten in the dough the opportunity to relax. This makes it easier to roll out, either by hand or by using a machine.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 6

Divide dough into 4 balls and use a pasta machine to roll and then cut dough into desired pasta shape.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 7

You can make pasta without a machine, it just requires a little more effort. Roll out the dough until paper thin.

Using a rolling pin will get the dough rolled out as thin as a machine will – it’ll just take a little more time to get there.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 8

Take each of the balls and flatten it with your hands. Next, guide it through the machine, turning the handle at a steady rate.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 9

Run the pasta through twice and then fold the piece in from either side on the long edges, as below. 

Homemade pasta folded Horizon Guest House

Then run the dough through again, or as many times as necessary until you achieve your desired thickness. Then dust with flour and fold in half to rest.  

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 10
Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 12

The more you roll out the dough the longer the sheet and the longer your fettuccine will be. After you’ve let the dough rest (for at least 15 minutes) use the pasta machine to cut the dough into the desired shape, or if you don’t have a machine use a knife to cut the dough into noodles.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 13

If you find the noodles are sticking together you may need to add more flour. 

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 14

Let your pasta rest again to dry, for between 15 to 30 minutes. There are lots of way to dry fettuccine.  You can use a baking tray lined with baking paper and dusted with flour, or hang over the back of a chair.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 15

When you just can’t wait any longer it’s time to cook! Cooking time is 4 to 6 minutes in boiling water.

Homemade pasta is best cooked straight away, or within 24 hours. You can freeze it too. It’s good for up to a month in the freezer. Just make sure to use the frozen noodles straight from the freezer without thawing them out first. Thawing allows condensation to form and any dampness will cause the noodles to stick together. 

 

How did your pasta turn out? Did you use a machine or hand roll? Let us know in the comments.

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Wild pigs on the Big Island of Hawaii – friend or foe?

Wild Pigs Hawaii Tribune Herald 2020
Wailoa State Recreation Area, Hilo. Photo credit: Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

In the first months of 2020 wild pigs caused significant damage to orchards and crops at Horizon Guest House. The pigs, who live in the surrounding forest of McCandless Ranch, were in the habit of making regular raids on our property. Our gardening efforts, and attempts at protection, were left in disarray as they carved a trail of destruction.

Unfortunately, feral pigs on the Big Island of Hawaii have become a widespread problem. Wild pigs are attracted to a wide variety of food sources. On the Big Island these include crops such as macadamia nuts, bananas, avocados and pineapples. Our banana and pineapple plants were almost all destroyed over a period of months. Significant rooting damage was also done to the garden.

Wild Pig Big Island Hawaii KITV4 Island News
Photo credit: KITV4 Island News

Where did the pigs come from?

It was originally thought that the feral pigs in Hawaii were the direct descendants of those brought to the islands by Captain Cook in 1778. Captain Cook arrived with pigs, chickens and other animals. However, a 2016 study found that most of the feral pigs alive in the islands today are in fact the descendants of those introduced by Polynesians in approximately 1200 AD. [1]

That the origins of the feral pigs are not solely European will be helpful for future discussions about conservation on the islands, as well as their role in Hawaiian cultural heritage.

Wild Pigs Hawaii News Now
Photo credit: Hawaii News Now

Impact on forest ecosystems

Wild pigs also have an impact on the forest ecosystem. A study by the University of Hawai’i found that soil macroinvertebrate communities (organisms that do not have a spine but can be seen with the naked eye, such as snails and insects) remained unaffected by the presence of feral pigs in the environment.[2] However, earthworms and beetles may benefit from association with sites rooted by wild pigs.

Another study found that the absence of feral pigs over time led to increased bacterial diversity in the soil and that there was an overall increase in the ‘ecological resiliency’ of the soil.[3]

WIld Pigs Tribune Herald 2017
Corner of Komohana and Mohouli streets, Hilo. Photo credit: Tim Wright, Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

How to combat feral pigs

Pigs don’t like dogs and will tend to avoid an area if they sense or smell their presence. Culling the invading pigs is also another option, but in the case of Horizon this won’t stop the arrival of more pigs as they breed at such a rapid rate in the adjoining forest. The feral pigs are resourceful and have found creative ways of digging under the boundary fence in order to gain access.

Horizon Guest House Garden
Horizon's new garden fence

Instead we decided on a new approach. We fenced a section of the garden off completely. This area, currently housing the existing vegetable garden, will now also be where we grow the crops most vulnerable to pig invasion. New banana and pineapple plants have been planted and the existing vegetable garden has been expanded. The fence itself has been engineered to be as pig-proof as possible. Additional fence posts have been positioned close together to ensure that the fence is as tight as possible and therefore difficult for even the tiniest of pigs to burrow under.

Feral pigs might appear to be cute and relatively harmless but they continue to cause problems on the Big Island as their numbers in populated rural areas continue to rise. Creative solutions are the best way to try to mitigate their impact on a local level, while perhaps a concerted effort on a state level is needed to combat the issue further.

References

Linderholm A., Spencer D., Battista V., Frantz L., Barnett R., Fleischer R.C., James H.F., Duffy D., Sparks J.P., Clements D.R., Andersson L., Dobney K., Leonard J.A. & Larson G. (2016). [1] A novel MC1R allele for black coat colour reveals the Polynesian ancestry and hybridization patterns of Hawaiian feral pigs. R. Soc. open sci. 3, 160304. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160304

Wehr, N.H., Kinney, K.M., Nguyen, N.H., Giardina, C.P. & Litton, C.M. (2019). [3] Changes in soil bacterial community diversity following the removal of invasive feral pigs from a Hawaiian tropical montane wet forest. Sci Rep 9, 14681. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48922-7

Wehr, N.H., Litton, C.M., Lincoln, N.K. & Hess, Steven C. (2020). [2] Relationships between soil macroinvertebrates and nonnative feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in Hawaiian tropical montane wet forests . Biol Invasions 22, 577–586. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02117-3

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Brioche French toast with a little help from Julia Child

Making brioche is easier than it looks and it makes for some spectacularly good French toast. Worth making the effort for, this brioche recipe comes courtesy of Julia Child and is perfect for soaking up our special French toast mixture! Begin with the brioche or skip straight to our delicious French toast recipe.

Making brioche

Brioche dough has a rich, buttery flavor and is closer to cake than bread in texture. Essential to this recipe is either an electric mixer or a food processor. The dough itself needs two risings – the second rising can happen while refrigerated overnight, though we did this within one day. 

Brioche ingredients Hawaii

Prepare the yeast. Cut the butter into small pieces and then melt in a saucepan with the milk.

Measure all flour except for 1 cup into the mixer bowl. Next, add the salt, the sugar and then the melted butter & milk, and then the eggs. Mix to blend. Take care when adding the yeast, the mixture should be warm to the touch. If it feels too hot, wait a moment for it to cool.

Beat at a medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, slowly add the remaining flour. For best results, use a dough hook (if you aren’t using a dough hook unclog the blades if needed). Place dough on a lightly floured board and leave to rest for about 2 minutes.

Brioche dough 3 HGH Horizon

Then knead the dough vigorously for 2 minutes. The dough should feel quite soft.

Bricohe dough knead HGH Hawaii

Place dough in lightly-oiled large bowl (2 gallon-sized). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place to rise (preferably in the range of 72–75F). If you’re in hot climate, it may be necessary to slow the rise by putting it in the refrigerator. In approximately 3 hours (or when it’s tripled in size) turn out onto a lightly floured board. 

Julia’s tip: shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and then fold the dough in 3 – repeat this process and then return to the bowl. This process redistributes the yeast cells within the dough and helps achieve a finer grain consistency.

Cover and let rise again – ideally to double the size. This second rise can be achieved overnight, if you prefer, by placing in the refrigerator. 

Brioche dough Horizon HGH rise

Turn out onto a board. Take one half of the dough and cut into three pieces. Roll each piece out by hand until you have three even ropes. Pinch together at one end.

Then, start braiding by crossing the right rope over the center rope. Then, cross the left rope over the center. Alternate in this way, right and left over center, until the braid is complete.

Do the same with the other half of the dough.

Place the two loaves of bread in two regular loaf pans (lightly oiled). Cover and let rise (the final rise, I promise!) for 1 to 2 hours.

Brioche dough rise again 2 HGH Hawaii

If you like you can glaze with an egg wash. Beat an egg and carefully brush the top of the loaf, careful not let any egg run down the side of the pan as this will cause the loaf to stick. Preheat oven to 450F (230C) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or if you have a thermometer – until the internal temperature has reached 180-190F. 

Brioche out of the oven HGH Hawaii

The recipe we used was adapted from the Julia Child & Company cookbook. Julia had planned to come and stay at Horizon Guest House in 2004 but died of kidney failure just before her 92nd birthday.

Brioche French toast

Bricohe French toast HGH Hawaii

If you haven’t made the brioche above you can still use any spongy, thickly-sliced white bread as a substitute – challah, sourdough and baguettes work well.

In a pan lay out 6 pieces of brioche. Make sure these are sliced between ¾ inch – 1 inch thick.

Whisk the eggs and add the sugar.

Add the vanilla, heavy cream and milk. Whisk together well.

Pour the mixture over the bread.

Make sure you get a good coverage. Use a spatula to lift the bread to ensure the bread is thoroughly soaked. Cover the pan with tinfoil and leave to soak in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, take out and turn the bread and give it another 30 minutes (if you make this the night before you can easily leave it to soak overnight).

The bread should have absorbed all of the mixture.

Brioche French toast soak HGH Hawaii

Sprinkle with cinnamon and then pan fry with butter (at a ratio of 1 Tbs for every two slices) on a medium heat. 

Bricohe French toast fry HGH Hawaii

Flip once and then reduce heat.

Pro tip: cover with tinfoil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. This allows the French toast to be cooked through without burning – which can happen due to the high sugar content.

Brioche French toast HGH Hawaii

Served with all your favorite French toast toppings. Ours include warmed Canadian maple syrup and a good serving of fruit (banana, papaya, oranges and blueberries) to offset the delicious sweetness.

Tell us about your brioche and/or French toast in the comments below!

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A day trip to the Hilo Farmers Market

Hilo Farmers Market Horizon B&B Kona

Make sure you stop by the biggest and most popular farmers market on the Big Island of Hawaii. The Hilo farmers market runs every weekday but it’s the ‘market days’ on Wednesday and Saturday – with over 200 farmers and local crafters selling fresh produce, crafts, gifts and assorted flowers – that make it a must-visit during your stay on the Big Island.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii Horizon B&B

First started in 1988, the Hilo farmers market began with only 4 vendors and grew rapidly. The open market is now held on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo. Contained within the space of approximately 3 city blocks, the market has free parking nearby. The biggest (and best) days are Wednesday and Sunday. Get there early to get the best of the produce and the freshest flowers.

The market opens at 6am and runs until 4pm. Most of the market is situated under large tents and includes sections with produce, food and flowers, as well as an arts, crafts and retail section. Deal direct with the farmers, the growers, the crafters and the bakers. And don’t miss out on the amazing range of food on offer from the food trucks. There is even an indoor food court.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon
Long squash

What you'll find

A favorite with locals and tourists alike, the Hilo farmers market sells a huge range of produce. Whether you’re on the look-out for some locally-grown coffee or fresh fruit and vegetables, the market has a huge selection. Find jack fruit, longan, mangos, papayas, pineapples, rambutan, strawberries, white pineapples, dragon fruit, passion fruit, apple bananas, lychee, sapote and much more! Vegetables you’ll encounter include – baby ginger, bok choy, eggplant, taro, avocados, hydroponic lettuce, organic spinach, sweet corn and more.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon B&B

The market also sells jams, jellies, macadamia nut butter and honey as well as bakery treats like butter mochi, malasadas, coconut pastries and Portuguese bread. A number of vendors also serve breakfast and lunch.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii

A wide range of flowers are sold at the market. Orchids and anthuriums of all shades pack the flower stalls. Bonsai plants, protea and assorted herbs are also sold. The craft sections are full of amazing creations – handmade jewelry, etched glass and items carved from koa wood. If you’re looking for a special gift or souvenir, you’ll be sure to find something well-crafted to take home from the farmers market.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Horizon B&BJPG

The market’s central location makes exploring the historic downtown of Hilo easy. After the market walk to the nearby shops, restaurants and museums. Check out the nearby Lyman Museum and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

Hilo Farmers Market Big Island Hawaii Horizon Guest House

Hot tip: Bring the kids on the first and third Saturdays of each month and make use of the free art booth for kids (keiki). Open 1-3pm.

Can’t make it on a market day?

Don’t worry. The market is still open on all other days of the week but at a much reduced capacity. Expect approximately 30 vendors on these days.

Hilo waterfront Horizon B&B Hawaii

After you’ve finished shopping at the Hilo farmers market why not visit the nearby Lili’uokalani Park and Gardens. The waterfront location is the perfect place to enjoy a farmers market-inspired picnic lunch by the sea.

Hilo is approximately a 2 hour drive from Horizon Guest House.

Hilo waterfront Horizon B&B
Looking toward Mauna Kea
Hilo waterfront banyan tree Horizon B&B
Banyan tree

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