52: Toasts for 2015

Toasts (1 of 1)

Here’s to wrapping up 2014 and 52 weekly posts on 52 lasers! We’ve got a party to go to tonight to ring in 2015 – we’ll be heading out the door as soon as I hit post! I’ve been wanting to try more food on the laser, and decorating fancy appetizers for New Year’s Eve seems to fit the bill! Tonight I’ve made Balsamic Poached Pear and Brie bites on toast. (A tasty kind of toast for the New Year!)

And here, I feel the need to apologize – my kitchen lighting is atrocious (as are the robins egg blue counter tops) so these photos will not be winning any awards!

TJ's toasts, some funky too crusty bread, and a lovely small loaf of french bread.

TJ’s toasts, some funky too crusty bread (Ficelle), and a lovely small loaf of french bread.

This may sound dumb, but I’ve never made the little appetizer toasts before.  I mean, I don’t even own a toaster.  So I got a couple different loaves of long skinny bread and Trader Joe’s Brioche toasts to have a control (aka a back up if everything went wrong).

Right of the bat, the Ficelle loaf was out.  It was too crusty and too small.  It was tasty, but making it in to toasts was like making little hockey pucks.

The top row are pre-toasted.  Left piece is the Brioche and the bottom right are the "raw" bread.

The top row are pre-toasted. Left piece is the Brioche and the bottom right are the “raw” bread.

Little Toast awaiting it's fate

Little Toast awaiting it’s fate

Lasered first, toasted second.

Lasered first, toasted second.

The french loaf cut nicely, and I attempted to get nice, uniform thicknesses.  I wanted to test whether engraving before or after toasting would better, so I toasted a few test pieces in the oven before lasering them.  My recommendation to future toast decorators – definitely toast it first.  The ones that were engraved first then toasted seemed to not be as sharp or well defined.

As for testing between the hand cut fresh toast and the store bought Brioche toasts?  For lasering, the brioche wins.  It was much more uniform in both bread consistency (no big holes or gaps) and cutting.  It was a much better surface for words and images.

Toasts (16 of 27)

So, the laser cutting looks quite pretty, but really, appetizers are for eating, right?  Verdict on the taste – it was much better when they were lightly engraved.  Those really dark toasts you see?  They pretty much tasted like they were flavored with char.  It was interesting, because the toast was totally edible, though, unlike when you totally blacken a piece of toast.  Maybe some day some foodie will be able to work that in and make something amazing, but not today.  We found a light engraving of 30% power, 30% speed worked great and didn’t taste burned.  It tasted, well, toasty!  And honestly, even though the brioche were prettier, I liked to taste of the homemade french bread toasts better.  They were chewier and less crumbly / cracker like.  Ryan loved the brioche toasts, though, so, to each their own!

Little Toast awaiting it's fate

Little Toast awaiting it’s fate

Topped with some sliced brie - TJ's has it in a square log!  What will the world think of next?

Topped with some sliced brie – TJ’s has it in a square log! What will the world think of next?  The pears, while kind of brown looking, are soooo good.  My mouth is watering right now.

Toasts (24 of 27)

A toast for the New Year! Happy 2015!

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