Tag Archives: tuesdays with dorie

Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple + Madeleines

IMG_1582_edited-1

I’m sure it’s the American in me, but I don’t generally think of eating fruit as a dessert. A fruit sauce garnishing a dessert, yes. But just fruit, no. But really why not? It’s a relatively healthy treat and one my whole family will eat.

This month, Tuesdays with Dorie has provided me the opportunity to try fruit as a dessert. We tried a recipe called Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple. A whole pineapple is peeled and cut into quarters. It is roasted slowly in a bath of liquor, orange juice, jelly or jam, and a variety of whole spices. I chose a mix of rum, orange marmalade, vanilla bean, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and fresh ginger.

IMG_1583_edited-1

The house sure smelled wonderful while the pineapple was roasting! My husband enjoyed this treat together after our daughter went to bed. I decided the flavors were a little sophisticated for her. Plus, the rum. The marmalade I used was a little bitter and I wished I had used a sweeter jelly or jam, but my husband thought the bitterness went nicely with the rum. All in all, a successful dessert. I look forward to drizzling some of the leftover syrup on vanilla ice cream!

A quick make-up: Last month I made Black-and-White Marbled Madeleines, but didn’t get a chance to write about them. Madeleines are always fun to make; I’m not sure why I don’t make them more often! These ones are scented with lime zest and vanilla. Half the batter is mixed with a bit of cocoa powder and melted milk chocolate.

IMG_1553_edited-1

These were a fun treat! I didn’t get the traditional “hump” (Dorie warned us we wouldn’t), but they were still delicious.

This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie, a group devoted to baking through Dorie Greenspan’s baking books. Both these recipes can be found in the book Baking Chez Moi.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake

img_1513_edited-1

The recipe I made this week for Tuesdays with Dorie presented me with both a challenge and an opportunity. Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake calls for peanut butter and chopped peanuts. You may recall that I recently discovered I am allergic to peanuts. Thus, the challenge.

I am experimenting with different nut/seed butters for both eating and cooking. I currently have some cashew butter in the refrigerator and sunflower seed butter waiting in the pantry. I have tried the cashew butter on toast and apple for snacking, and I used it for a Thai “peanut” sauce. It’s pretty good, but still not as good as peanut or almond butter. But it definitely works.

I hadn’t had a chance to use the cashew butter for baking until the Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake recipe came along. I substituted it for the peanut butter and topped the cakes with roasted cashews, but otherwise did not make any other changes (other than my “altitude adjustments”).

img_1509_edited-1

The verdict? The cashew butter worked! The texture of the cakes seems slightly different than expected, but that may or may not be caused by the change in nut butters. Also, my cashew butter is unsalted, and I feel that my cakes would have benefited from a pinch more salt. I am pleased that I will not have to completely give up on baked goods that call for peanut butter.

Altitude Adjustments

Living in a dry climate at 4500 feet, I often have to adjust my cake recipes to account for my higher altitude and low humidity. I made two small adjustment for Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake: 1) I reduced the baking powder by a rounded 1/8 teaspoon; and 2) I added a tablespoon of milk.

The recipe for Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake can be found on page 72 of Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful book, Baking Chez Moi
.

6 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Granola Cake

img_1493_edited-1

Hello! I’m back for another installment of Tuesdays with Dorie. Yay for sticking with my self-imposed schedule! This week we make a tasty treat called Granola Cake.

I am not quite sure why Dorie calls this a cake; I thought it was more like a cookie bar or blondie. Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious!

The secret ingredient in Granola Cake is…granola! Dorie recommends homemade granola, but I went the store-bought route this time. I actually had a tough time finding the perfect granola for this recipe. You see, I recently found out I am allergic to peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. And of course, all the granolas that sounded best to me contained one or more of these nuts. Walnuts and almonds are particularly hard to avoid in granola. Darn allergies!

img_1484_edited-1

Other interesting ingredients in Granola Cake are finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and shredded coconut (sweetened for me, but unsweetened works too). Cinnamon and nutmeg can be added if the granola is not spiced (mine wasn’t).

I really liked this one! It has the perfect balance of chocolate and oats and is not too sweet. The texture is both tender and chewy and the cake keeps well. It made a nice after school treat for my daughter, and I enjoyed snacking on it too. I will definitely be making this one again!

img_1488_edited-1

If you would like to give Granola Cake a try, you can find the recipe here, or in Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi
.

5 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Honey-Yogurt Mousse

 

img_1462_edited-1

As I looked at the January recipes for Tuesdays with Dorie, I realized I fell off the TWD wagon a bit this past year. I have always said I would only make the recipes from Baking Chez Moi that sounded good to me, but last year I skipped quite a few that I wanted to make. Ones I had even procured the ingredients for. What’s to blame? Certainly our busy schedule (especially the Fall) takes some of the blame. But some of it is also a lack of deadline (TWD switched to a “do whichever recipe for the month that you want to do each week” approach that apparently doesn’t work as well for me). I have decided that at the beginning of the month I will decide which recipes I am going to make, and then assign the due date for each one. I will also approach the baking and enjoying of each treat as a welcome respite from a busy life. We’ll see how it works!

You may notice that today is Wednesday, so I am starting the year off already a day late. But, I didn’t decide on my new scheduling plan until it was too late to have the recipe made, photographed, and blogged about on time.

img_1464_edited-1

The recipe I chose to make to kick off the new year is called Honey-Yogurt Mousse. My family loves any kind of pudding or mousse so it seemed like a good fit. It is also sort of healthy. It doesn’t take much time at all to whip this one together, as long as you allow enough time for the yogurt to drain and the mousse to set.

I thought I was going to love this one. One of my favorite ways to eat Greek yogurt is to sweeten it with a bit of honey. A gussied-up dessert version sounded terrific! There were definitely things I liked about Honey-Yogurt Mousse, like the marshmallowy texture and the richness from the cream. But I thought it was too sweet. If I try this one again (and I might because it has potential) I will use a lot less honey.

img_1467_edited-1

If you would like to try Honey-Yogurt Mousse, you can find the recipe on page 352 of Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking Chez Moi.

I hope to join you all for a year full of delicious baking!

4 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind

img_1201_edited-1

Well hello! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Tuesdays with Dorie post. I have baked a few things over the last few months, but never got around to writing about them. In honor of today’s TWD Rewind Week, I though I would briefly tell you about each of them.

Edouard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_1208_edited-1

At first glance, this looks like a pretty basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but the addition of a generous amount of almond flour takes these up a notch. The almond flour adds so much flavor and a nice chewiness.

I did find that the cookies are best on the day they are baked. While the flavor is still wonderful the next day, they get a little too crunchy. I recommend freezing the scooped out dough so you can bake just enough to eat in a day, whenever inspiration hits!

These cookies were a big hit! So delicious, and perfect for the quintessential after school snack.

Custardy Apple Squares

img_1393_edited-1

I was really looking forward to this recipe! So simple, but it sounds so good. Thinly sliced apples were tossed with a simple batter made from flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, whole milk, and a bit of melted butter. Pour into a baking dish and wait patiently while it bakes and cools.

Luckily, the reality lived up to my expectations! This was a delicious treat that both my daughter and I enjoyed. It’s a perfect snacking cake for any day.

Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

img_1407_edited-1

I made this delicious tart for Thanksgiving dessert.

Dorie’s delicious Sweet Tart Dough was filled with lightly caramelized pears, and topped with a crunchy topping made from almonds, egg whites, and confectioner’s sugar.

img_1410_edited-1

Everyone loved this tart! The Sweet Tart Dough recipe is one of my favorites and I am always happy to make (and eat) it. The filling and topping were simple but flavorful. My pears were perfectly ripe and full of flavor, which added to the deliciousness. Can you tell I liked this tart? It was the perfect ending to Thanksgiving dinner.

If you are interested in trying any of these delicious baked goods, you can find the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking Chez Moi.

3 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind!

IMG_1178_edited-1

It’s rewind week at Tuesdays with Dorie. That means we can try a make-up recipe, or remake an old favorite. I am choosing to catch up on a couple of recipes I made over the last month but haven’t had a chance to write about yet: Cornmeal and Berry Cakes and Esquimaux Pops for Grown-Ups.

Cornmeal and Berry Cakes

IMG_1148_edited-1

During a particularly stressful week early in the month, I decided to take a break and bake Cornmeal and Berry Cakes. It was very therapeutic to get out some flour, sugar, and eggs and bake something! And these sunny little cakes are just the thing to brighten one’s day.

These cakes are are simple olive oil cakes, gussied up a bit with fine cornmeal, lemon juice and zest, and berries. I made two small changes: I made cupcakes rather than the 4 small loaf cakes Dorie suggests, and I used blueberries instead of raspberries.

Cornmeal and Berry Cakes are delicious little snacking cakes. Mine turned out a little heavy, but I think it’s because I did not adjust for altitude at all (I usually do when making cakes). I always enjoy the flavors of lemon and blueberry together. I froze half the cakes for future snacking, and they froze well.

Esquimaux Pops for Grown-Ups

IMG_1187_edited-1

When Esquimaux Pops for Grown-Ups showed up on the Tuesdays with Dorie schedule, I knew I would be making them! These are fudgy little ice pops with flecks of dark chocolate. What makes them only for grown-ups? The addition of liqueur!

To make these pops, we first made a chocolate mousse, mixing in tiny bits of chocolate at the end. I used Dorie’s favorite crème de cassis as my choice of liqueur because I had some on hand, but Kahlua would be wonderful as well. The mousse is simply spooned into popsicle molds and frozen until solid.

Yum! My husband and I have been enjoying these adult treats each night after my daughter goes to bed. They are the perfect size: a sweet treat that leaves you wanting just a tiny bit more. I will definitely make these again and it would be fun to experiment with different liqueurs.

If you are interested in trying either of these recipes, you can find them in Dorie Greenspan’s delicious book Baking Chez Moi.

4 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Rose Fraisier

IMG_1105_edited-1

Please tell me I’m not the only one who likes to bake their own birthday cake. I don’t get many chances to make a big cake, so when the opportunity arises, I consider it a birthday gift to myself. This year it was extra fun because I went over to my sister’s house and she helped me make the cake.

This month, Tuesdays with Dorie presented me with the perfect cake for our family birthday party. Rose Fraisier is a grand cake with exotic ingredients. The secret ingredients are rose extract and rose syrup.

IMG_1112_edited-1

Rose Fraisier is not the easiest cake to make. I don’t believe the average home baker could end up with the picture-perfect result shown in the book without special equipment. My sister had a cake ring, which helped with lining up the strawberries and piping in the filling, but we still had imperfect results and a near disaster.

After assembling the cake, we debated whether to remove the cake ring or leave it on while the cake chilled. We were concerned the cake ring would be too difficult to remove if we chilled the cake first. So, we took off the ring. The filling and strawberries immediately began oozing out the sides of the cake! While I held in the filling with my hands and an offset spatula, my sister got the brilliant idea to wrap the cake in waxed paper to hold everything in. The cake chilled with it’s waxed paper collar, and when it was time to serve we removed it. Crisis averted!

I partly blame myself for the oozing filling. I had some problems with the gelatin (my own fault!) and not very much made it into the pastry cream mixture. But I mostly blame the challenging recipe.

IMG_1104_edited-1

All that effort and angst was worth it! The cake was super delicious and it was a big hit at the party. The rose flavoring added just a hint of unexpected flavor, and I absolutely loved the pastry cream filling. Would I make it again? Probably not, but I would consider a simplified version because the flavors were so good.

My dad and niece photobombed my cake:

IMG_1085_edited-1

IMG_1107_edited-1

If you are interested in trying your hand at making Rose Fraisier, Dorie Greenspan has posted the recipe on her blog: Rose Fraisier Recipe. You can also find it in her book, Baking Chez Moi.

7 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

IMG_1025_edited-1

This past weekend won’t go down as one of the best in the From Scratch household. My daughter’s last day of school was on Thursday. Thursday afternoon her nose started getting stuffy and she was sick all weekend. Not a fun way to start summer vacation! She is finally starting to feel better, but is still not completely back to herself. On top of that, my husband was out of town for a funeral.

Before I even knew my daughter would be sick, I had planned a little treat for us while Dad was out of town: Rice Pudding with Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup.

IMG_1029_edited-1

First let’s talk about the Spiced Hibiscus Syrup. It’s a simple syrup made interesting with the addition of vanilla bean, black peppercorns, cardamom, and dried hibiscus. I used hibiscus tea bags, as suggested in the recipe header. It has a unique, delicious flavor!

The rice pudding is a basic, yet very good, vanilla rice pudding. It is made with vanilla bean and Arborio rice. While it was delicious garnished with the strawberries and hibiscus syrup, it is also great on it’s own.

Making this treat was a nice way to brighten an otherwise less-than-stellar weekend.

This post participates in Tuesday with Dorie. You can find the recipe for Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup on page 380 of Dorie Greenspan’s book, Baking Chez Moi.

9 Comments

Filed under Cooking

Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches

IMG_0963_edited-1

I have been participating in Tuesday with Dorie somewhat sporadically. I decided when the Baking Chez Moi project started that I would not try to bake every recipe. Just the ones that sound good to me. This week’s recipe, Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches, is one that I couldn’t resist. Not only is it chocolate, but it is also grain-free, so my grain-free, chocolate-loving husband could enjoy it too.

IMG_0970_edited-1

Meringues are fun to make. Sweetened egg whites whipped to stiff peaks are transformed to lightweight, crunchy treats in the oven. In this case, cocoa and finely chopped almonds are gently folded into the egg whites before baking. The finishing (decadent) touch is the ganache sandwiched between two meringues.

IMG_0959_edited-1

One thing I appreciate about Dorie Greenspan’s dessert recipes is that they (for the most part) do not make huge amounts. For the Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches, this was especially helpful as they really are best eaten the day they are made. The recipe only made 8 sandwiches, with was the perfect amount.

My family enjoyed this little treat!

9 Comments

Filed under Cooking

TWD: Chocolate Teacup Cakes

IMG_0841_edited-1

Hello! Welcome to a new installment of Tuesdays with Dorie. Except it’s Wednesday. Yesterday turned out to have more errands than expected, so my post is a day late. But it was worth the wait! (Well, this dessert would be worth the wait anyway…)

The two February recipes from Baking Chez Moi are both chocolaty treats that my cutting-out-grains-and-most-carbs husband will eat. This one, Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes, was served as the grand finale to our Valentine’s Day dinner. Quick confession: This dessert was not completely grain-free. The ingredients did include a tablespoon of cornstarch, but my has husband has OK’d ingredients like that, as long as they are used in small quantities.

Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes are Dorie’s take on a chocolate lava cake. A simple chocolate batter is spooned into individual ramekins or teacups, with a secret chunk of milk chocolate placed in the middle. The cakes are baked until the bottoms and sides are set, but with the middle still soft and gooey. Serve the cakes warm, and enjoy the melty chocolate!

IMG_0852_edited-1

One thing that bothers me about this recipe is that the instructions require you make them from start to finish just before you are ready to serve them. After a nice dinner, the last thing I want to do is head to the kitchen to make dessert. I was wondering if these could be assembled earlier in the day, then baked when ready to serve. So I did an experiment. The night I served these, I sucked it up and made the cakes after dinner (even after my daughter went to bed). But I only baked two of them. I covered the other two and put them in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I baked the other two. It worked! But, the refrigerated cakes required quite a bit more baking time. In fact, the cake in these photographs wasn’t quite cooked enough. Conclusion: These cakes can be assembled ahead of time, but expect a longer baking time and considering bringing them to room temperature before baking.

These little cakes were wonderful! Perfectly-sized single portions that were rich and delicious. I will make these again for sure.

I had hoped to have the second chocolate recipe for the month done by now, but instead I will be making it this weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday. Stay tuned!

7 Comments

Filed under Cooking