Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Matafan

April 10, 2018 at 7:31 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, groups, other sweet, pancakes & waffles, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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apple matafan

I’m pretty sure I nominated Apple Matafan a million times for TWD. Finally it’s getting it’s moment in the spotlight! Of course it helped that only two of us voted this month (and one of us was yours truly). Good things come to those who wait…I think we all agree that it is delicious. A matafan is a pancake cooked in a skillet. Traditionally they are savory, but this one’s sweet and loaded with sliced apple. I made a half-sizer in my little cast iron pan. It took less time to cook through than instructed for the larger size and was probably more manageable to flip, too.

This reminds me of a pancake version of the Custardy Apple Squares we made way back when. It’s a great thing to make if you have a couple of apples that have been hanging out in the fridge a bit too long. There’s no doubt this would be delicious with maple syrup, but I have some apple cider that I boiled down into a syrupy consistency and spooned that over the top. We ate this one for breakfast, but it would also make a fine dessert (with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, perhaps?).

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Weekend Cake

March 13, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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apple weekend cake

I like the concept of a “weekend cake.” It’s good to have a simple, sturdy cake that lasts for several days and travels well. Something reliable and something that everyone will like. This Apple Weekend Cake fits the bill nicely. It’s good for dessert, afternoon tea or for breakfast, so it’s multipurpose as well! Though it’s meant to be a loaf, I baked my batter off in a muffin tin. I swapped out a third of the plain flour for rye flour and kept my apple pieces chunky for some texture. I like that in addition to cinnamon and vanilla, there’s some rum in the batter. Apples and rum are BFFs in baked goods. The apple keeps this cake very moist. It hadn’t dried out at all three days later…in fact, I think it tasted better over time. I drizzled my cakelettes with a bit of reduced apple cider that I boiled down a couple of weeks ago.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crunchy Granola

January 23, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cereals, groups, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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crunchy granola

Granola and yogurt with half a banana is my go-to weekday breakfast. I used to make a big batch of my own cereal every couple of weeks, but then I got lazy and started buying it again. New York City, and Brooklyn in particular, is big in the small-batch granola scene (Surprised? I bet not.), and I have dutifully tried every little cutely packaged and expensive hipster brand I can find at local gourmet shops. Some are great, and some not so much, but homemade is even more delicious– and definitely cheaper– than the best brand I know of.

This Crunchy Granola reminds me of how fresh and easy to make homemade granola is. One of the best parts of going DIY is that you can customize your mix and put in all the bits and pieces you like the most (no thanks, goji berries). I like almonds and pecans, dried cherries, seeds and coconut in big chips. I like extra salt and a little less sweet stuff. I like it well-toasted and a combo of clumps and loose bits. One little trick that I usually do with my homemade granola is to toss the coconut on the tray (I use a metal sheet tray) at the very end, turn the oven off and let the tray cool down along with the oven…extra crunchiness without burned coconut. Oh, and never add the dried fruit until the granola’s out of the oven and cooled. I’ve screwed that one up before and it doesn’t taste good. This batch was just perfect though and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s brekkie.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

TWD BCM Rewind: Spiced Honey Cake

January 31, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, muffins & quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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spiced honey cake

I nominated Spiced Honey Cake a couple of times, and then when it was chosen, I skipped it! Nice, right? I will admit to feeling guilty about that, but now Rewind Week is here to redeem me. So, here it is…

This might not be what you have in mind when you hear the word “cake.”  It’s a take on pain d’epices, and is more like a quick bread than a moist, spongey cake. Dorie flavors it with honey (obvi) and also an orange/spice infusion. She uses lavender, Sichuan peppercorns and fresh ginger as her spices, but when I rooted through the cupboard (a chore, let me assure you), I saw don’t have the lavender or the peppercorns. I do have a really nice chai mix with lots of coarse bits of black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel. It doesn’t contain any actually tea leaves, just the spices, so I thought it sounded like a perfect choice to go with the orange and honey flavors, as well as the almonds and dried cherries. Because the cake is purposefully on the dry side, it toasts up really nicely (I will thank my fellow TWDers who made the recipe on-schedule for pointing this out to me!). In fact, it’s better as cake toast than as non-toast. And it’s perfect with tea or coffee, so I’m glad to have gotten around to making it!

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see what other folks caught up on this week!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Brioche

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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brioche

We’ve used Nancy Silverton’s brioche recipe left and right by now, but we’ve never just made plain brioche with it.  Brioche is one of my favorite breads to make…all eggy and buttery and stuff.  It’s easy to mix and to work with, when the temperature is right.  I’ve made a different Dorie brioche loaf recipe before, so this time, I tried to make brioche à tête.  For some reason I own three of the small fluted molds used for this…why, I don’t remember.  My tête shaping skills need a little work.  These looked more like brioche à goose egg.  No matter, it tasted the same– delicious!  Salty butter and plum jam were my toppings of choice here.

brioche

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Danish Slices

May 17, 2016 at 10:44 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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danish slices

I don’t have much more to say about Beatrice Ojakangas’s Danish recipe, since I’ve covered most of it once or twice before.  It’s damn good, no matter what form it takes, even the simplest Danish Slice.

I had half a batch of dough left in the freezer from the spandauer pockets I made a couple of weeks ago, and rolled it into a long rectangular that I folded up and around a duo of almond frangipane and pureed prune paste.  I brushed the top of my formed Danish with egg wash and sprinkled on some granulated almond bits before baking it.  After it had cooled a bit, I made a quick coffee glaze and spooned it over.  This is just.so.good.  And a piece left over for dessert the next day is nice heated slightly with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think the Danish would be proud.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s even a video of Beatrice and Julia making Danish together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Danish Pastry Pockets

May 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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danish pastry pockets

I’ve made Beatrice Ojakangas’s Danish recipe here once before, when we formed it into an impressive braid.  Her dough uses a “quick” method, employing the food processor to break down the butter into chunks in the flour, rather than folding a butter block into a dough.  The rough dough does need to rest in the fridge overnight, but after that, all of the lamination work is done quickly and at once, without any waiting in between the turns and folds.  Pretty easy, all things considered, and crisp and flaky, too.

There are a variety of little shapes you can form Danish dough into, but I only did the “spandauer,” mostly because it has the coolest name.  It’s just a square folded up around a filling like a baby in a papoose.  I didn’t feel like trying to hard on those fillings.  I thought for all of two seconds about making a pastry cream, before remembering I had some ricotta cheese in the fridge.  I drained it for a couple of hours before stirring in a bit of sugar, lemon zest and egg yolk.  I topped that off with some rhubarb jam.  After the Danishes were out of the oven they got a good squiggling of glaze.  These were quite delicious, and would have no doubt been amazing with coffee for breakfast, but we actually had them for dessert.  Good anytime of day– that’s what I’m sayin’!

Back when we did that braid, I also tried out my shaping skills on the pinwheel.  That one was filled with cream cheese and blueberry jam and sprinkled with pearl sugar.  And glazed, too, of course.

danish pinwheel

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s even a video of Beatrice and Julia making Danish together. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

TWD BWJ Rewind: Raspberry Swirls

December 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, petit fours, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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raspberry swirls

Happy New Year, friends!  I want to start 2016 fresh, so it’s time for me to take care of a few pesky things that I’ve left in limbo over the last couple of months.  One is Flo Braker’s Raspberry Swirls recipe, which I actually made along with the group in the fall and then never posted.  This uses a sheet of genoise that’s been cut and coated with raspberry jam and then rolled up jelly-roll style, the jam forming a little red curlicue in the middle. Like Braker’s Miniature Florentine Squares or Glazed Mini-Rounds her Raspberry Swirls are meant to be cut into one or two bite petits fours, but after I rolled them, I decided to leave them more the size of HoHos (or Yodels or Swiss Rolls, depending on your childhood treat preference).  Indeed, these were good…once I glazed them in chocolate and dipped them in coconut and pistachios, they actually reminded me of a rolled up Lamington, an idea I would like to explore further (possibly for Australia Day??).

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see if anyone else did a rewind this week, and see the links page from the Raspberry Swirls week a few months ago!

Pear and Butterscotch Cobbler and a BOOK GIVEAWAY!

November 11, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in biscuits & scones, breakfast things, sweet things | 9 Comments
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pear and butterscotch cobbler

I’ve found that a lot of people shy away from making one type of dough or another.  Some people claim, “Oh, I don’t do pie dough,” while others say, “I stay away from yeast.”  When my friends at Quirk Books asked me if I wanted to help celebrate the release of their new book, Making Dough: Recipes and Ratios for Perfect Pastries by Russell van Kraayenburg, of course I jumped at the chance.  Russell writes the gorgeous blog Chasing Delicious, and that guy can bake.  His new book is full of tips and information to make a rainbow of doughs including: scone, biscuit, pie, shortcrust, sweetcrust, choux, brioche, puff, croissant, Danish and phyllo.  Whatever your personal dough demon is, you can work through it with this book.  Russell gives a master dough recipe for each type (which he explains by using easy ratios) and then several recipes using the various doughs.

For me, biscuits were my dough nemesis until a few years ago, when I worked at a bakery and had to crank out trays of breakfast pastries every morning at 6 am.  After all that practice, now I own those suckers!  I was super pleased to give Russell’s biscuit dough a try as part of Quirk’s Biscuit Week Challenge.  I spied a plum cobbler recipe in his book and couldn’t get the thought out of my head– sweet, soft fruit under a tender, cakey, slightly savory biscuit crust.  When I remembered a few Bartlett pears and a bit of homemade butterscotch sauce in the fridge, a light blub went on in my head and I was inspired to make a Pear and Butterscotch Cobbler using up my odds and ends and Russell’s biscuit dough.  He’s even put together a video to show step-by-step how to make perfect biscuits. Because the dough is dropped on the fruit here, instead of rolled and cut, a tender cobbler topping is almost guaranteed, even if you think you’re dough-challenged.

The kind folks at Quirk Books sent me a copy of Making Dough,  and now I want to send a copy to one of you!  Just leave me a comment (one per person, please) on this post before 5:00 pm EST on Tuesday, November 17 and I’ll randomly choose a winner from the list.  Be sure your e-mail address is correct so I can contact you if you’re chosen.

Pear and Butterscotch Cobbler– serves 4 to 6 
inspired by (and using) a recipe in Making Dough: Recipes and Ratios for Perfect Pastries by Russell van Kraayenburg

Notes: If you don’t already have butterscotch sauce on hand, you can approximate the flavors here with 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of butter cut into little bits.  Toss with the pears and other filling ingredients.

1 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tbsp rum (optional)
1/4 c plus 2 tbsp homemade butterscotch sauce (I used this one)
1/2 recipe of Russell’s prepared biscuit dough
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1
 tbsp brown sugar

– Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat oven to 400°F.

– Peel and core the pears and cut each into large chunks.  In a medium bowl, gently toss the pear chunks with cornstarch and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.  Add the rum, if using, and butterscotch sauce and toss just to coat. (Your butterscotch sauce will work best here if it’s room temperature or barley warm.)

– Turn the fruit mixture into a 1-quart baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and keep oven on.

– Pinch off small handful-size clumps (about 2″ in diameter) of the prepared biscuit dough and scatter them on top of the filling so that the clumps touch.  Be careful as your baking dish will be hot!

– Lightly brush the biscuit clumps with melted butter (I dabbed with a pastry brush) and sprinkle with the 1 tbsp brown sugar and remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

– Bake for another 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbly.  Cool to warm or room temperature before serving.

Please note that the publisher, Quirk Books, sent me a copy of this book.

***Giveaway Winner Update: I used random.org to generate a random comment number to find the winner. Congratulations to Anne!  I’ll be in touch soon.***

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Twice-Baked Brioche

September 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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twice-baked brioche

After making the dough for Nancy Silverton’s Brioche Tart with White Secret Sauce, I had enough of it leftover for a brioche loaf to tuck into the freezer.  Twice-Baked Brioche, or bostock, is just the thing to make with extra brioche, especially if it’s a little stale.  It’s the brioche equivalent of an almond croissant.  Take slices of brioche, douse them in a orange flavored syrup, smear them with almond fangipane and sprinkle them with sliced almonds.  Then pop them in the oven until toasty brown.

With a cup of strong coffee in the morning or warm, with a little scoop of ice cream for dessert, this is really good…yup, really good.  Going on the repeat list.  I may even keep a little pot of frangipane in the freezer to have on hand whenever I crave bostock.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

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