Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Chocolate Babka

December 27, 2022 at 10:38 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate babka

I don’t really have a baking bucket list, but if I did, I’d now be able tick babka off it. Any good New Yorker knows that Chocolate Babka is the superior babka, so I was pretty excited (but a little intimidated) to make this. Turns out, it’s not too hard; it just requires some time spread out over a couple of days. Dorie’s buttery brioche dough is the base for this sweet yeasted loaf, and we’ve made that dough a number of times now. Like making cinnamon buns, you roll out your well-chilled dough, smear it with a sweet cocoa paste and then spiral it into a log. Unlike cinnamon buns, you cut the log in half lengthwise to expose long ribbons of the chocolate filling, and then twist the two halves into a ropey thing and squeeze it into a loaf pan to proof. Before going into the oven, Dorie tops her babka with a crust of crisp, rubbly streusel, which not all babkas have and is kind of gilding the lily, but I’m here for it.

My loaf rose and baked tall, and I was so excited to cut into it and see what kind of pattern the chocolate took on. Some slices had stripes and others had swirls. All tasted equally delicious…buttery soft bread with chocolate pockets and crunchy topping. Elaine is right that it is dinner party-worthy.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Everyday Dorie: Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake

October 28, 2022 at 3:40 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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caramel-pear and five-spice upside-down cake

I do appreciate a good upside-down cake, and have made several here, using all different kinds of fruit. The bulk of them Dorie’s, of course, since this blog has for many years been basically a DG stan account (I think I used that term correctly). This Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake uses a technique I don’t remember doing before with any of them– making the batter in the food processor– and it worked brilliantly!

Everything about this was good, from the soft texture of the blitzed cake, to the caramelized pear topping (no sticking!), to the flavorings. I did make a citrus switch. As I didn’t have a lemon, I used orange instead, which I think of as a natural partner to five-spice anyway. I made half a recipe of the cake and baked it my 7″ cake pan, which had space for a nice pinwheel of pears on top.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Peach Flognarde

September 9, 2022 at 12:09 am | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, pudding/mousse, simple cakes, sweet things | 6 Comments
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peach flognarde

If you’re wondering what a flognarde, join the club. Well, I do know what one is, but only because I just made one. Flognarde is what you call the classic French country dessert clafoutis when it’s made with fruit other than cherries. Here I did a spin on Dorie’s recipe with plums and made a Peach Flognarde.

To make this, a simple crêpe-like batter is poured over sliced fruit. As the batter bakes, it soufflés around the fruit and, as it cools, it settles into something that’s more like a sliceable custard. This one baked really beautifully, truly custardy inside and not rubbery, and I love the edging. I swapped the spices in the recipe for a splash of almond extract and the cognac for a glug of Combier, both of which I thought would pair well with the peaches. Now I want to try this out with all the fruits!

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: S’mores Ice Cream Cake

August 7, 2022 at 3:17 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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s'mores ice cream cake

I live in a house with no central air, so I’m always looking for a way to keep cool in the summer. S’mores Ice Cream Cake is possibly the best way I’ve found yet to get my core temp down. Think: peanut-graham crust, layers of ice cream, fluffernutter goo, fudge sauce and a mountain of toastie marshies. I scaled it down to fit in my six-inch springform, and also only used two layers of ice cream (coffee was my flavor choice) separated by the peanut fluff instead of the original three. It still weighted a ton…this is a substantial treat. The cake takes a bit of time to put together, as it needs freezing after every step, but it is so good! Seriously, my childhood dreams all came true in one fabulous sugar high.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Crumb-Topped Ricotta Coffee Cake

July 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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crumb-topped ricotta coffee cake

This Crumb-Topped Ricotta Coffee Cake is one of my recent baking standouts. With a heap of super-crispy (thanks to a secret ingredient…shhhh, it’s cornmeal) crumbs on top and a dense but tender cake (thanks to a not-so-secret ingredient…ricotta), it doesn’t get much better. Oh wait– what about adding a layer of fruit? Well, that would make it better, but not to worry, as this cake has that, too. I used sweet dark cherries in mine, but you could use any berry. Hiding just under the layer of crumbs, the fruit turns soft and jammy. It’s good for a breakfast, snack or dessert treat. Really, this cake hits all the notes.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Everyday Dorie: Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake

July 8, 2022 at 3:29 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 3 Comments
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cornmeal-buttermilk skillet cake (with strawberries)

This Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Strawberries is one I actually whipped up a couple of years ago. With the pandemic in full swing, summer 2020 was all around good times. I, like most you, was cooking with whatever I could get my hands on or had already. Saturdays were my shopping days, masked up at the farmers’ market and wondering what would be left after waiting in block-long socially distanced lines, and then going to the grocery store for the other stuff and finding the shelves half empty.  But if you know how to cook, you can make some pretty good stuff in all kinds of different circumstances…you can even have cake.

This was an easy, dump-and-stir type of cake that can be baked off as a loaf or a round (I went with the cast iron skillet option). It’s made similar to cornbread, but a little sweeter. I stirred in some strawberries, but you can use whatever berries you have, or none at all. Maybe I should make it again this summer, while the blackberries are around and more readily available.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Mocacchino Muffins

May 31, 2022 at 1:47 pm | Posted in breakfast things, DC, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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mochacchino muffins

My Tuesdays with Dorie seems to have turned into Whenever with Dorie. I guess any day is really a good day with Dorie, so even though I made these Mochaccino Muffins a month ago, I’m happy to be thinking about them again right now. Fortified with ground coffee and coffee extract, if your cup of joe alone isn’t cutting it, give yourself an extra boost with one of these. I actually used instant coffee granules instead of ground coffee, even though Dorie says not to…I just dissolved it into the milk. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure that unsteeped ground coffee really packs much of a punch. The chocolate bits were a nice touch, and I added a little bit extra on top.

I had a friend who made these a couple of months ago warn me that her muffins were really dry. I don’t know if that was just a fluke, but I kept that in mind when I mixed my batter. It seemed so light and cake-like (some muffin batters are quite thick), that I decided backing the heat down to 375F might not be a bad idea. They came out nice and soft, and I really liked them a bit warm, despite Dorie’s recommendation that they be eaten at room temp.

For the recipe, see Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Steph’s Bakewell Tart

January 25, 2022 at 11:22 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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steph's bakewell tart

My name is Steph and this is my tart, but I am not the Steph behind this recipe for Steph’s Bakewell Tart. A Bakewell is a classic British tart (any GBB fans out there?), with a layer of raspberry jam hiding under cakey almond cream, all baked together in a shortcrust pastry case. This particular version comes from Dorie’s friend, Stephanie, in Paris, who got it from her English mum. I’ve made Bakewell tarts before…first here years ago, and several times since, too. I like the combo of almonds and raspberries a lot, but you can use any jam you want. This is a pretty easy tart to put together, as you can make the components ahead of time, and of course you can buy the jam. Once baked, a drizzle of icing on the top is just, well, the icing on the cake (or tart)!

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Grain and Seed Muffins

January 11, 2022 at 11:42 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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grain and seed muffins

Grain and Seed Muffins are about as healthy as my baking gets around here. These aren’t cake-for-breakfast muffins– they are full of good-for-you stuff, like whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oats and sunflower, sesame and flax seeds. I needed a trip to the bulk bins to get these ones done. Dorie suggests that the sunflower seeds should be raw, but does a raw sunflower seed really even taste like anything? I chose to toast all the seeds, and I even toasted the oats and wheat bran while I was at it. The muffins came together easily and were lightly sweet from maple syrup and brown sugar. I liked them best warm, with a swipe of sweet and salty maple butter. I felt like my grandma, warming my bran muffin and spreading it with butter, but grandmas know best, right?

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

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!

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