Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Dark Chocolate Mousse

February 12, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 9 Comments
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dark chocolate mousse

Dark Chocolate Mousse…so fancy, I decided it was worthy of the good silver. Definitely Valentine’s Day dessert-worthy, too, if you are into rich, creamy, velvety, chocolatey deliciousness. If you are not, I guess come back next week…when I’m making buttery, smoky, heart-shaped chocolate cookies…haha.

Let’s get down to business here. I could tell that Dorie’s (originally Pierre Hermé’s) recipe would have a large yield– the 1 3/4 cup of cream alone tipped me off– so I decided to make just a quarter of the original. (And, btw, I still got 4 reasonable servings, when I thought I’d only get two.) In order to downsize though, I had to modify just a bit. The recipe calls for folding together melted chocolate and whipped cream, which I did as written, along with eggs and yolks that are whipped fluffy with a boiling sugar syrup. I know from past experience that trying to make a pâte à bombe like this out of just a yolk or two and a small amount of sugar can go very wrong. Instead, I decided to get the volume into my single yolk and half an egg by whipping it with the sugar over a water bath, sabayon-style. While I was at it, I added a splash of cognac, you know, because it’s French.

My little switcheroo seemed to work just fine. After I chilled my mousse, I was able to scoop it nicely into my little silver coupes. Dorie says the mousse also makes a nice cake or cream puff filling, but whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles seemed to be a more expeditious way for this chocoholic to enjoy it.

dark chocolate mousse

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

Everyday Dorie: Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs

February 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, groups, savory things | 8 Comments
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sweet chili chicken thighs

It’s Sunday and that means I’m two days tardy for Cook the Book Fridays. Please forgive me, and know that these Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs will make an excellent Sunday supper, so I think I actually just solved your dinner problems for the evening. It’s an easy one-pot meal (although getting out a second pot for rice isn’t a bad idea) of chicken thighs braised in a sweet and spicy, sticky sauce made from Thai sweet chili sauce, white wine, soy, Dijon and Sriracha.

I tampered a bit with this recipe, but only in the order in which I cooked off the ingredients. If I had used boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, I may have gone ahead and done it as written, which is to sauté onions, garlic and ginger in oil in a Dutch oven, remove them while browning the chicken thighs and add them back in so everything braises together in the sauce. But I used chicken thighs with the bones and skin. These render a lot of fat when you brown them, and I wanted to sauté my aromatics in that delicious liquid gold, rather than just discard it. Schmaltz is not to be wasted, so I browned the chicken thighs first (starting skin side down, then flipping them) to render it out. I removed the thighs to a plate and carried on cooking the”onions and friends,” as Dorie says, before adding back the chicken with the sauce to braise.

Rice is the natural thing to help soak up the extra sauce on these thighs, and I added a little furikake sprinkle to mine and some quick rice wine vinegar pickles on the side. Maybe I mish-moshed cuisines a little, but all was devoured, and I don’t think anyone minded. P.S.: Dorie says this also works well with pork tenderloin.

sweet chili chicken thighs

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one (spoiler alert: we all did!).


Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Date-Nut Pinwheels

February 5, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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date-nut pinwheels

Ok– wow– these Date-Nut Pinwheels are amazing! And aren’t they so cute? If you love dates like I love dates, then these are a must-make. If you don’t love dates (what, who are you?), I do suspect they’d work with jam, too, especially a thicker one, like fig.

To make these old-fashioned slice-and-bake spirals, you need to make a sweet brown sugar cookie dough and a paste from cooked down dates and chopped walnuts. Actually, I did not cook the walnut bits in with the filling…I sprinkled them over the date paste after I’d spread it onto the rolled out dough. I don’t know if I’m right about this, but I just thought it would be easier to distribute everything evenly that way. No one wants to be jipped of walnuts in their cookie! Then you take your date-schmeared dough and roll it into a log, chill it and slice it into chubby pinwheels.

I made a full recipe of these cookies, but only sliced and baked half of them. The other half of my dough log is in the freezer, but it won’t be there for long. I shared these with the trainers at my gym, and they have requested more. Also, I am requesting more. Haha.

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

TWD DC Rewind: Lemon Sugar Cookies

January 29, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments

lemon sugar cookies

I always look forward to these Rewind weeks to play a bit of catch-up on a TWD recipe that I skipped for one reason or another. As it turns out, I’m not missing much off the list of completed recipes from Dorie’s Cookies, and now that I’ve ticked these Lemon Sugar Cookies off of it, I think I’m just one bake behind (that would be the World Peace Cookies, but I have made them before).

These cookies are classic old-fashioned sugar cookies with a lemon twist. The lemon zest, juice (and also a dot of lemon extract for me) in the dough really do make them bake up with, not only a definite lemon flavor, but also a sunny yellow color. I rolled them in vanilla sugar before baking, hence the speckles. I made just a quarter recipe, and with my cookie scoop, wound up with a baker’s dozen. That extra one was my secret baker’s treat, you can be sure! These were great, and I followed Dorie’s suggested baking time for chewy centers, because that’s how I prefer them.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s rewind on the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake

January 22, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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saint-pierre poppy seed cake
It’s been a while since we’ve made a simple loaf cake from BCM, and Saint-Pierre Poppy Seed Cake was an easy one to pull off this week. Rather than the standard lemon-poppy seed combo, this uses orange, and the result is a very sunny and not too sweet tea cake. It’s a rich cake, though. In addition to butter and poppy seeds, the batter also contains a good amount of heavy cream.

When I buy organic citrus, I try to remember to freeze the zest if I’ve not already planned to use it. I have a little baggie with packets of various zests in my freezer drawer and I dipped into that here to find some orange zest. Since I was using the frozen zest, I also needed to find some juice. My juice turned out to be Grand Marnier…I guess I’m lucky I don’t have scurvy.

Dorie is not shy with the poppy seeds here– the full recipe has a whole 1/3 cup of them, so make sure they’re fresh or they’ve been properly stored (airtight and in the freezer, as she recommends). Unlike most poppyseed muffin recipes, where I often feel like the couple of tablespoons of seeds are mostly there for looks, you can taste them in this cake, and they crunch. Dorie says this tea cake is meant to be served plain, but I can never resist a little dressing up, so I took home a few slices of candied clementines from work to garnish my pieces.

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 DC: Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti

January 15, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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fruit and four-grain biscotti

We’re on a TWD new year health kick this week with Fruit and Four-Grain Biscotti. The recipe specifies certain fruits and grains. Some of those I had and some I didn’t, but I found suitable subs in my pantry for what was missing. Dorie said she originally made these as “scavenger cookies” to use what she had, so that told me I really couldn’t go wrong here. I had the whole wheat flour and rolled oats, so no problems there. I had ground flax instead of whole seeds, oat bran instead of wheat germ and granulated almonds instead of kasha. I used a combo of dried apricots and calimyrna figs as my fruit. I snipped them into bits with scissors, I task find incredibly satisfying. A task I do not find satisfying is slicing biscotti. Dorie says you kind of have to let it go. It still frustrates me. You can see some of my crumbles in the photo…there were other crumbles you can’t see because I ate them!

I made half a recipe of biscotti, which gave me one log to slice up. I brought a few cookies to the trainers at the gym, who got into them right away. The rest we’ve been enjoying with coffee over the last several days. They aren’t not too sweet, have good texture and great flavor.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already!

Everyday Dorie: Potato Chowder Lots of Ways

January 11, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, groups, savory things, soups, veggies | 13 Comments
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potato chowder lots of ways

Well, it’s officially frigid here and all I want to make for dinner is soup. Luckily, Cook the Book Fridays picked Dorie’s Potato Chowder Lots of Ways for the recipe of the month. I like the “lots of ways” bit because it pretty much tells me I’ll have room to improvise, which I usually do anyway but having permission is a refreshing change. Hahaha. I actually didn’t really veer too far off base here, just a few tweaks and some flavoring and topping customization. This is really a potato and onion chowder, using just about every allium you can think of: yellow onions, leeks, shallots and garlic. Any not on this list can be added as a topping. I first pre-crisped some turkey bacon bits in my Dutch oven and set them aside for garnish. As the alliums cooked down all soft and sweet, I seasoned them with Old Bay. My dad used to have a boat on the Chesapeake, so I love that stuff. I never peel potatoes if I don’t have to, and didn’t see a reason to here, so I left the skins on mine.

I don’t always love how I feel after eating soup with a cream base, so I skipped the cream here and instead stole a couple of ladlefuls of soup out of my pot (the liquid with some potatoes and onions) and whizzed it really smooth in my blender. I stirred that back into the soup to give the base a thicker, velvety texture and then added about 1/4 cup of 2% milk just to give it a slightly lighter, more chowdery, color. Because I’d been restrained with the dairy in the soup, I felt no guilt when adding a blop of crème fraîche as a topping. Also on top of the “my way” chowder, I sprinkled those bacon bits, some sliced scallion and some tiny potatoes that I crisped up in olive oil, crouton-style. Delicious. I will definitely try this chowder other ways as the season goes on.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.


Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Chocolate-Coconut Tart

January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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chocolate-coconut tart

Our first BCM bake of 2019 and it’s a good one! This Chocolate-Coconut Tart has one of my very favorite flavor combos, with coconut pastry cream hiding under a shiny dark chocolate ganache, all inside a sweet tart crust. I’m glad that cutting back on sweets was not one of my new year’s resolutions, or I guess we are saying “intentions” now, because I do intend to enjoy every bite of these babies. I did decide to responsibly keep myself from going overboard by scaling back the recipe to make a few small tartlets instead of a large format tart.

This recipe has a few components, but I spaced them out over a couple of days to make things manageable. I actually had some of Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough in the freezer and I used that to line my shells. I made the pastry cream (I used all toasted coconut and coconut sugar to boost that flavor) and I stashed it in the fridge, along with my lined tart shells, overnight. The next day, I baked and filled the shells, then made the ganache and topped them off. Easy peasy to make and to eat. It tastes like a fancy Mounds bar. Why did it take us so long to make this?

chocolate-coconut tart

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 DC: Coffee-Cardamom Cookies

January 1, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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coffee-cardamom cookies

Happy 2019, everybody!! I baked and decorated some Coffee-Cardamom Cookies today, so I’d say the new year is starting off quite nicely. These cookies are just the thing to keep the festive spirit from the last couple of weeks going a little longer. With coffee, cinnamon, cardamom and molasses, they’re another type of spice cookie, really. You don’t have to decorate them with royal icing, but if you do, you then have the glue to hold down sprinkles! So I wouldn’t skip it, naturally. These do go well with coffee, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I’m thinking they wouldn’t be too shabby alongside some chocolate ice cream, either. I’ll test that one out tomorrow. Dorie says that the cookies turn crisper as they keep. Right now they’re fairly soft, so I’m interested to observe the change in texture over the next couple of days.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Speculoos

December 30, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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I didn’t realize it until much later, but I grew up eating Speculoos. Although my mom’s family is Dutch, so I should have been calling them “speculaas.” But I just called them “windmill cookies.” And I loved them. This was way before cookie butter was a thing in the US, and you could find Biscoff in just about any store. Windmill cookies were a special treat when we visited my Granny Bea in Michigan.

This was actually my second time making this speculoos recipe. I first made it a couple of years ago when we did the Apple Speculoos Crumble recipe. These crispy, spicy little cookies are perfect for coffee, tea or boozy eggnog. I will say mine were almost too crispy (but great for dunking!). Next time, I’ll cut one or two minutes off the bake time and I’ll try them as roll-outs rather than as slice-and-bakes. Maybe I’ll also sprinkle them with flaked almonds like the windmill cookies I grew up with.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already. Happy New Year!

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