Tags: baking, tarts
This looks like a pumpkin pie, and given this time of year that would be a logical assumption, but it is in fact a Caramel Tart. I was expecting something super sweet, chewy and gooey but was surprised. It really isn’t overly sweet, has more the consistency of a ganache tart and really is fabulous cold, as Dorie recommends. I made just two individual tartelettes, using a quarter of a recipe, but if I have a dinner party, I won’t hesitate to make a big one. I put a quenelle of ganache top (more for photo decoration than anything else) and when we ate them, a bit of whipped cream, too…delicious.
Tags: baking, crumble, fruit
Happy US Election Day…maybe…depending on how you see it. For voting day, I’ve made patriotic ramekins of Apple Speculoos Crumble. This uses speculoos spice cookies to top apples and (optional) raisins. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and made my own speculoos using the recipe in the book. I have a log of raw dough in the freezer to bake later and post about whenever its time rolls around.
I wasn’t crazy about this one, I have to admit. For me, was like just having loose cookie chunks on top of baked fruit chunks. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, and frankly store bought Biscoff cookies may have worked better consistency-wise, but I prefer a more traditional crisp or crumble topping to what I made here. And I like when the fruit has a bit of thickener in it and gets a little saucier than mine did here, so it’s held together better. Maybe I can fiddle with it a little bit another time.
Tags: baking, fruit, tarts
I do like a good baked pear dessert. Apples and pumpkins will be around for a long while yet, but pears are more delicate and have a quicker season. Use ’em while you can! This Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping has Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough holding a mound of lightly caramelized pears and a topping of sweet and crispy glazed sliced almonds. Pear-plus-almond is a classic combo, and for good reason– it’s delicious! I did one thing to my tart that wasn’t in the recipe. I had a little bit of almond frangipane in the freezer that I’d been looking for a home for. After blind baking the tart shell, I spread it on in a thin later before piling on the pears and the almond topping. Not a bad call, if I do say so myself.
This tart is really best the day it’s made. The topping and the tart shell both go a little soggy after sitting overnight…although that sure didn’t stop us from finishing it!
Tags: baking, cake, fruit
This Custardy Apple Square recipe is one I’ve actually made a few times now…maybe three or four. It was the first recipe I tried out when I got Baking Chez Moi and it’s so simple and tasty that it went right on the “make again” list. Apple slices tossed in a quick batter that’s whisked by hand get layered in a baking dish. It goes into the oven kind of a hodgepodge but comes out a stack of beautifully soft apples with a bit of vanilla (and rum, in my case) custard holding them together. A mandolin makes quick work out of neat, thin apple slices (and of course adds a thrilling element of danger to baking prep–watch your fingers!). This also reminds me quite a bit of something called Bolzano Apple Cake that I posted about many years ago. It’s great with whipped cream, but just fine on it’s own.
P.S.: Thanks so much for all the kind comments on my last Baking With Julia post! xoxo
Tags: baking, cake, dessert
So folks, we’ve come to the end of TWD Baking with Julia. The last recipe…I can hardly believe it. I admit that I have skipped a handful of them, but still, 107 completed recipes from one cookbook isn’t too shabby. The biggest and the toughest has been saved for last– a Glorious Wedding Cake! This is three tall, stacked tiers of dense almond cake sandwiched with jam and a crisp layer of almond dacquoise, topped off with rum-laced buttercream and decorated with marzipan fruit. I mean, Martha Stewart even gets not one, but two episodes devoted to this thing. Unfortunately though, no one asked me to make them a wedding cake in the past few weeks, so I had to go small instead of big on this one. Instead of a three tier show-stopper, I made a single tier cutie. Maybe it’s not so glorious, and I guess it’s basically the top tier that married couples put into the freezer for their first anniversary (R and I eloped…no cake for us, so I’m unclear on these traditions).
You may notice that there isn’t an interior shot of this cake. That’s because I definitely did something wrong with the almond cake layers. What, I am still not sure, but I was too stingy to waste all the almond paste and eggs that went into making it, so I just ploughed ahead with what I had. I’ll tell you though that there was a lot of patchwork involved and I am too embarrassed to show you what was going on in there. It was still delicious, so whatevs. No one paid me to make it for them after all.
Since my cake was tiny, the rest came together with out too much trouble. The dacquoise (almond meringue) layer was wonderful to crunch through and the egg yolk-based buttercream was super luxe. Rather than the marzipan cherries and raspberries Martha made, I did some strawberries and also some flowers and ivy leaves using the wacky hodgepodge of gum paste flower tools I have in my red pastry toolbox.
Tags: baking, bread, breakfast
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.
Tags: baking, fruit, tarts
I guess it’s about to be fall here, although the outside temperature isn’t quite on board with that yet. Maybe I’ll hurry things along by baking up an apple dessert, like this Apple Tarte Flambé. Everyone says that tarte flambé can be thought of as Alsatian pizza, so I’ll repeat it. Usually it’s savory, with onions and bacon (like the Alsatian Onion Tart we made a while back), so this one’s a twist, with a sweet creamy topping and see-through slices of mandolined apple on top of a thin yeasted base.
It’s key to roll the dough on this really thin. It shouldn’t really have much of an outer crust at all. Pricking the dough all over the place also helps keeps it from poofing up in the oven. I used a red apple, and would do so again, if only because the paper-thin slices bake up with such pretty frilly pink edges. Once this tarte is out of the oven, it’s time to slice and eat it straight away, when it’s crispiest and most delicious.