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: Pailles

March 27, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments

pailles

If you’ve ever had a palmier, this is a similar concept…Pailles are like two palmiers sandwiched with jam. Similar to palmiers, you maneuver a sheet of puff pastry through a series of sugaring, folding and cutting to wind up with a pastry that’s a squiggle of a zillion sweet layers. I like things like this to be well-caramelized– no pale spots! I filled my bronzed pailles with huckleberry jam, finally finishing off a jar that I feel I’ve had forever. Sweet satisfaction all around.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also here, but I have to say, I found the picture of the process included in the book’s recipe to be very helpful. I have a short attention span for long instructions. 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: Chocolate Crème Caramel

February 27, 2018 at 12:45 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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chocolate crème caramel

Whether it’s called crème caramel or flan, I am a huge fan. I don’t get people who think it’s too eggy, but I’ll just eat their portion as well, so it’s all good. Actually this Chocolate Crème Caramel doesn’t strike me as eggy at all, since it gets an extra boost of flavor and richness from a good amount of chopped chocolate. You get a smooth chocolate custard with a fabulous liquid caramel sauce. It’s an elegant classic– so easy to make, and doesn’t use any cream! It just may create some new flan fans.

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: Cheesecake, Alsace Style

February 13, 2018 at 9:16 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cheesecake, alsace style

A Cheesecake, Alsace Style is something very different from the thick and hefty cream cheese cheesecake that New York is famous for. This Alsatian cheesecake is made much lighter with fromage blanc (or a Greek yogurt and heavy cream combo if you can’t find it). It’s the type of cheesecake that soufflés up in the oven and then falls as it cools. If a dessert can be beautiful and schlumpy at the same time, this is it. The base is a tall galette dough crust, and the fluffy filling is dotted with rum-soaked raisins. I used to be a raisin-hater but I appreciate them now, especially when they get a rum bath! Other dried fruits could be used, of course. And the cheesecake is nice served with fruit, too. I spooned some candied kumquat slices and syrup over the top to dress up my slices.

cheesecake, alsace style

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!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Real Hot Chocolate

January 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, drinks, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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real hot chocolate

The East Coast is definitely going through some Real Hot Chocolate weather right now. The bomb cyclone and the polar vortex can only be counteracted with the giant mug. Sometimes hot chocolate can seem like ganache or straight-up melted chocolate. This one is definitely a drink, not an ice cream topping or a churro dip. If you have some milk and some chocolate on hand, you’re in business (ok, sugar, water and salt, too). After heating these ingredients, the hot chocolate gets zapped in the blender, which makes it nice and frothy. I never have marshmallows at home but I do usually have a can of whipped cream (a top-secret weakness), and a squirt of that is pretty darn good on top. Also good with hot chocolate– little donuts. Pro tip.

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: Classic Linzer Cookies

December 12, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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classic linzer cookies

I’d pretty much slack off on making Christmas cookies if it weren’t for TWD. I’m glad for the nudge, though, because it’s fun, and when they’re roll-out cookies like these Classic Linzers, a good excuse to bust out my special cutters. The main recipe for these Linzer cookies is actually a cocoa and spice one. I’ll try that sometime, but here I decided to skip the cocoa powder and most of the spicing and go with Dorie’s classic Bonne Idée alternative instead. This recipe is an almond-based one, although hazelnuts are also traditional for Linzer cookies and I bet can be successfully subbed. The dough is made in the food processor…I love this…so easy.

I dipped into my fridge jam collection to fill these…some with lingonberry, some with cherry and others with huckleberry. Linzers can be sandwiched with many things, including ganache if you fancy chocolate inside, but a snowstorm of powdered sugar on top is always a must.

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: Brown Sugar Tart

November 28, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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brown sugar tart

Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind, in between getting ready for a very busy dinner service at my restaurant job and pulling off my own dinner at home. I knew I had to find a place on my menu for this week’s TWD recipe if I wanted to get that done, too. Luckily, a Brown Sugar Tart sounded like a pretty appropriate Thanksgiving dessert. My father, who finds pumpkin pie to be the only acceptable sweet on turkey day, would disagree, but he wasn’t visiting this year. Time to break with tradition!

I did pay attention to the reviews from the folks who made this tart on the first posting of the month. “Too sweet” was pretty much unanimous, so I tried to find little ways to adjust that a bit. The tart filling is just simple custard of heavy cream, eggs, sea salt and light brown sugar, with some optional espresso powder and bits of smokey bacon. I used a combo of light and dark brown sugar for extra flavor and added a little more salt and espresso powder than the recipe called for, until I thought it tasted just right. The bacon was skipped altogether. I thought this would probably be best served in small portions, and made little individual tartlets instead of a larger one.

Once upon a time, we made an espresso-caramel syrup called couleur for a Baking with Julia cake. This is something that I like to keep a bottle or jar of on hand now because it’s really bitter-sweet intense and tasty, and it lasts forever. I thought it might be just the thing to temper the sweetness of the tart filling a bit, especially since Dorie recommends adding instant espresso to the filling anyway (and also serving the finished tart with coffee ice cream). I used that couleur syrup to glaze my finished tartlets and served them with some unsweetened cream and maple toasted pecans and sunflower seeds. I have to say, and I know that I have a huge sweet tooth, I really liked this recipe. I followed some good advice from Diane and served it well-chilled. I even broke out the fancy silver!

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: Desert Roses

November 14, 2017 at 12:04 am | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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desert roses

“Desert Roses” is an exotic sounding name for the easiest candy you will ever make, using the most plain and simple thing you can think of– cornflakes cereal. That’s right, I present you with cornflakes, bound together into tasty, crunchy little globs with butter and chocolate. Stirring in some shredded coconut, dried fruit and almonds makes them a bit more interesting, and is encouraged.

If these look familiar, it’s because they’re sister sweets to the Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks we made from Dorie’s Cookies back in May. The Haystacks had similar add-ins (coconut, dried fruit and nuts), but they also had egg and were baked, making them a little chewy. These Roses never see the oven (non-bakers, take note!), though, and are all crunch once they harden up. Now that I’ve sampled both, I prefer the Desert Roses. In fact, I can’t think of a better use for a box of cornflakes.

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

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