Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Crème Brûlée Tart

June 23, 2020 at 10:33 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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crème brûlée tart

A Crème Brûlée Tart is just what it sounds like— crème brûlée baked in a tart shell rather than a ramekin. I had a few mini tart cases already lined in the freezer and I whipped them out to make these. Now my freezer stash of sweet tart dough is gone, which feels good, but I’ll have to make it all from scratch the next time we have a tart on deck. I don’t know why but that makes me feel tired. Haha.

These tarts are meant to have some berries hiding under the custard, but my shells were so teeny-weeny there was only room for one thing inside, and I figured it should be the crème brûlée. I served the berries on the side instead. I used granulated sugar, not brown, for torching to get the crispiest sugar shell. We liked these a lot and I’m glad they were nominated during peak strawberry season here in New York.

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: Ladyfingers

June 9, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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ladyfingers

This is not a great picture. I whipped up this baby batch of Ladyfingers kind of last minute and then rushed to get a few snaps before the sun went down. These Ladyfingers are the fresh, spongy kind (as opposed to the dry, crispy kind I buy when I make a tiramisu). I didn’t mind that they baked into each other, and in fact I was quite pleased that this scrap of parchment was just big enough for me to pipe my batter onto! I threw together a strawberry shortcake thing with my sponge slab for a quick dessert, and it hit the spot.

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: Tea and Honey Pots de Crème

May 26, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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tea and honey pots de crème

We’ve made several versions of pots de crème during our TWD journey, but these Tea and Honey Pots de Créme might be my favorite. Shocking since no chocolate is involved. Haha. I steeped the cream with a tea from Kusmi called Sweet Love that I originally got as a small sample tin, but I liked it so much that just yesterday I ordered a big one. It’s a black tea with things like cardamom, cinnamon, liquorice and pink peppercorn, and it went really well with the rose extract Dorie suggests adding to the honey-sweetened tea base. It was really flavorful and this round of PdC for some reason baked nicer that my last one, which developed something of a fatty skin on top. I didn’t even feel the need to decorate these with whipped cream and sprinkles! I baked them off in some cute little teacups that I got when we lived in Sydney. I’m down to only three of them now though– broke one during wash-up in the kitchen sink! Oopsies. Stuff happens, I guess, and they weren’t expensive (although this is the third thing I’ve shattered in the last couple of weeks, so maybe I need to be better focused).

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: Fruit and Nut Croquants

May 12, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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fruit and nut croquants

These Fruit and Nut Croquants look a lot biscotti…they are full of good tidbits and formed into logs that are baked and sliced just like biscotti. But they are only once-baked, so while croquant means “crunchy,” they aren’t that crunchy. Mine got softer as the days went days went by, and I actually liked that, especially since they still stayed sturdy enough to dip into coffee.

I used whole skin-on almonds, sliced dried figs and raisins and I swapped some of the AP flour for einkorn. They also have vanilla and almond extracts, orange zest, nutmeg and cloves. They had lots of flavor and were just sweet enough.

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: Martine’s Lemon and Apple Tart

April 28, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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martine's lemon and apple tart

Someone last round described Martine’s Lemon and Apple Tart as being like a lemon bar that happens to have a bit of grated apple in. I can’t find who said it, but she was spot-on, I’m terms of both preparation and taste. It’s a little strange-looking, I will admit, but the filling is sweet-tart and delicious.

I decided to make just two individual tarts, rather than a big one, so I had to take the ingredient list and kind of wing it a bit with the amounts I’d need to fill them. I felt like this fit with the spirit of the recipe though, since Dorie’s friend Martine, who came up with it, sounds like she can cook on the fly. In the time it took my lemon-apple filling to set, my baby sweet tart dough shells did get a little browned, but I guess that’s just the “French bake” Dorie describes elsewhere in the book.

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: Green Tea Sablés

April 14, 2020 at 8:39 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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green tea sablés

Now being home 24/7, elevenses seems to have become a thing I do to break up the day. Green Tea Sablés are a perfect side treat for my new-found tradition. We’ve made many varieties of these buttery, sandy cookies by now, and these ones are flavored, not with matcha, but with more delicate green tea leaves. We have (had? *sniff*) beautiful loose leaf tea at work, including one labeled “Japanese Pan-Fried Green Tea,” which I believe is kamairicha. I brought home a couple of tablespoons just before we closed in anticipation of these cookies.

The dough for these sablés is easily made by hand…like, the butter is actually rubbed in with your fingers, which are the cleanest they have even been, I’m sure. Then it is rolled into logs, chilled, and sliced. Okay, is it just me, or are slice-and-bake cookies infuriating? I feel like they are supposed to be the easiest way to cute round cookies, but, in fact, they always totally crumble when I slice them and then I have to press them back into some sloppy, patched together blobs. Or I cut them slanted. Or some cookies are too thick and others are too thin. Rather than let slice-and-bake cookies make me feel totally lame, I have picked up a few tricks from all of our DC baking and did these sablés in a muffin tin to get a nice coin shape. I only made a quarter-recipe of this dough (my lockdown freezer is stacked up with the half-finished coffee cakes and hot cross buns I am apparently hoarding for the apocalypse), so I took out my mini muffin pan and made these petits sablés.

I had enough of that green tea left over to not only make a small pot to go along with the cookies for elevenses, but also to make a bit of green tea sugar for garnish. Because I was baking the sablés in a tin instead of free-form, rather than roll my log in sugar before slicing, I sprinkled the tops of each cookie with it before baking.

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: Coco Rochers

March 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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coco rochers

Coco Rochers…what are those? Turns out, they are coconut macaroons. Just four ingredients (unsweetened coconut, sugar, egg whites and vanilla) get heated up for a gently cooked batter that’s then chilled, scooped and baked. I have to confess to you that I added a pinch of salt, too, so I guess that’s really five ingredients. If you want to make it six, add a chocolate drizzle or dip…something I’ll do next time, for sure. My unsweetened coconut is the very fine and fluffy desiccated stuff. I was able to pack the mix pretty tightly into my cookie scoop, and it made for macaroons that were a lot like the Manischewitz-type ones in a can. I’m a big fan of those, by the way. I made just 1/4 batch with the one egg white I had already separated in the fridge. I’m wishing I had more, but they are easy enough to make again anytime.

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: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next time.

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: Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème

February 11, 2020 at 9:27 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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lavender-white chocolate pots de crème

Floral and delicate, yet rich and elegant, Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème may be the answer to, “what the heck should I make for Valentine’s Day dessert?” We made another version of pots de crème not too long ago, and these little baked custards are equally luxurious.

The only lavender I usually have at home is in a potpourri sachet in my sock drawer. Thinking better of breaking it open for this recipe (eww– I would never!), I almost made the mint Bonne Ideé version. Then I remembered that the pastry chef at work candies lavender buds for a bar cocktail, so I asked her for a few spoonfuls to take home for both these and the upcoming sablés for DC. In the finished pots de crème, I found the lavender flavor to be subtle and the white chocolate added even more richness and smoothness to the creamy texture. To help disguise the fact that mine got a bit of a darker yellow layer on top, I decorated these with a bloop of whipped cream, some candied lavender bits and a few white chocolate pearls…btw, looking at the last PdC we baked makes me realize I’m a one trick pony when it comes to food styling!

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: Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut Bars

January 14, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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chunky chocolate fruit-and-nut bars

Dorie describes these Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut bars as both nougat’s crunchy cousin (a very timely comparison, since we made her Honey-Nut Nougat just last month) and as a homemade version of a Chunky candy bar. The raisin-hating child version of me would not have touched a Chunky with a ten foot pole, but the adult version of me has more evolved tastes and would now gladly consume this mass-produced packaged product. Haha.

This is an easy recipe– it really is. You just need some toasted nuts, some chopped dried fruit and some melted chocolate to make it. It’s totally customizable to your tastes and to the contents of your cabinet. It’s not even really a recipe, it’s just stuff mixed together. And yet, I managed to screw a few things up and fumble my way through it. Ironic, since my day job is actually making chocolate candy.

For my nuts I used cashews, which I burned when I toasted them, so I toasted more. For my dried fruit, I used a pre-mixed blend of golden raisins, cranberries, cherries and blueberries that I buy at TJs. I also put in some crystalized ginger and some candied orange peel. For my chocolate, I used a bittersweet 72%. I decided I didn’t need to eat a full 8×8 pan of this, so I scaled everything back by a third to fit in a small loaf pan I have. Or I tried to, at least…I must have divided the chocolate incorrectly in my head, because I only had enough to coat my add-ins, not to stick them together. I just eyeballed a little more to seal my fruit and nut glob together and pressed it into the pan. Even if it looks a little rough and I needed a nap afterwards, it was all good and tasty in the end (I secretly ate up all the little bits with a spoon and they were fab!), and that’s the moral of today’s story.

Dorie recommends lining your pan with cocoa-dusted parchment paper and then dusting more cocoa on top of the finished chocolate mix and laying another piece of parchment on top as you press it in to the pan. I did line my pan with parchment, and I lined it so it acted as a sling, but I skipped all the cocoa powder and also the top parchment sheet. I’m guessing the cocoa is to help the mass release from the pan, but when chocolate gets cold it contracts, and since this is stored in the fridge, I didn’t see the need for it.

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

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