Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake

December 10, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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touch-of-crunch chocolate cake

I totally didn’t realized what this Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake was all about until I actually went to make it. I just thought, “gonna make a chocolate cake today,” and assumed it would be like most others. Then I had to switch out my cake pan for a pie plate, get a double boiler going and locate some black sesame seeds in the freezer (they’re the hidden crunch in the batter). But what a nice surprise this turned out to be. It baked up with a pretty, crackly, brownie-like crust and a rich mousse-like middle. Super chocolatey, there’s not much in the way of dry ingredient binder here…just a spoonful of flour or cornstarch. I used cornstarch to keep it GF. Dorie says that this cake shines straight from the fridge, and it does, but I actually preferred it at room temperature, when it’s smooth like a truffle, except for that touch-of-crunch from the surprise sesame seeds of course!

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: Caramelized-Coffee Bean Pots de Crème

November 26, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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caramelized-coffee bean pots de crème

Pots de crème are luxurious baked custards (pots of cream! and egg yolks!), and these Caramelized-Coffee Bean Pots de Crème are flavored with cracked coffee beans further roasted and toasted in caramelized sugar. Pots de crème are rich, and a small-ish serving will do. I baked these babies off in some cute little French yogurt pots that I had to go all the way to Europe to collect! Turns out it was worthwhile trip. I served my cream pots with a little whipped cream and some chocolate covered espresso beans.

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: Croquets

November 12, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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croquets

If you are like me and need a little treat to go with your coffee, then you’ll appreciate what these Croquets have to offer. Crisp and sugary, with lotsa nuts (I used macadamias, and also a pinch of cinnamon), they are a perfect saucer sidekick.

They are not flourless, but the base of the dough is a meringue. Therefore, the dough is sticky but it bakes up sweet and with a crackly crust. The dough is formed into logs, which are cut after baking, biscotti-style. The croquets don’t need a second bake, though– they are very crunchy. In fact I think croquet must be a play on the word croquant, which means “crunchy” in French (unless it has to do with the lawn game, in which case I’m baffled!). This crunchiness makes them excellent coffee dunkers, but they’re also good smashed up a bit and sprinkled on an ice cream sundae.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Cream Cheese and Toast Tartlets

October 8, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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cream cheese and toast tartlets

This recipe for Cream Cheese and Toast Tartlets is one I’d had my eye on for years. It sounded a little wacky to me– a sweet tart crust filled with cream cheese and cubes of cinnamon toast. Wacky but good, so I’m glad its TWD time has finally come.

It’s another one of those component recipes, made from several (easy) parts. The tartlets use Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough, which we’ve employed so often that half the time I can find a chunk of it hiding in the freezer. The garnish (both inside and outside) is butter-crisped bread cubes tossed in a cocoa-cinnamon-sugar mix. A bit of the toast goes on the bottom the pre-baked tartlet shells and a bit is reserved to top them at the end. The filling is a fluffy cream cheese whipped cream set with a little gelatin. Gelatin is not my favorite ingredient, and if I can leave it out or think of an easy swap, then I do. Commercial cream cheese has a lot of gums and stabilizers that help to thicken up heavy cream without added assistance, so I just decided to skip the gelatin. I only made two tartlets and we were going to eat them the night I made them anyway so I knew the filling wouldn’t have time to break down or weep.

When It came time to garnish my tartlets, I remembered that I happen to be in possession of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch single serve cereal cup that my husband bizarrely brought me home as a “gift.” (Despite the fact that I’ve never eaten or requested the stuff…am I ungrateful?) It’s been in my cupboard for a couple of months and I thought to use some of the cereal as a topper instead of more bread crumbs. Then I tried to get a little too cute and sprinkled on a bunch of chocolate jimmies and pearls. I knew I’d gone overboard, but there was no turning back. I liked the creamy-crunchy combo, and I’m a sucker for little tartlets…these got thumbs up from both of us.

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: Caramel-Topped Rice Pudding Cake

September 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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caramel-topped rice pudding cake

I talked to my mom on the phone the other day and she asked if I’d baked anything good lately. I told her I’d just made a Caramel-Topped Rice Pudding Cake that’s made like flan or crème caramel, except with rice pudding instead of eggy custard. My mom, who studied and lived in Paris for a few years before I came along, said, “Oh, that’s very French!” Dorie says this is a dessert so common and loved in France, that supermarkets sell it as a box mix. From scratch, it’s a fun project that isn’t too hard. The caramel is a simple water and sugar one. The rice pudding takes a while to cook, but I didn’t have any boil-overs or scorched rice, so things went pretty smoothly. An egg tempered into the pudding at the end keeps it together when it’s turned out after baking.

I made half the recipe and decided to bake personal-sized puddings in ramekins. I got four ramekins out of the half batch, and they only took about 30 minutes to bake in the covered water bath. We ate them at room temperature and I thought they were just delicious. Next time (and I’m not sure why I didn’t think to do it this time), I’ll add some booze-soaked raisins into the mix.

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: Fall-Market Galette

September 10, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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fall-market galette

I do normally try to make a couple of fruit pies every summer, but this year I just didn’t. Ah well…some of the best fruits for baking are found here in September anyway, so I think this Fall-Market Galette makes up for my earlier laziness. Dorie calls this a “purple galette” as it’s filled with all the beautiful purple tinged fruits of fall– plums, grapes and figs. I went to my neighborhood’s Saturday greenmarket for my fruit and found the plums and grapes but I’ve never seen figs there. I swapped them out for blackberries and a (non-purple, I know) peach. I used the walnuts as well.

I love the ease of a galette and I don’t mind one bit when the juice from my mountain of fruit runs in rivulets along the pleats. This was delicious with vanilla ice cream.

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: Cat’s Tongues

August 27, 2019 at 9:06 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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cat's tongues

Cat’s Tongues, or langues de chat, are a French classic. Thin, crispy, buttery yummies– I don’t think I’ve made them since I was in cooking school. Luckily, they aren’t hard to mix up and pipe out, and the oven more or less takes care of the shape. These baked up perfectly…nice elongated ovals, pale in the middle with a ring of crispy brown around the edges. I did actually pipe them out a little too big. They could have been a bit daintier in size and I would have gotten a few more out of the batch. The ones that came out the smallest, I paired up and sandwiched together with some ganache, as per Dorie’s excellent suggestion to “Milano” them. I’ll leave the larger ones as singles, spread their undersides with tempered chocolate tomorrow at work and give them to the guys at the gym in the afternoon. A plan for everything. Hahaha.

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: Tiramisu Tart

August 13, 2019 at 8:19 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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tiramisu tart

I do love a good tiramisu, so there was no doubt I would be game for a Tiramisu Tart. This has all the required elements of a classic tiramisu– a layer of ladyfingers soaked in strong coffee and plenty of delicious mascarpone cream– housed in a sweet pastry shell.

I decided to scale the recipe back and make a few small tartlets instead of a large tart. There are only two of us here, and even though I think regular tiramisu gets better and better as it sits, I was a little worried that I’d have a soggy crust long before we could finish up a full-size tart. I put a thin layer of melted dark chocolate on the bottom of each shell for some extra insurance that they’d stay crisp for a couple of days. Also for some extra chocolate…who am I kidding?!? I bought a domestic mascarpone instead of my favorite Italian one, which I have to walk to another neighborhood to find, and it was a little loose when I mixed the filling up. I was glad that I chose to make tartlets, as the individual shells kept the soft filling contained and I didn’t have do deal with messy slices. At work I have access to lots of different kinds of cake scraps, one of them being housemade ladyfinger cake. I absconded the other day with a little scrap packet to put to use here and saved myself a bit of work.

I’d be equally happy with a “regular” tiramisu, but the tart shell is a fun twist. It does give a nice crispy element, it’s really pretty and I did love it. A pick-me-up that you can actually pick up…I mean, what’s not to love?

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: Mascarpone Mousse

July 23, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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mascarpone mousse

Mascarpone Mousse sounds like it would be rich, but it is surprisingly light and airy. It’s a nice chilled, no-bake dessert for the oppressively hot summer days we’ve been having. I think it would go well with just about any summer fruit, too…here I topped it with some of the Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters I made for our last posting.

To make the mousse, mascarpone and honey-sweetened cream are mixed together. Then a simple meringue is folded through the mix to give it its delicate texture. There is a little gelatin as well to help it set up. That’s not my favorite ingredient, but I did use it here. The recipe says it makes four servings, but I got six that I thought were quite reasonably sized.

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: Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters

July 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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roasted rhubarb with bitters

This is actually the third year in a row that I’ve made this Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters recipe. If you love rhubarb like I love rhubarb, then you’ll appreciate having it in the fridge to top yogurt, ice cream, plain cake, etc. And it’s hot pink– the best food color. Prettiness counts cuz we eat with our eyes first. Taste counts, too, of course, and this has that balance I like with rhubarb…sweet enough to enjoy it, but not enough to kill its natural tartness. A few dashes of bitters from the bar cart give it a barley there something else that has me plotting to use the syrup to make a beautiful pink cocktail when I’m done with the fruit (or err…vegetable).

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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