Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Palmiers

April 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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palmiers

What to do with a little stack of frozen puff pastry scraps left over from Banana-Nutella Chaussons and a Potato Tourte? Make Palmiers! These are so easy. Just roll puff into a square, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and fold in towards the center. I used vanilla sugar for extra flavor, and because I found a jar of it in my cupboard and want to use it up. Some of my palmiers sort of unfurled into donut shapes the oven, but I don’t mind. Puff pastry does what it wants to sometimes…I like things made with it to be really caramelized and crispy, taken almost to the edge of dark. I’ve got no time for pale puff. These palmiers are just as good with ice cream as they are with coffee.

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: Banana-Nutella Chaussons

March 26, 2019 at 7:53 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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banana-nutella chaussons

These Banana-Nutella Chaussons are a take on traditional French puff pastry turnovers that are usually filled with apples. Dories says chaussons are most often breakfast or snack treats, but they are pretty amazing for dessert, too, especially when they are filled with a combo of gooey melted chocolate and bananas. Maybe even more so when you replace the straight-up chocolate in the filling with a generous amount of Nutella, like I did here. Things got a little wild in the oven, and my chaussons pretty much erupted, even though I egg washed and sealed them well. C’est la vie…the delicious filling and flaky layers just could not be contained! My evil genius dessert brain spotted an opportunity and decided a scoop of salted caramel ice cream would be perfect tucked into the opened sides.

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: Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sablés

March 12, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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toasted buckwheat and chopped chocolate sablés

These Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sablés begin with the unusual instruction to toast the buckwheat flour until it darkens and and smells roasted. Buckwheat has a nutty, earthy flavor to begin with, and this extra step really brings that out. I think it changes the texture of the flour a bit, too, making it drier, and in turn making the sablés even sandier. Buckwheat and chocolate is a winning combo, and I liked these, with their flecks of chopped bittersweet chocolate, a lot. Sweet with a touch of savory, they are sturdy and crisp, yet crumbly and tender all at the same time. Seems I’m churning out batch after batch of cookies these days, but I have another winner on my hands so I’m not complaining!

toasted buckwheat and chopped chocolate sablés

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: Almond Stripes

February 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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almond stripes

Despite flipping through Baking Chez Moi probably ten thousand times, I never noticed the recipe for Almond Stripes before the day, just a couple of months ago, when I wrote up our list of remaining recipes. It’s on the back side of a page and there isn’t a picture, so I guess I found it easy to overlook. Well, the group didn’t overlook it, and now it’s been crossed off the list!

This is a simple dough (using almond flour) to put together, but it winds up fairly stiff and can be difficult to pipe out. I was able to force it through a star tip, but all my “stripes” wound up different lengths. They just sort of stopped where they wanted to and I had to go with it. I fancied them up with a chocolate and sprinkle dip to make their wonky sizes less obvious. They wound up looking a lot like the Viennese Sablés, but I think these are a little sturdier, and are a good cookie for dunking in coffee. I added a bit of almond extract to the dough to boost that flavor, as well as the pinch of cinnamon.

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: 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!

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 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 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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speculoos

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!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Alsatian Christmas Bread

December 11, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, other sweet, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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alsatian christmas bread

Alstatian Christmas Bread (aka baerewecke) is a bit of a project, but it also couldn’t be easier. It’s not a bread that needs flour or yeast, just dried fruit and nuts. Instead of rising time, it needs chopping and mascaerating time…also some shopping time to gather ingredients. This uses all sorts of yummy dried fruit- figs, apples, pears, raisins, apricots and prunes- plus walnuts and almond flour. The fruit is cut and soaked in juice until it’s very soft and makes a sticky paste when mixed with the nuts. Form the paste into logs, bake them until they hold together, and you’re done! This is one of those things that, like fruitcake, lasts a long time and probably even gets better with age. I made mine a few days before I first cut into it, and I still have the second log sitting in my chilly kitchen. I’m thinking of mailing it to my mom in Seattle, because I think she’d like it.

By itself, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan. You can nibble on this like a snack or energy bar, but I think it’s also great with cheese. If I make a cheese plate I always like to have some sort of jam or fruit paste on the side, and this is a perfect accompaniment.

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 Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling

November 27, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate cream puffs with mascarpone filling

Yesterday was a good day for baking, but not so much for photo taking. It was basically black outside and pouring rain at 3:00. My Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling were not shown off in their best light (and let’s not even get started about my weird hand). I have to take the bad with the good, I guess. I do love making pastries with choux paste– it’s such a fun dough to make! And turning regular cream puff dough into chocolate cream puff dough is as simple as adding a little cocoa to the mix.

Dorie suggests filling these light chocolate puffs with a rose-scented mascarpone whipped cream. I saw the words “chocolate” and “mascarpone” and could only think “tiramisu” (isn’t that so predictable?) so I skipped the rose and added coffee extract to my filling instead. I made a quickie ganache glaze to dip the tops into and tacked on chocolate sprinkly bits. Delightful. As an aside, I think the tastiest and best way to stabilize whipped cream is to add in a blob of mascarpone and I actually do this often. It lasts for a few days if you want to whip extra, and if you need to frost a cake with whipped cream, this is the way to go.

I tucked half of these puffs, sans cream filling, into the freezer so I can turn them into one of my very favorite other choux desserts, ice cream profiteroles, later in the week. 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!

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