Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Carrèment Chocolat, The Fancy Cake

November 10, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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carrèment chocolat, the fancy cake

Wow– after six years, this is our final Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Baking Chez Moi. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Okay, I’m definitely crying, but a slice of Carrèment Chocolat, The Fancy Cake will make me feel better.

This is a chocolate cake that is sleek and slim, but rich and luxurious. A single pan of chocolate cake is sliced into two thin layers, brushed with syrup (which for me was Kahlúa) sandwiched with chocolate pastry cream, glazed in ganache and topped with homemade salted chocolate shards. It’s no wonder that it’s the book’s cover girl, and it’s no wonder that we saved her for our grand finale. I actually made this over the summer for my husband’s birthday. It seemed like a nice treat for a quarantine celebration and a fun project for me. We savored every bite.

My copy of BCM has lived on my kitchen counter for the last six years. It’ll go on the bookshelf now, but I’m sure I’ll take it down often (and, if I’m being truthful, I do have a few things to rewind). We have made close to 150 recipes, and it would be really, really hard for me to pick a favorite..maybe the Caramel-Topped Rice Pudding Cake, maybe the Chocolate Crème Caramel. Clearly I fancy upside-down puddings sitting in a caramel puddle, but I’ve had such fun baking and sharing all kinds of treats with our small group on Tuesdays. Thank you, it’s a highlight of my week. Also, of course, merci to Dorie for teaching, inspiring and encouraging us, and to Laurie, who started TWD back in 2008 with BFMHTY.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out our last BCM TWD Blogroll! We bake on with Dorie’s Cookies, but for this one, c’est fini.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Macaron Biscotti

October 27, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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macaron biscotti

When you pipe a tray of macarons, there are bound to be at least a few, maybe more if by “you” I mean “I”, shells that bake up too big, too small, blob-shaped, footless or for whatever reason wonky. You can eat them on the sneak and destroy the evidence (my go-to method for dealing with them) or you can make Macaron Biscotti with them and serve them up with tea. I’ve never seen twice-baked mac shells before this, but the idea is neat and easy— dip once-baked shells in melted butter and rebake. I didn’t even bother to melt any butter…I have a small container of ghee that I keep at room temp in the cooler months and brushed that on both sides of my shells. They turn very bronzed in the oven and are super crunchy through-and-through. Macarons with a suntan.

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: Parisian Macarons

October 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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parisian macarons

Someone’s getting fancy over here. Parisian Macarons require a bit more technique and attention than the usual loaf cakes I churn out in five minutes without really even measuring. I’ve spent most of my pastry career in fine dining, so really I’ve piped countless trays of these almond flour-meringue cookies for petits fours plates, but for the last several years, I’ve been focused on tempered chocolate work. I do think maybe the last time I made macs was circa 2007, when I worked for a restaurant called Becasse in Sydney. What I’m trying to say is that I am rusty.

This macaron recipe from BCM uses an Italian meringue in the batter, as opposed to a French meringue, which is what I am more used to. I didn’t have any problems making that, although I was tempted to just eat it as marshmallow fluff and jump ship on the macarons…that is the danger of Italian and Swiss meringues. I’m actually really pleased with how the macarons turned out, but I’d say I wish the bottom “feet” had been a bit taller. Mardi and I agree that the listed baking temp of 350F is hotter than most recipes, and that may have had something to do with it. If I make this recipe again, I’m going to experiment with a 300-325F oven, which is more standard, and see if that makes a difference. I did leave my assembled macs in the fridge overnight (those are the rules!), and they were perfectly crispy- chewy for a few days after.

The thing I do really like about macs is that you can totally customize them. You can fill them with ganache, like I did here, or with jam, caramel, buttercream, or whatever floats your boat and makes them stick.  You can sub some of the almond flour for another nut flour, or tint the shells any color of the rainbow. I left them au naturale, preferring to get my daily dose of food coloring in the form of a scattering of sprinkles.

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

TWD BCM Rewind: Vanilla-Bean Sablés (with anise hyssop)

September 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 2 Comments
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vanilla bean sablés (with anise hyssop)

I feel like we make sablés right and left, but I realized I’d never made the most basic Vanilla-Bean Sablés from BCM (even though I’ve wondered many times why it’s “vanilla-bean” with a hyphen). Since we are pretty close to finishing off this book, I thought I should get on it. I should also get on with Babas au Rhum and Cannelés, but they are more challenging than I’m up to right now. Cookies for Rewind Week it is!

I had a little bunch of anise hyssop that I was paying around with on the day I made these, so I worked some buds into the recipe’s sugar to release it’s flavor. I put some more buds on top of the cookies before baking, although they sort of wound up looking like mini broccoli florets. Dorie has these as regular slice-and-bake cookies in this book, but I’ve learned some lessons from Dorie’s Cookies and I popped my dough disks into muffin tins, so they’d be uniformly round. These are what I’d expected— nice, buttery, sandy treats.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Olive Oil and Wine Cookies

September 22, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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olive oil and wine cookies

These Olive Oil and Wine Cookies are kind of a cousin to the Canistrelli we made a few weeks ago. They hail from the south of France, where olive oil is more widely used than butter. I used a sweet white wine in the dough that was actually homemade by someone I know…please don’t tell, but it’s better to bake with than it is to drink…haha. I don’t think I got the dough shaping down here. They are supposed to have chubby middles and tapered, pinched ends but mine look a little wonky. No matter, they baked up crunchy and made good coffee dunking treats anyway (although TBH, I liked the Canistrelli a bit better for their anise flavor).

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 Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart

September 8, 2020 at 12:04 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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caramelized cinnamon-milk chocolate tart

This Caramelized Cinnamon-Milk Chocolate Tart was a yummy treat. The ganache filling (made with milk chocolate and cinnamon-infused caramel…I used ground cinny instead of a stick) reminded me of a candy bar, so that made we want to top it with salty peanuts. I’ll make this one again when I have some extra sweet tart dough around. 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: Canistrelli

August 25, 2020 at 10:39 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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canistrelli

These Canistrelli were a nice treat to have around for coffee breaks. They are a Corsican cookie, made with olive oil, white wine and pastis. I’d never had Canistrelli before, but something about them was familiar…not sure, but maybe they are similar to a cookie that my in-laws buy from an Italian-American pastry shop? I actually used ouzo (which I keep around to flame off saganaki, one of my favorite treats) in mine instead of pastis, and it worked great to get that bit of anise flavor. They’re easily mixed together and the soft dough is cut up into little cubes or diamonds. They aren’t too sweet, but the nuggets are coated in sugar before baking, so they get a nice crunchy crust when they bake.

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: Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse

August 11, 2020 at 9:12 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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mint milk chocolate mousse

Okay, this should be Double-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and Gelée, but I just don’t think gelée is good, and nothing will convince me otherwise. So this is just Single-Mint Milk Chocolate Mousse and, even though I don’t have that cool layered effect that gelée would have given, it is fabulous!

There is really something quite special about chocolate mousse. It isn’t particularly hard to make, but it is so luxurious, and it really fixes a chocolate craving. I used up a lot of my random milk chocolate bits and pieces for this, so that was also quite satisfying. I usually have fresh mint on hand in the summer because I like it with all the summer fruits and vegetables, but if you don’t have it to steep your cream for the mousse, I don’t see why you couldn’t use peppermint extract. This mousse uses just egg whites and no yolks, which I thought was unusual, but it makes it nice and fluffy, and I had absolutely no issues polishing off a tall glass!

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: Tropical Tartlets

July 28, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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tropical tartlets

It feels like it has been, and is going to continue to be, in the muggy 90s here forever, so it’s the right climate for Tropical Tartlets. A puréed mango filling with coconut, lime and rum means one of these is basically a mango daiquiri in a tart shell, and that’s delicious. These tarts also reminded me that I don’t eat nearly enough mangoes.

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: 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!

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