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!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Gâteau Basque Fantasie

November 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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gâteau basque fantasie

I am a fan of the gâteau Basque. In fact, I’ve made a couple of rather traditional versions here before, both filled with pastry cream and jammy fruit. This Gâteau Basque Fantasie is Dorie’s fall fantasy version. It has that great cookie-like double crust (seriously, so good!), filled with a cooked down mix of apples, grapes, lots of orange and dried fruit and nuts. It reminds me of mince pie, and I like it a lot. You can act out your own fantasies and switch things up, too. I imagine pears would be great in place of the apples, and you can change the spicing to be whatever you want it to be.

gâteau basque fantasie

The pastry dough seems a little fussy to work with. It’s soft and cracks easily. But really, it’s super forgiving because all that seems to disappear in the oven. Any imperfections come out looking perfectly beautiful, even if you feel you’ve done a rather kooky patch job getting it into the pan. Don’t skip the egg wash and the pretty crosshatch pattern. Of course these are just my fantasy additions, but may I also suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little glass of vin santo?

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: Basque Macarons

October 30, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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basque macarons

Why on Earth did I skip out on Basque Macarons last month? There isn’t anything precious or fiddly about this type of macaron…this is an easy recipe to throw together. At its heart, there are just four ingredients: almond flour, egg whites, sugar and salt. Okay, you have to whisk and fold in some of the egg whites, but I made and baked these at 7:00 in the morning and managed not to screw them up, so I’d call them low stress. I did add in a bit of cinnamon and a dash of almond extract for extra flavor. And I pressed a whole almond into the tops of half of them just ‘cuz. But you don’t have to do any of that if you don’t want to.

These bake up with a sweet, crisp shell and a nice, chewy inside. If feel like I say this with every cookie, but they are so good with coffee! I could even give them to my DF/GF bestie, so they win extra points with me.

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: Le Cheesecake Round Trip

October 23, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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le cheesecake round trip

Le Cheesecake Round Trip is a cheesecake Dorie makes in both in New York and in Paris. In fact, she’s been known to smuggle ingredients in her suitcase from one continent to another to make it. With a filling of all-American cream cheese and a Paris-ized crust of spice cookies and almond flour, it contains a bit of both worlds.

We actually make a crispy little spice cookie at work, and there is always scrap, so I just took some of that home to bake and grind into crumbs for this. A portion of the crumbs gets reserved to mix into the filling, giving it little freckle-speckles. I always whiz my cheesecake fillings together in the food processor. It’s easy, fast and lump-free. I made a half-sized cheesecake in a six-inch pan, but I only used a quarter of the filling (one block of cream cheese). So mine was a low-rider, but still very rich and satisfying. Dorie says that during baking the top of the cheesecake will brown and may even crack. Mine didn’t do either of these things, but I think that’s because it had so much less filling that it didn’t need enough time in the to get brown before I declared it c’est fini.

While a drizzle of salted caramel on top of Le Cheesecake is very good indeed, so is fruit sauce or jam or chocolate sauce. Cheesecake lasts a few days, so you can play around with options.

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: Bettelman

October 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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bettelman

As much as I don’t want to acknowledge it, the summer fruits are out and the apples are in. I might as well get used to it and least bake some interesting apple treats. I’d never heard of a Bettleman before, but it’s an Alsatian bread pudding made to use up stale brioche. The bread gets soaked in warm milk and egg yolks and then the mix gets a hit of spice and rum, along with apples and raisins. The egg whites are whipped separately and added at the end, so the pudding soufflés a bit in the oven. It’s lighter than the bread pudding I’m used to, and I liked it very much.

I happened to have a couple of brioche rolls in the freezer, and they were just enough to make two individual ramekins. I served my bettleman with some ice cream and a drizzle of apple caramel sauce.

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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