Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

June 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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pistachio and raspberry financiers

These Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers will make you feel rich even if your savings account balance states otherwise. Nutty and brown buttery, they are decadent and just a little bit will do (although I could probably be quite greedy with them). Dorie makes financiers in mini muffin tins, but I happen to have a silicone bar mold, so to mimic the traditional shape, I used it here. I had the space so I popped three raspberries on top instead of just one– oh, the luxury! I like the way the zing from the berries contrasts with the richness of the cakes.

By the way, did you know I spent six years working as an investment banker before I quit and went to culinary school? It’s why I moved to New York after college. Unfortunately, we were more likely to be found eating cookies from the trading floor vending machine than these beauties.

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: Cardamom and Mocha Marble Cake

April 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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cardamom and mocha marble cake

I love cutting into a marble cake. Will there be swirls? Will there be layers? Will there be blobs? It’s like a surprise inside! This Cardamom and Mocha Marble cake is one of Dorie’s Bonne Idée suggestions for the Double Chocolate Marble Cake in the book. Chocolate with coffee and cardamom is a combo that really speaks to me, so I went for it.

This cake is pretty much like a pound cake, with dark chocolate (and espresso powder) mixed into half of the batter and white chocolate (and ground cardamom) mixed into the the other half. I didn’t need a whole 9″x5″ loaf, so I scaled down the recipe to 2/3 the original (fun times with kitchen math!) to make it my 8.5″x4.5″ pan instead. I was sure to watch it in the oven and it took around an hour to bake through. I did tent it with foil at the 40-minute mark so that it wouldn’t get too dark and crusty. This is a dense cake with a fine crumb. Even though it’s a simple loaf, the flavors make it seem more sophisticated. And the marbling is, of course, very exciting to behold.

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 rewinds!

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: 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 DC: Sweet Potato Pie Bars

November 20, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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sweet potato pie bars

In my family, you cannot get away without having pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Specifically Grandma W’s pumpkin pie recipe. But it is not yet Thanksgiving (and in reality I’m not going to my parent’s house this year, and therefore I can do whatever I want without my father losing his sh_t), so I’m going to play around a bit. These Sweet Potato Pie Bars are just a little bit of a deviation from my family’s Thanksgiving norm. They are flavored pretty similarly to pumpkin pie, and I added a pinch of cloves to the recipe’s cinnamon and nutmeg, making them even more alike. I used a whole roasted sweet potato and puréed it (like lovielou did) because I think it’s more tasty than the canned stuff, and it made a nice thick filling because it’s also less watery.

The sweet potato filling gets baked over a base of sweet tart dough. You can serve these as is, or add toasty marshmallows on top. Truth be told, I’ve never been crazy about marshmallows, so I made a mascarpone-whipped cream concoction, spiked with rum because I know my father would approve of that, to swirl on top. I liked these cold from the fridge. Although Dorie says they’re best the day they’re made, I thought they held up really well for the three days it took us to eat them.

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 Thanksgiving!

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: Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake

August 28, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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hazelnut, ginger and olive oil cake

This Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake is an easy little loaf cake to whip up by hand, but as you can tell from the name, it has a lot going on flavor-wise (and there isn’t even mention of the cornmeal and butter that are in the mix, too). This is a recipe that I’ve breezed past many times in the book without really noticing it. Turns out, it’s the perfect cake to go with summer fruit. Here, I had it with nectarines (my very favorite!) and blueberries, last night, with red plums and the final bit tonight went with leftover wine-poached cherries. I made my own hazelnut flour for this by grinding whole nuts in the food processor, along with the regular flour and cornmeal to keep them from turning into a paste, and I used a nice, flavorful olive oil. It’s a rich and moist cake that feels special. I’ll make it again for sure…I even noted on the recipe page, “very good!”

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: Black-and-White Baked Alaska

June 26, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, ice creams & frozen, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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black-and-awhite baked alaska

What do I have to say about Baked Alaska? Cake & ice cream & meringue…really, do I need to say more? I think not, but I will say just enough to tell you that the cake here is a flourless chocolate souffléd brownie-type thing, and while the ice cream could have been any kind, I chose coffee. Those two flavors are a match that can only be made better with swirls of sticky meringue. I made individual-sized Alaskas, rather than a large one, so I was a little concerned about browning the meringue in the oven. I thought they might be too delicate for that, so I used my blowtorch instead…which is more fun anyway…maybe next time I’ll try setting it on fire.

black-and-awhite baked alaska

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: Cowgirl Cornmeal-Pecan Financiers

June 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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cowgirl cornmeal-pecan financiers

I like the little nutty, buttery French cakes called financiers. These Cowgirl Cornmeal-Pecan Financiers are a perfect Franco-American take on the classic. An easy melt-and-mix batter flavored with cornmeal, ground toasted pecans and plenty of browned butter bakes into a decadent treat. I have a silicone mold that’s in the traditional financier bar shape and used it here instead of my mini muffin tin. To avoid eating too many of these tasty butter bars, I decided to cut just one into bite-sized pieces and kind of extend it into a larger dessert with some berries, dulce de leche whipped cream and candied pecans. I plated it up pretty for a picture before giving it to my husband. Then I took the same components and just tossed them together in a little bowl for myself. Equally delicious, although maybe less photogenic.

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 DC: Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

June 5, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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swedish visiting cake bars

If you’re as on-trend as I am (hahaha), you’ll have heard of fika, which is not at all a trend in Sweden, but a ritual. It’s a proper sit-down, slow-down coffee break, complete with treats. Of course I am hopeful that something this delightful will turn from Scandi trend to full-on tradition on this side of the Atlantic, too, and I’m willing to do my part to enable it. If I’m ever visiting someone, or having someone visit me, for fika, I’m making Swedish Visiting Cake Bars for treat-time. These bars contain no leavening agent and are thin and dense, but they’re not heavy. They have that almond paste cake taste and feel but are actually flavored with extract. They aren’t too sweet and are an ideal coffee or tea companion.

I made Dorie’s original cake version of these bars something like eight years ago (whelp!). I think the main difference between the two, besides the shape, is that the cake just had a scattering of sliced almonds on top, while the bars have an upgraded topping of crackly sugar-glazed almonds. Making that topping gave me a déjà vu feeling, too…then I looked back and realized I’d used it before on a pear tart. I like this kind of mix-and-match, taking good parts from one thing to improve another.

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!

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