TWD BWD Rewind: Swirled, Spiced Sour Cream Bundt Cake

March 30, 2022 at 2:40 pm | Posted in bundt cakes, cakes & tortes, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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swirled, spiced sour cream bundt

Few things delight me more than a Bundt cake, and few things excite me more than cutting into a swirled or marbled cake and seeing how things played out in the oven. This Swirled, Spiced Sour Cream Bundt had all my neurons sparking. It features a sturdy but moist sour cream cake with fudgy ripples of spices, nuts and chocolate. I added a little powdered espresso to the swirl sprinkle, and to the thick glaze I topped the cake with. As I lifted out the first couple of slices, I was pleased to see that the swirl had behaved itself. This was great as a dessert cake and as a coffee cake.

For the recipe, see Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Apple Pandowdy

November 9, 2021 at 2:07 pm | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 23 Comments
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apple pandowdy

We’re already onto our second recipe from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple! I was going to do the English Muffins this week, but then you know how it goes. I didn’t get around to making the dough, and apparently English muffins don’t make themselves…but I did have a round of homemade rough puff pastry in the freezer, so Apple Pandowdy it was!

A pandowdy is one of those olde-fashioned desserts I’ve never actually made before. Likely invented to use off-cuts and scraps of pie pastry (an idea I like very much, btw since I never throw out my trimmings), it is assembled like a pot pie, with a fruit filling underneath a top crust. You can spice up your fruit any way you like, but this one has just a simple filling of sliced apples, sugar, lemon and a little butter. My apples let out a lot of juice, but once the pandowdy had cooled, it was actually quite a nice sauce-like consistency. A sprinkle of flour in the filling would probably help bind that up a bit next time.

Even though I was using brand-new dough and not scraps here, I assembled my crust higgledy-piggledy from randomly-sized overlapping triangles and squiggles, as Dorie suggests. Because I used puff pastry, my pieces got very poofy in the oven, and probably didn’t quite conform to the shape of the cooked down apples quite as much as if I’d used a pie dough. I guess it’s still cute in it’s own dowdy way.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, you can test drive this Apple Pandowdy recipe here. But get the book and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Miso-Maple Loaf

October 19, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 18 Comments
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miso-maple loaf

Just when TWD starts winding down one project, Dorie comes along with another challenge to keep us going. We have less than a year’s worth of cookies left to scoop, so why not fold her beautiful new Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple into the mix? Today’s the book release day, and we’re celebrating with cake! We’re going to ease into it, though (I mean, we haven’t done a fancy cake in about a year so we might be a little rusty), with this Miso-Maple Loaf.

This cake is made like a usual loaf cake, but with an unusual ingredient– white miso. Unless you are a super-taster, it’s unlikely you’d pick it out, but it nudges the cake in a slightly savory direction. It doesn’t go too far that way, though…it does have sugar and maple syrup, after all. It’s sturdy and coarse-crumbed cake, as Dorie notes, but it’s also ever so soft. Dorie calls for orange or tangerine zest in the batter (rubbed into the sugar to release max flavor– her patented technique). I used yuzu zest instead, which I had squirreled away in the freezer, and that flavor is definitely the pronounced one in my loaf. We’ve been enjoying slices with a little whipped cream for the last couple of nights.

This is a great preview of what’s to come from this book. We don’t normally post the recipes we make, as you’re encouraged to pick-up a copy and bake with us, but Dorie has given us permission to put this first one up. Thanks so much to everyone, old friends and new, who are joining us for this next adventure, and to Dorie, who has given us at least a hundred more delicious reasons to keep baking on!

Miso-Maple Loaf
from Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan

4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 ¾ cups/238 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
finely grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine
¼ cup/70 grams white or yellow miso
¼ cup/60 milliliters pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup/80 milliliters buttermilk (well shaken before measuring)
¼ cup/80 grams orange marmalade or apricot jam (for the glaze, optional)

Center a rack in the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 1/2-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, or use baker’s spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Put the sugar, salt and zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl that you can use with a hand mixer. Reach in and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant; it may even turn orange. Add the butter, miso and maple syrup to the sugar. If using a stand mixer, attach the bowl and fit it with the paddle attachment.

Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater(s) as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after each goes in. Beat in the vanilla. The mixture might curdle, but this is a temporary condition. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse to begin the blending, turning the mixer on and off in very short spurts on the lowest speed. Then, beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated. With the mixer still on low, pour in the buttermilk and blend well. Scrape the batter into the pan, working it into the corners and smoothing the top.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, checking the loaf after 40 minutes and covering the top loosely with a foil or tented parchmentif it’s browning too fast. The loaf is properly baked when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bread rest for 5 minutes, then run a table knife around the edges of the loaf and unmold onto the rack; turn it right side up.

If you’d like to glaze the loaf, stir the marmalade or jam with 1 tablespoon water and heat the mixture in the microwave or over low heat until it comes just to a boil. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, cover the top of the loaf with the glaze. Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing.

Wrapped well, the cake will keep for about 4 days at room temperature. If it becomes stale — and maybe even if it doesn’t — toast it lightly before serving. If you haven’t glazed the cake, you can wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, at room temperature.

Get the book, Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, and join us every second and fourth Tuesdays. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars

October 5, 2021 at 10:40 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate and hazelnut bars

These Chocolate and Hazelnut Bars should technically be made with walnuts, but I’m going through another one of those pantry purge phases again, and I’m not buying anything I don’t have if I can make a clean swap for something I do have. Seriously, I want everything in my fridge and cabinets to go away. And also all the stuff that sits on my counter because I don’t have enough space in my cabinets. Everything is giving me agita these days, but you are not here for complaining– you are here for cookies!

Some of Dorie’s cookies are more like cake that’s been baked or cut into cookie shapes, and this is another example. She based the recipe on a torte she had in Rome once upon a time, and it’s a separated egg and nut flour sponge with glaze on top. Cut it into bars and call it cookies! The recipe makes quite a large quantity, a 9×13 pan, so I cut it down to a third and baked it in an 8.5×4.5 loaf for the two of us. The hazelnuts worked great here, as they are a natural combo with chocolate, and my glaze was really some homemade hot fudge sauce (keeping in purge-mode) that was made with essentially the same ingredients. Be prepared to dirty every bowl and small appliance in your kitchen if you make these, but also be prepared for something very tasty.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Baby Buckwheat Bars

August 17, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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baby buckwheat bars

The buckwheat flour and chocolate combo is a wonderful one, so I’m excited Baby Buckwheat Bars have finally made center stage. These baby bars are really more like bite-sized cake squares than cookies. Since I don’t need 100 pieces of anything, no matter how teeny, I made just a third of the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan. It was a small amount, so I made it by hand, blatantly ignoring Dorie’s headnote warning that the texture depends on using a stand mixer. I think the baby batch of baby bars came out just fine, but I can see the big kid batch being difficult to hand whip properly. I enjoyed the grainy texture and earthy flavor of these GF bars (a strange-sounding compliment), and the little bits of chocolate throughout. Dorie gives a couple of optional embellishments to this recipe, and I opted for both. One is a nip of booze in the batter. I’m all out of the rum she suggests, but I subbed nocino walnut liqueur. The other is a ganache glaze, which I obviously could not resist and also sprinkled with a little flaky pink salt (I did skip the egg wash on top before baking).

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Matcha-White Chocolate Mini Mads

April 20, 2021 at 8:05 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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matcha-white chocolate mini mads

Madeleines…are you cookies, or are you little cakes disguised as seashells? Personally, I say little cakes, and these Matcha-White Chocolate Mini Mads are really little cakes, since they were baked in a mini madeleine tin. A regular-sized tin will work just fine also…whichever you use, just be sure to grease and flour it well, even if it’s nonstick. These are flavored with, you guessed it, matcha and melted white chocolate, and there’s a bit of lime zest in there, too.

Madeleines are easy to make by hand, but you do need to allow time to chill the batter before baking. I got a pretty good bump on the backsides of these babies. In the past, that has not always happened with Dorie’s madeleines, so I was quite pleased. I liked the flavor of these, and their cool Frankensteinian color, courtesy of the green tea powder. They stayed nice and soft even the day after I baked them (I did check them early in the oven to make sure I took them out when they were just done…over-baking tiny things makes me nervous!). I piped a white chocolate drizzle on some of my mini mads, but that wasn’t as cute as I’d hoped, so those didn’t make the photoshoot– haha.

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

Everyday Dorie: Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake

March 12, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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tangerine-topped cheesecake

I’m looking at this photo of a slice Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake and am wondering why I didn’t actually top it with any tangerine segments. They’re all in the bowl in the background! Ah well, it’s a pretty nice-looking slice anyway, and that citrus did eventually find it’s way on top. This cheesecake has a blend of cream cheese and ricotta, which, along with a long beating time, keeps it light. It’s also basically a crustless cheesecake, with just a dusting of crumbs on the bottom to keep it from sticking. A thick slice of NY-style cheesecake often hits me like a brick (of cream cheese), so I really liked this lighter style. I do enjoy a proper graham cracker crust, though, but I don’t see why I couldn’t make one for this next time. Since we’re just two cheesecake-eaters here at home, I scaled down the recipe and made a third of it my 6″ loose-bottomed pan.

No futzing with a water bath makes this pretty easy to make. The cake mix has plenty of tangerine zest in it, but you could use any other citrus zest or the seeds of a vanilla bean for flavor instead. And who’s to say it has to be tangerine-topped? Berries, figs, poached pears or stewed dried fruit all sound like good toppers to me.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cheesecakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Molasses Coffee Cake

December 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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molasses coffee cake

Although, I can assure you, a slim slice of this Molasses Coffee Cake is fabulous with a morning cuppa, it isn’t the hefty streusel-topped sour cream number you might normally think of when you hear the words “coffee cake.” This one’s like a molasses gingerbread with coffee in the batter. Five-spice powder is an interesting twist here on the typical gingerbread spicing, and that glug of coffee adds to the rich dark flavor of the molasses. The white chocolate and coffee glaze on top may be optional…but is it really? I made mine a tad thicker than the Dorie did, just by decreasing the liquid a bit, so it would stay put and hold onto the holiday sparkle I scattered on top.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our coffee cakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Parsnip and Cranberry Cake

November 27, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, layer cakes, sweet things | 8 Comments
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parsnip and cranberry cake

This Parsnip and Cranberry Cake was the star of the show for our Thanksgiving-for-two dinner last night. And for leftovers night tonight. And I’m sure for leftovers-turned-into-something-else night tomorrow. It is very good. Originally, this cake is a big triple-layer nine-incher, but since we were solo for the holiday, I scaled the recipe back to a third of that to get two (rather tall) nice six-inch layers. I pretty much expected it to taste like carrot cake, until I realized the spicing is quite different. This one has ground coriander, grated fresh ginger and orange instead of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It’s filled and frosted with cream cheese icing, but it has a sneaky layer of cranberry sauce inside, too. It also should have had chopped fresh cranberries mixed into the batter and sugared cranberries on top, but I was working with a partial bag of berries, and after making the sauce, I didn’t have any extras. Rather than the berries in batter, I used chopped candied orange zest (and left out the sugared fresh zest in the recipe) and put some bloops of sauce on top of the finished cake, along with some maple-parsnip chips. I don’t always go for the “nearly naked” style of decoration…like someone did the crumb coat and then said “to heck with it”…but here, I thought it was kind of charming with that little bit of cranberry sauce peaking out.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

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.

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