Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Mocha-Walnut Torte

April 11, 2023 at 7:40 pm | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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mocha walnut torte

A Mocha-Walnut Torte is the answer to the question of what to make for your GF friends, for Passover, for whenever you need a super-elegant yet super-easy dessert. This slim, flourless chocolate cake is made using the separated egg method, with meringued whites providing the bulk of the lift. A ground chocolate, walnut, coffee and spice mixture gives it flavor. I added a splash of nocino liqueur to the blend. Dorie gives the option of a ganache topping, which I viewed as mandatory, and a sprinkle of walnuts. Delicious cold, it kind of reminded me of a nutty candy bar.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet (you can also find the recipe here), get it 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!

Everyday Dorie: White Wine-Poached Pears

February 25, 2023 at 10:32 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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white wine-poached pears

Imagine pears bobbing around in a honey-sweetened white wine syrup flavored with ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and star anise. White Wine-Poached Pears are so fragrant! They make an elegant stand-alone dessert, but poached pears are also great alongside ice cream or a piece of “simple” cake. I have a jar of leftover syrup in the fridge…I might use it to make a champagne cocktail before the winter’s through.

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 BWD: Swedish Fika Cake

February 14, 2023 at 10:31 pm | Posted in BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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swedish fika cake

I do a solo coffee break most afternoons, but wouldn’t it be fun to fika with friends, with a big pot of coffee and slices of Swedish Fika Cake? We’ve already done a related recipe for Swedish Visiting Cake Bars, but this one is a full-on butter-ball of a cake, crowned with a crisp, sugared almond topping. In the recipe, the cake part is just flavored with vanilla, but I added a splash of almond extract along with that to make it a bit more marzipany. I also tossed an extra handful of sliced almonds into the topping to take in more of the buttery sugar syrup that forms a baked-on shell on top of the cake. This was a good one, and I enjoyed more than one sliver of this moist cake in the weekday quiet of my kitchen.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it 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: Cranberry Spice Squares

November 20, 2022 at 11:36 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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cranberry spice squares

Here we are, a couple of days out from Thanksgiving, and I still don’t really know what I’ll be making for dessert (although I have a few ideas). If I hadn’t already baked, frosted and polished off these Cranberry Spice Squares, they’d be contender. Think spiced molasses gingerbread with pops of fresh cranberries and swoops of cream cheese frosting. Good, right? This is a great snacking cake for the holiday season, and if you have leftover crannies after the big dinner, think about putting them towards this. Toasted or candied nuts make a good sprinkle.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, get it 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!

Everyday Dorie: Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake

October 28, 2022 at 3:40 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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caramel-pear and five-spice upside-down cake

I do appreciate a good upside-down cake, and have made several here, using all different kinds of fruit. The bulk of them Dorie’s, of course, since this blog has for many years been basically a DG stan account (I think I used that term correctly). This Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake uses a technique I don’t remember doing before with any of them– making the batter in the food processor– and it worked brilliantly!

Everything about this was good, from the soft texture of the blitzed cake, to the caramelized pear topping (no sticking!), to the flavorings. I did make a citrus switch. As I didn’t have a lemon, I used orange instead, which I think of as a natural partner to five-spice anyway. I made half a recipe of the cake and baked it my 7″ cake pan, which had space for a nice pinwheel of pears on top.

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 BWD: Java Mini Mads

September 13, 2022 at 4:17 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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java mini mads

When I say that I like to have a little coffee treat on-hand, I mean a little treat to go with my coffee…but when my coffee treat is also a coffee-flavored treat, like these Java Mini Mads, that’s even better! I’ve made lots of Dorie madeleines over the years, and even have both large and small shell-shaped molds for them. Here, though, she has us bake these buttery, espresso-infused bites in a mini muffin tin, which shows you really don’t need that extra stuff cluttering your kitchen.

These are easy to put together, as the batter is mixed by hand. The hardest part of making it is having patience…it needs a long rest in the fridge, a recommended five hours minimum before baking, if you want to achieve the signature “madeleine hump” in the oven. Dorie says the batter will last refrigerated for up to three days, so I baked these off over the course of a couple of days. The photo above is from round one, but for round two, I decided to dunk their humps in cinnamon sugar while they were hot from the oven. Spicy.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, get it 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!

Everyday Dorie: Peach Flognarde

September 9, 2022 at 12:09 am | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, pudding/mousse, simple cakes, sweet things | 6 Comments
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peach flognarde

If you’re wondering what a flognarde, join the club. Well, I do know what one is, but only because I just made one. Flognarde is what you call the classic French country dessert clafoutis when it’s made with fruit other than cherries. Here I did a spin on Dorie’s recipe with plums and made a Peach Flognarde.

To make this, a simple crêpe-like batter is poured over sliced fruit. As the batter bakes, it soufflés around the fruit and, as it cools, it settles into something that’s more like a sliceable custard. This one baked really beautifully, truly custardy inside and not rubbery, and I love the edging. I swapped the spices in the recipe for a splash of almond extract and the cognac for a glug of Combier, both of which I thought would pair well with the peaches. Now I want to try this out with all the fruits!

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.

Everyday Dorie: Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake

July 8, 2022 at 3:29 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 3 Comments
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cornmeal-buttermilk skillet cake (with strawberries)

This Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Strawberries is one I actually whipped up a couple of years ago. With the pandemic in full swing, summer 2020 was all around good times. I, like most you, was cooking with whatever I could get my hands on or had already. Saturdays were my shopping days, masked up at the farmers’ market and wondering what would be left after waiting in block-long socially distanced lines, and then going to the grocery store for the other stuff and finding the shelves half empty.  But if you know how to cook, you can make some pretty good stuff in all kinds of different circumstances…you can even have cake.

This was an easy, dump-and-stir type of cake that can be baked off as a loaf or a round (I went with the cast iron skillet option). It’s made similar to cornbread, but a little sweeter. I stirred in some strawberries, but you can use whatever berries you have, or none at all. Maybe I should make it again this summer, while the blackberries are around and more readily available.

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.

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!

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