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: Blueberry-Buttermilk Bundt Cake

August 28, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Posted in bundt cakes, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 4 Comments
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blueberry-buttermilk bundt cake

This Blueberry-Buttermilk Bunt Cake is everything I want in a summer dessert…soft cake that’s just sweet enough, with big pockets of blueberries. It’s simple, but beautiful, thanks to the magic of a Bundt pan. I made a berry glaze to go on top, and while the cake surely didn’t need it, I don’t regret it one bit.

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: Ladyfingers

June 9, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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ladyfingers

This is not a great picture. I whipped up this baby batch of Ladyfingers kind of last minute and then rushed to get a few snaps before the sun went down. These Ladyfingers are the fresh, spongy kind (as opposed to the dry, crispy kind I buy when I make a tiramisu). I didn’t mind that they baked into each other, and in fact I was quite pleased that this scrap of parchment was just big enough for me to pipe my batter onto! I threw together a strawberry shortcake thing with my sponge slab for a quick dessert, and it hit the spot.

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

Everyday Dorie: Last-of-the-Bunch Banana Bundt

March 27, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in bundt cakes, cakes & tortes, cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 9 Comments
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last-of-the-bunch banana bundt

A cake with bananas, chocolate chips, coconut and rum– sign me up! This Last-of-the-Bunch-Banana Bundt has all my favorite stuff, and thankfully that made it a pantry-friendly recipe for me. I did make a couple of little tweaks as I went along. I played up the coconut flavors by using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar and coconut milk as the liquid in the glaze. Since this batter is so full of moisture-adding mashed banana and Greek yogurt, I decided I could probably cut out just a bit of fat, and only used half the butter called for (I kept the full amount of coconut oil).

There’s a good amount of batter here, and I was a little nervous that it was too much for the pan. Turned out it wasn’t, though…it baked up into a tall, glorious Bundt, which would have been delicious and pretty enough on it’s own, to be sure, but a little glaze and sprinkle didn’t hurt either.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here), and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next time.

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: Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake

December 10, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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touch-of-crunch chocolate cake

I totally didn’t realized what this Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake was all about until I actually went to make it. I just thought, “gonna make a chocolate cake today,” and assumed it would be like most others. Then I had to switch out my cake pan for a pie plate, get a double boiler going and locate some black sesame seeds in the freezer (they’re the hidden crunch in the batter). But what a nice surprise this turned out to be. It baked up with a pretty, crackly, brownie-like crust and a rich mousse-like middle. Super chocolatey, there’s not much in the way of dry ingredient binder here…just a spoonful of flour or cornstarch. I used cornstarch to keep it GF. Dorie says that this cake shines straight from the fridge, and it does, but I actually preferred it at room temperature, when it’s smooth like a truffle, except for that touch-of-crunch from the surprise sesame seeds of course!

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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