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!

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.

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