TWD BCM Rewind: Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style

August 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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profiteroles, ice cream and hot chocolate sauce, Benoit style

This major sweet tooth has a hard time picking out an absolute favorite dessert, but ice cream profiteroles are definitely on the shortlist. In fact, I get a little angry if I go to a French bistro-style restaurant and they aren’t on the menu! Choux is fun to make at home though, so I’m happy to take care of my profiterole cravings myself every once in a while. These Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce have an extra twist…the choux puffs are actually filled with pastry cream. Cream puffs and profiteroles in one– a twofer! That’s more than I need, really, but I’d never say no. I had choux piped out in the freezer, I made the chocolate sauce ahead of time and I used shop-bought ice cream, so making a little pastry cream was no big deal. This was a great dessert, of course, and I’m glad I got a chance to make it.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see what other folks caught up on this week!

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Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins

May 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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pistachio and summer fruit gratins

What to say about these Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins? Well for one thing, they are pretty tasty. A layer of fruit and berries topped with pistachio frangipane could almost not be a winning dessert. I will fess up that I fudged the frangipane and used the “regular” almond kind, which I have a stash of in the freezer.  I sprinkled a bunch of pistachios on top to fool everyone, though! Haha– I have a few tricks up my sleeve now and then. The fruit in this can be pretty much whatever’s in season…I went with a rhubarb/raspberry combo. The ‘barb and ‘berries bubbled up in the oven and turned into a jammy layer that was the most gorgeous shade of hot pink. Hot pink and pistachio green might be my favorite color combo, but I can see myself making this one over and over again this summer as different fruits roll though the farmers’ market.

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: Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple

April 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

I’ve had my eye on Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spied Pineapple for a while. I’ve high-heat roasted pineapple in a vanilla-caramel sauce before, and I can tell you that it is the stuff my ice cream sundae dreams are topped with.  Now that I’ve made this slow-roasted version, I can say that if I ever meet Laurent, I will shake his hand. Or maybe give him cheek kisses because la bise seems more French than a handshake. My disappointingly flavorless bodega pineapple was totally transformed after marinating for two hours in a low oven with jam, OJ, Grand Mariner and spices. I was also pretty pleased that the process used up two jars of jam that had been hanging around for longer than I wish to admit…keeping with a tropical theme, one was a jar of passionfruit-orange-gauava jam that I bought in Hawaii a year and a half ago but never opened, and the other was half a jar of homemade tangerine marmalade that had been kicking around since waaaaay before that. This cooked for two hours…I’m sure anything potentially troublesome was taken care of by the heat, right? For my spices, I used vanilla bean, fresh ginger and coriander seed.

I actually wound up keeping my pineapple in the oven for longer than two hours. At that point, the kitchen smelled amazing, but the pineapple still seemed a little firm when I stuck a knife into one of the chunks. I had errands to do, so I just turned the oven off and let the pan sit in there until I got back home from running around. When I pulled it out, everything was syrupy and sticky and candied (including the ginger slices– yum!). I’ve already had this twice with “plain cake” and ice cream and I cannot wait to make pineapple pancakes drizzled with roasting syrup this weekend.

laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pithiviers

March 28, 2017 at 10:33 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, general pastry, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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pithiviers

 

The last time I made Pithiviers was in cooking school about 15 years ago. I have never forgotten how delicious it was though. I’m all for two rounds of flaky puff pastry with a filling in between, traditionally almond frangipane (one of my favorite things) and a bit of jammy fruit. The pithiviers recipe is in the “Fancy Cakes” section of the book, but this was a pretty simple one for me. I used store bought puff pastry, had some frangipane in the freezer from another project and instead of making prune filling, I used some black plum jam that I made last summer. Really, the only thing I did have to make for this was egg wash!

Rather than make one large round Pithiviers (that’s too much for us in one sitting), I made a couple of babies. The puff rose nice and high. Because I was making an odd size, I eyeballed the filling amounts. I do wish that I’d used a bit more of the plum jam. I was worried about leakage (there wasn’t any), so I was too skimpy. Next time– these are so easy and good. I’d like to experiment with savory fillings, too, as the concept isn’t really any different from a turnover.

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 BWJ: Chocolate-Cinnamon Beignets

April 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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chocolate-cinnamon beignets

Normally when I think beignet, I just think donut…well, French donut, I guess.  Something made with a donut-like dough.  Usually involving yeast.  It turns out there’s another type of beignet that I wasn’t really aware of…one made with fried pâte à choux dough, and Norman Love’s Chocolate-Cinnamon Beignets are an example.  These ones have cocoa and cinnamon flavoring the choux dough and a filling of caramelized banana pastry cream.  Yeah, there are a a bunch of things to make, but mmmmm.

Assembling these beignets is a lot like forming dumplings or ravioli.  The choux dough is wrapped and chilled, before being rolled, cut and filled.  And then folded, crimped, frozen and fried.  I’ve never rolled out choux dough before, so this was a fun exercise.  I could have cut the dough into circles like in the recipe (and made half-moons), but I cut it into squares instead (and made triangles) so I wouldn’t have any scraps to waste or otherwise deal with.  Different geometry, but it all tastes the same.

These are best served à la minute, right when they’re fried crisp and the filling is warm.  The recipe calls for serving the beignets with a sweet walnut and cream sauce, which I’m sure is delicious, but I had some chocolate-tahini sauce I made the other week and I used that instead. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sliced bananas, just because.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s also a video of Norman and Julia making the beignets together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Bubble Éclairs

August 25, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 18 Comments
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bubble eclairs

I love making pastries with choux paste.  The dough is so fun to make, and then when you open the oven the oven and find a tray of chubby golden puffs, well, I think it’s just delightful. These Bubble Éclairs are like cream puffs piped (I used a pastry bag and tip rather than a cookie scoop or spoon) snuggled up together in éclair form. Cute!

You can get fancy with these éclairs, or keep them simple like I did.  I just sprinkled a little Swedish pearl sugar on the tops before baking and filled them with coffee whipped cream after (flavored with the espresso syrup I still have in the fridge from BWJ’s Cardinal Slice).  I did make a couple of fancier ones with white chocolate glaze and passion fruit whipped cream, but it was such a hot, muggy day that they became a drippy mess when I tried to photo them.  Whatever, you get the idea.  I sure wouldn’t mind an éclair served profiterole-style, with ice cream and chocolate sauce…next time.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Inside-Out, Upside-Down Tirami Sù

January 6, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, ice creams & frozen, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 15 Comments
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inside-out, upside-down tirami sù

Gale Gand’s Inside-Out, Upside-Down Tirami Sù is pretty different from the tiramisu I usually make.  The flavors are all here, but this reinterprets the dessert into a mix of textures and temperatures.  Instead of ladyfinger biscuits soaked and layered into something so soft you can glide a spoon through, here you get shatteringly crisp phyllo disks sandwiching a luxurious mascarpone sabayon and an icy-cold espresso granita.

I baked off my scrunched up phyllo disks in 4-inch ring molds, which worked really well.  I left the ginger out of the sugar sprinkled on top of them, because I didn’t want that flavor here.  I did, however, want a nice splash of Kahlúa in my sabayon, so I added that.

This is kind of a posh plated dessert, but you can get the three easy steps (phyllo disks, granita and sabayon) done earlier in the day and just assemble it all right before serving.  You really can’t wait to eat it once you’ve put the granita on, because it starts to melt immediately!  By the way, I have plenty of granita left in the freezer…I’m thinking of turning it into an espresso-frappe-milkshake-type concoction.  Bonus.

inside-out, upside-down tirami sù

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Sunny-Side up Apricot Pastries

October 7, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, general pastry, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 14 Comments
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sunny-side up apricot pastires

Michel Richard is a chef with a sense of humor.  Case in point, these cute Sunny-Side Up Apricot Pastries.  At first glance, they’re fried eggs on toast.  At first bite, they’re poached fruit and pastry cream on top of crispy puff pastry.

Before you can have these for breakfast (or for dessert, if you are like I am and this is too much to process in the morning), you have to make pastry cream and poach fruit.  I’d take care of these a day in advance.  You also have to deal with the puff pastry situation and decide if you are going to buy it or make it.  I’ve worked in restaurant and bakery kitchens for more than 10 years now…while not every place I’ve worked has made puff from scratch, a few of them have, so I’ve laminated me some dough.  Frankly, it can be a pain in the neck (literally). On a large scale, those of us with no upper body strength (who me?) struggle to roll a ginormous batch by hand if there isn’t a dough sheeter.  If the kitchen’s too hot, butter oozes everywhere.  It’s often a rush-job because no one bothers to mention that they took the last sheets from the freezer and left me with nothing for the day’s production.  But, I’ve made this very puff pastry dough recipe at home before–I actually chose it several years ago when I hosted a Daring Bakers Challenge— and I know that it’s not hard at all, especially if you make it a day or two before you need it and the temps are relatively cool.  If you are on the fence, a half-batch is super-approachable, doesn’t take too much counter space to roll and will give you plenty of puff for treats.  And if you’re still on the fence, just get a nice store-bought one….I do it all the time, so no judgments.

puff pastry dough

Apricots aren’t in season here anymore, so I had planned to just use canned ones instead (and also skip the recipe’s poaching step).  Then at the Greenmarket this weekend, I saw that nectarines are still around, so I picked out a few of the smallest “apricot-sized” ones and went ahead with those.  I gave them a gentle poach and left their skins on.  I thought they were pretty, but they kind of wrinkled up in the oven.  Next time they’re coming off.  Next time I’ll also leave the puff a little fatter than the book indicates.  I think the recipe says to roll it too thin, so while the front and back ends puffed nicely, the sides were a little flatter than I would have liked.  Super crispy, though.

These were delicious, and a fun weekend kitchen project.  I’ll make them again, especially since I have extra homemade puff in the freezer now.  Here’s a document that I typed up about making puff pastry for my DB Challenge back in 2009…somewhere near the end are some tips and suggestions.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). There’s a video of the BWJ episode showing how to make both the puff pastry dough and the pastries. Finally, don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Espresso Profiteroles

September 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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espresso profiteroles

Choux paste treats have been well-covered here.  Gougères, éclairs, cream puffs and even crullers–wait, something’s missing.  How could I forget profiteroles, one of my most favorite desserts?   I’ll take care of that one now with Norman Love’s Espresso Profiteroles.

Despite my love of profiteroles, I admit that I didn’t have high hopes for these.  Quite frankly, I thought the picture in the book looked terrible (the choux looked bready, not light).  I’m happy to report that they turned out better than expected.  I’m not sure how much flavor was really contributed by adding coffee to the choux puffs themselves, but they puffed and hollowed nicely.  I used espresso ice cream (instead of cinnamon) and boozed up the chocolate sauce with Kahlua (instead of Grand Marnier), so that took care of the missing coffee flavors.

These are best cut and filled right before serving, when the puffs are crisp and the ice cream is just beginning to soften.  Pre-scooped and frozen is a profiterole no-no for me.  And the sauce should be warm.  Mmmmm…sauce…

espresso profiteroles

We’re going without hosts now for TWD, so for the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Croissants (& Pains au Chocolat)

March 5, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, general pastry, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 27 Comments
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croissants (& pains au chocolat)

TWD’s crossing a biggie off the list this week– Esther McManus’s Croissants.  This probably qualifies as the most technically complicated recipe we’ve made so far.  Like puff pastry and Danish, croissants are made from a butter-laminated, or layered, dough.  This means a block of butter is encased in dough and repeatedly rolled and folded to create layers that puff in the oven (and flake in your mouth!).  Once you get over butter-shock, it’s really fun to make this kind of dough, and if you give someone a homemade croissant they will be seriously impressed by your talents.  Cool weather helps when making the dough, and so does leaving yourself plenty of time to let it rest in between rolls and folds.

I could not resist turning half my dough into pains-au-chocolat.  Dangerously good–now I remember why I don’t allow myself to buy them!  Next time I make croissant dough (that’ll be awhile since I still have like fifteen p-au-c formed in the freezer), I’ll definitely prep almond-filled ones.  Would have done it this time, but as usual I procrastinated and didn’t get it together to make the filling.  Also, I’ll cut my croissant triangles a bit bigger.  I wound up with ones that were only slightly larger than minis and I associate mini croissants with conference room party platters.  Although these were much better (and flakier) than any office-croissants I’ve ever had, and here’s proof…

croissants (& pains au chocolat)

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read Amanda’s Girl+Food=Love. There’s even a video of Esther and Julia making the tart together).  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

P.S.: For something totally unrelated, enter my BOOK GIVEAWAY for a chance to win a copy of Breakfast for Dinner.

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