Everyday Dorie: Eton Mess

April 22, 2022 at 8:18 pm | Posted in everyday dorie, general pastry, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 3 Comments
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Eaton mess

Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert with whipped cream, strawberries and broken up meringue…it reminds me of a pavlova someone took a mallet to, but it’s beautiful it’s own messy way. Light and summery, Dorie’s version uses a strawberry-rhubarb compote and meringue with Biscoff spice cookie bits swirled through. And my version of Dorie’s version uses puréed mango, sweetened raspberries and meringue with crispy Lazzaroni amaretti cookie bits. The meringue is baked off in a sheet, which is then broken up into crumbles. I bake at home with golden sugar rather than white, so I am assuming that’s what gave my meringue it’s golden hue, as I didn’t neglect it in the oven. It was delicious with the almondy flavor from the cookies, and I was glad to have extra to nibble on. I assembled my Eton Mess parfait-style, which looked quite tidy for photos, but rest assured that as soon as the camera clicked off, I stirred it up and made a mess of it.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Two-Bite Cinnamon Puffs

February 22, 2022 at 9:47 am | Posted in BWD, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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two-bite cinnamon puffs

I think choux pastries are some of the most fun, from the cooking of the dough itself to the excitement of seeing how it sprouts and poofs in the oven, they are a delight to make and eat. Dorie’s One-Bite Cinnamon Puffs are cinnamon-spiced chouquettes, French sweet snacks that are pearl-sugared cream puffs without the cream. The recipe makes 100 little popable babies– a bit too much for the two of us here, even though we are pretty hard-core snackers. I cut the recipe back to just 1/4 and made her Two-Bite Cinnamon Puffs variation. Since it was such a small amount of batter, I just mixed it by hand right in the pot I used to heat the liquid. I also started my oven at 400˚ and turned it down to 350˚ at the half-way point. I figured the larger sized puffs could take that extra-hot steam boost without getting torched (not sure about the tiny ones, though). This gave me eleven chouquettes that were a nice coffee nibble. And, if you want to experiment, the two-biters also had enough room inside to squirt a little canned whipped cream or to hold a small scoop of ice cream.

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 BCM: Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters

July 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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roasted rhubarb with bitters

This is actually the third year in a row that I’ve made this Roasted Rhubarb with Bitters recipe. If you love rhubarb like I love rhubarb, then you’ll appreciate having it in the fridge to top yogurt, ice cream, plain cake, etc. And it’s hot pink– the best food color. Prettiness counts cuz we eat with our eyes first. Taste counts, too, of course, and this has that balance I like with rhubarb…sweet enough to enjoy it, but not enough to kill its natural tartness. A few dashes of bitters from the bar cart give it a barley there something else that has me plotting to use the syrup to make a beautiful pink cocktail when I’m done with the fruit (or err…vegetable).

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: Crackle-Top Cream Puffs

May 28, 2019 at 7:41 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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crackle-top cream puffs

I love making all things choux— It’s one of the most fun doughs to make, IMO, and yields some of the most tasty pastries! While I’ve made pâte à choux treats here many times, this was my first attempt at making Crackle-Topped Cream Puffs. A standard cream puff gets topped with a small, thin disk of cookie dough that fuses to the top and gets beautifully cracked as the choux beneath it rises and expands. Dorie said we could either use a “craquelin” made from a simple brown sugar cookie dough or we could use her Sweet Tart Dough made with nuts. I happened to have some STD (hahaha) made with almond meal in the freezer, so I just went with that. I will say that, while I did have a crispy-crackly top, I didn’t get the color contrast that I would have with the brown sugar dough version, so mine look less striking than I would have hoped. Next time I will try the other way.

You can fill these babies however you’d like– with pastry cream, whipped cream, mousse, curd, or with ice cream, like I did. I even had a hidden layer of cookie butter at the bottom, as I’m still trying to use up a jar I made for other things. The first local strawberries were at the market this past weekend, so I snagged some of those to along with, too. Kind of like strawberry shortcake cream puffs, they were delicious and perfect for Memorial Day dessert.

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: Palmiers

April 9, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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palmiers

What to do with a little stack of frozen puff pastry scraps left over from Banana-Nutella Chaussons and a Potato Tourte? Make Palmiers! These are so easy. Just roll puff into a square, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and fold in towards the center. I used vanilla sugar for extra flavor, and because I found a jar of it in my cupboard and want to use it up. Some of my palmiers sort of unfurled into donut shapes the oven, but I don’t mind. Puff pastry does what it wants to sometimes…I like things made with it to be really caramelized and crispy, taken almost to the edge of dark. I’ve got no time for pale puff. These palmiers are just as good with ice cream as they are with coffee.

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: Banana-Nutella Chaussons

March 26, 2019 at 7:53 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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banana-nutella chaussons

These Banana-Nutella Chaussons are a take on traditional French puff pastry turnovers that are usually filled with apples. Dories says chaussons are most often breakfast or snack treats, but they are pretty amazing for dessert, too, especially when they are filled with a combo of gooey melted chocolate and bananas. Maybe even more so when you replace the straight-up chocolate in the filling with a generous amount of Nutella, like I did here. Things got a little wild in the oven, and my chaussons pretty much erupted, even though I egg washed and sealed them well. C’est la vie…the delicious filling and flaky layers just could not be contained! My evil genius dessert brain spotted an opportunity and decided a scoop of salted caramel ice cream would be perfect tucked into the opened sides.

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: Alsatian Christmas Bread

December 11, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, other sweet, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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alsatian christmas bread

Alstatian Christmas Bread (aka baerewecke) is a bit of a project, but it also couldn’t be easier. It’s not a bread that needs flour or yeast, just dried fruit and nuts. Instead of rising time, it needs chopping and mascaerating time…also some shopping time to gather ingredients. This uses all sorts of yummy dried fruit- figs, apples, pears, raisins, apricots and prunes- plus walnuts and almond flour. The fruit is cut and soaked in juice until it’s very soft and makes a sticky paste when mixed with the nuts. Form the paste into logs, bake them until they hold together, and you’re done! This is one of those things that, like fruitcake, lasts a long time and probably even gets better with age. I made mine a few days before I first cut into it, and I still have the second log sitting in my chilly kitchen. I’m thinking of mailing it to my mom in Seattle, because I think she’d like it.

By itself, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan. You can nibble on this like a snack or energy bar, but I think it’s also great with cheese. If I make a cheese plate I always like to have some sort of jam or fruit paste on the side, and this is a perfect accompaniment.

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: Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling

November 27, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate cream puffs with mascarpone filling

Yesterday was a good day for baking, but not so much for photo taking. It was basically black outside and pouring rain at 3:00. My Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling were not shown off in their best light (and let’s not even get started about my weird hand). I have to take the bad with the good, I guess. I do love making pastries with choux paste– it’s such a fun dough to make! And turning regular cream puff dough into chocolate cream puff dough is as simple as adding a little cocoa to the mix.

Dorie suggests filling these light chocolate puffs with a rose-scented mascarpone whipped cream. I saw the words “chocolate” and “mascarpone” and could only think “tiramisu” (isn’t that so predictable?) so I skipped the rose and added coffee extract to my filling instead. I made a quickie ganache glaze to dip the tops into and tacked on chocolate sprinkly bits. Delightful. As an aside, I think the tastiest and best way to stabilize whipped cream is to add in a blob of mascarpone and I actually do this often. It lasts for a few days if you want to whip extra, and if you need to frost a cake with whipped cream, this is the way to go.

I tucked half of these puffs, sans cream filling, into the freezer so I can turn them into one of my very favorite other choux desserts, ice cream profiteroles, later in the week. 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: Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs

August 14, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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cold chocolate crémeux, wine-poached cherries and lots of crumbs

If Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs sounds pretty cheffy, that’s because it’s inspired by a dessert Dorie had a bistro in Paris. A crémeux is essentially a custard that’s thickened with gelatin. It’s not hard to make and sets up dense and rich, especially when it also has a lot of good dark chocolate blended in! The crumbs are cocoa-flavored streusel bits, and wine-poached cherries are just what they sound like…I used an Aussie shiraz in my poaching liquid. Serve this dessert in a cute little bowl…you’ll have a combination of textures and sweetness levels.

Like most desserts with multiple components, it helps when you can get some of them out of the way ahead of time. The cherries can be poached well in advance and kept jarred in the fridge. The cocoa crumbs, too, but I’d keep them in the freezer for longer-term storage. Any extra cherries and crumbs you may find yourself with will be good toppings for an ice cream sundae later…just sayin’.

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: Springtime Cookies and Curd with Double-Butter Double-Baked Petit Beurre Cookies

May 22, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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springtime cookies and curd with double-butter double-baked petit beurre cookies

Here are both of this month’s BCM recipes in one nifty post. I’d say I love the efficiency, but actually, I had to get together a lot of bits and pieces before I could stick a spoon in this Springtime Cookies and Curd dessert and call it done. This is a layered treat…cookies, curd, rhubarb and strawberries…oh my! I began by making Double-Butter Double-Baked Petit Beurre Cookies, which I can assure you are double-good. They’re made in an unusual way, starting with buttery baked streusel-like crumbles, to which even more butter is added to hold them together into a rough dough. I knew this would be tricky to work with, so I skipped the step of rolling out the dough and then cutting and transferring delicate rounds. Instead, I pressed the dough into rings, chilled everything well and baked the cookies right in those rings.

Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I got everything else together. Sometimes the state of my fridge drives me nuts, while other times I am thankful for all the little jars of this and that I have kicking around. Taking shortcuts where you can is nothing to be ashamed of. I had passion fruit curd in the fridge already, as well as stewed rhubarb, so I used those. Rather than make a strawberry compote I just diced up some fresh berries.  I put all these together in a coupe, beginning and ending with cookie bits, and it made a beautiful and delicious springtime dessert. And the cookies are fabulous on their own…very buttery, a tiny bit salty and with a texture that can’t be beat.

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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