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!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Matafan

April 10, 2018 at 7:31 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, groups, other sweet, pancakes & waffles, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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apple matafan

I’m pretty sure I nominated Apple Matafan a million times for TWD. Finally it’s getting it’s moment in the spotlight! Of course it helped that only two of us voted this month (and one of us was yours truly). Good things come to those who wait…I think we all agree that it is delicious. A matafan is a pancake cooked in a skillet. Traditionally they are savory, but this one’s sweet and loaded with sliced apple. I made a half-sizer in my little cast iron pan. It took less time to cook through than instructed for the larger size and was probably more manageable to flip, too.

This reminds me of a pancake version of the Custardy Apple Squares we made way back when. It’s a great thing to make if you have a couple of apples that have been hanging out in the fridge a bit too long. There’s no doubt this would be delicious with maple syrup, but I have some apple cider that I boiled down into a syrupy consistency and spooned that over the top. We ate this one for breakfast, but it would also make a fine dessert (with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, perhaps?).

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: Real Hot Chocolate

January 9, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, drinks, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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real hot chocolate

The East Coast is definitely going through some Real Hot Chocolate weather right now. The bomb cyclone and the polar vortex can only be counteracted with the giant mug. Sometimes hot chocolate can seem like ganache or straight-up melted chocolate. This one is definitely a drink, not an ice cream topping or a churro dip. If you have some milk and some chocolate on hand, you’re in business (ok, sugar, water and salt, too). After heating these ingredients, the hot chocolate gets zapped in the blender, which makes it nice and frothy. I never have marshmallows at home but I do usually have a can of whipped cream (a top-secret weakness), and a squirt of that is pretty darn good on top. Also good with hot chocolate– little donuts. Pro tip.

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

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!

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 | 12 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 BWJ: Cocoa Nests with Caramel Mousse

June 8, 2016 at 8:50 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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cocoa nests with caramel mousse

I’ve been on a chocolate tear here for the last few weeks.  I guess though that caramel is really the dominate flavor in Charlotte Akoto’s Cocoa Nests with Caramel Mousse.  And I guess I should actually call the “mousse” that I made “cream” since I totally dumbed down her mousse recipe and just made a caramel whipped cream.

The nests are decoratively piped cocoa meringues, dried to a crisp in a low oven.  I wanted to skip the gelatin and egg yolk bombe-based mousse in the recipe, so I just made a dry caramel (on the dark side) with a bit of sugar, poured in some cream and let it come up to a boil.  Then I chilled the mix for several hours before I whipped it like regular cream.  This is something I’ve made at the restaurant before, and it’s pretty freakin’ tasty.  It’s sweet though, and I knew the meringue nests would be, too, so instead of making the nut praline garnish, I just scattered some chopped toasted hazelnuts over the finished dessert.  This was a fun project and reminiscent of a pavlova.

 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: 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

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