Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Plain and Simple Almond Cake

May 9, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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plain and simple almond cake

If you think Plain and Simple Almond Cake sounds a little unexciting, just change the “plain and simple” to “light and delicious” and go get to cracking yourself some eggs. While you’re at it, separate those eggs, too, because this easy almond cake is made like a separated egg sponge with almond flour replacing the normal wheat flour. This cake is light and moist, with great flavor. Since it’s plain and simple, you can dress it up however you like…we ate it at home with some fig sauce. I gave a big chunk to a chef friend of mine who is gluten-free and a little cake-deprived. Poor guy! He was so happy and said it was the best cake he’d had in a long time. I’ll make it again for sure.

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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Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks

May 2, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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chocolate-cornflake haystacks

Anytime I have a box of cereal open, it sits on the counter forever…case in point, a box of cornflakes I bought in January to help test a recipe for a friend. It’s still there on the counter now (and shockingly not stale!), even though I depleted the inner bag by a bit making Chocolate-Cornflake Haystacks. These are little crispy, chewy mounds of cereal, coconut, pecans and raisins (you could swap these add-ins for others, if you’d like) bound together by egg, agave and melted milk chocolate. They’re pretty sticky to scoop out raw, and I was concerned that they wouldn’t hold together, but they were just fine when baked. They’re good little snacky cookies and it’s not hard to eat a couple at a time.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also here. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already!

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 DC: Anzac Biscuits

April 18, 2017 at 10:50 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 16 Comments
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Anzac biscuits

I made Anzac biscuits on this blog ten years ago, when I was living in Sydney. (Sidebar: Ten years ago– holy smokes! I’ve been writing this thing for over ten years! I just now realized I missed that big milestone back in February.) I baked them then, as I did this year, to mark Anzac Day, a day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand (you can read more about it here), which is coming up on April 25.

Anzac biscuits are sturdy cookies. With no eggs in the recipe, a mixture of melted butter and golden syrup binds together all the coconut and rolled oats that are packed into the biscuits. I don’t have any problem finding golden syrup where I live in Brooklyn, and it’s become a cupboard staple since my time in Sydney, but if you can’t find it, fellow TWDer Mardi (who helped Dorie develop this recipe for the book– so cool!) suggests brown rice syrup as a sub. These are chewy and really good…this version has a little pop of salt that’s missing from most Anzac biscuit recipes but plays really well with the sweetened coconut. This batch of cookies didn’t spread nearly as much as the other I’d made back in ’07, but I don’t mind the chubby, rustic look.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and please join us if you haven’t already!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: (Meyer) Lemon Meringue Tart a New Way

April 11, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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lemon meringue tart a new way

A Lemon Meringue Tart is a great classic spring dessert, and you get to burn stuff on purpose– time to break out the blow torch! This one has a little twist though. The “new way” here refers to the lemon filling, which instead of a snappy, eggy curd, is a lemon pastry cream. The result is lighter, in terms of texture and tang. I took it a new way of my own and used some Meyer lemon zest and juice I had in the freezer in place of the regular stuff. The Meyer lemons probably made the filling a little more tame in terms of tartness as well, but it was definitely delicious. Also, I made tartlets instead of a big tart, because I don’t like to share. Just kidding. Not really.

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: 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 DC: Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars

March 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 13 Comments
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salted-chocolate caramel bars

If the name of these bars doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about them, then the photos should. These Salted-Chocolate Caramel Bars are basically all that is good and gooey in this world in one cookie. With a cocoa shortbread base, a layer of thick, salty chocolate-caramel sauce and toasted pecans on top, they are almost candy. If you’re in danger of eating too many, at least you’ll have no problem finding friends to share them with.

My advice is to keep the bars in the fridge. The caramel layer gets a little schlumpy when they are left to sit for too long. They’re also delicious cold, if you can’t wait for them to come up to room temp.

salted-chocolate caramel bars

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It was also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month of March, so you can find the bar recipe on her site, too. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Black-and-White Marbled Madeleines

March 14, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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black-and-white marbled madeleines

Over the last nine years, I’ve made many Dorie versions of the little shell-shaped cakes called madeleines. Appearance-wise, these Black-and-White Marbled Madeleines were probably not my best effort. I could tell I would have a little more batter than I needed, but overfilled the molds a bit anyway because: a) I was too lazy to clean the pan and do a second bake-off, and b) I’m too cheap to ever throw out batter. So my edges weren’t the sharpest. I didn’t get the signature madeleine bump this time either…I probably should have rested the batter for several hours instead of just one. Also my marbling technique wasn’t great. But hey– at least I know what my problems were! Taste and texture-wise, they were great. The vanilla-chocolate combo is a classic, obviously, and the little bit of citrus zest (I used bergamot instead of lime) made them extra flavorful. They were soft and spongy fresh out the oven…I don’t know how well they hold up because they didn’t last! I wouldn’t hesitate to give these a go again and be a bit more of a perfectionist when baking them the second time around.

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 DC: “Corked” Breton Galettes

March 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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"corked" breton galettes

These “Corked” Breton Galettes are like the French version of thumbprint cookies. They’re made just like shortbread slice and bakes…you put a nice fat slice into the cavities of a greased muffin tin, so they bake uniformly round. I suppose because they are on the thick side, they bake up with a very pleasing chew to them. If you’re wondering what’s with the “corked” thing, it’s because right out of the oven you press a wine cork into the center of each cookie, making a little divot to hold a spoonful of jam. I have like a dozen open jars of jam in the fridge, some homemade, others shop-bought. I like recipes that help me go through them. Here, I took out two homemade ones– sour cherry and black plum.

Oh mon Dieu, these are delicious! The traditional cookies use salted butter from Brittany, which I was able to do here because I always keep a nice salty (usually French) butter in the fridge for toast. Dorie does give unsalted butter instructions, though, amped up with extra fleur de sel because you are supposed to really notice it here. If you dig a salty-sweet combo like I do, then you should certainly give these a try…slightly classier than potato chips and ice cream…not that I don’t eat that, too…

"corked" breton galettes

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans

February 21, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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rose-hibiscus shortbread fans

Homemade shortbread is quite a treat, and these Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans are an interesting take on the norm. They have a delicious, buttery Scottish shortbread base, they’re lightly perfumed, and they’re perfect for a tea party. I crushed up some dried hibiscus leaves that I have left in the cupboard from another Dorie Recipe and managed to track down her favorite rose extract. I loved the delicate floral taste and crisp, sandy texture of these cookies. I made a half-recipe in a six-inch cake pan, so my “fans” weren’t as long and slim as they would have been in a larger pan. With a little glaze and pink sugar on top, I don’t think anyone noticed but me.

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

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