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 | 1 Comment
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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!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Chocolate Crème Caramel

February 27, 2018 at 12:45 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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chocolate crème caramel

Whether it’s called crème caramel or flan, I am a huge fan. I don’t get people who think it’s too eggy, but I’ll just eat their portion as well, so it’s all good. Actually this Chocolate Crème Caramel doesn’t strike me as eggy at all, since it gets an extra boost of flavor and richness from a good amount of chopped chocolate. You get a smooth chocolate custard with a fabulous liquid caramel sauce. It’s an elegant classic– so easy to make, and doesn’t use any cream! It just may create some new flan fans.

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!

TWD BCM Rewind: Tarte Tropézienne

May 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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tarte tropézienne

A year ago, the group made Dorie’s Tarte Tropézienne, a pastry cream-filled, sugar-sprinkled brioche cake. I did not. That’s why rewind week comes in handy. I’d never had a Trop before…now I know what I’ve been missing. I really like pastry cream. And brioche.

Trops come in various sizes. I chose to make individual ones rather than slice up a large one. Mine came out looking a little more like burger buns than like the flatter cakes they should be…I clearly didn’t press the dough out enough. No matter, they were still delicious. I served them with chopped strawberries alongside, but next time I may put the berries inside instead.

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: Honey-Yogurt Mousse (sort of)

January 24, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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honey-yogurt mousse

I had some thoughts about passing on this Honey-Yogurt Mousse. I mean, honey-sweetened Greek yogurt and whipped cream sounds delicious, but to make it a mousse, it’s stabilized with a bit of gelatin, which I don’t really care for. Then I decided, who needs the gelatin? I strained my yogurt, whipped my cream, added my honey, and had the same flavors but a softer texture. I make a jar of candied cherries every summer to put in all the cocktails I never wind up shaking or stirring at home. They tend to wind up in ice cream sundaes instead of in Manhattans…here I spooned a few into the bottom of my glass before putting the mousse on top. Light and nice…with or without the gelatin, this would be good with all kinds of fruit or (without the gelatin) even spooned over a slice of poundcake.

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: Rice Pudding with Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

June 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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rice pudding

Rice pudding isn’t something I make so often. Dorie’s Arborio Rice Pudding from BFMHTY back in ’08 was probably the last time I did (I think the base of this recipe was pretty much the same).  I do love it though.  Here, I played on the tropical hibiscus flavors by subbing out some of the whole milk for coconut milk.  The hibiscus syrup and strawberries were nice compliments to the creamy pudding, and I would think other fruit sauces and berries would be equally tasty.

This is possibly my shortest post ever.  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: Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta (sort of)

July 28, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 22 Comments
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vanilla-mango panna cotta

Panna cotta is one of those chilled, wobbly, creamy desserts that a lot of people seem to love.  Okay, I am not one of those people…cooked cream sounds like it should be right up my alley, but the secret to this eggless Italian pudding is usually gelatin, something that I avoid whenever possible.  I want to love it though, and I am continuing my quest for a vegetarian gelatin substitute anyway, so I decided to try out powdered agar-agar in this week’s layered Vanilla-Mango Panna Cotta recipe. The only other time I’ve experimented with agar-agar at home was with this mirror thing several years back, and it did not go so well.  I still didn’t really know what I was doing here, but I did a little more research and decided to use 1 tsp of agar powder in place of the 2 1/4 tsp gelatin in the recipe.

I first blended my frozen mango with lime juice and honey and spooned that puree into glasses.  I then cooked my vanilla sweetened cream and milk with my agar powder for a few minutes to activate the agar-agar and poured that on top of the puree.  Then I put the everything into the fridge to set and crossed my fingers.  And when I opened the fridge an hour later, it was really firm…like, nothing delicate about it…not what I was hoping for.

Besides the mirror thing, my only other agar-agar experience is an entry-level molecular gastromy technique that we used at the fancy-pants restaurant I worked for in Sydney called a “fluid gel.”  We’d boil fruit juice with enough agar powder to make it set hard (practically so hard it could bounce) when cooled.  Then we’d blitz it in a high-speed blender until it turned into a gel the consistency of toothpaste (remember Close-Up?) that we could use to make dots and squiggles for plate decoration.

I thought about my fluid gel days with a hint of nostalgia and decided to scrape my not-panna cotta (notta-cotta?), mango puree and all, into the blender and I whizzed it up into a very creamy and luxurious soft pudding.  I had a bit of extra mango puree that was meant to go with my morning yogurt, but plans change, so I divided it up into my glasses and topped it with my vanilla-mango pudding and some blueberries.  I couldn’t call it panna cotta in the end, but it was cold, creamy and tasty anyway.

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

Black-and-White Malted Icebox Cake and a BOOK GIVEAWAY!

May 9, 2015 at 8:39 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 27 Comments
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black-and-white malted icebox cake

Now that the days are getting warm– maybe even borderline hot– wouldn’t it be nice to just reach in the fridge and pull out a cool, creamy dessert that practically made itself?  That exists…it’s called an icebox cake!  At its most simple and familiar, an icebox cake is just store-bought wafer cookies and sweet whipped cream, stacked in alternating layers and left to meld in the refrigerator (or icebox– my dad actually calls it that, by the way) for several hours.  The cookies absorb moisture from the cream and soften during the rest, and what you get afterward is a rich, creamy dessert that falls somewhere between pudding and cake.

You can imagine that you can take this basic, yet brilliant, idea in a lot of interesting and delicious directions…like my friend and former co-worker Jessie Sheehan, who, along with her co-author Jean Sagendorph, just published a super-fun (and super pretty) new cookbook called Icebox Cakes: Recipes for the Coolest Cakes in Town.  They have the basic “old school” covered, of course, and recipes for 24 other awesome-sounding icebox cakes.  Espresso-chip– hello!  Chai-ginger– whaat?  And OMG– a black-and-white malted.  That’s the first one I decided to try.

You need four main components for this malt shop-inspired treat:  whipped cream flavored with malt powder (super easy), milk chocolate ganache (super easy), vanilla wafer cookies (not hard to make yourself, but super easy if you choose to buy them instead) and time (the hardest part!).  Oh, and some chopped malt balls scattered over top will make it extra pretty– let’s not forget that!   You just alternate layers of the cream, cookies and ganache in a springform pan and you’re ready to refrigerate.  If you’ve used store-bought cookies, you can get away with just 5-8 hour chill, but if you’ve made your own cookies, you’ll need a full 24 hours in the fridge for them to properly soften.  You can see I took a little artistic liberty and divided the components into individual-sized mini icebox cakes instead of a full 9″ springform.

Go find the full recipe for the Black-and-White Malted Icebox Cake on Jessie’s blog…and know that you can use shop-bought vanilla wafers (like Nabisco or Keebler) if you don’t have the desire or time to make your own.  It’s rich, creamy, malty, sticky and delicious, and when you see this black-and-white zebra striped beauty waiting for you on the icebox shelf, you’ll be very happy you put it together the night before.  Jessie says it’s a crowd-pleaser, and I can’t argue with that.

I’m so excited about Icebox Cakes: Recipes for the Coolest Cakes in Town that I want to send a copy to one of you!  A signed copy at that!  Just leave me a comment (one per person, please) on this post before 5:00 pm EST on Friday, May 15 and I’ll randomly choose a winner from the list.  Be sure your e-mail address is correct so I can contact you.

***Giveaway Winner Update: I have two copies to giveaway, actually!  I used random.org to generate two random comment numbers to find the winners. Congratulations to Maureen and franklyentertaining!  I’ll be in touch soon.***

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Coconut Tapioca

April 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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coconut tapioca

This week’s recipe will probably evoke some strong feelings…feelings of dislike, that is.  Tapicoa is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea (or pudding).  I don’t really even know why I like it, since it’s certainly not something I grew up eating, and I’ve never make it at home until now.  But I think the gummy little bubbles are fun to eat and I was looking forward to making this Coconut Tapioca recipe.

This is a simple recipe but it wasn’t problem-free for me.  First, I mistakenly bought small pearl tapioca, rather than the large pearl called for in the instructions…this is because often I shop first and then read directions.  I used Dorie’s ingredients and method, but tried to cover my goof by following the soaking and cooking time instructions on my package (which are waaay less for small pearl than for large).  The first day the tapioca was a nice creamy consistency, but after a night in the fridge, it was pretty much a solid glob.  I didn’t want to toss it so I folded through some softly whipped cream to lighten it up.  It was much better that way, but If I make this again with small pearl tapioca (and I probably will since I have a ton left in the bag), I’ll either cook it with some extra liquid added or I’ll incorporate egg yolk like other “true” custard recipes I’ve seen.

Despite the snags, I had a good time playing around with toppings for my tapioca. In the picture above, I sprinkled on a little brown coconut sugar and added mandarin slices.  The next day, I used chocolate sauce, toasted almonds and coconut flakes.  Berries or tropical fruit would also be natural combos with this.

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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