Tuesdays with Dorie: Dimply Peach Cake

September 23, 2008 at 5:49 am | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 49 Comments

dimply peach cake

Michelle of Bake-En selected Dorie’s Dimply Plum Cake for this week’s TWD.  I’ve read about this little breakfast cake all over the place, so I was really looking forward to trying it.  Unfortunately, stone fruits are not in season just yet here in Australia.  I had to take what I could get on this one, and what I could get were a couple of rock-hard peaches.  I stuck ’em in a paper bag and crossed my fingers that they’d ripen after a few days.

Well, they didn’t really ripen at all, and frankly I was surprised that I could even get the pits out, but I charged ahead with my out of season fruit anyway.  I went with one of Dorie’s “playing around” suggestions and added a few shredded basil leaves instead of citrus zest to the cake batter.  I kept in the cardamom, which is a spice I love, and added a pinch of cinnamon, too.  To try and help the crunchy peaches along a bit, I sprinkled each exposed half with sugar just before putting the cake in the oven, and then a couple more times during the baking process as well.

 dimply peach cake

Such a cute cake– I loved the fruity dimples, and the peach halves looked almost like hearts!  What I’ve hidden from you in these photos, though, is a little patch of raw batter left under each peach half.  Drat– I couldn’t get that part to cook through for the life of me!  In a flash of genius while taking these photos, I thought that if I flipped the individual slices upside-down on a baking sheet and stuck them under the broiler for a minute, I cook get the raw bits to firm up.  And it worked!  (That technique might get a little messy with a whole large cake.)  There was no time to take extra pics, however, as the coffee was good to go, and R was grumbling that breakfast was already taking too long.  

I made half a recipe and baked it in a standard-sized loaf pan.  Leftovers weren’t a problem, as R and I polished off the whole thing in one sitting!  The peaches did sweeten and soften nicely in the oven (I do think the sugar sprinklings helped), and I loved the warm, spicy cardamom flavor.  Although R was initially suspicious, the basil was a really nice touch, too…I should bake with herbs more often.

dimply peach cake

For the recipe, look in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (she also has it on Serious Eats) or read Bake-En.  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll to see what over 250 other people had to say!

Pumpkin Waffles

November 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Posted in breakfast things, pancakes/waffles, sweet things | 5 Comments
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pumpkin waffles

It may be all about dinner on Thursday, but somehow this year I’m not cooking the turkey, so I get to focus on a lazy holiday breakfast instead.  The next few days are gonna be go-time at work, cranking out orders for pecan and pumpkin pies and cranberry upside-down cakes.  I know already that it will be pastry versus the savory kitchen, battling for space in the one convection oven we have.  If I come out alive, sleeping in and having breakfast at home will feel good after all this.

Waffles are a perfect way to use up that open can of pumpkin we always seem to have in the fridge this time of year.  And I don’t use my waffle iron that often, so making them seems a little more special than pancakes. These pumpkin waffles have all the usual warm spices I associate with pumpkiny treats, and they cook up to that beautiful rusty orange color of autumn leaves. Maple syrup is my normal waffle topping, but I’m kind of thinking that cranberry sauce would be pretty good, too.

pumpkin waffles

Pumpkin Wafflesmakes 4-6 large round waffles 
from Pumpkin Waffles Blog

Steph’s Note:  Don’t have a kitchen scale?  This recipe with volume measurements can be found here.

50 g light brown sugar
24 g cornstarch
156 g all-purpose flour
7.2 g baking powder
3.0 g salt
3.0 g cinnamon
3.5 g ginger
0.5 g cloves
0.6 g freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
240 g whole milk
244 g canned solid-pack pumpkin
56 g unsalted butter, melted and warm

maple syrup and butter for serving

-Heat the oven to 200°F and heat a waffle iron, preferably a Belgian waffle iron.

-Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk together to break apart the cornstarch. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and whisk to blend.

-Separate the eggs– yolks go in a medium-sized bowl and whites get set aside in a smaller bowl.

-Add pumpkin and milk to the egg yolks. Whisk to blend and set aside.

-Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high to stiff peaks (you could do this by hand instead)– about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Set aside.

-Pour melted butter into the yolk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, whisk to combine.

-Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix them together until just combined. A little lumpiness is fine. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added.

-Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.

-Brush the waffle iron with a little vegetable oil. Working in batches, cook the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions until crisp and golden. Set the waffles directly on the oven rack to keep warm. Do not stack them.

-Serve the waffles with the syrup and butter.  You can freeze leftover waffles to recrisp another day.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Crème Bruléed Chocolate Bundt

February 17, 2015 at 12:02 am | Posted in BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, pudding/mousse, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 21 Comments
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crème bruléed chocolate bundt

This Crème Bruléed Chocolate Bundt is the first, no second, no make that third Mary Bergin chiffon cake we’ve made.  I’ve liked them all…I think I just really like the spongy, fluffy softness of chiffon cakes.  And it also helps here that I love chocolate and Bundts.  And crème brulée, too…who am I kidding?  I knew this would be good.

If you watch the video of the BWJ episode, you’ll see that this chocolate chiffon Bundt gets its center stuffed with raspberries and then a big glug of vanilla crème brulée custard is poured over top of the whole shebang and torched.  I figured that as soon as the brulée was poured on, the cake pretty much needed to be eaten up…This would be very dramatic and impressive for a crowd, but since I was just making it for two of us, I had to both reduce the recipe and settle for adding the custard to order.  I made a half recipe of the cake (in my 6-cup Bundt pan) and a half recipe of the brulée cream, too.  I was convinced, even though I’d sprayed the heck out of my Bundt pan and coated it well in cocoa (which I prefer to use instead of flour for a dark chocolate cake), that the cake would stick like crazy and rip when I tried to unmold it.  It didn’t!  I made sure to kind of gently nudge it from the sides with a little offset as it started to cool and shrink in a bit, and it released perfectly– phew!

I used my darkest cocoa powder (Valrhona) and my Bundt had great flavor.  The chiffon was easy to make, too…in fact, I did the whole thing in my bathrobe (TMI??).  I’d happily make it again on its own, just to have with ice cream or whipped cream.  I liked the stovetop water bath method for thickening the crème brulée…that was new to me, and it came out nicely.  After the better part of a day in the fridge, the brulée had thickened up well and I was able to pour it over a single slice without it looking a mess.  All in all a winning dessert for Valentine’s Day weekend.

crème bruléed chocolate bundt

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here, along with a video). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!  (Update:  I see from the blogroll that some folks wound up with a thinner custard, in which case I’d just serve it as an anglaise sauce on the plate.)

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Palets de Dames, Lille Style

November 11, 2014 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 29 Comments
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palets de dames

In case you didn’t think Dorie Greenspan’s sweets were well-represented here (I’ve only made about 300 of them), I’m thrilled to tell you that Tuesdays with Dorie, the BCM edition kicks off today! Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere is Dorie’s latest gem.  It’s a huge book filled with recipes– some are French classics, some are French twists and some are not-so-French, but her Parisian friends love them.   We’ll be baking from BCM on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and Laurie, Jules and I hope we’ll see a lot of new bakers join in the fun!  The recipes are awesome, the rules are relaxed and there will be group nominations each month to decide what we’ll make– fun!.  (Don’t worry– we’re not abandoning Baking with Julia.  In fact, we’d love to have more folks jump in as we move through the second half of that book.)

Now, onto Palets de Dames, our first recipe!  Palet means “puck” in French.  While they may be shaped like little disks, there’s nothing hockeypuck-ish about these little cake-cookies.  They’re soft and flavored with vanilla and are a perfect tea or coffee break treat.  The cookie dough is actually like making a simple cake batter and the icing is just whisked together.  Not too hard, although somehow I did manage to make a little screw up.  I think I was actually supposed to dip their bottoms in glaze and serve them upside-down.  I did the opposite.  Oh well…ce n’est pas grave, as they say.  They’re still dainty and cute, and I thought they deserved a little sparkly bling on top of the sweet glaze to celebrate our first BCM post.

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 and please join us, if you haven’t already!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tarte Tatin

January 5, 2010 at 1:01 am | Posted in groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 39 Comments

tarte tatin

Happy anniversary!  You may be wondering, “What anniversary?”  Why, it’s TWD‘s second anniversary!  The group’s throwing a big celebration…you’ll see that some of us are bringing cake and others, like me, are bringing Tarte Tatin.  (I’ll have to get to that cake soon myself…sounds like good stuff!)

Tarte Tatin is a dessert that’s very familiar to me.  If my mum says she’s making an apple pie, she’s not talking about the traditional American kind…she’s talking about a tarte Tatin.  In fact, when my brother was staying with us in Sydney, I made a double-crusted apple pie, and he griped that it wasn’t like our mum’s!  But, hey– big chunks of apple that have been cooked down in buttery caramel– who can blame him??  You can use a regular pie crust as your base (or top) if you want, but I just love caramel-soaked puff pastry.

There are a couple of things about tatins that can make people a little nervous.  First, you have to let the caramel and apples go for awhile…don’t be afraid to let the caramel turn a pretty deep amber.  And pack those apples in, because they shrink while they cook.  Flipping the Tatin out of the pan might sound a little scary (you, know it bakes upside-down, right?), but if you wear good oven mitts and flip with confidence, all should fall into place.

Whew, two years and over one hundred recipes from Baking: From My Home to Yours…just thinking about that makes me want slip into something elastic-waisted!  But seriously, big hugs and lots of thanks go to both Laurie and Dorie.  I’m so looking forward to the next year of baking!!

For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  It’s also here on NPR, along with an audio link to the radio story.  As always, don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!

Time To Make The Doughnuts: Crullers with Rum Glaze (Spritzkrapfen)

February 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Posted in breakfast things, events, other sweet, sweet things | 37 Comments

crullers with rum glaze

What time is it?  It’s time to put on my disposable paper cap and make like Fred!  Two of my favorite food bloggers, Peabody and Tartelette, have teamed up to host Time To Make The Doughnuts, and I couldn’t not participate.  I must say, I love doughnuts but  I rarely allow myself to have them because I can quickly spiral out of control.  This is embarrassing, but if you have a box of Entenmann’s chocolate glazed things in the fridge (those MUST be eaten cold!) and invite me over, do not turn your back on me because I will sense their presence and they will magically disappear!  And back when Krispy Kreme was just a southern thang, it was so fun to go to the big shop near Grandma W’s and watch as they plopped off the line and into the vat of fat!  Oh, and have you ever had one from the Doughnut Plant?  They are the schiznit! 

I definitely go for cake-style doughnuts over yeast-raised; usually cinnamon-sprinkled or chocolate-frosted.  But there is another type of doughnut that really makes my heart race (yes, this is probably actually because of sugar content)…glazed crullers.  I love them, but I had never made them myself and had no idea how they were made either.  So I decided to find out, and fry them up for Peabody and Helene.

Turns out they are just pâte à choux, the same dough you’d use for eclairs or creampuffs, fried and glazed.  I found a recipe in the book Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers.  They are a Viennese treat, properly called spritzkrapfen.  As an aside, I drool over everything in this book.  I went to Vienna, Budapest and Prague as part of a backpacking trip in college.  It’s too bad that I didn’t know anything about anything back then, because I would have loved to experience the kaffeehaus atmposphere (and pastries!).  I will have to go back sometime and do it right.

Back to the doughnuts…My crullers came out very homemade-looking (if not for the label, would you have mistaken them for onion rings in the photo??), but they were totally melt-in-your-mouth, and the rum glaze was sensational.  They were easily the best crullers I’ve had…probably because they were so fresh, and of course dripping with rum.  My brother had two suggestions for improvement–make them bigger (I couldn’t agree more) and make more of them (I only made three so as not to be piggy)!

Be sure to visit Peabody and Tartelette on February 15 to see a great round-up of fried and baked doughnut delights!

Crullers with Rum Glaze (Spritzkrapfen) makes 14
adapted from Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers

Crullers
1 cup water

8 T (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
1 t sugar
pinch of  salt
1 cup unbleached  flour
4 large eggs (3 whole and 1 beaten), room temperature
Vegetable oil, for frying

Rum Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T golden rum
1 T water, approximately

For the crullers:Combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so the butter melts. Remove from the heat, add all the flour at once, and stir hard with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated and it forms a ball. Return the pan medium-low heat and cook.  Stir continuously to evaporate some of the moisture, until the dough films the bottom of the pan, about 90 seconds.

Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl.  Using a handheld electric mixer (you could do this by hand or in a stand mixer), beat in the three whole eggs one at a time, making sure they are completely incorporated and stopping after each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add as much of the fourth beaten egg as needed so the dough is thick and hold its shape, but falls slowly and steadily from the beaters when you lift it out of the bowl.  It should be smooth and shiny. 

Cut out fourteen 4-inch parchment squares and place a wire rack over a sheet pan for draining.  Using a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip (Rodgers recommends a 9/16-inch-wide tip, like Ateco #825, but I’d go even a bit wider), pipe the dough into 3-inch circles onto the parchment squares.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot or Dutch oven to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 360°F. Working in batches, without crowding, place the dough circles (still on their papers) upside-down in the oil.  After about 15 seconds, use tongs to pull off and discard the papers.  Fry, turning once, until golden on both sides.  Using a skimmer, transfer the cooked crullers to the rack to drain, and repeat for the next batch.  Try to keep the oil at 360°F  throughout.

For the rum glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl.  Whisk in the rum and enough water to make a glaze the consistency of heavy cream.  Dip each cruller upside-down in the glaze and place right side up on the rack to cool and set.

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