Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake

February 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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sunday in paris chocolate cake

Hello my loves. How about a little chocolate for Valentine’s Day? Maybe with some peanuts thrown in, too? If that sounds good to you, then this Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake will be right up your alley. This recipe is in the “Fancy Cakes” section of the book, but it isn’t an intimidating one. The batter is pretty straightforward, with some peanut butter and chopped nuts in the mix. And the decoration is simple, too…ganache  with a sprinkling of extra nuts and chocolate. I debated making mini cakes or a larger loaf, as the recipe will work either way. I decided to go for dainty little ones and used a silicon financier mold for baking, but a mini muffin tim would be a fine substitute. Watch the baking time if you do small cakes…they don’t take long in the oven.

This sort of reminds me of a cakey brownie. While I could easily eat one of these on it’s own, a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it even better. You can fiddle with the topping, too. Last night, I took two plain (no ganache topping) cakes, accompanied by the obligatory scoops of ice cream, and drizzled them with warm salted caramel sauce and then scattered peanuts over top. Super good!

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: Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart

February 7, 2017 at 12:33 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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valentine's day share-a-heart

I know people have different views on Valentine’s Day. Here’s mine– it’s a good excuse to eat a giant chocolate cookie, whether you’re sharing it or not. Dorie’s Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart cookie dough can be rolled and cut into any size heart your little corazón desires. This is a nice chocolatey dough that’s quickly made in the food processor. It shouldn’t be reserved just for February 14th, though. You can bake up crisp chocolate cats or rocket ships if you’d like. And then go nuts with the decoration. I felt like I should keep it G-rated for the blog, so I just put on a little melted white chocolate and a whole lot of pink sanding sugar. Besos!

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

TWD BCM Rewind: Spiced Honey Cake

January 31, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, muffins & quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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spiced honey cake

I nominated Spiced Honey Cake a couple of times, and then when it was chosen, I skipped it! Nice, right? I will admit to feeling guilty about that, but now Rewind Week is here to redeem me. So, here it is…

This might not be what you have in mind when you hear the word “cake.”  It’s a take on pain d’epices, and is more like a quick bread than a moist, spongey cake. Dorie flavors it with honey (obvi) and also an orange/spice infusion. She uses lavender, Sichuan peppercorns and fresh ginger as her spices, but when I rooted through the cupboard (a chore, let me assure you), I saw don’t have the lavender or the peppercorns. I do have a really nice chai mix with lots of coarse bits of black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel. It doesn’t contain any actually tea leaves, just the spices, so I thought it sounded like a perfect choice to go with the orange and honey flavors, as well as the almonds and dried cherries. Because the cake is purposefully on the dry side, it toasts up really nicely (I will thank my fellow TWDers who made the recipe on-schedule for pointing this out to me!). In fact, it’s better as cake toast than as non-toast. And it’s perfect with tea or coffee, so I’m glad to have gotten around to making 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: 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 DC: Breakfast Biscotti

January 17, 2017 at 8:23 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 14 Comments
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breakfast biscotti

My month of baking with granola continues with these Breakfast Biscotti. These are chubby and crunchy and the perfect small treat for dunking in your coffee, tea or hot cocoa. The recipe contains pretty much all my daily breakfast usuals: granola, oatmeal, dried fruit and almonds. If it called for a couple of pancakes to be stirred into the mix, too, then I would really never need to eat anything else in the morning again. These weren’t hard to make, and I thought that they might crumble when I sliced them because of the granola chunks, but they held together quite well. I love how nicely biscotti keep, since a batch makes a lot of cookies. That said, they may keep, but they don’t last– I did half a batch over the weekend, and they’ll be totally gone by tomorrow.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It was also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month of October, so you can find the biscotti recipe on her site, too. 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: Granola Cake

January 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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granola cake

I don’t normally think of granola as a baking ingredient…usually it’s just my breakfast.  Dorie likes to incorporate it into all kinds of stuff, though…there were the Granola Grabbers from years ago…now there’s Granola Cake. This actually reminds me of a chewy blondie more than cake– not just because of the add-ins, which include chocolate chunks and coconut in addition to the granola– but also because of the consistency of the batter, which is a lot like stiff cookie dough. Maybe it also reminds me of a blondie because I made just a quarter of the recipe in a loaf pan, so it’s probably thinner than it otherwise would have been. I’m down though. I like it. It’s a great snack cake. The granola contributes to the chew and it’s an interesting use of my normal breakfast cereal.

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: Pfefferneusse

December 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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pfefferneusse

I feel like every Christmas someone mentions Pfefferneusse to me as a favorite holiday cookie…that name is so distinctive that I’ve never forgotten it, but I had yet to make or even try them myself until last week.  One thing I know now is that pfefferneusse make really great coffee cookies. They’re dry and firm (but mine were not hard or crunchy)– good keepers– and a natural nibble alongside a cup of hot coffee or tea. They have a lot of spices (even dry mustard–what?!) and some orange zest, but all come together in a nice, mellow way. I liked these little round cookies both covered in powdered sugar and dipped in chocolate glaze.

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also Dorie’s #cookiesandkindness selection for the month, so you can find the pfefferneusse recipe on her site, too. 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: Chocolate Truffles

December 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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chocolate truffles

My mom used to make her own Chocolate Truffles every year and bring them with us to Christmas dinner at Grandma’s house. They were delicious…soft, creamy and rich…and boozy with Cognac, too. Not so child-friendly, but it was a once-a-year treat, so we’ll cut her some slack. Also, it was the ’80s, so no one cared. Why my mother has stopped making these, I am not sure, but I wanted to recreate them myself with this recipe.  I added in a glug of Cognac to the ganache and rolled the truffles in cocoa powder, just like she did.

At the restaurant where I work, I’m the chocolatier (it always embarrasses me to say that, btw). I make primarily molded chocolates and piped decorations but I’ve learned to work with chocolatey stuff pretty quickly. I even manage to keep my jacket and apron mostly clean these days (the bowl that I work from is often another story). If you have “hot hands” you may find the truffle rolling process frustrating and super messy.  Using a little cookie scoop can help to preshape them before rolling them in your hands. Food-safe gloves help with the mess, too.

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: Christmas Spice Cookies

December 6, 2016 at 8:00 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 15 Comments
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Christmas spice cookies

When I want a cookie, I usually go for something chunky with a lot of stuff in it. It’s not that often that I’m like, “I’ll take a plain sugar cookie.” But then I have a really good one, like these Christmas Spice Cookies, and I’m reminded of just how much I like them.  These cookies begin with a delicious, basic sugar cookie dough (Dorie calls it “Do-Almost-Anything”) that’s then amped up with the usual warm holiday spices. You get a crisp, flavorful, subtly spiced cookie with the perfect sandy texture. I’m not much of a cookie decorator, as you can see…frankly, a child could have done better than the hack job I did here. I need more time and maybe a baking buddy to help me get into that, but even with just a sprinkle of sanding sugar, these were festive and tasty.

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: Caramel Tart

November 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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caramel tart

This looks like a pumpkin pie, and given this time of year that would be a logical assumption, but it is in fact a Caramel Tart.  I was expecting something super sweet, chewy and gooey but was surprised.  It really isn’t overly sweet, has more the consistency of a ganache tart and really is fabulous cold, as Dorie recommends.  I made just two individual tartelettes, using a quarter of a recipe, but if I have a dinner party, I won’t hesitate to make a big one.  I put a quenelle of ganache top (more for photo decoration than anything else) and when we ate them, a bit of whipped cream, too…delicious.

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

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