Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Apple Speculoos Crumble

November 8, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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apple speculoos crumble

Happy US Election Day…maybe…depending on how you see it.  For voting day, I’ve made patriotic ramekins of Apple Speculoos Crumble. This uses speculoos spice cookies to top apples and (optional) raisins. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and made my own speculoos using the recipe in the book. I have a log of raw dough in the freezer to bake later and post about whenever its time rolls around.

I wasn’t crazy about this one, I have to admit. For me, was like just having loose cookie chunks on top of baked fruit chunks. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, and frankly store bought Biscoff cookies may have worked better consistency-wise, but I prefer a more traditional crisp or crumble topping to what I made here. And I like when the fruit has a bit of thickener in it and gets a little saucier than mine did here, so it’s held together better. Maybe I can fiddle with it a little bit another time.

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: Peanut Butter Change-Ups

November 1, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 17 Comments
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peanut butter change-ups

I hope you didn’t think that just because TWD BWJ has wrapped up I’d go down to only posting two Dorie Greenspan recipes a month. Oh no. Not when she’s just released a shiny new tome on cookies…welcome to Tuesdays with DorieDorie’s Cookies! For our first of over 300 cookie entries (whoa!), I present you with Peanut Butter Change-Ups.

These PB cookies aren’t so dissimilar to the flattened crisscross ones we all usually think of. But these are scooped and since they keep the domed shape, they wind up with a softer center. They have lots of chopped peanuts stirred into the batter and little bit of nutmeg, which is a nice touch.  I love the saltiness of a good peanut butter cookie.  These are a winner in my books. The recipe makes heaps, so it’s perfect for sharing now or for stashing scooped cookie dough in the freezer for baking later.

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: Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

October 25, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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pear tart with crunchy almond topping

I do like a good baked pear dessert.   Apples and pumpkins will be around for a long while yet, but pears are more delicate and have a quicker season.  Use ’em while you can!  This Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping has Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough holding a mound of lightly caramelized pears and a topping of sweet and crispy glazed sliced almonds.  Pear-plus-almond is a classic combo, and for good reason– it’s delicious!  I did one thing to my tart that wasn’t in the recipe.  I had a little bit of almond frangipane in the freezer that I’d been looking for a home for.  After blind baking the tart shell, I spread it on in a thin later before piling on the pears and the almond topping.  Not a bad call, if I do say so myself.

This tart is really best the day it’s made.  The topping and the tart shell both go a little soggy after sitting overnight…although that sure didn’t stop us from finishing it!

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: Custardy Apple Squares

October 11, 2016 at 12:25 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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custardy apple squares

This Custardy Apple Square recipe is one I’ve actually made a few times now…maybe three or four.  It was the first recipe I tried out when I got Baking Chez Moi and it’s so simple and tasty that it went right on the “make again” list.  Apple slices tossed in a quick batter that’s whisked by hand get layered in a baking dish.  It goes into the oven kind of a hodgepodge but comes out a stack of beautifully soft apples with a bit of vanilla (and rum, in my case) custard holding them together.  A mandolin makes quick work out of neat, thin apple slices (and of course adds a thrilling element of danger to baking prep–watch your fingers!).  This also reminds me quite a bit of something called Bolzano Apple Cake that I posted about many years ago.  It’s great with whipped cream, but just fine on it’s own.

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

P.S.: Thanks so much for all the kind comments on my last Baking With Julia post! xoxo

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Glorious Wedding Cake

October 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Posted in BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 25 Comments
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glorious wedding cake

So folks, we’ve come to the end of TWD Baking with JuliaThe last recipe…I can hardly believe it. I admit that I have skipped a handful of them, but still, 107 completed recipes from one cookbook isn’t too shabby. The biggest and the toughest has been saved for last– a Glorious Wedding Cake! This is three tall, stacked tiers of dense almond cake sandwiched with jam and a crisp layer of almond dacquoise, topped off with rum-laced buttercream and decorated with marzipan fruit. I mean, Martha Stewart even gets not one, but two episodes devoted to this thing. Unfortunately though, no one asked me to make them a wedding cake in the past few weeks, so I had to go small instead of big on this one. Instead of a three tier show-stopper, I made a single tier cutie. Maybe it’s not so glorious, and I guess it’s basically the top tier that married couples put into the freezer for their first anniversary (R and I eloped…no cake for us, so I’m unclear on these traditions).

You may notice that there isn’t an interior shot of this cake. That’s because I definitely did something wrong with the almond cake layers. What, I am still not sure, but I was too stingy to waste all the almond paste and eggs that went into making it, so I just ploughed ahead with what I had. I’ll tell you though that there was a lot of patchwork involved and I am too embarrassed to show you what was going on in there. It was still delicious, so whatevs. No one paid me to make it for them after all.

Since my cake was tiny, the rest came together with out too much trouble.  The dacquoise (almond meringue) layer was wonderful to crunch through and the egg yolk-based buttercream was super luxe.  Rather than the marzipan cherries and raspberries Martha made, I did some strawberries and also some flowers and ivy leaves using the wacky hodgepodge of gum paste flower tools I have in my red pastry toolbox.

glorious wedding cake

A deliciously satisfying ending to BWJ…for the recipe, see Baking with Julia by the wonderful Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll as we say farewell to this book!

P.S.: In case you are wondering about my favorite recipes from the book, the Cheese and Tomato Galette has been made several times at home, and the White Chocolate Patty Cake needs to be!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Edouard’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

September 27, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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Edouard’s chocolate chip cookies

Here’s a new take on just about every American’s favorite lunch box/after school/secret midnight/raw dough sneaking snack.  French-up Chocolate Chip Cookies like Edouard does with a little almond flour.  You get a soft, chubby cookie, but the taste of nuts is not forefront.  I like these best still a little warm from the oven, and I think I’ll sprinkle a little extra salt on the tops of the next round I bake off (I have a lot of dough scoops in the freezer.).

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 BWJ: Brioche

September 20, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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We’ve used Nancy Silverton’s brioche recipe left and right by now, but we’ve never just made plain brioche with it.  Brioche is one of my favorite breads to make…all eggy and buttery and stuff.  It’s easy to mix and to work with, when the temperature is right.  I’ve made a different Dorie brioche loaf recipe before, so this time, I tried to make brioche à tête.  For some reason I own three of the small fluted molds used for this…why, I don’t remember.  My tête shaping skills need a little work.  These looked more like brioche à goose egg.  No matter, it tasted the same– delicious!  Salty butter and plum jam were my toppings of choice here.


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 BCM: Apple Tarte Flambé

September 13, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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apple tarte flambé

I guess it’s about to be fall here, although the outside temperature isn’t quite on board with that yet.  Maybe I’ll hurry things along by baking up an apple dessert, like this Apple Tarte Flambé.  Everyone says that tarte flambé can be thought of as Alsatian pizza, so I’ll repeat it.  Usually it’s savory, with onions and bacon (like the Alsatian Onion Tart we made a while back), so this one’s a twist, with a sweet creamy topping and see-through slices of mandolined apple on top of a thin yeasted base.

It’s key to roll the dough on this really thin.  It shouldn’t really have much of an outer crust at all.  Pricking the dough all over the place also helps keeps it from poofing up in the oven.  I used a red apple, and would do so again, if only because the paper-thin slices bake up with such pretty frilly pink edges.  Once this tarte is out of the oven, it’s time to slice and eat it straight away, when it’s crispiest and most delicious.

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: Philadelphia Blueberry-Corn Tart

August 23, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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philadelphia blueberry-corn tart

As soon as I saw the picture in the book that accompanies the recipe for Dorie’s Philadelphia Blueberry-Corn Tart, I knew it would make adorable little tartlets.  When I’m baking for just the two of us, I often like things that can be assembled “to order.”  This tart, with its whipped cream-cream cheese filling and and dark purple blueberry and sweet corn topping, sounded like maybe it wouldn’t take well to four days in the fridge as we whittled down a large version.

Once you have your tart shell(s) made and baked, you can power off the oven because the filling is no-bake and comes together quickly.  Even the jam only takes a few minutes on the stovetop.  I left the fresh rosemary out of the jam, and rather than using lemon zest and juice, I used a splash of OJ.  Also, some of the reports from the last posting date noted that the jam was a little loose, so I put in a touch of cornstarch to make sure it wouldn’t run too much.  This is not have the feel of a full-on hefty cheesecake…in fact, the filling is light and delicate and has the right amount of tang for the sweet crust and fruity (corny!) topping.  Perfect for exactly this time of the year.

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 BWJ: Swedish Limpa

August 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, tuesdays with dorie, yeast breads | 4 Comments
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swedish lid

Baking bread isn’t my typical 90° day activity. I didn’t really have any other choice, though, if I wanted to get Beatrice Ojakangas’s Swedish Limpa made within the first two weeks of this month. Limpa, if you haven’t had it (I hadn’t myself until today), is a rye bread favored with orange zest, fennel, anise and caraway seeds and molasses and brown sugar. It’s often eaten at Christmas time in Sweden…in my house it will be eaten in mid-August.

I don’t have any anise in my spice collection and didn’t really feel like getting any either, since I’m not much of a licorice fan…I just used a bit more caraway and fennel to compensate. The recipe makes two loaves, which is a bit much for us, so I made half. The bread is traditionally baked in round cake pans, but I’ll be putting most of it into the freezer for later. With easy future toasting in mind, I baked my half-recipe in a 9″x5″ loaf pan instead.

This bread is delicious!  I’m the one who added the molasses and sugar to the dough, yet somehow I forgot until the first bite that it would be slightly sweet. And the orange zest, seeds and rye–yum! Seriously, heat wave be damned…I’m glad I turned the oven on for this one. The recipe notes say the bread goes well with meat and cheese, and I believe it, but it’s also not bad with just a smear of salty butter.

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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