Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Chocolate Babka

December 27, 2022 at 10:38 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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chocolate babka

I don’t really have a baking bucket list, but if I did, I’d now be able tick babka off it. Any good New Yorker knows that Chocolate Babka is the superior babka, so I was pretty excited (but a little intimidated) to make this. Turns out, it’s not too hard; it just requires some time spread out over a couple of days. Dorie’s buttery brioche dough is the base for this sweet yeasted loaf, and we’ve made that dough a number of times now. Like making cinnamon buns, you roll out your well-chilled dough, smear it with a sweet cocoa paste and then spiral it into a log. Unlike cinnamon buns, you cut the log in half lengthwise to expose long ribbons of the chocolate filling, and then twist the two halves into a ropey thing and squeeze it into a loaf pan to proof. Before going into the oven, Dorie tops her babka with a crust of crisp, rubbly streusel, which not all babkas have and is kind of gilding the lily, but I’m here for it.

My loaf rose and baked tall, and I was so excited to cut into it and see what kind of pattern the chocolate took on. Some slices had stripes and others had swirls. All tasted equally delicious…buttery soft bread with chocolate pockets and crunchy topping. Elaine is right that it is dinner party-worthy.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Cranberry Spice Squares

November 20, 2022 at 11:36 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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cranberry spice squares

Here we are, a couple of days out from Thanksgiving, and I still don’t really know what I’ll be making for dessert (although I have a few ideas). If I hadn’t already baked, frosted and polished off these Cranberry Spice Squares, they’d be contender. Think spiced molasses gingerbread with pops of fresh cranberries and swoops of cream cheese frosting. Good, right? This is a great snacking cake for the holiday season, and if you have leftover crannies after the big dinner, think about putting them towards this. Toasted or candied nuts make a good sprinkle.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake

October 28, 2022 at 3:40 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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caramel-pear and five-spice upside-down cake

I do appreciate a good upside-down cake, and have made several here, using all different kinds of fruit. The bulk of them Dorie’s, of course, since this blog has for many years been basically a DG stan account (I think I used that term correctly). This Caramel-Pear and Five-Spice Upside-Down Cake uses a technique I don’t remember doing before with any of them– making the batter in the food processor– and it worked brilliantly!

Everything about this was good, from the soft texture of the blitzed cake, to the caramelized pear topping (no sticking!), to the flavorings. I did make a citrus switch. As I didn’t have a lemon, I used orange instead, which I think of as a natural partner to five-spice anyway. I made half a recipe of the cake and baked it my 7″ cake pan, which had space for a nice pinwheel of pears on top.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: S’mores Ice Cream Cake

August 7, 2022 at 3:17 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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s'mores ice cream cake

I live in a house with no central air, so I’m always looking for a way to keep cool in the summer. S’mores Ice Cream Cake is possibly the best way I’ve found yet to get my core temp down. Think: peanut-graham crust, layers of ice cream, fluffernutter goo, fudge sauce and a mountain of toastie marshies. I scaled it down to fit in my six-inch springform, and also only used two layers of ice cream (coffee was my flavor choice) separated by the peanut fluff instead of the original three. It still weighted a ton…this is a substantial treat. The cake takes a bit of time to put together, as it needs freezing after every step, but it is so good! Seriously, my childhood dreams all came true in one fabulous sugar high.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWD: Crumb-Topped Ricotta Coffee Cake

July 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm | Posted in breakfast things, BWD, groups, muffins/quick breads, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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crumb-topped ricotta coffee cake

This Crumb-Topped Ricotta Coffee Cake is one of my recent baking standouts. With a heap of super-crispy (thanks to a secret ingredient…shhhh, it’s cornmeal) crumbs on top and a dense but tender cake (thanks to a not-so-secret ingredient…ricotta), it doesn’t get much better. Oh wait– what about adding a layer of fruit? Well, that would make it better, but not to worry, as this cake has that, too. I used sweet dark cherries in mine, but you could use any berry. Hiding just under the layer of crumbs, the fruit turns soft and jammy. It’s good for a breakfast, snack or dessert treat. Really, this cake hits all the notes.

If you don’t have the book Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan yet, get it and join us as we bake through it every second and fourth Tuesdays! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll and all the other participation deets over on Tuesdays with Dorie!

Everyday Dorie: Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake

July 8, 2022 at 3:29 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins/quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 3 Comments
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cornmeal-buttermilk skillet cake (with strawberries)

This Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Strawberries is one I actually whipped up a couple of years ago. With the pandemic in full swing, summer 2020 was all around good times. I, like most you, was cooking with whatever I could get my hands on or had already. Saturdays were my shopping days, masked up at the farmers’ market and wondering what would be left after waiting in block-long socially distanced lines, and then going to the grocery store for the other stuff and finding the shelves half empty.  But if you know how to cook, you can make some pretty good stuff in all kinds of different circumstances…you can even have cake.

This was an easy, dump-and-stir type of cake that can be baked off as a loaf or a round (I went with the cast iron skillet option). It’s made similar to cornbread, but a little sweeter. I stirred in some strawberries, but you can use whatever berries you have, or none at all. Maybe I should make it again this summer, while the blackberries are around and more readily available.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

TWD BWD Rewind: Swirled, Spiced Sour Cream Bundt Cake

March 30, 2022 at 2:40 pm | Posted in bundt cakes, cakes & tortes, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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swirled, spiced sour cream bundt

Few things delight me more than a Bundt cake, and few things excite me more than cutting into a swirled or marbled cake and seeing how things played out in the oven. This Swirled, Spiced Sour Cream Bundt had all my neurons sparking. It features a sturdy but moist sour cream cake with fudgy ripples of spices, nuts and chocolate. I added a little powdered espresso to the swirl sprinkle, and to the thick glaze I topped the cake with. As I lifted out the first couple of slices, I was pleased to see that the swirl had behaved itself. This was great as a dessert cake and as a coffee cake.

For the recipe, see Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check the TWD Blogroll!

Everyday Dorie: Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake

March 12, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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tangerine-topped cheesecake

I’m looking at this photo of a slice Tangerine-Topped Cheesecake and am wondering why I didn’t actually top it with any tangerine segments. They’re all in the bowl in the background! Ah well, it’s a pretty nice-looking slice anyway, and that citrus did eventually find it’s way on top. This cheesecake has a blend of cream cheese and ricotta, which, along with a long beating time, keeps it light. It’s also basically a crustless cheesecake, with just a dusting of crumbs on the bottom to keep it from sticking. A thick slice of NY-style cheesecake often hits me like a brick (of cream cheese), so I really liked this lighter style. I do enjoy a proper graham cracker crust, though, but I don’t see why I couldn’t make one for this next time. Since we’re just two cheesecake-eaters here at home, I scaled down the recipe and made a third of it my 6″ loose-bottomed pan.

No futzing with a water bath makes this pretty easy to make. The cake mix has plenty of tangerine zest in it, but you could use any other citrus zest or the seeds of a vanilla bean for flavor instead. And who’s to say it has to be tangerine-topped? Berries, figs, poached pears or stewed dried fruit all sound like good toppers to me.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cheesecakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Molasses Coffee Cake

December 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, simple cakes, sweet things | 5 Comments
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molasses coffee cake

Although, I can assure you, a slim slice of this Molasses Coffee Cake is fabulous with a morning cuppa, it isn’t the hefty streusel-topped sour cream number you might normally think of when you hear the words “coffee cake.” This one’s like a molasses gingerbread with coffee in the batter. Five-spice powder is an interesting twist here on the typical gingerbread spicing, and that glug of coffee adds to the rich dark flavor of the molasses. The white chocolate and coffee glaze on top may be optional…but is it really? I made mine a tad thicker than the Dorie did, just by decreasing the liquid a bit, so it would stay put and hold onto the holiday sparkle I scattered on top.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our coffee cakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Parsnip and Cranberry Cake

November 27, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, layer cakes, sweet things | 8 Comments
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parsnip and cranberry cake

This Parsnip and Cranberry Cake was the star of the show for our Thanksgiving-for-two dinner last night. And for leftovers night tonight. And I’m sure for leftovers-turned-into-something-else night tomorrow. It is very good. Originally, this cake is a big triple-layer nine-incher, but since we were solo for the holiday, I scaled the recipe back to a third of that to get two (rather tall) nice six-inch layers. I pretty much expected it to taste like carrot cake, until I realized the spicing is quite different. This one has ground coriander, grated fresh ginger and orange instead of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It’s filled and frosted with cream cheese icing, but it has a sneaky layer of cranberry sauce inside, too. It also should have had chopped fresh cranberries mixed into the batter and sugared cranberries on top, but I was working with a partial bag of berries, and after making the sauce, I didn’t have any extras. Rather than the berries in batter, I used chopped candied orange zest (and left out the sugared fresh zest in the recipe) and put some bloops of sauce on top of the finished cake, along with some maple-parsnip chips. I don’t always go for the “nearly naked” style of decoration…like someone did the crumb coat and then said “to heck with it”…but here, I thought it was kind of charming with that little bit of cranberry sauce peaking out.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

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