Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Alsatian Christmas Bread

December 11, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, other sweet, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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alsatian christmas bread

Alstatian Christmas Bread (aka baerewecke) is a bit of a project, but it also couldn’t be easier. It’s not a bread that needs flour or yeast, just dried fruit and nuts. Instead of rising time, it needs chopping and mascaerating time…also some shopping time to gather ingredients. This uses all sorts of yummy dried fruit- figs, apples, pears, raisins, apricots and prunes- plus walnuts and almond flour. The fruit is cut and soaked in juice until it’s very soft and makes a sticky paste when mixed with the nuts. Form the paste into logs, bake them until they hold together, and you’re done! This is one of those things that, like fruitcake, lasts a long time and probably even gets better with age. I made mine a few days before I first cut into it, and I still have the second log sitting in my chilly kitchen. I’m thinking of mailing it to my mom in Seattle, because I think she’d like it.

By itself, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan. You can nibble on this like a snack or energy bar, but I think it’s also great with cheese. If I make a cheese plate I always like to have some sort of jam or fruit paste on the side, and this is a perfect accompaniment.

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: Le Cheesecake Round Trip

October 23, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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le cheesecake round trip

Le Cheesecake Round Trip is a cheesecake Dorie makes in both in New York and in Paris. In fact, she’s been known to smuggle ingredients in her suitcase from one continent to another to make it. With a filling of all-American cream cheese and a Paris-ized crust of spice cookies and almond flour, it contains a bit of both worlds.

We actually make a crispy little spice cookie at work, and there is always scrap, so I just took some of that home to bake and grind into crumbs for this. A portion of the crumbs gets reserved to mix into the filling, giving it little freckle-speckles. I always whiz my cheesecake fillings together in the food processor. It’s easy, fast and lump-free. I made a half-sized cheesecake in a six-inch pan, but I only used a quarter of the filling (one block of cream cheese). So mine was a low-rider, but still very rich and satisfying. Dorie says that during baking the top of the cheesecake will brown and may even crack. Mine didn’t do either of these things, but I think that’s because it had so much less filling that it didn’t need enough time in the to get brown before I declared it c’est fini.

While a drizzle of salted caramel on top of Le Cheesecake is very good indeed, so is fruit sauce or jam or chocolate sauce. Cheesecake lasts a few days, so you can play around with options.

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: Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake

August 28, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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hazelnut, ginger and olive oil cake

This Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake is an easy little loaf cake to whip up by hand, but as you can tell from the name, it has a lot going on flavor-wise (and there isn’t even mention of the cornmeal and butter that are in the mix, too). This is a recipe that I’ve breezed past many times in the book without really noticing it. Turns out, it’s the perfect cake to go with summer fruit. Here, I had it with nectarines (my very favorite!) and blueberries, last night, with red plums and the final bit tonight went with leftover wine-poached cherries. I made my own hazelnut flour for this by grinding whole nuts in the food processor, along with the regular flour and cornmeal to keep them from turning into a paste, and I used a nice, flavorful olive oil. It’s a rich and moist cake that feels special. I’ll make it again for sure…I even noted on the recipe page, “very good!”

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: Black-and-White Baked Alaska

June 26, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, ice creams & frozen, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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black-and-awhite baked alaska

What do I have to say about Baked Alaska? Cake & ice cream & meringue…really, do I need to say more? I think not, but I will say just enough to tell you that the cake here is a flourless chocolate souffléd brownie-type thing, and while the ice cream could have been any kind, I chose coffee. Those two flavors are a match that can only be made better with swirls of sticky meringue. I made individual-sized Alaskas, rather than a large one, so I was a little concerned about browning the meringue in the oven. I thought they might be too delicate for that, so I used my blowtorch instead…which is more fun anyway…maybe next time I’ll try setting it on fire.

black-and-awhite baked alaska

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: Cowgirl Cornmeal-Pecan Financiers

June 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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cowgirl cornmeal-pecan financiers

I like the little nutty, buttery French cakes called financiers. These Cowgirl Cornmeal-Pecan Financiers are a perfect Franco-American take on the classic. An easy melt-and-mix batter flavored with cornmeal, ground toasted pecans and plenty of browned butter bakes into a decadent treat. I have a silicone mold that’s in the traditional financier bar shape and used it here instead of my mini muffin tin. To avoid eating too many of these tasty butter bars, I decided to cut just one into bite-sized pieces and kind of extend it into a larger dessert with some berries, dulce de leche whipped cream and candied pecans. I plated it up pretty for a picture before giving it to my husband. Then I took the same components and just tossed them together in a little bowl for myself. Equally delicious, although maybe less photogenic.

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: Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

June 5, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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swedish visiting cake bars

If you’re as on-trend as I am (hahaha), you’ll have heard of fika, which is not at all a trend in Sweden, but a ritual. It’s a proper sit-down, slow-down coffee break, complete with treats. Of course I am hopeful that something this delightful will turn from Scandi trend to full-on tradition on this side of the Atlantic, too, and I’m willing to do my part to enable it. If I’m ever visiting someone, or having someone visit me, for fika, I’m making Swedish Visiting Cake Bars for treat-time. These bars contain no leavening agent and are thin and dense, but they’re not heavy. They have that almond paste cake taste and feel but are actually flavored with extract. They aren’t too sweet and are an ideal coffee or tea companion.

I made Dorie’s original cake version of these bars something like eight years ago (whelp!). I think the main difference between the two, besides the shape, is that the cake just had a scattering of sliced almonds on top, while the bars have an upgraded topping of crackly sugar-glazed almonds. Making that topping gave me a déjà vu feeling, too…then I looked back and realized I’d used it before on a pear tart. I like this kind of mix-and-match, taking good parts from one thing to improve another.

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!

TWD BCM Rewind: Rose-Scented (Loaf) Cake

May 29, 2018 at 7:48 am | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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rose-scented cake

A couple of summers ago the group made the Rose Fraisier cake from BCM. I’m not exactly sure why I sat that recipe out, but it most likely had something to do with not wanting to make pastry cream. Flash forward two years and I still don’t feel like making pastry cream (some things don’t change), so I decided for this rewind to make Dorie’s Bonne Idée take on the recipe. Instead of being a multi-component layer cake, it’s a simple Rose-Sented Loaf Cake. When I say simple, I mean simple. It’s a yogurt and oil-based cake you can stir up in about five minutes with just a bowl and a whisk. I’m pretty sure Dorie uses the base recipe for several other flavor variations because, not only is it a very good cake, making it felt very familiar to me.

I made a half-recipe of the cake batter and rather than baking it in a loaf pan, I put it into my baked donut pan. That pan had gotten zero use because I’ve decided that I like my donuts fried (and also purchased at a donut shop so I don’t have to do the frying). But a baked donut pan is really just an individual cakelette pan, and one that gives a nice little divot in the middle for piling on yogurt whipped cream and roasted strawberries to boot. Even though I was too lazy for pastry cream, I still wanted the flavors of the Rose Fraisier, and the rose-strawberry-cream combination is a lovely and elegant one.

rose-scented cake

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

Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

May 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Posted in cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, DC, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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strawberry shortcake cookies

Let’s get one thing straight about these Strawberry Shortcake Cookies– they are cakes. If we are calling them cookies, it’s only because they are little two-bite babies. This is about the easiest sponge cake in the world to make, though, and the batter bakes up into nice little rounds in a muffin tin. Each round is a self-contained shortcake, with a small blob of strawberry compote (I used some roasted strawberries I made for something else a while back, although you could also just use jam) topped with some sweetened whipped cream and sliced berries. I made the sour cream whipped cream because I like the tang alongside the sweetness of everything else. These weren’t hard to make, but they are tasty and pretty. You can make the little sponges ahead of time (I have some in the freezer now) and top them as you need them. As the summer moves along, other berries will work just as beautifully.

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: Apple Weekend Cake

March 13, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Posted in BCM, breakfast things, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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apple weekend cake

I like the concept of a “weekend cake.” It’s good to have a simple, sturdy cake that lasts for several days and travels well. Something reliable and something that everyone will like. This Apple Weekend Cake fits the bill nicely. It’s good for dessert, afternoon tea or for breakfast, so it’s multipurpose as well! Though it’s meant to be a loaf, I baked my batter off in a muffin tin. I swapped out a third of the plain flour for rye flour and kept my apple pieces chunky for some texture. I like that in addition to cinnamon and vanilla, there’s some rum in the batter. Apples and rum are BFFs in baked goods. The apple keeps this cake very moist. It hadn’t dried out at all three days later…in fact, I think it tasted better over time. I drizzled my cakelettes with a bit of reduced apple cider that I boiled down a couple of weeks ago.

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: Cheesecake, Alsace Style

February 13, 2018 at 9:16 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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cheesecake, alsace style

A Cheesecake, Alsace Style is something very different from the thick and hefty cream cheese cheesecake that New York is famous for. This Alsatian cheesecake is made much lighter with fromage blanc (or a Greek yogurt and heavy cream combo if you can’t find it). It’s the type of cheesecake that soufflés up in the oven and then falls as it cools. If a dessert can be beautiful and schlumpy at the same time, this is it. The base is a tall galette dough crust, and the fluffy filling is dotted with rum-soaked raisins. I used to be a raisin-hater but I appreciate them now, especially when they get a rum bath! Other dried fruits could be used, of course. And the cheesecake is nice served with fruit, too. I spooned some candied kumquat slices and syrup over the top to dress up my slices.

cheesecake, alsace style

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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