Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Les Whoopies

June 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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les whoopies

It doesn’t matter if they’re called Les Whoopies or whoopie pies, I’m a big fan. I used to work in a bakery where we made heaps of them (the chocolate and the pumpkin ones were my favorites), so I know my whoops. These are great– moist and chocolatey, like little devil’s food sandwiches, with peanut butter filling. I always like how good whoopee pie cakes are a little sticky on my fingers. Is that weird? I made these a few months ago actually, but now that I’m looking at the picture I took, I should go make them again!

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!

TWD BCM Rewind: Tarte Tropézienne

May 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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tarte tropézienne

A year ago, the group made Dorie’s Tarte Tropézienne, a pastry cream-filled, sugar-sprinkled brioche cake. I did not. That’s why rewind week comes in handy. I’d never had a Trop before…now I know what I’ve been missing. I really like pastry cream. And brioche.

Trops come in various sizes. I chose to make individual ones rather than slice up a large one. Mine came out looking a little more like burger buns than like the flatter cakes they should be…I clearly didn’t press the dough out enough. No matter, they were still delicious. I served them with chopped strawberries alongside, but next time I may put the berries inside instead.

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: Plain and Simple Almond Cake

May 9, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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plain and simple almond cake

If you think Plain and Simple Almond Cake sounds a little unexciting, just change the “plain and simple” to “light and delicious” and go get to cracking yourself some eggs. While you’re at it, separate those eggs, too, because this easy almond cake is made like a separated egg sponge with almond flour replacing the normal wheat flour. This cake is light and moist, with great flavor. Since it’s plain and simple, you can dress it up however you like…we ate it at home with some fig sauce. I gave a big chunk to a chef friend of mine who is gluten-free and a little cake-deprived. Poor guy! He was so happy and said it was the best cake he’d had in a long time. I’ll make it again for sure.

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 Marbled Madeleines

March 14, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, cookies & bars, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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black-and-white marbled madeleines

Over the last nine years, I’ve made many Dorie versions of the little shell-shaped cakes called madeleines. Appearance-wise, these Black-and-White Marbled Madeleines were probably not my best effort. I could tell I would have a little more batter than I needed, but overfilled the molds a bit anyway because: a) I was too lazy to clean the pan and do a second bake-off, and b) I’m too cheap to ever throw out batter. So my edges weren’t the sharpest. I didn’t get the signature madeleine bump this time either…I probably should have rested the batter for several hours instead of just one. Also my marbling technique wasn’t great. But hey– at least I know what my problems were! Taste and texture-wise, they were great. The vanilla-chocolate combo is a classic, obviously, and the little bit of citrus zest (I used bergamot instead of lime) made them extra flavorful. They were soft and spongy fresh out the oven…I don’t know how well they hold up because they didn’t last! I wouldn’t hesitate to give these a go again and be a bit more of a perfectionist when baking them the second time around.

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: 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!

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: 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 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: Cornmeal and Berry Cakes

July 26, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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cornmeal and berry cakes

If you can handle turning on the oven in the middle of summer, it’s nice to bake with berries. These little golden Cornmeal and Berry Cakes, made with olive oil, are a lovely addition to my standard repertoire. And they’re easy to make, too. The recipe calls for raspberries, but blueberries would be great and blackberries may be even better. I actually used red currants, since I had a pint that I didn’t really have any other plans for. They give a tart little pop to the cakes, so I definitely wanted to add a little powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze to their tops. These can be made as mini loaves or cupcakes…I used a friand tin bought when we lived in Sydney because I like the oval shape.

These don’t make me think of cornbread or corn muffins…they are really cakes. I think actually they’ll make good breakfast treats with coffee, and that’s how we’ll have the ones I’ve wrapped for the freezer.

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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