Tuesdays with Dorie DC: Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies

June 16, 2020 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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peanut butter and fudge brownies

I can’t really say much about these Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies because my mouth is too full- they are crazy good! Peanut-studded dark chocolate brownies with a layer of PB frosting and a chocolate glaze on top…I mean, come on. I made a 1/3 batch in a loaf pan just to save my figure. I took a cheat on the glaze topping and used some (different) chocolate-caramel glaze I had leftover from a Bundt cake I’d made for a friend a couple of weeks ago. It’s softer than the one in Dorie’s recipe, which sounds like it sets up like a firm sheet on top, and you can see that in my picture. I added some rainbow sprinkles because Pride Month!

For the recipe, see Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (a similar version is 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: Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

February 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 9 Comments
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carrément chocolat, the simple loaf

This Carrément Chocolat cake has a fancy French name but it’s just a “simple loaf.” Actually, it’s an outstanding chocolate-chocolate chip loaf. Why did we wait so long to bake this? Why did I only make a little half-recipe cake? Life’s regrets…

The cake batter is basically whizzed up in stages in the food processor, so that is simple. There’s a bit of prep to take care of first though, and that’s to make a batch of salted chocolate to chop up for chips that get mixed into the batter. This is just as it sounds: melted dark chocolate with sea salt mixed in (you can take a shortcut and buy a couple of nice sea salted dark chocolate bars at the store instead). Dorie says to spread the chocolate out and freeze it hard before chopping. Frozen chocolate is a shardy mess to chop up, so I’d recommend setting it up in the fridge instead. I actually tempered my chocolate, which I’m used to doing at work, and let it harden at room temperature so it cut fairly easily into neat chips.

As I said, I regrettably made only a half-recipe of this cake, but it sounds as though the full batch may be a bit too much for the 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan called for. Either using a 9×5-inch pan instead or scaling back to 3/4-recipe for an 8.5×4.5-inch tin is something to consider.

I tried to layer the cake batter and salted chocolate chips in my loaf pan to keep the chips from sinking, but they headed right to the bottom anyway. (I would recommend lining your loaf pan with parchment for this reason.) Oh well, that made for a nice little black bottom-style surprise treat. The baked loaf gets brushed with a sugar syrup to help keep it moist. I added espresso powder to my syrup to give it some flavor, but I almost went with rum. I will save that idea for next 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 BCM: Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut Bars

January 14, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Posted in BCM, candy, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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chunky chocolate fruit-and-nut bars

Dorie describes these Chunky Chocolate Fruit-and-Nut bars as both nougat’s crunchy cousin (a very timely comparison, since we made her Honey-Nut Nougat just last month) and as a homemade version of a Chunky candy bar. The raisin-hating child version of me would not have touched a Chunky with a ten foot pole, but the adult version of me has more evolved tastes and would now gladly consume this mass-produced packaged product. Haha.

This is an easy recipe– it really is. You just need some toasted nuts, some chopped dried fruit and some melted chocolate to make it. It’s totally customizable to your tastes and to the contents of your cabinet. It’s not even really a recipe, it’s just stuff mixed together. And yet, I managed to screw a few things up and fumble my way through it. Ironic, since my day job is actually making chocolate candy.

For my nuts I used cashews, which I burned when I toasted them, so I toasted more. For my dried fruit, I used a pre-mixed blend of golden raisins, cranberries, cherries and blueberries that I buy at TJs. I also put in some crystalized ginger and some candied orange peel. For my chocolate, I used a bittersweet 72%. I decided I didn’t need to eat a full 8×8 pan of this, so I scaled everything back by a third to fit in a small loaf pan I have. Or I tried to, at least…I must have divided the chocolate incorrectly in my head, because I only had enough to coat my add-ins, not to stick them together. I just eyeballed a little more to seal my fruit and nut glob together and pressed it into the pan. Even if it looks a little rough and I needed a nap afterwards, it was all good and tasty in the end (I secretly ate up all the little bits with a spoon and they were fab!), and that’s the moral of today’s story.

Dorie recommends lining your pan with cocoa-dusted parchment paper and then dusting more cocoa on top of the finished chocolate mix and laying another piece of parchment on top as you press it in to the pan. I did line my pan with parchment, and I lined it so it acted as a sling, but I skipped all the cocoa powder and also the top parchment sheet. I’m guessing the cocoa is to help the mass release from the pan, but when chocolate gets cold it contracts, and since this is stored in the fridge, I didn’t see the need for it.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here, along with a great video). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake

December 10, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cakes & tortes, groups, simple cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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touch-of-crunch chocolate cake

I totally didn’t realized what this Touch-of-Crunch Chocolate Cake was all about until I actually went to make it. I just thought, “gonna make a chocolate cake today,” and assumed it would be like most others. Then I had to switch out my cake pan for a pie plate, get a double boiler going and locate some black sesame seeds in the freezer (they’re the hidden crunch in the batter). But what a nice surprise this turned out to be. It baked up with a pretty, crackly, brownie-like crust and a rich mousse-like middle. Super chocolatey, there’s not much in the way of dry ingredient binder here…just a spoonful of flour or cornstarch. I used cornstarch to keep it GF. Dorie says that this cake shines straight from the fridge, and it does, but I actually preferred it at room temperature, when it’s smooth like a truffle, except for that touch-of-crunch from the surprise sesame seeds of course!

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: Tiramisu Tart

August 13, 2019 at 8:19 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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tiramisu tart

I do love a good tiramisu, so there was no doubt I would be game for a Tiramisu Tart. This has all the required elements of a classic tiramisu– a layer of ladyfingers soaked in strong coffee and plenty of delicious mascarpone cream– housed in a sweet pastry shell.

I decided to scale the recipe back and make a few small tartlets instead of a large tart. There are only two of us here, and even though I think regular tiramisu gets better and better as it sits, I was a little worried that I’d have a soggy crust long before we could finish up a full-size tart. I put a thin layer of melted dark chocolate on the bottom of each shell for some extra insurance that they’d stay crisp for a couple of days. Also for some extra chocolate…who am I kidding?!? I bought a domestic mascarpone instead of my favorite Italian one, which I have to walk to another neighborhood to find, and it was a little loose when I mixed the filling up. I was glad that I chose to make tartlets, as the individual shells kept the soft filling contained and I didn’t have do deal with messy slices. At work I have access to lots of different kinds of cake scraps, one of them being housemade ladyfinger cake. I absconded the other day with a little scrap packet to put to use here and saved myself a bit of work.

I’d be equally happy with a “regular” tiramisu, but the tart shell is a fun twist. It does give a nice crispy element, it’s really pretty and I did love it. A pick-me-up that you can actually pick up…I mean, what’s not to love?

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: Bread and Chocolate Coffee Can Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches

June 25, 2019 at 9:43 am | Posted in BCM, groups, ice creams & frozen, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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bread and chocolate coffee Can Brioche ice cream sandwiches

It’s gotten hot and muggy here these last couple of weeks, and the only kind of sandwich I really care about right now is the kind with ice cream in the middle. These Bread and Chocolate Coffee Can Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches tick all the boxes for what I want for lunch. Haha.

Maybe it was out of a sense of shame for having missed last week’s TWD posting, but I decided to go all out and make all the components for this treat myself. I did bake the brioche in a can, which came out great. I made chocolate ice cream (I actually used the Philly-style recipe Dorie has in Dorie’s Cookies because I didn’t feel like adding to my egg white collection), which is super rich and dense. I then froze what I needed for these inside tart ring molds to get perfectly circular ice cream pucks that matched up with the round bread slices. And I already had some homemade salted caramel sauce in the fridge. You can totally use all store-bought stuff for this, though, and whatever flavor of ice cream or type or sauce you’d like (I’m thinking coffee ice cream and butterscotch sauce would also be pretty darn good…).

Dorie has you assemble the ice cream sandwiches first and then drizzle warm caramel sauce over the tops. That then becomes more of a knife and fork dessert situation, which to me is less fun than a hand-held ICS situation. So I slathered my brioche slices with the caramel before sandwiching it with the ice cream pucks. There’s a bit of drippage, but getting messy is what it’s all about. Did I mention these are crazy 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: Cookies-and-Cream Tartlets

May 14, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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cookies-and-cream tartlets

We are on a cookie butter roll here in TWD-land. First two cookies, now Cookies-and-Cream Tartlets. These tartlets are an assemblage of components, which I like, because they can be done over time if I just don’t have the time. We’ve made Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough for so many things now, and here it’s baked in mini tart pans. There’s a layer of cookie butter on the bottom of each fully-baked shell and then a luxurious salted dark chocolate ganache covering that. The recipe has chunks of broken-up speculoos cookies mixed into the ganache, but I chose to hide them underneath in the cookie butter because I wanted a smooth and shiny top layer. I did dust some crumbs over the top for a hint at what’s inside. What’s inside is pretty fabulous.

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: Matzo Morsels

April 2, 2019 at 8:19 am | Posted in cookies & bars, DC, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 4 Comments
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matzo morsels

If I buy a box of matzo breads, I’m usually putting tuna salad on top of them or turning them into matzo brie. Well, now I can make cookies out of matzo, too! Actually these Matzo Morsels are almost more candy than cookie, with no baking required. Melted butter and chocolate bind together crumbled matzo, plumped dried fruit (I used cherries) and chocolate chips (I used chopped white chocolate) into tasty little globs of crunch and chew. I had some déjà vu while making these and then I realized they are almost identical to the Desert Roses from BCM we did a couple of years ago, but with crushed matzos standing in for the cornflakes. No wonder I reached for the exact same mini muffin cups to put them in! I found they were easier to scoop and kept a better shape when I let the mix sit on the counter for about five minutes before portioning them.

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

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Banana-Nutella Chaussons

March 26, 2019 at 7:53 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 8 Comments
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banana-nutella chaussons

These Banana-Nutella Chaussons are a take on traditional French puff pastry turnovers that are usually filled with apples. Dories says chaussons are most often breakfast or snack treats, but they are pretty amazing for dessert, too, especially when they are filled with a combo of gooey melted chocolate and bananas. Maybe even more so when you replace the straight-up chocolate in the filling with a generous amount of Nutella, like I did here. Things got a little wild in the oven, and my chaussons pretty much erupted, even though I egg washed and sealed them well. C’est la vie…the delicious filling and flaky layers just could not be contained! My evil genius dessert brain spotted an opportunity and decided a scoop of salted caramel ice cream would be perfect tucked into the opened sides.

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: Dark Chocolate Mousse

February 12, 2019 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 9 Comments
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dark chocolate mousse

Dark Chocolate Mousse…so fancy, I decided it was worthy of the good silver. Definitely Valentine’s Day dessert-worthy, too, if you are into rich, creamy, velvety, chocolatey deliciousness. If you are not, I guess come back next week…when I’m making buttery, smoky, heart-shaped chocolate cookies…haha.

Let’s get down to business here. I could tell that Dorie’s (originally Pierre Hermé’s) recipe would have a large yield– the 1 3/4 cup of cream alone tipped me off– so I decided to make just a quarter of the original. (And, btw, I still got 4 reasonable servings, when I thought I’d only get two.) In order to downsize though, I had to modify just a bit. The recipe calls for folding together melted chocolate and whipped cream, which I did as written, along with eggs and yolks that are whipped fluffy with a boiling sugar syrup. I know from past experience that trying to make a pâte à bombe like this out of just a yolk or two and a small amount of sugar can go very wrong. Instead, I decided to get the volume into my single yolk and half an egg by whipping it with the sugar over a water bath, sabayon-style. While I was at it, I added a splash of cognac, you know, because it’s French.

My little switcheroo seemed to work just fine. After I chilled my mousse, I was able to scoop it nicely into my little silver coupes. Dorie says the mousse also makes a nice cake or cream puff filling, but whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles seemed to be a more expeditious way for this chocoholic to enjoy it.

dark chocolate mousse

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

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