Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Gâteau Basque Fantasie

November 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 5 Comments
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gâteau basque fantasie

I am a fan of the gâteau Basque. In fact, I’ve made a couple of rather traditional versions here before, both filled with pastry cream and jammy fruit. This Gâteau Basque Fantasie is Dorie’s fall fantasy version. It has that great cookie-like double crust (seriously, so good!), filled with a cooked down mix of apples, grapes, lots of orange and dried fruit and nuts. It reminds me of mince pie, and I like it a lot. You can act out your own fantasies and switch things up, too. I imagine pears would be great in place of the apples, and you can change the spicing to be whatever you want it to be.

gâteau basque fantasie

The pastry dough seems a little fussy to work with. It’s soft and cracks easily. But really, it’s super forgiving because all that seems to disappear in the oven. Any imperfections come out looking perfectly beautiful, even if you feel you’ve done a rather kooky patch job getting it into the pan. Don’t skip the egg wash and the pretty crosshatch pattern. Of course these are just my fantasy additions, but may I also suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little glass of vin santo?

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: Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs

August 14, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, cookies & bars, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 10 Comments
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cold chocolate crémeux, wine-poached cherries and lots of crumbs

If Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs sounds pretty cheffy, that’s because it’s inspired by a dessert Dorie had a bistro in Paris. A crémeux is essentially a custard that’s thickened with gelatin. It’s not hard to make and sets up dense and rich, especially when it also has a lot of good dark chocolate blended in! The crumbs are cocoa-flavored streusel bits, and wine-poached cherries are just what they sound like…I used an Aussie shiraz in my poaching liquid. Serve this dessert in a cute little bowl…you’ll have a combination of textures and sweetness levels.

Like most desserts with multiple components, it helps when you can get some of them out of the way ahead of time. The cherries can be poached well in advance and kept jarred in the fridge. The cocoa crumbs, too, but I’d keep them in the freezer for longer-term storage. Any extra cherries and crumbs you may find yourself with will be good toppings for an ice cream sundae later…just sayin’.

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: Classic Fruit Tart

July 10, 2018 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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classic fruit tart

This Classic Fruit Tart is the type you’ll encounter in just about every French bakery case. A sweet shell, filled with pastry cream and topped with lots of berries, they are always eye-catching and so tempting. But they are really so easy to make at home, and very often, much tastier. Made at home, you can control when you assemble it, so the shell stays crisp and the berries fresh and vibrant. You can even play around with the flavors. I took the regular vanilla pastry cream and added a bit of almond extract to it, too, because I like that flavor with berries. I made mini tarts just so I can fill them as we want them, since there are only two of us. I couldn’t fit that many different fruits on top of my mini tartlets…space was a little restricted. I went with teensy tristar strawberries and some pink champagne currents. Then I filled in the gaps with some white chocolate Valrhona crunchy pearls. Maybe tomorrow’s pair will have raspberries in place of the strawberries, or maybe even rhubarb compote. Options, options.

classic fruit tart

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: Simplest Plum Tart

September 26, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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simplest plum tart

The Simplest Plum Tart was a recipe that I wanted to try but was skeptical of at the same time. It’s really just a sweet tart shell and plums. Ok, there are also some cake or cookie crumbs to soak up juice and some cinnamon sugar to add sweetness and bring out a bit of said juice. But there’s no real binder here and the plums are no more than halved and pitted (well, washed, too, of course). I thought it might be a little blah, but if you love plums, there is something quite satisfying about biting into a fat, juicy baked plum half. Dorie suggests serving this with crème anglaise, and maybe after throwing together the simplest tart ever, I should put in at least a little effort to make some custard, but I thought store-bought vanilla ice cream was just as good. Let’s not start to complicate things.

I think this would look so pretty baked in a long rectangular tart pan…I do have one, but like most of my good ideas, I didn’t think of it until after the fact. If I make it again, I’ll use that. I’ll also smear the crust with some almond frangipane. I almost always have some in the freezer, so really it’s just as simple as cake or cookie crumbs.

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: Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart

June 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Posted in BCM, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 3 Comments
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streusel-topped rhubarb lime tart

I look forward to a good rhubarb dessert every spring (now summer!), and this Streusel-Topped Rhubarb Lime Tart fit the bill nicely. Dorie’s sweet tart dough and crisp streusel encase a a kinda tart filling of rhubarb, lime and custard. It all balances out nicely…soft, tart insides and crisp, sweet outsides. I made little individual tartlets and guessed the baking time would probably be less than for a full-sizer. I decided to use some roasted rhubarb compote instead of raw chopped rhubarb in my filling, just in case it wouldn’t have time to cook down fully. That was the only change I made. It was delicious, and I see more of these in my future.

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: Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins

May 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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pistachio and summer fruit gratins

What to say about these Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins? Well for one thing, they are pretty tasty. A layer of fruit and berries topped with pistachio frangipane could almost not be a winning dessert. I will fess up that I fudged the frangipane and used the “regular” almond kind, which I have a stash of in the freezer.  I sprinkled a bunch of pistachios on top to fool everyone, though! Haha– I have a few tricks up my sleeve now and then. The fruit in this can be pretty much whatever’s in season…I went with a rhubarb/raspberry combo. The ‘barb and ‘berries bubbled up in the oven and turned into a jammy layer that was the most gorgeous shade of hot pink. Hot pink and pistachio green might be my favorite color combo, but I can see myself making this one over and over again this summer as different fruits roll though the farmers’ market.

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: Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple

April 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

I’ve had my eye on Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spied Pineapple for a while. I’ve high-heat roasted pineapple in a vanilla-caramel sauce before, and I can tell you that it is the stuff my ice cream sundae dreams are topped with.  Now that I’ve made this slow-roasted version, I can say that if I ever meet Laurent, I will shake his hand. Or maybe give him cheek kisses because la bise seems more French than a handshake. My disappointingly flavorless bodega pineapple was totally transformed after marinating for two hours in a low oven with jam, OJ, Grand Mariner and spices. I was also pretty pleased that the process used up two jars of jam that had been hanging around for longer than I wish to admit…keeping with a tropical theme, one was a jar of passionfruit-orange-gauava jam that I bought in Hawaii a year and a half ago but never opened, and the other was half a jar of homemade tangerine marmalade that had been kicking around since waaaaay before that. This cooked for two hours…I’m sure anything potentially troublesome was taken care of by the heat, right? For my spices, I used vanilla bean, fresh ginger and coriander seed.

I actually wound up keeping my pineapple in the oven for longer than two hours. At that point, the kitchen smelled amazing, but the pineapple still seemed a little firm when I stuck a knife into one of the chunks. I had errands to do, so I just turned the oven off and let the pan sit in there until I got back home from running around. When I pulled it out, everything was syrupy and sticky and candied (including the ginger slices– yum!). I’ve already had this twice with “plain cake” and ice cream and I cannot wait to make pineapple pancakes drizzled with roasting syrup this weekend.

laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

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!

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 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

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