Monday, January 26, 2015

BCM: Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

I was very lucky to receive an advance copy of Baking Chez Moi.  I sat wide eyed turning pages looking at all of the deliciousness coming my way.  I was drawn over and over, however, to the first recipe in the book.  This recipe.

It is simple beyond simple to make.  The ingredients are few.  The equipment is minimal (no mixer necessary).  And the results are nothing short of fabulous.  

This is a cake with a tender crumb, a definite vanilla edge, and the slight nutty flavor of the brown butter.  

Doris suggests that you serve it the day after you make it to let the flavors meld.  If you can hold out that long, I recommend it as well.  

Or, if you're like The Boy, you just snag a bite before I can even finish my photograph.

This is a simple cake that lends itself to lots of different toppings.  It's the perfect base for fruit, chocolate ganache, whipped cream (all of the above), and if you let it get stale, it's delicious toasted with a small spread of butter.

Monday, January 12, 2015

TWD BCM: Granola Energy Bars

 I'm on vacation and didn't remember to blog among all of the packing and scrambling. The Boy and The Girl both decided these were worth making again. I used almonds, dried cranberries, and candied ginger. Even though I hate coconut, I used it.

I couldn't figure out how to add a photo on my phone, so take care of that when I return.

**I'm back!  And here are the photos.

Monday, November 10, 2014

TWD: Palets de Dames

Holy smokes, it has been a LONG time since I last blogged.  There has been an enormous amount of baking in my life, but no posting.  Dorie was gracious enough to publish another cookbook, and it's amazing.  I'm back to baking and blogging with a vengeance.

The first recipe of the new book, Baking Chez Moi, is a light, buttery, slightly sweet cookie.  It is a snap to put together.  A touch of simple frosting gilds the lily.

This recipe relies heavily on good butter, so make sure you use good butter.  I used Plugra for this one.  The dough is silky and delicious when eaten raw.  I was able to manage to just sneak a taste or two and leave the rest for baking.  My cookies were done after just seven minutes in the oven.

One of the other bakers mentioned that you need to bake these until you see a light brown ring on the edge of the cookies.  It adds hugely to the flavor, and I concur.  The frosting adds the perfect sweet/tangy note.  And if, hypothetically, you run out of frosting because you forgot to buy more powdered sugar and don't have enough, chocolate peanut butter makes a yummy substitute.  Also, these make excellent sandwich cookies with said chocolate peanut butter and jam.

Side note and fan girl squee - I got to meet Dorie today at one of her book tour stops!  She is lovely, sweet, and charming.  And petite.

This recipe can be found online, but you'll really want to buy the book.  Really!  Check out what the other fabulous bakers made here.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

TWD: Rustic Potato Loaves

With rustic being the operative word, here.  (On a side note, The Girl, walking by the open cookbook, thought the recipe was for Rusty Potato Lovers.)  No, I'm not sure what that is, either.

Anyway, for not particularly following the recipe, this turned out ok!  I realized that the recipe called for a boiled potato that is then mashed.  Hmmm, I have mashed potatoes in the fridge from the other night!  Upside - they are already made!  Downside - they have seasoning, butter, and sour cream in them.  Plus, they were cold from the fridge, and I had no potato water.  And, I went ahead and baked with them anyway.  It was a LONG rise time.  Long.  The first rise was about 90 minutes.  And it never really rose.  After shaping, and resting it on a floor heating vent because room temperature was pretty cold, it did rise some.  

Instead of misting, I threw some ice cubes into the bottom of my oven.  The loaf baked up pretty flat.  It unrolled some as well.  It smelled pretty good, though.  The verdict?  The taste is really good.  I might try this again with plain potatoes and add my own seasoning.  

My friend, Dawn, at Simply Sweet has an amazing photo and the recipe at her blog.  Go visit!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWD:BWJ Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a big fan of mocha, and I'm a big fan of chocolate chip cookies.  I like them together.  This, however, wasn't the most successful recipe for me.  

It's a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe with the addition of dried apricots.  There is a caveat in the recipe that you should use good chocolate because it calls for A LOT of the stuff - a pound for four dozen cookies.  I didn't have apricots, but I did have dried cherries.  And because they were pretty dry, I re-hydrated them in some kahlua.  More coffee flavor!

I halved the recipe and still got about three dozen cookies.  Apparently, I make small cookies.  These came out very flat.  Very.  Flat.  I tried scooping the dough and refrigerating it again to try to slow/stop the spread, but it didn't make a difference.  The flavor was fine, and there were very chewy.  I couldn't get past the flat, though.  The coffee flavor was much more pronounced after the cookies were allowed to sit for a while.  The dried cherries seemed to just add chew.  Perhaps fresher cherries would be more flavorful.

Behold the flatness!

I could absolutely see adding espresso powder to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for a change of flavor.  I don't, however, see myself making these again.

Go see Peggy's blog for great photos and the recipe.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Baking here and there

I've been a huge TWD slacker.  I'm sure it's the case with a lot of people.  I'm baking a lot these days - but I'm baking what the kids/husband/friends request or what strikes my fancy.  This week's recipe was croissants.  As much as I love them, and I do, I wasn't brave enough to try this two-day-pound-of-butter-lots-of-fussing recipe.

So here's what we've been doing instead:  Confetti sugar cookies, hamentaschen, challah, date nut pumpkin bread, sourdough bacon maple waffles, cinnamon sugar nuts, granola, and...  maybe that's it.  I'm going to get back on the Dorie wagon, but then I'll be falling off again in May or so when we rip up our kitchen for four or five months.  I've been offered some friend kitchens so I don't lose my mojo.  Thank you, friends!

Here's a sample:

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

TWD: Foccacia

Finally!  So, hi!  This week's recipe was for foccacia.  It's a lovely dimply bread that you can dress up or down.  It takes quite a while to make, but most of the time is long, cold rising.  

This is a recipe with simple ingredients - flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil.  I heard a few groans from mixers and owners of said mixers.  I halved the recipe and I kept my KitchenAid at a nice slow speed, and I didn't have any trouble.  It's also a six quart professional model, so that may have had something to do with it as well.  It rose.  It deflated.  It rose.  It deflated.  It rested in the fridge.  Then it rested on the counter.  I deviated a bit here.  I made one bread instead of two smaller ones.  I dimpled instead of slashed.  And I completely forgot about the whole "spritz with water" thing.  Oops.

I borrowed from a recipe that a friend requested for the topping.  She saw a foccacia with thin Meyer lemon slices and fresh rosemary.  Done and done.  I did a quick sprinkle of coarse salt, and in to the oven it went.

Ta dah!

It ended up a little dark around the edges - I think I left it in a minute or two too long.  Ah well.  Plus, the spritzing might have made for a slightly less crispy crust.

The flavor was lovely, though.  I would highly recommend this combination.  In the end, if I did the right planning, I would make this again.  Go visit Wandering Through if you'd like the recipe.