Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesdays with Dorie with K: Brown Butter and Vanilla Weekend Cake

The cake
Butter, melted.

Butter, browned

The night I brought the galley home, K made the Plain and Simple Almond Cake. Two days later, she made the Apple Weekend Cake. Suffice it to say, we are very much fans of the Simple Cakes chapter of Baking Chez Moi.
When the Brown Butter and Vanilla Weekend Cake was selected for Tuesday's with Dorie, I was pleased. The recipe is simple, but browning butter is something we can all use some more practice at.  Unlike the last project, we stayed fairly true to the recipe, though we substituted rye for  rum.

The verdict: No surprise that we liked this one. Straight out of the oven it was nice, but as promised was much better the next morning. I've been breaking off pieces for the last few days and look forward to trying it toasted, as suggested.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesdays with Dorie with K: Granola Energy Bars

Here we are again, with a much easier recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie. In fact, the only challenge was finding the brown rice syrup. Three stores later, we were ready to go with more than a few changes to the recipe. K was rather enthusiastic about some of the listed add-ins so almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,  dried fruit and coconut became pecans, dried nectarines and chocolate chips.

The elusive brown rice syrup
Nuts and oats pre-toasting
Ready for the oven
After baking
The verdict: Easy to make and I appreciate the flexibility of the recipe, but this is not one that will go into regular rotation at our house. K is, sadly, not a huge oats fan and I just don't eat a lot of granola or energy bars. 

Next up: Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tuesdays with Dorie with K (Late): Buche de Noel

Tuesdays with Dorie time again! It would be hard to exaggerate here how nervous I was about this recipe. K and I tend to be very good at making cakes that taste good, but well, decorating can be a challenge. Plus, for several years now, we have had the annual "yelling about the gingerbread house," during which we takes turns blaming each other for the house's eventual collapse. (Spoiler: this problem can helped by toothpicks.)

But onto the Buche. K decided that she wanted to skip the praline and instead decorate with marzipan because "that is what a buche is supposed to have." So that simplified things quite a bit. The cream cheese based filling was simple enough, though I would up the quantity next time. The cake also was easy. Then it was onto the first rolling, which went better than expected. Unrolling revealed a few cracks but we continued on, filling and rolling again, reminding ourselves that any cracks could be hidden by frosting. Now onto the frosting, which sure enough, hid our cracks.

The verdict: much easier than a gingerbread house! The taste: I loved the filling and cake, K was enamoured of the frosting. We'll be making this one again. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesdays with Dorie, With K: Rugelach

And we are back, with another installment of Tuesdays with Dorie. Up first this month, rugelach. A cookie, that K points out, she has never eaten. How that is possible I do not know, but anyway, on with the baking.
First off, the dough, which features butter and cream cheese. A combination that I am pretty delighted by.
K made the dough, which we then put in the fridge overnight.
Then it was time to think about the filling. K had little enthusiasm for the suggested coconut, pecan, chocolate and raisin mixture so we opted for dried apricots, chocolate and pecans.

Next up, rolling out the dough, filling and then rolling the pieces to form logs. Our logs were perhaps not the most perfect ever, but into the freezer they went to chill before cutting and baking.
The end result:

K's verdict? Another thumbs up.

My verdict: also a thumbs up. Although we did have some cracking issues with the rolls, most of the rugelach held together and the flavor was excellent. Next up: the recipe I am really worried about: Buche de Noel.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesdays with Dorie, with K: Cranberry Crackle Tart

Ready to bake

Here we go again. This time the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was the Cranberry Crackle Tart, found on pages 135-137 of Baking Chez Moi.

K was less enthusiastic about this one, at first. "Cranberries, I don't like cranberries very much." "Look at the recipe K." "Meringue, I love meringue." Midway through her first slice "I'm not even done yet and already want more." So clearly, another hit.  

As expected, the hardest part of the recipe for K was rolling the crust. I sometimes wonder if I need to buy some Play-doh for her to practice with. Or perhaps I am just not instructing her properly? Any advice more than welcome. 

Once the dough was rolled out and baked, K covered it with a perhaps slightly thicker than suggested layer of our homemade raspberry jam. She then made the meringue, which was her favorite part of the project. Once the cranberries were added, she piled the meringue on top of the crust and waited impatiently for it to bake. 

By the way, if you'd like to bake along, the December recipe choices are already up on the Tuesdays with Dorie site:
December 9 – The Rugelach That Won Over France on p. 301
December 23 – Gingerbread Buche de Noel on p. 86

Rolling and grumbling

Can I just eat the meringue?

Close up of the first slice

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesdays with Dorie, With K: Palets de Dames

The galley. As you can see, already well used.
And here we go: Tuesdays with Dorie. What is it? Well, a group of bloggers baking through the books of Dorie Greenspan. In this case, one of my favorite new books, Baking Chez Moi. As I said when I introduced her for a talk at Omnivore Books, I took the galley home the day it arrived and K started baking that very night. We were five cakes in before Dorie's event at the store and her suggestion that I ask K if she would like to try joining the Tuesday group. As I reported on Twitter, her response? "Do you have to ask?" So here we are. Twice a month we will be joining the other participants in baking a recipe and blogging about our experience.

First up, Palets de Dames, a simple recipe of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they are dipped into an icing made with confectioner's sugar, milk and lemon.  Although traditionally the icing is left white, as you will see below, K decided to opt for green.  

The verdict: This is a very easy recipe and a great way to get started with the Tuesday group. As you can see below, K has already started experimenting with creative variations!

Dough, in process.
Rolling the dough into balls for baking.

Apparently there was a plan all along.
K's own creation, and apparently the reason she opted for green icing: an ice cream sandwich featuring lime ice cream from Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous!

Friday, October 24, 2014

2015 Tour de France Route

Well, the organizers sure did not choose an easy wine route! Plus, the short time trial is an interesting change. 

What do we have?
Running from Saturday July 4th to Sunday July 26th 2015, the 102th Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,344 kilometres (before ratification).
  • 9 flat stages
  • 3 hilly stages
  • 7 mountain stages including 5 summit finishes
  • 1 individual time trial
  • 1 team time trial
  • 2 rest days