Cranberry Crackle Tart

23 Nov

Yeah, I know this was supposed to be up last Tuesday, but since I need a dessert for Sunday dinner, it had to wait for today.

I must say this was much easier than the picture led me to believe it would be. I’ll be using the Sweet Tart Dough recipe again and again (this was one of the easiest rolling doughs I have EVER made!) And I think Dorie is right on – rolling it rather than pressing it into a tart pan looks so much nicer and gives a much more consistent thickness. I loved the idea of cutting the dough using a ravioli cutter – what a nice edge!

Now, I’ve told friends about this book (and recommended they buy it as their go-to book for French style desserts that real people can actually make!) and Dorie again demonstrated why: “…keep beating until the whites are shiny…droopy tips….they will look like marshmallow.” The perfect description of what this meringue looked like when ready! No need to guess – one more minute?…one minute too long?

I did think the 60-minute baking left the meringue looking pale, so I put it under the broiler – and, if you haven’t made this yet, beware! The meringue can go from pale to nearly burnt in seconds – a word to the wise!

We’ll be eating this tonight at dinner, so I’ll post a second time to let you know how it tastes – I’m really curious! My only experience with cranberries has been either sauce or relish, or Craisins in my oatmeal. I can hardly wait!

Cranberry Crackle Tart

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

11 Nov

If you haven’t made these yet, please be warned: do not taste them before you glaze them. You won’t have any left to glaze! These puffy little cookies really are more like little cakes – and yes, I did eat about half of them before they were cool enough to glaze. I’ll be making more, to be sure! I think my next batch will be made a tad bit larger – my scoop made for cookies just about the size of a Nilla Vanilla Wafer – and while that was fine, it’s far too easy to eat a dozen of them using the excuse, “Oh, well, they’re really small!” The smaller size also did cause me to adjust the baking time down to between 5 and 7 minutes rather than the 7 to 9.

Orange sanding sugar showed up better than the white. (In a shout out to Oregon State University, I tried to also do a few with black sanding sugar, but the black sugar really didn’t look appetizing!)

Palets de Dames, Lille Style

Maybe I do like cupcakes….

2 Nov

Dorie Greenspan is a genius! Never have I had a cookbook that was as explicit in its directions as this one. I love the fact that she tells you things like, “Stand at the stove and be prepared to whisk constantly – yes, constantly!”

This week’s dessert is taken right from her pages, Limoncello Cupcakes. I think they look just like the picture! And, may I say, they were as delicious as they looked. Everyone particularly enjoyed the surprise of marmalade in the center!

Limoncello Cupcakes

Limoncello Cupcakes

Baking Chez Moi? Mai Oui!

1 Nov

I just got my copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking Chez Moi,” and find myself reading it like one would read a novel! And that would be a novel one can’t put down - Gone Girl has nothing on this! I’ve decided to work my way through it, one recipe at a time, so go out an buy your fat pants if you must, but it’s going to be a long and glorious ride!

First up - Limoncello Cupcakes. Yes, you read that right – cupcakes (and I don’t even particularly like cupcakes).

Who knew a burly, 6-foot-4-inch, 225 lb. fitness trainer would know what these are?

16 Apr
Madeleines, ala Proust

Madeleines, ala Proust

Well, I did it again. I decided I’d ‘workshop’ these cookies. And, it’s a good thing! My initial attempt at these made me learn that baking them at 400 degrees at ten minutes was at least two minutes too long. Attempt two (in a different oven) reinforced that 400 degrees was too hot (even at eight minutes they came out black!).

So, it was time to consult the oracle: Google. I found a you-tube video that explained making madeleines perfectly! And, according to the chef in the video, the batter isn’t necessarily as fragile as our recipe made it out to be. His recipe was baked at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Rather than piping the batter into the pans, he scooped it, using a #40 ice cream scoop. Oh, and the chef in the video said for more ‘fluffy’ madeleines, use more butter (up to 1/2 cup) but that the madeleines made famous by Marcel Proust were dryer using less butter (better for dunking in tea). I’m thinking these are the ones we made.

Armed with this information, I decided to back off on the temperature (375 degrees), used an ice cream scoop and watched them like a hawk for 8-1/2 minutes! Perfectly done! And, when sampled by my fitness trainer, he deemed them exactly right. And now that I have this information, I will absolutely make them again.

“Can you make a Chocolate Mud Cake?…”

13 Apr

so asked our Australian “son,” the other evening. My husband responded with, “I’ve heard of chocolate mud pie;” I merely asked him to describe what he thought of as a chocolate mud cake. And then, I thought of the oracle of Google…

I found two different recipes and since I don’t know what I’m supposed to be baking at all, decided to bake them both. Turns out, they’re made with self-rising flour – that’s something different and both have coffee of some kind in them (not surprising for a very deep chocolate cake).  I’ve told the boy it’s his job to let me know which of the two are closer to what he gets at home!

Versions "A" and "B"

Versions “A” and “B”

 

“Have faith and keep beating.”

2 Apr

Five of my favorite words!

Rustic Potato Bread, pre-baking

 

 

This was one of the easiest breads I’ve ever made. Favorite thing? All done with a stand mixer. Least favorite thing? Can’t think of a one – oh, well, maybe the loaves were too immense. But, is that really a bad thing?

Rustic Potato Bread, after baking

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