Archive | January, 2015

Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Gateau Weekend

27 Jan

Let me first say, that I love, love, love the idea that French home-bakers bake cakes in loaf pans. I know, all you cake¬†aficionados love a beautiful layer cake, but the truth be told, I’m just not any good at them. But a cake in a loaf pan? I am all over that!

My vanilla beans are a little old, so I made mine with the scraped vanilla bean and two-teaspoons of vanilla. My version of compromise! To brown the butter to the shade of honey, I placed my honey bear right beside my stove so I could compare. My butter came out just a slight shade darker, but not black – and I really can see how that could happen if you weren’t paying attention (“…the difference between brown and black is measured in seconds.”). And, I do love the smell of butter browning!

I served this with a little ice cream and raspberry sauce, just to fancy it up a little. And, I have to say, it was delicious!Gateau Voyages

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Granola Energy Bars

12 Jan

First let mGranola Energy Barse say, “It’s game day!” University of Oregon meets Ohio State University for the first ever National Collegiate Football Championship (uh, that would be American football, for all of the international readers). Go Ducks!

And, for those of you wondering about my KitchenAid mixer saga – NO! – it is not fixed! I called the KitchenAid Hotline and after being instructed to turn the screw that’s used for adjusting the bowl, the dough hook hung up again on the bowl! In the middle of mixing calzone dough…for tonight’s game-time dinner! Thank goodness for a backup mixer! The big girl is now at the authorized KitchenAid repair shop having, as my husband referred “her screws adjusted”.

But, thankfully, granola bars need no mixer – WOOHOO! My only difficulty with this recipe was finding brown rice syrup. But I found it! And, I hope my family and friends like these bars, because the smallest jar appears to have enough for two or three more batches. I tasted this syrup, and I’m not sure I like it right from the jar (I think I prefer sorghum molasses), but I must say, they smell heavenly baking. I also opted for using an 8-x-8-inch pan rather than going to buy another baking dish, so mine will likely be a might thicker than Dorie’s.

So, it appears that these might be gluten free – am I right in this? I checked with a number of websites and it appears that the only iffy ingredient might be the oats, since they apparently are often processed alongside gluten products. If true, I may have a few friends happy that I can finally send treats to them.

OK, so, they’re out of the oven and sufficiently cooled – and my personal verdict is while they are are a pretty bar, I don’t think I’m a fan. I can’t tell if it’s the unique taste (even cooked, I find the brown rice syrup an odd taste) or the texture (I think I’ve mentioned before I’m not a fan of dried fruit). So, no, these weren’t my cup of tea and it’s doubtful I’ll make them again, but if everyone liked the same thing, there would be one recipe and we’d all be happy with it!

Addendum: Turns out they were a great hit with friends! To quote, “Hey, what’s the calorie count on these bars – we’re wondering if eating the entire box would blow our diets out of the water…” For the record, mine turned out to be about 172 calories per bar (18 bars to the batch).