July 15, 2008

In Which We Bid Tuesdays with Dorie Adieu

TuesdayswithDorie

Well ladies and gentleman it has been fun, but the time for me to retire from Tuesdays with Dorie has arrived due to the real world colliding with my baking time and unfortunately the real world just has to take precedence. I have really enjoyed baking along with you all and getting to know many of you. I've also loved adding new food blogs that I have found through Tuesdays with Dorie to my daily blog reads!

I've learned quite a few tricks from this group and it has been fun to see how many different ways we all can interpret, even tweak a recipe, with results varied and fabulous! Not every one likes every recipe, but it's fun to see what turns up none the less. Laurie you've put together a wonderful group! Thanks for all of your hard work!

Good luck everyone and I'll be stopping by now and then to see what lovely things you all have baked up!

P.S. If you like Cheesecake Brownies check back this afternoon for a recipe that is to die for!

Posted by Dianne at 7:01 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

July 8, 2008

Ice Cream Week Meets Tuesdays with Dorie: White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie and White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Double Crusted Blueberry Pie and was chosen by Amy of South in Your Mouth! When I saw the recipe for this week I was very excited! I love blueberries as many of you well know and this is one of the recipes that was on my short list the week I hosted. I also loved it because it was perfect to pair with ice cream so Ice Cream week could go on! ;oP

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: Baked

Pie and ice cream? Who isn't on board with that? I decided to make mini-pies instead of one big pie, using my mini-tart pans and it worked perfectly! I ended up using most of the dough, though I had quite a bit of blueberry mixture left over, which I froze for later.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: Pie Crust Ready For Fridge

The dough was beautiful! I omitted the sugar though. I wanted to be able to use any left over dough for a quiche or something and sugar and quiche isn't exactly a great mix. This didn't affect the overall quality of the dough though. It was fabulous! I did have to add a lot more than 1/2 cup of water though. It took well over a cup of ice water to bring it all together.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: Ready to be Topped

I had never seen a blueberry pie filling made in this manner before. With my Blueberry Pie I usually cook and thicken the blueberries BEFORE baking! I must say I was a bit dubious that this version would work, but work it did! I ended up adding the zest of two whole lemons, along with the juice of both of them as well. And I have to admit I thought the bread crumb thing was just weird so I skipped that all together! The filling turned out great and I didn't miss the breadcrumbs at all! ;oP

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: Ready for the Oven

On the egg wash front I ended up just using 1 egg and not adding any water to it. I guess the water is supposed to make the wash go further, but I had more than enough with just the 1 egg and even had a bit left over.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

I decided to cut a shape out of the top of the dough. I tried a little moose cutter I had, because he's just too cute, but when you put him on top of the pie he stretched all out of shape and you couldn't tell what he was supposed to be. I ended up going with the star you see above and it worked perfectly!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: A Bite with Ice Cream

Verdict? This one is definitely a keeper! It also melded so well with the White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream! Thanks to Amy for such a great pick this week!

Stop on over at the Tuesday with Dorie blog and take the links to see what everyone else baked up! And take a look below to see the recipe for the White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for Dianne's Dishes Ice Cream Week!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie: White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Note: This recipe is designed to fit this ice cream maker. You could easily double or triple it or whatever to fit in a larger machine.

What You'll Need:
1 pint of heavy cream
1 pint of light cream
1 - 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3-4 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 3/4ths of 2 Green and Black's Vanilla Creamy White Chocolate 3.5 ounce candy bars, melted (Note: Why 1 3/4ths of 2 bars instead of 2 whole bars? Alexis ate 1/4 of the second bar! ;oP)

Ice Cream Week 2008

In a medium sized pot add heavy cream, light cream, sweetened condensed milk, organic cane sugar, vanilla and split vanilla beans and seeds and cook on low until sugar melts and flavors meld (about 20 minutes). Do NOT bring to a boil! Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl or pitcher.

Using a double boiler or in your microwave (I use the microwave) melt the white chocolate carefully until smooth. Don't let it go to far or it will go grainy.

Once it is melted (and it will be a thick melt) add a ladle or two of the vanilla/cream mixture into the melted white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add white chocolate mixture to the remaining vanilla/cream mixture and stir to incorporate.

Cover mixture and place in the fridge for at least four hours to overnight. (Note: The first time I tried freezing the mixture I didn't let it cool down enough and it didn't set up. I put it back in the pitcher and put it in the fridge overnight and it worked perfectly the next day. The mixture has to be cool.)

Once the mixture is cooled pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine's directions. Once it hits the soft serve stage you can serve immediately or put it in an airtight container in the freezer until it firms up completely.

Notes: If you leave out the white chocolate you have a basic vanilla bean ice cream.

Posted by Dianne at 9:43 AM | Comments (50) | TrackBack

July 1, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Apple Cheddar Scones

scone1

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Apple Cheddar Scones and was chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron!

I have to say I've had to sit out this week. I had intended to make the scones when Jamison's mom was here since she likes scones, but it just didn't happen. I ended up making up a a recipe of my own (Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins), because I'm not a fan of scones and then after the fact I actually saw on the TWD blog that we aren't supposed to do that anymore. It's been a busy past week and I'm just now catching up on my blog reading from the past week. So I'll share my recipe for Apple Raisin Sconey Muffins with you later this afternoon when we get back from our adventure, but for now be sure and stop over at the TWD blog and take the links to the other baker's blogs and see what they came up with.

Sorry for the confusion and my absence this week. If I had seen the post earlier I would have made the scones and sent them on to work with Jamison, but I missed it in the hustle and bustle of birthday week. I'll be back on track next week! :o)

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June 24, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: My Version Of A Mixed Berry Cobbler, With A Mini Blueberry Sidecar Cobbler On The Side

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mixed Berry Cobbler

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! Not to mention today is Alexis' fifth birthday! Five years...Where has the time gone!??!? I most likely will not get a chance to get around to everyone's blogs today to see your cobblers and comment since we'll be having a fun day of birthday celebration, starting with a waffle breakfast and presents and then a trip to the zoo instead, so please forgive me this week! I'm sure you all understand and I'll be back around the block next week!

So this week's recipe was Mixed Berry Cobbler and was chosen by Beth of Our Sweet Life! And cobbler is one of those desserts from my childhood. My mom made many cobblers! Normally she would make peach, which I adored, or blackberry, which was not my thing, and it was most likely served while still hot with some vanilla ice cream! So I have to admit when I saw Dorie's recipe I decided immediately that I would be using my own recipe this week, but that's good for you because you get an extra recipe, and who doesn't like another recipe to add to the collection! ;oP

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mixed Berry Cobbler and A Blueberry Cobbler Side Car

I actually made two cobblers. I made the Mixed Berry version for my sister, because I had some frozen raspberries that I needed to get rid of. In honor of full disclosure I have to say I detest raspberries. I've tried them over an over, but I just do not like them. I do not like blackberries either. With raspberries it's a taste (Too sweet? Too tart? I can't figure it out!) and texture thing (they are fury!) and with blackberries it's just a taste thing. Alexis had wanted to try raspberries, so we picked up a small package and she wasn't all that fond on them, so I froze them, intending to give them to my sister anyway because she does like them and then I kept forgetting to take them to her so now she got them, but she just got them in a bit different form! ;oP

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mixed Berry Cobbler, No Blueberry Cobbler

I also made a small mini-cobbler with just blueberries for me. I ended up putting all the strawberries in the Mixed berry cobbler. But I was ok with just blueberries too. I love me some blueberries!

My sister brought over some berries that they had picked at their CSA and I used those. There is just nothing like a fresh strawberry! I must say however that I do not agree with Dorie in terms of strawberries in cobbler (or maybe cooking in general). I don't find that they have too much water content in them and I don't find that they make a soggy cobbler. In fact I've made cobblers many times with only strawberries and they turn out no differently than any other, so throw in as many strawberries as you like!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mixed Berry Cobbler

Sadly I didn't have any vanilla ice cream on hand, but the cobbler was good all on it's own. My sister really liked the Mixed Berry version. (She tried both and actually took the Mixed Berry Cobbler home!) I tried them both as well, but to me the Mixed Berry version was overpowered by the raspberries. Katherine commented on how the raspberry didn't over take the cobbler, but I think for me if the raspberry is there at all I taste it and it ruins the entire thing for me. Oh well. She enjoyed it and that is all that counts!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mixed Berry Cobbler: Ready to Bake

So there you have it my take on this week's Tuesday With Dorie Mixed Berry Cobbler. Check out the recipe below and be sure and stop over at the other Tuesday With Dorie blogs and see how their cobblers turned out!

What You'll Need For The Mixed Berry Cobbler Filling:
3-4 cups of mixed berries
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 cup of apple juice

Place berries in a large bowl. (Note: They can be fresh, frozen, or a mixture of both. Also if you want more than 4 cups of berries throw them in...There are no wrong answers with cobbler!) I used fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries and frozen raspberries. Add sugar and apple juice and stir to coat. Set aside.

What You'll Need For The Cobbler "Dough":
2 cups of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup of organic sugar
1 cup of half and half
1 cup of light sour cream (Note: I normally use buttermilk, but I was out and sour cream works just fine.)
2 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and organic cane sugar until well mixed. Next add half and half, sour cream and eggs and stir until smooth. Add melted butter and stir until completely mixed. (Note: You'll have a batter, not a dough.)

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour the batter into the dish. Dump the fruit mixture on top of the batter and place the baking dish on a baking tray so if it spills over you're oven is safe from dirtiness! ;o) Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-340 minutes until crust is well browned. Serve immediately or keep covered and serve at room temperature.

Notes: I sometimes sprinkle sugar on the top of the cobbler before baking, though I did not this time. Also cobbler is superb with vanilla ice cream so don't be afraid to break out a scoop or two! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 6:52 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

June 17, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate "Puffs" Instead

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was the Peppermint Cream Puff Ring and was chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion!

As you can see I deviated a bit. Now I love mint and I love chocolate, but for some reason this week I just wasn't feeling the whole mint/chocolate combo, but I did have some fresh local strawberries and thought it would be fun to play around with a strawberry and milk chocolate combo and that's just what I did!

I also decided to make mini puffs instead of one big puff and while my puffs rose beautifully in the oven they promptly fell flat when I remove them. I thought about starting over, but I hated wasting all those ingredients, so I decided to just use the flat "puffs" as shells, top them with strawberry cream and then drizzle them with milk chocolate. It worked perfectly and oh my...Yum!

First things first...The dough!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Dough

It pulled away from the pan an formed a little ball beautifully! And once it was added to the mixer and the eggs were put in it still looked fantabulous!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Ready For Pastry Bag

See how creamy and lovely that looks? I was highly impressed!

The next step involved placing the "dough" in a pastry bag and piping it out onto a baking sheet:

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Ready To Bake

I did circles an even a few hearts. Still looking pretty good and oh so creamy!

I put them in the oven and let them do their thing and because of their small size they were done in about 8 minutes. That was probably my first problem since they completed their cooking at the higher temperature and did not have a chance to be lowered to a cooler temperature as the recipe had called for.

They rose beautifully and sadly I didn't get a picture of them risen. Within in a minute of bringing them out of the oven they deflated. As I said before I thought about throwing in the towel. I walked a way for a bit, because sometimes you just have to walk away to gain some perspective, and an hour later decided to use them as shells instead.

So here's my sad looking little "puff" shell:

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Deflated Shell

For a shell not bad, but definitely not a mini puff!

Next I piped on some strawberry whipped cream:

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Strawberry Cream

Look at that cream! Aren't those little bits of strawberry heavenly? Why yes...Yes they were! ;oP I made the strawberry whipped cream by combining a pint of strawberries, 2 cups of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar. I pureed the strawberries with 1 cup of cream until smooth, then added the remaining cream and sugar and beat until stiff. How easy is that?

And last but not least I topped the strawberry cream with a drizzle of milk chocolate and Alexis even made one of her own:

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, But Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate Puffs: Alexis Style

Not bad my little sous chef, not bad! She got a little crazy with her piping, but hey she had fun doing it so that is all that matters!

I made the chocolate according to Dorie's instructions, but I used milk chocolate instead of bittersweet chocolate because while I'm all for dark chocolate alone, I much prefer milk chocolate in desserts.

So there you have my twist on the Peppermint Cream Puff Ring, or more aptly what became Mini Strawberry Milk Chocolate "Puffs" instead. Sometimes it's fun to just play around with a recipe and take elements and mix and match them with something else! I definitely enjoyed this little walk down Variation Lane! ;o)

Be sure and stop over at the Tuesdays With Dorie blog and take the links to see what the other ladies an gentleman came up with!

Until next week!

Posted by Dianne at 7:10 AM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

June 3, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies With A Twist...There's Always A Twist!

Tuesdays With Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was French Chocolate Brownies and was chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook! I have to say I feel an affinity for Di every time I see her name. My friends call me Di too, but that's neither here nor there! ;o)

Where was I? Oh yes...Chocolate Brownies! What else do you need to say? I mean seriously...What's better than an ooey, chocolately, fudgy brownie? Not much in my opinion and these brownies are all of that! They are just delicious!

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies: Ready to Eat

Of course I tweaked this recipe a bit...I mean you know me and tweaking. When I read the recipe I thought that raisins were a little weird, but then I started thinking about a Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar and well I love those things so it started making a little more sense! Then I thought well if it's got raisins, then why not just throw in some almonds too and then they will be just like the Fruit and Nut bars! So that's just what I did and I must say I really LOVED the result!

I sent the majority of these to work with Jamison, but I kept a couple for Alexis and I. On the one that I ate I added some of the left over cream cheese frosting from last week's sticky buns. I mean why not take it and kick it up another notch? I don't think I've found anything that didn't taste better with a little cream cheese frosting. ;o)

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies: Kicked Up A Notch

As I mentioned above these brownies were lovely inside and out. They were very chocolately and they had a very nice crumb. I ended up using 7 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate instead of 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and I would have used milk chocolate, but I was out. I've told you all my theory on cinnamon and chocolate before so we won't dwell, but needless to say that didn't make the cut. I melted my chocolate in the microwave as well instead of bothering with the whole double boiler thing.

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies: The Inside

I skipped the cooking of the raisins and the rum. Simply not my thing, though I do enjoy the flaming part. I added 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of whole raw almonds instead of just 1/3 cup of raisins. I also baked them as individual cupcakes to make them easier for Jamison to take and share. I ended up with 26 cupcake brownies and it took them about 18 minutes to bake.

So there you have it...My tweaked brownies. Did I mention these were heavenly chocolate? ;oP

Be sure and stop over at the Tuesdays With Dorie blog and take the links to see how everyone else's brownies turned out!

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies: Baked

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies: Kicked Up A Notch

Posted by Dianne at 7:04 AM | Comments (47) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: Ready for Icing

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and was chosen by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen!

I felt guilty making these this week, because one of Jamison's all time favorites are cinnamon rolls and there was no way he could eat these! I had even planned to make a gluten free version for him but time got away from me and I have yet to find a gluten free dough that will roll out the way you need to to make cinnamon rolls. Even the doughs that promise to do just that don't live up. More experimentation is definitely needed!

Anyway, these turned out really well! I did tweak a few things, but that's par for the course I think. I used only dark brown molasses sugar instead of using a mix of brown and white sugar. I ended up having to use more butter and sugar in the middle to get it to spread out over the entire surface area. Also I mixed up a batch of cream cheese icing, because what's a sticky bun without a little icing?

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: The Inside Goodness

Overall I'd give these a 4 out of 5 stars. Would I make them again? Probably not. The whole process is a bit intensive for a normal breakfast and there is enough butter here to kill a horse, but they were good. As Dorie mentioned in the recipe there are many recipes for cinnamon buns and everyone thinks theirs is the best and I guess I'm no different on that front. I like the ones I make on Christmas morning better and in all honesty I'm not a big fan of Dorie's brioche, though there was enough sugar and cinnamon here to overpower it so it ended up being pretty good.

I'm still on a quest to figure out a gluten free version that work and are not grainy, but I digress. I ended up sending the sticky buns home with my sister yesterday so she could enjoy them. I sent the loaf of brioche from the other half of the dough recipe home with her too. I also sent the rest of my Daring Bakers challenge home with her as well, but we'll get into that tomorrow! ;oP

Without further ado...Here's the recipe!

What You'll Need for the Glaze:
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

What You'll Need for the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

What You'll Need for the Buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)

Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly).

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns:Ready to Slice

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche: Rising

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.

Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns Baked

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):
2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche:

Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche Baking

Posted by Dianne at 6:58 AM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Not Madelines, But Quintuple Triple Chocolate Brownies (With Peanut Butter Frosting) Instead!

Tuesdays With Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Madelines and was chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home. We were given the option that if we didn't have a Madeline pan we could do one of the previous recipes that we might have missed so I chose to do the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies instead because to be completely honest Madelines have never spoken to me, which is weird given usually I'm all about French type foods.

Digressing...Where was I? Oh yes...Quintuple Chocolate Brownies! Which in all reality in my case were more aptly Triple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting. I ended up melting 3 ounces of milk chocolate chips and 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips for the brownie batter. (That's chocolate one and chocolate two for those of you who are counting!) I used whole milk chocolate chips stirred into the batter. (Which if you're still counting would go back to one since I had already used milk chocolate in the batter.) And then last but not least I used cocoa. (Which round us out to chocolate three!)

I was out of white chocolate so I decided to whip up a peanut butter frosting, which I've listed below as well and I must say they really turned out great! We're back to that quintessential pairing of chocolate and peanut butter...How can you go wrong there?

To make these more travel friendly I decided to bake the brownies as cupcakes, because I don't have a 9 X 9 inch pan. I've got an 8 X 8 inch pan, but I wanted for Jamison to be able to take these to work to share and I didn't think either of those pans would yield enough brownies. In cupcake form I ended up with around 21 cupcakes and I baked them for about 20-25 minutes.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting: The Inside

Be sure and stop over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blog and peruse the blog roll to see what all the other TWD bakers came up with this week!

What You'll Need for the Brownies:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (Note: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Note: I used milk chocolate chips.)
2 Tablespoons strong coffee (Note: I omitted this. You've heard my spiel on coffee before so I'll spare you this time! ;oP)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (Note: I used 1 tablespoon.)
6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate chips (Note: I used 6 ounces of milk chocolate chips.)
1 cup chopped nuts (Note: I skipped the nuts.)

What You'll Need for the Glaze: (Note: I skipped this and did peanut butter frosting instead.)
6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream

What You'll Need for the Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 - 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of peanut butter powder

Getting Ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting: A Bite

To Make the Brownies:

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted - you don’t want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes. (Note: I did this in the microwave instead of messing with a double boiler. I still let it cool for 5 minutes though.)

Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don’t beat too vigorously - you don’t want to add air to the batter - and don’t be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If you’re not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you’d like.)

Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack - it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting: Pre-Frosting

To Make the Glaze:

Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth.

Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don’t worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze.

Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2-1/4 inches on a side.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting: Pre-Frosting Right Out of the Oven

To Make the Peanut Butter Frosting:

In the bowl of a mixer cream together the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. Add powdered sugar on low speed and mix until completely incorporated. Next add the peanut butter powder also on slow speed and mix until completely mixed. Spread mixture on cooled brownies and serve.

Posted by Dianne at 7:06 AM | Comments (50) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie My Pick: Florida Pie! Plus Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries Just for Fun!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Florida Pie and was chosen by me! I decided to pair it with some Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries and they really complimented each other, so today you get a bonus recipe too! ;o)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie with Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries

If you're a frequent guest to Dianne's Dishes you've heard me talk about my love for Key Lime before and if you come back you'll most likely hear about it again. When I looked through the book I looked at several recipes as a possibility for this week, but I kept coming back to the Florida Pie. I know some people are not fan of Key Lime, so it will be interesting to see how everyone did with this recipe and I know several people that didn't like the idea of coconut in with the Key Lime, but I had always been curious as to how the two would blend so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to test some boundaries and after all that's what makes being in the kitchen fun.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: A Slice

I actually made a few tweaks to this recipe. I decided to make the pie in an 8 inch springform pan, instead of a pie dish to make it have a bit more height. I also added some whole, raw cashews on top of the crust and I did not bake the crust either.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: Crust with Cashews

For the lime juice I strayed a bit too. I added in 3/4 a cup of Nellie and Joe's Double Strength Key Lime Juice instead of using fresh juice and I used 3/4 a cup instead of 1/2 a cup and I really liked the depth of flavor it brought to the pie overall. It was most definitely a nice addition.

In terms of the meringue I did not follow the recipe. I didn't heat the egg whites, I simply just made meringue by beating the egg whites with organic cane sugar. I also forgot to add the coconut to the meringue, though I had intended to make that addition. In the end though the pie overall turned out fine without it so maybe it was a providence. ;o)

Usually on Tuesdays I send whatever I make if it's possible to work with Jamison, but this one was a bit on the messy side for that, so I made some Key Lime Milk Chocolate Chip Bars to send along with him instead in the spirit of the whole Key Lime theme. I'll post the recipe for those tomorrow so be sure to check back then!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: A Bite

Anyway, this is my choice for this week. Overall I was very pleased with how it turned out. The cashews were a nice surprise and I really liked the coconut overall too. The pairing with the Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries was fabulous as well! I would definitely make this again.

Be sure to stop over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blog to see how everyone else's pie turned out.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie with Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries

What You'll Need:
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar

Tuesdays with Dorie:  Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries to go with the Florida Pie

What You'll Need for the Coconut Creamsicle Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries:
2 - 12 ounce bottles of Izze Clementine sparkling juice
1 - 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of dark chocolate covered goji berries
1 cup of coconut

Note: The above ingredients are set up to work in this ice cream maker, but you can double it or triple it or whatever to fit into a large sized machine.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: Crust

Getting Ready to Make the Pie:

(Note: First make and freeze the ice cream. See instructions below.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.

Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: Ready for the Oven

Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.

To Finish the Pie with Meringue:

Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: After the Broiler

Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you've got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Florida Pie: The Insides

To Make the Ice Cream:

In a large bowl stir together ingredients. Dump mixture into the tub of your ice cream maker and freeze according to your model's directions. Remove from ice cream machine when it's done and place in the freezer until firm. Serve alone or along with the Florida Pie.

Posted by Dianne at 6:04 AM | Comments (59) | TrackBack

May 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was the Peanut Butter Torte and was chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food!

Now first up we must say peanut butter...chocolate...A match made in heaven! Seriously the two just meld so well together and this pie was no different. I did do things a bit differently though. I left out the cinnamon and the nutmeg. I've tried both in the past paired with chocolate and I just have to say I'm not a fan of the combination. I also don't think either go well with peanut butter. As always I also left out the espresso powder too because coffee is not my thing. I know it's supposed to "bring out the flavor of the chocolate" but all I taste is coffee when it's present.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: A Slice

For the crust I ended up beating the heck out of the Oreo's with a meat mallet and having a coarse grind instead of a fine variety. My food processor went to the big food processor heaven in the sky a couple of months ago (i.e. the motor finally blew) and I haven't replaced it yet as I'm still saving to do that. My blender jar was in the dishwasher at the time I was making the crust, not that I think it would have done such a great job crushing them though, so I improvised. What's a recipe without a little improvising? ;o)

My next change was a slight one...I used honey roasted peanuts instead of regular old peanuts and I omitted the pinch of salt. I also added 1/2 cup of chopped honey roasted nuts into the crust as well to give it a bit more punch. On the topping I ended up mixing 1 cup of honey roasted nuts and 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips. I didn't end up adding all of this mixture to the top, but I used more than the 1/2 cup alloted in the recipe. The mini-chocolate chips were not called for on the topping, but I decided they would be a nice twist.

For the ganache on top I did not make the ganache listed in the recipe. I had some of the chocolate coating left over from the Cheesecake Pops for the Daring Bakers challenge this month and I decided to use that instead. It worked perfectly! I ended up having just the right amount to coat the torte and the little baby torte I made without crust since it would be gluten free for Jamison.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: Little and Gluten Free

As I mentioned above I took some of the filling and put it in a dish for Jamison since the Oreo's have gluten in them and I wanted him to be able to enjoy this dessert too. I topped his little baby torte with chocolate and the honey roasted peanut/mini-chocolate chip mix and it worked very well.

So that was this weeks choice and I really enjoyed it! Next week is my choice. How exciting is that? ;o)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: Big and Little

Be sure and stop over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blog and take the links to see how everyone else's Torte turned out! And take a look at the bite below:

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: A Bite

Doesn't that look like a little bite of heaven?

What You'll Need:
1 1/4 cups finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee) (Note: I omitted this.)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Note: I omitted this.)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (Note: I omitted this.)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt(Note: I omitted this.)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (Note: I think you could have gone ahead and used both bars instead of just 1 and 1/2 packages.)
1 1/2 cups salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy) (Note: This "not natural" made me want to do just that! ;oP I plan on trying it again with natural and see what happens. The natural peanut butter I buy is blended and it doesn't separate into peanuts and oil. I'm pretty sure it would work just fine.)
2 tablespoons whole milk (Note: I'm not sure where this was supposed to go in, but I missed it somewhere.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped (Note: As I mentioned above I didn't make the ganache, but utilized something I already had on hand in the fridge.)

Getting ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Scrape the mouse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: Big and Little Getting Ready to Chill

To Finish The Torte:

Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Bring the remaining 1/2 cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining 1/2 cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte: Servings

Posted by Dianne at 6:44 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

April 22, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Bill’s Big Carrot Cake and was chosen by Amanda of Slow Like Honey!

I decided to make cupcakes instead of one big layer cake because then it's easier to send them to work with Jamison to share and I'm not stuck eating a whole big cake by myself! ;o) I ended up baking them for close to 27 minutes. Next time I'd probably bake them at 350 F for a bit shorter time.

The cupcakes turned out really well, though I did take a few liberties. I decided to add in 1/2 cup more coconut than the recipe called for an I also substituted a can of crushed pineapple for the raisins. With the frosting I went with two tablespoons of my homemade vanilla extract in place of the lemon juice because I felt like the vanilla would compliment the recipe more and I was not disappointed! I used pecans instead of walnuts also since the recipe said you could use either. I like walnuts, but I was in a pecan mood yesterday.

I was very pleased with the recipe overall. The only thing I would change if I made this again is that I would most likely substitute unsweetened apple sauce for the oil to lighten it up a bit. I might also use some brown sugar too to bring out the flavor of the carrots and pineapple and make them pop. I think I would add in a tablespoon of baking powder instead of just 2 teaspoons as the cupcakes didn't rise very much, but taste wise it was a winner and if you're looking for a good carrot cake then look no further...You've found it!

Be sure and stop on over at the Tuesdays with Dorie blog roll and see how the other member's cakes turned out. :o)

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

What You'll Need for the Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

What You'll Need for the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake Cupcake Version The Inside

To make the cake:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes): Ready to Share

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.

If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:

Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake (Not So Big Cupcakes)

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

Posted by Dianne at 6:55 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

April 19, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie (A Little Late): The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart (with Blueberry Sauce)!

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart with Blueberry Topping

It's not Tuesday, but it's time for a little Tuesdays with Dorie none the less! Last week the recipe for Tuesday's with Dorie was The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart and I was looking forward to trying it out and then all hell broke loose and it just didn't happen! But I promised myself (and you readers too) that I'd get back to the Tart and get back to it I did!

First of let me say Oh...My...God! This tart is heavenly! I halved the recipe and made four mini-tarts instead of one big tart, but it was divine! I also made some blueberry sauce to go along with it since lemon and blueberry are just a pair made in heaven and this tart really was heavenly....But...This is not an every day food! Talk about rich and calorie laden! It's definitely a sometimes food, but oh so lovely to enjoy when that sometimes rolls around!

Tuesdays with Dorie: The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

So here is my take on The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart and as they say better late than never! ;o)

What You'll Need for the Filling: (Note: Remember I halved the recipe.)
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 3 lemons (Note: I used the zest of two lemons as it's kind of hard to half three.)
4 large eggs
¾ c fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 T butter (10 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature
1 9-inch tart shell made with sweet tart dough (Note: See recipe below and I halved it too. You need to make the dough first...)

Getting ready:

Have a instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy, and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture fees tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling- you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point- the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience- depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp may take as long as 10 minutes.

As soon as it reaches 180F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going- to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to bend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests, and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart: Filling

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. (the cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator)

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart: Ready for Topping

When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart: Crust Up Close

What You'll Need for the Sweet Tart Dough: (Again I halved this)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 T) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk (Note: I used the whole egg yolk as it's hard to cut one in two.)
(Note: I had to add a bit of cold water to the dough to get it to come together as well.)

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in- you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal fakes and others the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses- about 10 seconds each- until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change- heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate and dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed- press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: center a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, against the crust. (since you froze it, you can bake it without weights). Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, carefully press it down with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack. To fully bake the crust, bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

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April 15, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: (Pumpkin) Marshmallows

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Marshmallows and was chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats!

I love homemade marshmallows...Whether they be chocolate, plain or even peanut butter I'm all about the homemade marshmallow! I like to make them from scratch because they are fluffy and sweet and you can control what goes into them (i.e. making sure there is no nasty high fructose corn syrup!) They are easy to play around with and you can make different flavors (like the pumpkin version I made for this) and you can change the colors or just leave them plain. Marshmallows are really fun to play around with!

Dorie's recipe calls for egg whites and I've made marshmallows this way before, but I'll be completely honest and say I prefer to make marshmallows that are egg white free as you can see if you take my marshmallow links above. These marshmallows were good, but not as good as the ones I usually make.

I chose to do the pumpkin flavor from Dorie's playing around suggestions because I've made chocolate and plain marshmallows before and I'm not a fan of cappuccino or raspberry, so pumpkin it was and that definitely gave it a nice undertone. It was especially nice as the marshmallow melted into a cup of hot chocolate.

At this point however let's talk about what went wrong...When I added the hot sugar syrup to the egg white mixture, even though the mixture was constantly moving and I did my best to the let the hot sugar mixture hit the sides of the bowl and the whisk BEFORE it hit the cool egg whites, I ended up with a bit of scrambled egg white here and there and that's a bit unnerving when you bite into a marshmallow expecting smooth and creamy and you get a bit of scrambled egg white. This wasn't a huge problem, but there was a bit of scrambling going on and the recipe did not mention tempering the egg white mixture. There was also no way to strain the mixture as it's too thick.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows in Hot Chocolate

One thing I did do a bit differently, and it turned out to be a plus, was that I dusted the tops of the marshmallows with powdered sugar instead of using corn or potato starch:

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows: Setting Up

I did use potato starch on the bottom of the marshmallows though. I usually use powdered sugar on my plain marshmallows, but I didn't think about that until after I had already lined the dish with the potato starch. If I ever made these again (which I doubt) I'd use powdered sugar for both steps.

Overall I'd give these a C. I want to try the pumpkin version by adapting the plain marshmallow recipe I use to see if I can get it to work, but most likely I'll try this close to Halloween and/or Thanksgiving.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Marshmallows

Be sure and stop over at the other Tuesday with Dorie blogs and see how their marshmallows turned out!

P.S. I got around to making the The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart! Check back on Saturday to see how it turned out! And for those of you who wondered how the Gooey Chocolate Cakes would do once frozen and thawed check that out here!

What You'll Need:
About 1 cup potato starch (found in the kosher foods section of supermarkets) or cornstarch
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

GETTING READY: Line a rimmed baking sheet -- choose one with a rim that is 1 inch high -- with parchment paper and dust the paper generously with potato starch or cornstarch. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put 1/3 cup of the water, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook the syrup -- without stirring -- until it reaches 265 degrees F on the candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

While the syrup is cooking, work on the gelatin and egg whites. In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining cold water (a scant 7 tablespoons) and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it is spongy, then heat the gelatin in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds to liquefy it. (Alternatively, you can dissolve the gelatin in a saucepan over low heat.)

Working in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in another large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until firm but still glossy -- don't over beat them and have them go dull.

As soon as the syrup reaches 265 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer on medium speed, add the syrup, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Add the gelatin and continue to beat for another 3 minutes, so that the syrup and the gelatin are fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the meringue mixture onto the baking sheet, laying it down close to a short end of the sheet. Then spread it into the corners and continue to spread it out, taking care to keep the height of the batter at 1 inch; you won't fill the pan. Lift the excess parchment paper up to meet the edge of the batter, then rest something against the paper so that it stays in place (I use custard cups).

Dust the top of the marshmallows with potato starch or cornstarch and let the marshmallows set in a cool, dry place. They'll need about 3 hours, but they can rest for 12 hours or more.

Once they are cool and set, cut the marshmallows with a pair of scissors or a long thin knife. Whatever you use, you'll have to rinse and dry it frequently. Have a big bowl with the remaining potato starch or cornstarch at hand and cut the marshmallows as you'd like -- into squares, rectangles or even strips (as they're cut in France). As each piece is cut, drop it into the bowl. When you've got 4 or 5 marshmallows in the bowl, reach in with your fingers and turn the marshmallows to coat them with starch, then, one by one, toss the marshmallows from one hand to the other to shake off the excess starch; transfer them to a serving bowl. Cut and coat the rest of the batch.

SERVING: Put the marshmallows out and let everyone nibble as they wish. Sometimes I fill a tall glass vase with the marshmallows and put it in the center of the table -- it never fails to make friends smile. You can also top hot chocolate or cold sundaes with the marshmallows.

STORING: Keep the marshmallows in a cool, dry place; don't cover them closely. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 week -- they might develop a little crust on the outside or they might get a little firmer on the inside, but they'll still be very good.

Playing Around:

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS: Fruit purees are excellent for flavoring these candies. For raspberry marshmallows, you'll need a generous 1/3 cup of puree; reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon. After the batter is mixed, gently fold in the puree with a rubber spatula. You can use the same measurements and technique for other purees, such as strawberry, mango and passion fruit.

CAPPUCCINO MARSHMALLOWS: Sift 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon together into a small bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and mix until smooth. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon, and add it to the espresso mix. After you add the sugar syrup and gelatin to the meringue, beat in the espresso mixture and continue.

LIGHT CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS: Melt 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and stir in 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1/4 teaspoon, and after the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the chocolate mixture with a large rubber spatula.

PUMPKIN SPICE MARSHMALLOWS: Whisk together 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a pinch of ground allspice. After the marshmallow batter is mixed, fold in the spiced pumpkin with a large rubber spatula.

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April 13, 2008

Gooey Chocolate Cakes Revisited

Tuesdays with Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cakes Revisited

A few weeks ago when we made the Gooey Chocolate Cakes for Tuesdays with Dorie I mentioned that I had frozen all but one of them and many of you had asked to let you know how that turned out. Last week when my father was here I forgot to get them out and thaw them, but yesterday I decided to pull one out and let it thaw overnight and see how it turned out. I pleased to say it went very well. This afternoon I reheated one in the microwave for about 30 seconds and served it along with some vanilla ice cream. The center was not liquid and was more solid even after heating, but it was still good. Also these little suckers are very rich so again I finished about half of one instead of eating the whole little cake, which is about the size of a cupcake.

So there you go...Gooey Chocolate Cakes frozen, thawed, reheated and revisited! It works! ;o)

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April 8, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

lemonpicture

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart chosen by Mary of Starting From Scratch

I was really excited about this recipe and had planned to make some blueberry sauce to go with along with the tart because lemon and blueberry, well we all know how well lemons and blueberries go together, but I didn't make the tart. In short we had a very long, very draining weekend that I won't get into here, but I just couldn't make this recipe due to not being at home. I plan to make this one later when I get a chance so I'll most likely post about it when I do, but it may be in a few weeks or so when time permits.

Be sure and check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakersand see how their tarts turned out because this one looked like a real winner!

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April 1, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cakes

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cake

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Gooey Chocolate Cakes chosen by Tartlete of Lemon Tartlete and let me tell you these little cakes really were ooey, gooey, chocolate heaven!

This week I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, BUT I did use 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 ounce of milk chocolate, in place of the 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and I really liked the way it turned out. I think these cakes would also be very good with a caramel drizzle and possibly even some whipped cream! Some chocolate ice cream in place of the vanilla would have gone well too and if you wanted to just go all out you could add a hot fudge drizzle or a little bit of all of the above might just be grand!

I've always wanted to make a lava type cake so this was a good experience, but I must say this wasn't exactly what I envisioned. These little babies were delicious, but I'm not sure what I was expecting. I ended up enjoying one of them (or half of it anyway) and I froze the other five since Jamison can't eat gluten and I didn't want to eat them all myself. I'll pull them out the next time my father visits because he is a huge snacker and these should be right up his alley!

Be sure and stop on over at the other Tuesdays with Dorie blogs and see how their Gooey Chocolate Cakes turned out. I mean chocolate...What's not to like? ;o)

What You'll Need:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (Note: I omitted the salt since I used salted butter.)
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate: 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 1 ounce very finely chopped (Note: As I mentioned above I used 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 ounce of milk chocolate.)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (Note: I used salted butter.)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons of sugar (Note: I used organic cane sugar.)

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cake: Chocolate and Butter

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water. (Note: I melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave instead.)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cakes: Ready to Bake

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogeneous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cakes: Ready for Ice Cream

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Gooey Chocolate Cakes: Gooey Center

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

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March 25, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: I Was Going To Make The Caramel-Topped Flan But...

Baby Toes

I had every intention of setting out to make Caramel-Topped Flan this past weekend chosen by Steph from A Whisk and a Spoon, but on Friday afternoon my nephew Grant was born and well baby cuddles and toes or Caramel-Topped Flan? I have to say that the baby cuddles and toes won out! So I'm sure you guys can forgive me for not participating this week as I had places to be and a new person to see!

Be sure and stop on over at the other Tuesdays with Dorie blogs and see how their flan turned out. I'll have to get back to this one later. ;o)

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March 18, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Brioche Raisin Snails (Minus the Raisins)

Brioche Raisin Snails Iced

It's Tuesday! You know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Brioche Raisin Snails chosen by Peabody from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Well I have to admit I wasn't overly thrilled with how this turned out, though I had thought it would be to die for. The end result was just a bit bland in my opinion. It needed more oomph. I think it needed a bit more cinnamon (even though I added more than the recipe called for) and it also needed a bit more sugar (which I added more of as well), but even though they didn't taste like much the "snails" themselves were beautiful to look at if nothing else.

As you can see I also left out the raisins. I like raisins in cookies or paired with baked apples or even in pumpkin bread, but in other ways I'm not a huge fan of cooked raisins so I left them out. I don't think that that omisson however changed the overall feel of the recipe, nor do I think the addition would have changed the overall blandness.

One thing that I was really excited about with this recipe was the pastry cream. I've always wanted to make pastry cream, but I never had. I don't however think mine turned out so well. It was rather thick and less like what I would call a cream and more like what I would call a thick pudding. It also could have used a bit more sugar, but then again I think that was the overall theme for me with this recipe. It could have been the fact that I had a headache all day that I just couldn't shake so I wasn't up to par to begin with, or maybe it was just the recipe itself...who knows?

The recipe called for half of a brioche recipe that was listed in another part of the book (as was the pastry cream too), but the recipe for that said you couldn't really half the recipe if you wanted it to turn out ok, so I took the other half and baked a loaf of brioche. This too was something I had always wanted to try. The loaf itself turned out beautifully, but it was a bit rich, which is slightly strange given when you paired it with the other elements the recipe still seemed bland overall.

Granted this was a pretty recipe, but I don't see myself making it again. The blandness, coupled with the fact you have to keep turning back and forth through the book, just makes it not worth it to me. It also would have been nice to have a picture or two to sort of guide you along the path. We'll see what the other TWD bakers thought. Be sure and check out them out and see their takes on the recipe.

What You'll Need for the Brioche Raisin Snails:
1 cup moist, plump raisins (Note: I omitted these.)
3 tablespoons dark rum (Note: I omitted this too.)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves(page 48), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight) (See recipe below)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (page 448) (See recipe below)

What You'll Need for The Optional Glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract

Getting Ready: Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the rum. Standing back, ignite the rum. Stair until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and rum an be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 16 inches long, with a short end toward you. Spread the pastry cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Scatter the raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon sugar. Starting wit the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder.)

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they're ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between them.

Lightly cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm place until the snails have doubles in volume--they'll be puffy and soft--about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Getting Ready To Bake: When the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven: depending on the number of baking sheets you have, either center a rack in the oven or position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for about 25 minutes (rotate the sheets if you're using two, from top to bottom and front to back after 15 minutes), or until they are puffed and richly browned. Using a metal spatula, transfer the snails onto a cooling rack.

Brioche Raisin Snails Baked

If You Want To Glaze The Snails: Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of water. Keep adding water drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from the tip of a spoon. Add the vanilla extract, then drizzle the icing over the hot snails.

Brioche Raisin Snails: Leftover Brioche

What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough:
2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

What You'll Need for the Glaze:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Brioche Raisin Snails Dough

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.

Brioche Raisin Snails: A Bite

What You'll Need for the Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Posted by Dianne at 7:52 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake (My Mini Version!)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Mini Version

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake and it was chosen by Natalie of Burned Bits.

So it a pie or is it a cake? Yes! The dough is cake like, though the whole put together is more like that of a pie. I ended up making mini-pie-cakes so I could send them to work with Jamison, but that fell apart when the recipe only made 12. That wasn't enough to share with everyone he works with and I'm all about being fair! So I ended up freezing some of them for my sister once the baby is born, since I've been doing that lately so I'll have stuff to take to her in a few weeks after his arrival. Am I a nice sister or what? ;o)

I liked the end result of what I made, BUT I tweaked the recipe for the filling. I thought brown sugar would be better than regular sugar and I left out the raisins. I'll add my notes in the recipe below. I also thought the dough would have made some great lemon sugar cookies if you added some lemon zest and they were baked and topped with lemon icing...I may just have to test out that theory in the future! ;o)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Dough

What You'll Need for the Dough:
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Note: I used salted butter. I rarely buy unsalted and never think about it most of the time until I see it in a recipe.)
1 cup sugar (Note: I used organic cane sugar.)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Apples

What You'll Need for the Apples:
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix (I like to use Fuji, Golden Delicious and Ida Reds; my grandmother probably used dry baking apples like Cordland and Rome) (Note: I used Granny Smith. I only ended up using about 5 apples and had some left over that I cooked and froze. My apples weren't overly large either.)
Squirt of fresh lemon juice (Note: I didn't add this.)
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) (Note: I didn't add these either.)
1/4 cup sugar (Note: I didn't think 1/4 a cup of sugar was enough for 10 apples. I didn't end up using 10 apples, but I did increase the sugar to 3/4 a cup. I also used natural brown sugar because I think brown sugar pairs better with apples than regular sugar. Had I used 10 apples I probably would have gone with a full cup of brown sugar.)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Note: I used 2 teaspoons.)
Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting (Note: I used organic cane sugar for dusting.)

To Make The Dough:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice - the dough will probably curdle, but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Apples Sliced

To Make The Apples:
Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice - even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that's fine - and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon juice if you like.

Getting Ready to Bake:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking sheet llined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin to get it moving. Once it's a little more malleable, you've got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan - because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven's heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick - you don't want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that's fine; if it doesn't that's fine too.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenly across the bottom.

Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you've got a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don't have that much overhang, just press what you've got against the sides of the pan.)

Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.

Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You'll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.

Notes: Below is what I did to make the mini pie-cakes.

First cut a round of crust and place it into the hole of a muffin pan. Next add apples. (Note: I had to break the slices in half to get them in the muffin pan.)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Ready to be Topped

Next cut another round, slightly smaller and place it on top of the apples, crimping around the sides and cut a couple of vents to let steam out.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Ready to Go

Next brush each top with a bit of water and sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Ready for the Oven

Next bake for 18-25 minutes until mini-pie cakes are golden brown.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Baked

And finally enjoy the ooey gooey center! Only let them cool a bit or they'll stick when coming out and you'll end up with a mess.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake: Ooey Gooey Center

Oh the apple goodness! Until next week.

P.S. Oh and don't forget the March edition of the Dianne's Dishes contest series for your chance to win some free herbs and spices!

Posted by Dianne at 7:01 AM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

March 4, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Snickery Squares

Tuesdays With Dorie: Snickery Squares

It's Tuesday and you know that that means....Tuesdays with Dorie! This weeks recipe is Snickery Squares and was chosen by Erin of Dinner & Dessert.

When I saw the choice I was thrilled...I mean the title says it all "Snickery" and I had looked at the recipe before and thought it would be excellent, but I have to admit after having made these I wasn't that thrilled. Now don't get me wrong the separate pieces of this recipe were to die for and I wanted to love this recipe I really did, but together it just didn't jell for me.

I loved the crust. It was wonderful. The candied peanuts were excellent. The Dulce de Leche, being caramel, oh my god...to die for! But when the elements all came together it just didn't do it for me. My sister tasted it Sunday night and she felt like the peanuts overpowered the rest of the recipe. They were good alone, but in the mix, she felt that they were just too much.

Overall I'm just not sure myself, but I doubt I'll make this recipe in this form again, but I most definitely see using the various parts again in other things! Plus I had never candied nuts before so that was fun to do as well. It's always fun to learn something new!

What You'll Need for the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

What You'll need for the Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
About 1 1/2 cups store-bought dulce de leche (Note: I couldn't find this anywhere so I just made my own.)

What You'll Need for the Topping:
7 ounces bittersweet, coarsely chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

Getting Ready:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8 inch square pan and put it on a baking sheet.

To Make the Crust:

Toss the flour, sugar, powdered sugar and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Toss in the pieces of cold butter and pulse about 12 times, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Pour the yolk over the ingredients and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds-stop before the dough comes together in a ball. (Note: I burned out the motor of my food processor last week and I'm still trying to decide which one I want to replace it with so I used my stand mixer instead and it worked fine. We won't talk about the fact that the stand mixer is starting to act up too right now. We're just going to ignore that fact and hope it decides to straighten up and fly right! ;o))

Turn the dough into the buttered pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and slide the sheet into the oven.

Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it takes on just a little color around the edges. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

To Make the Filling:

Have a parchment or silicone mat-lined baking sheet at the ready, as well as a long-handled wooden spoon and a medium heavy bottomed saucepan.

Put the sugar and water in the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Keeping the heat fairly high, continue to cook the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to color. Toss the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, to coat the peanuts with sugar. Within a few minutes, they will be covered with sugar and turn white—keep stirring until the sugar turns back into caramel. When the peanuts are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, remove the pan from the heat and turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet., using the wooden spoon to spread them out as best you can. Cool the nuts to room temperature.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Snickery Squares: Candied Peanuts

When they are cool enough to handle, separate the nuts or break them into small pieces. Divide the nuts in half. Keep half of the nuts whole or in biggish pieces for the filling, and finely chop the other half for the topping.

Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread base and sprinkle over the whole candied nuts.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Snickery Squares: Dulce de Leche and Candied Peanut Layer

To Make the Topping:

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove chocolate from the heat and gently stir in the butter, stirring until it is fully blended into the chocolate.

Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with a long metal icing spatula, then sprinkle over the rest of the peanuts. Slide the pan into the fridge to set the topping, about 20 minutes; if you’d like to serve the squares cold, keep them refrigerated for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Cut into 16 bars.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Snickery Squares: Done!

Notes: I think that the peanuts would make an excellent topping on vanilla ice cream. The dulce de leche would as well, but not paired with the nuts. The crust was good by itself, but I haven't figured out what I might use it for in the future, but I'll keep thinking about that!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Posted by Dianne at 7:55 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

February 19, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau

It's Tuesday again! You know what that means...It's time to bake with Dorie! This week's recipe is the Almost-Fudge Gâteau and was chosen by Nikki of Crazy Delicious and what can you say other than chocolate?!!?!? This was definitely a hit!

The recipe below is how it is written in the book. I chose to make mini cakes instead of making one cake so that Jamison could take them to work to share more easily and I wouldn't be tempted to eat it all, because really we're talking chocolate here, and good chocolate at that! That was just a little bit too much of a temptation!

When I made the little cakes Sunday afternoon I baked them in a muffin pan with cupcake liners and they turned out great! I ended up baking them for about 15 to 17 minutes instead of the time listed in the recipe for one big cake. I also chose to top them with the chocolate glaze, because seriously we're talking chocolate here and what's better than chocolate and more chocolate! ;o)

If you're serving these mini-cakes at home simply remove the cake from the paper and place them in the middle of a plate before drizzling with the chocolate glaze. I enjoyed one of them in this fashion before I sent the rest of them off to work with Jamison on Monday morning. For the ones I sent to work with him I left them in the cupcake liners and simply drizzled the chocolate on the top of each one effectively making a layer of glaze on each mini-cake. The recipe made two dozen little cakes.

So that's this weeks recipe. Don't forget to stop on over at Tuesday's with Dorie and see how everyone's cakes turned out! :o)

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau: The Inside

What You'll Need for the Cake:
5 large eggs
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Note: I used 1 - 4 ounce bar of Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate and 1 - 5.3 ounce bar of Green and Black's 72% Baking Chocolate Bar minus 2 sqaures, which ended up being right at 0.3 ounces.)
1 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons coffee or water (Note: I don't like coffee so I used 2 tablespoons of chocolate extract instead.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

What You'll Need for the Glaze (optional):
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Note: I used 1 - 4 ounce bar of Ghirardelli 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (Note: Since the chocolate I used was completely unsweetened I used 4 tablespoons of corn syrup. As always look for one that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup. I also added in 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar.)

Getting Ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau: Chopped Chocolate

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar butter and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy, and that’s fine. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for 3 minutes.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau: Chocolate, Butter, Sugar and Chocolate Extract Ready to Melt

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.

Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm, but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape the butter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn’t shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and cool to room temperature right side up. As the cake cools, it may sink.

To Make the Optional Glaze:

(Note: I misread this part of the recipe and ended up melting the chocolate with the heavy cream and corn syrup in the microwave. It turned out fine using this method.)

First, turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips.

Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.

Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charms. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gentle heat from a hairdryer.

Tuesdays With Dorie: Almost-Fudge Gâteau: Ready to Share

Notes: You could also add a little whipped cream or even chocolate whipped cream to the top. A caramel drizzle could be used in place of, or along with the chocolate glaze as well. One of the gentleman Jamison works with thought that either mint added to the cake itself, or the glaze would be a nice addition as well.

Posted by Dianne at 7:34 AM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

February 12, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Tuesday's With Dorie: Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Last week I found out that there was a group that was baking their way through Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home Yours and I was ready to jump on board! The group is called "Tuesday's With Dorie" and what's not to like? I immediately sent an e-mail and joined up!

This week's recipe was chosen by Jaime of Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats and is the Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake and those of you who have read Dianne's Dishes before know that cheesecake is one of my all time favorite foods ever so I was more than thrilled that this was the first recipe after joining the group and let me tell you this cheesecake did not disappoint! I actually baked the recipe in a 13 X 9 inch baking dish making cheesecake bars instead of using a springform pan as the recipe called for because it made it much easier for Jamison to take to work with him and share with his co-workers. I was a bit worried that it might not work out, but it did and the end result was delicious!

This cake utilizes actual apples, along with apple cider and the flavors meld together so well. The apples throughout the cake were also a very nice element, in both taste and overall visual appeal. This is most definitely a cheesecake I will make again! The directions below are for the springform pan, but if you want to bake it in a 13 X 9 inch dish use the same directions. I followed them to the letter just using the different pan and not using a water bath.

What You'll Need for the Crust:
30 gingersnaps (or a scant 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

What You'll Need for the Apples:
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
3 large Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths (Note: Since I made the cake in a 13 X 9 dish instead of a springform pan I cut the apples into a few more pieces so they would be throughout the dish.)
2 tbsp (packed) light brown sugar

What You'll Need for the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp apple cider
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy cream

Apple jelly, for glazing, or confectioner's sugar, for dusting (optional)

To Make the Crust: Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and whir until you have crumbs; you should have a scant 2 cups. (If you are using graham cracker crumbs, just put them in the food processor.) Pulse in the sugar and cinnamon, if you're using it, then pour over the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Turn the crumbs into the springform pan and, using your fingertips, firmly press them evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan as far as they'll go. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the freezer and wrap the bottom tightly in aluminum foil, going up the sides. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is set and lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the apples and the filling. Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.

To Make the Apples: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, toss in half of the apple slices and cook, turning once, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and cook them, turning, just until coated, another minute or so. Scrape the apples onto a plate, wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining apples. Let the apples cool while you make the filling.

Getting Ready to Bake: Have a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan at hand. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

To Make the Filling: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed, scraping down the bowl often, for about 4 minutes, or until it is velvety smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes. Beat in the cider, vanilla, and cinnamon. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Finally, beat in the sour cream and heavy cream, beating just until the batter is smooth.

Pour about one third of the batter into the baked crust. Drain the apples by lifting them off the plate with a slotted spoon or spatula, and spoon them into the pan. Cover with the remaining batter and, if needed, jiggle the pan to even the top. Place the springform pan in the roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes, covering the cake loosely with a foil tent at the 45-minute mark. The cake will rise evenly and crack around the edges, and it should be fully set except, possibly, in the very center--if the center shimmies, that's just fine. Gently transfer the cake, still in the pan, to a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours; overnight would be better.

Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the crust, open the pan's latch and release and remove the sides.

Notes: I topped the piece of cheesecake that I ate with Apple Cider Whipped Cream. To make this add 1/4 of a cup of apple cider to 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with a few tablespoons of sugar. This cheesecake would also be very good topped with a caramel sauce.

Dianne's Dishes February Contest: Kids in the Kitchen!

P.S. Don't forget Dianne's Dishes February Contest: Kids In The Kitchen for your chance to win one Pampered Chef "My Safe Cutter" along with one Pampered Chef "Kid's Apron and Chef's Hat Set"! Just leave a comment on this thread with a valid e-mail address (and don't worry, no one will see your e-mail address but me!) before 5:00 PM EST, Thursday, February 14, 2008. I'll print out the participants and my little sous chef will pull a name out of the hat. I'll e-mail that person for their address and announce the winner on Friday, February 15, 2008! Anyone anywhere on our little planet earth is eligible to enter so what are you waiting for?

Good luck! Oh and tell your friends! ;o)

Posted by Dianne at 7:41 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack