Tuesday, May 26

No TWD this week

I'm all baked-out from Memorial Day festivities. I'll be back next week.

Tuesday, May 19

TWD - Fresh Mango Bread

This week Kelly of Baking with the Boys chose Dorie's Fresh Mango bread for us to make. For once I actually had the special ingredient (aka mangoes) ahead of time - like last Thursday. This is a big step for me. Not like I made the loaf early or anything, I definitely only made it today. Howeeeever, this was a snap to put together. I like how Dorie branched out to include recipes in BFMHTY that don't require a food processor or stand mixer...it's nice to go lo-tech every now and then ;).

As far as fiddling with the recipe, I left out raisins altogether, upped the amount of zest to that of a whole lime, subbed applesauce for half of the oil, and used maybe 3/4 tsp of fresh grated ginger rather than ground ginger. I don't think the end result had an overpoweringly gingery taste, but I like ginger anyway so it might not have really been a problem. I didn't end up using a foil tent so the top got nice and brown; it has a great crunch which I think might be partially due to the brown sugar. The loaf turned out nice and moist; it'll be great for breakfast...and second breakfast...and elevensies too.

Stop by Kelly's blog for the recipe and the blogroll for everybody's results!

Wednesday, May 13

TWD - Tartest Lemon Tart

These are some tasty tasty tarts. Barb, you picked a great recipe to break up all the chocolate madness.

Because I sometimes get overly ambitious (which results in the tarts coming out of the oven after midnight), I decided to do two things with these tarts. First, I made four mini tarts; second, I made two with a Meyer lemon and two with a regular lemon. You could really only tell the difference pre-baking in the color but the tarts with Meyer lemon are definitely not as tart as the others. The texture of the tarts reminds me of lemon bars but the crust is way better. Mine stayed nice and crumbly and fortunately didn't overbake in the oven.

The point of the "mini" tarts was so that hopefully I would eat less at a time but I'm not sure how that's going to work out. Oh well. Time to lace up the tennis shoes.

Check out Babette Feasts for the recipe and the blogroll for everyone elses tarts!

Tuesday, May 5

TWD - Tiramisu Cake

This week's choice was great and when I ate some this evening after getting off work, it definitely lived up to its name as a pick me up. Good call Megan (I'm Megan too!) on your choice.

I finally broke down this week and got some 6" cake pans so that I can make mini cakes and not feel so guilty about having a huge (full size) cake sitting around. The recipe was easy to halve and I just ended up using 2 eggs for it, as well as just using cream cheese for the mascarpone. I probably let my cakes stay in the oven for the recommended baking time because although they tested done a few minutes earlier they were still very pale looking instead of golden.

In general the cake was very easy to put together. Yes there were several steps to assemble all the components, but nothing was that difficult. What I did have an issue with was trying to whip "light cream" to stiff peaks. That was a no go and I had to dash out to the store to get more cream before I had to run to the airport. That being said, it all came together well and I put it in the fridge before heading to work.

On tasting the cake, I wish I had added more of the espresso syrup to the cake layers. You can taste the flavor well, but I just wish there was more! This cake definitely gets the seal of approval from my family.

The recipe can be found on Megan's blog at My Baking Adventures.

Tuesday, April 21

TWD - Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

Well, it would have been four stars if I hadn't put the raisins in it. WHY did I do that? I sort of questioned it beforehand but went ahead and added them. Raisins and chocolate do not go together like this. Other than that, this is a super tasty dessert. I made a half recipe today in an 8x8 pan and it's almost half gone already. Aside from having to toast the bread before mixing everything together, it was a very simple and straightforward recipe, but then again most bread puddings are. I do think this would benefit from a creme anglaise as Dorie suggests...I'll have to work on that for next time.

Pictures to come!

Tuesday, April 7

TWD and a Celebration 2.0

I originally didn't think I was going to have time to make the Banana Cream Pie for this week, chosen by Amy at Sing for Your Supper, because I was in Chapel Hill all weekend and this happened:

Followed by this:

Needless to say it was freaking awesome watching my boys win the national championship for the second time in five years, but it was also awesome that I did have time to make the pie!

I chose to make a vanilla wafer crust instead of a regular dough crust after seeing the suggestion made in the P's and Q's...this is essentially a banana pudding anyway. I think the banana cream pies I've had in the past are the cafeteria style ones that don't actually contain any banana, so at first I looked askance at the inclusion of real pieces of banana! Everything came together pretty easily, though my pudding tasted kind of like pumpkin pie because of the spices. This recipe did leave quite a trail of destruction through my kitchen from the cornstarch that went poof to the 34 pots and bowls it took to mix everything together.

But - this is tasty and I'm thinking it will get better in a day or so when the banana flavor spreads all through the pudding...if it lasts that long.

This post brought to you by Gwen Stefani.

Tuesday, March 31


Due to work constraints I wasn't able to make the coconut butter thins, but hopefully I'll get to enjoy their tastiness later.

In the meantime, please watch the best commerical EVAR! (especially since Duke lost)

(for those who don't rabidly follow college basketball, from L to R that's UNC coach Roy Williams (yay!), Louisville coach Rick Pitino, former coach Bobby Knight and Duke coach Krazywisky, aka Rat-face)

Tuesday, March 24

TWD - Blueberry Crumb Cake

Chosen by Sihan of Befuddlement, this week's Blueberry Crumb Cake was a hit, especially in the category of the not too-sweet sweet. I'm glad that I got to use some of my frozen blueberries - I keep forgetting they're in the freezer. With the flour to help bind them in the batter, the amount of berries in the cake is just right. The crumb topping I might play around with more if I choose to make this again; I got a big pool of butter and I noticed others had the same result as well. It also ended up in giant chunks that would break off and then leave the rest of the piece without crumb topping :(.

I also need to find a pan that's actually 8x8 or 9x9...this one is definitely just a little small:

The recipe can be found on Sihan's blog and check the blogroll for everyone else's results.

Tuesday, March 17

TWD - French Yogurt Cake w/ Marmelade Glaze

For this week, Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction chose Dorie's French Yogurt Cake with Marmelade Glaze. I've been looking forward to making this recipe for a while and it did not disappoint. This is definitely one of the ones you can decide to make semi-spur of the moment and you will likely have all the ingredients on hand for it - I didn't even have to make a run to the grocery store for this cake. I also got a chance to use some of the farm fresh eggs that a friend of a friend gave us; they're so much prettier than regular white eggs!

The batter for the cake was a breeze to put together, except I wasn't paying attention and added the oil with the other wet ingredients rather than waiting til after I added the dry ones. Fortunately it seems like everything worked out OK. In my oven, which I think usually runs a little warm, this took the whole 55 minutes to get done on the inside. The outside, however, was a bit more colored and the sides were slightly more crispy than I would like but it doesn't really affect the taste. I might try this in some of my smaller loaf pans when I next bake it (because I really want to try the Riviera version) and hopefully that will help with the brownness.

I used orange marmelade with a little lemon juice added (saw someone did that in the Ps and Qs), but I'm actually not that crazy about it. I've got some lemon curd too and that is just scrumdidliumptious on the cake. I should not keep jars of lemon curd in my house.

Anyway, thanks to Liliana for a great recipe. Stop by the TWD website to see what everyone else ended up with.

PS - I have had a new food blog addiction for this past week: Alinea at Home, by a lady in DC. She had previously cooked through the French Laundry at Home and is now taking on Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook. It's great reading to see a normal person tackle molecular gastronomy.

Tuesday, March 3

No TWD for me this week....

With all the sledding and playing in the snow I had to do yesterday and the fact that I'm working a double today, I chose not to take on the Chocolate Armagnac cake chosen as this week's recipe by Lyb of And then I do the dishes. (no offense!)

I'll be back in action next week for the Lemon Cup custards, so be sure to stop by.

Bruno says hi!

Tuesday, February 24

TWD - Caramel Crunch Bars

This week's recipe was chosen by Whitney of What's Left on the Table (haha in my house, not much). Great call...these bars are sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth but have enough saltiness from the toffee as well as the instant coffee that it's not overly sweet.

I chose to make a half recipe in an 8x8 pan...honestly the 2 sticks of butter in the recipe made my eyes bulge just a little bit. Everything was going swimmingly until I reached for the tin foil and realized we were out, so I used wax paper instead. Cut to 10 minutes later and the wax paper is smoking and two of the smoke alarms are going off. Awesomeeee. I almost dropped the whole mess on the floor trying to get it out of the oven. Fortunately after I cut off most of the excess wax paper and put it back in the oven everything went OK, though I was paying careful attention to any suspicious smells.

One of the things I like about this recipe a lot is that you can whip it up in under an hour, and it's great warmish or cooled. I will probably have to hide these from myself so I don't eat all the rest of them.

Tuesday, February 17

Tuesdays with Dorie: The Cover Cake!

This week, Stephanie of Confessions of a City eater chose the cover cake of "Baking From My Home to Yours," also known as the Devil's Food White Out Cake.

Part of me wanted to make a mini-cake this week (I guess that's latent holdiay/Valentine's eating guilt setting in) but a. I have no mini pans and b. I feel like everyone's been waiting to make this cake for ages, so why not go big?

I didn't read the P's and Q's this week, but my cake layers ended up being way more thin than I expected and they also didn't settle as well. I guess I will take Dorie more literally when she says to smooth out the top of the batter. I was glad to be able to put my cake lifter to good use - it's nice to not have to worry about cracking my layers in half like I have done in the past.

I am a big fan of the marshmallowy frosting that goes with this cake - it's not overly sweet and it complements the cake very well. I don't make cooked frostings that often but aside from taking longer than I thought it should have, it turned out very tasty and holds its shape very well for how light it is.

So, thanks Stephanie for choosing the cover cake! Check out the blogroll for everyone else's cakes.

A late Valentine's entry...

I just wanted to share what I took to work on Sunday. Those who had been married/divorced got a kick out of the "sign a prenup" one especially.

Tuesday, February 3

TWD - Dorie's World Peace Cookies

Jessica of CookBookHabit chose Dorie's renowned World Peace Cookies for this week. Reading the P's and Q's had me kind of nervous; everyone seemed to have issues with super crumbly cookies that didn't slice well. I've never made sables before so I didn't really know what to expect nor do I know if my cookies do or don't fit the sable description.

I didn't have any fleur de sel on hand and used some finely ground kosher salt instead. When making mine, I possibly over mixed just a tad, but I didn't have issues with the dough not coming together as I made the logs. (well except for all the chocolate pieces falling out). I did notice that when I was trying to roll the logs out it felt like they were hollow and would start to kind of separate and so I'd have to smoosh everything together again.

I froze my dough for about 2 hours and had no problems slicing the cookies. Suprisingly I got 30 out of this recipe. Usually I get much less than the amount Dorie projects.

Taste test: very good, but super rich. My brother ate 3 in a row and I don't know how he did it. This may be partially because I ran out of bittersweet chocolate and used semisweet instead. Le sigh...I really need to start reading the recipes more than a day ahead of time so I have a chance to make sure I have all the ingredients. Check the blogroll for everyone else's results!

Tuesday, January 27

Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Well, let's try this again and hope for no blue screens...

Firstly, I just have to share and say that the reason I didn't post last week is because I was in Chicago being touristy and enjoying inauguration festivities. See below:

(The shirt says "Obama in the house")

On to the baking...

This week Heather of Sherry Trifle chose the Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. Silly as I am, I had made Dorie's flan recipe the night before I was planning on making this gingerbread, so in order to stave off some guilt I decided to make a half recipe. I love ginger and was excited about all the types included in this one, although I didn't have any ginger in syrup and left it out. This was a pretty straightforward recipe, though after I baked it and got a taste, it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite bakery's pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I guess the muffins are less pumpkiny and more spicy like the gingerbread. I'm always very happy when Dorie puts in little tips like, "Don't worry if your mix looks curdled here,"which is comforting when you're mixing and mixing and it still looks weird. I followed what I am seeing as general wisdom for halving things with odd numbers of eggs and used 2 eggs, resulting in a very moist cake. I have no problems with moist. (haha though I did have a teacher in high school who HATED the word moist)

The icing...mmm. I think the coffee helped give the icing that something extra. I made the full recipe of icing for my half recipe cake and might have just eaten the rest of it. Hm...where are my workout dvds?

Be sure to check out the blogroll and see what everyone else is up to!

Tuesday, January 13

It's not a dessert! (This week's TWD)

As much as I have enjoyed all the delicious sweets we've made in the past couple months, I was definitely looking forward to having a savory item about which I could feel moderately less guilty after I eat half of it. (Thank you Rebecca, of Ezra Poundcake - love the blog name) These corn muffins tasted pretty good despite the fact that my brain was elsewhere while I was making them.

Since my dad just kind of scoffs at cornbready type things that aren't made in a cast iron pan, I decided to forgo the muffin aspect of the recipe and just bake it in my skillet. The amount is just fine for that as well if you like your cornbread nice and thick, especially since everyone seems to be eating chili this week. Though I consider myself a true-blood southerner (also someone who's worked at a "soul food" restaurant that served a sweeter cornbread), I like my cornbread on the sweet side. I think I have literally spat out non-sweet cornbread before because I think it tastes like dirt. There may be a time and a place but I haven't found it yet.

Anywho, the recipe was pretty simple to throw together; this made for a quick dinner with a pot of chili. However, I completely forgot to add the chili powder and I used creamed corn instead of regular corn. To try to equalize the wetness, I cut out about a 1/4 C of buttermilk, especially because I added a little more than the 1/4 C of corn called for. I also had to make do with self-rising cornmeal. For this, I just cut the baking powder to 1 Tsp and only put in 1/4 Tsp of baking soda. It worked out just fine and my cornbread did not have the texture of a brick. Hooray.

I remember some people mentioning in the P's and Q's that their muffins were very crumbly and didn't hold together. I tried to eat a slice about 15 minutes after I took the pan out of the oven and this is what happened. Tasted great though. By the time I went for the next slice it had cooled off more and so held together a lot better. I'm not actually sure if I would want to add the chili powder the next time I make these - I like the sweetness of the corn and peppers.

(I feel like my pictures are outrageously yellow, but I bake at night mostly and the light is not good. )

As Rebecca said, if you want to follow the "Great Corn Muffin Debate of 09" check out the rest of us here. Party on!

Tuesday, January 6

Bonne Annee and TWD!

I was so excited to find out the recipe for this week was chosen by Dorie herself! (I'm sure most of us were, really who wouldn't be?) What I found to be ironic is that I immediately realized how the pears were intended to be sliced but yet had some confusion about the almond cream. In my mind's eye it was supposed to be fluffy and smooth, but mine felt like I was spreading soft cream cheese. Next time I will probably process my almonds a little finer; in heeding the advice about not making nut butter I might have stopped grinding them a little early. The dough was delicious. I only had an 11' tart pan but I just pressed the dough out as well as I could and it worked out great. No cracks and no appreciable shrinking.

It's pretty funny that the standard ingredient for this in France is canned pears, but after poaching mine and trying a slice or two, the texture is way similar so I can see why that is the case.

Getting ready to go in the oven:

Here's my baked tart:

If Dorie herself happens to stop by here, I just want to say thank you thank you for providing such great recipes! I've always been a confident baker but the regularity of TWD (thanks Laurie et al) has just made it all the better. I'm a much cleaner baker too now, which probably makes other people more happy that it does me haha. Stop by the blogroll to see how everyone else's tarts turned out!