July 30, 2008

Daring Bakers: Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

I joined the Daring Bakers this month. In addition to baking from Dorie Greenpan's book each week, each month I will be making a "daring" recipe along with all the other Daring Bakers.
A purpose in doing these daring recipes is to stretch my skills and try new techniques in the kitchen.
Chris at Mele Cotte
chose the Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Great Cakes by Carol Walter for this month's challenge. This was a very tasty introduction to the Daring Bakers. I wish I had written this post as soon as the cake was finished, but a busy summer schedule prevented that. As I am not confident with my writing skills when trying to remember something I baked 3 weeks ago, here instead, are some pictures of the gateau-ing process.

I actually needed (or chose to use) two mixers for this. It's been a long time since I've brought out the old Sunbeam.

Hazelnut mixture being processed.

  • hazelnuts
  • cake flour
  • cornstarch

Egg whites coming to soft-peak stage.

Combining the egg yolk and white mixture with the hazelnut mixture.

Ready to bake. I don't have a picture of the baked cake, but it fell as it cooled. I still tried to torte it into three layers. The third layer ended up looking more like a ring of cake instead of a complete layer. Once torted and layered with the scrumptious praline buttercream, I covered the cake with an apricot glaze...

and then ganache. I think ganache is my most favorite way to ice a cake. I used extra bittersweet chocolate, which made for a deep, smooth-tasting ganache.

Here's the end product. I made a whole recipe and shared with two neighbor couples, my aunt and uncle, and a few good friends. There was a lot of cake!

July 29, 2008

TWD - Summer Fruit Galette

I'm on vacation this week, but was able to complete our recipe. Michelle from Michelle in Colorado Springs selected Summer Fruit Galette, which can be found on pages 366-367 in our book. I didn't even get to taste the creation this time, but my family called it a big hit.

End notes:
  • "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan can be purchased here: Amazon
  • Tuesdays With Dorie site is here: TWD

July 22, 2008

TWD - Rhubarb Cobbler

It's Tuesday again. I have a late post this week (still Tuesday, though) because I am on vacation. Yes, I have been on vacation all summer, but this week I finally drove up to Wisconsin to visit my family. It was a great week to do so because my parents have rhubarb in their back yard. Tonight when I was finally ready to make my cobbler, I just stepped out back and cut some stalks for myself.

I cut too many stalks, of course, so I'll have to make jam tomorrow...too bad ;)

For this week's baking delight, Amanda from Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake selected …. Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler, which can be found on page 415 of your Dorie cookbook.

Did I mention I got fresh rhubarb from the back yard? I'm excited!

This is the first Dorie recipe I have had to make some adjustments to. I am not a cherry person and we have raspberries growing next to the rhubarb so I used those instead. I did not have whole wheat flour or ginger available, and ... OH NO ... there was no butter in the house. I had to use margarine. A trip to the store for proper ingredients was not possible today so I had to do a "make do recipe." I think it still turned out pretty good.

I liked the dough balls topping concept of this cobbler. They soaked up lots of the raspberry juice as the cobbler was baking. I would like to try this recipe again using whole wheat flour and real butter to see how the texture changes.

End notes:
  • Next time I need to add more cornstarch or another thickening agent as the raspberries are JUICY
  • "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan can be purchased here: Amazon
  • Tuesdays With Dorie site is here: TWD
  • I'm having technical difficulties working with a camera and computer that are not mine. I will attempt to reformat the pictures and update the writing on this blog when I return to my own computer.

July 15, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

I've found my new favorite dessert. Yes, I must say that every week. I think I should say that I've found my new favorite cookbook as I have loved every recipe I've made.

Chocolate pudding has always been such a simple, sweet treat.

Melissa from Its Melissas Kitchen chose this week's TWD recipe. It was almost as easy as making pudding from a box, but it tasted so much better.

Like Dorie, I grew up on boxed pudding (made with skim milk). I did know it could be made from scratch, but that is one recipe that was discouraged at my house. I now know why. I could probably make this each week and not grow tired of it.

This is a cornstarch-thickened pudding. I mixed it in the food processor and as Dorie explained, that ensured a lump-free pudding and incorporated some air. I used dark cocoa powder and whole milk in my recipe and got the smoothest, best-tasting pudding I have ever eaten.

After a quick taste test, I still have 5 servings left. I think I will try layering one serving with a granola mix for a crunchy/salty/sweet treat. I'll also mix up some fresh whipped cream to top my next serving.

Thanks Melissa for a great recipe.

  • "Baking: From My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan can be purchased here: Amazon
  • Tuesdays With Dorie site is here: TWD
July 08, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie - Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

It's Tuesday again and that means another Dorie recipe!

This week Amy of South in Your Mouth selected Double Crusted Blueberry Pie as the recipe of choice. I've loved every recipe so far, but WOW this one was great. I'm not a huge blueberry fan so I was apprehensive about making and then eating the pie. I took it to my aunt's house so we could have first tastes together and was glad I was able to leave the pie with her family--I would have eaten the whole thing myself. I am now a blueberry lover.

My pie is not round this week. When I went to get my pie pan I remembered I had dropped and broken my only pan earlier this year. Not wanting to borrow dishes from a neighbor, I took the next best dish--my bread pan. A rectangle pie tastes just as good as a round one.

The construction of the pie was similar to all other pies I've special skills needed this week. I did learn one trick, though. To keep the blueberry juices from seeping into the bottom crust, we sprinkled bread crumbs on the crust before adding the filling. Two days later when we cut pieces of pie, the crust was still white and was not soggy from juice. The crust was magnificent. I used the recipe for a single crust since I was working with a small pan. I wish I had made just a bit more dough as I couldn't quite seal the edges all the way around. It was crisp and flaky and turned a beautiful brown color.

Happy eating, everyone!

July 01, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie - Apple Cheddar Scones

A very quick post this week...

This week's recipe was Apple Cheddar Scones, chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron. At first, I was not very excited to see this recipe--for the simple fact that my friend Martha is the scone baker in my world and I didn't want to have something better than her.

Although I ended up not seeing Martha this week and was unable to share my creation with her, I think she would be proud. I made the recipe on Thursday evening and it became my dinner that night as well as my breakfast the next day. So I wouldn't devour every scone, I took the rest to the Habitat build where everyone who tried one said they were great!

The only change I made to the recipe was the apples. I was unable to find dried apples at my stores this week so I used fresh apples. After chopping them, I placed them on a paper towel for a few minutes to help drain some of the excess liquid.

The scones were wonderful. The apple and cheddar were a wonderful, bright combination. They were not too dry, even after sitting out on the counter for a day.
End notes:
  • Fresh apples are good, but I will try this recipe again and use dried apples.
  • I think I will cut the scones in triangles next time. The 12 squares the recipe said to make made HUGE servings.
  • Apple and cheddar are a great combination. If you haven't tried it, go for it!