Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TWD: Flip-Over Plum Cake & Cocoa Almond Meringues

Becky of Project Domestication chose Flip-Over Plum Cake for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.

Yah, I know, those don't look much like Plum Cake, do they? That's cause they're not. After baking the cake, sharing it with friends and family and enjoying it very much, I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of it!! Duh. Anyway, the cake was fanTAStic. It almost seemed to be more of a crumble than a cake, but whatever, it was GOOD.

Just so I would have a picture to post, I made the Cocoa Almond Meringues, chosen by Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude back in August.

YUM! they were light and crumbly and melt in your mouth good. Not to mention a little chewy inside.

Thanks to Becky and Mike for two very good picks. If you'd like to see the recipes you can visit the links above or check out Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Daring Bakers: (Chocolate) Croissants

If you saw the movie, "It's Complicated", then you might remember the scene that inspired my friend Monica to ask our little baking club to try Chocolate Croissants. (Coincidentally, Croissants just happen to be this month's Daring Bakers challenge.)

If you didn't see the movie, it goes something like this: the owner of a gorgeous bakery pops into the silent bakery late at night after shmoozing with her handsome new (boy)friend over dinner and drinks. They casually decide to make croissants. It is simple and sexy, and apparently done sans mess. Apparently, it only takes about 10 minutes.

Ha! I don't think so. Maybe in the movies it's short and sweet, but in real life, it is just a tiny bit more complicated (harhar). You might even say a labor of love (again with the harhar).

But the results are just as decadent (and sexy) as in the movies.

They are fantastic, which they well should be because it's a major effort. Although, to be fair, they're not hard, just time consuming.

We decided to make ours chocolate, in keeping with the movie theme. We tried rolling rectangle as well as triangle shaped pieces of dough. Even though the triangles looked prettier when baked, the chocolate to croissant ratio was better with the rectangles... the pointy little ends were skimpy on chocolate.

Thanks so much to Sarah for a great pick this month. (And now for the required blurb----> The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!)

For the recipe, I'm going to pass you along you mamaliga, who's got the recipe and some really fantastic how-to pictures as well. Here you go ---> click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TWD: Salt and Pepper Cocoa Shortbreads

Wow, has it really been three months since I've blogged? Chalk it up to a long and busy summer. Thanks to an extra goofy school year schedule, the kids got out of school in late May and didn't go back until Sept. 6. (Pretty sure someone was conspiring against us stay home moms, but I have yet to prove it.)

I barely baked at all this summer, aside from the occasionally requested batch of chocolate chip cookies. Good thing too, because I would have probably been hitting the baked goods hard come August.

Blah, blah, blah... anyway, back to baking. This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Salt and Pepper Cocoa Shortbreads, was chosen by Tianne of Buttercream Barbie.

Salt definitely has it's place in baking, but pepper? Weirdly enough, you couldn't really taste the pepper even though there seemed to be quite a lot (especially when any-at-all seems like a lot... for cookies!) It was more of a warm mouth-sensation punctuated by a little kick in the back of your throat. They were very good, with the crumbly, dry texture you expect with good shortbread, and just the right amount of chocolate.

I say, bring on the pepper! Thanks for a great pick, Buttercream Barbie. If you'd like to see the recipe, please check out Tianne's blog (link in first paragraph) or Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours".