Dienstag, 12. Mai 2015

TWD: Nutella Buttons

To start with: I ran out of Nutella (or any other chocolate spread). As it is Sunday, and in Austria shops are closed on Sundays - I quickly decided that these little Nutella Buttons will also be good filled with marmelade.

I used lemon marmelade I had left over and black butter, a typical apple-spice-spread from the Channel Island. For the decoration I went with Dorie's recommendation and used white chocolate.

The lemon-chocolate-combo is great! I had no taste of the ones I made with black butter. But I am pretty sure they are as great as the others!

I can imagine them very well with nutella or chocolate, but I guess any spread is fine. I used mini-muffin-tins (mine hold about 2 teaspoons of batter). Next time I would use even smaller ones - just fot the looks. I think they would be even prettier as "one-biters" :-)

For the recipe, have a look at Dorie's great book at p 188, and don't forget to stop by the groups page to see what the rest of us made out of this recipe!

Dienstag, 14. April 2015

TWD: Limoncello Cupcakes

My colleague has relatives in Sicily and goes there two or three times a year. Last autumn he brought back so many lemons that he made tons and gallons of marmelade and limoncello. The best limoncello you can imagine! I got a bottle from him and almost everything is gone, but some tablespoons where left - just enough for these Limoncello Cupcakes.

They are gorgeous. They are great. I followed the recipe as written and ended up with 18 cupcakes. There could have been more frosting for topping them more excessively. But they are also pretty like that - and honestly spoken: I am not such a big fan of cupcakes as I don't like the excessive buttercream on top. So - for me the amount of topping was perfect, but if you like little mountains of frosting you should raise the quantity.

Not much more to say about it. They taste great (at least if you are into lemon-taste). It was my first time I piped some frosting (usually I only spread it) and for my first attempt I am pretty happy with the result.

For the recipe, have a look at Dorie Greenspans book "Baking chez moi" on p 194. And to find out if the rest of the group did like it as much as me - have a look here!

Dienstag, 24. Februar 2015

TWD: Pink Grapefruit Tart

(I'm still on time with this post :-)

I am always a bit reluctant from making tarts because I never manage to make the dough really right. But this dough was good to handle for me, although I didn't manage to roll and fit it in the shell (it broke while transferring). So I went half rolled dough half pressing dough and it was all rigth like that. I like the texture and taste of the dough so I think I am going to stay with this recipe as often as I can.

I also like the filling of the Pink Grapefruit Tart very much. Like with many tarts, you can prepare all the parts seperately and that can be a big advantage (if you have not so much time but are organized enough to start one or two days ahead) but also a disadvantage (if you are not so organized but would have time). I started two days ahead and that gave me plenty time for all the cooling periods needed here.

I did not really get the idea of the almond-lemon cream. My cream more or less "baked in", i.e. made something like a second layer to the tart shell. Ok - but what for? First I thought it is for preventing the tart shell to get soggy. But it is also a "dough" and does not have the consistence of a chocolate or at least jam layer. Anyhow - the taste was great, so why not?

The cremeux is mervellous! I like the light pink colour and also it's taste. I don't think the pictures give the colour as bright eas it was in realiyt. I used Aperol instead of Martini because that was what I had at hand - and I don't think it makes a difference. Maybe Aperol is a bit sweeter.

Preparing the fruit topping was aweful. I don't think I would do this ever again. Even though it is clearly worth all the mess. But I am a lazy baker. And as long as I don't find canned, stripped and ready-to-use- grapefruits, I will have to use other fruits for the next try.
But - as I said - I am a very lazy baker, so if you don't mind a bit more extra effort to have a very much extra looking tart, you should try it!

Have a look at the groups page to see the wonderful results of the other bakerds and buy the book by Dorie Greenspan for getting the recipe (p. 138)

PS.: I also made kind of a Crème Bruleed Chocolate Bundt from Baking with Julia (p 280-281), but, uhm, I didn't do the Crème Brulee, so I guess it doesn't count :-)

Mittwoch, 28. Januar 2015

TWD: Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake - and a lot of catching up

I don't post, I don't post, I don't post... bad me :-(
I try to catch up...

Let's start whit the most recent one, the Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake. The probably longest name of a cake I made up to now :-)

I used a special sugar I have from a friend, a "seasoned sugar". What I did not think about was, that the spice-mix included also rosemary and mint, what was not too bad for the cake but for sure dominated the vanilla... and made the cake green. Funnily, I did not even think about that as a possibility until I mixed the sugar into the butter. Big surprise, haha!
The recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspans book Baking Chez Moi, p. 6. For the results of the whole group, head over to TWD! (this is true also for the ther recipes mentioned here except the Amnesty Cookies and the Eiffel-Towers!)

As the cake was not quite like the recipe wanted it to be anyways, I decided to top the cake with a creamcheese frosting (from Dorie Greenspans "Big Bill's Carrot Cake" from Baking, from my home to yours). To avoid the cake to loose its flufiness, I split the cake and added some Black Butter, a speciality from Jersey/Channel Islands - a spread made from apple cider, licquorice and spices. That worked very well with the spices from the sugar!

I like this cake very much because it is very easy made and very very moist. Next time I'll try the classic version :-)

What I made some way back are the Granola Energy Bars (Baking Chez Moi, p. 328). I had to use maple syrup and gold syrup so they went dark brown, but the taste was good and I think only the looks differ from the recipe.

Then I made back in December the annual Amnesty Cookies, As usual, they turned out great in taste, as usual, they turned out ugly in looks. But why change a winning team ;-) The recipe can be found at David Lebovitz' page.

And I made "Rugelachs that won over France" (recipe on p. 301 in Baking chez Moi). For the Rugelachs I have to say, that they turned out really really ugly. I don't know why exactly. Rugelachs are a bit finickey to make, but  I made them several times, with different recepies from the other TWD-books, and they turned out better. But in the end Rugelachs are always great, whatever they look like. This is one of the treats I am happy to got to know trough TWD because in Vienna I never saw Rugelachs before.

As I go on writing I see that I actually made a lot the last weeks... I really forgot about it! How good to catch up!

One of my colleagues leaves us and heads over to Paris to start a great job there. She is goint to spend t least two years there with her partner and their adopted child. I am a bit jealous but most of all very happy for them!
For their farewell-party I made plain Sugar Cookies with a bit of lemon taste and used Eiffel-Tower cookie cutters. I glazed some of them and sprinkled them in red, blue, whit, the colours of the french flag. Unfortunately; I have no picture of the sprinkled ones.

Uh, and then there was the Vanilla Hazelnut Cheesecake as a rewind. (Baking with Julia, p.) Very good. Maybe not my all-time favourite cheesecake recipe, as I prefer more cheesecakes with mostly creamcheese and not so much cottage cheese. Unfortunately I used a too big form so it went very flat.  But it was very good - how can a cheesecake not be very good?

Done! Yay!

Donnerstag, 27. November 2014

TWD: Cranberry Crackle Tart

And again... I forgot to post :-(
When I saw that the Cranberry Crackle Tart is due already as the second recipe from the new book for Tuesdays with Dorie I was a bit afraid, because it looks wonderful on the picture but also a bit difficult.
I have to say: I was wrong. It is not half as tricky as I thought!

I made the tart with the Galette Dough and I have to say I adore this dough! It is the first tart dough I really manage. I have no idea why I never got used to tart doughs in the last five years of baking. It always kept me from doing a lot of tarts and pies although I really like them. But this dough is - for me - extremely easy to handle. I am sure I will use it from now on whenever possible!

The filling is a mix of merengue an cranberries. As fresh cranberries are rarely seen in Austria I had to use (soft) dried ones but I guess they come very close to the original. Maybe it is even a bit of an advantage as I think they are a somewhat lighter in weight than fresh ones - so they do not weigh so heavy on the fragile merengue.

I did bake the tart too long, so the filling got too dense. It didn't harm the taste of the tart - which was great! - but the looks. During baking I was so afraid the filling would not be firm enough, and you have no chance to try it like with cakes. So I let the tart in the oven for about 15mins longer. The result: the filling got a bit firm, shrunk and I ended up with a much flatter tart than the original.

As so often - no problem for my colleagues, they ate the tart in a snap. It helps if you don't tell your 'test-guineapigs' what it should like :-)

Have a look what the tart actually should look like, and buy the book by Dorie Greenspan, to find out about the recipe!

Dienstag, 11. November 2014

TWD: (Black) Amaretti & Palets de Dames

Quite obviously, I forgot to post some recipes. I made not all the things scheduled, but some as the Raisin-Swirl Bread... But here we go again. When I got the new book, I was immeadiately very much in the mood for baking! I have to say I did not get warm with Baking with Julia, don't know why exactly. But I have a great feeling for Dorie's new book and I am very much looking forward to the things to come!

But with two books and two "baking clubs" I got lost with when is which recipe due. So I have to post both, the Amaretti from this week and the Palets de Dames from last week (I thought it was the other way round... sorry).

I like anything almond and marzipan. Unfortunately, it is impossible to find american-style almond paste in Austria. I got some advice and help from fellow bakers - but I was too lazy for doing my own paste. So I went with marzipan even though I knew that the almond-sugar-ratio ist different than in almond paste and others reported dissapointing results with marzipan.

Don't be concerned by the colour - I had leftovers of black marzipan :-)

To make it short: It did not relly work out. The cookies turned out very flat and have more the taste and concistence of almond-caramel. I didn't bring them to work, as I am really not happy with the result. But they are good enough to be used for the anual Amnesty Cookies. Or maybe I cut them in little pieces and use them in brownies or chocolate cakes. I can imagine they will give a great crispy taste in them.

I am sure, if you have almond paste at hand (and if you like almond-taste) this recipe will be great. So: Have a look what it should look like, and for the recipe, see the book by Dorie Greenspan at p. 320

Completely different results for the Palets de Dames. Very easy in the making, great in taste and not too bad looking. I used yellow glazing I had left and some coloured sugar for decorating. The taste is easy and sublime at the same time and that's the treats I like most!

Here the link to the other great turnouts: http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/bcm-lyl-palets-de-dames/.
For the recipe, have a look at the new book by Dorie Greenspan, on pp. 272.

Dienstag, 19. August 2014

TWD: Baking Powder Biskuits

I don't care for the exact biscuit recipe, I love them all.
Being not american, biscuits, english muffins, scones and thelike are unfamiliar to me. But since baking for almost 5 years with the group, I got to know these breakfast treats very well. I can't really name a favourite recipes. I guess, my perfect biscuit recipe is quick, has not too many ingredients (so I ca decide to do them spontaneously) and lets options for variations of any style.

The Baking Powder Biscuits fullfill all these criteria. They are very simple in the making. The taste is a bit flat - but in a good way so you can make it as the recipe says (my option this time) or include anything you can imagine. And they are so quick in the making (just the usual biscuit steps: flour/salt/baking powder mix - butter crumbled in - some kind of dairy; no electronics needed) so you can do them before breakfast without standing up two hours earlier. Usually I would include some herbs as ramson/bears'garlic when it is in season. This time the only touch I gave the recipe was to use seasoned salt (herbs de provence) and that was just fine.

Baking time was just slightly longer and I had to add some more flour in the end. As I (still) have no biscuit cutter and my biscuit doughs are always very soft, I made them in brioche molds as usual. So, they might not exactly look like what you expect them to look like, but I am very fine with that :-)

For the recipe head over to pp. 211-212 in the book by Dorie Greenspan. And don't forget to pass by the groups link page and see what all the other perfect bakers made out of this recipe! 

Montag, 4. August 2014

TWD: Poppy-Seed Torte

Yay, two weeks of baking in a row! How could I forget how much I like baking?

Poppy-Seed Torte is for sure one of my favourite tortes. Generally I really, really like anything with poppy seed. Icecream, Strudel, pastries, whatever. Nevertheless I never made a Poppy-Seed Torte before.

This recipe was a bit strange for me as I don't really get it why you use cake crumbs for some recipes. Is it because they are lighter than flour and therefore don't spoil the egg-snow so much?

The recipe itself is easy. Cream the butter, add sugar and eggs, fold in beaten egg-whites and the poppy-seed/sugar mix - done.
Baking time was a bit longer than the recipe said and I had to cover the torte with aluminium-foil because after about 30mins the cake was not done but started to brown at the edges.

I think it is interesting to make the torte (I would rather call it a cake) with apricots because in Austria, where I live and where sweets with poppy-seed are very, very common, we would usually rather combine it with plumbs. Or better: with "Powidl" (kind of a plumb-jam used for filling sweet dumplings) or "Zwetschkenröster" - something made of plumbs (or, in Viennese terms: "Zwetschken") that is between jam and compote. But, a famous old Viennese proverb says "Zwetschenkenröster is no compote!", so never try to call it "plumb-compote" when you happen to be in Vienna :-)

But back to the topic: Apricots were a nice different touch. Usually, my desserts taste good but I am not patient enough to also make them good looking. This time, I had some more time and patiences and really WANTED to make it good-looking because I like poopy-seed cake so much. So I glazed it and sprinkled some green sugar on it. I don't know about you, but I am pretty happy with i!

And - the most important: The cake was away more or less the moment I opened the box in the office kitchen. My colleagues loved it. Really. Me too. I rarely had such a moisty, light, fluffy poppy-seed cake. Maybe that's what makes it a torte rather than a cake :-)

So, if you get the chance: Buy the book by Dorie Greenspan, have a look at pp. 258-260 - and bake it! And for sure - have a look at how the other bakers in the group liked it.

Dienstag, 29. Juli 2014

TWD: Raspberry-Fig Crostata - with Plums (rewind-week)

When the Raspberry-Fig Crostata was originally scheduled I opted for the Johnny Cake Cobbler. It was one of the weeks back in the end of August 2013 when we had the choice between two recipes. And as raspberries are in season by June/July in Austria and figs never are, I went with the other option.

I am not a huge raspberry fan, but many people are so I gave it a try. Instead of figs I used plums which are in season right now in Vienna.

The tart dough is an interesting version with almonds and sesame. I like this crust very much and will use it for other tarts, too. But be aware that it is not that easy to handle. I had to press it in the mold but that was fine. When I made the top-lattice I found out it is a bit easier to handle when you flatten it and freeze it. The strips still got slightly too thick, but it was my first lattice, so I am fine with it.

The filling turned out good tasting, if you like raspberries. Although I used much more plums than raspberries (I took what I had at hand) the raspberries are very dominant and it was almost not possible to spot the plum-taste. I doubt that it would have been different with figs.

The tart looks beautiful and I can imagine it with a whole lot of other fruits. The beauty dissappears when you cut it, at least my tart did not look very pretty cut in pieces, maybe because the filling got too warm at the tart was out of the refrigerator for too long.

To find out how it turned out for the other, much more gifted bakers in the group, have a look at the leave-your-link-page for August 20th 2013. And to find out about the recipe, buy the book by Dorie Greenspan and flip to p. 374!

Dienstag, 1. Juli 2014

TWD: Leaf-Shaped Fougasse

To say I love Fougasse is pure understatement. I adore Fougasse, I admire it. Some years ago I was working in Paris for three months and that's when I first saw and tasted it. Quickly I found my favourite Fougasse bakers: At the market on Blvd Richard Lenoir, near Bastille, every Wednesday and Saturday there is a stand (L'Ancienne Boulangerie) that has hillarious good ones with olives, ham or dried tomatoes. And I also like the ones from Aux Peches Normands at the beginning of Rue du Faubourg du Temple, between Place de la République and Canal St. Martin. Curiously, at "La Fougasse " (rue de Bretagne, one of my favourite streets in Paris, hosting my favourite market) you get a lot of excellent things, cakes, viennoiserie, desserts, baguettes - but not a single Fougasse or at least not one that should look like a Fougasse. They sell sort of stiffed bread as Fougasse.

But let's get away from the masters of bread baking and talk about ... my "Leaf-Shaped Fougasse". I gave my best and the result is ok, but nothing compared to what I know from Fance. The dough didn't really rise. I blame the yeast. I guess that's the appropriate reaction to anyhting that goes wrong in bread baking. Just blame the yeast ;-)
I had a bit trouble with shaping them, so the dough was thinner or thicker at the different parts of the bread. And, for sure, the Fougasse turned out thicker or thinner, more or less through, darker from baking or lighter. 
In Paris I learned a Fougasse is baked in a stone oven, what for sure I do not have, but the recipe also doesn't call for. 

I made my Fougasse with black olives because that's how I liked them best. My Fougasse is a bit flat and more like a crispy snack. That's ok and I like it, but it is no Fougasse. I will give it another try, I am sure, because it is just too tempting.

I hope the Fougasse turned out fine for a lot of people in the group so they get to love this bread as it deserves to be loved.
Whenever you are in France - taste it! And until then: Buy the book by Dorie Greenspan, have a look at pp 146/147 and bake your own Fougasse. For hints, advice and inspiration have a look at how it turned out for the other TWD-bakers!