Mittwoch, 20. Januar 2010

Decisions, choices, options; or: watching me think

So, soon there will be my birthday. My 27th.
This will be easy, because I am celebrating my 27th birthday for several years now, so I have sort of  routine.

I would like to bake something for this day, and as it is my day, and my recipe-selection for TWD might never come (too many bakers, not enough recipes. ha, that's almost a hiphip-quote!), I will decide what to do for my birthday. It should be something I like myself (of course...), something not too ordinary,  but also not too complex - I want it to be good, delishous, eadible at least.
It has to be possible to store it at least over night, and it should be not too difficult to bring to the office. So, ice-cream is off.

Too easy would be cookies, or muffins or scones, which I all adore, but not for this occasion. Too complex would be Pecan Honey Stick Buns and anything else that contains yeasted and time-consuming dough, and also anything that must be served the moment it's finished.

I like tartes, I like brownies, sometimes I like some cheesecakes. I love peanuts and cashews. Caramel is not too bad, either, and I like chocolate, especially dark one.When it comes to fruits, I like apples, pears, and I adore figs. I don't like bundt cakes, heavy creamy cakes, and peaches. I'm not fond of coffee, walnuts, hazelnuts in my sweets. Berries are also not my favourite. Whipped cream is a no-no.

So I headed to the only cookbooks I am able to use, and had a look how to combine my favourite ingredients. (Everything I ever made from Nigella didn't turn out fine. This is for sure my fault, but I stopped trying her recipes. Maybe we do just not match. And the other cookbooks I own are some of the "Basic"-series, which are great, but I do not consider appropriate for this cause, asian cookbooks, which do not propose too many desserts, cookie books, and cobbler or ice-cream books - cookies are too simple, cobblers and ice-cream too difficult to bring to the office.)

I lowered the number of possible recipes to 11 from Dorie Greenspan's own book and three from Dorie's book with Pierre Hermé.

The options are (update: and what is left after some serious consideration...):
From Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Dessert book:
Faubourg Pavé (I would like to say, it's too much chocolate. But when I am honest to myself, I am just too cowardly for it)
Macarons (too close to the "cookie-no"; anyways, will have to find an occasion to try this. Maybe my mothers birthday coming up in February.)

Chocolate and part-steeped fig tarte

From Dorie's "Baking: From my home to yours":
Peanuttiest Blondies
Rugelachs (see "Macarons")
Fig Cake
Brown-Sugar Apple Cheescake
Caramel Peanut Brownie Cake
Peanut Butter Torte (Peanuts are great, peanutbutter is incredible. But a cake more or less only made of peanutbutter is maybe too much peanutbutter. Even for me. If this is possible...)
Normandy Apple Tarte (No special reason. Just got the feeling that there are plenty of other occasions where this one will be useful. I will find another easily.)
Russian Grandmother Apple-Pie cake
Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart
Honey Almond Fig Tart
Raspberry Blanc-Manger (In fact, I have no idea what a blanc-manger should be. Iit sounds like sort of a cheese cake. Anyways, I like to find it out, but not this time. It's not raspberry season anyways, and usually I prefer using what can be bought at the market at the moment - or what I have in my bio-basket...)

So, what to do, what to do?
As a next step, I decided to play it save and limit the options to what was already on the TWD recipe rotation. Some hints, pictures and P&Q couldn't harm my low baking skills.
So, here is what is left:
Russian Grandmother Apple-Pie cake (this looks so melow, lush and sweet and the same time)
Brown-Sugar Apple Cheescake (because it really challenges me to combine one of my favourite fruits with cheesecake, and I have never thought of combining these two flavours before; additinally, cheeseckaes are not too sophisticated to create)
Caramel Peanut Brownie Cake (Brownies with a lot of chocolate! Peanuts! Caramel! This one combines everything I like...)
Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart (ever since I saw the picture I thought and still think everytime I flip to this page: Must. Make. Soon)
(The Pierre Hermé tarte is off. I am too timid...)

But: Is the grandmother-pie not too odd? Is a cheesecake appropriate for birthday? For my birthday? Do apples really go with cheesecake? I never made brownies, so maybe the brownie cake won't turn out fine - and I want to have a perfect birthday-whatever! And a tarte? For birthday? And Maybe the caramel gets too hard when I store it overnight?

I guess I have to give it a rest. And decide tomorrow. Or Friday. Or Saturday. Or...

(yes, I do have problems with decision taking :o])

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