Montag, 19. Juli 2010

TWD: Lots of Ways Banana Cake

Last week I said my life is a bit upside down. Whether it is a good thing or not, this week everything is back in place where it was some weeks ago. I got my daily and weekly routine back, I got my old haircut back, I kind of got my life back.
Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday running in the morning, Monday yoga in the evening. Some swimming in between. Getting to work at 8, going to the market Saturday morning, listening to the news afterwards while unpacking everything. Meeting all the people I left besides a bit recently.
And baking on Sunday, blogging on Monday, publishing on Tuesday. :o]

This week, Banana Cake was on the schedule for TWD. Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities decided on it, and you can find the recipe on her page or in Dorie's book on pages 204 and 205.

I made little cakes, because in summer I get kind of in mini-mode and like to make cakes small. (Unfortunately, the ones with the heart shaped bottom, which turn the heart-shaped-top did not come out properly. But at least you can still see the heart)

As you can guess from the title, the recipe gives a lot of options. I went for the simple, ordinary, call it boring or sublime version, and used just what the main recipe calls for (bananas, dark rum, coconut milk, toasted shredded coconut). I didn't use any other dry fruit because usually I think too many flavours can ruin the result, and coconut and banana are enough for a good summer cake. But I am pretty sure that frosting the cake would be wonderful! I can imagine white chocolate ganache, for instance...

Dienstag, 13. Juli 2010

TWD - Brrrr-ownies

It was a bit of a crazy week for several reasons. Some changes in my life occur and I can not predict if it will turn out for good. So I am nervous and keen and strained all the time anyways.

Additionally, we Europeans have been absorbed by the Football Worldcup in Southafrica in the last weeks (You may think of it as soccer, but let's face it: You play it with your feet, whereas what is called American Football is neither played with a ball but with an egg, nor with your feet...).
I am a football lover, and I support the Netherlands since I am a child. Dutch fans usually prefer loosing as long as they have seen a good game over winning an ugly game, and usually the Dutch team drops out of any tournament because they are too playful.
But this time, everything was different, and the Dutch made in to the final. For the first time since I support them, which is some decades now. I haven't thought this would ever happen.
However. In the end they lost the big final on Sunday. I am sad, I am dissappointed, I am gloomily.

Besides the Netherlands there are also other teams I like, but they may vary from year to year. For some time now I like the German team, too, which is pretty crazy, because we Austrians grow up really hating everything German (and yes, I recognize the antagonism as we speak German....), and especially and formeost when it comes to football. But a lot of things changed in the recent years, and so I like German football, too.

When I flipped through the recipe, Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life selected, I was astonished, because when I hear "Brrrr-ownies" I think chocolate (go to her page for the recipe or have a look at Dorie Greenspans book on page 103). Indeed, there is a lot of chocolate in it - but also peppermint.

But 1. we don't have these little peppermint-stuff the recipe asks for round here. And 2. I tend to like the peppermint-chocolate-combo, but my colleagues already did send me a signal that they would not be amused when I bring something like that to work. So I changed the recipe, used peanutbutter chips (which I still have from my trip to NYC, because you really can't buy something like that in Vienna), and decided to top them with "Schland"-M&Ms (Schland is a "funny" abreviation for Deutschland, the Germand word for Germany - you see, German sense of humour can be pretty, hum, unfunny...) - M&Ms in black, red, yellow, like the german flag. And we ate them during the game for place 3, which Germany won.

They were great! I guess I fall in love with anything peanutbutter, so it was not too hard to convince me. But they really were the best Brownies I made so far and I would always, always come back to this recipe for chocolate brownies, no matter what other ingredients I include.

Dienstag, 6. Juli 2010

TWD - Tarte Noire

This is what the Tarte Noire should probably approximately look like. The recipe was chosen by Dharmagirl of bliss: towards a delicious life for this weeks' Tuesday with Dorie, where you will find the recipe. (you can find the recipe also in Dorie's book on p. 351 and the recipe for the crust on p 444 or 446)

To make it short: I completely failed. Well, not completely completely. I managed to make the ganache. But the more tarte crusts I make, the worse I get. Usually, I tend to overbake it. Not this time. This time I made a wonderful chocolate shortbread crust. The problem was: When I pulled the crust of my small test-piece out of the shell, it completely cracked. Cracked in hundred pieces. So I hurried to re-arrange the pieces and filled in some of the ganache to get at least a picture.

With the "real" tarte it was the same problen. No idea what went wrong. I used two medium egg yolks despite one big one, but I think this should add more humidity, not less. So - who knows. Tarte crusts and me just don't become friends.

At least you can't tell from the picture how big the fail was. I ate the test piece it with a spoon, and it did taste great. I planned to decorate the tarte with some red currants, for the looks and to get a counterpart to the sweetness of the tarte, and for the little pice the taste-combo did work very well. But there was no sense in filling the the crumbling crust and bringing it to work.

So I mixed the chocolate ganache with sugar-water and some yoghurt, added big pieces of the tarte crust and the rest of the un-baked dough and now have Chocolate Half-Baked Sherbet to bring to work tomorrow.
There are worse things happenning, I guess :o].

If I make this ever again (and for the taste and looks it is all worth it, it is just the question if I dare to do a tarte crust, without having it on the TWD-list), I would go for orange-dark-chocolate, an idea I got from Karen from Our crazy blessed life, that sounds terrific, as I adore orange-dark chocolate!