Dienstag, 27. Dezember 2011

TWD: Kids' Thumbprints

So here we are, at the very end of the book. There was obviously not much left to decide, but Dorie herself will be our host for this week - quel honneur!

She was also the person who made me start baking. I met her at a discussion at the American Library in Paris. To be honest, I was there because of David Lebovitz, in the first place. I was exhausting his blog (and his book on Paris that came out just when I was working in Paris for some month) and already a huge fan of his tips&hints, but also his recipes. I never really did bake or prepare sweets before but with David I started icecream-making (today, one of the few things I dare to say I master really well, even though I still have no ice-making machine). But when I heard Dorie at this event I was amazed by her and had to ask her for an autograph later on. And I asked her about this strange group I somewhere did read about, maybe on David's blog. She encouraged me to try baking and join the group as a good start. How could I not? She was so kind and endearing - everybody would have immediately bought the book and started baking right away!

I met her once again, because when I did visit a friend over in the States, almost two years ago, I just arrived the last day the pop-up cookie-store in NYC sold the fabulous Greenspan&Greenspan-cookies. What a treat! I came to the store, straight from the airport. Must have looked more than curious, some tired looking woman in jeans, hoodie sweater, sneakers and a huge suitcase, running down 5th avenue just do get some cookies...

I tried my best to get this recipe right, as it is "Dorie's" recipe. Unfortunately, my dough was either too crumbly or too sticky, can't decide. It was to sticky to form balls, and too crumbly to keep the balls together. However, I liked the procedure because it was very much like schnitzel-making. Germans make them a bit different, but we Viennese people take the cutlet, put it in eggwhites, and afterwards in a deep dish filled with very fine crumbs. Very similar, isn't it? It was fun doing, and the results were excellent in taste - but as so often with me, not looking the way they should. The molds didn't keep their shape, so I had barely no cookies with molds big enough to fill.
So, what I can give you are some cookies with a bit of orange marmelade and some with a bit of macadamia-cream and a lot of plain cookies. "Plain" is a slight understatement, because these fabulous cookies are made with peanutbutter - one of my all-time favourite ingredients.
Therefore, I was not dissappointed at all, although I wish I had managed to get just this last one recipe as perfect as Dorie would deserve it.

This, for sure, is the place to send out big thanks to all the people who initiated TWD, kept it alive and managed everything - a lot of work, done while having jobs, having children, having families. It is also the place to send out a lot of greetings and regards to all fellow bakers, who made such great treats week after week. And it is the place to send thanks to Dorie who gave us this amazing book, the first one with recipse I can handle! You can find the recipe for the "Kids' Thumbprints" on p. 163, or, I guess, on Dorie's page.

Hope to see you all for the new book!

Dienstag, 20. Dezember 2011

TWD-rewind: Rugelach (and Chipster-Topped Brownies)

We're on the finishing-line with the book and as there is only one recipe left (which Dorie herself did chose), we had a rewind-week. Rewind weeks are nice - on the one hand side. They give me the opportunity to catch up with one of the many, many recipe that were on the schedule long before I joined the group back in autumn 2009. But on the other side they leave you with at least one week of questions, doubt and indecisiveness. Which one is the one I really, REALLY want to try? Which one sounds the most appealing to me, is storable overnight and will please the colleagues at work?

One recipe that fulfills all the conditions are the Rugelachs, originally picked by Piggy of Piggy’s Cooking Journal for November 4, 2008. Find the recipe on her blog or in Dorie's book on p. 150-151.
I was tempted to bake them ever since I held the book in my hands for the very first time. What kept me away was the double chilling time in-between. I don't mind if recipe involve a lot of steps and need some time - as long as everything happens in one time-period. I am just too impatient to wait - even though some of my favourites are shortbread and brioche recipes.
But this time, the last rewind-week, I had to do them.

I made mine with orange marmelade, the one with large pieces of candied oranges in it. I used very finely chopped walnuts (and added some shredded nuts as well), swapped the raisins for dried cranberries and used much less chocolate (I took shaved bittersweet chocolate, the one you use for torte decooration). I had some problems rolling the dough into the right, kipferl-like shape. (Kipferl are sort of croissant in Austria. Maybe "crescents" are the most appropriate translation)
The turned out as one of the best recipes I ever made. They fulfilled every expectation and I am glad I made them "my" last pick. My colleagues were delighted, too. "One of your top-three. Ever" was one of the comments. And three people asked for the recipe. Asking for the recipe doesn't happen very often at my office and only for recipes that really, really did score well.

I also made a batch of Chipster-Topped Brownies, because I was just in the mood for. They, too, were a big hit and I am also very much in love with them. My brownies mostly turn out well, but I am unable to picture them adequately, so I spare you from ugly picture - just imagine a wonderful, soft and moisty chocolate bottom topped with a cookie dough layer with mixed in mini-chocolate- and mini-peanutbutter chips and some Reeses peanut-butter pieces. Sounds decadent? Then it sounds rigth! It was Beth of "Supplicious" who did choose this great recipe for TWD- if you are interested in the recipe, have a look at her blog or go to Dorie's book, pp 94/95.

What a great week, what great recipes!

Dienstag, 6. Dezember 2011

TWD: Honey Almond Fig Tart

I can't believe the Honey Almond Fig Tart took so long to be chosen. If I wouldn't be so timid when it comes to tart-shell-baking, I sure would have picked this recipe when it was my turn some weeks ago! Finally, Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table opted for it. You can find the recipe on her blog or in Dorie's book on page 373.

Last week I made some more tart dough and put it in the freezer. Therefore I only had to make the cream this week, which comes together very quick and easy.
Figs and almonds are a wonderful combo, I think, and honey makes a perfect third part in this.

And I was not dissapointed. This is for sure one of the greatest tasting tarts I ever made. And whenever I am brave enough to try masterin tart dough, I will re-bake it!

I couldn't find any fresh figs but the florida-version presented in the "playing around"-option was not that appealing for me. So I used dried (but soft) figs and it worked out fine (even though I can imagine that fresh figs would be even more intriguing).

(Don't be misled by the pictures - the top was very dark brown, indeed, but not burnt at all!)

Dienstag, 29. November 2011

TWD: Sour Cream Pumpkin Tart

This week was the end of my attempts to avoid baking a tarte by choosing the other recipe on the schedule. As Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats opted for the Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie/Tart (to be found on p.324 in Dorie's book or on Judy's blog) and Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures picked the Normandy Apple Tart (pp 304-305) - I had no choice but to opt for a tart :o]

I took the pumpkin tarte because up to now I only had good experiences with pumkin desserts. Not that I made so many - only the two that were on the TWD-list since I joined. But these, the Caramel Pumpkin Pie and the Butternut Squash Pie were just great.

Baking tartes and pies horrifies me, because the tart dough never works out for me. It takes me two days for making them. I am never able to fit them in the form, it always breaks. And it always always gets too dark before the tart is halfway baked. Even if I put a foil tent over it.

This time I reduced pre-baking so much, that at least the tart shell didn't get burnt. But it took me still two days for preparing with all the chilling needed. But this time I erred with the quantity. I made a double crust and did wonder, where I should spread all this dough in my form... Tart dough and me - we will never be a good pairing. But at least I tried.

The tart filling is more than easy. I made the pumpkin purree myself, and despite of that you only need some dairies and spices.

The tart is interesting, because it is not at all sweet and therefore more like a snack than a dessert. I wish I would have used more spices because I thought the tart is a bit boring in taste. But my colleagues just loved it! And that's (almost) all that matters!

Dienstag, 22. November 2011

TWD: Snickery Squares (rewind)

This is one of the recipes I always wanted to try since I opened the book. I love peanuts, and from all chocolate bars you can buy in the store, Snickers are for sure my favourite. I can't imagine that I had my first when I was already 23 years old! We didn't have them in Vienna before Austria joined the European Union. No, Austria never belonged to the Eastern block. But we just did not put so much emphasize on consumption when I was a kid. I definitely neither belong to the "small is beautiful" nor to the "simple things are best"-section. More is more. Period. But food and edibles are maybe the exception to the rule.

Anyways, I had my first Snickers when a german friend I met during my exchange year in France gave me hers, because she couldn't believe I never had one. As I love peanuts and also caramel, and the chocolate is not too dominant in it, and shortbread, sigh - shortbread.... it easily became my favourite disobeyance by the very first bite.

To me it doesn't come as a surprise that Snickery Squares was chosen as one of the first recipes back in March 2008. You can find the recipe on pages 120-122 in Dorie's book or here on Judy's blog "Judy's gross eats". (Funnily, she will also be our host next week, again.)

The Squares are easy to make but hard to cut. You either chill them, so the Dulche de Leche in the middle has the right consistency - but then the chocolate-peanut layer on top is very hard, and so is the shortbread-bottom. Or, you let it come to room temperature, but risk the caramel getting very, very soft and almost liquid.

And these were extremely sweet. Next time, I would definitely not caramelize the peanuts (toasting should be fine) and use unsweetened chocolate. I also would do a bigger cookie-layer and use much less Dulche de Leche. Like that, they should be perfection!

Despite the sweetness I liked the taste a lot, but judging by how much there was left when I left the office, my colleagues felt not quite the same - too sweet, and only eatable in small pieces.

But in the end: Now I can do marshmallows, every kind of icecream, shortbread and Snickers by myself. Wow. Seems I will never have to buy sweets again!

Dienstag, 15. November 2011

TWD: Bittersweet Brownies

The very last Brownies - and maybe the best (at least of the brownie recipes since I joined TWD)
They are fudgy, but not too much, and pure chocolat delight.

I followed the recipe exactly as written in Dorie's book on p.90. If you don't have the book (you should!!) got to Leslie's blog Lethally Delicious. She picked the Bittersweet Brownies for this week's TWD.

As we have double-hostings in this in the following month, Jessica of Cookbook Habit chose Alsatian Apple Tart (page 314 in the book). As I am horrified by tarte-doughs I didn't dare to do it. But I am a bit sorry for it, because I spent my exchange semester in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace. And as much as I am afraid of doing tartes, I like eating them equivalently. Have a look here how it did turn out for all the other bakers!

PS.: Sorry, I have absolutely not a single good picture of them. Just imagine wonderful, soft, chocolate-ey brownies and you got a picture :o]

Dienstag, 8. November 2011

TWD: Depths-of-Fall Butternut Squash Pie

This week we had the option between two of my biggest challenges: Madeleines, which are hard to handle for me, as I have no Madeleine-mold, and they just do not turn out as they should in Callisson-molds or anything else. And - when I made them for the first and only time in my life they didn't get fluffy and soft as they should. I am no Madeleine-Master....
The second option was a challenge as well, as I am physically not able to do a decent pie/tarte crust. No idea why. I just always always always have troubles with them.

Nevertheless, I choose the Pie. I love pumpkins. And when we first made a pumpkin pie for the TWD-group I was more than thrilled by the result. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving round here, therefore it never came to my mind to make something sweet with pumpkins - although now it seems so evident, because they naturally bring a sweet taste with them.

Besides the crust, which was an, uhm, let's say adventure, as always - the filling and baking was very easy. I had to cover the pie with foil very soon (after about 15/20mins) and did bake it slightly longer. For the optional dried fruits I voted for cranberries because it seemes more interesting than rasins and more thanks-giving-ish. Instead of the nuts I used pumpkin kernels and it worked out perfectly.

I can only say that I love this pie! The pumpkin and pears and cranberries match perfectly. If you haven't already - go and try it! It's just what I imagine Thanksgiving should taste like in my humble european view!

For the recipe you can go to Valerie's blog "Une Gamine dans la Cuisine". She did pick this Fall Butternut Squash Pie for us this week. Or have a look in Dorie's book on pages 328-329.

For the Mini-Madeleines, look here how they turned out for my fellow bakers. The recipe can be found on Di's blog "Kitchen Notebook" or on page 172 in "Baking".

Dienstag, 1. November 2011

TWD: Honey Nut Scones and Far Breton

Far Breton was actually the recipe I thought I would chose when my turn arrives - but in the very last moment I made up my mind and picked the Fig Cake from last week. The more I was glad when I read that the Far is on the schedule just one week later. And as I made it now, I am very, very glad I didn't choose it as "my" selection, because I managed to completely ruin it. And as I have no idea what went wrong at which stage I guess this is just not made for me.

In the end, both recipes for this weeks TWD turned to very very delicious - the Honey Nut Scones, chosen by Jeannette of the Whimsical Cupcake, were awesome. And the Far Breton, chosen by Nicole of Cookies on Friday, was completely not what it should have been, but spooned out of the mold stil very, very tasty.

I love scones in any way, but this scones recipe is definitely a keeper. I made only half the batch and had them for Sunday breakfast with some goat cheese. Just won-der-ful! Nothing else to say about the recipe that can be found at Jeannette's page or in Dorie's book on p. 31. Baking time was maybe slightly shorter, but despite that - just stick to the recipe and you will end up with a perfect breakfast treat.

For the Far, I made also only half the recipe. This recipe is written down in Dorie's book on pp. 202-203 - or have a look at Nicole's page. The first problem arrived when I filled two mini spring forms with the batter. It just ran out. The recipe calls for lining the bottom of the springform with parchment, what I did. But obviously this is a translation problem or just my lack of understanding of baking. The parchment left a mini leak in the form, so the batter ran out and made a massive mass in the oven. I quickly realized the problem and arrived and saving some of the batter and transfering it to another (porcellain) form.

Then the Far became very brown on the top very quickly. Covering the form with foil didn't help a lot. When the top was already burnt at the edges - the batter was still almost liquid in the middle. Then I decided to take it out of the oven and make a spoon-dessert of it. Like that it did taste very good. I like prunes a lot and the batter is very tasty. But from my time in Paris I know what a Far should be - and this was not similar in any way.
I took a picture, just to show I made it, but will spare you from the rest of the ugly pics...

I'm not sure if I will have the guts to try it again. But the scones will be on my Sunday-breakfast-table soon again!

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2011

TWD: A Fig Cake for Fall

It's now almost two years that I started baking with "Tuesdays with Dorie". I am one of the lucky last that had the opportunity to join. The story how I found the group is a strange one - at least all my friends and colleagues, who usually are the benefitors of my bakings - do think so. Baking is a somehow strange hobby for my friends. Cooking - sure. But baking?!?

In summer 2009 I had the chance to work in Paris for some month. I was there from may to August, and believe me - there are worse things in this world then spending summer in Paris! (Actually, I like autumn in paris more, but summer is great as well! And after all - it's Paris, so how could anybody complain...)
I was looking for a yoga-studio with english speaking instructors and found a blog entry from somebody obviously American who had some other hints and tipps for foreigners in Paris as well. As I made my way through the blog I found out it's a cook's blog, actually, a dessert cook's blog who moved to Paris some years ago and started writing about cooking. Therefore, his blog was full of tipps about bakeries and restaurants and cafés in Paris - just what I urgently needed!
(If you are a bit into Dorie's world, than you will have guessed from the start that I am writing about David Lebovitz). Funnily his book (The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City) came out just that summer and I catched a book reading and signing. I loved him! He is such a great entertainer, but I guess thats something typical American.

The same year I came back to Paris for some more work in autumn for a few weeks. And there was a panel discussion in the American Library with David L. and two other authors - of whom Dorie Greenspan was one of. I had read about her in David's blog and somewhere, don't ask me how and why, saw that there is a group baking it's way through one of her books. Strange idea, I thought, never heard of somehting like that. (Now I know that there are other groups, similar to this, too, but believe me - no one of all my friends has ever heard of something like that before!)
When I saw Dorie at this discussion she was that nice, interesting and fascinating that I had to ask her for a signature in one of her books and then I took all my guts and said: "Well, you know that there is a group baking all recipes from your book" -  "Yes!" she said, and smiled, "I know, they are so great. I love this group!" I asked her if she thinks that everybody in this group is an experienced baker and if it would be difficult for a newbie like me (I had never ever baked anything in my whole life before). "No, for sure not! There are very very experienced bakers, almost professionals, and there are also hobby-bakers and starters like you. If you want to hear my opinion: Everybody should bake, because it can make you happy - it makes me happy. And the group is very, very supportive to everybody. The founder - she is such a great person. Ask her for joining! She is the nicest person you can think of."
And so I did - and here I am. When I joined the group I didn't think I will have the opportunity to pick a recipe due to the many bakers - the more I was excited that it actually did work out!

I wanted to choose a recipe that fits with the season. The Fig Cake for Fall has autumn already in the name, and: I love cornmeal and I love figs! I am sorry, because I read in the P&Qs that figs are not avaliable everywhere right now. I was only thinking about Vienna/Austria, where I live - and was not so foresighted to think about that fact, that most of the group is living in the US. And I have no overview when which fruits have season over there. So - I am really sorry and hope you all found a way to substitute for the figs!

And here we go (because I am European and a non-english-native I will also give European measures. If anybody should read this, having the same problems but capable of German - I can only recommend this page)

A Fig Cake for Fall
(taken from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking - From my Home to Yours, pp 198-199)
GROWN IN climates that bring to mind the word "sultry", figs conjure sun and heat and sensuality. But the fig has an autumnal side too, reminding us of warm months while it heralds shorter days and cooler nights. This cake plays to the fruit's affinity for fall and chill-wheather foods like cornmeal, honey and ruby port. The buttery cake is a moist, appealing round, sweetened with honey and distinguished by the addition of yellow cornmeal. The cornmeal and honey provide a somewhat Italienate base for the fruit, which is lightly poached in port and honey before it is pressed into the batter. And there's a bonus - once the figs are poached, the remaining syrup is boiled for a few minutes and becomes a lovely sauce. Sauced, the cake jumps from an everyday treat to a company dessert.


SERVING: Offer wedges of the cake topped with the port sauce (which can be warmed, if you'd like). Whipped cream or icecream alongside would be even lovlier.

STORING: Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days.

3/4 cup ruby port [about 0,2 l]
1 cup honey [300g]
2 thin slices lemon
16-20 fresh figs, stemmed and halved
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal [225g]
2 teaspoons baking powder [the best is to just use a usual teaspoon herefore]
1/4 teaspoon salt [here, again: just take about the quarter of a usual teaspoon]
1/4 cup sugar [55g]
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, at room temperature [180g]
3 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract [5ml]

FOR THE FIGS AND SAUCE: Stir the port and 1/2 cup of the honey together in a small saucepan. Toss in the lemon slices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, add the figs, cover the pan and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the figs are soft but not falling apart.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a bowl. Raise the heat just a little and cook the poaching liquid for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened; the syrup should coat a metal spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and set the sauce aside.

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F [175°C]. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour, tapping out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

TO MAKE THE CAKE: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. 


Put the sugar and grated zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl, and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist, grainy and aromatic. Toss in the butter. 

With the paddle or whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Pour in the remaining 1/2 cup honey, add the vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes. The mixture may look curdled and not so pretty - keep mixing, it will get better soon. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated; you'll have a fairly thick batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a few times to even the batter, then scatter the poached figs over the top.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake to slightly warm or to room temperature before serving it with the sauce.


I still have only a hand-mixer and for the first month I baked without cup- and spoon-measures (they are not usual in Europe - I had to import them when I visited some friends in the States). I learn at least one new english word every week when I try to figure out what the recipe is all about. And I learned: Dorie is always right! If she tells you to butter foil - do it. If she asks for lining the bottom of a spring pan with parchment - don't doubt. Dorie knows best. Period. 

Thanks everybody who tried out the recipe despite the fig-problem and I hope you enjoyed it! And thanks to anybody who made the effort to respond my questions, leave a comment or even read my 2 cents in the last two years! I really appreciate and value that!
I might be not the most enthusiastic commentator on your blogs, but that does not mean I don't read it and would not be blown away every week from anew by the results all of you create!

[And I HAVE to say (despite nobody who reads this will understand): 'Ich hab das Schönste auf der Welt gesehen: Paris im Herbst' ]

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2011

TWD: Ginger-Jazzed Brownies

If you like ginger and if you like chocolate this is the perfect recipe for you!
These Ginger-Jazzed Brownies, chosen for this week's TWD by Hindy of Bubie’s Little Baker are not very fudgy, but a bit more soft than really cake-like brownies.
For my taste preferences, they could have been even a bit more moisty. And even a bit more ginger-y.

I am a ginger-lover since some years now, therefore I was very much looking forward to this recipe, and didn't get dissappointed. I dressed them up a bit with a chocolate glaze and some chopped candied ginger.

I wonder if you could swap the corn syrup for honey and the chocolate glaze for lemon glaze as both are usually a good flavour combo with ginger. Next time, I'll try these changes!

For the recipe turn to Hindie's page or have a look into Dorie's book on p. 101.

Montag, 10. Oktober 2011

TWD: Basic Biscuits

Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits!
I love doing biscuits, I love eating biscuits  - I love biscuits!
Therefore, I am always happy if someone chooses a biscuit recipe for the weekly TWD rotation. As did Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort this time. Go to her page to find the recipe for Basic Biscuits, or have a look into Dorie's book on page 21.

This recipe truely deserve it's name. It is very basic and not too hard to handle. Because I live in Europe and have no biscuit cutter, my biscuits are usually, well - lets call them "creatively shaped". Maybe the only thing not really classic about these biscuits. They do not raise a lot, so I got slightly flat biscuits. But I don't mind at all!

I sprinkled some of them with slivered almonds, and think they did match very well. But in the end, the recipe does not need any dressing up, as the biscuits are perfect just the way they are!

Montag, 3. Oktober 2011

TWD: Apple-Nut Muffin Cake

Here in Vienna we actually get a full compensation for the terrible summer. Maybe you guys in the US can't belive it, but in Europe we had the probably most awful summer in decades - rain, rain, rain and cold weather. But now it is indian summer, and the "summer" dominates". You can sit outside in the evening and get sunburnt when you stay out around noon. It's not too hot, but just perfect. Wonderful!

Therefore, this week's TWD-recipe, The Apple-Nut Muffin Cake, did correspond perfectly with the calender - but not so much with the weather. Katrina of Baking and Boys has opted for this wonderful autumn-recipe.

This is a good, in my perception almost classic, apple-cake recipe. Nothing too extraordinary, nothing too difficult. Apples, nuts, raisins, that's it. Add some oats and you get an interesting tiny crunchy texture. Go to Katrin's page to find out about the recipe, or have a look into Dorie's book on p. 37.

I have no square pan, so I made it in my loaf form (and additionally one muffin, to have a "test-piece") and it did work out fine. Funnily, when the cake was already in the oven I figured out I completely forgot to add the butter. But to my surprise - I didn't miss it at all! Does this work with all cakes? Or was I just extremely lucky? 

Dienstag, 27. September 2011

TWD: Flip Over Plum Cake

Wonderful first autumn-recipe! And exactly as Dorie introduces it: quick, quick, quick and it can't get any easier!

If you find 10 mins to bring the batter together you're in!
Baking time was a bit longer than indicated. Still, the cake was very pudding-like. Maybe next time I would even increase the baking time - but if you are ready to eat the cake with a dessert-fork, then everything will be fine. I had to decrease the butter: When I poured in the batter I saw that there was definitely too much "butter-soup" in the pan. But the rest was easy, simple, just-stick-to-the-recipe-and-nothing-can-go-wrong!

I adore these easy cakes! It tastes great and the syrup has just the right flavour-combo of spices. And I can imagine this cake with other fruits, too. (Maybe cherries? Blueberries? Apricots?) and also with some sugar to decorate it or even streusel. Not that the cake needs some dressing up...

Have fun with this recipe for Flip Over Plum Cake chosen by Becky of Project Domestication for this week's TWD. Go to her page to find the recipe or have a look in Dorie's book on p. 40.

Dienstag, 20. September 2011

TWD: Salt&Pepper Cocoa Shortbread

 When I read "shortbread" I was all excited. I love shortbread, I love baking it, my colleagues love eating it - perfcet.
When I read "salt&pepper" I was even more excited. Savory shortbread! Can it get any better?
When I read "cocoa" my excitement was all gone. Cocoa? With salt and pepper? In shortbread? Why?? Why spoil them?

I was very much tempted to leave the cocoa out and exchange it for grounded nuts or just use more flour. But in the absolute very last minute I thought - stop. No. Don't. very often the recipe that do not sound that appealing turn out best. And I learnt so far that it is mostly better to stick to Dorie's recipes, because she is always right.

So. Salt&Pepper COCOA shortbread. The recipe was chosen by Tia for this week's TWD. Go to her page "Buttercream Barbie" to find the recipe or have a look in Dorie Greenspan's book on p 128.

As all shortbread it takes some time for chilling the dough thoroughly. I rolled the dough too thin (What happen always when I do shortbread. Learnign effect? Me? Never!) I opted for not making logs and round shortbread but to cut rectangles and use my Eiffeltower- and Statue of Liberty-forms.

The first batch was spoiled, but it was all my fault. I forgot that the line between "still too soft" and "burnt" can be very thin and be passed in half a minute. So, the first batch was for the trashbin. But the second one turned out fine.

The verdict? Well. I like them. Compared to my expectations - I like them a lot. My colleagues on the other side where excited, thrilled, ardent. Why? I guess because me - I knew what was in the cookies. They didn't. So they really had a surprise-moment when they found out that these shortbread cookies, with their chocolate-colour, are not that sweet at all, and have a savory after-taste. Therefore - they are a winner!