Montag, 24. Januar 2011

TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

This is the second time I made a cake with a swirl, and this time I am as happy with the result as I was the first time! This cake ist just great - the moisty cake, the orange-nut-chocolate-combination for the swirl ... just wonderful. And look how pretty the swirl is!

I exchanged the chocolate chips for a chocolate spread (because I have to get rid of it...) that is infused with blood orange flavour, thus supporting the slight orange flavour in the batter.

It's made easily, looks pretty and is overwhelming in taste - what more can you ask for?

Thanks so much to Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort who opted for the great Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake! Go to her page to find the recipe, or have a look at Dorie's book (page 182).

P.S.: The February recipes are here! Hooray! This is going to be the last full month I bake along with the TWD-group until Easter Sunday, because I like to deny all sweets (and alcohol and meat) between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Nothing religious. Just the feeling, some weeks without these things would be no harm after all the Advent, christmas, New Year and birthday gourmandizing. Last year I made some other recipes from the book instead that go without sugar (biscuits, scones, some muffins).  Therefore I am especially looking forward to Great Grains Muffins, Bourbon Bread Pudding and Chocolate Oatmeal Drops. (The Toasted Almond Scones were one of the recipes I pre-made last year during Lenten)

Montag, 17. Januar 2011

TWD: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Muffins! Haven't made them for ages!
Since I an at ny current job I almost have not time for nothing, so there is barely more baking then my TWD-"duties" in my house. The last time Muffins haven been on the schedule was in back in October 2009, just shortly before I joined the group. Therefore, my last muffin baking is almost a year ago. Unvelievable...

I like poppyseed very much. Poppyseed is something very familiar in the Austrian sweet kitchen. We do a lot with it, not only for dessert, but we also make sweet main-courses with poppyseed.

Did you know that poppysedd doens't exist in the French cuisine? Strange, isn't it? The just don't plant it, therefore they don't use in the kitchen.

Well, so much for the intro, now the main part. I was excited to make muffins but couldn't decide wheather to fill them or not, so I made what I always make, when I am indecisive - I made both.

The first batch came out a bit underdone, although I baked them for about 22 minutes. Nevertheless, some tops broke up and the raspberry jam came out a bit, but I don' think that's any harm (that's the very light couloured ones). The second batch was without filling (these are the little ones in the paper molds). But the third batch, this time filled with strawberry jam, came out perfect in colour and shape.

The one I did taste was just wonderful. The sweet-sour mix in combination with the poppyseed is a wonderful flavour!
Thanks a lot to Betsy of A Cup of Sweetness who did choose Muffins after such a long time and opted for this great recipe. Go to her page for the recipe or have a look at Dorie's book (page 11 and 11).

Montag, 10. Januar 2011

TWD: Chocolate (Fluff Filled) Madeleines

I have, as probably most of you, no Madeleine mold and really didn't wanted to buy some just for this recipe. But - I once brought my mother Calison-molds from Paris (explanation and pictures for Calissons), so I thought I am going to try it with this form.

For the filling: Marshmallow fluff is extremely rare in Vienna. I once saw it at an extremely high-end gourmet supermarket. With lemon curd it is the same. But I had a glas of chocolate spread, infused with Sicilian blood-oranges waiting since aeons in the cupboard...

No idea wheather the form made a difference, but anyhow, the Calisson-"Madeleines" turned out well, but when I tried to fill them, they were too dense and compact. Some broke, some were so solid, the filling came back out the pipe. So after some attempts I stopped and decided to go for plain "Madeleines" and top half of them with what was intended as the filling, and the other half with white chocolate ganache.

Taste and looks are fine, despite they are not what the recipe has foreseen. But as always - the not-predicted is sometimes the best :o]

Thanks to Margo of Effort to Deliciousness who was so brave to choose this TWD-recipe for Chocolate Fluff Filled Madeleines. You can find the recipe on her page, or in Dorie's book on page 170 and 171.

Dienstag, 4. Januar 2011

TWD: Midnight Crackles

 Cookies! Yeah! Haven't had them on the TWD-schedule for some time... Midnight Crackles are pure chocolate. They come with not much more than a whole lot of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. Sounds like great chocolate cookies, not too sweet, but chocolatey ad nauseam. Good, huh?

Well. The cookies where a pain in the making and didn't turn out well. :o[  The options where I may have failed:

I used less sugar. Because all the recipes always turn out very, very sweet for my taste, and for that of all my colleagues. I started to mostly use less sugar than asked for. This time, I maybe went too far.
The batter didn't come together. Not. At. All. I had individual crumbles like shortcake-crust for tartes. I included another egg. That was a slight improvement. But I wasn't able to get somehting like one piece of dough before I mixed it with some water. Then, the consistency was as described in the book.

But, after chilling the dough for 2 hours (much longer than most other bakers recommended), it was still a soft, smooth dough. So I had no problem to scoop and form it, but: despite the softness, my balls didn't really stick together.

Somehow I managed to roll balls and press them softly (see again the hints from other bakers) on the baking sheet. But: After about 8 minutes, not a single ball had spread. They remained in their shape. That's not what a cookie should look like! I took a spatula and pressed them flat. That was about the moment when I thought: What a mess. Nothing did work properly today. Nothing. I had to fudge on these cookies in every step.

At least, in the end they looked like cookies should in my world. But the first bite from a still slightly-warm cookie: disappointment. Sometimes cookies seem to absorb some taste from the cookie-scented air in the kitchen while cooling. So, let's wait and taste again later. --- Later: No difference. The cookies taste bland and boring. Not sweet at all. No good not-sweet-at-all like shortbread, just ... flavourless. Don't ask me. No idea how I managed to mess so completely up with them.

I am sure the problem is all on my side, so have a look at the perfect Midnight Crackles from all the other gifted TWD'ers, and especially at wep-pages of Laurie of Slush and Jules of Someone’s In the Kitchen, a.k.a. our wonderful TWD-team who can't get enough thanks and thumbs-up for their great work and devotion! There (or in Dorie's book on page 74)  you will also find the recipe as it was their turn for TWD-birthday to choose this week.

Interestinlgy, they really look much better than they taste. And: I tried them with orange marmelade and this is really a winner-combination! So, a mess in between, a dissappointment for the plain cookies, but in the end I can close with a slightly positive balance sheet.