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:
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!

Dienstag, 3. Juni 2014

TWD: Savory Wheat Crackers

It's not I didn't bake recently. I just forgot to take pictures. To blog. To bake on time. Anymways, this time I made it.

The crackers are easily made, the biggest challenge is the (short) resting time as that means you have to plan a bit in advance. Besides, from taking the flour out of the closet to nibbling the first crackers takes about 50 mins (or less, if you are a more experienced baker :-).

I had to use more spices and think it would be better to mix them in the flour directly, or to roll the dough in the mix before you spread it out, as they didn't stick very well to the crackers.

The Savory Wheat Crackers are exactly what you expect. Nothing more, nothing less. I think they were a bit boring (don't blame the recipe - it's just that Wheat Crackers are boring...). Therefore, I used them to top an Asparagus Soup.

For the recipe, have a look at Dorie Greenspans book, pp. 163/164.And don't forget to stop by our group's blog to find out, what the other, much more gifted bakers made out of this recipe! I am sure you will find some little treasures there!

Donnerstag, 17. April 2014

TWD: Cantuccini

Oh no, I forgot to post! No baking for some weeks (lenten season...), and than I forget to document what I made...
Anyways. Cantuccini are really great and I love baking them as much as eating them. They are part of what I call "dry things", I am best at baking. Don't know why. But cookies, shortbread (I know, they are fat, but somehow also dry), bread and so on come easy to me. Not like cream-rich, chocolate loaded sweets. Maybe because I also like them more in taste.

However, I regularily do pistacchio-cranberry cantuccini, but I also liked these. They were more than fast and easy in the making and turned out great. Everybody at the office loved them, even those people who are not very crazy about nuts. I exchange the almonds for pine nuts because I had to get rid of some left-overs. But cantuccini are great with any kind of nuts, I guess.

For the recipe, have a look at pp. 313-314 in the book by Dorie Greenspan! And, as always, don't forget to step by all the other gifted bakers in the group to see what they made of it.

Dienstag, 18. März 2014

TWD: Mocha Brownie Cake

This is one of a great cake! It's not really what I would call a brownie - but it is an excellent chocolate cake. With a fabulous decadent chocolate ganache/glaze.

It is plain and simple in one way (because it is nothing more than a chocolate cake with chocolate cream), and sublime and oppulent in another (because it has three cake layers and the ganache/glaze is very rich). However you want to see it - the Mocha Brownie Cake is awesome!

Baking time was just like the recipe says. The cake and the cream are simple in the making. The only tricky point may be when you cut the cake in layers. Using a cake leveler helps a lot in this respect :-)


I made one normal cake but had more batter than needed (my mold is smaller then the recipe calls for) - therefore I also made a small heart-shaped cake with only one ganache-layer and some minis (baked in mini guglhupf molds) with a jam layer in the middle.
Not exactly what the recipe calles for, but great :-) With the jam it comes very close to Sacher Torte in its taste, a Viennese classic.

I can only recommend doing this one! It is far more simple than I thought it would be and the ganache/glaze really works fine! For the recipe, have a look on pp. 282/283 in the book by Dorie Greenspan. And step by the TWD group to see what the other bakers created this week!

Dienstag, 25. Februar 2014

TWD: Buttermilk Scones

Scones are one of my favourite kind of baking-goods. I am really no gifted baker (although I practice since more than four years now. Four years! Unbelievable!). But I guess I have a bit of a "biscuit hand", what applies, I believe, also to scones. The bad I am at mastering cakes with creams and tartes, the better I am when it comes to "dry" things like shortbread, breakfast treats or easy-fast recipes like brownies. And cheesecakes. But that's another story, I am deviating, sorry. This should be about the fabulous Buttermilk Scones, and not about me :-)

So, Buttermilk Scones are a fast and easy recipe as most scones are. I like the buttermilk flavour and consider this to be on my top-3-scones recipe list. The basic dough can be combined with almost everything that goes with scones, I guess. I gave dried apricots a try (one of my all-time-favourite ingredients for scones). Baking time was a bit longer, more like 17 mins. And I didn't glaze them as I don't like them too much on the sweet side.

If you like scones - do them! They are as fast and easy that you can even do them before Sunday breakfast and end up with a wonderful treat in the morning.

For the recipe, have a look at Dorie Greenspan's book. And to see what the rest of the TWD-group made out of this simple, basic but nevertheless delicious recipe, visit the blog!

Dienstag, 18. Februar 2014

TWD. Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

I adore cheesecakes, but am not such a huge fan of chocolate cheesecakes - maybe because I am not a big chocolate-lover in general. I always doubt that chocolate makes the sublime, wonderful taste of a cheesecake better. No need for improvement , in my view!

But I was willing to give this a try. What I do like is that is fast in the making, compared to other cheesecakes. There is no crust, so no pre-baking. Just cookie-crumbling, that's it.
Chilling is a bit longer and I doubt that leaving the cake in the fridge for more than one day (what I had to do) is good for the cookie bottom. It gets soggy.

The Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake is what it sounds like - a very rich, chocolatey cheesecake.
Next time, I would prefer to do the basic receipe without the chocolate part, but I am sure this is my personal trouble with chocolate ;-)

For everybody else I can just recommend to give it a try - it is fast, it is delicious, and the creamcheese/mascarpone-combo is heavenly!

For the recipe, have a look at Dorie Greenspans book on pp. 256-258 and to find out how other bakers liked the recipe, and what wonderful creations they made of it, see the "Leave your link" section on our TWD-group blog.

Update: ALL my colleagues LOVED this one. All. No exception. So, forget everything I sad about it and just do it, try it, enjoy it and ignore me chocolate-grinch :-)

Dienstag, 28. Januar 2014

TWD: Vanilla Chiffon Roll

I like chiffon rolls, I like vanilla - I like these Vanilla Chiffon Rolls.
Usually, I guess I would do them with a jam-layer instead of a chocolate-nut-mousse, but why not try something else?

I had so much dough, my cake turned out too high. So I cut the cake in two layers and made two rolls. Like that, I had enough mousse for my taste but less than in the picture in the book.

Baking time was much longer but maybe I used a too small baking pan and the longer baking time was due to the height of the cake. Anyhow, I had no troubles handling the cake.

It is a bit time-consuming, but you can prepare the mousse and cake in advance.

I can imagine to use the cake dough for other variations as well. The mousse might not be my favourite, but I am no chocolate fan in general, so I don't blame the mousse. :-)

For the recipe have a look at Dorie Greenspans book on pp. 277-279 - and to see how beautiful this recipe can turn out when more experienced and better bakers do it, have a look at the TWD-group-page!

Dienstag, 14. Januar 2014

TWD: Country Bread

Oh, long time no baking... I missed the re-wind but now I am back on track!

To make it short: This Country Bread is good, but I am not sure if it is worth the procedure. It is really not difficult at all - but it needs three rising/resting periods and is thereby in my view more time consuming than many other breads.

I like the taste but would definitely recommend to use a bit more salt and/or spices. Like that, it is a bit odd.What is excellent is the dense crust, if you like that.

I tried to put a small braid around the loaf but it did not really work out :-)

For the recipe, have a look at pp. 136/137 in Dorie Greenspans book