Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Babas au Rhum - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's project for Tuesdays with Dorie was a small yeasted cake soaked in sweet syrup and filled with cream. 

The batter was easy to make and came together in just over 15 minutes in the stand mixer. I didn't have regular yeast so I used instant yeast. I reduced the amount to 1-1/2 tsp (about 25% less) but even that was too much I think. It has a faster rise than regular yeast but I was still surprised that during its second proof the batter crested the top of the pan (I used a regular muffin tin) in less than 15 minutes(!) and mushroomed over the top during baking. I ended up not with the pretty little spheres I'd hoped for but ungainly looking oversized muffins!
The texture was good....the crumb was fine and delicate but again I think my choice of yeast or the quantity I used was a problem because even drenched in the citrusy-rum syrup, which was quite delicious, I could taste yeast. They did get eaten but this definitely was not one of my better bakes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Steak and Za'atar Fajitas with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Fajitas are a fun way to get a tasty meal to table quickly and the recipe from the book Modern Jewish Cooking by Leah Koenig is a particularly good one, combining tender steak strips with grilled sweet peppers and onions.
The key to the beef's texture and incredible flavour is the marinade. It includes ingredients you would expect to see - onion, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes, olive oil - and one you wouldn't, the Middle Eastern spice blend za'atar. Made from toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano and sumac, it's nutty and earthy tasting with a citrusy tang from the sumac. It's very good with steak but I think it would go well with chicken also.
Warm tortillas, fresh coriander and lime wedges are all that are needed to finish this meal. Delicious!

I'm cooking from the book Modern Jewish Cooking this month so I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Simplest Plum Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

The second selection this month for Tuesdays with Dorie is my favourite type of fruit tart - lightly sweetened fruit baked in a tart crust. Its success depends on the quality of the fruit so I made sure to use only the ripest of Italian plums.
I used crushed speculoos cookies to absorb the liquid. They added such a nice subtle spice flavour that complemented the plums so well that I would love to make this tart with a spiced tart shell. Dorie has a recipe for one in another of her books, Baking From My Home To Yours...maybe I'll try that one next time.

Visit here to see more fruit tarts.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Maple Cookies

Now for something sweet from the FoodNetwork, the online cookbook I've been using this month....cookies! 

These maple cookies are perfect for a packed lunch or an afternoon coffee break, or, as my husband believes, any time of day. The recipe comes from chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Emeril Lagasse who's known for "kicking it up a notch" and does he ever with these cookies. They not only contain maple syrup and pure maple flavouring but they're glazed with maple sugar icing. 
The dough was really easy to work with, which isn't always the case with sticky maple syrup as an ingredient, but it did soften quickly and needed to be chilled from time to time. I re-rolled the scraps and made more than 5 dozen cookies. Even with the extras, there was enough glaze for all, the trick was to keep it warm so it could be applied thinly.
These tasted incredible the day they were made and, unbelievably, they were even better the next day, with the same crunch as freshly baked but stronger maple flavour. 

I originally found this recipe on foodnetwork.com but it's no longer available there. It is on Emeril's site so if your want to make these cookies - and I know you do - the recipe is here.

I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.