Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chocolate Truffles - Tuesdays with Dorie

Incredibly decadent little bonbons graced my Christmas dessert table this year thanks to Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking Chez Moi, the book I'm baking from for Tuesdays with Dorie.
These luxurious little morsels were surprisingly easy to make, though you did have to work quickly to shape them, and I recommend using a chocolate you love because that's exactly how they taste. I kept them simple this time, but next time, the addition of a little orange or hazelnut liqueur would not go amiss.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Spiced Honey Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

I've made a few versions of pain d'épices, a classic French spice cake and this week it was time to try Dorie Greenspan's. Her recipe from Baking Chez Moi replaced traditional rye flour with all-purpose, and included dried cherries, orange zest and a rather intriguing infusion of fresh ginger, lavender and Sichuan peppercorns.
The flavour was described as "fascinating" and "haunting" in the headnotes. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to "good tasting" to my family who thought the ginger and lavender, both of which were quite noticeable, were overpowering. I didn't mind the cake from the start, and it continued to grow on me the more I had, and I really liked the orange notes with the spices. But there are still 2 mini loaves in the freezer that are just for me so I doubt I'll be making this again.

I wonder what the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers thought of it. Maybe they made the chocolate truffles, our other December pick, instead - those I can tell you were fabulous.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle

I've recently embraced braising as a method of cooking less tender cuts of meat; besides producing meat that is fork-tender, it creates a fabulous sauce imbued with the flavour of all of the ingredients that have kept the meat company during its slow simmer.
Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle from The Essential New York Times Cookbook is one of my family's favourite braised dishes. It does take a bit of time to cook, but most of it is hands-free, and since the flavour does improve the next day, it's a great make-ahead dish.
Made with basic pantry ingredients (onions,carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, chicken stock, canned tomatoes), and not-so-basic rabbit (readily available in stores but not so much in my kitchen), the sauce is incredibly rich in flavour. I like to purée it before adding the moist, shredded rabbit meat back in so it's creamy and silky and coats the pasta perfectly. Hearty but not too heavy, it's a great dish to share with family and friends.

The recipe is on page 352 in the book and can be found here