Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cinnamon Spice Cookies - Tuesdays with Dorie

This year's final baking project from Baking Chez Moi is speculoos, a pleasantly spiced cookie that's perfect for the festive season. 
I've made them before to use as an ingredient in other recipes from the book, Apple Speculoos Crumble and Simplest Plum Tart, but these crunchy cookies are also delicious just as they are.

Visit here to see what the other bakers made.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Alsatian Christmas Bread - Tuesdays with Dorie

A traditional Alsatian Christmas treat, a cake of spiced dried fruits and nuts bound with almond flour, was one of this month's scheduled bakes from Baking Chez Moi. Dorie says that the only "must-have" ingredient for this is dried pears, an ingredient that proved to be rather elusive. I gave up looking for it after checking three stores and simply increased the quantities of apples, prunes, apricots and cranberries to make up the missing weight.
It seemed quite easy to make - I didn't have any trouble shaping the roll - but sometime between 75 and 90 minutes of baking, my roll cracked and the exposed area dried out a little. Perhaps I didn't roll it tightly enough or maybe 90 minutes was too long in my oven. I noticed when I sliced it that my fruit pieces were on the large side so that may have contributed to the problem as well. I'll never know because I have no plans to make this again. The flavour was okay but there were no takers....on to the next recipe!

Visit here to see what the other bakers made.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Chocolate Cream Puffs with Mascarpone Filling - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week, I made a delicious variation of a cream puff for Tuesdays with Dorie comprising chocolate pâte à choux and rich mascarpone cream filling.
The puffs were amazingly chocolatey despite the small amount of cocoa in the dough and I thought the filling was the perfect cool and creamy foil for all of that chocolate goodness. Standard cream puffs with whipped cream filling will always be the family favourite but this version is one I would make again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gâteau Basque Fantasie - Tuesdays with Dorie

Not quite a cake, not quite a pie either, but a tourte, a fruit-filled pastry, was our latest baking project from Baking Chez Moi.
The delicious filling was a surprising combination of apples, red grapes, oranges, dried cranberries and walnuts, something you could easily vary to suit your taste. It went beautifully with the tender cookie-like crust.

Visit Tuesdays with Dorie to see the other creations.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Le Cheesecake Round Trip - Tuesdays with Dorie

This may look like a plain cheesecake but it held some delicious surprises... 
...a cinnamon cookie crust and crushed cookies suspended throughout. (Abby Dodge's Sparkling Spiced Pinwheels from the Everyday Baker).
...oodles of salted caramel sauce.

Visit Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking Chez Moi edition, to see what everyone else made.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Bettelman - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week, for Tuesdays with Dorie, we made something that "is sometimes translated as bread pudding, but is unlike any bread pudding most of us know", according to author Dorie Greenspan. 

For this recipe, familiar bread pudding ingredients of stale bread (Abby Dodge's delicious Cinnamon Swirl Bread), milk and eggs were combined to make a homogeneous mixture flavoured with cinnamon, vanilla and rum, lightened with whipped egg whites, with fruit folded in (I used pears and dried cranberries).
I made a half recipe and baked it in 5 ramekins. They emerged puffy and golden from the oven and settled upon cooling, as expected. The flavour was good, reminiscent of cinnamon-vanilla French toast, and the texture was dense and moist, described in the book, Baking Chez Moi, as somewhere between a cake and a pudding. It was fine, but not something I will revisit.

Visit here to see what the others made.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Basque Macarons - Tuesdays with Dorie

I love finding quick and delicious ways to use up leftovers - egg whites in this case - and this recipe is one of them. The only other ingredients required are almond flour and sugar, and cinnamon if you wish.
The cookies aren't much to look at but they have wonderful texture with a crisp exterior and a moist chewy centre. I wish I had omitted the optional cinnamon to allow the delicate almond flavour to time. 

The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking Chez Moi, made for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Smoothest, Silkiest, Creamiest, Tartest Lime Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

The name says it all. This is truly the smoothest, silkiest, creamiest, tartest lime tart I've ever had, and I loved it!
The berry variation included the extra sweetness of plump, juicy blueberries that balanced the tartness of the lime filling perfectly. 
The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking Chez Moi, made for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hazelnut, Ginger and Olive Oil Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesdays with Dorie's second recipe this month from the book Baking Chez Moi happens to be one of my favourite cakes from the "Simple Cakes" chapter of the book. I first made it a few years ago to use up ground hazelnuts left from Christmas baking. Since then, I've been buying ground hazelnuts just to make it.
It tastes of hazelnuts, fruity olive oil and ginger and is incredibly moist with polenta adding just enough crunch to give it an interesting texture. It's amazingly good. I'm not the only one who thinks that so it will be made again...and again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Cold Chocolate Crémeux, Wine-Poached Cherries and Lots of Crumbs - Tuesdays with Dorie

The classic pairing of chocolate and cherries was at its finest in this dish of cool, creamy chocolate crémeux, crunchy chocolate crumbs and fruity cherry compote that kept the richness of it all in check. 
I made it for family who enjoyed it immensely but I would happily serve it to guests at a dinner party.

Visit here to see what the others thought of this dessert, our latest pick for Tuesdays with Dorie from the book, Baking Chez Moi.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Vanilla Bean Sablés - Tuesdays with Dorie

These vanilla-flavoured, shortbread-like cookies are my latest bake from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking Chez Moi. They turned out exactly as the author describes: sandy, buttery, sweet and just a little bit salty. What she fails to mention is that, despite their simplicity, they are highly addictive. Definitely a recipe to make again.
Visit Tuesdays with Dorie to see what everyone else baked.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Classic Fruit Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

A sweet cookie crust and silky vanilla pastry cream, combined, created the perfect vehicle to showcase beautiful seasonal fruit in this fruit tart. 
I used local red berries and served it as part of our Canada Day celebration on July 1st. It was absolutely sensational!
The recipe for this Classic Fruit Tart is from Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking Chez Moi. Visit here to see what the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers are up to this week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cowgirl Cornmeal Financiers - Tuesdays with Dorie

Financiers, little French cakes made with ground nuts, sugar and a lot of browned butter, were chosen for our second project from Baking Chez Moi this month. This recipe strayed from the traditional by using pecans instead of almonds, and toasted ones at that, and including cornmeal.
The result was a moist cake with crisp and chewy edges, rich in pecan flavour and with a little added crunch from the cornmeal. They went over very well.

Visit here to see what everyone else baked.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Black-and-White Baked Alaska - Tuesdays with Dorie

Another of the "Fancy Cakes" from Baking Chez Moi was chosen this month, a marvel of cake, ice cream and baked meringue.
The cake layer was fabulously chocolatey and decadent and the ice cream of choice was the family favourite, cookies 'n' cream. Poor planning meant that I was making the meringue on a very hot and humid day. Though I wasn't able to achieve the proper volume and stiff peaks, it still baked up to be a gooey marshmallow layer with a crisp outer shell.

Everyone so enjoyed it, I'll have to try it again when the weather is more cooperative.

Visit here to see what everyone else made.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Springtime Cookies & Curd with Double-Butter, Double-Baked Petit Beurre Cookies -TWD

This month, one of the recipes chosen from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie was a composed dessert of grapefruit curd, macerated strawberries and buttery cookies.
Dorie mentions assembling the components in a bowl or a glass but I just piled everything on top of the cookies with an added swirl of lemon cream (cream whipped with lemon juice and zest) so they looked like tiny tarts. I made the curd with two-thirds less butter and half the sugar so it was quite zingy. Combined with the fresh, juicy strawberries, the topping was bright and sunny and its lively flavour was complemented by the rich cookie. Everyone loved them!

Double-butter, double-baked petit beurre cookies provided the base of these 2-bite tartlets and was the other recipe chosen for this month. They were crumbly, buttery, shortbread-like cookies that were made with an unusual method: cookie dough was first baked as a crumble, then combined with more butter to form a dough to make rolled cut-out cookies and baked again.
Fans of shortbread loved them and their richness complemented the tart toppings nicely.

Visit here to see what the others made for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Viennese Sablés - Tuesdays with Dorie

Cookies from the book Baking Chez Moi were up this week at Tuesdays with Dorie. I was really looking forward to these ones which apparently taste like the Danish butter cookies in the blue tin and who doesn't like those?
The dough was easy to make but I had a problem shaping the cookies. The dough was stiff and I really struggled to pipe it out. Apparently either really soft butter or warm hands helped with this, but I had neither in my cold kitchen. 

Their finished texture was as described, crisp followed by melt-in-your mouth, and they had a lovely vanilla flavour and the perfect balance of sweet and salt. Everyone enjoyed them and thought they were better than those Danish butter cookies in the blue tin.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Apple Matafan - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie project was a matafan from the book Baking Chez Moi, described by the author "as a cross between a crêpe and a griddle cake".
For something that consisted of just apples and a thin pancake batter, it was surprisingly filling and what was supposed to serve 6, easily served 8 in my house. It was nice and fruity and tasted particularly good with salted caramel.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Southwestern Cauliflower-Corn Cakes

These cakes make a fun and delicious vegetarian main or side would never know you're enjoying your vegetables eating these.
They include grainy mustard, chili powder, garlic and green onions (in place of chives) that are an excellent match for the cauliflower and make the corn flavour pop.

This is another great recipe from Canadian Living Healthy Family Meals, a book I'm really enjoying cooking from this month. The recipe is available on the Canadian Living website here if you would like to give it a try.

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Apple Weekend Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

One of this month's bakes from Baking Chez Moi met with rave reviews from those who made it a couple weeks ago and I'm adding another here. This was a very nice, moist, tea cake flavoured with vanilla and apples, that included a small amount of cinnamon that didn't overwhelm those flavours but merely enhanced their deliciousness. I would definitely make this again (and already have!).
If you would like to see what the others baked this week, visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bucatini al Tonno

This is a super quick and tasty pasta dish built around a common pantry staple: canned tuna. I'm not very creative when it comes to canned tuna - tuna melts are probably as exotic as it gets around here - so this was a welcome change.
The sauce is made from olive oil, anchovies (which I assure you, you cannot taste), garlic, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes and tuna, of course, but you want the good stuff packed in olive oil. The recipe doesn't make much sauce but with ingredients as flavourful as these, a little goes a long way. I reduced the oil to 2 tbsp, moistened the pasta with some pasta cooking water, and substituted bucatini for linguine.
This is another delicious recipe from UK chef Gino D'Acampo, from his book Gino's Pasta. It's also available on his website here.

Gino D'Acampo is featured chef this month at Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pailles - Tuesdays with Dorie

Comprising store-bought puff pastry layered with sugar and baked until crisp, and thick fruit jam, our latest bake from Baking Chez Moi couldn't have been easier to make.
I really enjoyed the construction process, and the resulting pastry had great texture and flavour but don't let their size fool you...they were very rich. If I were to make them again, I would make them half the size.

Visit here to see what the others made for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring Rolls, Italian-Style

It's Gino D'Acampo month at Cookbook Countdown, a challenge to cook from our unused cookbooks hosted by talented cooks Emily and Joyce. I confess I didn't know who Mr. D'Acampo was (and clearly don't own any of his books though that may soon change) when I saw the announcement but I quickly discovered that he's a very popular and prolific UK chef whose specialty is Italian cuisine, my favourite.

A quick perusal of his online recipe library yielded many that I wanted to try. To start, I went with his non-traditional approach to serving some rather common vegetables: Italian-Style Spring Rolls.
The filling was made with red bell peppers, mushrooms, leeks, carrots, celery (substituted for zucchini), and garlic, sautéed until golden and flavourful, and seasoned with red pepper flakes. Gino warns that the vegetables should be thoroughly drained so I cooled them in a sieve, pressing them against the sides to remove the excess liquid. The next step was to wrap the filling in buttered sheets of pyllo pastry and bake - yes, bake, not fry!

I served the spring rolls with a tangy homemade marinara dipping sauce, a nice complement to the spicy filling. This was such a fun and delicious take on spring rolls. They made a great snack but I can see making them smaller and serving them as pre-dinner nibbles.

The recipe is from Gino's book Fantastico! and is available on his website here as well. Don't forget to visit  CookbookCountdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray to see what else is cooking this month!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Roasted Red Peppers with Eggs

I recently enjoyed breakfast for dinner with this dish of roasted red peppers, vessels for baked eggs hidden beneath a blanket of gooey melted cheese. Satisfying and so good.
The peppers were first halved and partially roasted before each half was filled with some cheese and an egg. Once the eggs were baked to your liking - I like a runny yolk with a fully cooked white - the peppers were popped under the broiler to melt the cheese topping. 
This easy recipe came from Canadian Living Healthy Family Meals, the magazine test kitchen's latest compilation book. It's also available on their website here and I'm sharing it with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Chocolate Crème Caramel - Tuesdays with Dorie

So creamy and chocolatey, and bathed in liquid caramel, one would never expect that this dessert is as easy to make as Dorie Greenspan says, but it is.
Family and I loved it!

Visit here to see what the others made from Baking Chez Moi this week.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spicy Creole Chicken Burgers

I've been cooking from the cookbook Sara Moulton Cooks At Home this month and I have another standout recipe from it to share with you: chicken burgers flavoured with onions, sweet red pepper and a spicy Creole seasoning blend.
You can use store-bought seasoning in this recipe but this blend happens to use common ingredients so it's easy to toss together: hot paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powders, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. 
Ground chicken can sometimes be a little bland but you would never describe these burgers that way...they were moist and delicious thanks to the spice mix that added a little bit of heat and lots of flavour. The accompanying tomato-corn salsa cooled everything down nicely.

The recipes for Turkey Burgers (I used ground chicken) with Tomato Corn Salsa, and Creole Spice Mix are on pages 86 and 348 respectively of the book Sara Moulton Cooks At Home and can also be found on the author's website here.

I'm participating again this month in CookbookCountdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cheesecake, Alsace Style - Tuesdays with Dorie

When I signed up to bake through Dorie Greenspan's book Baking Chez Moi, I knew that in a book of almost 150 recipes, there were bound to be some I wasn't keen on making. This cheesecake was one of them if for no other reasons than it had an awful lot of raisins in it, and no cheese! So I did what I've been doing from the start: when in doubt, make a half recipe, and replace all raisins with another fruit, dried sour cherries this time.
As with some other recipes for which I had low expectations, this was such a surprise. First of all, it was a cheesecake! But not just any reminded me very much of the Polish cheesecake (sernik) I enjoyed as a child that was made with twaróg, a type of dry cottage cheese. It was tangy and not too sweet with a moist and fluffy texture. I loved it.
Everyone else enjoyed it too and I regretted making only a half recipe. I'll soon correct that mistake and when I bake it next - for Easter, I think - I'll make a few changes. I'll pre-bake the crust longer to get more colour on it since it didn't seem to bake further once it was filled, and because the cherries seemed to gravitate towards the centre of my cake, I'll sprinkle them on the bottom of the crust before the batter goes in for a more even distribution.

Visit here to see what the other members thought of this cake (or maybe they made the delicious chocolate crème caramel this week!)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Roasted Ratatouille Crêpes

In her book Vegetable Literacy:Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, Deborah Madison explains that members of the same plant family are natural complements to each other, so it's no surprise that the flavour of ratatouille, a combination of tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplants, all from the nightshade family, is particularly sublime.
This classic vegetable dish from the south of France is traditionally stewed but the recipe I made from the cookbook Sara Moulton Cooks at Home calls for roasting the ingredients, intensifying their flavours, bringing out their sweetness and making them even more delicious!
I've made many versions of ratatouille and served it in many different ways but I think wrapping it in a thin crêpe and topping the bundle with a little (Asiago) cheese is definitely my new favourite. Something to make again for sure.

The recipes for Roasted Ratatouille Crêpes with Goats Cheese (page 196) and Basic Crêpe Recipe (page 349) from the cookbook Sara Moulton Cooks at Home can be found here.

I'm participating again this month in CookbookCountdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crunchy Granola - Tuesdays with Dorie

Our latest project from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie certainly lived up to its name with wonderful crunch from the oats as well as nuts and seeds. I made some substitutions based on my pantry ingredients and personal preferences: maple syrup for honey, maple sugar for brown sugar, coconut oil for butter, pecans for almonds. I also added the pecans after 30 minutes of baking so they wouldn't burn and dried blueberries at the end. 

Delicious! I'll definitely be making this again.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Tomato Salsa

I'm cooking from the book Sara Moulton Cooks At Home this month and in the introduction to this recipe, the author describes the dish as "a meatless weeknight entrée that even the die-hard carnivore will find satisfying". The carnivores in my family agree. These crispy, cornmeal-crusted little cakes with a creamy centre, flavoured with sautéed onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapeño were a huge hit.
The recipe called for canned black-eyed peas but I had dried peas on hand so cooked some for this recipe. They don't require a long pre-soak and cook more quickly than most beans so this took much less time than one might think. The cakes were very easy to shape and held together quite well during cooking after a brief chill in the fridge.
The flavour of the cake was a little sweet and savoury and what it really needed was something bright and acidic…..the fresh tomato salsa (I omitted the mayonnaise) and a squeeze of lime were the perfect complements. 

This was another great recipe from this cookbook. If you would like to try it, the recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Salsa Mayonnaise is on page 184 and can also be found here.

I'm participating again this month in Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ants in A Tree

No, I haven't joined the entomophagy movement - though insects are a good source of protein - but I did make the Sichuan noodle dish Ma Yi Shang Shu which translates to "ants climbing a tree". This adaptation of spicy stir-fried ground pork (the "ants") and cellophane noodles (the "tree") came from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, the book I'm cooking from this month.
I have to say that this was fantastic! Spicy and garlicky, but not overwhelmingly so, and quite effortless to make. As with all stir-fries, most of the time was spent measuring and prepping ingredients and once the cooking started, it came together in no time at all. This version called for napa cabbage - I doubled the amount - and listed "Asian chile paste" as an ingredient. I used sambal oelek since that's what I had but the heat level was quite tame so I'd like to try it with the Sichaun chile bean paste that's traditionally used next time.
Stir-fried spinach with garlic chips rounded out this meal.

Both recipes are from Sara Moulten's book: Ants in a Tree, page 171 and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Chips, page 232. I recommend the book but if you'd like to try these dishes, clicking on the recipe name will take you to the recipe online.
I'm participating again this month in Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.