Monday, November 21, 2016

Apple Speculoos Crumble - Tuesdays with Dorie

Fruit crisps and crumbles are among my favourite desserts and this one from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking Chez Moi was a winner.

It was easier than most, relying on store-bought cookies for the crumble topping. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the recommended brands in my local grocery stores and wasn't sure what a good substitute might be so I made Dorie's Speculoos from the same book (page 320). 
This was a tasty dessert with some cranberries and a squeeze of lemon juice added to the apples and a topping of homemade maple syrup ice cream (Jackie's Maple Syrup Ice Cream from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas). The cookie crumble remained crunchy after baking and its spice flavour complemented the apples nicely.....very good for the small amount of effort that went into it, not counting baking the cookies ;)!

This was one of the November selections for Tuesdays with Dorie. Visit here to see what the others baked this week.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Cream - Cookbook Countdown BAKE!

If you're looking for a showstopping dessert or a birthday cake for that special someone, you should consider making this frothy confection of airy sponge cake, tangy lemon curd and ethereal whipped mascarpone cream.
As with most multi-component cakes, the parts can be made in stages and this one has the added advantage of being better the day after it's assembled. 

I started with the lemon curd which was a very zingy version, tart and just sweet enough. It's spread on each cake layer and used to flavour the frosting. 

The cake is almost fat-free, relying on whipped eggs for volume and a lemony syrup for moistness and flavour. I made the layers in advance and froze them until assembly day.
The frosting, comprising creamy mascarpone*, sweetened whipped cream and some of that fabulous lemon curd, made a very generous amount, enough for lots of whorls and swirls of decoration.
Lovely and lemony, it was a perfect special occasion cake.  

The recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine and can be found on Epicurious

*A big thank you to Joyce, one of our hosts of Cookbook Countdown, for her recipe for homemade mascarpone which worked beautifully in the frosting.

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Caramel Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week, I baked yet another tart for Tuesdays with Dorie. Based on the name, I was expecting something cloyingly sweet and sticky so this silky, not-too-sweet caramel custard baked in Dorie's never-fail cookie crust was a pleasantly delicious surprise.
It was easy to put together but I recommend skimming off the foam before baking. I didn't and had to hide the patchy surface under some grated chocolate, though with the dearth of chocolate in my latest TWD bakes, it was a welcome addition according to family ;)!

Visit here to see what the other bakers made from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thai Roasted Squash - IHCC Featured Ingredient: Squash

Nigel Slater's recipe for Hot, Sweet Baked Pumpkin from his book The Kitchen Diaries II is a great way to liven up this winter vegetable. Roasted until caramelized then glazed with a Thai-inspired dressing, calling it merely hot and sweet really doesn’t begin to describe the bursts of flavour in every bite.
I usually use butternut squash and replace the butter with a light misting of oil to coat the pieces. The roasting time will vary with the type of squash you use so I would start checking on it well before the hour is up. Butternut squash is usually ready for the dressing after 35-40 minutes. 

For the glaze, I use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor to create the paste of ginger, hot chili and lime zest and replace the fish sauce with soy sauce so vegetarian daughter can eat it.
Tangy and imbued with sweet chili heat, this squash will enliven any main course as a side dish but it's also fantastic served with black rice for a vegetarian meal, especially with an extra drizzle of the dressing.

I Heart Cooking Clubs is featuring squash this week so I'm sharing my favourite winter squash recipe courtesy of Nigel Slater.