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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking Powder Biscuits August 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 3:26 pm

IMG_4710This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is the Baking Powder Biscuits which are located on pages 211-212 in Baking With Julia.  Like any biscuit recipe the key is COLD ingredients and light hands aka do not over handle the dough. You want flakes of fat in the dough and you do not want it to melt. So the least amount of time you handle the dough the best.  I ended up making this recipe Vegan because it was VERY easy to do and I am gearing up for Vegan Month of Food (VeganMoFo) in September.  I had some Almond Milk on hand so I just substituted that for the milk and the recipe was already using vegetable shortening.

The recipe is suppose to make 14 two-inch biscuits.  Well I like a BIG biscuit so it only made 6 for me.  They turned out great. I ended up splitting them in half and loading them up with a vegan chicken patty for my very own version of a chicken biscuit.  They were very yummy.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Poppy Seed Torte August 5, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:17 am
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IMG_4688 IMG_4692This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is the Poppy Seed Torte which is located on pages 258-260 in Baking With Julia.  The contributing baker for the recipe is Markus Farbinger.  I actually went online and watched the PBS episode of Julia and Markus making this recipe and it was very helpful.

The recipe was actually pretty simple to make, it just required a few extra steps: grinding poppy seeds, cake crumbs, and peeling and poaching apricots.  I figured I would not have any problems with the recipe. Little did I know that my apricots refused to have themselves peeling. I boiled them for the 10 seconds, a little bit longer, and A LOT longer and still it was hit or miss.  Some would only peel halfway and most would not peel at all. Because some of the apricots cooked longer than they were suppose to I ended up just soaking them in the Ginger-Vanilla Syrup instead of cooking them longer.

After the apricot peeling fiasco, everything went very smoothly.  The final product of the torte looked just like the picture.  The final test was the taste and it was actually very good. It had a slight lemony flavor from the juice/zest and I also used a left over lemon cake for the crumbs.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Vanilla Pound Cake July 15, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cake,Pound Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:38 pm
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This weeks recipe for Tuesdays With Dorie is the Vanilla Pound Cake which is located on pages 251-252 in Baking With Julia.  I was looking at the recipe it looked pretty straight forward and reminded me of the Pound Cake recipe my Mom and Nanny make.  I decided to compare those two recipes and only noticed a few differences.

My family’s recipes has

1) No baking powder.

2) 1 cup more sugar

3) 1 tsp more vanilla extract (total of 1 Tbsp)

4) 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (in addition to the 2 sticks of butter)

5) 2 more eggs

I guess the most notable different with regard to taste was sweetness and texture.  Of course with one cup less sugar this pound cake wouldn’t be as sweet, which I did actually mind.  It was the texture of the cake.  It was good, but when comparing the two I would prefer my family’s recipe because it yields a moister cake.  Which of course it would with the addition of vegetable oil. I have done the recipe with apple sauce instead of the oil and it turned out just as moist. I have also left it completely out of the recipe a few times and the cake turned out good just not really moist. Because the recipe doesn’t call for baking powder it yields a denser cake, but you are using sifting the dry ingredients and the creaming of the butter and sugar together instead of chemical leveners.

So in the end, it is a good recipe, but a bit too dry for my taste.  I will probably just stick with my family’s recipe and modify flavorings for the type of cake I want.

Vanilla Pound Cake

The cake looks WAY darker than it really was. I was using natural sunlight coming in from the skylight.

 

Tuesdays WIth Dorie: Tropical Napoleons and Scallop and Pesto Purses May 20, 2014

Huh, I just wrote half of my entry and I saw WordPress auto saving and then some thing went wrong when I tried to add a picture and now my original post is nowhere to be seen.  Not very happy that I am spending my time trying to write this again, but I guess it happens.  It is really annoying since this is my only time to write when my youngest is taking a nap and my oldest is actually being quite.

Lets try this again.

This week I am going to be writing about last times recipe, Scallop and Pesto Purses, and this weeks recipe, Tropical Napoleons.  As usual, I made the Scallops on time but life and procrastination got in the way.

Now it is time to play catch-up.

The recipe for the week of May 6th was Scallop and Pesto Purses which is located on page 435 in Baking With Julia.  I almost missed doing this recipe, but I happened to be at the grocery store picking up ingredients so that I could make tea marinated shrimp. I proceeded to call Mike to get him to give me the run down on the recipe so that I could get everything that I needed. The entire time I was repeating the additional items that I needed to pick up, but the frozen food distracted me. Well lets be honest, the frozen desserts and ICE CREAM distracted me and I ended up not picking up the Phyllo and missed the scallions earlier in my trip. 

Opps.

I realized all of this when I got home, so I set out to wing it.  I had some puff pastry and homemade pesto in the freezer.  The initial ideas was the make purses with the puff pastry and fill them with the scallop, pesto and parmesan cheese. Well that idea got slightly changed when I realized how big the scallops were.  They were HUGE, incidentally I only bought 4 because they were expensive. I ended up making pockets instead of purses.  I baked them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until the pastry puffed and browned. We ended up having this for dinner along with the tea marinated shrimp.  It was the perfect amount of food.  I am pretty sure we had some vegetables too, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was.

ImageThis weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was Tropical Napoleons, which is located on pages 393-394 in Baking With Julia.  I also made some slight modifications to the recipe so that I didn’t have to make a trip to the grocery store. We use fresh Strawberries that we had picked up at the Farmers Market, instead of a mix. I used shredded sweetened coconut instead of flaked. Finally, I didn’t have any heavy cream in the house, but I did have cans of coconut milk.  I remembered in all of the vegan baking that I have done that I had come across a recipe for Vegan Whipped Cream using chilled coconut milk.  The key to the whipped cream is to make sure you are NOT using lite coconut milk, then you place the can in the refrigerator for 6 hours or more.  You do this so that the milk separates, and you spoon out the solids (coconut cream) that rises to the top.  Take the coconut cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, and just beat it together like you would normally when making whipped cream. It ends up whipping to a medium soft peak, and can be used immediately in a recipe. It does firm up a little more after it is refrigerated, so I placed my in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

For the wafers/meringues in the recipe, I only made 1/3 of a recipe because I was afraid it would take too long to make a whole recipe worth and I didn’t have the time.  Hindsight, I should have made a full recipe because my 3 year old LOVED them and kept trying to steal them as snacks while I was making everything. She was actually looking for them this morning and then asked me if I ate them all. Surprisingly, I didn’t and they were just on top of the fridge where she couldn’t see them.  The Napoleons tasted very good and they are a nice light dessert for the summer.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Cantuccini April 29, 2014

This month I haven’t been posting very much but I did make the recipe for the week of April 15th, but as usual I just didn’t have time to post.  While I type this up, I am about to punch my computer in the face because the spacebar doesn’t want to work so I keep having to push it more than once.

Funny thing is I can hear it click every time I hit it but it doesn’t register the action.

ANNOYING!!!!!

Okay, back to Tuesdays With Dorie and Baking with Julia.  The recipe for the week of April 15th was for Cantuccini, which is essentially a biscotti made with almonds.  Which is located on pages 113-114 in Baking With Julia.  I love recipes that are simple, especially when I have all of the ingredients. Best thing about this recipe is that there is no added fat with regard to butter or oil. Great biscotti recipe for those days when you realize that you just ran out of butter.  Which surprisingly didn’t happen to me this time, but I was out of one important ingredient, ALMONDS. I usually have all types of different nuts hanging out in my freezer and I had almonds just not nearly enough.  However, I did have plenty of hazelnuts and just substituted them in for the almonds. I didn’t peel or toast them or anything, just straight up raw hazelnuts from the freezer.

This recipe was especially appreciated because of how quick everything came together.  Mike took Emma outside to play and I was able to mix the dough up, form the logs, and put them in the oven, in less than 20 minutes.  Which was ideal since I was also watching Maureen, 11 months old, crawl around the kitchen and living room.  She was actually really well behaved and didn’t try to play with the dog food or the dog’s water :) The biscotti turned out fantastic, slightly sweet with the perfect amount of crunch. They are especially good with coffee and just as good with tea.Image

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Mocha Brownie Cake March 18, 2014

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is the Mocha Brownie Cake, which is located on pages 282-283 in Baking With Julia. This recipe is essentially a cake brownie that is filled and iced with a Chocolate Ganache. I decided to add a Saint Patrick’s Day twist to it and add Irish Cream flavoring to the cake and ganache. The idea was to serve it yesterday, but I started a little late in the day while running errands and running herd on 2 little ones.

So, yesterday, I baked and assembled the cake and this morning I reheated the ganache and iced the cake aka I poured the ganache over. Through the years I have become really good at pouring ganache over a cake.

How is that, you ask.

A few years back, I worked at a bakery and one of my jobs almost everyday was to pour chocolate ganache over our Chocolate Disaronno Cake and then decorate them. So, I actually got pretty good at it :)

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Finally, the children are in bed and I have been able to slice into the cake (with a hot knife, of course) and taste it. I found it to be very good and the Irish Cream flavor was perfect. I ate this straight out of the fridge and the cake was firm, but moist and the ganache was smooth and melted once it hit your mouth. I would definitely consider making this for a birthday cake for anyone that LOVES chocolate, but remember to use a good quality chocolate.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Buttermilk Scones March 4, 2014

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is a recipe for Buttermilk Scones, which is located on pages 210-211 in Baking With Julia. The recipe is just a basic scone recipe with the addition of either lemon or orange zest. I asked Mike what he would prefer, so we went with lemon zest. Which of course I doubled the amount to 2 teaspoons.

These might be one of the best scones I have ever had and made. The rise on them was absolutely perfect and the lemon flavor went perfectly with the cup of tea that I had with them. I actually didn’t need to put any butter or jam on them because they were perfect just the way they are. Even the day after baking I still preferred them plain.

Emma even got in on the scones action. Initially when they were still warm she asked me to put it in the freezer to cool it down. Mike then proceeded to take her out to play in the snow. When they came back inside, I made them hot chocolate and everyone ate a scone. Emma stood on a chair at the counter and ate her small scone with her hot chocolate in an espresso cup (perfect size for an almost 3 year old).

Mike took two scones into work this morning, and I have already eaten two today and it isn’t even 1 pm yet. Emma also had most of a small scone; again while standing on a chair at the counter. She tried to claim all of them by trying to lick/bite the sugar off the top but I came in before the act was complete.

Now, here is a crappy picture of a scone since I haven’t had time to upload the pictures from the camera yet :)

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