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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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Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake February 18, 2014

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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is the Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake, which is located on pages 256-258 in Baking With Julia. Of course I made this recipe for Valentine’s Day because, really, who doesn’t want a creamy piece of chocolate cheesecake on their Birthday.

Oh, did I mention that it also happens to be my Birthday.

Yep, unfortunately for me it does. But I imagine that having your birthday on Christmas is probably worse. I guess for me it goes back to those angsty teenage years where you see all the girls getting flowers/balloons in high school and you don’t get anything. But then again, my husband was my first Valentine, and that was in college. So, I guess I got the better end of the deal. Especially, since he insists that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we celebrate my birthday. Which I am fine with, but I still get him something anyways.

Back to the Cheesecake.

This was probably one of the easiest cheesecakes that I have ever made. The key was to have all cold ingredients at room temperature, and to mix everything on low speed so as not to incorporate too much air. You bake the cake in a buttered 8-inch Cheesecake Pan with 3 inch sides. I actually just used an 8 x 3-inch cake pan because I figured they were the same thing because usually if they want you to use a springform pan then it is specifically stated. Also, since this was baked in a water bath (bain marie) it makes it harder to use a springform pan without water getting in. You bake the cheesecake until it is just set and jiggles like pudding then you cool it to room temperature. Then you turn it out, sprinkle the bottom with cookie crumbs, flip it back over, and refrigerate for a few hours. I was actually very surprise how easily the cheesecake came out of the pan.

Once the cake had been refrigerated for the appropriate time, I used a hot knife to slice it. The cake came out great. The inside was perfectly creamy. I was impressed with the texture because it is hard to get the right texture with other recipes and not have the cheesecake crack on top. This recipe is definitely going to be my go to for Chocolate Cheesecake.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Country Bread and Vanilla Chiffon Roll January 28, 2014

I have been MIA for a bit but I have been baking and have actually completed each month, but I have had some issues with actually taking the time to post….opps.

The first Tuesdays with Dorie of the New Year was the recipe for Country Bread, which is located on page 136 in Baking With Julia. This bread was fantastic. It does take some time to make because you make your own sponge, but it was worth it. I especially enjoyed the bread still slightly warm from the oven and smothered in Kerrygold Irish Butter. I thought I had gone to bread heaven when I was eating a slice. My 2 year old (Emma) was also a fan of the bread and butter combo.

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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is the Vanilla Chiffon Roll located on page 227 in Baking With Julia. This recipe is a vanilla sponge cake filled with a chocolate-walnut mousse. It sounds weird but it is actually very good. The cake has a very pronounced vanilla flavor and has just enough sweetness to balance out the richness of the filling. I would state that if you are not a fan of walnuts, then I would omit that from the recipe and proceed with just the melted chocolate. If you can eat nuts, then I would suggest a substitution of hazelnuts. Speaking of that, maybe I should have done that since I had some on hand and then the filling would be similar to a Nutella mousse. Which currently sounds fantastic.

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