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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Dobos Torte August 27, 2009

Filed under: Baking,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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100_2295The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

So close…

I ended up making this randomly last night.  I knew that I was going to make it but I kept putting it off each time.  I had all the ingredients on hand, surprisingly.  But I was missing the crucial nuts for the outside 🙂

I decided that when I was going to make the Dobos Torte that there was no way that I could make a full recipe because I can’t eat this by myself and even if I had help I would still be left with quite a bit of leftovers.

I also got a call from my doctor yesterday telling me that my cholesterol was a little high, however, I failed to ask how high so I will be calling back Thursday for that.  It wasn’t a surprise since it runs in my family, but it was a bit of a shocker since I am in pretty good shape, eat decent,  and I am 27.  I guess that means I will go to the gym more often (more yoga and biking) and start to eat better.  Which means no more baking full recipe.  The plan was to make 1/3 of the sponge recipe, 1/2 of the chocolate buttercream recipe, and 1/3 of the caramel recipe.  It ended up being just enough to make one 6″ torte.

While making the caramel I realized that I didn’t have any lemon juice so I ended up substituting key lime juice that I had in the fridge.  I also used chocolate chips instead of whole hazelnuts to hold up the caramel triangles, which worked out perfectly.  Ignore the chocolate buttercream piped in the center.  I was starting to make a rosette and then got completely distracted, opps.  It reminds me of the posts on Cake Wrecks where they have the poop cakes.  Someone was piping brown icing on something, like a cupcake, and ended up using a plain round tip and is just looks like poo, unfortunately.  See it in all its glory.  My favorite is the last picture 🙂

OH MY!!!!

I thought this was fantastic.  I have only had a small slice, but I am totally going to be making myself a cup of coffee and eating a slice of this later.  LOVE IT!!!!


Tuesdays with Dorie: Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie August 25, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:44 am
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100_2276This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Linda of Tender Crumb.  She decided on Dorie’s Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie.  Which is located on pages 337-339 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. As soon as I saw this choice I was excited.  I love Lemon Meringue Pie, and I also love Dorie’s Lemon Cream.  So I knew that the Lime Cream was going to be equally fantastic.

I actually made this pie at the beginning of the month for a dinner party at my friend Amanda’s.  It was so perfect and spot on since it is summer here.  Surprisingly, with all the butter that is in the cream, the pie does not come off too rich.  I probably could have sat there and eaten the entire thing.  I think next time that I might add a little more ginger to the filling because I actually never really tasted it.

Of course for the topping you know I busted out my kitchen torch and had a grand ole time lighting it on fire 🙂


Tuesdays with Dorie: Applesauce Spice Bars August 18, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:25 pm
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100_2287This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Karen of Something Sweet by Karen.  She chose Dorie’s Applesauce Spice Bars, which are located on pages 117-118 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

It is on the counter.

I swear.  I have been waiting for the glaze to dry.

I will write a review as soon as I put one of those yummy applesauce spice bars in my mouth 🙂

Okay, I finally tried the applesauce spice bars this morning.  They were very yummy.  I decided to omit the nuts because I knew that I would be able to get more people the eat them :couch: without the nuts in them 🙂  I also ended up doubling the glaze because it seemed like a lot of members thought that there wasn’t enough to spread on the bars.  I thought the bars were nice and moist and the glaze added a punch of sweetness to it.  I love the glaze, don’t get me wrong.  But next time I might just dust them with some confectioners’ sugar because at times the glaze was a little too sweet for me


I gave the bucks some bucks August 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 3:13 pm

Today marks a very special event in my life.

I ended my ban on Starbucks.  After 1 year 4 months and 8 days, I finally gave Starbucks my money again.  This morning I woke up, got ready for work, put my chefs coat on, and walked into Starbucks and ordered an Iced Grande Americano.  One good thing came out of it: I got to see one of my favorite customers in the WORLD.

I hadn’t seen him in 1 year 4 months and 10 days, give or take.  When I got out of my car, Eddie was there.  Dude, could always put a smile on my face.  I still remember his drink: Grande, 5 splenda, splash of half and half, Americano.  Which was always referred to as an Eddie because trying to say the half and half was a pain in the ass 🙂  He gave me a hug, asked where I have been, and then we said bye.  Short and sweet.  But Eddie always lingers with you the rest of the day because for some reason when he hugs you, you smell like his cologne all day.  Funny thing is you can’t smell it when you are with him.  When this first happen it threw me off and I would look around like an idiot wondering wear the smell was coming from but of course it was me.

Ban Lifted.

Now that doesn’t mean my ass is going to be in there all the time spending money.  That just means if I am desperate for coffee and don’t have time to make it in the morning, I might stop in.


Happy Birthday Amanda :) August 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — pastrybrush @ 11:59 pm




Tostones August 10, 2009

Filed under: Appetizer — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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100_2261The first time I was introduced to tostones was 2 years ago.  DrFaulken decided to take me to lunch on my birthday to Kuba Kuba.  I had been hearing about their food and how great it was from Fro for a few years, and I finally got the chance to go.  The tostones were so yummy.  I can’t remember what else I got that afternoon over 2 years ago, but since then I have had their Roasted Pork, Cuban Sandwich, Turkey Press, and Tres Leches Cake.

I always wanted to try my hand at Tostones especially when I saw DrFaulken’s Mom make them back in December.  It was so simple.  Then I saw a recipe for them in Vegan Brunch.   I knew that it would happen soon.  The next time I went to the grocery store,  I finally decided to buy one plantain.  I left it on the counter for a couple of days so that it could ripen a little more, which would also give the plantain a slightly sweeter flavor.

The following is the recipe from Vegan Brunch, however, I changed some of the steps in the recipe to how DrFaulken’s Mom makes hers.

Fried Plantains aka Tostones

Source: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

2 plantains

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Salt, to taste, I also like to use garlic salt

Slice the plantains into 1/2 inch slices.  Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  add oil to the skillet until it’s 1/4 inch deep.  When the oil is hot, add half the plantains or so; just don’t over-crowd the pan.

Fry plantains for about a minute on each side.  Take them out of the skillet and place on a paper towel.  Taking one slice at a time smash with the side of a knife just to flatten.  Place back into the oil and fry until golden brown, another 1-2 minutes per sideIf you don’t want to use the side of a knife you can use a mallet or anything handy. Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Repeat with remaining plantains.  Sprinkle with salt, if you like.  Serve ASAP.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Classic Banana Bundt Cake August 4, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:58 pm

100_2273This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was brought to you by Mary of The Food Librarian.  She chose Dorie’s Classic Banana Bundt Cake which is located on page 190 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I LOVE banana bread.  If you knew me back in college you more than likely saw me eating homemade banana-walnut bread with butter spread on one side and Duncan Hines Homestyle Vanilla Frosting on the other side 🙂

Yes, I am that weird and it tasted SOOOOO GOOD!!!

So, I was a little excited about this weeks recipe and it being a pretty straight forward and easy recipe added to the excitement.  In the same day, I also made the Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie for a dinner party, which is the recipe for the end of the month.  I guess you could say I was busy baking a bunch of crap yesterday.  Well, not crap, but you know.  I also made Jell-O Shots using my friend Animals super secret recipe 🙂

The flavor of the cake reminded me exactly of my banana bread sans walnuts  but the bundt cake was actually a lot moister.  I would definetly make this recipe again, very tastey.