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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Daring Bakers’: MARQUISE ON MERINGUE May 31, 2011

Filed under: The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 2:18 pm

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

The two mandatory items in this challenge were to make the marquise and the meringue.  The ladies also provided recipes for Tequila Caramel and Spiced Almonds.  Because I wanted to make this as simple as possible for me I only made the two mandatory items.  I was actually pretty surprised at how easy the recipe was to make, well easy for me.  All of the techniques used in the recipe I have used at various times while making different desserts.  So something that I thought was going to take forever actually didn’t.  The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the Chocolate Marquise to solidify in the freezer.

I really enjoyed making and tasting this dessert because the marquise was sweet but the cocoa powder it is rolled in mellowed it out and the meringue added a nice sweet creamy texture to the dessert.  I definitely see why the meringue is required for this challenge because the dessert wouldn’t taste complete without it.

For the Chocolate Marquise and the Chocolate Base, I made half a recipe.  For the meringue I actually made a quarter recipe.  Below is the full recipe, so if you only want to make 1 8 x 8 pan of marquise just half the recipe 🙂



Tuesdays With Dorie: Maple Cornmeal Biscuits and Blueberry Oatmeal Scones May 24, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Scones,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:25 pm
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I actually baked both of these ahead of time.  But with the whole pregnancy thing, trying to get the house in order and work, I just never got around to posting.

So here we go, last weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Lindsay from A Little Something… Sweet.  She picked Dorie’s Maple Cornmeal Biscuits which are located on page 24 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  At first I wasn’t going to make these because I had just used up the rest of my maple syrup for last months Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Maple Mousse.  Then I came across Jessica of My Baking Hearts entry, and she used Golden Syrup instead of maple syrup.  I thought that was a great idea and I just happened to have some Golden Syrup in my pantry.  Thank you Jessica for the idea 🙂

For the recipe I made the following changes:

1) Substituted Golden Syrup for Maple Syrup

2) Substituted the all-purpose flour for White Whole Wheat Flour

3) Used buttermilk instead of whole milk

This biscuits actually turned out really well, and they reminded me of a milder version of cornbread 🙂

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Patricia from Life With a Whisk.  She picked Dorie’s Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones which is located on page 30 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I have actually made this recipe before as a  Peach Oatmeal Scone, and again I wanted to mix it up so I made a Blueberry Oatmeal Scone.

I made the following changes to the recipe:

1) Substituted White Whole Wheat Flour for the All-purpose Flour (I guess you can say I am trying to be healthier)

2) Substituted Non-fat Milk for the buttermilk (I ended up running out)

3) Omitted the nutmeg and baking soda

4) Added 1/4 cup dried blueberries and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

5) Added sugar on top of the scones to make them look pretty

The scones turned out great.  You really couldn’t tell that I used white whole wheat flour, and the dried and frozen blueberries gave the scones a great blueberry flavor without making it taste artificial.  The recipe was very easy to put together.  Especially since I decided to use a scoop to shape the scones instead of forming them into triangles.


Daring Cooks: Gumbo May 14, 2011

Filed under: Soup,The Daring Cooks' — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

The only mandatory item of this challenge was to make a gumbo recipe.  I used one of the recipes provided and the changed somethings to make it less time consuming 🙂 (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake May 10, 2011

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Peggy from Pantry Revisited.  She picked Dorie’s Brown Sugar Bundt Cake which is located on page 179 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I actually made this  for my Baby Shower that was on May 8th and it turned out fantastic.  I decided to use Granny Smith Apples instead of Pears, Golden Raisins instead of prunes, and I substituted 1/2 of the flour for whole white wheat flour.  I did these substitutions because they were the items that I had on hand and I didn’t want to have to make an extra trip to the grocery store.  I actually made a good amount of the food for my shower, so I wanted to make sure that this one thing didn’t put me behind on everything else.

The recipe actually came together very easily and it baked up in no time at all.  I followed Dorie’s directions on buttering/flouring the bundt pan, and the cake turned out perfectly.  I usually just use a cooking spray and I end up with some stickage but the last few times buttering/flouring made everything turn out great.  So I guess that teaches me that sometimes I need to follow directions 🙂

The picture is a little off because I forgot to take a picture of the cake before we took it to the shower, so this was the leftovers which I am still munching on.  The cake is still moist and yummy after being baked a few days ago 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Basic Marbled Loaf Cake May 3, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 9:10 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Carol from The Bake More.  She picked Dorie’s Basic Marbled Loaf Cake, which is located on pages 230-231 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  For this recipe Dorie gives a few different flavor combinations to try.  I decided to go with Chocolate and While Chocolate as my two flavors since I had a bag of white chocolate on hand and 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate that needed to be used.

Dorie’s recipe calls for using 4 oz white chocolate and 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, but since I already had 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate melted I just decided to up the chocolate factor.  The batter for the loaf cake was very easy to put together, and it actually baked up in the allotted 1 hr 30 minute time frame.  Which usually doesn’t happen for me, so I was pleasantly surprised.  It baked up perfectly, and sliced up very nicely.  I decided to reserve the two end pieces for myself and Mike took the rest to work.  The verdict, well the plate was clean so I figured it went over well.  Mike’s comment was that the cake was very moist, which I second.  The flavor combination of the two was nice together, but I preferred the chocolate sections 🙂