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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Daring Bakers’: Fresh Fraisiers July 27, 2011

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

I was actually really excited to make this recipe because 1) it is pretty and 2) I have the Tartine Cookbook and have been wanting to make something out of it for awhile 🙂  I decided to make this recipe over a two day period.  I was going to space everything out, but once I got started making the base components (which was easy) it didn’t take me long to complete it.

All of the base components are pretty straight forward to make: Sugar Syrup, Pastry Cream, and Chiffon Cake.  The only thing that would seem different is that you make the pastry cream in advance, but you wait to finish it (add the gelatin and the whipped cream) until you are ready to assemble your fraisier.  I say this because you want the pastry cream filling to firm up after you put the fraiser together and not before because the consistency of the filling would not be the same.

I also don’t advise using all of the cake.  The cake for the recipe baked up so high that I knew it wouldn’t fit in my mold and the proportions of cake to filling would be completely off.  To fix this I sliced the cake into thirds and only used the bottom and middle slices.  I saved the top for a snack 🙂

On day two, I assembled the fraisier.

While assembling the fraisier, I had some concerns about using almond paste for the topping because of the high content of almonds, the oils in the paste would break down when being handled.  Which is what ended up happening while I was mixing red coloring into the paste.  I would recommend using marzipan for this, the only difference between the two products is that the marzipan has more sugar which makes it easier to form and roll out 🙂  I used the almond paste and it just didn’t look right on top of the cake.  I ended up pulling off the almond paste and rolling out white – vanilla fondant for the top, which made it look much more elegant.  You actually don’t have to do either, the cake looks just as pretty dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a strawberry.

As of typing this I have yet to unmold the Fraisier because we are taking it to my in-laws for dessert.  I plan on unmolding it there and taking pictures, which I will post tonight.  Hopefully nothing goes wrong and it turns out pretty :crosses fingers:

UPDATE: The Fraisier turned out great and everyone loved it 🙂



Tuesdays With Dorie: Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet July 26, 2011

Filed under: Ice Cream,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:16 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Steph of A Whisk and A Spoon.  She picked Dorie’s Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet, which is located on page 431 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I was pretty interested in making this recipe because I have never had chocolate sorbet before.  Of course I have had chocolate ice cream and chocolate gelato, but sorbet is different.  This sorbet only had 4 ingredients: milk, water, sugar, and chocolate.

This was extremely easy to make, just throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, cool, churn, then place in freezer to harden up.  What more could a girl ask for, especially when she is craving chocolate 🙂  I made the base on Monday, and then churned (place in ice cream maker) and froze on Tuesday.  Before the base was frozen it tasted very yummy, so I can imagine how yummy it will be frozen.  The verdict is I think I might actually prefer this over Chocolate Ice Cream.  The flavor of the chocolate in the Sorbet was more pronounced, and creamier.  Best part is that I made it with Non-Fat Milk so I don’t have to feel guilty about eating it 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Cream Scones July 12, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Scones,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:56 am
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The Tuesdays With Dorie recipe for July 12th was picked by Lynne of Cafe LynnyLu.  She picked Dorie’s Cream Scones which are located on page 27 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I actually made these the week after the challenge and then never posted, opps.  That is currently the story of my life because of Emma (my zombie baby…one of the many nicknames she has acquired).  She is currently sleep contently in my arms while I type this 🙂

For the Cream Scones, I decided to mix it up a bit and add a little flavor to them.  I stuck with the base of the recipe, but then I made the following additions/deletions:

1) Instead of currants I used chopped pecans

2) Added 3 tbsp of pumpkin puree and 1/4 tsp of pecan extract to the wet ingredients – I had some pumpkin leftover in the fridge 🙂

3) To add that traditional pumpkin pie flavor, I used 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger to the dry ingredients.

I knew this dough was going to be sticky so instead of added extra flour, I decided to use Dorie’s trick for shortbread.  I put the scone dough in a 1-gallon plastic bag, then I rolled it  inside the bag so that it was a even thickness.  I placed the bag in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that it would firm up and be easier to cut into 12 pieces.  Once the dough was firm, I sliced the bag open on the seams, cut it in half and cut each half into thirds (fat rectangles).  Then I cut eat rectangle on the diagonal, to form triangles.

After the scones were done in the oven, I drizzled them with two icing: vanilla and cinnamon.  The vanilla icing was just 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, splash of vanilla extract, and 1-3 tbsp cream.  You mix them together until you get the desired consistency.  For the cinnamon icing, I just added about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to the left over vanilla icing.

The scones turned out fantastic.  I was going for the flavor of Starbucks’s Pumpkin Scones and I think I might have hit it on the nose with this one.  I think next time, to make the scones thicker that I won’t roll them out as thin 🙂


Catching up with Tuesdays with Dorie July 5, 2011

By now you have probably realized why I have been Missing in Action.  I had a little baby nugget, who is currently strapped to my chest as I write this.  I am still in complete awe of her, and that Mike and I made her.  It seems so surreal 🙂

The past 5 weeks I have actually made all but one of the Tuesdays With Dorie recipes, I just haven’t had time to post them.  Especially since I wasn’t suppose to be walking upstairs, which is where the computer is.  Now that I am better and I don’t hurt as much, I can actually make it up the stairs without cringing in pain 🙂

First up, for the week of June 7th Cindy of Everyday Insanity chose Dorie’s Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake, which is located on page 36 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I actually completely forgot that I didn’t post this recipe until I went to download the pictures of everything else that I had baked.  Now how could I have forgotten this recipe.  It was FANTASTIC.  The cake reminded me of the Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix that you get at the store.  My mom use to always make those blueberry muffins and we would have them with dinner or for breakfast straight out of the oven with butter on them.  I now have a recipe that I can use instead of buying the mix 🙂

For the week of June 21st Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet chose Dorie’s Date-Nut Loaf, which is located on page 228 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  This recipe was this first thing that I made when I started to feel better.  I guess you could say that baking was the sign that I was getting back to my normal self.  Do you know how hard it is to not do the things you want to do because your body will hate you the next day?  Well it isn’t fun, and I paid for it a few times

Back to the food 🙂  I am really not a Date person, but I really liked this loaf.  It was perfect slightly warm out of the oven.  While my parents were in town helping with Emma, they actually helped Mike and I eat this loaf.  It actually went pretty quick since we were eating it for breakfast.  Unfortunately, it went so quick that I never had the opportunity to take a picture of the loaf.  But it was pretty, and it was studded with walnuts and dates…very yummy and very easy to make.

For the week of June 28th, Spike of Spike Bakes chose Dorie’s  Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies, which are located on page 160.  These cookies were very easy to make, scoop and bake.  I ended up forgetting to put in the cinnamon, which actually worked in my favor because they tasted wonderful.  I don’t think they would have been as good with the cinnamon.  The flavor of the cookies reminded me of a chocolate chip cookie sans chocolate chips.  The soft hint of chocolate in the cookies was perfect and the texture was nice and cakey with a slight crunch on the outside.

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles.  She picked Dorie’s Chocolate Chunk Muffins which are located on pages 18-19 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  These muffins just came out of the oven and they look absolutely perfect.  Growing up my parents use to by giant muffins in bulk and freeze them.  My favorite was eating the Chocolate Chunk Muffins straight out of the freezer with a spoon.

Don’t ask.  It was just something that I would do, and it was an excuse to have dessert for breakfast or anytime for that matter 🙂 These muffins reminded me of my childhood, but they just need a little bit more chocolate chips in them.  I think I am currently on a chocolate kick because I can’t get enough of it, yummy.