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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Bittersweet Brownies and Alsatian Apple Tart November 16, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tarts,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:37 am
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Wow, we are entering the finally stretch of Tuesdays with Dorie.  It is getting kind of bittersweet.  I am sad that it is ending and they I have been neglecting my blog, but I am also looking forward to the new chapter and what is going to come next.

This weeks recipes were chosen by Leslie of Lethally Delicious chose AND Jessica of Cookbook Habit.  They picked Dorie’s  Bittersweet Brownies on page 90  and the  Alsatian Apple Tart on page 314 (respectively) in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I think Mike was a little excited when he heard about brownies because he has been wanting some straight up fudge style brownies for awhile, and these fit the bill to the T 🙂  I baked the brownies Monday night and they came together quickly and cleanly in the one bowl or should I say pot method.

YAY!! no crazy amount of dishes to clean up.  I baked these in a 10 x 10 x 3 inch pan.  Since the recipe called for a larger pan these brownies took about 5-10 minutes more to bake.  Once they came to room temperature, I did my freezer trick.  I place the brownies in the freezer until they are almost firm, approximately 30 minutes.  I then use a hot knife to cut clean slices.  The recipes says this makes 32 brownies, which it probably does since the brownies are SO rich.  But I ended up cutting them a little larger so I only ended up with 16…opps 🙂

For the Alsatian Apple Tart, I took my sweet time making it today.  I usually don’t have much time during the day to bake anything too extensive since I am taking care of the baby.  So I did this in a few stages while she took naps and played on her play mat.  By 630pm the tart was completed and cool.  Too bad we were too full from dinner, and a couple of brownies to try the tart.  I know Dorie recommends eating the tart the day it is made because it gets soggy.  Since it is just for Mike and I, I am not going to worry about it too much 🙂 It turned out very pretty, and made the house smell fantastic.  So I am looking forward to digging into it later.  This really isn’t going to help the weight loss, but I might have to make Mike make it disappear 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Ginger Jazzed Brownies (vegan) October 25, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Last weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Hindy of Bubie’s Little Baker.  She picked Dorie’s Ginger Jazzed Brownies which are located on page 101 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  This recipe was a little bit more involved to make Vegan, and my first attempt at making the brownies went okay.  However, I know that if I ever make them again that there are a few things that I would do differently.

First off I made the following substitutions: For the 3 eggs I used 1/2 cup of silken tofu blended until smooth.  I replaced the unsalted butter with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks (I think this is where I went wrong).  The brownies baked up okay, but they seemed to not be baking through.  Which it isn’t like that really mattered since there was no raw ingredients in the batter.  But they did bake up a little oily, and I think that the Vegan Buttery Sticks were the problem.  I don’t really care for the flavor of the sticks, but that is currently the best thing out there.  Most cake recipes that I use usually use vegetable oil, and then the frosting might have the buttery sticks.  Buttery sticks in frosting usually isn’t a problem because you have so many different flavors it doesn’t make a difference.  Well not with the brownies, the flavor stuck out like a sore thumb.  So next time I will use 1/3 cup of vegetable oil instead of the Vegan Buttery Sticks.

I topped these brownies with a Vegan Chocolate Ganache via Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World…completely yummy by itself and it made the brownie.

Because I didn’t have fresh ginger on hand I used all ground ginger: big mistake.  I love ginger.  I love the heat, the taste everything.  But you need to use fresh ginger because wow, all that ground ginger (3/4 tsp) just made the flavor taste off to me.  The brownies were okay, but I have learned my lesson and will definitely be making changes for the next time I make them.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Classic Brownies September 13, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 9:09 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry.  She picked Dorie’s Classic Brownies which are located on page 88 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Who doesn’t like a brownie?

I have come up blank….

EVERYONE loves brownies.

I loved them particularly when I was pregnant with Emma.  Well scratch that, I loved everything chocolate when I was pregnant with Emma 🙂  The more chocolate the better.  Now that Emma is 3 months old, I am not craving chocolate that much, but I do love me a yummy brownie.  So far, I have not gone wrong with any of Dorie’s brownies.  They have all been fantastic, and this one is no exception.  I LOVE fudgy brownies the best.  It is almost like eating fudge, but better.

But I do love a cakey brownie when it is the corner piece and you get the crunch from the corners.  It is perfection.  These brownies lean toward the fudgy side, and they are so worth the time.  Best part about the recipe, it is a one pot deal 🙂  COMPLETE PERFECTION!!!


Tuesdays With Dorie: Honey Nut Brownies March 23, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 8:38 am
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Suzy of Suzy Homemaker.  She picked Dorie’s Honey Nut Brownies which are located on page 102 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Because wordpress was down when I got home from work yesterday, I was unable to actually post this on time…pooper.

The best thing about these brownies was that I was able to use up a good portion of a giant jar of Sourwood Honey that has been hanging out in my pantry for about a year.  The brownie batter actually came together pretty easy.  Instead of using a double boiler and melting the butter and the chocolate together, I melted the butter in the microwave and then stirred the chocolate in.  It did the job just as well, no separation and no burning 🙂

I used walnuts in the batter for the nuts.  I actually didn’t have enough walnut pieces, but I just happened to have some ground up walnuts from a previous cookie recipe so I just added those.  Then I decided that the batter was  a little to light for me and needed more chocolate so I poured in about 1/2 of bittersweet chocolate chips.

I like really THICK fudgy brownies and I knew that these weren’t going to be too fudgy just because of the long baking time and the fact that a knife inserted in the center is suppose to come out clean.  I baked these in a 8 x 8 square baking pan for 70 minutes on 325°F, that was about the time the knife came out clean.  I let them cool, and then sliced them up.

A couple of the members of Tuesdays With Dorie said they thought the brownies were overly sweet, but I didn’t think that at all.  Which got me wondering if they were actually using bittersweet chocolate (like the recipe calls for) or milk chocolate.  If you used milk chocolate, I could see how the brownies might be overly sweet.  For me the brownies had the right amount of sweetness,  the ground walnuts gave the brownies a nice texture which contrasted with the cake consistency of the brownie, and finally the chocolate chips gave it that extra chocolate flavor.

I actually would make these again for two reasons: 1) To use up some more of that Sourwood Honey and 2) The brownies were very good for a cake type brownie.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Brrrr-ownies July 13, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:47 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life.  She picked Dorie’s Brrrr-ownies, which are located on page 103 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

If you haven’t figured out what Brrrr-ownies might be then let me enlighten you 🙂  They are a very yummy, fudgey, dark chocolaty brownie with bits of York Peppermint Patty throughout.  In one word FANTASTIC 🙂

What is there not to like, fudgey brownie goodness and the minty after hit.  I think I have now used my quota for words either made up or real ending in Y 🙂

I made these to take to my in-laws on Sunday.  They were actually a hit and we saved a few so that I could take some pictures, but the lighting outside has been horrible because it has rained the past two days and then Mike thought I took the picture already, the brownies were placed all pretty on a plate, and I come downstairs to 3 pretty brownies missing.  Bad Monkey!!!

Oh well, I guess you can’t control yourself with Brrr-ownies 🙂  With a few brownies left and light peaking out from behind the clouds, I went out on the deck and took the picture and it actually turned out pretty good 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: White Chocolate Brownies June 1, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:05 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Marthe of Culinary Delights.  She selected Dorie’s White Chocolate Brownies which are located on pages 110-111 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

This would probably been one of the many things in the book that I look at the picture and go, “Pretty, I really want to make that.” But then I really never got around to it, so luck me that Marthe picked it this week 🙂

Okay first thing first, I know pretty much everyone was having issues with the brownies not baking all the way through.  At first when I starting making these, I was going to bake the batter for a bit and then add the meringue.  But as I continued to put the batter together I went through 2 more stages of thought, 1) I won’t do the meringue, and 2) Well, I have enough eggs lets see how this goes with the meringue and bake according to the directions.  I ended up going with number 2, obviously, and these little guys actually turned out right.  The only reason that I can come up with is that I used a 9 X 13 rectangular springform pan.  I have discovered that when I bake things in the 9 x 13 Pyrex dish and the 9 x 13 springform pan, that they bake differently.  I think that happens for two reasons, 1) Both pans are made from different materials, and 2) I find that the batter settles more evenly in the springform pan because the edges don’t round up, they are flat.

With regard for the batter, I did use blackberries instead of raspberries because I couldn’t find any for the life of me.  As for the baking time, I baked this for 40 minutes and then I let it rest until it was at room temperature before I removed the outside of the pan.  After it was cool, I lifted it off the bottom of the pan with the parchment paper and then gently sliced (serrated knife)  it into 40 pieces.

The flavor and texture of these brownies reminded me more of a moist cake, and Mike was hoping for them to be a little sweeter.  But other than that, I thought they were yummy and snagged two for myself when no one was looking 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia February 9, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:31 pm
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Beautiful plate of brownies


I just ate the best brownie in the entire world, and I mean the BEST!!!!!

Holy Crap…Tanya of Chocolatechic, I worship the ground you walk on for picking this and Dorie Greenspan you are a GOD!!

Like I said a sentence ago or so, these have to be the best brownies EVER.  I know a lot of the Tuesdays with Dorie members had some problems with the gooeyness, but DAMN these are suppose to be.  I found that mine had a fudgey consistency to them and it was FABULOUS.

First off, I would like to say that I baked these bad boys in an 8 x 8 x 3 square pan and baked them for approximately 40 minutes.  I let them cool in the pan and then lifted them out with the parchment paper that I lined the pan with, and let over hang.  Then, I placed the brownies uncut on a plate and placed it in the freezer for 2 hours, so that they were easier to cut 🙂  After 2 hours  I took them out of the freezer and proceeded to cut them into 16 pieces.  The key to cutting these is to rinse your knife in hot water and wipe clean after each cut.  I pretty much treated the brownies like a cheesecake because both like to stick to a knife like white on rice.

After stacking these and taking pictures, I took the top most brownie and bit in.  I could have sworn that I had died and gone to Brownie Heaven in that one moment.  They were perfect.  The chocolate flavor was delicious (I used Scharffen Berger Unsweetened 99% Cacao Baking Chocolate Bar, and Ghirardelli Chocolate 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate) and spot on.  The texture of the brownie reminded me of a smooth fudge.  I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to only eat one and then walk away.  I can still see the plate of brownies sitting in the kitchen calling to me.

The most perfect brownie in the entire world, and now you need to make it and eat it.  RIGHT NOW.  On your mark…..Get set……GO MAKE SOME BROWNIES 🙂

Look at the fudgeyness and die in chocolate brownie heaven