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baking, cooking, and other adventures

French Fridays With Dorie: Vanilla Eclairs April 15, 2011

I know I really haven’t been cooking/baking the French Fridays With Dorie stuff, but I guess that is just me being a slacker.  However, as soon as I saw that this week was vanilla eclairs I knew that I would be making these. 1) Because I love eclairs, and 2) My in-laws were coming over for a Crawfish Boil and they could help me eat them…little did I know.

Eclairs have three parts to them: Pastry Cream (Vanilla), Pate a Choux, and a glaze (Chocolate Ganache).  Pastry Cream and Chocolate Ganache are pretty straight forward but when it comes to making and baking with Pate a Choux, that is when the problems sometimes arrive.  I have noticed that with some recipe the baking time is a little too short for me because the eclairs aren’t browned enough and then when you take them out they deflate.  I have learned a few times, (Here), that you have to bake them just a little bit longer to dry them out to get the perfect eclair.  With Dorie’s recipe, I baked them an extra 5-7 minutes.

I ended up making mini eclairs, about 3 inches in length, the recipe made 24 of those and then I made 6 small cream puffs to use up the rest of the dough.  Everyone really enjoyed the Vanilla Eclairs, but the problems was that for the Crawfish Boil I also made a Key Lime Pie.  So in the end not very many of the eclairs got eaten and I have been randomly sneak eating a few each day.  I think I justify it because they are small and very yummy…oh well 🙂

Go pick up Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table to get this wonderful recipe.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Tarte Noire and Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes July 6, 2010

Okay, this post is going to encompass last weeks recipe Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes and this weeks recipe Tarte Noire.

Wendy of Pink Stripes chose Dorie’s Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes which are located on pages 226-227 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. For this recipe, I only made half and made them into cupcakes.  Which worked out to exactly 12 muffins.  I actually really enjoyed these muffins.  They were soft and moist, and with the rum syrup they actually had the flavor of tres leches cake.  One night, I split a muffin opened and top it with sweetened ricotta cheese, peaches, and raspberries.  It was fantastic 🙂

Dharmagirl of bliss: towards a delicious life chose Dorie’s Tarte Noire which is located on page 351 in Baking: From My Home to yours.  I had some luck with this recipe because I had 1/2 a recipe of Sweet Tart Dough hanging out in my freezer, so I had one less thing to do 🙂  I decided to pop out 1/2 a recipe in small tart form, which came out to 4 tarts.  The flavor on these was great, and the ganache was smooth and just all around perfect.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart March 16, 2010

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry!.  She chose Dorie’s Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart, which is located on page 354 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  This tart is essentially a thick chocolate ganache poured over raspberries in a tart shell.  So, of course, it is going to be spectacular.

For this recipe, I used straight up Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips.  I guess you could say it is house rules 🙂  Whenever I bake anything with chocolate, I  always use a dark chocolate because both Mike and I prefer it to milk chocolate.  I might add that it was a wonderful choice because it matched the raspberries so well. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes February 2, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Ganache,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:30 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Kristin of I’m Right About Everything.  She chose Dorie’s Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes which is located on pages 188-189 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

First thought, mmmm chocolate 🙂

Second thought, crap I don’t have a mini bundt pan.

Final thought, CUPCAKES!!!! (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Split Level Pudding October 6, 2009

Filed under: Ganache,Pudding,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:08 am
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100_2375This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Garrett of Flavor of Vanilla.  He chose Dorie’s Split Level Pudding which is located on pages 384-385. This recipe is actually a chocolate ganache and vanilla pudding combination.  With Dorie’s suggestions in “Playing Around,” I decided to make the top pudding cinnamon pudding instead of vanilla.  As luck would have it I actually had extra ganache from the previous weeks recipe and a tiny bit more of heavy cream left so I thinned out the leftover ganache.

I only made 2/3 of the recipe, and because I didn’t want to dirty another dish, I didn’t use my food processor.  I mixed the egg yolks, a little milk, cornstarch, and rest of the sugar in a bowl.  When the milk came to a boil I tempered the egg yolk mixture and then placed it back on the heat to thicken up.  Once it started to pop bubbles at me, I took it off the heat and then added the butter and vanilla extract.  They turned out great and I didn’t have any problems with the pudding not setting.

Wow, these little babies are fantastic.  The chocolate and the cinnamon were perfect together.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart September 29, 2009

100_2365This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Carla of Chocolate Moosey.  She picked Dorie’s Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart which is located on pages 355-357 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Once you see the picture to these in Dorie’s book, you are going to want to make these.  On top of that there is caramel, honey roasted peanuts, AND chocolate.  You have to be crazy not to want to try these.

I haven’t had honey roasted peanuts in FOREVER.  I love them.  I remember when I was a kid and I would visit my grandparents there would always be a can of honey roasted peanuts.  I always had to be careful not to eat them all because they were also my grandpa’s favorites 🙂


I love these.  The combination of the dark chocolate ganache and the caramel and peanuts is AWESOME.   I made 1/2 a recipe and ended up making 5 mini tarts.  I used all the caramel, but I did have some left over ganache.  I would definitely make these again and they actually didn’t take very long too make.


The Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Chocolate Valentino and Vanilla Ice Cream February 28, 2009

img_8075This months challenge was chosen by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.  They chose a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan and then we had the option of making any type of ice cream to accompany the cake.  For the ice cream I decided to go with David Lebovitz’s Vanilla Ice Cream. (more…)