When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays with Dorie: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake November 17, 2009

This weeks out of order Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Katya of Second Dinner.  She chose Dorie’s Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake, which is located on pages 269-272 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

The picture of this cake in Dorie’s book is beautiful.  I thought about going the same route as Dorie and making it in a square cake pan, but I couldn’t do that to myself.  I do own one.  I think it is because where I work I am use to glazing round cakes with chocolate.  Holding the cake in one hand, while simultaneously pouring chocolate glaze and turning the cake.  It take a bit getting use to, but I knew I could do it and have it come out pretty good.  I also decided to finally use my adjustable round cake form that I got last year for my birthday.

I built the cake inside of the form, place it in the fridge to set up (3 hrs), un-molded the cake, and smoothed out the icing on the top and sides.  I placed the cake in the fridge again to get firm before I poured the glaze over the cake.  I was surprised that everything turned out so well.  I should have taken a picture of the inside of the cake, but I ended up taking to my Nanny’s house and then it went down to the shop so the rest of it would get eaten.  I loved the taste of the cake.  It wasn’t too sweet, and one slice was just enough.

The ingredients for this cake was a little hard to find.  I was surprisingly able to find jarred chestnuts at my local grocery store, however, they didn’t have the spread.  I ended up ordering the Chestnut Spread from The Frenchy Bee.  My order was fulfilled in a timely manner and I got the product rather quickly.  I don’t know if I will ever make this cake again because it is a little pricey, but it was very delicious.


Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Milan Cookies and Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies July 27, 2009

Filed under: Cookies,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 2:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

“Marsh full of marshmallows.” ~ Dane Cook

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Okay! Okay! Okay!

I made the Milan Cookies and I have the base for the Mallows but I keep getting distracted and I haven’t made the Mallows yet.  Good thing is we can do both recipes or just one.  So in the end, I did complete the challenge.  But I am still going to finish the Mallows and I will post an update to this once I finally get around to it.  Which will probably be later tonight 🙂 (more…)


Birthday Desserts #2 November 10, 2008

Filed under: Baking,Cupcakes — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

100_1589On November 3rd, it was my mother’s birthday and I offered to make her a cake since she was going to be in the area.  I told her to think about what flavor she wanted and to get back to me.  A week passed and I still hadn’t heard from her so I called her up and asked if she had come up with anything.  She said that since I had been making a lot of cupcakes lately that those sounded good.  Now I love the vegan cupcakes that I make; there is nothing wrong with any of them.  But I gave my mother a disclaimer and asked did she really want a vegan cupcake.  I think I said it because I wanted to make something that I hadn’t made before.  She said she still wanted cupcakes I just had to figure out what to make her.  I looked through my Cupcakes cookbook and gave her an option of three different cupcakes: Boston Cream Pie Cupcake, Chocolate Covered Mint Meltaway Cupcake, and Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  She told me to make a cupcake that I had all the ingredients for.  I was looking for something that wasn’t too complicated and that was easy to transport 3 hours. (more…)


Blue Macarons September 11, 2008

I have been trying to figure out a way to use the rest of the Chocolate Glaze from the Daring Bakers’ Eclair Challenge and the left over egg whites that I accumulated from making two pastry creams, and I figured it out.


This would also allow me to use my left over coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache and make blue opera macarons too.

I was inspired by Tartlette’s macarons that she made back in March. I just loved the color that she used. I decided that I would try my hand at dying my macarons this time around, but not do the little design she did. The recipe said to use 2 tbsp, but I figured that since my color was a little darker I would use only 1 tbsp. They are still a darker blue, but I didn’t care too much 🙂 The fun part of sharing these with your friends is watching their mouth’s turn blue.

I was very happy with the result. All of the macarons were very tasty. I just need to figure out how to get the macarons to not be so flat, but I did get little feet again 🙂


My First Challenge with The Daring Bakers’ August 31, 2008

In the middle of July I found this group called The Daring Bakers’, and I was completely intrigued by this group. One member or group of members is chosen each month to pick out the challenge for that month. They have done some awesome recipes and I knew that I needed to be a part of the group. I missed the July challenge which bummed me out because I wanted to start with the group as soon as possible. So I waited and finally at the beginning of August I got the official invited. I went to the forum to see what this months challenge was and a breathed a sigh of relief. The challenge was chosen by Tony Tahhan and MeetaK. They chose Chocolate Éclairs from Dorie Greenspan’s book Chocolate Desserts By Pierre Hermé. (more…)