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Tuesdays With Dorie: A Buche and a Nightcap… December 30, 2014

Came into a bar.

I swear the title sounds like something from a bad joke.

I am a little behind with regard to posting.  I made the Chocolate-Mint Nightcaps (Baking With Julia, page 309) for my husband to take to work, and I actually made them on time.  I ended up making the Gingerbread Buche de Noel (Baking Chez Moi, page 86) for Christmas.

For the nightcaps, I ended up not putting the cap on them because 1) transport would be difficult and 2) piped brown icing ALWAYS looks like poop.

I am sorry.  It really does, and I know I wasn’t the only one thinking it. But I might have been the only one that typed it 🙂

The cookies actually turned out really good.  I think I would have preferred a peppermint oil or extract in the chocolate ganache instead of boiling mint leaves in cream.  It was one of those, what is that interesting flavor and it is throwing me off because I was expecting chocolate and not mint leaf flavor. I ended up rolling the edges in some chocolate sprinkles that I had left over.  I should have rolled them in crushed up candy canes, but then I would have had to smash candy canes.  That would have alerted the villagers that mommy was making cookies and had the chocolate out.

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The Gingerbread Buche de Noel surprised me at how many steps there were. I have made rolled cakes before and this is the first time that I have had to pre-roll the cake while warm. I was happy when the cake plopped right out of the pan and onto the powdered sugared towel.  I didn’t expect it to be that easy and it rolled nicely too. With regard to the actual recipe, I was surprised there was no sugar in the filling so I added about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to sweeten it a bit.  For the icing it threw me off 1) that I was making an Italian Meringue and 2) there was cream of tartar in it.  I usually make an Italian Buttercream for the outside of my Buche de Noel’s anyways.  Well I followed the directions, and I didn’t like the icing.  I LOVE meringues so I am thinking it was the addition of the cream of tartar that just made it taste off. So when I eat the gingerbread cake, I just scrap the icing off the outside and I am good 🙂

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Mocha Brownie Cake March 18, 2014

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is the Mocha Brownie Cake, which is located on pages 282-283 in Baking With Julia. This recipe is essentially a cake brownie that is filled and iced with a Chocolate Ganache. I decided to add a Saint Patrick’s Day twist to it and add Irish Cream flavoring to the cake and ganache. The idea was to serve it yesterday, but I started a little late in the day while running errands and running herd on 2 little ones.

So, yesterday, I baked and assembled the cake and this morning I reheated the ganache and iced the cake aka I poured the ganache over. Through the years I have become really good at pouring ganache over a cake.

How is that, you ask.

A few years back, I worked at a bakery and one of my jobs almost everyday was to pour chocolate ganache over our Chocolate Disaronno Cake and then decorate them. So, I actually got pretty good at it 🙂

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Finally, the children are in bed and I have been able to slice into the cake (with a hot knife, of course) and taste it. I found it to be very good and the Irish Cream flavor was perfect. I ate this straight out of the fridge and the cake was firm, but moist and the ganache was smooth and melted once it hit your mouth. I would definitely consider making this for a birthday cake for anyone that LOVES chocolate, but remember to use a good quality chocolate.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake February 18, 2014

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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is the Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake, which is located on pages 256-258 in Baking With Julia. Of course I made this recipe for Valentine’s Day because, really, who doesn’t want a creamy piece of chocolate cheesecake on their Birthday.

Oh, did I mention that it also happens to be my Birthday.

Yep, unfortunately for me it does. But I imagine that having your birthday on Christmas is probably worse. I guess for me it goes back to those angsty teenage years where you see all the girls getting flowers/balloons in high school and you don’t get anything. But then again, my husband was my first Valentine, and that was in college. So, I guess I got the better end of the deal. Especially, since he insists that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we celebrate my birthday. Which I am fine with, but I still get him something anyways.

Back to the Cheesecake.

This was probably one of the easiest cheesecakes that I have ever made. The key was to have all cold ingredients at room temperature, and to mix everything on low speed so as not to incorporate too much air. You bake the cake in a buttered 8-inch Cheesecake Pan with 3 inch sides. I actually just used an 8 x 3-inch cake pan because I figured they were the same thing because usually if they want you to use a springform pan then it is specifically stated. Also, since this was baked in a water bath (bain marie) it makes it harder to use a springform pan without water getting in. You bake the cheesecake until it is just set and jiggles like pudding then you cool it to room temperature. Then you turn it out, sprinkle the bottom with cookie crumbs, flip it back over, and refrigerate for a few hours. I was actually very surprise how easily the cheesecake came out of the pan.

Once the cake had been refrigerated for the appropriate time, I used a hot knife to slice it. The cake came out great. The inside was perfectly creamy. I was impressed with the texture because it is hard to get the right texture with other recipes and not have the cheesecake crack on top. This recipe is definitely going to be my go to for Chocolate Cheesecake.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Country Bread and Vanilla Chiffon Roll January 28, 2014

I have been MIA for a bit but I have been baking and have actually completed each month, but I have had some issues with actually taking the time to post….opps.

The first Tuesdays with Dorie of the New Year was the recipe for Country Bread, which is located on page 136 in Baking With Julia. This bread was fantastic. It does take some time to make because you make your own sponge, but it was worth it. I especially enjoyed the bread still slightly warm from the oven and smothered in Kerrygold Irish Butter. I thought I had gone to bread heaven when I was eating a slice. My 2 year old (Emma) was also a fan of the bread and butter combo.

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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is the Vanilla Chiffon Roll located on page 227 in Baking With Julia. This recipe is a vanilla sponge cake filled with a chocolate-walnut mousse. It sounds weird but it is actually very good. The cake has a very pronounced vanilla flavor and has just enough sweetness to balance out the richness of the filling. I would state that if you are not a fan of walnuts, then I would omit that from the recipe and proceed with just the melted chocolate. If you can eat nuts, then I would suggest a substitution of hazelnuts. Speaking of that, maybe I should have done that since I had some on hand and then the filling would be similar to a Nutella mousse. Which currently sounds fantastic.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Double Chocolate Cookies November 19, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:50 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe comes from page 329 in Baking With Julia and is Rick Katz’s Double Chocolate Cookies. These cookies are more like a brownie. They are the best parts of a brownie: crunchy edge and fudgy center. The key to this recipe is to not bake them too much. My oven has actually been running on the cool side so these took a little longer than the 10-12 minutes the recipe suggested. I find these are best when they are still slightly warm because the chocolate chips are still soft.

I had to change a few things in the recipe because of a mishap with some instant espresso powder. By mishap, I mean my powder solidified because of the conditions in my pantry, i.e. someone left the light on which the powder sits next to and I think humidity had a factor too. If I would have used it, I would have only used half the amount because the recipe actually calls for instant coffee which is milder. I did add some Irish Creme flavoring just for the heck of it and it worked perfectly.

These are what comforted me and feed my cold today 🙂

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Pumpernickel Loaves November 5, 2013

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is the Pumpernickel Loaves located on pages 95 to 98 in Baking With Julia.

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The bread took a lot of elbow grease because I kneaded it by hand. I actually didn’t have any yogurt or unsweetened chocolate in the house so I used milk with distilled white vinegar and bittersweet chocolate. It seemed to work pretty well. Also, I wanted a sandwich loaf of bread so I formed them and baked them in loaf pans.

As I stand here writing this my daughter is picking at the loaves because she wants to try them. I guess I am going to slice into one of these in a second.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Boca Negra February 19, 2013

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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Boca Negra, which is located on page 253 in Baking With Julia.. This recipe is being hosted by Cathy of A Frederick Food Garden.

I actually made this recipe for my 31st Birthday, which just happens to be Valentine’s Day. The recipe calls to use Bourbon (cake and topping) and I was afraid that Mike wouldn’t appreciate it if I used the good stuff. So I used rum in the white chocolate cream, and Chambord in the cake. With the Chambord I was hoping for a raspberry flavor, which it did impart a hint. For the white chocolate cream, which was pretty much a ganache, I didn’t feel comfortable using alcohol since I am 7 months pregnant. I still wanted the flavor so I decided to boil the rum with the cream so that the alcohol could cook out. Once the cream had cooled it had thickened but not enough for my liking, so I poured the cream into a mixing bowl and whipped up the cream to stiff peaks. I preferred the cream this way and it photographed better.

For the cake, I baked it in an 8-inch pan instead of a 9-inch and baked it for 40 minutes (recipe calls for 30 minutes). I was afraid that I might not have baked the cake long enough, especially since it was in a smaller pan. I decided to wait a bit before flipping it out on a serving plate, just in case.

And….

I was right, the cake probably could have used 5 more minutes in the oven because one of the sides wasn’t completely set and when I turned it out onto a plate one side slide out just a little. Which actually made it the shape of the Star Trek Enterprise ship. The fact that I noticed that makes me a complete nerd.

Mike and I ate the cside that slide out and it tasted great, but it is very rich. It was like eating straight chocolate ganache, and the cream on top was nice and cut the richness a bit. Next time I make this I will probably only make half a recipe of the cake and a quarter recipe of the cream because a little of both goes a long way.