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baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: Granola Energy Bars January 13, 2015

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is from Baking Chez Moi, it is the Granola Energy Bars.  This recipe came at a great time for me because I am actually trying to eat pretty healthy right now.  I did have to modify the recipe slightly because I wanted it to be vegan and then we had an incident with the Brown Rice Syrup.

I used the nuts and seeds that the recipe called for: pumpkin seeds raw, sunflower seeds raw and slivered almonds raw.  For the dried fruit I stuck with stuff that I like: dried cranberries and golden raisins, and used unsweetened coconut.  When I opened my Brown Rice Syrup it looked okay and then I smelled it and it smelled off.  I have a tendency to smell stuff to check to make sure it is okay.  Well when I looked closer, I noticed that there was small specks of mold growing in it.  I ended up throwing out the Brown Rice Syrup and I used Golden Syrup instead.  I also used coconut oil instead of the butter, hence vegan 🙂

The recipe actually came together really easy.  The hard part was waiting the 3 hours for it to cool in the pan before I could sample the bars.  Once they had cooled, I cut them, and sampled them. Then my youngest Bogarted my piece, like she usually does with food.  The granola bars and awesome.  I love the crunch and the slight sweetness.  I do eat them over the sink because they tend to make a mess, but a plate can also solve this problem.  I will definitely be making these again.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Vanilla Pound Cake July 15, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Baking With Julia,Cake,Pound Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 2:38 pm
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This weeks recipe for Tuesdays With Dorie is the Vanilla Pound Cake which is located on pages 251-252 in Baking With Julia.  I was looking at the recipe it looked pretty straight forward and reminded me of the Pound Cake recipe my Mom and Nanny make.  I decided to compare those two recipes and only noticed a few differences.

My family’s recipes has

1) No baking powder.

2) 1 cup more sugar

3) 1 tsp more vanilla extract (total of 1 Tbsp)

4) 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (in addition to the 2 sticks of butter)

5) 2 more eggs

I guess the most notable different with regard to taste was sweetness and texture.  Of course with one cup less sugar this pound cake wouldn’t be as sweet, which I did actually mind.  It was the texture of the cake.  It was good, but when comparing the two I would prefer my family’s recipe because it yields a moister cake.  Which of course it would with the addition of vegetable oil. I have done the recipe with apple sauce instead of the oil and it turned out just as moist. I have also left it completely out of the recipe a few times and the cake turned out good just not really moist. Because the recipe doesn’t call for baking powder it yields a denser cake, but you are using sifting the dry ingredients and the creaming of the butter and sugar together instead of chemical leveners.

So in the end, it is a good recipe, but a bit too dry for my taste.  I will probably just stick with my family’s recipe and modify flavorings for the type of cake I want.

Vanilla Pound Cake

The cake looks WAY darker than it really was. I was using natural sunlight coming in from the skylight.

 

Tuesdays With Dorie: Cantuccini April 29, 2014

This month I haven’t been posting very much but I did make the recipe for the week of April 15th, but as usual I just didn’t have time to post.  While I type this up, I am about to punch my computer in the face because the spacebar doesn’t want to work so I keep having to push it more than once.

Funny thing is I can hear it click every time I hit it but it doesn’t register the action.

ANNOYING!!!!!

Okay, back to Tuesdays With Dorie and Baking with Julia.  The recipe for the week of April 15th was for Cantuccini, which is essentially a biscotti made with almonds.  Which is located on pages 113-114 in Baking With Julia.  I love recipes that are simple, especially when I have all of the ingredients. Best thing about this recipe is that there is no added fat with regard to butter or oil. Great biscotti recipe for those days when you realize that you just ran out of butter.  Which surprisingly didn’t happen to me this time, but I was out of one important ingredient, ALMONDS. I usually have all types of different nuts hanging out in my freezer and I had almonds just not nearly enough.  However, I did have plenty of hazelnuts and just substituted them in for the almonds. I didn’t peel or toast them or anything, just straight up raw hazelnuts from the freezer.

This recipe was especially appreciated because of how quick everything came together.  Mike took Emma outside to play and I was able to mix the dough up, form the logs, and put them in the oven, in less than 20 minutes.  Which was ideal since I was also watching Maureen, 11 months old, crawl around the kitchen and living room.  She was actually really well behaved and didn’t try to play with the dog food or the dog’s water 🙂 The biscotti turned out fantastic, slightly sweet with the perfect amount of crunch. They are especially good with coffee and just as good with tea.Image

 

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: 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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Vegan Coconut Yogurt and Granola September 24, 2013

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:02 am
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My first shot at making Yogurt in our dehydrator and I am making Vegan Coconut Milk Yogurt. The process was actually very simple and I used multiple sources (Waking Up Vegan, Vegan Guinea Pig, Vegan Cookbook Aficionado, and Excalibur Dehydrator – NOT VEGAN, used to figure out how to use dehydrator) to come up with a recipe.

For the Coconut Milk in the recipe I ended up using the big carton in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, well it worked but it had no flavor. So I advise you to use the canned coconut milk that has the least amount of ingredients added to it. You will get a better flavor. Also, I might have to experiment with the amount of Agar Powder because I used 1.5 tsp and it was WAY too much. It thickened just a little too much, more like the consistence of a jello. I think next time I will use 1 tsp and see what happens.

The Granola recipe is actually one of my favorites and it is from Alton Brown. It is very simple, happens to be Vegan, and is VERY tasty.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

32 oz Coconut Milk (4 cups)
1.5 tsp agar powder (should have used 1 tsp)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup coconut milk yogurt w/ active cultures

Sterilize jars and lids that you will be storing the yogurt in.

In a large pot whisk the agar powder into 2 cups of coconut milk until dissolved.
Heat the pot of coconut milk over low to medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 to 190 F. Remove from the heat and cool to 115 F/46 C.
Add in 1 cup of yogurt and sugar to cooled milk.
Pour mixture into containers and cover. Incubate in the dehydrator at 115 F/46 C for 5 hours.
Do not disturb, bump, open door or move while yogurt is incubating. When finished, refrigerate. Before serving, add flavors or fresh fruit.

Granola
Source: Good Eats: The Early Years by Alton Brown, page 264

Ingredients
10 oz Rolled Oats
4.5 oz Slivered almonds
5 oz Raw Cashews
1.5 oz Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
3 oz Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3 oz Maple Syrup
2 oz Vegetable Oil (I used Coconut Oil – melted)
4 oz Raisins or other dried fruit (I omitted these)

1) Heat oven to 250 F.
2) Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
3) Measure the syrup and oil into a plunger cup. Add to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
4) Transfer the mixture to a half sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
5) Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl and cool for 30 minutes. Add the raisins and mix until evenly distributed. Store in an airtight container and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.

 

Reasons that I have been Missing in Baking Action November 6, 2012

Filed under: drinks,Life — pastrybrush @ 5:54 pm
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Okay, so this post is mostly going to have pictures and just one recipe.

First, I was working on this

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and this

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for my brother-in-law’s wedding.

Before that we found out about this

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and kept it a secret until after the wedding because that wouldn’t have been nice. So we have another little one coming around May 22nd, but I predict the beginning of May.

When making a wedding cake and you end up with left over lemons, raspberry puree, and vanilla-lemon sugar syrup, what do you do?

You make Raspberry-Vanilla Lemonade.

Raspberry-Vanilla Lemonade

2/3 cup raspberry puree
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar syrup
4-6 cups water, depending on taste

Put everything in a pitcher and stir. Serve over ice and enjoy.