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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
Tags: , ,

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.

 

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.

 

The Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Caramel Macchiato Swirl Cheesecake April 27, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cheesecake,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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daring-bakersThe April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.  For this challenge we were given a basic recipe and were given free reign to spice it up, changing the flavor, crust, etc.  I knew that I wanted to do something with espresso flavoring, but I figured an entire cheesecake might be a little overpowering.  I was stuck between two different flavor combinations: Caramel Mocha Cheesecake or Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake.  In the end, I went with the Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake because Tuesdays with Dorie is currently have a month of chocolate recipes and I needed a small break.

At first I wanted to do the cheesecake in two distinct layers, an espresso layer and a vanilla layer.  In the end this didn’t work out as planning and I just swirled them together 🙂  I made a caramel sauce which I used to drizzel on the top of the cheesecake in a crosshatch pattern and then added whipped cream rosettes for an added bonus because who doesn’t like whipped cream on cheesecake 🙂

This was probably one of the best cheesecakes I have ever made.  It turned out perfect.  I really couldn’t believe that I didn’t have any cracking or sinking.  The texture was smooth and creamy.  The flavor was spot on and awesome. (more…)

 

Another Reason I haven’t posted about Cookies, Yet :) December 15, 2008

100_1769I know

I know

I know

I told you that I would be posting about all the cookies that I have baked for the holidays.  Well I guess I forgot to tell you that I was also making goodies for my friend, Crystal.  She recently got involved with Avon and decided to have an Avon Party.  She called and asked that if I could make desserts or whatever for the party

OF COURSE

I knew right off the bat that there would be a cookie platter (Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Amaretti, Sugar Cookies w/orange zest, Linzer Sables, Italian Fig Spirals, Butterballs, and Oatmeal Raisin with Cinnamon Chips) because DAMN there was a lot of cookies.  I had recently found key limes at the grocery store and had everything to make Mini Key Lime Pies.  I also purchased extra cream cheese and could make Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes.  I wanted there to be a non dairy option since Crystal is lactose intolerant.   Her and her mom already have tasted some of the vegan cupcakes that I made and loved them.  It happened that I was thinking about making two types of vegan cupcakes and had the ingredients: Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting and Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes with Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.

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I had no intention of making Crystal pay for any of these items since I was planning on making them and had everything on hand.  Also, since this was her first Avon Party she needed to make some of her money back 🙂

I made everything and it turned out FANTASTIC.  I saved myself one of each cupcake so that I could try them, and I don’t care what anyone says they were great.  I made name cards for everything and decided not to write “VEGAN” on it because some omnis get scared by that word.  I ended up writing at the bottom in small letters “Non Dairy” 🙂

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100_1772For the recipes, I just used my Key Lime Pie recipe from a previous post and used a mini cheesecake pan 🙂  For the Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes I used the recipe on the back of the Williams Sonoma box and added 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste.  The recipe is below.  Now the recipes for the vegan cupcakes come from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I have posted too many recipes from those lovely ladies and would just like to tell you that if you haven’t bought the book already.  YOU REALLY NEED TO.  You won’t regret it.

OH, I forgot to mention.  I tried my hands at making Venetians aka Rainbow Layer Cookies and HOLY CRAP!!!  They turned out great.  Funny thing is at work everyone was saying that they taste better than the ones we carry, even the owners 🙂  I wish I could have stayed and enjoyed the party, but I had to leave right after I set all the food up to go into work.  That is what I get for being in the service industry.

Mini Vanilla Cheesecakes

Source: Williams Sonoma the back of the box that my mini pan came in

For the Crusts:
1 cup (114g) chocolate cookie or

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vanilla wafer crumbs
2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
16 oz. (500g) cream cheese
2 eggs
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
½ cup (125g) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste or Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an over to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat the cups of the 12-cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the crusts, in a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Divide the mixture among the cups, and using your fingertip, press it evenly into the bottom (I 100_1782find that a coffee tapper works a lot better for this). Bake until the crusts are set, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Reduce the head to 300°F ( 150°C).

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cream and vanilla paste and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the cups (I find that if you fill it to about 1/8-1/4 of an inch from the top it won’t deflate too much once out of the oven. This will leave you with about ½ cup of filling left over; just bake in a small ramekin). Bake until the cheesecakes are set, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before unmolding.

To unmold, insert the dowel into the hole in the bottom of each cup. Gently push up to remove the cheesecake from the cup. Use a small spatula or butter knife to remove the cake from the metal bottom. If the cheesecakes are sticking to the pan, gently run a toothpick around each cheesecake to loosen it before pushing it out of the cup. Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.