Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TWD: Coconut Tea Cake

Carmen of Carmen Cooks chose Coconut Tea Cake for this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe.

When it comes to desserts that are predominantly coconut flavored, there aren't too many takers in this house. My husband sums it up by saying that coconut reminds him of toenail clippings. Not exactly an image that sets the mouth to watering, huh?

Coincidentally, the other night hubs called me into the room where he was watching "Zombieland", all excited, telling me to watch. There was a scene where the zombie hunters come across a Hostess truck in the ditch. Woody Harrelson's character is excited, saying he could sure use a Twinkie. They open the truck door only to find it overflowing with Snowballs (you know, those pink coconut covered chocolate cakes). Woody is *not* happy, stomping on the snowballs saying "I hate coconut! ... not the taste, the consistency". Then my husband says "see?!", like that was the positive affirmation he's been waiting for his whole life.

So I reduced the tea cake recipe and made two little mini-bundts. They were just slightly coconutty tasting, light, and moist. I'll bet they would have been even better with a light coconut flavored glaze.

OK, signing off for now! If you'd like to find the recipe, please check out Carmen's blog or find a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Daring Bakers: Orange Tian

It's Daring Bakers time again! I'm sure you can tell by this fancy-shmancy little gem of a dessert.

This is no ordinary, everyday dessert people.

From the bottom up this dessert starts with a pate sablee base (think tart crust) which is given a healthy schmear of home-made orange marmalade. Next comes the marmalade spiked whipped cream (could eat that by itself with a spoon, thank you very much). It's all topped by a layer of orange segments that have been soaked in, then sprinkled with orange caramel.

It sounds like a really complicated dessert. Fortunately it doesn't taste complicated. It tastes sweet and citrusy and light as air. Perfect for spring.

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.

Thanks, Jennifer! I really enjoyed this one.

You can find the recipe ---> HERE.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD: Dulce De Leche Duos

Mmm, yea, finally we're making cookies again at Tuesday's with Dorie. Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake decided on Dulce de Leche Duos for this week's recipe. Thanks Jodie, these were fantastic!

I had planned on including a photo of a big overflowing plate of cookies, but they disappeared so fast I only had two left!

By themselves, the cookies weren't terribly exciting, but once they were sandwiched with a layer of dulce de leche between... that made all the difference. They softened up too, even the slightly overbaked ones (not that I overbaked any, coughcough).

OK, that's about it, folks! If you'd like to try them, please check out Jodie's blog or find a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

P.S. Sorry for the short posts lately, I've been spending more time working out than baking and blogging lately. Seems all of this baking can actually make you gain weight! Go figure!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TWD: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

For this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe, Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry! chose Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart.

I made a few modifications to this yummy tart. First off, I halved the recipe, which was perfect for two 4-inch tarts. Since we're not real hip with the trend toward darker chocolate flavor, I used a little extra sugar and I subbed semisweet chocolate for bittersweet. I didn't measure the raspberries, I just added a light layer. I'm guessing the recipe as-written would have given more.

I'm happy to report that this was a hit with the hubby. He's a picky when it comes to sweets and if it's not chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake he doesn't usually get too excited. He's not a big fan of fruit either, but come to find out... he likes chocolate and raspberries! Yea me! (See, you can still learn something new about a person you've spent the last 6,025 days with).

OK, that's that! If you'd like to find the recipe, please check out Rachelle's blog or find a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TWD: Thumbprints For Us Big Guys

I've got to give a big old pat on the back and thank you to Mike of Ugly Food Dude. He selected Thumbprints For Us Big Guys for this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe. (I can't wait to see if he picked the recipe because it has the word "guys" in it. You know... because he's a guy.)

I seriously fell in love with these cookies. I could have eaten every single one myself, in one sitting. Good thing I only made 1/2 batch. And good thing my neighbors don't mind me off-loading baked goods to them. And good thing I've been working my [bleep] off in the gym lately so I have just a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty shred of willpower these days. (I know, it doesn't make sense to bake every week and then have to kill yourself in the gym. No sense. At all.)

These shortbread-type cookies were supposed to be made with hazelnuts. But seeing how my bag of hazelnuts was, oh, a year past it's expiration, I went with almonds. Fine with me, I love almondy baked goods. And, since it was almonds, I HAD to go with cherry jam.

Sigh, these were so good. I miss them already. Wonder if the neighbors have any left...

OK, wanna see the recipe? Go visit Mike's blog, or find yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TWD: Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart

For this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe, Beryl of Cinemon Girl picked Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart.

You know, I'm not a huge coconut fan, but I can handle it in controlled quantities.

Mounds candy bar = blech!

Toasted Coconut Custard Tart = mmmm, very nice!

Dorie mentioned that the topping to filling ratio was higher for this tart than for a standard coconut cream pie. That was a plus for folks like me, but I'm guessing the coconut lovers might have been left wanting for more coconut. Especially since the filling was not intensely coconut flavored.

I must say I was happy to make a tart, my new favorite thing to bake (along with it's cousin, the pie.) I think the last tart or pie we've made for TWD was back in December.

FYI, I made 1/3 of a recipe, which was perfect for two 4-inch tarts. My crust was made from Dorie's sweet tart dough with nuts, almonds in this case (which is the bomb, by the way).

Well folks, that about wraps it up for this week. Please check out Beryl's blog for the recipe. Or as always, you can (and should!) get yourself a copy of Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours".

P.S. I'm going to try to get a darn-near-perfect pumpkin pie posted this week so we'll see you in a few days.