Wednesday, July 22, 2015

TWD: Baking Chez Moi June Catch-up!

More catching up to do!  The first recipe for June was Chocolate-Cherry Brownies, found on pages 322-323 of Baking Chez Moi.  Though I do have a favorite brownie recipe, I am certainly willing to try new recipes, especially when in a cookbook written by Dorie!  And this recipe certainly did not disappoint!  Truly, if you use good quality bittersweet chocolate and tart dried cherries that have been soaked in port wine until nice and plump, you cannot go wrong!  Mmmm.  I love tart cherries and when paired with bittersweet chocolate, it is just divine.  These brownies are a one-bowl recipe, which makes them quick to both make and clean up!  Oh, and they will quickly disappear as well!
See the nice crackly top?  That is an important brownie element for me - the nice crackle top before the moist and chocolatey inside.  Mmmm.  Kinda makes me want to bake these again...  Good thing they are so easy!

Our second June recipe was Strawberry Shortcakes, Franco-American Style, on pages 338-340 of Baking Chez Moi.  Instead of using a biscuit, Dorie uses round ladyfingers.  They are nice and light and crunchy and elevate the dessert to something elegant! 
In addition to the ladyfinger substitution, Dorie also recommended using roasted strawberries in lieu of traditional macerated or plain strawberries.  This recipe can be found on page 458 of the book, and essentially involves mixing sliced strawberries with sugar, cloves, olive oil and thick balsamic vinegar and then roasting them in the oven until nice and soft.  I used the roasted strawberries in the middle of my shortcakes, but only for the adults.  I figured the kiddos were better off with typical plain strawberries.  The roasted strawberries provided a nice fancy taste to the dessert.  It was like a surprise with each bite as I don't generally associate those flavors with strawberry shortcake, but it was so good! 

This is definitely a dessert to be eaten as soon as it is made.  I am not sure how the ladyfingers would last, maybe okay in an airtight container for a day or so?  But you might as well just eat it up at once.  Strawberry shortcakes are too good to be left around! 

My summer baking is way off schedule, but I'm catching up, slowly but surely!  Hope you've been enjoying whatever summer treats come your way!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

TWD: Baking Chez Moi May Catch-up!

Yes, I know, this blog has been woefully silent lately.  Quite frankly, the end of the school year and start of summer has kept me hopping and I have neglected my blog.  Sorry!  I did not neglect the baking, however, and did manage to bake MOST of the assigned recipes.  Blogging about them has been my hangup.  So, I thought I'd do a little catching up with the May recipes from Baking Chez Moi

The first recipe for May was Nutella Buttons, which can be found on pages 188-190 of Baking Chez Moi. And though I did make them, they were devoured before I managed to take a photo.  So close your eyes a moment and picture this:  a mini yellow cupcake that has a tiny blob of Nutella baked into the center.  No, you can't actually SEE the Nutella in the center, but it is there.  And the Nutella makes the cupcake "button" wonderful.  My only problem with this recipe is that it is for an UN-ICED cupcake, something that is simply NOT RIGHT in my book.  Glazing the top with melted chocolate is considered a "good idea" but not necessary to the recipe.  I disagree.  A cupcake simply needs it's icing cap on top, otherwise it will get cold, or maybe sunburned or otherwise feel naked and sad.  Put a hat on your sweet little cupcake!  All will be well with the world.

The second recipe for May was Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake, on pages 24-27.  Mmmm.  Easy and delicious!  I had a hard time finding rhubarb for some reason, so I ended up getting frozen rhubarb and letting it defrost first.  It worked perfectly and saved me the step of chopping ad peeling the rhubarb!  Gotta love a time saver!  We originally ate this cake for dessert, but had leftovers for breakfast the next day!  The tartness of the rhubarb is a pleasant match for the sweet brown sugar cake.  Yes, rhubarb is tart, but the cake was not so tart that the clever girl wouldn't eat it. The cake and rhubarb make a good marriage.  And putting a dollop of whipped cream on top makes everything good!

The recipe suggested making a glaze for the top with melted apple, quince or red currant jelly, but I skipped that step.  It would have made it prettier on top, but it was great without.  I will definitely make this recipe again.  Easy and delicious! If you don't have Dorie's new cookbook, Baking Chez Moi, I'd recommend it. Thus far the recipe's I've tried have been a hit!