Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TWD Rewind: Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

I only have one word to describe these cookies: Yum. Okay, maybe chocolatey, chewy and sticky pieces of malted milk ball-y. ;D
I have been excited about making this recipe since I bought the book, because I absolutely love malted milk balls. This recipe was chosen a while ago when TWD had a cookie month. I have now made two of the recipes from that month and I have two left to go. It may sound strange, but cookies are actually one of the baked goods that I don't love to make. Unless they are cut-out cookies, I just don't get excited about baking them. Until I have baked them, that is, when I'm happy I did. 
Anyways, these cookies are amazing! The malted milk balls become really chewy after baking, especially because I left rather large pieces. As always, you can buy the book or find the recipe here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TWD: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe was chosen by Carla of Chocolate Moosey. She chose the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart. I was really excited about making this, simply because of the picture in the book. Okay, also because you can't go wrong with caramel, chocolate and peanuts. Yum!
This was the first time that I made a tart from this book, and my first time ever making a tart (surprising, right?). The dough was easy enough to make, using the food processor. I had a seven-year-old helper in the kitchen, so she helped me press the dough into the tart pan and stir the ganache. So cute! 
The tart was very good, but extremely rich. Nobody was able to eat more than a tiny sliver, although everybody said it was great. I didn't love it myself, simply because it was so rich and because I didn't think the ganache was very sweet. All in all, not something I'll make again. Sorry Dorie! 
If you want to try for yourself, you can buy the book or find the recipe here. Also, don't forget to check out the other TWD bloggers! Enjoy! 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Vols-au-Vent with Homemade Puff Pastry

The September 2009 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.
I was excited yet nervous about my first Daring Baker's challenge. Puff pastry was one of those things I thought only insane people make at home. But I was wrong. It's not hard to make - it's only time-consuming. Honestly, the dough for TWD's Apple Turnovers was trickier than this. The only thing that we weren't fans of was this:

Four sticks of butter? But, totally worth it. I formed one third of the dough into vols-au-vent. I think I didn't press the top and bottom parts together enough, because they sort of fell apart. When they came out of the oven, I pressed them together again. I was able to make them all look normal except for one (as you can see in the first pictures). I was able to get five out of one third of the dough, though I had to re-roll a bit. I filled them with the Chocolate Pastry Cream from Baking from My Home to Yours.

Yum! They were so good! Flaky, buttery, and chocolatey - what's not to love?

With the extra pastry cream I made a pie using a frozen pie crust I had. Yum!

All in all, puff pastry really isn't that challenging. I recommend making it, if you want a fun and delicious project. You can find the recipe here. You can also watch this video of Julia Child and Michel Richard making puff pastry, although they don't go on to make vols-au-vent. I recommend watching this video if you plan on making the recipe. Have fun!

TWD Rewind: Pumpkin Muffins

We had planned to have lunch with some friends this morning, so I decided to make these pumpkin muffins. I wasn't too excited about these, because I don't love pumpkin, but I decided to just make them and get it over with. Boy was I wrong. These are great! And they are some of the greatest-looking muffins I've ever made. They have really big tops, and the sunflower seeds on top make them look pretty (but you can't taste the seeds). The muffins don't taste too much like pumpkin, which I liked, and the nuts make them crunchy, while the raisins make them sweet. They are not the fastest to make, however, so you might not want to make them if you are planning to eat really soon after you get up. All in all, they were rated A's and A-'s.
As always, if you'd like the recipe, you can buy the book, or find it here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWD: Cottage Cheese Pufflets

This week's TWD recipe was chosen by Jaqcue of Daisy Lane Cakes. I have to say, I was very unsure about these cookies. I might of skipped making them had I not agreed to make all the recipes in the book. Had I done that, I would have missed out on a great recipe. The dough is easy to make in a food processor, and it is easy to work with when you roll it out. The only difficulty with this recipe is cutting out perfect squares if you're not using a cookie cutter. You also have to make sure to wet the edges of the dough before sealing them, but other than that the cookies are delicious. Even after I told her the "secret ingredient",my friend ate about ten of them! Have fun!
As always, if you'd like the recipe, you can buy the book, or you can find the recipe here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

TWD Rewind: Chunky Oatmeal and Chocolate Peanut Butter Chipsters

That has got to be one of the longest names in the book :D
Sorry, quick post today, as I am in a hurry. The picture above does not do these cookies justice; they look more like oatmeal cookies than chocolate chip. The peanut butter taste in these cookies is not very strong, but still present. They are delicious! Everybody rated them an A+. Just some advice: don't taste the batter, because you won't be able to stop eating. As usual, if you want the recipe, you can buy the book, or you can find it here. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yogurt Pancakes

This morning we woke up wanting pancakes. However, I refuse to make the mixes that we have lying around, because I think that's cheating. I immediately went to the book Honest Pretzels, which, although it's for kids, has some fast, easy, and yummy recipes. The first recipe I saw was "Your Favorite Yogurt Pancakes". I looked at the instructions, and everything seemed simple and fast, exactly what you might want for a Sunday morning. They are actually pretty healthy, because they use a small amount of butter and no sugar. I subbed 1/2 cup whole-wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for the 1 cup ap to make them even healthier, and you couldn't taste the difference. These are not too sweet on their own, but great with syrup. Enjoy!

Your Favorite Yogurt Pancakes 

1 cup unbleached white flour (I used 1/2 cup ap and 1/2 cup white whole-wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter for the batter, plus a little more for the pan
1 cup flavored yogurt (I used vanilla)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
desired toppings

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Make a dent in the mixture using a soup spoon.
Melt the butter.
Combine the yogurt, milk, egg, and melted butter. 
Pour the wet mixture into the dent in the dry mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until you don't see any more flour.
Put a frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. 
Coat the bottom of the pan in butter.
Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to measure out the batter.
Cook for 5-8 minutes, flip, cook until done. (my cooking times got shorter as more were made).
Serve immediately with desired toppings (I used maple syrup).

note: these are not the exact instructions in the book, because the book is written for kids and says things like "use a dinner knife to cut a slice of butter". :D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TWD: Flaky Apple Turnovers

My second TWD post! This week, Julie of Someone's In The Kitchen chose Flaky Apple Turnovers. These were the hardest thing that I have made from the book so far. I had several problems; first, I cut the butter in with my hands like Dorie says she does. But, that didn't work very well, because there were still pockets of butter. I, being new to making these sorts of doughs, thought those were fine and they would just make the dough buttery and delicious. I tried to roll out the dough, and the pockets made it stick. So, I kneaded it until the pockets were gone, refrigerated it, and then rolled it out again. The rolling out was tough, too. I heavily floured the counter so that the dough wouldn't stick, but it was hard to get it really thing, so I ended up with dough that was too thick. Next, the filling. I got about 15 circles (cut with a tartelette pan and re-rolling the dough once). The filling was enough for about 40 circles. The circles are so small that you can fit only a tiny bit of filling in them, and they were hard to close and opened in the oven (though thats probably due to the fact that I didn't moisten the edges with water before closing them like we were supposed to).
However, despite my many complaints, they were delicious. Next time, I might roll the dough thinner and use two circles on top of each other instead of folding one in half. Everybody said that they taste exactly like apple pie. Like always, if you want the recipe, you can buy the book, or you can find the recipe here. And don't forget to check out everyone else's turnovers!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TWD Rewind: Buttery Jam Cookies

It's obviously not surprising that this is another TWD rewind. I had no idea that making all of the recipes from one book could be such a simple idea, yet so hard to do. It is is simple in the sense that you just have to do it; but it is difficult in the same way: you have to do it. I have joined TWD already behind by about 70 recipes. I want to finish the book along with everybody else, so I have to work hard on catching up. But that means I basically can only bake from this book. Of course, I'll try to throw in a few recipes from other places here and there, but until I catch up, this blog will be mainly TWD rewind posts. Don't worry, though, because I'm trying to make that part go by as fast as possible :D Which is, clearly, why I've baked TWD rewinds two days in a row.
On to the recipe. This one was simple. The recipe calls for apricot jam, but I substituted sugar-free orange marmalade, because that's what I had on hand. It seems to have worked fine, by how they look, but they haven't been tasted yet. (What has been tasted by now are the muffins from yesterday, which apparently are amazing!) I was surprised when I read this recipe that the jam is actually beat into the mixture before the dry ingredients; I thought that it was going to be more of a jam swirl. I will let you know how these taste when I am told, but for now, go make this recipe and tell me yourself! :D
As usual, for the recipe, buy the book. Or you can probably find it on somebody else's blog if you search it on google, because the host for the week tends to post the recipe.
Oh, one more thing. This recipe is supposed to make 45 cookies using a heaping teaspoon for measuring, but I used a tablespoon cookie scoop and it made 24 pretty high cookies.
Have fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

TWD Rewind: Orange Berry Muffins

As you know, I've been working on catching up on old TWD recipes so that I can finish the book along with everybody else. I was planning on making cookies today, but it was my first day of school today and I was pretty busy in the afternoon. However, I wanted to bake something that was quick and easy. These sure fit the description. If you keep frozen blueberries in the house, then the only ingredient that you won't probably have around is an orange (unless you keep those around, too). 
As you can see from the picture above, the muffins sort of fell a bit. I can only imagine that I did something wrong, because I'm sure Dorie wouldn't write a wrong recipe. I don't know how these taste, as they haven't been eaten yet, but I'm sure they taste great, because despite them not having huge tops, they look really yummy. 
I recommend this recipe if you're looking for a fast, easy (I'm assuming tasty, too) muffin recipe. As usual, if you want the recipe, buy the book
Have fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Souffle

First of all, excuse the bad photography. The souffle was hot and we wanted to eat it, but it was sinking before my very eyes :D
Second, this is my first official Tuesdays With Dorie post that isn't a rewind! Susan of She's Becoming Doughmesstic chose this week's recipe. It is surprisingly easy; lots of people think that souffle is going to be hard to make, which is what I thought. You are supposed to bake this in a 6-7 cup souffle mold, but I didn't want to have 6 cups of chocolate, eggs and sugar lying around, so I made 1/4 of the recipe and baked it in one individual ramekin. It worked out great! The only problem is that the second you take it out of the oven, it starts to sink, so you really have to eat it piping hot. But it's delicious! Definitely a keeper recipe. But, now that I think about it, I haven't tried a recipe from Baking from my Home to Yours that isn't a keeper. 
As always, if you want the recipe, buy the book. Or you can find the recipe here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coca-Cola Cake with Brigadeiro Frosting

This weekend was my cousin's eighth birthday. My aunt always makes the same cake for her birthday, which is her favorite: Coca-Cola cake with brigadeiro frosting. It is really good, so I asked her to teach me to make it. Brigadeiro is a brazilian candy (the totally brown ones next to the cake). It is made from sweetened condensed milk cooked with sweetened cocoa powder until thick, and then rolled in chocolate jimmies. I'll post the recipe for the candies some time, so you can make those, too. The frosting is a thinned version of the candy. The cake is a large recipe, so I make a lot of the brigadeiro, too, but if you want to frost a smaller cake, you can easily scale it down. 
This is a nice recipe for a kid's birthday, because you can make them guess what the secret ingredient is in the cake :D We decorated the top with star sprinkles in the shape of a heart surrounded by chocolate jimmies. Have fun!

Coca-Cola Cake 
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated 
1 pinch salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 can coke (original), at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9 by 13 baking pans. 
Beat the sugar, salt and egg yolks well, using an electric mixer. 
Add butter and beat until almost white.
Add coke and flour slowly, alternating between the two, using a spatula (NOT the electric mixer).
Add the sweetened cocoa powder and then the baking powder. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, and then fold in to the mixture. 
Divide batter between the two pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until done.
Let cake cool before making frosting.

Brigadeiro Frosting
3 cans sweetened condensed milk
9 heaping spoons sweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons butter

Combine in a microwave-proof dish. Heat for 2 minutes, stir, 2 minutes, stir. Heat in 1 minute intervals or until thickened but still easily pourable and spreadable. 

Cut each layer of cake in half so that you have four 9 by 13 inch layers. Fill and frost with brigadeiro frosting, working with the frosting still hot. If it cools, it will become too thick. Decorate as desired.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TWD Rewind: Banded Ice Cream Torte

As you can tell, I'm working on catching up with the TWD recipes. I wasn't able to make last week's espresso cheesecake brownies, and probably won't be able to make the chocolate souffles for next week, but I'll try. This torte was for a wedding shower, and since the bride's favorite ice cream is chocolate chip, and here in Brazil you can't find raspberries as easily, we decided to use the chocolate chip. At my grandma's, where we're staying, there is no springform pan, so we had to buy one. On the wrapping it said it was 9 inches, but when we got home it was actually 12. We didn't want the torte to be too thin, so we basically doubled the ice cream. However, we didn't double the chocolate gajavascript:void(0)nache, so the torte ended up tasting like ice cream with thick chocolate sauce. Well, that's what I think, but everybody at the party loved it, so I guess either it was really good and I just didn't think so, or they really like hot fudge sundaes. Despite how mine turned out, I think this recipe would be good as the original. 
And if you want the recipe - well, I think you know how it goes. Something about buying the book? 
Have fun!