Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bubble Éclairs

Tuesdays with Dorie, Bubble Éclairs and Book Club.  

This week our baking assignment landed on the day I have book club and I thought it would be nice to share Éclairs. I have never made Éclairs before so I was crossing my fingers that they would come out well.  I channeled Mardi Michel's confidence from and forged ahead.

This was a multi-step process that I stretched over two days.  First I made the crackle top dough (page 226) and put that in the freezer.  First mistake, I did not double the recipe as Dorie states but then I was pleasantly surprised to read from my fellow bloggers that it was not needed.

Next I made the pastry cream (page 430) since this could also be made ahead of time.  I had some issues with this recipe as it thickened way too fast and got gloppy. Then when I tried to strain it it was just too thick to go through my strainer.  Next time I will skip that step.

The following day I made the cream puff dough since directions were "just made and ready to use". Most bakers seemed to think that this dough was quite simple and came together easily and I would agree.  I read all the bloggers techniques for scooping the dough to make the bubble eclairs.  First I used a measuring spoon to portion 2 teaspoons as Dorie suggested was a bubble size.  This gave me a visual and then I decided to pipe the rest using my pasty bag as this was much faster.  It worked like a charm and I made 16 eclairs.  One turned out giant with all the remaining dough and magically disappeared after it came out of the oven.

I filled the eclairs just prior to my guests coming over.  I had enough pastry cream to fill 8 eclairs. Everyone enjoy their dessert.  I would say it was a success.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see if the others thought go here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 11 – Cherry Crumb Tart on page 148

Cherries are a family favorite in my house.  I look forward to summer every year just so I can make Sweet Cherry Pie from Cook's Illustrated.  When I saw this recipe for Cherry Crumb Tart I knew I wanted to make it and I was equally glad that it was chosen for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie.

Oh man was this delicious, now I have two favorite recipes to make every summer.  I did all of Dorie's optional ingredients as we have had great success with following them.  I added the zest of one orange, cardamom and instead of kirsch I used Chambord as it is what I had on hand. They all worked great. My notes that I put in the cookbook are:  delicious, fabulous, wouldn't change a thing, yum!  Update: I gave a serving to one of my co-workers who promptly demanded for the recipe.  My husband's comment "you could put cardboard between those two layers and I would eat it".  He has had Dorie's sweet tart dough many times and I guess the topping was a winner.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see if the others thought it was yum go here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar: July Potluck!

We were invited to a Dip Party.  The invitation stated "We are going to party like it is 1976 and bring back our groundbreaking world famous Dip Contest Party. Make, buy or steal your your favorite party dip and the winners in the sweet and savory categories will receive mad prizes". We were game for the challenge and decided to bring Pureed Beets with Yogurt and Za'atar from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

We wanted to be different with our dip and I think we scored on that note.  We roasted 2 pounds of beets, let them cool and peeled them.  In a food processor we pureed beets, garlic, chile and yogurt until smooth.  Then stir in date syrup (we substituted maple syrup), olive oil, Za'atar and salt.  The toppings are green onions, hazelnuts, and goat cheese.  My husband and I really enjoyed this one but it was not a  hit at the party, we did not win a prize.  We enjoyed it for lunch the next day.  The recipe is widely available on the web.  If you are looking for something different I would recommend this dip.

To see what others did in the group go here.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

I love mango and think everything goes with mango but sadly my family does not share my love affair with this fruit. This week on Tuesdays with Dorie we are making Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta on page 370 of Baking Chez Moi. I have never had or made a panna cotta before so this was all new to me.

I pureed one fresh mango, peeled and pitted with some lime juice.  Mangoes are so sweet I did not feel it needed any honey so I did not add.  I then put the puree in 4 dessert cups and put them in the freezer.

Next I brought to a boil two cups of half and half and 1/4 cup of sugar.  I substituted whole milk and heavy cream with half and half.  I also did not have a vanilla bean on hand so I substituted with vanilla extract.  Then I bloomed the gelatin in cold water for 3 minutes, then microwaved it for 20 seconds to melt it. The cream mixture was brought back to a boil and then added to the gelatin mixture.  I let the the liquid cool and even put it in the refrigerator for a while because I really did not want to melt my mango.

Despite my husband's dislike of mango he enjoyed this one.  I really liked it too but gelatinous texture is not my favorite.  My son who likes gelatin did not want one, can't win them all sometimes.  But I do have my son to thank for this wonderful picture.  My blog is sometimes a family affair.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book. To see what others did go here

Monday, July 13, 2015

Apricot Raspberry Tart

When voting time came up on Tuesdays with Dorie, I wanted to make all the recipes with summer fruit.  I just love summer and its bounty of fresh fruit.  The group voted for Apricot Raspberry Tart page 145 from Baking Chez Moi.

Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough is flawless and I can get it to come out perfect every time.  For this recipe Dorie has you put stale Brioche crumbs on the bottom of the tart shell to soak up the juices from the fruit, a new technique for me.
My finished tart came out perfect. Not all the sugar melted in the baking process which I was surprised but made my son happy.  This drew thumbs up from the family, second pieces were had by most.  I am not a huge fan of apricots but I did enjoy this tart.  I would make it again.

On to other Dorie baking.  I made two recipes from Around My French Table that were a hit.
Cauliflower-bacon gratin (page 362). I made this for our July 4th dinner.  It was a big hit and deemed make again.
Chicken breasts diable (page 217) and garlicky crumb coated broccoli (page 334).  This was a delicious meal.  The sauce makes the chicken dish and we were lucky to have extra for another meal. My husband and I loved the broccoli and it was so nice to have another recipe to make. My son oddly enough did not like the bread crumbs.

To see how the rest of the group made Apricot Raspberry Tart.
Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

July Mystery Box Madness Challenge! Make a dish containing at least 3 of the monthly mystery ingredients.  Three of this month's ingredients jumped out at me when I read them:  mozzarella cheese, pasta and parsley.  I was in the mood for some Italian food so I suggested a few recipes to my husband and he picked Beef and Cheese Manicotti (page 96) from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis.  

First you cook the ground beef and onion then let it cool.  Then you par-cook the pasta for 6 minutes.  Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic.  Add the cooked ground beef to the cheese mixture.  Fill the par cooked pasta. Place one cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan, add the pasta, top  with more marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in the oven about 35 minutes.  I have never made manicotti before but this was basically lasagna in tube pasta.  It was fun to make something different but definitely a weekend meal.  We made a full recipe to have enough for another meal.  Cook once, eat twice is always our motto.

To see what others made in the group go here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

One of the great things about being part of a baking group is that I do not need to think about what to make for the next holiday.  I informed my husband  we were having strawberry shortcakes for Father's Day.  The only decision he had to make was plain or roasted strawberries. He went with roasted as he is well versed in Dorie's recipes.
I was concerned about getting this dessert right as there were 3 recipes to follow and I was just back from vacation.  I had not seen the inside of a kitchen for a week. But I had nothing to fear, all came together perfectly.
First I cut and roasted the strawberries.  I added the optional cloves, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest. All the flavors worked well together especially after they all rested a bit.  Then I made the ladyfinger batter.  I was most worried about this but Dorie's directions worked perfectly and they turned out great. There is nothing better than homemade just whipped cream.  Everyone was happy when they saw what was in the mixer.  This dessert came together just like the photo.  All my guests had empty plates with not a crumb left, I could not have asked for a better compliment. 

To round out our Father's Day meal we made Cafe Salle Pleyel Hamburgers from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan (page 240).  If you have not made these yet I suggest them for a change from your usual summer burgers.

Tuesdays With Dorie is an international baking group working our way through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. We don't publish the recipes, instead we encourage you to buy the book.

Strawberry Shortcakes Fanco-American Style page 338.
Ladyfinger Batter page 424.
Roasted Strawberries page 458.