French Frdays with Dorie

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chipster-Topped Brownies

How I manage to loose the charger or the transfer cord for my camera as frequently as I do is a mystery to me - but manage to loose them I do. Hopefully I will find that dratted charger soon - all I need is a flash of brilliance to remember where (or perhaps when) in God's name I last had it and I know I will remember where I stashed it!

Meanwhile, back at the farm, my camera is deader than a doornail! I shall cut my brownies shortly and save one in the freezer hoping to be able to capture it for posterity's sake before my chocolate cravings require me to consume it!

In a rare fit of organization I actually laid out all of the ingredients I needed for this recipe before I started - a total mise en place. I have no idea what came over me. It was quite exciting.

Once that was done this was an extremely easy recipe to follow and put together. My cookie layer appeared to be quite high when I first removed the brownies from the oven, but it has settled to some degree as the brownies have cooled. I think it is still fairly significant. Assuming the chips haven't burrowed down into the brownies (and appearances don't indicate this behaviour) I think I will be quite pleased with how the recipe turned out. I don't know how either layer tastes baked, but the batter for both (or either) was doggone tasty in the raw!

I took the advice of some of our other members and did bake the brownie layer for the few minutes it took me to put together the chocolate chip layer. I then baked the whole layer for 50 minutes more. I also tented the pan for the last 15 minutes or so. in aluminum foil. The cookie layer is a luscious shade of brown. Maybe one day you'll get to see that for yourself.

This recipe was selected by Beth who posted the recipe at her blog, Supplicious. Oddly enough, the recipe is also available in THE BOOK, I highly recommend you buy it.
Update! The lost sheep has returned. Turns out, my suspicions have once again been confirmed. I am a lousy housekeeper. The charger cord was in my computer room the whole time - buried under mounds of paper. If I ever disappear - just keep moving the piles of clothes or paper - I'm probably in there somewhere!
I enjoyed the taste of these brownies, but I did not find the layers to be individually distinctive. I don't know if it was because they were a couple of days old before I tried one or if it was because my chipster layer wasn't as thick as I originally thought it was or not. It was a very good brownie, but the chipster layer just seemed to be a crunchy sweet top that I was breaking through on my way to the brownie. I would/will make them again - but they did not make me swoon.

Fresh Mango Bread (5/19/09)

Like most of the "quick" breads in the book, this came together rapidly and easily. It was only quick in the preparatory sense however as it took well over an hour to bake.

It smelled fantastic as it was baking.

I don't care for mangoes personally so I just could not get into the idea of trying it. I took it to work and it was gone in a snap. My friend Kathy also tried a slice and she quite enjoyed it.

One of the ladies at work felt it had a ginger bread taste to it, but Kathy did not feel that was so. She really liked the pieces of fruit inside, though.

My lack of expertise with mangoes was obvious in my fruit selection. I chose two mangoes to ensure I would have enough diced mango to make two cups. The first mango I chopped was juicy and a deep orange color. It was so attractive I was slightly tempted to try the cake. However, my second choice was of second quality - at best. It was far from ripe, barely yellow and had no juice whatsoever. Having already cut into its flesh and having no other mangoes nearby I decided to go with it. My theory was that this mango would soften during the cooking process, though it might not add any juice or flavor to the bread/cake; it would also not detract from the flavor. That seemed to be proven by the response to the cake.

I won't be making this again unless I happen upon a stash of mangoes or get a specific request for it. It was easy enough and well liked enough - it just doesn't suit my palette.

Kelly chose this recipe and it can be found on her website, Baking with the Boys. Or you could buy the book - Baking from my home to yours.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pucker Up - Lemon Tart!!

I don't really know how much pucker this tart is going to produce, I haven't tried the finished product yet. It is still cooling down. I made it with Meyer lemons and I tried to remove as much pith as I could from the peel. I am hoping that I managed to capture the tartness of the lemon while avoiding the nasty bitter flavor of the pith. I do love lemon flavoring.
I was very excited when I made the crust for this tart because it actually came together for me and I did not end up putting piles of sand into the tart pan! Turns out that in the past I have not processed the dough long enough. I just could not believe I had to process the butter, flour and egg so long to get it to come together. I will probably switch to making the dough by hand. It doesn't seem right to process it for so long in the food processor. If I were doing it by hand I would not handle it for as long a period of time as I whirled it this evening. I just hope it tastes as good as it usually does. I used almonds in the base.
This is a fantastically easy recipe to make - as long as you follow Dorrie's suggestion to put a pan under the tart pan while it is baking. If I had not, I would have had one ungodly mess in my oven, because I definitely overflowed my tart pan.
I have my fingers crossed that this tastes tongue tingling tart because tomorrow I am going to pick up strawberries from my CSA and I think they will taste just fabulously with this tart. You'll read all about it here.
To see many other versions of this tart go to Tuesdays with Dorrie . Many thanks to Babette of Babette Feasts for choosing this week's recipe. She has posted the recipe on her blog, but you can own it by simply buying the book, Baking From My Home to Yours.
Post Eating Report: Well, first things first - did I mention this did "boil" up over the sides of the tart pan? Well, it did - and let me tell you -if in a pinch you need some really strong adhesive - try using baked on lemon tart filling. My GOD! I absolutely could not get the tart out of the pan.
I ended up slicing the pieces and serving them without the edge crust. They were a tad difficult to remove, until I cleared some space, and they looked so lonesome without the attractive fluted edge of crust . . . but they were very well received.
For me, they were way too mild in the lemon taste. I think this is the payoff from using Meyer lemons. I definitely like the recipe and I will try it again - with regular - really sassy lemons - and I will be sure to be wary of overfilling the crust. For me, it was just a nice tart with a hint of lemon, but most of the fellows who were trying it thought it had just enough lemon - what do they know?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


OMG, I think I found my favorite recipe. Lemon anything is my favorite flavor. But, when I go out tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I haven't tried a slice of the cake yet, but I do love this flavored whipped cream. I am not a generally a fan of sweetened whipped cream, but the bitterness of the espresso eliminates any sweetness the confectioners sugar has added to this icing.

I've made tiramisu with the ladyfingers before and though it was extremely easy, I wasn't crazy about it. The cookies were too soggy, the whipped cream wasn't flavorful enough. This promises to be just right - assuming the cake doesn't get too soggy overnight. We shall see.

I was/am a bit worried about the cake. I am not sure it rose enough. My layers are extraordinarily thin. It seemed pretty spongy when I pushed on it, so I will just have to wait and see. They were nice and even when they came out of the oven though, so I did not even have to do any leveling.

Like so many others, I am delighted that Megan of My Baking Adventures made this selection for us. She has posted the recipe on her blog, or you could buy the book - Baking From My Home to Yours.
Not only was this my favorite recipe so far, but it was apparently the favorite of my co-workers as well. Everyone who tried this cake absolutely loved it. Most people said something like, "What was that cake you made yesterday? My God, that was so good." Or, was that tiramisu? It was fantastic.
The next time I make it, I will use a heavier hand putting soaking the cake layers. I was afraid I would make them soggy, but they can take more liquid than I initially thought.