French Frdays with Dorie

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

My oh my! I get tired of all the superlatives I toss Dorie's way - but each week I am more and more amazed at how fabulous her desserts taste.

I made individual tarts this week, cutting in half the caramel layer and ganache filling. I had a small amount of ganache left over and a spoonful of caramel remaining - I quickly gave that a taste test. It passed.

I used macadamia nuts instead of peanuts because I just don't care much for peanuts. I chopped the nuts fairly finely because I was putting them into a smaller pan. I think that was the right the way to go - plus I am a compulsive chopper and I just don't have a coarse chop in my repertoire!

I was a bit afraid that I had scorched the sugar when I was making the caramel, but it was good - heck - it was very good.

I did overcook the crusts a tad - they do go from pale blond to brunette very quickly - especially when they are tiny - but they are still quite tasty.

This is a very rich dessert and I will be making it for the chocoholics in my world when they need a fix. The recipe was posted online at Chocolate Moosey by Carla or is, of course, available in the Book - Baking From My Home to Yours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cottage Cheese Pufflets

Apparently Dorie knows a lot of divas. She previously introduced us to the egg divas and with this recipe we meet the dough diva! If it gets too warm you might want to put it back in the refrigerator? Where did that if come from? Were they saving the extra two characters from the word when?

Roll it to an eighth of an inch? Are you serious? When I got my dough someplace close to that thickness it started to melt! I ended up with giant cookies. Well, giant turnovers. My brother wanted to know what the difference was between these and my apple turnovers. I told him these were full of marmalade and the turnovers were full of chopped up fresh fruit!

Once baked - and the behemoths took considerably longer than the time Dorie suggested - what a shocker - they were divine to taste. I filled mine with pink grapefruit marmalade - it was remaining from the French Yogurt Cake. It was an excellent pairing with that delicate (yet frustrating) dough.

I still have half the dough left and I am going to try baking up a few smaller cookies tonight - and freezing some for baking later. I am hoping to develop a technique for working with the dough. The cookies, once baked, are just great. I don't mind having to take a lot of time to prep my ingredients or giving them a lot of resting time, but I do ultimately have to be able to manipulate the dough somehow and this dough was just a nightmare for me. I ended up with free form shapes that I was pressing together at will. I was hoping the seams would hold and praying that the tops would cook before the bottoms burned. That is not my version of a successful technique - it certainly isn't one I plan to repeat intentionally if I can help it!

Assuming I can figure out how to work with the dough without pulling my hair out, I will definitely add these cookies to my rotation. Otherwise they will simply be an interesting experiment that gets pulled out only for very special persons.

This recipe was selected by Jacque of Daisy Lane Cake and the recipe is posted there. It is also, as always, available in Baking From My Home to Yours. A book without which, I have decided, no baker's kitchen is complete.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apple Turnovers

Ahh, fresh, hot piping from the oven - delicious! At first I thought there would not be much taste to these turnovers because the apples had so little spice on them, but they were really tasty. They were very easy to make, though it was a time consuming process due to the resting periods the dough required.

I've never made a dough of this nature before. I loved the texture of it - both before and after it was baked. It had such a silky feel to it in its raw state and it was most definitely flaky once baked. I baked half the turnovers and plan to freeze the others.

A quick wash with the egg a dusting of the sprinkling sugar and into the oven they went. A few minutes later, a heavenly odor began to waft through the house. Shortly after that Kathy and I were feasting on the delightful treats.

Julie of Someone's in the Kitchen selected this week's recipe, it is available on her blog or of course, it is yours for the taking in the BOOK!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chocolate Souffle

I had visions of egg divas dancing through my head, but I am pleased to report that my souffle turned out just fine and dandy!

It seems such a shame to actually serve a successful souffle. You start to dish it out and you just watch it deflate - somewhat like a beach ball that has small hole in it!

I was more an extreme liberal with my sugar coating of the souffle dish. So much so that I found the sugar a bit annoying as I ate the crust. That was truly a shame because I really enjoyed the crust. I just found the extra sugar a trifle exasperating as it added a layer of sweetness to the dessert that I did not think it needed.

I cut the recipe in half - another stress factor for me, but it worked quite well. I ended up baking the souffle for about 26 minutes. I think it's time to invest in an oven thermometer, I don't think half a souffle should have taken quite that long. I was fearful that my checking it twice would cause a collapse but fortunately that did not happen.

Other than the slightly overly sweet taste imparted to the crust by the sugar I found the souffle to have exactly the taste a dark chocolate lover would want. It was really an easy dessert to pull together and makes quite a statement when you pull it out of the oven. It is definitely going to be added to my repertoire. For those of you who are not the proud owners of the Book Susan of She's Becoming Doughmestic has posted the recipe.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

Even though this was a dish that was made in three parts - brownie base, cheesecake, and sour cream topping - I found it to be a very simple recipe to put together. I really liked the contrast of the creamy cheesecake against the dense brownie.
I was a little concerned that I had overcooked the cheesecake, though. It was total soup at 25 minutes and still extremely loose at 35, so I let go for about five more minutes after that. I think I could have taken it out at 35 and let the residual heat finish it off, but I tried that once and received a puddle of unbaked cream cheese for my efforts so I now tend to err on the side of a more well-done cake. It tasted just as creamy as I wanted though, so the only real issue was that it shrank a bit more than expected and was a darker color on top - once covered with the sour cream icing that wasn't an issue anymore anyway - so a win all the way around.
I shaved a little chocolate across the top of brownies before slicing them just to add some interest to the sea of white and think that was a good plan. Melissa posted the recipe at Life in a Peanut Shell and she added all sorts of delightful treats to her brownies - they look fantastic - and adorable - my jealousy gene is creeping out again!
I've often wondered how the sour cream topping was made when I saw it on a cheesecake - I knew it wasn't just straight sour cream and now, thanks to Dorie, I have the basic proportions to use on my cheesecakes whenever the mood strikes.
As always, if you want all of these fantastic recipes in one place, I can't suggest strongly enough that you buy the BOOK - Baking From My Home to Yours - it is a great investment as this recipe proves easily.