French Frdays with Dorie

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sweet Cream Biscuits

Hands down this has to be the simpliest recipe of Dorie's that we have ever made. A fork and bowl were the only tools I needed (beyond my measuring cups/spoons). What did it take? Five minutes to pull the dough together? I love that in a recipe.

It seems that numerous people had some trouble with their biscuits not rising as much as expected. I don't know if I have lower expectations than others do or if I just got lucky, but I was quite pleased with how my biscuits looked and even more importantly, how they tasted.

I did not get a lot of biscuits from the dough, I think ten, but they were just fine for me. They were delicious hot - I had a couple with my potato soup - killer combo - and I had two for lunch today. The ones I ate today were stone cold and they were still damn good. These were a very light biscuit - I thought they might taste a tad more like scones than they did, but they were great just as they were.

I brushed the tops with a little of my left-over cream before baking them and I think that helped color the tops. I think I will add a touch more salt the next time I make them, but otherwise I was 100% happy with how these turned out.

These fantastic biscuits were selected for us by Melissa of Love at First Bite. You can find the recipe on her blog or you could be smart and buy the Book!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

What a delightfully simple recipe this turns out to be. Dorie mentions something about ten minutes to bring the recipe together. Usually for me that ends up meaning 30 minutes or more. But, today, ten minutes or less. Another half-an-hour for baking a few minutes to cool and voila - dessert is served.

The cake is moist, rich and delicate. I was unable to flip my cake from the skillet so am serving it au natural - this is no hardship. My skillet was a bit wider than nine inches so my cake is corresponding thinner than might be expected, but it is still very nice. I baked mine for just under 25 minutes and it is perfectly baked. I got a little carried away sprinkling sugar on the top, but that is a minor error.

I may try the apple slice version Dorie highlighted or I may try a different blend of extracts the next time I make this cake. I will definitely bake it the next time I want a quickie non-chocolate dessert. Kudos to Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs for selecting this week's recipe. As she notes on her blog - you can't go wrong buying the Book.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake

I seem to be on a roll these days. This week I very carefully measured all of my ingredients, mixed the batter, swirled to a (no doubt) delightful pattern and inserted the cake in the oven. At that point, I turned around and saw the damnable vanilla smirking at me from the countertop!

Aargh! Bat rastard! Out of the oven came the cake. I poured the vanilla over the top and as gently as possible incorporated it into the batter. With my fingers crossed - my God are they cramped after an hour in that position! - I waited to taste the result.

As I feared there are places where the vanilla did not incorporate very well and they taste a bit strange. However, that is just once in a blue bite. Overall, I am quite pleased with this cake. It is extremely moist and both layers are delicious. And, I am shocked to say that my marbling seems to have survived its harrowing experience. Look - I think it is Thomas Jefferson - why oh why did I eat that slice? I could have easily sold that on E-bay and made my fortune. Poor planning, definitely poor planning.

I used my European butter in this cake and I don't know if it accounts for the delightful taste of the white layer, but that layer is really good. I wasn't happy with my ground walnuts. I spun them around, in my food processor, until I feared I was creating walnut butter, but the pieces were still very visible in the batter. They were not so visible in the cake itself, however.

The chocolate layer turned out perfectly baked as well. Erin chose this week's recipe. You can find her version at When in Doubt Leave it at 350. Once you have your very own special copy of The Book, you can find this recipe on pages 180-181.