Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Babette Learns to Bake

I already mentioned--in the brioche threads--that I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Dorie Greenspan, baker extraordinaire. She mentioned a great group of bakers who are doing Tuesdays with Dorie, where someone selects a recipe from her book, Baking From My Home to Yours. I've always wanted to improve my baking skills (forget that I once worked as a pastry chef at a fine hotel in Louisville, KY. I was the best? Sheesh. I gave two weeks notice two weeks in...the shift was 11 PM to 7 AM. I was three months preggers with Bryn. Nuff said. And I digress.)

Anyway I joined. Then read the recipe for marshmallows...even went and got good corn syrup. And didn't make them. Then the carrot cake recipe came..and went. Then I got an email. From the boss of Tuesdays with Dorie. PARTICIPATE. What could I say? The site is only as strong as its bakers, right?

So when the Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake recipe landed in my box yesterday (or Monday?), I vowed to bake. You know, the way I WANTED to bake. The way I wanted to LEARN to bake. This was a good way for me to start. I love Italian cheesecake with polenta. I love love LOVE corn meal. This had the added goodness of mission figs.

I got started. 16 figs for the recipe. 1 for me. MMmmmm. Fig Newtons got NOTHING on a straight up fig.

The tart comes together easily, really. No rocket science. I measured well (okay, let's not talk about me almost--ALMOST--forgetting the regular flour. Ahem.), mixed well, followed directions well.

The results? Spectacular. Really. I'd probably like this just as well without the figs, to be honest. I had to bake it a bit longer than the directions instructed, but I liked the way it looked when it came out...the knife came out clean...There's still an incredible moistness to the cake...We love it...I think my family doesn't know the treat they are in for on (or about) Tuesdays. With Dorie.


Lauren said...


Anonymous said...

That looks terrific. Now I'm depressed that I didn't buy Dorie's book. (I need another baking book like a hole in my head, but if the rest of the recipes sound as good as this I may have to succomb.)

Jaime said...

wow, you got to meet dorie? and she mentioned TWD? how cool! welcome to the group :)