Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie! I'm Back: Chipster-Topped Brownies

I kind of took last week off from Tuesdays (although I DID make fresh mango bread finally this week; I'd gotten the mangos, after all...) But I had a party to go to, a reason to make brownies and a will to make brownies, too...

So we did Chipster-Topped Brownies this week: decadent (as in decadent-you-don't-wnat-to-know-how-much-butter-is-in-these decadent) brownie base with really tasty chocolate chip cookie baked on top. Here's the spreading of the chocolate chip topping...drop it on, gently spread:

I loved how this looked, the two-tone bar cookie...ANd I loved how it tasted. But if you can believe it, it was almost too rich. No, it WAS too rich...I cut one-inch squares to start ....then I slice those into two and three pieces..that was all I could manage (I know my hips will thank me for that later! They thank me for it now.)

I omitted the nuts because I am, as I call it, a brownie purist. I don't like nuts, frosting, anything on/in my brownies. Add chocolate chip cookie dough to the list. Because although the flavor is fabulous, I want to ask why? I love good brownies. I love good chocolate chip cookies...I suppose this is the ultimate combo for some...but I should have guessed I might not love it even if I love both components: I never liked chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream either.

So love it or hate it, it IS beautiful and gets a lot of rave reviews from people...Now go read everyone's blog (see TWD for the blog list) about it, especially Supplicious by Beth, who chose this week's recipe.

And since I kept baking and made the mango bread, too, here's a photo. I really like the bread--I think Dorie says it tastes better the next day, and I agree. This would make great muffins...Mmm. with coconut topping..Mm. I had a minor "loaf explosion," as you can see from the photo, but that sure didn't affect the flavor. Check out Kelly from Baking with the Boys for her pick and the recipe.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sweet Somethings

I am sad I missed making Tuesdays with Dorie's Fresh Mango bread, but I still have designs to making it. In the meantime, have a look at my newest obsession, tupelo honey. I'm so in love I now want to keep some bees of my own...I love the honey on the left--that really shows the very typical greenish cast that the purest tupelo honey has...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWD: Tartest Lemon Tart. That's Right: Something NOT Chocolate

I love the chocolate, but even I was a wee bit tired of all that chocolate over the last few Tuesdays With Dorie...so what do I do? Find the entirely opposite end of the palate spectrum and pick this tart.

And frankly, My TWD friends? I loved it. (I even changed the header picture to celebrate the lemony side of life.)

That is not to say I did this without a bit of problem...No, because then it wouldn't be me baking, right? I am the imperfect baker, as I keep insisting. Trouble is...baking is an exact science.

Case in point: Because this is "my" recipe (my turn), I thought I should really be methodical and early...Get the tart done SATURDAY. Blog Sunday. File and wait for it to post Tuesday. Hmm. Yes, but ...well, I don't know where I went wrong, but I couldn't have fouled up tart #1 more...first I grabbed the 1/3 cup measure, not the 1/4 cup measure. How? I don't know. No one but an idiot would confuse that diminutive 1/4 cup measure with the monstrous 1/3 cup measure. As a result, my dough had 1/3 cup nuts. 1 1/3 cup flour. (Oh, forgot to mention: the only thing in the cupboard was bread flour. Sigh.)...2/3 cup powdered sugar. Need I say that one yolk wasn't enough to hold it together? How did I detect this? Oh, maybe when the whole food processor full of everything still looked like ...powder? Not a clump in sight. I added a bit of water, decided to try to go ahead...and promptly forgot Dorie's admonition to NOT PACK THIS INTO THE TART RING. Oh, it was SO packed. Forge ahead STILL. Bake it. Forgot to set timer. Overbaked. Forge ahead. Make filling: What? No cream you say? Add vanilla yogurt and ? That's right, FORGE AHEAD. I had to bake this tart so LONG for it to set up. It is very ...um..."golden." And tasty, really it is, but ...well, frankly, it's tough. But tasty. Here's a photo...it's "darkish." A new word for...well, a new word for almost burnt.

Who shouted "No surprise!" at their screen?

So. Shopped. Got regular flour. Got cream. Paid attention. Actually remembered to gently push crumbly shortbread crust into fluted edges instead of packing it into the tart ring like spackle. Set all timers.

And I love this. Lives up to every expectation. The comments did mention bitterness, so I did trim the pith a bit. I picked this because I love a Shaker Lemon Pie that uses whole slices of lemon. This is better, Dorie. So much better.

I really wish I'd had time to do a bruleed top, ...next time. This went too fast to even think about that step....

This one is another winner for me, right after last week's tiramisu cake. Hope you all really enjoy it.

Now go have a look at the blog roll on Tuesdays With Dorie and see how everyone else fared.
Want this recipe and ALL our TWD Recipes? Better get yourself Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

I think we have permission, as the picker of the week, to post the recipe, so here it is. I'm kind of a stickler with permissions, so if I hear differently, I'll take this down (I know other pickers have posted...)

Dorie Greenspan's Tartest Lemon Tart
1 1/2 lemons, scrubbed and dried
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 lare egg yolks, room temp
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 9-inch tart shell made with Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts (p. 444 of Baking from My Home to Yours), partially baked and cooled

Whipped cream, creme fraiche or confectioners' sugar for garnish

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place tart pan on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.

Slice whole lemon in half and pull out seeds from it and the half. Then cut lemons into small pieces.

Filling is best made in a blender, but you can use a food processor. Take care to work ingredients until they are smooth and to scrape down sides of bowl often. Put lemons and sugar in blender or processor and pulse, blend and scrape down sides until you have smooth mix. Add remaining filling ingredients and pulse and blend until filling is homogeneous. Rap bowl on counter several times to de-bubble filling as much as possible, and pour it into partially baked crust.

Very carefully--tart shell will be full--transfer baking sheet to oven. Bake 20 minutes, then increase oven temp to 350 degrees F and bake tart for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. (total time is 45 to 50 minutes). Don't be alarmed when filling starts to bubble up. (It might even bubble over edge of tart--that's okay.) When tart is properly baked, it shuld be set, although perhaps still shaky in center, and most of top will have formed a light sugary crust.

Transfer tart pan to cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Chill, if you'd like, before serving with cream or dusting of confectioners' sugar.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Tiramisu Cake

Dear Dorie,

Thank you for ruining my resolve. All those laps I've put in at the pool? Gone. I thought I didn't like cake. You've proved me wrong yet again.

Sincerely yours,

Okay. Maybe not. But...well, what is not to like here? My heart fell a bit, because I am, if nothing else, a lazy baker and this had step after step after step..but not really. Not if you really read the thing (and hey, I've made Dorie's brioche. If I can stick with it through all that, surely I can make a little cake, right?)....The steps are simple ones. The cake bakes up lovely (even without the vanilla. Trust me on that one. A little thing I forget all too often.)...The frosting is a really nice combo of mascarpone and whipped cream..I love how you soak the layers (I used rum...Love me some rum.)...And then build the cake.

This is a killer cake. A cake to take to parties. People will really think you worked all night on this.

Head over to TWD to check out the other blogs, and special thanks to Megan of My Baking Adventures for picking this cake, which I would have avoided (thinking it too complicated) otherwise.

Look: The mark of a well-loved book:
(or a sloppy cook!)