Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TWD: Mixed Berry Cobbler

Time really flies at the moment, it's Tuesday again and I still had to make the Tuesday With Dorie bake for this week so I made it tonight for dessert, just in time to post it while it's still Tuesday. This weeks recipe was picked by Beth of Our Sweet Life, she picked the Mixed Berry Cobbler, you can find the recipe in Baking: From My House To Yours and on Beth's Blog.

One thing I learned from last week's bake is to check the Problem and Question section on the TWD site. A lot of bakers that made the recipe complaint that the dough was a bit bland, so I exchanged the sugar for turbinado sugar, added a bit of cinnamon and some vanilla extract.
I also halved the recipe since it was a little too big for just the four of us.
The whole thing was pretty easy to make, I used frozen berries from the supermarket, which contained rasberries, blueberries, blackberries, some strawberries and cranberries. The cranberries were very tart so the next time I make this (yes, there will be a next time) I'll add a little bit more sugar to the filling.
The pastry top came together very easy, first time ever I used cream in a dough. I brushed the top with cream and sprinkled some more turbinado sugar on top.
Served it with whipped cream that was sweetened with vanilla sugar.

The verdict on this one: we all loved it! The cranberries made it a little tart sometimes, but apart from that no complaints. We all loved the pastry top, E. asked if I could just make that and serve it with strawberries, so I think the adjustments worked out fine.
I will make this one again for sure, probably serve it with a nice scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream!

Next week we will be making Apple Cheddar Scones, a recipe picked by Katrina of The Floured Apron.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TWD: Peppermint Cream Puff Ring

This weeks recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was picked by Caroline of A Consuming Passion, she picked a recipe with choux pastry. I always wanted to try that and I have a couple of recipes laying around but never got to it.

Instead of reading the Problems and Question section on the TWD site, or looking at some of my other recipes, I just made it straight from the book, big mistake!
I had hardly any puff in my pastry, there were some small air pockets but not the big fluffy ones you normally see in puff pastry. I just have to try this another time with the lessons learned from this bake.
Which lessons did I learn,? Well, don't add the eggs to the dough straight from the fire, let it cool down a bit first. Another lesson, after the pastry comes out of the oven (this is for puffs) make a small incision with a paring knife, to release steam, and put them back in the turned of oven so they can dry out a bit more.
Despite the dense structure it still tasted like puff pastry, I filled it with pastry cream instead of the peppermint cream. We are not that big on peppermint in our dessert here.
My pastry cream might look a little dark, that is from the new bottle of Mexican vanilla that I brought back from me recent trip. Beautiful flavor but very dark!

The recipe for this week can be found on Caroline's site since she was the one who picked it.

Next week we will be making the Mixed Berry Cobbler, picked by Beth of Our Sweet Life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TWD: La Palette’s Strawberry Tart

Marie from A Year From Oak Cottage choose this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: La Palette's Strawberry Tart.

I don't care much for strawberries on their own, but when they are ingredients in cakes, tarts, pies etc. I love them, add to that the fact that our local strawberries are in season and widely available in the shops and you'll get a tart that I looked forward to making!

I didn't want to make the whole tart because there aren't enough people around at the moment to finish it right away, so I ended up making four 4.5" tarts.

The dough was very easy to make, one of the things that can ruin a dough like this is using too warm butter, so I put the butter in the freezer a couple of hours before I needed it.
The recipe calls for freezing the dough when you've put it in the tart tin, an unusual step but it worked great.

I filled the baked tart shells with a store bought jam, since I ran out of my homemade jam. I think it would be even better with my own jam since I always add a little Stroh 80 rum before I can it, which just gives it something special.

I added a little splash kirsch and some cracked black pepper to the strawberries and topped the tarts with whipped cream.

The first bite I took, took me back to Konditorei, Dahinden in Weggis, Switzerland, when we were there on vacation we always drank coffee there with a slice of their fabulous strawberry pie. This pie is totally different, but now I know what made their pie stand out from others.... the kirsch! The kirsch gives the strawberries something special. The cracked pepper sounds odd but complements the tart nicely.
So what do we think of this tart? It's fabulous! We all loved it, I'll probably make it again and again, maybe exchange the jam for pastry cream, use different fruit, but this recipe is a keeper!

Dorie asked if we didn't put the recipes in our posts, so if you want to see the recipe buy Baking: From My House To Yours or enter in the give-away at the TWD site, which is also the pace where you can find the blog roll with all the other bakers.

Next week we will be making Peppermint Crem Puff Rings, chosen by Caroline of A Consuming Passion.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oreo Truffles

One of the blogs that I enjoy a lot is Bakerella, I discovered her site a long time ago when I was looking into red velvet cake, she had a recipe on her blog for Red Velvet Cake Balls which looked so different that I added her to my rss reader and follow her posts all the time.
One of those posts was a recipe for Oreo Truffles, which uses ingredients that are a little more over the counter here in Holland. except for the white chocolate bark that my friend in the US sent to me, thanks K.!!!

I made only half a recipe, with all the TWD recipes and good food aound here, 36 Oreo Truffles isn't a thing I want to have in the fridge, calling my name every time I open the door :-)

The recipe is fairly easy, the tricky thing is to get a nice coating of bark on the balls, which I got the hang of in the end.

The truffles are very rich, I might make them smaller next time, I would also experiment a bit with them, like adding a splash of Cointreau orange liquor to the oreo/creamcheese mixture.

Thanks Bakerella for the great ideas on your blog and for this great recipe!

Oreo Truffles
1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark

1. Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later.
2. Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
3. Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
4. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration.
5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD: French Chocolate Brownies

This week in Tuesdays with Dorie, French Chocolate Brownies, a recipe picked by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook.

Up till now I have only made one other brownie recipe, Sacher Brownies, but I did ate them a few times when I was in the States and I really like them. This recipe is great! Great taste, nice consistency, the occasional rum raisin, the odd top, just great!!

Nothing much was new in this recipe, the flambeeing I did already for the raisin snails, all the other stuff was pretty straight forward. The only scary moment was when I wanted to check if the cake was done and I inserted a small knife, part of the top collapsed, later when I checked the Problem and Question section at the TWD site I found out that happened to all of the other bakers too.
My trusty tasters loved this one too, H. thinks this is the best Dorie recipe so far!

Next week's recipe will be La Palette's Strawberry Tart, choosen by Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage.

French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.