Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baking with Dorie: Strawberry & Apple cobbler

I've never baked a cobbler before, so when our BWD bake came up this week, I was none the wiser! 

The recipe on page 415 of Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan, called for rhubarb and cherry cobbler. Since cherries are not in season this side of the world, and those that are available are imported and cost an arm and a leg (R36.00 for a 200g punnet!!!), I opted for strawberries. After searching high and low for rhubarb, I came to the conclusion that it was just not grown around here. So, I substituted apples for the rhubarb. So many substitution going on here, eh??!!

The topping of the cobbler lends itself to a shortbread kinda dough. I used ground almonds instead of the wholewheat flour the recipe called for. I love how quickly this can be made!! 1....2....3 and in the oven it goes! 

I served it warm with tinroof ice cream. And from the silence emanating from the lounge, I guess the kids loved it and so did I! 

Head on to Ryan's blog for the recipe and go on and try this! It's perfect with the winter weather we're having! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Baking with Dorie: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

One of the reasons behind me purchasing Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours, is the endless recipes containing chocolate! Yes! You guessed it! We're chocolate freaks!

When I came across this recipe, I literally swooned! Four types of chocolate are used, three types in the batter and one used in the glazed topping. The first time I made these we could not wait for the glaze to set, and hence dug into a slightly warm brownie. :D Suffice to say that that is the reason why it's my choice for BWD this week. 

This was the result of my first attempt 

There's no need for a hand mixer as everything gets done with a whisk or spatula. AND only two bowls are used, so the cleaning up afterward is minimal! The recipe follows below, so go ahead, make these NOW!

I can't wait to see what the others in the BWD group thought of this recipe! Check out their results here.

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies from Baking from my home to yours
Page 99

For the brownies:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips,
or 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, I used macadamia

For the glaze:

Imagine using three types of chocolate in the batter!!
6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped,
or 1 cup store-bought white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt.

To make the brownies: Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted-you don't want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl.

Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes. Using a whisk or rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don't beat too vigorously-you don't want to add air to the batter-and don't be concerned about any graininess. Next stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth glossy batter. 

If you're not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you'd like.)

Brownies just out of the oven!

Turn the brownies onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack-it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.

To make the glaze: Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. 

Pour the glaze into the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don't worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze. Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 21/4 inches on a side.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baking with Dorie: Cornmeal shortbread cookies

Mention shortbread and my mouth would immediately start salivating! Shortbread including tennis biscuits are the perfect tidbits to dunk. So when Rivki made her choice for the BWD group, I couldn't wait to try these out.

I've only made one other shortbread cookie, which has cocoa added to it. My kids love decorating them with royal icing. I also made some choc shortbread cookies on sticks as Mother's day gifts for family members. My cousin Shaheema's still walking around with half a cookie in her handbag. She says they're too pretty to eat :D

What's different about this shortbread cookie is the addition of cornmeal or maize meal / mielie meal as it is known in SA. I substituted the cornmeal with polenta because that is what I had on hand. As soon as these cookies came from the oven we dug into them! Crisp, buttery goodness with just a hint of lemon! Absolutely delish!

Its my choice for the next BWD bake and I can't wait to see every one's results. 

Now please excuse me while I go make me a cup of tea to indulge a few more before heading off to bed :D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baking with Dorie: Bill's Big Carrot Cake

I'm so glad I took the time in between baking orders to bake this cake. It's absolutely delicious! And I was able to share the cake for tea. 

One layer was given to my mother (after I took the pics that is) and the other two I took with to an aunt's home. Where my cousin who married a week ago, cut up her wedding cake for tea too.

I love the addition of coconut in the batter and while the original recipe called for plump raisins, I opted for the addition of cranberries instead. 

Half way through preparation, I realized that I had used up all the oil that I had on the 500 snowballs order for Saturday morning. Having to improvise, I decided to melt some butter as a substitute. I was a bit apprehensive as to the result I would get but I crossed my fingers and just hoped for the best. I beat the eggs and sugar together, while the recipe called for the oil and sugar to be beaten first and the eggs added one at a time. 

The end result was a deliciously moist cake with tonnes of character! And the addition of coconut to the cream cheese icing lent a nutty, toasty taste to every mouthful!

This cake's definitely a keeper and one I will continue to make for years to come!

PS: I've been struggling to add some more pics, but somehow blogger's been uploading them upside down :D Will try again tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baking with Dorie: Brrrrrr-ownies

It's my first time baking along with Dorie, so I was really looking forward to this bake! I suppose because it contains two of my all time fav ingredients. That being.... Yes!...You guessed it! ....Chocolate and mint!

I had been looking for the mint patties, to be used in the recipe, since last week already. But wasn't successful finding them. Until last week Friday that is. I was standing in the store when a package caught my eye, and upon closer inspection, I realized that it was mint choc patties! 

Well, at least I THOUGHT they were mint choc patties. After purchasing them this evening and rushing home, I was all excited to get started! But when I unwrapped the box of chocs and broke one of them open, I soon realized that my end result wouldn't be as minty as I wanted it to be. 

Nonetheless, I went ahead with my baking! These brrrrrrownies are definitely chewy, fudgy and deliciously chocolaty! But I was missing the brrrrrrrrr in the brrrrrrrrrownies :D 

I'm definitely going to bake these again, but next time will make sure to use a minty ingredient that contained more bite! Perhaps the chewy mints that Tina used in her bake :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coconut...... Oh coconut.....

Just mention of the word coconut would make my knees go weak :D

So when I saw the recipe for madeleines here, I just had to try them out the first chance that I got. My mom's a huge fan of snowballs and fancies. Snowballs are cupcake size sponge cakes dipped in jam syrup and rolled in coconut! Fancies are much the same but only the sides are dipped in the syrup and rolled in coconut. Oh! Oh! And how can I forget them small coconut tarts! There goes my heart rate once again :D

Fancies, topped with fresh cream and various fillings

Snowballs dipped in jam & rolled in coconut!

Mum came around for tea today and I knew the madeleines would hit the spot! Preparing them took all of twenty minutes. While I waited for the oven to heat up, I cooked the jam syrup and colored it with a bit of red food coloring. By the time the first tray of cakes came out of the oven, the jam syrup was cool enough to dip the cakes into. 

Crisp, buttery coconut tarts shown here with cream horns!

These babies are very soft and should only be dipped once they've cooled down completely, otherwise they'll break! Once dipped, they're slit through with a serrated knife and sandwiched together with a mock icing. I chose a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream instead, YUMS!

They're decadent, melt in the mouth wicked! :D

Wickedly delish madeleins!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I've decided to start baking along with the fellow bloggers at Baking with Dorie, which is why I thought of adding a separate blog to my profile. 

I'm certainly looking forward to some delish bakes and awesome photography, not to mention baking along with some very experienced baking enthusiasts! 

Watch this space :D