This week’s baking assignment for my Tuesdays with Dorie group is the Pink Grapefruit Tart from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan but this week I struggled with the assignment and didn’t progress past making a grapefruit crémeux for the tart. So, in place of a fully assembled tart I’m serving up a lovely coupé of the rich silky pink crémeux topped with a segment of grapefruit and a mini Palmier. To be honest I wasn’t particularly interested in making the tart, even though the photo of it looks beautiful in the book. So, I decided to make the grapefruit crémeux to inspire myself and progress with the tart from there, but I didn’t… The tart didn’t happen! I used my stash of Plugra European style butter to make Palmiers instead. My inspiration came from the class in French Pastry at Sur la Table in San Francisco that I took last week. Ever since my class I’ve been literally dreaming about making homemade Palmiers and so my idea of serving a coupé of grapefruit crémeux with Palmiers came to life. I feel it represents the best creamy component of Dorie’s tart while still including crisp bites of caramelized buttery goodness from the Palmiers in place of a tart crust. Please check out the Tuesdays with Dorie baker’s Pink Grapefruit Tarts and my Palmiers in the photo below, I’m showing off both minis and full size Palmiers. I used the recipe from Sur la Table’s The Art & Soul of Baking for the Quick Puff Pastry and Palmiers.
Deep in the heart of Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan, straight from the fruit, creams, frozen desserts and candies section comes this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie’s assigned recipe for a generous frozen chocolate mousse cake. I’m loving it’s regal sounding name of ‘marquise au chocolat’…and believe me this bittersweet chocolate mousse calls to all chocolate lovers loud and clear.
As good as French pastry is now, it seems that it may have been even better a few hundred years ago when chefs were creating over-the-top desserts like the ‘marquise au chocolat’ for the privileged of that time. Many classic French desserts from generations ago have never become old fashioned, they just live on and continue to make sweet lovers all over the world very happy.
On serving the marquise; Dorie notes to serve 1″ slices of the cold marquise with the choices of crème anglaise, a melted premium vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche or whipped cream. Under my ‘notes to self’ on serving ideas… I think fresh berries are naturals with a rich chocolate dessert like this, so I decided on blueberries… and also because I wanted to serve them with the blueberry macarons left over from a recent macaron baking extravaganza with my friend and fellow blogger Gina from SpcookieQueen. Here is her recipe for Italian meringue style French Macarons. Lucky me having blueberry macarons on hand to decorate my marquise but I also baked another batch of macarons with the egg whites leftover from the marquise recipe…couldn’t resist their allure.
Please check out the ‘marquise au chocolat’ creations from Tuesdays with Dorie here. We have been asked not to share the recipes from Baking Chez moi here, but if you’re interested in making this decadent frozen chocolate mousse cake, I suggest picking up your very own copy of Baking Chez Moi and then you’ll have all the recipes. I also found a marquise recipe with a photo to check out here from Leite’s Culinaria. Here is another fun chocolate marquise recipe, layered with a box of after eights mints and another yummy photo, by Gordon Ramsey for bbcgoodfood.com
After a second try using a loaf pan and an addition of brown butter vanilla bean glaze, this simple brown butter vanilla bean weekend cake turned out to be a keeper recipe, just the way I imagined it would be. The first time I tried this recipe it was a colossal disappointment and I’m guessing the thick luscious fragrant cake batter did not like my cute new Bundt pan which may have been the cause of it turning out slightly dry and too sturdy, not good qualities in a weekend cake.
So, was my baking experience this week from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie an episode of woman versus cake?… kind of. After baking the first weekend cake in a Bundt pan and waiting a few days before cutting off a slice to taste, as advised to develop the flavors, I was not impressed with my results. My first thought was, forget it-I’m not baking this one again, but then I remembered how good the brown butter vanilla bean infused batter looked and smelled- so tempting. And that I also have the benefit of baking through a wonderful collection of recipes from Baking Chez Moi with a group of dedicated bakers, the gang from Tuesdays with Dorie and that many of these bakers loved this recipe…Please check out their results here. So, I decided to make it again, this time in a loaf pan and with a glaze. I just felt like it needed something sweet on it or with it, like ice cream, a sauce or a glaze. So glaze it was, I stirred brown butter, vanilla bean paste, cream and rum into powdered sugar and after a short time of whisking I had a pretty tasty glaze which I spread over the slightly warm cake. Yum, it was good and finally I-the woman- had in the end won this round with cake.
I started my holiday baking with a cranberry crackle tart from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Not a single doubt in my mind that Dorie’s sweet and tart dessert creation is a keeper. Looking for a not so overly rich dessert to end a heavy meal like Thanksgiving? This could be the one. Looking for a way to use up some of your Summer stash of homemade jam? I spread a few generous spoonfuls of my coveted rhubarb strawberry jam on the crust of this cranberry crackle tart and that was pretty close to heavenly in my humble opinion…Which begs the question….exactly what is a ‘crackle’ tart?… I was just about to talk about that. This recipe features a tart brimming with fluffy meringue laced with fresh cranberries spread over your favorite jam in a delicate pre-baked tart pastry..then the whole thing goes into a low oven and bakes until slightly browned and cracked or voilà ‘crackled’ on top. I think my tart is pretty but it’s always fun to guild the lily… the left over tart dough can either be cut into small leaves to decorate your tart or enjoyed as small cookies…just perfect with a dusting of powdered sugar and sprinkling of cranberries. Looking for new holiday recipes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas? I think that could be a great reason to join in the fun with the Tuesdays with Dorie baking group. Please check out the baker’s results here. Dorie was so kind as to share her tart recipe on The Splendid Table, so if you haven’t picked up your copy of Baking Chez Moi, you’re in luck as you can easily find this week’s assigned recipe here.
I could make a Strawberry Almond Cream Tart every week during strawberry season-that’s how much I like this recipe from Cooking Light’s Way to Bake cook book. Score-I love it when I find a favorite recipe! This strawberry tart with a graham cracker crust has it all going on-it’s fresh, fruity, light and sweet -also very popular at my Mother’s Day pool party. I don’t think we’ve ever had a big party on Mother’s Day, anyway the afternoon went by in a blur with kids in the pool, lots of food, drink, conversation and good times going on by all in our back yard. That morning I made 2 of these exact same strawberry tarts for the party and everybody liked them but the day went so fast for me that I neglected to take any photos which as you can imagine is a big no-no for any self respecting food blogger, like myself. So, as soon as possible I made another Strawberry Almond Cream Tart for my blog, which didn’t hurt my feelings one bit because I not so secretly wanted another piece as did my grandsons who enjoyed slices for an after school treat at grandma’s house. Now is the time to make a dessert with strawberries or just plain eat strawberries while they are ripe, plentiful and lower priced in the markets. We all know this so I hope you will host a party this holiday weekend and serve a beautiful homemade dessert with loads of big luscious strawberries for all to enjoy, doesn’t that sound like fun? Speaking of fun-The winner of last week’s Hamilton Beach set of mixers Giveaway is Deb from East of Eden Cooking, whom I will be contacting by email. That was kind of cool, I liked the giveaway-may have to figure out how to make that happen more often on my blog.
Thanks from me and Hamilton Beach to everybody who participated in the giveaway by leaving comments on my blog!
Adapted from Cooking Light 'Way to Bake'.
- 1 package (9 sheets) honey-flavored graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 teaspoons water
- baking spray
- 2/3 cup or 5 ounces 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 cups medium strawberries, hulled and divided (2 cups for topping/glaze and 4 cups left whole for topping)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Spray bottom of a 9" metal removable bottom tart pan
- prepare the crust
- Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until crumbly.
- Add the sugar, melted butter and water, pulse until combined and moist.
- Place the graham cracker in the prepared 9" tart pan, pressing into bottom and sides (about 3/4 of the way up) of pan.
- Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool completely on a metal rack.
- prepare the filling
- Combine the cream cheese, sugar and extracts in a medium bowl, spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust.
- prepare the topping
- Place 2 cups of the strawberries in the food processor and process until smooth, scraping down once or twice.
- Combine the strawberry purée, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and over a medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove topping/glaze mixture from heat, cool to room temperature.
- Combine remaining 4 cups of strawberries, lemon juice and a few spoonfuls of glaze/topping in a medium bowl.
- Arrange the 4 cups of whole strawberries in a circular pattern on top of the cream cheese filling.
- Spoon the topping/glaze around the berries, filling in the edges.
- Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the edges.
- Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
- Slice and serve.
Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart with a ~Giveaway~ Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer and Softcrape Hand Mixer
Oh Happy Day! Today is the day I’m offering one lucky reader an easier way to make my Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart. It is my pleasure to host a Giveaway from Hamilton Beach for both a SoftScrape 6 Speed Mixer with Case and a 6 Speed Stand Mixer. The generous folks at Hamilton Beach also gave me a set of the very same mixers to try out at home, so I can speak with authority when I tell you they are both quite capable of whipping up the thick chocolate and fudgy batter needed to make your own Walnut-Fudge Upside Down Tart. To enter this contest and have a chance at winning both these mixers from Hamilton Beach please leave a comment below telling me about one of your favorite recipes using chocolate by this Friday May 23 before noon Pacific Time-don’t you like how I included the thing about Pacific Time that was also to remind me to tell you that this contest is only open to U.S. residents age 18 and older.A quick note (!) about the thick chocolate batter that goes into this chocolate tart… I used a few spoonfuls of Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup which I brought back with me on the plane in my suitcase from NOLA, I know that’s crazy to be toting a large bottle of pure cane syrup in my suitcase-I triple wrapped it!- but it turned out to be SO WORTH IT!! If you don’t have your own bottle of Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup, light corn syrup with a smidgen of molasses might be a close approximation.
Adapted from Cooking Light.
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, Ghirardelli 60% brand
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons all purpose baking cocoa, KAF brand
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure cane syrup, Steen's brand
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Coat a 9" metal removable bottom tart pan with baking spray.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts in pan.
- Combine the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water.
- Slowly cook until chocolate melts, remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
- Using either a hand (with a large bowl) or stand mixer beat the eggs on medium speed until thick and lighter in color.
- Gradually add the sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) to the eggs, beating on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cane syrup and vanilla, beat on low speed for 1 minute, until well blended.
- Add the chocolate mixture, beat on low speed for 1 minute, until well blended.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed until combined.
- Pour the batter over the nuts in prepared pan, spread evenly.
- Bake in lower third of oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm and slightly pulls away from the sides or a toothpick inserted comes away with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool in pan on metal rack, invert on plate to serve.
Disclosure: Hamilton Beach provided these products for a giveaway however, all opinions are 100% my own.
Do you have a recipe that you make from scratch just about every week? Well, this is that recipe for me and it happens to be for granola. We crave Greek yogurt sprinkled with honey almond granola…using this recipe. It is easy, fits in a large glass canister on my counter and easily satisfies a sweet tooth. I started with a simple granola recipe that I found in Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon. In the chapter, titled Basics there is a recipe for Make-Your-Own Signature Granola that I’ve made exactly that way. I’m sharing my own tweaked version of this recipe but love this cookbook and suggest adding it to your collection.
Favorite things about this granola recipe are the flavors of Orange Blossom honey, vanilla, cinnamon, toasted rolled oats, roasted almonds, maple syrup and extra-virgin olive oil. It’s kind of sad when my glass container of granola runs low..but it’s so easy to fill it back up again. I’m forever stocking up on the ingredients so I usually have everything needed right in the pantry-don’t you just love a recipe like that?
We are in the middle of our first hot (record breaking) weather of the season. Today our high will be 91F which is actually a few degrees cooler than yesterday, that’s a relief! I won’t be making any oven baked granola today but my pictures are from last week when it was cooler but not to worry -I heard the temperatures will be cooling off this weekend just in time to bake another batch of my favorite honey almond granola.
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 3 & 1/2 cups rolled oats, I used Bob's Red Mill
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking spice, optional-I used Penzeys brand
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, I used Whole Foods brand
- 1/2 cup Orange Blossom honey
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the almonds on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, set aside.
- Stir together all the above ingredients, except almonds, in a large bowl until well mixed.
- Spread the raw unbaked granola evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and turn over granola with large metal spatula.
- Put back in the oven and continue baking for 15 additional minutes, if necessary- turn again and bake for 5 minutes or until you have desired browned color, don't over bake.
- Let the granola cool before breaking up in smaller pieces and placing in a covered container.