Sunday, January 31, 2010

Honey Nut Brownies

Dorie says that "While these contain enough chocolate to qualify as brownies, the standout flavor is honey--full, bold and just a touch tangy". She's right, of course. In fact Rich asked me what the spice was in these and I told him that there was none--just the honey.

I had a little trouble with these sticking, even though I lined the pan with foil. And I think if I make them again, I'll use the optional chocolate frosting for a little extra yum.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cafe Volcano Cookies

These were so easy to make that I almost felt like I hadn't really baked today! Just toast the nuts, mix them with egg whites, a cup of sugar and espresso powder, stir on the stove till warm and bake. They were very much enjoyed, especially be Rich who says they are light, crunchy and fabulous.

The cheesecake was much enjoyed--I managed to snap a picture before it was entirely gone!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Basic Cheesecake

Since Lydia will be here tomorrow for soup night, I decided to make Dorie's Basic Cheesecake. She uses a graham cracker crumb crust which almost seemed too inelegant. Rich said it would be fine and went off to the store but somehow graham crackers didn't make it to the list so he didn't buy any. I was presented with the perfect opportunity to make my own using the recipe in the book Pete gave me for Christmas, The Craft of Baking.

The first batch was in the oven too long--not inedible but imperfect. The second batch not only looked good but tasted great.

I used the crumbs to make Dorie's cheesecake. The whole process was wonderful! I love the way she says it will be about 4 minutes of mixing after the eggs are in until the batter is light and fluffy--it took 3 minutes and 54 seconds! And I loved how you bake for 1 and 1/2 hours, then prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, turn the oven off and let the cheesecake "luxuriate" in its hot water bath.

It's now cooling on the counter, then into the "cold room" overnight. I'm sure it will be very much enjoyed tomorrow.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Basic Marbled Loaf Cake

So last night, Lydia called to say that she would be able to come to Rochester for the dance tonight. And that she would love to have dinner with us. And Nancy would be riding with her and could she come for dinner also? Of course! So I looked through Dorie’s book and my first choice was cheesecake brownies but they require time to chill in between steps.

So I settled on the Basic Marbled Loaf Cake--I’d get to use my new loaf pan and it would be yummy. I went to Wegman’s for an expensive bar of good white chocolate that would be melted and stirred into the white batter. Found what I needed, but when I was unloading the groceries at home, that lovely bar of chocolate was not there! I almost drove back to the store, but decided to use Ghirardelli Classic White chocolate chips--which I had on hand.

I melted the bittersweet chocolate and set it aside to cool. It was smooth and wonderful. I melted the white chocolate chips over simmering water but they were not so smooth. With stirring, the white chocolate finally smoothed out and so I set it aside to cool also.

By the time I mixed up the batter and was ready to mix the chocolate chocolate in half of it and the white chocolate in the other half, I realized there might be a problem. The chocolate batter looks great. But the white chocolate had partially solidified! Which, of course, I didn’t realize until I had dumped it into the batter. So I tried stirring it in with the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, which was only partly successful. There are chunks of white chocolate in the white batter.

It’s in the oven now. We’ll see what happens.

The verdict is that it tastes great! And the little bits of white chocolate are a wonderful addition.

January 20, 2010

Having made the New Year’s Resolution to finish baking all of the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s fabulous book, Baking from my Hone to Yours, I decided to start a blog to track my progress.