Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Flip Over Plum Cake

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie pick is an absolutely fabulous Flip Over Plum Cake.   The thing is, you don't flip the cake over, the batter flips itself over!

I have been baking a great deal lately and I thought I'd cleverly make this cake a couple of weeks ahead of time when I had a bunch of plums on hand.  I decided to cut the recipe in half because I didn't have a lot of plums, I'm not crazy about plums, and I have been baking lots and lots of recipes from Dorie's book this month.

You melt butter in a pan, make a really simple batter and pour it over the butter, then drop in plums that have been tossed with sugar.  Couldn't be simpler and what a wonderful result!

This was so delicious that I bought more plums and made the full recipe!  No picture of that, however, because we ate it all up before I remembered to get out my camera!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rewind! Brioche Plum Tart and Linzer Sables

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie bakers caked Cocoa Salt and Pepper Shortbread.  Having made those in the past, I decided to skip them this week and instead bake two other recipes from the book to continue to try to catch up.  My intention is to systematically bake through the 30 remaining recipes in Dorie Greenspan's fabulous book, Baking from My Home to Yours in an effort to finish the book along with the TWD bakers (who started baking through the book before I did).

This week I baked Dorie's Linzer Sables.  They are lovely cookies with ground almonds and are typically sandwiched with jam.  Well.  Dorie does suggest in her "Playing Around" note that a chocolate ganache works quite well so that's what I did.  The only problem I had was that I loaned out my scalloped cookie cutter and so my cookies were simple circles.  Quite yummy, however.

I also baked the Plum Brioche Tart.  This was really, really fun to make.  The brioche dough is made a day ahead, rises once in a warm spot and then is deflated and put into the refrigerator where it's deflated every half  hour until it gives up and just rests.  The next day, the dough is easily spread into a pie plate.  Dorie suggests spreading on plum preserves, but I chose to use port-pear preserves instead.  An inspired choice!

Brioche dough with port-pear preserves
 I cut up plums, piled them high, and sprinkled on a mixture of sugar, chopped nuts.  The result was lovely to look at and a delicious addition to the brunch table.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Classic Brownies + Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

I love brownies.  Well, let me clarify that statement.  I love all of Dorie's brownies.  We were recently traveling in and around Denver and stopped at a bakery/deli.  There was a request for chocolate raspberry bread pudding (this was good, but I kept thinking how Dorie's Apple Apple Bread Pudding is not just good, it's fabulous).  There was also a request for a brownie.  This brownie was a real disappointment and I think it was, as my husband put it, "the fat is off".  I'm quite sure that if they used butter, they didn't use all butter.  It did not satisfy.

Classic Brownies
So it was with great pleasure that I had an excuse to bake Dorie Greenspan's Classic Brownies along with the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.  Delicious!  Not too cakey and not too gooey.  In other words, just right.

This week I pulled out of the freezer the Double Crusted Blueberry Pie that I made before we left for Denver.  What a lucky stroke that was, as blueberry season is just over here and yet we are extending the season by enjoying this delightful pie.
Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chocolate Spice Quickies

I made these quite a long time ago and nearly decided to skip this recipe since we were going to be traveling.  But the "Quickie" in the title and the desire (obsession?) to bake along with the Tuesdays with Dorie crowd was enough incentive to whip up the logs, freeze them, and bake just a few before we left for the weekend.

This time, I actually took the time to blanch the almonds.  It's not a hard task, and it is surprisingly satisfying to pop off the almond skins, but it added a bit of time to the quickiness of the recipe.  I must say, however, that I'm glad I did.  I'd read that there is tanin in almond skins that provides a slightly bitter taste which is not always appreciated when baking.  I think for these cookies, there is a noticeable difference with blanched v. unblanched almonds and I much prefer using blanched almonds.

The cookies were great--not brownies, but they aren't advertised as such.  They were a little too fragile to survive traveling in a plastic bag in a purse on an airplane, but it didn't matter because we happily shared the crumbs during a layover at an airport and it was a great little chocolate fix.
This picture is just for show.  The cookies (most of them anyway)
 traveled with us by plane and were a happy little snack
 at the airport.