Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gingerbread Bûche de Noël

This is an absolutely beautiful dessert!  It does take a bit of time, but it is possible to make the pralines, filling, and cake a day ahead so that on serving day, it's only necessary to make the beautiful, billowy frosting and assemble the log.

This was really fun to make, from making the pralines, to watching the cake batter double in size, to making the beautiful frosting.  I was so engrossed that I didn't take pictures!

Whipping up the cake

The finished log

I wasn't quite sure how or when to serve this because there are only three of us in the house.  But Dorie's serving idea included the suggestion to serve it on its own with champagne.  So yesterday I called some friends and invited them to come over that evening  to share the Bûche with some champagne!  They came, we ate, drank, and talked!  A wonderful gathering made possible by baking of the Bûche!  Perhaps it will be a new holiday tradition!

Happy holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Rugelach that Won Over France

First, let me say that I think these rugelach are very tasty:  the dough is flaky and flavorful and the filling is so delicious that I was tempted to eat it by the spoonful before it even got spread onto the dough.  Having said that, I admit to having to persevere in order to get these "just right".

My only previous experience with baking rugelach is Dorie's recipe in Baking from My Home to Yours.  Those little cookies are delicious, if a bit fussy and messy.  I was eager to try this recipe and figured I'd have no trouble at all--I have, after all, baked through Dorie's Baking from my Home to Yours and learned a great deal while doing so.

I would have had no trouble at all had I read this recipe carefully!  My first unintentional "variation" was that I mixed all the filling ingredients together--even the cinnamon and sugar which are actually supposed to be sprinkled onto the dough before spreading on the filling.  Maybe that's why I liked tasting it by the spoonful ahead of time!

The dough was easy to make, easy to roll (if a little ragged on the edges) and easy to fill.

A sort of square shape.

Half the square with the filling spread on.

A fairly tidy log

The major goof was in how I cut and baked the first log.  I cut the log in slices a little bit larger than a half inch BUT I placed them flat side down on the parchment paper:  they were happy little pinwheels going into the oven but burnt-on-the-bottom pinwheels coming out of the oven.

Going into the oven
Coming out of the oven--tops look fine, but bottoms
burnt when all that chocolate melted.
My son suggested that I cut them wider and place them in the oven standing up.  Brilliant!  I reread the directions and that's exactly what Dorie intended!  The results were much better!

This is one of those recipes that requires careful reading--and a suspension of initial over-confidence in one's baking ability.  I'm glad I persevered because these ruglelach turned out to be beautiful and delicious treats.

Lovely rugelach!

Check out the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers and bloggers.  And if you want the recipe, buy Baking Chez Moi!