Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fluted Tangerine-Carrot Cake

Last week I made two cakes for our Soup Night guests:  Dorie's Fluted Tangerine Carrot Cake and  Betty's Chocoholic Cake.  What a contrast in flavors and intensity!

Halfway through Soup Night:  the tangerine cake and the chocolate cake have been equally enjoyed!  By the end of the evening, only crumbs remained.

In my last post, I described how my husband and I host weekly "Soup Nights" during the winter.  We live where it's cold and snowy (Rochester, New York, which is located in western New York, no where near NYC.)  For the past dozen years, we have invited our friends to join us once a week throughout the winter for soup, bread, and desserts.  Folks usually contribute wine or a side dish.  It's a wonderful way to see friends during the stay-at-home months and what could be better than gathering around delicious food?!

This week I made Dorie Greenspan's Fluted Carrot Tangerine Cake.  I thought I took a lot of pictures of the tangerine cake preparations, but I guess I only got the very beginnings! 

I enjoyed making and eating this cake.  It reminded me of Dorie's Swedish Visiting Cake from Baking from my Home to Yours.  Fairly simple to make with subtle but lovely flavors, and beautiful to look at.  I'm sorry that I didn't get a better picture!

I always make two desserts for Soup Night (we have 20+ guests) so I decided that it would be cake night.  Betty's Chocoholic Cake is definitely intense!  Oh so pretty and oh so chocolatey.  If one ate a little slice of the chocolate cake and then a little slice of the tangerine cake, the intensity of the chocolate overpowered the tangerine.  

Our guests enjoyed both cakes--the only leftovers were a few crumbs.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lemon Squares, French Style

Every now and then I'll be at a potluck and someone will bring lemon squares.  They are usually tasty, but occasionally they are too sweet or gloppy.  I looked forward to trying Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Squares, French Style.

Let me just say the these were scrumptious.  The lemon curd was the perfect consistency and very lemon-y without being overly tart.  The crust was lovely, as one might expect with the use of almond flour.  The key here, I think, is that this recipe uses one pound of butter.  With that much butter, how can it not taste great?!

Cooking up the lemon curd.  Notice those hunks of butter?

Rolling out the crust, using a small glass as Dorie suggested.

The crust has baked a bit.

About to spread out the lemon curd.

Ready for the oven with extra crust sprinkled on top and finally topped with chopped, slice almonds.

Out of the oven.
Dorie writes that the edges will caramelize and that they will be the best part.  I figured my guests would think that the edges were "burnt", so I trimmed them off.  And ate them myself.  Yummy!

Here's my husband, setting things up for our first Soup Night of the winter.  The Lemon Squares and Dorie's Apple-Apple Bread Pudding (from Baking From My Home to Yours) are the first things our guests will encounter when they arrive.  My son made the two artisanal breads, and there are two big pots of soup on the stove, Mrs. Albarelli's Italian Bean Soup and Mushroom Bisque.  

For the past twelve years, we have invited friends to our house to share delicious soup, fresh bread, and luscious desserts, for a series of nine Mondays in a row throughout the winter.  It's a chance to fill our house with good food, good friends, and good conversation.  Last night was the first Soup Night of the season and we had 28 guests!  People bring wine, salads, appetizers and side dishes to share.  I send out a bunch of invitations but RSVPs are unnecessary:  I like t be surprised!  It was a wonderful evening!  I learned about new jobs, happy excursions, and overheard conversations about brewing beer, scuba diving, jigsaw puzzles and grandchildren.  All of the desserts and breads were consumed and we had just one quart of soup left over.  It was great to reconnect with our friends on a cold, snowy night and great to share my baking with them.

To see what other Tuesday with Dorie bakers baked this week, check out this link.