This Tuesday, Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures selected Cinnamon Squares. A layer of cinnamon espresso chocolate chips in the middle of a cinnamon cake that’s topped with a bittersweet chocolate frosting… Whoa, mama.
I halved the recipe and baked in a small round cake pan for about 25-30 minutes. I took the cake out even though the middle was still streaking the knife a little bit. Once it cooled, everything was all good and the cake was totally done without being overly done. I forgot that I had ran out of sugar while making last week’s Chipster-Topped Brownies so I made this all with Splenda instead of running to the store. I felt weird about it, I’ve never baked with anything but sugar but it worked out fine. This cake was pretty cinnamony, actually a bit much – but I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon so what was strong for me may be ok for others. All in all, I did like it but I’m not too sure I’d make it again. The pluses about it: it smells great while baking, tastes good plain, is made even better by the chocolate icing, and is one of those outside of the norm recipes that is a refreshing change every now and then.
I’m exhausted today from working overtime so I’m keeping this short and sweet. Please head on over to Tracey’s blog Tracey’s Culinary Adventures to view the recipe or check out Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours on pages 210 and 211. See you next Tuesday for Parisian Apple Tartlet chosen Jessica of My Baking Heart!
After the last few weeks, I’m on chocolate overload. This tart marks the end of the great chocolate run for TWD and, while it’s been great, I’m glad it’s over. I’m sure I’ll start going through withdrawals soon though. Mmmmm… chocolate.
This tart is basically a normal diner style chocolate cream pie but with an updated crust of chocolate shortbread. I LOVED the chocolate filling and the whipped topping though I overmixed it a bit. Dorie really nailed the filling flavor in my opinion, I’d say it was close to perfect. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the crust… it was a bit too bitter but that was easy to overlook when eating all the components together. I think maybe adding more sugar to it or using something like an Oreo crust would work better for me.
I made a half recipe and used two 4 inch tart pans. I baked the crusts for only about 15 minutes. The only issue I had was I picked up one of the assembled tarts and it just crumbled in my hands and landed in a big mushy mess on the baking sheet. Whoops!
Chocolate Cream Tart was chosen for the April 28th, 2009 Tuesdays with Dorie by Kim of Scrumptious Photography. Thank you, Kim! The recipe can be found on Kim’s blog here or on pages 352 and 353 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours. Next week, Megan of My Baking Adventures has chosen Tiramisu Cake on pages 266-268 of Baking: From my home to yours. I can’t wait for this one!!!
I mentioned to my friend that I was going to be baking this “four-star” chocolate bread pudding over the weekend. They asked if the words “four-star” should really be in a recipe’s name, like maybe it could be a bit presumptuous.
I hadn’t really thought about it that way since I’ve come to trust Dorie over the last 60 of her recipes I’ve tried, with her I know I don’t have to be skeptical. But yeah, not just anyone can give out those kinds of names to their creations. As I expected though, I was happy to report back that Dorie appropriately named this bread pudding “four-star”. I said “that s*** was good!” which is how I generally give reviews if I’m saying I like something… not on my blog, but that would make it way easier if I did.
This was easy to make. There really wasn’t much to it – bread, raisins, milk, cream, eggs, sugar and chocolate. You could go a step further and follow Dorie’s suggestions of serving with creme anglaise, chocolate sauce or whipped cream but I decided to just stick to a dusting of powdered sugar. I enjoyed it warm, at room temp and straight out of the fridge cold. It could do no wrong. I wasn’t disappointed and would make this again.
This might not be what you’re used to with bread pudding. So if you don’t like bread puddings, this one could maybe turn you around if you were willing to give it a shot. My experience with them can be hit or miss as too much mushiness turns me off. This version struck a good balance because the custard part generally rested on the bottom of the pan while the bread crumbs rose towards the top. This gave it a distinct texture difference that I really appreciated and enjoyed.
What I Did: I used white bread stuffing cubes that I staled in the oven for ten minutes. I was really nervous about using these cubes, but it turned out great. I used 2% milk instead of whole. I would’ve loved to have used cherries in this, but used dark raisins instead due to cost differences. I used bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I halved the recipe and baked in a 8×8 pan for 25 minutes.
Thanks to Lauren of A BAKING BLOG aka upper eastside chronicle for choosing Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding for the April 21st edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. To see the recipe and to find out what Lauren thought of her choice, visit her blog and check out posting date April 21st, 2009 (I can’t seem to be able to get a direct link to it, sorry!).
Next week, Kim of Scrumptious Photography has selected Chocolate Cream Tart. See you next Tuesday!
Holly of Phe/MOM/enon has chosen 15 Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte for the April 14th, 2009 edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. This recipe marks the beginning of the TWD CHOCOLATE marathon! For the next few weeks, it’s going to be chocolate city around here.
In Baking: From my home to yours, Dorie says if you can push a button you can make this cake. She’s not lying. She got the 15 minute part right, too. This was one of the easiest recipes I’ve made along with the group so far. There are only two or three components: the cake, the chocolate glaze and an optional Almond Whipped Cream.
The recipe calls for Amaretti cookies which are Italian almond macaroons. Dorie’s favorite brand is called Amaretti di Daronno from D.Lazzaroni & Co. that come in a big red tin. My “local” Italian market (30 minutes away) carried a brand of cookies in a big red tin, but I don’t remember if that was the brand or not.
I went with this little bag for about $3.00. Works for me.
Let me tell you, I got freakin’ ADDICTED to these cookies. I’m surprised I had any left to make this cake. I bought them a full week before and each day the supply got lower and lower.
If you can’t find Amaretti Cookies locally, you can easily make your own. Many recipes can be found on the internet. Here’s a couple to get you started, one uses almond paste and one uses ground almonds.
Joy of Baking Amaretti Cookie Recipe – uses Almond Paste and has a nice little write up on amaretti cookies. Including the correct way to pronounce “amaretti”, just in case you wanted to make sure.
Allrecipes Amaretti Cookies – uses Ground Almonds.
I went the Playing Around route and made individual tortes in 4 inch springform pans.
I was pretty happy with this cake. It wasn’t the best version of a chocolate cake I’ve ever had, mainly due to the texture from the ground nuts and cookies that replaced using flour, but I really didn’t mind that too much. I did like the bites better if they had the almond whipped cream so I would definitely recommend making it even though the recipe marks it as “optional”. The boyfriend doesn’t like almonds so he wouldn’t try this one. His loss, my gain (I hope not too literally!).
Thanks to Holly for the pick this week. To check out the recipe, stop by Holly’s blog Phe/MOM/enon.
Next week, Lauren of A BAKING BLOG aka upper eastside chronicle selected Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding, pages 410 and 411 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours. See you next Tuesday!
This Chocolate Armagnac Cake is an intense chocolate cake. And ok, this cake has whisky soaked prunes. Prunes?? But wait! It’s really good.
I like when there’s a interesting backstory to things, it’s one of the reasons Lost is my favorite show. I’ve always liked to learn the events that have led to the way things turn out. This cake has a backstory. According to Dorie, it got her fired from her very first professional job when, out of boredom, she improvised on an existing popular Chocolate Whisky Raisin cake recipe at the restaurant. I guess the problem came when she didn’t tell anyone she did it and the cake went out to unsuspecting customers. You know how people can get about prunes. The cake turned out to be quite good but the boss fired her anyway.
And now 250 bakers are trying their hand at this cake all these years later. Interesting.
Specifics: I used walnuts for the ground nuts due to the difference in costs compared to pecans. Armagnac is a type of brandy made in Southwest France, but I used Scotch whisky left over from the Butterscotch Pudding I recently made instead to save some more $$. I had way too much fun this past Saturday night which I was still recovering from when I made this cake. I made a mistake and smelled the whisky as I was getting ready to pour it. Getting a big whiff of that whisky really didn’t do it for me, I must say. I baked in two 4 inch springform pans for about 23 minutes which maybe was a tad too long.
This cake was delicious. For as much chocolate as it had in it, it wasn’t a chocolate overload for me. I served with vanilla ice cream which made it taste even better. You couldn’t even tell there was prunes in it really, they added some texture and a little bit of sweetness but it was more of an accent. Wrinkled up noses at the thought of prunes might come at the beginning, but smiles will come at the end. And that’s a great way for things to turn out, don’t you think?
Ok, what am I going to do with all these leftover prunes now?
Thanks to LyB of And then I do the dishes for selecting Chocolate Armagnac Cake – The Cake That Got Me Fired for the March 3rd edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. The recipe can be found on LyB’s blog here or in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours on pages 279-281. For next week, Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles has chosen Lemon Cup Custard. See you next Tuesday!
Finally… “The Cover Cake” (or if you want to get all technical with names, the Devil’s Food White Out) has been chosen. Anyway, what we have here is a chocolate devil’s food cake covered with a white meringue/marshmallowy type frosting. Extra cake crumbs are reserved and pressed on the top and sides. Very casual.
You know the times when you totally screw up a major part of a recipe but you end up not really caring because the final result is so delicious? Yeah, that was this week for me.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally disorganized in my kitchen. It’s always been a huge fight between me and the boyfriend because stuff has a way of falling out whenever he opens up doors. Never when I do it. Yesterday he had a 6 cup muffin pan and 6 tart pans fall on his feet when he opened the pantry. He wasn’t amused. I’m aware that it is totally ridiculous that I have every drawer, cabinet and closet stuffed with stuff. Sometimes I think I have something that I don’t actually own. Sometimes I own stuff that I never knew I had.
I cut the recipe in half and baked in two 4 inch springform pans. Things are fine at this point… I have nicely domed chocolate cakes to work with. Normally layer cakes give me anxiety because I always mess them up. For one brief moment I think things are actually going to work out this time.
I get to the frosting. I would say you really need a candy thermometer in order to make the frosting since you need the sugar syrup to reach 242 degrees. It would just be the easiest route. I knew I had one somewhere… at least I was pretty sure. Of course I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it. I decided to go ahead and make the frosting without the thermometer thinking I would intuitively know when 242 degrees came around. Yeah right, I wasn’t even close.
My frosting turned out way too thin and couldn’t withstand the weight of the cake crumbs on the tops and sides. See exhibit A:
This took a lot of smooshing upwards to achieve.
The frosting also totally disappeared between the layers. I expected this would happen and wasn’t surprised when I cut into the cake.
See Exhibit B:
I didn’t care one bit though, those were just outward appearance issues that really weren’t all that bad anyway. It totally didn’t stop me from eating this cake. And eating it. And eating it. The boyfriend opened up the fridge and said “Um, I guess you liked this…” when he saw a half eaten cake in there. I did make half the recipe and made sure I got on the treadmill for a while later that day to try to make up for it. I liked the fact that it wasn’t too overly sweet and the cake was really moist. I also liked the little chunks of chocolate that broke up the texture a little bit. This cake is deserving of the cover spot on Baking: From my home to yours.
I’m going to try this one again someday soon because, guess what, I found my candy thermometer stuffed in a junk drawer when I was looking for something else.
Thanks to Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for choosing the Devil’s Food White Out Cake for the February 17th, 2009 edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. Stop by here to check out about 400 more of these cakes. See you next week for Caramel Crunch Bars chosen by Whitney of What’s left on the table?.
My blog name has always driven a lot of traffic to my site from people searching for “something sweet to say”. I see variations of that search all the time in my stats, with a surge recently since Valentine’s Day is right upon us.
So sometimes I like to think about what I could offer up in terms of advice.
It’s hard to come up with stuff but I did come up with one thing sweet to say… how about “I made you something!”.
Like these Truffle Tarts with Raspberries.
That’s pretty sweet. You can’t go wrong with that in my opinion.
An Oreo cookie crust houses a bittersweet chocolate filling with a raspberry hidden inside and more served on top for garnish. It’s small, it’s rich, it’s chocolate, it’s raspberry… it’s seriously good.
Whether or not you love or hate Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a good one. This year, the boyfriend and I have decided to forgo our usual expensive dinner out at our favorite local restaurant and stay home and cook for each other instead. We also decided no cards, candy, flowers or gifts. We’ve had a lot of unexpected expenses come up recently from a sick cat’s huge vet bill to car repairs to an HD Tivo deal we couldn’t pass up to my $500 trip to the dentist Tuesday. We decided not to add more to the debt pile trying to show “I love you”. Just saying it is sweet enough.
Happy Birthday Katie and Sharon! I love both of you Valentine’s babies so much!
Tyler Florence’s Truffle Tarts with Raspberries
Show: How To Boil Water Episode: How Sweet It Is
Rated 4 out of 5 stars from 33 Foodnetwork.com reviews
1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (from Oreo cookies or chocolate wafers)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 recipe Dark Chocolate Truffles, recipe follows, whipped but not shaped into balls
6 fresh raspberries, plus extra for serving
Dark Chocolate Truffles:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Click here for directions
Truffle Tarts with Raspberries are my fifth post for Tyler Florence Fridays, a group with the freedom to make any recipe of Tyler’s that they choose and then share their experiences every Friday.
This past New Year’s Eve, I felt something different than I usually do on New Year’s Eve. I felt hopeful. 2009 has not disappointed me yet, it’s starting off great. I already started working on my resolutions the second week of December so I didn’t have the dreaded January 2nd failure. I’ve successfully given up the French Vanilla Cappuccino and Hot Chocolate from the machine at work that was making me kind of tubby. I started running again (though actually mostly walking from all the knee, ankle and leg pain I experience). I quit smoking. I’m happy right now.
Life is good.
So is this Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread.
Fresh ginger, dried ginger (and even candied stem ginger if you choose) team up with bittersweet chocolate, molasses and spices with a chocolate-coffee icing spread over the top. The final result is the moistest, most grown up version of gingerbread I’ve ever made. I highly recommend trying this one out. If you really like the taste of ginger, wait until the day two to eat the cake, the flavors are much more pronounced.
Sherry of Sherry Trifle selected Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread for the January 27th edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. Please stop by Sherry Trifle here to check out the recipe or see pages 212-213 in Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking: From my home to yours.
Coming up next Tuesday is Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies chosen by Jessica of cookbookhabit.