Archive for April, 2009

Where’s the Chocolate Cream Tart?

Well, today is WEDNESDAY and still no post for TWD ‘s Chocolate Cream Tart.  I have all of the ingredients at my beau’s home but have yet to put it all together.

We spent the weekend in Fresno for the 95th Clovis Rodeo which we attended on Saturday. I’m not a big fan of the bucking broncos where one of the cowboys got kicked on his way off the horse with the horse’s hind legs as it stretched out for the kick, or the bull riding in which one cowboy got his head smashed against the head of the bull. I really love the Barrel Riding though. For whatever reason only cowgirls perform this event. It’s great fun to cheer them on as they daisy loop through 3 barrels placed in a triangular shape.

We spent the weekend at the beau’s parents’ house in Fresno. The night before we left, I baked the Black and White Loaf, World Peace Cookies, and the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread Cookies. And did you happen to notice that I have no pictures of these? I baked the Black and White Loaf in a glass pan and I’m not sure if that’s the reason or not but I baked it for 1 hour and 40 minutes and let it cool to room temperature. I didn’t slice it until Saturday morning and it looked like perhaps it wasn’t baked all the way through. Thankfully it was, but it looked like it wasn’t. The World Peace Cookies and the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread cookies spread quite a bit. The World Peace Cookies not so much, but the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread cookies looked more like Brown Sugar Pecan Crisps instead. I’ll try these recipes again and see if I can have better success with the end result and hopefully have pictures to boot. Click on the links to see how they should have turned out…

I’m planning on having the Chocolate Cream Tart up soon… hopefully before the Tiramisu Cake due next Tuesday!

Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

I was feeling sick yesterday so wasn’t sure if I was going to make it this week with TWD.  Stopped by the grocery store last night and bought a loaf of Split Top Bread from the bakery department.  They didn’t have any challah or brioche and I’m not exactly sure what Split Top Bread is but it looked pretty white to me.  It wasn’t day old bread so I ‘staled’ it in the oven for the required 10 minutes.

As I used my beau’s handy-dandy tape measure to evenly cut my bread into 1″ cubes, I learned from him that you can guestimate an inch by using the length of your first knuckle.  His was an inch and mine was a little under so next time I don’t have his handy-dandy tape measure available I’ll use my trusty knuckle!

This was simple to put together.  Although I’m not sure if I brought the cream and milk to the correct level of a boil.  It kept getting a skin on top so after a while I just took it off the stove and mixed it in with the egg mixture.  (I now have quite a bit of egg whites in the freezer waiting for me to try out a macaron recipe with…)  After mixing all of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, I have to say it did not look custardy at all.  It was very liquidy and I was thinking I pulled the cream mixture off too soon or something.  The chocolate didn’t seem to blend it that well either.  It was already 10:30pm so I just went with it.  I poured it over the bread/dried cherries and hoped for the best.  Btw, first time I tried dried cherries and they’re really tasty!  I contemplated going without the dried cherries but decided to follow the recipe exactly.  I patted the bread mixture every 10 minutes and after waiting 30 minutes for the bread to soak up all the custard, which it amazingly did, I put it in the oven.  Now my pan setup was a bit tight.  I used a 9×13 pyrex dish which barely fit in my beau’s roasting pan so I knew I was going to have a hard time getting it out of the pan when finished.  ~35 minutes later it was out of the oven and a few minutes after that, out of the roasting pan – I had to kind of tilt my pyrex pan a bit to get it out.

By this time it was past my bedtime so I left it out to cool overnight.  It smelled really good though and I was soo tempted to eat a piece before going to bed!  I’m curious to see how it tastes because I don’t think I’ve ever had bread pudding before – it never appealed to me.  There’s not a lot of sugar in this recipe so I’m hoping the chocolate makes up for that.  I’m waiting for the beau to wake-up so he can take my pictures for me!  Well he took a picture for me but I’m unable to retrieve it at the moment so I’ll post it later!  Update:  Here it is!

Doesn't look very appetizing, does it?

Doesn't look very appetizing, does it?

For the recipe, head over to Lauren’s blog – Upper East Side Chronicle and check out how terrific her **** Chocolate Bread Pudding turned out and how fantastic it looks in her red dish!  Then head on over to the TWD blog and check out what the other bakers did and how inventive they were in using different types of ‘bread’ (home made brioche, croissants, donuts…).

I just tried it and it was good.  I tried it at room temperature so maybe it tastes better when it’s cold or warm from the oven.  I think it would taste better with fresh whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce too!

Next week:  Chocolate Cream Tart

15 Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte

I planned to make this for Easter at my mom’s house.  I brought all my ingredients with me only to remember once I got there that my mom does not have a food processor.  Rats!  When I got home that night I found out that I forgot my butter, eggs, and heavy whipping cream at my mom’s house.  I felt really bad because the Beau was looking forward to a chocolate dessert since he had given up chocolate for Lent…

And as an aside, Easter at my mom’s house was soo fun!  We have our annual Easter Egg Hunt which is now down to one nephew and two nieces.  We hid 194 plastic eggs filled with candy and money.  190 eggs were found…  We also had our annual Egg Wars.  I made it through the first round but my poor egg got smashed in the second round by my cousin J who ended up being the 2009 Egg War Champion!  We also celebrated my niece and nephew’s birthdays with Red Velvet Cupcakes made by their G’ma (as my niece C would say).

Looking at the P & Q section, it looked like finding the Amaretti di Saronno cookies would be difficult to find.  I ended up buying the Amaretto d’Italia cookies from World Market and ate quite a few of them before I even started the recipe!  I like these cookies!  And I forgot about all the goodies that World Market has so I ended up leaving with not only the Amaretto cookies, but also Ginger Chews and Nutella.  I would have left with much more but Marshall (the quite amazing puppy) was waiting for me in the car and I know he was anxious to get to Daddy’s house.

I love this recipe because of the simplicity and the simplicity yields such a tasty cake!  Being able to use the food processor for all the preparations of this cake made quick work of it, and it may have taken me more than 15 minutes but it was really quick in Lori Ann time.  I couldn’t resist tasting the batter and licking the bowl – it was soo good!  And totally brought me back to when my mom would make cakes and let us lick the batter.  When I think about it, kind of gross since raw eggs are part of the mix, but it’s worth it!

The chocolate glaze – decadent!  Actually it was the first time I glazed a cake – wax paper underneath and pouring the glaze all over the place!  Fun!  And of course, someone needed to lick up that chocolate glaze from the wax paper…  I also made the almond flavored whipped cream.  I love homemade whipped cream because it tastes so much more, um, creamier than store bought which has a kind of plastic feel/taste to it.

Here’s a picture of the whole torte:

The Whole Torte and Nothing But The Whole Torte

The Whole Torte and Nothing But The Whole Torte

I didn’t want to just glob the whipped cream onto the slice of torte so the Beau suggested piping it.  Since I don’t own a piping bag and such, I used one of his snack bags and just snipped the corner.  Here’s a picture of the Beau’s first slice:

Beau's First Slice

Beau's First Slice

The Beau absolutely loved this cake (as evidenced by his request for a second slice)!  I loved it too, similar to a flourless chocolate cake (and it is flourless so I guess it is a flourless chocolate cake…) but the texture was a bit more chewy due to the cookies and almonds.  I would definitely make this again!  I think it would be a great dessert for the end of a dinner party.  The Beau especially liked his with his cup of coffee.

Thank you Holly for the sensational pick!  Visit Holly at Phe/MOM/enon for the recipe and to browse her other entries with phenomenal pictures!  Then head on over to the TWD site and click on each blogger to see how everyone did and what they did!

A special thanks to the Beau for taking my pictures for me – his pictures turn out so much better than mine!

Next week:  Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

Banana Cream Pie

This week Amy of Sing for Your Supper chose Dorie’s Banana Cream Pie for us to bake. Pies in general stress me out a bit, mainly because I’m not that handy with the pie crust. Frankly, pie crusts scare me – not in the ‘BOO!’ way, but in the ‘I’m afraid to do that way’. Very unlucky with pie crusts, I either mash them too much when pressing them in the pan or roll them out weird. They always come out um, with a lot of character! I’m very pleased to say the Banana Cream Pie crust came out quite nicely! I still have a lot of practice ahead of me in crimping the edges; I cheated a little by using a ceramic pie pan that had crimped edges already (although you can’t really tell from the picture).

Banana Cream Pie happens to be the pie that was my Dad’s favorite. And my nephew’s favorite too. So it’s a pie that is very nostalgic for me and I really didn’t want to mess it up. The vanilla cream turned out well. Like so many others, it thickened really quickly. By the time I pulled it off the heat, it looked curdled. But I whipped it and whipped it until it was smooth. It totally reminded me of pumpkin pie at the beginning because of the cinnamon and fresh nutmeg additions.

This recipe turns out to be quite convenient! I made the pie crust and the vanilla cream one night. Assembled it the next night! I could have done it all in one night but forgot to bring my hand mixer with me to my beau’s house. It’s a good goof since it brought to my attention that the pie can be made over a couple of days in case you don’t have time to do it all at once.

Here’s a picture of the whole pie (there’s a picture of a happy cow on the pie pan – too bad you can’t see it!):

Banana nana fo fana fee fy mo mana, Banana Cream Pie!

Banana nana fo fana fee fy mo mana, Banana Cream Pie!

And here’s a picture of a pie slice taken this morning. The pie slice was placed on an ironing board in my bedroom and I opened the blinds to let natural light come in, hoping it would help with the picture:

A slice of Banana Cream Pie

A slice of Banana Cream Pie

I really like the flavor of this pie because I’m a big fan of cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m going to stop by my mom’s house tonight with the rest of the pie so she can try it out and so can my nephew who lives within walking distance of my mom’s house. Let’s see if he likes it too!

Don’t forget to check out the other TWD blogs to see how their pies turned out! Go to Sing for Your Supper by Amy for the Banana Cream Pie recipe if you’d like to try this recipe yourself!  You’ll be glad you did!  Thank you Amy for helping me get over my pie crust fright!

Next week: 15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte

Coconut Butter Thins

Today is my first official post with the Tuesdays with Dorie group and I’m soo late!  I’m happy to be a new member of the TWD group, YAY!  I finished baking the cookies late last night.  I was a little skeptical about these cookies, not about baking them, but about eating them because I’m not a fan of coconut.  But when I read everyone’s comments about how yummy these turned out, the skepticism went out the door.

Another easy recipe to complete.  I really like the method of rubbing the zest with the sugar with your fingers.  Kind of messy but a fun kind of messy.  The smell of the lime zest and the sugar made me happy!  It was interesting adding the pinch of coriander.  I haven’t used this spice before and a pinch seemed kind of small so I added another pinch, but I can’t say that it made a difference in the end – I couldn’t really taste the coriander… although it could be that I’m not sure what taste I should be looking out for.  I had a little trouble rolling the dough inside the bag, which was a genius idea of Dorie!  A little air was trapped at the bottom and I wasn’t able to get it out.  After the 2 hours in the refrigerator, it was hard enough to do the cutting.  My beau had a good chuckle when he saw me using a tape measure (no ruler to be found) to measure out the 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ cookies – but I was glad to see others did the same thing!

Here are some cookies before going in the oven:

Coconut Butter Thins before baking...

Coconut Butter Thins before baking...

The cookies didn’t spread that much at all and came out nice and crisp.  Here is a bad picture after they came out of the oven:

Coconut Butter Thins after baking...

Coconut Butter Thins after baking...

I apologize for my pictures.  I obviously need to practice a lot more with food photography!

The cookies came out really tasty!  The coconut did not overtake the taste of these butter thins as I thought they would.  I LOVE them and will definitely bake them again!  The beau liked them too.  We had guests for dinner, K and A, who had cookies with their coffee before they left and loved the taste of these cookies too.

Thank you Jayne for picking this recipe!  It’s another TWD winner with me.  Please see Jayne’s blog The Barefoot Kitchen Witch (which is beautiful and has really wonderful pictures) for the recipe so you too can enjoy these cookies at home!  Check out the other TWD blogs to see how everyone else did with these cookies too!

Next week is Banana Cream Pie!