Archive for October, 2009

Snickers-Fudge Brownie Torte


Hmm, someone is in DIRE need of piping lessons!

April of Short + Rose picked this week’s TWD sweet, Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte. Please visit April’s blog to see her creations. You can also get to know her a little here. I like to knit too so it would be nice if I lived a little bit closer so I can join her knitting group! Sounds like a great group and so fun!

I didn’t want to use tart cherries in this dessert because I was making it for my niece’s birthday which is today – HAPPY BIRTHDAY BAYLEY! She’s 12 now. And I’ve never lit liquor on fire and I didn’t want to start here when I was baking at my home alone… So I asked Katrina of Baking and Boys for some ideas, because if you haven’t visited her blog, you’re really missing out on some really fun and fantastic sweets! Her boys are really lucky! Anyways, she gave me a sneak peek of her brownie torte and I loved the addition of caramel and the topping of pecans. I decided to be a copy-cat, but not in an obvious way. I used chopped up Snickers bars (the snack size – since you know, 1 1/4 bars = 100 calories) instead so I wouldn’t have to make any caramel and try to swirl it into the brownie batter and it had peanuts in them! Yay! And THANKS Katrina!


Can you see the Snickers?

I made the mousse and decided to color it orange to go with the Halloween theme. What ever happened to those little plastic bottles of color that came 4 to a pack with the cone caps? I never see those and miss them because I had yellow and red bottles with no cone cap and no way to use drops of color. So I kind of jiggered some in and hoped for the best. I wanted a more dark orange but o, well.


Red and yellow make orange!

In going along with the Halloween them, I wanted to pipe a spider web on top which I was able to do. It’s a little uneven but I figure that’s okay since it’s a spider web after all. I used raspberry jam to pipe the lettering and was going for the blood dripping look and ended up with the blood clot look instead. Yipes. Good thing Bayley’s turning 12 and not 4… I have no idea how this tastes since we’ll be eating it for dessert after dinner tonight. Hopefully I’ll get better pictures too…

Be sure to visit the other TWD Bakers to see how their brownie tortes came out! And don’t forget to buy Dorie’s book if you haven’t already – it’s a treasure chest of desserts I tell you!

Last Week: Sweet Potato Biscuits
Next Week: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake


Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

Ready to be sacrificed to the Surf Zombie... can you see my hand underneath?

Ready to be sacrificed to the Surf Zombie... can you see my hand underneath?

This is my first post with The Cake Slice. I’ve admired this group for a while when they were baking those Sky High cakes and finally took the plunge and joined them! We are currently baking from the book Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. Sorry for the bad lighting in the photo above but the Surf Zombie prefers the dark vs the light.

This was an interesting coffee cake to bake. The first time I used melted butter as part of the streusel, usually it’s cold butter cut into the sugar mixture. Not that I’m complaining – I love breakfast so coffee cakes are perfect for me, especially if it involves cinnamon. I’m a no-raisin type so I subbed mini-chocolate chips with this. I would have LOVED to sub with cinnamon chips but to date have not been able to find any cinnamon chips anywhere, it’s soo aggravating!! It was also really difficult to spread the batter because it was so thick but I was able to manage it. More batter ended up on top…

Ready to be eaten!

Ready to be eaten!

I messed up with the baking time. I set the time to 45 minutes on the Beau’s kitchen stove timer but forget to press the button again to start it. I was almost done with the dishes when I noticed that it was still waiting for me to press start. Yipes. I guesstimated that I spent about 10 minutes with the dishes and started the timer for 35 minutes. It smelled really, really, really delicious while it was baking so I was a little impatient for those 35 minutes. But finally it was done!

Ready for my close up Mr. De Mille!

Ready for its close up Mr. De Mille!

I let it cool for a few minutes as noted in the recipe and then sliced into it. It was a little difficult to cut and lift out pieces since it was still warm, but we didn’t care and ate 2 pieces. SOOO SOOO good! Thank goodness we practice Dorie’s philosophy of baking – Bake and Release or else I’m sure I would have eaten all of it all by myself and that’s not a good practice. The Beau took the majority of it to work and I took the rest to my mom’s house.

Ready for the first bite, right out of the oven!

Ready for the first bite, right out of the oven!

What a great start with The Cake Slice! Go ahead and browse the other Cake Slice bakers and see how their Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cakes turned out!

Sweet Potato Biscuits

#$#%@#$#!  I rotated this photo so it would display properly only it doesn't!!

#$#%@#$#! I rotated this photo so it would display properly only it doesn't!!

Erin of Prudence Pennywise selected Sweet Potato Biscuits for the TWD Bakers this week. Please visit Erin’s alter-ego Prudy and see how her biscuits turned out and to get the recipe if you haven’t bought Dorie’s book yet (just buy it already!).

My first time baking biscuits and I wondered how I’d fare. The P&Qs mentioned the biscuits didn’t rise much, so I wanted to see if I could circumvent that from happening. Instead of rolling out the dough, which was super soft and a bit sticky for me, I just patted it out with my hands. Not sure if it was patted out to exactly 1/2″, but I didn’t really care – I kind of wanted it thick to help with the rise during the baking. It kind of worked too! This was the last batch which included the last scraps blobbed together to make the last 2 biscuits. And this recipe made 33 biscuits for me using a 2 1/8″ biscuit cutter.

The last batch in the oven with the blobbish leftovers...

The last batch in the oven with the blobish leftovers...

I ate my first one after the 15 minute cool down time since the P&Qs also mentioned they tasted better after being cooled a bit. I wasn’t sure about the texture of the biscuit, I baked them for about 14-15 minutes and it wasn’t very flaky when I ate it but I have to admit, I really liked the flavor of it. Not sure if I’d make it again because of the sticky dough factor, but I just might, I never know.

I’ve been having problems posting comments on other TWD blogs lately. Not sure what the problem is since it seems to happen on both my PC at home and the Beau’s Mac. I’ve tried posting comments on many blogs and it seems to disappear whenever I hit ‘Submit’. I’ll keep trying and hopefully the stars will align once again and my comments will get posted because they were some pretty stupendous comments, I tell you.

Last Week: Allspice Crumb Muffins
Next Week: Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte

Allspice Crumb Muffins

Packed and ready to go to work!

Packed and ready to go to work!

Kayte at Grandma’s Kitchen Table selected this week’s TWD treat – Allspice Crumb Muffins. I really enjoy reading Kayte’s posts because she writes about her family and the events that occur in her life – it’s like she’s letting you become a part of her family. She also has the prettiest pictures of all her goodies! You should see her Allspice Crumb Muffin picture – it looks exactly like the book! How’d she do that? Muffin skills galore!

This was a fairly easy recipe to put together. The only ingredient I was missing was milk. And I thought for sure I’d have to make a special trip to the grocery store last night when I couldn’t find any brown sugar. Fortunately I was at the Beau’s house and he saved the night! He searched his pantry and found a new bag of brown sugar and he informed me that I could use a can of condensed milk in place of whole milk. Wow, who knew? I didn’t but was sure glad the Beau did.

The batter came out very doughy so I was a bit concerned. And there was A LOT of crumble to sprinkle onto 12 muffins. I smashed it all in and what you see at top is what came out. Not pretty to look at but really, really tasty! The Beau really liked it a lot and thought it was one of the better TWD treats I’ve made in a while. HAH – but what about the chocolate tart from last week? He thought it was good but too sweet (although he did eat his fair share of it…). I can’t complain, I loved this muffin! Using the allspice was a treat too since I rarely use much of it, maybe a pinch here or there when baking pumpkin pie.

Don’t forget to visit the TWD blog roll to see how the other bakers fared with their Allspice Crumb Muffins! And seriously, if you haven’t bought the book yet, BUY it now! With the holidays coming up, there are soo many delicious treats just waiting to be baked!

Last Week: Split Level Pudding
Next Week: Sweet Potato Biscuits

Split Level Pudding

Cinnamon Vanilla pudding...

Cinnamon Vanilla pudding...

Garrett of The Flavor of Vanilla chose this week’s TWD recipe – Split Level Pudding. Head over to his blog to check out how his selection turned out for him and you can also find the recipe there. You can also find out a little bit about him here, and see some of his TWD highlights in beautiful photos!

I love pudding but rarely eat it. It doesn’t feel right to buy those ready-to-eat Jello pudding cups from the supermarket (sorry Mr. Cosby). And it never occurred to me that I could actually make my own pudding at home. Good thing I joined TWD because for the first time on Sunday, I made home made pudding! And not just any pudding, it was Dorie’s Split Level Pudding. And not only that, I even played around a little and made Cinnamon Vanilla Split Level Pudding! And the pudding was just soo lovely to eat! The pudding contained a little surprise at the bottom, leftovers from last week’s Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart! Well, not the tart exactly, but the leftover chocolate ganache was hidden beneath the lovely cinnamon vanilla pudding! I made it earlier in the day and the ganache was quite hardened by the time dessert came around but it was still a delicious surprise with the pudding!

... with a chocolate ganache surprise!

... with a chocolate ganache surprise!

Head over to the TWD Bakers list and check out the other TWD blogs to see all the variations done with this delicious pudding. And then head over to your local book store or your favorite online store and buy Dorie’s book so you too can join in on all the yummyness going on!

Last Week: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart
Next Week: Allspice Crumb Muffins

MTAOFC: Poulet Roti and Gratin Dauphinois

Otherwise known as Roast Chicken!

Otherwise known as Roast Chicken!

In an unexpected turn of events, I find myself one of the many unemployed today. Today is day 2 of unemployment and I have to say even though it sounds great to not have to go to work in the morning, I feel very weird and a little depressed about it. Hopefully the interview I went on 2 Fridays ago will end up with me being employed, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Until I rejoin the employed, to keep myself occupied, I made a to-do list which includes clearing all of the clutter out of my home. Today will be spent in my bedroom, specifically the closet. Another way to keep myself occupied is to cook new recipes from Julia’s MTAOFC and to perhaps attempt to bake some of Dorie’s many recipes I missed prior to joining TWD.

Sunday I made roast chicken for the very first time. I’ve roasted many a turkey for Thanksgiving but never roasted a chicken. Julia’s recipe is simple enough and the most interesting part of the recipe was turning the chicken from side to side and ending up breast side up during the roasting period. I wish I had taken a picture of the chicken pre-carved because it looked really nice for my first attempt. But I was also cooking up potatoes gratin and sauteed spinach for sides and I should have taken a picture of the kitchen. The Beau is used to my making it quite a mess when I’m cooking/baking more than 1 thing at a time. O, well. I guess I can add that on my list of things to do while unemployed… HAH! I had a difficult time determining when the chicken was done roasting. I went over the time limit stated in the recipe and trying to see if the breast had swelled and the skin puffed was hard since I had pierced the skin while turning the chicken from side to side. But in the end the roast chicken came out fantastic – the breast was soo juicy! I’m afraid the leftover won’t retain the juiciness but should make for a great chicken sandwich.

The gratin dauphinois was fun to make since I got to use my OXO mandoline to make 1/8″ slices of the potatoes. I grated the swiss cheese too early because when it came time to assemble the gratin, the cheese had kind of clumped together so I wasn’t able to nicely sprinkle them evenly all over. Did it matter? Not so much since it all melted in the end anyways. It came out a little al dente which was fine with me, I tend to like crunchiness vs softness in my veggies. The Beau loved it too since he had 2 helpings. I’d like to try this again and maybe mix it up with some different seasonings.

I love a crusty topping!

I love a crusty topping!

Well, it’s 9:17am and I guess I should take a shower and go home to tackle my bedroom. Or not…