Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart

I loved Gilmore Girls, and I'm not sure how I got there, but I found a site of Gilmore Girls chocolate quotes. I think this one is pretty illustrative of my baking experience :)

SOOKIE: [giggling] It was so funny. Oh God! Do you remember?
LORELAI: I remember.
SOOKIE: What was Rory, eight?
LORELAI: I believe she was.
SOOKIE: Oh god, that mud pie fiasco haunted me for a year! I mean, hers looked just like mine. Of course I used you know, homemade chocolate cookies, bittersweet ganache and she used well, mud. You know, but they did look damn similar.

I don't have a tart pan, so I made a pie and subbed toasted pecans for the peanuts, but otherwise kept to the recipe. This was an incredibly rich tart - I can't remember the last time I had such a candy-like dessert! Thanks to Carla of Chocolate Moosey for selecting this week's recipe!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Apple Turnovers

I was really excited about this week's selection - the start of fall, apple picking, and apple turnovers! We went apple picking over the weekend - and picked plums, too (a little overboard on the plums - 13lb! I'd love any suggestions for using up the plums). For apples, we got gingergolds and macintosh. I was really excited about the macs, we always seem to go too late for those.

I'm not great with pie crusts yet - I think I undermixed trying to not overwork it. The five-year-old was helping with putting these together, so I didn't brave the egg wash and sugar :)

These were delicious! And I love the make half, freeze half size of the batch. We'll be having these again! Thanks to Julie of Someone’s in the Kitchen for this week's pick!


We have a little crabapple tree in the front yard, and I've remembered reading about crabapple jelly and decided to finally try making some this year.

My salad spinner of crabapples :) This ended up being just over 7 lb. The 7lb of crabapples ended up making 1 little 4oz jar of jam and 8 c crabapple sauce. It wasn't super productive.

The first batch I used 2 qts of crabapples, and that gave me about 1 c of juice. For the jelly, I added 3/4 c sugar and cooked it til it tested that it would set.

The second batch I don't know what I did wrong (not that I got much juice from the first batch), but it was much too thick to get any juice. Maybe I didn't add enough water or I cooked too long. Either way, I did try it in a jelly bag for a few hrs, then gave up and cooked it into a crabapple sauce. Since I only had a few jars, I just did the turn upside down (instead of the water bath), and they're being kept in the freezer anyway, but I was excited that the seals seemed to work with that method.

Crabapplesauce :)
3 lb crabapples, cooked and through a food mill
2 c sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the Baked Brownie

So when I should have been making the chocolate souffle but had my days mixed up, I was making a pan of the Baked brownies. I was a little horrified at the 11oz of chocolate, 5 eggs and 1 cup of butter. I used Trader Joe's 72% for the chocolate - and the chocolate really comes through. I couldn't really taste the cocoa powder (not that they were fantastic cocoa powders -1 each of Ghiradelli and Hershey's Special Dark, wanting to use up the Ghiradelli and then seeing it wasn't very dark and trying to compensate).

The brownies were really good. I really liked the thick enough, dense enough to hold together, not cakey quality. I need to reread, they're almost a little salty to me (1 tsp?), I used fine sea salt and unsalted butter, I think I'd cut back salt by a half. But we don't really use much salt here, and maybe try cutting 2-3 TB of the butter. I don't know how frequently I'll make them, they're a little over the top :) But I think they'd be a good standard brownie recipe to bring to work or potlucks.

Sometime I need to try the Spiced Up version , though the sweet and salty or pb sound even better. First I want to try that Sweet and Salty Cake, and I need to try the Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples after we go apple picking. And the Millionaire's Shortbread sounds amazing. And the truffles look pretty good, too...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Big Dutch Babies

Big Dutch Babies were a weekend lunch growing up. Since getting a bing cherry-fresh mint syrup instead of a jam, I've been thinking it'd be great with one.

Some recipes call for using a cast iron skillet, but my mom always used a 9x13 metal pan. She also used salted butter, too, and I loved the saltiness of the crispy edges (they're not really salty, just a little - great with maple syrup!).

1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 eggs
1 c milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 TB salted butter

Heat oven to 425, let pan heat for 5 min. Whisk together all ingredients except butter until smooth.
Remove pan from oven, add butter and swirl around pan until melted. Add batter and bake about 20 min.

I'm not sure how I managed it (my mom's never did this), but mine rose and split in the middle - it looks like a mouth!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Black Pepper Brownies

So the Espresso Chocolate Brownies for last week's TWD got me in the mood for brownies! For a while, I've been wanting to try Maida Heatter's Black Pepper Brownies from her Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. They're a thick, dense brownie with a tsp of black pepper for an 8x8 pan. I really liked the texture of the brownie. I didn't really taste the black pepper until the very end, it was a little rough texture-wise at the end. I'd like to try these again but sub cayenne.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

I was expecting a stronger brownie feel to this recipe, but it seemed very even - cheesecake vs brownie. Clearly I didn't add the sr cream topping, I'd read on another blog about adding a ganache topping - that sounded really good. But we got into to these before I got the ganache made :)

These were good, though I think I overbaked a bit. My favorite for this style of brownie is still Maida Heatter's Santa Fe Brownies, more brownie to cheesecake.

Thanks to Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell who chose this week's recipe!