Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TWD: Berry Crisps

I'm doing this on my commute so I will post photos and links later. But this was a delicious fruit crisp! It had a great balance of fruit, sugar and topping. We only had a few apples so I used two large rather than four medium. More apples would have filled up the pan nicely but it's just for our little family this week. I used fresh cranberries, the first of the season in fact. It turned out to be a perfect balance with the sugar, apples, ginger and cinnamon. Nobody in the house likes coconut so I doubled the oats in the topping. I probably pulsed them too long in the food processor but everyone loves it. Oh and it's the perfect spur of the moment dessert. We almost always have the fruit on hand. And after a busy weekend I casually mentioned after an equally long day that I needed to bake. My husband groaned, but could not believe I was done in 20 minutes or so. And he even ate some! If there's any left I'll take photos when I get home.

And now I need to go have some! You can see what the others have been up to here, and learn more about Em who selected this recipe. And I'll leave you with a picture of a cute boy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD: Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Awesomeness! I was surprised because of containing a fair amount of ginger, and being quite
spicy the whole family loved them.

Like another TWD Blogger said, "they're like Thanksgiving in a bowl" and I agree with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and molasses. Much to the kids' disappointment we baked up a sheet and rolled the rest into balls:

and bagged them up to be baked for a gift, or for a special guest, to make the house smell good, or just to eat!

Plus, now I feel like I have a tiny headstart on the holiday season by having these gems in the freezer. I added a little bit of shortening, since several bakers talked about the batter spreading, and that tends to really happen at high altitude. My mother-in-law taught me that trick, and she probably learned it from growing up in Lake Tahoe. Thanks for stopping by and happy baking!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake

I've started a blogging and baking group, called Tuesdays With Dorie. Each week we bake something from "Baking from My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. It's a gorgeous cookbook, and while I've been following but not baking along with this group for som etime, have been drooling over some of the things they bake. So, an opportunity opened and I'm in!

Unfortunately, not knowing that we can switch up the order of the recipes during November, I baked what is in my opinion one of the most difficult cakes. I would have saved this one for Thanksgiving week, or another special occasion.

Anyway, the recipe was pretty much a fail. I used hazelnut spread instead of the chestnut spread called for in the recipe and chopped hazelnuts instead of the chestnuts I could not find in my grocery store. The cake turned out fine, and tastes like a slightly nutty chocolate cake. I fell in love with the chocolate caramel ganache used for the filling, but would not have added so much butter in the final step. It is very thick in the cake, almost like a candybar in the middle. The last step is the glaze, and this really didn't work for me. It's basic components are cream, sugar and chocolate. The recipe said it was supposed to thicken to a spreading consistency at room temperature and it never did. So, I put it in the fridge and it still didn't thicken enough. When I attempted to glaze the cake, it ran off, leaving a very thin layer on the cake.

We've eaten some of it, but because the glaze did not thicken enough to cover the ganache the cake really doesn't look good enough to share. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement, as this is the first week of something I was looking so forward to. The other recipes for November look fallish and yummy, so next week will be a fresh start-stay tuned!

Stop by here to see what the others have baked up, or to read more about TWD!