Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chockablock Cookies

Teetering on the edge of healthy, these little gems are "chocked" full of goodness, hence the name. At first I thought the amount of molasses would overpower the recipe, but that was not the case. In fact, it actually took kind of a back seat to everything else and there was no one prominent ingredient. Each bite tickled my tongue in a different minute I was tasting a bit of creamy bittersweet chocolate, the next I got the tang from the dried cranberries.......oh, wait! Was that coconut in there?? Walnuts?? What next??? I think these should have been named Full of Surprises Cookies!

My add-in choices were: golden raisins, dried tart cherries, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, coconut, regular oats, steel-cut oats, and bittersweet chocolate pieces.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

Super easy, super yummy. However, if you're expecting a light and fluffy cake, you'll surely be disappointed. If you're expecting a dense, pound cake-like feel, again, you'll be disappointed. I would compare this to a frangipane cake, made with almond paste, much like the description says. It has a wonderful chewiness to it, which doesn't necessarily sound appealing in a cake, but you just have to try it to see what I mean! Thumbs up!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coconut Tea Cake

I loved everything about this cake!! I decided to go with a plain jane version, but added a raspberry coulis, along with some chopped mangos. The cake was super moist and I LOVED the delicate, crackly top! Together with the tart raspberry sauce and the sweet mangos.......need I say more! This one is a keeper!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mocha-Walnut Cake

Working as a cake decorator, my family definitely got its fill of cake! This one seemed to delight, though....thumbs up all around! The mocha and ground walnuts toned down the sweetness and added a nice bit of crunch. What I love most about TWD is that it gets me back in the kitchen! The decorating is fun, but my first love is creating the foundation! A pretty cake is worthless if it tastes like crap!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TWD: Dulce De Leche Duos

I'm noticing a trend here.....I just can't seem to get enough of the doughs, batters, and fillings BEFORE they go into the oven! The batter was heavenly! It's the damn oven process seems to screw everything up! I keep telling my hubby that we desperately need a new oven, but he's still in denial. Until it explodes or turns something rainbow colored, I'll have to wait until we win the lottery!

I ended up using Cajeta, which is basically the same as Dulce de leche, but made with goat's milk. I found it in the same isle as all of the other Mexican food items. The batter came together nicely, though I suspected it was a little thin to hold its shape in the oven. I tested a couple and this is how they came out:

My next thought was to chill the dough before putting them into the oven, hoping this would help them hold their shape.
No such luck:

Attempt #3....I decided to add more flour to what was left of the batter. I added an additional 1/2 cup of AP flour. The consistency was much firmer and held its shape on the sheet pan far better. Crisis averted....this seemed to do the trick. It's always tough when you don't have a photo to go by; the results are always in question, though, sometimes beautiful disasters happen this way!

So, in the end, nobody in the family shied away from these sweet, crispy, chewy delights. I decided they were so good on their own that I didn't want to add any more sweet, or overpower them with too much chocolate, so I went with a drizzle of chocolate over the top and a sprinkling of toasted pecans. Scrum-diddly-umpcious!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

TWD: Soft Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Dinner party at 6, filling prepared and in the oven by 2.....should be perfect timing! Though not a huge fan of chocolate and fruit together, I had high hopes for this recipe......the raspberries I found were surprisingly fresh and sweet, given that they are not in season yet and based on my repeat visits to the bowl for an extra lick of the smooth, creamy, chocolate filling, how could anything go wrong?!

My pistachio nut shell was prepared the night before, so all I needed to do was arrange the raspberries, fill in the spaces with the filling, and pop that bad boy into the oven! I filled a creme brulee ramekin to use up any leftover fruit and filling; seemed like such a waste to just run it down the drain! The leftover ramekin cooked up perfectly, but the tart seemed to take significantly longer than I expected. I just couldn't seem to get the middle to set up like it should have. After about 45-50 minutes, I decided to go ahead and remove it, so as not to risk overbaking the crust.

After only a short wait, so we could all attempt to recover from our full bellies, it was time for dessert....the moment of truth! I quickly whipped up some cream and each slice got it's own little dollop. Forks in hand, we all dove in! Most politely finished every crumb, with a few "yum"s here and there. The overall consensus was that it wasn't their favorite dessert they've had of mine, but that it was pretty good. I had one person say they really liked it because it wasn't too sweet.

In my opinion, something changed, flavor-wise, in the baking process, a chemical reaction of sorts between the chocolate and raspberries. Of course, the raspberries took on a cooked texture, but the two together took on a bitter quality after they came out of the oven. I took a nibble off of the edge, where no raspberries had come into contact with the chocolate, and it had a very brownie-like, flourless cake type consistency that was delicious and the perfect amount of chocolatey-sweet goodness.

I think if I were to repeat this recipe, I would make it simply a chocolate tart with fresh raspberries on top. The baking just seemed to do something weird. Anyone else feel the same?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesdays With Dorie

No dessert this week, sorry! It's Spring Break for the kiddos. I plan on doubling up next week though! Can't wait to try the chocolate raspberry tart!