Thursday, December 25, 2008

French Pear Tart



I really can't believe I have never made a tart before. What was I so afraid of? This recipe is simple and gives fantastic results (another Dorie Greenspan recipe of course!) you go from almond paste and some sliced pears, from a can even, to a fluffy, puffy, almond cream filling. It's like magic or chemistry or really just plain delicious! Oh boy, I really need to get this one out of my house before I sample any more! I did add some apple butter as a wash at the end. It added a hint of apple and cinnamon, a bit more shine, and a richer caramel color to the tart.  

On a non-baking note... I know, I know!... I got the awesome gift of a new digital camera. The last few photos were taken using my cell phone. It worked but the photos were flat. Sooo I'm pretty excited about the new technology. I also got a thermometer for my oven and, as I suspected the temperature runs about 25 degrees hotter. Armed with my new camera and an oven thermometer I'm ready for 2009! Happy holidays everybody!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rooibos Tea Cookie


I love the aroma of Rooibos tea and after experimenting with matcha I thought, hey why not rooibos powder! So I came up with this little recipe.

3/4 cup Confectioners sugar
5 oz Unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
3 Large egg yolks
1.5 TBS powdered Rooibos tea
1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup Granulated sugar (for coating)

If any of you try this let me know your results. The tea flavor really shines at the end. I'm wondering if the sugar is a little overpowering? 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What to do with all those egg whites?..


Cocoa Almond Meringues are a quick and easy confection perfect for using up any egg whites you may have accumulated. I chopped up a huckleberry razzle chocolate bar I received as a gift instead of the regular chocolate the recipe called for. This cookie(?) is a mass of fudgey chocolately goodness surrounded by a melt in your mouth meringue cocoa crust.  This is another recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Pure genius!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Green Tea Cookies


Today is the first snow day of the year in my town. That also means that most of the town has shut down due to horrible driving conditions. I slid my way into work this morning at 6am and silently cursed myself for not putting chains on my tires.. chains that were conveniently sitting by my front door! Because my workplace rocks we were all told we could go home as early as possible. Nothing beats being sent home on a monday morning to play in the snow! well there may be one thing that beats it... how about an oven warmed house bursting with the aroma of green tea cookies!  After browsing recipes I decided on the original by lovescool.com. I rolled the doughout into two small sheets and refrigorated. I baked the first batch according to the recipe. The green tea flavor was really strong and a little bitter. Maybe my matcha is stronger than baking grade? For the second batch I decided to use some granulated sugar flavored with orange zest to balance out the green tea flavor a tiny bit. Boy what an awesome addition. The orange flavor is mild and right up front once the sweetness subsides the green tea flavor steps forward. It really is a delicately flavored cookie. I used christmas tree cookie cutters to compliment the light green color. The recipe is easy to follow and the dough is easy to work with as long as you chill it. Thanks for the awsome recipe Keli! I am really inspired to try some other tea flavors... hmmm how about a rooibos tea cookie!!  

So in honor of the first snow fall of the season bring on the green tea cookies!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pandan yogurt cake with coconut creme frosting


Once again I am trying to include pandan flavoring into a cake. This weekend I decided to try it out with the french yogurt cake recipe from Dorie Greenspan.  I think this is the best try so far. The pandan flavoring is so light in this cake. The recipe did not rise enough on my first try to cut the cake in half so I baked a second cake which was also kind of flat. Hmmm 2 flat cakes... so I went and bought fresh baking powder. My next cake attempt (yep 3 in one day thanks to the ease of my KA mixer lol) was so light and fluffy it almost hit the top burner in my oven!  The difference is so amazing I cant wait until my next baking project!  

As far as the recipe just omit the vanilla and add 1 teaspoon pandan extract. 

Ive been using my cell phone to take pictures since my digital camera is not cooperating currently. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pandan


Recently I learned about the flavor of pandan. I have been trying to add this southeast Asian ingredient into my baked goods. The flavor is a cross between coconut and vanilla... well kind of.. really I cant place the flavor which is what makes it so exciting! So this morning I decided to try a coconut rum cake using Dorie Greenspan's recipe for coconut tea cake. I subbed the pandan essence for the vanilla. It's baking as I type and the smell is beginning to fill my kitchen YUM! The photo posted here is from my first attempt last week. I did not have any coconut to add and thought the recommended 2 cups of sugar made the cake way too sweet. This time I toasted some sweetened shredded coconut and reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups. I will post new pics when I get them.  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Long time baker first time Blogger!

For years I have been baking and photographing my finished products. Recently I realized there are others out there who do the same thing! So I decided to come out of the pantry and go public with my hobby. I hope to learn from other bakers out there and share recipes and photos. I look forward to meeting you all!