Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TWD Rewind: Dimply Plum Cake


Dimply Plum Cake recipe chosen by: Michelle of Bake-En
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

Note: The recipe for this week was Creme Brulee chosen by Mari of Mevrouw Cupcakes. I'd like to claim I didn't do it because I didn't have the tools, but the truth is that I didn't want to be tempted to eat every stinking one of them. :D

Disaster, disaster, disaster. My plums weren't ripe enough, and I took the cake out of the oven too soon. Darnitall.

I tried one of the plums as I was halving them, and the one I tried had a lovely ripe flavor. But the skin was still way too tart and I noticed that the rest of the 6 (that's all that would fit in the pan) were much firmer. I sort of shrugged my shoulders and pushed on, hoping Dorie's magic would fix the whole thing. (I don't know - maybe the magic of baking would sweeten the plums up some? The tart would be awesome against the sweetness of the cake? Heh, I'm nothing if not optimistic. And still pretty clueless when baking something for the first time.)

After the full baking time, the cake was on that edge. You know? Juuuust done enough that you think it will be firm but still moist. Unfortunately, it was on the other side of the edge. The cake bits on the edge were done, but there was a section in the middle that oozed out the bottom as it cooled.

The plums were still insanely tart. The flesh didn't sweeten up at all - mostly just became bland. I think I may just not be a fan of plums in baked goods. I'm reserving my opinion on the Cardamom though. I didn't really care for the flavor of the bits of plain cake, but I'm betting it would taste phenomenal with a better selection of fruit. My bad, completely. When Michelle posted her Dimply Plum Cake pictures, I wanted to lick the screen so I'm thinking I need to give this another go. Maybe with some nice ripe peaches next time. Thanks for picking a great recipe, Michelle!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Chunkers


Recipe chosen by: Claudia of Fool for Food
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

Oy - anybody else tired of chocolate? :P (That's really not going to be the popular opinion, is it?)

No pictures and late post because I was out yesterday and just plain forgot it was Tuesday. (It's virtual Monday to me, man!)

These turned out to be easy to make, and easy to bake (no chilling for these guys - and I'd suggest lying out all your parchment paper and scooping all these bad boys as soon as possible). The first group was lovely and smooth, producing a very pretty cookie. Every other pan looked like doodie. Tasty mega-chocolate doodie, but doodie nonetheless.

The tasters thought they were awesome (even though only a few got a cookie right out of the oven - those were the best in my opinion). Most didn't mind the raisins and one thought they were a fantastic part of the cookie.

My final verdict? These would make a great Christmas cookie addition (providing I scoop them all at once when the chocolate base was still smooth) and a great change of pace cookie, but it's not going to be my tried and true standby.

Thanks for a fun recipe pick Claudia! (But a huge thanks coming up to Michelle and Mari for some non-chocolate, non-cookie picks!!)

TWD Chocolate Chunker Mosaic

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Grown Up Mac and Cheese


Recipe chosen by: Heather of Randomosity and the Girl
Link to Recipe: Grown Up Mac and Cheese

When I saw the Barefoot Blogger recipe for this week (Grown Up Mac and Cheese), I was a little scared. Blue cheese? Gruyere? Uh...

I figured that I'd just do the recipe as is (except I added a little more bacon) and see how it went. From the start of grating the Gruyere, it was touch and go. The smell was awful. I thought the blue cheese would be the kicker for me, but the one I picked had a pretty mild scent. The Gruyere though - that one was like feet.

The good news? The Mac and Cheese tasted awesome. The smell faded out towards the end, and the flavors were wonderful. The basil on top really added a kick, and the cheeses all blended into a tasty, cheesy sauce. And I think the husband liked it even more than I did.

We did eat it more as a side dish than a main course though. All in all, I gotta say thanks to Heather for picking a great recipe!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TWD: Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops


Recipe chosen by: Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

Now those are some awesome cookies! Almost too sweet, but fantastic with a glass of milk. The first bite was like eating a chocolate malt.

That's all I got tonight - bad on call weekend plus an overdue dinner with friends meant another last minute baking session.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

TWD: Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters


Recipe chosen by: Stefany of Proceed with Caution
Link to TWD group: Tuesdays With Dorie homepage

I got one tray of these guys baked off before rushing out to the third BBQ/event this weekend.

I only made two changes (for the full recipe, go visit Stefany). I went with extra large eggs instead of large. I've found that the extra liquid helps keep cookies from being too dry at altitude. The other change from the recipe was to use a baking stone and bake the cookies for the full 15 minutes. I didn't rotate pans partway through since I only had time for one (no-fuss) pan.

The cookies went together in a snap. They chilled for a half hour before baking so the dough was too warm to do anything but drop. About the only problem was my KitchenAid Mixer seems close to giving up the ghost. The hubs did some quick emergency repairs, but we'll have to see if it'll last through another round of, well anything.

As for the taste, I'm on the fence. I liked these better than the Granola Grabbers from a few weeks ago, no question about that. They just seem like they're missing something. Maybe more peanut butter... Maybe sub dried fruit for some or all of the chocolate... That's probably what's throwing me off. I could handle peanut butter in my oatmeal cookies (the nutmeg was awesome - I'll have to add some to my regular oatmeal cookie recipe) or peanut butter in my chocolate chip cookies (mmm, peanut butter and chocolate), but the the oatmeal and chocolate chip is just weird. Now, some raisins or oooooh, some white chocolate chips with craisins. Mmmmm.....

Anyway, don't forget to go see how the other TWDers liked this week's recipe! And thanks for another great pick, Stefany!

Edited to add: Okay, so letting the dough chill for the 24 hours is the key. I baked off the rest, and it's a pretty good cookie after chilling. The spices mellowed and the peanut butter becomes just a hint. I still would change out the chocolate for fruit (or white chocolate with the fruit, oooh, or peanut butter chips!) but the dough makes a very pretty cookie. The edges are crisp and the middle is chewy.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters