Posts filed under ‘Tuesdays With Dorie’

TWD #63: Brought to you by the letter T

Are you getting Sesame Street flashbacks yet?

I don’t know about all the other TWD bakers, but it took me a few (million) times to spell t-i-r-a-m-i-s-u correctly. I kept wanting to add more i’s. Don’t ask me why though. My brain is just crazy sometimes. I blame my husband who kept interrupting me while writing this post about his belt, socks, shoes, wallet, cell phone… I swear. That man would lose his arse if it wasn’t attached.

I want to say that I’ve eaten tiramisu more than once but it’s not something that I seek out on the dessert menu. Usually it’s the cheesecake or crème brûlée that makes my mouth salivate and my pocketbook lighter. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see this on the TWD baking schedule chosen by Megan of My Baking Adventures. (You can find the original recipe on her blog.)

Although it wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t change it up a little bit. *wink*

What I learned this week:
It *IS* possible to eat your weight in frosting. Just take my word for it. *burp*

Tiramisu [Cupcakes]
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I halved the recipe and got 10 cupcakes.

I baked my cupcakes for about 20 minutes.

I poked holes in each cupcake with a fork and spooned about 1-2 tsp of espresso syrup over. Let syrup soak in a little at a time before you add more or it will overflow.


Husband rating: A
He loves coffee so he raved about the espresso syrup in the cupcake but he wasn’t a huge fan of the frosting.

Wifey rating: A
I am not a big coffee person but that espresso syrup was FABULOUS and the frosting was good but I honestly liked it more before the whipped cream was folded in. (Of course I tasted it between steps! Doesn’t everyone?)

Next week: Tartest Lemon Tart page 336

May 5, 2009 at 5:13 am 22 comments

TWD #62: Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder

I have no idea what the quote means but I just thought it was a cool play on words and had “tart” in the line. HA!

Have you ever had absinthe? It’s illegal in USA but you can order it online. (FYI Previous sentence will self-destruct in 5…4…3…) Best description. Green-ish alcohol, tastes like black licorice in 150 proof (75% alcohol) form and slightly hallucinogenic (although I personally didn’t see any green fairies when I drank it).

UPDATE: Ok I got schooled about the availability of absinthe in the USA. Read comments for more info! I have a sudden urge to go to BevMo now…

Oops! Tangent.

This week the Tuesday with Dorie-nators are baking up some chocolate cream tart hosted by Kim of Scrumptious Photography. (You can find the full recipe on her blog.) It would be an understatement to say “I love Kim’s blog”. It’s more like: I LOVE KIM’S BLOG! This girl knows scrumptious photography. My food photography inner child wants to be like her when I grow up. Her photography skills are crazy, yo!

What did I learn this week:
Baking is a process that needs undivided attention for perfection. You have to follow the process or you will get burned (literally and figuratively). Next time I will not try to squeeze in making the chocolate cream filling after dinner and before Last Cake Standing finale. FYI 1hour39minutes is not enough time.

Chocolate Cream Tart
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

To make tart crust: Look at all that butter! You know it’s gotta be good.

I decided to make the Sweet Tart Dough instead of the Chocolate version b/c I am not a huge chocolate-on-chocolate person. Gasp! I know.

I made the full dough recipe but only used 1/2 to make 3 mini tarts. Froze the other half to use some other day when the tart craving kicks in! (Full recipe yielded about 14oz of dough so I used about 7 oz for 3 mini tarts.) I popped the mini tart crusts in the freezer for about 3 hours before baking (but I think Dorie says only need 30 minutes).

Dorie says you don’t need pie weights but I decided “just in case”. I baked my mini tart crusts for about 20 minutes for nice golden brown color.

To make chocolate cream: egg yolks, starch, sugar and salt. Tip- Sift the cornstarch like Dorie says. My cream filling was a little lumpy and I blame the lazy baker non-sifted cornstarch.

I used 1-1/2 cups 2% milk+1/2 cup half-and-half instead of 2 cups whole milk.

Mmm… melted chocolate. I used 1/2 bittersweet and 1/2 semi-sweet.

I forgot to 1/2 the chocolate cream filling. Oh well. More for me!

Isn’t my mini tart slice so cute? Fits on the end of a fork. *giggle*


Husband rating: A/A+
He’s a chocolate person but even said that he was glad I decided to forego the chocolate crust so that he could taste the chocolate cream filling more. He ate 1 whole tart and 1/2 of another tart. I think he mumbled, between bites, “Tish izsum goo shtart”. (Translation: This is some good tart.)

Wifey rating: A
Wow. That chocolate cream is SO good. Love it with the sweet tart dough. I got lazy at the end and skipped the whipped cream but I bet it would have been amazing with. Definitely will make again!

April 28, 2009 at 6:50 am 26 comments

TWD #60: Do you believe in magic?

♪Do you believe in magic?♪♫

I have no idea why that song is stuck in my head! It’s driving me nuts. I don’t even know who sings it and where it’s from. I think it’s a show? or movie? Argh! I am gonna go crazy trying to figure it out… Don’t you hate when that happens?

[Insert transition sentence here]

I was iffy about making last week’s Banana Cream Pie b/c well… I am a banana hater. By the time I decided on an Unbanana Cream Pie Tuesday turned into Thursday. Where does the time go? (Sorry Amy!)

I was already feeling guilty about skipping the last 2 weeks so I knew I couldn’t skip this week especially since our hostess is Holly of Phemomenon. Isn’t her blog name so stinkin’ cute? Seriously pink puffy heart this girl! You can find the complete recipe on her blog. Honestly don’t stop at just this recipe either. She’s a super blogger. She’s even been on TV!

*bowing down, mumbling… I’m not worthy*

Sorry I’ve been such a Tuesdays With Dorie slacker. Haven’t been that motivated to get in the kitchen lately. I guess I am in a little baking funk. It happens.

What I learned this week:
I’ve never had an amaretti cookie before and I’m kinda iffy about whether I like it or not. I might need another cookie (or 10) before I can make up my mind. But lucky for me I am willing to take that challenge all in the name of science.

Fifteen Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I halved the recipe and used 2-4inch springform pans. I was kinda lazy and omitted the parchment paper hint. Bad idea! The torte stuck to the bottom of the pan. It wasn’t terrible but I did lose some of the torte to pan stickage. You should do as Dorie says and not what I do mkay?

I bought my amaretti cookies from Starbucks (Go figure!) and used the whole 1.75oz box (minus one cookie that I ate to make sure they weren’t poisonous. Obviously) processed with whole unblanched almonds.

Since I halved the recipe it was a little tricky halving 3 eggs so I kinda just estimated 1 egg and 1/2 of another. I wonder if there’s an easier technique to halve eggs? maybe by weight?

Look at all the sugar, egg, butter, chocolate, amaretti and almond goodness…

Mmmm… ganache

I divided the batter between 2-4inch springforms and I baked my mini tortes for about 25 minutes.

Pouring the ganache over the torte was my favorite part!

The innards remind me of a brownie texture. Call me weird but I love innard pictures of desserts.


Husband rating: A-
He ate his little mini torte in one sitting but said it wasn’t his favorite.

Wifey rating: A-
I liked the torte (it reminds me of a brownie texture) but I guess I am not a BIG chocolate on chocolate person so it was a little rich for me. Also wasn’t too keen on the little almond bits. They kept getting caught between my teeth!

Next week: Four Star Chocolate Bread Pudding pages 410-411

April 14, 2009 at 5:20 am 39 comments

TWD #57: Have you seen the muffin man?

To be honest I am not much of a muffin (wo)man.

I kinda feel like baking/eating a muffin is cheating on my cupcake addiction so I rarely make muffins. Besides what’s the point? Cupcakes are a vehicle for frosting and since muffins typically don’t have frosting, there is no point. HAHA

This week Sihan of Befuddlement chose the Blueberry Crumb Cake for all us TWD bakers. You can find the recipe on her blog.

Now I know you are probably all confused b/c there is no “muffin” in Blueberry Crumb Cake but since I was not in the mood to juggle all of my pyrex pans to find the 8×8 square pan (btw if anyone has a easy-to-access pyrex storage idea I am ALL ears!) I decided to go with my cupcake pan. Plus individual servings means portion control, travel-bility and sharing distribution. Score!

Oh yeah I didn’t do blueberries either… I just broke all the rules this time!

What I learned this week:
I really hate using my pyrex pans b/c the way I store them now they are all stacked on top of each other and of course the one I use the most is the 9X13 and the 8×8, both of which are on the bottom.

Blueberry Raspberry Crumb Cake Muffins
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I decided to switch out the walnuts for almonds.

… and the blueberries for raspberries.

I love raspberry-almond-lemon flavors!

I filled cupcake liners about 2/3-3/4 full.

I got 14 muffins and baked for about 30-35 minutes.


Husband rating: A
He had a muffin (or 2) with his coffee and raved about this recipe. He especially loved the almond-crumb topping. It probably would have been an A+ if I had used blueberries though. He’s more of a blueberry than raspberry man.

Wifey rating: A/A+
I totally cheated on my cupcakes and I liked it! (I am currently listening to “I Kissed a Girl” by Katie Perry). Love the raspberry, almond and lemon flavors. Always a great combination for me. The crumb topping was delicious! Definitely will make again.

Next week: Coconut Butter Thins page 145

March 24, 2009 at 6:48 am 25 comments

TWD #56: Freedom Yogurt Cake

(Is it still Tuesday? Let’s pretend it’s still Tuesday and I didn’t fall asleep before my pictures were done uploading last night and that’s why I didn’t post, k? Would you do that for me? Thanks.)

Remember when we tried to rename our french fries to freedom fries?

I tried to remember to call my french fries –> freedom fries to be a good little patriot but I am such a creature of habit that I quickly returned to good ol french fries. Don’t get me wrong. I love America. But it’s like calling a muffin a cupcake. It just doesn’t do it for me. It’s not the same.

This week our host, Liliana of My CookBook Addiction chose French Yogurt Cake for all the TWD bakers to whip up. You can find the recipe on her blog.

What I learned this week:
There’s nothing like homemade whipped cream.

French Yogurt [Strawberry Short] Cake
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Mmmm… I love the smell of lemon sugar. *deep breathe* Dorie says you can replace the ground almonds with more flour but I splurged on the almonds.

I used two 4-1/2″ springform pans and 2 mini loaf pans and baked for about 30 minutes.

I used my serrated knife to cut the tops and then slice each cake in half.

I used strawberry preserves, homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries for each layer. Holy yum!

Then just stack one layer on top of another to create the cake. My french yogurt strawberry short cake was about 6 inches high. I admit it’s a little rustic but so freaking cute (if I do say so myself).


Husband rating: A+
My husband had one slice and said “where’s your mini cake? This one is all mine!”

Wifey rating: A/A+
I loved the almond bits in the cake coupled with the strawberry preserves and whipped cream. Even the mini loaves by themselves were yummy. Definitely will make this again.

Next week: Blueberry Crumb Cake pages 192-193

March 18, 2009 at 6:43 am 17 comments

TWD #55: When life hands you lemons…

… make lemon cream tart.

Oh wait. Wrong Dorie dessert. I just really liked the Lemon Cream Tart on pages 331-333. If you haven’t made it yet, you must!

Sorry for the tangent.

I have the attention span of a goldfish.

This week Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles (you can find the recipe on her blog) picked the Lemon Custard Cups for all the Tuesday with Dorie-nators to bake up! To say that there were opinions on this one would be an understatement. Half the bakers said “too eggy” and the other half weren’t sure they wanted to make it. A few mentioned it tasted like a flan.

Personally I like flan so I wasn’t afraid (ok maybe a little) but I was intrigued to try and just mentally got myself in the Dorie zone. Since it’s just me and the hubs I halved the recipe and figured if it didn’t come out well I only wasted 2 eggs. No biggie. Conserving eggs puts free range chickens out of work. Wouldn’t wanna be accused of that right? Time’s are tough for all of us. I do what I can.

What I learned this week:
I really like lemon. I think it’s my favorite citrus fruit. Unless we’re talking caipirinha, then it’s lime all the way!

Lemon Custard Cups
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I substituted half-and-half for the whole milk.

Dorie says bake for 40-45 minutes but mine took about 30 minutes. *shrugs…


Husband rating: A-
He likes flan so he thought this was yummy and refreshing esp with the strawberry coulis but its not his favorite Dorie recipe.

Wifey rating: A-/B+
I like flan but I think my favorite part of flan is the caramel. Just the “flan” part was good but when you add some strawberry coulis it bumps it up a notch. I love strawberry and lemon combination.

Next week: French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze pages 224-225

Strawberry coulis recipe after cut.


March 10, 2009 at 6:02 am 27 comments

TWD #53: Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.

I laughed. I hope you laughed too.

Wanna see a magic trick?
Alakazam bippity boppity boo
*puff of smoke*
Ta Da!

My Chocolate Armagnac Cake turned into Caramel Crunch Bars!

Apologies to my TWD bakers and our TWD host this week, Lyb of And Then I Do The Dishes, but to be honest I wasn’t inspired by prunes (eeewww!) and I didn’t have any Armagnac (although that wouldn’t have stopped me on its own. You can never had too much [cooking] alcohol in the house right?). You can find the recipe on her blog. Since I missed the caramel crunch bars last week I decided to make those instead.

Lyb Désolé. J’aime votre blog et j’aurais fait n’importe quoi pour vous mais le caramel appelait mon nom. Prunes et je ne suis pas des amis. (I couldn’t remember the french translation for prunes! LOL)

The caramel crunch bars were on my short list of recipes to make when I was hosting back in October but I decided to go with the chocolate cupcakes so I am STOKED that Whitney of What’s Left On The Table chose them!

I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to have 56 caramel crunch bars laying around so I knew I’d half the recipe. I was proud of myself for remembering while I was making the bars to 1/2 each ingredient b/c its been known to happen that I’ll half the flour but add the full amount of salt. Ugh! But just as I was patting myself on the back for making sure each ingredient was the right fraction I realized that I didn’t have a smaller than 9×13 cake pan. *smack head* So imagine me; pacing back and forth in the kitchen, trying to find a pan that would work while my KA is begging to be emptied of caramel crunch bar batter. Uh… uh… Springform? 6″ round cake pan? tart pan? cupcake pan?

Then I remembered I didn’t have toffee either…

le sigh.

I need a sous chef.

What I learned this week:
Indulge in life a little more. Make the whole recipe.

Caramel Crunch Bars Cups
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I used Folger’s instant coffee that I ground into a fine powder in T’s coffee bean grinder. (T says its not “mine” b/c I don’t drink coffee.)

I used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips that I chopped up into smaller pieces.

I put about 1/2 tbsp of dough into each mini cupcake well and baked for about 7-8 minutes. I topped each “cup” with more milk chocolate but they were small enough that they melted quickly so I didn’t have to put them back in the oven. After I spread the chocolate over the “cup” with a small spatula, I topped with homemade toffee bits.


Husband rating: A
He was a big fan of the hint of coffee and chocolate combination but picked off the toffee.

Wifey rating: A
I absolutely loved the toffee! The cups were yummy too but maybe I’d reduce the coffee a little next time. It was a bit much for me. Then again I am not a huge coffee person. I have to admit that the little cups were so fun to eat. Bite size and a little “too” easy to snack on…

Next week: Lemon Cup Custard page 387

Homemade Toffee recipe after the cut.


March 3, 2009 at 7:41 am 26 comments

TWD #52: The Devil made me do it

Sorry TWD bakers.

I had all intentions of making the Devil’s Food White Out Cake but…

– Worked
– My little brother came over and we made cupcakes for his friendgirl for Valentines.

– Had Valentines’ lunch with T’s parents
– Went shopping for some gizmo at Best Buy to help configure all of T’s techy stuff so we don’t have to unplug and replug the Wii whenever we want to play
– Went to a too-swanky-for-me Italian jazz club (crazy combo, no?) for Valentines’ dinner and then came home and played Wii the rest of the night

– Ran around all morning doing chores (Costco, Tarjay…)
– Came home exhausted so took a nap that ended up being more of a hiberation
– Had dinner with my family since my other brother (who lives in NY) is in town

– Baked 4 varieties of cupcakes for T to bring as thank you gifts (will post about it on my cupcake blog tomorrow)
– Had lunch with my brothers at favorite sushi buffet
– Drove around looking at condo and townhouses (wishful thinking)
– Had dinner with godsons and friends (which took longer than expected b/c J was helping me transfer his music to my laptop+itunes so I could use my iPhone to its full potential. Currently listening to Apologize by One Republic on repeat. Thanks J!)

Now I ask you? When did I have time to make a 3 tier cake? LOL

I am hoping to bake up this cake soon though. Its the cover cake for goodness sakes! Dorie would want me to make it.

Please don’t let my slacking stop you from checking out Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for the recipe and all my fellow TWD bakers’ blogs. I am sure you’re bound to be impressed!

February 17, 2009 at 7:09 am 12 comments

TWD #51: No man is an island…

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” ~John Donne

Amen John Donne. Amen.

(Is it just me or would that name make an awesome rock star name or action star name?)

I know I am usually pretty silly with my TWD posts but the above quote really hits me esp in these economic times. I have friends that have lost their job, lost their home, in foreclosure, struggling with their debt etc. Its enough to make a person give up and wonder why they work so hard. I guess I just want to remind everyone with the above quote that we are part of a bigger picture. Don’t isolate yourself. This is not the time for “me, myself and I” anymore. Help each other.

Can we do that?


This week’s recipe was chosen by one of my favorite TWD bakers, Shari of Whisk: A Food Blog. You can find the recipe on her blog. Don’t forget to see how the other TWD bakers did with their islands too!

What I learned this week:
I didn’t use to like the multiple step recipes that required wait time, chill time and/or down time. But as my life gets busier, I can appreciate taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. Just makes the end product that much sweeter.

Floating Islands
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I only have 2% milk in my house so I substituted the whole milk for 1-1/2 cups 2% + 1/2 cup half-and-half.

Dorie says the creme anglaise takes about 10 minutes to thicken but mine took about 15 minutes. Not sure if the 2% milk affected the time. *shrugs Take time to strain. I was surprised at the amount of egg chunks at the bottom. Can you say scrambled eggs??

Attack of the vanilla amoeba!

Props to anyone that could make these “islands” look pretty. Mine didn’t.


Husband rating: B+/B
He liked the creme anglaise. Reminded him of a silky pudding but said the poached meringue tasted like a soggy marshmallow. Sheesh tell me how you really feel huh?

Wifey rating: A-
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this one. I knew the creme anglaise would be yummy but I wasn’t sure on the whole poaching-the-meringue concept. This recipe surprised me though. I liked it. Not my favorite Dorie recipe but it was very tasty.

Just curious? Which picture do you like better? white or black? Hubs preferred the black and I liked the white. I think he just likes to contradict me.

Next week: Devils Food White Out Cake (cover cake!!) pages 247-249

February 10, 2009 at 7:39 am 28 comments

TWD #50: Give Peace A Chance

You ever have those days where a line or phrase is stuck in your head?

As soon as I found out the TWD bakers were making World Peace Cookies this week, I haven’t be able to get a particular Homer Simpson quote out of my head! Man I love that donut-eating-never-gonna-win-father-of-the-year-award character.

Homer: Yvan eht nioj! You gotta love that crazy chorus.
Lisa: What does it mean?
Homer: It doesn’t mean anything. It’s like “Rama-lama-ding-dong” or “Give peace a chance”.

I tell you. The first time I watched that episode I laughed about that last line for days. You know you laughed. Ah come on… you totally laughed. What about a little snicker? Maybe a chuckle or guffaw? I remember walking around all week busting out in giggle fits when I thought of the line – at the grocery store spice aisle, at work, at the gym… Ohhhhh ok. Now I understand why people slowly moved away from me in public places.

Thanks Jessica of Cookbook Habit for making me laugh and choosing these cookies. You can find the recipe in her blog. Btw Congratulations to her. She’s having a baby! Aaawww…

What I learned this week:
Lately I’ve been slacking on my grocery store making list and I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have 3/10 ingredients. What’s a baker on a budget and time constraint to do? Improvise. Famous last word.

World Peace Cookies
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I ran out of light brown sugar (Doh! I am usually so on top of my baking game) so I used dark brown sugar instead.

Dorie uses fleur de sel but I didn’t have any so I substituted 1/2 tsp kosher salt.

I use 3/4 cup of bittersweet Ghiradelli chips. They aren’t mini per the recipe so I thought about chopping it smaller but I figured if the ratio of chocolate chip to cookie was more, it couldn’t be bad thing, right? *wink*

I chilled my cookie dough overnight. Dang those suckers were hard to slice the next day! Hmmm… maybe the bigger chips weren’t such a good idea, huh? I should never second guess Dorie. (Can you see the ruler at bottom left corner? That would be evidence of my nerd-dom.)

Dorie says you get 36 cookies but I got about 30. I think towards the end I got lazy and the slices started getting thicker. HAHA


Husband rating: A+
He wasn’t sure he’d like them b/c he’s not a fan of bittersweet chocolate but he said they were fabulous esp with a glass of milk! I am not sure how many he ate but I know he ate more than one (or 5).

Wifey rating: A+
At first I wasn’t sure I’d like these cookies. It seemed like chocolate overkill (I wasn’t a big fan of the Chocolate Dunkers) but BOY was I wrong! These cookies were SO freaking good. I am thinking that Obama might wanna have some handy during any peace talks between Israel and Palestine. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Next week: Floating Islands on pages 401-402

February 3, 2009 at 7:36 am 43 comments

TWD #48: Berry berry late surprise cake

Let’s pretend that its Tuesday, January 20th and I am actually not a week late posting this berry cake hosted by Mary of Meet Me In The Kitchen. (Sorry Mary!)

Also one more favor?

Can you get past the fact that I am a week behind baking up the Ginger Chocolate Gingerbread hosted by Heather of Sherry Trifle, which I was actually suppose to post today but haven’t had the chance to make yet.

Can you do that for me? It would really help take the shame away… Thanks.

Do you have those family and friends in your life that pick up on one of your hobbies and from that moment on every gift they give you is related to that hobby? I do.

As soon as people find out I like to bake they get me baking stuff. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing. I get alot of cupcake related gifts that I absolutely adore. Notecards, liners, plates, towels, apron… Even a teddy bear cupcake cake pan, though Jen of the famous Cake Wrecks, calls cupcake cakes wrecktastical. I suppose I’d have to agree with the ones on her blog (some of them are downright hideous to the point of hysteria!) but after seeing Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Starry Starry Night cupcake cake, I know cupcake cakes *can be* works of art! Someday when I have about 5 hours of free time (Free time? Whats that?) I’d love to be able to recreate it.

Dang. There I go. Off on a tangent again. I am easily distracted by cupcake talk.

So about gifts. I can’t blame people. I do it too. My SIL likes ladybugs so I get her ladybug stuff. My BIL likes wine so he gets a bottle of wine for practically every occasion. I try to mix it up but I have a fear of getting people gifts they won’t like so I tend to stick with what I know.

What’s your point, CB?

Oh yeah. My point.

So I’ve been hoarding this mini cake pan that my SIL gave me for Christmas last year b/c I wasn’t sure when I’d use it. I don’t make alot of filling cakes. But the berry surprise cake was perfect to break it in. That was my point.

I totally lost you huh?

What I learned this week:
You can never had too many random pans b/c you never know when the right recipe will come along and you’ll be able to use them. At least that’s rationalization for buying them. And I am sticking to it.

Surprise [Straw]Berry Cake
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Aren’t my Wilton mini tasty fill cake pans so cute?

I baked my minis for about 18 minutes. It puffed up really nicely. Before assembling the cakes, I used a serrated knife to level each top. Don’t worry. No cake went to waste. It went in my tummy.

Making the filling. Cream the cheese, add the sugar, fold in the whipped cream.

No pictures of making the syrup but I brushed my mini cakes with alot of syrup before adding the filling and fruit. I think the syrup gave the “cake” a yummy flavor.


Husband rating: A-/B+
T wasn’t a huge fan and said it wasn’t his favorite but he still ate a couple small slices.

Wifey rating: A-/B+
I thought the cake by itself was so yummy but I wasn’t a fan of the filling. It wasn’t sweet enough for me. If I am gonna spend a couple hours making and assembling a cake, it needs to be painfully schedule-a-trip-to-the-dentist-because-you’re-gonna-get-a-cavity sweet or whats the point?

January 27, 2009 at 7:50 am 28 comments

TWD #47: Surprise! No berry cake.

Here are my excuses.

1. I was out of town all weekend. Vegas baby Vegas!
2. I got home Monday @ 1pm.
3. I had an order of 50 cupcakes to bake by Tuesday.
4. By the time I was done baking 50 red velvets I was over being in the kitchen.
5. I still haven’t done the dishes yet.

Thanks for hosting this week, Mary of Meet Me In The Kitchen. Sorry I slacked. I am a bad TWDer. *hangs head* But I am hoping to bake the berry cake up sometime this weekend. All the P&Q drama is making me want to tackle it even more! I guess I am just a sadist like that.

Looking forward to seeing the reviews and blog posts from fellow TWD bakers.

Happy Inauguration Day readers!

January 20, 2009 at 8:06 am 12 comments

TWD #47: Wanna hear a corn-y joke?

Question: How is an ear of corn like an army?
Answer: It has lots of kernels.


*ignoring muffled groans from my readers*

Oh hush. Just laugh for joke’s sake. Ok fine. Don’t laugh at my joke. At least I can relish in the fact that you’ll have that joke stuck in your head all day.

I guess I am feeling more corny than usual. Must have something to do with this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe but I bet you already figured that out with the TWD logo above huh? You readers are so smart.

I gave everyone a sneak peep to today’s TWD recipe in a recent blog post a couple days ago. I bet I know alot of TWD members (esp the ones that read the P&Q every week) who probably got a weird craving for chili like me. Gotta love the power of subliminal commenting. Come to think of it. That seems to happen to me alot. No wonder infomercials work on me. I know. You don’t have to tell me. I have issues. But I can’t be the only one that loves infomercials. Come on. Who needs to join IA (infomercials anonymous) with me?

Hello my name is Clara… I am an infomercial-holic.

This week’s recipe is hosted by one of my favorite blogging chicks, Rebecca from Ezra Poundcake. You can find the recipe on her blog. Don’t forget to see what the other TWD bakers thought of their muffins too.

What I learned this week:
My little brother likes chili. I know that doesn’t have anything to do with the corn muffins but I wouldn’t have found out unless I was making the corn muffins with the chili so its semi-related, right?

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan


Husband rating: A-
He likes cornbread but he’s a cornbread purist so he wasnt a big fan of the veggie chunks.

Wifey rating: A-/B+
I am not a big cornbread fan. Maybe I would have liked it more if I had added more corn and bell pepper chunks? It was really good crumbled in my chili though.

Other rating: A
I was really surprised that he totally liked these muffins. My little brother is a picky eater but he ate like 3 of them!

January 13, 2009 at 12:10 am 42 comments

TWD #46: Pear with me. This one’s a doozy!

Can you believe it?

My fabulous baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie turned 1 year old on January 1, 2009 and I’ve been baking for 46 weeks of it! What a milestone huh? Excuse me while I toot my own horn. *toot toot*

I have learned so much from all the Dorie bakers since I joined this amazing group. Thank you to everyone for their comments, twitters and sharing their creative adaptions/substitutions with me. I am a better baker now b/c of you all. Truly. No fooling. Here’s looking at many more years… ::champagne glass clink::

To celebrate TWD’s blogiversary, the esteemed author herself, THE Dorie Greenspan, chose this week’s recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog. Also don’t forget to see what the other Dorie bakers thought of the pear tart too!

Let me just start out by saying that this one was a comedy of errors for me. ::smacks head::

  • I made my sweet tart dough the day before, pressed it into mini tart pans and put them in the freezer overnight. Everything aok so far…
  • I went back and forth on using canned vs fresh pears and decided that I wanted to impress Dorie so I went out and bought the fresh. Don’t ask me why I thought fresh was more impressive. My brain is just crazy sometimes…
  • Still wanting to impress Dorie, I did the optional pear poaching for 15 minutes per recipe instructions.
  • While the pears were poaching on the stove, I combined the sugar and butter in food processor for the almond cream and then realized, as I was staring at my Costco size bag of unblanched almonds, that I needed BLANCHED ground almonds. FYI – How to blanch almonds. Some of those suckers peeled so easily while others forced me to drown them in boiling water again. Blanching almonds is not fun. Luckily my husband was nice enough to help me. (Those are his fingers in the picture.)
  • Instead of 2 tsp of rum I started putting in 2 TBSP but noticed my error after the first tbsp and tried to soak up some of the rum with a napkin so who knows how much rum really went into my tart.
  • I was expecting the almond cream to be more cake batter but mine was more like thinned out cookie dough. *shrugs
  • I put the almond cream in the mini tart pans and smoothed them out with a offset spatula before I realized that I never pre-baked the crusts. DOH!
  • I contemplated scooping out all the almond cream to pre-bake crusts but then laziness got the best of me and I said “Screw it!” and started cutting up the poached pears.
  • Poaching the pears made them too mushy. Maybe my pears were too ripe? I have a mushy texture thing so I kinda gagged while assembling the tart. Next time I make this I probably won’t poach or maybe I’ll go for canned.
  • After I put the pears on the tart I thought about taking them off but again the laziness thing came rearing its ugly head so I left them on, popped the tarts in the oven and hope for the best.

What I learned this week:
Sometimes things don’t go as you plan but you just have to roll with the punches, don’t give up and hope for a baking miracle. Who knows. You might just realize that you don’t need to pre-bake the crusts and a little more rum never hurt anyone. LOL

French Pear Tart
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Makes 1-9inch tart (I made 4-4 inch tarts)

After you poach the pears, slice them lengthwise from top to bottom and remove the pit. I use a small melon baller. Makes it very easy!

I baked my mini tarts for about 30 minutes.


Husband rating: A+
He couldn’t get enough of the pear tart and is struggling with what is his favorite – the cheesecake or this tart. Right now he’s still saying that the cheesecake has a slight edge but not by much. haha

Wifey rating: A+
Even though I had some “issues” with the tart and major pear sinkage this was SO freaking delicious! I will definitely make it again. Maybe next time I’ll switch out the pears for raspberries! YUM!

Other rating: A+
T and I split 1 mini tart and he brought the rest to work. His CWs raved many times. According to T they want to buy me a “thank you” gift now. You know something’s good when ppl want to spend their hard earned money to buy you a gift to say thank you. haha

Next week: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins page 6

January 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm 52 comments

TWD #45: Forget Cheesecake Factory…

Confession: I am a cheesecake freak. Any flavor. Anytime. No occasion needed.

Forget the Cheesecake Factory. You’d think a restaurant with “cheesecake” in the name would have the best cheesecake right? Well… its not. HAHA. My absolute favorite cheesecake is the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake from TGIFridays. Its a vanilla bean cheesecake layered with a white chocolate mousse garnished with white chocolate shavings.

Oh. My. Dog.

No words can describe.



Huh? What? Oh sorry. I started daydreaming about cheesecake for a minute there…

This week, Anne of Anne Strawberry chose the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake for us to bake. You can find the recipe on her blog. I admit I did a little cheer in my head. Hip Hop Hurray! You can’t go wrong with cheesecake. Definitely check out what the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers did with their cheesecake. I have a feeling there will be some awesome variations this week esp since Dorie provides like 10 flavor suggestions other than just plain. I think next time I make it I’ll have to try the orange version. I’ve heard it tastes like a creamsicle! Oh yeah!

I had all intentions of trying to duplicate the White Chocolate Mousse Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (as mentioned above) but at the last minute I changed my mind. Actually technology changed my mind. Its called twitter. Have you heard of it? Randomness in 140 words or less. Ring a bell? HAHA. I mentioned on my twitter, Sunday morning, that I was making the TWD cheesecake and “Bombshell” suggested caramel. Ooohhhh… caramel! There was no turning back after the word caramel was mentioned. Also shoutout to Gretchen for twittering with me too! Let’s do it again next week!

What I learned this week:
Patience is not a virtue that I possess but this recipe rewards patience and trust me when I say its SO worth the wait! Just ask my husband and brother. They will gladly confirm.

Caramel Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I made 1/2 the recipe in 3-4inch springform pans. I baked the mini crusts for about 8 minutes.

Dorie gives you the option of sour cream, heavy cream or a mixture of both. I used all heavy cream. Instead of vanilla extract, I used 1 vanilla bean, scraped. I love those little vanilla specks. Don’t you?

I baked my minis for about 45 minutes.

I kinda cheated and used caramel ice cream topping but it was still darn tasty!


Husband rating: A+
His exact words: Best cheesecake I’ve ever eaten.

Wifey rating: A+
I followed exactly what Dorie said about aerating the cream cheese; 4 minutes here, 4 minutes there. Itotally think that it helped make my batter light and melt-in-your-mouth creamy. Just like a cheesecake should be. YUM! Definitely will make this one again… and again… and again.

Other rating: A+
Nothing but raves from my brother and friends. Actually they were very upset that I made minis and not a 9-inch springform! HAHA

December 29, 2008 at 9:04 pm 45 comments

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