Tuesdays With Dorie – Esquimaux Pops for Grown-Ups

So yeah. Couldn’t get them out of the mold. The handles came right out of the mold. My husband tried running it under warn water, but then only half of one pop came out, just like Kara’s! We had to use a spoon to dig the rest out of the mold.

Don’t get me wrong… these are incredibly delicious (I used Chambord), and I opted to leave small chunks of chocolate, which is a fun contrast to the creamy silky-ness of this mousse. However, were I to do this again (and I probably will), I would make small ramekins of the mousse with a hard crack surface to mimic creme brulee. This recipe yielded 7 pops, but I would probably decrease the yield and make 4 slightly larger servings… when you scoop it out into a bowl there really isn’t that much in there. 

I am curious to see if anyone else had luck with these as pops…

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays – Cherry Tomato Crostini with Homemade Herbed Cheese

Before we go any further, I believe I owe you a certain picture of me making crêpes when I was a tween. It took me a minute to dig out the album, but here you go:

Observe the level of concentration! Yes I was wearing a mood ring! 

Anyway, I had stayed the night at my friend’s apartment in Manhattan, and her dad made crêpes for us. With Nutella! I had never been exposed to either before this point and I was sold. This must have been after our annual jaunt to Montauk because I would never have made them for my family without the Nutella, and I definitely remember insisting that mom take me to the specialty food shop in Montauk, while we were there, to procure a jar of it. I was exacting (and eccentric) even as a kid! Wheee! 

Incidentally it was about this time that I first saw the Galloping Gourmet on PBS (also while out in Montauk) and I was mezmerized. My mom humored me when I asked her to recreate, at home, the lemony chicken dish that he made on that show with only half of a scribbled recipe. There was no dvr in “those days”. 

This week’s challenge was the Cherry Tomato crostini:

I couldn’t find goat’s milk yogurt so I used grass-fed cow’s milk yogurt instead. I used shallots, garlic, sage, chives, and rosemary in my cheese, and I am just realizing that I totally forgot the basil on top. 

OMG though. Were these not transcendent? I don’t know what else to say except that these were a total mic drop. I will definitely make these again for company. Or maybe just for us. I think my mouth is watering just thinking back on this.

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz, Sides | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Growing up, when I wasn’t in ballet class, Saturday and Sunday mornings were always family breakfast routines. My dad would go to the German bakery a few blocks down and buy a crumb cake or Berliners (jelly donuts) for us. Sometimes Dad would even drive to the densely German neighborhood of Glendale (where he grew up) for their crumb cake, or even for amazing bagels and bialys. When I was in ballet class and rehearsals I would often run next door to the specialty food market and get one of their delicious coffee cake muffins. Yum!

Ever since I left home, I have been on the lookout for an authentic German crumb cake, and I have tried many recipes. Sadly many of the old traditional German bakeries are gone. Now that I am a more experienced baker I realize that most recipes have it all wrong by using a cake base. I will speak more to that in a later post. This recipe, however, is something altogether different. A delicate vanilla (cake) base with a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar streusel in the middle and a base of even more streusel hearkens back to those very rare Hostess coffee cake treats. 

Perfectly served with tea, or even as a part of your breakfast/brunch buffet, this Barefoot Contessa recipe is a classic. I have made it countless times and it always hits the spot with rave reviews every time. While it is not the crumb cake of my youth, it is in a class of its own as you consider most other coffee cake recipes. The addition of maple syrup glaze is trapped perfectly in the crevices of my Nordicware Rose Bundt pan, though if you use a regular tube pan you will serve this streusel side up and the glaze will sit elegantly atop. 

Find the recipe here, and let me know how you and your guests enjoy it. Unless by guests I mean you, alone, with a fork, in which case no judgement! 

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Philadelphia Blueberry Tart

When I was a kid my dad would often take me and my brother bike riding. Probably to give my mom some well-deserved time and space. We used to go riding on the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, which was originally built to connect the Gold Coast mansions on the North Shore of Long Island for all the party goers in the early part of the last century. With time, the toll road fell out of use, but became a way to link the major parks. So we used to start up at Alley Pond Park, and ride for miles. Along the way we would stop and pick wild raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. We would always promise to bring some home to make pancakes, but who can resist sun-warmed wild berries? They truly are the best. Later on we spent a few Labor day weekends at a family camp up in the Catskills, and there was always a blueberry picking expedition. It was always a treasure hunt for me!

Side note… I never ate PB&J sandwiches… outrightly refused. Ugh that texture. That taste. ::shudder:: Instead, my mother made me Philadelphia Cream cheese and Jelly sandwiches. 

You will notice I left off the corn. I hate everything about corn except if it is popped at the movie theater and you can personally add a gratuitous amount of butter-flavored oil to it (amirite??). 

I did quite like this tart, even if I have been craving cake for two weeks now. Loved the creamy base, which was the perfect foil for the delicate blueberries. The rosemary in the jam evokes the slightest woodsy-ness, which brings back the smell of the pine and evergreen on those crisp early morning blueberry hunts, with the crunch of dried leaves underfoot. And overall very simple assembly and process. I always roll out the dough, rather than press it out by hand so that there are scraps to snack on. I can’t be the only one. 

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays – Peach Crumble Tart

So yeah, not a single apricot to be had. Instead I used peaches, which turned out well enough. Of course, I didn’t get to make the apricot kernel ice cream either for obvious reasons. I was so looking forward to it, so I will have to be very diligent when apricot season rolls around next year… didn’t you need 50 kernels??

Anyway, when we make a new recipe, I often like to Google it to see if anyone else has made it, and what it looks like. I definitely eat with my eyes. I did find this recipe from David’s website which is pretty similar, but has marzipan in the crumble. Um, yes please. When I was little, my dad would buy my mom those pretty painted marzipan candies from the German bakery in our neighborhood, which, of course, she would never share with us kids. I don’t recall where I ever had my first taste, but it has always been a favorite of mine. Marzipan seems to be one of those flavors that seem to be part of my DNA… something you are born wanting to always eat.  Since we had no apricot kernel ice cream wanted to do something special. 

The tart was delicious… the crumble really made it special, and the peaches were good this time, despite travelling 3000 miles from California! I did find the fruit stand again but it was on the other side of the street as we were driving by, and my husband didn’t want to u-turn. Oh well. The subtle almond notes repeated themselves throughout, which I always do love. My only complaint is that, while I only barely baked my shell, it did come out a little over baked for my taste during the second bake with the fruit. I think I will choose to shorten the second bake the next time. 

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Summer Market Galette

No reminiscences from me on this one. Sadly, apricot season has long passed us by, here in Florida. I used peaches, nectarines, and black plums, and then did an apricot glaze because I do so love apricot jam and it only seemed appropriate having left them out. Also out of stock were the butter cookies recommended, so I used leibniz instead, which was a simple substitution. But seriously. Much of our fruit, including peaches, are coming from California. I do not understand this. I mean, Georgia is right next door. Hello? Peaches? GEORGIA??? I passed by a roadside fruit stand over the weekend. If I can recall where I saw it I will have to stop this coming weekend. 

Anyway, I made the dough on Friday evening and then finished this on Sunday, so it is always nice when something is so simple. I know one ought to just heap the fruit into the center of the dough, but I really love a more elegant presentation of the fruit against the ruggedness of the dough. Plus, I had time to kill while I was waiting for the oven to pre-heat. I served this with a little whipped cream.

I might go so far as to say that if you don’t have amazing fruit, this recipe might not be worth it. It is front and center, the true star of the show. Some of my fruit was… well… it was what you might expect from fruit that has travelled 3000 miles to get to you. It was a little tart (even with the extra sugar) which took away from the sweet, juicy, run-down-your-fa e, amazing, summertime stone fruitiness of it. I might have to skip the next CTBF challenge if I can’t find local apricots. I am not sure it would be worth it to substitute. It really does make a big difference. Before we moved, there was all sorts of abundant stone fruit… I had coworkers that would just bring me bushels of apricots and plums from their own trees, and it was the sort of thing you really looked forward to because it was that good. We get different produce here… citrus and mangos. Anyway, it was good but I think the lack of amazing fruit tempered it for me. Maybe I am just being high maintenance? I will let the reader decide. 😎

Posted in Baking Chez Moi | Dorie Greenspan, Dessert | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Cook the Book Fridays – Buckwheat Crêpes with Ham, Cheese and Egg

Crêpe making, at least in our house, turns into a team activity. One person to pour the batter in, the other to quickly swirl the pan around, and both to decide by committee (hovering over the pan all the while) that the crêpes are doing ok, or bickering over the best way to turn them without tearing them. Indeed I learned the art of Crêpe making from one of my ballet friends as at about the age of 11, and I have a picture of me making a crêpe breakfast for my family once I got home… I was so enthralled by the process. I will have to dig it up and show you all. I was also introduced to Nutella at the time, and I made my mom go to the specialty food shops in Montauk to find it when we went out for our vacation that summer. Such a diva, even at the age of 11!

I digress…

It is a good thing this batter yielded so much… we definitely sacrificed four crêpes before getting our first perfect one (ie one we could agree on). We also used a larger pan which yielded a slightly larger outcome.

I have never used buckwheat before. On its own the flour has this earthiness that reminds me of seaweed (which makes it unsurprising that this batter is also used with a seaweed butter in another recipe). The flavor is so delicate and there is just the nicest chewiness from it. 

Of course I used prosciutto because, well, do I even have to explain? Also used the recommended emmenthaler, though I could easily see gruyere being used here. 

We loved these. They are super easy to eat, and we quickly devoured the fruits of our labor, easily going back for seconds. The richness quickly caught up with us both, though, and we couldn’t finish as we collapsed in an umami-filled satisfaction on the sofa, post-lunch. Just thinking about them right now makes my mouth water a little. 

Posted in My Paris Kitchen | David Lebovitz | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments