Monthly Archives: June 2015

Baking Chez Moi: Strawberry Shortcakes Franco-American Style

The baking gene must skip generations. I don’t mean the skill in baking but the enjoyment of it. Strawberry shortcake was one of my favorite desserts growing up and one of the few things my mom didn’t seem to mind baking.

Shortcake Ingredients

While I wasn’t excited to turn my oven on in our hot weather I did like the simple ingredients called for in this recipe.

Drawing CirclesSifted Flour

A simple ladyfinger batter gets made and piped into circles.

Piping Circles

These bake up into flat little cakey discs.

Baked Discs

After that it’s really just assembling the other ingredients.  I decided to use some of the suggested roasted strawberries as well as some fresh ones.

Roasted Strawberries

I’m always disappointed with the strawberries I can get in AZ.  The area of San Diego where I grew up is known for its strawberries.  They are giant and super sweet with a deep dark red color and a very specific texture. Almost a different thing completely from what I get at my local supermarket.

DSC_0447

I don’t mind making ladyfinger batter or piping discs but for all the effort the entire time I was eating this I was wishing it was my mom’s still-warm from the oven shortcake.  Luckily I get to visit her soon and I’m hoping I can convince her to make me some strawberry shortcake with giant SoCal strawberries.

-Christie

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Baking Chez Moi: Chocolate-Cherry Brownies

Header Cherry Brownies

The heat of the Phoenix summer has finally hit.  Normally I wouldn’t be trying out brownie recipes this time of year since the weather seems to call for fruity and cool.  Since the group decided on chocolate-cherry brownies I went ahead and made them.

Chocolate Cherry Brownie Ingredients

The ingredients for this were pretty simple and generally things that I already have on hand.  The recipe had called for chopped bittersweet chocolate but since I had some good quality chips on hand I subbed them in for a portion of the chocolate.

Cooking CherriesGlistening Cherries

The cherries are cooked briefly in some wine which makes them super plump and moist.  This wasn’t really appetizing for me while they were cooking but they tasted pretty good in the final product.

Uncooked ChocolateMelted chocolate for cherry brownies

The chocolate gets just melted with the butter.

Sugary Brownie BatterYolk in Cherry Brownie

Added sugar transforms the velvety chocolate into a grainy texture. Eggs are added one at a time and bring some of the lovely smooth texture back to the mix.

Salt and Pepper for Cherry BrowniesFlour for Cherry Brownies

Salt and black pepper are added which give some oomph to this brownie. A little bit of flour gets added in as well. The final step would be adding chopped chocolate but I took the easy route and used good quality chips instead.

Brownie Mix in PanLeveling Cherry Brownies

On the advice of Dorie I may have left these slight under baked since I was worried about overdoing them.  They turned out pretty fudgy but I think that’s ok.

Chopping Cherry BrowniesCut Cherry Brownies

The one nice thing about these brownies was that you can put them in the fridge without drying.  It makes them so much nicer on our hot summer days.

Separating cherry brownies

Plated cherry brownies

Side view plated cherry brownies

So while these turned out great I wasn’t necessarily a fan.  I love brownies but it’s not exactly something I look to put dried fruit into no matter how moist and deliciously flavored.  Scott brought these to work and apparently they were well received. Given that’s the case I may try these again during the holidays and add some orange zest to the mix.

-Christie