Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baking Chez Moi: Double Chocolate Marble Cake

My cake ended up being more of a single chocolate marble cake. My white chocolate was just not cooperating as far as melting timely and properly and I don’t even really like white chocolate so I just moved ahead with a chocolate and vanilla marble. Simple ingredients that I have on hand are always nice and it’s fun to see how much opportunity there is in my kitchen.

Luckily my semi sweet chocolate melted just fine.

I didn’t even really swirl or zig zag too much since alternately the batters looked pretty neat as it was.This smelled pretty great baking up.Really loves the finished look. Each slice was a little different and unique. Something about the swirls really make it worth the little extra effort to divide the batters. Overall this turned out pretty great and the white chocolate wasn’t missed at all.

-Christie

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Baking Chez Moi: Toasted Buckwheat and Chopped Chocolate Sables

Mm, so excited to see buckwheat cookies. I love buckwheat pancakes and this seemed simple and a little different.

I didn’t have the weight in chocolate already opened so I made it up with some cocoa nibs.

The smell of the buckwheat flour toasting was heavenly. I didn’t even realize toasting flours was a thing. What an easy and simple thing that makes such a difference. I saved my leftover buckwheat flour and am going to try it in pancakes.

I only baked up a couple cookies and saved the rest of the dough in the fridge so I can bake them fresh for the next few days. These came out really great and I think I may keep the cocoa nibs if I make them again. Possibly one of my favorite recipes from the book so far.

-Christie

Baking Chez Moi: Banana-Chocolate Chaussons

This was sort of a tasty fail for me. I can’t seem to get them to seal right. Maybe I’m just too overeager in my filling. They tasted fab anyways.

Besides the puff pastry I tend to have everything needed for these.

My bananas were probably a bit ripe for this recipe but they made a super nice caramel like sauce.

The nutmeg was also a nice touch, added a little something.

So they totally burst during cooking but they still tasted really great.

-Christie

Baking Chez Moi: Almond Stripes and Dark Chocolate Mousse

Sugar can be so many things: grainy and opaque; crunchy and well browned; clear and steaming. From the softest, creamiest caramel to the crunchiest brittle, sugar can transform our desserts into something spectacular and complex. Sugar is also a kitchen trickster that will crystallize, burn and send you into a sweet nightmare seemingly without provocation.

I’ve worked on my sugar sensibilities the past few years and pride myself on finding ways to get it to behave consistently. If I used cane sugar in testing a recipe, only cane sugar will do from then on. I learn to trust my eyes and intuition. Being present, aware and consistent seems to be the key.

The title of this post may declare I made a dark chocolate mousse but more accurately I epically failed at making a mousse and instead made a chocolate chip marquise. I got the funny feeling that my temps and prep for my sugar weren’t right but plowed ahead anyways and started a chain of events that changed what I ended up making.

So the beauty of this mousse is I routinely have all the ingredients on hand. My new chickens are laying beautiful eggs and it’s lovely to see them in my kitchen.

So everything was going to plan. My chocolate melted beautifully, my cream was whipped and lovely, and my egg yolks were broken up.

Then I started melting the sugar. Things didn’t feel right but I plowed ahead instead of trusting my gut-mistake one. The desert temps can change rapidly this time of year and I was aware that I was attempting this at an hour my ingredients may not be happy with. My pan was too wide for the amount of syrup if I wanted to use my thermometer and I didn’t prepare any cold water for the ball test if I needed it. I was watching my sugar and I could tell that it was ready and instead of trusting my gut I tried to read them temp and then rushed for some water to test. Pulled it off too late and when I went to add it to my eggs it crystallized on the way him. I heard the ca-chunk ca-chunk in the mixer and my heart sank. Ok. Start my sugar and eggs over. I had cool water ready but I pulled it when I could sense it was ready. Pour it in my eggs and got them whipping and it whipped up beautifully. Success!! Except my cream had gotten super chilled in the extra time and my chocolate had gotten a bit too cool and my room temp had dropped. My first dollop if cream mixed in well but then I could tell my chocolate started partially turning into little chips just like when I make mint chocolate ice cream and pour my melted chocolate in.

So do is start over with my cream and chocolate? I had burned my finger pretty bad on my second batch of sugar and couldn’t imagine starting again. So I went ahead and mixed it with my whipped egg and sugar mixture and stuck it in the fridge. I’ve tried to make almond stripes before but have never been really happy with the result so I was happy to try Dorie’s recipe.A quick mix and my piping bad was filled and ready to go.Like many of the other bakers I had issues piping and my wonderful icing extruder broke last year and I haven’t replaced it. So I loaded up a little ball of dough into the piping tip and used my clean thumb to push out the cookie. Repeat and the sheets were filled and I was very happy with the result.Some dips in chocolate for some and I would up with some delightful little coffee cookies.

Now to figure out what to do with the mousse. I wasn’t happy with the finished chippy texture but the taste was good. Thinking of my ice cream I realized the mousse was basically a marquise recipe and thought I’d give a try freezing it in some molds. It turned out really cute and I’m happy with the end result. So maybe didn’t end with what I thought I would but it turned out lovely and tasty and what more can you really ask for.

-Christie

Baking Chez Moi: Soft Salted-Butter Caramels and Cocoa Linzer Cookies

So with a lot going on lately I used the few extra days off to make both December recipes.

The caramels were probably one of the biggest hits that I’ve made so far from this book.  I was worried initially making them that the amount of effort wouldn’t have as big a pay off but I was totally wrong.DSC_0062.jpgDSC_0083.jpgThe ingredients for caramels were super simple and didn’t require any store trips.  I even had some sel gris that a friend had given me to use.  I was extra excited to finally use the copper candy pot that Scott had bought for me a few years ago.  DSC_0064.jpgDSC_0071.jpgI was pretty nervous that this wouldn’t turn out but keeping a careful eye and making good use of my candy thermometer helped.  The copper pot also worked out great.  It’s tall and narrow and was so much easier than the regular short or wide pots I’d used in the past.DSC_0080.jpgDSC_0081.jpgDSC_0079.jpgThe caramels turned out really tasty and some of the friends we shared them with find them a little addictive.  The instructions said not to scrape the pot but I just couldn’t let it go to waste. After I had poured most of the caramel into the pan I took my wooden spoon and scraped out the excess in clumps onto some paper.  I shaped those into some more homely pieces that were just as delicious for us to try and taste.  I think caramel making may become a tradition after this year.  I’m hoping to try a few different kinds of salt next time we make these.DSC_0059.jpgThe cocoa linzers had a more interesting ingredient profile and I was so glad Scott was able to find the cacao nibs for me at the store.  I loved them in the cookies and I’m finding I like to eat a little bit on their own as well. I was really lucky that Scott helped me out a bit with this recipe since he’s becoming quite the cookie expert.DSC_0054.jpgDSC_0055.jpgThe cookies were basically a cocoa spice cookies with little cacao nibs in them.  I think these may be my favorite spice cookies that I’ve tried from either Baking Chez Moi or Dorie’s Cookies so far. DSC_0077.jpgDSC_0078.jpgDSC_0076.jpgI decided to fill with both chocolate ganache and cherry jam.  The flavor profile was really interesting and satisfying.  It felt right for a winter holiday with the spice notes and something that could have been put away in the cupboard during peak cherry season.

-Christie

Baking Chez Moi: Pear Tart with Crunchy Almond Topping

Well I only just got to this recipe this week with a big assist from Scott.  We’re always busy in the fall here.  With perfect Phoenix weather and changing leaves up north there’s lots to do.DSC_0004.jpgThe tart really relies on good tasting fruit.  We found some pretty good pears, they could have been a tad riper but the end product tasted pretty good.DSC_0006.jpgMost of the work for this was in peeling the pears.  Scott’s also been working on his rolling pin skills and made the tart crust with minimal instruction.  DSC_0014.jpgThe almond topping was very unusual for me.  I would have never thought that a simple mix of almonds, egg white and powdered sugar would end up being such a delectable topping.DSC_0024.jpgDSC_0026.jpgSadly our pan was super hot and the liquid wouldn’t catch fire.  Secretly I was pretty relieved but I think Scott was a little disappointed. DSC_0035.jpgDSC_0037.jpgI kind of had my doubts at this stage.  The topping is what I would consider less than appetizing at this point.DSC_0040.jpgLuckily everything came out beautifully toasted.DSC_0044.jpgDSC_0051.jpgDSC_0047.jpg

This tart was simple and tasty.  If we make this again I’d love to play around with different fall tastes and maybe slicing the pears or other fruit to get different textures.  I also love that this is pretty simple to make but ends up looking pretty impressive.  I feel very lucky to have had Scott’s help to get this done so we could share a tasty treat together.

-Christie

Post from Scott’s New Blog

Enjoy a wonderful post from husband’s new blog.  Excited to see what he has to share.

-Christie

McMurdo, Antarctica, set apart from the eyes of the world, far from any major city, is an oasis of peace unlike any other. Nestled on the frozen shoreline of the Ross Sea, it serves as the last refuge of society. There are no lush gardens teaming with life, no waves crashing along sandy beaches, […]

via Frozen Serenity — Quicksilversailor

Baking Chez Moi: Apple Tarte Flambee

Yay for apple season!  I absolutely love fresh Sedona apples and luckily they are in season a little early this year.  So thrilled to see an apple recipe for this month and lucky to have Scott helping with this recipe.DSC_0931.jpgOn our way back from a trip to Flagstaff we drove down the 89A that follows Oak Creek.  I was so thrilled to see my favorite apple stand up and some Slide Rock State Park apples available.  We decided to use some imperfect apples for this recipe since they would be peeled and sliced.  One of my favorite things about road stand apples is the imperfection. DSC_0938.jpgDSC_0939.jpgScott has been loving using the new stand mixer and it was fun to try the crust for this.  We both love rye bread and the bit of rye in this dough was perfect with the apples.  I did the rolling and Scott did the pricking.DSC_0940.jpgDSC_0957.jpgThe cheese mixture for this was perfect.  A thin little bit was all that was needed. Scott figured out how to use the slicing attachment for my food processor and it was wonderful for this recipe.  I tend to have very little patience for gadgets and he just loves them.DSC_0959.jpgDSC_0961.jpgWe made two of these since the size of our stone and amount of dough just worked out better that way.  We used vanilla sugar to top one and rose sugar for the other.DSC_0970.jpgDSC_0968.jpgDSC_0974.jpgI was so glad to have Scott helping on this.  I recommend a two person team for the oven opening and sliding of tarts to hot stones.  Our house got ridiculously hot and having two of us to get them in and out seemed safer and much easier.dsc_0977DSC_0979.jpgThis dish is hard to describe and as Dorie suggests you could describe this as pizza.  However, I prefer the taste flambée title as this was so unique and incredibly tasty.  Super crispy and somewhat savory crust with gooey cheese and slightly tart and sweet apples was such a wonderful combination.  We definitely overindulged on our sampling in the name of tasting and not letting things go to waste.  It’s hard not to imagine all the possible combinations that could work with this idea.

-Christie & Scott

P.S.-Scott as been doing some therapeutic baking and I’m trying to get him to write about baking along with #cookiesandkindness.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share his posts soon:)

Baking Chez Moi (Rewind): Tiger Cakes

I had a couple months of being incredibly ill that started near the end of 2015 and I’m finally catching up to all the wonderful recipes I missed.

Tiger cakes are little chewy egg-white based nuggets of chocolatey almond flavor.DSC_0837.jpgNothing too complicated about the ingredients.  I was initially worried these might be too bland or unbalanced with the intense chocolate and light egg white.DSC_0842.jpgDSC_0850.jpgDSC_0840.jpgDSC_0838.jpgThe ingredients came together quickly.  I was pretty surprised how simple it was and I even cheated a little by chopping my chocolate in the food processor.

DSC_0854.jpgThis may have let to my final cakes having more of a mottled look than a tiger striped look but since I was planning on dunking them in chocolate it didn’t matter much.DSC_0861.jpgDSC_0862.jpgThe end result was chewy with intense chocolate goodness. The texture actually held up well for a few days.  DSC_0867.jpgDSC_0883.jpgDSC_0874.jpgThe tiger cakes were pretty great and I’m feeling relieved to get on the road to catching up.

-Christie

Baking Chez Moi: Philadelphia Blueberry-Corn Tart

When I first cracked open Baking Chez Moi I came across this recipe and was absolutely horrified. I couldn’t imagine making a dessert topped with raw corn.  One of the best things about Tuesdays with Dorie is that it often challenges my concept of what can and should be baked.DSC_0077.jpgLots of summer ingredients for this: rosemary from the garden, honey from my local stockpile and fresh corn. Overall it wasn’t hugely complex but seemed completely strange.DSC_0089.jpgDSC_0093.jpgThe blueberry topping is super fragrant and so different with the rosemary added to it. I loved that the blueberries were cooked to bursting-it changes their texture in such a lovely way and really helped all the scents and flavors of the additional ingredients infuse.DSC_0097.jpgThen the corn gets added.  I was grimacing as I added the fresh corn to the blueberry mixture.  My senses were saying no but my recipe was saying yes.DSC_0100.jpgDSC_0110.jpgThe filling was no-bake which was great and perfect for summer.  Having pre-made the crust it meant no additional oven time.  Simple and tangy I was dreading having to top it with corn.DSC_0117.jpgDSC_0118.jpgDSC_0124.jpgDSC_0125.jpgAdding the topping really did make the tart look beautiful.  The bright and pale yellow with the deep purple blue on the white creamy topping is quite eye-catching.DSC_0138.jpgDSC_0143.jpgDSC_0164.jpgThen it came time to take a bite.  I grit my teeth and tried a bite…and it wasn’t terrible.  The more I tasted the less scared and horrified I felt.  It was actually pretty good and the rosemary made it very interesting. Declaring it pretty all right I sent it to work with Scott.  To my surprise it got rave reviews with one co-worker telling me it was the best thing they’ve tasted out of all the goods sent. Turns out that corn and blueberries is pretty genius.  I should have known that Dorie wouldn’t steer us wrong.

-Christie