Tuesday, October 26, 2010

TWD: All American Apple Pie

Culinary school or not, I still learn a lot from my TWD adventures. But I couldn't really figure out what I could possibly learn from making another apple pie. Well.... then it dawned on me, that every time I make an apple pie... I have to ship it off to a paying well deserved customer and then hear about how delicious it was. Don't get me wrong, I'm a total praise whore, so I love that they love my apple pie. But what I really want to do is sneak a slice! So I made this out of sheer pie envy....to hell with the learning!

I went with the crumb because all the TWD bakers had so many droolworthy crumb toppings today that I just had to! Mine was a little butter, brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon and pecans.

You can cruise on over and visit Emily at Sandmuffin for the whole recipe. Next week its my turn to pick the recipe! Woo hoo! Happy Dance!

Friday, October 22, 2010

FFwD: Hachis Parmentier [Shepard's Pie]

This was so damn good... no really, really good. We ate 1/2 of it and I'm sure it was meant for a family of more than two people. I can't wait until tomorrow so I can has leftoverz.

Me and my honey made the quick version when we got home from work today. It didn't take that long to put together which is cool because we will be making it again

We threw in some peas for good measure and used some Dubliner Irish Cheddar, if you've never tried this cheese you should right away.

If you haven't gotten your book go here and get it already! And join the group of other cookers at French Fridays with Dorie. I promise you will not be disappointed ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Tart

I usually have a great time tweeking our TWD recipes because they usually come out really really tasty. Dorie's recipes are cool like that, they tend to be so good in the first place that any thing I manage to do to it won't muck it up to badly. This week, I wasn't so lucky....

I opted for a ginger snap crust pressed into a tart pan. How could that be bad right? The mahogany filling with a crisp cookie crust was mouthwatering. But sadly filling just gets into a total brawl with the crust, creating two great flavors that become horribly overwhelming together. Sad but true. I will have to try this again with a regular crust because it has the makings of something really fantastic.

You can get the full recipe from our host this week Janell from Mortensen Family Memoirs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FFwD: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

I finally got my book around my french table from Amazon! Pretty funny that the first recipe I get to make for the new group French Fridays with Dorie is Vietnamese...

Anyhoo... I actually love making soup, I whip up soup all the time because I can somehow make it out of pretty much anything we have around and we eat like kings peasants for a few days because there's always some leftover.

I think the most exhaustive thing about this soup is the ingredients, I couldn't find coriander seeds, white pepper or ginger. Well I found ginger but it looked like a science experiment so I just left it in the store. Fresh and Easy wasn't living up the 'fresh' part today. Other than that its a breeze to make. It did smell a little funky I must admit, probably the fish sauce or something but it did taste good in the end ;) I think I would leave the fishes out of it next time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TWD: Fold-over Apple Torte

I was pretty convinced that this was all about the crust. I mean why else would you leave the crust just laying on the top of the torte unless it was just so you could have more crust to eat? Or because your just lazy... and since I have to raise my hand on both occasions I was happy to oblige. I swapped the pears for apples and since I heard lots of TWDers mention they would have liked more innards (of custard that is) I nixed the nuts and the whatever else was supposed to go in there.

The apples rose to the top and reminded me a little of corn when this was about 3/4 done. And anyone who knows me, knows I don't like surprise unnecessary cornage.... so I was a little grossed out by the whole thing until it was finished. Because when it was finished it was golden and yummy looking. I let it chill out in the fridge until today and it was perfect. The custardy part is not really like giggly custard, its got some heft to it, some yummy heft. I'm glad I got rid of all the extra stuff, because this is simplified and perfect.

You can of course get the full recipe from our hostess this week by clicking here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Favorite Things

I'm trying to catch up on cakes that I've made this past year and update my website. This cake is almost a year old! Yikes I'm a procrastinator.
The hard thing about posting something like this is all the great detail photos that I have to choose from. Finally I just had to make a decision... you can go see the details if you clickity click here.
I love that this cake was so specific to the birthday girl. It could never be duplicated for anyone else and mean so much.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TWD: Apple Bundt Cake

I turned on the oven and started to make this recipe when I got to the part about the apple butter... er what?! So with the oven preheating (don't worry my honey was home paying little attention to anything but his computer games, I'm sure he would have smelled a fire.... maybe) I ran to two stores in search of Apple Butter with no luck. But what do they say "necessity is the mother of invention!" or some shit like that, so instead of trekking to yet another store I decided to head home and make due with what I had on hand. And it was fricken' fantastic my friends!

I'm going to include the recipe tweaks and technique below but you can go visit Lynne at Honey Muffin and I'm sure she will fix you right up with the recipe as it should be.

Apple Bundt Cake


Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare a bundt pan by spraying with oil and dusting with flour. If you have a nonstick pan do this anyway because if your bundt pan is an evil tease like mine, it does not like giving up the goods when the baking is done.

For the filling:
3 Medium Granny Smith Apples
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Grated Nutmeg
1 tbsp of Calvados

Peel, core and grate the apples. Sauté in a medium skillet with the spices, adding in the Calvados last. Let mixture cool while you mix up the batter below.

Cakey bits:
6 oz Unsalted Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar

2 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

2 Whole Eggs
8 oz Sour Cream

Cream together sugars & butter until fluffy. Whisk together dry ingredients in one bowl. Then whisk together sour cream and eggs in another bowl. Alternately add the dry and the wet into the butter/sugar concoction. Once this is well combined add in the cooled apple mix and stir in a cup of chopped nuts if you'd like. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake until its done. Cool slightly and turn out onto a rack.... weep tears of joy when your cake slips easily from the evil bundt pan of doom because you were prepared!

Now when everything is cooled this is the most important part....don't eat it yet. Mix about 3 tbsp of powdered sugar with a little warm water and vanilla this should be the consistency of like pancake syrup. Brush this onto the surface of the bundt then take more powdered sugar and dust the surface, let the sugar dissolve into the wet surface and dust it again until it stops dissolving I did this like 6 times or so. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or as long as you can stand it to dry. This made the surface like glazed donuts so totally worth every effort! Slice that bad boy up and enjoy.