Monday, February 27, 2012

Daring Bakers: Lemon Muffins

The Daring Bakers' challenge this month seemed not very daring at first sight. The challenge was to make quick bread, something most people, even non bakers can usually do. The more interesting part was that you could choose any flavor combination you liked.

Still, I honestly wasn't very inspired and almost skipped this challenge. But after reading the provided recipes I changed my mind. The Meyer Lemon Loaf looked really promising and so I made the recipe into some muffins. Unfortunately we can't get Meyer Lemon here in Germany, I even doubt that many people have heard of them. I managed to bring some back from California last year, maybe I should have kept the seeds to grow a tree. ;-)

Well, back to the muffins, even with regular lemons they tasted very good and had a very nice texture. I will definitely make them again, when I need a quick recipe, as I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Truffle Tartlets [TWD]

On our second date with "Baking with Julia" (Tusdays with Dorie) we were making Chocolate Truffle Tartlets. They are a perfect Valentine's Day dessert. The chocolate pastry shell contains a baked chocolate filling made with egg yolks. The additon of white and milk chocolate pieces and amaretti cookies gave an interesting texture with a little crunch. I could imagine to also add some kind of soft caramel pieces the next time.

I made the full recipe for the tart dough and half of the filling. I managed to get six 3-inch tartlets with that and a little bit leftover pastry dough to freeze for later use.

They were not a as sweet as a chocolate ganache tartlet, but still very rich. To offset the sweetness I served it with vanilla bean ice-cream, which was a great combination.

This weeks baking adventure was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon, Spike of spike.does.stuff, Jaime of Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats and Jessica of Cookbookhabit. Please check out their blog posts, where you can also find the delicious recipe.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chocolate-Marzipan Truffles for Valentine's Day

If you are still looking for a sweet surprise for your Valentine, how about some Chocolate-Marzipan Truffles? The marzipan-cream filling is quick and easy to make. You then fill it into dark chocolate truffle shells, which are available online or at specialty gourmet stores. After the filling is set you dip them into tempered chocolate. This step can be a bit tricky, but your sweetheart will definitely love them.

I hope I can hide mine from my husband for the next two days, without sneaking another one into my mouth. They are really good, especially for marzipan lovers. Have a sweet Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

White Loaves [TWD]

If you are a regular reader of food blogs, you probably heard of the baking group "Tuesdays with Dorie". For several years this group baked their way to Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours. They finally finished their endeavor and now there is time for a new project. They chose another book from Dorie, "Baking with Julia". It's a classic, which is on my bookshelf for some time now. It has wonderful recipes collected by Julia Child from all kinds of famous American bakers. I always use her recipe for puff pastry, it's wonderful.

In my infinite wisdom I jumped on the chance and joined the group. We are gonna bake two recipes of the book each month. I hope I can participate at most of them, since it is a really interesting book, with a lot of general recipes, which are nice to learn.

We started of with baking white loaves. It is a nice bread, and goes well for breakfast or sandwiches. It was easy to make and a good bicep training, since my standmixer couldn't handle it. I made the bread as directed, just substituted the dry yeast for fresh yeast. I usually try to use fresh yeast, since I like the process and taste better. If you want to use it you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dry yeast with 10 g of fresh yeast. I know that it is quite difficult to get in North America, but I had always luck when I asked at a local bakery.

We are not gonna post each recipe we are making, but you can find it on each weeks hosting blog or go get the book "Baking with Julia", it's worth it. This week is hosted by Laurie of Slush and Jules of Someone’s in the Kitchen. Please also check out the results of my fellow bakers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Buttermilk Scones from Tartine cookbook

Today, I made scones. Scones again you might say, since that was what I posted last. Well, I bought I big jar of original English clotted cream for the last scones. I was happy to even find it here in Germany, but there was a lot left. And what else can you do with this delicious spread than putting them on scones. So, I needed more scones.

But this time I made the American version, the scones I like most. The most obvious difference to the British version, which Americans call biscuits, is the shape, triangle versus round. American scones are also more crunchy on the outside. The baking process is similar as you carefully rub the butter into the dry ingredients without totally incorporating it and then adding the liquids at once. This way you will have the desired flaky texture.

I chose a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, from the famous San Francisco bakery Tartine. The scones, buttermilk scones to be exact were awesome, like everything I baked from the Tartine book so far. They are crunchy and flaky, not too sweet and were great with the clotted cream and some homemade blood-orange marmalade.

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