Raisin Bread, Cherry Pie, and Mango Cheesecake

I’m playing a bit of catch up with the baking group I participate in (Rose’s Alpha Bakers), because I’m finally feeling like a routine is in the process of getting re-established after just a tiny bit of disruption in the last few weeks. The week that the rest of the baking group was making rum raisin french toast, I was in Boston on behalf of PTC, using robots to demonstrate the applicability of agile processes for hardware development. The following week, I took a couple of days off, and caught up with some baking, reading, hammocking, and friends (but not blogging). Then, I started a new job as a product manager at Tulip Retail. Yesterday, I completed my first race (5 km). Now, let’s pretend I’m back into routine. 😉

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Pecan Praline Scheherazades

Rose named these little treats after the story of Scheherazade, who told her murderous husband a new story every night for 1001 nights, to keep him from killing her like he had all of his previous liaisons. In this case, it’s “Just one more … pecan praline.” Reading the title of the recipe immediately brought back high school band memories. I remember playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and I’m thinking we must have prepared it for a band festival. Maybe in Sherbrooke, QC? As I’m typing this up, I’m listening to the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship.” Inspired by a couple of former band mates, I dug my flute out of the bottom of a box a while ago and started playing again for the first time in at least 10 years… I’ll have to see if I can find some sheet music for Scheherazade, because I remember loving it. I love how baking triggers and reinforces great memories. 🙂

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Catching up and Chocolate Tarts

I’ve had a busy few weeks. That doesn’t really explain my lack of posting, because it really doesn’t take me long to write up a blog post. It might explain some of the lack of baking, though?  To catch up a little bit this week, I’m posting about the ChocolaTea cake, the blueberry buckle, and the mini chocolate ganache tartlets, all from The Baking Bible. I’ll also give you a little bit of a rundown on the stuff I’ve been up to outside of the kitchen, lately.

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Hungarian Raisin Walnut Tarts

I’m trying not to fall further behind, now that I’ve missed 2 recipes from The Baking Bible. I had plans this weekend that I expected to preclude much baking, but I was so curious about this one that I just had to make it. I made the pastry dough on Saturday morning, and completed the tarts on Sunday afternoon.

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The blog’s been quiet for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that! I spent one weekend judging robots at FIRST robotics, then the next one, mostly recovering from a cold that knocked me out for a couple of days. On Sunday, I managed to make this month’s recipe for the Bread Bible baking group, and did a little flour mill maintenance at the same time! I’ll catch up with the Baking Bible group at some point – I’ve now missed birch meringue twigs and ChocolaTea cake. I’m sure I can find some excuse to make those.

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The Chocolate FloRo Elegance with Caramel Buttercream

…or something Kristina kind of made up. Well, I followed the cake part of the recipe to the letter. Then I really went out on a limb with the frosting. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to stop right at the “cream butter and sugar” phase when I made the pecan sandies. Well, I did that this time. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the result, but I’ll talk about it a bit at the end of this post.

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I sent an email to my teams this morning, telling them that there was Babka at my desk, and my friend Sergey came over to tell me that “Babka” is kind of a rude way to refer to one’s grandmother in Russian. Oops. There go my cultural sensitivity points for the day. For this week’s “Rose’s Alpha Bakers” recipe, there were 3 filling variations offered, and I went for the third: a tart apricot spread with a layer of slightly sweetened cream cheese.

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The Dutch Pecan Sandies

No, not Dutch pecan Sandies. “The Dutch” ones. There’s a place in New York called The Dutch and these cookies are from there. I messed up the recipe at least twice, but these still disappeared quickly at two board games birthday parties that I attended this past weekend. The first one was for my friend Gilad, and he was pleased to be on the receiving end of a bonus dessert delivery, a few months after his contract expired. 😉

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Coconut Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache

Cupcakes. One of my favourite things. Also a nickname I seem to have picked up from my user icon in a system at work. Then again, I seem to have picked up a lot of nicknames at work. Depending who’s talking, it’s KT, KTPO, “work wife” (for at least 4 different people), “team mom,” Kris, Tina… I’m sure there are some I don’t know about, too.

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