Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart

We had some friends over for a games night on Saturday. In the email chain setting up the details, Jay made a comment about getting me to bake something, and suggested that I’d likely take requests. I responded with “No requests! You get what you get, and in this case, you get chocolate hazelnut mousse tart, ’cause that’s what’s on my schedule. Like my peanut butter pie, but hazelnut.” 6 of the 8 of us have had my version of the peanut butter pie from the Pie & Pastry Bible at least twice, so I figured this hazelnut version would likely go over well. I also figured that I had enough hazelnut praline powder from the hazelnut praline cookies, but it turns out I didn’t, and I ended up stretching it with peanut butter, anyway. That decision did not go over poorly.

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Pretzel Breads and Cake Cookies

Today’s theme is: things that are other things. A couple of weeks ago, I made pretzel breads, from the Bread Bible, as this month’s selection from the bread baking group I’m participating in. This weekend, Jay requested a repeat of the pretzels, so they must have been good. I also made mini gateaux breton cookies this weekend. Yup, that’s mini cake cookies. Pretzel breads and cake cookies.

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Pizza Rustica and Pink Pearl Lady Cake

I was sitting at my computer, thinking about just how little I felt like writing up a blog post about the last two recipes from the Rose’s Alpha Bakers group (along with the pretzel bread from the Bread Bible Bakers group), and I realized that I don’t *really* need to write them up. I can just post pictures, since, after all, a picture’s worth 1000 words, right?

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Irish Cream Scones

… as opposed to “Irish Cream” scones, unfortunately. The recipe says that the better the cream you use, the better the flavour. The best I could do was cream from Kawartha Dairy, and that was only because we happened to stop at the Victoria Street Market on our way back from the local restaurant supply store, where we needed to pick up vacuum sealing bags. Otherwise, it would have been Sealtest: the stuff made by mixing milk from just about every dairy in Ontario. Maybe someday Eby Manor will start making cream, and I can see if there’s a flavour difference with fancy pants local small-batch cream.

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My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I promised last week that I’d post about my “perfect” chocolate chip cookie. I’ve tweaked it a bit since the last time I made it, and I suspect it may continue to get adjusted as life goes on, but I’m pretty happy with the basic recipe, so here it is.

"Recipe"
“Recipe”

What, that’s not helpful? 😦 You want more details? So demanding! *sigh*

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Sweet Potato Loaf

Now that the whole loaf’s been eaten, it’s a good time to blog about it, no? In addition to the weekly “Baking Bible” bake-through, I’m also participating in a once-a-month Bread Bible bake-through as well. This month, it’s the sweet potato loaf, which is a lot better than it sounds, even if you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes. This bread is basically the same as Rose’s white sandwich bread, which is something I make 2 loaves of, every couple of weeks, so this was a pretty familiar process for me.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the second time I’ve made chocolate chip cookies from this book. The first was shortly after the book came out, because I just had to try them. I’ve long been on a quest for my own perfect chocolate chip cookie, and I think I’ve found it, and although this one is close, it isn’t quite it, for me. 😉 This time, while baking alongside the Rose’s Alpha Bakers group, I decided to try the Melt-in-the-Mouth variation, which includes grated chocolate.

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White Christmas Peppermint Cake

Just a quick post this week. I’m on vacation and not spending a while lot of time in front of the computer, but that’s where I post from, so… This post is both late and brief!

Cake batter prep

I’ve gotten so used to Rose’s method for butter cakes that I’m not sure I remember what the “normal” process is. For Rose’s method, you mix the dry ingredients with the (softened, not intentionally melted) butter and some of the liquid, beat for a minute and a half, then add the rest of the liquid and eggs in 3 steps, beating in between.

So fluffy and delicious
So fluffy and delicious

The batter comes out super fluffy, and in this case – absolutely delicious. 😉 I missed photographing the rest of the process, which involved a white chocolate custard being added to butter to make one of my favourite buttercreams. I think the only one I like better is Rose’s one with both white chocolate and cream cheese. Split the cake layers, add the frosting, sprinkle on some crushed candy canes, and we’re done.

I made this cake on Sunday afternoon, and when it was finished, I looked at it and said to myself, “Now what?” I wasn’t going to work the next day, so I couldn’t get rid of it there, and we still have something like 4 (partial) batches of fudge, some bourbon pecan truffles, and probably several other sweets I’m forgetting about, in the house. So, we had a piece each, and I put the rest in the fridge. I briefly considered broadcasting a “drop in for cake and tea” message to my friends, but decided that tidying the house was going to be too much like work. I think I’ll take it a new year’s eve party. I really like this cake, but there’s just too much other yummy stuff in the house for us to make a big dent in such a big cake on our own.  If you’re reading this, and you’re in the area… feel free to drop in tomorrow afternoon for white chocolate peppermint cake. I don’t promise a tidy house, but there might be other treats laying around, too!

Cranberry Christmas Bread

More bread, and more stuff I wouldn’t have picked out on my own, but I’m glad to have baked. I haven’t actually tasted this one yet, but I’m thinking it will probably make a nice breakfast tomorrow. This week’s selection for the Baking Bible bake-through is cranberry walnut Christmas bread. Timely, eh?

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Challah

Most of my posts on this blog lately are for things from The Baking Bible bake-through, but once a month, I’m also baking from The Bread Bible. I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably continue to say it every time I post about yeast-based breads: I love baking bread. It’s so forgiving. Even though I have no serious trouble with complicated multi-step recipes where you have to be involved for every single step of the recipe, and if you look away at the wrong second, it’s ruined (think caramel), I love that with bread, you do some stuff, then you let it sit for a while, then you do more stuff, then you let it sit again, etc. That means you have to plan ahead a little bit, but it means you can fit lots of other stuff into a baking day. Rose says she’s developed a better recipe for Challah, which is available here, but I just used the one from the bread bible.

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