baking with julia: mocha chocolate chips

mocha chocolate chip

before i pass judgment on this recipe, i have to confess to somehow becoming distracted when it came time to add the dry ingredients.

instead of incorporating the flour/baking soda/starbucks via french roast, i added the mix-ins instead, and the dough turned curdled and broken. so i tossed in an unmeasured amount of flour trying to bring it together. then i noticed the bowl of measured dries i’d forgotten on top of the fridge.

approximating what i’d already added, i made up the difference and went from there. so that mishap alone could explain the cookies’ super-slim profile. they were earmarked for ice cream sandwiches from the get-go anyway, which turned out to be a good call.

i used plump dried cherries (awesome) in place of the recipe’s optional dried apricots, and one packet of the via gave the dough mega coffee flavor (that, too, was a digression from the recipe).

so, given all my variations, i’ll withhold a final ruling. however, i learned a little via goes a long way and i still can’t find a reason to not love those chewy cherries.

check out the rest of the mocha chocolate chips here, and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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baking with julia: boca negra

boca negra

breakfast: w/o february 18, 2013.

well, coffee and a bagel first, then about an hour later, a slice of boca negra drizzled with crème anglaise.

what is this anyway? it’s not a cake (no crumb) or a tart (no crust). it’s more like a truffle pudding at room temperature and a piece of truffle candy when it’s chilled.

i substituted orange juice for the bourbon and crème anglaise “lite” made with milk and half-and-half for the white chocolate cream.

at the end of the recipe’s 30 minute bake time, the batter was pretty much still batter, and in the end it went 70 minutes. crazy long but it seemed about right. if i make it again i’d tap the pan on the counter a few times to release the air bubbles.

check out the rest of the boca negras here, and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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baking with julia: french apple tart

french apple tart

this post is, let’s say, about two weeks late. however, the making of a french apple tart cannot be denied, so here’s how it went:

i didn’t care for the flaky pie dough from the recipe (possibly baker error) so reverted to my old friend, the sweet tart dough from bfmhty. and instead of using a 9-inch round fluted tart pan, i again grabbed my 9” x 9” square frame for its high sides and…square shape.

other than those tweaks, and omitting the bread crumbs from the filling and baking the tart an extra 20 minutes, all else proceeded according to the instructions. it was an interesting twist to roast the apples to create the compote, versus cooking the fruit on the stovetop, the method used for the tourtely apple tart, which created a smoother applesauce-type filling. this version, as expected, had more body and texture, similar to what you’d find in an apple pie.

presentation-wise, the dessert has a familiar, traditional look, the carefully configured fruit and powdered sugar finish seen in more bakery cases than we can count. walk into a dinner party and hand it to the host and you’ll most likely be invited back again. provided you’ve mastered the art of the apple, that is.

visit twd for more info and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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baking with julia: finnish pulla (chocolate/cinnamon)

finnish pulla

okay, so this is a twist and not a braid. and not a wreath-shaped twist either. at crunch time, with my dough in three strands and ready to shape, i blanked on how to braid. too many years with chin-length hair, i guess. but i actually prefer this look.

i used cinnamon instead of cardamom, omitted the pearl sugar altogether, and kneaded in about three ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate.

after the first rise, i refrigerated the dough overnight. the next day when it was almost at room temperature, i shaped it into the twist. twenty minutes later, impatience set in, and i pushed the rise in a 170° oven. in fifteen minutes it was ready to go: 375° for 25 minutes was just right. it came out dense and moist, with no next-day warm-up necessary (i’d make it again!).

visit twd for more info and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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baking with julia: best-ever brownies

best-ever? who knows? but i haven’t made from-scratch brownies since i worked in a bakery and almost skipped this post altogether.

a forty-minute bake time produced a fifty-fifty cake-to-fudge ratio. the more of the former the better. an 8” x 8” x 2” glass pyrex dish gave them a little extra height – is this one thick brownie or what?

and like the recipe says, they really don’t freeze, so i can snack on them when they’re chilled and chewy all week.

visit twd for more info and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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the new york chocolate show 2012

my excuse to spend a fall weekend in new york city?

the 15th annual chocolate show at the metropolitan pavilion.

temperatures in the mid-sixties, exploring eataly and a trip to the top of the rock observation deck at rockefeller center were overall highlights. discovering doughnut plant and nibbling samples of the new good & evil bar at the show made the trip.

just a few of the exhibitors:

éclat chocolate good & evil bar

éclat chocolate obsession bars

françois payard

barnes & noble

truffly made inc.

valrhona

(november 11, 2012)

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baking with julia: pumpkin loaves

in the end, these pumpkin loaves tasted more like the sweet tea bread i initially expected, before i realized they belonged to the yeasted category. it must be all that pumpkin purée, giving them some weight and density. well, i used a.p. instead of bread flour, too, so that was a factor.

the recipe is a little time-consuming but scored mega points for making my kitchen smell like thanksgiving day. i hurried-up the second rise by placing the loaves in a 150-degree oven for about 15 minutes before baking. it worked. and yes, i once again turned to my trusty paper loaf pans (i wonder if the company that makes them knows i’m a serial promoter) – the dough divided perfectly between two 8-inchers. and no add-ins were allowed. nope. not a one.

is this morning toast material?

visit twd for more info and find the recipe in baking with julia.

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