One thing that can be difficult about entertaining is that a lot of desserts can’t be made that much in advance and still really taste great. I love the fact that this is one that can and should be made in advance. The recipe is very similar to the chocolate mousse recipe I make – I never would have thought about freezing it! It’s really a great idea and the recipe itself couldn’t be easier. I think I put this together in less than half an hour including clean up although it tastes like something far more difficult to make. I served it with the recommended crème anglaise and some fresh raspberries and it was a big hit. Below are some photos of the dessert as it was being made.
Melted chocolate and egg yolks:
Finished chocolate mixture:
Chocolate mixture ready for freezer:
I still have quite a bit of this left in the freezer but once it’s finished I’m looking forward to trying this with some of the suggested additions, especially some of the cookies!
I think when I made this recipe it can officially be considered baking improvisation. Initially I wasn’t going to attempt it because it required the use of a bread machine which I don’t own but I figured I’d give it a shot – thought I’d make the dough the same way I’ve made bread or gnocchi. It was actually pretty easy to put together and it rose just like bread so I figured the hard part was over. Not quite. I’m not sure why but when I read the recipe I thought it called for a nine inch springform pan which I own and not the twelve inch springform pan that I do not own. I figured out my mistake when I was getting ready to put the quitza together so I opted for making a flat pizza which was one of the options listed. So, I got the baking stone out, put it into the oven and formed the quitza on my trusty pizza peel. Everything was fine until I realized that my baking stone, and my oven, were too small to handle something this large. So, I made the crust a little thicker and slid it into the preheated oven. Parts of the quitza were still kind of hanging over the side so for the first few minutes I had to keep shoving it back onto the stone until it was firm enough to stay in there on its’ own. In the end everything turned out fine – a little thicker than I’d planned but very tasty. Here are a couple of photos of the intermediate steps.
The quitza dough formed into a flat pizza:
The dough with all the toppings:
I think next time I do this, I’m going to split the dough into two portions and make a couple of smaller flat pizzas which my oven will hold. I have to admit though it was kind of fun doing the large one – made me feel a little like MacGyver.
One of the reasons that I thought it would be fun to join this group was that I’d really get to expand my baking skills as well as an increased acquaintance with the different types of desserts that are out there. This recipe definitely falls into the latter category. I’ve used browned butter several times while preparing sauces for trout or other types of fish but I never thought of it as something that could be used in a cake. I’m certainly glad I tried making it – I think that the browned butter gives a certain nuttiness to the flavor of the cake that’s really delicious especially in combination with the vanilla and rum. It was really easy to make as well which is always a plus. The photo above shows the finished dessert with the requisite glass of rum that was recommended to have with it – nice pairing. Below are some photos of the cake as it was being prepared.
Making the browned butter. I was really paranoid i’d burn it but it came out fine:
The finished batter:
The cake cooling after being baked:
I read in the description of this cake that it’s good toasted if it gets stale. I didn’t get a chance to try that myself because this one didn’t last long enough but I’ve had several inquiries as to when the next one’s gong to appear. I might get to try some toast then, as well as an opportunity to have a little more dark rum.
Rye bread is one of my favorites – I love it toasted with eggs in the morning, for lunch as part of a corned beef sandwich with swiss cheese and mustard or as a snack with smoked salmon and crème fraiche. I’ve never really tried making it before though so I was a little nervous about attempting this recipe but I shouldn’t have been. It was actually a lot of fun and the bread was so much better than most I’ve bought at the store – very moist, nice caraway flavor and a great crust. The dough was very easy to work with as well even when it was hanging from my skillets in towel slings!
Here are a few photos of the bread being put together. The first is the dough rising:
The dough formed into a loaf:
The dough resting in the dishtowel hammocks:
I really enjoyed making this recipe and i have to say it made some of the best rye toast and corned beef sandwiches I’ve had in awhile.
It’s been a cold week here in Cleveland Heights so there were a couple good reasons to do some baking – I was able to try this recipe and having the oven on kept the kitchen warm. I’ve tried making granola in the past without much success – the bars ended up being dry and flavorless and they fell apart when cutting them. Not so here – these were a great chewy consistency and the combination of dried fruits with the oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds was really delicious. I used dried cherries, dried cranberries and raisins and then threw in a few mini chocolate chips I had in the cupboard for good measure. I’d never heard of brown rice syrup and thought I’d be looking all over the city trying to locate some but was pleasantly surprised to find it in my local supermarket. I liked the way it held everything together and I think it also gave the bars more flavor than using corn syrup.
Here are a couple photographs of the granola bars being put together. This shows the fruit and dry ingredient mix:
Here are the bars coming out of the oven:
I’ll definitely make these again – they were remarkably easy to do and they taste great. Also, the temperature’s supposed to be going down into the single digits the next couple of nights so it might be sooner than later.
Every year for Christmas dinner I make a Buche De Noel so the techniques for making this dessert weren’t new to me but this is as different from our traditional recipe as night and day. The recipe I usually make is yellow cake with a yellow filling and frosting which is very rich and delicious. This version is delicious but much lighter and more sophisticated with the combination of the pralines, cinnamon, vanilla frosting and gingerbread flavor. Here are a few photos of the cake along the way.
Cake filled and rolled:
Frosted and ready to chill:
I really loved this dessert. It was fun to make and the end result was a combination of flavors that I wouldn’t have expected. Think it will be a great addition to our future holiday celebrations.
I’ve always liked the combination of chocolate and mint so I thought the recipe for these Nightcaps sounded really delicious and it didn’t disappoint. What I was surprised about was how rich and sophisticated they taste for very little work. The cookie batter and ganache both came together really quickly and even baking them took less than half an hour. Here’s a photo of the cookies after they came out of the oven:
Here’s a photo of the platter with the majority of the finished cookies – have to admit I sampled a couple before they could be photographed:
I can definitely see these as a great finish to a nice dinner paired with a red dessert wine and some vanilla ice cream. Perhaps an entree of Beef Wellington – have to start planning that party…