Nutella Buttons and Coconut Tapioca – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_4207IMG_4174

One of the many things I really like about this cookbook is that there are a ton of really great tasting recipes that are not at all difficult to prepare – both of these are good examples of that. Making the Nutella buttons took about an hour including baking time and the Coconut Tapioca even less than that. Both were really delicious though.

Of the two, the Nutella Buttons took a little more work to put together which I think is due to the fact that I used the paper liners in the mini cupcake pan – I lost a few of these when my spoon stuck to the wrapper and dumped the batter into the tin. Next time I think I would use baking spray and do them directly in the pan itself – live and learn. Enough of these survived though to be served for dessert for Mother’s Day Brunch last weekend and they were enjoyed by everybody. I really liked the combination of the sweet batter and the surprise bite of Nutella in the middle.

The Coconut Tapioca was something I was really looking forward to making. I think there seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to coconut – you either love it or hate it. I personally love it. I always looked forward to the coconut cream pies that my great grandmother would make for Thanksgiving which were a nice alternative to pumpkin pie which I really don’t enjoy at all. Back to the pudding, using the coconut milk the gave the tapioca a really great flavor and I enjoyed the texture of the large pearl – I’d only ever had the instant variety before. It does require a little advance planning since you have to soak this type overnight but after that’s done it was all of twenty minutes to make it.

Here are a couple photos of these desserts being prepared.

Nutella Buttons cooling on rack:

IMG_4206

Coconut Tapioca on the stove:

IMG_4168

I’ll definitely make both of these again. Next time I’m going to ice the Nutella Buttons with the chocolate ganache and the Coconut Tapioca will be paired with the spiced pineapple recipe in the book. Nothing wrong with making a good thing even better.

Limoncello Cupcakes – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_4069

I still remember the first time I tried limoncello. My parents and I were in a little restaurant in Florence and were given a glass of Prosecco when we were seated and browsing through our menus. After making our decisions and finishing the many courses our waiter brought all of us a glass of limoncello – perfect way to end a great dinner. It’s been a favorite of mine ever since so I was really excited to try this recipe and it was just as good as I thought it would be. The cupcakes were light, moist and had a wonderful lemon flavor. I think the idea of glazing them is really smart – I’d done that before with cakes but never thought of it with cupcakes – because it not only added more great flavor but also kept them from being dry. The little bit of orange marmalade in the center of the cupcake is another nice touch from both a visual and flavor standpoint. Here are a couple of pictures of the recipe at different stages of completion.

Orange Marmalade added to cupcake batter:

IMG_4067

Cupcakes out of the oven and ready for frosting:

IMG_4068

I have a recipe for salmon with a prosecco sauce. Think I’m going to make that as a main course and these for dessert and have a toast to Ristorante Leo in Florence. 🙂

Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_4051A bit under the weather this week so a couple days late on this post. Gotta hand it to Dorie – so many great recipes that aren’t difficult to make in this book and this one definitely qualifies. These were so incredibly easy to do and so tasty – love the rice krispie topping. i didn’t make the caramelized version – which sounds great and which I will do soon – but even with the topping straight out of the box they were a terrific addition to the chocolate and cake. Here’s a photo of them after they came out of the oven:

IMG_4050

Going to be making another batch this afternoon – sure they’ll help put me further on the road to recovery 🙂

Lemon Madeleines – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_4002
Due to some internet problems, this is a Thursdays with Dorie post but better late than never. I really love lemon in desserts so I knew I was going to like this recipe but it was even better than I thought it was going to be. The madeleines were very light and delicious and with the glaze they were really outstanding. I’ve made madeleines before but this is my favorite version that I’ve tried by far. Here are a couple of photos of the work in progress.

Batter ready for the oven:
IMG_3999

Madeleines ready to frost:
IMG_4001

Once again, a really easy recipe that’s delicious. Love this book! 🙂

Pink Grapefruit Tart – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_3965

I have to admit, I made this recipe with a little bit of trepidation. I’ve never made a dessert with grapefruit – definitely new territory for me – but that didn’t worry me too much. What did was that I usually have to add a ton of sugar to grapefruit – similar to cranberries – to make it palatable for me. I was afraid that this tart would be, well, way too tart especially with the addition of campari. Again, as with the cranberry crackle tart, I needn’t have been concerned. This was just a great dessert – really refreshing, smooth and delicious. The combination of the sweet tart dough, lemon and brown sugar base and buttery grapefruit custard was both sophisticated and surprisingly sweet but not overly so. Here are a few photos of the dessert at various stages of completion.

Tart dough ready to bake:

IMG_3961

Fully baked crust:

IMG_3962

Tart with citrus and brown sugar base:

IMG_3963

This turned out to be one of the favorite desserts I’ve made from Baking Chez Moi so far. It’s as delicious as it is beautiful and it not only made me want to make this again – will be looking for pink grapefruit at the store today – but visit the patisserie in Paris  that originated it.

Marquise Au Chocolat – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_3951

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:

IMG_3936

Finished chocolate mixture:

IMG_3938

Chocolate mixture ready for freezer:

IMG_3939

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!

Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake – Tuesdays With Dorie

IMG_3840

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:

IMG_3810

The finished batter:

IMG_3812

The cake cooling after being baked:

IMG_3814

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.