Have you ever seen a Charlotte Russe before? I saw it once on the Great British Bake Show (best baking show in the world, BTW). It’s mainly ladyfingers with mousse or something else creamy, plus gelatin layered inside sponge cake. I’m pretty sure this Mango Charlotte Russe isn’t authentic, but oh well!
Are you a cobbler fan? I LOVE me some peach cobbler! Strawberry cream cheese is a new version for me, though.
Bake challenge was crisps/cobblers this week, so I choose this unusual combo. Cream cheese + strawberry are a delicious pair 🙂
I suppose these weren’t terrible cupcakes, but none of us were really a fan. My bake challenge was a very difficult Brazil this week, hence the Brazilian carrot cupcakes.
I had high hopes for these! Original recipe stated self-rising flour, which I completely ignored. It did have baking powder in them, but not enough apparently to get a good rise. The glaze also never set up for some reason. Glaze was still tasty, BTW, just drippy!
There’s one thing I did enjoy about cupcakes – the carrots are pureed. If you aren’t an enormous carrot cake fan because of the texture, see if you can find a recipe with pureed carrots. Carrot flavor and beautiful orange color minus the shreds 😉
Maybe you’ll have better luck then myself! Original recipe here.
Not to be dramatic, but I’m pretty sure these almond toffee sea salt brownies were the best brownies I’ve ever had. Seriously.
Bake challenge was brownies or blondies this week and Google images led me straight to these. Salty + sweet is always a winner in my book, and these did not disappoint!
The chocolate layer is sweet, fudgy and dense, while the top layer is crisp, crunchy, and salty. My batch took about 40 minutes total to bake.
I wish I could take credit for these, but I can’t! Original recipe is here. This one is a keeper!
My bake challenge from WEEKS AGO (that’s how behind I am!) was Bastille Day. I know
very little nothing about this holiday other than it is French, which brings me to this extremely rich hazelnut dacquoise with chocolate mousse!
A dacquoise sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? Pronounced like “day-kwaz,” it’s French, apparently meaning “of Dax,” a French town. I printed out a recipe from Fine Cooking and about choked on my coffee when SIX PAGES spit out of my printer. Then began my foot-dragging on baking said daquoise; I knew it would be a production to make. Continue reading “Hazelnut Dacquoise with Chocolate Mousse”
These sad little blueberry hand pies were a bust, and borne out of my impatience 🙁
I generally have excellent results with King Arthur Flour recipes. This one would have been pretty fabulous had I worked the dough properly.
The recipe has multiple steps – make your pie dough, let it chill, make your filling, let it cool down, put your pies together, then bake. You’ll need a bit of patience!
Winging It Always Works…
I did everything right until rolling out the dough into squares. Instead of measuring correctly, I eyeballed it CUZ THAT’S HOW I ROLL. So I had some thick dough pieces, some thin, and some with no tops because I ran out of dough 🙁
At this point I had to roll and re-roll the dough to correct my sizing issue, but by then my dough was soft and half-melted while I rolled them back out.
I even thought to myself, ‘Maybe I should chill these first…the butter in the dough isn’t firm anymore,’ but ignored that sage advice because I was in a rush to get it done.
My result was a mass of too-quickly-browned blueberry hand pies that were raw in the middle.
Upside – they tasted pretty good! Which tells me it’s not King Arthur Flour’s fault – it’s most definitely my own. Note that the original recipe even TELLS YOU to refrigerate the dough if at any time it becomes too hard to work with. See how perceptive I am?? 😉
The moral of the story is once I start rushing through a step in my baking (which I truly love doing!), then maybe it’s time to take a break and call it a day 🙂
Original recipe here.
Last year my attempted fresh fruit tart was pretty good, but had to be chiseled out of my ceramic pan…not fun! That experience led me to the wonders of metal tart pans with removable bottoms – MIND BLOWN!
Bake challenge last week was fresh fruit. This recipe is one of the few of mine that calls for fresh fruit…maybe only the napoleon I made last year? Fresh fruit is so summer-y – nice and refreshing compared to hot fruit dishes.
The only baking here is the crust, which has browned butter in it. Have you ever used browned butter in a recipe? You are just lightly browning butter on the stove top. It really adds a different flavor – nutty? aromatic? My first batch burned beyond belief, as I walked away for just a minute to probably multitask. Watch that butter!
Original recipe called for lime juice and zest, and I only had lemons, so used those. Result was still fabulous! Next time I’ll test with limes instead.
The filling is marscapone cheese and melted white chocolate – YUM. I’m not a white-chocolate-by-itself fan, but dig it in combination with marscapone.
Feel free to try whatever tart pan you have for this bake. I particularly love and use this one!
This was better the next day, BTW. Perhaps not quite as pretty with a bit of fruit juice bleeding through the tart, but the flavors have a chance to meld together. Enjoy!
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This was my 2nd attempt at baklava and MUCH IMPROVED! Yay for progress 🙂
I have this hangup where I really like to bake a certain way, i.e. nothing premade in it at all. So last year when one of my Reddit bake challenges called for something Middle Eastern, I made chocolate cherry baklava.
Baklava itself isn’t so difficult – its really just layering things, baking, and pouring a syrup over top. Where I made my life much more difficult was attempting to make the phyllo dough myself. You have to get the dough this thin, like be able to read a newspaper through it kinda thin.
Needless to say, the phyllo was not nearly as thin or crisp as it was supposed to be. I found this out the hard way by hitting up a bakery shortly thereafter and trying their baklava…there was no comparison and it was obvious I had officially botched my own bake.
This time around was much better! I sucked it up and bought frozen phyllo sheets from my local grocery store. The result gave me crispy, flaky layers, filled with chopped apricots and 3 kinds of nuts. The original recipe called for pistachios, but I just used what I had on hand and it turned out great – almonds, walnuts, and roasted pecans.
Many baklava recipes incorporate honey into the syrup on top, which makes for a delicious but very sweet dessert. This batch has a sugar and orange juice syrup, along with some cardamom mixed in, so not quite as sweet.
All in all I would definitely make this again, and probably try some different chopped fruits.
BTW – I have found store-bought cardamom to be crazy expensive. I got a small little box that is affordable and has lasted me forever here. I keep it in a little baggie in my pantry.
Original baklava recipe here.
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These salted caramel apple hand pies were DELICIOUS! Consider them a bit more work than just dumping apples in a crust, but I think its worth it.
BTW, if you need a look-no-further salted caramel sauce recipe, here it is. I’ve never made another version of this caramel, cuz it’s perfect already. It’s sweet, salty, and drippy, perfect for filling cupcakes, putting on brownies, or eating it by the spoonful. Not that I have experience in that last one, ahem.
This recipe is part of my Reddit bake challenge, said challenge being caramel this time.
I really LOVE pastries. Given the choice between donuts or a chocolate-filled croissant, I will go croissant every time or in this case BEAR CLAWS!
If you haven’t had one of these before, think delicious yeast pastry with almond paste/cinnamon filling and almond slices for the “toes.” A honey glaze completes the package! Panera Bread sells these, BTW, if you want to try before you bake 😉
These were supposed to be 2-day process, but reality was more like this: make the dough on day 1, forget about it in the fridge for several more days, then fill and bake around day 4. It still turned out tasty!
My bake challenge this week was brunch, and shockingly enough, my mind immediately goes to sweets and pastries for brunch.
This recipe is a keeper and would really be perfect for brunch get-together. They are a bit time consuming, but not difficult. The recipe also made roughly a DOZEN bear claws….please come and help me eat them!!
Homemade almond paste recipe is here.
Original bear claw recipe is here.