Thursday, June 28, 2012
The recipe for this month Avid Baker's Challenge is Classic Fruit Tart from the Weekend Baker by Abbey Dodge.
I will try a different recipe next time because I do love tart..especially a summer tart with berries. But, I do prefer a recipe that doesn't turn my hair grey and doesn't remind me of salt clay.
Hopefully, my fellow bakers had a better go of this recipe.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
|Anniversary Narrows Hike Lake Mead NV|
|Red Rock Picnic Area Lake Mead NV|
|Red Rock Conservation Area Las Vegas NV|
|Snow Canyon St. George UT|
So I find myself with the opportunity to make them...finally! From one of my favorite cookbooks, BAKED. Everything I have made from this book is fun! and yummy too.
I love the way the cookbook is set up with pictures and cool fonts. The "Baked" notes on the side are very helpful or funny depending on the page. I found the recipe at Baking is my Zen.
For the cookie layers
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
7 ounces almond paste (I used a small can)
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 orange
Orange food coloring (liquid or gel)-I used Red, like the Red Rocks here in St. George
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
For the filling
2/3 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (I used 1 TB and it was plenty)
For the glaze
6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
MAKE THE COOKIE LAYERS
1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
2. Butter three 8-inch square baking pans.
3. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
4. Dust with flour and knock out the excess flour.
5. Sift the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste, sugar, and almond extract together until small crumbs form.
7. Add the butter and beat on high speed until the mixture is combined.
8. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
9. Add the orange zest and beat until combined.
10. Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating on low speed after each addition until combined.
11. Divide the batter among three small mixing bowls.
12. In the first bowl, add a few drops of orange food coloring to the batter, and mix well.
13. Continue to add a few drops of food coloring and mixing until the batter is medium orange in color.
14. In the second bowl, add the cocoa powder to the batter and whisk until fully incorporated.
15. Leave the third bowl plain.
16. Pour each batter into a prepared pan and smooth the tops.
17. Bake the layers for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean.
18. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
19. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
20. Remove the parchment.
MAKE THE FILLING
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the jam and amaretto until warmed through and completely blended, 3 to 5 minutes.
ASSEMBLE THE TRICOLOR COOKIES
1. Place the chocolate layer on a serving rack and evenly spread half of the apricot jam over the top.
2. Top with the plain (or white) layer and spread with the remaining apricot filling.
3. Top with the orange layer and let the layers sit in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or while you make the chocolate glaze).
MAKE THE GLAZE
1. In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
2. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth.
3. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.
4. Spread the glaze over the top of the bar cookies, completely covering the orange layer (some glaze may spill down the sides of the cake).
5. Place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate topping completely sets (about 1 hour).
6. Remove the tray from the refrigerator, wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to warm up, and cut into 20 individual squares or use a small cookie cutter to create your own shapes.
7. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days. MMMM good!!
Friday, June 1, 2012
When I started to blog, food blogs were few and far between. Food photography...what was that? Now there are books about the subject.
I think I liked doing something that was cutting edge and new. Now that the web is overflowing with AMAZING food blogs, I wonder why I still do it.
It isn't because my blog is anything spectacular. But it is mine and gives me a feeling of accomplishment and organization in my baking. It is my cookbook and journal all in one. And the bonus is that I have made great friends, keep in touch with old friends, and remain social with fellow bakers.
Here is what I learned making Brioche this weekend:
1. How to Clean an Oven Rack:Lay your racks on a towel in the tub
Pour baking soda on your racks
Pour a 1/2 gallon of vinegar on the racks
Let it bubble and fizz
After it stops fizzing-add water to tub and soak
Scrub until looks like new
2. Be patientI way heated my milk because I was in a hurry...and had to wait until it cooled to 120 degrees. So I cleaned the kitchen while waiting.
3. Bread making is perfect for multitaskingNot only could I clean but I could pack also while making the bread!
4. Have FaithAdding the eggs made an ugly mess. I was worried..no need for negative worry time!
4. Real Butter Rocks!!Adding butter to an already rich dough took this to an entire different level. Butter makes everything better.
5. One piece at a timeAdding the butter one piece at a time was great. Take time to slow down and enjoy life. Our move has been one step at a time. First the girls school, then the house, and then the job. It all comes together.
6. MMM Dough. I LOVE ITOnce when I was younger, I saw a 911 show about a person who ate so much bread dough that his stomach was exploding. I have had a terror of eating raw dough ever since! But, this dough was so tempting and soft. I had to sample, a little. I am still alive!!
7. Braiding is easier with hair
8. I love bread
9. I love a clean ovenIsn't it amazing what a clean house can give you: peace of mind and inner joy.
10. The smell of fresh bread...nothing better
11. Number 10 is so bogus.The best thing is eating fresh bread!! This bread is spectacular. The flavor is wonderful and the texture amazing. The kids have all but devoured the entire loaf in 1 day. I thought I had over cooked the loaf because the bottom was a tad over browned. After some time in a bread bag, it was excellent. Can't wait to see what my fellow ABC bakers came up with this month.