Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TWD: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

Carla of Chocolate Moosey chose the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie. It's gorgeous... and so delicious.

I wish someone had told me sooner how easy it was to make Dorie's tart dough! I believe I skipped a tart recipe a little while back because I didn't feel like messing with dough. But boy, it was easier and quicker than expected.

I baked this a few weeks ago for company and it turned out perfectly. Making the caramel ended up being fairly easy. And the layer of chocolate ganache set up beautifully. I couldn't get over how picture perfect it looked. This will definitely be a go-to recipe for company and special occasions.

Another Dorie success! Great choice, Carla!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Paula's Corn Chive Pudding

The group My Girl, Paula baked Corn Chive Pudding this week. It's not exactly photogenic.

But at least it tasted good! I learned something valuable this week: read the recipe before you start. Baking this was one big snafu that consisted of "oh no, the bag of frozen corn needs to be thawed!" "Oh no, the butter needs to be melted and cooled!" "Oh no, I thought I had chives!" I was so close to throwing in the towel and calling it quits, but I sure hadn't gone through all that trouble to have nothing to show for it.

The corn pudding was really tasty, even though the term "corn pudding" really doesn't sound all that appetizing. I decided to try it because it sounded more like a corn casserole, which I love. I have another corn casserole recipe that I make a lot and can eat in large quantities. It's really quite scary. Unfortunately, though this corn pudding was good, I prefer my tried and true recipe to this one. But I'm glad I gave it a go!

Corn Chive Pudding
(by Paula Deen)

Two 10-ounce packages frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of grated nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 1 and 1/2-quart baking dish.

2. In a food processor, pulse 1 of the packages of corn until coarsely chopped, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining package of corn and sprinkle with the sugar and salt; stir to combine.

3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, chives, flour, and vanilla and combine with the corn. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in the center of the oven until the center of the pudding is just set, about 45 minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Soufflé

I'm a little late with posting this, so I guess we'll just call today Friday with Dorie. The pick this week was the chocolate soufflé, and I've really been wanting to try my hand at a soufflé, so I just had to give it a try.

It was much easier than I anticipated. I was frightened the whole way through, and was so sure I was going to ruin it. But it turned out beautifully. I halved Dorie's recipe and it was the perfect fit for my three small ramekins. I knew that soufflés fell quickly after you took them out of the oven, and boy is that right. I had maybe a minute to snap a couple pics before the tops fell down into the ramekins and they were no longer as pretty.

They tasted so good. They were chocolatey and delicious. I was really glad they tasted as great as they looked. I enjoyed them warm from the oven and oh man, that was good!

If you'd like to try your hand at this chocolate soufflé, you can find the recipe on Susan's blog, She's Becoming DoughMesstic.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Milky Way Cake

Last week the group My Girl, Paula baked up this delicious Milky Way Cake. It looked fabulous and I had been dying to try it. But I decided I needed to wait until we had someone to share the cake with before I made it. The thought of having an entire cake in my house for me and my husband to eat alone didn't sound like the greatest idea.

So fortunately, I had the opportunity this weekend to make it and share it. The cake was really easy to make and included melted Milky Way bars in the batter - yum. The frosting was a bit more challenging, as it had to reach a specific temperature on the stovetop. It took boiling for a good 10 minutes or so before I got it there. I was a little impatient. And then it got a little hard to frost towards the end as the icing began to cool and harden.

But the finished cake was very moist and oh so rich. It's the type of cake that you'll need to slice very thin, as you'll love the first several bites, but the richness just kind of gives you a stomachache after eating an entire piece!

Everyone commented how great it tasted and how much it really tasted like a Milky Way bar. So if you're a fan of Milky Ways, you'll definitely want to give this a try. And be sure to go to the blogroll at My Girl, Paula to see what the other group members did with their cakes (I've seen delicious looking Milky Way cupcakes and bundt cakes!).

Milky Way Cake
(from Paula Deen)

For Cake:
confectioners' sugar, for dusting pans
8 (1 3/4 ounce) Milky Way bars
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Icing:
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup marshmallow cream
1/2 cup butter
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease three 9-inch cake pans and dust them with confectioner's sugar. To make the cake, melt the Milky Way bars with 1 stick of butter. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Cream the remaining 2 sticks of butter with the granulated sugar. Add the beaten eggs and the cooled chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and the baking soda together. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk to the batter, blending well. Add the nuts and vanilla.

3. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes, remove from the pans and place on cooling racks.

4. While the cake cools prepare the icing. Combine the sugar and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook to the soft-ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove the pan from the heat and add the marshmallow cream, butter and chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Add the pecans. When the cake has cooled completely, frost each layer, sides and top of the Milky Way Cake.

16 - 20 servings.

One Year Ago I Was Baking: Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

TWD: Cheesecake Brownies

Mmmm... cheesecake brownies.

How could I pass up this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection? Melissa of Life In a Peanut Shell selected Dorie's Espresso Cheesecake Brownies for the group this week.

You know, I'm pregnant. And I've been using that excuse a lot lately as I'm baking extravagant, calorie-laden treats such as this. But I really need to stop. They say you only need an extra 300 calories a day for the baby. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty certain eating a couple of these cheesecake brownies in one day is waaaaay more than I need for the baby. I think I feel my hips getting larger with every bite. Please someone, remove the fork from my hand. Right. Now.

But please don't listen to me. Because, you, my dear readers, should really make these and enjoy them. They're perfect for a Labor Day picnic or an end of summer celebration. They're incredibly delicious. Don't take my word for it, just make them and eat them!

They were fairly easy to make. I followed all of Dorie's instructions, but left out the espresso. I thought my brownie layer was a very, tiny, small bit (maybe it was in my head?) dry. But the cheesecake is absolutely to die for, and I loved the sour cream/powdered sugar topping.

So do me a favor, go on over to Melissa's blog and get the recipe for yourself. Yum!