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Oct 14, 2012 04:54 PM

What are you baking these days? October 2012, part deux [old]

Hi everybody, I have family coming for a few days this week, and so today I made:
- The dough for Alice Medrich's coffee walnut shortbread from Chewy Gooey etc, now residing in waxed paper jammed into an aluminum foil box, because I thought they'd be good as square cookies (I'll top them with a walnut half, not the coffee beans called for, because I think Major Dickason's beans would be a bit overwhelming). To be baked by Wednesday night.
- NM's supernatural brownies, chewy variation with half oil and half butter, and 1/4 c cocoa with flour making up the flour called for. I only ever bake these for 25 mins, and my oven thermostat is pretty accurate -- if you make the recipe, do you bake them for 45 mins as instructed?
- potato bread dough is rising, to be made into pan loaves...
Had guests over for dinner last night, and made Alice Medrich's baked chocolate mousses from "Bittersweet" for dessert, flavored with Grand Marnier and served with whipped cream. I was half in the bag by the time I got around to making them, and even under those circs they were dead easy and superb. New last-minute fancy dessert staple...

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  1. The idea of making the coffee-walnut shortbread came from our own Caitlin McGrath's recommendation. Thanks for pointing them out!

    1 Reply
    1. Mousse -- "Warm Bittersweet Mousse", "Bittersweet", p. 168 Oven at 325 deg F

      6 oz bittersweet or semisweet choc (I used min 52% cacao French Nestlé cooking choc, I have a friend there who swaps me for an equal weight of chocolate chips) chopped and melted in
      1/2 c heavy cream (you can use 1/4 c coffee, milk, or water instead, but I wanted to attenuate the chocolate a bit because a friend is not crazy about really bittersweet choc desserts).

      I did this over direct heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, but you are supposed to melt it over hot water in a heatproof bowl. Heated the cream, banged in the choc, stirred until melted over low heat.

      3 large eggs (supposed to be room temp but mine were straight from the fridge) beaten with 3 tb sugar for about 5 mins with the balloon whisk on my KA mixer, until the consistency of creme Chantilly.
      Added 1/2 tsp salt and about 1 1/2 tb of Grand Marnier to this.

      Fold 1/4 of the eggs into the choc, then 1/2 of the remaining eggs, then the rest (keeping it as aereated as possible).
      Pour into 6-8 6-oz ramequins (I used my 6 Evesham ones that were a wedding gift years ago, and had to use an ovenproof coffee cup for the overflow). You can fill them pretty much to the rim.

      Put them in larger baking pan, put it on the oven shelf, and pour boiling water into it to about halfway up the sides of the ramequins.
      Bake for about 16 minutes, until the interior temp is 155 deg F (for egg safety) or until they are nicely risen and domed (if you're half in the bag while doing them and throwing caution to the winds).

      Let cool 10 mins or more in the water in the roasting pan -- the ones I made cooled for about an hour, and were brilliant with lightly-sweetened creme Chantilly flavored with another tb or so of GM.
      Super duper, super easy.

      11 Replies
      1. re: buttertart

        Just had to try apple pie in a paper bag. Found some norther spy, pippin and russet which I mixed into my usual macs.

        1. re: geminigirl

          Isn't it neat, how it browns so well in the bag?

          1. re: blue room

            I didn't like not being able to peek, but it came out perfectly!

          2. re: buttertart

            Make this mousse recipe, you will love it.

            1. re: buttertart

              Yummmm. That would be great with coffee as the liquid..

              1. re: rstuart

                Here they are, straight out of the oven. On messy kitchen counter.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Thank you. These look great! I always forget about mousse--and it's a great company dessert.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        Dead easy too. Nicest at room temp or warm.

                1. please let us know how the shortbread turns out..

                  Been out of town for quite a while, so when I return, I have some things that are on the short, must-do list...
                  1. Birthday cake for good friend - is going to be an engineered cake; pretty sure a chocolate cake for most of it. somewhere will include a layer of brownies... even though she loves my (dairy-free) cheesecake, it won't make it in, as it can't sit out over night.
                  2. a bunch of breads as a thank you for a friend - still deciding which ones, but pretty sure a crusty boule, ciabatta, brioche, maybe a sourdough loaf/baguette... i'll take suggestions for other forms.

                  other sweets on the list:
                  cheese kuchen
                  cantonese egg tarts
                  roasted cherry frangipane tarts
                  white chocolate gooey smores bars
                  salted sugar oreo truffle surprise cookies
                  ...can't wait to be back in my kitchen!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    Your mentioning brioche made me think that you should post your brioche recipe for Buttertart. She's been meaning to make a "Brioche aux fruits" for a long time :)

                    1. re: souschef

                      yes, Emme, please do post your brioche recipe for us. TIA

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        will do. just got home from being away...

                      2. re: souschef

                        The pan gives me a look every time I open the cupboard where it lives.
                        What's a dairy-free cheesecake?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          i use dairy free cream cheese and dairy free sour cream... and earth balance in the crust. it's stellar :)

                    2. While looking up something else in the 1997 ed. Joy of Cooking, I happened on a recipe for coffee snaps, buttery icebox cookies flavored with instant espresso powder dissolved in Kahlua, plus a smidge of cinnamon. Instead of Kahlua, I used my homemade spiced coffee liqueur, figuring that would work well with the cinnamon. The coffee flavor (as well as the hint of spice from the liqueur) was more apparent in the dough than in the baked cookies, which are more buttery than coffee-y. Not that there's anything wrong with buttery! I just wanted more coffee flavor. Ah well, I know they'll be snapped up by my fellow meeting-goers tomorrow.

                      P.S. buttertart, I made the coffee walnut cookies square, too, and also skipped the coffee bean on top (though I didn't sub anything). I hope you and your mister enjoy them.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Thanks, I'm sure we shall, and others of his coffee-crazed family will too!

                      2. Still testing those vegan recipes over here! Had one nice success and one massive fail today! Chocolate Chip Muffins were very good - honestly, aside from a chewier texture, they don't taste overly healthy and ridiculous. The blueberry drop biscuits weren't horrible tasting, but I certainly wouldn't make them again. I had to adjust and note the liquid amount, I ended up having to double the liquid. Her recipe called for 1/3c of almond milk and I ended up needing about 2/3c.

                        I will definitely keep the chocolate chip muffin recipe around for future use if I ever find myself in a situation of having to bring an egg, nut, dairy free treat somewhere.