26 September 2009

Taste & Create: Scrambled Eggs

I had some technical difficulties this month, so I hope my partner, Columbus Foodie, will forgive my T&C entry being a couple of days late! Once again, I had a bit of trouble finding a recipe I liked. With omnivorous blogs, I keep ending up having a week where I don't really want to make a sweet, and so it takes a lot of digging to find what I'm looking for, but after scrolling through CF's recipes, I found a Gordon Brown recipe for scrambled eggs that she enjoyed. I decided to try it, and this is the result. My thoughts? I have to admit, I like my own scrambled egg style better. It took an age for any setting to occur, and I ended up having to crank up the heat. The eggs took about half an hour to scramble. However, I did like the addition of sour cream to the eggs. I paired them with Morningstar Farms sausage links and a hashbrown for a nice big breakfast.

15 September 2009

TWD: Flaky Apple Turnovers

Bear with me - my camera's being funky and since I need to get TWD up tonight, I'm going to post now and add the picture later. Anyway, this week's recipe was Flaky Apple Turnovers. I thought they were pretty good, but far more of a pain than I expected. I don't know that it was really worth it. The dough seemed really neat, with few ingredients and sour cream for moisture, but it was hard to work with. Last night, I did the first two steps, and I found that it needed a lot of pressing and kneading together to make it possible to roll out. Then tonight when I finished the recipe, I had trouble getting it to roll thin enough, and it kept tearing so I had to patch it up, creating thicker bits of dough that weren't very flaky when baked. I couldn't get much of the apples in, so I only used half the apples. I'm wondering if maybe I could just boil the remainder down for applesauce so that it's not a total waste. The final product was sweet, crispy, and fairly flaky, if a little light on the apples. I froze half for later, too, since Dorie suggests that you don't refrigerate or freeze the end product. You can see how the rest of the TWD bakers fared here.

03 September 2009

The Edible Word: Confessions of a Master Baker

Okay, the Internet's being a bit funny so let's see if I can get this out without having to look anything up. The Edible Word is a foodie book club hosted by The Happy Sorceress and A Blithe Palate, and this round we're reading Confessions of a Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Whew. Did it. Okay! So I read the book a few weeks ago and I found it quite enjoyable. It's a light, easy read, and like most foodie memoirs has a recipe at the end of every chapter. Film fans may enjoy the Hollywood references (Gesine being the sister of Sandra Bullock), but for me the best part was the family stories about food and Gesine's German heritage. I spent some time in Germany as a teenager and I studied German for a long time, but the same could be said for French. My high school German teacher and I used to tease each other about my liking French more, including (especially) French food. She was always trying to open me up to the joys of German cuisine, and even gave me a German cookbook as a high school graduation present. Thus, it was fun for me to read about some of the delicious German treats like Mandelh├Ârnchen (literally, little almond horns) made with marzipan. I thought about trying one of those, but I ended up really intrigued by a savory scones recipe. The first time I tried scones, you may recall if you've been reading for a while, they fell rather flat - quite literally. This time, I used a very gentle hand, and they came together perfectly. I left out the ham in the recipe, of course, and used shaved parmesan rather than grueyere. It worked out just fine that way! I love the feel of the heavy, elastic dough with big chunks of butter in it, and these scones are heaven just out of the oven with a pat of butter or margarine. They're sweet, but subtly so, and fluffy with crisp bottoms. Though any baked good is best right out of the oven, these also freeze well and warm just fine in the microwave. Thanks, Cath and Steph for hosting, and thanks Gesine for the lovely stories and the great recipe!

01 September 2009

TWD: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

Yes, I finally decided to join Tuesdays with Dorie. I've had the book since Christmas, but I just couldn't commit to baking twice a month in law school. Even now, I'm not sure I can afford to, but I'm going to give it a try! This month's recipe was Espresso Cheesecake Brownies, picked by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell. You can get the recipe at her blog and see the other bakers' efforts here. My impression of these brownies? Well I loved the idea. I've done swirl brownies before and loved them, but I've never done one where you put part of the brownie on top of the cheesecake layer. I was right to be sceptical. I found the cheesecake layer great and really tasty, but the brownie layer was dry and uninspired. Letting it sit while preparing the cheesecake layer makes the batter thick and hard to swirl, and may also account for the lacking moisture. I also did it in a round 9" pan, lacking a 9" square pan, and I baked the full 35 minutes. I left the sour cream topping off because it seemed kind of extraneous.