Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chocolate Truffle Tartlets - TWD: Baking with Julia

Finished Tart

Tart being devoured - you can see the biscotti and chocolate chunks
This is the second installment of Tuesdays with Dorie:Baking with Julia. This recipe went according to the directions and wasn't too difficult.   I liked it, as I am a major chocolate fan, and my family liked it too.  I can see that my strategy to manage all this baking with my busy schedule is going to involve experimenting with advanced preparation of components of the recipes - I made the crust a couple of evenings ahead.

  • Since I have no tartlet pans, I made one large 10" tart.  The crust recipe noted that it would make six 5" tartlets or one 10" tart, and it worked well in the larger pan.  I wonder if it would work in a regular springform - I guess it wouldn't look as pretty as it does with the fluted edge of a tart pan.
  • I love recipes with make-ahead options, and was glad it said that crust dough could be stored in the fridge for three days.

Baked empty crust
    • Very rich filling!  The large tart definitely provided more than six servings - probably closer to 15!  Would the 4.5" tartlets each be a single serving?
    • Eight egg yolks - yow.  Definitely only for a special occasion.  I made meringues later in the week with a few of the leftover whites.
    • It's unusual to chop up cookies to put in a tart.  I had a bit of trouble finding simple plain biscotti (I wanted basic almond biscotti).  There seemed to be plenty of embellished biscotti available - espresso-whitechocolate-driedcranberry and the like :-)
    • I always feel a bit of anxiety when I read that the batter should form a ribbon - never quite sure what that should look like. These directions said that it should "form a slowly dissolving ribbon" which I thought was more descriptive than the usual ribbon instructions.
    'a slowly dissolving ribbon'

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    White Loaves - TWD: Baking with Julia

    Yum.   Where's the butter, honey, jam, Nutella....?
    This is the first installment of Tuesdays with Dorie:Baking with Julia. The recipe is White Loaves.

    Wow - what an easy recipe and a great result! Fabulous for toast and sandwiches (glad it made two loaves). I am an experienced bread baker, so this was kind of a no-brainer. 

    Some notes:
    • I am the "whole grain" queen in my household, so my family was pleasantly surprised to get homemade white bread for a change :-) 
    • Kitchen Aid mixer was quite helpful for kneading. It worked hard and got warm, but handled it.
    • Added a bit more (2 T.) water at the initial mixing, because it seemed a bit dry-ish. Maybe because of low humidity in the house. Was glad I did, because the dough consistency was just right.
    • It did separate a bit when butter was added, so it was good to have reassurance in the recipe to expect that.
    • Had to leave the house for a while after mixing it, so left bowl of dough to rise in our kitchen (temp around 64 degrees F) for two hours, and then I shaped it when I arrived home.  It was just fine - not over-risen at all.

    This seems like a good 'everyday' recipe - I will definitely make it again.
    Yeast proofing ("proving"?)

    Finished dough
    Loaves ready to rise