Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baking Powder Biscuits: TWD Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 63rd installment. The recipe is Baking Powder Biscuits.

Well, it's hard to go wrong with a Marion Cunningham recipe for a quick bread (although I still question the sunken muffins from a previous installment :-).  Her Breakfast Book is one of my staple cookbooks.
This recipe was quite easy, and the results were great.  It seemed to be a traditional method of rubbing in the butter, and then adding the liquid. Butter and gentle handling really make the biscuits better.  I don't usually put them next to each other, but it makes the sides softer, which was nice. 
Forget the artistic photos - here's what really happens to baked goods around here....

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Poppy Seed Torte: TWD Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 62nd installment. The recipe is Poppy Seed Torte.
This was an unusual recipe, so it was a fun change of pace.  It was quite different from any typical "American" style cake that I've baked - including:
  • 2 cups of poppy seeds ground in the coffee grinder
  • 1.5 cups of cake crumbs (and no other flour - it's a cake made from cake!)
  • 7 eggs
  • flavorings of cinnamon, lemon, and espresso
Here's what the poppy seeds plus cake crumbs looked like (I used pound cake from the grocery store....)

Butter, some sugar, and egg yolks get mixed, and then you alternate adding the mix of poppy seeds and cake crumbs with the seven (!!) stiffly beaten egg whites.  Here it is in the middle of that process:

It looked like a mess, but eventually came together.  After putting the batter in the pan, you top it with poached apricots, and then bake.  Once it comes out of the pan, you top the (now kind of shrunken) apricots with additional poached apricots that look nice and pretty.

Before baking
After baking, and before re-apricotting
The recipe was a bit fussy (lots of dirty bowls!) but we really liked the result.  It was great with coffee.  After the first taste, when we did find it not quite sweet enough, I put on the optional apricot jam glaze, and that was perfect. I bet it would be good with other fruit as well.