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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Monthly Archives: November 2009

This tart was delicious.  It is, however, VERY rich.  To break the intense, chocolate flavor, I topped it with shaved white chocolate, and served it with homemade whipped cream.

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart – Nick Malgieri, The Modern Baker


1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
One 10- or 11-inch Press-In Cookie Dough crust, baked (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon chocolate shavings for finishing
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling


1. Combine the cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and whisk well. Place over medium heat and bring to just a slight simmer—about 140ºF. Pour the cream into a bowl and let it cool to 110ºF—you’ll be able to insert a fingertip in the cream and leave it there without any burning sensation.

2. Pour the cooled cream mixture over the chocolate and use a small whisk to mix it in, just to combine smoothly, without whisking air into the mixture.

3. Let the ganache stand at room temperature until it is cool to the touch, about 85ºF.

4. Whisk in the butter, a couple of tablespoons at a time. The butter has to be very soft—the consistency of stiff mayonnaise—or it will form lumps.

5. Once all the butter has been incorporated, scrape the filling into the prepared tart shell and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set the filling.

6. After the filling has set, bring the tart to room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Just before serving, scatter the chocolate shavings in the center of the filling and dust them very lightly with confectioners’ sugar.

Press-In Cookie Dough

– makes one 10- or 11-inch tart crust –


10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

One 10- or 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, buttered


1. Combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the paddle of medium speed until whitened, about 5 minutes. Beating the butter and sugar aerates the mixture, and the air helps the dough to bake a light texture.

2. Add the egg yolk and continue beating until it is absorbed and the mixture is smooth. Use a large rubber spatula to incorporate the flour.

3. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and shape the dough into a rough circle. Transfer dough to tart pan and press into bottom and up sides.

4. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or slide it into a plastic bag and seal securely. Refrigerate the formed crust for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

5. About 20 minutes before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Use a fork to pierce the chilled tart crust at 1-inch intervals to keep it from puffing up and distorting while it’s baking.

6. Bake the tart shell until it is evenly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Check occasionally after it has been baking for about 5 minutes. If large bubbles appear on the bottom of the crust, slide out the pan on the oven rack and quickly pierce the bubbles with a fork to flatten them. Cool the tart crust on a rack.


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Drum roll please…

Key Lime Pie – Tate’s Bake Shop


For crust:
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs, fine ground
1 Tbsp. sugar
5 Tbsp. salted butter, melted

For filling:
4 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. lime zest (I probably used more like 2 Tbsp. We love the tart)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 4 limes’ worth)

Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in melted butter (I add this with my hands, but a wooden spoon will do fine). Press evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake off the crust for 10 minutes at 325 F. Cool completely.
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the yolks and lime zest until smooth. Beat in the milk, then slowly beat in the lime juice. Beat mixture continuously until smooth.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge to cool until set (about 2 hours).

*I wish I had better pictures.

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I have a confession: I’m secretly relieved that Thanksgiving is over.  Four pies, one tart, whipped cream, and some cookies later, I can FINALLY breathe knowing that my contribution to the meal is finished.  Over the next few days I will post everything I made for the big meal, but to start, I’ll post my take (well, Oprah Magazine’s take) on the Thanksgiving dessert staple, Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie – Oprah Magazine
*I didn’t make the cranberry topping

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (from about 40 cookies)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
5/8 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. melted butter
2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar , plus more for garnish (optional)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 325°; place a rack in center of oven. Combine cookie crumbs, walnuts, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in butter and transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Press crumb mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and sides of pan (put a piece of plastic wrap on top of crumbs to keep crust from sticking to hands). Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack.

In a large bowl, gently whisk remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt with rest of ingredients except 1/4 cup sugar, cranberries, and orange juice. The mixture should be smooth and have no bubbles. Place cooled piecrust on a baking sheet; pour in pumpkin filling. Use an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon to smooth the top; transfer to oven. Bake until pumpkin filling is set but still has some wiggle in the center, 60 to 75 minutes. (If edges of pie get too dark toward the end of baking, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, set aside a few whole cranberries for garnish (optional). Boil remaining cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice, and 1/4 cup water until berries pop, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Press berries and cooking liquid through a fine strainer. While sauce is warm (not hot), spread across cooled pie with an offset spatula. Roll reserved berries in sugar (if using) and place on pie. Serve pie at room temperature or cold; it can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.

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Pictures to accompany my last entry:

(to the tune of oh where has my little dog gone)


Oh where, oh where has my camera cord gone?  

Oh where, oh where can it be?

It is long and black, and it’s hard to blog without it.

Oh where, oh where can it be?


 Perhaps in the spirit of Halloween, my camera cord has decided to play a trick on me, because I CANNOT, for the life of me, find it.  So, pictures will be posted as soon as I find it, but in the mean time, I believe we have a little “catching up” to do.  I know that I’ve been a little lax in my posting, but thank senior year for that.  I will try to keep the recipes coming more frequently (hopefully more than once every two months).  Please don’t stop reading!

Well, back to this weekend.  I believe I’ve  [temporarily] killed my sweet tooth, if that is at all possible.  (Thank you Halloween!)  During this brief sugar-free respite, I have bravely decided to move beyond my comfort zone and try to make something savory.  Spinach always worked for Popeye, and because I had a lot of work to get done, and many college essays to write this weekend, I needed all of the strength I could get — so, I made a spinach quiche.  

I’m almost embarrassed by how simple the recipe was, but considering that this was one of my first attempts at real cooking,  I appreciated the recipe’s simplicity.  The quiche is from a 1991 Bon Appetit, and it was really delicious.  I made the recipe as is, with the exception of the cheese: it calls for cheddar, but I substituted grueyere, my personal favorite,  for the cheddar.

1/2 17 1/4-ounce package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half
3 eggs
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed drained
1/2 cup grated gruyere
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll puff pastry to 11-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch diameter glass pie plate. Trim edges. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.


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