bakingforthecure

Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Flourless Brownies

In Chocolate, Desserts on April 12, 2009 at 5:19 am

brownies

Since it`s passover, and I was asked to bring a flourless dessert to some Seder, I thought that brownies would be the perfect dessert. I was trying to find a recipe that did not include matzo meal or other flour substitute.  I found this recipe, by the lovely Nigella Lawson, that included ground nuts – just what I was looking for.

This recipe is an perfect replacement for the ordinary brownies, and also have a great nutty flavor. Also, it is a one bowl recipe, a thing that makes it just perfect. With these few ingredients, you get a very, very rich result.

To make the brownies look perfect after cutting them, I suggest, as I do with all brownies recipes, to put them in the fridge for at least two hours, and only when chilled, cut then into squares. Though it is not suggested in the recipe, I stored the brownies in the fridge, and served them just out from the fridge.

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Hamantashen

In cookies, Desserts on March 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

hamantashen

It`s so weird to call these “Hamantashen” since I`m used to their Hebrew name, Ozney Haman (which literally means- the ears of haman). These crisp and filled cookies are made especially for Purim, the happiest holiday (to my humble opinion…). I won`t bother you with the full history background of these cookies, but if this interest you, you could find nice explanations in many sites.

These cookies are basically circles short pastry filled with all sorts of fillings (usually poppy seed filling, chocolate, or dates), which are folded to triangle shape and baked until crisp. You really don`t need Purim as an excuse to make these.

One of the most complicated things about these cookies is getting the cookies to remain at their original shape while baking. I found that if you chill the filled and shaped cookies before you bake them, they generally  tend to lose their shape, the solution is to chill the shaped and filled cookies before baking (preferably overnight).

Happy Purim!

hamantashen

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Daring Bakers- Chocolate Valentino (Flourless Chocolate Cake)

In Cakes, Chocolate, daring bakers, Desserts on February 28, 2009 at 1:13 am

 silueta24

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE’s blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.chocolate cake

 When I first saw this recipe, I was really looking forward to make it. This turned out to be a bit ironic – The recipe’s name is “Chocolate Valentino” and it is supposed to be a great recipe for valentines day, but I decided to make it in one of the most depressing days, the elections day.  Now, without getting into politics, let me just say that that day was not only rainy and gray, the result were also very much depressing. Certainly not a day to make a nice cake like this one. That day could also explain the poor photos this time, it was so gray outside, that I just couldn`t get any nice pictures, sorry!

Making the cake was quite easy. I halved the recipe, and baked it in a buttered muffins tin. The texture of the cake was a bit sandy, but the flavor was very nice. Since we are not patient people, we ate the cake while it was still a bit warm, and it later turned out that this cake is best when completely chilled.

Because I don’t own an ice cream machine, I decided to make vanilla semifreddo instead. I choose a recipe by Jamie Oliver, and it turned to be delicious, and it had quite a nice texture.

chocolate cake

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Kadaif pastry filled with whipped cream and strawberries

In Desserts on February 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

KADAIF

This dessert is so delicious because of its simplicity. There are only handful of ingredients, but the the combination of the crispy kadaif, cream and the slightly tang of the strawberries make this an ideal dessert.

In case that this is the first time that you hear the word “kadaif “, here`s a short explanation: Kadaif is the name of a very thin shredded pastry which is used to make dessert and pastries.  It is sometimes known as shredded phyllo. After dipped into melted fat (usually melted butter) and baked, it gets a very crispy texture. I think that you could find this in Mediterranean stores, in Israel this is usually found in specialty stores.

This dessert is one of many things that you can make with Kadaif: from filling it with mousses to wrapping salmon. There are endless possibilities, and If you are able to find this product, grab it right away, and I promise that you won`t regret it.

Some tips for working with Kadaif:

  • Kadaif usually comes frozen. Before using it, make sure to defrost it, either in the fridge, on in a sealed plastic bad in room temperature for about half an hour.
  • Be very gentle when working with it. It tends to crumble.
  • After dipping it with the butter (or any other fat), form it into the required shape, and press it to get an even layer.

KADAIF

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Daring Bakers- Tuiles

In daring bakers, Desserts on January 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

butterfies

This month challenge is for my idea of a perfect challenge. I`ve been planning on making tuiles for ages, and this challenge allowed me to do so.

I really enjoyed making these, and more than that, I enjoyed taking pictures of the final product. I loved how easy making the dough was, and the verity of shapes and flavors.

tuiles

Mine, as you could see, did not turn out perfect- my critical mistake was using no as soft butter as the recipe ordered. That made the paste a little lumpy, and the baked Tuiles a bit bubbly (as you might see). As for the taste, it was nice, and the chocolate decoration added quite a lot.

I made the basic recipe, and made butterflies shapes. I made the butterflies stencils simply by using a paper and some drawings I took from the internet. I paired my ready tuiles with chocolate-irish cream truffle, and strawberries with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

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Jacques Torres’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

In Chocolate, cookies, Desserts on January 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm

chocolate chip

I wanted to make these recipe from the moment I saw it. I must say that this situation happens to me quite a lot; I see some recipe, and suddenly I must make it as soon as possible, no matter what.  As I said, this recipe was on my to do list for quite some time, and finally, I made it a few days ago.

I wont lie and say that this is the best mind blowing chocolate chip cookie recipe ever (though I was hoping to say that…), but this is a nice recipe, that makes nice cookies: crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside. My problem with the recipe was the slightly eggy taste that it had, though not something very noticeable, but still (and on that matter, are there any differences between the Martha’s recipe and the NY times recipe?).

I halved the recipe, since the  amount of cookies that come out of this recipe could feed a small village. Also, I used grams instead of ounces and pounds, the measurement are written brackets in case you should need it.

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Chcoclate Babka

In Bread, Cakes, Desserts on December 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm

babka

Last week, I made a simple orange cake, it turned out very airy and high, and was very simple yet very tasty. Though that cake was very simple, it had one special thing about it. According to my father, this cake tasted just like the cake that his grandmother used to make. My great grandmother was known for her cakes, so this was one of the biggest compliment that I`ve ever got.

You must be confused here, and you`r probably asking yourselves whats the connection between chocolate babka and orange cake? Well, after that cake I decide to attempt to try one of my great grandmother famous cakes – the babka.

So, I`ve made this chocolate babka, that according to my father is different from his grandmother, but very delicious.

babka

Though this was not like my great grandmother`s, this babka is outstanding. One of my favorite things about this cake is the dark chocolate vains that run  through the cake, and give it the most gorgeous look.

babka

This dough is a brioche-like, it is very airy, and has a slight buttery taste to it. I recommend that you make this dough by using a mixer, since it turns out very sticky and wet. Don’t panic when it`s wet, and don’t attempt to add more flour, simply work with it with oiled or floured hands, and it will be just fine.

I made one big babka in a pan called the “wonder pan” which you could find only on Israel, this pan is very similar to a angel food cake pan or bundt pan. The instructions for the babka shape are written below, plus an idea for an alternative chocolate filling.

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Pizza (4th)

In Bread, Cheese, Pizza on December 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm

pizza

Yes, I am aware that there are 3 more pizza recipes in this humble blog, and I do know that 3 is more than enough, but I just have to give another one, I just cant help it. This one is so good simply because it is easy to make, and the final result always turns out great. Nothing complicated here, just some plain and good pizza recipe.

If the pizza looks to thin to your taste- don’t worry! you could make it any way you like, it will be fine any way.

I have one recommendation about the cheese. If you can`t get any fresh balls of mozzarella, and you are using plain mozzarella (which has great texture, but not a lot of taste), add to it a nice amount of Gauda, it will add the much needed flavor (at least to my taste).

pizza

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M&M`s Chocolate cookies

In Chocolate, cookies, Desserts on December 21, 2008 at 10:45 am

mnm

I promise you that you will fall in love with this recipe, not only because it will put a foolish smile on your face, but because of its taste.  Sure, these cookies are very sweet, nothing sophisticated here, just a great taste of fudgy cookies with an add of delicious M&M (Yes, I said delicious. Sometimes a bag of M&M is better than the any fancy  bittersweet chocolate.). Another reason to make these is the simplicity of the making, it takes about 5 minutes (if you are really slow…), and all the time goes on the baking.

I know that many people dislike very sweet cookies, but if you are planning on making these ones, don`t omit any amount of sugar, trust me on this one. This recipe is perfect as it is. Also, to make sure that you will get a perfectly baked cookie, make sure not to over bake the cookies, and take them out from the oven even before they look ready (they should be a bit firm on the sides, and very soft in the middle).

So if you are in a gloomy mood, or  just want to make someone happy, make these ones, they will do the job.

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Rugelach

In Bread, Chocolate on December 14, 2008 at 9:32 am

rugelach

Note: This recipe is for yeast based rugelach that are more common in Israel. These rugelach are very different from the cheese cream dough based ones, and are just like little yeast cakes.

I think that freshly bakes yeast rugelach is the perfect way to check people`s will power. First, they`ll say that they are on a diet. Then, they will ask you to bring them a half just to make sure that the rugelach are fine. After that, they will start eating these without any conscience, They`ll tell you that they just can`t stop.

regelach

There is nothing like the smell of a freshly bakes yeast cake filling the house, and I do mean nothing. I think that most people love rugelach, there is just something so comforting about them, the chocolaty flavor with the soft yeas dough, that makes this just delicious.

rugelach

I`ve given this specific yeast dough in the past, but I`m putting it here again simply because it is really good, and because it is very variable-  make it as a yeast cake, or as rugelach, fry it up to make doughnut or make cinnamon rolls, basically, anything goes with this one.

rugelach

(How could you possibly say no to one of these?)

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