Archive for the ‘Pastry’ Category


Cream-Filled Coffeecake

November 23, 2013

When I read King Arthur Flour’s blog post about this Cream-Filled Coffeecake, I was intrigued. The story behind the recipe involves a woman famous for making coffeecakes, and equally famous for not divulging the recipe. At her funeral, her family passed out the recipe. Mystery solved? Not quite – the recipe wasn’t very detailed, so one of the recipients of the recipe turned to King Arthur Flour for help. The revised recipe is now published on their site. The interesting story, plus a taste for what I’d call an old-fashioned coffeecake, spurred me on to give this a try.

Here it is just out of the oven:


And the finished, filled coffeecake:


I wondered if the cake part would be too bread-like, but it was light and airy and was complimented perfectly by the sweet topping and creamy, vanilla filling. As good as the filling was, I wanted more of it and would have liked it to be a bit more fluffy.

I made this recipe along with my blogging friend Michele, who changed it up and made a different topping and filling. Be sure to check in with her blog, Veggie Num Nums, to see how hers turned out!

Recipe notes:

  • The recipe is here on King Arthur Flour’s site.
  • Don’t expect to make this in the morning and serve it for breakfast. The mixing, rising, resting, baking, and cooling all add up to quite a bit of time (not all of it hands-on). The total time on the recipe is up to 4 hours 15 minutes, but I think I spent at least 5 hours total, start to finish.
  • It was at its best the afternoon of the day I made it. The next day, it was still tasty, but was dry. The recipe says it can be frozen, so next time I’d freeze it right away and then defrost right before eating (it should defrost pretty quickly).
  • A whole recipe makes a huge cake with 20 servings. I made a half-size cake and baked it in an 8″ springform pan. It is very tall, so that’s still a good-sized cake. For a half-recipe, I made 1/2 the amount of dough and 3/4 the amount of topping and filling (proportions are in accordance with the recipe’s tip about making two smaller cakes – you need to increase the topping and filling amounts).
  • Another recipe tip says to be gentle when combining the two parts of the filling. I ended up with some flour lumps, so I vigorously whisked it. The lumps were gone and I thought it looked fine.
  • Watch the baking time. I baked my smaller cake for 35 minutes, and probably could have taken it out at 30.

TwD Baking with Julia: Cheese & Tomato Galette

June 18, 2013

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie group is Cheese and Tomato Galette, a free-form savory pie.


The crust ingredients include butter, flour, cornmeal, and yogurt (or you can use sour cream or buttermilk). I adapted the filling a bit to the ingredients I had: I used mozzarella and parmesan (instead of mozzarella and monterey jack) and I spread a bit of pesto on the bottom because I didn’t have fresh basil.

Served with a green salad, this was a delicious dinner, and I bet would be even better later in the summer when the basil and tomatoes are going in my garden.

This recipe, from Flo Braker, is on page 429 of Baking with Julia. I also found the recipe online here.


TwD Baking with Julia: Savarin

June 4, 2013

I really enjoyed trying to pronounce this French dessert. Sahvahrunh, savarnnnnh…just say it fast with a nasal ending and call it good. But you may not want to listen to me, because 10 out of 10 French people agree that my accent is no good. The dessert, however, was quite good.


What’s in it? A base of yeasted dough that gets a soak with sugar syrup, and then in my case, is drizzled with Grand Marnier and filled with whipped cream and sliced strawberries that were tossed with Grand Marnier and sugar. Tthe recipe calls for a raspberry puree, mixed berries, and pear eau-de-vie.)

I thought this would be a lengthy project, but with quick rising times, it wasn’t too much trouble to make. I made 1/2 recipe and, lacking a ring mold, baked it in a 6-cup bundt pan.

The verdict? Delicious! The cake was light as air, even after being soaked in the sugar syrup. I loved the combination of the orange Grand Marnier with the strawberries. This would be an impressive, not-too-heavy dessert to serve to company.

This recipe, baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group this week, is on page 416 of Baking with Julia. You can also watch a video from the show here, and you can see the recipe here.


TwD Baking with Julia: Pizza Rustica

April 3, 2012

Pizza Rustica, more quiche-ish than pizza-ish, was on the schedule for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Dinner at our house is always tasty, but rarely this cute!

My first lattice crust!

As I often do, I cut the recipe in half, which fit perfectly in my 6″ pie pan. A much better size for two people. I omitted the prosciutto and added a mix of green and Kalamata olives.  I noticed really late in the game that it’s supposed to cool completely before serving, which would have made for a very late dinner. I opted to cool it for 20 minutes, at which point it was nicely warm but not hot.

I really liked the ricotta filling; although it looked quiche-like, the filling had a lovely texture and taste that was much different from an eggy quiche. The olives gave it a salty bite. The crust was delicious, but I’d omit the sugar next time. It was just too sweet for my tastes. My husband wasn’t bothered by the sweet crust, but did remark: “It isn’t a pizza. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Ready to give this a whirl? You can find the recipe on page 430 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to this week’s hosts: Emily of Capital Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home. They will have the recipe posted on their blogs today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Irish Soda Bread

March 20, 2012

A half-batch of Irish Soda Bread was quick and tasty and delicious with some soup for dinner. I made a plain version, using just flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, but I’m sure that many of the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers added currants, other dried fruit, and other creative mix-ins.

I stored the leftover bread in a plastic bag; the next day it was still moist, but the crust was a little soft, so I sliced it, put a little butter and garlic powder on the slices, and warmed it up in the oven. Irish Soda Bread Garlic Bread! If you don’t have time to make a yeast bread, this is a good alternative for some quick and fresh bread.

Don’t wait until next St. Patrick’s Day to make this. You can find the recipe on page 214 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to this week’s hosts: Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Cathleen of My Culinary Mission. They will have the recipe posted on their blogs today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Rugelach

March 6, 2012

The Tuesdays with Dorie group tackled Rugelach for the group’s first March recipe. I’ve made rugelach once before; in fact, it was the first recipe I made for the Tuesdays with Dorie group back in November 2008. Here I am making it again a couple of years later and guess what…I really messed it up!

Here’s one of the better-looking ones:

And an overview of the whole pan:

They smelled fantastic, but what a mess! The filling that’s all over is apricot jam and currants. Some things I know I did wrong, like putting some of the nut/sugar/cinnamon mixture inside the rolls when it’s supposed to go on the outside (it went on the outside too, and I still had a ton left over). But I don’t know why they unrolled and lost most of their filling. I’ll have to read some of the other group members’ blogs to see if I can get any tips. Some filling was still there, because my husband described them as “a cinnamon roll with a classy center.” I thought they were very tasty, and I especially liked the cream cheese pastry.

You may have better luck with this one! You can find the recipe on page 325 of Baking with Julia. This recipe is hosted by Margaret and Jessica.


Classic Currant Scones

October 22, 2011

Classic Currant Scones from the the Flour cookbook. The best scones I’ve ever made! They were tender without falling apart. Just a little sweet, but still ready for some jam or honey. Moist, but not so moist that you’d mistake them for anything other than a scone.

The recipe calls for creme fraiche, which I couldn’t find at the grocery store, so I followed the instructions to make my own. I made a small batch, mixing 8oz heavy cream with 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk and letting it sit in a warm spot overnight (I put mine on top of the refrigerator). When I opened the container in the morning, I found a bowl of pure silk. Oh my goodness, it was so creamy and delicious! It doesn’t have the tang of sour cream or yogurt, so I can see why the recipe says not to substitute.

Michele sent me this recipe and we baked “together” from different parts of the country. Be sure to check out her blog post to see how hers turned out!

If you don’t have the book, you can find the recipe here on Google books.


Tuesdays with Dorie Rewind: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

September 27, 2011

A few weeks ago, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made Golden Brioche Loaves. Well, that brioche recipe makes a lot of dough, so in addition to a loaf, I made Brioche Raisin Snails, and now I bring you my final installment: Pecan-Honey Sticky Buns.

Another brioche success! These were decadent and delicious. I timed my baking so that I could give away most of them – spread out the calories, as I like to say. By the way, Michele also baked some brioche and is posting it today. I don’t know the details, so I’ll be checking out how hers turned out and what recipe she used.

What I did: When I made the brioche dough, I took half of it and prepped it for the sticky bun recipe by rolling it out, spreading it with cinnamon filling, and rolling it up. Tightly wrapped, it stayed in my freezer for a few weeks. The day before baking, I put the dough in the refrigerator. The day of baking, I made the topping (butter, honey, pecans, and brown sugar), sliced the log of dough into rounds, and let it rise before baking. 

How it went: With the dough already made, this went quickly. Also, since the dough had been frozen, it was super-cold and easy to slice, which made my life easier. The buns are baked on top of the topping, so they need quick flip as soon as they come out of the oven. I’m happy to report that I didn’t burn myself or get any topping on the floor!

How it tasted: My husband and I each ate one warm from the oven and loved them. My husband liked how they were sticky on the outside but not soggy. Our neighbor reported that he put them in a bowl, chopped them up, and topped them with half-and-half. As long as he enjoys them, he can do what he wants. He gets points for creativity, and for making these even more rich.

Open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 51 and get sticky! Or, you can find the recipe here.


Tuesdays w/Dorie (Rewind): Brioche Raisin Snails

August 30, 2011

I finally made Brioche Raisin Snails, the mysterious pastry that the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made back in 2008. As a raisin lover, this has been on my radar for quite some time. When Golden Brioche Loaves were selected for last week’s recipe, it was the kick I needed to get going on the snails. If you remember back to last week, I divided my dough in half and used 1/3 of the 1/2 to make a mini brioche loaf. The other 2/3 turned into these lovely pastries.

I gave some of these to a friend, and right away she told me that she remembered eating brioche with me at Paris Las Vegas and I loved it and was wondering how I could make it at home. That was at least seven years ago and I don’t remember it. (To clarify, I DO remember the trip to Las Vegas, and I even remember eating at the Paris buffet; it’s just the part about the brioche that slipped my mind.) Even though I haven’t spent the last seven years dreaming about making brioche, I still think it’s pretty cool that I made it.

What I did: I made the brioche dough on day one You can read more about the brioche process here. I also made pastry cream on day one. On day two, I warmed up the raisins with some dark rum (I skipped the part where you set them on fire), rolled the dough, spread on the pastry cream, sprinkled on the raisins, rolled it up, and cut it. After some rising time, the snails went in the oven.

How it went: I’ve made pastry cream before using different recipes, and every time, including this time, I think I messed it up. But in the end, I didn’t scramble the eggs and I think it was fine. I’m not the neatest roller of dough or slicer of dough, but it all went pretty well. I should have remembered that trick of using dental floss to slice soft dough, but I never remember that at the right time.

How it tasted: Buttery, tender, studded with boozy raisins, drizzled with a sugary glaze. My husband, who does not love raisins, and doesn’t usually get past a courtesy taste of anything with raisins, loved them and ate several. My dad, who does love raisins, did not love these. He didn’t think they had enough flavor. I kind of see his point, as these are not a flavor explosion, but the flavors that were there worked for me. My friend loved them and told me to start writing my business plan, and my mom told me to open a bakery. For now, I think I’ll stick to my home kitchen.

This recipe was hosted by Peabody on March 18, 2008, and you can see her version of the recipe (she made some changes) here, or you can click here to see the version of the recipe that’s in the book. But wait, you have a copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours, don’t you? Just open it to page 56 and get your snails on!


Chocolate Cream Scones

July 2, 2011

Recently, I was chatting with Michele via email and she mentioned that she’s not a big fan of scones. I love scones, so I thought we should try out a recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking. She made the Cream Scones and I made a variation, Chocolate Cream Scones.

This recipe calls for a food processor, and is so easy to make. I made half the recipe and baked it in my new Nordicware scone pan. Rather than wasting an egg, I brushed them with a little cream and then sprinkled sugar on top.

These were full of chocolate flavor, tender, and moist. My husband, who isn’t a big scone fan, liked them a lot. Do you know how people say that they don’t like scones because they’re dry? I’m one of those people who likes a more solid scone, where you can break off a chunk and spread it with some jam. These were tasty, but were too tender and moist for me.

This book is wonderful, but if you want to do a trial run first, you can find the recipe here on Google Books (the chocolate variation is on the next page). If you want to see the other recipes I’ve made from this book, you can look here. Be sure to stop by Michele’s blog to read about her vegan Cream Scones!

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