Sunday, November 21, 2010

BAKED Sunday Mornings: Nutella Scones

Well, I've joined another baking group. I had to, though. It's for the Baked cookbooks and I'll get to cook through the entire book (both of them) while getting feedback from other bakers making the same things. It's a great set-up and I'm loving my French Friday group. This one will be amazing too. I mean, just look at the scones. This also just happened to be the recipe I wanted to make from this book first. It was meant to be. And oddly enough, it is also my very first chocolate scone creation. Ever. Sad, but true. I'm so glad Matt and Renato were kind enough to fix that for me. I can't imagine needing any other chocolate scone recipe after trying this one.

Friday, November 19, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake

All the convenience of a bowl of cereal, all the elegance of a French dessert. Would you ever guess that this cake is made with Cream of Wheat? I never would have. This recipe is usually made with a box mix by the French; Dorie says that our Cream of Wheat cereal is a very close approximation. I have fond memories of winter mornings spent doctoring up bowls of porridge with a pinch of this, a dash of that     (mostly butter and sugar, and most importantly, salt). This tastes a lot like I remember, actually. The big difference is the caramel because the base is simply milk, cereal, egg, sugar and vanilla. Put them together and what do you get? A custard! Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FFWD: Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

This week I roasted a chicken and it was easy. Because it was designed for lazy people (les paresseux).  There is a secret to this chicken; you can't see it in my pictures, but it's there and it's the real star of this dish. For me, anyway. Before you add the chicken, you put some bread on the bottom of the pan for the bird to rest on. The result will blow your mind. I've never tasted the essence of chicken before. I've never tasted anything so rich and so intensely chicken in my life. This is huge, really. It changed the way I will cook chicken from now on. There will always be bread underneath. I used a halved baguette and it was so caramelized at the end of the cooking time that I thought it was burned. But not quite, because it was so delicious I almost forgot to eat the rest of the meal. Oh yes, and the chicken was delicious as well, as were the vegetables that got basted and roasted in all the chicken fat.

This was another surprise and another gift from Dorie. Thank you so much for sharing this little secret. I'll never look at a chicken the same way again. Be sure to see what everyone else decided to cook this week over at French Fridays with Dorie.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans

This month the FFWD bloggers get to choose what recipe to make week to week. I picked the flan this week and I can think of a couple of words to describe this little starter. Sophisticated and easy. I love a custard in any shape or form. I also am crazy about pumpkin and blue cheese and walnuts. Could there be any other combination that says "Autumn" more than those? Well, apart from pumpkin and cream cheese, of course. But I love a savory pumpkin just as much. I opted for the drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of sour cream to finish it off. It was divine. Instead of making six of them, though, I only made two and put them in an oven-proof skillet filled halfway with water. The rest is waiting for me in the refrigerator, just because I wasn't having a dinner party that night. I might have tried to eat them all myself anyway, but now I can look forward to a luxurious little custard whenever I want. Delayed gratification. I could get used to that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

These beauties are from my latest cookbook obsession, Baked Explorations. I love the concept of sweet and salty in a cookie, I love the name and I love anything that comes out of this bakery. Pretzels and chocolate in an oatmeal-espresso cookie? I'm sold.... and now addicted. So I wanted to pass these along to you, because everybody needs an obsession.