Kitchen Therapy


Leave a comment

Honey and Blue Cheese Madeleines

Honey & Blue Cheese Madeleines

From Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie

Challenge!

✨✨✨

I’ve only recently started to appreciate blue cheese. I’m not sure If appreciate is the right word… tolerate? I like Gorgonzola and that is what I used here.

The honey/cheese combination is good. Actually, I really liked this!

I added an extra drizzle of honey at the end and it really worked for me.

Our cavoodle pup decided to run through the house covered in mud just as it was time to remove these from the oven. So chasing him meant these stayed in for an extra few minutes, hence the intense golden colour. Having said that, they were browning at a faster rate than usual. I’m thinking the cheese might have had something to do with that, it oozes out a little bit, giving these somewhat of a deep fried look.

I would definitely make these again. The effort was minimal, the rewards were very satisfying!

Head over to Tuesdays with Dorie to see what the rest of the group thought!


5 Comments

Date Nut Pinwheels

I love dates!
I discovered Medjool dates some time ago and fell in love.
I used them to make the Date and Nut Pinwheels for this week’s recipe from Dorie’s Cookies.
I have to be honest, since my father passed away at the start of November, I’ve been a little lost. Some weeks I have cooked, some I just couldn’t. However knowing that the Tuesdays with Dorie group was there whenever I was ready to return, was very comforting. Providing some much needed order and routine when I felt there was none. Offering mindful distraction through the baking process. Bringing together friends and family to share the final product.
And the final product this week was delicious!
I am looking forward to catching up with the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group 🙂

 


9 Comments

Chocolate Coconut Tart

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe comes from Baking Chez Moi.
The tart shell is made, fully cooked, cooled and then filled with a coconut pastry cream and topped with a silky smooth layer of chocolate ganache.
I love that Dorie Greenspan includes tips about storing and making things ahead.
One day I made the pastry case and froze it in the tin. I also made the coconut pastry cream and stored it in an air tight container in the fridge.
The next day I just baked the pastry shell and once it cooled I filled it with the pastry cream and topped it with the ganache. The steps were simple to do, however there was time needed for things to cool and rest, so doing it over two days made it feel leisurely!

It’s also really hot and humid here in Sydney. I look out over to the ocean and most days there is a fog over the water. (In the photo the ocean is mean to be where the fog is!) Some days you cannot see the water as you’re walking along the shoreline! I’m not sure if it’s living close to the ocean but the house feels wet. The clothes feel like they’re not dry, the furniture feels damp and the floors feel like they’ve just been mopped. The salt is coming out of the grinder in wet clumps instead of light flakes. I tried making a gelatine for Christmas and the powder I used would not set. The moisture has been terrible! I was happy to see that this tart turned out so good! And straight out of the refrigerator is a wonderful cold treat!

When I read Dorie’s inspiration for this tart I immediately thought of bounty chocolate bars which I love! I love all things coconut!
I enjoyed the tart however I found the coconut taste too delicate for the chocolate topping, and I’m not that keen on chocolate. I think to make it perfect for me I would need double the amount of coconut filling 🙂

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of their recipes for the week!


5 Comments

Melomakarona – Greek Honey Dainties

8a2a0688-c313-4d72-a49b-fd48191f07b1.jpg

It is exactly one week until Christmas 2018.
What a year!
We moved house.
My daughter finished her university degree (and is having an existential crisis about what next…travel for now!)
My son has finished high school and it has been a very draining few months of final exams, receiving marks and we are still waiting a few more days for university offers to come through (we hope…)
A close friend passed away, a few months ago, she fell down stairs walking home, an accident, that made me painfully aware of how fragile life is.
And just before midnight Nov 1st my father passed away.
I’ll be honest, it is hard to write this and not get teary.
He passed away 3 weeks before his 76th birthday.
I still can’t believe he is no longer here.

These Greek Honey Dainties are flavours I grew up with.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect them to be so close in taste to what I am familiar with.
I made the Christmas spice version and I am so, so happy with how they came out.
I have lost 5 kilos in the past few weeks (which I was happy to see leave!) and these were well worth risking the weight returning!
These bought my mother and also myself comfort, her mother (who is from Greece) made these all the time. Remembering has been so important recently…

I loved these. I will make them again and again!
These were the recipe of the week for the Tuesdays with Dorie cooking group.
A wonderful group of people by the way!
From Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan.


17 Comments

MY NEWEST GOUGÈRES

What can I say?
It’s soooo exciting to be cooking again with a wonderful group of people!
8 years ago the group began working through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Around My French Table, and now we began again!

Some of my happiest cooking and family memories come from making the recipes from Around My French Table! For some reason the Chicken B’stilla and the Beggar’s Linguine, pasta with raisins, figs and nuts, are two memories that easily come to mind. I think mostly due to the fact that both recipes were out of my comfort zone and being part of the group, I made them, and felt such a wonderful sense of achievement, it still stays with me today.

Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook, has yet to arrive in the mail for me, however Dorie has provided the Cook The Book Fridays group with a recipe we can all cook while we wait for our copies to arrive! And even better… she has given the participants permission to share the recipe on our blogs! So below you will find the recipe as an excerpt from her book!

Now to get to My Newest Gourgères!


Loved them 🙂
I made the recipe, took half out before I added the pecans (we have nut allergies in the house and different kids are allergic to different nuts…) and I froze them! I followed the directions and felt very accomplished having a bag of frozen gourgères in my refrigerator for guests!

I then added the pecans to the remaining half of the recipe and baked those straight from the mixing bowl.

We (those who can eat pecans) ate them fresh from the oven! And we loved the light, warm cheesy puffs with the bit of crunch that the chopped pecans provided. I was also surprised by how good these tasted cold!

I later made the gougères straight from the freezer, without pecans though, and the gruyere cheese was the star! Loved these. I  actually preferred them without the nuts. Again, I am totally astounded by how light and tasty these are, even after sitting out for hours. Love these and recommend them!

excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

MY NEWEST GOUGERES
Makes about 60 gougères
Gougères are French cheese puffs based on a classic dough called pâte à choux (the dough used for cream puffs), and it’s a testament to their goodness that I’m still crazy about them after all these years and after all the thousands that I’ve made. Twenty or so years ago, when my husband and I moved to Paris, I decided that gougères would be the nibble I’d have ready for guests when they visited. Regulars chez moi have come to ex- pect them.
Over the years, I’ve made minor adjustments to the recipe’s ingredients, flirting with different cheeses, dif- ferent kinds of pepper and different spices. The recipe is welcoming.
This current favorite has a structural tweak: In- stead of the usual five eggs in the dough, I use four, plus a white—it makes the puff just a tad sturdier. In addi- tion, I’ve downsized the puffs, shaping them with a small cookie scoop. And I’ve added Dijon mustard to the mix for zip and a surprise— walnuts.

1⁄2 cup (120 grams) whole milk
1⁄2 cup (120 grams) water
1 stick (4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
11⁄4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (preferably French)
2 cups (170 grams) coarsely grated cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère and/or sharp cheddar 2⁄3 cup (80 grams) walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted and chopped

WORKINGAHEAD
My secret to being able to serve guests gougères on short notice is to keep them in the freezer, ready to bake. Scoop the puffs, freeze them on a parchment- lined baking sheet or cutting board and then pack them airtight. You can bake them straight from the oven; just give them a couple more minutes of heat.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and immediately start stirring energeti- cally with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there’ll be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes or so to dry the dough. Dry dough will make puffy puffs.
Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand with a wooden spoon and elbow grease). Let the dough sit for a min- ute, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart but just keep working; by the time the white goes in, the dough will be beautiful. Beat in the mustard, followed by the cheese and the walnuts. Give the dough a last mix-through by hand.
Scoop or spoon out the dough, using a small cookie scoop (11⁄2 teaspoons). If you’d like larger puffs, shape them with a tablespoon or medium-size cookie scoop. Drop the dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each mound. (The dough can be scooped and frozen on baking sheets at this point.)
Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front
to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately—these are best directly from the oven.
S T O R I N G : The puffs are best soon after they come out of the oven and nice (if flatter) at room temperature that same day. If you want to keep baked puffs, freeze them and then reheat them in a 350-degree-F oven for a few minutes.

Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook The Book Fridays group thought about this week’s recipe!


5 Comments

Madeleines

I loved this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, Madeleines, from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Especially fresh out of the pan!

Warm, light with crispy edges. These were simple yet familiar and comforting.
My 18 year old son graduated from high school last week and is now studying for his final exams.

He emerged from his room, ate 3 in a row, said they were great and then disappeared back into his room with the 4th one to get on with his study.

The rest of the family filtered into the kitchen one by one and within minutes the Madeleines were gone!

Delicious 🙂
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Cook the Book Fridays thought of this week’s recipe!


2 Comments

Maple – Star Anise Cookies

This week’s choice for Tuesday’s with Dorie was my favourite cookie so far!
The recipe from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan was a little fiddly. I bought my own spice grinder for the Star Anise. (I also managed to lift the lid off the grinder while it was grinding and Star Anise flew everywhere!)
I’m not a fan of liquorice, however mixed with the cinnamon (which I love), ginger, maple syrup and orange rind, the cookies were delicious. Especially straight out of the oven. I had to stop eating them!

I made the cream cheese frosting the next day and I think I might have eaten a bit much of it straight out of the bowl, my tongue became very tingly!

I don’t have a cookie scoop, that’s next on my list of things to buy! So I experimented and made different sized cookies for the first batch and what I thought was small size turned into Cookie Monster sized cookies! These really do spread. I do like their soft, almost cake like texture though, and the larger cookies were great on their own!

The star anise flavour blended wonderfully with the rest of the spices to make one of the best cookies in the book in my opinion!
Looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group made!