Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catching Up

I am consolidating several different challenges here in an effort to get caught up. I am also announcing that I am withdrawing from all o the online cooking/baking groups I've been involved with except for The Daring Bakers which only does a once a month recipe. This was a very hard decision for me to make, and I did think about it long and hard. I can't envision a time anywhere in the near future when I feel I'll have better control over my schedule. I really don't like posting challenges late--I feel guilty, and yet I seem to have made a habit of it in the last few months. Hopefully, at some point in the future I'll be able to re-join some of these fantastic groups. I've had so much fun baking/cooking along with everyone and I've met some fantastic bloggers.

The chocolate tart is officially called Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart and it was chosen for Tuesdays with Dorie by Carla of Chocolate Moosey. http://chocolatemoosey.blogspot.com/2009/09/tuesdays-with-dorie-chocolate-crunched.html
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this tart as I'm not a huge chocolate fan, and I usually find caramel too sweet. To make this recipe a little bit more to my liking I added some maple syrup to the caramel, and quite a bit of cinnamon to the chocolate, and walnuts instead of peanuts. I also used mimiccreme--the vegan cream substitute, instead of heavy cream for the ganache--it worked perfectly! The tart was fairly easy to make though I was mere seconds away from over-cooking my caramel into a horrible burned sugar mess. Once assembled and cooled, I have to admit that the tart is really quite impressive looking. And surprisingly,I thought it tasted really delicious. I think adding the cinnamon was a really good call. The tart is very rich, so cut skinny slices.

For the previous TWD, Jacque chose Cottage Cheese Pufflets. You can find the recipe on her blog, Daisy Lane Cakes. http://daisylanecakes.blogspot.com/2009/09/it-seems-everybody-says-same-thing-when.html The pufflets are rather like jam filled mini-turnovers made from a super moist dough. I read in a few blogs that the dough was sticky and a bit hard to work with. so to save myself frustration, I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese since it's drier. And I replaced about 1/3 of the butter with cream cheese--just because I saw the little bit of leftover cream cheese in the butter bin and I wanted to use it up. I formed the dough into cookies instead of turnovers. I used apricot jam (my favorite) as the topping. I absolutely fell in love with these pufflet-cookies. The dough is incredibly tender and not overly sweet. This is a recipe I plan to make over and over.

Hanaa of Hanaa's Kitchen chose Savory Muffins for this week's Sweet Melissa Sunday. http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/09/sms-caramelized-onion-sage-and-cheese.html
For the vegetable add-in I used red bell pepper, and Parmesan for the cheese. This is also another winning recipe. The muffins came out extra moist and quite fluffy. They were delicious with the bean and pasta soup we had for dinner. I think they'd also be wonderful for breakfast, and make yummy sandwiches.

You can find all the amazingly talented TWD bakers, and the SMS bakers here http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/tbr/, and here http://sweetmelissasundays.wordpress.com/bakers/.

Yikes! I am already regretting my decision to withdraw since all three recipes were so yummy...


  1. Wow you have been busy baking! Everything looks very good. Im glad you ended up liking the tart! it was so sweet but it did not stop me from hainv a much to large slice!

  2. Everything looks fabulous, but especially the tart. I'm going to have to go back and make the muffins.

  3. Your mimicreme ganache turned out way better than my half-and-half ganache!

    I'll miss you in TWD, but look forward to baking some things with you and seeing what you whip up on your own.

  4. Wow! I'm impressed that you've managed to bake all of these goodies. It all looks so good!

  5. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments. I'll miss the baking groups, but hopefully I'll get back to them soon.