Tag Archives: dorie greenspan

clementine marmalade cookies

way back when, i set about making clementine marmalade because i really wanted to make those jam thumbprint cookies.  i meant to make them for christmas but time got the best of me, and i never got around to doing so.  winter just hasn’t felt right to me without thumbprint cookies.

now, after i stewed up some clementine marmalade, i went about looking for a good thumbprint cookie recipe and ended up getting distracted!  (what is wrong with me?) while flipping thru dorie’s baking from my home to yours tome, i came across a rather innocuous looking recipe for jam cookies.  rather than baking the jam on top of the cookie, the jam is mixed right into the batter.  i’ve never encountered anything like that before, so i figured, why not give it a go.  plus, i’ve got enough clementine marmalade leftover for making jam thumbprint cookies, that is if i ever get around to making them. Continue reading

a stone fruit yogurt cake

you could say that i was in the mood for making a massive loaf cake.  rather than make 2 cakes in 2 separate loaf pans, i used my 5×12 inch bread pan.  i decided to layer the bottom of the cake with sliced apricots, pluots and peaches.  kind of like making a tea cake version of a tarte tatin, except that the large hump on the top side of the cake rather foiled my plans when i flipped the cake over. i think in the future,  i’ll either fold the fruit directly into the batter or place it on top.  you live and you learn.

this time around i started with dorie greenspan’s recipe for yogurt cake.  it is similar to the other yogurt cakes i’ve made in the past with the key exception that she recommends using ground almonds for about 1/3 of the normal flour content.  lacking almonds on hand to ground, i used finely ground almond flour (for making macarons) instead.  i thought it resulted in a tighter and more compact crumb.

A Stone Fruit Yogurt Cake
(makes one 12 inch loaf; halve for a more normal sized loaf)

AP Flour 2 cups
Almond Flour 1 cup
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 ½ cups
Plain yogurt 1 cup
Eggs 3 large ones
Vanilla 1 tsp
Canola Oil 1 cup
Stone Fruit (peaches, apricots, plums, pluots) 3 medium sized fruits, washed, sliced and pitted
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Butter and flour loaf pan.  If you intend on putting fruit on the bottom of your cake, i’d recommend lining the bottom of your pan with parchment paper (which i neglected to do, resulting in some of the fruits sticking to the pan when removed).
  2. *Whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Add in yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and canola oil.  Mix by hand or on lowest mixer speed until well combined.
  4. *If you intend on layering the bottom of your pan with fruit, i’d recommend placing the fruit in first before starting your cake batter.  If you want the fruit in the batter, I’d toss the fruit with a bit of flour (just to coat it), and then gently fold into your batter.  You can also place the sliced fruit on top of the batter after pouring it into the pan — though my guess is that some of it will likely sink into the batter.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour (a regular sized loaf will take 10 minutes or so less time).  When the cake is ready, you will notice that the sides of the cake have come away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before unmolding to cool on rack.

oatmeal scones with dried cherries, currants and chocolate chips

my 10lb costco stash of oatmeal called out to me this weekend.  it told me it wanted to be made into scones, and dorie greenspan had just the recipe that i could adapt for the occasion.

i should have been able to tell from the super sticky dough that the scones would come out uber moist.  4 days since the scones emerged from the oven, they’re still moist.  when i need a snack, i grab one out of the bag and pop it into my mouth. they’re like dense little nuggets of joy.

plus, the oatmeal with the addition of dried cherries, makes you feel as if they’re actually nutritious and good for you!

Oatmeal Scones
(makes 12 or so 2 inch scones, or 20-30 1 inch scones)

Butter 1 stick, cubed and very chilled
Egg 1 large one
Whole milk ½ cup
Chocolate chips ½ cup
Dried cherries, currants 1 cup
Dry Ingredients:
AP Flour 1 2/3 cups
Oatmeal (old fashioned oats) 1 1/3 cups
Sugar 1/3 cup
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Baking soda ½ tsp
Salt ½ tsp
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in the bowl of your standmixer.
  2. Drop cubed butter into mixing bowl with the dried ingredients.  Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium low speed until the butter resembles pea-sized pieces.  Should take about 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk together egg and milk.  Slowly pour it in and mix on low speed.  The dough will be very wet and sticky.
  4. Add in chocolate chips, cherries and currants.  Mix until evenly distributed.
  5. Take the dough out and drop onto a very well floured surface (the dough is really wet).  Form into a disc. Flour the top of the disc and roll until 1-1.5 inches thick.
  6. Cut into round shapes using a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter.
  7. Place the cut-out scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and set in the freezer.  You can keep the scones frozen (and well wrapped for a few months, or bake after scones have rested for 1 hour).   If baking right away, it’s a good idea to pre-heat the oven to 400ºF while the scones are chilling out.
  8. When ready to bake, remove the scones from the freezer and brush with egg wash.
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown.

fig crumb muffins

i came across a bag of frozen figs i harvested from my fig tree last fall, while cleaning out my freezer the past weekend.  remembering the delicious fig muffins that they serve at locanda verde for breakfast, i decided to re-create the recipe at home.  i started with dorie greenspan’s recipe for allspice crumb muffins and adapted from there.  i thought they tasted really good, but then, what doesn’t taste good fresh out of the oven?

Fig Crumb Muffins
(makes 12 dozen muffins)

Crumb Top
Flour ½ cup
Light Brown Sugar ½ cup
Nutmeg ½ tsp
Butter 5 tbsp, cold and cut into bits.
Flour 2 cups
Sugar ½ cup
Baking powder 1 tbsp
Nutmeg ½ tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Light brown sugar ¼ cup
Butter 1 stick, melted @ room temp
Eggs 2 large ones
Whole Milk ¾ cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Fresh or frozen figs 1 cup, chopped into thumb-sized pieces.
  1. Make the crumb top and set aside.  To do so, sift together dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Toss in the bits of cold butter and use your fingers to work the ingredients until small crumbs form.  Place in refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.  Place paper muffin cups in a muffin pan, and set aside.
  3. Add flour, sugar baking powder, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed.  Mix together until well-combined.
  4. Then add in melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.  Mix together on lowest speed until just combined.
  5. Add in figs and stir until evenly incorporated.
  6. Drop the batter into the muffin cups.  I use an ice cream scooper with a lever to distribute the batter into the cups.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the muffins and press in gently with your finger.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

dorie’s banana bundt cake

i don’t usually like banana cake — mostly because i don’t particularly like bananas (i’ll eat them for the potassium content before a long run but that’s about it).  but, it rained all weekend in nyc, at times with the ferocity of a deluge of biblical proportions.   i started to go a bit stir crazy and just as true cabin fever started to settled in, i spotted a bunch of bananas that had turned black from the corner of my eye. banana cake, yes, banana cake would save me!

i’m glad i made the cake. dorie’s banana bundt recipe (which she got from Sweet Sixteenth Bakery in Nashville) is the be all and end all of banana cakes.  sure, it tastes like bananas but the cake is also very dense with a tight crumb, very silky and very tender for a banana cake.  it also poofs up out of its bundt pan tremendously, and for me at least, the higher the poof, the happier i am.

Dorie’s Banana Bundt Cake
(adapted and slightly modified* from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours; * i’ve cut the sugar content, dropped in some strawberries and substituted mascarpone for sour cream)

Flour 3 cups
Baking Soda 2 tsp
Salt ½ tsp
Butter 2 sticks (½ lb), cubed at room temperature
Sugar 1 3/4 cups
Vanilla Extract 2 tsp
Eggs 2 large ones
4 large ripe bananas Mashed (~1 ½ cups)
Mascarpone 1 cup (can substitute with crème fraiche, yogurt or sour cream)
Fresh strawberries 1 cup, sliced
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Butter and flour a 9 inch Bundt cake pan.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy on high speed.
  5. Lower the speed to medium and add in sugar and whip until light and fluffy.
  6. Add in eggs and vanilla — one at a time — beating after each addition for about 1 minute.
  7. Turn down the mixer to the lowest speed and drop in bananas.  If they are super ripe like mine were, you don’t even have to pre-mash them in a bowl. Just drop them in.
  8. Add in the mascarpone and mix until well combined.
  9. Finally, add in the dry ingredients in two parts.  Mix until the flour is incorporated into the mixture.  The batter will be fairly thick.
  10. Drop in the strawberries, and fold it into the batter using a rubber spatula.
  11. Pour the batter into the bundt pan.  Use a rubber spatula to spread the top of the batter around evenly.
  12. Bake at 65 to 75 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures at least 170ºF when you take it out of the oven.
  13. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before unmolding it to cool on a rack. [It should be at a temperature where you can comfortably pick up the cake with your bare hands to unmold it].

cup o joe muffins

there’s really a full “cup o joe” that goes into these muffins. it surprised me too, and i became  curious enough to set about re-creating them from dorie’s book.  they came out moist and flavour, with a bit of a crunchy top when right out of the oven.  the crunch factor mellows out after a few days in storage.  hubby seemed to love these muffins. he ate 7 of them in 2 days; he votes with his stomach.  they’re a cinch to throw together too!

Cup O Joe Muffins
(Makes a dozen)

Flour 2 cups
Sugar 1/3 cup
Instant Coffee Powder 1 tbsp (I use Carte Noire – a brand that is plentiful in France but virtually impossible to find in the US, aside from mail ordering.)
Baking Powder 1 tbsp
Cinnamon ½ tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Light Brown Sugar 1/3 cup
Brewed coffee, cooled 1 cup (Whatever you’ve got on tap.  This time around, I used Ecco Caffe, Brazil Fazenda Sertãozinho)
Butter 1 stick, melted
Egg 1 large one
Vanilla Extract ½ tsp
  1. Line a regular-size muffin / cupcake pan with paper cups.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, instant coffee, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar.  You may need to use your hands to break apart any lumps in the brown sugar.
  3. Then add in the coffee, butter, egg and vanilla extract.  Mix on the lowest speed until just combined.  Do not over mix the batter, unless you like rubbery muffins.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF.  Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes before removing them.  If you remove immediately, the muffins tops may separate from the rest of the muffin.

(nb. in dorie’s original recipe, she suggests whisking the liquid ingredients separately, before using a rubber spatula to blend them in with the dry ingredients.  this technique makes for a slightly silkier muffin, but i don’t find my palate to be sophisticated enough to appreciate the difference.)

dark chocolate cranberry chubbies

for my friend d’s birthday, i decided to make a box of cookies.  while flipping through dorie greenspan’s book (baking from my home to yours), i came across her recipe for chocolate chunkers.  she describes them as fabulous, and they are indeed faaaaabulous!  dorie used to make them at sarabeth’s where the cookies are still sold under the name “chocolate chubs”  – $18 for a dozen.

not being particularly fastidious about sticking to recipes, i’ve made a few adaptations from the original. i used all bittersweet chocolate in the recipe instead of a milk chocolate, semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate mix.  i also substituted raisins for cranberries and currants. i think the secret to their fabulousity (to borrow a phrase from kimora lee simmons) is the juxtaposition of deep rich dark chocolate with bits of dried fruit. i ended up with something that was at once deeply rich but also with a delicate fruity punch — a small bite of the cookie goes a long way.  that said, i’d argue that the cookie is surprisingly “healthy” — i was surprised by the meager amount of butter and flour utilized in the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Chubbies
(makes 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size)

Flour 1/3 cup
Cocoa powder ¼ cup
Salt ½ tsp
Baking powder ¼ tsp
Butter 3 tbsp
Bittersweet chocolate couverture 7 ounces (or you can use regular bittersweet chocolate and chop it into chunks)
Eggs 2 large ones
Sugar 2/3 cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Bittersweet chocolate chips 2 cups
Chopped pecans 1 cup
Dried Cranberries & Currants 1½ cup
  1. Melt the chocolate couverture and butter over a water bath or in the microwave.  Set aside and let cool. (note: if using a water bath, it’s faster to melt the butter first and then add the chocolate to be melted)
  2. In the bowl of a standmixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat eggs and sugar until pale and foamy.
  3. Add in the vanilla, followed by the butter and melted chocolate.  Beat until just incorporated.
  4. On low speed, add in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.  Mix until the dry ingredients fall into the dough.  Do not overmix.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips, pecans and dried fruit.  Dorie recommends doing so with a rubber spatula, but I find that I can get away with just using the standmixer at the lowest possible speed.
  6. Drop the cookie dough onto a parchment sheet lined baking sheet.  The cookies don’t spread too much, but I’d recommend keeping about 1/2 to 1 inch between the cookies. (Note: I made my dough a day in advance.  It was too hard to form into rounds when I took it out of the fridge, so I ended up cutting them into rectangular-ish shapes.  It’s much easier to form these into rounds if you bake them right after making the dough, or if you log it up before placing the cookie dough into the fridge.  Or, of course, you could leave the dough out until it reaches room temperature and form it into rounds then.)
  7. Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes.

a rustic pear cake

2 pears down, 7 more to go!

i bought a big sack of pears because i suddenly felt inspired while walking down the fresh fruit aisle.  they’ve been mellowing out on my counter top for the past 2 weeks before i decided to put them to use.  flipping through dorie greenspan’s book baking from my home to yours, i came across a fig cake recipe.  i thought the cake portion, which contains corn meal, would make a great rustic base for showcasing the sweetness and fragrance of ripe pears.  i added some sliced almonds too for crunch. and yes, it’s much easier and faster to make than a traditional pear tart. yipee!

A Rustic Pear Cake

AP Flour 1 ½ cups
Yellow Cornmeal ½ cup
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Sugar ¼ cup
Lemon Zest ½ lemon
Butter 1 ½ sticks (12 tbsp) – cut into cubes
Eggs 3 large ones
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Fresh Pears 2 medium sized ones – peeled, cored and cut into cubes
Sliced Almonds 1/4 cup
  1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper
  2. Using the paddle attachment, mix together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant
  3. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated
  5. Add in vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes
  6. With the mixer set to the lowest speed, add in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and cornmeal)
  7. Pour the batter into the springform pan.  The batter is very thick and you may need to use an offset spatula to even the batter out.
  8. Sprinkle the fresh pears and sliced almonds on top of the batter
  9. Bake at 350ºF for 55-60 minutes

a pink birthday cake

here’s the the pink cake i made for R’s birthday still on its work mat.  it did make it to its final destination in one piece!  then again, husband only had to carry it for a few blocks northwest, and it was nicely sheltered in a cardboard box. we were stopped a few times while walking there by curious bystanders.  everyone likes to look at cake, i guess.

i forgot to take a picture of a cake vivisection.  underneath the pink fondant wrapping, i had baked a matcha cake with a lychee cream filling dotted with raspberries and frosted with matcha italian meringue buttercream.  i think the lychee cream and raspberry filling was everyone’s favorite at the party.

i took the opportunity to experiment a bit with the cake.  i actually made the matcha cake using two different cake bases:  i based one matcha cake off of rose levy berenbaum’s golden dream wedding cake recipe (from rose’s heavenly cakes) and the other off of dorie greenspan’s perfect party cake recipe (from her book baking from my home to yours). i adapted each cake to a matcha taste by leaving out the lemon flavoring where called for and substituting for a very generous tablespoon of matcha powder.  in comparing the two cakes, i felt that dorie’s perfect party cake served as a better canvas for the matcha flavoring.  it also had a much tighter crumb structure, which made it easier (for my butterfingers, at least) to work with than rose’s version.  rose’s golden dream wedding cake incorporates almond flour in addition to regular flour, resulting in a richer and nuttier cake.

Pink Birthday Cake
(for a two tier cake consisting of a nine-inch bottom and a six-inch top)

  • 1.5 x recipe fondant.  Colour 1 recipe fondant with the scantest amount of red food colouring to turn it pink.  Leave aside a 1/2 recipe of the fondant white to make the flowers.  The flowers should be made at least 2 days in advance so that they have time to thoroughly dry.  To make the flowers, roll the fondant out until it is about 1/8 inch thick.  Stamp out the flowers using a cookie cutter and then dry at room temperature in half tubes so that they have some texture.
  • 3 x recipe dorie’s perfect party cake baked in 2 nine-inch rounds and 2 six-inch rounds.  Leave out the lemon flavorings and add in 1 generous tbsp of matcha powder
  • 1 x recipe italian meringue butter cream. Leave out chocolate from recipe entirely and add in 2 tbsp of matcha powder at the very end of the process.
  • 1 x recipe lychee cream. Leave out jackfruit and lemon zest.  Use juice from 1/2 lemon only.  Take 2 cans of lychees, drain them, and grind in a food processor until it becomes puree.  Add lychee puree into step 2 of recipe.
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Simple syrup.  Boil 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water until well-dissolved.

To assemble:

  1. Level all cakes with a serrated knife to make sure you have a flat surface. (I made a 2 layer cake but you can also cut the cakes in half to make additional layers.)
  2. Dab a bit of buttercream on a nine-inch cardboard round.  Place the first layer of cake on top of the cardboard.  The buttercream will help preventing the cake from sliding around.
  3. Brush simple syrup on top of the cake.
  4. Pipe a ring of matcha buttercream around the edge of the cake.
  5. Spoon in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lychee cream within the buttercream ring, using an offset spatula to make sure it is evenly spread. Scatter raspberries on top of the lychee cream.
  6. Brush simple syrup on the interior end of the second piece of cake and place on top lychee cream.  (The end with the simple syrup should be touching the lychee cream.
  7. Frost (crumb coat) with buttercream, ensuring a clean smooth finish.  After you’re done frosting the cakes, put them back into the refrigerator to let the buttercream set.
  8. When the buttercream has set, the cakes can be covered with fondant and then decorated to your heart’s delight.  I covered mine with white fondant flowers, which I affixed to the cake using cookie icing.
  9. To tier the cakes, I used Rose’s method of pushing plastic straws into the bottom layer of the cake for structure. Wooden dowels work as well, especially for larger, heavier cakes.