Baking With Dorie – Miso-Maple Loaf

Like many of the Around My French Table blogging alumni, I only dip into our group posts occasionally these days, but I thought I’d join in to celebrate the release of Dorie’s new cookbook. It’s a baking book, which makes me happy, as baking has always been my favourite thing to do in the kitchen. The excellent folks at Pulpfiction Books made sure I’d have my copy right on time, but if you haven’t picked yours up yet, you can find the recipe at NYT Cooking.

The inaugural recipe for this round of Tuesdays with Dorie was included with the pre-order sampler I received, along with three other recipes to get us excited about the new book, so I’ve been able to make this recipe twice (along with some lovely chocolate chip cookies). For my first run through this recipe, I made it as a 9″ cake for a family dinner. The second time I made mini-loaves to share. It’s an easy recipe to put together, as most loaves are, using ingredients I always have around the kitchen.

It’s not the method that you’ll be thinking about when you’ve made this (especially since Dorie’s instructions are so good that you’ll barely be aware of being guided through the recipe). It’s the aroma of this loaf that will haunt you. The mix of bright citrus, floral vanilla, earthy miso, and sweet maple was wholly surprising and delightful.

I have to say that at least one of my family members was a little hesitant to try this, but they changed their minds when they took a bite. It’s a satisfying dessert – not too sweet, with an subtle undercurrent of earthiness from the miso and just enough citrus and salt to bring all the elements together. I glazed mine with apricot jam for a little dinner party shine, but it would be just as nice without, with butter, or with a swipe of jam after toasting.

The very first group link for Baking With Dorie can be found here at Tuesdays with Dorie

And if I’ve piqued your interest about Dorie’s latest book, you can read all about it here: Baking with Dorie, Sweet, Salty & Simple

What a year

How have you been coping this year?

I’ve been lucky. Fully employed and mostly able to work from home, with no one close to me affected by Covid-19.

I’m going to try to be here again, for a creative outlet and some stress relief.

Here’s to a better 2021.

Dorie’s Cookies – Chocolate-Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies

I haven’t made many cookies that people aren’t happy to eat. I’ve made sophisticated cookies, complicated cookies, homely cookies, fancy cookies and more. But, the cookies that people go craziest for, the ones people want to make themselves, or (more often) the ones people ask me to make again are the old-fashioned ones. Cookies that make people think of lunchboxes from a time most of them probably can’t remember.

This week’s cookie feels like exactly that kind of cookie and it’s certainly gotten a rousing response from the people I’ve shared them with this week.

They’ve been described as brownie-ish in flavour and a perfect mix of crispness and softness, but no one has guessed one of their features – they’re not just chocolate-oatmeal cookies (as if that could even rate a “just”), but they’re also secretly Biscoff/speculoos/cookie butter cookies.

It’s not immediately identifiable, even when you know it’s there, but the spices deepen the flavour and the creaminess of the spread help create this cookie’s irresistible texture.

My jar of cookie butter is empty, but I’ll be stocking it in my baking pantry regularly now – especially since I’m already getting requests for a repeat of this cookie!

March’s Dorie’s Cookies goodness can be found here at Tuesdays with Dorie.

Everyday Dorie – Salmon Burgers

Salmon burgers over greens with oven-roasted potatoes.

Spring is a trickster, pouring down rain when you have outdoor plans and serving up glorious sunshine when you’re stuck indoors. I would have loved to be weeding and planting yesterday when it was mild and sunny, but I had a full day’s work and more to do. Today, when I was free(ish), the weather was rainy and chill until well after suppertime.

I was hoping these salmon burgers would be my first patio meal of the summer, but instead, they made for a lovely indoor brunch. I picked up a beautiful piece of sockeye salmon at The Daily Catch and got some brioche buns at East End Food Co-op. Sadly, the buns didn’t make it home with me (I shouldn’t have put my bag down in the vegetable market I visited next), so I decided to serve these over lightly dressed greens with a side of oven-roasted potatoes. I’ve never been much of a burger lover anyway, so I think I’m happier with the meal as it turned out.

The salmon burgers themselves were delicious, with dill, capers, mustard, and lemon stirred into yogurt as the binder for this patties. Some people had trouble keeping them from crumbling in the pan, but mine held together beautifully. I think resting the mixture overnight in the refrigerator helped with that, while intensifying all the flavours beautifully.

I think I’ll be revisiting this recipe several times this summer. So far, all the recipes I’ve tried from Everyday Dorie have been ones I’ve repeated. I can’t wait to work through some more as we cycle through the the growing season.

Salmon burgers

You can read through everyone’s posts here. You can join in on the singular pleasure of cooking, writing, and eating your way through Dorie Greenspan‘s Everyday Dorie with a group of French Fridays veterans, Doristas, and lovely people at Cook the Book Fridays.

Baking Chez Moi – Double Chocolate Marble Cake

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

A simple midweek cake that’s made elegant with white and dark chocolate and spiked with vanilla and almond.

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

I made them in mini pans, which is what I always seem to do with quick breads these days. My larger pans are used for loaves of bread, not cake. The minis are great for sharing, or freezing and saving for later.

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

These ones disappeared too fast for freezing.

You can find the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie crew’s entries on this month’s recipes from Baking Chez Moi here.

Cook the Book Fridays – Spiced Speculoos Flan

Spiced Speculoos Flan

I was missing an essential ingredient for this week’s recipe right up until this evening, finally finding speculoos butter at a grocery store on Commercial Drive, a few blocks from my house. I ran home and started making this even before considering what to have for dinner.

Speculoos Butter

Even so, I just managed to taste one of the flans a few minutes ago, after they first cooled to room temperature and then chilled in the refrigerator.

I’ve made and eaten many varieties of speculoos, but this was my first taste of cookie butter. It’s good, but I don’t think I’ll be spreading it on toast or eating it with a spoon. As an ingredient in these flans, though, it’s definitely moreish. I enjoyed it with the 5-Spice Caramel that tops it. The caramel is quite strong on its own, but the flan tempers it beautifully.

There will be more flan tomorrow, to eat and to share. It’s a good start to the weekend.

The flans, cooling.

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David Lebovitz‘ My Paris Kitchen.

Dorie’s Cookies – Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies

I haven’t brought a cookie basket to a meeting in a long while. (I guess if I wanted to be current, I’d put them in a box.) My favourite cookie basket was divided between snickerdoodles and chocolate crinkles, both recipes I’ve been making since I was a kid. They look dramatic together, but homey at the same time, and the flavours complement each other well.

Now, I think I’ve got a third candidate for that basket. These cookies have a texture that’s different from both, lemony top notes that are deepened by the flavours of the almond flour and semolina, and a coating of icing sugar that sparks nostalgia.

I made these on Sunday and by Monday they’d all been spirited away from my house. Well, spirited is probably the wrong word – eagerly packed up and driven away? Devoured in the lunch room? Those are more accurate descriptions. I managed to have two myself, so I’m not complaining.

I can just make them again, along with some snickerdoodles and chocolate crinkles, and share.

March’s Dorie’s Cookies goodness can be found here at Tuesdays with Dorie.

Dorie’s Cookies – Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies

Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies

I baked up a storm the last two weekends, helping stock the bake sale table at the craft fair my mother organizes every year. I made three selections from Dorie’s Cookies this year, including the Cranberry Spice Cookies that were one of this month’s selections. I took out some squash that I’d frozen to make the variation of the Sweet Potato Pie Bars, but my mother got hold of it and turned it into several delicious creations of her own, instead. Luckily, I’ve got a really big squash ready to roast, so I’ll make those bars some time before the holidays.

Peanut Brownie Sablés

I also made the Peanut Brownie Sablés and the Melody Cookies (in snowflake form!), along with several batches of cookies from other cookbooks and recipe cards. I managed to taste a couple of cookies along the way (thank goodness for broken cookies!), but I was in production mode, so didn’t take great photos of any of them.

Melody Cookies, masquerading as snowflakes

I am going to have to make all of these again, at a time when they’re not earmarked for sale – they were all so delicious that I was sorry all I got was a share of the very few broken bits when they were unpacked. The Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies were especially lovely, because they’re not sweet – amongst all the sugar bombs on the table, they made a nice contrast. I loved the way the butter and cranberries played against the spices. It’s a perfect cookie for a grown up dessert tray or a grown up cocktail nibble.

Cookie Mix and Match Bake Sale Table

I may not have gotten to eat many cookies this weekend, but I’m going to steal one of their ideas for my next cookie swap – the mix and match table was a huge hit!

November’s Dorie’s Cookies goodness can be found here and here at Tuesdays with Dorie.

Everyday Dorie – Maple Syrup & Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Maple Syrup & Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Just to get this out of the way up front, I was absolutely one of those kids who loved spinach and liver and Brussels sprouts. Though I drank pop when I was a kid, I switched to tea as soon as I was allowed to – I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always been old.

So, I was delighted that this was a November pick, even if there is no big family dinner on the horizon. I’ll eat Brussels sprouts whenever I can get them, especially if it involves bacon. This recipe also involves a maple-Dijon glaze, so I’ve even happier. So happy, in fact, that I’ve made this recipe twice already. The first time, my photos were awful, so I just gave up and served them up. This time, I made a half batch, the photo is okay, and it’s all I’m having for dinner. (Don’t judge me. It’s been a long day and this dish more than qualifies under the half your plate guidelines.)

On that note, I’m headed for Netflix, apple pie, and an early night. Can’t wait to catch up on everyone else’s posts this weekend!

You can read through everyone’s posts here. You can join in on the singular pleasure of cooking, writing, and eating your way through Dorie Greenspan‘s Everyday Dorie with a group of French Fridays veterans, Doristas, and lovely people at Cook the Book Fridays.

Cook the Book Fridays – Bay Leaf Pound Cake

Bay Leaf Pound Cake

I love the French name for pound cake – weekend cake. The English name is so prosaic, a sort of short-hand recipe. The French name is functional in the best way, evoking family meals, snacks for adventures, and impromptu gatherings with friends. It’s a simple, sturdy cake that’s welcome at almost any occasion.

Its simplicity is also what makes it so open to variation. This week’s cake has elements of a standard orange pound cake, but the flavour is deepened by the addition of bay leaves and it’s finished with an orangey, boozy glaze.

I skipped a couple of steps, based on the pre-post comments at Cook the Book Fridays, leaving off the extra bay leaves at the bottom of the pan and not piping the extra tablespoon of butter down the centre of the loaf before baking. I think it’s a lovely cake, but I’d like to know if anyone knows:

  • Which side was meant to be the top of the cake? (Bay leaf pattern on top?)
  • What function the piped butter serves?

I’m still munching away on this cake and I’ve shared over half of it, so it’s a substantial loaf that will get you through the weekend and give you a head start on your work week, too.

Bay Leaf Pound Cake

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David Lebovitz‘ My Paris Kitchen.