Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TWD: Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Heather of Sherry Trifle She chose for us to bake the Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe can be found here. I made a few substitutions to the recipe. I used whole wheat pastry flour for half of the flour called for in the recipe. Also, instead of using the stem ginger in syrup (I couldn't find any), I used crystallized ginger. I didn't make the chocolate glaze for the top of the gingerbread, because when I tried a piece without it, I thought that the gingerbread was sweet enough and the chocolate in the bread was very pronounced, so I didn't want to overpower the ginger flavor. The gingerbread took about 55 minutes to fully bake, about 15 minutes longer than the recipe states. I really liked this gingerbread, it had a subtle but pronounced ginger flavor, and the spices are just right. The chocolate is a nice addition, and it is a nice change to traditional gingerbreads. I will be making it again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

TWD: French Pear Tart

Tuesdays with Dorie is celebrating its one year anniversary. I have been lucky enough to have been a participant since July. For the anniversary, Dorie herself was gracious enough to choose this week's recipe. She chose for us to bake the French Pear Tart from her book Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie has posted the recipe on her website. I made a few substitutions for this recipe. I had a leftover frozen pie crust from the holidays, so I used that instead of the recipe for the tart dough. For the almond cream, I substituted 8 ounces of almond paste for the ground almonds and the sugar called for in the recipe. I used a stand mixer instead of a food processor, and the cream came together just fine.

I liked this tart a lot. I thought that the pears and the almonds went well together. I used canned pears, but next time I would like to try the poached pears. I think that it would be a better texture to contrast with the texture of the almond cream. I will definitely try this recipe again, but next time I will try the original recipe with the tart crust and the poached pears. I might also add a bit of spice to the recipe as well, maybe cinnamon or ginger.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I hosted Christmas brunch, so I decided to make these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls from Alton Brown. You make the dough the night before, and in the morning, you take them out, let the dough rise a bit, and bake them. The turned out delicious, and they are very simple to make. My house was a bit cold, so they took a bit longer for the initial rise, but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

makes 12

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese softened, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups


For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.