Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baking With Dorie: Banana Cream Pie

I have to confess that when Rebecca chose this recipe for this weeks' BWD challenge, I groaned a bit inwardly thinking we were tackling yet another super-rich dessert & I have the hard-to-lose weight to prove the damage some of these recent bakes have done!

However, I've never made a banana cream pie before so I was excited to try and started planning my bake over a week ago. I was a little torn between trying the original version & a variation I had dreamed up. I even asked Dorie for advice and she steered me back on track and urged me to try the original recipe and play around with it later, when I have more time. And boy, am I glad that I followed the recipe exactly - because this is not a run of the mill Banana Cream Pie: the pastry cream is layered over sliced bananas and is rich but not overly sweet - the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg take the flavor up a notch without overwhelming it. It is topped with a cloud of barely-sweet whipped cream with a hint of tanginess from the sour cream. All of that goodness scooped into Dorie's flaky good-for-everything pie crust : in one word, sublime. 

I apologize for the late post and am also sorry that despite all my planning, I waited until the 11th hour to make the pie and then I almost ruined it - just look at that pie crust: what is all that speckly stuff??! 

I have made the pie crust so many times for previous BWD challenges that I could probably make it with my eyes closed - but I messed up this time. I over-worked it and kind of burned it because I made the pie in such a hurry. My pastry cream was made a night before but when I got ready to bake the crust and assemble the pie on Monday morning I got a phone call from a friend and had to rush to the hospital within the next two hours : I had promised to be present at her birth & it seemed it was time for her to go. So I baked the crust, assembled and photographed the pie - all on fast-forward - before I ran out of the house. 

And then I went from baking pies to witnessing miraculous birth. What an exhilarating, intense, lovely and emotional day! 

Two sweet endings in one day. Can it get better than that? 

For the recipe, please head over to Rebecca's blog Beurrista, or pages 342-3 of Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. Thanks for choosing this wonderful recipe Rebecca!

Next up, we're baking Cherry Fudge Brownie Torte (Pages 284-5 of BFMHTY), chosen by me! If you'd like to join us for our baking challenge, please email me at needfulthings at ymail dot com. We'd love to have you bake along with us! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Late with posting my BWD challenge

This is just a short note to let you know I've had to get away for something urgent and will be late posting this weeks' challenge. My post will be up tomorrow (Tuesday).
Meanwhile, please check the BWD blogroll here to check out the other bakers, and for the recipe for Dorie Greenspan's Banana Cream Pie, please head over to Rebecca's blog Beurrista, or pages 342-3 of Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baking With Dorie: Chocolate Chunkers

Dorie says these cookies are fabulous - and so who am I to argue?

Between you and me, I can't stop snacking on them since I made them yesterday. They're insanely good. Almost like a fabulously fudgey-brownie masquerading as a cookie. With a whopping 19 oz of different kinds of chocolate going into the batter, these are a chocolate-lovers dream come true. 

Want to see what I mean by fudgy? Take a look: 
And there's not just chocolate - there are nuts and dried fruit going in there too. I mistakenly added 1.5 cups of whole peanuts instead of chopped ones, so there were a lot of nuts in my cookies, but I really enjoyed the added toasty-crunch and the saltiness from the peanuts. The only thing I would change next time is that I would use dried cherries instead of raisins because they would add more color and contrast in flavor. 

This was Laurie's first pick - thank you Laurie for picking this recipe! Please head over to Laurie's blog Cookin' Up North for the recipe. You can otherwise find the recipe on pages 70-72 of Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Dorie suggests churning crushed bits of these cookies into home-made ice cream. So I made a pint of Dorie's wonderful & creamy Vanilla Ice Cream (Page 428 of BFMHTY) and added in broken bits of these chocolate chunkers for a twist on my husbands' favorite Cookies n' Cream ice cream. I'm saving it for him till he gets back over the weekend, so I have no idea how good it tastes. But by the looks of it, it's a winner.

Please check out the blogroll here to see what all the other wonderful BWD bakers did with this weeks' recipe. 

Next up, we're baking Banana Cream Pie (Pages 342-3, BFMHTY), chosen by Rebecca of Beurrista. If you'd like to join the challenge, please email me at needfulthings at ymail dot com. We'd love to have you bake along with us.


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