Tuesdays with Dorie – Buttermilk Scones

This is the first time that I participated in Tuesdays with Dorie’s (TDW) bake-along. Every fortnight one recipe from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan is chosen and people provide links to their own blogs, showing their results of their ‘adventure’.
This is going on since February 2012, so, I’m coming quite late to this party. Nonetheless, I’ve got the book and already made some lovely things from it.

Buttermilk Scones

I’ve been quite familiar with making scones, however mine usually include egg and milk. Therefore, I was quite interested to see how these ones would turn out.

Buttermilk scones1

Changes:

I didn’t have buttermilk in the house, so I chose to make my own one, for the first time. Internet ‘resources’ say 1 cup of milk mixed together with 1 tablsp. of either lemon or vinegar. Since I had no lemons in the house I was lazy and took lemon concentrate. Well, it wasn’t working! I then remembered that I had some lime and I used them….. and after 10 min. or so it curdled nicely.
I also ran out of butter and used the leftover 11g (less than 1/2 ounce) I had, which actually was exactly enough to cover the two round pieces.
Baking time was quite a bit longer than the recipe called for, 15 min instead of 10-12min. However, I have a fan-assisted oven and put it at 210 Celsius. Looking at a Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion table now, 210 Celsius only comes to 410 Fahrenheit. The correct temperature should have been closer to 220 Celsius. That’s for the next time to try out.

Buttermilk scones2

I’m very happy with the outcome. They are not dry or crumbly, like so many store-bought scones. They are flaky and moist and don’t have this excessive bread soda taste. I have to admit that I actually prefer this recipe to my own, standard one.

Sourdough!

This summer we were fortunate enough to have had at least three weeks of hot weather, the ideal conditions to start a sourdough from scratch…..or at least here in the wet west of Ireland…. and it worked! However, that’s only half the truth, because I started off with two types, one rye based and the other one wheat based. But, only the rye starter took off. The wheat starter changed into something that looked like a starter, but smelled like formaldehyde. Yuk.
It’s not the first time that I tried a rye-based sourdough starter, but it never worked so beautiful so fast.
Since then I’m baking my 500gr loaves once a week…. or sometimes even two.

Sourdough Starter!

Sourdough Starter!

50% rye & 50% wheat bread

50% rye & 50% wheat bread

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread

Daring Baker’s Challenge – January 2010

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca. A little bit late, but hopefully not too late. But I really enjoyed making these bars as well as eating them.I had a little bit of a mis-hap with the Graham wafer crumbs, due to not paying attention to timing in the oven, but there were enough left to make a nice bottom layer.

Daring Baker’s Challenge – September 2009

The September 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.
Oh my… this one didn’t come out nice for me. I did my 6 turns, but I suspect my cookie cutter to be absolute s#@%*^t.Who else could I blame???? Wasn’t me…!!

But I have enough dough left in the fridge to give it tomorrow another try…. just without my crappy cookie cutters. I’ll give it a try with knife… and then we’ll see what we will see!! :-)

Daring Baker’s Challenge – July 2009

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

Oh… what a nightmare, albeit a sweet one. Everything what could go wrong went wrong and nothing really worked out and all that for my first Daring Baker challenge.

It all started with the dough for the cookie base.
Even though I went exactly with what was written down, the dough turned out far too wet and I decided to add a little bit more flour to it. Well, let me tell you, a little bit didn’t help much and I had to add a good bit to it, and it still seemed to me not right. During this process I ran out of all-purpose white flour and had to use wholemeal one. Letting it sit in the fridge for over 12 hours and a lot of flour for rolling out gave quite a satisfying result.The next hurdle was the sizing of the cookies. The recipe says that they should be cut out with a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter and it would yield two dozen (24) pieces). I only had a 2″ one and by the time I cut out 18 pieces I still had dough left for another 2 or 3 dozen pieces. Running out of patience I decided to use my 3″ cutter.

Next came the marshmallows:
When separating the yolk from the white I had two mishaps – don’t ask why, mustn’t have been my day, so I decided to add a third egg white just to make up for the white lost from the first two ones. Then 1 tbsp powdered gelatin had to be dissolved in 2 tbsp of water which immediately resulted in a big fat lump of not dissolved gelatin and I decided to add a bit more water (maybe another tbsp full or such), which didn’t help much either but I decided to go with it. Now when adding all the sugar/gelatin solution into the almost stiff egg whites I had to whisk them with my hand mixer for ….. wait for it….45 minutes!
After 15 minutes my hand mixer was so hot that I had to give it a rest and remembered that I had an old one sitting which I only could use with one whisk attachment, but at least it would do the job. Mind you, both hand mixer have 350 Watts! which is more than the average hand mixer with around 250 Watts. So I switched in between the two mixers, but after 45 minutes I had enough and it seemed stiff enough for me to be able to pipe it. Later on I was reading in the forum that I could have put it into the fridge for some time… well, next time…..

I let it dry for 6 hours and decided then to coat it. It still was very sticky. The moment the stuff touched my skin it acted like superglue, but I thought that it really doesn’t matter once the chocolate covered it.

The chocolate coating
….
I think I let the mixture get too hot, at least for the last cookies I coated. After a couple of minutes it melted the mallow mixture of the large cookies – but so what, by then nothing much could shock me.I went to bed, having spend more or less the whole day at it and hoped it would harden fine.As you can see, it hardened with spots, as if it would have a chocolate disease…..But, the taste is nice, really!So, it really was a challenge and I doubt I’ll attempt to try them another time soon.

Cheeeeesecake……..

I’m on a quest…. to find the perfect cheese cake. I love cheese cake – the only thing I’m never happy about is the base. So, therefore I’m on the quest to find the for me perfect base/topping – up to now not with much success. With this recipe, a passion fruit cheese cake from Technicolor Kitchen I found a delicious cheese mixture, but the base turned out to contain too much butter for my liking – but then maybe it was due to the cookies (and I’m still looking for the ‘right ones’).As you can see, I left it in too long, but this would be a minor thing to fix. I love my little cake forms (this one is 15cm/6″ in diameter, but I even have a 11.5cm/4.5″) and the tomato is only there for size comparison.As mentioned before, the cheese in combination with the passion fruit is heavenly and even the ‘over baking’ didn’t do the taste any harm.…. just have to find that perfect base….The recipe you’ll find here and I just sized it down to fit my cake form. It’s definitely a keeper!

Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

I was looking for something which would use up my blueberries and ricotta and found these lovely and delicious looking muffins over @ Joanne’s blog. But what still gives me a headache is the conversion from imperial to metric measurements. I’m taking the volume method for all liquids and the weight method for all solids and see how I’m getting on. So for now this turned out beautiful. :-)I halved the original measurements because I didn’t have enough blueberries in the first place, but I actually like it this way much better.I also replace the all-purpose flour partially with wholemeal flour. Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

Method: Combine all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl, set aside. In another bowl combine all dry ingredients, except for the blueberries. Add the liquids to the dry mixture and mix, but don’t over mix. Last add the blueberries and fill the mixture into a prepared muffin pan (either lightly oiled or with paper cases) and bake for 20-30 minutes at 170 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) until light brown. Let cool and enjoy!