Summer-Market Galette

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This one should have been more exciting to us, but honestly on the heels of the Rose Fraiser and even the Cornmeal Berry Cakes…this one was just ok.

My taster family that loves anything fruit…loved it;  the rest of my tasters, we are just not a stone fruit summer dessert group.  I know we have LOVED this galette when I made it with apples and cinnamon, but the apricots, nectarines, and plums just didn’t quite do it for us.  It wasn’t bad, we just aren’t fans.

Like I have said so many times, this is the beauty of this baking group…the chance to make things you wouldn’t ordinarily make or try.  Most all have been amazing, so to get one that wasn’t YAY, is ok.  Onto the next one!!🙂

 

 

Cornmeal Berry Cakes

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After the battle to contain the flood gates of my cream in the Rose Fraiser, it was refreshing to have an easy recipe!  This one was simple and fast…and tasty which makes for a great combo.  They seemed to scream summer.

The recipe makes 4 small loaf cakes or cupcakes.  I opted to make 24 mini cupcakes and since there was still so much batter left, made 1 loaf cake too.  I think I could have made another 12+ mini cupcakes with the batter which is good to know.  36+ mini cupcakes from a recipe is good for entertaining.  For the mini bites, I put 1/2 a raspberry in each one.  They turned out great, but I probably could have gone with a whole one…just wasn’t sure about the batter to berry ratio.

I am glad I went with the option of adding the lemon icing.  That was a favorite with everyone.  It seemed to give a pop of flavor to the cake and raspberry, brightening up the whole experience.  The final verdict seemed to rest with whether you like cornbread or not…those that do, loved the dessert; those that are not fond of cornbread thought the dessert was ok.  I liked it for the fact it was something different…but I like cornbread so there you go.🙂

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Rose Fraisier

 

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This is what I now know:

  • Fraise means “strawberry”
  • Le Fraisier is the French cake that celebrates the fruit…it is a classic and as close to a strawberry shortcake as the French get.
  • It is a grand cake that heralds spring and the arrival of the first berries.
  • For the classic Fraisier look, some berries are halved and stood up all around the outside of the cake, their cut sides facing out, and then whole berries are lined up snugly to cover the bottom layer of the cake.  The strawberries are then enveloped  in a pastry cream before a top layer of cake is added.
  • This particular “Rose Fraisier” uses a rose syrup and rose extract to flavor the cake
  • Rose syrup and rose extract are not easily found, are in large quantities, and expensive
  • In the end, a little patience was all it took to pull my disaster back together and have a fantastic tasting dessert!
  • Next time…and I can’t believe I can say there will be a next time after the pastry cream disaster, but next time I will firm up the cream longer in the fridge! :)…and use less.

This one gave me some trouble..beginning with the rose syrup and rose extract.  I am one to usually buy the odd ingredients because it is just part of being in this group…and I love baking the new projects..but I just couldn’t do it this time.  I looked at a few stores and online and could only find bottles too big and costing just too much to justify buying them,  Thankfully, I figured this would taste like a great strawberry shortcake with or without the rose flavoring so I went ahead and made it without.

I made the cake the night before thinking it would be easy to assemble the next day.  Whoa was I wrong.  I made the filling, cut the cake, and assembled my strawberry forest.

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So far, so good.  I piped in my pastry cream filling…and following the directions..”when all the spaces are filled, pipe a generous layer of cream over the tops of the berries, taking care to leave the cut side of the outer berries cream-free, and smooth it with an offset spatula.  Settle the top cake layer rocking it gently so that the filling glues it in place”

Sounds easy but I have to be honest…this is what happened out the backside…the strawberries just couldn’t hold back the cream…ugggh….

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Are you kidding me??  What a mess!!   I took a deep breath and scraped it all out and re-piped with the cream leftover.  I then finished the cake with a strawberry jam glaze and topped with strawberries…and rushed it into the fridge to help firm up the cream.🙂

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At this point I was just glad I had a finished product, but wasn’t too excited about it…until my first tasters got ahold of a piece.  Wow…they couldn’t believe how great it was!!

“Unreal”, “Delicious”, “Unbelievable”…”One of the best recipes you have made in this group”…wow…seriously after all that haha!  Funny how that can turn it all around for a baker!!  I was thinking, ok maybe I could make this again…now that I learned a few things!!  I have to say, it was pretty delicious!  It’s a keeper!

 

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Tarte Tropézienne

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This dessert certainly has the “wow” factor…and I have to say it is ALL about that Swedish Sugar on top!

As I was reading through the recipe, I was so thankful Dorie included where to buy the sugar…I went right to the King Arthur’s website and there it was, and not too expensive.  I decided if I was making this recipe, I had to go for it….and I am so glad I did!

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The hardest part about this recipe, is finding the time.  I broke the recipe down into parts and spread it over two days and that didn’t seem too bad…but definitely not the type of recipe you whip up for a dinner party.

had read about others having trouble with their mixers handling the brioche dough, but thankfully mine was fine.  My frustration came with the pastry cream…which shouldn’t have been that tough.  Mine seemed to thicken way too fast and too much.  I wasn’t sure if I should continue with it or not but I remember other posts stating this pastry cream was to die for so I saved it and hoped for the best.  The next day, it was too thick to whisk it so I put it back into my mixer to loosen it up a bit.  I ended up adding more whipped cream to it than the 1/4 of a cup but you know what…everyone loved it.  Phew!

After baking the dough, it was just a matter of slicing it and layering the cream in the middle.  Everyone agreed, if I was to make this again, adding fruit would take it over the top.

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My daughter says it looked just like the picture in the cookbook…yay! (although at this point it was half gone)..and that it tasted great too!  What more can you ask for?

 

I think all of my tasters were very intrigued and excited by this dessert.  No one had ever had anything like it so they didn’t know what to expect.  They all thought the sugar looked like pretzel salt so it was a nice crunchy surprise to have it be bits of sugar….which complimented the not so sweet dessert.  It was fun watching them taste it because everyone started out cautious, not knowing what this would be like…and then everyone went on to finish it and rave about it!  They all say…it is a keeper!

Betty’s Chocoholic Cake

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I think think the recipe’s name says it all…this is a chocolate lovers dream.  I had one taster say this was the best thing she had ever eaten…now I think that might have been a slight exaggeration…but…everyone did love this!

I made this for Mother’s Day and made the raspberry coulis to go along with it.  Interestingly, some people loved the cake with it, and others loved the cake plain.  I personally think if I was to make this again, I would use ice cream between the three cake layers like one of the options stated.  I think that would be amazing! :)…I am already thinking chocolate chip and mint chip!!

One thing I did like about this recipe was that I could make the cake layers a few days ahead and freeze them.  This makes it a perfect “taking to a party” kind of cake.  The day of the event you can pull out the frozen layers and make your ganache and frost.  It came together very easily and looks quite impressive.  The only trouble I had was making the white chocolate ribbons and I think that was probably because of the chocolate bar I used.  Mine turned out more like shavings than ribbons.  I couldn’t find a thick slab like I was picturing in my head, but had to use a white chocolate bar which was too thin and made it difficult to carve out the ribbons.  It still worked ok, but I would change how I did that next time.

This is a “one small slice” kind of dessert…a little goes a long way.  It is so chocolately and decadent you don’t need much.  That…and the fact it uses 3 and 1/2 sticks of butter…you only need a taste.🙂  I think it was unanimous with the tasters, this one is a keeper!

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Cocoa Crunch Meringue Sandwiches

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I finally got them done!  Two days late, but I did it.  :)  I knew they would be good since I had seen postings from fellow bakers, but had some trouble scheduling cookies that take 3+ hours.

I will keep it short and sweet…

These were not hard to make, but the meringue cookies do take some time in the oven.  These are then sandwiched with chocolate ganache.  They are an interesting combination with the crunchy, wafer cookies and the fudge-like filling.  They were loved by all.  I made a double batch to make sure I had all my tasters covered…I mean 8 cookies per batch is not a lot. Even at a double batch, I only got 13 cookies out of it.

Not sure these would be a go to recipe  for me since I was maxed out in my oven at 26 cookies on my two baking sheets…it would be 3 more hours to make any more….but they were delicious and a hit with everyone!

 

 

Jammer Galette

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Jammer Galette…fun name; fun desert.  The “Jammer” is a vanilla sable topped with jam and circled with streusel…simple but fancy and delicious at the same time.

This is a recipe to play with, so the possibilities are endless.  I happened to have blackberry jam and orange marmalade from previous recipes we have made..and couldn’t decide which to make…so, I made two!  I figured with all of my tasters, one might not be quite enough anyway, so two seemed perfect.

I didn’t have two tart pans so I used one tart and one springform pan and it worked out beautifully.

This is the kind of recipe that would work out great for a gathering…simple, but seems like a fancy dessert.

  1. Make the crust; chill
  2. Make the streusel; chill
  3. Assemble and bake
  4. Dust with confectioners’ sugar

Seriously easy!

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This recipe was loved by all…and interestingly everyone loved both but at the same time had a favorite…which was mixed.  There was no clear winner.  I am guessing any jam you choose to use would be a hit.  I personally liked the orange marmalade one best.🙂

After my parents had theirs with coffee, my dad sent me a text and said he will now be using a “top 20” list because there are too many great ones to contain to a top 10.  :)…and after over 4 years of baking with this group…we do seem to be on a roll with this new BCM cookbook!  Fun times and fun memories!  I have loved every minute of it and I believe my tasters have too!🙂