Baking From My Home To Yours

    Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
    Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
    And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

First of all I bought the Chestnuts already roasted.
Jack Frost won’t be in the Deep South until about mid-January on a regular basis.
And if you dress up like an Eskimo now you will suffer from Heat Stroke.

But we are enjoying Chestnuts In Dorie’s…


    Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake

This cake has been described as EPIC by some of my Twitter buddies. Luxurious! Interesting! Expensive! {Chestnuts are not cheap!!} But worth it. Here in Podunk one does not find chestnuts – of any kind – so I had to order. When I ordered, I ordered Chestnut Puree instead of Chestnut spread, but thanks to French Food I was able to make my own. Whew!


The cake is a lovely triple layer cake with milk chocolate/bittersweet chocolate ganache for filling and a bittersweet chocolate glaze. Between the layers are chopped chestnuts. And many bakers followed Dorie’s suggestion and frosted the chestnuts on top with gold dust. I ended up using pecans rather than the Chestnuts I bought. They weren’t good. So I used chopped pecans between the layers.

This cake was wonderful. The chestnut flavor of the cake with the textures of the filling and ganache. The chopped pecans between the layers. KEEPER!!


This cake was chosen by Katya of Second Dinner for the bakers on Tuesday, November 3, 2009. and you can find the recipe on her blog.

NOW I am done with the TWD Catch-up!! Thanks, Dorie!!


    And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
    To kids from one to ninety-two,
    Although its been said many times, many ways,
    Merry Christmas to you

So, here I am. The last post for TWD, the first TWD which started in January 2008. It took me a full year to catch up and complete all the recipes I missed. 67 to be exact! And six of them in December. So here we go:

2 December 2008 Hosted by Noskos of Living the Life the bakers made:

    Linzer Sables

I had never made sables before. They are a lovely butter cookie that is filled with a jam or other treat. I used Cherry jam and instead of almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts, I used pecans. Lots of pecans here in the south. They were perfect with a nice subtle nutty taste. And the cherry jam fit well with the pecans. You can find the recipe on her blog or on page 134 of BFMHTY.


December is a popular month for cookies. On December 16, 2008 we followed up with

    Buttery Jam Cookies

While the sables had the jam between the cookies these had the jam IN the cookie. And since I had the Cherry jam that is what I used in these tasty, biscuity cookies. There were little chunks of jam all through the cookie giving little surprises with every bite!

Thanks to Heather of Randomosity and the Girl for this sweet little treat. The recipe is on her blog. It’s also on page 80 of Dorie’s book.


December also brought two tarts into the kitchen. On 6 December 2012 we made a

Honey-Almond Fig Tart It was delicious. A sweet honey-almond custard paired with ripe juicy figs. {From my friend’s tree!} I made the full recipe of custard but only two 6″ tarts. Usually I make less custard but past experience has taught me that more IS better! The tart was hosted by my friend, Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table. The recipe is on her blog, or will be because Kayte is on hiatus right now and her blog is in hibernation. You can find it on page 373 of BFMHTY.


The other tart (12 December 2011) was the…

    Puffed Double Plum Tart

And please forgive the photography. There was no way this was going to be pretty. {Or at least mine wasn’t!!} I used a regular black plum slice and prunes that had been poached in black tea with cinnamon rather than wine, orange juice, zest and anise. And while not pretty it was definitely yummy! 1/8 of a recipe gave me one small tart just for me. I knew no one else would even touch it! This was chosen by Julie of Someones in the Kitchen (or page 378 of Dorie’s book).

{Hang in there, almost done. I have to do all six today because the next available Tuesday is Christmas!}


We eat ice cream all year round. Which is a good thing because on December 13, 2011, TWD bakers pulled out their churns and made:

    Unbelievably Good Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream

I have to admit. I was a little iffy about this one. Chocolate and BLUEBERRIES!! No way that was going to be good. I. Was. Wrong! It was delicious. I know – Trust Dorie, Trust Dorie!! Story is, she didn’t care for the combo either when she was young, but like me, she has since come to her senses!! Yay! Dorie!!

Thanks to Lauri of Slush for hosting this week’s TWD choice.>


Last (well almost) but not least –

    REAL Butterscotch Pudding

And by real I mean REAL Scotch in the pudding! Really? Yes, Really! Unfortunately, I didn’t have any scotch. Fortunately, my VGF did! A tiny bottle of Chivas Regal in her Hub’s underware drawer (Yes, Really!) which she gifted me {Prolly to her Hub’s chagrin!} and there was just enough to make 6 little pudding treats.

One word – GOOD!! Topped with a little whipped cream infused with just a tad of Scotch! BETTER!! And Donna, of Spatulas, Corkscrews and Suitcases, our host for this week, made her pudding into a PIE! What a GREAT idea! Next time!! Now that I know how easy pudding is to make from scratch. The reicpe is on Donna’s site and on page 386 of BFMHTY!

Okay. That’s it, that’s all… Okay, not quite. I still have one more cake to make. It has been the hardest to find the ingredients for. But I found what I needed and so….. but that’s another post!!

Thanks TWD for a wonderful five years of baking, learning, eating, gifting, and friend gathering. I will never forget anything!!

Back on November 8, 2008, TWD members made Rice Pudding. I was not one of them because at the time I. Could. Not. Find. Arborio rice. What! What is that? Was the response I got here in Podunk, USA. SHEESH!!! NOW it is everywhere. And I’ve used it quite a bit since I found it, but never did get around to making the Rice Pudding. Have now!!!

And it came out perfectly (I had tried it before and it was a miserable failure.) I made 1/2 of the recipe which gave me two nice helpings. One vanilla and one chocolate. B liked the chocolate and I prefered the vanilla so we were both happy. It is not the most photogenic dessert, at least not the chocolate….

Isabelle chose the recipe that week and you can find the recipe on her blog. It is also on page 412 of BFMHTY.


November 29, 2011 Normandy Tarts appeared in TWD kitchens.

I made about 1/3 of the filling recipe, used pears instead of apples and ended up with a 4″ mini tart. The pears were at B’s request. Good little tart chosen by my friend Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. It was her second time to host and her Tart is Gorgeous!! You can also find the recipe in BFMHTY on page 304.


I did skip one recipe for March back when – Chocolate Pots de Creme. {March 1, 2011}

We had made the Caramel Pots de Creme in May of 2011 and they worked out well so I wasn’t worried about the chocolate. 1/2 of recipe resulted in 4 4″ ramekins of chocolate delight. Thank you Christine of Cats in the Kitchen. LOVED these. Recipe is on her blog and on page 390 of Dorie’s book.

That’s all. I posted the Far Breton {1 November 2011} in September. I still have’t made the Chestnut Cake. Still no chestnuts to be found except in large portions and I am only making mini cakes these days since it is just the two of us. MAYBE by the end of the year I will get it made.

I missed a lot of December picks – six to be exact. I will be busy!!

I think I am almost done BAKING all of the recipes from Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours. I haven’t blogged them all yet, but I am real close to finishing my commitment to complete all the recipes. Even though it has taken me almost a year after the group finished the same 350+ recipes. And since I am trying to finish before the holiday season you will be seeing several more treats than usual in each post.



First up we have….

    Caramel-Peanut Pecan-Topped Brownie Cake

October must be a good month for Chocolate. Of the four recipes this month, three had Chocolate. Keep in mind, however, that they were not all from the same year!!

Dorie described this cake as scrumptious. THAT is an understatement. You have to understand that I am one of several million chocolate lovers in the US. I am also one of the many lovers of caramel. You put those two together and you have, IMO, AMAZING!! Now add in some PECANS and you have PERFECTION!! This was supposed to be topped in peanuts but I knew deep down inside that it would be MUCH better with pecans. Sweeter!! I was right. At least for us, anyway!!

1/3 recipe was too much for the 5″ springform pan I used so some overflowed, which meant I got to sample the cake BEFORE it was finished!! YUM!!

This pick was from Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy and you can find the recipe there. In BFMHTY it is on page 264.


And for our Second Chocolate Treat….

    Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte

The first thing I had to do to make this Torte was find some Cherry Preserves. They are not part of my usual jam/jelly collection. I don’t know why because they are delicious, which I found out making this chocolate treat. Mixed with some cherries flamed with Rum {recipe called for Kirsh but I didn’t have any.} and both cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate it started in Dorie’s imagination as a Black Forest Cake. But rather than layers of whipped cream, cake, and cherries she puts the cherries in the cake and tops the torte with a sweet silky Mascarpone Mousse. And then, because I could, I drizzled just a smidgen, okay, more than a smidgen, of chocolate syrup over the top. And yes, it was OVER THE TOP!! As if this delightful treat needed more chocolate!!! The fudgy cake was dark, dense, delicious. I loved the mousse on top. Mascarpone – where have you been all my life!!

1/4 of the recipe resulted in a 5″ mini torte.

This pick was from short = rose by April and you can find the recipe on her blog. And on page 284 of Dorie’s BFMHTY


Had enough chocolate yet. Okay, lets switch over to…..

    A Fig Cake for Fall

Lucky for me I have a small fig tree. Unfortunately the birds beat me to the 6 or 7 figs we actually had this year. Lucky for me I have a friend with a HUGE fig tree. So I made this cake during fig season. One half of the recipe called for only 8 – 10 figs. That meant I had plenty left over to make the …well, that’s not until December!!

Dorie used figs poached in ruby port. Since that is not usually something I have on hand I poached mine in Honey and Cinnamon. And they were so very good! The cake was very good. The texture was not as cake-y since the batter contained cornmeal. That was a definite plus and a nice play against the soft figs. And the honey-cinnamon sauce. AMAZING!!

Thank you, Alvarosa, for this fig cake. You can find the recipe on her blog – Cookie Rookie BTW she started baking for the first time when she started with TWD!! The cake is also on page 198 of Dorie’s BFMHTY

{To poach the figs bring the water, honey and cinnamon to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the figs and cook another 15 minutes. Remove the figs and put the sauce aside.}



NOW!! Let’s end on a high note….

    Ginger-Jazzed Brownies

Brownies are a favorite in this house. When in doubt, make brownies. But I would never have thought of putting ginger in the brownies. Thank you, Dorie!!! Over the course of 4 years the TWD group made 12 different kinds of brownies!! Some were…okay… Some were fantastic. These are in the ‘between’ group. Good, but not a fav. With both ground ginger and minced fresh ginger these brownies had some KICK!! Ginger is spicy!! I topped them with a ginger infused whipped cream. Just enough! 1/3 of the recipe resulted in TWO brownies {2 1/2″ x 4″} I knew we aren’t BIG ginger fans so just two was just perfect!!

Hindy of Bubie’s Little Baker chose these. The recipe is on her blog and on pae 101 of BFMHTY.

I hope you enjoyed all the OCTOBER TWD treats. We did!! Now, just November and December left.

September must have been a better month for baking. Only one TWD catch-up.

    Flip-Over Plum Cake

While we like plums, the Hubs is more of a fan, I found out today that we really don’t care for them cooked. For that reason alone we did not ‘flip’ over this cake. We liked the cake. Just not the plums. And since I made 1/4 recipe and used one whole plum there was more plum than cake. And that was unfortunate because we liked the cake.

Dorie had us stirring the plums with cinnamon, ginger, corriander {I left this out}, and sugar to make a nice syrup I forgot about the cinnamon so added it to the cake batter instead. THAT was a good choice.

Sorry, Dorie, we didn’t flip-over this one, but it is not your fault. Just don’t care for cooked plums.

Chosen by Becky of Project Domestication (her 2nd pick) the group baked it on September 27, 2011. Her’s was lovely. As were those from the other TWD members. You can find the recipe on Becky’s Blog or on page 42 of Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours.

Once upon a time, Far Far… oh, sorry, got a little carried away…

So. Far Breton. What is it? I didn’t know until I made Dorie’s. It is a “custardy cake” from Brittany. It is not a common dessert here in the US. And if it was, it still would be rather unknown here in the Deep South. I like learning new things and new desserts, as many of Dorie’s have been to me, is twice as good because the new knowledge is EDIBLE!!.

The Far Breton was the choice of Nicole of Cookies on Friday on November 1, 2011. You can find the recipe on her blog.

I only made 1/3 of the recipe. And since I don’t have a small cake pan I was going to use my 5″ Spring form. Well, that didn’t work. I walked into the kitchen and the batter was leaking out of the pan. I quickly poured the batter and the cherries into two 4″ cake pans. Luckily I didn’t lose much of the batter.

The fars rose beautifully in the oven but by the time I made it back into the kitchen with the (new) camera they had already collapsed.

But these were so good. Creamy and soft. The Brandied cherries all floated to the bottom but that was okay. B said the sunken top would be perfect for a huge scoop of ice cream. Unfortunately, the Far disappeared before I could make that happen. Ah, well, next time!!!!

I guess the TWD catchup posts will be a little out of order. Trying to finish before the Holiday Baking Season begins.

Another first. If this was BwJ/TWD SCOUTS I would be adding another badge to my sash. This is the first Chiffon Cake I have made. I didn’t know how easy it was.

Thanks to Mary Bergin who contributed this lovely cake to Baking with Julia.

I made 1/2 of the recipe in a 5″ springform. It rose beautifully and then immediately collapsed when I took it out of the oven. But once I turned it over, you couldn’t tell.

The streusel running through it was a perfect touch. A little extra crunch.

The only thing I can say is, “GOOD CAKE!”.

You cand find the recipe on Marlise’s blog The Double Trouble Kitchen and Susan’s blog The Little French Bakery. It is also on pages 241 – 243 in Baking With Julia.

And please visit the other Baking with Julia members for their deliciousness.

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