Today marks two years since Tuesday’s With Dorie began! Although I didn’t start baking with the group until October of 2008. I have had a wonderful time in the kitchen being part of this fun group. Our leader, Laurie of slush, had an online vote for which recipe we should do today. Tarte Tatin was picked by a landslide. Laurie SO wanted cake to be our two year celebration recipe. So she decided we could make either one or BOTH.
I made both.
First, I made the Tarte Tatin (pages 313-314, Laurie will have the recipes available). I wanted to make this because I had never made something like it AND when I saw that Dorie suggested using a cast iron skillet for it, I couldn’t pass it up. Kevin just gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas, so what a wonderful thing to use it for for the first time. I made it with apples, as suggested. I thought the apples were a little soft when all was said and done and I also thought they were a bit too sweet, that being said, I still really liked the tarte and so did the others who tasted it. I made this on New Year’s Eve, hurried and took a few pictures of the whole tarte (and they don’t look very good).
Okay, I just looked at my pictures of the whole tarte again and they really look so bad that I can’t even show you (let’s blame it on really bad lighting). But I did snap a few shots later of just one slice of the tarte and they don’t look so bad. I cooked the apples in the skillet and threw in some cranberries just for color.
I used puff pastry for the crust. Hmm, still don’t love the pictures. Well, I have to say, this isn’t the prettiest looking thing. But, again, it was good and it was fun to make something new.
Okay, let’s move on to CAKE. Laurie’s choice was the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake (pages 256-257). I made half a recipe and that made 10 cupcakes. I didn’t change a thing with the recipe (SURPRISE!) and I did add the two extra ounces of melted chocolate.
We had company over for dinner and cupcakes for dessert. While everyone ate them and said they were good, they sure left a crumbly mess all over! I tasted one and thought they were okay. I want a really chocolaty, moist cake, these just seemed a little dry and crumbly, but even Kevin (the “cake hater”) ate one and said it tasted pretty good, then even he made a little mess on the floor! ;) The best part was the frosting and I actually made that up (didn’t use a Dorie recipe), the reason being more because I was a little pressed for time, so I just whipped up some frosting. I didn’t use a recipe, but here’s the simple, duh, things I used, sometimes I don’t even measure, so here’s a good guess.
Katrina’s Quick Chocolate Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons half and half (that’s just what I grabbed in the fridge, milk would work fine)
Beat all ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer except the half and half. Mix that in one tablespoons at a time until frosting is desired consistency. Scrape sides of bowl and whip for a good two minutes.
Don’t let me fool you, that’s a pretty nice picture there. I really stink at piping icing on cupcakes! I only did a few, then just spread it on the “old fashioned” way with a butter knife. I think part of my problem is that I don’t have the right size tip for my piping bag.
I kept wanting to try all week to make a cute snowman cake or something, but it just didn’t happen. I was happy to just get the cupcakes done and the tarte tatin. I’m glad I was able to do both. Thanks again, Laurie, and all of the TWD group. I’m having such a great time with this and thank ya’ll for stopping by and cheering me on! Now……it’s GIVEAWAY time!
Check out this giveaway. Ya’ll will remember (You remember, right? ;) that back in September when I went to the Food BlogHer conference in San Francisco, I also had the opportunity to attend a Night In Napa at the St. Supery Winery. This was sponsored by Bertolli Frozen Meals/Ogilvy Public Relations. Oh, and Rocco DiSpirito was there, too! While I don’t drink wine, I was really glad I got to attend this wonderful evening, meet lots of fun bloggers, and taste some of Bertolli’s Frozen Meals.
I think it’s okay to choose sometimes to have “a night in”, rather than dine out. I also think there are times in our busy lives where certain convenience foods are necessary as well as pretty darn good. Bertolli thinks so, too, and they want to reward one lucky reader some things so you can create that stay-at-home evening with your significant other. Here’s what you will win!
Leave me a comment letting me know what you would do if you had a night-in with your significant other. I want to know by this Thursday, January 7, 2010 (9 p.m. CST). This contest is (sorry) only open to US residents ages 21 or older. Make sure in your comment you leave me a way to contact you, should you be chosen as the winner. I will announce the winner on Friday. Sorry, Rocco DiSpirito not included. ;)