Tuesdays With Dorie: a Blueberry and Peach Birthday Galette

I know, I know, I’m a little late with this post.  Today is Thursday, and these posts are supposed to go up on Tuesdays. But we’re visiting my parents, and today is my dad’s birthday. He’s 62. So I baked a few days late. So sue me…..

I made the dough yesterday (Wednesday) and the dough came together easily enough. I didn’t need to add the full amount of liquid in the recipe to get the dough to hold together. Though, the method of mixing the ice-water and yogurt or sour cream together is definitely odd in my opinion. Once again, there are no photos of the dough-making because my hands were covered in it. I need to employ a photographer….which I did do for the galette-making. My dad was happy to help (for the blog)

The dough was easy to roll out…maybe a little too easy, and then it stuck to my parchment paper and saran wrap. Into the freezer it went so that it could firm up enough to fold over the fruit. I wet my hands and got the crust a little wet and sprinkled a bit of sugar on it for a little crunch. And into a 400 degree oven it went.
The rolling pin is a little narrow for my tastes, but it was made by my grandfather for my grandmother out of a broom handle a long time ago. I figure the rolling pin is at least 65 years old, if not older.
I filled the galettes with peaches and blueberries, even though our last assignment was nectarine/blueberry. I’m in New Jersey, and it is peach season. I just couldn’t help myself. This morning I also preserved 11 1/2 pints of peach butter, I made them with peaches we picked yesterday at Giamarese Farm in East Brunswick, NJ
I’m 99% sure that it’ll be delicious, but I’m also 100% sure that this is one of the ugliest things that I’ve ever made. The first galette’s dough ‘broke’ while I was folding it, and is bubbling away in a most unattractive way in the oven. The 2nd one seems to be doing better.

you should visit the Tuesdays With Dorie page to see more beautiful gallette’s than mine. The hosts for this week are Lisa and Andrea, they both have the recipe up on their sites–in case you’re interested in attempting to do this on your own.


Birthday Baking: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was David’s birthday.

Its tough to decide on a birthday cake around here, especially for the grownups. You want to make all the children happy, but still have a cake you want to eat yourself. I was going to make the French Strawberry Cake, which is my next Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia assignment, but Dorothy informed me that she doesn’t like whipped cream. Foolish child. So, we decided on this, a flourless chocolate cake. I think everyone would have eaten the strawberry cake, and only 2/3 of the children will eat this. Reid is my resident chocoholic, and Dorothy likes chocolate too; but, Adam does not enjoy chocolate at all. So, he’ll get a bowl of strawberry sorbet. Can’t please everyone, I guess.

This cake is not complicated to bake. It does require a little fearless-ness, especially if you’re new to the world of separating eggs and whipping egg whites to stiff peaks. I use a hand mixer for this and two bowls–one for the whites, and one for the yolks. Separate the eggs using a third bowl so if you break one yolk, you haven’t lost all the whites–just that one. Whip the whites first, that way you don’t have to wash your beaters, just go right over to the yolks and get to work on them.
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This was my sous-chef’s first time beating egg whites. Dorothy did just fine. She was very serious.
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Don’t get excited when you take it out of the oven. The top is very dry and crackly, and perhaps some of it did crack and collapse. This is supposed to happen. Just put some damp paper towels on it and gently press down.
I don’t know where this recipe came from. Its in the ‘cookbook’ that my mother compiled about 15 years ago, but she didn’t give credit to anyone. No matter. Its a damn good cake.

Flourless – Good for Passover. This extremely rich cake would be delicious with whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or even a glass of ice cold milk

Flour (I use unsweetened cocoa)

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup lightly salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
6 large eggs, separated at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
2 tsp. crème de cacao, Kailua or dark rum (I used rum)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups whipping cream well chilled (optional)
2 1/2 to 3 Tbs. powdered sugar (optional, but makes the cake look prettier)

Place oven rack in lower third of oven; heat oven to 375. Butter and flour (or cocoa) and sides of an 8 inch spring form pan; reserve.

Melt chocolate with 1/2 cup butter (in a double boiler, over, not in the water). Or, use a microwave in short bursts so you can stir the chocolate in between. If using a microwave, be careful not to burn the chocolate.

Beat egg whites in medium mixer bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup granulated sugar into whites; continue beating until stiff but not dry peaks form.

Beat egg yolks in large mixer bowl at high speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Beat until yolk mixture is pale yellow and thick, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture, beat until complete smooth. Add crème de cacao and vanilla and beat until blended.

Fold whites gently but thoroughly into chocolate mixture. Pour batter evenly into reserved pan; smooth top.Beat egg yolks in large mixer bowl at high speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Beat until yolk mixture is pale yellow and thick, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture, beat until complete smooth. Add crème de cacao and vanilla and beat until blended.Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350, bake another 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250, bake 30 minutes longer. (Total baking time is 1 hour.) Turn off oven, prop open oven door and allow cake to remain in oven for 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and cover top with damp paper toweling; let stand 5 minutes.

Remove toweling and cool cake completely. Dome of cake will crack and collapse; this is normal–press top of cake down lightly to smooth top. Remove spring form and transfer cake to serving platter.

Whip cream in chilled mixer bowl on high speed until soft peaks form. Continue beating, gradually adding 1 ½ Tbs. of the powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form. Dust top of cake with remaining powdered sugar just before serving. Serve cake at room temperature with whipped cream.