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FEB/MARCH COTM - The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet (all recipe discussions go here)

Chapter: Tarts
Page 223 - Malted Milk Chocolate Tart

Let me start by saying I ran this recipe through my Weight Watchers recipe builder - without the whipped cream topping it comes in at 109 points! it is RICH.

I divided this into 4 5" tart molds, and actually had some chocolate mixture left over. Probably because I layed the chocolate cookie crust a bit thick, so the chocolate ganache filled up the cavity pretty quickly. The recipe is really straight forward and easy, just takes some time. I worked on various parts of it all day.

First, made the crust in the early afternoon and put it in the fridge to chill. After dinner I baked them for 15 minutes, put them in the fridge to cool.

once the crusts were cool I made the ganache. This went smoothly except I couldn't quite get all the chocolate melted. I heated it up a bit again, but I was afraid of it breaking so I left some chunks in it. My husband will devour any dessert I make, so I admit I can be a bit lazy with the details like this.

poured the ganache, put them back in the fridge to cool. Rather than finish them all with whipped cream, I made a small amount of whipped cream to eat with our portion tonight. I will make it fresh every night until we are done.

Hubs ate 1 of the tarts on his own..I ate 1/4 of another (6 points if anyone cares). That was plenty satisfying, as I mentioned before these are rich.

I just made some candied orange peel, so I think with tomorrow's portion I will chop some very finely and sprinkle over the whipped cream to add another layer of flavor.

As for the recipes, they were easy to follow. The only real beef I have is that the crust recipe is separate from the filling recipe, but it only takes you to the chill stage. Having never made a tart before, I sat scratching my head for quite a while, rereading the recipe trying to figure out if I was supposed to bake the crust. Finally, I turned to the filling recipe where it told me to bake the crust. Just a little confusion.

Feb 09, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

I don't care if I never set foot again in a...............

ha! Arby's is so off my radar I didn't even think of it, but I'll add that to my list as well. It's never even a consideration when I am out looking for fast food.

Feb 09, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

I don't care if I never set foot again in a...............

I know, people LOVE Jimmy John's. Just not a sandwich gal. I'm a pain in my lunch friends' booty because I won't go to JJs or Subway. :)

Feb 08, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

I don't care if I never set foot again in a...............

Mine probably won't be popular, but:

Subway, Jimmy John's, Potbelly, any sandwich place really. I just don't like subs or sanwiches.

PF Changs and Big Bowl - I find the food at both of these chains very greasy, I always leave feeling a little ill.

Whataburger - ok, I haven't eaten here since 1992, but eyuck, it was nasty then.

Feb 08, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

Tomyam Rice Snacks at Trader Joe's --amazing flavor

dangit! Minnesota TJs don't have these! I hope they get them soon. In the meantime I did buy some of those yummy cashews. they are gooooood.

Feb 07, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

FEBRUARY-MARCH DESSERT Cookbook of the Month - VOTING THREAD

you know, I kept meaning to go look at my book, I swore it was a woman author. I thought I was crazy :). I don't have modern baker, so I would only bake from The Art and Soul.

Feb 07, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Tomyam Rice Snacks at Trader Joe's --amazing flavor

wow! these sound delicious. I hope my local tjs has these!

Feb 05, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

FEBRUARY-MARCH DESSERT Cookbook of the Month - VOTING THREAD

Art and Soul of Baking gets my vote!

Feb 04, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Sweet & Salty Cake - Baked Cookbook

I did cut the tops off some of them (some were down below the paper line and couldn't be cut). I think because of the dry texture issues I was having, as well as the thickness of the cooled caramel it just kind of sat on top. Again, I think if i poured it warmer on warmer cake it might make a difference...

Feb 01, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Sweet & Salty Cake - Baked Cookbook

ooh, thanks for the information! I was so busy getting down to baking I didn't read all the fine print :)

Feb 01, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

La Chaya (Minneapolis)

We ate at La Chaya last night for my birthday. overall it was a very good meal, and the service was wonderful, as noted by others. Here is what we tried:

Appetizer: Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic and Guajillo Chili served with Grilled Bread. i was happy to see they left the chiles whole in this dish, as ever since I was pregnant I can't seem to handle spicy food that well. The mushrooms themselves were nicely cooked and the bread was grilled dry, so it had nice char marks across it. I liked this dish, but would have liked it more if there had been a bit of acid in it to cut the heavy mushroom flavor a bit. I adore mushrooms, but they can be a bit much if there's not a contrasting flavor present.

entrees: Sea Bass over Mashed Potatoes with Poblano Peppers. I am having a hard time remembering what the sauce was with this dish, but the fish was cooked perfectly and the rich sauce was a really good foil. My husband said it was the first time he regretted ordering a steak over a fish dish. The mashed potatoes were flavorful, but had a bit of a mealy, dry texture, as if they had been reheated, which is probably the case.

Garlic Cilantro Ribeye Steak served with Green Caper Salsa, Grilled Spring Onions and Grilled Potatoes. Hubs subsituted mashed potatoes for the grilled potatoes. I was a bit wary of the capers here because I find them to be overwhelming generally, but they really worked in this dish. the vinegary punch was wonderful with the fatty steak, the grilled onions were delicious. Steak was perfectly cooked medium rare.

We skipped dessert as we were too stuffed, but they had a wonderful sounding chocolate creme brulee with chipotle pepper.

Total for appetizer, soup (can't speak to it because hubs got it and I didn't taste) 2 entrees and a bottle of wine: a bit over $100.00. We are excited to try their brunch next.

Mango Lollipops--Stefan from Top Chef

wow, those directions are really bad. 10 mangos cut into pieces? that's a lot of mango! And 1 Tbsp on mint oil would be waaaay too much. This seems to be a problem with the recipes Bravo posts. So many of them have mistakes or innacurate directions, it's hard to trust them. This is a simple recipe, and yet so full of problems.

Jan 31, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Taco Bell quality

when we lived near a taco bell/long john silver combo restaurant I used to order a supreme taco, no meat and then a plank of fish from ljs and put it on the taco :) It used to drive them crazy, but I figured if they couldn't offer me what I wanted i would build it myself!

Jan 27, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

Food that Most People Love and You Don't...

yum! next time you see them send some my way ;)

I love anything flower flavored!

Jan 26, 2009
cheetobrain in General Topics

No more Hebrew National Hot Dogs at Costco?

I was getting a hot dog in the Eden Prairie, mn location and noticed all the umbrellas advertising Sinai kosher dogs were all down. I asked if the hot dogs were still Sinai Kosher, and they said there were for the time being but they were replacing them. they had no idea what would replace them though. Disappointing.

Jan 24, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

MSP: "Best" Grocery Store

thanks for the tip on the East Lake Rainbow! The Richfield Rainbow has a fairly small and nondescript bulk section.

What fast food do you eat rarely, but that first bite think "Wow, this is so good!"

I am going to add to my list the McDonald's chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich. I am in love with that thing. I eat it about twice a month because if I allowed myself more I would probably eat it every day.

Jan 19, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

Taco Bell quality

agreed - you go to taco bell for taco bell food, not mexican food. That being said, I am really disappointed they haven't brought green onions back, and the last time I ordered a bean burrito it was so underfilled the tortilla was folded over twice. yuck!

Jan 18, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

Food that Most People Love and You Don't...

ha! I prefer mine thinned down with diet coke mix and bubbles!

Jan 18, 2009
cheetobrain in General Topics

Food that Most People Love and You Don't...

are you sure you're not thinking of Violet candy? I love the stuff, sounds exactly like what you are describing...I've never seen lavender flavored!

Jan 18, 2009
cheetobrain in General Topics

MSP: "Best" Grocery Store

You know, I never was a huge Dominicks/Jewel shopper. I lived on the far west side and had a wonderful italian market (caputos) as well as hispanic and polish markets to shop. I sorely miss Caputo's, dirt cheap produce, wonderful deli and imports at rock bottom prices. I won't even start on the fresh tortillas! So, I think even for Chicago my shopping experience was a bit unique.

I'm learning to be flexible though! I think more than product shock I experienced sticker shock. The grocery selection is wonderful here, but the prices are something that took a while to get used to.

Dunkin' Donuts-do you really like more than the coffee

I love their chocolate glazed donuts, coconut donuts, peanut donuts, bagels and cream cheese and the breakfast croissant sandwich with egg and cheese. I'm not even sure if that still exists, I haven't lived near a DD in 2.5 years. There was one right outside my L stop in Chicago, and I would stop every morning for coffee and a donut or croissant.

Jan 17, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

MSP: "Best" Grocery Store

yep, I moved here from Chicago and had similiar culture shock (search for my thread on the price of food here!) I do not like Cub at all. We had them in Chicago and I considered them to be about the bottom of the rung as far as grocery stores go. I will say, however, they do have a very nice international aisle with very reasonable prices on imports. Now that Cost Plus World Market is closing its Minnesota locations I will probably go there for some items.

I will go to Rainbow for the bulk items. Also, they have really good sales on things like Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice dinners every once in a while. I am completely jealous of the Quarry Rainbow in NE. It is the nicest one I have seen. I shop the Richfield location, and it is ok, clean and bright.

I shop Costco (mostly Eden Prairie, but they don't have liquor) for meats, dairy and some bulk dry items, as well as diapers and wipes. It is pretty much the only place I buy meat from, unless I'm in a real hurry, then I'll run to my nearby Kowalskis (on Lyndale).

Super Target in Edina is a year old and always seems well stocked. I've had a few incidences where I could not get cilantro or green onions, but they tend to have most of what I need, prices are not bad, and I like their private label items.

Trader Joes is good for specialty products, and we buy cheese and some deli meats there. I really only go to the SLP location since Maple Grove is a bit too far for regular shopping trips. Terrible parking situation compared to MG, but that is pretty typical of TJ locations.

Not a fan of the Lunds in Richfield. I find it run down and small. The Byerly's in Edina is nice though. Clean, friendly, nice selection of produce, if pricey.

Kowalski's is my closest store, and I will run there when I am in a hurry but I find their meat selection lacking. The other day I just really had a taste for polish sausage, and they didn't have any. that really bummed me out.

Sweet & Salty Cake - Baked Cookbook

i meant to include a link to the actual recipe:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/s...

Jan 16, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Sweet & Salty Cake - Baked Cookbook

I made the sweet and salty cake from the Baked cookbook, but made it as cupcakes. My husband said it was the most perfect cupcake he ever had. I agree they were pretty good, but I did have some observations and issues.

The chocolate cake was a bit of a disappointment. In batter form, it is moussey, light as air, silky and delicious, so I had high hopes for it, but I felt it baked up a little dry and not very flavorful. However, the caramel and the ganache were sweet enough to make up for it. I will substitute another chocolate cake recipe for the base next time around.

The salted caramel sauce is divine and very easy to make! It will be my go-to recipe for caramel sauce from now on. In my opinion it is the best part of the recipe.

Now, the recipe calls for cooling the caramel and cake before application, but it also says to wait until the caramel sinks in before applying the frosting. I found that when the cake cooled, it formed a impenetrable layer, and the caramel was so thick it sat on top without absorbing in. I think next time I would add the caramel while it and the cake were both warm.

the caramel chocolate ganache is rich and delicious.

Now, this recipe took me the better part of a day to make. I think I finished icing them at about 11:00 at night, so it is not a quick project. The caramel sauce alone is worth the time investment though.

Jan 16, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

Best Mail Order food items? - moved from Home Cooking board

oh, that's great! That reminds me, we are due for an order ourselves :)

Jan 14, 2009
cheetobrain in General Topics

Best Mail Order food items? - moved from Home Cooking board

I'll start you off: for truly excellent hungarian sausage and salami, as well as other Hungarian imports like chestnut paste and paprika check out:

http://www.bende.com/

My hubs is Hungarian, and when I was working in the Northern Chicago suburbs he would send me to Bende to pick up provisions quite often.

Jan 04, 2009
cheetobrain in General Topics

Jan/Feb DESSERT Cookbook of the MONTH Suggestions OR Should We Skip January?

I don't care when it starts, but I second nominations for both Baked and The Art and Soul of Baking since I just received both of these for Christmas!

Jan 03, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking

What fast food do you eat rarely, but that first bite think "Wow, this is so good!"

White Castle. I regret it every time! but sometimes I just need a double cheese slider.

No Dunkin Donuts in Minnesota, but when I'm back in Chicago i like to get a chocolate glazed. soooo good.

Jan 03, 2009
cheetobrain in Chains

July-August DESSERT COTM THE PERFECT SCOOP - Ice Creams

thanks! it IS fantastic. Between the homemade ice cream and homemade marshmallows I've been whipping up lately I think I am going to gain about 100 pounds this winter :)

Jan 02, 2009
cheetobrain in Home Cooking