{sms} sweet almond bread pudding with raspberry sauce


And brioche! I got it in my head to bake the brioche for this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection, Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce.

petite brioche sans tete

I’ve made brioche before, both the one from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours and from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This time I decided to try the brioche recipe from Elisabeth Prueitt’s Tartine. As Tartine recipes tend to go, it was a fussy recipe requiring a pre-ferment, both freezer & refrigerator time, and washing lots of dishes. And as Tartine recipes tend to go, it was the best recipe I’ve made. The crumb was unbelievable and the bread was gorgeous. I made the full recipe which yielded 2 loaves and 12 petite brioche sans tête (didn’t feel like adding the têtes).

brioche loaf

In the introduction to the recipe Elisabeth Prueitt suggests using slices of brioche for tartines, French open-faced sandwiches. I thought that was a swell idea and made one using leftover toppings from my pizza party. It’s a 4-Cheese tartine with sun-dried tomatoes and red onions.  Most of the brioche is residing in my freezer for French toast emergencies.


I only made a 1/4 of the Sweet Melissa recipe because I’m not a fan of bread pudding. I made 1/2 of the raspberry sauce because it will be great on ice cream. Thank you to Candace of Candy Girl for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book–Melissa Murphy’s The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.


After a long hiatus, I’ve remembered to submit this to Yeastspotting!

Vegan Pumpkin and Sage Cheesy Pasta Bake

I get so excited when an experiment works. I’ve been wanting to make the Mac Daddy (mac & cheese recipe) recipe from Veganomicon for awhile, but never got around to it. This week is Pumpkin Week on Pink Stripes and I was trying to think of a vegan pumpkin recipe for Vegan Tuesday. I wanted to cook something savory because I’ve plenty of sweets hanging out in my freezer, counter, and workplace.

I came up with the idea to make Mac Daddy, but substitute 1/2 of the Cheesy Sauce with pumpkin puree.  I also added in chopped fresh sage and used pumpkin pie spice to flavor it. I used whole-wheat linguine because I didn’t have any macaroni in the pantry.  The result was amazing. The pasta was very creamy and it smelled and tasted how Fall should taste. And it’s not just me saying that.  I bring in lunch to work at least once a week and feed some of my work friends (it’s so I can cook and not have endless leftovers that go on and on and on). They couldn’t believe it was so creamy and vegan. I made half of the pasta recipe and the full recipe of the Cheesy Sauce, which is great for nachos or pizza.

Vegan Pumpkin and Sage Cheesy Pasta Bake

Adapted from Veganomicon
  • 3/4 cup Cheesy Sauce, see below
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat linguine
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of boiling salted water. Pre-heat oven to 325° F.
  2. Meanwhile, combine Cheesy Sauce with pumpkin puree and spice.
  3. When pasta is ready, drain and set aside.
  4. In small baking dish, crumble tofu until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add sage, salt, oil, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Stir in sauce and then add pasta, mixing well. Flatten down the top and place in oven, baking for 30 minutes until top is lightly browned and bubbly.

Serves 4.

Cheesy Sauce

Adapted from Veganomicon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Several pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon tumeric
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  1. Combine water and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. A few lumps are okay.
  2. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium low heat. Add garlic and stir cooking for 2 minutes, making sure garlic doesn’t burn. Add spice, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add flour/water mixture, tumeric, and nutritional yeast. Increase heat to medium and whisk continuously for 3 minutes. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and mustard. Taste for seasoning.

Makes approximately 3 cups.

{sms} strawberry-ruby grapefruit preserves

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe selection, Strawberry-Rube Grapefruit Preserves, was fun and easy to make. You just throw in all the ingredients (strawberries, grapefruit juice & zest, sugar, apple) in a pot, boil, and let it reduce into sweet goodness. I made a 1/2 recipe and it still made a lot. One big pickle jar full.

It’s been perfect on toast and wonderful with plain yogurt and granola. I think it would also be good in a baked item, but haven’t made anything yet.

Thank you to Margot of Effort to Deliciousness for this week’s pick as we bake through the book. If you would like the recipe, please visit her BLOG.

{twd}my tribute to dorie’s tribute to katharine hepburn brownies

Apparently, in addition to her film accomplishments, Katharine Hepburn was known for her brownies. I did not know this. After imdb-ing her, I’ve also realized that I’ve never watched one of her movies. The closest I’ve come to “watching” her in a movie is seeing Cate Blanchett play her in The Aviator. I really need to catch up on my classic movie watching.

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, A Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies, is Dorie Greenspan’s tribute to the famous brownies. My tribute to the brownies is ice cream. More specifically, Peanut Butter Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl and Chocolate-Covered Cacao Nibs.

The brownies had just the right amount of gooey-factor and were fudgey with a hint of cinnamon. Loved them. Co-workers loved them.

See exhibit #1, email from co-worker (masked to protect the innocent):

From: ##### Monday – July 6, 2009 10:28 AM
To: Wendy
Subject: OMG

Browwwwnnnnnniiiiiieeeeessssss Yummy Yummy Yummy.

But the ice cream, yes the ice cream was an absolute dream. This is my new favorite flavor. I made Peanut Butter Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop and swirled in Creamy Caramel Sauce also from the book and I also added in some chocolate-covered cacao nibs. You can find the recipe for the ice cream HERE. I need to figure out how to successfully bring ice cream to work. I was thinking about buying dry ice.

Thank you to Lisa of Surviving Oz for selecting this week’s recipe. She isn’t a member of Tuesdays with Dorie, but designed the new logo. Isn’t it cool? If you would the recipe, either buy Dorie Greenspan’s Baking… From My Home to Yours or visit Lisa’s blog.

{twd} french yogurt cakelets


When Dorie Greenspan writes in a recipe’s introduction that this is something the French frequently make in their home kitchens, you know the dessert will be a breeze to make. Apparently the French don’t do complicated at home, Why would they need to when there is an amazing pâtisserie on every block?


This week’s Tuesday with Dorie selection was the French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. And yes it was a breeze to make. For one thing, there is no butter and therefore no need to wait for it to come to room temperature. For another, there is no beating things until they hold firm peaks or are creamy.


I don’t know if it was because it was too easy or I’m just used to complicated, but I decided to up the complication level. I made the full-recipe cake as directed–using Fage Total Yogurt because it’s the type of yogurt I prefer to eat–, added a bit of lemon oil to up the lemon flavor, and baked it in a 9″ round pan as suggested in a Playing Around suggestion. The cake baked up perfectly and beautiful.

frenchyogurtlayers frenchyogurtcakelets

I glazed the cake using lemon-pear marmalade because I couldn’t find plain lemon marmalade. I then split the cake in half to create two layers and used a biscuit cutter to create layers for cakelets.

frenchyogurtcakelets2 cakewithalmondfilling cakewithstrawberry

I layered some of the cakelets with a Crushed Strawberry Sauce I made based off a recipe from the April 2009 issue of bon appétit. Some of the cakelets were layered with Dorie’s Lemon Curd I made specifically for this recipe.  The final group of cakelets were layered with almond pastry filling and chocolate shavings, left over from another pastry I made this weekend.


I topped all cakelets with a dollap of whipped cream. For the almond ones, I sprinkled the tops with more chocolate shavings and sliced almonds. I topped the lemon cakelets with candied lemon slices leftover from last week’s TWD and the strawberry cakelets were topped with more crushed strawberry sauce.


The cakelets were out-of-this-world delicious. The cake was very moist and full of flavor. My favorite was the strawberry cakelet. Thank you to Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction for choosing the French Yogurt Cake. Please visit her blog for the recipe.

Crushed Strawberry Sauce

Adapted from bon appétit, April 2009

Note: The original recipe is for blueberries.

  • 14 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Combine half of the strawberries (7 ounces) and the rest of the ingredients in a heavy-bottom sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until strawberries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, approximately 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add remaining strawberries, lightly pressing the fresh strawberries on the side of the pan until they are lightly crushed.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.