Finally, February, and the long-awaited premiere of Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia. If there was an Oscar for recipe books, Baking with Julia written by Dorie Greenspan, would win one of those glitzy golden guys. While my Euros for best picture is on “Hugo”, Martin Scorsese’s magical 1930’s tale set in a bustling Paris train station, my time has been spent in the kitchen, polishing up my basic baking techniques. Focus, Mary, Focus.
For the past 23 years of high-altitude living (Aspen, 8200’), my baking has had issues. “Home-made” turned to “store-bought”. My best cookies, Nabisco’s Oreos. Sara Lee does my pound cakes. The Pillsbury Dough Boy? He’s cute. Lately, older but not wiser, I decided to give-it-a-go-again and joined with 300-some other bloggers to mix, measure, whisk and stir my way through this book based on Julia’s PBS Series. (HINT: My library carries the videos of this Series.)
Twice a month, on Tuesday, my battalion, The Baking 300, will join with me to present and comment on our chosen recipe. I expect to not only brush up on my techniques but also glean a few high-altitude nuggets from this group. And, to my Readers who ask, and, many already have, WHY I would want additional caloric baked goods in my house (thank you, gentle readers, for not adding “at your age”), this is my answer. The majority of the TWD participants are younger than I, from their late 20s to a slow cruise into their 50s. These Bloggers appear to be genuinely concerned about good nutrition, staying fit, and will tweak these recipes down a caloric-notch or two, if need be. I consider this a learning experience.
My first attempt, Chocolate Truffle Tartlets, was, for me, fun and challenging. Since the recipe called for three different chocolates (bittersweet, white and milk) it helped that Dorie and Julia thought to provide a short tutorial on chocolate (pgs 7-8) in the book. Although Julia used Chocolate Dough, I used Dorie’s plain tart dough recipe from Around my French Table (pgs. 498-9) to take the richness down a beat.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my recipe analysis is shortened this week because my tarts were “shanghaied and decorated” a little too quickly!
To see how others in the TWD baking battalion fared, visit http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com/