2016/01/18

'Tis the Season (Tuesdays with Dorie Baking Chez Moi: Chocolate Chestnut Tart with Vanilla-Chestnut Syrup & Fluted Carrot-Tangerine Cake)

It's been a weird winter. We broke temperature records on Christmas Eve - it was 72F. Very little snow has fallen. I am not complaining; but considering that we were battling with too much snow last year at this time, it is a bit odd. It has me off-kilter.

It appears that the kids next door received drones for Christmas. They sell these things at Target - I had no clue that you could buy them at Target until I knocked some over off an end-cap. I guess you could say that I "stumbled into" the realization. If I were a little bolder, I might consider investing in one of those paint-ball thing-a-ma-bobs. I wondered if they registered them with the FAA. Note to self: buy heavy duty shades for the back of the house.

Runner Girl starts her final semester of college this week. For the time being, I am letting go of my "time-is-travelling-too-fast" denial. As always, I reserve the right to change my opinion on this at any time.

Fluted Blood-Orange Carrot Cake
We pre-gamed Christmas this year. I was totally off the hook Christmas day. We won't talk about the day after. I was really tempted throw hamburgers on the grill for Christmas dinner, but since it was just the two of us we ate leftovers. Yes, I just admitted that.

It makes me happy that the days are getting longer - it does something for my mental state to get home from work while there is still daylight to be had.

I have been having a love affair with roasted baby potatoes this year. Wash them, cut them in half, toss them in olive oil, add seasoning of choice, throw them in a hot oven (400F) until they are easily pierced with a fork - stir them every once in a while. Done. Done. And done. Sometimes, I make a paste out of mustard, olive oil and garlic and toss them in that. Other times, I throw in some Aleppo pepper or seasoned salt. My oldest daughter doesn't like potatoes. How did I mess that up?

I've also been on a radish kick lately. I can't get enough of them. Who does that?

The last couple of TWD desserts from Baking Chez Moi have proven useful in keeping me grounded in the winter season. Dorie's Fluted Tangerine (Blood Orange) Carrot Cake makes the most of two winter staples - storage crops (carrots) and winter citrus (blood orange). Pound cake-like in texture this was a breeze to put together and didn't last long enough to discover how it would keep (well, I suspect).

Chocolate Chestnut Tart with Vanilla Chestnut Syrup

Chocolate-Chestnut Tart (with Vanilla-Chestnut Syrup): Okay, are there many foods that are more iconic during the Christmas season than the chestnut? (Roasting on an open fire, anyone?) I am a big fan of chestnuts (although, I do give the side eye to the ones sold by street vendors in a certain large city that I will not name). The Dude is usually skeptical about going to Chelsea Market with me because he knows he will be carting around a bag filled with chestnut cream, pureed chestnuts, vacuum packed chestnuts, etc. around the city for the rest of the day.

It was a sad day when I realized that blight wiped out most of the chestnut tree population in the northeast.

Anyhoo, there is something to be said for a tart (with a cookie like crust) that is comprised of chocolate ganache and vanilla-poached chestnuts. I spread a layer of chestnut cream on top of the crust. Because I could. I didn't show it here, but we enjoyed this tart with vanilla ice cream that had been drizzled with the leftover poaching liquid. It was a worthy use of my chestnut stash.

I know it's an off week for BCM, but if I don't post now I may end up writing up another handful of results in one shot again. New Year's resolution: procrastinate less. I'll start working on that...later...

Peace out.

XO

This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie.


9 comments:

  1. First, I love baby potatoes also. As for the radishes - it means you're pregnant. Seriously, it does. As for chestnuts, not so much. You could have taken the opportunity here to mention that MHirsch has joined Team Roasted Garlic. Just a thought. I seem to be more excited about that then others. Now to get back to TWD. The Fluted Blood-Orange Carrot Cake really does look scrumptious. Nice job there. Your tart, despite the chestnut thing, looks fabulous and I certainly would have loved a piece of that. I could have easily overlooked the nut deal. I think you may have whammied yourself regarding the snow. It's on its way.....I love reading your posts (as you can tell).

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  2. Mary's remark on the radishes... you're on your own with that one.
    Both of those desserts look fantastic, I especially loved the orange/carrot cake. Happy New Year to you both.

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  3. I love the potatoes roasted too…funny comment on the radishes haha!

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  4. I always roast my potatoes! Yum! Lovedo the chestnuts tart and still think about how delicious it was. Also, who cares about extravagant holiday meals? All that is important is being together. :-)

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  5. I'm still in awe of how much you do! Both your cakes look great!
    My 15yr old son's friend got a drone for Christmas, it's broken now and I am relieved! They creep me out!!!

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  6. We've been on a roasted potato kick, too. I like to roast them with cloves of garlic, add some thyme and rosemary from the garden, and whatever else inspires.

    I've really wanted to get back on the TwD wagon, but I haven't had any takers for dessert recently, except for the dozens and dozens of gingersnaps I've made over the holidays and beyond. The two you've made look beautiful and I'm hoping for an excuse to make them soon.

    As for Christmas, this year we were the first stop on my parents' whistle-stop tour of all their children's houses. They had brunch with us, snacks at my sister's house, and dinner at my brother's place. My mother was especially happy because she was handed a cocktail (well, special coffee at our place in the morning) at each stop.

    For dinner, we settled in for a vegan meal at home with a movie. So, you weren't alone in not-Christmas-dinnering on the day.

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  7. I'm hoping to procrastinate less in the New Year too...and to get back to regular blogging. Both your desserts look delicious!

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  8. Wow, time does fly - it seems only yesterday that you said Runner Girl was going to college. Both of your bakes look terrific, but I reserve a soft spot for the chestnut tart, which was devine.

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