By Dorie Greenspan
A “culinary guru” and author of the award-winning Around My French Table and Baking: From My domestic to Yours returns with an intriguing choice of easy muffins from French domestic chefs and chefs
Whether it’s vintage lemon-glazed madeleines, a silky caramel tart, or “Les Whoopie Pies,” Dorie places her personal artistic spin on each one dish, guiding us with the pleasant, reassuring instructions that experience received her legions of ardent fans.
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Extra info for Baking chez moi : recipes from my Paris home to your home anywhere
Their name, Desert Roses, is poetic, but their ingredients are plain: dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and cornflakes for crunch. My stateside friends call this “comfort baking,” and they’re right. “Real French people don’t bake! ” I HAVE ADAPTED MANY DESSERTS from sweets I discovered when I was traveling—the apple tarte flambée that won my heart in Alsace, the dipped-in-icing Palets de Dames cookies from Lille, the Tarte Tropézienne made famous by Brigitte Bardot, and other desserts from Normandy, Brittany and Provence.
Bonne Idée TANGERINE GLAZE: The cake is perfectly nice plain, but it’s also nice with a drizzle of glaze. Mix 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons tangerine, clementine or orange juice in a small bowl until the mixture is thick enough to drip slowly from the tip of a spoon. Either brush the glaze over the surface of the cake, making a thin layer—I like it when there are some bare spots and you can see the brush marks—or go all Jackson Pollock and just let the glaze fall off the spoon this way and that.
In the end, no one missed the berries. And while it’s true that the brown sugar cake topped with bracingly tart caramelized rhubarb is fine unadorned, I think it’s even finer served with crème fraîche and sweetened strawberries. Plan ahead. FOR THE RHUBARB TOPPING 1¼ pounds (567 grams) rhubarb (4–6 stalks), trimmed and rinsed ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar 1½ tablespoons (¾ ounce; 21 grams) unsalted butter FOR THE CAKE 1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of fine sea salt 3 large eggs, at room temperature ¾ cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar Finely grated zest of 1 orange (optional) 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract plus ⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract) 1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled FOR THE GLAZE (OPTIONAL) About ⅓ cup (107 grams) apple, quince or red currant jelly, and 1 teaspoon water Crème fraîche or softly whipped and lightly sweetened cream, for serving (optional) Strawberries, hulled, quartered and lightly sweetened, for serving (optional) TO MAKE THE RHUBARB TOPPING: Peel—string is more like it—the rhubarb, using a vegetable peeler or a small knife.