Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Archive for the ‘Nuts’ Category

Pistachio & Poppy-Seed Crackers

Posted by osakaben41 on March 31, 2010

I’ve got a new muse these days, hopefully one that will smooth over the issues of “Sweet-lord what are you going to do with all that ________?!?” Normal people ask each other simple questions like, “I’m feeling peckish, wonder what we have to snack on?” My problem however has been “What am I going to do with this bucket of flan I just made?” Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Cookies, dough, Nuts, Savory | Leave a Comment »

Rosemary Caramel Pine Nut Tart

Posted by osakaben41 on March 7, 2010

It’s March, what the hell am I doing baking with Rosemary?  

It’s over 50 degrees outside, the kids played on the monkey bars without their coats, and I’m looking at the sad state of our yard and all the work it’ll need before we can cook outside again.  Spring is coming to Boston and I’m cooking a Christmas dinner?  Anybody with a lick of sense is going citrus crazy right now, if they aren’t scrounging early spring berries that is. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Lemon, Nuts, Sauce, Tarts | Leave a Comment »

Hazelnut Tiramisu – DB’s September challenge

Posted by osakaben41 on February 27, 2010




Hazelnut Tiramisu with Cardamom-Caramel sauce and Kahlua Jelly


It’s that time again for another Daring Bakers entry.  This one holds a special place for me, as Tiramisu was the first dessert my wife and I made together (we were dating then).  You’re going to think this a made up story, but it was while spending a week in a Tuscan villa just south of Florence.  Lazy mornings reading the Herald Tribune while sipping cappuccinos in town.  spend half the day shopping for dinner, then back to the house to cook with family and friends.  Seems almost unfair to get a taste of retirement before even getting into a career, but I digress…

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.  (recipes as always, listed below)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chocolate, DB Challenge, Nuts, Recipes, Sauce | 8 Comments »

Elvis Macarons (Mac Attack III)

Posted by osakaben41 on January 10, 2010

I’m a sucker for a decent online challenge, so when I came across the new MacTweets site, I just had to put something together. The rules for this round are


A good part of the appeal was the excuse to keep practicing something that I’d ruined at least 8 or 9 times but have recently gotten marginally proficient at.  Beyond that, I’ve had the Macaron fever for some time now, imagining different flavors when perhaps I should spend more time working.  Some people go to bed haunted by visions of tetris blocks falling, I’ve been seeing new uses for Chamomile, Poppy Seeds, and yes Bacon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chocolate, Cookies, Nuts | 5 Comments »

Apple Danish Braid

Posted by osakaben41 on January 9, 2010

A few weeks before starting this blog I tried out a Julia Child inspired Danish Braid, filled with apricot puree and pastry cream.  It was a great success for a first attempt, but way way too sweet to call brunch  We had friends over this morning though, so I took the opportunity to try it out again, just with a toned down apple filling.

I was given a fantastic Pastry textbook for Christmas from the CIA,Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft that I wanted to use this time.  The most obvious difference though between a professional formula and a lay-persons is one of scale.  Perhaps someday I’ll need 10.5 lbs of Danish dough, but not this weekend.  Rather than sweat through the math, it was back to Julia again. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in dough, Fruit, Nuts, Pastry | 1 Comment »

Orange Custard Tarts

Posted by osakaben41 on November 1, 2009

Orange Custard Tart

Sometimes a picture is just too good to be ignored.  A quick glance was all it took, but I just couldn’t get these tarts out of my head.  I’m going to have to keep myself from visiting Flagrante Delicia too often or I’m just going to keep recreating everything she does, just not as well.

And I tried, I really tried to put my own spin on this one.  She did an Orange custard, I’d make it with Pomelo.  Couldn’t find any though, so what about Yuzu.  Couldn’t find any of that either.  I thought about just doing this with pink grapefruit, but my father in law was coming to town and he’s not a grapefruit fan.  Back to Orange it was then. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Cookies, dough, Fruit, Ice Cream, Nuts, Tarts | Leave a Comment »

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Posted by osakaben41 on October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Reading begets more reading, and never was this more true than with these addictive food blogs.  I can’t even remember exactly how I came across Desserts Magazine, most likely somehow from Tartelette.  The pictures alone are inspiring, but when asked recently to bring a pie, “something Autumnal” to a harvest pot luck party, the pumpkin Pecan cheesecake from “the Spice Kitchen: Everyday Cooking with Organic Spices” by Sara Engram and Katie Luber, looked like the perfect fit (Recipe Below). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Ice Cream, Nuts, Pie, Recipes | Leave a Comment »

Honey Maple Pecan Tart

Posted by osakaben41 on October 18, 2009

H-M-P Tart

Just a quickie here.  We were invited over to for dinner tonight, so of course I offered to bring dessert.  With just enough tart dough left over, it was a fairly simple thing to throw together a pecan tart, this one from the always inspiring Baking Obsession.

It was very similar to the Walnut-Cranberry I just finished, with a sugary sludge poured over some toasted nuts.  whereas the last recipe relied more on an egg + a yolk for the body, I wasn’t sure what exactly was going to hold this one together.  There’s some butter in the mix which presumably would firm up once the tart is chilled, but for the most part it’s Honey, Maple Syrup and brown sugar.

HMP Tart2

It held up well though and sliced nicely, served it with some left over Cranberry ice cream.  I’ll call this more of a utilitarian exercise though than a pure experiment.  There are times when I’m just dying to try baking something with a nice quince, or infuse a creme brulee with bay leaves, but more often than not our friends want something more familiar.  For slapping something together in under an hour though, this ones a keeper.

Posted in Nuts, Tarts | 1 Comment »

Cranberry-Walnut Tarts

Posted by osakaben41 on October 17, 2009

c-w tart

This month the majority of my baking energies have been poured into the October Daring Baker’s Challenge, the results of which are not to be published until the 27th.  Considering that as well as a general lack of sleep from trying to sleep train my 18-month-old son, I just haven’t had the energy for a serious project in awhile. 

That said, if a week goes by without something sweet and new coming out of our kitchen, my hands start to shake and I get fidgety.  To scratch this persistent itch I’ve resorted to the quick, small experiments, leaving the multilayered entremet cakes for when I’m not quite so drowsy (has anybody else ever fallen asleep standing up in the shower?)   The other night I ripped out some quick Madelines, which felt good just to get back in the groove.  To that end, I came across in our freezer some left over Citrus Tart dough from the Pear-Flan Tart a few weeks back. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in dough, Ice Cream, Nuts, Recipes, Tarts | Leave a Comment »