Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

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Pastel de Tres Leches

April 14, 2008

tres leche close

Well, at least that is what it was supposed to be. I have to say, that I count this among one of my true failures in the baking world. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good, but it was not what it was supposed to be.

You see it all started many years ago when they opened a Bahama Breeze restaurant in Louisville… Loving restaurants the way we do, my friends and I immediately went to try the new place. And there we discovered something wonderful. Something sinful. Something truly truly scrumptious. Jose’s Tres Leches. It is a Tres Leches in that it has the 3 milk soaking, but it is chocolate. An absolutely wonderful addition. And the icing? Regular meringue? Ooooh no. Chocolate mousse. This soon became my friend Becky’s favorite dessert. We would go there for dinner just for the dessert. Heck, there were times we’d go somewhere else for dinner and go to Bahama Breeze just for dessert.

But alas, our Bahama Breeze left us last year. We have no idea why. The place was always packed. As a result, Becky lost her beloved dessert. Being the true friend and fellow Jose’s fan, I promised Becky a replacement. I found several recipes online. Becky is all set to be my guinea pig on all the variations. This was the first. I don’t know where I found this recipe online, forgot to note it. (if it’s your recipe, please let me know and I’ll credit you.) I changed it only slightly by reducing the flour by 1/3 cup and replacing it with 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. The cake came together beautifully. It was airy and full. Just like it should be (basically a sponge). I baked it for 35 minutes. My toothpick came out clean. It was all puffed up and filled the pan. I set it on a cooling rack and five minutes later. When I came back. *sunk* It was shriveled up and sunken in like a big brown raisin. It was so depressing. I know with a regular sponge, like angel food cake, you hang the pan to cool so the cake doesn’t fall, but how do I do that with a 9 x 13 pan?!? Sigh. It was sooo not pretty.

Then I tried my hand at the chocolate mousse. Sigh. Again. Everything kind of… seized… when I added the chocolate. After adding the whipped cream it loosened up a bit, but it lost most of its *fluff*. The color was much darker than it should have been.

All in all the flavor was very close, but I’m just very disappointed in the result from a visual result perspective. I’m always very tough on myself. I never like my wedding cakes. But I was so proud of how it looked when I took it out of the oven… *sniffle*

tres leche arm

Maybe you’ll have better results…

Pastel de Tres Leches

This version serves 10 generous portions.

CAKE:1 cup sugar

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

MILK SYRUP:

  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp dark Cuban rum

GARNISHES:

  • Fresh whipped cream or good quality vanilla ice cream
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sliced fresh mango (or the fruit of your choice- tropical fruits pair nicely with this cake)
  • METHOD: Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • CAKE: Beat 3/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the milk, vanilla, flour and baking powder. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, adding the cream of tartar after 20 seconds. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy and firm, but not dry. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this batter into the buttered baking dish. Bake the cake until it feels firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30-45 minutes. Let the cake cool completely in baking dish. Pierce the cake all over with a fork, taking care to not tear it up.
  • MILK SYRUP: Combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cream, vanilla and rum in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Pour the syrup over the cake, spooning the overflow back on top, until it is all absorbed.
  • When ready to serve, cut a slice and plate it. Top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a side of ice cream, dust cake and cream with some fresh cocoa powder and place a slice or two of fresh mango on the side. This cake is addictive- you’ve been warned! Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse:

6 ounces (175 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream

3 large egg yolks

1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

Chocolate Mousse: In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Set aside but keep the bowl over the warm water so the chocolate will stay slightly warm.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.

Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar dissolves, a minute or two. This produces a sugar syrup. Then, whisking constantly, pour the boiling syrup over the egg yolks. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly (can use a hand mixer on low speed) until the mixture is thick and light in color. This mixture should be hot to the touch. (About 10 minutes)

Remove the bowl from the heat and, working quickly, scrape the egg mixture into a clean large bowl of your electric mixer. On medium speed (or with a hand mixer) beat until the volume has doubled and the bottom of the bowl is completely cool to the touch. Turn speed to low, and beat in the warm melted chocolate until well combined. Fold in half the reserved whipped cream and then fold in the remaining cream. The mixture should resemble softly whipped cream. This can be used immediately or refrigerated, covered, until needed. If the mixture seems a little runny, the chocolate may have been too warm, but after refrigerating for an hour or so, it will firm up. Can be made and refrigerate a day ahead of time.

Makes about 3 cups.

Makes 4 – 6 servings or it is enough to fill one 9-inch (23 cm) layer cake.

From http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateMousse.html

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Gooey Chocolate Cakes

April 1, 2008

Gooey cakes solo

Ah! Another scrumptious Tuesday with Dorie. This week it is Gooey Chocolate Cakes! This recipe was super easy and didn’t require much in the way of hardware. Didn’t even need a mixer. Just a bowl and a whisk (and a double boiler)! I took Dorie’s advice and got some disposable muffin tins. She was right! They were just the right size to make six. The only issue I had was the chocolate I sprinkled on didn’t sink into the batter. I think I may have chopped it too small. Didn’t effect the taste, just made the bottoms extra gooey.

Gooey cakes on parade

Made a night of it! Asked some friends over for dinner, popped the muffins in as we were loading up our plates and by the time we had finished eating, out they came! So yummy! Served ours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate syrup, mmm! I just had to have people over… They just wouldn’t be the same reheated another day, so had to have enough people to eat them up while they were fresh, didn’t I?!? Of course, I didn’t have my camera, so the pictures are on my friend Fu’s camera… They’ll be along later!

I do wish they were a bit bigger. Didn’t last nearly long enough 😉

Gooey Chocolate Cake

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate,

4 ounces coarsely chopped,

1 ounce very finely chopped

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

6 tablespoons of sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

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Perfect Party Cake – March Daring Bakers Challenge

March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake from Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Cut cake

Well, those of us at KBK BAkery just didn’t think one cake was enough, soo… we made 3!  Since Easter was this month we opted to make cakes to take to Easter, and since we are just friends, and not related (pity that it is) that meant multiple cakes.  Luckily, as will all Dorie recipes (goddess that she is), the cake came together flawlessly so making 3 was not a chore.  We all went for the classic white with lemon zest for the cake, but the fillings and icings are all a little different.

The first cake was for Beth’s family.  She chose strawberry preserves for her cake.  To add a little extra Easter feel, she also added a touch of pink food coloring to her buttercream.

Pink Dorie Cake

Very cute!  The pink is a little hard to see in the photo, but it was a very Easter appropriate baby pink!

The second cake was for my husband’s side of the family.  For their cake, I went with raspberry seedless (i love that it exists!) jam  and I went with a marshmallow frosting.   Marshmallow just seems to go with Easter… maybe it’s all those Russell Stover marshmallow eggs I ate growing up?

Marshmallow Cake

The last cake I made for my parents’ house.  Both my mother and father are diabetic, so I wanted to try my hand at a sugar free version.

Sugar Free Cake

And with the exception of the fact that the cake didn’t rise at all the cake came out very well.  My parents enjoyed it very much and my dad had fun taunting his coworkers with the leftovers at work on Monday, heh.  The filling was sugar free raspberry, and the icing was buttercream made with Splenda, so the only sugar in the cake was the lemon juice and the coconut on the outside.  It was, by no means, fat free, heh, but pretty darn close to sugar free!

I used the bunnies to tell the cakes apart.  The sugar version had a red ribbon and the sugar free had a brown ribbon!  Thank goodness for color coded rabbits!

For the Cake
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing
2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, and then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.
Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
Spread it with one third of the preserves.
Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.
Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).
Place the last layer, cut side down, on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.
Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

Serving

The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.Storing
The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, and then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

*MARSHMALLOW FROSTING

1 pound unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

1 (16 ounce) tub marshmallow cream (such as Marshmallow Fluff brand)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

Beat in one-fourth of the sugar until fluffy, and then repeat with the remaining sugar.

Beat in the vanilla, and then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

Yield: 24 servings

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Kahlua Coffee CupCakes

February 23, 2008

Are You the Next Cupcake Hero?

Could I be the next Cupcake Hero?!? Perhaps…

When I saw the challenge of creating a cupcake using liquor I immediately thought of Kahlua. I know a had a wonderful recipe for coffee buttercream and thought Kahlua would be a wonderful complement! I adapted a cake recipe from the the Blue Willow Restaurant. Well “adapted” may be too strong of a word… I used their recipe and replaced half the water with Kahlua liqueur. The coffee buttercream is from a Daring Bakers Challenge to make a yule log. I like to use spiced rum in my coffee buttercream because I think the flavor goes well with the coffee. And the Kahlua candy… well… you can never have too much chocolate in my opinion!

Since this was a new adventure I have some tips! First off! Be *very* careful that the candy is not all the way to the bottom! If it is the liquified candy causes the bottom of the cupcake to fall off! If you are using foil liners you’re good to go, but if not (like me) your cupcake bottoms are a mess!

Oops Bottoms!

Also, if your buttercream looks like it is seperating, just keep beating it! It looks a little iffy after you add the rum and coffee but it comes back together!

The cupcakes are simply scrumptious! I’ve never made them before and thought them up especially for my attempt at Cupcake Hero-dom.

Try them for yourself!

Kahlua Coffee CupCakes

 

Kahlua Coffee CupCakes

Cupcake Batter: (serves 12 to 15)


2 cups flour (448 grams)
2 cups sugar (448 grams)
¼ teaspoon salt (1 gram)
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (112 grams)
¼ cup water (120 ml)

¼ cup Kahlua coffee liqueur (120 ml)
½ cup butter (112 grams)
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature (240 ml)
1 teaspoon vanilla (5 ml)
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda (6 grams)
2 beaten eggs

12-15 Kahlua filled chocolate candies by Turin

 

Grease or line two cupcake pans. Preheat oven to 350° F. In mixer, combine flour, sugar and salt.

Melt chocolate with butter, Kahlua and water Add melted chocolate mixture to flour mixture and mix lightly. Add sour cream, vanilla, baking soda and eggs and mix well for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into pans and press a Kahlua candy into each cake. Be careful that the candy does not touch the bottom of the pan. Cover the chocolate with additional batter, if desired. Bake until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes and unmold cakes to cake rack to cool completely before frosting.

Coffee Buttercream:

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tbs. (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbs. instant espresso powder
2 tbs. rum or brandy

Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Top each cupcake with the buttercream.

Consume!

Cupcake Hero

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December Daring Bakers’ Challenge – Yule Log

December 24, 2007

Yule Log Close Up

Well another Daring Bakers Challenge has come and gone. This month’s was to make a Yule Log. The log was made out of a genoise (zh-nwz) cake, a scrumptious coffee buttercream icing, and marzipan mushrooms. All of these things were new to us so it was lots of fun! I’ve made “buttercream” before but not with real butter. I’ve always used…well… not butter. And wow! is it tasty! I don’t think I can go back to the other stuff with a clear conscience…

Everything in this challenge went very smoothly.. I kept waiting for catastrophe! I was afraid my genoise would deflate! Or my buttercream would curdle! Or my mushrooms wouldn’t look right! But no… everything worked perfectly… so I figure the next thing I cook will explode just to keep the world on an even keel…

Yule Log

For this challenge I made my genoise a chocolate one by reducing the cornstarch and flour to 1/3 cup and adding 1/4 cup of cocoa. For the buttercream, I used spiced rum as I thought it would complement the coffee flavor. My mushrooms are just as the recipe dictates, however I forgot to put them on the log before taking it to my parents’! By the time I realized I’d forgotten them the log was over half gone!

marzipan mushrooms

So maybe that was the snafu for this challenge… hrm… I’ll have to think about that!

I’ve never made or worked with marzipan before so I used this opportunity to experiment. What do you think?

Grapes

marzipan grapes

Pear

marzipan pear

Apple

marzipan apple

Oh! And here’s the recipe!

Plain Genoise:

3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour – spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
¼ cup cornstarch

one (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again

1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.

3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger – it should be warm to the touch).

4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.

5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.

6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.

7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t overbake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.

9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.

10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream:

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
24 tablespoons (3 sticks or 1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons rum or brandy
(I used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)

1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Meringue Mushrooms:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup (3-1/2 ounces/105 g.) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (1-1/3 ounces/40 g.) icing s
ugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

1.Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip. In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.

2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each ½ inch (12 mm.) wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, ¾ inch (2 cm.) tall, and spaced about ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1-1/4 inches (3 cm.) wide and ¾ inch (2 cm.) high, also spaced ½ inch (12 mm.) apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.

3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

Marzipan Mushrooms:

8 ounces almond paste
2 cups icing sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
Cocoa powder

1.To make the marzipan combine the almond paste and 1 cup of the icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until sugar is almost absorbed.

2.Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

3.Add half the corn syrup, then continue mixing until a bit of the marzipan holds together when squeezed, adding additional corn syrup a little at a time, as necessary: the marzipan in the bowl will still appear crumbly.

4.Transfer the marzipan to a work surface and knead until smooth.

5.Roll one-third of the marzipan into a 6 inches long cylinder and cut into 1-inch lengths.

6.Roll half the lengths into balls. Press the remaining cylindrical lengths (stems) into the balls (caps) to make mushrooms.

7.Smudge with cocoa powder.

Assembling the Yule Log:

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.

2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.

3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.

4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).

5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.

6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.

7.Unwrap the cake. Trim the ends on the diagonal, starting the cuts about 2 inches away from each end.

8.Position the larger cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.

9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to curve around the protruding stump.

10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.

11.Transfer the log to
a platter and decorate with your mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

DB logo

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Our First Daring Bakers Challenge! We’re so proud!!

October 30, 2007

pink_sil.jpg

The custard came out perfectly! It had a wonderful creamy texture and set up quickly! We took the suggestion of a fellow DBer and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating it. Worked like a charm!

We did, however, take our cake out too early so the center was not done. The middle had the consistency of scrambled eggs. I also forgot my whisk attachment, so it may not have been as “airy” as it should have been. There was enough around the edges to make 5 or 6 though, so everything worked out.

The sauce…there are no words. We had to stop ourselves just eating it straight.

This recipe is definitely not on the diet, but boy was it tasty!

Photos coming later today!

Bostini Cream Pie
(from Donna Scala & Kurtis Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni and Scala’s Bistro)
Makes 8 generous servings

INGREDIENTS: Custard

3/4 cup whole milk
2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole egg, beaten
9 egg yolks, beaten
3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean (EDITED: vanilla extract is okay)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

Chiffon Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the custard:

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffon cakes:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.

Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.

Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze:

Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble:

Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

Edit from Beth~

In all, I think Katie’s right – a success! I cannot speak much for the custard part of the deal, as I’m a bit allergic to eggs and just a taste of it was enough to tie my stomach in knots, but the few bites of it I had were nice and creamy. The cake came out tasty (although still – so many eggs), and the chocolate sauce… Way rich, but I could have eaten that on just about anything. Of course, what’s not to like about chocolate and butter, right? Whoever dreamt up that combo deserves a statue in their honor. A gooey, chocolate statue.

But anyway, on to the show!

Bunch o' Custards

Pretty Custards all in a bunch

We tried the tried and true “glop on a plate” method:

Glop

But it was not so beautiful as we had hoped.

This one was probably our best, despite some, ahem, disagreements as to the orange zest:

Pretty Custard

So there you have it! We daringly baked. And it was tasty, if I do say so myself.

h1

Blackberry Jam Cakes!

August 21, 2007

Blackberry Jam Cake

I tried to make Blackberry Jam cakes the other day. I used a recipe I found at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody (http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/) The recipe was really easy! I don’t make too many cakes from scratch but these are pretty tasty! You don’t taste the jam much in the cake but the icing is very flavorful.

Here is her recipe:

Blackberry Jam Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg
¾ cup sour cream
1 cup blackberry preserves

Preheat oven to 300F˚.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and scrape down the bowl after each egg. Add the vanilla a beat for another 30 seconds.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating after each addition. Fold in the blackberry preserves.
Pour into a buttered and floured 10-inch Bundt or tube pan (I used mini). Bake at 300F˚ for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 350F˚ and bake until done (40-50) minutes. If making the mini, bake about 10 minutes less. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling.

If you want to make the glaze (no real recipe) simply heat up some jam. Remove the jam from the heat when it has melted and sprinkle in some powdered sugar until you reach a consistency you are happy with.

I used regular all-purpose flour in mine, as my local Meijer didn’t have cake flour. The cakes were a bit dense for my taste, but that may be because of the flour difference. They are excellent with coffee as well as served warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum!