Monday, December 6, 2010
At my school, all of the 8th graders have to do a community service project. I decided to make mine be working with the soup kitchen down the street. They always have a big meal on Thanksgiving, and love it when people bring in pies. I decided to combine that week's TWD and my community service project and make a whole bunch of pies.
About two weeks before Thanksgiving, I decided to make all of the crusts. For all of the soup kitchen pies, plus the three we were having for ourselves, that meant fourteen crusts.
A few days before the due date, I set about making the pies. First, I made all the pumpkin pies. Five for the soup kitchen, one for us. Those were easy - I rolled out the dough, whisked together the filling, and baked them all. Okay, not so easy - I did manage to slightly burn a few of them. I used Libby's classic pumpkin pie for those. Since my pans were a little smaller than those the recipe called for, I made four times the filling instead of six. I still had way too much, and ended up making a few mini pies in a muffin tin (some with crust, some without). They were as delicious as the pumpkin pies themselves (which were quite delicious).
Then I made the pecan pies. I used Dorie's recipe, but since I wanted a classic pie, left out the chocolate, espresso powder, and cinnamon. This time, I made five times the filling (haha, don't ask me why), which ended up being the perfect amount (???). Those baked up nicer-looking than the pumpkin, and the one we had was also quite tasty.
On Wednesday, I took the five of each kind of pie to the soup kitchen. They were so grateful to have ten homemade pies!
Wednesday afternoon, I used the remaining two crusts (and scraps from the others) to make two of Dorie's apple pies with my friend, one for my family and one for hers. Those were delicious as well!
All in all, it was quite stressful to make thirteen pies, but it was a lot of fun and I loved getting to take them to the soup kitchen. Who knows - maybe I'll even do it again next year :)
PS - I know I haven't done a Daring Bakers in several months, and I probably won't be able to do this month's either. Hopefully I'll be back to normal in January! (That includes weekly TWD!)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Nicole of Bakeology. She chose the Peanuttiest Blondies.
These blondies are fairly simple to make, and the part that takes the longest is just chopping up the peanuts.
I began making these thinking that they were going to be just a basic blondie, nothing to get too excited over. I think it's safe to say I was wrong! We loved these so much. They are kind of like a peanut butter cookie, due to the peanut butter in the batter, only thick and with peanut chunks and chocolate chips. I couldn't resist trying one right out of the oven, and they were yummy, but they were better once they cooled. If you want to try the recipe, you can find it in Dorie's book or here.
This week, I had some free time and also made a rewind for brunch on Saturday. I decided on the Cranberry Upside-Downer. This is made by boiling a whole lot of butter and sugar, pouring that in to a cake pan, and sprinkling on fresh cranberries and pecans. Then a simple cake batter is made (with plenty of cinnamon!), and it is poured over the cranberry/pecan/buttery-sugary-goodness layer. Forty minutes later, you take it out of the oven, flip it over, and are faced with a plate of deliciousness. Yum..... You can find the recipe in the book or here, because I know you're going to make it tonight.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If anybody reading this has ever been in 8th grade in New York City, you know what I'm talking about. I think this past month has been the craziest in my life. Why? I'm dealing with applications to NYC Public High Schools. Admissions to the really good schools is very competitive, and I have spent all of my free time studying for tests, practicing for auditions, going to open houses and tours, and sleeping. :)
Now all of the tests are over, and I seem to have a bit more time on my hands (although I'm still super busy). Also, I was recently on Tuesdays with Dorie's website and read about how anybody who doesn't post by today is getting kicked out. SO.... I decided it was time I put up a post :)
I'm just going to talk about a jumble of TWD recipes I've made over the past few months (no pictures today, because I'm too tired and busy to find them).
Peanut Butter Crisscrosses - I actually made these way back in February, before they were chosen. I believe I doubled the recipe, because I was making them for a big party. They were pretty simple to make and delicious. A hit!
Peach Ice Cream - Oh my goodness, this stuff is amazing and SO addictive. In August, we went peach picking and I had to find something to do with all the quickly ripening peaches, so I went with this. It's actually very easy to make (although a bit time-consuming). The next time you have some extra peaches, go make it!
Crunchy Custardy Peach Tart - This was also a hit. The crust was same as usual, and the thin layer of custard was delicious. My only complaint was that the peaches were baked for so long, they seemed to lose a bit of their flavor. But all in all, a yummy dessert.
Mango Bread - I made this one because I was bored over the summer and wanted to cross something off the old rewind list. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this spicy bread, and I will make it again sometime!
Oatmeal Breakfast Bread - Oh, what we did for this bread. We were in Rome when we decided we wanted this bread. So we looked up the ingredients, got the people at the supermarket annoyed with our hand gestures as we tried to communicate what we were looking for, and went back to the house where we were staying. When we got there, we realized we had forgotten the applesauce. Back to the store we went. And who would have known? Apparently Italians don't believe in applesauce :) So we went back to the apartment, cut up and cooked some apples, and mashed them in a ricer. And you know what? That applesauce was pretty good. The bread, on the other hand, was just okay. This might have been a result of our not really knowing what baking powder/baking soda we were dealing with, and our measurements having been slightly off. We also didn't make the crumble, just sprinkled some spices and sugar on top. I guess I'll just have to make it again!
Raspberry Blanc Manger - When I went peach picking, I also went raspberry picking. When I got home, I decided to make this cold dessert. It was actually a bit of a let-down for me. The agar-agar (vegetarian substitute for gelatin) sort of clumped, making weird lumps in the custard. However, the taste was good, and everyone else liked it.
Blueberry Pie - I had never made a blueberry pie before, although I had always wanted to. I loved seeing the blueberries and sugar become a syrupy, yummy mess. I'll definitely make this one again.
Coffee Break Muffins - It's coffee in a muffin. What's not to love? Mmm, I want one right now.....
Tarte Fine - This was one of the easiest recipes in Dorie's book that I have made. It consists of a thin layer of puff pastry, some apples and sugar, and jam brushed on top. I didn't have high hopes for it, but it was really, really good. And so easy! (Especially when you used frozen homemade puff pastry, because you get the flavor of the homemade in a few minutes.)
Apple Pie - I loved loved loved this pie! It was a simple filling, but the best I've made. Definitely one I'll make again.
So those are the recipes I've made recently. Hopefully I'll be back next week with a more detailed post!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Anyways, I wasn't able to make last week's Carrot Cookies or today's Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream, so I'm adding those to my list of rewinds. I'll try to make next week's bread here - does anyone know where I can find applesauce / what I can substitute for it? Oh, and I have a few rewinds that will be up this week. Come back soon!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
So, a swiss swirl ice cream cake. This was the most time consuming challenge. EVER. It starts off with a swiss roll. It's kind of like a jelly roll - it's a thin sponge-type cake, which is rolled up with sweetened whipped cream inside. Even on its own, the swiss roll was delicious! It got sliced and I lined a bowl with it. In to the freezer for some firming up!
Then came a layer of white chocolate ice cream. Instead of using a the vanilla ice cream recipe from the challenge, I used David Lebovitz's recipe (I just got his ice cream book, which I am loving). It got spread up the sides of the cake-lined bowl. It was really great on its own - I thought it was the yummiest part of the whole challenge.
After that, came a layer of raspberry ice cream, also from David's book. It was also so yummy - it had a bit of a sweet+sour taste that was so addictive.
Wait - I forgot! Between the layers of ice cream came a layer of homemade hot fudge sauce! This was quick and easy to make. I thought that it was going to become hard as a rock in the freezer, but it stayed nice and smooth - almost like another layer of ice cream!
Once the dessert was assembled, I let it stay in the freezer for the day. Once I got home at night, I flipped it on to a plate and found....
THIS! I was so happy with how it looked - I thought it was going to look really messy. Ten minutes later, we cut into it.
It was SO GOOD. I loved it - and how it looked. I would love to say that I'll make this again and again, but it's simply too time consuming. Maybe once in a while, because the taste was worth the effort. If you want the recipe, you can find it on the Sunita's blog (link at the beginning of this post). Enjoy!
Last week's recipe was chosen by Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities. She chose the Lots of Ways Banana Cake. This recipe has lots of flavor possibilities. I ended up not using the coconut milk, and I substituted white sugar in place of brown. As my add-in, I chose raisins. Also, instead of baking the cakes in round pans, I decided to make muffins. I got 28 good-sized ones. They were so yummy, and they got eaten quickly! If you want to try it for yourself, you can find the recipe here or in the book.
This week's recipe was chosen by Nicole of Cookies on Friday. She chose the Chewy, Chunky Blondies. I have made these SO many times, because they are my mom's absolute favorite thing I make. I decided that I had to make them again, for photography purposes ;)
Substitutions for the add-ins are fine for these - as long as you have 4 cups. I love love love these blondies, and you absolutely HAVE to make them. You can find the recipe here or in the book.
Enjoy! (P.S. - DB post up soon). :D
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Okay, I admit it. I'm suffering from Blog Guilt. I bet you know the feeling. You haven't posted for a long time, and you have so many recipes to post, you just want to get some of them out there! That's exactly what I'm feeling right now. So I decided that I have to post the recipe for an awesome Key Lime Pie. Or, in my case, six of them.
The night before her bat mitzvah, my friend was having a family dinner. She wanted lots of one dessert (so that she wouldn't order, say, three apple pies and three lemon meringue and everyone wanted apple), and her favorite is Key Lime Pie, so she ordered six of them. I said I could do it, no problem, and then realized what it meant. I had never before in my entire life made a key lime pie. Ever. I had heard they were really easy, and I found a recipe that looked simple enough. Actually, really simple - just make a graham cracker crust and put in egg yolks, lime juice, and sweetened condensed milk. I made one to test out the recipe, and it came out really yummy. The only problem was that even after several hours of refrigeration, the filling was still a bit too runny. But I figured since it tasted great, I could just make a little adjustment and it would be fine.
The day before the party, I set about making the graham cracker crusts. Six of them. I just multiplied the recipe by six and made it all at once (yeah, I know you're probably not supposed to do that...), and it worked out just fine. This was the most time-consuming step, because I had to press together six crusts. In to the oven they went!
Later on, I made the filling. Again, I made it all at once. ;) This time I added a bit of agar-agar (vegetarian gelatin made from seaweed) and it worked like a charm.
All in all, the hardest part of this recipe was finding room in my fridge for six pies! Everyone loved the pies, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. So try this recipe!
Key Lime Pie (from Baking Bites)
1 pre-baked graham cracker crust (8 or 9-in.) (recipe below)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (key lime, if possible)
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk with a large whisk until smooth. Whisking constantly, stream in lime juice and stir until smooth and well-combined. Pour into pie shell.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Graham Cracker Crust (also from Baking Bites)
8 large grahams crackers (to make 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups graham crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a food processor, whizz graham crackers until reduced to crumbs. Add sugar and pulse to combine. Pour in vanilla and melted butter and process until crumbs are all moistened.
Press firmly and evenly into a 9-inch pie plate.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375F, until browned at the edge.
Set aside to cool.
Note: The lime juice supposedly cooks the egg, but if you have been told by your doctor to stay away from even a hint of uncooked food, I would go with a baked version.
Another note: No worries, this recipe makes only one pie, not six! :D
Three weeks ago, Susan of Food.Baby picked the Raisin Swirl Bread. I had been looking forward to this recipe since I got the book, and was so excited it was finally picked. It was simple to make, and I had no problems with it. Obviously my swirl is not perfect, because my bread was longer than the loaf pan and I had to tuck the ends under. The taste? It was really good. Next time I think I would add more sugar to the swirl and maybe a bit more to the dough as well, because it was a tiny bit bland. But there definitely will be a next time! You can find the recipe here.
Two weeks ago, Amy of Amy Ruth Bakes chose the Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake. I had a few issues with this one. First, my cake sank. I don't know why, but it did. So there is a dent in my cake. Whoops. Also, the sour cream that I got had separated. It was still perfectly good, but it made the frosting a bit lumpy. All in all, the cake won't be winning any prizes for looks, but it was really yummy. I found the icing a bit too dark for my taste, but everyone else loved it. I probably won't make this one again, but you can find the recipe here if you want to try it for yourself.
Finally, last week Wendy of Pink Stripes chose the Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes. These were super simple to put together (No mixer needed!), but did take a long time to bake. I halved the recipe and baked it in only one loaf pan. It overflowed, but this could be because I was using a slightly smaller size than recommended (I'm really not sure, and I was too lazy to pull out the tape measure). After the cake came out of the oven, I brushed it with rum syrup (just water, sugar, and rum). I don't love the taste of rum, so I thought I wouldn't like this cake. The rum taste wasn't very strong, though - the cake tasted more like vanilla (due to the vanilla bean in the batter). Everyone loved this cake, and I'll definitely make it again. You can find the recipe here.
Since next week and this week's TWD recipes won't be made anytime really soon (or at least I don't think... maybe I can try to get the tart done here in Brazil...), they will be added to my list of rewinds and I'll post them here as soon as they are made. See you soon, and Enjoy!
P.S. About this month's Daring Bakers challenge... yeah, that wasn't gonna happen around here. No time! But no worries, this month's will be up on the 27th (I'm super excited about it!)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Only one day late this week. Getting better, right? Right.
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Cathy of The Tortefeasor. She chose Tender Shortcakes. I liked this pick, because we had a lot of options for fillings (fill with berries and whipped cream, eat like biscuits, etc....).
The shortcakes were really quick to make. I heard people say that theirs came out huge, so I made 4 cakes out of 1/3 of the recipe. I could have made five, because mine were still really big. The dough was very crumbly, so I sort of patted it together on the baking sheet, but once they came out of the oven they held together well.
It was easier than I thought to cut them in half. For the filling, I defrosted some frozen mixed berries (we didn't have any fresh and I didn't want to go out and get them :D ). I sprinkled on some sugar and let them sit for a while. I then put the berries on the bottom half of the shortcakes (with plenty of their juice) and topped them with sweetened whipped cream and the top of the shortcakes.
These were quick and easy to make, and I will make them again. They were so delicious! These would be great for a BBQ/ other summer party. If you want the recipe, you can find it here or in THE BOOK. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Apple Apple Bread Pudding, a TWD pick from several weeks ago. This was quite easy and fun to make, and so delicious! Thanks to Elizabeth at Cake or Death for this great pick! You can find the recipe here.
The next TWD pick was Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie. I didn't have time to make this one, but I have a rewind for you: Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread! These were so yummy and flaky (in a good way). They have a unique but delicious taste. You can find the recipe here.
Next up: THIS week's TWD. It was white chocolate brownies, which I have been looking forward to for a long time. I think it was due to my egg whites still being cold and maybe my not beating them enough (?), but the meringue sort of melted into the brownies. So there is a very thin layer of meringue. The brownies are sort of dense but they are delicious and I will definitely be trying them again! Thanks to Marthe of Culinary Delights for this yummy pick. You can find the recipe here.
Finally, May's Daring Bakers challenge, a few days late.
The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.
Croquembouche is basically a tower of cream puffs, held together by either chocolate or caramel. I chose to do chocolate. This was my first time making cream puffs, and I am so happy with the result. The tower was delicious! I will post the recipe below, but beware that the recipe for cream will not fill all of the puffs. Please make these - they are not as time-consuming as they look!
Croquembouche (May 2010 DB challenge)
For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)
1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.
Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.
Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.
Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.
Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.
Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.
As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes.
It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.
Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.
Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).
Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.
Can be stored in an air-tight container overnight.
When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.
Use one of these to top your choux and assemble your piece montée.
8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)
Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.
Assembly of your Piece Montée:
You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.
Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up. (You may want to use toothpicks to hold them in place – see video #4 below).
When you have finished the design of your piece montée, you may drizzle with remaining glaze or use ribbons, sugar cookie cut-outs, almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate. Have fun and enjoy! Bon appétit!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Cristine of Cooking with Cristine. She chose the Quick Classic Berry Tart. It is a simple tart crust, vanilla (or in my case, almond) pastry cream, and fresh berries. I used raspberries and blackberries. This tart is definitely a classic, but I wouldn't call it quick!
We loved it, and I will definitely be making it again! You can find the recipe in the book or here.
Next up: last week's recipe.
I had zero time to post last week's recipe, but it was Burnt Sugar Ice Cream, selected by Becky of Project Domestication. This was fairly quick to make, except for the time it took to churn (I love my ice cream machine!) and then freeze. We ate it the first time when it had been churned and frozen for two hours, and it was still very soft and melted quickly. But the next day, it was like store-bought ice cream. I liked the flavor, but thought it was a bit too sweet. Even so, I might make it again and am excited to try other recipes from Dorie's book. You can find the recipe here.
Next up: a rewind.
Perfect Party Cake! This cake is a lemon cake, layered with a lemon meringue buttercream and raspberry jam. I wasn't able to get the perfect layers of jam and icing like in the picture in the book (in fact, the cake was quite crumbly and hard to layer), but everything was covered up with the icing. We loved loved loved this cake! It was an interesting but perfect combo of flavors. I will definitely be making this one again!
Finally: another rewind.
The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart. This is made using Dorie and Pierre's citrus pastry cream (which is like a curd, only the butter is beat in at the end to achieve the "texture of lemon cream dreams"). Last time I made this, I cut down the butter by a stick, but had no need to this time. It was delicious!!!!! I loved it and will be making it again (like pretty much everything else in this post). You can find the recipe here.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Do you ever make a recipe with really high expectations, but it ends up just not working out for you? It's not that it's BAD, it's just not great, and you know you'll never make it again. That's what happened with this cake(s). The batter is simple to put together. it uses yogurt and lemon zest, but since I didn't have any lemons, I used some lemon yogurt. It also uses some almond meal, which you can definitely taste in the end result (in a good way). This recipe makes one 9x5" loaf cake, but I made it into twelve pretty big cupcakes. After they cooled, it was time for the glaze. It is a simple glaze made of marmalade heated with a little bit of water. I used orange marmalade instead of lemon, because that was what I had. It took FOREVER to strain, though, so I ended up not using that much of it.
All in all, these cakes were just okay. I didn't love them, but they were tasty. I won't be making them again, but I can cross them off my TWD Rewinds list! If you want to try them for yourself, you can buy the book or find the recipe here. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Last weekend, I had some spare time and wanted to do another Tuesdays with Dorie rewind. I decided on these Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. They have five types of chocolate:
White chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate (yes, we are one of those crazy families that buys the 72 oz. packages of chocolate chips at Costco).
The batter is fairly easy, but a bit time-consuming. Into the oven it goes! Once the brownies were cool (okay, mostly. we were hungry.), you melt white chocolate with cream and spread it on top of the brownies. Dorie says to take the brownies out of the pan before you put on the glaze. I did that, but the glaze wasn't very thick and dripped. Although I put the brownies (with the glaze on) in the fridge for 20 minutes, it still dripped (as you can see below). But they were delicious nonetheless.
These are very rich brownies, but also very delicious. They are decadent, but trust me, you won't want to eat one after the other (unless you want to be up all night with a stomach ache). I recommend these! If you want the recipe, you can find it here or in the book (which you REALLY should have by now). Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
Okay, so here's the deal. I'm vegetarian. That means I don't come near suet (although even before I was vegetarian, I had issues with the idea of using parts of an animal besides the meat). So I decided that I wanted to use shortening or butter instead. The recipe in the DB forum didn't look so interesting to me, but Esther posted a link to another recipe that looked really yummy. It was for a rhubarb steamed pudding (part of the challenge was to steam or boil the pudding). This challenge ended up being two firsts for me - the first time I made a steamed British pudding (and the first time I even heard of one!), and the first time I baked/cooked with rhubarb.
This pudding starts off with cooked rhubarb (cooked in sugar and ginger). Then it gets put in the pudding bowl (I decided to use four small ones instead - I should have used five, because they overflowed).
The rhubarb gets topped with a cake batter made of butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and self-rising flour. Then you steam the puddings. I used the slow cooker, but the water wouldn't simmer, so it took longer than it was supposed to.
You take them out when they spring back when touched. Mine were barely springing back, but it was late and I was getting impatient, so I took them out.
They tasted fine. The contrast of the sour rhubarb and sweet cake was good, but the cake itself tasted a bit too much like butter and eggs and wasn't cooked enough (although the cooking part was my fault). All in all, it was a fun experience, but I won't be making this recipe again. However, I might try other steamed pudding recipes. If you want to try it for yourself, the recipe I used is below. Enjoy!
Rhubarb Steamed Pudding
350g fresh rhubarb , cut into 4cm lengths
200g caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
125g unsalted butter
few drops natural vanilla extract
2 medium eggs , beaten
175g self-raising flour
Cook the rhubarb with 75g/2¾oz of the sugar and the ginger over a gentle heat for 2-3 mins until just starting to soften. Remove from heat.
Grease a 900ml pudding basin. Put butter and remaining sugar in a bowl and cream together. Stir in vanilla extract, then beat in eggs, a little at a time. Sift in flour and carefully fold into the mixture.
Spoon rhubarb into the bottom of the basin, then spoon the sponge mixture on top and level off surface.
Butter a piece of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the top of the pudding basin. Make a pleat in the centre and secure over the top of basin. Repeat with a piece of foil, then secure the whole thing with string. Place in a pan half filled with simmering water. Cover and cook for 1½ hrs, checking regularly that the pan does not boil dry. Remove cover, invert the pudding onto a plate, then carefully lift off the pudding basin. Serve with crème fraîche or single cream.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Easter lunch. I'm making dessert. Better be good, right? Well, why not trust Dorie? Again. Oooh, there's a big list of rewinds to still do! Okay, I'll make the Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie and the Chocolate Cream Tart. Chocolate, citrus, meringue, whipped cream... something for everyone, right? Right. Okay, why not spread it out over a few days? Day one: The crust.
This was a really quick and easy crust. It's very similar to the usual tart dough, only it has cocoa powder. Whir some ingredients together in the food processor, pat the dough into the pan, and stick it in the freezer. Half an hour later, into the oven it goes. Another half hour later, onto a cooling rack. All done!
Day two: The pastry cream.
Again, the usual deal. Sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch... temper with the milk... put in the rest of the milk... stir in melted chocolate (I used bittersweet).... stir in some butter. Stick it in the fridge.
Day 3: The whipped cream.
ONCE AGAIN, no big deal. Whip some cream. Add some sugar and vanilla. Great.
Now, time for assembly. Spread the pastry cream in the tart shell. Spread the whipped cream on top. Finally, some chocolate shavings (to this day, I cannot manage to make curls).
Easter morning we put the tart on a plate and got in the car to go to a friend's house. That was probably the most stressful car ride of my life. The plate was on my lap, and I stupidly didn't put anything under the tart to keep it from sliding, so the crust cracked in a few places. But it got there looking fine.
Time for dessert. At this point, I was nervous. I had tasted along the way, but didn't know how it would come together. Luckily, it was great! The crust was great, and so was the whipped cream. My only complaint was the pastry cream - I would have liked it to be a bit sweeter, so next time I'll use semi-sweet instead of bittersweet chocolate. But the people who love dark chocolate said it was great.
Basically what I'm saying is that if you ever need an impressive yet simple dessert, try out this tart. You can find the recipe here or in the book. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This is post #101! Just for that, let's put in 101 exclamation points: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay.
Now, last week I asked you what you wanted me to put up as my 100th post. But, I didn't have time and that ended up being yesterday's TWD. So it's my 101th post. Deal with it.
Everyone who voted decided on me posting my best recipe for Irish Soda Bread. So that's what's happening here today.
If the words "Irish Soda Bread" makes you think of thinly sliced bread that tastes like fennel, you're right. That is a type of Irish Soda Bread. But not my type. This type has a hard crust, but is almost like a cake on the inside. It is crumbly but moist, and quite sweet (but definitely not overly so). It's perfect as breakfast, a snack, or as dessert (once it gets stale, it's great toasted with butter). Every time there is a special occasion, it is requested. So basically what I'm saying is that you HAVE to make this bread. Now. Pleeeeeeeeeease? You won't regret it. So here's the recipe (please note that this is an extreme risk for me, because once the lovers of this bread see how easy it is to make, it will never be requested again).
Irish Soda Bread (from The Spatulatta Cookbook)
(makes 2 loaves of soda bread)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 (yes, I said 5) teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1 1/4 cups black raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups regular or low-fat cultured buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Stir together the flour, salt, soda, and baking powder in the bowl.
3. Unwrap the butter and set aside the wrapper, which you'll use to grease the cookie sheet. Stir the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
4. Add the eggs, raisins, and sugar. Stir well, then use your clean hands and fists to scoop the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and gently push them into the dough.
5. With another person, add the buttermilk, a little at a time, until the dough is sticky. One person stirs while the other slowly pours the buttermilk.
6. Sprinkle flour on the counter or flat surface (and your hands and wrists - just trust me), remove the dough and shape into rounds.
7. Knead the dough ten times. Fold and press, then turn the dough. Repeat ten times. Kneading gives the bread its good texture.
8. Cut the dough in half and shape it into 2 rounds.
9. Rub the cookie sheet all over with the buttered side of the wrapper.
10. When your loaves are on the sheet, use a floured butter knife to cut into, but not all the way through, the tops of the bread, in an "X" shape. This is called scoring.
11. Bake the bread for 45 to 60 minutes until the bread is a nice nutty brown.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Ok, so it's Wednesday. But I'm getting better, right? Right. This week's Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Melissa of Love at First Bite. She chose the Sweet Cream Biscuits. These were so quick to make! We got up late on Saturday and they were ready within a half hour. The dough doesn't actually have any butter in it - all the fat comes from the cream. But they are still incredibly flaky!
So to make these, you mix together some dry ingredients and cream, pat the mixture into a disk, and cut out 2-inch rounds. I used my 2-inch cutter, but thought they came out smaller than I would have liked. But that didn't matter, because they tasted great. I had never made biscuits before (except for TWD's sweet potato ones, but those were sort of a failure...), and I like these much better than the ones from the can you whack on the counter to open! If you want to try them for yourself, you can buy the book or find the recipe here. eNjOy!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
What can I say? I'm sorry? Will that make up for posting halfway through the next week two times in a row? Um, probably not. I have to use my usual excuse - I just didn't have time. I made the cake early, so that I would be sure to post it on time, but then the week came and I just had no time. Oh well.... I promise this week's will be on time!
But you didn't come here to hear me talk about this... you came for the cake. Swedish Visiting Cake, to be exact. It was chosen by Nancy of The Dogs Eat The Crumbs. In the description of this recipe, Dorie talks about how you should bake this cake in an oven-proof non-stick cast iron skillet, because it helps give you a nice crispy crust. Well, I don't have a cast iron skillet, but I do have a non-stick oven-proof one. Dorie calls for a 9-inch skillet, and mine is 10. At this point I was pretty confident that it would still turn out okay.
The batter is quick and easy to put together. I used both the almond and vanilla extracts, and the lemon, because who doesn't like that combo? Into the oven it goes.
A while later, I pulled it out and it looked great. We ate it still warm and loved it. Dorie was right - the skillet does help it get a nice, crispy, golden-brown crust. Yum!
If you want to try it for yourself (please do), you can find the recipe here or in the book. Enjoy!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
• Cookie cutters . Ideally, you should have about 6 cookie cutters to build the desserts in and cut the circles of dough (see photo). The cookie cutters will be the size of your final dessert, so they should be the size of an individually-sized tart mold. If you don’t have round cookie cutters you could use an individually-sized cheesecake mold without its base.
• A food processor (although the dough could be made by hand too)
• A stand-up or hand mixer
• Parchment paper or a silicone sheet
• A baking sheet
• A rolling pin
For the Pate Sablee:
Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
2 medium-sized egg yolks at room temperature
granulated sugar 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon; 2.8 oz; 80 grams
vanilla extract ½ teaspoon
Unsalted butter ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams ice cold, cubed
Salt 1/3 teaspoon; 2 grams
All-purpose flour 1.5 cup + 2 tablespoons; 7 oz; 200 grams
baking powder 1 teaspoon ; 4 grams
Put the flour, baking powder, ice cold cubed butter and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
In a separate bowl, add the eggs yolks, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Pour the egg mixture in the food processor.
Process until the dough just comes together. If you find that the dough is still a little too crumbly to come together, add a couple drops of water and process again to form a homogenous ball of dough. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you obtain a ¼ inch thick circle.
Using your cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough and place on a parchment (or silicone) lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the circles of dough are just golden.
For the Marmalade:
Ingredients U.S. Imperial Metric Instructions for Ingredients
Freshly pressed orange juice ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons; 3.5 oz; 100 grams
1 large orange used to make orange slices
cold water to cook the orange slices
pectin 5 grams
granulated sugar: use the same weight as the weight of orange slices once they are cooked
Finely slice the orange. Place the orange slices in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, discard the water, re-fill with cold water and blanch the oranges for another 10 minutes.
Blanch the orange slices 3 times. This process removes the bitterness from the orange peel, so it is essential to use a new batch of cold water every time when you blanch the slices.
Once blanched 3 times, drain the slices and let them cool.
Once they are cool enough to handle, finely mince them (using a knife or a food processor).
Weigh the slices and use the same amount of granulated sugar . If you don’t have a scale, you can place the slices in a cup measurer and use the same amount of sugar.
In a pot over medium heat, add the minced orange slices, the sugar you just weighed, the orange juice and the pectin. Cook until the mixture reaches a jam consistency (10-15 minutes).
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
For the Orange Segments:
For this step you will need 8 oranges.
Cut the oranges into segments over a shallow bowl and make sure to keep the juice. Add the segments to the bowl with the juice.
[See YouTube video in the References section below for additional information on segmenting oranges.]
For the Caramel:
Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
granulated sugar 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
orange juice 1.5 cups + 2 tablespoons; 14 oz; 400 grams
Place the sugar in a pan on medium heat and begin heating it.
Once the sugar starts to bubble and foam, slowly add the orange juice. As soon as the mixture starts boiling, remove from the heat and pour half of the mixture over the orange segments.
Reserve the other half of the caramel mixture in a small bowl — you will use this later to spoon over the finished dessert. When the dessert is assembled and setting in the freezer, heat the kept caramel sauce in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and just coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). You can then spoon it over the orange tians.
[Tip: Be very careful when making the caramel — if you have never made caramel before, I would suggest making this step while you don’t have to worry about anything else. Bubbling sugar is extremely, extremely hot, so make sure you have a bowl of ice cold water in the kitchen in case anyone gets burnt!]
For the Whipped Cream:
Ingredients U.S. Metric Imperial Instructions for Ingredients
heavy whipping cream 1 cup; 7 oz; 200 grams
3 tablespoons of hot water
1 tsp Gelatine
1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar
orange marmalade (see recipe above) 1 tablespoon
In a small bowl, add the gelatine and hot water, stirring well until the gelatine dissolves. Let the gelatine cool to room temperature while you make the whipped cream. Combine the cream in a chilled mixing bowl. Whip the cream using a hand mixer on low speed until the cream starts to thicken for about one minute. Add the confectioner sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high. Whip the cream until the beaters leave visible (but not lasting) trails in the cream, then add the cooled gelatine slowly while beating continuously. Continue whipping until the cream is light and fluffy and forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a bowl and fold in the orange marmalade.
[Tip: Use an ice cold bowl to make the whipped cream in. You can do this by putting your mixing bowl, cream and beater in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to whipping the cream.]
Assembling the Dessert:
Make sure you have some room in your freezer. Ideally, you should be able to fit a small baking sheet or tray of desserts to set in the freezer.
Line a small tray or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Lay out 6 cookie cutters onto the parchment paper/silicone.
Drain the orange segments on a kitchen towel.
Have the marmalade, whipped cream and baked circles of dough ready to use.
Arrange the orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter. Make sure the segments all touch either and that there are no gaps. Make sure they fit snuggly and look pretty as they will end up being the top of the dessert. Arrange them as you would sliced apples when making an apple tart.
Once you have neatly arranged one layer of orange segments at the bottom of each cookie cutter, add a couple spoonfuls of whipped cream and gently spread it so that it fills the cookie cutter in an even layer. Leave about 1/4 inch at the top so there is room for dough circle.
Using a butter knife or small spoon, spread a small even layer of orange marmalade on each circle of dough.
Carefully place a circle of dough over each ring (the side of dough covered in marmalade should be the side touching the whipping cream). Gently press on the circle of dough to make sure the dessert is compact.
Place the desserts to set in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
Using a small knife, gently go around the edges of the cookie cutter to make sure the dessert will be easy to unmold. Gently place your serving plate on top of a dessert (on top of the circle of dough) and turn the plate over. Gently remove the cookie cutter, add a spoonful of caramel sauce and serve immediately.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tian.htm (An article about the dessert known as tian.)
YouTube link on how to segment an orange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG5mcEEBlcI
To learn more about Pectin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pectin
What to substitute for Pectin: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Dictionary/P/Pectin-6222.aspx
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sorry, no picture until next week. I'm away and I forgot the memory card reader at home :(