Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This months challenge was Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream, From Great Cakes by Carol Walter. It was chosen by Chris of Mele Cotte. And boy was this a doozy! This cake was a very rich one that I would have never tried on my own. Even though I have the ugliest cake out there it was awesome.
Now this recipe is not for the faint of heart or for the OCD inclined. I like to keep up and clean the kitchen as I go. This time I just could not keep up and this was what was left...
(Yes that is a loaf of bread in the background. My poor family had to have sandwiches for lunch and dinner!)
Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter
1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.
1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)
Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.
Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.
Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute.
Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.
Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.
With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.
Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.
*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur
In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)
Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla
Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a elevtric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.
Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.
Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*
On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.
Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.
Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.
Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.
Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Good for one 10-inch cake
2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water
In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.
Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake
**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.
6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed
Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.
Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!
Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.
Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.
Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.
Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.
To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.
Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.
Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Well it's Tuesday again, and after a brief vacation, I am back on the baking wagon. This weeks episode is being brought to you by
Amanda of Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake. Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler is what she chose, and what a great choice it was! Now I will be the first to admit that I had no idea that rhubarb is a vegetable much less where to get it. So I went to the market and stood right in front of it and asked the greengrocer, "Where can I find the rhubarb?" He looked at me kind of funny and handed me a stalk. Duh! Sometimes I can be so dense.
This recipe was so easy to put together, and I think that it must be healthy too! The filling is made with a vegetable (see above photo), cherry, a little sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.
The biscuit topping has whole wheat flour in it! It was amazing. Here it is pre baked...
And fresh from the oven...
Mmm, the filling was bubbling up through the topping. It smelled heavenly. We waited the required 20 minutes and dug in. I did make everyone wait another minute or two to snap some photos.
For more cobbler experiences, check out the TWD blogroll
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
This weeks TWD is Double Crusted Blueberry Pie. Doesn't that just sound like 4th of July? We had neighbors over for the 4th and they all wanted to thank Amy of South in Your Mouth for picking this wonderful treat. Now I am not really a pie eater. Or a blueberry eater for that matter, but this is definitely a keeper.
I started on Friday morning, got all my ingredients together for the crust (which is the absolute best), and began to put things together.
Now I had a small food processor. I think it was a 3 cup. So I new that I would have to do this crust in two batches, I mean look at all that flour and do I need to mention the butter? Got through the first batch no problem, wrapped it up and threw it in the fridge. Then started on the second batch and don't you know that it died. Just like that, no more processing. I started fussing at the hubby, cause you know if anything breaks he needs to fix it now now now! He did up and started unscrewing things, and really tried to get it going. After tinkering with it a bit he declared it a dead processor. I so didn't have time for this. Oh, did I mention that I haven't bought a new gadget for a couple of weeks. So I headed out to Target and got this 7 cup food processor...
I got it home and finished up the crust with ease. WooHoo! I love new gadgets!
After we ate breakfast, I got out my filling ingredients and tossed them together. Then went to rolling out the pie dough. I didn't do the best job, but it fit the pie plate.
I filled my pie and put the top crust on. I was so proud. I didn't have any unintentional holes anywhere. Here it is right before going into the oven.
After the proper cooking time, I took out my lovely pie. OK my homely pie.
The verdict for this pie. I had one person say that it was the pest pie she had ever had, another say that he loved it, and for me a not to fond of pie or blueberry type person, I loved it too!
Go check out the blogroll at TWD and see what everyone else has made. Happy Baking!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I love the idea of making cupcakes each month according to a theme and Laurie of Quirky Cupcake started Cupcake Hero way back, I don't know when. I have finally decided to throw my creation into the ring.
This month CB of I Heart Cuppyckaes and Nikki of Crazy Delicious Food have taken the reigns and are hosting Cupcake Hero since the CH staff is taking a break for the summer. Well these two put their heads together and came up with the theme Red, White and Blue. And you have to use ingredients other than food coloring! Hun? So I give you my Blue Hawaiian Cupcake!
This was so fun to dream up. I was dreaming of all kinds of weird concoctions one of which was a blueberry cupcake, strawberry filling, and cream cheese frosting. That didn't sound to good. Then I thought of this little baby. Rum drenched pineapple cupcake, cherry filling, and blue curacao frosting with blue curacao dyed coconut. I had to try it out. Hubby couldn't wait either, so I pulled out my Baking from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, and modified the rum drenched vanilla cakes. Made a cherry filling with maraschino cherries. And then concocted a blue curacao buttercream frosting.
2 cups maraschino cherries
½ cup water
2 TBS cornstarch
1. Add cherries and water to a pot. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
2. Stir together sugar and cornstarch then stir into the cherries.
3. Cook until thick, then blend in magic bullet.
Rum Drenched "Pineapple" Cupcakes
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
For the cakes:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 plump, moist vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, (OR 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract) (I used pineapple juice instead)
6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature (I used egg whites only)
2/3 cup heavy cream (I used 2/3 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup pineapple juice)
2 1/2 tbsp dark rum
1 stick + 7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the syrup:
1/3 cup water (I used pineapple juice)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8.5x4.5x2.5 inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Put the sugar and the pulp from the vanilla beans, if using them, in a large bowl and, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of vanilla. (If you are using extract, add it later, after you've added the eggs.) Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, if you're using it, then whisk in the cream, followed by the rum. Continuing with the whisk or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 55-60 minutes (28 minutes for cupcakes), or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (As soon as the cakes go into the oven, make the syrup.) After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color. If they are browning too much, cover them lightly with foil tents.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.
When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and, using a thin skewer, cake tester, or thin-bladed knife, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cake all over with the syrup, working slowly so the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.
Blue Curacao Buttercream Frosting
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ Tbsp whole milk
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Blue Curacao
1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter.
2. Add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
3. Add the remainder of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
4. Beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy. Add the Blue Caraco.
5. Continue beating on high speed until desired consistency. Frost your cupcakes!
I will definitely make these again (for a dear friends birthday)! Hubby loved them. They do have a bit of alcohol in them so keep them away from the kids.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
It's Tuesday again and that means another baked from scratch good. Everything is made from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours. This weeks recipe was chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron. I have to admit that we aren't all to fired up about scones around here (all but my son who loves them). Usually they are too dry. But, usually we buy them at the coffee shop and they are not fresh from the oven.
After I got over my resignation about the scones being too dry and no one would eat them, I started wondering about the combination of apple and cheddar. Then I thought that a cheese plate always has apples on it so why not. I got all my ingredients and I was ready to go. Wouldn't you know it, I forgot the apple cider. I wasn't going back to the grocery. So what could I use...hmmm...I know pineapple juice. It does have the word apple in it!
I made up a batch which was easy peasy. Popped 4 in the oven and froze the other 8. By the time I finished doing the dishes, putting everything away, and wiping down the counters they were ready to come out of the oven.
I served them with butter and good jam as Dorie suggests. Presented them to my family on the good china with tea. It was Sunday afternoon, and we all needed a pick me up from the heat. They were delicious with and without the butter and jam. And so moist that my hubby couldn't believe they were scones. Will I try them again...definitely! Thanks Karina for the wonderful pick!
For more of this recipe and different varieties...check out the TWD blogroll.