Friday, December 18, 2009
Can you say "pound-cake"?
Now can you say "Chocolate-Chip Pound-Cake"? (Question: Is pound-cake hypenated?)
I made this the other day for a party. This recipe is a killer. It is SO good.
Chocolate Chip Poundcake
from The Moosewood Cookbook
1 pound buter, at room temperature
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Grease and flour four small loaf pans, or a full sized bundt or tube pan.
Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, on at a time, beating well after each. Remove from electric mixer.
Sift together dry ingredients. Mix together milk and vanilla extract. Add dry and wet to butter mixture alternately, beginning and ending with dry. Add chocolate chips. Mix by hand, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, after each addition. Mix thoroughly, just enough to blend, without excess beating.
Pour into loaf or bundt or tube pan. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry. After the cake cools ten minutes, turn it out onto a plate. Let cool completely before slicing.
So I made the cinnamon buns. yes. Those cinnamon buns.
You don't know the ones I'm talking about?
I'm talking about the cinnamon buns that had me drooling from the first glance.
Yep. I'm talking about these babies:http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/cinnamon-swirl-buns-so-much-news/
I finally made them.
Boy were they good. Muy delicioso.
Granted, anything with cream cheese frosting is bound to be pretty delicious.
Cinnamon Swirl Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted SmittenKitchen who adapted it from Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in Bon Appetit, March 2008,
Makes 18 buns.
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For dough: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (You may also use a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process.) Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
For filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.
Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven (we baked them in a ramekin, incapable of discarding such deliciousness) cut remaining dough crosswise with thin sharp knife (a good serrated worked well here) into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes (an 8-inch square metal pan worked just fine, too) with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes, though yours, like mine, may take longer. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.
For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: These buns were best the day they were baked. The second day, they were on the tough side. If you anticipate wanting them over a few days, glaze them to order, heating the buns beforehand to soften them up.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I made the Upside-Down Pear Chocolate Cake.*
First you make a caramel, which you pour into a buttered pan. Once the caramel has hardened you layer on slices of pear. Over the pears you pour silky chocolate cake batter.
My cake was VERY wet, and though I baked it for an extra five minutes the center still wasn't completely cooked. I didn't really mind this though because the undercooked part took on an almost mouse-like quality.
For whatever reason the cake took on a complex, rummy flavor, which I found pretty delicious.
And here's the killer thing. it has a 1/2 stick of butter. HALF A STICK. TOTAL.
I am not even kidding.
Upside-Down Pear Chocolate Cake
from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Schreiber and Richardson
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 firm but ripe pear, peeled, cored and each cut into 12 slices (about 1 pound)
Butter a 9-inch baking pan (I used a spring form pan, which worked very well).
To make the fruit topping, put the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan (one with a tight-fitting lid) and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then cover and cook for 2 minutes. (Covering in this way allows steam to wash down the sides of pan, which prevents sugar crystals from forming.) Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil the sugar, gently and slowly swirling the pan as needed to cook the caramel evenly, until it becomes a dark amber color. Occasionally wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow it to harden. The pan will be very hot from the sugar, so take care in moving it if you need to. Fan the pear slices on top of the caramel in circle around the perimeter, filling in the center with remaining slices.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
To make the cake, place the putter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and melt, stirring occasionally. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugar. Transfer the melted chocolate to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add sugar. Using a a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour and scraping down the dies of the bowl occasionally.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake bounces back slightly when touched. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a plate, leaving the pan on top of the cake for 5 minutes before you remove it. Serve the cake warm topped with ice cream of whipped cream. Wrapped in plastic wrap it will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature.
*Please make this. This cake dressy enough for a sophisticated dinner but informal enough to cut slices while looking for "real food" in the refrigerator.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
There are certain things I associate with certain people. When I think of my mom I think of irises, and white handmade pottery and lemon bars. My mom loves lemon bars.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Our family friends Maria and Paul are pretty cool people. They moved into a house down the street a few years ago and I watch their house when they're traveling. Maria used to work for a catering company and she has an incredible cookbook collection. She's also an awesome cook, and on Labor Day she and Paul had a party. For dessert they had watermelon and brownies and ice cream. I've never been a hardcore brownie eater, but these brownies.... I melted with delight, they're scrumptious. These brownies are, as my dad would say, all that and a bag of chips. Seriously.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It took an afternoon.It's a light chocolate cake. Soft, cakey, and when smeared with buttercream... In brief it lasted a day at my house. That's right, one day.
Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake
The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (lightly spooned into cup)
1 liquid cup boiling water
3 large eggs
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In another bowl lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients. Scrape down the sides.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans will be about half full. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Cakes should start to shrink from the sides of pans only after removal from oven.
Let cakes cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen sides and invert onto cooling racks. To prevent splitting reinvert so that tops are up. Cool completely before frosting.
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
Optional: Liqueur or eau-de-vie of your choice
Have ready a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measure near the range.
In a bowl beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan (Preferable w/non-stick lining.) and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is boiling. Stop stirring and boil to the soft-ball stage or 238 degrees F. Immediately transfer syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking
If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Avoid getting syrup directly onto beaters. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with rest of syrup. Continue beating until completely cool.
Gradually beat in the butter and, if desired optional flavoring. Place in an airtight bowl. Bring to room temperature before using. Rebeat if necessary to restore texture.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Pancakes. Who doesn't love them? Hot, steaming, right off the griddle, doused in syrup and butter. What could be more delicious?
Meanwhile heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Brush the skill with oil.
Ladle batter in scant 1/4 cupfuls into the skillet, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside of the pancakes is nicely browned and the top starts to bubble and looks set around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes, flip them. Cook until the second side has browned. 1 to 2 minutes more.
Serve warm, with syrup and and fruit and whipped cream and butter. Lots of butter.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I ADORE Dorie Greenspan. She's a baking guru, she's knows how to make good stuff. There had been a basket of apples festering on the kitchen counter, begging to be baked I just knew I couldn't go wrong.
This is Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake. It's thick and dense and crumbly and heavy and not for the faint of heart. Don't get me wrong, it's good, it's not exactly everything I hoped for, but it's taken me a day and half a pie-cake to decide if I like it. I do.
Dorie also suggests that this dough, which is basically cookie dough, can also be used to make old fashioned sugar cookies. How perfect is that? I love you Dorie.
Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake
For the Dough:
2 sticks(8 ounces butter)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Apples:
10 medium apples
squirt of fresh lemon juice
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
In a mixer with paddle or with a hand-blender beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low and add baking powder and salt. Add the lemon juice-dough will probably curdle but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if it looks more like batter than dough at this point add extra 1/4 cup flour. Turn dough on work surface, gather into a ball and divide in half. Shape each half in a rectangle. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (dough will last up to 3 days)
Peep and core apples, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick. Toss in bowl with lemon juice and raisins. Combine sugar and cinnamon, toss with apple/raisin mixture.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-x-12 inch baking pan.
Remove dough from fridge. Roll out on well floured surface or between sheets of wax paper. Or (you can do as I did) press and roll pieces of dough and patch them together in pan. DON'T worry, because of the baking powder everything will work out fine.
Give apples a final toss in bowl and turn into pan, spread evenly across the bottom.
Roll out 2nd piece of dough and position it over the apples. (This took me forever and this was so frustrating I just gave up, I did as I did for the bottom dough layer, VERY ARTISTICALLY patching top dough layer together. It looked beautiful.)
Brush dough lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar over dough. Using a small sharp knife cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in dough.
Bake for 65 to 80 minutes or until dough is nice golden brown. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool until warm or room temperature. You'll be tempted to eat this right away but I (Dorie) think the dough needs a little time to rest. (Because Dorie is so AWESOME I obey her every word. I waited.)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated by SmittenKitchen
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
Optional: 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped (Ooh so good.)
1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (for sprinkling on top)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.
3. Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about 3/4-inch thickness. (I never do this, I just spoon a little more than a tablespoon right on to the sheet and pat them down a little.)
4. Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie
5. Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.
6. Eat and moan with pleasure.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums (or even Italian prune plums, when they are in season), halved and pitted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together.
Working with a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each egg goes in. Still working on medium speed, beat in the oil, zest and vanilla; the batter will look smooth and creamy, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter–Dorie says she usually makes four rows of four plum halves each–jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes during which time the plums juices will seep back into the cake then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
Eat entire cake. Because there's fruit in it it's obviously health food, right?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
My favorite part of Waitress:
"What are you thinking about hon?"
"I'm thinking I'm gonna make an I-hate-my-husband-pie."
"I don't think we can put that on the menu hon."
It's an incredibly charming uplifting film. It's quirkly and loveable. And the story is centered around pie. Pie as a symbol of
love. Pie as comfort. Pie is everything that people love and hope for. Some how pie dough has a reputation for trickiness. And certainly I've
had some miserably failed pie crusts. But this pie crust. This pie crust is something else. Simple. Thick. Flaky. Delicious. And when paired with a
filling of butter and cinnamon soaked apple, it's about as close to heaven on a fork as you can get.
Basic Pie Crust from BAKED
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
In a food processor whirl together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the VERY COLD BUTTER into small pieces and blend until the mixture forms into pea-sized chunks. Dribble in water and whirl until dough just comes together.
Take dough out of processor and knead until dough comes together. Divide into two, wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for one hour before using.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It always bothers me when other bloggers post their "Fave Pics of the Week". Mostly because I'm not too into abbreviations such as "Fave" or "Pic".
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
It’s midsummer and I’m not sure what I’ve accomplished.
Here’s my list of summer goals, food and otherwise:
1. Make croquembouche
2. Make ice cream
3. Fried Pie
4. Get my drivers permit
5. Read Middlemarch
I think these are some pretty good goals. I’ve decided to make the croquembouche for my brothers fourteenth birthday, it’s quite a sophisticated dessert, but he’s a pretty sophisticated boy. It’s unfortunate that I can’t pronounce it.
The ice cream is just one of those things I HAVE to do, the thought of homemade ice cream keeps hovering on the hungry fringes of my mind, I can’t decide - peach, blueberry, strawberry? I’ll probably end up doing a Dorie Greenspan recipe, she explains everything so clearly.
Fried handpies. Need I say more?
I feel like a failure, I’ve been sixteen for nearly six months now, and not only am I not driving, but I’m don’t even have my stupid permit.
I started Middlemarch in early May, and despite the fact that I got about a hundred pages into it, I got involved with another book, and I forgot all about it.
Fortunately I feel much better in my head, a few more decisions under my belt that make me feel as if I’m going somewhere.
Obstacles are those fearful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.