Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TWD Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

Posted by BAKE-EN at 4:18 PM 11 comments Links to this post

Linda of Tender Crumb decided on Dorie's Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie as this weeks TWD recipe. You can find the recipe at here at her website.

Love isn't a word I use often, but when a recipe for a 9" pie calls for 2 1/2 sticks of butter in the filling ALONE, I feel cupids arrow honing in on my heart.

I followed the recipe for the filling exactly as Dorie described except I added candied ginger instead of fresh. The custard came together very quickly on the stove top, under 6 minutes. After letting the hot mixture cool in the blender for 8 minutes, I slowly incorporated the butter, letting it blend for a full 3 minutes once it was all in there. The liquid was pourable once done blending, but after chilling for 4 hours it became very thick and ultra smooth.

For the crust, I baked extra cookie dough I had in the freezer. I used the vanilla pepper dough I made a while back. Once the cookie dough had cooled, I pulsed it in the blender with 3 pieces of candied ginger. Once that was finely ground, I added a touch of orange juice to bind the dough a bit. Then I patted the crumbs into my buttered tart shells and froze them for about an hour. After the hour, I baked them in a 400 degree oven for 9 minutes.

The very second I deemed the shells cool enough, I made a swiss meringue. For the meringue I used 4 egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, a pinch of cream of tartar and a little vanilla extract. I love making swiss meringues because it's easy, doesn't required a thermometer and always looks beautiful.

This tart/pie is love. The contrast between the sweet light meringue and the dense creamy lime filling is the stuff poets write of. Also nice was the additional spice/heat from the candied ginger in the tart shell. The ginger wasn't that pronounced, but it brought a beautiful brightness to the overall flavor of the tart.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

TWD Classic Banana Bundt Cake

Posted by BAKE-EN at 9:26 AM 17 comments Links to this post

Mary of The food librarian chose banana bundt cake as this week's TWD recipe.

There's not to much to say about this cake other than, make it. Make it now. I loved it. The aromatics of it as it bakes are reason enough to pick up bananas and sour cream at the grocery store. If I could capture the smell of this cake in a candle, I would be a millionaire.

Making the cake is very easy. I halved the recipe and it made 6 mini bundt cakes. They baked for 23 minutes, and looked picture perfect right out of the oven.

How you like them apples? I mean, banana cakes:

(Forgive me, clearly Boston is starting to effect me in a negative way... quoting a movie from 1997. Wow, Good Will Hunting is 12 years old; that makes me...)

For fun, I made three different glazes; chocolate, rum and caramel. Caramel was my favorite because I liked the crunch against the soft cake.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Icing

Posted by BAKE-EN at 2:35 PM 3 comments Links to this post

At Sofra we make a cake that I like to call a mayo cake. We whip eggs and sugar together then we whip in olive oil very slowly creating an emulsion very similar to an aioli. The resulting cake is amazing. It's moist with a beautiful crumb structure.

The emulsion in that recipe reminded me of some of the older cookbooks I have which contain recipes for cakes with Mayonnaise. Never one to fear mayo, I decided to try out a chocolate cake recipe fromThe Wooden Spoon Dessert book. I tweaked the recipe a bit, but mainly stayed true to it. It's a great recipe to make if you're in a pinch and need to whip up something fast (as is the following icing recipe from the same book). The cake tastes lovely and you would never know the "secret" ingredient.

Chocolate Cake adapted from The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book by Marilyn Moore
Preheat oven 350F
Grease a 9x12" pan (I used mini bundt pans)

Sift together:
2 cups AP flour
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Vahlrona)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

In another bowl mix together:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar

Add alternately (3 dry:2 coffee), blending after each addition
reserved dry ingredeints
1 cup cold coffee (I had instant espresso, so I made 1 1/2 cups of hot espresso; chilling one cup and reserving the other half for the icing)

Fold in:
3 oz 70% chocolate (I used Lindt)

Bake in a 9x12 pan fro about 30 minutes or in mini bundt pans for 23.

Quick mocha frosting
again adapted from The Wooden Spoon
Sift into mixing bowl:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

whisk together, then add

4 tablespoons soft butter
pinch salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons of warm espresso (from extra brewed for cake)

I wanted this icing to be runny, so I increased her recipe from 2T coffee to 4T espresso.

Guiness Bread

Posted by BAKE-EN at 2:09 PM 11 comments Links to this post

I love Guinness, and had some left over after making my Guinness mustard. After a quick search on the internet, I found an interesting Guinness quick bread to make.

Bread making doesn't get much easier then the recipe I came up with. Here it is:

3 cups minus 2 tablespoons AP Flour
1 1/4 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vietnamese cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 oz Guinness Stout

Mix your flour through cinnamon in a bowl. Add guiness mix about half way. Add cranberries and walnuts fold into batter mixing till incorporated, but taking care not to overmix. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the bread comes out clean.

This bread is great. It's nice to eat on it's own, with some butter. It's also nice to toast and top with some cheese. Next time I make it I will bake it in tiny loaf pans. Once baked and fully cooled I'll slice the bread and dry it out in the oven creating little melba toasts. Then I'll use it as an appetizer with some blue cheese, hopefully my favorite Point Reyes Blue.

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