Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TWD Mixed Berry Brown Butter Crumb Cake

Posted by BAKE-EN at 3:51 PM 10 comments Links to this post



Sihan of Befuddlement chose Blueberry Crumb Cake as our weekly recipe from Baking: From my home to yours.

Today is Joe and my anniversary, so I thought this would be a lovely way to start the day. The recipe is simple. First you make the crumb topping, then the cake. I decided to make a brown butter crumb topping because I love the combination of berries and brown butter. To make the topping, I simply followed Dorie's directions for the crumble except I browned the butter, poured it onto the dry ingredients and mixed it by hand.



Then I crumpled it up with my hands and laid the crumbs out on a plate which I put in the freezer. For the cake, the one thing I omitted was the lemon zest because Joe hates lemon zest. Usually I'll add lemon zest anyway because I love it so much, but since today is all about our love for each other; I decided to leave it out. I used the fancy berry mix from Trader Joe's instead of just blueberries. It contains blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. I find this brand of frozen berries to be consistantly good. One of my favorite ways to eat the mix is to microwave ½ cup of it in a bowl, then top it with Greek yogurt and a little maple syrup. It's heavenly.




Back to the cakes.



Originally I had grandios ideas of making a two tiered crumb cake as kind of a faux wedding cake. I divided the cake mix into one 4" round and a 6" round. After 55 minutes in the oven, I was glad I had made a 4" cake because it was done way earlier than the 6". I think the 6" cake ended up in the oven for at least an hour and 10 minutes. Joe and I are very impatient people. Especially when we've already had our coffee hours ago, and are staring at a very pretty 4" cake.



With cake aroma swirling around us, I decided to forgo the 2 tiered cake idea and dig into the little guy. We were glad we did because it was lovely warm.

Just another delicious recipe from Dorie Greenspan. I loved the contrast between the berries, the soft cake and the crumble. This is something I will make again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish Feast

Posted by BAKE-EN at 4:05 PM 1 comments Links to this post


I had Monday's off, so Joe and I decided to celebrate St. Patty's Day a day early this year. After a weekend away in Vermont, we were eager to get cooking at home.

Matt Murphy's is an Irish pub in Brookline, MA. It has great ambiance and is well known for its food. I would be a regular patron of Matt Murphy's if I lived on that "side of the River" (that's Boston speak for South of the Charles River). One food item they are particularly well known for is their Irish soda bread. Last year around this time I was obsessed with another Irish Soda Bread, and I saw a post about how great their bread was. Lo and behold, they posted on their recipe on their website which I jotted down and shoved into my desk. Today to my amazement, I found the tattered copy of the recipe still in my desk!


I also noticed that Matt Murphy's still has a link to the recipe here. It couldn't be simpler to make. You put all your dry ingredients in a bowl and then pour enough buttermilk in to make a sticky wet dough, but not so wet that it's runny.


I halved the recipe since we're cooking and baking for two today. As for oven time, Joe was braising the corned beef in our oven all day at 250, so I tried to bake it in the toaster oven. It worked okay for a while, but then I had to pull it because the top was getting too dark.



I ended up finishing the loaf in the oven at 250. Due to those factors I have no idea how long it took because I left it in at 250 till it smelled "really" good and was hollow sounding when I tapped it's bottom.





Joe bought a nice corned beef at Whole Foods, and braised it at 250 for 6 hours with beef stock, onions, carrots and spices. I'm not usually a corned beef fan, but it made our house smell like a country home (at least what I imagine one would smell like), just lovely. About 30 minutes before the beef was ready, Joe added some potatoes and then a little later some cabbage to the pot.


I am not much of a meat eater, but I loved this meal. Corned beef is the kind of meat I turn my nose to because it's fatty and well… gross, but Joe turned it into something special. He's an amazing cook.

No beer for us Monday evening. We decided to drink a bottle of Sequoia Grove Cab (2005) in our crystal wine glasses from Galway. We received them as a wedding gift, but had only used them once before. Since they were made in Ireland we thought it would be the perfect evening for them. They were nice to drink from, but I was a little freaked out by the lead warning, so I switched to a normal glass after the first.

It was a great night!

For Saint Patty's day we went to The Burren in Somerville, which is one of the best bars outside Boston. In fact, back when I was in my 20s I moved to Somerville just to be closer to it! It is that fun. We went there today for lunch which was a great time. The bar was very busy with every person in good spirits. Joe and I had a couple of Guinness's, fish and chips and a burger. The food there isn't the best ever, but it's great for the price and the ambiance.

Happy Saint Patrick's day!

TWD French Yogurt Cake with Brown Sugar Yogurt Mousse and Quince Marmalade

Posted by BAKE-EN at 4:48 AM 21 comments Links to this post


This recipe has been on my radar for some time. Finally two great reasons to make it; I had friends to bake for at a ski house in Vermont this past weekend and it's this week's TWD recipe. Thanks to Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction for picking such a fun recipe to play with.

I decided to bake the cake in a round rather than loaf pan since I wanted a classier presentation. The cake was so fast to make, I kept rechecking my ingredients because I felt like something was missing. Once I realized it was actually THAT easy; I baked it for 38 minutes.



Once out, I let it cool completely and then I started playing around. At Sofra we make a quince marmalade that is to-die-for. The smell of it is so intoxicating; I could almost be happy just breathing in its aroma. Our marmalade isn't as thick as store bought brands though, so I decided to cook it down some more. I cooked it for about 15 minutes on a pretty steady simmer until the liquid reduced to a thick syrup; stirring it frequently. Quince marmalade has a wonderfully floral fruity taste to it, but none of the bite of a "normal" marmalade. To get a bit of "bite" back into this recipe, I made a yogurt mouse with just a bit of brown sugar. Essentially what I did was I whipped some cream, and then added some labne (very thick yogurt) and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Labne has a great tang to it, so it balanced the sweetness of the cake and the quince marmalade.

Overall, I loved this cake. I especially loved the presentation because it looked très French. I hope everyone liked this cake as much as I did. I will certainly make it again.




 

 

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