Posts Tagged 'blogging'

Pipe Dream #212: To Be A Picker – Behemoth Crumb Cake

behemoth 6

I was going to be a good blogger and re-title this recipe because I changed a few things from the Serious Eats version. But after wracking my brain for a better word to describe the hulking masses of butter and brown sugar that make the crumbs of this cake, I couldn’t figure out anything more appropriate that ‘behemoth.’

So here it is, the most inappropriately hulking mass of a calorie bomb I have ever made. It is the fulfillment of every crumb and crisp lover’s fantasy. I know who you are, you who snitch the crumbs off of every streusel-laden item that comes out of the oven. You are me, and the crumbs are everyone’s favorite part, so no shame. Besides, it’s not like you can even pick off enough crumbs from this to make it obvious. Under the crumb there is only…more crumb. An unending bowl of crumb. You’ll be ill before you hit the bottom.

behemoth 3 behemoth 1

Unbelievably, there actually was a cake layer to this crumb cake, never mind that it was squashed to a thin pancake. I actually really liked the cake part; it was so soft! I want to make this again, reducing the crumb and increasing the cake part. I’ve been eyeing this recipe for ages.

behemoth 2

So. Much. Crumb.

Crumbs. So. Huge.

I halved the recipe and used an 8″ round, but if you do the same, I suggest an 8×8″ square or a 9″ round.

behemoth 5

behemoth 4

behemoth 7

The next time you hold a tea party for giants, make this cake. The next time you need a crumb fix, make this cake. Hokay.

L

Behemoth Crumb Cake

Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

For the crumb:

3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the cake:

1 cup sifted unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup superfine or strained sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Make the topping: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low flame. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes, but do not allow the butter to become cold. Transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl.

Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the butter. Stir together until the mixture forms small crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment, spray with cooking spray and dust the pan lightly with all-purpose flour, tapping out the excess.

Make the cake: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk together. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a standup electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Soften the butter on low speed. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg, and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat for about 1 minute longer. Blend in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, dividing the flour mixture into 3 parts and the sour cream into 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary and mix for 10 seconds longer.

Pout the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the back of a tablespoon or rubber spatula. It will just barely cover the bottom in a thin layer.Take a handful of the crumb mixture and make a fist to press the mixture into a large clump, then separate into smaller clusters, scattering them on the top of the cake batter. Repeat until all of the crumbs have been used. Try to make sure that every surface of the cake part is covered, as it will bubble up in any gaps you leave on top. Gently pat the crumbs into the batter with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top and begins to come away form the sides of the pan. Let cool completely, then lift the cake out of the pan. Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze and cut into slices.

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I Got It Right: Twinkie Bundt Cake + Homemade Marshmallow Creme

twinkie cake 4

So they say that blog readership declines in the summer. Something about people “getting outside,” and like, “enjoying life” or something? Cool, man, me too. Which is why I am writing this post a month prior to its publishing and enjoying the mid-July weather right now. This also means that you, a dedicated summer reader, will get to share in one of the biggest recipe joys/successes of my recent life, namely, HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW CREME.

Stuffed in an ACTUALLY EXTREMELY DELICIOUS vanilla cake.

Making its TWINKIE-like characteristics extremely apparent.

Can she express this better? Probably, but I’m too overwhelmed with the below whisk/marshmallow creme shot.

twinkie cake 2

Guys, the marshmallow creme recipe I’ve linked below is the jam. Besides having to wait forever for the sugar solution to boil (my impatience was probably directly correlated to my desire for the finished product), the recipe was fairly simple. Now that I know I can have marshmallow creme whenever I need it, there are a host of recipes that have been opened up to me. Seriously, marshmallow creme is in a lot of toothsome things. More s’mores, anyone?

Oh, also the funnest part of this cake is getting to “tunnel” out the hole for the marshmallow creme. Cue cake-eating commencement.

twinkie cake 3

My auntie was half the inspiration for this recipe. We were chatting baking recently, and she was telling me how she used to love making Bundt cakes. It had been ages since I’d made one. Side fact of interest: she used to be a florist, and basically everything she touches ends up beautified.  I sprinkled on some sparkly pearls and made her have the first slice in appreciation.

twinkie cake 1

Lovely angel auntie. Thank you for everything! And thanks to all y’all who are sticking it out on the blog this summer. I mean, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean people don’t like cake, can I get a “Preach”?

twinkie cake 6

Appreciatively yours,

L

Twinkie Bundt Cake

Adapted from Pure Vanilla via Leite’s Culinaria

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup mild vegetable oil, such as canola, grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower
3 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

8 ounces marshmallow crème (I used this recipe.)
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles and confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter and dust it lightly with flour, tapping out any excess.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the oil and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Alternately stir in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions each, ending with the buttermilk. Mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Turn off the mixer and gently fold the batter several times by hand with a spatula to ensure everything is incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is golden, the top springs back when lightly pressed, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.To make the filling, beat together the marshmallow crème, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in sprinkles, if desired.
While the cake is still in the pan, use a knife to make 6 or 7 deep, evenly spaced notches or holes in the bottom of the cake, each about 3/4 of an inch in diameter, being careful to cut no more than halfway through to the top of the cake. Eat the scraps. Using your fingertips, gently connect the holes, making a uniform tunnel in the cake.
Use a spoon to fill the tunnel with marshmallow creme, smoothing the filling up to the top of the tunnel. Quickly and carefully invert the cake onto a platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, or make a quick glaze with powdered sugar and milk to drizzle over the cake.

Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

It’s still Pumpkin Week! Yay!

It’s also apparently smittenkitchen week, so, hope you can deal with that. I’m pretty sure if we met in real life, we would be insta-friends because every recipe she posts reads my stomach. And I’m powerless against making them. I had all these plans in mind for last Saturday’s breakfast, but all other options fled my mind when THIS came on the scene.

Given my recent obsession with finding a homemade cinnamon roll that lives up to the very high expectations I’ve somehow come by, I’ve been testing a very high volume of cinnamon rolls. See:

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Seriously, though, I don’t know where I’ve gotten these overblown standards in my head for what a cinnamon roll should be like. I would say it was Toby’s on 35E, but the second time this fall that I sampled one, it was actually not good. It could have also been these rolls, which I made so long ago, that perhaps my memory of their maple-y goodness has risen to some lofty heights.

In any case, these did not quite take the cake for me. They were kind of dry. Meh. Still yum, though.

Update since I drafted this post: I think perhaps the key to these is baking them in a round pan all squished together. I tried them again a few weeks later–I had frozen the dough, letting the rolls thaw and rise overnight–and they turned out far better. Also, I underbaked them slightly. Try the round pans. Magic.

 

Eva seeking, neva sleeping,

L

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

You can find the recipe at smittenkitchen. Her pics are better, but I would have added more moisture into her adaption of the recipe. Not that I would know how to do that. More butter, anyone?

Pumpkin Week: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

There is a very good reason that every person who knows what’s good for them is in love with pumpkin bars in the fall. There is a very good reason that all food bloggers in this wide world are posting pumpkin posts like the world’s supply is near exhaustion. And there is a very good reason that I have become obsessed with trying every single one of them.

And that reason is that pumpkin is delicious. Happy Pumpkin Week.

“Pumpkin is delicious.” Ha. I am well aware that I have been slacking on my food descriptions on this blog. Like, I should be describing this pumpkin bread pudding as  a glorious amalgamation of crisp and tender bread chunks melded and moisted together by a fragrant pumpkin custard that is best described as “dreamy…”

…but I just sometimes use up all my creativity on other things sometimes. So I’m really sorry. I’ll just let the pictures do the work for me, I guess. And if you call me, I will rave on and on to you about this bread pudding. Because, really, it is the best thing I have eaten all week. Actually, all month. Actually, possibly since Terre de Truffes.

I made a maple cream cheese glaze for it, which in this case was only gilding the lily. It would have been glorious without, but if you have some spare cream cheese lying around, I mean, no one is stopping you.

I did one bread pudding before, and this one is just as easy. Probably easier, in fact, because you don’t have to make caramel. Bonus.

omWORD,

L

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

Adapted from Gourmet via smittenkitchen

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Put the butter in an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ baking dish, and stick it in the oven as it preheats to melt the butter.

Chunk up the bread into 1 inch cubes. When the butter in the dish is melted, toss in the bread cubes and stir around until well-coated with butter.

Whisk all the remaining wet and dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Pour over the buttered cubes.

Bake until set, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm, with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or a maple cream cheese frosting, which you can find below.

Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

2 ounces cream cheese

powdered sugar

milk

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until glaze reaches a pourable consistency. Beat in extract, and pour over warm pudding.

Pipe Dream #139: To Be Smart At Science – Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate SMBC

Some bloggers are so cool. They are, like, actually serious bakers/scientists. They know about why we should use unsalted butter. They can tell you why one cake method makes for a denser outcome than another. Or why you should bake things at a different temperature if you live in a high altitude mansion.

They could probably also tell you why every time I try this chocolate cupcakes recipe, I fail it. I think it is because I overfill the liners, but I can’t be sure because I’m not one of those really smart scientist bloggers. In fact, I had to rename the first attempt something like “Hot Lava Marshmallow Epic Fail.” It was an “epic” fail because I made these back in 2008, and that’s what all the cool kids said all the time.

Don’t get me wrong. Hot Lava Marshmallow Epic Fail was delicious. It was a giant mess of exploded chocolate cake and marshmallow frosting that absolutely would not stiffen up. Probably for a number of reasons. But I wanted to get it right this time.

Of course, I still overfilled the liners. But not so much that they exploded, so I guess we’re working in baby steps here. This chocolate cake recipe has sour cream in it (fun!), which makes for a slightly tangy cake. It’s not bad at all; very light and not so chocolate-y that you feel like you are eating ganache. Martha uses the flat tops of these cupcakes to make huge peaks of a marshmallow frosting that is subsequently dipped in chocolate. They look fab, but given my track record with these, I figured that going for massive dip cone swirls was a little ambitious.

Instead, I paired these with a little SMBC recipe I made up. Basically, it is just SMBC with liquid chocolate mixed in. Light cupcake, light frosting, light heart. I used the famous Wilton 1M tip to make the rose piping.

Will someone please try Martha Stewart’s original recipe with the dip cone swirls? Maybe you will do this a lot better than me. I’d love to know your tricks.

Until the next rainy day,

L

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

from the book “Cupcakes!” via Martha Stewart — and heaven knows I am leaving it exactly as she wrote it because I have no insights on how to make it better…

makes 12 cupcakes

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.

For the chocolate SMBC:

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces liquid baking chocolate*
*I am going to call this “liquid baking chocolate.” It was Hershey’s, but I forgot the exact product name. If you don’t have this on hand, I believe you could melt some chocolate and whisk it in, too. Careful not to burn it, though. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, or melt in a double boiler.
Combine the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is warm and you can no longer feel sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers. This should be about 160 degrees F.
Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and beat on medium high until white, doubled in size and completely cool. Add the salt and vanilla. Chunk up the butter, and add a few tablespoons at a time. Then just whip it good. It might look like it has split, but fear not, you just need to whip it until it comes together.
When the mixture is smooth, turn your mixer to low and whisk in the chocolate until well incorporated. Voila!

Wedding Testers: Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

So you may have noticed that I posted this blog once before. Well, the pictures anyway. It was basically blogging mistake #1040. Heaven knows the pictures are probably enough, but in case you wanted the recipe for these gluten free chocolate cakes that don’t taste gluten free, here are some words for you.

I made these cupcakes for couple back in July. This is the last installment of the cupcake recipes I did for them. They had decided that honey poached pear cupcakes were not enough, that strawberry cupcakes alone would not cut it, and that key lime cupcakes would not satisfy by themselves. They were missing something. What were they missing, you ask? The answer, my friends, is chocolate. And, of course, a gluten free option for those friends who are intolerant of wheat gluten. Very considerate of others, they are.

I struggle with gluten free food. It’s hard to find, very expensive and finnicky to prepare. And besides that, many gluten-free cakes are hard as rocks. No one wants a cake that is as hard as a rock. So I tried to find a recipe that was interesting and cake-like. The following pictures demonstrate my fails.

My first idea was to stir the cherry jam directly into the batter before the cupcakes were baked. This turned out to be bad news. I actually have no idea why the cupcakes bubbled up like acid and remained flat without any trace of cherry flavor.

My second thought was to drop the cherries on top of the batter before the cupcakes were baked. This way, each cupcake would have a bit of cherry in it for sure.

While these were a bit better, they still lacked zing. Henceforth, I will only use the word ‘zing’ to describe cherries and goat cheese. Goat cheese has so much zing. For real.

I was a little discouraged that night. Instead of trying a new method, I used the extras on this tester to make several regular-size cupcakes…and to practice piping shells. I’m trying to get better at piping shells. It’s a struggle. Struggles, struggles, everywhere, but not a drop to drink…yet. (Name that movie. False. I’m just going to say it. My family may have watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory too much when I was little. It comes up in my blog all the time. That is so weird.)

The day before the event, I gave it a final shot. It turned a far more effective way to fill the cupcakes. First, I cut a little cone into the top of the cupcake, then spooned a cherry piece into the hole. Once covered with frosting, the cherries are perfectly invisible and meld nicely with the chocolate cake.

It worked out in the end! Like the way most couples work out in romantic comedies and the way most stomachs work out after Pizza Ranch excursions.

For yay,

L

One Bowl Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Cake

Adapted from food.com

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (see recipe below)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 eggs
1 cup water
cherry preserves
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all liquid ingredients besides the preserves, and mix well. Bake in greased and floured 9″ square pan or lined cupcake tin at 350 F, for 30 – 35, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you are making cupcakes or mini cupcakes, check your time at about 10 minutes just to see how things are getting on. It’ll probably take them less time to bake.
Once the cupcakes are finished and cool, cut a small cone out of the top of the cupcake. Fill each hole with cherry preserves. Frost as desired.
Gluten Free Flour Blend
6 cups oriental rice flour (Thai)
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch
Blend well and store in an airtight container. I had to order the rice flour and tapioca starch online. I bit that bullet and was rewarded with awesome cupcakes. You can do the same. Also, check Festival Foods or Lund’s or something. They’ll have it.

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