Posts Tagged 'fail'

Pipe Dream #211: To Make A Mercy Killing – Orange Almond Trifles

orange trifles 3

Trifles are the cooking equivalent of those sand art projects you did in elementary school, easy to assemble and satisfyingly ornamental without much effort. Granted, you probably won’t be able to create a camel under a palm tree using orange zest and whipped cream, but go for it if you want, man. Also, like sand art, trifles have a short shelf life, though this is because they go down easy, not because your little sister shook up your sand bottle and made all the colors mix and then your sand bottle was ugly beige-colored instead of zesty rainbow-colored.

orange trifles 4

Guys, I was really excited about using this flavoring oil. It’s like orange juice concentrate. Except not for drinking. It’s just really strong, ok? You can get these in like, any flavor you want, too.

orange trifles 2

orange trifles 1

Unlike this trifle, which was gluten-free and intentional, these are the result of an overly dramatic cake layer. I tried to get it out of a pan I didn’t bother lining before it was totally cool and was met with fierce resistance, so I mercilessly shook it into pieces. It was heartbroken, but hey, I can’t care about every cake’s feelings. After such a bad knock, I decided to give it a mercy killing and split it into four crumbled servings which I buried in creamy layers of pastry cream and whipped cream. Not such a bad way to go out, I guess.

orange trifles 6

Because of the chill time required, trifles are a make-ahead dessert. Also, aren’t you just jazzed about getting a peek inside this fridge? To me, knowing what’s in someone’s fridge says a lot about them. It’s like reading their diary. Ok, I realize I am a little obsessed with food sometimes. You probably do not even care about this. Olives, broccoli slaw, maple syrup, greek yogurt and queso. Judge me how you will.

orange trifles 5

I served the trifles in individual glasses garnished with an orange wedge to make them an acceptable dessert-for-breakfast. Because a pretty glass means you can eat whatever you want whenever you want.

Killin’ it,

L

Orange Almond Trifles

For the cake:

Half of any cake recipe will do. I used this one from i am baker.

For the orange pastry cream:

Any pastry cream recipe will do. I halved this one from Food Network.

For the sweetened whipped cream:

Beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Layer the trifle components, starting with the cake, then the pastry cream, then the whipped cream. Garnish with orange zest and toasted almonds. I used wine glasses as a vessel, but you could use anything. If you don’t want individual servings, you could try something like this.

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Random Texture FAIL – Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

pot de creme 1

With a name like ‘Mocha Velvet Cream Pots,’ you’d think this would be the best dessert ever. To parse, via Google dictionary:

Mocha – A drink or flavoring made with or in imitation of fine-quality coffee, typically with chocolate added.

Velvet – A closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick short pile on one side. Alternately, soft downy skin that covers a deer’s antler while it is growing.

Cream – The thick white or pale yellow fatty liquid that rises to the top on raw milk, used in cooking.

Pot – A container, typically rounded and of metal, used for storage or cooking. Alternately, cannabis.

However, this was not the best dessert ever.

pot de creme 2

I failed this pretty bad, mostly because I used the wrong amount of egg yolks that had previously been frozen, that I then tried to thaw on the quick in the microwave and cooked them halfway. Which in turn curdled the “velvet” part of the cream pots. I knew I knew I knew that thawing the eggs in the microwave would be a PLC (poor life choice for those of you who aren’t my close friends), but I did it anyway. It was a #bakingsaturday, and I was crazy.

pot de creme 3

They might have been more aptly named Mocha Kelt Cream Pots or Mocha Mocha Velvet Ratiné Pots. P.s. I’ve learned so much about fabric today. They had a lovely flavor, but this recipe is all about texture, and the texture of these was nubby and chunky. Far from velvety. I tried to deal with this by adding a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Heh.

pot de creme 4

I was going to bring these to a dinner party, but declared them unfit. Stay tuned for what I actually brought, which was far better. Try this with real egg yolks. Try not splashing the chocolate up the sides of the dishes (see notes below). It sounds like the best thing ever, and you could probably do it right.

Tuning it up,

L

Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

1 tablespoon (15 mL) instant coffee crystals

2 cups (16 fl. ounces, 475 mL) milk

6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 75 grams) white sugar

8 ounces (225 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (30 mL) coffee liqueur or creme de cacao (I chucked in the creme de cacao in lieu of the coffee liqueur)

7 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degress C).  Place eight ramekins (120 mL, 4 ounces, 1/2 cup) in a roasting pan or glass baking dish.

Put the coffee granules into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until the coffee and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate (or chips), stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and liqueur if using.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks to blend lightly. Slowly whisk in the chocolate until well-mixed, the strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup. Pour this equally into the ramekins. I recommend placing the pan with the ramekins into the oven without pulling out the rack that the pan sits on, and pouring the mixture in. This way, the mixture won’t splash up the sides of the ramekins like mine did. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard is just set and a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. Remove from the roasting pan and cool. Once cool, cover and chill. Decorate with a chocolate covered coffee bean before serving. You could also sprinkle on some powdered sugar cocoa powder or whipped cream.

Pipe Dream #132: – Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

These were an inspired idea. The execution was not as inspired as the thought itself, but isn’t that just how things go sometimes? Yes. Even the ISFJ’s among us can wreck a perfectly good plan now and again.

The original recipe that caught my attention was this one, a lemonade layer cake that added lemonade mix to the dry ingredients. Genius, right? Especially during summer, when my body craves lemonade daily (and also cake, but that is a different tale). Given my extreme fear of producing a cake that is dry and (heaven forbid) angel food cake-like, I decided to take this strawberry cupcake recipe that you’ve seen before and just add a packet of lemonade mix to it.

Great, except it didn’t taste that great, and wonder of wonders, my buttercream split in the 95 degree heat. I had to add loads of powdered sugar to make it even set up a little. I won’t even tell you about the time I spent pressing hot washcloths to the side of the bowl in a lazy efficient attempt to de-frag it.

Sorry this recipe was a bit of a fail. Next time, I’m just going to add fresh lemon zest and call it a day. In other news, aren’t the cupcake liners cute? They were a gift from a friend, which makes them all the specialer.
Less hot,

L

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Follow this recipe, but add one packet of Crystal Light Lemonade mix. The big one, that makes 4 quarts. It really wasn’t an awful cupcake, so if it sounds good, try it, but I was nonplussed. Don’t overbeat the frosting, for real.

Pipe Dream #3: To Make The Perfect Caramel, Revisited Again – Caramel Cake

Haha another caramel fail. I bet you were beginning to wonder what a caramel fail looks like. After all, I’ve only posted my successful caramel stories on this blog. Now you will know my true self.

This cake looked and sounded fabulous on smitten kitchen. Even though her caramel didn’t turn out as it was supposed to, either, it at least looked yummy. In my case, the caramel sauce tasted swell, but it looked like chunky puke. Chunky puke that was lovingly spread over a heart-shaped vanilla cake.

I really should have known that I would have problems. I had no heavy cream, so I used half and half instead and threw two tablespoons of butter into the pot, hoping to make the fat content similar to heavy cream. I used brown sugar I had made from scratch. And my candy thermometer was janked so I didn’t know if it was reading right, and I probably didn’t let it boil long enough. I can’t pinpoint the source of my problems, but I’m willing to bet the fail was due to one or all of those factors.

Moral of the story, always keep a gallon of heavy cream in your fridge in case of emergency.

The cake itself is actually quite good. It’s dense and richly flavored. The caramel will probs work out better for you, so don’t let these pictures deter you from what will surely be caramel-laden bliss.

Just fine and dandy,

L

Caramel Cake

Adapted from smitten kitchen

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Equipment: a candy thermometer

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the glaze: Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.

Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Do ahead: Cake (before glazing) can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.


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