Friday, March 17, 2017

Frances Virginia Hot Milk Sponge Cake with Lemon Filling - American Cake - Frowny Face :(

Okay, so I'm not going in chronological order in the book, American Cake. I don't know if that's a fool's errand, but I'm finding it hard to do.

What had happened was the next cake is Angel Food Cake. Which I critically failed at making. It was a woeful disaster and I will attempt it again. However, it did leave me with 11 egg yolks. Yolks often mean curd for me, so I made the lemon curd recipe out of the Cake Bible. (I expect Anne knows Rose and they are great friends.)  I tripled the recipe, because you know I had all the yolks.

Plus it was Ricarda's birthday and she wanted a cake with buttercream icing. I had lemon filling so I flipped through Anne's book until I found something. That something is the Hot Milk Sponge Cake.

Overall it was generally satisfying but I've made easier to bake sponge cakes that were less dry. I'm disinclined to even type out the recipe, because you should just keep looking for a different sponge cake recipe. I'm going to call this one done, post a picture and be finished.

I didn't even have the heart to photograph the failed Angel Food. It's been a tough week. :(  The lemon curd was spot on though. :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Salted Caramel Pecan Rolls

A happy plate of pecan rolls, gooey and crunchy and salty and sweet. 
Once upon a time I worked as a baker who made Danish, Croissant and Puff pastry. It was there when I learned how to make pecan rolls with Danish dough and a thing called pan smear. I've been hankering to make them again. Alas, I can't seem to find a similar recipe. Nothing rang my memory bell. However, I thought I'd shoot for easy overnight rolls.

I suppose you don't need to hold them overnight, but I think they work well for breakfast and I am not waking up early enough to make these from start to finish in the morning. Those days are behind me.

This is how we do it:

  • Dough
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • .5 cup granulated sugar
  • .5 cup water at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature
  • .25 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • .5 teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • Caramel Sauce:
  • .5 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • .25 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1.3 cups chopped pecans, toasted

  • Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Put all the dough ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer. Knead until smooth about 5 minutes. Scrape together. Oil the bowl and the top of the dough. Cover and let rise 90-120 minutes. 
Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by spraying liberally with cooking spray. 
Near the end of the rise time, in a sauce pan combine the butter, brown sugar and salt. Melt together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream. Bring to a quick boil then off the heat, stirring the whole while. Into the pans toss the pecans, carefully pour the caramel sauce on top of the pecans. Set aside as you roll the dough. 

Divide dough into two equal portions and roll out each section into a rectangle. 
For the filling, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. Brush melted butter evenly on each rectangle and sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mix. Starting with the longer side roll up each rectangle. Cut each roll into 10 equal portions. Place rolls into prepared cake pans and brush with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature and proof until the pan is full. Bake until browned and baked through 20-30 minutes. 350 degrees. 

This is the tricky part. Don't let them cool in the pan!!! Put the serving plate over the rolls and flip them to where the caramel and pecans are on top.

Goetta Here (get outta here) and Bratwurst

All the pretty sausages. Goetta is definitely not photogenic, so there is no picture! 
Goetta is a Cincinnati breakfast meat. It's ground pork and or beef and or organs with about two-thirds its weight with cooked pin-head oats, and lots of seasoning (sage, thyme, black pepper, bay leaf and salt) boiled together until it dense enough to slice when cooled. Then you fry it in oil and eat it with an egg.

So I made that. You say it like Ghet-tah. It's not really pretty because it's literally boiled meatloaf. You can put lipstick on a pig...

However, on that same night my pal Scott and I made Bratwurst. It was my first time stuffing a sausage and that was highly satisfying. Literally the best new to me process of making a thing I've done in a long time. I want to have a sausage fest now and make so many sausages!

5 pounds pork shoulder meat, buy larger to account for bone
3 pounds pork belly
.25 cup salt
1 tablespoon pepper
10 cloves garlic
1 tablespoons ground caraway
1.5 tablespoon marjoram
2 natural casings

Cut the meat small, grind it twice with first a larger die then a smaller die. Add the seasoning. Spread onto a cookie sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. While you are doing that run water through your casing to check for holes and to get it unknotted. Shove the casing onto the sausage stuffer. Stuff, then twist into links. To do that twist in one direction, toward yourself for example, then in the opposite direction. Poke the casings with a pin to release air bubbles. Let stand in the refrigerator for a least 1 day before eating or freezing. Freeze or eat within 5 days of making.

Makes 8 pounds.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Savory (Cottage) Cheese Scones

It looks positive that I'll be teaching a class or two at The Columbus Commissary this spring. The first one will be on scones, biscuits and shortcake. 

Green onions and cayenne are happy additions! 
I totally forgot to brush the top of these with milk. (Any dairy will do, just keep it from dribbling down the sides as it works kind of like glue on the rise.) For flavor, rise, texture and quickness these work well. I know, cottage cheese? Yes, cottage cheese. Large curd? Small curd? I used large. It's less acidic and I used baking powder which goes well with less acidic dry mixtures. So much to know or just follow a recipe and don't geek out about it like me. Or geek out even more and make your own cottage cheese! That would be so cool.  

This Kitchn article breaks down the baking soda/powder acid power grab. 

1  cup cottage cheese
4 tablespoons milk, plus more for brushing on top
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
.75 teaspoon salt
pinch teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3 scallions, whites up into an inch or two of green, minced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Puree the cottage cheese and milk together until smooth in a food processor, or smash together in a bowl, squishing the curds with the back of fork; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Cut or rub the butter into the flour. If rubbing, be quick and use a light touch.

Add the scallion and stir in the cottage cheese/milk puree. The dough should come together but add milk a tablespoon at a time if necessary. It should be shaggy looking.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press the dough out to a circle about 7 to 8 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife shear, don’t saw, the circle into 8 wedges.

Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little milk, and bake until puffed and light golden brown on top and bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes.
Serve warm with butter and jam. The savory scone and sweet jam is fantastic. 

If you make your own cheese please be my friend and let me hang out with you. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Louisiana Syrup Cake - American Cake - Yum

Moist, delicious, gingerbread cake.
There's a piece in the American Cake book with this recipe that talks about Steen's Cane Syrup. Steen's can be found in the south it says. Just about the time I got to this section of the book a co-worker said he was heading to Louisiana to work with his mom on her house that was devastated in the Baton Rouge floods 6 months ago.
I can't imagine the loss. 
But being the opportunist that I am I asked for him to pick up some syrup, you know, if he could. Well he did and I'm grateful. 

This is a variation on gingerbread. The syrup taste like lighter molasses than corn syrup but you know if you don't have Steen's just make a different cake. 

And interestingly, dissolving the baking soda in hot water is a rare thing, but I've seen it a few times and it makes me think "old fashioned".

1.5 cup granulated sugar
.75 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Steen's cane syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup water boiling hot
2.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon ginger
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon cloves
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Butter or oil spray a 13x9 pan thoroughly. Parchment is tricky with this one because it is a sticky cake.

In a big old bowl whisk the sugar and oil together. Add the syrup, stir it in. Dissolve the baking soda into the hot water. Add that to the sugar/syrup mixture. The heat and water loosens the batter. Dump the flour, spices and salt into the mixture. Add the eggs.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 45 minutes to an hour until a testers comes out cleanly. Top with powdered sugar and serve warm.

So Mr. Louisiana said the cake reminded him of home. There can't be a better compliment.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tamales for a Crowd

Delicious Tamales! 
Friends came over and we made tamales. We drank Margaritas and there was talking, laughing and of course tamales.

I called this Columbusing a little. To Columbus something is actively tell a person from not your culture that you can make their food better than they can; that your food is more authentic. Sounds awful, huh? 

We didn't do that because that would be wrong but sadly I didn't have an experienced tamale maker in my friend group, so I thought watch some videos and make it happen. This is what we did. 

1 8 pound pork butt or shoulder
salas or the stuff to make salsa 
Ancho chili powder

Cook the pork a day ahead in a crock pot. Don't be shy about salt and seasoning. When it is fork tender 8 to 10 hours later cool and shred. After shredding pour the crock pot liquid over the pork and refrigerate until needed.

Tamale Dough
1.33 cups lard or shortening or a combination
4 cup masa
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2.66 cups broth or water, broth is better
1 big bag of corn husks

Soak the corn husks overnight or heat in simmering water for an hour. 

Whip the fat until it's aerorated. In a second container combine the masa, salt, baking powder, cumin and chili powder. Into the lard add 1/3 the flour, then 1/2 the broth, scrape the sides between every addition. Continue add the flour and broth in parts until it's all combined. Whip a minute or two longer. It's suggested to cool the mixture an hour then whip it before using. 

Put the corn husk cut side to the top. Spread about a quarter cup of masa onto the husk, it will feel like cookie batter.  3x3 about an inch from the top edge. Put a strip of filling down the middle. Fold over both sides like swaddling a baby, then fold up the top. Tie around the middle, tight enough to hold together but not synched around the middle like a belt. The tamale will expand as it cooks. 

Set the sanding on end, top open in a steamer. Steam covered for 75-90 minutes. Check for doneness by pulling one out of the steamer, opening it and touching the masa for firmness.

I made the dough 4 times to use all the pork and it made about 100 tamales. That's the crowd part, because seriously who is going to eat them all? 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Shoo Fly Pie - American Cake - Pie Cake

Try not singing this song while you bake.  
Thanks Dinah! 

What's a pie doing in a cake book? It is really cake batter in a pie shell. It's molasses and sugar and coffee and flour all in a pie pan. It grows like a cake in a pan so don't be put off by how little batter fills your pie pan before it's baked. 

Shoo Fly Pie!
I think it's so delicious you have to shoo the flies away. 
I did mine in an 11 inch tart pan and it was a bad idea, it over flowed the edges of the pan. I was able to trim it and still serve the pie, but I would not recommend going that way.  Use a real pie pan.

Shoo Fly Pie
1 - 9 inch pie shell
1.5 cup flour
0.5 cup white sugar
0.5 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
0.5 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cold
0.5 cup warm strong coffee
0.5 cup molasses
0.5 teaspoon baking soda

350 degree oven.
Prepare the pie shell and refrigerate while mixing the ingredients. Using a food processor combine the flour, sugars, nutmeg and baking powder. Pulse to combine. Dot with cold butter and pulse further to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You can do this by hand as well. Rubbing the butter into the flour. Reserve .025 cups of the dry mixture for sprinkling on top before baking.
In the large measuring cup combine the coffee and molasses, stir in the baking soda (watch out it bubbles up) pour this into the flour/butter mixture and whirl until mixed.
Pour into the pie pan, sprinkle with reserved flour/butter mixture and bake at 40-50 minutes until the center is set. Let cool 15 minutes and serve warm or cold.

How many songs about baked goods are there? And I think I need to find an Apple Pan Dowdy recipe.