Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Rose (water) Genoise


O.K. So I did not have the specialty Rose shaped pan that this recipe calls for. I did, however, get the heritage bake pan that Raymond and Rose have recommended. I figured, what is the fun of being part of a baking group if you can't get roped into buying some shttoty accoutrements now and again.

However, I still felt bad that it was not actually in the shape of a rose, which was the whole premise of this recipe. I decided that instead of using triple-sec for the sugar syrup, I would reach in to my Judeo-Syrian roots and use rose-water. I have to say that it really did add a delicate and lovely flavor.

Mis en Place:

If you have not had rose-water before I highly recommend it. Its flavor is unique! I used 1 teaspoon for the sugar syrup. It may have been a little too much. Next time I may use 1/2 teaspoon to more closely match the shira syrup flavor.

Strain the beurre noisette.

My, err, double boiler... Watch out, with that much surface area it really warms up fast!

You have to tilt it a bit at the beginning to get it to mix properly. It really did take the full 10 minutes to fluff properly. With a pot this big though you can sort of let go of your hand mixture though and just watch it. ;)

Add the flour. I just use Wondra for any of these types of sponge recipes. I do not have to sift the flour and it blends quickly and easily. You also get a higher rise from your cake (usually.)

Fold in the butter mixture.

Fill it up.

Here, your intrepid toaster baker in the urban jungle attempts to push the art of toaster baking to its limits with a full sized bunt pan. Drum roll please...

Wait until it is peeking over the top and starts to sink in the middle. The heating element was just starting to make its mark on the top...

And voila! "Bil Hana!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Coconut Cheeshecake


Delicious Coconut Cheesecake!

Mis en place:

Coconut and vanilla wafers with clarified butter. Before I attempted this cake I only knew about the Israeli style vanilla wafers. My wife was able to clear things up.

Cream Cheese and sugar.

Spin the cream o' coconut in the food processor. Here I made the mistake of putting the whole 15 ounce can in instead of the recommended 8 oz. Thus, I got to make some cupcakes too. :)

Mix in sour-cream and cream of coconut.

Prepared mini cheesecake pans.

Toast two at a time in the water bath.


Baby cakes. I ran out of the cookie crust bottom mixture so I put straight crumbled vanilla wafers. It actually gave a nice extra crunch on the bottom!

The extra cream of coconut did not seem to hurt the flavor too much. It may have had a slightly more languid flavor than it was supposed too. These were easy to make and really delicious. One of the fellows who I shared this with at work stated that it was the best cheesecake he had ever had and said: "You should have a blog!"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bread Bakers Apprentice(s) – Polaine style Miche


This is the cover-bread of Peter Reinhart's book, the Bread Bakers Apprentice.

First you have to build a starter. I had to start from the beginning again. I used high gluten wheat flour.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

It had some funky bubbles and it smelled pretty bad. Nope, not ready yet.

Day 4 - Smells funky

Day 5 - still smells funky

Day 6 - starting to smell better. Acrid, yet with a tinge of sour.

Day 7. That's better. Still a tinge of acrid, but rip-roaring to go. Lets stick it in the fridge until we are ready.

After a week in the fridge. No more acrid smell. Just a lovely sour. I really tried to keep this starter on the  dryer side so that I would get more sour notes.

This recipe calls for 9 cups of high-extraction flour. You sift your good whole wheat flour and get out the large bran-flakes!

Make a firm starter the night before.

Oops, I forgot to stick it in the fridge after 6 hours (I was at work.) No biggy, I hope.

Mix with high-extraction flour.

Coming together...

Once in a boul you are supposed to give it 4 hours to rise. It was already 11:30 pm so I decided to just stick it in the fridge.

Oh, shoot! I forgot to take a picture of it after it had risen. I left it out 5 hours in the morning and then carefully transfered it to the baking sheet and baked it.

Thump! Thump!

Here is the texture. Soury smell, Crunchy crust, soft tangy-sour-y interior. The high extraction flour really adds something. Very flavorful. Scrumptious.

The "Ez Man" also wants to be a Bread Bakers Apprentice!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake


I do not usually like strawberry flavored things. This was one of those "Rose Moments," where you discover that the nominal can become extraordinary because of the personal touch of someone who has gone the extra mile to make it so.

Mis en Place:

White chocolate for the cake.

Melted in a pot that was sitting on top of the toaster that was warming up.

I could not bring my self to put the full amount of baking powder. I cut out 1/2 a teaspoon. 

Mix mix.

Add the white chocolate.

Smooth out batter.

The indentation is from where my finger pressed it down. It was actually a little tunnel. I wonder if it was from over mixing or from the large amount of baking powder...

Egg whites and whipped butter. As usual, I cut the amount of butter in half for more flavor.

Meringue. I poured straight from the pot.

Substitute for strawberry butter. I could not find it and I did not feel like going to the store again to look for the preserves when I had the ingredients for the substitute at hand. It really did turn out lovely though.

There was not enough liqued to get it going so I added some of the meringue. I realize now that I could have added some lemon juice to help as well. It would have added that extra tang but the kids probably would not have liked it as much.

Mix it in.

This had a strawberry flavor that I can't say no to!


Pour on the chocolate.

Add some pink pearls to delight the little girls (even if they did spill half the bottle...)

 It really was a delicious cake and I will definitely make this again.