Monday, November 30, 2009

Heavenly Cake - Pumpkin Cheese Cake


This cheese cake was just wonderfull!

As a full sized spring-form pan will not fit in my toaster oven I had to make mini cheesecakes.

Needless to say, they did not last very long.

Blackened pecans and burnt noisette... err... I mean toasted Pecans and buerre noisette...

My first attempt at toasting these:

It is a bit more difficult to toast nuts in the toaster as they are very close to the heating element. The trick is just to use a lower temp and give it a little longer.

Here is what they looked like the second time around:

I never made buerre noisette before so the first try got a little burnt:

So I tried again:

Ahh, Much better! No burnt smell.

After a couple hours it looked like this:

Mis en Place:

My food-processor is parve so I had to make the crust in the blender. It worked fine actually, the blade just does not reach everything and creates a whirlpool effect in the middle. You have to keep taking it off and banging it to get the blade to process it all.

I had a little trouble figuring out how to push the crust up the sides. In the end I used the coffee canister. There must be a better way...

Pumpkin and sugar:

Mix mix...

Here the little guys are in their metallic undies and water bath ready for a nice toast:

Chava likes Cheesecake too.

Out of the oven:

Burnt object number 3... the caramel:

The caramel was still tolerable, delicious in fact. However, I may save the rest of it for some candy apples instead of putting the rest of it on the cheesecake. After doing two batches of toasted pecans I did not feel like making another batch for the top.

The cheesecake itself was out of this world! The buerre noisette really did add something and the texture really does change after a night in the fridge (we just had to try one of these when it first came out of the oven.)

The next cake I will make will be the carrot cake, G-d willing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sourdough Challah


 I did this by feel mostly. Here are the proportions I used:

1 1/2 cup sourdough starter
4 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tblsp walnut oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup Warm water

You can see the starter on top.

I left it out to rise overnight.

Shaped challas and bilkeluch then gave it a good 3 1/2 hour rise.

לכבוד שׁבת קודש!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rose's Heavenly Cakes - Catalan Salt Pinch Cake


Mis en place:

The Ez Man was with me for moral support:

Preparing the pan...

What it looked like when I started mixing.

...and after mixing. It took me about 45 minutes and really rose up. At first I tried to use the Tablespoon measure but the egg mixture kept slipping out of it. I then switched to a 1/4 cup measure and that seemed to work much better, it still took quite a while for all the eggs to get used up.

When I read that I would have to stick my hand in the batter to pinch the flour morsels I decided to use Wondra flour to see if that helped. It slipped straight through the sifter, I do not think I really had to sift it.

The Wondra dissolved almost immediately into the batter, I did not have to mix very much.

The batter before baking...

Woah! It climbed at least an inch over the edge of this 2 inch spring-form. I did not expect it to climb that high. I wonder how hight it would have climbed had the parchemt been even higher. Maybe it was because I spent so long mixing in the egg yolks or maybe it was because of the Wondra.

The flavor was really nice almondy and light. I do think that the Almond Shama Chiffon with the Ammereto syrup had a more, to use a Rose adjective, "luscious" flavor. I did forget to put in the lemon zest and I think it would have been better with it. Also, I used pre-ground almonds and did not bother to put them in the food processor. This was a mistake as there were recognizable little bits of almond still. This was a very nice cake and I would definitely make it again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pumpkin Cake Mini Bundts and Mini Muffins


My wife requested me to make these. Recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heavenly Cake - Woody's Lemon Luxury Layer Cake


It may have taken a whole Sunday to make, but it really was luxurious.

The Buttercream.

Mis en place:

We did a taste test of all the kosher white chocolate available to use. Good ol' Paskez (the Camille Bloch,) again, came out on top.

Straining the lemon curd. It took a looooong time to thicken. At least an hour. I was a bit zealous though about not letting it boil...

"double boiling" the white chocolate.

The Lemon Curd. Now cooled and separated.

The white chocolate custard. It is really time for me to get a thermometer. However, I just tried to use the same gauge that was given for the Lemon curd, to wait until it pools thickly, and it seemed to work pretty well.

Mix mix...

All done.

The Cake.

Mis en place:

Melt some chocolate, yet again!

Mix in the lemon curd.

Le Toaster. This time I lowered the rack but inverted the tray. This gave me medium height and equidistance from both heating elements. This was my mistake. I was led astray by Marcy Goldman's double cookie sheet trick that I had in mind. It had worked so well last time I used it making bread that I forgot that it did not work with the toaster tray for cakes...

I have to say I was a little wary of the 4 1/2 tspns of baking powder. I figured it must be because of the white chocolate added, to give it extra height or something. Still not sure why this recipe uses so much.

Ok, perhaps I should not have done this but after slaving away at the stove for so long I could not bake this cake in two shifts in the toaster. Hey, it worked for the pumpkin cake. Here toaster-oven, take that! I poured all the cake batter in the pan, shoved it in and hoped for the best.

I could tell after about half an hour or so that the cake was going to burn on top. I put some tin-foil as a shield. This was still not completely helping as the middle of the cake was still soupy. I then used a trick I learned in bread baking. I lowered the temperature, knowing that it would dry the cake somewhat, but at least it would be completely baked and stop burning. I figured it had so much gooey stuff in the batter, how dry could it get? Thank G-d, only a little. Next time, this cake gets baked flat on the lower rack setting. Nu, vos zol men ton?

Mazel Tov! It worked. There were a few moments of dread there. Worrying that I would have to make the cake a second time, what and the Chabad Rabbi at UCLA coming over for a visit and all (I just had to let him try the cake, even before I put the buttercream...)

Cut into three parts. It is interesting that the picture in the album does not seem to match the instructions for placing the buttercream. Dollops of Lemon Curd on top indeed! Needless to say I tried to match the layer of lemon curd in the picture.

The middle layer was really thin. I was not sure how to get it on top of the first layer. In the end I took a couple of pieces of paper and slid them under the middle layer as support. I then slid the middle layer onto the first. It was only slightly off center. ;)

This was the first cake that I attempted the parchment paper underneath to buttercream the cake with out the mess. It helped that the buttercream had a nice consistency.

Yum! This cake was really delicious. Now this is a buttercream. It was rich and flavorful and did not taste like butter at all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cake Bible - Buttermilk Country Cake


I used frozen buttermilk. It was a little grainy but the cake came out OK (but a little sunk...)