Sunday, October 31, 2010

Heavenly Cake - The Bostini


Oh my, these are seriously sinful. Shamefully, I never heard of a boston cream pie before so I did not realize at first what we were deconstructing.

Mis en place:

Add orange and eggs to dry ingredients. This is before adding the meringue.

After the meringue.

Pop em' in the toaster.

Mis en place 2: the pastry cream.

The egg mixture.

Sugar, spice... everything nice.

Just about ready to pour into the eggs.

Pastry cream. Magnifique!

Prepare the cups. It only filled six of my cups. I would have had to make a double recipe of pastry cream. That's O.K. we ate about six of those addictive little orange sponges anyway.

I used the scale for nearly everything in this recipe. It is just easier.

Prepare the cups.

Don't use too many fingers to lick the chocolate...

To your health! קע''ה 

My conclusions: The orange chiffon cakes are absolutely wonderful all by themselves and the pastry cream is truly delicious. The chocolate coating, on the other hand, was a bit too rich for my tastes (all that butter.) I think a regular ganache or the chocolate coating from the ice cream cake recipe would have suited me just fine. All together these make an absolutely magnificent dessert that really lend an air of festivity to whenever it is served. 

I felt like Napoleon did...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Angel Food Cake, the way it was wanted.


Just a little plain angel food cake to temp you. 

Ripples in a billowing egg white sea.

I learned a good lesson here. Do not attempt to eat angel food cake before it cools down. It tastes terrible!   The texture has not settled completely and it tastes like a wet, soggy mush. I almost threw it out. The next morning it tasted just like regular angel food cake.

In Jewish tradition, the Manna (מן) that G-d sent down to the Israelites in the dessert was food of angels, a physical precursor the to the heavenly law that they would receive and were supposed to internalize. The Manna got completely digested to the point where there was no bodily refuse, just as G-d's law is completely pure and just. ה  לְכוּ, לַחֲמוּ בְלַחֲמִי – משׁלי ט, ה "Come and partake of my bread" - Proverbs 9:5 This was actually a cause of some contention as some people felt that at some point they were simply going to explode! Thinking: "There is no such thing as a person that just takes in but does not give out!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Splendiferous Quick Bread


This was parve and delicious. I would have preferred it a tad sweeter or more aromatic. Maybe next time I'll use dark brown sugar and/or perhaps vanilla sugar.

Mis en place:

I left the flour out of the mis en place since I  have gone off the deep end and bought 75 pounds of flour in large open bags in the kitchen (with curious little kids around to boot.)

Dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients. I used light brown muscavado.

I used the food processor for this and made a double recipe as well (I was almost 100% sure I would like it and was not disappointed.)

Add flour, nuts etc.

The short fat pan took 30 minutes while the long thin one took 45-50 minutes to bake.



Unlike other HC Bakers, I felt like this was a bit of a hassle to make. All the vegetables type objects made this lean outside  the realm of the "baking zone." Perhaps Pretzel-Rod Sterling dictates the world I bake in...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Lava Cakes


These cakes are all the rage in N.Y. We order them every time we go out (um, that would be our bi-annual date...) On a different note, aren't children wonderful? :)

I believe that says: "I love you because you bake with me." The blue bowl has challah dough in it.

Mis en place.

Preheat your toaster and use the top for your "double boiler."

Whisk in your eggs and such.

"Fold" in the meringue. I am still not sure how you are supposed to "fold" with a whisk. There was only enough batter for 5 ckes. By the second batch, the batter had deflated a bit.

Must... resist... finger... poke... of.. madness... ...

Now that I know how easy these are to make, we can stay home indefinitely. Or, maybe we can just order something else. ;)...

Verdict: Delish! I truly believe that you have to have this al a mode in order to get the full textural juxtaposition of the hot, molten chocolate, firm, chocolate cake and cold, smooth ice-cream.

Kaak - The perfect Middle-Eastern coffee compliment


My grandmother ע''ה used to make these for us regularly. She would throw them in a bowl in the kitchen and leave them for every one to snack on. They never lasted long. I have been buying them from the stores here in Brooklyn and they will hit you for about $6 a bag. I figured it was time to go back to basics. I have been meaning to get into more of the sephardic baking (maybe batlaweh will be next...)

Roast yourself some turkish coffee (or starbucks as the case may be...) with hawaj and nibble on some of these babies. A truly satisfying, relaxing experience. 

I used the recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and modified it a little.

Coriander, cumin, niggella (black seeds,) anise, sesame, mahleb (crushed sour cherry pits - I could not find that one...)

I added all the dry ingredients together. You soak and drain the anise.

It makes a lovely firm dough that is easy to work with. The recipe I used called for way too much salt.

You cut and roll it into logs.

Cut again and shape.

I like some long ones. You can make them into any shape you want and its fun for kids to help! :)

Egg wash...

Bake high and then a long, slow, low heat. They really are the perfect snack food.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heavenly Cake - Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes


Brown and yellow spangled, slightly mangled, caramel-y chew, sweet puddin' cakes.

"First try my cake!" Chavi said. I thought the fly swatter added just the right touch...

In all honesty, my heart was not in it in this one. I was a bit overwhelmed by this recipe and just started work after vacation. I was puckered out. I took a bit of a short cut with this brioche. Since enriched bread is not helped as much by a long slow maturation of the yeast anyway and we are glomming on to this lots of other goo I decided to skip all of the refrigeration and shaping steps. I did do the soaker for an hour or two and then just mixed it all together to form a very battery type dough.

I gave it one good, long, rise for about 2 1/2 hours.

Pop em in the toaster. A dairy bread must have a known shape to comply with kosher laws. Brioche is the perfect example. Thus, I did not make it into a standard loaf. I covered the top with tinfoil 3/4 of the way through. Only the bottom got a little burnt.

Cut these up before I went to work. They were perfect when I got home.

creme anglais and brioche ready to cool.

I made the second caramel in a sauce pan, poured the pineapple in and then poured it all into this tinfoil to toast.

The bottom caramel, on the other hand, became these lovely little frisbees.

I did not even attempt to make a swirly pattern...

It looks like the caramel turned out pretty much rock hard like everyone elses. Some of it was more like taffy though. We had spaghetti and meat sauce tonight so we will have to wait until tomorrow to taste them. I'll try to update the post when we do.

-Update. These taste outrageous! Really delicious and worth the effort.