Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heavenly cake - Quail Egg Seduction (cup)Cake(s)


This may be my last baking post for a little while as it looks like we are going to have to move. I'll post when I can.

In direct contrast to dear fellow Heavenly-Cake-Baker Raymond's scathing review, I thought this had an exceptional, indulgent flavor. Really something special. The 5 7/8 cup cake pan did seem a little esoteric though and I could not figure out how to adjust the recipe for a regular nine inch or loaf pan. I decided to just go for cup cakes. Kids love cupcakes and you can just keep baking them until you run out of batter. In the morning before work I almost never have time to actually take out a knife, cut a piece of cake and find appropriate packaging for it. A cupcake, on the other hand, is pre-proportioned, self contained and can be thrown into a lunch bag in the usual mad rush.

In addition, the last cup cake wrappers I found in the store are patent pending as they do not dull their colors as they bake and can be baked independent of a cupcake pan, on a baking sheet (if you wish.)

These little lovelies came 15 in a $9 package so I decided to triple the recipe. What would I do with 10 leftover eggs? Still not sure what to do with the whites...

Mis en Place: One bowl for the yolks, one for the whites and one for checking for blood spots. You can se how the yolks bled a bit into the whites. The whites stubbornly stuck to the yolks and it was only after much cajoling and pulling at the whites with my fingers that they came apart. Still some white got into the yolk and vis-versa. I put the eggs in warm water to take of the chill since I did not have time to wait for them to get to room temperature. A trick I learned on the Joe Pastry site. :) 

I used India tree castor sugar which seems to have an almost molasses-y aroma. Very impressed. Perhaps it helped with the final outcome we got.

The eggs in their vanilla-cream bath. Luscious, rich, thick texture.

Close up of some fine work done on an Italian sculpture. Err, I mean the batter...

They took about 20 minutes to bake. They did not last long and got rave reviews.

Slightly crumbly but a tender and moist crumb. Amaretto whipped cream went  along nicely.

To those of my readers that are interested in the Kosher side of things, here is a little reading on the Kosher status of quail eggs etc.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Heavenly cake - Mud Turtle Cup Cakes


These cupcakes were delicious. The complex flavors played together nicely on the palette. Despite their flavor, the cupcakes were slightly on the dry and crumbly side. This caused them to labor under the weight of the the chocolate and the caramel and did not have a smooth entrance into the mouth. The cake and condiment could not be eaten properly together without it falling apart.

Cup Cake Batter. The sour cream really added something. Perhaps I should have added a tap more for extra moisture. Perhaps all purpose flour would have been better than cake flour in lending the necessary strength to the cupcakes. 

Shayna, as always, was very eager to help.

The cup-cakes.    


Caramel. It got a little hard, by mostly it was nice and chewy.

For the life of me, I could not see wasting that extra good caramel and just putting a circle in the center. Besides, the cup-cakes turned out humped.

I also took my first foray into the wonderful world of Maggie Glezer's formulas, starting with the Acme bakery style baguette.

She eschewes Peter Reinhart's idea in "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" of opening the oven door several times to spray water. Instead she either recommends a pressurized hose or  spraying the loaves themselves with water right before putting them in. Since I am so used to spraying the walls, I actually sprayed the walls when I just put them in but then did not open the oven until it was time to turn them. I'll admit to over baking these a bit. However the crust was still terrifically crisp and her method seems to work nicely.

This recipe uses a poolish and a preferment and has a wonderful flavor, better, I thought, than the BBA pan a l'aciene. Her mixing method also produced this wonderful open crumb. I'm sold! :)