Sunday, March 16, 2014

classic crème brûlée

The Baked Sunday Mornings Bakers made Crème Brulée this morning.

I wasn't sure I was was going to get around to making it this weekend but dreaming about work woke me up early, so I had plenty of time to steep a vanilla bean and seeds into some cream while setting up the rest of the recipe.

Egg yolks are whisked into sugar and a bit of salt and then the mixture is tempered with the still hot cream before being strained into a clean container.

According to the book, the recipe yields 4 servings but a half a cup of cream per serving seemed a bit much to me, so I poured the cream and egg mixture into 8 smaller containers. The custard is baked in a bain-marie in the oven until the edges are set and the center still soft.

The custards need to cool, then chill for 4 hours before sugar is added to the top of them, and melted with a blow torch. Usually, white granulated sugar is used to make the glass-like top of the crème brûlée but in this case, dark brown sugar is used to give it a more pronounced caramel flavour. Brown sugar does not spread as nicely as white sugar, so I had a hard time melting the sugar evenly since it was bumpy.

I thought the crème brulée had the perfect texture with a nice crunchy top. And it looked so cute in the little teacups! Loved it!

For the recipe, and to see how my fellow bakers enjoyed this recipe, click on through to the Baked Sunday Mornings blog!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I needed a dessert to bring to my parent's house for dinner after the kids had invited themselves over this weekend. I was all set to make Classic Creme Brulée as part of Baked Sunday Mornings, but when I poured the cream in a saucepan, it came out.... not quite liquid.

So.... Spent a couple of hours trying to decide what to make and waited until the very last minute to make this cake.

It's not real pretty, not fancy and not complicated, but it was so good! It hung out on the stove top while dinner was cooking so was still warm and gooey when we had it for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cake itself was moist and light and the topping created gooey swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar yumminess.

This is a very simple 3-bowls and no mixer cake. The batter itself is simply flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk and vanilla whisked together like pancake batter. Melted butter gets poured in the batter and gently combined. The resulting mixture gets spread in a greased 9x13 pan.

The butter for the topping was supposed to be room temperature, but mine was fridge cold, so I simply cut it into some brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Once it seemed combined enough, I poured it on batter and used a knife to swirl the topping into the batter as best as I could.

My cake baked for way longer than the recommended 30 minute average. Maybe, 45 to 50 minutes total.

Once I got around to it, and while the cake was still warm, I made the quick glaze out of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, and poured it on top of the cake where it quickly seeped into the nooks and crannies to settle.

Not much to look at, but it made for a homey satisfying dessert, that could totally be considered breakfast.... cause you know: cinnamon!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
recipe source: Rumbly Tumbly

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

flourless walnut chocolate cake and dacquoise

I don't do free. No fat free, no sugar free, no gluten free, no dairy or egg free. I live life full, and fully aware of the impact it has on my health! Actually the only free I do is the free food I share with people.

So when I made this cake, I certainly didn't make it because it was gluten free. I picked it for my mom's birthday out of the book Bake it like you Mean it by Gesine Bullock-Prado because it look amazing, and was in the meringue section of the book. My mom loves meringues, so I thought it would be a sure bet.

I knew she would enjoy it, but I was surprised how much the rest of us liked it. My husband and I fought over the last piece.

The cake consists of a flourless walnut chocolate layer, topped with a chocolate filling, then a layer of dacquoise. I made it over three days, making the dacquoise first and storing it in an airtight container for a couple of days. The night before my mom's birthday, I got my husband to play sous-chef and we got the flourless walnut chocolate cake layers in the oven in an half hour. A couple of hours before the birthday dinner, I quickly whipped up the chocolate filling and assembled the cake.

Making the filling was strange for me. 8 egg yolks, 12 oz of chocolate chips and a pinch of salt get combined in the food processor. Yes, the food processor. A half cup of boiling coffee gets poured while the food processor is doing its thing. Then, once everything is combined, a cup of butter gets added to the mix. So I'm pretty sure it's not a buttercream, a mousse maybe? Not technically... So i'm going with an insanely good chocolate filling.

Combined, these three components made for a super rich and delicious cake. The cake was fudgy, the dacquoise got chewy from being sandwiched with the chocolate filling which was super silky. On top of the cake, the little meringue disks stayed crispy.

Probably not the best cake to have after a huge meal, but over the next couple of days, we thoroughly enjoyed it. I just wish I had gotten more and better pictures, but was pressed by time and fading daylight. I wouldn't even post this if it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to remember this cake so I could make it again.