Thursday, May 16, 2013
Thursday, May 9, 2013
dear lazy sunday morning,
i miss you. i love you. you were the best.
dear best friend,
i miss you. i love you. you're the best.
i miss you. i love you. you're the best.
brown sugar cookies. chewy, lightly spiced, pretty perfect on their own.
cream cheese filling, flecked with orange zest. hold the 4 cups of sugar please and thank you.
candied pistachio nuts, because they were there.
people's eyes light up when they hear the word cream cheese. it's awesome, watch for it.
alright, adios muchchas! i'm gonna go make a wedding cake now.
Brown Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
preheat oven to 375 degreesF. place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat til smooth and creamy. add the egg and beat well. scrape down the sides of the bowl. in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and mix well. add into the butter mixture and beat on low just until everything is combined. scrape down the sides and mix one more time.
drop large teaspoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart and bake until the edges are just brown, 8-11 minutes. transfer to a wire rack to cool. or for crispier cookies, let them cool on the baking sheet.
Orange Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners' sugar
zest of 1-2 oranges, depending on preference of citrus flavor
dash or two of pure vanilla extract or almond extract, 1/2-1 tsp
in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the butter until it's whipped and creamy. add in the confectioners' sugar, citrus zest, and extract. taste and adjust based on your preferences.
*the essence of what i'm doing here is: make some cookies. make a frosting/filling, preferably something with cream cheese because people will love you more. glue cookies together with the filling. and then dip the side in something.
sprinkles, nuts, cake crumbs, coconut...
you know when people say 'the possibilities are endless' ?
well, indeed they are.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
oaty bread, oaty bread, what are they feeding you?
oaty bread, oaty bread, it's not your fault.
i need a sandwich. really.
i need toast with butter. i need toast with green... avocado, clearly.
i truly in my life have never experienced such spastic eating habits. i miss eating meals.
real, sit down, shut up, meal time.
you see, this new restaurant is opening.
the new restaurant. the one that i'll also be responsible to bake and pastry for.
that new restaurant is opening now, like yesterday.
so to say that things have kicked into overdrive would be.. completely accurate.
i fake faint onto my work station at least thrice a day. and i drink a. Lot of supposed energy boosting beverages.
not red bull though, no. it tastes like a hangover.
one morning off, i took the time to mix yeast with water and flour and oats, and to use my buttermilk stash for something other than cake.
it proved to be highly worth it. if anything but for the smell alone.
the dough, stubbly from the oats, is a bit on the sticky side. this is good.
excuse me while i bury my face in fat toast.
Oat Buttermilk Bread
adapted from Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman
1 lb 10 oz bread flour
6 oz whole wheat flour (i used half whole wheat half spelt)
5.3 oz rolled oats
2 cups warm water
1 cup buttermilk
2.4 oz (3 tbsp) honey
2.4 oz (5 1/2 tbsp) canola or sunflower oil
0.7 oz (3 1/2 tsp) salt
0.18 oz (1 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast
in your mixer's bowl, combine the oats with the 2 cups of water and let soak for 30 minutes.
add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together with the paddle attachment until they come together as a sticky mass. switch to the dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes. the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. if it is still too sticky to handle, add a few tablespoons of extra flour. continue to knead for a minute or two with floured hands, then shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. let sit at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
after the dough has doubled, divide it in half and shape into two loaves.
to shape: on a lightly floured surface gently press dough into a wide rectangle. fold both sides into the center, then working from the top roll up and gently pinch seam together. repeat with the other dough. place seam side down into greased loaf pans cover loosely with plastic wrap or light dish towels and allow to rise in a warm dry place about 1 1/2-2 hours, they should be domed about an inch or two out of the pans.
preheat oven to 400 degreesF. brush the top of the loaves with water or egg wash, sprinkle with oats, place inside the oven and drop the oven temperature to 350 degreesF. bake for about 20 minutes and then rotate in the oven. bake for another 25-30 minutes until tops are browned and loaves sound hollow when knocked on the bottom.
allow loaves to cool completely on a wire rack.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
this took longer than anticipated, but i have cake for you.
like a lot of cake.
i wish i could shoot all these cakes from a cannon off my roof into your house.
one time i wanted to start Street Cake. it's probably one of the best worst ideas i've had.
essentially it's street art but with dessert. like leaving cupcakes in nooks and crannies all around town.
i got excited about it for exactly 2 minutes before realizing it would just end up being a strange social experiment.
would you consider eating a random cake left on your front porch?
what if i lined up a bunch of cupcakes across the sidewalk? what then?
i don't know. i just wanted to be a part of street art.
i guess it's just back to bake sales. i've never even had a bake sale. travesties!
"ENOUGH. get to the cake", said someone.
in mi opinión, every flavor and texture component in a cake should serve a purpose.
it's just like accounting balance sheets.
something heavy should be met with something light. something rich balanced with something tart, fresh, or salty.
and nothing, Nothing, will feel sickeningly sweet.
so here is a clean and simple buttery cake base.
the rich espresso buttercream filling is cut with the brightness of apricot preserves.
the almond mascarpone cream is a bit tangy and super light.
and the toasted almonds = prettiness and cRunCH.
it's creamy dreamy. things are balanced all over the place. can this just count for doing my taxes?
Barely Brown Butter Cake
from momofuku milk bar
things about this cake:
this was my first time making momofuku's 'barely brown butter cake'. It worked splendidly for this cake, especially because it's the perfect size for a 6 inch layer cake, but I will say that it isn't my favorite crumb of all time. i want my cake MOIST (muaha, sorry). and this cake, though tasty, was a touch drier than i would prefer. this could also very well be a result of other variables.. my wacko oven, baking time, something weird i did, etc, but i can't know for sure until i try it again. i just would never want to lead you astray.
i will write the recipe as it's written, but i totally encourage using your favorite basic white/yellow cake as the base for this cake.
4 tbsp (55g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (40g) brown butter
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (110g) buttermilk
1/3 cup (65g) grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp (2g) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (185g) cake flour
1 tsp (4g) baking powder
1 tsp (4g) kosher salt
preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. combine butters and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. scrape sides once more.
stream in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla while the paddle swirls on low speed. increase the speed to medium-high and paddle 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter-sugar mixture, and completely homogenous. if it doesn't look right after 6 minutes, just keep mixing.
stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
on very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. mix for 45-60 seconds, just until the batter comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl. mix on low speed for another 45 seconds to ensure that any little lumps of cake flour are incorporated
pam spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment. using a spatula, spread cake batter in an even layer in the pan. bake for 30-35 minutes. the cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack.
1 cup (8 oz) salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
in a small bowl, add the espresso powder to the heavy cream and stir to dissolve. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy and smooth. add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time, beat to combine. add in the espresso/cream mixture and vanilla extract. and beat until combined and fluffy. taste and adjust to your flavor preferences.
Almond Mascarpone Cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp almond extract
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all ingredients and beat just until stiff peaks form.
Also need: 1/2 cup apricot preserves
toasted almond slices
1st layer cake
2nd layer cake
3rd layer cake
almond mascarpone cream to cover top and sides
press toasted almonds into sides
see more on the momofuku method for assembling cake here.
Friday, April 12, 2013
< squash buns. like sweet little hawaiian rolls, but better. >
these two pictures resemble each other.
the most creative thing i did all day was write a haiku about an apple.
a juicy fuji
surely i will count on you
to brighten the night
i also come to you tonight, with a warning.
a warning of what might soon invade this space.
Cake is soon to bombard, come thrashing through my kitchen, baking powder everywhere.
it will consume my whole dessert brain, and take no prisoners.*
cake. i am making a wedding cake. i have never made someone's wedding cake.
this wedding is fast approaching. whoa, what?! i need to get my cake baking skillz together, like now.
so. i hope you like cake..
ha, bitch please, of course you like cake.
*i don't quite know what that last prisoners part meant, but i'm rolling with it.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
2. i am seriously overwhelmed
3. lists make things feel less complicated
5. i made brownies and they are way too good not to share.
6. i'm figuratively shouting from the rooftop (from a coffee shop) how amazeballs the brownies are.
7. if you just flinched a little when you read that, then we're on the same page. i will never say amazeballs ever again.
8. the brownies are like hazelnutty gooey fudge bliss.
9. they are gluten free by nature, if that sort of thing floats your fancy.
10. there is browning of butter.
11. i love you.
12. there is chopping up dark awesome chocolate. no chocolate chips people.
13. there is toasting hazelnuts, and grinding them into a beautiful nibby flour.
14. it's clearly a more involved brownie.
15. but this is a way better brownie.
Brown Butter Hazelnut Brownies
from Brave Tart
16 ounces unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate (65-72%), chopped
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved (or 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
7 ounces toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
4.5 ounces cocoa powder (NOT Hershey's)
21 ounces sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
preheat oven to 375 degreesF.
line a 9x13 inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment (once strip down the middle and hanging over the ends will work perfect, this will help with removing the brownies from the pan.)
melt the butter, along with the vanilla bean pod in a medium saucepan over low heat until liquefied. (if you are using vanilla extract, don't add it now. add it in later with the salt and espresso.)
crank up the heat to medium low. the mixture will bubble, there's no need to stir, just keep an eye on it and keep simmering until browned and bits at the bottom are brown (don't let them turn black!)
remove from the heat and add in the chocolate. whisk scraping the bottom to mix up the browned bits, until smooth. set off the heat to cool.
put the hazelnuts and cocoa in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. set aside.
with a stand mixer or hand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, reserved vanilla seeds (or vanilla extract), salt and espresso powder. whip on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
turn down the speed on the stand mixer to low and pour in the butter/chocolate mixture all at once. immediately add in the dry ingredients and keep mixing until incorporated.
pour or spoon into the prepared pan. bake about 30-35 minutes, until slightly firm to the touch. they may not seem totally done when you pull them out, but this brownie is so dense that it will retain its head and keep cooking for a bit of time. err on the side of gooey.
cool the brownies thoroughly before cutting or removing from pan.
if you'd like extremely neat squares, chill in the refrigerator before cutting.