Friday, October 14, 2011

Orange Dreamsicle Tart!

It seems that there are two kinds of people....

 The kind that love lemon and the ones that don't.  I tend to lean towards the loving lemon side.  I'm not as big a fan as my mother who could eat lemon bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Now when it comes to lemon for me it needs to be tart.  It simply is not worth baking or eating if it isn't so tart you practically pucker up!
  Still working on getting things pucker worthy, but I did try a recipe by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the authors of Baked.  It actually includes both orange and lemon juice/zest, but the lemon sort of overpowered the orange.  Not that i or anyone was complaining.

 The dough was so extremely sticky I couldn't put
enough flour down to keep it from sticking to everything!  To be fair the recipe did say that it would be sticky, but still...holy hannah!  I ended up piecing it together in my tart pan.  Still tastes good.  And nobody would know the difference anyway once I covered it up with the filling.  After everything was baked it was time to make the topping.

  A fluffy mass of sweet goodness (aka sunkist spiked whipped cream).  It is ever so satisfying to have something I bake look just like the picture AND taste nummy at the same time.  Needless to say as soon as it came in to view (I brought it to work) it did not last long.  It tasted like a very liGht lemony, cusTArdY mixture with a  slightly sweet crust.  Just the right balance of lemon and sweetness.

Something a lemon lover would definitely appreciate.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

carbs...part one

I can make a cheesecake no problem for you, but if you ask me to make you something doughy....that might be a problem.  See in my future bakery i really want to have this whole section of artisan breads.  Breads you wouldn't necessarily find in a Smiths.  What exactly that entails is still in the works, but i've decided i need to get my practice on.  Dough....specifically bread not my forte.  It could BE my forte if i actually started making breads.  Which is what i decided to do this warm september day (i know right?'s september for heaven's sake.  i need the fall weather!)  Anyway, I started by making Danish dough.  SO, i advise anyone making bread dough to make sure you have added the right amount of yeast for the right kind of yeast.  I tend to just rush over things as in not really reading everything before i begin.  (kind of like when i start playing a piano piece and not looking at the key before i begin...i'm impatient ok!!)  Well for the type of yeast i was using i added tablespoons when i should have only added teaspoons.

what dough looks like when you add right amount of  yeast.

what dough looks like when you add TOO much yeast.
I figured that a little added yeast wasn't going to hurt anything so i went ahead and made what i was planning to.  The first were cheese danishes.  I didn't realize how much work it takes to just do one batch of danishes!! (Yield:12).  So if you ever go to a bakery and complain that a cupcake or pastry costs so much money, it means there was a lot of time, sweat, and effort put into making just one! (well, hopefully they emitted the sweat from the recipe.)  There are what's called single and double turns.  It's different for Danish and Croissant dough.  Basically you do a turn and chill for 15 minutes, do another turn, chill, one more turn, chill.  When I was done i froze the dough for about 3-4 days (minimum of 2 days before you actually bake the bread.)  According to Sarabeth ( Sarabeth's Bakery),...well hell, i'd quote her here, but her book of mine is suddenly missing.  Basically it makes the dough flakier when baked.  After all the turning was done I cut the dough into 12 evenish pieces.  The cream cheese was then put smack dab in the center of the square.

Now for this first batch i tried and could not get it to rise!! frustrating.  My kitchen probably wasn't warm enough.  This was Sarabeth's instructions.  As you see in the picture below i put a glass of very hot water almost in the center of the pan and then tied the bag at the end so it would hold in some heat and hopefully help the dough rise.  

In the end, the poor wittle danishes that could have been, but were not, didn't really do anything.  After pretty much and hour and a half.  Go me :)  Hence the practice right?? So, i went ahead and baked them.  They looked like little alien pods ready to explode.

 ANd that's all i have to say about that.

le desastre

So....this one day i decided i was going to bake a cake.  And not just any cake.  This was a most deliciously moist creation from Kierin Baldwin, pastry chef at The Dutch in NYC (bon appetit).    It was supposed to be Devil's Food cake with this nummy frosting.....
Here's what i did wrong.  See i did the usual butter the pans and then put a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the cake pans.  Good to go right?.....wrong!!!  I made the cake the night before and thought it would be just fine to put them in the freezer overnight. this would have worked if i was working with my old freezer.  But my parents decided to get a new fridge and the bottom freezer actually freezes food.  This is why i had my next problemo.  I got up the next morning thinking this is going to be a most awesome cake....not.  As the above photo shows you i had a hard time getting it out of the @*%$#! pan :)  The butter that i nicely buttered the pan with had frozen to the parchment paper.  I created many a dent in those stupid pans trying to get the cake out because i was bound and determined to put this cake together!
I ended up taking it to work and it was eaten, so i guess it tasted ok? haha.  But you know nurses.  They'll kind of just eat whatever is sitting in the break room ;) I always have a hard time with these super moist cakes without it completely freezing to the pan itself.  Next time i'm not going to effing freeze anything!!  Dumb new fangled fridge.  Why!?!  Why must you be so cold.  I finished off the broken layers with this awesome frosting where you pour hot syrup into beaten egg whites (that will definitely be a future post.)  Oh my IMCers.  Thank you for being my guinea pigs! It is most appreciated.