Monday, August 30, 2010

Baking with Dorie: Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

I love chocolate cake, and I'm sure most people do. Unless you belong to the very tiny minority who doesn't like chocolate, I guess.

Being a chocolate lover, I had high hopes for this cake. Although it pains me to say this, (yes, it does!) this cake was a little dissapointing for me. My fault for expecting the cake to explode with chocolatey-goodness, I guess. Dorie did mention in her book, Baking: From my home to yours (pgs 188-189) that this cake has a "mild chocolate crumb".

But I like the swirl!! The chunky walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar mixture tucked inside the cake saved the cake big time. In fact, I think I may try lining my favourite chocolate cake recipe with Dorie's swirl too.

As for the glaze, I used my regular chocolate ganache recipe of 1 part heavy cream : 1 part bittersweet chocolate as I didn't have any light corn syrup.

Thanks to our BWD member The Rookie Baker for choosing this recipe. You may get the recipe from Dorie's book or The Rookie Baker's blog post here. I may not have loved this recipe, but many of fellow BWDers enjoyed them. Check out the BWD blogroll here.

Another issue I had with this cake is I can't seem to get the mini bundts out of the pan and boy, that is really frustrating!! I had GENEROUSLY greased the pan but it just didn't work. See the mini bundt in the photo up there? It is actually a broken piece which I had to assemble carefully for the photo shoot.

So this is what I did with some of the broken cake pieces:

I layered them with ganache, whipped cream (which Dorie suggested serving them with!) and topped them with the swirl.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baking with Dorie: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

This post is a day late. Things have been pretty crazy around the house.. I'll spare you the details. But I so wanna hug Chaya for choosing this recipe! I just love it when something that sounds so modest and looks so plain can taste TERRIFIC!! I love this cake!! I know I say this all the time, but I mean it all. In all honestly, this is amongst the best coffee cake that I've made. Even better than the Blueberry Crumb Cake we baked two weeks ago, which was my choice by the way.

The cake is oh-so moist!! I used only all-purpose flour for the cake (didn't have any nut flour) and instead of buttermilk, used low-fat yogurt - which I thought would make my cake somewhat less moist, but am so glad it didn't. And since I have apples at home, I used them to subsitute the pears. And the last addition which I think contributed to the yumminess of this cake is the almond nibs. Perfect!! I ommitted the dried prunes/raisins as I find dried up fruits to be yucky :)

I was also pleased that my cake literally fell off its silicone mould. Of course, I had generously buttered and floured it this time. I was so dissapointed with it the last time it 'ate' my cake. Aren't silicone moulds supposed to omit the 'butter and flour' steps in baking? Ah well...

Again, many thanks to Chaya for choosing this recipe. Visit her blog here for the recipe, taken from Page 179 of Baking: From My Home To Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.  Also check out the BWD Blogroll to see how the rest of the BWD bakers tackled this. By the way, our group has grown in size with two new members since our last bake and I'm simply delighted!! 

If you'd like to join us, send an email to BWD founder Grapefruit at needfulthings at ymail dot com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baking with Dorie (Rewind): Split Level Pudding

After having two spoonfuls of this pudding, I exclaimed "this is the best recipe ever from Dorie!". Until my daughter reminded me that I say that everytime I try a new recipe from Baking: From my home to yours. That actually made me pause for awhile before scooping another spoonful of the cold, creamy, smooth vanilla and chocolate pudding into my mouth . I am in love yet again. 

Honestly, I did not expect this to be sooo good. I mean, a pudding is a pudding. I guess I never tried THIS pudding before... AMAZING. Don't believe me? Forget about my daughter's remark. I really really think this recipe is the best recipe I've made that's from Dorie before. Among other recipes. :D

The texture of the vanilla and chocolate pudding is smooth and not lumpy at all. Think baby food without the yuck. Confession: when I saw the photo in BFMHTY, I did wonder if I could enjoy something that looks like it was made for a 6-month old. My doubts were a waste of time, of course! And I'm so glad I shaved a bit of chocolate for topping. It adds a nice texture to the smooth pudding.

The recipe is from Pages 384 and 385 in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my home to yours. You  may also get it here. This was a recipe chosen earlier by a member of Baking with Dorie Greenspan group when I hadn't joined yet, hence the 'rewind'.

I cheated a whole lot in making the vanilla pudding, doing away with the food processor. In essence, I made the pudding using simple steps not unlike the vanilla pastry cream I made for my Boston Cream Pie, which by the way is by Martha Stewart from her Cupcakes book. You may duplicate the steps found here, while still using Dorie's recipe. It is much simpler to do. I didn't even bother to run the ready pudding under a sieve either, and they still came out nice and smooth. Try it today!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boston Cream Pie

Never mind that this cake has an identity crisis (it's not a pie at all!), it's one of my favourite cakes of all time. Well, I think I'm just in love with pastry cream, so anything that comes with it is a dream come true.

The first time I made this cake was in the form of cupcakes - read about it here. Since then, I had been dreaming to make this in a cake form, with scattered berries on top for a juicy summery feel to it.

Let's just say, my love has only grown for this sponge cake layered with crème pâtissière and topped with chocolate ganache!

This recipe was from Martha Stewarts's Cupcakes book. You may also get the recipe here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baking With Dorie: Blueberry Crumb Cake

This week, it's my turn to choose a recipe for the Baking with Dorie (BWD) group. I will let you know that it is certainly no easy feat!! Do I choose something I KNOW I can make (successfully) or do I chose something challenging that I WANT to make, but risk having a disastrous end result.

In the end, I chose something that I KNOW I will LOVE and can definitely MAKE.

I love this cake!

Coffee cakes are my favourite kind of cake. They're a no-fuss, non too fancy cake that can be enjoyed in the morning, noon, day and night. And what better way to start your day with a cake!! Dorie is right - it IS easy to get attached to this cake. Simple, yet flavorful with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. You can't really taste the spices though but you know it's there. There's lemon zest in this too. I think I may increase the amount of cinnamon and lemon zest next time I make this.                                                                                       The steusels are the perfect topping for this cake. And, although Dorie wrote to remind us not to be tempted to increase the amount of walnuts in the topping (scarcity makes them even more delightful, she says) I went ahead and scattered about two tablespoons of chopped walnuts after spreading the crumbs. And it worked for me!! I must add that the crumb-to-cake ration was perfect too. Just the right amount!!

my personal favourite is to have it with a cup of tea