Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Baking Bible: White Chocolate Club Med Bread

I guess this is an actual thing at Club Med--guests get a loaf of chocolate bread and apparently the white chocolate is quite popular. I don't know who thought to add white chocolate chips or chunks to white bread, but by golly it is pretty damn good.

Rose's recipe uses her basic white sandwich loaf which is an easy and straightforward bread to make. It needs to knead for almost 10 minutes in the KitchenAid which made my machine dance across the counter--and got the child asking to turn it off only one minute into mixing.

I have to give props to this bread being a bit foolproof. After the initial rise and a degassing, the bread goes into the refrigerator to firm up for shaping--just 30 minutes to an hour. Well my bread hung out for three hours and almost doubled again. Yikes!

A portion of the dough is set aside, and the rest is rolled out to a rectangle and the white chocolate chunks are scattered over. This gets rolled up and then--smart more on Rose's part--the saved portion of dough gets rolled out and then wrapped around the chocolate-containing log. This is to contain the white chocolate so that it doesn't burn unattractively whilst baking.

As you can see from my photos I didn't pinch the seam well enough and the plain bread overcoat split open at the seams during the bake. Also, I seem to have not put the seam down at the bottom of the pan but rather somewhere on the side near the top. Oops! At least now you can see how the white chocolate burns, and how funky it would look if it were the whole loaf.

There are large holes in the bread where the white chocolate was, but maybe I didn't roll it up tight enough? Honestly it doesn't matter to any of us, as we like the bread as it. It is soft, and slightly sweet but not overly so (thanks to good quality white chocolate). It needs neither butter nor jam nor anything, not even a toasting. It just needs a nice cup of tea and permission to be devoured in 24 hours.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Baking Bible: Fudgy Pudgy Brownie Tart

This is a really rich and fudgy brownie encased in a chocolate cookie shell. The original brownie had nuts but we opted for bourbon soaked dried sour cherries. Boozy cherries are really yummy. I think nuts would have been a nice break in texture and done a bit to temper the richness of the chocolate, but this was Mark's birthday cake and he does not believe in brownies with nuts. Generally speaking I don't, either. We think that next time doing half boozy cherries and half toasted chopped walnuts might be good.

The unfortunately named fudgy pudgy brownie recipe was a sort of footnote in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, as it was a component of the groom's cake in the wedding cakes chapter. This brownie is a more classic brownie recipe than the Barcelona Brownie which served as the brownie base for the fancy pantsy three layer brownies we did previously. I think I may prefer this brownie as it is easier to make and a bit more sturdy. I don't know. I remember feeling like the Barcelona Brownie was the brownie of my dreams the first time I made that one, so who knows.

The brownie tart starts with making the tart crust, which is a super easy thing to do. I even attempted a little video of the child and I processing the dough. It features the learning tower that I just bought off Craigslist thanks to Vicki's suggestion. This thing is great!

EDITED TO ADD: the video upload won't work! So here's a still photo instead. Sorry.

Anyways the dough gets kneaded together and unlike regular pie dough this time all the butter needs to be incorporated or else it will melt and form holes in the crust during baking. I had to do a bit more kneading to get that to happen. Then it's off for a chill and rest, then a roll out, then a pan fitting, then another chill and rest. Then you can put your brownie batter in it.

Then the bake happens and the cool down happens and the chiling of the baked tart happens then finally there is the eating. Mark is really happy he got a rich and chocolaty birthday cake, and is happy it is a bit unusual. I love it, but it sure is rich, have I mentioned that yet?

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Baking Bible: Banana Split Chiffon Cake

A lovely, light, fluffy banana chiffon. It seems a food chemistry miracle to take something so wet and fibrous as a banana and create such a wonderful chiffon cake.

This was a fun cake to make with the child, as you need to first puree the banana and egg yolks in the food processor. Then that stuff is mixed into the dry ingredients in the KA mixer. Then you need to make a meringue with the egg whites, which I decided to do with the hand mixer. Yet another kitchen appliance!

 I set them all up on the child's play table (which is right by the kitchen island and currently also is a stand for the cat scratcher) so he could help with the mixing and processing. He thought it was pretty cool, although his help was really just him watching, and now he asks everyday if we can use the mixer. And he now talks about stiff peaks :)  

Sadly, the chiffon cake stayed upside in the pan until the next morning, so the crust stuck in the pan. And the top got a little gooey. The cake is still yummy.  

Here's an inside shot. This is the child's piece. Mark and I decided to go whole hog.

Rose suggests the cake is sublime when served with both the chocolate drizzle glaze that accompanies this recipe AND the caramel sauce from a different recipe AND strawberry ice cream AND whipped cream AND chopped toasted walnuts. And yep, we did just that.

It is a bit much, and looks messy, but it was fun. It would make a great birthday cake, to serve the cake with all the fixings

As the child demonstrates, the banana chiffon is perfectly delicious plain and eaten with your hands.