Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boca Negra - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 27th Installment.  The recipe is Boca Negra.
I'm starting to think these posts should have subtitles.  Subtitle this one "I'm not sure Jack Daniels is my favorite choice for baking"!

This recipe went EXACTLY as described in the book.  I used the food processor for the white chocolate cream, and then used it again for the cake batter - talk about speedy.  I liked pouring the sugar syrup on top of the chocolate and blending it - it worked well.   I remembered to have butter and eggs at room temperature, and then I baked it exactly 30 minutes, and it did, indeed have a firm top, and then I took it out.
Just after baking
We ate it warm, and it was pretty yummy (see note on bourbon below...).   The texture is amazing, and it's very intense.  The rest went into the fridge, so we'll eat that chilled.

This recipe calls for bourbon in both the white chocolate cream and the cake.  I'm not so savvy when it comes to liquor, so when I looked in the cabinet, and found Jack Daniels, I asked Richard (my husband) "Is this bourbon?"  It's whiskey, but we weren't sure it was bourbon, and we thought probably not.  (Some of you are laughing at me right now for my ignorance :-)  We decided that it was close enough, so I used it in the cake.  I don't think I would do that again - it seemed to make it kind of harsh, even after baking, although perhaps that's just my lack of sophisticated taste for whiskey.  Richard thought it tasted pretty good, so maybe just a matter of personal preference.  I left it out of the white chocolate cream, and was glad, since I think it would have been overwhelming in that topping.  I am going to check out what my fellow BWD bakers did with this recipe, since someone is sure to have done something creative with the liquor component of this (Grand Marnier, anyone?).    I did like the fact that this recipe was SO reliable and simple - exactly as advertised.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Foccacia - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 26th Installment.  The recipe is Foccacia.
 Second attempt - looks good, but is it really foccacia?
This was very tasty, and a multi-day odyssey - but seemed to turn out much flatter than I expected! I tried the recipe twice, and still didn't get what I expected, based on the photo in the cookbook.  
On the positive side: bread that is full of (and covered in) flavored olive oil is delicious! :-)  The dough was also very easy to mix and shape.

The details on my odyssey: the first batch was made in too much of a hurry, and did not get enough time to rise before its long (36 hour) stay in the fridge. It tasted good, but was a lot flatter than I thought this bread should be:
Batch 1 - not enough rising before going in the fridge
I would love to have a reliable recipe for Foccacia, so I decided to try again,I followed the recipe and recommended rising times to the letter.  The result was somewhat similar - a bit puffier, but not bubbly and puffy and soft on the inside.  It was more similar to a thick flavorful pizza crust.  My yeast is fairly new, so I'm pretty sure it's not that.  I left it out of the fridge for quite a while before baking, and it really puffed back up:
Batch 2 - Puffy dough after sitting in the fridge
I flattened it as described, for baking in a square, with slashes, and it never seemed to recover its loftiness.  I will look forward to seeing what my fellow Tuesdays with Dorie bakers did with this - maybe someone's got some good advice on how to get a puffier loaf.