Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Crème Bruléed Chocolate Bundt - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 75th installment. The recipe is Crème Bruléed Chocolate Bundt.
The chocolate recipes are coming along in rapid succession...not sure how long I can maintain this pace ;-)
This recipe includes a chocolate bundt cake, which is made in the chiffon cake style including cocoa powder, oil, and stiffly beaten egg whites. I used a bit of dark cocoa as well as regular cocoa.

You also make a creme anglais - vanilla cream, cooked gently over hot water, with a vanilla bean for flavoring.    The cream chills for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.
To assemble the cake, you pile some Chambord-soaked raspberries into the center of the cake, drizzle the cream over the entire cake, sprinkle with sugar and then turn the cream into crème brulée by browning the sugar with a hand-held blowtorch.  Alas, I have no blowtorch, so I tried a couple of ways to do this - I sprinkled the cream with sugar and then browned it in a dish under the broiler.  It looked pretty, but then there was no attractive way to put it on the cake.  In the end, I decided the best way was to just drizzle the sauce (without browning) on the individual pieces of cake.  This was also more flexible since we weren't going to eat the entire cake in one sitting.  This cake was great - I would even consider making the cake on its own without the accessories

Marquise au Chocolat - TWD: Baking Chez Moi

Next installment of Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking Chez Moi.  The recipe is Marquise au Chocolat.
This is an extremely rich chocolate mousse, frozen in a loaf pan.  It was very quick to make and delicious.  The method was straightforward.  You do need to have eggs that you trust enough to eat raw, since they do not get cooked.  Melt chocolate and butter together, and then beat the eggs yolks with sugar until thick: 
Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture - you don't go crazy here, but just get it mostly combined:
Then you whip heavy cream with a bit more sugar, and fold that into the chocolate and egg mixture:
This step was a little challenging, as it didn't seem to want to blend, and I didn't want to knock all the air out of it.  Eventually it came together into a uniform color and texture:
The recipe calls for it to be packed into a large loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, and then frozen.  I knew I didn't have a crowd to eat it all at once, and I wanted more flexibility, so I divided it up among three mini loaf pans.  The recipe suggests some variations for making and serving, including putting crushed cookies into the mousse before freezing.  I made one loaf with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, which tasted great, but kind of fractured when we cut it.  Perhaps making the larger loaf is better, because the structure is less likely to fall apart.  
I would like to figure out how to get it to pack into the pan a little more smoothly.  The plastic wrap created some wrinkles and gaps that look a little messy.  
 I also made the suggested Hard-Crack Chocolate Sauce from the book - it is semisweet chocolate melted with a bit of coconut oil, so that the hot sauce hardens immediately when it hits the frozen dessert.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Salsa Quitza - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 74th installment. The recipe is Salsa Quitza.
This is an easy savory pie.  I remember this recipe from the original "Baking with Julia" TV series, because Lora Brody was such a cheerleader for the bread machine.  I learned from that show that you could just use the machine to make dough, and then take it out and bake it in the oven.  I've found that the oven produces better texture in the bread than the bread machine does - I think it might be the gradual heating up that happens when the bread machine bakes.  Despite the imperfect texture, it can still be useful to bake bread in the machine, especially if you're at home with no bread and don't have time to bake some!  

We still have a working bread machine, so I used it to make this dough, just as the recipe says.  The dough has refried beans in it, so I used some cooked pinto beans I had on hand. After the machine is done with its kneading and rising, you fit the dough into a springform pan. I didn't have the same size pan called for in the recipe, so I used a smaller springform pan and put the remaining dough into a small pie pan:
You spread softened cream cheese, salsa, and grated cheese into the crust:
and let it rise before baking.   Once it's done, you pop it out of the springform and serve warm or room temperature.   
It was delicious for a snowy night with salad on the side, and even made a pretty good leftover, although I did reheat in the oven, rather than the microwave, to maintain the texture of the crust.