Wednesday, July 15, 2015

White Chocolate Patty Cake - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 84th installment. The recipe is White Chocolate Patty Cake.

I read the title of this and thought "oh, sheesh, white chocolate...", but then I watched the video and  it sold me on making the cake.  The interchanges between Julia and Marcel Desaulniers are very entertaining, and he just made the recipe look good.  We enjoyed the cake a lot - I might even make it again some time.
One thing that he emphasized was to get good white chocolate that contains cocoa butter.  I got a big block of Callebaut white chocolate, and wow - it tasted better than I expected.  Maybe I really DO like white chocolate :-)
The cake method was nothing really unusual - beat egg yolks (10 of them! yow!) and sugar, add melted chocolate and butter to that mixture and then fold in stiffly beaten egg whiles (6 of those). It baked in two layers and is a somewhat dense, rather than fluffy, cake.

You make a "raspberry crush" (love the name) of frozen raspberries in light syrup and lemon juice, and that is used to top each layer as you sandwich them together.  The whole thing is topped with fresh raspberries, making it look very special (hey, it's in the "cakes for occasions" section of the book...).

Now the wacky part - balloons coated with chocolate!  In order to make little chocolate cups, you blow up small balloons (I bought "water balloons" from the local 5&10) and dip them in a bowl of melted chocolate.

After chilling, pop the balloons and peel the balloon pieces out of the chocolate bowl. This worked OK, although it was pretty toasty in the house, so we needed to freeze the bowls before the balloon scraps would peel away. The suggested way to serve a piece of cake is with a chocolate bowl of raspberries along side, but it seemed perfect for a little scoop of vanilla ice cream under those berries.  Yum!


Savory Puffs - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 83rd installment. The recipe is Savory Puffs.

This recipe was a twist on the normal cream puff recipe - a savory puff with savory fillings.  The cream puff recipe was very straightforward (beating eggs into the hot pan with a wooden spoon), with the unusual additions of onion juice, cucumber juice, and dill.  I made the juices by pressing shredded vegetables, since I don't have a juicer.
Here's the cream puff batter during mixing:

The puffs are piped onto a baking sheet in mini form - either eclair-shaped or round dollop.  I still find it a little challenging to manage the puff batter in a pastry bag - it always seems to sag more than I want, and the shapes are a little wacky and irregular.  Maybe I need more practice :-)

The puffs baked up pretty nicely, and then you split them and fill with savory fillings.  The book has recipe for smoked salmon mousse, and vegetable marscapone.  I like the salmon mousse filling, which was intense.  The vegetable marscapone was lighter - mine seemed a little wet with all the chopped vegetables.  The puffs definitely need to be served shortly after filling, so they don't get soggy.

Overall, a fun recipe, and I think I might try it again sometime for an appetizer course.