Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hazelnut Baby Loaves - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 92nd installment. The recipe is Hazelnut Baby Loaves.
Thank goodness for simple recipes - a nice interlude between complicated ones.  This cake is delicious, and I will definitely add it to the roster.  I was lucky to have a family gathering that coincided with my baking time, since it makes 8 large servings.  
The cake is kind of reminded me of a pound cake, but lighter.  Butter and sugar beaten until fluffy, and then you alternately fold in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and ground hazelnuts) with the wet ingredients (creme fraiche, almond extract).  
Looks a little messy when in progress, but it does come together. 

The recipe calls for mini loaf pans (4.25" by 2.5"), which I don't own, so I used some small square ceramic pans, plus muffin tins for the rest of the batter. The muffin shapes weren't as attractive as the little squares, but gave a good portion size. 

I think the portion size called for by the recipe might be a bit large - these squares are smaller than the mini loaf pans would be, and with the cream topping, it was plenty for one person.   I'd like to try making it in a larger pan, so the serving sizes could be variable.

You serve the cakes topped with a conbination of whipped cream and mascarpone cheese (mmmmm). The cake would be very nice topped with fruit as well.  

Raspberry Swirls - TWD: Baking with Julia

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 91st installment. The recipe is Raspberry Swirls.
These are shown in the cookbook photo with chocolate/nutty side up, but I wondered if they were more attractive with the swirl showing.
This was the second recipe for October, and I got it baked (and eaten :-) but neglected to post about it.  November has caught me off guard, as my mind is still in August somewhere....
This was a fun one, and delicious as well.  It's included in the "Cakes for Occasions" section, and was a little bit fussy, but actually took less time than some of the more "casual" recipes.  I enjoyed the construction process.  
It starts with a basic Genoise (sponge) cake batter, which you bake in a greased and floured foil-lined jelly roll pan - this is the "Sheet Genoise" recipe from the "Batters and Doughs" chapter.  Once it's baked (8 minutes, because it's thin), you take it out of the pan and off the foil for cooking - peeling off the foil went OK, thanks to the grease and flour.
Once the cake is cooled, you cut it into four rectangles - each of these will be one roll.  The recipe calls for raspberry jam for the filling, and I did two rectangles with that, and two with our natural food store version of Nutella:

Rolled cake, not terribly round
Each rectangle gets rolled with a piece of parchment being used as a guide, and the baking sheet as a tool, you roll and press to get the roll wrapped firmly (hard to photograph - no free hands!).  Then, keeping the paper wrapped around the outside, you let the rolls sit for 30+ minutes. After they sits, you slice the rolls into inch-wide slices.  I am still wondering if I baked the cake too long - my rolls seemed kind of squashed, and the cake cracked significantly as a result of rolling - perhaps less baking would make it more flexible.
Slices ready for dipping

Each slice is dipped in a cocoa-based glaze (heavy cream, sugar, and cocoa in equal proportions!) and then in chopped pistachios and unsweetened shredded coconut.  The combination of vanilla cake, bittersweet chocolate glaze, crunchy toppings, and raspberry is wonderful.