Thursday, January 27, 2011



This month's Avid Bakers Challenge was Evie Lieb's Processor Challah in Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions.  It is no secret I am yeast phobic.  Hanaa rightly thought this recipe would be the perfect bread recipe for a novice.  And it was!

I honestly do not think I have enjoyed making anything as much as I did this bread.  The recipe itself was unbelievably simple with the food processor doing nearly all the work.  The dough bent a new 11 cup Cuisinart bread blade and did make the machine jump around.   Perhaps the KitchenAid dough hook would work better.

The few minutes of kneading was just enough for me to understand how bread dough could become positively addicting.  Tucking it to rise inside a ziplock bag proved great fun for the granddaughters.  Seeing it quickly inflate was mesmerizing.  I watched a few youtube clips on braiding Challah and settled on a very simple three strand braid.  Next time I'll go for four.  And judging by the family's enthusiasm for this Challah, there will be more loaves in the future.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Genoise Tres Cafe


Surprisingly, everyone loves Rose's Genoise Tres Cafe cake.  I honestly didn't think the strong trio of coffee flavors would suit the wide range of taste tester demographics but I was wrong.  Even my young granddaughter loved this cake.

Genoise and I still don't see eye to eye but using Wondra flour always makes me sigh with relief.  It mixed in without the dreaded flour balls that cake flour seems to produce.  I've taken to heating the eggs to just the point of lukewarm in hopes it allows the flour to mix in easier since cold water dissolves flour.  If anyone knows some scientific reasoning to avoid flour balls, I'm all ears.  I beat it the full five minutes and the batter looked quite nice, still the cake didn't measure up to the full two inches when turned out of the pan.  I even weighed the eggs.  The day I get a genoise to rise two full inches will be a happy day indeed.

The aroma from the coffee flavored genoise was amazing and instantly made me want to make coffee Madeleine cookies with Rose's buerre noisette.  I forgot to cut off the top of the cake but the sugar syrup went through it just fine and didn't seem to make any difference. Perhaps cutting it in half and using the full amount of coffee sugar syrup on the layers made up for it.

Paul Newman 54% chocolate was the closest I could find to the 53% called for in the recipe.  I fully intended to throw in a bit of Lindt milk chocolate but got distracted and forgot to buy any.  Quibbling over one per cent didn't seem important.  The whipped ganache came together easily only because of the tip for watching the beater tracks.

This is a light cake but very rich.  The flavors are even more enhanced the next day, as Rose says.  We,  however, can never wait the requisite twenty four hours!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sprinkle Cake Won


Oh, the drama!  The indecision!  The agony of choosing between one of Rose's Heavenly Cakes and the annual birthday "Sprinkle" Cake.  It was a close race; Whoopie Pies edged ahead for a day or two, but in the end, my sequential granddaughter, who abhors change, opted for Sprinkle Cake only on the condition I promised to make Whoopie Pies in the near future.  With that we all lived happily ever after.

White Velvet Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache


All I can remember about making this cake two weeks ago is that we loved it and ate every crumb.
I was a tiny bit short on Lindt Milk Chocolate so I made up the difference with Lindt 70% dark.  The cake had such a nice crumb and definitely is on the make again list.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate Bull's-Eye Cake

My blog is a bit touchy these days and refuses to let me load pictures.  The Chocolate Bull's-Eye Cakes were a big hit!  I used ramekins and they worked fine, although it only made four. Instead of cutting out the top of the cakes, I stuffed the chocolate filling inside with The Fun Gun.  Eldest granddaughter now wants this for her upcoming tenth birthday which is a sort of miracle around these parts.  Every single year has seen none other than a boxed "Sprinkle Cake".  She said "Grandma, I know I say this after every cake you make each week, but this one is the best.  It is absolutely the best one EVER. EVER. EVER. EVER."