Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Goodies From Rosie - A Trifling Affair.

About the only culinary item of consequence (meaning deliciousness)
to come from England is the trifle.
And there is nothing trifling about it.

By definition, the English trifle is a dessert made with layers of sponge cake soaked in sherry, fruits, and custard.  It may be topped with whipped cream.  It is, simply, divine.

Today, Rosie is making "moreovers."  Remember, she doesn't do "leftovers."  She takes what's left and makes something that's more than the sum of its parts.  I'm making Moreover Trifle today.  Just because I can.  I had a poundish-type, orange-flavored cake which the Hawthornes had been enjoying for a few days and I wanted something different.  Something more.  Hence, the Moreover Trifle.  I'm taking the rest of my cake, cutting it into cubes, and layering it with a quick, no-fuss caramel sauce and whipped cream.  Score!

This is Rosie's Orange Bundt Cake.  I wouldn't call it a pound cake, but it comes close.  Typically, a pound cake is a type of cake made with a pound each of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.  My cake doesn't meet those specs, but the texture is similar to a pound cake.  I also amped it up a bit by poking holes in the cake and drizzling a rum glaze over it.  Now, a Bundt cake doesn't refer to a specific type of cake.  It refers to the actual pan the cake is cooked in.  All Bundt pans have a hole in the center and they generally come in various designs so that the cake is decorative in and of  itself and doesn't require any additional decoration, like frosting, which would hide the complex detail of the pan. 

Whatever you call it, 'twas good!

 Rosie's Orange Bundt Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1/6 cup skim milk
1/6 cup heavy cream
zest of one orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 TB vanilla

Heat oven to 350°.

Grease bundt pan with Crisco, then lightly flour.

In a medium bowl, sift together, flours, salt, and baking powder.

In mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter.  Gradually beat in sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down sides of bowl. 

In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, cream, orange juice and zest, and vanilla.

Add 1/3 dry ingredients to mixing bowl on low speed.  Mix until almost incorporated.  Add 1/2 of yogurt mixture and combine.  Repeat with another 1/3 of dry, then remaining yogurt mixture, and ending with dry ingredients.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.  Mix until just incorporated.  Be careful not to overmix.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake approximately 65 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 15-20 minutes. then invert onto serving platter. 

Optional rum glaze:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 TB rum
Melt butter and sugar.  Pour in rum.
Stick inverted cake with skewer and slowly pour rum glaze over top, letting it soak down into the holes.

 And, for the step-by-steps:
 Sift dry ingredients.

 Whisk yogurt mixture.

Have everything ready at hand.
Butter and sugar are beating in the mixer.
To get eggs to room temperature in a hurry, set in a bowl of warm water.

 Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and spread evenly over top.


 Skewer the inverted cake and...

... pour the rum glaze over it.


Very nice texture and crumb.
Lovely orange flavor.
Hint of rum every now and then.

This cake is fine just as is, but, like I said, I'm going for "Moreovers."
We ate the cake down to the last quarter, then I wanted something MORE.
I decided to cut the cake into cubes, whup up some cream, make a non-fussy caramel, and then layer it all in a parfait glass.

For the whipped cream:
I always chill my bowl and beaters before whipping cream.  Just set them in freezer for a few minutes.  The cream whips better when everything is chilled.  Beat about 1 cup whipping cream until thickened.  Whup in a few tablespoons of sugar (Taste test!)  and a couple teaspoons of vanilla.  Whip until thickened.

Most caramels require diligence while making.  One must stand over the melting sugar and patiently watch it until it turns the perfect amber color.  Not so this caramel.  This is a quick, mix-and-go caramel and no flavor is lost in the process.

Rosie's Quick, No-Fuss Caramel Sauce 
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
Melt butter and brown sugar over medium low heat.
Whisk in cream and vanilla until smooth.

Find some pretty parfait glasses (Wine or champagne glasses work just fine.) and start layering cake cubes, a drizzle of caramel, and the whipped cream, and the caramel and the cake and the whipped cream...  You get the picture.

Here are my cake cubes, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

 Plop.  Spoon.  Drizzle.  Layer.  Repeat.

Got leftover crumbs?
Not a problem.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Breakfast At The Hawthornes.


Generally, when I make pancakes or waffles, I don't measure anything.  I just throw together flour, baking powder and/or soda, milk or buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs into a bowl and hope for the best.  And it always comes out good.

However, if I want The Best Pancakes and The Best Waffles, I have two tried and true recipes that will deliver.

First, the pancakes.

The Best Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick (4 TB) unsalted butter, melted
Whisk together dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
Slowly stir liquid mixture into dry mixture.
Gently stir in butter.
You want lumpy.
Let rest 5 minutes before cooking.

 Lumpy batter.
Lumpy is good!

 Melt a little unsalted butter in a skillet of medium heat and ladle in the batter.
When bubbles form, it's time to turn over.

 Now, The Best Pancakes must be accompanied by The Best Syrup.

Rosie's Pancake/Waffle Syrup
4 TB butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
handful each of sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and coarsely chopped pecans

Melt butter and brown sugar over low heat.  Stir in syrup and vanilla.  Heat until bubbling.
Turn heat to low and add fruits and pecans.  Keep warm.

Now, for The Best Waffles.
Start on these the night before.  They have yeast in them and the batter needs to rest and rise overnight.

The Best Waffles 

1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup skim milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Sprinkle yeast over the water with a pinch of sugar.
Stir to dissolve. 
While yeast is "proofing"(It's proving it's alive by eating and emitting carbon dioxide and getting foamy.), melt butter and heat milk and cream. You want the milk and cream warm, not hot.  Add melted butter and warmed milk and cream to the yeast mixture.
Add flour, sugar, and salt to liquid mixture and whisk until smooth.
 Cover bowl and let stand at room temperature overnight.
In the morning, whisk in baking soda, beaten eggs, and vanilla.

Heat up the waffle machine.
For the first waffle, I use butter.
None for the rest.
I cook my waffles a little longer than the machine calls for.  I like crisp.
Crisp is good.

We like to put these in the toaster oven before serving,
 to crisp them up even more and make 'em even better.

Yeast, warm water, and a sprinkling of sugar.
Proof the yeast.

 Whisk in the melted butter, milk, cream, flour, sugar, and salt.

 Whisky! Whisky! 
Cover and let rise overnight.

 The next morning, it's all poofy!

 Add in eggs, vanilla, and baking soda.

 Whisk until smooth.

Then ladle into the waffle iron.
I like to cook for a bit longer than called for, then let set the waffles in a warm oven to crisp up even more.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Rosie Makes Valentine Pecan And Cinnamon Sweet Rolls.

For Valentine's Day, what's better than sweets for your sweet?
I've made heart-shaped cinnamon and pecan buns for the occasion.
Please enjoy!

Sweet Buns

¾ cup skim milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 package yeast
1 TB sugar
½ cup sugar
6 TB unsalted butter, melted
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg

½ cup pecans
1 TB butter
2 TB dark brown sugar
2 TB sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Unsalted butter, softened

1 egg, beaten with one teaspoon water

Make the dough:
In a large bowl, heat milk and cream in microwave until slightly warm.  Sprinkle yeast and 1 TB of sugar on top, stir the mixture, and let sit about 10 minutes until foamy and “proofed.”  The yeast is hungry and has to “prove” it’s alive by eating the sugar and emitting carbon dioxide and alcohol by-products.  If the yeast doesn’t get bubbly, throw it out and start over with a new packet of yeast. 
Add the sugar, butter, flour, salt, vanilla, and egg.  Knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is soft and elastic.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled – about 3 hours.

Make the filling:
Heat a small pan over medium low heat.  Melt a tablespoon of butter and add the pecans.  Toast lightly, about 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove nuts from pan and let cool.  Chop nuts and combine with sugars and cinnamon.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
After dough has risen, punch down and divide and roll into 12 balls.  Cover with plastic and let rest for 15 minutes.  Roll balls out into 6-inch diameter circles.  Slather dough circle with softened butter and sprinkle with some of the filling.  Roll each circle into a log and pinch ends together, forming a teardrop shaped loop.  With scissors, carefully cut the loop in half widthwise, leaving the pinched tip intact.  Open the two halves to form a heart and transfer to baking sheets.  Cover buns with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.

Heat oven to 350°.  Gently brush buns with egg wash.  Bake about 30 minutes, turning halfway, until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

For breakfast, nuke buns until warm and serve with maple syrup (Use the real stuff.), if desired.

Here are the step-by-steps:
Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm milk and give it a stir.

Let it "proof."  That means the yeast "proves" it's alive by producing carbon dioxide and alcohol and other byproducts.  In other words, the mixture gets all poofy and foamy.

Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Process away...

...until you have a nice soft and elastic dough ball.

Place in a greased bowl, cover, ...

...and let rise.

Sprinkle a little flour on top and...

... punch it down.

Divide and roll into twelve little balls and cover with plastic.

Roll each ball out into a 6-inch diameter circle.

Slather the surface with unsalted butter.

Sprinkle on the pecan and cinnamon and sugar mixture and roll into a log.

Shape each log into a tear drop loop and... 

pinch the ends together.

Cut in half widthwise, leaving the pinched end intact.

Spread open...

...into a heart shape.


Place on parchment paper and let rise.

Gently brush with egg wash.

Bake and let cool on wire racks.
Or you can eat immediately. 
Which, of course, is what I did.

Nuke to reheat and you might want to pour a little maple syrup on it for good measure.