Thursday, May 31, 2018

Rosie Makes The Orange Cake To End All Orange Cakes.

You MUST make this cake.
Another Trust Rosie Moment.
Have I ever led you astray?

It is so moist, it's juicy.
The orange flavor is divine.

And then you add some vanilla ice cream/orange sherbet swirlie,
maybe some orange wildflower honey drizzled over,
and you've got a winner.
 It's so simple to make,
I didn't even bother to add my how-to-for-dummies pictures.
(OK.  I was too lazy to shoot this time.)
Orange Cake

For the cake: 
 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oranges
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk

In a small bowl, finely zest the oranges.
Add 3 TB of the juice to the zest.

In another small bowl, sift flour, soda, and salt.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
cream butter at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in the sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time,
beating after each addition.
At low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, mixing,
then 1/3 of the buttermilk.
Repeat with half the dry ingredients, 
and half the buttermilk, mixing until just combined.
Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.
Stir in orange zest and juice.

Pour batter into a 9-inch round cake pan
lined with buttered parchment paper.
If you have a deep cake pan, all the better.
Mine was a regular depth cake pan,
so I fitted a buttered parchment collar around the pan,
as you'd do for a soufflé,
to contain the rise. 

Bake in a 325° oven,
on a baking sheet in case there's any spill,
(Shouldn't be if you have a deep pan or the fitted collar.)
 until toothpick inserted in center
comes out almost clean - 60-70 minutes.
A few crumbs are allowed.

Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes.
Turn out on wire rack and peel off paper.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup sugar 
While the cake is baking, make the glaze.
Stir juice and sugar until sugar is dissolve.
After cake has cooled for a bit and turned out onto rack,
invert onto serving platter.
(Cake will still be a bit warm.)
Poke a few holes in cake with a skewer,
then brush glaze over top and sides,
letting the glaze soak in.
Brush up any drippings on platter
and transfer back to top of cake.
Continue until all glaze is absorbed by the cake.

That vanilla/orange/ice cream/sherbet 
with this cake
is da bombe!

This was so wonderful,
I had to go pick a special rose,
just to match.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Rosie Makes A White Pizza.


As you know, the Hawthornes love their pizzas.
And we have pizza at least once a week.
All from scratch.
After a bit of tinkering,
we have our dough down perfectly.
The sauce is scratch from a can,
except in the heat of the summer,
when I'll make a tomato sauce from the 'maters in my garden.
And the toppings are whatever I happen to have on hand.
As a rule, I eschew any meats,
since I deal with "vegetarians,"  
I do make concessions,
but not when it comes to cheeses.
Because a pizza is not a pizza without cheese.
And I refuse to use soy "cheese."
That is not "cheese."
That is an abomination.
Just NO!

That said, every now and then,
I want a different pizza.
Something ... irregular.
That's when I turn to a white sauce pizza.
Now, don't turn your collective noses up.
Bear with me here.
There's no tomato sauce,
although it does have sliced tomatoes,
but the sauce is cheesy and white and gooey.
And it's good!

But first, let's get started on that dough.
Pizza Dough
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet yeast
sprinkling of sugar

Pour water into medium bowl.
Add yeast.
Sprinkle maybe a tablespoon of sugar over top.
Leave it alone for about 10 minutes.
Enough time for it to "proof."

The yeast must "prove" it's alive
by eating sugar and emitting carbon dioxide and alcohol.
You want the yeast mixture nice and poofy and bubbly.
That means the yeast is working.
Sprinkle a cup of bread flour into the yeast mixture
and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
As a general rule of thumb for bread,
it's one part water to two parts flour.
I only used 1/2 cup water as I'm going for a small relatively pizza.

Fork in the flour and salt.
Then gather up the dough
and knead it on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes.
If it's too sticky, sprinkle in a little flour.

Form the dough into a ball
and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place ...
... until doubled in size.
Those are strands of gluten.
This network structure is what makes the dough
elastic, pliable, and extensible.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface,
knead it a few times,
then place on an oiled pizza pan
and start forming the dough,
pressing outward from the center.
Press and rest.
Don't rush it.
Take your time and let the dough relax and breathe.
While you're pressing and pushing the dough,
start on the white sauce.
When you get the dough pressed out,
place it in a warm place
and let it rise a little bit.

For the white sauce:
I chopped up one scallion, 
one garlic clove,
and some fresh oregano and thyme.
In a small saucepan over medium low heat,
melt one tablespoon of butter with the 
scallion, garlic, and herbs.
Stir about a minute.

Stir in a tablespoon of flour,
and keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes.
You want to cook the flour
to get rid of the raw taste.

Slowly stir in one cup of milk.
(I used skim since that's what I have on hand.)

Whisk over medium low heat until mixture has thickened.

Remove from heat
and add in half a yepsen of whole milk mozzarella.

A yepsen, in case you don't know,
is a unit of measurement.
It's two handfuls.
I'm adding in one handful of cheese.
So half a yepsen.

Whisk the cheese in and let it melt.

When the dough has risen a bit,
gently spread on the white sauce.
Be gentle.
You don't want to deflate the dough.

As for the toppings,
that's solely up to you.

I'm starting out with spinach and mushrooms.
I steamed the spinach first, 
then patted it dry before laying the leaves on the pizza dough.
I also sautéed the mushrooms slices in butter and oil first
before placing the slices on the pizza.
There's a reason for this.
Spinach and mushrooms have a lot of moisture in them.
If you just plop them on the pizza dough
and cook the pizza,
all that water will release and create a soggy dough.
So you want to get rid of as much water
as you can before topping the pizza.

Next, I added tomato slices,
sliced black olives,
 sliced green onions,
and sliced multi-colored peppers.

Top with grated mozzarella
and torn provolone cheeses.

And drizzle with a bit of black truffle oil.

Use judiciously.
This is powerful stuff!

Have oven at 500° with a pizza stone in it.
I cooked the pizza in the pan for 7 minutes,
then turned it 180° for 4 minutes.
Then I slid the pizza off the pan 
and onto the hot stone for another 4 minutes.
Out of the oven and onto a wire rack for a few minutes.
Then onto a cutting board and slice.

 Toasty crust!
 You know you want a piece!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Rosie Makes Strawberry Cream Cheese Buns.


I happened to have an extra Hawthorne visiting home.
That fact, along with some lovely strawberries
we found at TarHeel Too Produce,
and it was just a hop, skip, and a jump
to get to Strawberry Cream Cheese Buns.
And everybody was happy.

These are basically sweet buns
 with a strawberry filling rolled up and baked
then squiggled with a frosting.

For the strawberry filling:
First, prepare the strawberry filling.
Wash and hull 1 quart strawberries,
then toss in a bowl with 3 TB sugar.

Place berries in a single layer 
on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes -
until the berries give up the juices.
Let cool in pan.

Scrape berries along with pan juices into a medium bowl.
Add in:
 1/2 cup sugar
 1 TB cornstarch
 1 tsp cinnamon
grated zest of one orange
Squish the roasted berries and stir to combine.

Set aside the lovely mash while you work on the dough.

For the dough:

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB sugar
1 egg
1 package yeast
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups King Arthur unbleached AP flour

For the whole milk,
I substituted 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/4 cup cream.
Because I never have whole milk,
but always have skim or almond and heavy cream.

Nuke the milk, cream cheese, and butter
for about 90 seconds or until lukewarm.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add
sugar, egg, yeast, salt, and flour.  
Mix and knead to make a soft dough.
Cover and let rise about an hour until doubled and puffy.

Turn out risen dough and pat into a 13" x 18" rectangle.

Spread strawberry filling over dough,
leaving a 1/2" strip along one long edge.

Well, I guess I could've done better here.
But I had no complaints.

Starting with the filling-covered edge,
start rolling the dough up into a log.
Pinch seams to seal.
And yes, it's messy!

Lick fingers...
Cut into 12 equal pieces and place rolls,
cut side up, in a greased 9" x 13" pan.

Cover with plastic and...
... let rise.
About an hour.
Until doubled.

Bake at 350°, 25 or so minutes,
until light golden brown.
Let cool on a rack.

And now, for the icing:
If you can, get a hand model to pipe the icing,
by all means, go ahead!
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
 Beat all together until smooth.
1-2 tsp milk or cream 
(Add milk or cream gradually until frosting is spreadable but still thick.)
Scoop frosting into plastic bag,
snip off end,
and pipe onto rolls.