Baked Sunday Mornings: Chocolate Rice Crispy “Cake” with Homemade Marshmallow “Icing”

At my house there is differing opinions regarding rice crispy treats. My husband loves his dry, bland and lightly sugared, whereas I like mine gooey and full of marshmallows. I think the men at Baked fall into the same camp as me, as these rice crispy treats are oh, so gooey. The actual making of the rice crispies is easy, it’s a pretty standard recipe with the exception of cocoa rice cereal, additional chocolate that is melted before adding the cereal and some during the addition of the cereal, and homemade marshmallows. This was my first attempt at making marshmallows and it’s a fairly easy, yet messy process (hand washing dishes with melted sugar sucks). I felt like there was a lot of waiting followed by a hurried push to get the marshmallow fluff out of the mixing bowl and into the loaf pans. In this rush I forgot to add the vanilla, so the marshmallows were pretty bland.

image

The addition of homemade marshmallows resulted in a more chewy rice crispy treat, which both my husband and I enjoyed. I also loved the addition of the melted chocolate interspersed by the chocolate chunks. Wasn’t really sure about the “icing.” Maybe because I failed to add vanilla, but we found it cumbersome to eat and slightly unappealing (treats this soft and full of marshmallows did not need an additional marshmallow top), and ate these treats sans the marshmallow layer. These treats (without the icing) were a mess of chocolate and marshmallow, just my style. My husband liked them, but wasn’t as big of a fan. I would probably make these again in the future, but with store bought marshmallows. While I was glad to finally take the plunge and make marshmallows, they are a lot of work for something that is overshadowed by a rice cereal. Not sure if it was worth the effort. These treats though make up in no time, and I will probably be making them again, but a half batch to justify me consuming them solo.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Baked Sunday Mornings: Orange Pancakes with Honey Butter

I already have a great pancake recipe, the buttermilk pancakes from America’s Test Kitchen, but after not making what the BSM bakers found to be a tasty and amazing blueberry buckle last time, I didn’t want to miss another BSM baking challenge. Plus the great thing about pancakes is that they are an actual meal (no shame, I often have cake for breakfast).

image

These are slightly more work than your average pancake, but the ingredients are something that we usually have on hand. I grew up making pancakes on a griddle, and I have yet to master cooking them in pans, so my husband cooked these. He poured enough to fit in a 10-inch fry pan, so I am unsure how many pancakes this would yield if you used the called for 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake.

image

These pancakes are amazing! The orange flavor really came through and the pancakes were the perfect texture. I usually top my pancakes with fruit or yogurt, but I found that these were great with just the honey butter included in the recipe, although next time I may save time and skip the honey butter for plain old butter, that is how good these are.

I hope the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers liked this one as much as I did.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Baked Sunday Mornings: Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches

This week’s BSM baking assignment was brioche ice cream sandwiches for an Italian Holiday called Ferragosto. I live in Utah the ice cream capital of possibly the world, and yet I had never had heard of sandwiching ice cream between bread. It seemed odd, and maybe disastrous. Would bread hold up to melty ice cream? I was also hesitant about this project as my bread skills, well they suck, and my last yeasted project although delicious, wasn’t quite right. Was I ready to battle with bread again? Well this bread was adapted for an eleven-year-old, just imagine the horror if I couldn’t bake better than a fifth grader.

The mixer really does all of the work for this recipe. There is some measuring and a lot of waiting, but it is surprisingly easy. The hardest part is actually shaping the rolls. Some of mine looked amazing, others really odd. Although the recipe should yield twelve rolls, I came up with fourteen even after weighing each roll.

image

I was over the moon, dancing through the house after my rolls came out and I tried one. Somehow, I had managed to make eatable and more importantly delicious bread. I sandwiched some pistachio gelato and toasted oatmeal ice cream between two cold cut rolls. The crumb and texture of the brioche was a nice complement to the soft icy texture of the gelato/ice cream. And although this rocked my unciviled world, I think I may do things different next time-mostly bake my brioche as a loaf instead of rolls as I think sliced bread would be a better vehicle for the ice cream. Dorrie Greenspan bakes her brioche for ice cream sandwiches in a coffee can, but we really never buy our coffee in cans, only in bags, but if I come across a used can I will be sure to save it for this purpose. It would also be fun to play around with this. You can add Nutella, sliced bananas, nuts…really nothing is off limits here. I will be making this recipe again and again.

Recipe from: Baked Ocassions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Baked Sunday Mornings: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake

I religiously watched Martha Stewart as a child on Saturday mornings. I loved her Polish work ethic, East coast toughness, yet down home sensibility. To this day I still find myself turning to her baking and cooking shows on PBS. She was pioneer in homemade DYI movement. This simple cake is something I could see her whipping up on one of her shows.

This cake is so easy to put together, no separate bowl needed to beat egg whites or a trip to the grocery store for weird ingredients. I am not a fan of cinnamon and chocolate together, and usually omit the cinnamon (never the chocolate, that would be crazy!) whenever the two are paired together. I find that cinnamon doesn’t always place nice with chocolate, and can often overwhelm it. This recipe only calls for a 1/2 teaspoon, and I thought that so little cinnamon would not compete with the chocolate, and added it. This recipes calls for sour cream, but some possible substitutions are given, one being crème frache. I still had some unexpired crème frache left over from the Gay Cake, and used the rest, 1/2 cup, with the remaining cup being straight up sour cream. I was worried about these cakes overflowing as it seemed like a lot of batter for such little pans. They did doom up over, but never spilled. I had to bake mine slightly longer than 35 minutes, around 39.

cake

I made the frosting for this the day before baking the cakes. I made the mistake of having my butter and cream cheese really warm. In addition I only had three cups of powder sugar at home. My frosting was very runny, but I placed it in the fridge and hoped for the best. From my experience with the Gonzo cake, which used a similar cream cheese frosting, it was a success because both the cream cheese and butter were still cold while mixing.

The cake smelled amazing while baking up. It was that cinnamon coming through. I let my frosting come to room temp before spreading. It was still pretty thin, so I just kind of glopped it on. Great,I thought. Runny frosting and chocolate and cinnamon. I was ready to chalk this one up as a disaster. However, sometimes looks (and I guess smells) can be deceiving. This cake was really good. It is a little denser than I usually like; it reminded me of a light pound cake and like most cakes it got denser as it aged. You know that cinnamon I was so worried about. Well, you really wouldn’t even know it was there unless you were the one to assemble this cake, but it does add a subtle hint of flavor to what I usually consider to be a pedestrian cake. I felt like this cake was a great homage to Martha. Find out if the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers felt the same way.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Baked Sunday Mornings: Gonzo Cake

In an attempt to read all of the classics, I cracked open Hunter. S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I didn’t get it. I wasn’t sure where fiction met reality. I do respect his writing style, it’s just not my thing. However I was excited to make the Gonzo cake, not to honor Thompson, but for my mom’s 60 birthday. I thought the unique flavoring and bright purple color would be a special and unique treat for her big day.

image

There are two versions of this cake. One uses purple yam powder which can be found in some Asian markets, and is similar to red velvet cake. The other uses roasted yams and is similar to an apple cake. My tasters and I probably would have preferred the latter as we tend to be fans of moist apple cake, but I was able to found a package of purple yam powder at my favorite local Asian market and was so curious, I just had to give it a try. This is a basic cake recipe, with the addition of rehydrated yam powder, which to sample on its own is very strange. It doesn’t taste like anything and has a grainy instant potato like texture. Not too impressed, and while the grainniness bakes out of the finished product, I didn’t find it lent much flavor or even purple color to the cake (the batter is a dull gray without the addition of purple food coloring). My testers thought this cake was jut ok, nothing spectacular. Their favorite part was the cream cheese frosting, which I found was the perfect ratio of butter, cream cheese and powder sugar. I really wanted to give this one another try with the roasted yams and maybe some cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves/ginger to jazz it up.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Baked Sunday Morning: Dad’s Black Cocoa Bundt with Butter Whiskey Glaze

This cake is intended for dad, on that ever special tie giving holiday, Father’s Day. My husband doesn’t like chocolate cake, but loves whiskey, so I thought the whiskey glaze might win him over. He really deserves something special as for the past week he has been up at 3:30 to check on our crying baby. Both him and my dad are amazing men. Really lucky to have them in my life.

imageI was unable to find black cocoa, but found something really close, Guittard dark cocoa (which looks black, so maybe it was mislabeled) which I used for this cake. I also decreased the sugar as felt like 495 grams was a lot, to 450. The first time I have ever decreased the sugar content in a cake, and it came out fine, so it maybe something I try in the future. I used a 10 cup bundt pan as I do not have a 12 cup, and the batter fit fine and the cake baked within the time called for. I was really worried about this cake as when I checked on it, as it had completely fallen, but I was able to get it out of the pan with a little stickage, and it was not noticable after pouring on the whiskey glaze (after warnings from Sheri I really greased and floured my pan).

image

We were fans of the cake portion, but not the glaze. The whiskey was just too stong and overpowered the cake. The bundt cake had a really nice chocolate flavor and was very moist. The blackness of it is really unique and interesting (although that cocoa powder is a pain to clean-up). In the future, I think I will be making the cake, without the frosting.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Tagged

Baked Sunday Mornings: Rainbow Icebox Cake with Homemade Chocolate Cookies

Baked’s version of a icebox cake is one in which homemade chocolate cookies are sandwiched between different colors of whipped cream. This cake is intended to celebrate gay pride day. There was a great write-up on the making and testing of this cake by the talented BSM baker Sheri, which you can read about here.

image

I only made half of the whipped cream mixture, but a full batch of cookies. This dessert doesn’t have the largest shelf life, and I was worried about it languishing in the fridge, so thought a half cake would be best. I knew that the cookies would be eaten as they were not as perishable, and well, we really like chocolate. I couldn’t find cheesecloth, although I know we had some. It’s just something that rarely gets used, so instead I used a couple of coffee filters. I also opted just to use purple alternating with white as I wasn’t sure how many layers this half recipe would produce, and let’s be honest, I was feel a tad lazy. The one time-consuming element of this recipe, is rolling out the cookies. Once I got started and into it, it wasn’t that bad, but cutting out cookies is not my favorite thing. I also ended up with more than 75 cookies, but that could have been due to dough thickness. Assembling really appears more imitating by the picture provided in the Occasions book, but it really wasn’t hard, although mine did not look anything remotely like the picture. My cookies were much thinner and my layers not as even.  I also didn’t make whipped cream to finish off the top, and I don’t think it was missed.image

I tried both the cookies and whipped cream alone before assembling and I wasn’t that impressed. However put these two together and in the fridge for a while to meld, and it yields a delicious dessert. I was happily surprised. This is a sophisticated version of an oreo, very similar taste, just this doesn’t have that annoying shortening mouth feel. We really didn’t need to worry about this one not being eaten. It was gone in two days, between the two of us (eeks!).

See the pretty cakes my fellow Baked Sunday Morning bakers produced.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Tagged