Monday, February 02, 2009
I had a lot of fun this month with the challenge. And I was extremely happy to have learned over the recipe... it started off badly and by the end I had perfected it. Plus I had a great time making a dessert to showcase the challenge-- the best cake I've ever made!
I've listed all recipes here.
I decided to celebrate a work milestone with this dessert... we are (probably) going to be working on redeveloping the website for Kew Gardens which will be an incredible project to be involved with! So the dessert is a chocolate soil cake, with green cocoanut grass, tule trees and mint leaves!
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
- 65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
- 60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
- 2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
- 65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
- 1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
- Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
Oven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time.
Parchment paper did not (!!) work for me. The first three sheets were ruined because of it, but I quickly learned and started using butter instead directly on the baking sheets. The next challenge was to shape them (I was only doing three shapes per baking sheet, but even that was too many to shape before they hardened!). By the end I was making them like an expert... rushing them out of the oven, using a spatula to take one off (very easily removed once sheet was buttered), chuck the sheet with the remaining two back into the oven, quickly shape around a chopstick... and repeat. Exhausted... but I am so pleased this was successful! And the taste is fantastic-- the thinner the better.
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2.5 Tb sugar
- 1.5 T cocoa
add all together and chill in fridge w/ beaters for 1 hour. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
- 1 1/2 cups (6.4 oz/181 g) all-purpose flour such as Droste
- 1 cup (2.9 oz/85 g) non-alkalized cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) hot brewed coffee
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the granulated sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. While mixing the dry ingredients at low speed, add the egg mixture in a steady steam.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well blended. Add the hot coffee at low speed, mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir the batter from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly. Smooth the batter in each pan and bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans set on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto the rack and cool completely.
Marshmallow Frosing: used to cover cake (from http://dozenflours.com/)
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 large marshmallows or 3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sift the sugar and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl.
Set aside. Place the marshmallows, butter, and milk/cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir until the marshmallows are melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the confectioners' sugar and cocoa mixture over the marshmallow mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until the frosting is smooth and satiny.