Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Don't Give These A Raspberry- Raspberry Crumb Bars

Sorry for the length of time since the last post- had some computer issues getting on to the blog site- but I have been continuing on baking my way through the Flour bakery cookbook.  Still have not made anything that isn't delicious, and still so many more recipes to try.  These cookies are a little complicated and time consuming, but are special and worth the time it takes.  Similar to a linzer cookie (one of my old bakery favorites) but more delicate, and they melt in your mouth. I was hoping to have a better picture, but they were eaten before I could retake the photo.


Raspberry Crumb Bars
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

Rick's Shortbread
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (510 grams) raspberry jam with seeds
1/4 cup (35 grams) confectioner's sugar

To make the shortbread: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and confectioner's sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and paddle again to make sure the egg yolks are thoroughly incorporated.
     In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix for about 15 seconds , or until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl again to make sure all of the flour mixture is thoroughly incorporated.
    Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Remove 1/4 of the dough to a separate sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap the remaining 3/4 of the dough entirely in the plastic wrap, pressing down to form a disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Refrigerate the dough disk for about 30 minutes, or until the dough has firmed up but is still somewhat pliable.  Pat the reserved 1/4 of the dough into a small disk, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours or until hard.  Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
     Lightly flour the 8-inch dough disk and two large sheets of parchment paper.  Place the dough between the sheets of parchment and roll it out into a rectangle about 13x9 inches and 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.  Carefully peel off the top sheet of parchment. Trim the edges so the rectangle has fairly neat sides.  Transfer the bottom sheet of parchment with the dough to a baking sheet.  Trim the parchment so it fits the baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the shortbread is light brown- about the same color as maple wood.  Remove the shortbread from the oven (leave oven on), let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then spoon the raspberry jam on top of the still-warm shortbread. Spread it in an even layer  with a spoon or spatula, covering the surface. If the jam is stiff, put it in a small bowl and stir it with a wooden spoon to smooth it out and loosen it up before you put it on the shortbread.  Remove the smaller dough disk from the freezer, and, using the large holes on a box grater, grate it into large flakes.  Evenly sprinkle the large flakes over the jam.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.  When cooled, sit the confectioner's sugar evenly over the top.  Trim the edges again and then cut into 9 large bars.  (I cut into smaller bars).  The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days. ((post by Susan))

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's Old is New- New Old-Fashioned Coffee Cake

I know. I know. All I have been doing is baking from the Flour cookbook and I can't say I will be stopping anytime soon. But, everything sounds so delicious, and everything I have baked so far has lived up to expectations with the exception of the bran muffins- and someone I work with loved those as well.  So far I have been focusing on breakfast items and cookies, but I am getting ready to branch out to cakes and more complicated fare.  This coffee cake is addictive, and I loved the way the crunchy streusel gets integrated into the cake.  Another great recipe from Flour!

New Old-Fashioned Coffee Cake
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

Streusel
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (75 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons cake flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Cake
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 10-12 pieces
3  large eggs at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (180 grams) creme fraiche

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan with a removable insert.
     To make the streusel: In a food processor, combine the brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, pecans, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, 3 tablespoons flour, and butter and pulse for about 20 seconds or until the mixture comes together roughly. Don't pulse too long. You want to chop the ingredients coarsely to make a crumbly mix.  Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. It should be about 1 1/2 cups.
      To make the cake: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar on low speed just until well mixed. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and continue to beat on low speed for 3-4 minutes or until the butter is well incorporated into the dry ingredients.  The mixture will look like coarse meal.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and creme fraiche until thoroughly mixed.  On low speed, slowly pour about half of the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Turn up the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter for about 1 1/2 minutes. The mixture will go from looking thick and clumpy and yellowish to light and fluffy and whitish.  Stop once or twice to scrape sides and bottom of bowl, making sure all of the ingredients are mixed in. Turn down the mixer to low speed, add the remaining egg mixture and beat for about 30 seconds or until combined. Again, stop once or twice to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
     Spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the batter into the bowl holding the streusel, and then fold the streusel and the batter together until well mixed.  Scrape all of the non-streusel batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Then, top with the streusel batter, spreading it in an even layer and smoothing it.  Bake for  55-70 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and bounces back when you touch it near the center.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 3 hours or until completely cool.  Then, remove the cake from the pan. ((post by Susan))

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yes, Another Apple Cake- Apple Snacking Spice Cake

I have a new second favorite apple cake.  Teddie's Apple Cake (published on this blog, but also in the new Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser) is still my absolute favorite because of its crunchy, chewy outside and its moist, full of apples inside, but this cake comes pretty close. It is also chock full of apples, raisins and nuts, and is one of those cakes that you keep tasting a little and then some more, and pretty soon, it is gone.  So full of apples and nuts, you can convince yourself, it's healthy. The only adjustment I would make to the recipe is in the baking time- it could be my oven, but I am finding variations of 10-15 minutes in the Flour recipes. Other than that, this is one to definitely try.


Apple Snacking Spice Cake
from Flour by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson

1 cup (140 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1  1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
12 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
4 cups (450 grams) peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith (or Mudzu) apples
1/2 cup (80 grams) raisins
1 cup (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped
confectioner's sugar for dusting

      Place rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
     In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Using the paddle attachment, add the granulated sugar and butter to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until the butter is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer several times and scrape the paddle and sides of the bowl to make sure all the butter is mixed in.  Add the eggs and mix on low speed for 10-15 seconds or until fully incorporated.  Turn the mixer to medium high speed and beat for about 1 minute, or until the batter is light and fluffy.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples, raisins and pecans.  The batter will be very stiff and thick.  It will look like too many apples and not enough batter, but that's okay. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.  Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the cake feels firm when you press it in the middle and the top is dark golden brown.  Let cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. To remove from pan, invert the cake onto a plate and then invert again so it is right side up.  Dust slices with confectioner's sugar.  ((post by Susan))