Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rave Reviews on this one....

Double Chocolate Layer Cake by Ina Garten - The Barefoot Contessa

Ina’s description of it being the “most fabulous chocolate cake that I’ve ever made” had my interest peaked as well. The unique ingredient was coffee…how intrigued I was!

This cake is everything it promises to be… a unique twist on a standard rich and delicious chocolate cake. The coffee in the batter and in the frosting add just enough twist to the flavor of the cake that you will want to be coming back for more.

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

FROSTING

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

Directions

  1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.
  4. MAKE THE FROSTING: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.
  6. Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

MAKE AHEAD The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.

Food and Wine Magazine's Malt Ball Cake



Cake
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup instant malted milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups ice cold water
4 large egg whites, room temperature
Frosting and Garnish
10 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
10 ounces quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch chunks, softened

malted milk balls, for garnish

1. CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325. Butter and flour three 8 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the flours with the malt powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the shortening until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches at low speed, alternating with the ice water, occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl.
3. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter between the pans, spreading it evenly and bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool completely. Peel off the parchment.
4. FROSTING: Place the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the corn syrup; immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate has melted, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk. Gradually beat in the butter at medium speed, a few chunks at a time and beat until thoroughly incorporated between additions. The frosting should be smooth and silky. Refrigerate the frosting just until it is thick enough to hold its shape, 10-15 minutes.
6. Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread 1 1/4 cups of the frosting over the top in an even layer. Repeat to form 2 more layers. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the side of the cake and refrigerate briefly until firm. Frost the side with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with malted milk balls and refrigerate briefly to firm up the frosting before serving.
7. The cake and be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature to serve

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I knew this, did you?

When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered
which is the freshest, so you "squeeze" for freshness or softness? Did
you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week?
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different
color twist tie. They are: Monday = Blue, Tuesday = Green, Thursday =
Red
Friday = White and Saturday = Yellow. So if today was Thursday, you would
want red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The
colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green - Red - White - Yellow,
Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember. I thought this was
interesting. I looked in the grocery store and the bread wrappers DO have
different twist ties, and even the ones with the plastic clips have
different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread
when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping.