Friday, July 31, 2009

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 3: Chocolate Chocolate Roulade

It's late, but I'm still awake. But this time it's my fault, really. Today was the day Jews around the world commemorated the destruction of the temple and we all fasted. Truth be told, there's not really much to be done, and due to the weakness and hunger and thirst and tiredness, I slept a lot. Therefore, I am not sleeping right now. And I knew what I was getting myself into! So to kill some time before I attempt sleep, or a rest, I'm posting the last dessert from last weekend, before the new roundup has to go up. This is the Chocolate Chocolate Roulade that I had planned to make for my Black and White Shabbat. Only, I never brought it to the meal because I felt that, to say the least, it wasn't aesthetically pleasing. When my dinner host, who's a boy heard this, he flipped out. It seems they truly don't care about what the food they eat looks like. But I do. So it didnt get served and instead I brought the Gingerbread Bundt. And saved the Chocolate Roulade for snack time with my friends. Which is truly a shame. Because it was awesome. I'm so stubborn sometimes when it comes to these things. But even I must admit. It was good. Really good. My friends and I had slices of it as the urge hit, straight from the freezer nice and cold. The reason why I couldnt serve it? Well, the heat made the cake moist and sticky as it cooled and melted the cream before I could roll the whole thing up. It was one mess best eaten with eyes closed. But once in the freezer no one was really the wiser. The cake recipe comes from King Arthur Flour's site and the cream was the cream used to fill the Chocolate Chocolate Tart.

Chocolate Cake
adapted from the KAF site

4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a bowl, place the four eggs.
Beat until foamy.Add the sugar and extracts and beat until light and thickened.Add the dry ingredients and gently mix to combine.Add the oil and milk,and gently fold in to make a uniform batter.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.Remove from the oven. Cool for two minutes. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Roll up the cake using the parchment and set aside to cool completely. When ready to fill, unroll the cake. Mine shrunk a bit. Dollop the cream onto the cake,and spread evenly all over. Roll up the cake. Mine was beginning to crack and leak out so I had to cut it in half. I thought it would be helpful to cover it with remaining cream, but you can imagine what that looked like. But it's all gone now and none of it was wasted in the end. Sorry boys!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Adventures with Rye Part 4: Light Rye Sourdough

Before I discuss this bread, I must first say, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO ME! That's right- one year ago, on a very warm July day, I created this blog. One year and 120- something posts later, my breads and overall baking are much improved, my library has much increased, and more people want to be my friends because of all I've been turning out. Juuuust joking. Seriously though, I have loved baking, photographing, writing and posting since I've started and I hope it doesn't wind down anytime soon. Thank you for reading, whoever you are!
On to more serious bread business, we're back to my rye adventures. But this time, we have a... Sourdough! I finally got my hands on some sourdough starters, both rye and white, generously given to me by Leah. The first thing I made was this simple Light Rye Sourdough from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking. This bread was amazing. To echo their sentiments, it's quite amazing how so little sourdough starter can fuel an entire bread. I am taken aback every time. This bread performed like a champ through every step- through the rising levain, to the kneading, to the remaining risings, to the baking. The bread was very nicely tangy, you could taste the sourdough!, which I think is due to the very warm temperature that I fed the starter with. This bread looked beautiful and I must say I'm extremely proud of this loaf.

Light Sourdough Rye Bread

2 tbsp ripe rye levain
2 1/8 cups rye flour
1 cup water

All of levain
2 cups bread or all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup waterThe evening before baking, place the levain in a container. Add the water and flour and mix to make a paste like mixture. Cover and let rise overnight. It had a pretty impressive rise.The next day, place the risen levain in a bowl.Add the remaining ingredients.Knead to make a smooth dough. Place it in a bowl and cover tightly. Let it rest for one hour.Here is my rested dough. Turn the dough out and shape into a loaf.Here is my oblong loaf, placed on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let the loaf rise no more than another hour.Here is my loaf proofed. About half an hour before the loaf is ready to be baked, preheat your oven to 450 with a baking stone inside. Prepare the oven for steam.Slash the loaf as desired. Place in the oven and steam the oven. Bake 35-40 minutes.This bread must be cool completely before you slice it or else it will be gummy due to the rye. Here is the lovely, even crumb. Enjoy with good friends!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 2: White White Chocolate Tart

Four finals down, one to go. I finished my exam not too long ago, of course before all of my Israeli classmates did. Before the semester ended, the teacher, who is American, gave us the list of questions to prepare for the exam which left us ample time to prepare. Out of the possible eight questions, we'd be presented with four and be required to answer three. He also told us that each question must be answered in a page or less and any more would result in a deduction of points. Now here is the part that drives me crazy. My Israeli classmates, who should be more than well prepared, are writing pages after pages, some even needing another notebook, and staying in the exam room for so long it makes me nervous that I didn't write enough. I thought I came prepared, but after finishing to write in record time all I'd prepared and sitting there reading through the eleven chapters on the test to kill time, I wasn't so sure. I'm telling you, they really know how to make me insecure! As I speak, they are probably still writing. All I can say is, I hope this teacher takes his points deduction threat seriously! I'm not aiming too high. I've been in university here for two years already. When will I learn?! Anyway, all this talk of finals has a point. And that is to say that because of finals, we can't host any meals in our dorms. So A took the reigns and decided to host a lunch in her dorm this past weekend. She, as per her usual, opted to make the meal dairy. I was asked to do dessert and I happily obliged. She requested a white chocolate mousse, but I've been doing mousse so much lately that I was sort of bored with it. Instead, I decided to make a white chocolate ganache, courtesy of Sherry Yard, and just put it in a tart shell, courtesy of Dorie Greenspan. This also played on my (intended) theme of black and white. This is the White White Chocolate Tart, stay tuned for the Chocolate Chocolate Cream Roll. Simple and elegant, this dessert received raves. It was uh-mazing. It also could not have been easier to prepare. You can make the tart dough the night before. Refrigerate the tart after filling so that the ganache can set.

White White Chocolate Tart

1 9 inch tart shell, baked (I used Dorie's sweet tart shell)

8 ounces good quality white chocolate
4 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp rum, optional

Have your tart shell baked and cooled.Place the chocolate and margarine in a bowl; set aside.In a saucepan, place the cream and corn syrup. Stir to combine.Bring to a boil. Pour this mixture over the chocolate.If the chocolate cools down the cream before it melts completely, continue to melt over a double boiler.Pour into your tart shell. Spread evenly. Chill before covering with saran wrap so as not to ruin the top. See? Easy as... tart!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 1: Gingerbread Bundt

Another Shabbat in, another series of desserts. This Gingerbread Bundt cake was actually not on my original to do list. I had planned to make a Chocolate Chocolate Cream Roll (which I made but did not serve for dessert, more on that in a later post), but when that didn't work out and I needed a dessert, I turned to the Baker's Companion and found this recipe. With all the ingredients in the pantry and its ease of preparation, this cake found its way on to the Friday night dessert table. This cake was soo good. Warm and comfortingly spicy, it was moist and tender. It was extremely well received and S even asked for the leftovers to enjoy with coffee which I glady handed over. I made some tiny changes based on what I had on hand, such as adding honey for some of the molasses because I was out and adding oil to make up for the rest of the margarine that I was missing. All in all, the cake rocked. Originally meant to be a pan cake, I baked it in a bundt instead for a bit more pretty presentation. This is my go to Gingerbread cake. It should be yours, too.

Gingerbread Cake
KAF Baker's Companion

3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup
8 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan or a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.Whisk until well combined.Add the dry ingredients,and blend until smooth.Pour the boiling water over,and stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared bundt panand bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn out onto a wire rack and cool. Notice the crack on the cake where the cake stuck to the pan? No one did either. Wrap well in plastic wrap to store. Dust with powdered sugar or serve as is. It's yummy either way.

Reinhart's Whole Wheat Hearth Bread

I've decided to take a bit of a break from my adventures with the rye and put Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads to use. I constantly thumb through the book when I can't sleep but never found anything I was in the mood to make. I love the look of the whole wheat boule, so I finally decided to make that one and cross it off the list of things to make in my baking career. It's pretty straightfoward to make, with the exception that all the breads in this book are made with a soaker and a starter that must be prepared the night before. They come together in just a few minutes so that's no worry. The soaker and starters blended easily and the dough handled nicely; it was soft and tacky but not sticky. It rose perfectly through all of its rises. I omitted the oil in the dough and opted to use honey. The resulting crust was nice and dark and beautiful, although the dough had negligible oven spring. The crumb was dark and even and the flavor was that of a simple, rustic whole wheat loaf. As with all the breads I've been turning out lately, this paired well with cream cheese. All in all, it was an impressive and attractive loaf- I'm glad this is another thing checked off my list.

Reinhart's Whole Wheat Hearth Bread

227 grams whole wheat flour
4 grams salt
170 grams water

227 grams whole wheat flour
1 gram instant yeast
170 grams water

Final Dough:
28.5 grams whole wheat flour
5 grams salt
7 grams yeast
14 grams honey

The night before baking, prepare the soaker and starter.Combine all of the soaker ingredients in a bowl and mix until all the flour is hydrated. Cover and set aside at room temperature overnight.Repeat the same process for the biga. Cover and refrigerate overnight.Here is the risen biga.The next day, when you are ready to bake, place the soaker and starter into a large bowl.Add the remaining ingredients and stir until a shaggy dough forms.Knead until a smooth, tacky but not sticky dough forms. Place in a greased bowl until the dough doubles its volume. Here it is.

Turn the dough out and shape into a boule.Place the boule onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside to proof. When the dough is almost finished proofing, preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a baking stone inside; prepare for steam baking.Here is the proofed boule. Slash as desired. Place into the oven and steam. Turn down the oven to 450 degrees. Bake until a lovely brown and a thermometer inserted registers at least 200 degrees. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Slice and enjoy!