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May 27, 2015
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Baked: Browned Butter-Green Tea Cake

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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This loaf is simply scrumptious. Browned butter and vibrant matcha powder elevate a humble, classic pound cake to a nutty, more elegant counterpart. This dense loaf tastes better the day after its baked and the flavors have a chance to develop, so try to show restraint. A dish like this works for any time of day. It’s fabulous at breakfast or brunch; I’ve served it in the afternoon with tea, too. You can even slice and wrap leftovers and freeze them up to a month, then thaw on a whim and serve with ice cream for a simple, quick dessert.

 

Browned Butter Green Tea Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 1 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan

½ cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 scant Tbsp. matcha powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
1¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml.) heavy cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan.
• In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan, swirling occasionally, until it the solids begin to brown and it smells nutty, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale, about 1 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract until incorporated, then the heavy cream. Use a spatula to gently fold in the in the dry ingredients. Fold in half the browned butter until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining butter.
• Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the top of the cake browns too quickly, tent the top with foil.)
• Let the cake cool completely, then gently remove from the loaf pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 12 to 24 hours before serving.

Baked: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

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I know it is way past Valentine’s Day, but red velvet never goes out of style. You are warned: These muffins are so delicious, it will be very hard to eat just one. They are incredibly soft and fluffy with a tangy cream cheese center that melts in your mouth. This is an irresistible recipe, even for those who aren’t fans of red velvet. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from Averie Cooks 
12 servings

1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp. red food coloring
1¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. coarse salt
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cold butter, diced

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar, the buttermilk, canola oil, egg and food coloring. Add 1¼ cups flour, the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and whisk gently until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Set batter aside.
• In another bowl, mix the cream cheese, ¼ cup sugar and vanilla extract together until combined.
• Pour 2/3 cup batter into each muffin cup. Add a small dollop of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each batter-filled cup and use a toothpick to swirl the cream cheese a little. Set aside.
• In another bowl, cut the butter together with the remaining ¼ cup sugar and remaining ¼ cup flour until the mixture is crumbly and the butter forms pea-sized pieces. Divide the crumb mixture evenly over the tops of the muffins.
• Bake 17 to 19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool completely before serving.

 

Baked: Chocolate Cherry Cake

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

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I made this simple cake for a friend who loves chocolate-covered cherries. Though it’s never been my favorite combination, they complement each other well, and this cake tempers the sweetness with strong brewed coffee and tart buttermilk. Frozen cherries add a nice tang to the chocolate, too. This rich cake is ideal paired with a post-dinner glass of red wine and great conversation. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate Cherry Cake
Adapted from Lady and Pups
Makes 1 9-inch cake

1 cup sugar
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
¾ cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. plus a pinch kosher salt, divided
8 oz. frozen, pitted cherries, thawed and roughly chopped
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
Chocolate shavings or sprinkles, for garnish

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan or cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the canola oil, coffee, buttermilk, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and ¾ teaspoon salt until just combined, then fold in the cherries. Pour the batter into the pie pan.
• Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, prepare the ganache by bringing the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate chips and the remaining pinch of salt. Remove from heat, cover and let rest 2 minutes. Whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. Let cool completely.
• Turn the cake out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Drizzle with the cool ganache and garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles before serving.

Baked: Green Tea Nun’s Puffs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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The moment I read about Nun’s Puffs, I knew I had to make them. Also known as Pets de Nonne or Nun’s Farts (yes, really), they practically melt in your mouth and look like individual Dutch babies: soft, fluffy and egg-y.

Typically these are served as a savory breakfast treat with jams or honey. I wanted to try them as a dessert, though, so I added some sugar to the dough. Since these were served after an Asian-inspired meal, I carried that influence to dessert by adding matcha powder and sprinkling it with black sesame seeds. A final flourish of pearl sugar added the best crunch.

You could very easily eat all of these in one sitting. They are that addictive. The dough is essentially a pâte à choux – the same dough for cream puffs and éclairs – only five or so ingredients. Feel free to omit the sugar and smear some honey instead for breakfast instead of dessert. These delightful little puffs are best eaten still warm from the oven. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Matcha Nun’s Puffs
Adapted from Olga’s Flavor Factory
Makes 12

½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup minus 1 Tbsp. flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. matcha powder, sifted
4 eggs
Coarse or pearl sugar for sprinkling
Black sesame seeds for sprinkling

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, milk and sugar until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the flour and matcha powder until a dough forms.
• Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat in the eggs 1 at a time until the dough is smooth and lighter.
• Divide the dough evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and black sesame seeds. Bake 30 minutes, until puffed and golden on the edges.
• Let cool slightly (they will deflate as they cool) and serve warm.

Baked: Chocolate-Orange Loaf with Greek Yogurt Sauce

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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Sometimes the best recipes are born from random ingredients in my refrigerator. During a recent healthy kick, I purchased a big container of Greek yogurt. I wanted to try a simple, citrus-y sauce that would pair well with a dessert. I started experimenting and later paired this tangy sauce with a chocolate-orange loaf, a perfect fudgy vehicle for my creation. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate-Orange Loaf with Greek Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
Makes 1 loaf

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
½ cup plus 5 Tbsp. butter, softened, divided
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla or orange extract
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
¾ cup thick Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1¼ cup powdered sugar

• Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a standard loaf pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, rub the brown sugar, white sugar and orange together with your fingers
• Use a hand mixer to cream ½ cup butter into the sugar on high speed at least 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla or orange extract and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the buttermilk.
• Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined and no streaks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
• Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and honey on high speed at least 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
• Beat in the Greek yogurt and orange juice until smooth, then add the powdered sugar into the mixture until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
• To serve, slice the cake and drizzle with the yogurt sauce or serve it on the side.

Baked: Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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I came up with this when my fiancee and I found some brie in our fridge. It didn’t appear to be spoiled, but we couldn’t remember how old it was and didn’t relish the idea of eating it raw, so we decided to bake it instead. While his favorite party dish is brie wrapped in pastry dough with cranberries and pecans, I wanted to try something new. I also really wanted to try out my new Staub baking dish, and so a new chicken potpie was born.

This recipe comes together in 10 minutes thanks to precooked chicken and only requires another 30 minutes in the oven. The apples add a mild sweetness, the crust has a great crunch, and the brie provides a gooey, decadent surprise. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chicken Potpie with Apples and Brie
8 to 10 servings

2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large crisp apple, peeled, cored and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. flour
¾ cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
8 oz. brie, sliced
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
• In large skillet over medium heat, saute the shallots in the butter until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
• Sprinkle the apples with the flour and stir to coat the mixture. Add the stock and reduce the heat to low. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let the mixture simmer 1 to 2 minutes until just thickened. Remove from the heat.
• Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie dish. Cover the top with the slices of brie, then cover with the puff pastry sheets and trim the edges. Brush the top with egg yolk, then poke a hole in the center of the crust to vent.
• Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake another 15 minutes until the puff pastry is browned and bubbling at the edges. Let cool 5 minutes, then serve.

 

 

Baked: Vanilla Bean Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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We’re eating snickerdoodles for days here on Baked. Last time I showed you berry potpie with a snickerdoodle crust, and today, I have another way to use up that leftover cookie dough (with instructions on how to make more, in case yours disappeared somehow).

This is the simplest from-scratch vanilla pudding in the world, and its flavor is to die for – especially when spiked with a bit of rum. Snickerdoodle crumbs hidden at the bottom add surprise spice and crunch. Make them well in advance of your next dinner party and garnish each with a cookie on top just before serving. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Very Vanilla Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
4 servings

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
2 2/3 cup almond milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
A splash of rum
4 Snickerdoodle Cookies, plus crumbs (Recipe follows)

• In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, salt and egg until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the 2 cups almond milk and the vanilla bean to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
• Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the rum. Set aside.
• Add a layer of snickerdoodle cookie crumbs to the bottom of 4 dessert cups. Divide the pudding evenly between the cups. If you don’t like pudding skin, lightly press plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours, until set. Garnish each with a snickerdoodle cookie and serve.

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● Roll pieces of dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool completely.

 

 

Baked: Snickerdoodle Berry Potpie

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

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I recently opened my freezer and found it overflowing with cookie dough. Rather than make yet another batch of cookies, I decided to get creative with a fruity dessert version of a potpie.

The result: a simple berry pie filling topped with a giant snickerdoodle. The sweet cookie’s crisp edges give way to a soft, doughy center covering bright, cinnamon-spiked berries soaked in mascarpone and maple syrup.

A quick note: You will have leftover dough, especially if you make your cookie top on the thinner side. Keep an eye out for the next Baked column on Feb. 18 for more ideas of how to use it. Enjoy and happy baking!

 
Snickerdoodle Berry Potpie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
1 cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ lbs. mixed blueberries and raspberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● In another large mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone, maple syrup and the vanilla extract together until combined. Fold the berries into the mixture and pour into a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
● Roll the dough out onto parchment paper into a 9-inch round about ½-inch thick. Lift the parchment paper and flip the dough over onto the pie pan and peel away the parchment. Tuck the edges of the dough into the pie pan and trim any excess. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are nicely browned. Let cool and serve.

Baked: Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Roll

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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Red velvet is hands-down my favorite cake. As much as I love a classic, fudgy chocolate cake, there’s no denying that a tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement to a velvety, lighter chocolate cake.

But as much as I love red velvet, I’m sick to death of standard layer cakes and cupcakes, so I opted to roll this one up instead. While some of the cake fell apart, any mishaps were smothered under a layer of peppermint-tinged frosting. This recipe is also a great way to use up any leftover candy canes still lingering after the holidays. Crush them up and store them in a jar for recipes like these. The result is a delicious and stunning cake with a lovely minty aftertaste that would make for a lovely Valentine’s treat.

 

Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Roll
Adapted from a recipe on The Kitchn
6 to 8 servings

1 cup cake flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
⅔ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. red food coloring
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. vinegar
2 cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 Tbsp. milk
Crushed peppermint candy for garnish

● Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
● In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. and salt in a bowl.
● In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the vegetable oil and sugar on medium speed until well blended, then beat in the egg. With machine on low speed, slowly add red food coloring and vanilla until mixed.
● Add half the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk until mixed thoroughly. Add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, scraping down the bowl until combined. Turn off machine.
● Place the baking soda in a small dish and stir in the vinegar. Add the mixture to the batter with the machine running on low until combined.
● Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed. The cake should bounce back when you lightly press the top.
● Spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter and dust with powdered sugar. Flip the hot pan over to turn the cake out onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper. Dust the cake with more powdered sugar, then use the towel to carefully roll the hot cake into a spiral starting from the short side. Let cool wrapped in the towel, about 1 hour.
● Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, milk and peppermint extract until combined. Set frosting aside.
● Carefully unroll the cake and spread with a ½-inch thick layer of frosting. Carefully roll the cake up again and gently move to a serving plate. Spread the remainder of the frosting all over the top of the cake, covering any cracks that may appear. Garnish with crushed peppermint candy.

Baked: Earl Grey Caramel Cake

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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This cake is deceptive. It’s so simple to make, yet it tastes unbelievably delicious and moist thanks to homemade caramel poured over the top. This recipe looks like it would be exceptionally sweet, but I added some herbal, savory elements like Earl Grey tea leaves, bergamot extract and some orange zest to keep the flavors balanced. Of course, if your sweet tooth won’t be denied, this recipe is divine as a simple caramel cake. Either way, it’s irresistible. If you really want to take the caramel goodness to the next level, poke holes in the cooled cake just before glazing and let the sauce seep into every pore. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Earl Grey Caramel Cake
Adapted from Epicurious
Makes 1 8-inch square cake

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted softened butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. plus a pinch kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. ground Earl Grey leaves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. bergamot extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup shaken buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

• Preheat the oven to 350 and position a rack in the middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan, line the bottom with a square of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
• In a mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, tea leaves and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and orange zest on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes, then beat in the bergamot. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until combined. On low speed, beat the buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled), then add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing on low speed until each addition is just incorporated.
• Pour the batter evenly in the cake pan, then rap the pan on counter several times to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan, invert the cake onto rack and discard parchment. Flip the cake right-side up and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
• Make the glaze by bringing the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup and remaining pinch of salt to a boil in a 1½-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the glaze reaches 210 degrees, about 12 to 14 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
• Place the cooling rack with the cake in a shallow baking pan. Pour the hot glaze on top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Let cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

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