Archive for August, 2009

Dobos Torta

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One of the thing I love about being a DB is the chance of making  multi layer cakes as challenges, which normally I tried to avoid, because no matter how easy the recipes are, they need a lot of time, patience and high synchronisation of hands and mind… the last point is really not my strongest character ;) … so please my fellow DB’ers except me for my clumbsiness and approve my humble dobos tortas just as they are and hopefully my skill of making and decorating layer cake will become better in years to come :P

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The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

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Equipment

  • 2 baking sheets
  • 9” (23cm) springform tin and 8” cake tin, for templates
  • mixing bowls (1 medium, 1 large)
  • a sieve
  • a double boiler (a large saucepan plus a large heat-proof mixing bowl which fits snugly over the top of the pan)
  • a small saucepan
  • a whisk (you could use a balloon whisk for the entire cake, but an electric hand whisk or stand mixer will make life much easier)
  • metal offset spatula
  • sharp knife
  • a 7 1/2” cardboard cake round, or just build cake on the base of a sprinfrom tin.
  • piping bag and tip, optional

Prep times

  • Sponge layers 20 mins prep, 40 mins cooking total if baking each layer individually.
  • Buttercream: 20 mins cooking. Cooling time for buttercream: about 1 hour plus 10 minutes after this to beat and divide.
  • Caramel layer: 10-15 minutes.
  • Assembly of whole cake: 20 minutes

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

  • a 7” cardboard round
  • 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9″ (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn’t touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner’s (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don’t have a mixer.)

4.In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 2/3 cup (81g) of confectioner’s (icing)sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the beaten whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder, leaving a few wisps of white visible. Combine the flour and salt. Sift half the flour over the eggs, and fold in; repeat with the remaining flour.
5.Line one of the baking sheets with a circle-marked paper. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 3/4cup of the batter in an even layer, filling in the traced circle on one baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 5 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed gently in the centre and the edges are lightly browned. While this cake bakes, repeat the process on the other baking sheet, placing it on the centre rack. When the first cake is done, move the second cake to the top rack. Invert the first cake onto a flat surface and carefully peel off the paper. Slide the cake layer back onto the paper and let stand until cool. Rinse the baking sheet under cold running water to cool, and dry it before lining with another parchment. Continue with the remaining papers and batter to make a total of six layers. Completely cool the layers. Using an 8″ springform pan bottom or plate as a template, trim each cake layer into a neat round. (A small serrated knife is best for this task.)

Directions for the chocolate buttercream:

NB. This can be prepared in advance and kept chilled until required.

1.Prepare a double-boiler: quarter-fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
2.Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thickened, about five minutes. You can use a balloon whisk or electric hand mixer for this.
3.Fit bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan (water should not touch bowl) and lower the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes until you see it starting to thicken a bit. Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and cook, stirring, for a further 2-3 minutes.
4.Scrape the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and leave to cool to room temperature. It should be quite thick and sticky in consistency.
5.When cool, beat in the soft butter, a small piece (about 2 tablespoons/30g) at a time. An electric hand mixer is great here, but it is possible to beat the butter in with a spatula if it is soft enough. You should end up with a thick, velvety chocolate buttercream. Chill while you make the caramel topping.

Lorraine’s note: If you’re in Winter just now your butter might not soften enough at room temperature, which leads to lumps forming in the buttercream. Male sure the butter is of a very soft texture I.e. running a knife through it will provide little resistance, before you try to beat it into the chocolate mixture. Also, if you beat the butter in while the chocolate mixture is hot you’ll end up with more of a ganache than a buttercream!

Directions for the caramel topping:

1.Choose the best-looking cake layer for the caramel top. To make the caramel topping: Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Place the reserved cake layer on the paper. Score the cake into 12 equal wedges. Lightly oil a thin, sharp knife and an offset metal spatula.
2.Stir the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved into a smooth syrup, turn the heat up to high and boil without stirring, swirling the pan by the handle occasionally and washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush until the syrup has turned into an amber-coloured caramel.
3.The top layer is perhaps the hardest part of the whole cake so make sure you have a oiled, hot offset spatula ready. I also find it helps if the cake layer hasn’t just been taken out of the refrigerator. I made mine ahead of time and the cake layer was cold and the toffee set very, very quickly—too quickly for me to spread it. Immediately pour all of the hot caramel over the cake layer. You will have some leftover most probably but more is better than less and you can always make nice toffee pattern using the extra to decorate. Using the offset spatula, quickly spread the caramel evenly to the edge of the cake layer. Let cool until beginning to set, about 30 seconds. Using the tip of the hot oiled knife (keep re-oiling this with a pastry brush between cutting), cut through the scored marks to divide the caramel layer into 12 equal wedges. Cool another minute or so, then use the edge of the knife to completely cut and separate the wedges using one firm slice movement (rather than rocking back and forth which may produce toffee strands). Cool completely.

Assembling the Dobos

1.Divide the buttercream into six equal parts.
2.Place a dab of chocolate buttercream on the middle of a 7 1/2” cardboard round and top with one cake layer. Spread the layer with one part of the chocolate icing. Repeat with 4 more cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the sides of the cake.
3.Optional: press the finely chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake.
4.Propping a hazelnut under each wedge so that it sits at an angle, arrange the wedges on top of the cake in a spoke pattern. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can pipe rosettes under each hazelnut or a large rosette in the centre of the cake. Refrigerate the cake under a cake dome until the icing is set, about 2 hours. Let slices come to room temperature for the best possible flavour.

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Scallion Cream Cheese Viennese

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From the last post I still half batch extra Viennese dough, my craving still hasn’t move from the cheese area… this time I used cream cheese to fill in the dough kneaded in scallions.I’m a scallions addict I eat chopped scallions with almost everything savory :)

If you dont like the strong aroma you can opted the scallions with chives.

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I’m sending the above picture to Jugalbandi for CLICK-August

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Cheese Sesame Sticks

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The weather here  is finally shown it’s mercy by going down a little. Now,  it’s not to hard for me to start to have good baking days again.

I tried this Nigella’s recipe that suggested a nearly authentic result of Viennese but in a much quicker way. I had some Parmigiano-Reggiano that I want to finish  use and Iwant to make something buttery to nibble, so cheese sesame sticks came in mind.

The result was good, but.. it’s not the real thing, I guess the method on how you distribute the butter in the dough kind of play a big role on the final taste.  I was happy, but next time I going to stick to the old method of making Viennese.

Also I’m sending the sticks to the YeastSpoting over at Susan of  WildYeast

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Food Processor Danish Pastry
Resource: How to Be a Domestic Goddess- Nigella Lawson
 
Ingredients
 
60ml warm water
125ml milk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
250g white bread flour
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
25g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
 
Directions
 
Pour the water and milk into a measuring jug and add the egg, beating with a fork to mix. Put aside. Put flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a food processor and give a quick whizz, just to mix. Add the cold slices of butter and process briefly so that the butter is cut up a little, though you still want visitble chunks of at least 1cm. Empty the contents of the food processor into a large bowl and quickly add the contents of the jug. Fold the ingredients together, but don’t overdo it; expect to have a gooey mess with some butter lumps pebbled through it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in the frige and leave overnight or a few days.
To turn it into pastry, take it out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature and roll it out to a 50x50cm square. Fold the dough square into thirds, like a business letter, turning it afterwards so that the closed fold is on your left, like the spine of a book. Roll out again to a 50cm square, repeating the steps above 3 times. Cut in half, wrap both pieces and store in the fridge for 30 minutes before using, or the freezer to store.

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Banana Cherry Ricotta Ice Cream for Rita

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The last but not least on the series is  a world citizen, Rita from Clumbsy Cookie. She not only talented but her ideas… sometimes just make you wonder, maybe she came from another planet.. :D She’s kind, happy go lucky person and I think she loves the beach as much as I do. I could go on braging about her but the fact she even has an admirer who host a full blog dedicated to her… says it all ;)

For Rita, I made Banana and Cherry Chunks Ricotta Ice-cream.. andtake make my word this combinations is soooo delicious… and if you want to try my favorite ice cream from Rita’s recipe, you can read it here.

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What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
 Do my hands count as  gadget? I love to use them! Other than that I can’t actually choose just one! It’s a close tie between my stand mixer, my digital scale, my microplane grater and my scraper!

What are your favorite drinks?
Besides water, I love lattes and milkshakes.
 
What is your favorite dessert?
My favourite thing to eat is probably ice cream! But I can’t pick one!
 
What are your favorite  herbs/spices?
I adore herbs and spices! I’ll pick rosemary, basil, thyme and mint for the herbs and tonka beans, cardamom, vanilla, cinammon and chinese 5 spice for the spices.
 
What are your favorite fruits?
Cherries! Also bananas, strawberries and pineapple.

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