Thursday, June 23, 2011

chocolate peanut butter cake

Tartine's Chocolate Chiffon Cake, with peanut butter chocolate ganache and peanut butter cream cheese frosting, as mentioned in this post.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake, taken from the Tartine Bakery cookbook (10-inch by 3-inch) (I used this cake pan)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (40g)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300g)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
6 large egg yolks (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup water
zest from 2 small or 1 medium lemon
10 large egg whites (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake or springform pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper cut to fit exactly; don’t grease the pan.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the salt and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, and water. Make a well in the flour, add the yolk mixture, and then whisk thoroughly and quickly for about 1 minutes until very smooth.

In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar slowly while beating on medium-high speed until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks. Add a third of the egg whites and fold into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top if necessary. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once completely cool, run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake an then release and lift off the pan sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment

(I didn't use a springform pan, and I probably should have lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or a cooking spray. Also, the cake took a little longer to bake. I had to test it 5 times before I was satisfied with the fork/toothpick.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache, influenced by Tartine and this recipe.

12oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used E. Guittard chocolate wafers/coins)
~3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used an actual spoon, not a measuring tablespoon.)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Heat the chocolate and peanut butter together in a double boiler until melted, then remove from heat and add heavy cream, stirring until incorporated. Use while still warm.
(I reheated a little to help it incorporate better. To be honest, I forgot to add the heavy cream until after I'd already used like 1/3 of the mixture, so I only used ~1 cup heavy cream after all.)

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, mostly from this recipe.
10oz. cream cheese, room temp.
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (I used ~3 heaping tablespoonfuls-- once again, using a regular tablespoon rather than a measuring tablespoon)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.

Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

(This may have worked out better without an electric mixer, as it was a messy ordeal with the powdered sugar, but it still turned out well. It may have been a little too sweet, so maybe I didn't need all 5 cups of sugar... though the sugar helps the frosting retain its structure. The cake tasted awesome cold, though. I think the frosting was better after refrigerated.)


I only sliced the baked cake into 2 layers, rather than three.

I spread the ganache between the cake layers, then used it as a crumb coat on/around the entire cake. (Spread like frosting, in order to pick up the crumbs that the cake will inevitably shed before layering on the frosting, which looks better when it's not unintentionally speckled with cake crumbs.)

I then placed cake in refrigerator while making the frosting so that the chocolate would have cooled/stiffened enough before added the frosting.

Once frosted, the cake was ridiculously decadent.
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lattice-topped strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with a latticed top-crust, as mentioned in the previous post.

Adapted from two recipes, as well as users' comments:
Food Network: Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Epicurious: Lattice Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Epicurious Comment:

Delish - Huge hit at my office. It was all gone in record time. Only use 1/2 teaspoon of cinn. and use 4 cups of rhubarb and 4 cups of strawberries and leave sugar amounts as receipe states. Use a heaping 1/4 cup of cornstarch for a nice thicker texture. Mix filling and let stand for 1 hour. Drain juice and reduce in a pan over low heat and reincorporate into filling right before putting it in the crust. After you finish the lattice top chill the pie for 15 minutes or so before baking. Bake tented with foil at 350 for 20 minutes then 40 minutes at 400. Uncover and bake until crust is golden (aprox. 20 more minutes). Make sure you place a pan lined in foil on the bottom rack to catch the drippings.

by Husberi from Seattle, WA on 07/09/09

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (including own comments)

~2.5 cups chopped red rhubarb (used 4 stalks of even thickness, 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices)
~2.5 cups cut strawberries (used ~3 small green baskets-worth from the farmers' market)
1/2 or 1/3 cup white sugar (used just over 1/3 cup Wholesome Sweeteners evaporated cane juice Organic Sugar)
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark (results in slightly different flavor) (used Trader Joe's brown sugar)
2 tbsp Minute tapioca (will result in small tapioca pearls unless ground) (ground ~1/2 cup in an electric coffee/spice grinder ahead of time)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest (didn't exactly measure... from 1/2 medium lemon)
1/2 tsp lemon juice (I may have added extra, probably amounting to just under 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (used Penzey's China Cinnamon--may have added an extra tiny pinch)
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 9-inch pie crusts (used the recipe from the Tartine Bakery cookbook for flaky tart dough, prepared before preparing the filling)

Mix filling and let stand for one hour.
(I continued stirring/folding from bottom for about an hour while watching an episode of Friday Night Lights, while waiting for the crust dough to refrigerate. I made sure that filling was always covered in juice to allow flavor to remain consistent throughout filling... even though this may have been unnecessary. But it smelled amazing, so it was totally worth it.)

Drain juice and reduce in a pan over low heat. Reincorporate filling right before putting in the crust.

(It was hard to drain the juice, and there wasn't much left after it was reduced. And it was already pretty thick to begin with. Might wait to add tapioca and flour until this step next time. I only added the reduced juice on top of the filling when already in bottom crust, then spread around the top a little. I had too much filling to fit in the pie, so I sautéed some of it in the reduction pan, and shoved the rest in a makeshift galette/turnover using excess pie dough.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Latticed the top crust, starting with the two longest strips criss-crossed across the center. (I used this tutorial). Used remnants of filling juice (from original bowl, not pan) to help adhere the strips to the bottom crust. Trimmed edges by running a paring knife along the edge of the 9-inch Pyrex pie plate. Used remnants of filling juice as a glaze, then sprinkled thoroughly with turbinado sugar. May mix a little cinnamon with the sugar next time.

Place pie on a parchment paper-lined pan, then place in oven.
(Used the middle rack position in the oven.)

Bake with tented foil
(loosely covered, pretty much) at 350°F for 20 minutes, 400°F for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake until crust is golden (~15 to 20 more minutes).
(I followed this carefully. I think I only needed the 15 minutes.)

Let cool on wire rack or stove grates, then serve.
(Made in the afternoon, before dinner. Reheated for ~5-7 minutes at 350°F. We served ours with Clover whipped cream. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It still tasted fantastic cold.)

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

strawberry-rhubarb pie ♥

Over a week since my last blog post? Man, I'm really slacking again.

At this point in my life, I am in the third week of my internship. F&G are on vacation after tomorrow's show, so I don't have to go in on Friday... or for another week and a Monday after that. A week-and-a-half off already?! A'ight. I can dig it.

Now where did I leave off?


House of Prime Rib for James' birthday was absolutely glorious. All of us, besides Tim, ordered the King Henry VIII cut, which is served still on the bone. I ordered mine medium rare. It was juicy, flavorful, meaty, and delicious. It was swimming in flavor. There was Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, and mashed or baked potato. I ordered the baked potato, which came with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits.

Phenomenal. I loved everything about the place, even the fact that it seemed to be a huge attraction for Asians. Seriously. Asians everywhere. Eating there, working there... We all thought it was hilarious-- since we're azn and all... except for our token white boy, Tim.


The next day, I got to work on James' strawberry-rhubarb birthday pie. I decided to be adventurous and created my own version of the recipe by combining two separate recipes and a very helpful user comment. I decided to really be risk-taker by making my first lattice-top pie.

And it turned out perfect. Absolutely perfect. I'll have to start putting recipes up on this blog sooner or later. Hell, I still need to properly type that recipe up. I have it written with all of my comments, but it's still just chilling in the kitchen. (06/23/11 Update: The recipe can be found HERE)

mm... yummy. I'm so making this again. We nom'd it so hard. It was good.


Besides the awesomeness of pie, big brother and I got Little Star pizza for our 'Friday Night Lights' Friday. Delicious and filling, and the caprese salad was pretty kick-ass, as well.

I've also now ordered my Palladium boots and reserved our Harry Potter VII:2 tickets. Yay!

In addition to all of the above, I've started playing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on the PS3. It's great, and I love it.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

nom nom nom

First week of work was awesome. Today, as well. (super tired, though) But I kinda love my job and my coworkers.

The night of the last post's fruit galettes, ratatouille was also made. (yum!) but not by me-- my sister and brother-in-law were the co-chefs of this dish. I just helped to slice/chop bell peppers, etc.

Friday was my sister's birthday, so her husband and she went on a weekend getaway to Ukiah. Spent the weekend with my brother, and we ended up getting sushi twice-- once at Hotei, and once at its sister restaurant Ebisu... Super delicious double hamachi roll, which can be ordered at both restaurants. (We also got pizza at Milano Pizzeria, where they have pretty damn decent pizza and really good garlic bread-- with cheese.)

Hit up the farmers market yesterday morning to pick up ingredients for dinner, dessert and tomorrow's pie.

Chicken pot pie for dinner (with help from my brother, and with the use of Tartine's flaky tart dough recipe) (Update 07/03/11: the recipe for chicken pot pie can be found here)

Birthday cake for dessert (Tartine chocolate chiffon cake layers, peanut butter chocolate ganache, peanut butter cream cheese frosting). You are still very welcome, dear sister. <3

(06/23/11 Update: The recipe for the cake can be found here)

Strawberry rhubarb pie will be made either tomorrow or Wednesday for my brother's birthday. :)
But first, we're going to House of Prime Rib tonight to celebrate.

I've just realized that the post times are wrong for these posts. I'm three hours behind, here, but my Google/Blogger account doesn't seem to have realized that yet... and I don't really feel like changing it.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

tartine fruit galettes

Worth the trouble. Definitely. The galette pictured below is the single cherry-lemon galette with yellow peach of my twelve-galette batch. The cherry-lemon galettes alone are amazing.

Fruit Galettes
From Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
Makes 2 large or 12 small galettes

• 455g unsalted butter, very cold
• 1 cup water
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 5 cups all purpose flour

• About 6 cups fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, berries, sautéed apples or pears – your choice), cut up if necessary
• Granulated sugar

Egg wash
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon cream
• Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1. To make the dough, cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and put them in the freezer. Measure the water, dissolve the salt into it and put into the freezer as well. Chill both for about 10 minutes.

2. Measure the flour onto a large, flat work surface and spread into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss a little flour over the butter so that your rolling pin won’t stick, and begin rolling. When the butter starts flattening out into long, thin pieces, use a bench scraper to scoop up the sides of the rectangle so that it is the size that you started with. Repeat the rolling and scraping 3 or 4 times.

(I used the kitchen table for the dough ordeal. It was seriously messy and time-investing.)

3. Make a well in the center and pour all of the water into it. Using the bench scraper, scoop the sides of the dough into the center, cutting the water through the dough. Keep scraping and cutting until the dough is a shaggy mass and shape into a rectangle.

4. Lightly dust the top with flour and roll out the rectangle until it is half as large again, then scrape the top, bottom and sides together to the original size and re-roll. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you have a smooth and cohesive dough. Transfer rectangle of dough to a large baking sheet
(I lined my baking sheets with parchment paper), cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.

5. While the dough is chilling, prepare the fruit. Hull berries, pit the peaches and cut into eighths, etc depending on the fruit you are using.

6. When you are ready to roll the dough, divide it into 2 equal portions if making large galettes or 12 equal portions for small ones. Roll the dough into circle shapes by rolling from the center to each end, not flattening the end points. Turn the pastry so the flattened out corners are at the top and bottom. Again, roll from the center towards the points nearest and farthest to you, stopping short of the top and bottom. Roll the thicker areas and you will begin to see a circle forming. Transfer to baking sheets and chill for 10 minutes.

7. Fill the center of each dough circle with fruit, leaving a 5cm edge uncovered on the large galettes or a 2cm edge on the small ones. Taste the fruit for sweetness and determine how much sugar you want to use to sweeten it. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, typically using 2-4 tablespoons for large galettes and 1-2 teaspoons for each small.
(I glazed the fruit with my lemon-sugar glaze, found at the bottom of the post, rather than adding sugar to fruit.) Fold in the sides of the circle to cover the fruit partially. Chill for another 10 minutes.

8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375ºF. To make the egg wash, whisk egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Crush the egg wash over the pastry edges and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
(I favor a lemon-sugar glaze over the egg wash for my galettes. It also means that I don't really need to add sugar to the fruit fillings, because glazing both the fruit and the dough with a mixture of lemon juice and turbinado sugar adds enough sweetness alone. The lemon-sugar glaze, however, burns more easily when pooled on the baking sheet. The process for making the glaze can be found at the bottom of this post, under Cherry-Lemon Filling.)

9. Bake the galettes until the crust has visibly puffed and baked to dark brown and the juice from the fruit is bubbling inside – 45-60 minutes for large galettes and 40-50 minutes for small galettes. Rotate the baking sheets at the midway point to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and serve hot or at room temperature.

My galette varieties:
Cherry-lemon galettes (the original cherry-lemon filling, described below)
Yellow peach galette, with lemon-sugar glaze.
Cherry-lemon galette with glazed yellow peach.
Apple-lemon galette, with glaze and leftover rind/juice from cherry-lemon filling.
Apple galette, with glaze.
Mango galette, with glaze. (frozen mango from Trader Joes)
Blueberry galette, with glaze. (frozen blueberries from Trader Joes)

I defrost my frozen galettes for about an hour (baking them directly out of the freezer didn't work very well for me) before glazing and baking at 375°F for 40 minutes. They didn't turn out very well when I tried to bake or convection them in the toaster oven, so I just stick to the real oven when baking these delicious pastries.

Cherry-Lemon Filling

Slice 1 (smaller) lemon paper-thin, removing seeds. (I stuck the lemon in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to stiffen, then cut off the ends before slicing in half length-wise, giving myself a flat lemon surface to lay on the cutting board.)
Soak slices in a non-metal bowl for at least 2-3 hours (I soaked mine overnight for ~16 hours) in ~1 cup turbinado sugar.
Pit cherries & mix with lightly drained lemon slices. (I used a slotted wooden spoon to move/drain lemon slices.)
Retain lemon-sugar juice separately as a glaze (on crust and/or on fruit-- good replacement for tablespoons of sugar).

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