April 24, 2012
Avocado lemon poppy seed bundt with lemon glaze. The buttery creaminess of the avocado lends so much to the this cake. The cake is moist from the natural oils in the avocado, but since this recipe uses no additional oils and utilizes the creaming method, the crumb is still on the lighter side, giving it the best qualities from two types of cakes. The avocado taste is there, but subtle, and works well with the savory poppy. Lemon was an obvious flavor pairing choice and it adds the necessary brightness- the glaze really makes this cake!
Avocado Lemon PoppySeed Bundt
3/4 cup butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups sugar
Zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups of ripe avocado flesh (about 1 1/2 to 2 avocados), mashed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons poppy seeds
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease bundt pan. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl. Whisk in poppy seeds. In stand mixer using paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the lemon zest. Add the avocado and mix until smooth and well incorporated. Add the vanilla + eggs one at a time until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. With mixer on slow, begin adding dry ingredients (three additions), alternating with buttermilk + lemon juice (two additions) until JUST combined (with some flour remaining). Remove bowl from mixer and finish incorporating by hand until flour streaks are incorporated. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for approx. 45-55 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean. Cool in bundt pan on wire rack for 20 minutes, and then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
Adapted from: Joy the Baker
Powdered sugar to taste
Squeeze the lemons into a strainer over a bowl and then whisk in powdered sugar until it's the taste and consistency you prefer. Drizzle over cake.
April 17, 2012
Rhubarb is here! I love all things tart and sour. Sour Patch Kids, sour ales, kumquats, sour cherries, and rhubarb. Too bad the season for the latter two items are so short because I feel pressured into buying and consuming in bulk, and consequently end up with more belly aches than I'd like to admit. Oh well, totally worth it.
I used the same delicious buttermilk upside down cake recipe from a few posts ago to showcase the rhubarb on. The real challenge is using the rhubarb in a new visually appealing way. There are only so many patterns/baking vessel shape combinations you can use for an upside down cake, and I think this one turned out really nicely. Rectangles inside a rectangle=aesthetically pleasing. Also since they're mini, they're extra cute. The only minor disappointment was that the rhubarb I got didn't have any green in them and I think the tricolor would have made these that much prettier. This is a tender and fluffy, sweet and sour, awesome cake, and I swear I won't be eating all of the left over pieces of rhubarb currently macerating in a bowl of sugar...
Upside Down Rhubarb Cake
Buttermilk Cake Recipe
Grease and parchment four 6"x3 1/2" loaf pans. Cut rhubarb into 2 1/2" logs. Place pieces in a bowl and cover liberally coat with sugar. Allow to sit for at least half an hour, tossing the mixture every now and then. Line pieces at bottom of prepared pans and cover with cake batter.
April 10, 2012
Chocolate sable tartlets filled with kumquat infused chocolate ganache, and topped with candied kumquat slices. I am usually not a huge fan of citrus and chocolate together, but the idea behind making something new each week means I really should be pushing my personal boundaries every now and then. I mean, I didn't like grapefruit until two years ago, and now it's my absolute favorite, so I figured I may as well check in on the citrus/chocolate combo again. I also had to get a kumquat post in as their season is just now ending!
This tart, as you may have guessed it super chocolatey, but not overwhelmingly so. The usual eye watering sourness of the kumquat is both softened and sweetened by the chocolate, but the kumquat still ensures that its signature brightness shines through. I also think using kumquat instead of the typical orange gives this tart more complexity and interest. And finally, the sable has a nice saltiness that rounds out all of the flavors. I can't say I'm a complete convert, but based on others reactions, this pairing is a big success.
Chocolate Kumquat Tartlets
Makes 4 tartlets
Chocolate Sable Dough
4 ounces butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
In stand mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar. Add yolk and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add dries to mixer until just combined. Add heavy cream and turn mixer off when dough has come together. Do not over mix. Wrap and chill for an hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray tartlet shells with Pam. Roll dough out and press into tartlet shells. Dock and bake for 20 minutes or until tarts start to pull away from sides and dough is firm, yet tender like baking a cookie. Cool completely.
Kumquat Chocolate Ganache
2 tablespoons kumquat zest
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces chocolate (63% and up)
Combine cream and zest in small sauce pot. Bring to rolling boil and pour over chocolate in separate bowl. Allow mixture to sit for two minutes before mixing fully. Pour ganache into tartlet shell and place in refrigerator until ganache has set up.
12 slices of kumquat, seeds removed
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
Bring sugar and water to a boil in small sauce pot. Add kumquat and simmer on very low until kumquats are semi translucent. Remove and cool on parchment. Arrange three on top of each tartlet.
April 3, 2012
With Passover coming up this weekend, and my parents coming in for a trip to Katz's Deli, I felt inspired to make this all time favorite Jewish treat. With the rich cream cheese dough, I decided to keep it simple and only use dark chocolate as the filling. These little guys are just the perfect amount of indulgence. Although, as my dad recommended, the next time I make these, I'm going to add some raspberry to amp up the filling and give some contrasting sweetness to these creamy chocolatey delights.
Dark Chocolate Rugelach
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
In stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese and butter together. Add sugars and salt and beat until incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and then flour and mix until it just comes together. Remove dough and pat into a square. Wrap and chill for at least an hour, and up to a day.
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Whisk all ingredients together in medium bowl.
Egg Wash & Topping
1 Tablespoon cream, milk, or water
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two sheet trays with parchment. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. While rolling one, keep others chilled. On a floured surface, roll each portion out to 12"x5". Mix egg wash ingredients up and brush lightly on rolled dough. Take 1/4 of filling mixture and spread and press evenly on dough leaving half inch lip on long side clear to seal. Roll dough long side to long side, keeping seam on bottom. Cut 1 1/2" pieces (each log should yield 6 pieces) with serrated knife. Line each sheet tray with 12 pieces of rugelach, and brush each one with egg wash and sprinkle with topping. Bake for approx 30 minutes or until they are firm and golden on top and bottom. Be sure not to under bake as innermost center will remain raw. If unsure about doneness, sacrifice one and cut in half to check.
Adapted from: Serious Eats