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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Monthly Archives: February 2009

(aka Chocolate Salt Caramel Cake)

 

This cake took a long time to make…a loooongg time.  I’m not sure if it was just me, or if it really does take over 3 hours to make, but regardless, the three hours were well spent; the cake is DELICIOUS.  I’m definitely a fan of the salty/sweet fare, and if you are, as well, you’ll love Baked’s Sweet and Salty Cake.

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I’ve wanted to make palmiers for a long time.  I’ve seen them in many french bakeries, so I always assumed that they were very complicated to make and required a great deal of technical skill.  Much to my surprise, they are one of the easiest cookies I’ve made, yet they taste so delicious and look so impressive.

Palmiers 

ingredients

1 package good quality, all-butter puff pastry (this is CRUCIAL)

3/4 cup sugar (or more)

instructions: PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 DEGREES

1.  defrost puff pastry.  pour 1/2 cup sugar onto clean work surface and put dough on top.  roll out into an 8 x 12-inch rectangle.  cover (not sprinkle) with more sugar

2.  roll the the left vertical side into the middle, then roll the right side to the middle.

3.  cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

4.  cut the dough into 1/2-inch thick slices.  place on baking sheet covered with parchement paper or silpat.  

5.  sprinkle with more sugar. (Yes, it seems like so much sugar, but the goal is for the dough to absorb as much sugar as possible during the process, because the sugar caramelizes while baking, providing a shiny, golden glaze, as well as a buttery, caramel flavor.)

6.  bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they have expanded and the dough has puffed, and they are golden brown on the sides.  (you will think they look too white on the side facing up, but once you flip the cookies to transfer them, the golden, caramel colored side will be revealed)

7.  transfer cookies to a wire rack.  let cool and ENJOY.

Sunday night, instead of watching the superbowl, I decided to bake…I couldn’t think of a better way to unwind after a long weekend of solo and ensemble and babysitting.  I had been looking forward to baking a special cake all weekend, but little did I know the pans that I needed were 8-inch pans, and I only had 9-inch pans.  After a previous fiasco caused by using the wrong size cake pan, I decided that I had better not test my luck.  Instead, I decided to do what I had been longing to do for years (since I finally had my mother’s approval…thanks mommy!) – bake without a recipe.  I know, I know…baking is a science!  I’ve been told so by my chemistry teacher, by my mother, and I have even read it in cookbooks, but regardless, I was determined to create my own recipe.  I suppose I didn’t exactly create my own recipe, rather I baked without a recipe, relying on my previous encounters with the chocolate chip cookie to guide me.  This recipe is likely a combination of a multitude of chocolate chip cookie recipes:  Tate’s Bakeshop’s cookie, Baked’s cookie, Tyler Florence’s cookie, etc., plus a few additions (and substitutions) of my own.  I just followed my instincts and the result was a crispy, delightfully sweet, and slightly salty cookie.

Katharine’s Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ingredients – 

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1.5 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut

2 cups of flour

1 cup of light brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 3/4 cup of chocolate chunks (60-70% cocoa content, I used Guittard) 

1/4 cup white chocolate chunks (I used Callebaut)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of baking soda

preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  line two baking sheets with parchement paper.

put flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  mix and set aside.

cream butter and sugars in bowl of electric mixer.  add eggs one at a time.  mix until incorporated.  mix in vanilla.  

add dry ingredients in two shifts.  mix until incorporated.

mix in coconut and chocolates (by hand).

scoop by ice cream scooper (filled with approximately 2 tablespoons dough) with release handle onto cookie sheets.  

bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.  

remove from oven.  after a few minutes, transfer to wire rack and let cool.

ENJOY!!

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