Monday, August 27, 2012

devil's food cake with fluffy frosting

the goods:
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 and 3/4 cups sugar, divided
4 large eggs, plus 5 large egg whites, room temperature, divided
5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper, butter parchment and dust pans with cocoa. Whisk boiling water into cocoa until smooth; whisk in sour cream. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and 2 and 1/4 cups sugar on medium-high until fluffy and pale yellow. Beat in whole eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Fold in 4 teaspoons vanilla. Divide batter among pans.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer pans to wire racks and let cool completely. Remove cakes from pans and discard parchment. Trim cakes if desired.

In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together remaining 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, egg whites, and corn syrup until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; using mixer, beat on high until stiff, fluffy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold in remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Transfer a cake layer to a serving plate and top with 1 cup frosting. Stack second cake on top and cover top and sides with remaining frosting.

Monday, August 20, 2012

cherry pie with almond crumble

the goods:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, divided
6 cups drained jarred sour cherries (from three 24-ounce jars)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 homemade or store-bought pie crust (see below)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup almonds

basic pie dough:

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons very cold water

Stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into flour mixture. Add water and mix with a fork until dough pulls together.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in middle and lower thirds. In a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon flour, granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in cherries and vanilla. Brush crust with egg white and fill with cherry mixture.

In a food processor, pulse together remaining 1 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add brown sugar, butter, and almonds; pulse until large pieces form. Scatter crumble over cherry filling.

Bake on middle rack, with a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on lower rack to catch drips, until topping and crust are golden, 45 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil; bake until juices in center are bubbling, 30 to 45 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, August 13, 2012

gluten-free pecan brownies

the goods:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Whisk together cornstarch, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter and chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from side of bowl, about 2 minutes. Stir in pecans.
Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Bake about 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using paper overhang, lift cake out of pan and cut into 16 squares.

Monday, August 6, 2012

glazed citrus doodles

I have been such a bad little baker! Between travelling, camping, pink-eye, sinus infections, and trying to stay cool in 100+ heat, we've just been in survival mode! But I'm back and all is well again! I'm hoping these delicious cookies make up for my absence.
This is a fresh twist on the snickerdoodle; the cinnamon has been replaced with lemon and orange. I dare you to only eat one!

the goods:

2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest, plus 3 tablespoons orange juice (from 2 oranges)
4 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 large eggs
2 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using and electric mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon orange zest, and 2 teaspoons lemon zest on medium-high until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture; beat to combine.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until edges are lightly golden, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheet on wire rack 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Whisk together 1 tablespoon orange zest, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, citrus juices, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. With a small spoon, spread glaze over each cookie.

Let set 1 hour.

Store in an airtight container, up to 3 days.