I was asked to make a Doc Mc Stuffins Birthday Cake for Mackenzie’s 4th birthday.
This year my Gramma’s birthday fell on Easter weekend. We decided to do her birthday celebration at Easter dinner. She requested a lemon cake. I thought I would try to spruce it up a tad with a new icing technique. My first attempt at a Rosette cake went pretty well. Everyone loved it!
It was tasty too! Lemon cake, lemon filling and lemon icing.
This year was my Mom’s 60th Birthday. She loves all things Irish. Her only request was a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I tried a new icing technique, but it didn’t really work out like the photo. So I tried to cover it with some Irish writing and shamrocks. Not impressed with this one, but it got rave reviews on taste!
Mom loved it, and that is what matters. Love you!!
For the March Daring bakers’ challenge, Korena from Korena in the Kitchen taught us that some treats are best enjoyed upside down. She challenged us to make a tarte tatin from scratch.
I was very excited to see this months challenge, back to desserts! The Tarte Tatin looked delicious!
As excited as I was that we were making a dessert this month, I can’t have it, blah! It is Lent and I give up all junk, (sweets, desserts, chips, pop, fast food, pizza, etc.) My baking has slowed down quite a bit over Lent, because it is all so tempting!
I didn’t want to miss this months. I decided to make a small one and if the reviews were good I would make a regular size one, when Lent was over. I cut the recipe in a third of posted recipe.
Rough Puff Pastry
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cold
¼ tsp fine salt
¼ cup (60 ml) ice cold water
1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the flour. With a pastry blender (or two table knives) cut in the butter until the mixture in crumbly but even, with pea-sized pieces of butter.
3. Make a well in the middle and pour in the ice cold water.
4. Toss the flour/butter and water together with a fork until the dough starts to clump together. Turn the dough out onto your work surface – don’t worry if there are still pockets of dry flour.
5. Gently knead and squeeze the mixture a few times just enough to bring it together into a square (a bench scraper is helpful for this). Be careful not to overwork the dough: there should be visible bits of butter and it should still look very rough.
6. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a rectangle about 10” (25 cm) long.
7. Fold the bottom third of the dough up into the middle, and fold the top third down, like you are folding a letter. This is one fold. Turn the dough a one quarter turn so that one of the open edges is facing you, and roll out again into a 10” (25 cm) rectangle. Fold again – this is the second fold. Repeat the rolling and folding 3 more times, for 5 folds total. Your dough will get smoother and neater looking with each fold (the pictures show the first and fifth folds).
The dough looks lovely, and so easy!
If your kitchen is very warm and the dough gets too soft/sticky to do all the folds at once, chill it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes between folds. After the fifth fold, use your rolling pin to tap the dough into a neat square. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for a least 1 hour, or overnight.
6 large or 7-8 medium-sized apples
Juice of half a lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use salted and skip the salt)
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
Rough Puff Pastry, above
1. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. Remove the cores in such a way that each apple quarter has a flat inner side: when placed rounded-side-up, it should sit on a flat base.
2. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup (80 ml) (2-1/2 oz) (65 gm) sugar. This will help draw out some of the moisture from the apples and prevent an overly runny caramel. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 375˚F
4. Melt the butter in a very heavy, 9” or 10” (23 cm or 24 cm) oven-proof saucepan over medium heat
5. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup sugar.
6. Stir with a whisk until the sugar melts and becomes a pale, smooth caramel. The sugar will seem dry and chunky at first, then will start to melt and smooth out. If the butter appears to separate out from the caramel, just keep whisking until it is a cohesive sauce. Remove from the heat.
And this is where the whole thing fell apart!!!
I followed the directions to the letter.
Mine appeared to ‘foam’?
Then separate, as it recipe said it might, but keep whisking, so i did!
I was excited it finally came together!
I added the apples and went to stir…
Something went wrong. It’s not caramel, it’s rock hard toffee!
Into the garbage that went….
Attempt #2 – no better
Attempt #3 – worse
I am not sure what happened. Maybe because I cut the recipe? Did anyone else half or third the recipe and have success?
I still have the lovely dough in the fridge, I may give it another try in a day or so or try something new with it.
It is frustrating when a recipe does not go as it is supposed to, but oh well! It is a challenge and I was pushed out of my comfort zone.
Thank you Korena, from Korena in the Kitchen , for the challenge. I really want to try this, yours looked delicious! Any suggestions?
The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.
I must admit I was not at all thrilled when I saw this months challenge. To me, making filled buns is not baking, its cooking. This is the Daring BAKERS not the Daring KITCHEN! I signed up to make sweets and treats, it has definitely changed over the years, soo much bread! OK, end of rant.
I had seen Siopao (Asian Filled Buns) on various food truck shows, so I kind of knew what they were.
Siopao (Asian Filled Buns)
1/4 ounce (7 gm) (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast (1 packet )
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
4 to 5 cups (20 oz to 25 oz) (560 gm to 700 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg for egg-wash for the buns
1. Mix yeast, water, sugar, melted butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Slowly mix in flour until it’s fully incorporated and you have a shaggy, very tacky dough, but not wet and sticky.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for up to an hour in warm place until doubled. While dough is rising, you can make your filling if you haven’t already pre-made it to let it cool (see recipe below).
4. Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Depending on how much flour you added, it will be somewhat tacky to pretty tacky. Fold it over several times and shape it into a smooth ball, then divide into 12 equal pieces.
5. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a disc about 6 inches (15 cm) wide.
6. Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling into the center of the disc, wrap the dough around the filling, and firmly pinch it closed over the top of the filling.
7. Place filled buns on a baking sheet and loosely cover them with plastic wrap. Let them rest for 1 hour. On the top sheet, you can see where a lot of my dough was too thin. (I miss read and didn’t let them rise the second time….oops!)
I only filled 2
The rest were just plain buns
8. Bake buns for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
These were ok. Bread was a little dense, but good flavour. I filled them with my Mom’s awesome Hamburger Dish. I only filled 2 because if I didn’t like them, I didn’t want to waste all the delicious hamburger dish. The filled ones were alright. I preferred them just plain. I may try just the buns again with the second rise, maybe they won’t be as dense.
Thanks Julie for the Challenge.