Popovers {TWD-BWJ}

Oh, beautiful, delicious, airy, fluffy popovers! Where have you been all my life?!?

Not only had I never made a popover, until this recipe came up for Tuesdays with Dorie, I had never even tried one before. I can’t believe I have lived for 40-some years and never had the joy of tearing into one of these beauties before dinner this evening! I can promise you, it won’t be 40 more years before I make them again. It probably won’t be 4 days.

I must have been planning on making these at some point, because I have a popover pan. I think I got it with points from my bank the same time I got Baking with Julia. So it’s only fitting that I used the pan for the first time with Marion Cunningham’s recipe from BWJ.

I preheated the oven to 400°F, as that’s what several recipes I saw using popover pans called for. Based on some of the comments on the P&Q for this recipe, I buttered the pans really well with melted butter. (As a side note, my Chicago Metallic popover pans are nonstick, and I’ve found their nonstick pans to work really well with a minimum of greasing.) I filled the cups about 1/3 full and baked them for exactly 35 minutes.

They looked absolutely perfect when they came out of the oven. Dinner was on the table, so the popovers went right from the pans to a basket and onto the table.

I tore into one and was surprised and delighted by how open and airy the center was. They weren’t doughy or custardy in the middle, just a little less done than the crispy exteriors. I slathered the insides with butter and drizzled on some honey. They were absolutely delicious! Soft and crisp at the same time. Puffy, buttery, dripping with honey. I could have made a meal of them.

I’m glad I tried this recipe. And I’m glad to have a popover pan, wherever it came from. I only wish I had two pans so I could make a dozen of these at a time.

Our hosts this week are Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy of Bake with Amy. Cruise on over to their blogs for the recipe and to see what they thought of these yummy popovers.

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Raspberry Cream Cake {ModBak}

In last week’s Modern Baker Mondays post, I recounted my first successful attempt at making a classic génoise.

And I promised that if you came back this week, you’d see what became of this wonderful cake layer. Obviously, a cake this beautiful had to be destined for something equally stunning. So I used it to make this show-stopping raspberry cream cake.

This is a special cake for a special occasion. Who wouldn’t feel great about being presented with a cake like this for a birthday or anniversary? It’s just enough work to make it a cake worth saving for a special occasion; but not so much that you should be intimidated about making it. In fact, once you have your génoise prepared, most of the work is behind you.

This cake derives its raspberry flavor from three components: raspberry moistening syrup (which is just a simple syrup with a little framboise stirred into it), seedless raspberry jam, and raspberry buttercream.

This is a classic buttercream with a raspberry purée (seeded raspberries cooked down to a jelly-like consistency) and more framboise added to it. Once you’ve made the génoise, syrup, and buttercream, it’s just a matter of assembling the cake.

I began by cutting the génoise into three layers.

I inverted the top layer onto a tart pan bottom, then brushed it with the raspberry syrup.

I spread some raspberry jam on the layer.

Then I topped it with buttercream.

I repeated these steps with the second layer, then inverted what had originally been the bottom layer on top.

I finished the cake with buttercream, then pressed sliced almonds on the sides of the cake. Finally, I topped everything with some sugared black raspberries.

This cake was amazing! The génoise was light and airy, and the raspberry flavor permeated the entire cake yet was somehow delicate and almost understated. We enjoyed this cake for dessert the day it was made and over the next several days, as it held up really well.

This is definitely not a weeknight cake, but it’s not so complex that you should be afraid to try it. The “wow” factor definitely exceeds the amount of work it takes to make, making this a great cake for any special occasion.

Classic Génoise {ModBak}

The next cake in the line up for the Modern Baker Challenge is one I’ve only made one other time, with disastrous results.

Last June I made — or tried to make — a French Strawberry Cake for Tuesdays with Dorie. There was a lot of chatter on the TWD site at the time about Dorie’s recipe not being a true génoise because the eggs weren’t heated prior to being whipped. Having never made a génoise at the time, all the talk just struck me as people’s opinions about what a “real” génoise should be. I just followed Dorie’s recipe and trusted that everything would work out right.

It didn’t. You can check out the French Strawberry Cake post to see just how wrong things went. Suffice it to say, after that experience, I wasn’t looking forward to making another génoise anytime soon.

I needn’t have worried. Like nearly all of Nick’s recipes, this one is clear, precise, easy to follow, and foolproof.

I began by combining eggs, egg yolks (Nick uses extra yolks to add tenderness, moisture, and stability to the batter), vanilla, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. I set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heated it until the mixture was lukewarm.

I beat the egg and sugar mixture with the whisk attachment on my mixer for about five minutes, until it was light, fluffy, and had more than tripled in volume.

The recipe calls for a fairly small amount of flour, which is mixed with cornstarch, sifted over the egg foam, and then mixed in gently in three additions.

Unlike my previous experience, folding in the flour didn’t cause the foam to collapse, and I was able to get all the flour mixed in.

I scraped the mixture into a buttered 9-inch springform pan.

You’ll notice that there is batter around the edge of the pan. The instructions say to tip the pan and rotate it so that the batter runs to the top all the way around the inside of the pan. This is supposed to make the cake bake flat on the top, rather than doming in the center. Since my previous génoise baked up lopsided (before collapsing), I was hopeful that this trick would work.

I baked the cake at 350°F for about 30 minutes, until it was golden brown and firm in the center. It came out of the oven looking really nice, and I held my breath as I unmolded it. When it didn’t collapse, I put it on a rack to cool, anxious to see what I would end up with. Half an hour later, here’s what it looked like:

If you own a copy of The Modern Baker, turn to page 241 and note the similarity between this cake and the one pictured there. Mine came out almost exactly like the one in the book!

The layer was light but firm. And to my surprise and delight, it rose high enough to be cut into three layers.

Check out this post to see what I used the layers for, but suffice it to say, this cake was wonderful — light, delicate, and very flavorful.

Thanks to Nick I now not only know what a classic génoise is supposed to look and taste like, I also know how to make a perfect one!

Guinness Stout Ice Cream {Recipe} {Ice Cream Week}

It’s the last day of Ice Cream Week, and what better way to finish than with a deliciously decadent stout ice cream? The malty, slightly bitter flavor of the Guinness pairs well with the sweet, rich custard. This ice cream is especially good with chocolate syrup.

This recipe is based on one from Saveur.com.

Guinness Stout Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 bottle Guinness stout, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate syrup (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk sugar, salt, and egg yolks in heavy saucepan until thick and lemon colored.
  2. Stir in cream and half-and-half. Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in Guinness and vanilla.
  4. Cover and refrigerate ice cream base for at least 4 hours or overnight, then process in ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, add chocolate syrup near the end of the churning cycle to create a chocolate swirl.
  5. Freeze for several hours before serving. The alcohol in the stout will keep the ice cream from freezing as solid as other custards.

Makes about 1 quart

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me that I would make Guinness ice cream. Any more than it shocked me to read that Margaret had figured out how to make Tea and Biscuit Ice Cream. Or that Rebecca found a way to work baklava into ice cream. And Di made Chocolate Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Can you tell she has kids?

I hope you’ve enjoyed Ice Cream Week as much as I have. Let me know if you try any of the recipes and what you think. And I’d love to hear about your favorite ice cream recipes, too!

Molasses Almond Praline Ice Cream {Ice Cream Week}

It’s day 4 of Ice Cream Week, and today’s theme is Nuts for Ice Cream. I knew I wanted to make either butter pecan or praline ice cream for today, and when I started looking at recipes I found this one for Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream on my Pinterest board, so I figured it was a good time to try it.

The original recipe is from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and was published in Saveur magazine and on their website. Jeni has an interesting method for making ice cream in which she boils out some of the water from the milk and cream and uses cornstarch and cream cheese to bind the ingredients and increase the fat content. Several of my friends swear by her recipes, so I was excited to try this one to see how it came out.

I made a few changes to the recipe, based on what was in my cupboard the day I made it. I didn’t have blackstrap molasses, so I used Brer Rabbit Mild Molasses. My ice cream was much lighter in color than the picture on Saveur, but the molasses flavor still really came through. And I used almonds for the praline (a sin, I know) because that’s what I had on hand.

The base had a pudding-like consistency. In fact, after refrigerating it overnight, that’s exactly what it looked like. It churned up beautifully. My wife and I tried it as soon as it was done churning, and it was amazing. Rich, smooth, velvety, and the praline was outstanding, with its nutty, caramel-like flavor.

But what really blew my socks off, and finally made me realize what all the fuss over Jeni’s recipes was about, was when I tried it the next day. After freezing, a lot of homemade ice cream is too solid and looses that creamy consistency.

But this ice cream was as smooth and creamy as any double-churned gourmet ice cream I’ve ever tasted. And the overnight rest in the freezer actually improved the flavor, too.

OK, so I’m sold on Jeni’s ice cream. I won’t go so far as to say I’ll never make any other kind (I still like egg-based custard ice creams), but I will definitely try more of her recipes. And we might just venture to Chagrin Falls to try some at one of her stores.

Margaret forgave me for using almonds in praline. Hopefully, her Greek friends will give her a pass, too, for making Baklava Ice Cream! And no forgiveness is needed for Rebecce, who made Nutella Gelato.

Ice Cream Week caps off tomorrow with an original recipe, Guinness Stout Ice Cream.

Frozen Wine Slushy {Recipe} {Ice Cream Week}

It’s day 3 of Ice Cream Week, and today’s theme is Sorbet (or Other Non-dairy Frozen Treats). I’m opting for “Other” with this frozen wine slushy treat.

This wine slush can be enjoyed two ways: as an eat-with-a-spoon slushy or a wine punch.

Frozen Wine Slushy

Wine Slush with Sparkling Limeade

Either way, it’s a refreshing summery treat.

Frozen Wine Slushy

Ingredients

  • 1 750-ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • Sparkling limeade or lemon-lime soda (for punch variation)

Directions

  1. Stir together wine, lemonade, and cranberry juice. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours, until fairly solid. The wine will keep the mixture from freezing firm.
  2. For frozen wine slush, scoop frozen mixture into glasses and serve with a spoon.
  3. For slushy wine punch, fill glass about 3/4 full with frozen slush, then top with sparkling limeade or lemon-lime soda. Serve as is or with a straw.

I will be serving this at our next summer dinner party. It’s easy, refreshing, and delicious.

Margaret is 3 for 3 in Ice Cream Week so far, turning in this wonderful looking Pina Colada Sorbet for today’s entry. Di made a beautiful Raspberry Sorbet. My wife would love Rebecca’s Mango Ice. And Abby made Homemade Waffle Cones to serve it all!

Coming up tomorrow: we’re going “Nuts for Ice Cream” with Molasses Almond Praline Ice Cream.

Basil Honey Frozen Yogurt {Recipe} {Ice Cream Week}

It’s day two of Ice Cream Week, and today I’m featuring an original recipe for frozen yogurt. About this time of year, I’m always trying to come up with ideas to use fresh basil. With the hot weather we’ve been having, my basil plants are growing like gangbusters, and I like to use it in different ways (one can only eat and freeze so much pesto).

So I decided to try adding it to frozen yogurt. I used a combination of sweet and cinnamon basil, but you can use whatever kind you have. I might try it with a bit of Thai basil next time.

The flavors of honey and basil complement each other beautifully. This is sure to be a frequent repeat around here.

Basil Honey Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • About 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Wash the basil leaves, then blot dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
  2. Chop basil leaves (a rough chop is fine) and place in small saucepan with honey and granulated sugar. Heat until sugar melts and the mixture just begins to boil, then remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.
  3. Mix yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice in medium bowl. Strain honey mixture through fine mesh strainer into bowl with yogurt. Mix well.
  4. Chill yogurt mixture for several hours or overnight, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Eat soft or freeze for a few hours to harden.

Makes about 1 quart

On tap for tomorrow: Frozen Wine Slushy

And be sure to check out:

Citrus Beet Ice Cream {Recipe} {Ice Cream Week}

It’s Ice Cream Week here at Of Cabbages and King Cakes! Five days devoted to everyone’s favorite summer treat. Today’s theme is “Fruits of the Summer”, which I have loosely interpreted to include one of my favorite farmer’s market finds: red beets.

This is a really easy recipe to put together. Roasting the beets is the most time-consuming part, and it’s mostly hands off. After trimming and cleaning the beets, you wrap them in foil and roast them until tender.

The most striking thing about this recipe is the color: it’s this amazing, not-at-all-natural-looking fuchsia.

And as for the ice cream itself…

It was surprisingly good, especially with a little chocolate syrup. The beet flavor really came through and, combined with the citrus, made this ice cream both bright and earthy.

Citrus Beet Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 medium red beets
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim stems and roots from beets. Wash beets and pat dry with paper towel. Wrap beets in heavy duty aluminum foil and roast directly on center rack in oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil package from oven. Squeeze beets. They should give a bit but still be somewhat firm. If necessary, return beets to oven and roast until done.
  2. Unwrap beets and allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Rub beets to remove skins, then dice beets and place in food processor.
  3. Zest the orange and add to food processor. Juice orange and add this, along with 1/4 cup additional orange juice, to food processor. Process mixture until smooth.
  4. Add sour cream, sugar, and half-and-half and process until smooth and completely combined.
  5. Press base through a fine mesh sieve into medium bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate until well chilled, preferably overnight.
  6. Process base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Serve with drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Makes about 1 quart

I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it’s worth making, if only for the color.

Here’s what’s on tap for the rest of the week (links will go live on the scheduled day):

And be sure to check out the other posts for today’s theme: