cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dorm Days Recipe Backlog

As I have previously noted, I love to bake. It is my relaxer, the activity that puts me the most at ease. It is odd, however, that since I have left my dorm to return to my family for the summer holidays my baking has slowed to a trickle. I continue to ponder possibilities for baked goods, and note a few in my paper book, but my presence in the kitchen has been near to that of a stranger. Whether it is my hesitation to use my parents baking supply, the lack of mouths to consume my creations, or the loss of time that has been overwhelmingly invested into my job, I have not taken full advantage of the spread of pristine culinary appliances available at my fingertips. Either way, I have not been experimenting as often as I wish, and as such I have not had a new recipe to share in months. Therefore, I will share those created before the birth of this blog, those created in my old dorm at Gonzaga a few months back with scattered plastic bowls, dismally bent wire whisks, and an oven overused by the culinary confused college kids I called my neighbors. The recipes were all created for a specific occasion and with specific meaning and purpose. For me, there was only one way to conclude a gruesome week of 8 history papers, and it was not a beer. My activity of utter relaxation: bake muffins and cookies to send to my friends and sisters while watching one of my many favorite Vietnam or WWII movies in the basement, pajamas and tea ensuing. Drunken cavorting with fellow class men, outsmarting the campus police, and engaging in wild jeuxs of beer pong lost all appeal to me, they wilted and slipped away with the aura of freshman year. Fleeting, I know, for college craziness is supposed to drag on throughout the full four years. Call me a fuddy duddy if you will (my boss does for my music choice), I have moved on and have decided to focus on those things that make me happy, rather than those that should. To lay it out, there are six recipes which I shall call attention to, post recipes, and share stories of. They are Mallerd Muffins, Milo's Brot, Galette des Rois, Gluten Free Sponge, Amande et Citron Gateau, and Ricotta Easter Pie.

Mallerd Muffins: My petite sister has bestowed upon me the enchanting nickname Mallerd, as in a misspelled version of the duck. The name has spread amongst tous the members of my family and unfortunately many friends to the point of being asked, "can I call you ducky?" You most certainly may not. The line must be drawn at some juncture. Even so, Mallerd is my spoon name (bakers version of pen name.) I have sent my sister parcels of Mallerd Bars (gf cookie cake bars) as well as Mallerd Mix, a gf trail mix. As such the Muffin is named for myself, for they are truly the first baked confection I molded on my own sans recipe. Their ingredients sprang from a request: a friend was feeling low, and as a treat I bake to offer comfort. Favorite ingredients of said mourner: bananas and peanut butter. Surprisingly there was not to be found a muffin recipes marrying the two classic flavors, so I made my own.

Ingredients: 2 ripe (really ripe) bananas, 1 3/4 c flour, 2/3 c sugar, 2 tsp bp, 1/4 tsp bs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coconut extract (if you have it),1 stick butter, 2 eggs, 1 c creamy peanut butter, 1/2 c walnuts. Crumble toping: 2 packets instant oatmeal, 2 big tbs peanut butter, 2 tbs sugar, cinnamon

Directions: Heat oven to 375 (2) mix butter, sugar, bananas, peanut butter, eggs, (3) in another bowl mix the dry bits (4) combine wet and dry, fold in walnuts (5) divide into paper lined muffin pan (6) in a small bowl combine crumble topping ingredients, use your fingers like a pastry cutter until a sandy soft and crumbly texture is formed. (7) heap topping onto muffin batter (8) bake for ~30 minutes

Galette des Rois: I did not create the idea of the cake of kings, nor the recipe. The galette is as familiar to French Catholics as a birthday cake is to rest of the world. Un Galette des Rois is the traditional French cake baked solely on the holiday Epiphanie which takes place le 6 Janvier to celebrate the regal giving of gifts to baby Jesus. The French tradition is to bake the galette of pasty dough and an almond past known as frangipan and to insert a single raw fava bean. The baker traditionally cuts the cake, however distribution falls to the youngest in the crowd. The juvenile hides under the table and calls the names of the others present to truly instill a random "fate" in the distribution. The lucky recipient of the slice with the fava bean is declared king for the day and ensues to sport the paper crown that sat previously atop the galette. I did not make this galette for epiphanie, on the contrary I made the pastry for my French class to nibble during a presentation on French holidays.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1 stick butter, 3 eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 sheets puff pastry, powdered sugar

Directions: Grind almonds in food processor (2) Beat sugar and butter (3) add TWO eggs and almonds. (4) You now have Frangipane! (5) Butter a flat baking sheet (6) unfold thawed puff pastries and using a pie pan as a template cut into two circles (7) Lay one circle on buttered sheet and spread Frangipane in the middle (8) Place a dried fava bean or ceramic figure in the Frangipane (9) Using the last egg, beat and paint the edges of the dough (10) Place the other dough circle on top and seal the edges very tight! (11) Brush top with egg (i forgot to in my picture) (11) Bake ~ 25-30 min at 375 (12) Dust with powdered sugar.

Amande et Citron Gateau: Almond and lemon pound cake, I made this for a staff dinner at the boss's house, I was a photographer for student publications. I wanted something simple and pretty, in other words something I already had the ingredients for, and a lot of substitutions.

Ingredients: 1 tsp Vanilla, 1 tsp. Almond extract, 2 lemons, zested and squeezed, 6 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 2 sticks butter (+ 1/3 cup for glaze), 1 cup sour cream (or yogurt), 3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 1 cup slivered almonds (and a few whole if you have any), 2 cups powdered sugar.
Directions: Preheat hotbox to 350, spray and flour a Bundt pan (2) grind almonds in a food processor (3) cream beat butter and sucre (4) add eggs and beat them up (5) stir in extracts and 2 tbsp lemon zest (6) Mix flour, bs, and salt (7) add dry to wet by alternating with sour cream (8) mix in almonds (9) pour into pan and bake until toothpick test says it's ready (~60-75 min) (10) Cool on rack. Icing: In small saucepan combine powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond extract until good consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake. Decorate with whole or halved or even crushed almonds.

Milo's Brot: Lemony Beet Seed Bread was the original title, however my sister insisted on honoring the boy from the first grade reader known as the "Beet Book" in which young Milo refuses to eat his beets and is punished, what ensues is a feverish night terror starring a ravinous beet sporting sharp fangs that proceeds to chase the horror stricken lad. I, unlike poor Milo happen to adore tinned beets, as does my mom. This recipe was created for her, a true lover of the tinned beet despite years of sour faces and turned up noses at her treat of choice. The bread was to celebrate her flying out to be present at my academic convocation. Ma mere is one of my best friends, her children are her life and these muffins are dedicated in her honor. They are beet, lemon, and poppyseed. Original Mallerd fare, and adaptable for either bread or muffins. They will be a fixed menu item at the Salty Cod.

Ingredients:
3 cups flour, 2 tbs baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vanilla, 3 eggs, 1 cup brown sugar, 5 tbs butter (unsalted),1 can beets, 2 tbs poppy seeds, zest of 1 large lemon, 1/8 cup beet juice For Glaze: 1/2 lemon, 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 powder sugar, 2 tbs beet juice, poppy seeds OR crumble topping: 2 packets of instant oatmeal (or i suppose 1 cup oats), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp butter, lemon juice, 3 tbsp beet juice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F (2) combine flour, salt, and baking powder, set aside (3) beat sugar, butter, and eggs (4) puree beats in blender or food processor, add to wet mixture (5) add poppy seeds, lemon zest, and lemon juice to wet mixture (6) combine wet and dry (7) transfer dough to sprayed and floured loaf pan (8) Add crumble topping (if using) (9) Bake for 1 hour or until done (you know when its done), (10) combine glaze ingredients in saucepan over low heat (11) (if using) pour glaze over loaf while still hot and in the pan.

Ricotta Easter Pie: Yes, for Easter. I saw Giada make one, read about one in Food & Wine, and had a recipe from Emerald. All different. So, mine is different too. But they are all puffy pastry folded over an easter custard and baked to a crispness any Italian would be happy to eat.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup powdered sugar, (and some for dusting), 3 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup cooked arborio rice, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds). 2 puff pastry sheets, 3/4 stick unsalted melted butter
Directions: Preheat oven to 375, butter a glass pie dish (2) Blend all ingredients EXCEPT rice and nuts (3) stir in rice and nuts, and set aside (4) place puff pastry square in greased pan, let corners hang over (5) brush on melted butter (6) place the other puff pastry over the first one in opposite direction letting edges hang over (should look like a six pointed star) (7) poor custard filling in pan (8) fold corners over to meet in the middle (covers the whole thing) (9) brush with butter (10) cook for ~40 min, or until filling is set (11) dust with powdered sugar.

Gluten Free Sponge: Sponges are a universal baking tool, they can be used in countless baking projects, and for the gluten free-ers out there, it is paramount to have a light, fluffy, and sweet recipe ready for such treats as charlottes, lady fingers, tiramisu, strawberry shortcake, etc. I experimented with this sponge for the occasion of my sisters birthday party where a tiramisu was promised. It is decadent alone as well, a nice tea cake with a bit of jam.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 bob's garbanzo/fava flour mix, 4 eggs separated, 1/4 tsp salt, 2/3 cup sugar + 1 tbsp, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking powder

Directions:
preheat oven to 375 (2) sift together flours salt and bp (3) in your Kitchen Aid beat the egg whites for 1 minute (4) add tbsp sugar and cream of tartar (5) continue beating 4-5 minutes, until stiff (6) in little dish beat egg yolks, then gently fold into whites (7) fold in sugar (8) fold in flour mix (9) spray a cake pan, or dish, or whatever pan suits your sponge-need (10) bake for about 10 minutes depending on thickness.

There are others, some basic, some classic, a few borrowed, a few unique. D.D. Carrot Muffins, Hazelnut & Avocado Chocolate Cake, Rhubarb Lime Jelly--but we shall wait for another day. Tonight is gone, and if there is ever a sole who plays betty with the fare listed above, I would love to hear of your results.

A bientôt

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I'm also very, very "fuddy duddy" in the same exact way, haha. I'd much rather try the Mallerd Muffins over any alcoholic
beverage.
Plus I like peanut butter!