Monday, August 30, 2010

Six Layer White Dobos Torte

You’ll think you’re ready to attempt a dobos torte when your favorite baking blogs motivate you to. You won’t be suicidal enough to try this recipe with 12 layers but instead, use the same exact recipe and just make six layers (one layer will be double the thickness of one of theirs). You’ll be torn between making a classic dobos with a chocolate buttercream but very intrigued by this white dobos with a white chocolate cream cheese buttercream and peach jam. “Cream cheese” will win you over.

The peach puree tasted very natural and organic. No need to cook the peaches to loosen the skin. Just peel them. Btw, leftover puree is great on vanilla ice cream.

You will initially follow the recipe and cut perfect circles of parchment paper to bake your sponge layers. But you will realize that spooning and spreading the batter evenly and consistently on top of these little circles will cause the infamous dobos torte frustration. Time to improvise. Get an empty cool whip container and slice off the bottom. Roll out a sheet of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Place the bottomless cool whip container on top of the parchment and spoon ½ cup of batter into it. Spread it out evenly. Lift the cool whip container and make two more on the same baking sheet. Viola! All three layers will be EVEN and bake perfectly at the same time. I baked them at 350 degrees F in the center rack for 4.5-5 minutes. Cool them for a few minutes and remove them from the parchment paper while they are still warm. They tend to stick when cooled. Also: remember to sift the powdered sugar.

How to make cake flour: put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a measuring up and then add enough all-purpose flour to equal one cup. Thoroughly mix together and then sift about five times because that cornstarch needs to be scattered throughout.

The white chocolate cream cheese buttercream is amazing. And does not need any other description other than amazing. Just be careful not to seize the chocolate. White chocolate melts much faster than semi-sweet.

By now, you’re going to be exhausted and will give up on doing that caramel topped sponge layer. But please persevere and perhaps make it even before you do the peach puree and frosting. Because you will kick yourself for not completing it in the end. It won’t have that showstopper look without it. You might even deem it a failure without it. And you will doubt the authenticity of your dobos without that caramel topped sponge layer. So deep breath, and attempt it. Even though I didn’t.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Raspberry-Laced Vanilla Cake

Your brother will come home and accuse you of doing nothing all day and call you an unemployed lazy bum. But that’s okay, when dinner is over, he will be sorry. You’ll tell him he doesn’t deserve a piece of this raspberry laced vanilla cake and he’ll apologize.

Warning: you will confuse the baking powder and baking soda portions by interchanging them. Fortunately, you’ll catch yourself and start over. The broken flour will stay on the counter for a week before you decide there’s nothing you can do with it and end up throwing it out. Despite the saved failure, the cake will still come out a bit dry. So be careful not to over bake. This cake comes out with quite a yellow taste so next time I'd like to make it with a very white recipe. I just think that flavor combo would dance on the taste buds.

As is tradition, you won’t be able to find seedless raspberry jam, so you’ll go through the trouble of straining it. It's worth it. We all know crunchy raspberry seeds ruin everything.

Apparently raspberry syrup is hard to find too, so you’ll end up making a batch of your own raspberry sauce: combine 12 ounces of frozen raspberries, 1/3 cup sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until all the raspberries are broken up and the sugar is dissolved- about 5 minutes. Strain the seeds.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Deluxe Triple Chocolate Cookies

Another Pillsbury bake-off recipe that had to printed out and used at the first opportunity to bake cookies. Goodness, there is a reason why these are the winning cookies out of hundreds. Subtle flavors  of peanut butter, hazel nut, and oat blend with the star ingredient- chocolate. I love these. Don’t skimp on the hot chocolate! But if you do, just know that you’ll have to sweeten that cocoa powder.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

You’ll make this recipe during your quest to conquer the cheesecake factory’s flavor and luscious texture. Their cheesecakes have a light, creamy feel to them but still have an unexplained denseness that makes them rich but not heavy. 

This recipe has the right rich flavor but not the Cheesecake factory’s texture. Still good none the less, but the quest continues. I do love this recipe’s crust. It doesn’t taste overly nutty, despite 3 different kinds of nuts. They balance each other well and taste divine with the graham crackers and butter. 

Don’t be scared of the lemon juice- it does not make it taste lemony. Just adds needed freshness. It did not taste eggy, but had that egg richness so if you’re not into that, you could use one less egg. I’d say this recipe’s texture was a combination of Hershey’s, Junior’s , and Tyler Florence’s with a medium denseness. I made whipped cream and raspberry sauce to top it off.  

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup finely chopped graham crackers
3 tablespoons melted butter

You can process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender to finely chop. Mix all ingredients together and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a springform pan. Set aside.

24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
16 ounces sour cream, room temperature

1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. All above ingredients should be at room temperature before you begin for a lump-free, creamy cheesecake.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, beat in sugar gradually until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. When the eggs have been fully mixed into the cream cheese, add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well. Then add the sour cream and mix until smooth. Pour cream cheese into the prepared springpan.

Tap the pan lightly on the counter to release any trapped air. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes. Cheesecake will be just slightly jiggly in the center. Open oven door and turn off the oven. Allow to slowly cool inside oven. Then remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. When fully cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator. 
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