Archive for October, 2009

Rice Krispy Treats

In true attempted cooking style, I burned Rice Krispy Treats.

I saw this awesome recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking Check our her Book!. Put butter in crock pot, top with marshmallows, then with cereal, then high for an hour.

I did low for an hour, then stirred. The marshmallows were not melted. I read the recipe again where it said high, so I put the slow cooker on high.

But, in that hour on low, the butter had melted. And, in the stirring that I did, some of the rice krispies ended up at the bottom of the slow cooker. Whereby they then caramelized. Some were burnt, but most were just dark dark brown.

So, there ya go. I burned rice Crispy treats.

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Petit Fours and Poured Fondant

So, with the failed Red Velvet Cake, I still attempted to make Petit Fours.

Single Petit Four

I made a simple cream cheese frosting with cream cheese and powdered sugar. I cut some of the cake layers in half, and for others just stacked half the cake on top of the other. In hindsight, the middle frosting was way too thick, and the cake slid around (hence, I was not able to get the fancy poured fondant to be all nice and pretty on the sides.

I used King Arthur Flour’s Poured Fondant recipe. I used Wilton Red Candy Melts, powdered sugar, corn syrup, and water. I melted this, then put it into a disposable piping bag to put over the tops of the Petit fours.

I *think* that if I had 1) a full cake, and not a fallen one, 2) a thinner icing for between the layers, 3) smooth squares, and 4) a whole lot more patience, I could get fancy looking petit fours. I think my next attempt might be with pound cake or something heavier. Or, maybe a pound cake to work on the icing of the sides before I attempt another layered petit four :)
Petit Fours

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Recognizing a Recipe

Sometimes, you just need to recognize what something is.

I attempted to make a red velvet sheet cake, so I could make petit fours. I searched for a while, and came accross this recipe from Imperial Sugar for a Red Velvet Cake Roll. I figured that if I could use it to make a roll, then I could just use it in the jelly roll cake form and make a short stacked cake with it.

The start of the directions were to beat 4 eggs for five minutes. Okay, sure, they got light and fluffy, nice. Add the other wet ingredients, and it was all good.

It then said to beat in the sifted dry ingredients. Which was where (I think) the recipe failed. The batter deflated, and by the end of the two minute suggested beating time, it was more like a liquid than any sort of batter. I put it in the oven and baked it.

It was very uneven, and baked up with large air pockets. The top layer was like a crust, but it was done at 12 minutes.

I turned it out onto a cooling rack (as the recipe said to take it out immediately), and then decided to try one of the edges (since I would be cutting them off anyways).

Egg. It tasted eggy. Which meant that this really was a Sponge Cake. I had tried to make one before from The Simple Art of Perfect Baking. And that cake did the same thing, it tasted like eggs. But, on the good side, it was the perfect cake for petit fours, had it, ya know, been done like it should have :)

As with the previous cake, I knew that I could let it sit and the egg taste would go away. I also know (now) that the red velvet recipe is a sponge cake, and that beating in the dry ingredients was where it went wrong. The cake tastes fine, if a little flat, so I will try it again, and will then fold in the dry ingredients. :)

(The Poured Fondant and Petit Fours is the next post!)

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Whole Wheat Devils Food Cake (Take One)

Contradiction in terms? Not quite :)

I picked up The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion from the library (I love libraries :) It had a recipe for Devils Food Cake that seemed really good. I have also been on a whole wheat kick, and had bought King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat flour to try.

Then I found their recipe for whole wheat cake!. Its not 100% whole wheat, but it is slightly healthier than pure white flour :)

I liked the mix of brown sugar and white sugar, I think I will keep that. Next time, I want to try it with my whole wheat pastry flour, and with about 2tbsp cornstarch replacing part of the flour. (Make my own cake flour!). I do not think I have tasted enough made from scratch cakes to notice a difference using the white whole wheat; as it was, it was great :)

Of course, I burned the bottoms of the pans. I tried to do 2 9 inch layers, and it did not work, because my racks had to be so low to the bottom. I also ended up with a very moist upper layer, which I had with my box mix cakes, so I should figure out how to change that. Any ideas?

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