When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

The recipes that I promised February 2, 2009

100_1933Okay, so below is a list of the recipes that I used to make my tiered cake last week.  After tasting the cake with one of my friends, I ended up giving all of it to DrFaulken to take to a bunch of his friends at the comic book shop.  It turns out that they all really liked the cake.  So that made me happy.

In addition to the cake that was made.  I also took the left over cake from leveling the tops of both cakes and made mini cakes.  The leftover buttercream is currently residing in the freezer until I need it for another cake.  The leftover lemon cream was used to make mini tarts.  I used Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough recipe to make the crusts.  I then filled the bottom of each tart with raspberry puree and topped it with lemon cream.  When the cream had set I piped rosettes with the leftover raspberry buttercream.

100_1930Rolled Fondant

Source: Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by The Culinary Institute of America

Makes 2 lb 7 oz/1.11 kg

1 tbsp/4 g Gelatin

2 fl oz/60 mL Water

4 oz/113 g Corn Syrup or Glucose

1 1/2 tsp/7.5 mL Glycerin (Increase to 1 tbsp)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (my addition)

2 lb/907 g Confectioners’ Sugar

Bloom and melt the gelatin in the water.  Remove from the heat and add the corn syrup, glycerin, and flavorings.

Add the gelatin mixture to the confectioners’ sugar and blend until fully incorporated.  Knead to the consistency of a soft dough.

Form the fondant into a log.  Coat lightly with vegetable shortening, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let set overnight.  (Note: The fondant will tighten overnight).


HINT: Make a well in the center of the confectioners’ sugar and pour the liquid ingredients into the center.  Slowly mix the sugar into the liquid ingredients.  When it is getting harder to use the spoon start to knead in the rest of the confectioners’ sugar by hand.  If you just pour the liquid into the sugar without the well or gradually mixing in the sugar it will take forever for the fondant to come together.

100_1927Italian Buttercream

Source: Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by The Culinary Institute of America

Makes 3 lb 4 oz/1.47 kg

1 lb/454 g Sugar

4 fl oz/120 mL Water

8 oz/227 g Egg Whites

2 lb/907 g Unsalted Butter, cut into medium chunks, soft

1 tbsp/15 mL Vanilla Extract

Combine 12 oz/340 g of the sugar with the water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Continue cooking, without stirring, to the soft ball stage (240°F/116°C).

Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment.

when the sugar syrup has reached approximately 230°F/110°C, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.  Gradually add the remaining 4 oz/113 g sugar and beat the meringue to medium peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240°F/116°C, add it to the meringue in a slow, steady stream while whipping on medium speed.  Whip on high speed until the meringue had cooled to room temperature.

Add the soft butter gradually, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Blend in the vanilla.  The buttercream is ready to use or may be tightly covered and stored under refrigeration.

The buttercream will keep for 2 weeks refrigerated or 3 months frozen.  When you are ready to use the buttercream, take it out of the fridge.  Place it into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed.  If the buttercream separates don’t worry, just keep beating it and it will come together.  This may take up to 10 minutes.

Variations:  For Raspberry Buttercream add 1/4 c. raspberry puree to 1 pound of buttercream.  For Creme De Menth Buttercream add 1/2 tsp of Creme De Menth flavor to 1 pound of buttercream.

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.

Divide batter between the prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Re invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Source:  Flore of Florilège Gourmand

Preparation time: 20mn

Equipment: stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment, thermometer, double boiler or equivalent, spatula

Note: You will see that a Pate a Bombe is mentioned in this recipe. A Pate a Bombe is a term used for egg yolks beaten with a sugar syrup, then aerated. It is the base used for many mousse and buttercream recipes. It makes mousses and buttercreams more stable, particularly if they are to be frozen, so that they do not melt as quickly or collapse under the weight of heavier items such as the crème brulee insert.
2.5 sheets gelatin or 5g / 1 + 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
1.5 oz (3 Tbsp / 40g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp (10g) glucose or thick corn syrup
0.5 oz (15g) water
50g egg yolks (about 3 medium)
6.2 oz (175g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups (350g) heavy cream (35% fat content)

1. Soften the gelatin in cold water. (If using powdered gelatin, follow the directions on the package.)
2. Make a Pate a Bombe: Beat the egg yolks until very light in colour (approximately 5 minutes until almost white).
2a. Cook the sugar, glucose syrup and water on medium heat for approximately 3 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 244°F (118°C). If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the sugar temperature by dipping the tip of a knife into the syrup then into a bowl of ice water, if it forms a soft ball in the water then you have reached the correct temperature.
2b. Add the sugar syrup to the beaten yolks carefully by pouring it into the mixture in a thin stream while continuing to beat the yolks. You can do this by hand but it’s easier to do this with an electric mixer.
2c. Continue beating until cool (approximately 5 minutes). The batter should become thick and foamy.
3. In a double boiler or equivalent, heat 2 tablespoons (30g) of cream to boiling. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
4. Whip the remainder of the cream until stiff.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the softened gelatin, mixing well. Let the gelatin and chocolate cool slightly and then stir in ½ cup (100g) of WHIPPED cream to temper. Add the Pate a Bombe.
6. Add in the rest of the WHIPPED cream (220g) mixing gently with a spatula.

Lemon Cake

Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingers. Add the butter and working with the paddle attachment beat at medium speed for 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, and alternate flour and egg mixture until fulling incorporated. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it it thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter btw the two pans and smooth the tops.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold cakes and peel off paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up.

Lemon Cream

Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (21 tablespoons; 10 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Put the sugar and zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Off heat, work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs followed by the lemon juice.

Fit the bowl into the pan (make certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. You want to cook the cream until it reaches 180°F. As you whisk the cream over heat—and you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as the cream is getting closer to 180°F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking and don’t stop checking the temperature. And have patience—depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

As soon as you reach 180°F, pull the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to beat the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill the cream for at least 4 hours or overnight.


4 Responses to “The recipes that I promised”

  1. beulahej Says:

    About your Italian Buttercream… I am in the Wilton course 1 now and I am unhappy with the taste of the Class Buttercream Icing. It is too sweet. Could I use your recipe for my cake? Have you tried it? Does it have the same effect? Does it taste better than the class recipe?? Thanks!

    • pastrybrush Says:

      With my experience in all the courses, I will tell you that you should use the Wilton Buttercream for decorating, ALWAYS.
      But you can use the Italian Buttercream to ice your cake. It is not going to be as white as everyone else’s, but that is fine. I think in course 1 the only cake I iced with the Italian Buttercream was my flower cake and no one noticed.
      A lot does go into making the Italian Buttercream. Be really careful with the sugar syrup, it is HOT. Be sure to refrigerate your cake for a few hours before class so that the buttercream can harden. Keep your cake away from strong odors (ex: onions) because the buttercream will take that flavor on. Also, any buttercream you have left should be refrigerated or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use the buttercream again bring it to room temperature and put it back into your mixer and whip it until smooth again.
      If you have anymore questions you can email me. My information is in the contact section. Good Luck 🙂

    • pastrybrush Says:

      Oh, and yes I have tried it and it does taste a lot better than the class recipe. Just remember to always use the Wilton Buttercream for decorating and the Italian Buttercream for icing the cake ONLY 🙂

  2. beulahej Says:

    Sounds great. I will have to try it soon. Thanks!

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