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Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Rhubarb Upside-Down Baby Cakes May 7, 2013

Filed under: Baking With Julia,Cake,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 6:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is being hosted by



Once I found out I was hosting I knew that I had to hurry up and bake the cakes because I currently as of Friday, May 3, 2013, I looked like this.


So, in this picture I am 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant, but as of the posting I will be 37 weeks and 6 days. Unless I happen to have this little girl by then, which is very possible since I had Emma at 37 weeks and 5 days. Now you see why I was in a hurry to get on top of this because I have been waiting to host and this baby could come at any moment 🙂

UPDATE The doctor actually said they modified my due date and It was never mentioned to me, so in the picture I am actually 38 weeks and 6 days and as of the posting 39 weeks and 3 days. Still waiting on this little girl. UPDATE

I have been planning on making the recipe a few weeks early, but I was actually unable to find rhubarb until a few days ago. I was thinking about using apples because that is what we had in the house, and then Mike showed up with 3 HUGE stalks of rhubarb and all was not lost. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to make 8 baby cakes because I only had 4 small cake pans, which just happened to be 4-inch pans and they were springform (cheesecake pans). I decided I would make 4 baby cakes and use the rest of the batter and make one 8-inch round cake.

Large Rhubarb Cake Fresh Rhubarb Upside-down Baby Cakes

Source: Baking With Julia, pages 244-246

Makes 8 small cakes

Here’s a tender, soft-crumbed butter cake, a classic of the genre, made as individual upside-down cakes. The baby cake pans, each four inches across (see Sources, page 467), are lined with a mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, and pecans and decorated with slices of rhubarb before the bourbon-boosted butter cake batter is poured in. It is a sassy take on the old pineapple upside-down cake (a cake worthy of revival if made without the once-obligatory maraschino cherry). In fact, there’s nothing sacred about rhubarb; you can vary the fruit as you choose. Try using mangoes, apples or pears, apricots, plums, or bananas, and vary the liqueur or flavoring to match the fruit. (For ideas about making this cake with rose geranium leaves or herbs, turn to page 247.)

If the urge to bake these lovely cakes strikes and you haven’t a set of baby cake pans at hand, make these in muffin tins or custard cups, or make the recipe as one large cake. The batter is perfect for an eleven- or twelve-inch cast-iron skillet or a twelve-inch round cake pan, and turned out, the large cake is impressive.

These baby cakes, as well as the Gingerbread Baby Cakes (page 247), Hazelnut Baby Loaves (page 249), Oven-Roasted Plum Cakes (page 255), Vanilla Pound Cake (page 251), Lemon Loaf Cake (page 252), and the grand and glorious Wedding Cake (page 232), are members of the same large and universally appealing family, the butter cake clan.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher or fine sea salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup crème fraîche, homemade (page 447) or store-bought, or sour cream

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (lightly packed) dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon bourbon

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

6 or 7 stalks (12 ounces) fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Baby Rhubarb CakesMelted butter, for greasing the pans

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the insides of 8 mini- or baby cake pans, each 4 inches across and 1 inch deep, with a light coating of melted butter, dust with flour, and tap out the excess. Whisk or stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together just to blend; reserve. In a separate bowl, stir the vanilla into the crème fraîche and set aside until needed.

Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a heavy skillet. Add the brown sugar and bourbon and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts. Stir in the pecans to coat with caramel and turn off the heat. Divide the caramel evenly among the pans, working quickly to get it to the edges of the pans before it sets (cooked sugar cools rapidly). Arrange the rhubarb in circles over the sugar, and set aside while you make the batter.

Put the remaining stick of butter and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a hand-held mixer, and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The butter and sugar must be beaten until they are light, fluffy, and pale, so don’t rush it – the process can take 3 to 4 minutes with a heavy-duty mixer and 6 to 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Working with a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the dry ingredients and the crème fraîche alternately – 3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 of crème fraîche. You’ll end up with a thick batter.

Baking the Cakes Spoon the batter over the rhubarb and smooth the tops by rotating the pans while you run a rubber spatula over the batter. Put the pans on a jelly-roll pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Test a couple of the cakes to be certain.) As soon as the cakes are removed from the over, turn them out of their pans onto a rack.

Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Storing The cakes can be kept wrapped in plastic at room temperature overnight.

Large Upside-down Cake

Make the caramel in a heavy 11- or 12-inch skillet that can go into the oven- cast-iron is ideal for this. Arrange the rhubarb over the caramel, spoon in the batter, and bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes. If you do not have a skillet, butter and flour a 12-inch cake pan, pour in the caramel, top with the rhubarb and batter, and bake. If, when you turn out the cake, some of the caramel and fruit sticks to the bottom of the pan, scrape it onto the top of the cake, smoothing the top with a blunt knife.

Rose Geranium Upside-down Cake

By varying the batter slightly, you can produce upside-down cakes with a very different look and taste. For making the rose geranium cake, a sage cake (which appears in the photograph on page 219), or any other kind of herb cake, choose plants that have not been sprayed. Butter and flour the cake pans, but do not make the caramel. To prepare the batter, substitute 2 teaspoons of rose water for the vanilla. Arrange a few geranium leaves on the bottom of each pan, spoon in the batter, and bake. The rose geranium or any other baby cakes can be made as a large cake; just use a 12-inch round cake pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Caramel Pumpkin Pie October 19, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Pie,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:30 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs. She picked Dorie’s Caramel Pumpkin Pie which is located on pages 322-323 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Okay, I am really running under the wire tonight so I am going to keep this short and sweet and amend it once I have a bit of this yummy pie.

I just pulled this baby out of the oven and the house smell fantastic.  It has hints of a butter crust and spiciness in the air.  I am sure I am going to love falling asleep with these smells in the house.

Tomorrow is my first day off in 6 days and unfortunately I am going to be driving 2 hours to go pay my respects to a college friend who recently passed away.  So, I am not sure when this post will get amended but it will happen in the next 2 days for sure.


After a day of driving in the rain for 4 hours, seeing old friends, saying goodbye to one, and then spending the rest of the night outside in the cold/rain at a seafood festival while God cried in my Beer and Coffee; I am glad to wake up to the sun shining and a piece of Caramel Pumpkin Pie in front of me.

I actually had the crust turn out perfect this time, it didn’t even shrink on me…YAY!!!  The crust is buttery and flaky, and the filling to the pie is smooth and has a hint of rum lingering on the middle of my tongue.  It is the breakfast of champions 🙂  Now I am just wishing for a angel or fairy to bring me a cup of coffee and I will be set.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart September 29, 2009

100_2365This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Carla of Chocolate Moosey.  She picked Dorie’s Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart which is located on pages 355-357 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Once you see the picture to these in Dorie’s book, you are going to want to make these.  On top of that there is caramel, honey roasted peanuts, AND chocolate.  You have to be crazy not to want to try these.

I haven’t had honey roasted peanuts in FOREVER.  I love them.  I remember when I was a kid and I would visit my grandparents there would always be a can of honey roasted peanuts.  I always had to be careful not to eat them all because they were also my grandpa’s favorites 🙂


I love these.  The combination of the dark chocolate ganache and the caramel and peanuts is AWESOME.   I made 1/2 a recipe and ended up making 5 mini tarts.  I used all the caramel, but I did have some left over ganache.  I would definitely make these again and they actually didn’t take very long too make.


Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Dobos Torte August 27, 2009

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100_2295The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

So close…

I ended up making this randomly last night.  I knew that I was going to make it but I kept putting it off each time.  I had all the ingredients on hand, surprisingly.  But I was missing the crucial nuts for the outside 🙂

I decided that when I was going to make the Dobos Torte that there was no way that I could make a full recipe because I can’t eat this by myself and even if I had help I would still be left with quite a bit of leftovers.

I also got a call from my doctor yesterday telling me that my cholesterol was a little high, however, I failed to ask how high so I will be calling back Thursday for that.  It wasn’t a surprise since it runs in my family, but it was a bit of a shocker since I am in pretty good shape, eat decent,  and I am 27.  I guess that means I will go to the gym more often (more yoga and biking) and start to eat better.  Which means no more baking full recipe.  The plan was to make 1/3 of the sponge recipe, 1/2 of the chocolate buttercream recipe, and 1/3 of the caramel recipe.  It ended up being just enough to make one 6″ torte.

While making the caramel I realized that I didn’t have any lemon juice so I ended up substituting key lime juice that I had in the fridge.  I also used chocolate chips instead of whole hazelnuts to hold up the caramel triangles, which worked out perfectly.  Ignore the chocolate buttercream piped in the center.  I was starting to make a rosette and then got completely distracted, opps.  It reminds me of the posts on Cake Wrecks where they have the poop cakes.  Someone was piping brown icing on something, like a cupcake, and ended up using a plain round tip and is just looks like poo, unfortunately.  See it in all its glory.  My favorite is the last picture 🙂

OH MY!!!!

I thought this was fantastic.  I have only had a small slice, but I am totally going to be making myself a cup of coffee and eating a slice of this later.  LOVE IT!!!!


Tuesdays with Dorie: Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake October 7, 2008

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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy.  She chose Dorie’s Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake which is located on pages 264-265 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. If you go by Tammy’s site you can pick up a copy of the recipe, or you could go out and get Dorie’s book.  You will not be disappointed with it at all. (more…)