Sunday, September 20, 2009

Plum Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup vegetable oil
3 small jars baby food plums, without tapioca (small jars of baby food plums are about 4 ounces)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste

Preparing the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together all ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in a bundt pan. Once cake has cooled, drizzle an optional glaze over the top (mix powdered sugar and water pourable but not too runny).

Serves 8 to 10


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chocolate Liqueur Quickbread

Ingredients for dough:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate or 12 T unsweetened cocoa powder (or a mixture of both)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 eggs
2/3 cup honey
2 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup brandy, rum, orange juice, or a mixture
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preparing the dough:
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave and mix together.

In another bowl, beat the eggs until they start to get frothy. Add honey, mashed potatoes, the alcohol and/or juice, vanilla extra, and orange zest. Stir in the chocolate-butter mixture.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir 2 cups of it into the wet mixture. The mixture should be a heavy batter. If it is still fairly thin, add the rest of the flour mixture to it and stir until everything is moistened.

Pour the batter into greased baking pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle shelf of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. In small loaf pans it may take about 40 minutes; in a full-sized pan it may take closer to 1 hour.


Chocolate Godiva Bread

Ingredients for dough:
1 1/2 cups warm water, divided (or, if not using espresso powder, 1/2 cup warm water and 1 cup warm coffee)
2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons dry yeast
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional (see above)
2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
12 T unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks

Ingredients for egg glaze:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the warm water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set the mixture aside for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the mixture doesn't foam, the yeast might be inactive and you should try again with fresh yeast.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, place the flour, the remaining 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, the light brown sugar, the cocoa, the espresso powder (if using) and the salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed for 1 minute, until combined. If mixing by hand, use a whisk and combine thoroughly.

Add the remaining 1 cup warm water (or warm coffee, if not using the espresso powder) and the egg to the yeast mixture. Add this to the flour mixture while continuing to mix at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. At low speed, beat in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated into the dough. Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook. (Alternatively, you can knead by hand. Just make sure the butter is well softened.) Knead the dough at low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 2 minutes longer.

Add the chocolate chunks and knead just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl (the dough will be quite moist). Cover the dough closely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours (or until almost doubled in bulk).

After the chocolate dough has risen, punch the dough down and cover again with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Butter two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the chocolate dough in half. Divide each dough half into 6 equal pieces so that you have 12 equal pieces in all. With lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a smooth, round ball. Place 6 dough balls — two by two, at a diagonal (see photo above) — in each prepared pan, pressing them lightly together if necessary. Cover the pans with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water until blended. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg glaze over the tops of the loaves.

Bake the loaves for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake the bread for an additional 30 minutes. Cool the bread in the pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Unmold the bread and cool the loaves on the rack completely, or at the minimum, for 15 minutes, before slicing.

Makes 2 loaves


Balthazar Chocolate Bread

Ingredients for bread:
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1/3 cup plus 2 T granulated sugar
2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup bread starter
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 T unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
vegetable oil for bowl
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 T heavy cream
2 T turbinado sugar

Ingredients for starter:
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup plus 3 T all purpose flour

Preparing the starter:
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Stir in flour until completely incorporated. Cover; proof at room temperature 4 to 6 hours. Store in a plastic container, refrigerated, with plastic wrap covering but not touching the starter. Once a week, stir 1/4 cup flour to feed starter.

Preparing the chocolate bread:
In the bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine bread, flour, cocoa powder, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup water, yeast, and bread starter. Combine on low speed for 5 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes.

Add salt and butter, and mix on medium speed until the dough develops a sheen, about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate. Continue mixing on medium speed until completely combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl; place dough in bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 3 hours.

Turn out dough and fold into thirds, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest 30 minutes. Butter two 6 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/4-inch loaf pans; coat with remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Divide dough in half; divide each half into four equal portions. Roll each piece of dough on a clean work surface in a circular motion, forming a tight ball. Place four pieces of dough, smooth sides up, in each loaf pan. Cover pans tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Position oven rack in center of oven; heat to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine egg yolk and cream. Lightly brush risen loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until loaves have a slightly hollow sound when you tap tops with your finger, 40-45 minutes; turn out loaves. Return loaves to wire rack; let cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic and store up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.


Followers of The Cook In The Family::

  © Blogger template 'Isfahan' by 2008

Back to TOP