Friday, February 4, 2011

Humbling

Today at work I had a 16 year old student from Easthampton High working with me. The school has a program set up so that a class goes and works for two hours at the Log Cabin every week, but today they came to the Delaney. I've had the pleasure of working with this girl, Tiffany, back in Dec. of 2009 and I must say I was pleased that when she walked back into the facility she greeted me with a hug, a real hug. Tiffany was so happy to see me again that she asked if she could spend her two hours with me in the bakery, of course I said yes. The last time we worked together she was a fumbling 14, almost 15 (she made that very clear) year old with such a bright personality but still 14, goofy and pressured with that dreadful question, "What do you want to do with your life?" Tiffany really enjoyed the kitchen, and I could tell that she could really blossom in the environment, she listened intently and did everything, (with goofy 14 y.o. anecdotes) to the best of her ability. She was also very interested in me, asking the best questions one would ask during an internship, asking how I got into it, did I prefer baking, who my favorite singer is (of course! haha!) Her classmates came in every once and a while asking if they could help and why weren't they able to sit around and eat cake all morning, Tiffany quickly retorted letting them know she wasn't just eating cake and hanging around (though I did send her off with a muffin and some chocolate cake!) All and all it was a very humbling experience, I remember being that eager 16 year old dying to be a baker/chef/cook/anything in a kitchen and looking up to anyone lucky enough to be filling those shoes I was dying to fill. It makes me take a step bake and really, truly appreciate where I am, even if I do crave my next challenge, I know that when I get there I'll remember Tiffany and look forward to the day I get a chance to work with her rather than be her teacher.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Confused Cakes: The Boston Cream Pie Edition


I'll take a slice of his pie...cake? Whatever dude's feckin' sexy


Hello all you food loving, sexy bitches! How art thou this fine winters morning? I'm glorious because there is a soft blanket of fluffy snow love covering the valley and it's fricken gorgeous! Until the slat and grime turns it to brown and the streets look like every hobo, stray cat and drunk a-hole forgot where the bathroom was. MOVING ON! Today we are here to discuss the importance of Boston Cream Pie in modern day society, along with it's effects on global warming and how we can reduce it's carbon foot print....hold on for a motha truckin second! Well that just makes no sense...my bad I mixed up Boston Cream Pie with my other blog about public global awareness and economic crisis, called The Naked Economist and Environmental Crusader...Oh wait I don't have a blog about public global awareness and economic crisis. Ha! I'm not smart enough for that! Ok I'm done lets move on.

How about some informative information on the historical history of this piecake. First and foremost you must know that as of 1996 this majestic dessert became a symbol of sweetness and freedom as the OFFICIAL DESSERT OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS!

Ok I realize Massachusetts is holding beans but deal with it

So yes the official dessert in Massachusetts, isn't that something? I'd be honored to be the OFFICIAL PAM OF MASSACHUSETTS...can we arrange that? I mean it is the finest state in the Union...I may be a touch partial due to the fact that I live here.

SO back in 1856 The Parker House Hotel in Boston (now the Omni Parker House Hotel) started serving a new dessert by a french Pastry Chef by the name of Sanzian. He started whipping up this fancy shamncy cakepie but it wasn't called Boston Cream Pie until 1879. This was also the year it was first published in a cookbook, Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Cooks in New England and Pennsylvania Dutch regions were known for their cakes and pies and the dividing line between them was very thin. This cake was probably called a pie because in the mid-nineteenth century, pie tins were more common than cake pans. The first versions might have been baked in pie tins. Boston Cream Pie is a remake of the early American "Pudding-cake pie."

And there you have it home diddlys thats you history lesson for the day. In all retrospect Boston Cream Pie may be one of the easiest desserts I've ever made, it does have multiple steps but it's very basic in the ingredients department. I think thats what draws me to it from a baking aspect it's simple elegance if done well, when I say that I mean if you google this you'll see a ton of pictures of cakes looking like they are falling apart with thin chocolate sauce running off the sides. And the recipes you find often call for cake mix and pudding, BLASPHEMY!!! The only reason cake mix gets used in this house is for dump cake, "Dump Cake blog!


RECIPE TIME!

PS I'LL HAVE A PHOTO OF MINE SOON! THIS SITE ISN'T LIKING iPHOTE RIGHT NOW!!

FECKIN' BOSTON CREAM PIE!

We shall start with the Pastry Cream because it needs to cool in the fridge before assembly.

PASTRY CREAM

Begin by steeping 1 1/4c of whole milk with the beans of one vanilla pod for 15 minutes, do that by just heating the milk and beans then shutting off the heat.

4 yolks
1/4c sugar
1/8c ap flour
3T corn starch

1. In a medium heat proof bowl whisk together the four ingredients to make a paste
2. After steeping bring milk up to just a simmer remove from heat
3. Slowly add the milk to the paste whisking constantly. SLOWLY to prevent curdling.
4. When all is mixed return to pot and place on medium high heat
5. Whisking vigorously cook the cream until thickened and smooth; transfer to a new container cover all the way down to surface of cream to prevent skin
Refrigerate

SPONGE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350F

5 eggs
3/4c sugar, divided
1/2t vanilla extract
3/4c flour
1t baking powder
1/4t salt
3T milk
2T unsalted butter
1/8t cream of tartar

1. Separate three eggs, add two remaining eggs to yolks. Bring up to room temp, about 30 min.
2. Mix together four, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. Melt the butter and milk together, keep warm, set aside
4. With a paddle attachment beat yolks with 6T of sugar on high speed for five minutes. They should be thick and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.
5. Transfer yolks into a new bowl and clean out the bowl they were in.
6. With a whisk attachment beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy then gradually add remaining sugar, beat until soft moist peaks form.
7. Fold a little of the whites into the yolk mix to lighten it, and then add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated. GENTLY!! Sift half of the flour mix over the top of the batter and gently fold through with a rubber spatula. Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in. FECKIN' GENTLY! DON'T OVER MIX THIS!!
8. Pour batter into two eight inch pans lined with parchment.
9. Bake 15 minutes then immediate invert out of pans and remove parchment. Cool.

GANACHE pronounced Gun-AH-shhh

8oz chopped dark chocolate
8oz chopped heavy cream....what? Just 8oz of heavy cream haha

Bring cream it just a boil, pour over chocolate and mix until melted and smooth, set aside.

ASSEMBLING THE SEXY ASS CAKES!!!

Cut tops off the cakes then carefully and evenly divid the layers in half using a serrated knife. Fill each layer with cream then if you have the acetate wrap around the cake. Pour ganache over top and put in fridge to set up the ganache. Remove acetate and enjoy!!!!

There you have it! I most surely hope you enjoy it and if you want to me making it here watch this!

video

THANKS FOR CHIGGETY CHECKING MY BLOG OUT YOU SAUCY MINX YOU!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Watch this Video of Me being a Dork

video


It's super awesome and I'll have a new blog fun time post for you tomorrow! Thanks Lovers

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Only Diamond you'll ever get from The Naked Baker

IS A PECAN DIAMOND! So remember last blog when I made mention about hating nuts in my baked goods? You didn't read it?! Well then completely disregard what I just said....shall I begin todays lecture? Lets go!

The pecan diamond is one that is highly regarded in modern society, known for it's brown tones and rustic appeal it is sought after by the most exquisite....oh haha I had you going there for a second didn't I? No of course it's not a real diamond! The Pecan Diamond is a tasty little pastry with a buttery sablee crust on the bottom and it topped with a gooey, decadent layer of pecan filling. I'll be honest this doesn't have much history at all but thats ok because it's tastiness makes up for it laziness in the past. So lets just jump right into some recipe delivery!

Sablee Dough recipe for the bottom layer!

Unsalted Butter, softened 12oz
Confectioners Sugar 3/4c
lemon zest 1t
vanilla extract 1/8t
egg, beaten 1
AP flour 2 1/4c

1. Preheat oven to 350
2.Cream the butter, sugar, zest, and vanilla until smooth
3.add egg a little at a time and beat well
4.add the flour and scrape the bowl often until combined and smooth
5. wrap in plastic wrap and flatten out. Chill one hour
6.Roll dough into a 18''x26" rectangle about 1/8th an inch thick. Lay it in a sheet pan so it lines the bottom and sides. Poke the dough with a fork all over to prevent puffing while baking.
7. Par-Bake for 10 min just until golden colored

Now to make the Sexy Filling!

Unsalted butter 2 pounds
light brown sugar 4 c
granulated sugar 1 c
Honey 3 c
Heavy Cream 1 fluid cup
Pecans 4 pounds

1. In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and add the sugars and honey. Add the heavy cream and cook over medium high heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, ONLY A WOODEN SPOON! YOU GOT THAT!?
2.Cook until the mixture reaches 240 F, take off heat
3. Spread the pecans over the par-baked crust then pour the caramel mixture over that.
4. Bake at 350F until the mixutre bubbles and the crust in golden brown, 45 min.
8. Cool and cut into diamonds.



I can promise if you like pecans you will love this recipe, you'll make it for every event. Parties, holidays, baptisms, funerals, the whole lot! I hope you dig it oh an feel free to follow me on this blog it's free and will make you thinner instantly*

*results not typical

Monday, January 3, 2011

No Humming Birds were harmed in the making of this blog post


Howdy folks! It's the new year and that exciting, right? No not really just another year to add to my bed post. Today was supposed to be the first day of my baking show on youtube and it was an epic failure. I have no sense of film and I look awful on camera, but I shall not despair, I'll try again tomorrow. I was making humming bird cake for the webisode but it shall instead be my blog for the day!

So, humming bird cake, have you heard of it? I hope so because it is absolutely delicious! I would describe it as carrot cakes prettier, thinner cousin with more friends. HB-Cake is an oil based cake with light cinnamon spice, pineapple, and banana. It is delectable! But why is it named after a small feathered friend? Well lets take a stroll down knowledge boulevard shall we?

This cake is known for being a southern tradition and it's first actual publication is in 1978 in an issue of Southern Living Magazine. The magazine had no explanation of it's name but southern folklore claims it comes from it extreme sweetness. The hummingbird is known to only feed from extremely sweet places, the dislike any nectar less than 12% sugar and go crazy for nectar at 25% sugar. The cake is known to be the perfect dessert for social gatherings, it's name sparks conversation, and it feeds twice as much as most other cakes because of how sweet it is. People also love it because of its tropical essence due to the bananas and pineapple, which leads to its other name Jamaican Cake. It's an impressive cake with beautiful flavor and is a terrific dessert all year round.



People go nuts over this cake! But I don't take the nuts part seriously, most of the recipes people have submitted for this cake include but I hate nuts in my baked goods. I said it was carrot cakes pretty cousin, pretty cousins don't have nuts...sorry. It's major similarity to carrot cake aside from the oil basedness of it is the cream cheese frosting. Oh snap that is like my crack! Cream cheese frosting is so creamy and tasty, it' s delicate flavor yet super sweetness compliments this cake perfectly. I really don't think any other frosting would do. So really quick before I give you the hummingbird cake I'll give you my cream cheese frosting recipe.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
8 oz. Unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons of lemon zest...this adds an awesome flavor that enhances the tanginess of the cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pound confectioner sugar

Cream the cheese and butter, scraping the bowl often, add zest and vanilla, then add confectioners slowly and mix until fluffy and well combined.

Ok so are you ready for some hummingbirds to attack your taste buds with the intense flavor and sweetness that only they can provide!?! YOU ARE??? Alright, here you go...be prepared for instant love.

FREAKIN HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

1 3/4c AP flour
1t baking soda
1/2t salt
1t cinnamon
2c sugar
3 eggs
3/4c veg oil
1 1/2t vanilla extract
1c crushed pineaple, drained
2c mashed bananas

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a mixer with a whisk add oil to the sugar slowly to start an emulsion
3. Add eggs one at a time scrape bowl
4. Change attachment to paddle and add flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon until combined. scrape bowl
5. Mix in last three ingredients just until combined.
6. Bake in a two sprayed eight inch cake pans lined with parchment, until center in firm to touch and springs back.
7. cool in pans until warm then invert onto cooling rack.

Once completely cooled cut each layer in half evenly and fill cake with frosting. Once completely covered I like to covered sides with toasted flake coconut.

I hope you make this and wicked enjoy it! It's an awesome cake and you should bring it to every event you go to wear you have to make dessert. LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES WITH COMMENTS PLEASE!!!