Saturday, September 29, 2012

butter layer cake.


It's been so long since I made a layer cake that I started to miss it. The best part about making layer cakes as opposed to cupcakes is that you can cut yourself a decadent slice when you feel like it, and also a tiny sliver if you just need a little bit of sugar rush. On the other hand, I find a cupcake sometimes too small when I really want to pig out, as in the cake for dinner kind of portion, and sometimes too big when I just want a few bites of cake (when you make regular sized cupcakes). I could probably make mini cupcakes to satisfy myself in the latter scenario, but to make such a small amount of batter is fussy (I only have one 12-hole mini cupcake pan).

This cake is essentially a butter cake with heavy cream in the batter, with vanilla bean pastry cream sandwiched in the middle, frosted with nutella frosting and then drizzled with chocolate ganache to finish it off.

The cake recipe really attracted me to it because of the heavy cream it uses in the batter. I've only come to realize recently how wonderful the extra dairy fat can be in a cake. It really enriches the cake and makes the texture melt-in-your-mouth, not to mention make the cake taste extra buttery. There's quite a noticeable nutmeg flavour in this cake and I'm undecided to whether I like it there or not.


The pastry cream is there because the founder of the recipe said that it would underline the butteriness of the cake. Personally, I think jam would be a sharper contrast than milky creamy pastry cream but I really enjoyed the juxtaposing texture it gave with the firmness of the cake. Jam would have been spread out too thinly to provide much textural contrast.

I gave another shot at nutella frosting because I wanted to see what I did wrong last time that made it curdle. This time, frustratingly, it curdled again! It all went awry when I started to beat it with my whisk attachment. I think the oils in the nutella just can't stand up to heavy whisking. If you've made nutella frosting successfully before, please tell me what you did so I can correct what I've been doing wrongly! Nutella frosting is too delicious to give up on it just like that.


I did the glaze because I've always wanted to try out this dramatic effect with the chocolate dripping down the sides of the cake and all. Speaking of the sides of the cake, I really enjoyed taking fistfuls of chocolate rice and plastering them onto the cake. I took quite a while to do it though because I was trying to be careful not to get frosting onto my fingers. I think an easier way to would be to freeze the frosted cake until firm and roll it on its sides in the sprinkles don't you think? This might just become my new favourite way to decorate cakes! Especially because it can hide the flaws in frosting consistency. In this case, the mildly curdled frosting.

By the way, doesn't this cake kind of remind you of a boston cream pie?

P.S. If you stick some banana slices in between with the pastry cream it will be da bomb!


Butter Layer Cake
makes an 9 inch cake
adapted from Baking by Flavour

To assemble this cake like I did, after letting the layers cool, spread about 1 cup of pastry cream on top of one layer before topping it with the other. Then, swaddle the cake with nutella frosting.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup)
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk + 1/2 cup light cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two 9 inch pans.

Sift the flours, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar in two additions, beating after each addition for 1 minute. Add the egg yolks and until incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract.

Beat in the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and milk mixture (in 2 additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it equally between the two. Bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean, with moist crumbs attached. Cool the cake completely before frosting.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

cocoa-sour cream chocolate chip coffee cake.


It's amazing how much colour and flavour just a tiny bit of cocoa powder can bring to a cake. This entire pan only utilizes 1 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder. Can you believe that? And the colour is not just for show. The cake is chocolaty through and through. But no doubt the truckloads of chocolate chips (just kidding, 1/2 cup and a bit more) played an important part too.


I first envisioned this cake to be more like a chocolate chip butter cake with golden bumpy streusel on top, something very much like a New York Crumb Cake but with chocolate chips. Clearly, I was very very wrong, but I like these results too.


The cake is super moist, undeniably due to the sour cream. And I used low-fat sour cream too. If I had used the real stuff, this cake can be your pillow. If its still hanging around, that is.


The crumble is more like cookie dough, I would venture to argue. The high proportion of butter and sugar is definitely unlike your average streusel recipe. In fact, I thought the amount of sugar that went into it so ridiculous that I reduced it by a third. In fact, I would cut down the amount further because when paired with the cake, it can be very overwhelming, as in bounce-off-the-walls hyper activeness. Unfortunately, the cake turned out to be really sweet too, even after I reduced the sugar again by a quarter. But this is my only grouse.


I love the crunch of pecans scattered here and there, and the gooey puddles of molten chocolate chips. (Strangely, the pecans in the crumble ended up embedded in the middle of the cake.) Overall, this cake is pretty fantastic.


Cocoa-Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
recipe adapted from Baking by Flavour

I modified the recipe to contain less sugar. Also, the crumble recipe yields a lot so don't be surprised, be delighted!

For the chocolate chip pecan crumble:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
big pinch of salt
12 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 to 1 1/3 cup sugar, depending on your sugar tolerance
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

For the crumble: Mix the flour, sugars and salt in a large bowl. Work in the butter until the mixture comes together like a dough. Work in the pecans and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed. Set aside. (I formed little clumps of dough just like I did with my crumb cake and refrigerated them before use.)

For the cake: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Toss the chocolate chips with a tablespoon of the sifted mixture.

Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar in three additions, creaming for 1 minute after each portion is added. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well to incorporate the first before adding the next. Add in the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the sour cream, which will be added in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the cake. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs attached.

Friday, September 21, 2012

chewy chocolate chip cookies.


Following my amazing revelation of browned butter in chocolate chip cookie dough, I set out to make more. I found a recipe for super chewy chocolate chip cookies using browned butter and a unique method for throwing the dough together, and the rest is history.


The recipe uses cornstarch, or more accurately, a pudding of sorts to make the cookie, in theory, really chewy and gooey. There is even corn syrup to add to the gooey factor! I say in theory because I kind overbaked my cookies because I'm used to seeing browned golden surfaces, not just edges, before I retrieve the cookies. But while my cookies do not look like the original, they were indeed chewy and soft. The bendable kind. Imagine if I had taken away 5 minutes from the baking time. These would be phenomenal. However, I'm still pretty much an ardent supporter of the crispy crunchy cookie camp.


The pudding method this recipe utilizes is extremely fussy for a cookie. And it makes stirring the flour into the wet ingredients really difficult because the pudding is thick and unwilling to incorporate the dry ingredients. It took quite a while for me to see the last of the last few traces of flour. One thing you must pay attention to is when to add the chocolate chips. I added mine while the dough was still slightly warm and some melted into swirls before I realized it. I used mini chocolate chips which explains the almost instantaneous melting but I advise you to take care even when using regular sized ones.

The only thing I changed was the amount of sugar and the ratio between white and brown. I think this is a pretty good cookie if you don't mind the effort. For now, the chocolate chip cookie pie still reigns supreme!


Super Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes around 30
adapted from Top With Cinnamon

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp corn starch
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brown the butter in a medium saucepan. Off the heat, stir in the sugars, corn syrup and corn starch. Let the mixture cool slightly before quickly stirring in the eggs to prevent them from scrambling. Return the pan back on medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.

Stir the flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl. Add the flour mixture into the melted butter mixture and stir until incorporated. When the mixture is completely cool, mix in the chocolate chips and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 320F. Meanwhile, portion out your cookie dough. (Make sure you take it out from the fridge beforehand to soften!) About 2 heaped tablespoons make up one cookie. Flatten the ball of dough slightly because it doesn't spread much. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. They should appear cooked around the edges but remain pale in the middle.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

coconut tea cake.


This recipe caught my eye as I was flipping through my newfound favourite book, Baking by Flavour, simply because Lisa Yockelson described this cake as tasting simply of "butter and coconut". I mean, how could I possibly resist that sort of description?


I made the cake a day before I wanted to eat it because this cake seemed to me like the kind that needs a bit of time to sit and let all the flavours gel together. Although the downside to this is that the texture of the cake is not as light and fluffy when it is cool, and that you lose that nice crispness from the edges of the cake after storage.


I made one major change to this recipe, which is to use desiccated coconut instead of flaked (because I didn't have any) so it could have absorbed a fair bit of the moisture from the cake. It was still sufficiently moist, just not as moist as I would like. My cake didn't bake all that evenly so I managed to hit a few jackpots where the cake was nice and damp. Yum! I really should have underbaked it slightly.

Overall, this cake is not that impressive. It was a way too sweet and not coconut-ty enough for me. I bet it would be delicious when warm though.


Coconut Tea Cake
adapted from Baking by Flavour by Lisa Yockelson
makes a 10 inch tube cake

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks butter
2 tbsp shortening
2 cups sugar (I would use 1 1/3 cups)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, whisked well before measuring
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp sour cream
1 2/3 cups lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 10 inch fluted tube pan.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg into a bowl.

Cream the butter and shortening until smooth and creamy and add the sugar in three additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate each before adding the next.

Whisk the coconut milk and milk together in a cup. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and milk mixture in 2, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Add the sour cream and beat to incorporate. Stir in the coconut.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean.

Monday, September 10, 2012

chocolate peanut butter crispy bars.


Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Rice krispies.

This variation has been done to death but it remains no less captivating. So what that distinguishes one chocolate peanut butter bar from the next lies in the details. And if I were to pick at this recipe, I would say that I have a few grouses. Because for such a calorie-dense treat, anything less than perfect is not worth the extra pounds.


For starters, I felt that the cereal layer was too thin and the ratio of sugar syrup to cereal is a bit high. When I removed the bars from the aluminum foil, they stuck to it stubbornly because the rice krispie layer was too sticky. The high moisture content also made the rice krispies soften considerably. The simplest solution would be to increase the quantity of cereal.


Secondly, the chocolate icing had too much butter. Straight out from the fridge, I could taste it somewhere amongst the nuances of chocolate. It becomes less noticeable after the bar has warmed up a little though. Cutting back on the butter would result in a firmer chocolate topping and that is a trade I would be willing to make. Besides, that would mean that the topping can hold up at room temperature longer without becoming too gooey.

It sounds like this recipe is a huge flop but it isn't really. It could be better, but still. With a few changes, in particular the cereal layer, it's not that bad a bar. For something really worth your calories, I would strongly recommend this. Make it!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
makes an 8 x 8 inch pan's worth
recipe adapted from Baked

1 3/4 cups crisped rice cereal (I would use more, maybe an extra 3/4 to 1 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp butter
5 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup peanut butter
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tbsp butter

Prepare an 8 x 8 inch pan. I line it with aluminum foil for easy removal.

For the crust: Pour 1/4 cup of water into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and 3 tbsp corn syrup and stir to combine. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 235F. Remove from heat and stir in the 3 tbsp butter, swirling the pan until it melts and integrates homogeneously into the sugar syrup. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, working quickly. Press the mixture into the pan and let it cool to room temperature.

For the chocolate peanut butter layer: Melt the milk chocolate and peanut butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before pouring onto the crust. Refrigerate until set, at least an hour. A freezer would speed things up considerably.

For the dark chocolate icing: Melt the dark chocolate, 4 tbsp butter and 1/2 tsp corn syrup in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly before pouring over the chocolate peanut butter layer. Place the pan back into the fridge until the topping hardens.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

individual chocolate chip cookie pie.


Okay folks, sit up and listen. Because you're about to know about the most amazing thing I've eaten this whole week. (And I eat a lot of sweets.)

This is a huge chocolate chip cookie made with browned butter, baked in the oven in a pan until the outside is set and crunchy while the inside is still warm and gooey. I don't usually go gaga about cookies, let alone non-crispy ones, so the fact that I'm practically raving mad about this is testimony enough to its sheer deliciousness. Best of all, this cookie pie is yours and yours alone. No sharing. Nuh-uh.


If you've been sniffing around for chocolate chip cookie recipes, many of them advocate using browned butter for the best-tasting cookies. Just the number of fans of this ingredient could have been enough to persuade you to think likewise but have you ever considered just how is a cookie made with browned butter different from one without?


Perhaps the obvious answer would be duh, the cookies have a nutty fragrance to them. Maybe, but I think its more than that. When you brown butter, there is a distinctive toasty smell right? And when you incorporate the browned butter into a cookie, it should smell like something remotely similar right?

Wrong.

Browned butter does not give the cookies the toasty nutty flavour straight up browned butter has. Rather, it adds a complex, rich and deep flavour to the cookies. It's like all your life you've been using white sugar and now you've discovered brown sugar. Or something like that. I am an absolute convert now. I think browned butter adds that secret flavour I've always been trying to achieve- just like Famous Amos' chocolate chip cookies.


The second step in this recipe that renders this cookie pie irresistible is the chilling step. I made the dough the day before, allowing the sugars and whatnot to meld together during their few hours' rest. I'm sure the article on this chilling the chocolate chip cookie dough thing is pretty much viral. You can check up on it if you need some convincing. For some, the chilling step is crucial for the best flavour but for me, I like to make my cookie dough in advance also because its less of a hassle when you want to get down to the eating.


Chocolate chip cookie pie seems incomplete without a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whether for aesthetic reasons or taste. Personally, I prefer to eat my pie without a scoop of fast-melting ice cream on top. I'd rather not challenge myself to a speed eating contest. I scooped my vanilla ice cream into a bowl on the side to go with the pie but I had to include a tiny spoonful on it to snap a quick picture just because.

Another reason I don't like ice cream on my pie, besides having to race against time, is when you put something that cold on the cookie, the cookie starts to cool down real quickly and loose its gooeyness too.

The last thing I have to say, and maybe emphasize, is that please wait for your pie to cool for at least 5 minutes! Your tongue will thank you and besides, letting it cool allows the crust to firm up and have a nice crunch.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
makes enough for you and you alone
recipe loosely adapted from Tasty Kitchen

This seems like a small amount of dough but trust me, it is rich! Patience will pay off when you let your cookie dough rest for at least 12 hours before but without the chilling time, it will still be good anyway.

18g butter, melted and browned
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/6 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/12 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 tbsp chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a small baking dish.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together.

Combine the browned butter, sugars and vanilla in a bowl. Add the egg and mix to incorporate. Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips or chunks. The dough will be stiff.

Pat the dough into the prepared baking dish. At this point, you can choose to refrigerate it for a few hours before continuing or bake straightaway for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the top starts to turn golden while still remaining soft in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before digging in.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

spiced chocolate chiffon cake.


There was a time way before I became obsessed with butter and frosting-laden cakes, I was pretty enthusiastic about chiffon cakes. I allude it to their simplicity and challenges they pose.

Chiffon cakes are hardly meant to be heavy and rich cakes. In fact, they are mostly eaten sans frosting. The tube pans they are originally baked in adds a touch of uniqueness such that frosting is not always necessary to beautify the cake.


Of course, chiffon cakes are definitely not the easiest cakes to make. The greatest obstacle comes in the form of whisking and folding in the egg whites. Under-whisk and risk fallen cakes; over-whisk and the egg whites will curdle and break down, and using them in the cake will no doubt lead to disastrous results. Once the whisking hurdle has been passed, you have another issue. The folding. Over zealous attempts in trying to incorporate those whites will cause the egg whites to deflate, and you'll end up with a denser cake. Under-folding means that you will have streaks of meringue interspersed throughout the cake, which is not that bad a thing, but some parts of the cake will be denser and heavier because the batter has not been evenly mixed.


So here you see the major cons of baking chiffons. No doubt I'd failed many times before because of the finicky egg whites, but every failure only motivated me further to get that damn cake right. After countless attempts and thousands of calories, I finally succeeded. But by that time, I wished to never have another chiffon cake in sight. Hence the lack of chiffon cake recipes on this blog.

Which is why I think it is time for one.

I chanced upon a Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Chiffon Cake recipe by Elinor Klivans some time ago. I love five spice and especially when combined with chocolate, so it went onto my to-bake list and now I can finally check it off.


I didn't follow the recipe quite that closely. For one, I didn't have five spice powder and I wasn't about to buy a bottle to use just a few spoonfuls of it. Instead, I fashioned my own blend of spices with allspice and ground white pepper to mimic chinese five spice. It is definitely not close to what real five spice is, but I was trying to go for the chocolate and spice combination in general, not specifically five spice.

The cake turned out fluffy but not as soft as I like my chiffon cakes to be, probably due to the use of more flour. I also believe that chiffon cakes are not supposed to contain baking powder. They are supposed to rely on the beaten egg whites for leavening. Hence you could say that this is not a true chiffon cake. Baking powder is commonly used as a "safety net" of sorts- in case the egg whites deflate, the cake would still rise at least a little. But this is a minor quibble.


I was a little disappointed with the flavour because the spices were not apparent enough. Sure they showed up enough to let you know that there's more to this chocolate cake then it seemed, but it was hard to detect exactly what spices there were in the cake. It would be better if the spices could unleash their full potential by first stirring them into some hot water before adding them into the batter.

The chopped milk chocolate that went into the batter puzzled me a little. I'm not sure if it was meant to dissolve completely into the batter, which means that it would be the same as mixing in melted chocolate, or meant to be super tiny chocolate chips. I say that because my chocolate did not meld homogeneously into the the batter. Most of them sank to the bottom, which you can probably tell from the picture here. Nah, actually I scraped those off the bottom of the tin and pasted them on top of the cake. Not very intentional but they sure do look good there.


Spiced Chocolate Chiffon Cake
slightly adapted from Elinor Klivan's recipe
makes a 9 1/2 or 10 inch cake

To make the original Chinese Five Spice Chocolate Chiffon Cake, replace the ground all spice and ground white pepper with 2 1/2 teaspoons of chinese five spice powder.

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup oil
7 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup room temperature water + 1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cream or tartar
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325F. Have a 9 1/2 inch or 10 inch tube pan ready. There's no need to grease it.

Combine the 1/4 cup boiling water and spices together in a small bowl. Set aside to cool.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Combine the oil, egg yolks, 1/2 cup water, water with spices and vanilla in a bowl. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix both of them to combine. Do not overmix. Fold in the chopped milk chocolate.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until the whites are foamy and cream of tartar dissolves. Increase the speed to medium and whisk until the whites look shiny and smooth and the beaters leave lines in them. Increase the speed to high and slowly beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until the whites reach stiff peaks.

Take 1/3 of the egg whites and whisk it into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the top of the cake feels firm when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before unmolding.

Monday, September 3, 2012

condensed milk pound cakes.


It's hard not to wonder how condensed milk would taste like in a pound cake. Pound cake is already dense, rich and buttery. Condensed milk would add a milky and sweet dimension to the cake. So, you'll get dense, rich, buttery, milky and sweet all packed into a cake. How awesome does that sound?


The condensed milk did not actually make the cake that sweet. Although it is sweeter than your average pound cake, it will hardly send you spiraling into sugar highs after a few bites. The milky fragrance you get is worth the trade off in a little extra sweetness. The condensed milk also makes the tops of the cake crustier and more browned than usual because of its high sugar content. This is why you should probably eat it a few hours after baking. The tops will soften and become chewy any longer than that.


If you study the mixing method closely, you'd realize that the order of addition of ingredients is not quite your usual sequence. In this recipe, eggs are added after mixing in the flour. I thought it was a typo error at first but after surfing a few blogs, I realized that it wasn't. I can't quite imagine the rationale for this. Blending eggs after the flour would result in extra toughening of the gluten of the flour and run the risk of tough cakes. My cakes turned out fine, if a bit sturdier than usual, but there's always a possibility that some might get carried away with incorporating the eggs and end up with brick-like cakes.

I think in terms of flavour, this recipe is worth trying out but the texture could be improved. And in case you're wondering, I added some Japanese sweet black beans (kuromame) into the larger cakes. They pair really well with milky or chocolaty flavours.


Condensed Milk Pound Cake
makes a 8.5" x 4.5" loaf
adapted from Pichet Ong from The Sweet Spot

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup condensed milk
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a 8.5" x 4/5" loaf pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and condensed milk and mix until well combined.

Add the sifted flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Beat in the eggs until well combined.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean, with moist crumbs attached.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

rum and milk chocolate waffles with creamy brown sugar and rum sauce.


It's been so long since I've seen the shiny handle of my waffle maker. Thank goodness I didn't decide to get an ice cream maker too or it might end up as a mere display item as well.


Anyway, these waffles have inspired me to utilize my waffle iron more (erm.. for a short while only, most likely). Come on- rum and milk chocolate? In a waffle? How can you not fall for it? To be honest, the waffles were good, but they weren't the main star of the plate. For that honor, I would have to award to the brown sugar and rum sauce.


This sauce is the king of caramel sauces. Butterscotch 9.0. The stuff you can put on your shoes and make you eat your shoes (but please don't do that). The rum in it makes all the difference. It's not some flavour hiding in the background, waiting for your tastebuds to detect it. No. The sauce contains rum with capital RUM. You can throw in some raisins and call it rum and raisin sauce.


So please, if the waffles don't entice you, make the sauce! You won't regret it!


Rum and Milk Chocolate Waffles
makes 6 round belgian style ones
adapted from Baking by Flavour by Lisa Yockelson

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup dark rum
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, ground allspice and sugar into a bowl. Whisk the eggs, melted butter, extracts, rum, milk and cream. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, add the milk chocolate chips and stir to form a batter. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile, preheat your waffle iron. Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron's instructions.

Creamy Brown Sugar and Rum Sauce
makes 1 1/3 cups

I substituted evaporated milk for the heavy cream. This sauce is not optional.

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
6 tbsp butter, diced
pinch of salt
2 1/2 tbsp dark rum, divided
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the brown sugar, sugar, heavy cream, butter, salt and 1 1/2 tbsp of rum in a saucepan over moderate heat until sugar dissolves completely. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to cook at a simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1 tbsp rum and vanilla extract. Use the sauce while its still warm and fluid.