Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dobos Torte

This is my first month doing the Daring Bakers' Challenge, and it was definitely challenging. I learned some new skills and enjoyed making the torte, so I will undoubtedly be participating in future challenges. The 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 Caffes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague. Enjoy!
Before I started mixing up the cake batter, I traced the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to make circles on six pieces of parchment paper.
The egg yolks and powdered sugar are beaten until they are pale yellow and the batter forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted above the batter.
The egg whites are beaten until soft peaks form, then the remaining powdered sugar is beaten in until stiff. This mixture is folded into the egg yolk mixture.
The flour and salt are folded in.
The cake batter is spread into the shape of a circle on the parchment paper.
Each layer is baked and the parchment paper is peeled off.
Each cake layer is trimmed into an 8-inch circle. I used the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan as a template.
Chocolate is chopped for the buttercream.
The eggs and sugar are beaten until pale and thickened.
The egg mixture is then cooked over a double boiler until it begins to thicken.
The chocolate is added to the egg mixture.
While the chocolate mixture cools, the caramel is made.
The caramel is poured over a layer of cake and cut into triangles.
The butter is added to the cooled chocolate mixture to complete the chocolate buttercream.
Each layer of the torte is spread with buttercream.
The sides and top of the torte are then covered with the remaining buttercream.
The caramel triangles are placed on top of the torte.
View from the top.
My husband and I didn't care for the caramel triangles, so I took them off and decorated the cake with grated dark chocolate.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tunnel of Fudge Cake Balls

When I started this little baking project I intended to make a tunnel of fudge cake. However, when I inverted the bundt pan, I ended up with a nice ring of fudge on my countertop. It was a tunnel of fudge disaster! The cake was too delicious to throw away, but as you can see from the photo below, it was not presentable in its disastrous state. My husband suggested that I just make cake balls, and I ended up being really pleased with the results. Unlike traditional cake balls, I didn't add any frosting to the cake mixture - the fudge was gooey enough to hold the balls together once I mixed up everything. See my previous post for instructions on making cake balls.
I started the cake by adding butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla to a large mixer bowl.
The mixture was creamed until very light and fluffy.
Eggs and chocolate were mixed in.
After the flour mixture and nuts were added, the batter was poured into the bundt pan and placed in the oven.
Disaster strikes! I quickly turned the pan back over to prevent anymore of the cake from spilling onto my countertop. There was only one thing I could do...
So I put the cake in a bowl...
...and turned the disaster into cake balls.
The balls were dipped in white almond bark and decorated with melted chocolate.
Disaster never looked so tasty!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nutella Oatmeal Cookies

I love love love Nutella. I generally prefer to eat it out of the jar with a spoon, but I decided I could expand my Nutella horizons and use it to make some cookies too. The cookies turned out really well, and had an exquisite soft and chewy texture. For a more pronounced hazelnut flavor, try adding some hazelnut liqueur to the dough.
From Hannah's Kitchen

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Nutella
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, Nutella, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat just until combined. Add the oats and beat until combined.

4. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just set. Allow cookies to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to col completely.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Smores Bars

I had a jar of marshmallow creme that had been sitting on my pantry shelf for quite sometime, and these bars looked like a delicious way to finally use it. I have a tendency to impulse buy baking items at the grocery store that I don't need and don't have plans for using. I just get so excited when presented with a whole aisle full of yumminess! My friend Sarah posted these treats on her blog, and they looked so tasty that I had to give them a try.
The graham cracker dough is layered into the bottom of the pan.
Chocolate chips are sprinkled on top.
Next comes the marshmallow creme.
Then the remaining dough is flattened and pieced together on the top.
Let them cool completely before slicing.
Adapted slightly from The Application of Heat

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at low speed until combined.

4. Divide dough in half and press half of the dough into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Scatter the milk chocolate chips over the dough. Drop the marshmallow fluff by spoonfuls over the chips and dough and spread into a layer with the help of a greased spatula. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This is best achieved by flattening the dough into small flat shingles and layering them together until the pan is covered.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into squares with a lightly oiled knife.