Pages

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Now It's Time for the Blueberries

I am continuing with my project of making a dessert with every major summer fruit (or as many of them as possible).  So far I have done strawberries, cherries, and raspberries.  This week it's blueberries.

Blueberry pie is one of my favorite fruit pies (second only to cherry pie), but I already did pie this summer, so I turned my attention to cake for this week's dessert.

I used my basic pound cake recipe that I have used as the base for the my Orange Bourbon Pound Cake, Chocolate Chip Bailey's Cake, and Hazelnut Brown butter cake (a recipe in bad need of tweaking because it was too dry).

I made a few tweaks for this cake.  I decided to work with brown butter again, because most desserts taste better with the butter browned (if you haven't tried Emily's chocolate chip cookies with brown butter, you are missing out).   I wondered if it needed more butter because browning the butter makes some of the liquids evaporate.  Rather than add more butter,  I decided to try using sour cream instead of milk.  This would supply extra fat and give the cake a softer texture.  I had to research what tweaks I needed to make a cake with sour cream.  I just needed less fat, less baking powder, and some baking soda.  I crossed my fingers that this would work.

It worked.  I brought the cake to the office and it received rave reviews. I personally thought it could be a bit sweeter.  If I make this again I might add a bit more sugar (I considered adding brown sugar this time around and I may try that).  The sour cream gave it a perfect texture.  I was the only person who didn't think the cake was sweet enough, so I would say the experiment a success regardless.


Brown Butter Blueberry Sour Cream Cake

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries.
Heat the butter over low heat until melted and foamy.  When the foam subsides, carefully continue heating it until it turns amber and smells nutty.  Immediately remove from heat.

Pour into a bowl set over a larger bowl full of ice water.  Cool until it is solid again, but soft. (Alternately, you can refrigerate it and remove when it is solid and slowly let it come up to room temperature again.  You will need to do this way ahead of time.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (or just butter and flour it, but baking spray will make it easier for you to get into all the crevices of the pan).

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.

Beat the butter in an electric mixer.  Stream in the sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add the eggs a small amount at at time, making sure each spoonful is absorbed before adding the next.  Continue beating until it is pale and gaining volume.  Beat in the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low and begin alternately adding the sour cream and the flour.  Do it in about 3 or 4 batches, ending with the flour.  When it is well blended, gently fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It's The Raspberry's Turn

This summer I made a vow to make at least one dessert with each of the major summer fruits: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches. Each dessert would be a different dessert type as well.  I started off with my Strawberry Shortcake White Chocolate Coconut Trifle back in May.  Last week I made a cherry pie (it was a basic cherry pie, so I didn't post the recipe here).  Today's recipe features raspberries.

Some of my past raspberry recipes include  raspberry buttermilk cake and raspberry truffle brownies, so I wanted to take this dessert away from cakes and bars.  I saw some intriguing raspberry bread pudding recipes online and that sounded delicious.  I decided to make my own version.  I love making bread pudding because it's simple to make, but lends itself to a million sweet and savory variations.

I started with challah bread for my base as I love the texture and sweetness of it.  If you prefer a different bread, feel free to substitute. I added chocolate chips, because I can't go a whole summer without including chocolate in some of my desserts.  It just isn't done. Finally I wanted to add a deeper flavor dimension to my custard. Cinnamon and vanilla both work well with most bread pudding dishes, but I wanted something that would really play against the rapsberries.   A shot of liqueur or spirits is also common in my bread pudding recipes.  In this case I wasn't sure what would highlight both the raspberries and the chocolate.   I decided to use a bit of orange liqueur.



It came together easily and was popular both at home and at work.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf (about 1lb of challah bread)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs*
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur such as Triple Sec
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
A day before you make the pudding, cut the bread into chunks and allow to dry out for a day.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8" square baking dish (you can also use 9" x 13", but you will need to adjust your baking time by 10-15 minutes).

Mix together eggs, sugar, half and half, and liqueur.  Toss bread cubes in the batter and make sure they are evenly coated.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Lay some of the bread cubes in the baking dish and sprinkle gently with raspberries.  You want to avoid crushing them too much, so the idea to to layer the bread and sprinkle the raspberries over it.  Pour any remaining custard over the top.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until the top is springy. 

*I used four because I bought my eggs at the farmers' market where I don't have much choice over size.  My eggs were on the small side.  If you are buying uniformly large eggs at the supermarket, you may want to consider using fewer.