Friday, October 31, 2008

BakeSpace Challenge #8 - Spooky Recipe

The Mission: Make creepy food fitting with the Halloween Season

Solution: Mummy Meringues

I decided I wanted to serve Phantasmal Phalanges, but there are MANY finger shaped cookies (Lady Fingers, Viennese fingers… etc) out there, so it had to be different. Spooky… Odd… and Slightly disgusting. I got the idea from seeing little smokies wrapped with strips of flour tortilla to look like mummy fingers…
I happily plagiarized the idea, but in keeping with the general nature of mummies, being all dehydrated to the point of crumbling to dust with over handling… I decided to make a dessert utilizing a baked meringue to get a mummy finger texture I would be happy with.
A little black food coloring to “Grey” up the egg whites and a broken sliced almond for a fingernail and Voila …!!!!
Mummy meringues for your mandible munching madness.

Mummy Meringues

Special equipment - 2 Pastry bags; small rose petal tip; large round tip (Writing)
3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
Black Gel Coloring
sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Whip Egg whites with salt on low speed until foamy.
Sprinkle Cream of Tarter over the foam and continue to whip at medium speed.
Once soft peaks are achieved, begin sprinkling the sugar over the forming meringue and continuing to whip. Once the peaks are really stiff and glossy, remove about 1/3 cup and place in the pastry bag fitted with teh rose petal tip.
Mix extracts with a little black food coloring and fold into the remaining meringue.
Line baking sheets with parchment and fill a piping bag with a large round tip.
Pipe 3 1/2 inch stripes of grey meringue onto the parchment paper. (Don't worry about them being completely straight and even... It makes them more creepy)
Place an almond slice on one end of each strip for a fingernail. (I placed the almond where I made the Curly-queue as I drew the bag up to cover the little peak)
Wet finger and smooth the meringues where necessary.
Pipe "gauze bandages" over opposite end of the meringue finger with the "white" meringue.

Bake at 200 for 1 hour.
Turn oven off and let the meringues continue drying in the warm oven for another hour.
Serve on a pile of chocolate cookie crumbs to resemble dirt if you like.

‘Bone’ Appetit MUAH HA HA HA HA HA

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Matcha do About Shortbreads

I have discovered Matcha (Green Tea Powder) and not only does it make an incredible cup/bowl of tea (Japanese Tea Ceremony) but it is nice to work with in the kitchen for things like green tea gelato and these delicious green tea shortbread cookies. Now most shortbread is simply flour, butter and sugar with a little flavoring of some sort. A very sticky dough that is easier to handle if rolled into a log, frozen and sliced. However, if powdered sugar is used the cornstarch facilitates rolling and cutting... Granted the dough is still very delicate, but it is possible. The Green tea makes for a not so sweet cookie, the addition of white chocolate with a hint of orange oil, makes a nice addition to tempering the tea flavor and creating a good balance. I wanted a little texture to my acorns, so I used a paint brush (For cake decorating) to apply the white chocolate.

2 cups (10 oz) AP Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (2 oz) Confectioners' Sugar
2 tsp Green Tea Powder (matcha)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (2 oz) Granulated Sugar
1 tsp St. Germaine or Almond, Orange, Lemon or Lime extract

Whisk Salt, Flour, Green Tea powder and Powdered Sugar in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl beat softened butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the St. Germain or choice of extract, then slowly mix in the dry ingredients.
Divide the dough in half and press into 2 discs.
Wrapped in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325
Flour a board and roll the dough to between 1/8 & 1/4 inch.
Cut with cookie cutter into your desired shape and move to a parchment lined baking sheet with a well floured spatula.
These do not spread when baking so don't worry about crowding the pan.
Bake for about 15 minutes, just until the edges begin to brown.
Move to a cooling rack and prepare chocolate while the cookies cool

If you are going to dip them, melt 6 oz of white chocolate with 1/2 tsp of Orange oil. (Don't use extract, the chocolate will seize)

If you are "painting", like I did, you only need 2 oz of white chocolate with about 1/8 of a tsp of orange oil.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BakeSpace Challenge #7 - Polish History Month

Mission: Authentic Polish Recipe - In Honor of Polish History Month

Solution: Tort Orzechowy - special equipment - 7 1/2 - 8 cup Brioche mold...

1 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 Cups finely ground Panko (Or other white bread crumbs)
3/4 cup Honey (I like Orange Blossom)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs; Separated

1 cup Hazelnuts, Toasted and Ground Medium-Fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection)
Brush inside of brioche mold with melted butter.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the fine Panko into the mold and coat the inside of the pan and set aside.
Place honey in a large bowl over simmering water.
Once honey melts, add brown sugar and begin whisking
Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking constantly.
Once all egg yolks have been added, continue to whisk the mixture over simmering water until a light custard is formed (Mixture will be quite pale and thickened)

Remove mixture from stove.
Combine Hazelnuts and Panko, then fold this into the honey custard.
In a clean, preferably copper, bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
Fold into the rest of the batter, 1/2 at a time.
Carefully spoon batter into the brioche mold. (It's kind of like a nutty angel food cake batter)
Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes
Cake will be golden brown around the edges.

Let cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes
Unmold onto a rack, sprinkle with more nuts and honey when serving.