Monday, October 27, 2014

SRC: Boozy Pumpkin Bread

Decisions, decisions.  Each month I'm given the daunting task of browsing through an amazing blog and singling just one recipe out to present to you all on Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  You would think that after a while of having to make this decision it would get easier.  But, well, it just doesn't.

This month I just as hard of a time as ever.  My assignment this month was The Wimpy Vegetarian.  And let me tell ya, there is absolutely nothing wimpy or weak about Susan, her blog, or any of the numerous recipes she's featured on her blog.  I did not have any problems finding recipes that called my name, and honestly I wasn't missing the meat at all.  Browsing through Susan's recipes I was drawn to the chocolaty chocolate browniescrack granolablackberry cornbread bucklehomemade sauerkrautapple cider syrup, and even these browned butter bread crumbs just to name a few.

When I finally had to bite the bullet and choose which recipe to make first, I decided to take the fall route and go with something pumpkin.  It took me a matter of seconds to choose a bread from the list of options.  Boozy pumpkin bread to be exact!

DB: Austrian Sachertorte

This month's Daring Baker's challenge was calling my name.  It's a challenge all about baking, filling cakes, coating them in ganache.  Oh, and it's about chocolate.  It's like this challenge was written just for me.

The October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Korena of Korena in the Kitchen. She took us to Austria and introduced us to the wonders of the Sachertorte.  

This is a classic Austrian dessert.  A decadently rich chocolate cake, filled with apricot glaze and topped with chocolate ganache.  It's decorated with a simple piping of chocolate and served with a side of unsweetened whipped cream.

Here's a little more history on the sachertorte-
The Sachertorte was first created in Austria in 1832 when Prince Metternich requested a fancy dessert for his dinner guests. His pastry chef was ill that night, so the task fell to the apprentice, Franz Sacher, who came up with the now famous cake that bears his name. Franz built a career on that cake, and his son Eduard later opened the Sacher Hotel in Vienna where Franz’s cake, made according to the hotel’s original and closely-guarded secret recipe, is served to this day (and can also be ordered online and shipped worldwide). The cake is so popular in Vienna that it has become an integral part of the city’s kaffeehaus tradition, with local bakeries and cafés serving up their own versions along with a dollop of schlag and a cup of steaming hot coffee.

I had so much fun with this month's challenge.  Not only did I get to fix my chocolate craving, but I also got to try different type of cake and flavor combination that I probably would not have tried otherwise.  So the next time you need a cake or just want to try a different dessert, make this Austrian sachertorte.

DB: Austrian Sachertorte

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
9 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup powdered sugar
6 Large eggs, room temperature, separated
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup all purpose flour
Pinch salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and dust with flour.  Line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.

Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and place over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Once the water begins to simmer place a heat-proof bowl over the simmer water and add the chocolate.  Stir occasionally until melted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring often.

Meanwhile, place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until light, pale in color and creamy. Reduce mixing speed to low, slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated then increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition.  Once completely incorporated add the vanilla and cooled chocolate and beat well until light and creamy.

In a separate bowl, add the egg whites and one tablespoon of granulated sugar and beat on high until foamy.  Gradually add the remaining granulated sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they form soft, yet stiff, shiny peaks.

Add about 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and whip vigorously into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula until just a few bits of egg whites remain.  Be sure to be gentle through the process so the egg whites are not deflated.

In a separate bowl combine flour and salt and whisk to combine.  Sift half of it over the chocolate mixture and fold in with a spatula until almost incorporated.  Sift the remaining flour over the chocolate and fold until completely combined.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  The cake will crack and dome as it bakes but will flatten as it cools.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and remove the outside of the pan.  Carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack and remove from the bottom of the pan and remove parchment paper.  Turn the cake right side up and allow to cool completely.

To assemble, turn the cake upside-down so the flat bottom is now the cake top.  Cut the cake horizontally into 2 even layers.  Place 1 cake layer on a cake board or cake plate and spread it generously with about half of the apricot glaze.  Allow it to soak in.  Place the second cake layer on top and spread the top and sides with the remaining apricot glaze.

Working quickly before the glaze sets, use an offset metal spatula to smooth the top and sides.  Place the cake on a rack and set over a plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper and allow glaze to set.

Make the chocolate glaze and immediately pour over the cake, first around the edge and then the middle.  Spread the excess glaze over any bare spots using the offset spatula.  Before the glaze has a chance to set, move the cake to a serving platter.

Fill a piping bag with the writing chocolate and pipe the word "Sacher" in the center of the cake and add any decorative flourishes desired.  Chill the cake until the glaze is set, at least 1 hour.

To serve:
Allow the cake to come to room temperature, let sit out at least 1 hour.  Whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.  If desired, sweeten with powdered sugar to taste.  Using a large, sharp knife dipped in hot water (and wiped off) cut cake and repeat process between cuts.

Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

For the apricot glaze-
1 1/4 Cup apricot jam or preserves
2 Tbsp rum or water

Bring jam and rum/water to a boil.  Keep mixture over medium heat, allowing to cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and drips slowly from the spoon.  Strain through a wire, mesh sieve, pressing firmly on the solids.  This should yield about 1 cup of glaze.

For the chocolate glaze-
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup water
4 Oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Place sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Attach a candy thermometer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 234 F.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate.  It might thicken up quite a bit.  if it does, return to low heat and add a few drops of water if necessary to thin it out to a runny, pourable consistency.  The glaze should be smooth and shiny.

Remove mixture from heat, stir the glaze for 30-60 seconds to cool slightly.  Immediately use it to glaze the cake.

For the writing chocolate-
1/4 Cup chopped chocolate
1/2-1 Tsp vegetable oil

Heat the chocolate until just melted, then stir in enough vegetable oil to get a pipeable consistency.  Place the chocolate in a piping bag and pipe design on the cake.

Recipe source: Kaffeehaus: The Best Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague by Rick Rodgers,                                                via Epicurious.
                                 Writing chocolate from WickedGoodies.net

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

I am beyond excited to talk to you about the giveaway I have going on today!  I have teamed up with Angela, Juggling Act Mama, and several other amazing and talented bloggers to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win their very own KitchenAid Mixer!

Let me just say, I have a KitchenAid myself and I LOVE it.  I've had mine for about 6 years and I use it all the time.  Not only is it ideal for mixing batters for baked good, but it also has several attachments making it a multi-use kitchen tool that can easily become your best friend.  From pastas, to meat grinding and even making ice cream, there are so many uses for your mixer.

If you're not a cook, keep in mind that Christmas is a little over 60 days away and this will make a wonderful gift for the chef or baker in your life!

So enter for your chance to win this amazing kitchen tool that's as fun to look at as it is to use!

Welcome to the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway event!  We're giving away a truly awesome prize today - a KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield!  What's not to love about that? KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Giveaway organized by Juggling Act Mama

ABOUT THE PRIZE: KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield
  • Winner chooses color - Empire Red, Ice (blue), Contour Silver or White on White
  • Multipurpose attachment hub, over 15 optional attachments
  • 5-quart stainless steel bowl, dishwasher safe
  • Tilt-head design
  • Includes coated flat beater, coated dough hook, wire whip and 1-piece pouring shield, 1-year warranty
  • 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl

Enter the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Some entries, such as tweeting can be done daily so be sure to check back. RULES: Open to US/CAN Residents only. 1 winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize is valued at $300 USD. Winner may choose a $300 USD Amazon gift card in lieu of prize if desired. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with KitchenAid, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Chili

It is FINALLY feeling like fall here in Arkansas and I am so stinkin' excited!  While I thoroughly enjoy grilling, eating lighter and refreshing foods, I am so ready for the fall and the soups, stews and other hearty meals that go along with it.

When I saw the forecast last week.  Yes, I plan my menu according to the weather.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that.

Anyway, so I got the first true glimpse of fall-like weather in the forecast and immediately starting skimming my soup recipes I had marked over the past few months.  Chili? Stew? Chowder? Decisions decisions.

I finally decided to make this chicken enchilada chili from Sweet Treats and More.  Have you visited her site?  If not, I strongly urge you to head over and check out all of her tempting treats!

Anyway, back to the soup.  Not only is it Mexican inspired, which you all know I live on Mexican food.  It's also easy prep, low fuss and uses one of my favorite kitchen tools, the slow cooker.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ahh, pumpkin. The season I look forward to the entire year.  Yes, pumpkin is a season in and of itself, I am a firm believer!  I love pumpkin everything, but what I look forward the most are the lattes.  The warm frothy, pumpkin spice drink that dreams are made of.

I can't count how many I had last year, and frankly I don't even want to think about it.  I can say it's probably way more than I'd ever care to admit.  But, enough about that.  During my pumpkin binge last year, I discovered yet an another amazing addition to my pumpkin latte.  White chocolate.

Yes, as if the delicious pumpkin latte couldn't get any better, the addition of white chocolate takes it over the top.  The  pumpkin, warm spices and brown sugar pair so well with the creamy, sweet white chocolate.
But, before now I always depended on the coffeehouse to provide me with my much desired pumpkin latte.  Since I started staying home with my little guy, I don't get out and about as much and I didn't want to depend on the coffeehouse provide me with my beloved latte.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Maple Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits

I'm a bread lover, so me telling you that biscuits...or any type of bread for the matter, are an absolute favorite of mine.  There's nothing much better than a flaky biscuit straight from the oven that's been schmeared with a little butter and perhaps a dab of jam.  Give me that any day of the week and I'll be one happy camper.

Another thing I'm infatuated with.  Pumpkin.  Yes, I know, shocker again.  I'm a pumpkin-aholic and when this time of year rolls around I'm chomping at the bit for all things pumpkin.  And, I think it's safe to say that I'm in pretty good company with about 99.9% of the U.S. feeling the exact same way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

S'mores Stuffed Biscuit Waffles

A few weeks ago I celebrated the humble, yet amazing, waffle with a week full of indulgent waffle recipes.  I tried to squeeze as many recipes as I possibly could into one week, but honestly there weren't enough days in the week.  My mind went crazy and my kitchen was a waffle factory for several weeks.  But.  It was so worth it.  And I have a few extra waffle creations to share with you.

I decided to allow you...and the rest of my family to recover from their waffle coma before pulling out the ol' waffle iron again.  This is another recipe that is indulgent but so simple.  It's even ideal for those busy mornings when everyone is trying to get out the door!

Just because you want a fluffy, buttery waffle doesn't mean you need to pull out the mixing bowl, eggs and butter.  With this recipe, you can get all that and more by just opening a can.  A can of thick and fluffy biscuits.

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