Winter Peach Upside-Down Cake

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Serves: 8 to 10

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 45 to 55 minutes

I wanted to add this wonderful recipe to Rose's Baking Basics but there just wasn't room for one more, so here it is now! Happy first day of Winter!

In mid-winter, or any time at all for that matter, when one is longing for fresh peaches for baking, this amazing and easy to make topping using frozen peaches is the answer. Surprisingly, the frozen peaches, when thawed and baked, are firm and juicy. I adapted this technique, created by my wonderful friend Emeril Lagasse, for a Good Morning America on line site. The cake component is my favorite sour cream recipe I use for a fruit upside-down cake because it holds together well, and has a dense but tender crumb. I added almond extract, which is a natural synergy with peach.

I also encourage you to try the food processor Almond Upside-Down Cake that is the base cake for sour cherry from Cenk’s Sönmezoy’s marvelous book The Art of Baking Artful Baker. He has generously given me permission to offer it to you. It is incredibly quick and easy to mix but has a perfectly even and tender crumb. 

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

Make the Peach Topping

1) Drain the peaches and set them between paper towels to absorb excess liquid. If some of the slices are thicker than the others, slice them in half with a small serrated knife.

2) Pour the melted butter into the cake pan and spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top

3) Arrange the peach slices on top of the sugar, either with the rounded ends facing the sides of the pan or sideways, overlapping slighted as needed to fit them all in.

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

 Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

Make the Batter

1) Into a small bowl, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 30 grams/2 tablespoons of the sour cream, and the almond and vanilla extracts, and whisk lightly until combined.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining 91 grams of sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3) Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

4) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

5) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Store Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 3 months.

Baking Pearl

The baking stone helps to deepen the caramel on the peaches.

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Cenk’s Almond-Upside Down Cake (adapted from The Artful Baker)

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

Peach Topping as Above

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 325˚F/160˚C.

Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, cut the butter into large pieces and set it on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C). Also set the eggs on the counter.

Make the Batter

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

2) In the bowl of a food processor, process the almond flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended, about 1 minute.

3) Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough gathers around the blade, about 1 minute.

4) Add the egg mixture and process until blended, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be very thick.

5) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

6) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Lemon Cheesecake Soufflé Recipe

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Fifty years ago I tasted a cheese cake that was almost as light and airy as whipped cream. I never forgot it. The bakery was in Princeton, NJ and when I moved back to New York City I actually took a bus ride to the bakery trying to persuade them to give me the recipe. They promised they would send it but never did. Finally, all these years later, I figured it out. Instead of adding the whole eggs to the cream cheese batter, I separated them and whipped the egg whites with the sugar Italian meringue style. I added a little extra sugar to compensate for the sugar syrup that sticks to the sides of the pot.

The resulting cake is so fluffy it makes a sound when you put a fork to it.

 Serves: 10 to 12

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 50 minutes (55 minutes if using a silicone pan instead of aluminum foil for the water bath), plus 1 hour with the oven off

Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least 1 day before serving.

 Equipment One 9 by 3 or 2-3/4 inch high springform pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, set in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage; A 12 inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath

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PREHEAT THE OVEN

* TWENTY MINUTES OR LONGER BEFORE BAKING, SET AN OVEN RACK IN THE LOWER THIRD OF THE OVEN. SET THE OVEN AT 350˚F/175˚C.

MISE EN PLACE

* ONE HOUR AHEAD, INTO THE BOWL OF A STAND MIXER, PLACE THE CREAM CHEESE, CORNSTARCH, AND 25 GRAMS/2 TABLESPOONS OF THE SUGAR AT COOL ROOM TEMPERATURE (65˚ TO 70˚F/19˚ TO 21˚C).

* INTO ANOTHER 1 CUP MEASURE WITH A SPOUT, PLACE THE LEMON ZEST, AND WEIGH OR MEASURE THE LEMON JUICE. COVER WITH PLASTIC WRAP.

* IF USING A CAKE BASE, TRIM IT TO SIZE AND SET IT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN. IF USING LADY FINGERS, CUT OFF THE ROUNDED EDGES AND ARRANGE THEM ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN, PLACING THEM ROUNDED CRUST FLAT SIDES DOWN AND CUTTING OR TEARING SMALLER PIECES TO FIT INTO ANY GAPS. COVER THE PAN WITH PLASTIC WRAP WHILE MAKING THE FILLING.

MAKE THE BATTER

1) INTO TWO SMALL CONTAINERS, SEPARATE THE YOLKS AND THE WHITES. COVER AND RESERVE THE EGG WHITES TO MAKE UP A TOTAL OF 4 EGG WHITES FOR THE MERINGUE IN THE CHART BELOW.

2) ATTACH THE WHISK BEATER AND BEAT THE CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE ON MEDIUM-HIGH SPEED UNTIL VERY SMOOTH, SCRAPING DOWN THE SIDES OF THE BOWL ONCE OR TWICE, ABOUT 3 MINUTES.

3) GRADUALLY BEAT IN THE EGG YOLKS AND CONTINUE BEATING UNTIL SMOOTH, SCRAPING DOWN THE SIDES OF THE BOWL AS NEEDED.

4) ON MEDIUM-LOW SPEED ADD THE LEMON ZEST, LEMON JUICE, VANILLA, AND SALT AND BEAT UNTIL INCORPORATED.

5) ADD THE SOUR CREAM AND CONTINUE BEATING JUST UNTIL FULLY BLENDED, 20 TO 30 SECONDS. DETACH THE WHISK BEATER AND USE IT TO REACH DOWN AND WHISK IN ANY MIXTURE THAT HAS SETTLED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL.

6) REMOVE AND WASH, RINSE, AND DRY THE WHISK BEATER TO REMOVE ANY TRACE OF OIL. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SECOND MIXER BOWL, SCRAPE THIS MIXTURE INTO A LARGE BOWL AND THOROUGHLY WASH, RINSE, AND DRY THE MIXER BOWL AND WHISK BEATER TO REMOVE ANY TRACE OF OIL.

MISE EN PLACE

* HAVE READY A 1 CUP GLASS MEASURE WITH A SPOUT (NOT COATED WITH NONSTICK COOKING SPRAY) NEAR THE COOKTOP.

INTO THE BOWL OF A STAND MIXER, WEIGH OR MEASURE THE RESERVED 3 EGG WHITES AND ADD ABOUT 1 MORE EGG WHITE OR ENOUGH TO MAKE UP THE 120 GRAMS/118 ML/3/4 CUP.

1) IN A SMALL HEAVY SAUCEPAN, PREFERABLY NONSTICK AND WITH A SPOUT, STIR TOGETHER THE REMAINING 200 GRAMS/1 CUP OF SUGAR AND THE WATER UNTIL THE SUGAR IS COMPLETELY MOISTENED. COOK ON MEDIUM HEAT, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, UNTIL THE SUGAR DISSOLVES AND THE SYRUP IS BUBBLING. STOP STIRRING AND TURN DOWN THE HEAT TO THE LOWEST SETTING. (IF USING AN ELECTRIC COOKTOP, REMOVE FROM THE HEAT.)

2) ATTACH THE WHISK BEATER AND BEAT THE EGG WHITES ON MEDIUM-HIGH SPEED JUST UNTIL ALMOST STIFF PEAKS FORM WHEN THE BEATER IS RAISED SLOWLY (THEY SHOULD CURVE SLIGHTLY).

3) INCREASE THE HEAT ON THE COOKTOP AND BOIL THE SYRUP UNTIL AN INSTANT-READ THERMOMETER REGISTERS 248˚ TO 250˚F/120˚C. IMMEDIATELY POUR THE SYRUP INTO THE GLASS MEASURE TO STOP THE COOKING.

4) WITH THE MIXER OFF, POUR A SMALL AMOUNT OF SYRUP OVER THE WHITES. IMMEDIATELY BEAT ON HIGH SPEED FOR 5 SECONDS. STOP THE MIXER AND ADD ONE-THIRD OF THE SYRUP. BEAT ON HIGH SPEED FOR 5 SECONDS. ADD THE REMAINING SYRUP IN TWO PARTS, WITH THE MIXER OFF BETWEEN ADDITIONS. FOR THE LAST ADDITION, USE A SILICONE SCRAPER TO REMOVE THE SYRUP CLINGING TO THE GLASS MEASURE AND SCRAPE IT AGAINST THE BEATER.

5) CONTINUE BEATING ON MEDIUM SPEED FOR 2 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOWL IS NO LONGER HOT TO THE TOUCH. THEN USE THE WHISK BEATER TO FOLD IT INTO THE BATTER. USE A SILICONE SPATULA TO REACH TO THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL TO FINISH FOLDING.

6) SCRAPE THE BATTER INTO THE PREPARED PAN AND SMOOTH THE SURFACE EVENLY.

BAKE THE CHEESECAKE

7) SET THE PAN INTO THE LARGER PAN AND SURROUND IT WITH 1 INCH OF VERY HOT WATER. ADD ABOUT 1 TEASPOON OF CREAM OF TARTAR TO THE WATER AND STIR TO DISSOLVE IT. (THIS WILL PREVENT DISCOLORATION OF THE ALUMINUM PAN.) BAKE FOR 25 MINUTES. FOR EVEN BAKING, ROTATE THE PAN HALFWAY AROUND. CONTINUE BAKING FOR 25 MINUTES (30 MINUTES IF USING THE SILICONE PAN). TURN OFF THE OVEN WITHOUT OPENING THE DOOR AND LET THE CAKE COOL FOR 1 HOUR. WHEN MOVED THE CENTER WILL JIGGLE SLIGHTLY. (ALTERNATIVELY, BAKE FOR 1 HOUR PLUS 10 MINUTES UNTIL THE CENTER TESTS 147°F. THE CENTER BOUNCES BACK WHEN LIGHTLY PRESSED AND IT JIGGLES EVEN IN THE CENTER.) THE EDGES WILL HAVE LITTLE CRACKS AND BE BROWNED.

COOL AND CHILL THE CHEESECAKE

7) REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE WATER BATH BUT LEAVE THE SILICONE PAN OR FOIL IN PLACE TO CONTAIN ANY LIQUID THAT MAY SEEP FROM THE CAKE. SET IT ON A WIRE RACK TO COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE OR JUST WARM, 1 TO 2 HOURS. TO ABSORB CONDENSATION, PLACE A PAPER TOWEL, CURVED SIDE DOWN, OVER THE PAN WITH THE ENDS OVERHANGING. PLACE AN INVERTED PLATE, LARGER THAN THE SPRINGFORM PAN, ON TOP OF THE PAPER TOWEL.

8) REFRIGERATE THE CHEESECAKE FOR 8 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT, STILL COVERED WITH THE PAPER TOWEL AND PLATE.

UNMOLD THE CHEESECAKE

9) REMOVE THE PLATE AND PAPER TOWEL. USE A SMALL PROPANE TORCH OR WIPE THE SIDES OF THE PAN SEVERAL TIMES WITH A TOWEL THAT HAS BEEN RUN UNDER HOT WATER AND WRUNG OUT. RELEASE THE SIDES OF THE SPRINGFORM PAN. IF THE SIDES OF THE CHEESECAKE ARE UNEVEN, RUN A SMALL METAL SPATULA UNDER HOT WATER AND USE IT TO SMOOTH THEM.

10) THIS DELICATE CAKE IS BEST LEFT ON THE PAN BOTTOM OF THE SPRINGFORM.

11) CUT WITH A WET KNIFE THAT HAS BEEN RUN UNDER HOT WATER BETWEEN EACH SLICE AND WIPED CLEAN WITH A PAPER TOWEL.

STORE AIRTIGHT: REFRIGERATED, 3 DAYS; DO NOT FREEZE, AS THE TEXTURE WILL BECOME LESS SMOOTH.

Chocolate Oblivion

 from FOOD 52 Genius baking book

from FOOD 52 Genius baking book

Serves: 6 to 8
Oven Temperature: 425˚F/220˚C
Baking Time: Bake 7 minutes pan uncovered, then 10 to 13 covered
(add 3 to 5 minute, if using a silicone pan instead of wrapping with heavy duty aluminum foil)

The Chocolate Oblivion from “The Cake Bible” became my family and friends most requested cake recipe. When I met Rose for the first time, when she came to Minneapolis, this is the cake I brought for her to taste. The Oblivion has the texture somewhere between a baked chocolate mousse and a truffle. We make this 6 inch version to serve along with another dessert.

Plan Ahead  Make the Chocolate Oblivion least 8 hours ahead before serving.

 Special Equipment One 6 by 2-3/4 inch or higher springform pan, bottom and the sides lightly coated with butter, bottom topped with a parchment round, wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil OR set in a slightly larger silicone pan to prevent seepage; One 12 by 2 inch round cake pan or a roasting pan to serve as a water bath; One 10 by 2 inch round cake pan or 10 to 11 inch in diameter pot cover to cover the springform pan during baking

Preheat the Oven
*
Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.* Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.

 Mis en Place
* About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).
* Chop the chocolate coarsely and place the butter and chocolate in a medium size metal bowl that can be set over a pot to serve as a ‘double boiler’. (Choose a pot that a stand mixer’s bowl can also set on top of it for step 3).Alternatively, if your oven has a pilot light, set the metal bowl on an oven rack and allow for 12 hours or overnight for the chocolate and butter to melt.
* If using, spoon the cream of tartar onto the center of the waterbath pan.
 

Melt the Chocolate and Butter
1) Set the bowl over the pot of hot, not simmering, water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), stirring the chocolate and butter occasionally, until smooth and melted.
2) Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the optional vanilla, if using.  

Whip the Eggs
3) Heat the water in the pot until it is simmering.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a long-handled whisk, lightly whisk the eggs. Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water and heat, just until lukewarm to the touch, stirring constantly with the whisk to prevent curdling.
5) Immediately transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and attach the whisk beater.
6) Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until the eggs triple in volume and the egg foam is billowy and almost ready to form soft peaks when the beater is raised. (If using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot. Then remove them from the heat and beat for a minimum of 5 minutes.)

7) Add 6 to 8 cups of water to the pot and heat the water to very hot to the touch.

Complete the Batter
8) Using a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula, fold one-third the egg foam into the chocolate mixture until almost evenly incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg foam in two parts until almost no streaks remain.
9) Use a silicone spatula to finish folding, scraping up the mixture from the bottom to ensure that all of the heavier chocolate mixture is evenly incorporated.
10) Scrape the batter into the springform pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula.

Bake the Chocolate Oblivion
11) Fill the waterbath to a depth of 1 inch with the heated water. If using, whisk the cream of tartar until it is completely dissolved.
12) Set the prepared springform pan into the larger pan. Add more water, if necessary, until the water reaches half way up the sides of the pan.

13) Bake for 5 minutes (7 minutes if using the silicone pan).

14) Set the 8 inch cake pan on top of the springform pan and continue baking for another 8 to 11 minutes (9 to 14 minutes if using the silicone pan). The Chocolate Oblivion will appear set but will wobble slightly if the pan is moved. (An instant-read thermometer should read 170ºF/75°C.)

 

Chill the Chocolate Oblivion

15) Remove the pan from the water bath and set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just until warm, about 2 hours.

16) Remove the aluminum foil or silicone liner.

17) To absorb condensation, place a paper towel, curved side upwards, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel.

18) Refrigerate the Oblivion for 8 hours to overnight.

 

To Serve

19) Remove the plate and paper towel. Blot off any moisture from the top of the Oblivion.

20) Run an offset spatula between the sides of the pan and the Oblivion. Remove the sides of the springform pan.

21) Cover the top of the Oblivion with plastic wrap and then with a 9 inch round pan or round wire rack.

22) Invert the Oblivion. Remove the parchment paper.

23) Heat an off-set spatula with hot water and wipe it off. Smooth the sides of the Oblivion.

24) Set a flat serving plate or cutting board on top of the Oblivion and re-invert. The Oblivion’s texture and taste is best at cool room temperature.

Store Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze as the texture will become less smooth.

 

 

Notes

* Our favorite springform pan is Wiltons’ Avanti glass bottom pan, which can serve as a serving plate and allow for cutting the cake to its bottom with dental floss or knife. 

* Since the recipe is dependent on using a high quality chocolate, we recommend these brands: Valhrona, Guittard, and Lindt.

* Using a chocolate that is higher than 62% can cause the Oblivion to be streaky from the butter separating during baking.

* The mixture can look slightly curdled during and after mixing, but the Oblivion will bake to a uniform consistency.

* Some water may seep in between the foil, if using it, and the springform pan. If the water is clear, none is likely to have been absorbed by the Oblivion.

* We recommend using an 18 inch long piece of dental floss for cutting the Oblivion. Wrap each end of the dental floss around each index finger, and hold the dental floss taunt and centered over the Oblivion. Slice through the Oblivion with a sawing action to the bottom. Pull the dental floss out of one side. Repeat the process for cutting the slices to be served. (Alternatively, cut the Oblivion slices with a heated knife.)

 

Variation in a 9 inch springform

Use a 12 x 2 inch pan for the waterbath and a 10 inch cake pan or aluminum fol to cover during the second baking time.

 

Baking Time: Bake 7 minutes pan uncovered, then 10 to 13 covered

(add 3 to 5 minute, if using a silicone pan instead of wrapping with heavy duty aluminum foil)

 

 

 

Heavenly Peach Galette

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Serves: 8
Oven Temperature: 400°F/200°C
Baking Time: 40 to 45 minutes

This is my favorite peach pie transformed into a galette. I prefer it to a pie because the balance of fruit to pastry is truly perfection. It works for most fruit but especially well for peaches which, compared to nectarines and apples, are a little softer and don't hold up as well in a thicker layer. The thin, buttery, flaky, crisp crust encasing the luscious peach slices is truly heavenly.

Special Equipment One 10 to 12 inch pizza pan, preferably dark metal, or baking sheet; A baking stone or baking sheet

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NOTE: For the pie crust, put  Rose's Favorite Flaky & Tender Pie Crust in the Search Box (or got to the Recipe of the Month page, and click on its posting on the right sidebar).

Increase the recipe by 2 times to 624 grams. Rolling a crust this large and this thin can be tricky. This is a great dough--strong enough to roll thin but tender when baked. Be sure to roll the crust in a cool area--no higher than 75˚/24°C and work quickly. Move it on the cloth occasionally to ensure that it isn't sticking and add more flour if necessary.

* Have ready a colander suspended over a medium bowl.
* Have ready a 4 cup glass measure with a spout and lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.

1) Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar and pinch of salt and toss them gently to mix evenly. Allow them to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1 1/2 hours.

2) Transfer the peaches and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least 1 cup/237 ml up to 1-1/3 cups/316 ml of juice.

3) Transfer this liquid to a the 2 cup microwavable measure with a spout. Add the butter and microwave it for about 6 to 9 minutes until reduced to about 2/3 cup/158 ml—a little more if you started with more than a 1/2 cup/118 ml of liquid. It will be syrupy and lightly caramelized. Watch carefully toward the end to avoid burning. (Alternatively, reduce the liquid in a saucepan, preferably with nonstick lining, over medium-high heat. Swirl but do not stir it.)       

4) Transfer the peaches to a bowl, pour the syrup over them, and toss gently. (Do not be concerned if the liquid hardens on contact with the peaches; it will dissolve during baking.) Add the cornstarch and almond extract and toss gently until all traces of it have disappeared.

5) Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes until it is soft enough to roll. On a well-floured pastry cloth roll the crust into a 24-inch diameter circle. Fold it in quarters and transfer it to a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan, allowing the border to overlap the pan.

6) Scrape the peach mixture into the pastry and carefully drape the border over the fruit, allowing it to pleat as evenly as possible. It will leave a small area in the center exposed.

7) Cover the galette loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for one hour before baking to chill. This will maintain flakiness.

8) At least 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400°/200°.
 Set the oven rack at lowest level and place the baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating. Place a large piece of greased foil on top to catch any juices.

9) For a delightfully crunchy crust, spritz or brush the pastry all over with water and sprinkle with superfine sugar.

10) Set the pan directly on the foil topped baking stone and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the juices bubble thickly in the center opening and the peaches feel tender but not mushy when a cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted. Rotate the pan half way through the baking time. If it starts to over-brown, cover loosely with foil with a slash cut in the middle.

11) Cool the galette on a rack for about 3 hours until warm or room temperature before cutting.

Store Room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 4 days

 

 

Pointers for Success: 

·       The peaches should be ripe and yield slightly to pressure but firm enough to maintain their texture when baked. If squishy, they lose their character.

·       To peel peaches, bring a pot of water to a boil, add the peaches and turn off the heat. Allow them to sit for 1 minute. Drain at once and rinse with cold water or place in a bowl of ice water. If the peaches are ripe, the peels will slip off easily.

·       As you slice the peaches, toss them occasionally to coat with sugar mixture.

·       Be sure to put a sheet of foil under the pie pan as there is always a little spill over with this much fruit.

·       For a truly crisp bottom crust, this juicy galette works well baked directly on the floor of the oven for the first 30 minutes. Then raise it to a rack in the lower part of the oven.

Understanding Concentrating the peach juices before baking keeps the filling juicy and requires only a small amount of starch to bind it.

 

Woody's Almond Milk Ganache

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Years ago, I was asked by my artist friend, Martha Rast, if we had any lactose free frostings. This lead to testing with unflavored soy milk and almond milk to come up with a ganache that has a slightly tangier taste compared to the standard heavy cream ganache but also has an excellent flavor and texture making ideal for the lactose intolerant or vegan. The difference between a ganache made with heavy cream and one made with almond milk or soy milk is that both milks give a lighter color more towards a dark milk chocolate. Its preparation requires the addition of a higher percentage of the almond milk to keep a creamy texture that will adhere to the cake. 

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1) Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium glass bowl.

2) In a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine.

3) In a 1 cup microwavable measure with a spout (or in a small saucepan, stirring often) scald the almond milk (heat it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery).

4) With the motor running, pour the almond milk through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Pulse in the vanilla.

5) Press the ganache through the strainer and let it sit for 1 hour.

6) Cover it with plastic wrap and cool at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, until the mixture reaches a soft piping consistency.

 This ganache keeps in an airtight container for 5 days at cool room temperature, 2 weeks refrigerated, and 6 months frozen.

To restore to frosting consistency, defrost if frozen and reheat in a microwave with 3 second bursts, or in a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring gently to ensure that it does not overheat or incorporate any air.

Note: You can substitute unflavored soy milk for the almond milk on a 1 to 1 basis either by weight or by volume. It will have a slightly more tangy taste. 

Woody's Almond Milk Ganache is in The Baking Bible as an alternative ganache for the Chocolate Ganache Tartlets. 

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake: Rosewood Style

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Serves: 10 to 16
Oven Temperature: 300˚F/150˚C    
Bake: 45 to 55 minutes 

I had discovered Japanese Cotton cheesecake many years ago on my first trip to Japan when I was researching my first article for the New York Times about eating desserts in Tokyo.
More recently, a blogger inquiry, a preliminary Woody test, and off by email to Singapore via Anncoo’s Hobby blog site where Woody corresponded with Anncoo to develop this recipe. We both agreed that Anncoo’s version of this cake had the perfect texture but we wanted it to give it a lemon flavor. The addition of the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon oil was added and then extra sugar to balance the delicious tang. If you love lemon as much as we do, you will want to top the cake with a thin layer of lemon curd (as pictured above). 

Plan Ahead For the best flavor, compose the cake 1 day ahead.

Special Equipment One 8 by 2 inch square pan, lightly coated with shortening and topped with an 8 by 8-inch square of parchment paper. For the sides make a 34 by 3 inch wide band of parchment, creased at the 8, 16, 24, and 32-inch intervals. Press it against the inside walls and fit it into the creases in the corners of the pan. Use shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place.
One 12 by 2 inch round pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath; optional: 2 teaspoon cream of tartar (if the pan is aluminum)

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Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack on the lowest level of the oven. Set the oven at 300˚F/150˚C.

Mise en Place
* About 1 hour ahead, set the eggs, butter, and cream cheese on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).
* Weigh or measure the egg yolks and egg whites. Place the yolks in a bowl and the whites in a bowl of a stand mixer.
* With dish washing liquid, wash, rinse, and dry the lemons and zest them.
* In a small bowl, weigh or measure the lemon juice.  
* Mix the Cake Flour and Cornstarch In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch onto a sheet of parchment paper.

 Make the Batter
Make the Custard Mixture
1) Set a large metal bowl with a rounded bottom on top of a large pot to serve as a double boiler. Heat the water to a simmer. Place the milk and the butter in the bowl and whisk the mixture until the butter has melted.
2) Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Remove the bowl from the ‘double boiler’.
3) Add the sifted flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
4) Add the egg yolks and the vanilla and whisk until smooth.
5) Return the bowl to the pot. Heat the mixture, stirring gently with a silicone spatula, reaching to the bottom of the bowl to stir in the liquid as it starts to thicken at the bottom and sides. An instant-read thermometer should register 135˚F to 140˚F/57˚ to 60˚C).
6) Immediately scrape the custard mixture into a large bowl and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon oil. The mixture will look like thin pancake batter. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent evaporation and skin formation.
7) Cool to lukewarm (105˚ to 110˚F/41˚ to 43˚C) for about 30 minutes. The meringue incorporates best when the base batter is lukewarm.

 Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue
8) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and the 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
9) Gradually add the sugar and beat just until the mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.
10) Add 4 cups of water to the large pot. Heat the water until it is almost simmering.

Complete the Batter
11) Lift off the plastic wrap from the custard and squeeze any of it that clings to the plastic wrap back into the bowl. Whisk the custard mixture to a uniform consistency.
12) Use a large balloon whisk to whisk the custard lightly and then to fold half of the meringue into the custard mixture until almost evenly incorporated. (From time to time shake out the mixture that collects in the center of the whisk.)
13) Fold in the remaining meringue until no streaks remain. Use a silicone spatula to finish folding, reaching to the bottom of the bowl to be sure that all of the custard mixture is incorporated.
14) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. The batter will come up almost to the rim of the pan. Use the spatula to smooth the top.

Bake the Cake
15) Fill the water bath up to 1 inch with the heated water (150˚to 160 ˚F/66˚ to 71˚C). If using, whisk the cream of tartar until it is completely dissolved.
16) Set the prepared springform pan into the larger pan. Add more water, if necessary, until the water reaches half way up the sides of the pan.
17) Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes. The cake will rise above the rim of the pan but will be supported by the parchment. The cake is done when the top is a pale gold, a wire cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean, and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. An instant-read thermometer should register (150˚to 160 ˚F/66˚ to 71˚C).

 Cool and Unmold the Cake
18) Remove the pan from the water bath and set it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the parchment and the cake, pressing firmly against the parchment rather than the cake.
19) After 30 minutes, remove the parchment by pulling it up and out of the pan. Cool for another hour or until completely cool.
20) Set the pan in an airtight container or tent and secure a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil to the pan’s sides to cover the cake without touching the top of the cake.) Refrigerate for six hours to overnight.

Serve the Cake
21) Place a piece of parchment, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, on top of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack. If the cake does not release, reinvert it and use a pancake turner to press the cake sides gently away from the sides to release it.
22) Remove the bottom parchment and reinvert the cake onto a serving plate. With a serrated knife, square off the sides of the cake.
23) Cut the cake with a knife heated in water and wiped dry. (For most cheesecake recipes, we recommend using dental floss for cutting slices. Do to the texture of this cake, we recommend using the heated knife.)

Store Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze as the texture will become less smooth.

Woody’s Marble White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

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Serves: 12 to 16

Oven Temperature: 450˚F/230˚C, for the chocolate biscuit;
                                 350˚F/175˚C, for the cheesecake
Baking Time: 7 to 10 minutes, for the chocolate biscuit;
                       45 minutes (50 minutes if using a silicone pan for the water bath)
                        plus 1 hour with oven off, for the cheesecake

Traditionally, marble cake recipes call for making a single batter and using part of it to create the darker chocolate batter. In this version, I made two separate batters, one with white chocolate and the other with bittersweet chocolate, so that each batter had a perfect flavor and consistency. The crust is a chocolate biscuit (Beesk WEE), which looks almost like patent leather and can be easily cut with dental floss. You can also use a chocolate or vanilla crumb crust. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath to give it a custardy texture.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This recipe is in The Baking Bible. You can see step-by-step photos and comments on Rose's Alpha Bakers bake thru blog, which is linked on our The Baking Bible's page. You can enter the recipe's name in the search box at the top of the Alpha Baker's home page. 

Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least one day before serving.

Special Equipment For the Chocolate Biscuit: One 17-1/4 by 12-1/4 by 1 inch half-sheet pan, coated with shortening or nonstick cooking spray, bottom lined with parchment and then coated with baking spray with flour (have the parchment extend one inch past one of the long sides of the pan); One large wire rack; One baking sheet or extra half-sheet pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.

For the Cheesecake Filling: One 9 by 2-1/2 inch or higher springform pan, the sides coated with shortening, placed in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage. For the sides cut a 30 by 2 inch wide band of parchment. Wrap and press it against the inside walls of the pan. Use shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place. Lightly coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray; An expandable flan ring, 8-3/4 inch pot lid, or 8-3/4 inch cardboard template; One 12 inch round cake pan or a roasting pan to serve as a water bath.

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Preheat the Oven Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Set the oven to 450˚F/230˚C.

Mis en Place
   * 30 minutes ahead, set the eggs on the counter at room temperature
      (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).
   * Into separate bowls, weigh or measure the egg yolks and egg whites.
   * Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment or into another small bowl.

Make the Batter

1) Mix the Cocoa and Water In a small bowl, with a silicone spatula, stir together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth.

2) Stir in the vanilla, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation, and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. To speed cooling, place the bowl in the refrigerator. Bring the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.

3) Mix the Egg Mixture In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, place the egg yolks, half the egg whites (1/4 cup/59 m/60 grams) and the 2/3 cup/133 grams of sugar. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

4) Lower the speed to medium and add the cocoa mixture, beating a few seconds until incorporated.

If you don’t have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

5) Sift half the flour over the egg mixture and, using a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula, fold it in gently but rapidly until almost all the flour has disappeared.
6)Repeat with the remaining flour until all traces of the flour have disappeared.

7) Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the remaining half of the egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
8) Gradually beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

9) Add the Meringue to the Batter  Using the large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth the surface as evenly as possible.

10) Bake the Cake Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Have ready a small sharp knife.

11) Unmold and Cool the Cake Run the tip of a sharp knife around the sides to dislodge any cake that may have attached itself to the sides of the pan and unmold the cake at once. Slip a small offset spatula under the edge of the parchment to loosen it. Grasp the parchment and gently slide the cake onto the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 20 minutes.
12) Invert the cake onto the baking sheet, or inverted half-sheet pan, and peel off the parchment. If not using it right away, cover with plastic wrap.

13) Cut the Cake Pieces Begin by cutting the cake into two unequal rectangles width wise: one needs to be 8-3/4 inches wide for the round cake base.

To make the round cake base: Set the expandable flan ring on the cake and mark around it with the tip of a sharp knife. Use scissors to cut out the disc.

To make the side pieces: use a long serrated knife and a ruler to cut a 10 by 5-1/4 inch rectangle from the remaining cake rectangle. With the knife, cut the rectangle the long way into three strips, each 1-3/4 inches wide. Alternatively, with the tip of a sharp knife mark where the cuts should be and use scissors to cut out the strips.

Wrap each cake piece in plastic wrap to keep it soft and fresh, and refrigerate them until ready to line the pan and add the filling.

14) Line the Springform Pan with the Cake Press the three side strips, with the top crust sides facing the sides of the pan, against the parchment. Trim one of the pieces to make a seamless fit.
15) Set the cake disc, with the top crust side facing down onto the bottom of the pan and wedged against the side strips.
16) Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap while you are making the filling.

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Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven to 350˚F/175˚C.

Mis en Place
   *
30 minutes to 1 hour ahead, set the eggs and cream cheese on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).
   * On separate cutting boards, coarsely chop each chocolate.
   * In a large pot, preferably with a spout, heat a few quarts of water to very hot to the touch. Cover the pot.
   * Sprinkle a tablespoon of cream of tartar into the cake pan (which will prevent the pan from discoloring during baking).

Melt the Chocolates
1) Use a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or use the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often--do not let the bottom of the container touch the water) to heat the white chocolate until almost completely melted.
2) Remove the white chocolate from the heat and stir until fully melted. Let it cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

3) Repeat the same process for melting the dark chocolate.

Make the Batter
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, scraping the sides once or twice, about 3 minutes.
5) Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
6) Add the cream, vanilla, cornstarch, and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until incorporated. Detach the whisk beater and use it to whisk in any mixture that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.

7) Pour 2-1/2 cups/590 grams of the batter into a medium size bowl. Scrape the melted dark chocolate into it and, with a large whisk, whisk until the batter is a uniform color.

8) Scrape the melted white chocolate into the stand mixer bowl. Return it to the mixer and mix on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds or until the white chocolate is incorporated.

Mixing the Two Batters
9) Pour about half (500 grams) of the white chocolate batter into the springform pan and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula.
10) Spoon the dark chocolate batter on top of the white chocolate batter and spread it evenly.

11) Scrape the remaining white chocolate batter over the dark chocolate batter and spread it evenly. Use a whisk or large spoon to swirl the two batters lightly, in an over and under motion to create a marbled effect.

Bake the Cake
12) Fill the water bath pan with a half-inch of water and whisk the cream of tartar until it dissolves.
13) Set the springform pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of water.

14) Bake for 25 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 20 minutes (30 minutes if using the silicone pan).
15) Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. When moved the center will barely move.

Chill the Cake
16) Remove the pan from the water bath but leave the silicone pan or foil in place to catch any liquid that may seep from the cake. Set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just until warm, about 1 to 2 hours.
17) To absorb condensation place a paper towel, curved side upwards, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel.
18) Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours or overnight.

Unmold the Cake
19) Remove the plate, paper towel, and silicone pan (or foil). Blot off any water from the top of the cheesecake.
20) Run a spatula between the sides of the springform pan and the parchment and release the sides of the springform pan. Carefully peel off the parchment by rolling it as it releases from the cake.

21) If the cheesecake’s sides above the biscuit are uneven, run a small metal spatula under hot water and use it to smooth the sides even with the biscuit.

Cut and Serve the Cake
22) We recommend using dental floss for cutting cheesecake, which will slice through the biscuit as well. With both hands, tauntly hold a length of dental floss centered over the cheesecake. Slice through the cheesecake and crust with a sawing action to the bottom. Pull the dental floss out one side. Repeat the process for cutting the slices to be served. (Alternatively, cut the cheesecake slices with a heated knife.)

Store Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze as the texture will become less smooth.

 Marie Wolf's photographed by Jim Wolf

Marie Wolf's photographed by Jim Wolf

Beer Braised Short Ribs

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Serves: 4

Prep time: 1 hour

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Braising time: 1 to 2-1/2 hours / Crock pot time: 4 to 5 hours

Meaty beef short ribs are braised with vegetables in an amber beer. This is one of our favorite winter recipes. Serve alongside noodles garnished with the dish’s demi-glaze and crispy bacon bits.

We prefer to cook the meat until tender with just a little bite--not falling off the bone, which we find dries the meat and ruins the texture.

Several step-by-step photos are shown at the bottom.

Prep Ahead It works best to brown the ribs and sauté the vegetables 1 day before completing the dish. The overnight refrigeration will solidify the fat for easy removal.

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DAY BEFORE

Set Up for Equipment and Ingredients (Mis en Place)
 * Dutch oven (or large skillet, if you opt for the crock pot method, see Notes)
* Small metal or glass bowl
* A paper towel lined plate
* A large strainer set over a medium bowl
* In a gallon reclosable bag, place the Wondra flour, salt, and pepper, and combine.
* Dice the onion into 1/2 inch size pieces. Place them in a large bowl.
* Slice the carrots into 1 inch long pieces and celery into 3/4 inch long pieces.
    Add them to the onions.
* Peel the garlic, leaving them whole
* Slice the jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed) into 1/4 inch slices. Place them in a small bowl.
* Dice the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch size pieces. Place them in a small bowl.

Brown the Ribs                                                                                               
1) Individually, dredge the short ribs in the flour mixture.
2) In the Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Remove the bacon onto paper towels set on a cutting board. Drain off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat into the small bowl.
3) When cool dice the bacon into 1/2 inch long pieces, cutting away fatty pieces to be reserved for another dish. Place the diced pieces into a small container, cover, and refrigerate. 
4) Brown the ribs on each of their sides except for the bone sides, for about 5 to 6 minutes total.
5) Remove the ribs to a paper-towel lined plate. Then place the ribs into a medium bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Sauté the Vegetables  
6) In the same pan with the drippings, add in the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir to coat the vegetables with the drippings. Cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
7) Add the beer, 1-1/2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and pepper flakes.
8) Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot.
9) Add the garlic cloves, jalapeño slices, and bay leaf. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute.
10) Empty the vegetables and juices into the large strainer over the medium bowl. After a few minutes, turn over the vegetables and press lightly. Then return them to the  Dutch oven.
11) Stir in the diced red bell pepper.
12) Transfer the juices to a small bowl or 1 cup glass measure with a spout and tightly cover it with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate
 13) Nestle the short ribs with their bone sides down into the vegetables and cover. 
 14) Refrigerate the ribs and vegetables, and the juices until the fat solidifies on top of the juices,  several hours or overnight.

DAY FOR ENJOYING  
You can braise the dish in an oven or transfer the vegetable and ribs to a crockpot (see Notes).

* Have ready a large strainer over a medium bowl.

Oven Method

Preheat the Oven                                                                                         
*Twenty minutes or more before braising, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.   
* Preheat the oven to 350˚F/175˚C.

Braise the Ribs
15) Skim off and discard the fat from the juices and any on top of the ribs and vegetables.
 Add the juices to the Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the ribs halfway up.
16) Braise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the ribs are tender, but still on the bone.
When almost done, lower the oven temperature to 200˚F/93˚C.

Make the Sauce                                                                                                                             
17) Transfer the ribs to a medium bowl.
18) Empty the vegetables and juices into the strainer. Remove the bay leaf.
19) Transfer the vegetables and ribs to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and half of the diced bacon over the ribs and vegetables and cover. Place the Dutch oven into the oven and turn it off.
20) Transfer the juices to a small frying pan and skim off as much of any fat as possible. Reduce the juices by half, or until they form a medium-thick glaze on a silicone spatula. Pour the juices into a gravy boat or pitcher.

Make the Noodles
21) Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the box.
22) Drain and return them to the pot. Add the remaining tablespoon of tomato paste and a little of the glaze and stir to coat the noodles. Add black pepper to taste.

Serve  
Place the noodles on a plate. Spoon the vegetable mixture and ribs alongside the noodles. Drizzle the ribs and noodles with some of the sauce. Garnish the noodles with the remaining diced bacon.

Notes
*Beers I recommend: brown ales, Scottish ales, lagers.
*The refrigeration step can be skipped if making the dish in a shorter period of time. The sauce, however, will be oily from the fat that you may not be able to skim off.  

*Crockpot Method                                                                                                                    
14) Skim off the fat from the juices.
15) Place the juices and vegetables in the crock pot. Nestle the short ribs into the vegetables. If needed, add enough water to cover half way up the ribs.
16) Cook for 3 hours on HIGH. Then cook for 1 to 2 hours on LOW until the ribs are tender but still firmly on the bone. When almost done, turn the crock pot to WARM.

 

 

Gâteau Très Orange

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When I was growing up, I was spoiled by my grandmother who squeezed fresh orange juice for breakfast every single day. Pasteurized orange juice from a container or bottle paled by comparison.

I have always loved the flavor of orange, almost as much as lemon which is my top favorite, but never more so than when I started making recipes from Jamie Schler’s new book Orange Appeal. Her book, focusing on many ways both sweet and savory, inspired me to create this cake that is the most orangey cake in my repertoire.

Arriving at the precise amount of orange zest to orange oil was a delicate balance. Too much orange oil and it becomes almost petrol in flavor. For us, these amounts work perfectly. You can vary them according to your own tastebuds.

Serves: 12 to 14

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 50 to 60 minutes

Equipment One 10 cup metal fluted tube pan, coated with baking spray with flour

 Batter

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

* Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

 Set Up for Ingredients (Mise en Place)

* 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

* With dish washing liquid, wash, rinse, and dry the oranges and zest them (see Notes).

Make the Batter 

1) Into a 2 cup/500 ml glass measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 60 grams/1/4 cup of the sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk lightly until combined.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the flat beater, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

3) Add the butter and the remaining 122 grams of sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. The mixture will lighten in color and texture. Scrape down the sides.

4) Starting on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in 2 parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients smoothly.

5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface evenly.

 Bake the Cake
6) Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Rotate the cake halfway around after the first 40 minutes of baking.

 Shortly before the cake is finished baking, make the orange syrup.

Orange Syrup

Makes: 102 grams/6-1/2 tablespoons/96 ml

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1) Reduce the orange juice by about 1/3 and stir in sugar until dissolved. Add the orange oil. Cover it and set it aside.

Apply the Syrup and Cool the Cake

2) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wire cake tester, and brush it with about one-third (34 grams/2 tablespoons/30 ml) of the syrup. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

3) Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and cool completely.

 Store Airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 5 days; frozen, 2 months.

 Notes

* The zest incorporates most evenly into the batter if set on a piece of parchment and allowed to dry for several hours. It then can be frozen for several months.

* When Seville oranges are in season the juice gives a more intense orange flavor to the syrup so the orange oil can be omitted. Do not use the Seville orange zest as it is very bitter unless candied in marmalade. Blood orange zest, however is a great alternative.

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* The best way to reduce the orange juice is to pour it into a 4 cup/1 liter glass measure with a spout that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave it on high power, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent air bubbles, which would cause the juice to burst out of the container. This will take about 15 minutes. Alternatively you can reduce the orange juice on the cooktop, stirring constantly.

*You can replace the reduced orange juice with an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed.

To see the posting on Orange Appeal Click on this link.

Orange Appeal

This Month's Recipe: Rose's Favorite Flaky & Tender Pie Crust

Flaky with its laminations from the blending of butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream throughout the flour, this pie crust is most quickly made in a food processor.  A smidgen of baking powder makes the crust more tender and flavorful. 

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This recipe will be enough for a single crust for the standard pie plate, Rose's Perfect Pie Plate, a deep dish pie plate, or a 9-1/2 to 10 inch tart. It can easily be doubled for 2 crust pie or strips across the top. 

Food Processor Method

1) Process flour, salt, and baking powder to blend. 
2) Add cream cheese and process until coarse.
3) Add butter cubes and pulse until peanut size. 
4) Add cream and vinegar and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.
5) Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Use latex gloves or cover hands with plastic bags and press dough until it holds together in one smooth flat disc.
6) Wrap, and refrigerate 45 minutes before rolling.

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