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This is not going to be a post of many words…actually as few as possible.  The most important words here will be…..

The Killer of Yeast is no more!!!

Yep, you heard that kids, I will no longer refer to myself as that person.  Packets and jars of yeast are a thing of the past for me, not that I was ever any good with them!  To cure my yeast woes I went old school, as seen here, and did the whole “Vini, Vidi, Vici” thing!! I came, I saw and I will be damned I CONQUERED!!!!  I bred and fed my very own sourdough starter, thanks to John Ross, and here you will see my first go round using it!

In the beginning.....

.....there was the sponge and it was good.....

Sponge, 1.5 hours old, pretty active little one, isn't he?

Knead baby, knead!!

First rise, check out those dimples!

2nd rise, a "bun" about to be in the oven!

My little monster's first born... many more to come!

First Steps!

Look at that face....so handsome!

This was a fantastic trip and well worth the time spent.  My little Monster is still growing and I hope getting stronger each day, I am hoping he will be with me for many years!!

Denise’s Birthday…must bake cake…what to do?

She’s Irish (update, I was mislead a bit…she isn’t Irish afterall), born the day after St Pat’s and likes Boston Cream Pie, Viola!, Irish twist on a Classic.

No sordid details on this one other than I have always wanted to bake a “Stout” cake and this seemed the time to do it!!!

Ok, 2 sordid details…

  • The batter is so damn good there is almost no need to bake the cake.
  • The scent of simmering stout, butter and cocoa is heaven and the scent of the cake baking is a must experience for yourself!!!!
Stout, Butter and Cocoa Heaven!

Stout, Butter and Cocoa Heaven!

Your typical Boston Cream Pie consists of three components

  • A Butter or Sponge Cake
  • A Dark Rum scented Custard Filling
  • A Chocolate Glaze or Ganache

My version differs only in 2 ways, The Stout Cake replaces the sponge/butter cake and instead of rum, well of course, I used Irish Whiskey.

Pastry Cream

adapted from Boston Cream Pie recipe from Yankee Magazine

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Irish whiskey

In a saucepan, heat butter, milk, and light cream to just below a boil. While this mixture is cooking, combine sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a bowl. Whip until ribbons form. When the butter-cream mixture reaches the boiling point, slowly whisk in the sugar-egg mixture and cook to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap (to prevent it from forming a skin). Chill overnight if possible. When thoroughly chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with Irish whiskey.

Ganache

  • 8 oz chopped chocolate bittersweet or semi-sweet
  • 3/4 whipping cream
  • 2 TBS Butter ( I use salted)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat ( I often use the microwave for this step, of course using a microwave safe bowl). Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

And now…………

Chocolate Stout Cake

Direct from the KA site using ingredients by weight option.

  • 16 ounces stout or dark beer, such as Guinness
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 1/2 ounces Dutch-process cocoa
  • 17 ounces KA unbleached AP flour  (I used Robin Hood)
  • 1 pound, 12 ounces sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8″ or two 9″ cake pans, and line them with parchment paper circles. Be sure your 9″ pans are at least 2″ deep.  Place the stout and butter in a large, heavy saucepan, and heat until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cocoa powder.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.  Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream.  Add the stout-cocoa mixture, mixing to combine.  Add the flour mixture and mix together at slow speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix again for 1 minute.  Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans.  Bake the layers for 35 minutes for 8″ pans, or 45 to 50 minutes for 9″ pans, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out of their pans and returning to the rack to finish cooling completely before assembly.  Being that I was doing 2 layers and my 9″ pans are only 1 3/4″ deep I was lucky enough to get a very nice 6″ round as well from the batter.

The verdicts are in and all seem to be very positive on this one.  I ended up getting a few orders for this one as it sat, but my personal opinion was it would have been multitudes better without the custard filling.  Not that it was a bad addition but this is such a uniquely flavored cake the custard kind of competed a little more than it should have with that uniqueness.  I had one minor issue and that involved my 9″ pans, which aren’t 2″ deep, as suggested…I should have started testing for doneness a little sooner than I did, I think I could have gotten away with only 40 minutes oven time.

From beginning to batter to baked!

From beginning to batter to baked!

This one is most definitely a keeper!   Although a very special occasion kind of cake as if you take a look at the nutrition information on the KA site, you will see this isn’t a cake for the faint of heart!!!!  It’s slightly malty taste and it’s just shy of sweet chocolatey richness is something everyone should try!!!

Cascades of Chocolate...what better finish?

Cascades of Chocolate...what better finish?

And finally here is why I spoke with such authority against the custard version that everyone raved over… my little 6″ gem with a simple powdered sugar glaze.   Hands off this one is all mine!!!!!!!

6stout1

Hands off!

As for the Post Title…Well if you weren’t there then no explanation would even make sense!! Sorry , but that’s the best I can give ya!!

It is said the journey is often better than the destination.

The destination here being a wonderful sunday evening meal of…

Garden Salad w/Olive Oil and Lemon
Chicken Piccata Ravioli
ButterHorn Garlic Knots

Dinner Done Done

The salad of course was a simple endeavor, garden greens tossed with a light lemon and olive oil vineagrette. The ravioli were a take on classic chicken piccatta, instead of scallopine of chicken, I made a filling of two ground breasts (chicken of course), sauted ’em up in a little O.O., added a touch of lemon zest and grated Parmigiano. Then onto total psychosis, I have made homemade pasta quite a few times but this time I decided, “let’s do it Nona’s way” hand rolled, no pasta roller. FEH!!!! How those ladies did it, I’ll never know! I rolled, I sweated and then I rolled some more, I was rather pleased as I could actually make out the grain in the counter under the sheets of pasta. That being said, it was quite tasty in the end, however it was a far cry from Nona’s micron thick angel hair!!!

“What?” you ask would inspire such madness…

The Bakeanistas

and their quest for the Ultimate Garlic Knot recipe. A garlic knot is pretty easy to explain, a yeast dough, formed into a rope, tied into a knot, baked and then SLATHERED in garlic butter.

A Bakeanista however is a little more difficult to pin down. I believe the text book definition is a small collective of friends and online buddies that get together to bake and chat…

Kinda like a 1950’s “Coffee Klutch” updated for the 21st century via Cyber Space.

You may ask, “how much can y’all chat about baking?’… well I have only been around for 2 scheduled bakefests and one or two impromptu chats and I would have to say… not alot!!! Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of good info discussed but this group gets onto topics that would make Sophie Tucker blush!!!

Boy Toys and Penises and Breasts, Oh My!!!!

Hint Hint: Check out the title of the post again!!

OK, so onto the meat (or in this case dough) of the matter, it all started when Lis and Mary were discussing garlic rolls. Now this is a bit of a “which came first, the chicken or the egg situation here…

Lis has a restaurant close to her with SUCKY food but great garlic rolls

and

Mary found a great recipe for garlic rolls from King Arthur Flour.

And thus our bakefest for June was born!!

10:30 am, a bit late, I joined the baking and bawdy chat.

We had a choice between two rolls, the King Arthur or ButterHorn versions…

Both recipes, as well as my pasta and piccatta recipes can be found here.

I went with the ButterHorn version, as I am but a novice in the ways of yeast and the KA version had some ingredients I don’t have readily at hand. Altho, with two yeast victories under my belt, this one and one you will hear of soon enough, I fully intend to give the KA version a go!!! The day had quite alot of things going on, so I was back and forth with chat, kitchen duty and life in general but what it ultimately produced was pretty damned good!!

And now my “tassleless” garlic knots!

No Yeastie Beastie gonna scare me no mo\'!!!!

After Ray and I sat down to dinner and cleaned up, I went back to see who if anyone was still hanging on. Damn near 8.5 hours later from original sign on, the free for all was still in full swing.

Last I recall there was some talk of penis turds or turd penises (or would that be penii?)

And that is but a glimpse into the great journey that ended in a Fantabulous Sunday dinner!!!

And with a Herald of trumpets here they be…

The Bakeanistas

Ben

Christina

Helen

Ivonne

Kelly

Laura

Lis

Marcela

Mary

Sara

Stephanie

Tanna

and Myself