In the Oven: Blood Orange Tiramisu

Next up is this refreshing take on Tiramisu.

Posting date is the Ides of March – Sunday, 15 March!

In the Oven: Blood Orange Tiramisu
 
Author:
Yield: 16 - 20 Servings
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 pound (455 g) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 blood orange (about 1½ tablespoons)
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) Grand Marnier
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 blood oranges, juiced (about 2 cups/480 ml)
  • 40 (4-by-1-inch/10-by-2.5 cm) ladyfinger cookies (we prefer Savoiardi)
  • 1⁄3 cup (30 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and starts to thicken, 3 to 6 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment, add the mascarpone cheese, and beat until incorporated. Add the zest and 2 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier and beat until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and clean and dry the mixer bowl.
  2. Place the egg whites in the clean bowl and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the salt over the egg whites and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes. Add half of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and gently fold together until almost incorporated; add the remaining egg whites and gently fold until completely incorporated.
  3. Stir together the blood orange juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier in a widemouthed shallow bowl.
  4. Working quickly, dip the first 20 ladyfingers in the juice mixture, making sure to soak each cookie from top to bottom (a second or two on each side), then arrange the ladyfingers to cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan in a single layer (reserve any leftover ladyfingers for the next step). Dollop about half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and spread it into an even layer. Sift half of the cocoa powder over the mascarpone mixture. Dip the next 20 ladyfingers in the juice mixture as above and arrange them in an even layer over the mascarpone layer. Cover the ladyfingers with the remaining mascarpone mixture and spread it into an even layer. Sift the remaining cocoa powder over the top.
  5. Cover the pan tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or up to overnight (most people prefer tiramisu that has been chilled for at least 10 hours—if you can wait that long). Sprinkle with a few chocolate shavings, if desired, slice, and serve.
Notes
How to store: The tiramisu can be kept, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

In the Oven: Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Posting date is March 1, let’s bake!

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
 
Author:
Yield: 1 half sheet cake • about 24 servings
Ingredients
For the Chocolate Sheet Cake
  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (11⁄2 sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coffee
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (35 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 g) vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 14 ounces (395 g) confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 2⁄3 cup (165 ml) evaporated milk
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup (130 g) creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (225 g) salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Instructions
Make the Chocolate Sheet Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly spray a half sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, then lightly spray the parchment and the sides of the pan. Alternatively, you can grease and lightly flour the parchment paper and the sides of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, and the salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stir together the butter, coffee, cocoa powder, shortening, and baking soda. Once the butter just begins to melt, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil for 20 to 45 seconds, but no more. Pour the hot mixture into the well of the dry ingredients and fold it all together. The mixture should be nearly room temperature (if it is not, wait a few minutes). Add the buttermilk mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk
  5. gently to combine.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake the sheet cake until a toothpick
  7. inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the
  8. baking time. Do not overbake; err on the side of slightly underbaked if you must.
  9. Start making the icing while the cake is baking (the icing must be applied to a hot cake to fuse
  10. properly).
Make the Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. (If you want to make sure your frosting is extra smooth, sift the sugar twice.)
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, stir together the evaporated milk, butter, peanut butter, and salt. Once the butter begins to melt, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture just to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot mixture over the sifted confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine. Add the vanilla and whisk again for 10 seconds.
  4. Pour the frosting over the hot cake and spread it into a consistent layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the frosting and allow the entire cake and frosting to come to room temperature. Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to fully set the frosting.
  5. Slice and serve the cake cold (our preference), or bring it to room temperature first.
Notes
How to store: the cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

In the Oven: Cherry Almond Crisp

Next up is Cherry Almond Crisp in celebration of Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day!

Posting date is Sunday, 15 February.

In the Oven: Cherry Almond Crisp
 
In celebration of Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day
Author:
Yield: 8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients
For the Crisp Topping
  • 2⁄3 cup (85 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ounces (¾ stick/85 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for the pan
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2⁄3 cup (100 g) blanched almonds, toasted (see page 19)
  • ¾ cup (30 g) of your favorite oat-based childhood cereal, chocolate-based granola, or Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles
For the Cherry Filling
  • 5½ cups pitted cherries (about 2 pounds/910 g before pitting)
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon pure almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the Assembly
  • Premium vanilla ice cream (optional)
Instructions
Make the Crisp Topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pan with at least 2-inch (5‑cm) sides.
  3. Place the flour, both sugars, and the salt in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  4. Add the butter and almond extract and pulse until sandy (8 to 12 quick pulses).
  5. Add the almonds and pulse until the nuts are chopped and incorporated but the mixture is still coarse and chunky, not powdery; do not overpulse.
  6. Add the cereal and pulse with the almonds for a few more seconds.
  7. Place the topping in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Make the Cherry Filling
  1. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cherries, tapioca, lemon juice, almond extract, sugar, and lemon zest.
Assemble the Cherry Almond Crisp
  1. Place the cherry filling in the prepared pan.
  2. Evenly scatter the chilled crisp topping over the filling and bake until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes. If the top starts to brown too quickly (but the filling is not bubbling), tent the crisp with foil and continue baking until the filling is ready.
  3. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack, and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Serve the crisp warm, with vanilla ice cream, if you like.
Notes
How to store: Wrap and refrigerate any leftover crisp for up to 3 days. To reheat, let the crisp come to room temperature, then rewarm it in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Leftovers can also be eaten straight from the fridge with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Excerpted from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2014 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

In the Oven: Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise

Surprise! We’re making a coffee cake next, for Groundhog Day. Posting date is February 1 – let’s bake!

Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise
 
Author:
Yield: 1 Bundt cake • 12 to 16 servings
Ingredients
For the Toffee (30 ounces/850 g, approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 cup (150 g) whole almonds, darkly toasted (see page 19)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (225 g) good quality dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
For the Toffee Coffee Cake
  • 6 ounces (1 ½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cubed
  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (130 g) cake flour
  • 1½ cups (330 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (115 g) homemade toffee (see above), or 3 Skor or Heath bars, chopped very finely (see Baked Note)
  • ½ cup (75 g) coarsely chopped toasted almonds (see page 19)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups (345 g) sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions
Make the Toffee
  1. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch (23-by-33-by-5-cm) glass or metal baking pan (do not use nonstick spray).
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are super finely chopped, almost but not quite powdery. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the butter in a medium pan over low heat. When the butter is halfway melted, add the granulated and brown sugars, the corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over low heat, stirring very gently with a silicone or rubber spatula, until completely combined. Stop stirring. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. The mixture will start to bubble and turn brown. If the browning seems uneven, gently swirl the pan during the cooking process, but do not stir. After 10 to 15 minutes, when the mixture is just under 300°F (150°C), remove the pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour into the prepared pan. After the mixture has evened out, wait 1 minute, then sprinkle the chocolate pieces all over the toffee. Wait for the chocolate to melt, about 3 minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the chocolate in an even layer and ever so gently press them into the chocolate. Freeze the pan for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the freezer and break the toffee into pieces with a sharp knife. Measure out 4 ounces (115 g), chop it very finely, and set aside; save the remainder of the toffee for another use. Store for up to 1 week between layers of parchment in an airtight container at cool room temperature.
Make the Toffee Coffee Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously spray the inside of a 10- or 12-cup (2.4- or 2.8-L) Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it thoroughly, dust it with flour, and knock out excess flour.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both flours, the brown and granulated sugars, the vanilla, and salt on medium speed until the mixture resembles sandy crumbs, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Scoop out 2⁄3 cup (90 g) of this crumb mixture and place it in a large bowl. Stir in the reserved ounces (115 g) toffee and the almonds and set aside.
  4. Sprinkle the baking powder and baking soda over the remaining crumb mixture in the mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 15 seconds to incorporate. Add the egg and egg yolks and beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for seconds.
  5. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Spoon the dry toffee/nut mixture on top of the batter in an even layer, keeping it in the center of the batter, away from the sides of the pan. (If some of the toffee mixture touches the sides, nudge it gently back toward the center as best you can.) Cover with the remaining batter and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes, depending on your Bundt pan size or shape. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Use a small knife or very small spatula to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let it cool completely. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cake and serve.
Notes
How to store: the cake can be stored, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2014 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.