In the Oven: Hair of the Dog Cake

Let’s ring in the new year with Hair of the Dog Cake, AKA Rum-Flavored Hot Milk Cake with Broiled Rum Brown Sugar Frosting. Posting date is January 4!

Hair of the Dog Cake
 
Author:
Yield: 1 9- by-13-inch cake • 24 servings
Ingredients
For the Hot Milk Cake
  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (45 g) cake flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2¼ cups (450 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Broiled Frosting
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) dark rum
For the Rum-Flavored Whipped Cream (optional)
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum
Instructions
Make the Hot Milk Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
  2. Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan set over low heat, stir together the butter and milk until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot and begins to bead (small bubbles appear) around the edge of the pan. Keep the mixture on very low heat (avoid a rolling boil) and stir occasionally while you make the batter below.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, egg yolk, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until thick and pale (the mixture will change color as it thickens). Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Add the dry mixture all at once and beat the on the lowest speed until just incorporated.
  5. Remove the hot milk mixture from the heat. Stir in the rum and vanilla extract. Pour the hot milk mixture into the batter and beat until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the frosting, as it is important to apply it to a very warm cake.
Make the Broiled Frosting
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the brown sugar, and stir until combined. Add the cream and rum and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Pour the frosting over the warm cake (still in its pan) and place in the oven directly under the broiler.
  4. Broil for 2 to 4 minutes, until the top of the frosting is just starting to brown and looks bubbly; we recommend keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning (you might even want to keep the oven door slightly ajar and watch the cake the entire time). Transfer the cake to a cooling rack.
Make the Rum- Flavored Whipped Cream (Optional)
  1. Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat vigorously with a chilled whisk for about 1 minute, until soft peaks form (alternatively, you can use a standing mixer). Sprinkle the superfine sugar and rum over the cream and continue whisking vigorously until stiff peaks form.
  2. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature; spoon a dollop of whipped cream on each slice, if you like.
Notes
How to store: the cake can be stored in an airtight container 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.

In the Oven: Wintermint Cake

Are you ready to bake another gorgeous Baked cake?

Posting date is Sunday, 21 December.

Wintermint Cake
 
Author:
Yield: 1 8-inch three-layer cake • 10 to 12 servings
Ingredients
For the Classic Chocolate Cake
  • ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder (such as Valrhona) plus ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened black cocoa powder; or just ¾ cup (60 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) hot water
  • ⅔ cup (150 g) sour cream
  • 2 2⁄3 cups (340 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pans
  • ½ cup (100 g) unflavored vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Peppermint Buttercream
  • 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (40 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • 1⁄3 cup (75 ml) heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks/340 g) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (not mint or spearmint extract)
  • Food dye or gel
For the Peppermint Chocolate Ganache
  • 6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon crème de menthe (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Instructions
Make the Classic Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Butter three 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans, line them with parchment, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out and discard excess flour.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream together and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and smooth, about 5 minutes; the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until incorporated, then add the vanilla and beat together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beat for a few more seconds.
  6. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans (about 1¼ pounds/565 g of batter per pan). Use your spatula to spread the batter evenly. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.
  7. Make the Peppermint Buttercream
  8. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly but gently, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, 8 to 12 minutes.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, at least 7 to 9 minutes of mixing; you can speed up the process by pressing bags of frozen berries or corn against the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter a few cubes at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all of the butter is thoroughly incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency; if the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
Make the Peppermint Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let the cream sit for 2 to 4 minutes, then, starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate-and-cream mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk for another few minutes to release the excess heat from the mixture. Stir in the crème de menthe, if using, and the peppermint extract. Let the ganache come to room temperature, whisking occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Assemble the Cake
  1. Place one cake layer on a serving platter (or, better yet, a cake turntable). Trim the cake layer to create a flat top surface. Use an offset spatula to spread about ¼ cup (60 ml) of the mint chocolate ganache on the top (not sides) of the layer. Put the cake in the refrigerator to set the ganache for a few minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread approximately 1¼ cups (160 g) of the peppermint buttercream on top of the ganache. Top with the next cake layer, trim, add ganache, chill, and then add buttercream as with the first layer. Then add the third layer and trim the top. Spread a very thin layer of peppermint buttercream (known as crumb coating) over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator to firm up for about 15 minutes.
  2. To frost the cake ombré-style, distribute the remaining frosting into three separate bowls, putting about ¼ cup (30 g) more frosting in one bowl than in the other two. Add a few drops of food dye to each bowl and mix to create three different shades of pink: dark, medium, and light; the one with slightly more frosting should be the light pink. Obviously, if pink is not your color, you can use any color on the spectrum.
  3. Starting with the bottom of the cake, apply a band of the dark pink frosting up one-third of the cake and all the way around. Wipe the spatula. Apply an equal band of medium pink frosting above the dark pink frosting and wipe the spatula. Then apply an equal band of light pink frosting above the medium pink band, bringing it all the way up to the top edge of the cake. Wipe the spatula. Immediately, use an offset spatula to smooth the bands (you can spin the cake turntable against the edge of the offset spatula to make this step easier; while continuing to smooth the color bands, bring some of the light pink frosting up and just slightly over the top of the cake.
  4. Using the same offset spatula, wiping it as necessary, start from the bottom and dimple the cake in even rows up the sides of the cake (if you are using a cake turntable, rotate the cake and just lift and press with the curved end of the spatula).
  5. Finally, once all of the dimples have been applied to the sides of the cake, spread the remaining light pink frosting over the top of the cake (you might need to add a smidge more light pink icing to your spatula as you work) and continue the dimpling process in toward the center.
  6. To frost the cake more conventionally (not ombré-style), follow the instructions in step 1 to apply the crumb coat. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining buttercream, and refrigerate for about 15 minutes to firm up the entire cake.
Notes
How to store: this cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver at room temperature for up to 3 days, as long as the weather is cool and humidity-free. Otherwise, place it in a cake saver and refrigerate it for up to 3 days; let the chilled cake sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

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: Date Squares

Next, we’re continuing with another one of the twelve days of cookies: Date Squares. Posting date is December 7 – let’s bake!

Date Squares
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bars
Yield: about 24 bars
Ingredients
For the Date Filling
  • 1 pound (455 g) dried pitted dates, chopped into very small pieces
  • 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

For the Crumb Mixture
  • 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups (120 g) quick-cooking oats
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
Instructions
Make the Date Filling
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the dates, brown sugar, and 1 cup (240 ml) water. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the dates are soft and have absorbed most of the water, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Make the Crumb Mixture
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the oats.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until crumbly.

Assemble the Bars
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper so that it overhangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the long sides of the pan, and butter the parchment.
  2. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the date mixture in an even layer over the crumb mixture. Finally, sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb mixture over the date layer to cover. Using the palm of your hand (lightly greased if you like), very gently press the crumb mixture into the dates so it will adhere.
  3. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the crumb turns golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Use a paring knife to release the sides of the bars from the pan, pull up on the parchment to remove them, then cut and serve.
Notes
The squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 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.

In the Oven: Campfire Cookies

Next up are Campfire Cookies! Posting date is Sunday, 23 November.

In the Oven: Campfire Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Baking
Yield: 36 Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¾ ounces (50 g) homemade marshmallows (see page 182) or mini store-bought or plain marshmallows
  • ¼ cup (25 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar (only if using homemade marshmallows)
  • 3 ounces (85 g) graham crackers (about 6 crackers)
  • 1¾ cups (225 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
  • ½ cup (110 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (170 g) chocolate chips (about 1 cup
Instructions
  1. If you are using homemade marshmallows, cut them into small cubes about the size of sugar cubes. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and roll or dip the marshmallows in the confectioners’ sugar to coat the newly exposed sticky sides and keep the marshmallows from clumping together. (If you are using store-bought mini marshmallows, you do not need the confectioners’ sugar.)
  2. Place the graham crackers in a zip-tight plastic bag. Roll a rolling pin back and forth over the graham crackers until they are crushed into coarse crumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, honey, and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for another 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture all at once and beat just until the dough comes together. Add the chocolate chips and marshmallows, and mix again for 15 seconds. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight (in fact, up to a week is fine).
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Using a small ice-cream scoop with a release mechanism or a spoon, scoop 2-tablespoon balls of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the edges of the cookies are set and they begin to darken, 14 to 20 minutes. Set the sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes to cool. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
Notes
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container 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.