Accolades all around for this all-purpose cookie! And a preview of our next project from Rogue Baker Little Baker Bunny…
Any cookie monsters for monster cookies this week? Leave your links here!
Well? Is sweet even better with salty? Leave your links here for the sweet and salty cake!
For our August 12 posting date, we are baking the signature Baked dessert: Sweet and Salty Cake! Get out your cake pans….
- 3⁄4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11⁄4 cups hot water
- 2⁄3 cup sour cream
- 2 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
- 11⁄2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1 pound dark chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), chopped
- 11⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until ribbonlike, about 5 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
- Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three addi- tions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream and fleur de sel. Bring to a simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved.
- Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream mixture so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1⁄4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.
- Add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.
- Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over very low heat.
- Meanwhile, keeping a close eye on the cream so it doesn’t burn, in a medium saucepan combine 1⁄4 cup water, the sugar, and corn syrup, stirring them together carefully so you don’t splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F., 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the caramel cool for 1 minute.
- Add the cream to the caramel and stir to combine. Stir slowly for 2 minutes, then pour the caramel over the chocolate. Let the caramel and chocolate sit for 1 minute, then, starting in the center of the bowl, and working your way out to the edges, slowly stir the chocolate and caramel mixture in a circle until the chocolate is completely melted. Let the mixture cool, then transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Mix on low speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the butter, beating until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy.
- Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1⁄4 cup of the caramel over the top. Let the caramel soak into the cake, then spread 3⁄4 cup of the ganache frosting over the caramel. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel over the frosting, then top with the second cake layer. Spread with caramel frosting and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Then top with the third layer. Spread with caramel. Crumb coat the cake (see page 22) and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
- Remove the cake from the refrig-erator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.
Mostly thumbs-up on this one, despite the scarcity of sour cherries…
Sour cherries, success or slump? Leave your links here!
Links here for this summery treat!
Make sure to give yourself some time to make these little towers of chocolate, creamy deliciousness since there are several components and steps involved. Or skip all of the work and just make the cookies. Posting date is July 1!
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, or dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), melted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar at low speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the cocoa powder and salt. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Form the cookie dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured board, roll out each disk of chilled cookie dough to a ½-inch round, ¼ inch thick. Using a 2½-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can; transfer the rounds to a large rimmed baking sheet. Gather the dough scraps, chill briefly, reroll, and cut more rounds. You should have 32 to 34 rounds. You only need 30 rounds for the towers, but a few extras are good to have on hand.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just set. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and salt until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-andhalf in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer ¾ cup of the whipped cream to a small bowl. Beat in 3 tablespoons of the chocolate pastry cream to make a light-chocolate cream.
- Arrange 30 cookies on a work surface. Fill 3 pastry bags fitted with large plain tips with the chocolate pastry cream, the light-chocolate cream, and the whipped cream.
- Pipe the chocolate pastry cream onto 12 cookies. Pipe the light-chocolate cream onto 6 cookies. Pipe the whipped cream onto the remaining 12 cookies. Stack the towers: Start with a chocolate pastry cream–topped cookie, then a light-chocolate cream–topped cookie, followed by a whipped cream–topped cookie, another chocolate pastry cream-topped cookie, and finally a whipped cream–topped cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Pipe a small dollop of any remaining chocolate pastry cream onto the top of each whipped cream–topped tower. Transfer the cookie towers to a serving platter and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.
Mostly thumbs-up for these oversized Italian cookies!
Let’s see those cookies!