The cheesecake part of this cake was great. Super creamy and light textured. I had a moment of doubt post-baking, when I peeked in the oven at the cooling cheesecake which was still wobbling seriously, but when I returned from my outing to the “hipster mall” as my 17-yeart-old dubbed it, all was well.
I can’t say the same for the chocolate sponge, which burnt on the bottom, for reasons that I do not understand. The uneven side coverage was entirely my own fault. I was listening intently to an audiobook, so I skimmed the instructions on how to cut the sponge and improvised. Bad idea. I should know by now that I have to read these recipes through a few times without distractions.
Making the sponge proceded without a hitch. I had trouble finding alkalized cocoa, so I substituted regular, after research indicated flavor would be affected but leavening should be fine.
Here’s the batter, and the completed cake, which looks just fine from the top. I think it might have fared better higher up in the oven.
Here are the cream cheese and sugar ready to go.
Here’s the white chocolate banana to flavor the cheesecake. I made a Costco run last week, and got more bananas than even my banana-loving family could consume. So after freezing a few for future use, I decided a banana-chocolate cheesecake would be just the ticket.
The bananas combined with the cream cheese nicely. My substitution was part of the reason I was worried when I saw wobble in the oven, but it wasn’t a problem despite the higher moisture content of bananas vs white chocolate.
The final result is entirely respectable, excepting the leathery sponge crust…
I will read the other blogs with interest to see what I should change to make the sponge come out right next time.
I remember the rum balls of my youth. They were cakey, damp and coated with sprinkles. I loved the textural contrast of the dry chocolatey sprinkles and the wet, almost squishy cake inside.
These bourbon balls are much drier than the liquor-scented treats of my youth, but the crunchy sugar on the outside and the nuggets of pecan studding the chocolatey insides were equally intriguing. As an added bonus, they were easy to make. Unless you choose to make the cookie base, it’s a matter of measuring, mixing and scooping.
I had a small roll of dough left over from making Orioles, so I baked them (photo left) and added in a package of chocolate wafer cookies.
Powdered sugar and pecans mix with the cookie crumbs
Add butter for texture and deliciousness. Also, bourbon.
Scoop, roll into ball and into sugar.
Wait a day because they’re way better after the flavors have a chance to meld and the alcohol in the bourbon starts to evaporate.
This dessert received an excellent score on the effort-to-reward ratio. At least when made in one pan. Since I don’t own nine matching mini souffle bowls, and my antipathy for precision in presentation is longstanding, I opted to make one large pudding instead of nine single serving sizes.
I’m not sure why clarified butter is preferable in this recipe -maybe because it’s a purer flavor? In any case, I used this recipe as an excuse to clarify three pounds of butter so I have enough for the next few recipes that need it, as well as plenty for making popcorn.
With the bread readied, it’s on to the custard! Here’s the chocolate, and half and half because I just couldn’t eat a super rich chocolate dessert this week. Not that half and half is exactly lowfat, but I was willing to go with rich instead of super rich.
I was a little confused by instructions to heat the cream without any specified temperature, unusual for a Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe. After reading everything thoroughly I concluded that it didn’t matter too much because the custard would cook in the oven. So I heated, mixed, and added chocolate
then bread slices
Then I had to wait for it to cool! That’s always the hard part. Finally it was time to unmold and cut the pudding. Or portion it, as the directions said. But how do you portion a round pudding into 8-10 portions which can be cut into 3 slices each? I was baffled, so I tried cutting the pudding crosswise, through a bunch of bread slices (bad idea, very hard to cut through so many crispy slices of bread, and then the little soldier slices want to go their own bready way). So I went with lengthwise, which worked much better.
Here are my rollie pollies. After the chocolate mousse cake, which was quite the marathon, I was more than ready for a quick and easy recipe! But I had no pie dough hanging around, and honestly while Rose’s pie dough isn’t difficult, it takes time to measure and mix and refrigerate and roll and refrigerate again. So I cheated. And paid the price taste-wise, I admit.
The packaged crust was super easy to work with. Just a few quick passes with the rolling pin and it was in shape. I folded it into thirds, sprinkled cinnamon sugar on it, and rolled it into a cylinder.
I had to read the instructions several times to figure out all the rolling, folding, and sprinkling, but it made sense once I moved through everything deliberately.
Slicing the roll into pieces and then flattening them was the part I had to really think hard about before it made sense. I think the cookies would have looked better with Rose’s dough since it would have been thicker and stickier.
Rummaging through my cabinet for more cinnamon sugar I ran across some leftover topping from the coffecake muffins we made a few weeks ago. It added a nice crunch to the cookies.
I’m glad I used the boughten dough, because it was so very easy. As a result I had the mental energy to concentrate on rollie pollie technique. While I wouldn’t buy pie dough for these cookies again, now that I understand how to construct them, I’m looking forward to my next pie so I can use the leftover dough to make some REAL Rollie Pollies.
The good news is, the dog didn’t eat my sponge cake this time! And there is no bad news, really, although manufacture of this cake did cause a good deal of mumbling along the lines of, “I can’t believe I have to whip MORE egg whites!” It was all for a delicious cause, at least.
I mixed the egg yolks, half of the whites, and some sugar together (left) then added the dry ingredients (right).
Then I whipped the egg whites to add volume:
This time I put the cake in the middle of the peninsula, where the dog can’t reach. I also kept an eye on it (and him).
Meanwhile, chopped chocolate and cream together to start the mousse.
Melting, stirring and straining to make a smooth, rich chocolate base.
It came together really well, but when I look at this photo for some reason I think about Scooby Doo, when the bad guy is captured by a rug dropping on his head. Sponge cake, rug, same idea right?
Ta da! Wow, this was one rich cake. Tasty, but I think I’ll use half and half in next week’s bread pudding.
This recipe truly lived up to its Quick and Easy billing. I was finished almost before I started, it felt like! Which was a delightful change of pace from the other recipes in the Baking Bible which while delicious, often take a day or more from start to finish.
Here are the dry ingredients in the food processor,
here everything is chopped up,
This is one of the flattened dough disks ready to be rolled out
now they’re ready to go into the oven (short pause to admire my new sheet pan)
Ta-da! Cookie perfection. Or that’s what Phoebe seemed to think. She made short work of them.
You can perhaps tell that I used the broiler to brown the meringue on this pie. 😉 That was the most serious oopsie in today’s baking odyssey, so I really have nothing major to complain about. The blackened bits of topping peeled off easily without affecting the taste of the pie.
While this pie took a while to make, it wasn’t particularly difficult. Grinding vanilla wafers, making (another) citrus curd, and whipping egg whites are old hat by now.
In summary, eggs, sugar, add ingredients on the scale, cook, cook, see how thick! I finally threw my old Thermapen in the garbage, after it kept registering the same temperature while I watched the curd thicken. I finally took the bowl off the heated and checked the temperature of the boiling water. When it registered 97 degrees Celcius here, maybe 20 feet above sea level, I decided to thank the thermometer for its many years of faithful service and bid it a fond farewell. I bought a new Thermapen when the old one had a temporary nervous breakdown a few months ago, so all should be well. I’m glad this happened late in the citrus curd-making cycle though, because I might not have caught the problem earlier.
All’s well that ends well, and the lime curd was cooked to the right temperature, despite a few clumps of egg that I left in the strainer. The meringue whipped up nicely and looked good on the frozen pie,
although I may have to go back on my no new kitchen gadgets pledge and buy a torch the next time I need to brown something. We’ll see. In any case, the soft, sweet meringue, the tart, firm lime curd and the sweet vanilla crumb crust combined to make a spectacular dessert!
I seem to be on a roll lately where I believe I’ve thoroughly vetted a recipe and I have all the ingredients/tools I need, only to discover, as I stand in the middle of my kitchen with the oven on, that I’ve forgotten an ingredient or misread a point of preparation. Today I forgot the sour cream and the large muffin liners. I substituted banilla yogurt and non-stick spray and produced a tasty muffin anyway, but my muffins did suffer from dome-and-collapse syndrome as Rose predicted.
The crumb topping was yummy. The reason it’s so good should be clear from the photograph below.
Walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon, bound together with flour and butter, need I say more?
It’s definitely not apple season here, but I found Granny Smith apples in a corner of the produce section, waiting for the diehard apple fans unimpressed with the stone fruit and berries occupying center stage right now.
The batter wasn’t difficult, although I had detached the bowl from the mixer and was walking towards the custard cups when I saw the egg mixture waiting to be added.
Fortunately I had only started to walk towards the muffin cups, so I pivoted towards the mixer and fixed my oversight. I’m working on a better way to integrate recipe reading, baking and photography. I’m moving in the right direction I think, but there’s some room for improvement. 😉
I ate the mini muffin I made with the leftover crumbs and batter. It was superb. I’m planning to save the rest of the muffins for the first week of school, so my kids have something to look forward to as a reward for getting up so much earlier than they did for the past two months.
I’m just a substituting fool lately. But in my own defense, I looked for gooseberries, truly I did! There were none to be found. And I had a big container of cranberries that I froze way back in November that needed to be used up anyway. So, cranberry crisp for us even though it’s not a summery flavor.
The heat broke the day before I made this which helped with the whole cranberries-in-August issue. I pretended it was actually a warm fall day. 🙂
I halved the recipe because I didn’t have enough cranberries for a full one, so I made three mini crisps. The cranberry mixture was tasty, now I needed topping.
Brown and white sugar, oats, and salt went into the food processor, to be joined by butter and related ingredients until a crumble formed:
which then went over the cranberries:
Finally, some vanilla ice cream went over the whole shebang;
These were easily the most colorful dessert I’ve made from The Baking Bible. The supermarket had Banana Split ice cream on sale when I went looking for sandwich filling, so I made strawberry pineapple, chocolate walnut, and fudge ripple ice cream sandwiches. After I made the fudgy cookies to surround the filling, of course.
That process started naturally enough, with chocolate.
Lovely chocolate melted in the microwave, then left to cool while I prepared the batter to welcome it.
Here’s the butter/sugar mixture post mixing. Note the vertical lines, and what happens next
Once the flour mixture and the chocolate are beaten in there are still lines, but they’re wider and a on a slight diagonal. I think it’s because the batter is heavier now. Also, chocolatey-er. So, on to refrigerating the dough;
This is the packet I made up to refrigerate overnight. It is the essence of chocolate cookie dough.
The next morning I split it into four rolls. I had only full rolls of paper towels, so the cylinders weren’t quite uniform, but they were close enough.
I should note that I made two batches on two separate days. The flour-coated batch, which I think I cut slightly thicker and baked a little less, produced the crispy-edged, chewy-centered cookie I was expecting. The other batch was more like a chocolate snap, excellent in its own way, but more of a standalone than a sandwich cookie. Either way though, they were wonderful treats for a hot July day.