Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Top 4"

Super Summer Citrus Sweet Cakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes – Two hour work time, makes 36

Even though it was in the upper 90’s on Monday, I spent almost the entire day in the hot, hot kitchen baking for my beloved Acorns and new found Havin A Ball-er friends. I had been slacking in the baking and blogging arenas so thought it was about time for another round of cupcakes. The problem was buttercream frosting and or something super rich seemed completely unappealing and just wouldn’t jive with my un-air conditioned kitchen and the record breaking heat. So after running errands on my random day off and splurging on baking supplies at the grocery store, Bed Bath and Beyond, AND Sur La Table (I’m obsessed with this place!!!), I worked until my hands cramped on these delightful Summer Sweet Cakes. VOC intern Sean Buck said they were #4 on his all time favorite list. Thanks Sean!

For cakes:
7 whole large eggs, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oranges for 4 TBS orange zest
3 lemons for 3 TBS lemon zest
3 limes for 3 TBS lime zest
3 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp coarse salt (I used sea salt I ran through a grinder)
1 and ½ tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
zester or metal grater with a super small or “fine” option
silicone spatula
3 small bowls
1 medium bowl
standing mixer with large bowl
muffin tins with enough room for 36 cakes

For glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 TBS fresh orange juice
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS fresh lime juice
silicone spatula
citrus juicer
1 medium bowl
3 small juice glasses

*Allow PLENTY of time when attempting this recipe.

1. Take your eggs and butter out of the fridge and set on counter. For best results do not use until they reach room temperature.
2. Fill 36 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
3. Whisk flour and salt together and set aside.
4. Using the super small or “fine” side option of a metal grater, zest your oranges into a small bowl. I recommend doing all of this on a towel while wearing an apron. If I owned some sort of safety glasses I would have worn those too – holey spraying citrus! Repeat with lemons and limes. I set up my zesting/juicing space like this:
5. Turn on oven to bake at 325 degrees or convection at 300 degrees. I tried both and the convection setting yielded more shapely cake tops.
6. Place butter and sugar in large bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until uniformly light and fluffy. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
7. Add citrus zests. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
8. Reduce speed to medium and add vanilla. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
9. Add 3 whole eggs and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
10. Add 4 whole eggs and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
11. Add 2 egg whites and beat until fully incorporated. Scrape down side of bowl as needed.
12. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in thirds, scraping down the bowl after each portion to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
13. Evenly divide between muffin cups filling 3/4 full. This batter is heavy and dense enough to require much more batter in each cup than other high altitude cupcake recipes. I didn’t know this on my first batch and they turned out like this:
14. Bake for 10 minutes.
15. Rotate pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
16. Take out of oven and place all pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.
17. Turn out cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Turning them out before a full 10 minutes has passed does not give the cakes enough time to fully set up, resulting in your Sur La Table green and white dot paper liners pulling away from the cakes, looking messy and sloppy! Grrr…
18. Juice your zested oranges and pour into a juice glass. Repeat with lemons and limes, adding each kind of juice to its own glass.
19. Add measured juices and powdered sugar to medium bowl. Whisk together, scraping down sides of bowl as you go, until smooth. I used my standing mixer for speediest of results.
20. Dip tops of cakes in glaze and return to racks for glaze to set. You’re done!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Served Hot

Have you ever had a popover? I have, but only twice - 0nce on the morning of Rebecca's wedding and once on the morning of Rebecca's first baby shower. Both were in the Stanfield family’s super cozy Pittsburgh kitchen, sitting around the island counter, heaping real butter and jam onto these lovely, light, steaming puffs of bread. Delicious. Mrs. Stanfield told me they originated hundreds of years ago from Yorkshire Pudding. She’s right, I googled “popovers” and there it was. Luckily my “Pie in the Sky” book has a high altitude recipe for these. I’ll let you know when they work out.

New blog label: Good Eats. Meaning? Excellent tasting things I ate that other people made.

Still on the counter: Mary Mullins bread, Berry Sweet Cornmeal Muffins, Strawberry Pie