Daring Cooks | Chocolate Soufflé

x

I really felt like naming this post THE ALMIGHTY HIGH-ALTITUDE DOMINATION OF CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE. It sounds a lot more exciting, right? Like Jean-Claude Van Damme might show up in a frilly apron any second, whisking egg whites at high speeds unknown to man until now.

Obviously, I’m dealing with high altitude here in Denver. We live at almost 5300 feet above sea level, which means there’s a lot that can happen to baked goods up here. (Add to that, I don’t bake a lot in general – Brad won’t eat lots of baked goods, and so I try not to churn out multiple dozens of cookies every week, lest every cookie make it’s way to my ass.)

There’s a rumor that baked goods fall at high altitudes, including but not limited to, cakes and soufflés. For a long time (read: before I moved here) I thought it was because there was more pressure in the air up here. It’s actually the reverse – there’s much less oxygen at high altitudes, which means there is much LESS air pressure than at sea level. When there is less air pressure, air bubbles in the batter of baked goods expands much more quickly (because hot air expands, remember?) If the air bubbles expand too much before the cake’s structure (in the flour, usually) has had time to bake and therefore set up properly, then the cake/soufflé will fall once it’s removed from the hot air of the oven.

This is doubly so for soufflés, since there is little to no flour in most soufflé recipes to provide a good structure to hold up. Also, soufflés are underbaked usually, so that the center is creamy. Any souffle, at any altitude, will fall when it’s removed from the oven; it’s just a matter of how much time.

x

w

x

After google-searching “high altitude soufflé,” I came across this Mark Bittman recipe from the New York Times. I made only one adjustment – instead of whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks, I only whipped them to soft peaks. The purpose of holding back on whipping the egg whites, was to prevent the cake from rising too quickly. If I didn’t whip the egg whites as much as called for, then I hoped that the soufflé wouldn’t rise too quickly before it was baked

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

x

x

Chocolate Souffle (High Altitude Domination)

Adapted from Mark Bittman
Makes one 4-cup soufflé or two 2-cup soufflés

x

Gather:
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup sugar, divided, plus extra for dish
3 eggs, room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
powdered sugar for serving (optional)

Prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside(s) of two 2-cup or one 4-cup soufflé or other deep baking dish(es). Dust the inside with granulated sugar and tap out any excess.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (i.e. a glass bowl over a small pot of simmering water).

Whisk the egg yolks with all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, until the mixture is very light yellow, and falls in a ribbon from the beater blade. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a medium bowl with cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add remaining tablespoon sugar, until the egg whites have soft peaks (i.e., when you pull out the beaters, small little peaks appear in the egg whites, and they flop over at the top rather than standing straight on their own.) Temper the egg yolk mixture by adding in about a tablespoon of melted chocolate; stir to combine. Add the rest of the melted chocolate, and stir until combined. Then add a large spoonful of egg whites to the chocolate mixture, and gently fold in the egg whites with a plastic spatula. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently. Transfer batter to prepared soufflé dish(es). (Make ahead: cover and store in the fridge until ready to bake.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes for individual soufflés or 25 to 35 minutes for a single large soufflé. Do not open the oven whatsoever while baking. When the outside looks done but the center still looks creamy, remove from oven and serve immediately. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top, if desired.

x

x

Air Waves / Shine On

x


x

October Daring Bakers | Chocolate-Glazed Espresso Doughnuts

x

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

x

x

I was so excited to see that the challenge was doughnuts, since I have had a particular recipe from Martha Stewart in mind since before I got married… waaaaaay back in September 2007. I saw this recipe in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine issue, one of the MANY wedding magazines I acquired in the process of planning the best party of my life our wedding. Her Holiness of All Things Domestic suggested serving these doughnuts as a midnight snack along with coffee. What a cute idea! I thought. Eventually we ended up scrapping the idea of a midnight snack, but these doughnuts earned a permanent spot in the back of my mind from then on.

x

x

I was so enamored of the idea of an espresso glaze for doughnuts, but I had some cocoa in my cabinets and thought that would be an excellent addition. I mean, really… why WOULDN’T you add chocolate to coffee?

I thought these were a great deviation from your standard Krispy Kreme, sugar overload, diabeetus diabetes-on-a-plate fried ring of dough. The dough itself, when fried, doesn’t taste very sweet at all. In fact, if you like a sweeter doughnut, I would suggest adding another few tablespoons sugar to the batter. But with the addition of a dripping coat of chocolatey glaze, these are really sent over the top. They’re not sweet like what you’ll find at your grocery store or at a bakery, but instead, the espresso and cocoa really stands out. They’re rich in flavor, not rich in sugar… it’s almost savory in a way. I mean, to make a long story short, they taste like the delicious bastard child of a mocha latte and a doughnut. They’re just.that.good.

x

x

Chocolate-Glazed Espresso Doughnuts

Adapted from Martha Stewart Weddings
Makes about 2 dozen

x

Gather:
1 cup warm milk (about 60 degrees F)
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 large egg
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup  (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, divided
vegetable oil, for frying
Chocolate-Espresso Glaze, see recipe below

Prepare:
Whisk together the milk and yeast in the bottom of a stand mixer bowl, and let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add egg, sugar, bread flour, pastry flour, and salt. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 6 minutes. Add butter and 1 teaspoon espresso powder; mix on medium-high speed until combined, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Raise speed to high, and mix until dough forms a smooth ball, about 1 minute more.

Reduce speed to low. Add remaining 5 teaspoons espresso powder, and mix until just combined. Shape dough into a smooth ball; cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Using a 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out center of each round. Gather together scraps, reroll, and cut out. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and cover with a dry kitchen towel. Let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a heavy stockpot until it registers 360 degrees Fahrenheit on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches of 4 to 6, fry doughnuts, flipping once, until golden brown, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet lined with paper towels. (Adjust heat between batches as necessary to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Let cool 10 minutes before glazing.

Whisk glaze. Dip each warm doughnut into glaze, turning to coat completely. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet lined with parchment; let glaze set, about 20 minutes. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment until ready to serve (up to 8 hours).

x

Chocolate-Espresso Glaze

Gather:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2  1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup unsweeted cocoa
1/3 cup brewed espresso, chilled

Prepare:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and cocoa, then whisk in the brewed espresso. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes or until thickened.

x

x

The Black Keys / Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be

x


x

October Daring Cooks | Grape Leaves Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Figs

x

Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

So, I’m all for the Daring Cooks, because it forces you to try things that you’re not familiar with. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it’s a miss… but you try it anyways.

x

w

x

This month was stuffed grape leaves. I wasn’t really feeling the idea of stuffing them with pork or beef, so instead I opted for something simple and easy to make. This recipe is great because it’s mostly assembly-only, other than a bit of prep. These are great tapas for a party — which reminds me, it’s almost time for holiday parties! You could even make these a day in advance, and just heat them up in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, to melt the goat cheese.

x

x

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Figs

Adapted from Honest Fare
Makes about 48

x

Gather:
1 jar grape leaves (about 48 leaves)
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
fresh cracked pepper

Prepare:
Unroll the grape leaves, and separate carefully. Lay lightly on top of one another in a large shallow bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves, gently shake the bowl to make sure the water gets in between the grape leaves. Let soak for about 20 minutes. Drain grape leaves, then repeat with 2-3 changes of cold, fresh water. Lay on kitchen towels.

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Make sure they do not burn.

In the bottom of a mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, figs, and walnuts. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir gently to combine. Add red wine vinegar and cracked black pepper. Feel free to adjust seasoning to taste.

Place 1 tablespoon filling in the middle of each grape leaf. Fold in the sides, then roll up (like you would a burrito.) If you need further instruction, see this video, at about minute 3:30.

x

x

Au Revoir Simone / Another Likely Story (Aeroplane Remix)

x


x

July Daring Bakers – Swiss Bombe Cakelettes

x

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s World – Life and Food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

The cake consists of a swirled thin chocolate cake with a whipped cream filling, and then that cake is layered with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and vanilla. Instead of making a giant bombe cake, I decided to make a mini cake using a ramekin. I would love to re-make this cake using new recipes for the ice cream and cake, only because I wanted the cake to be a bit more sweet, and the ice cream to be a little less sweet. However, the structure of the cake is what we’re really after, here, and I love the individual size! This would be such a great party recipe. Remember to freeze your plates ahead of time, though!

I topped mine with a dollop of leftover whipped cream, too. It was fun to get back into making crazy confections a la The Daring Bakers!

x

x

Swiss Swirl Bombe Cakelettes

Adapted from Sunita’s World, as adapted from Taste of Home
Makes 12 3-inch cakes

Chocolate Ice Cream

½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whipping cream

Whisk together the caster sugar and the cocoa powder. Whisk the whipping cream into the cocoa mixture, and pour liquid into a small saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edge. Pour liquid into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer, mix using a handheld mixer (or your mixing spoon and your arm muscles), then return to freeze for 1 hour. Repeat 2-3 times or until ice cream is frozen but creamy.

Vanilla Ice Cream
½ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼  cup whipping cream

Whisk together the caster sugar, vanilla extract, and whipping cream. Pour liquid into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer, mix using a handheld mixer (or your mixing spoon and your arm muscles), then return to freeze for 1 hour. Repeat 2-3 times or until ice cream is frozen but creamy.

Swiss Roll Cake
3 eggs
½ cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
vegetable oil for brushing baking pan

1 cup whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ tablespoons caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set a rack in the middle of the oven. Brush a 9 x 13 jelly roll pan with vegetable oil, and line with parchment paper.
x
In the bowl of your stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar and beat for 15 minutes or until very thick; the egg mixture should be very light yellow, almost white, and completely opaque. When the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds. (If you do not have a stand mixer, use a handheld mixer and a mixing bowl. If you don’t have a handheld mixer… then you’re really going to get a workout using a whisk and your arm muscles.)
x
While the eggs and sugar mix, sift the flour and cocoa together. Once the egg mixture has attained the right consistency, gently fold in the flour mixture using a spatula, in three batches. Fold in the water. Turn out the mixture into your parchment-lined baking pan, spreading it out into the corners of the pan evenly. Bake the cake for 10-12 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch.
x
Sprinkle caster sugar onto a kitchen towel spread out on a surface. Turn out the cake onto the towel, and peel away the parchment paper. Trim away any rough or crispy edges. Fold the towel over a longer side, then roll up the cake starting on the long side, so that the towel rolls inside the cake as well. The towel will serve to keep the cake from sticking to itself. Let sit, seam side down, until cool, approximately 30 minutes.
To make the filling, combine the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk for 2-3 minutes or until stiff peaks have formed. (If you do not have a stand mixer, use a handheld mixer or just a whisk, although stiff peaks will take longer to achieve than using a stand mixer.)
x
Slowly unroll the cake and remove the towel. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Slowly re-roll the cake into a long log, and wrap in plastic wrap. Store seam-side down in the fridge until ready to assemble cake (i.e. when ice cream has finished freezing.) FREEZE?
x
Hot Fudge Sauce (make after partially assembling bombe cake, see assembly instructions below)
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup room-temperature water
½ tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
x
Assembling the Swiss Swirl Bombe Cakelettes
Cut the swiss swirl rolls into approximately 24 slices, 1/2 inch thick. Cover the inside of 12 ramekins in plastic wrap. Arrange 2 slices of swiss roll cake, back to back, at the bottom of each ramekin. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until slices are firm (approximately 30 minutes).
x
Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the ramekins out of the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Spread the softened vanilla ice cream over the bottom of the ramekin, in approximately a 1/2 inch layer. Freeze until firm (approximately 1 hour). While vanilla ice cream is freezing, make the fudge sauce.
x
Take the ramekins out of the freezer. Add a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick layer of fudge sauce on top of the vanilla ice cream. Freeze until firm (approximately 1 hour).
x
Soften the chocolate ice cream. Take the ramekins out of the freezer. Cover the fudge sauce with a layer of chocolate ice cream approximately 1 centimeter thick. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours until completely set.
x
When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap, and place the serving plate on top of the ramekin. Turn the ramekin upside down and remove the ramekin (and hopefully the plastic wrap) as the ice cream cake falls onto the plate. If the ramekin does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the ramekin with a rag soaked in very hot water (wear a plastic glove if the water is too hot) and the ramekin should come away easily. Serve immediately, topped with more whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you’re feeling particularly decadent.
x
x
x
x
Land of Talk / Swift Coin
x


x

Butternut Squash and Poblano Enchiladas

x

So, I had a little issue with Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers – I forgot to do it… for like 6 months. That’s what happens when you don’t have a reminder set up in Google Calendars (I have one now)… and can we talk about how awesome Google Calendars is? It’s like porn for those who love to organize. I have at LEAST eight different calendars (and this is not one of those instances where I exaggerate a number for the purposes of sarcasm.) Here is an ode to Google Calendars that I wrote to express my undying devotion:

x

Such pretty colors

Woot. You help me organize

What I don’t need to.

x

Yes, I know I ended that with a preposition. That’s how I roll. (Hardcore, if you’re new around here.)

Anyways… onward!

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.

When I saw this challenge earlier this month, I have to admit, I was really REALLY excited. I love Latin American food. MexicanTex-Mex, New Mexican, Venezuelan, El Salvadoran… bring it. Bring it ALL. I think I might have been Mexican in a former life (I hope I looked like Catherine Zeta Jones circa her “Zorro” days). And I want to learn Spanish so that I can apprentice myself to an aging Mexican grandmother in order to learn her secrets to soft tortillas and perfectly-cooked tamales. Why are you looking at me funny? It’s normal… I think.

x

x

But I saw the stated recipe required the use of both tomatillos AND chiles… both of which are soooo not in season right now (damn that Colorado winter). But you know what IS in season?

Anything that was grown last fall… and hasn’t rotted yet.

SWEET. Oh, the choices, they abound.

I have no idea where this idea came from (other than I had one butternut squash sitting out on my counter; totally unrelated, obviously). Then, miracle of all miracles, Abbondanza Farm had some frozen poblano chiles from the 2009 chile harvest at the Boulder Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago. One can mix squash and chiles… right? … I’m sure it will taste fine. No, really… I’m 100% 70% positive it will taste great be edible.

x

x

Other issues to address…

Filling: I used some shredded chicken leftover from making chicken stock a la the Barefoot Contessa. (I reduce the recipe by a third, because, um, my pot only fits ONE whole chicken, Ina. Not like your super stock pot, apparently.)

Cheese: I used my trusty copy of the Flavor Bible to check out which cheeses would compliment butternut squash. Fontina, Gruyere, goat cheese… they are all suggestions. I went with Fontina, because I knew it would melt well over the top. I would also suggest trying a goat cheese feta… I think the tanginess would go really well with the squash.

x

I ended up pretty happen with the ending results of this recipe. It was the first try on this one… so it’s not perfect. It’s definitely not a massive fail, and something I want to try again… but, I can’t for the life of me figure out what we’re missing. Give it a try if you want, and let me know what you think!

x

x

Butternut Squash and Poblano Enchiladas

From The Kitchenette

Serves 6

x

Gather:
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 roasted poblano peppers, seeds and skin removed
12 flour tortillas
4 cups shredded chicken (white and/or dark meat)
4 oz chorizo, minced
8 oz fontina cheese, shredded or sliced thinly

Prepare:
To prepare enchilada sauce: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half and place cut-side down onto a baking sheet. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, and place in a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto the garlic, and then gently crush the foil around the garlic (you don’t want to “seal” the foil around the garlic, but instead ensure air can escape a little bit.) Place foil packet of garlic on baking sheet. Add quartered onions to pan. Brush onions and squash with remaining tablespoon of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until squash is soft. Remove seeds from squash and discard. Scrape softened squash into a food processor. Add roasted onions, half of the roasted garlic, and the 2 poblanos to food processor, and pulse until the sauce is a smooth consistency (add water if necessary). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To assemble enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add approximately 1/3 cup of shredded chicken and 1 tablespoon of minced chorizo to the middle of each tortilla, then roll into a cigar-shape. Place seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spread butternut squash sauce on top of tortillas, and sprinkle fontina on top of sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

x

x

Now Playing: Led Zeppelin / I Can’t Quit You Baby

x


x