Friday, October 22, 2010

I Made a Pie!

Just for the record. I'm winning the posting contest.

Clearly from the title of the post, you know what it is going to be about.

Now the question is: what type of pie?

I'll give you a hint

That bag in my hand was full to the brim
So logistically there was only one pie to make
Apple Pie

Pies are scary.
scratch that.
Everyone says that pies (pie crust?) are scary.
While it is halloween, this would be a really pathetic attempt to scare you.

Pies aren't scary, they just take some practice and a not OCD person.
It's butter, sugar, flour, apples, and spices. Honestly, I don't care who you are, it will taste good with those ingredients.

This was my first full pie I've attempted without the watchful eye of my mom (Hi mom!). My mom may not think it, but she's a champion baker. She just kind of does it, and it works. At least that's what it looks like to me.
I on the other hand am slowly trying to achieve that kind of skill, but until then I will obsess over every recipe I can find, trying to pick the perfect one with the best tips.

I settled on Joy the Bakers version with a few additions of my own (more spices! always!!), and I chose a Pâte Brisée crust.

It. Was. Awesome.

Move over pie. You're not so scary.

All Butter Crust (double for a bottom and
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp ice water, very cold
Cut the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and put them in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to get them as cool as possible.

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and pulse a few times, until mixture is small pea size balls. Add ice cold water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together.

Remove dough and shape them into two discs. There should still be clear pieces of butter. This butter is key and is the reason for the delicious flakyness of the crust!
Sprinkle the disc with a little flour, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them for about an hour or more.

Remove one discs from the refrigerator, and let sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk and roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Add a little flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Fold the dough in half and transfer to the pie pan.

Repeat the same process for the second disc after the pie has been filled with filling.

For the Filling I used Joy the Baker's recipe. Like I said, the only change I really made was upping the spices. You can find it here.

It was a really great recipe, and I was super proud of my delicious pie!!

I can't wait for the next one!

Pie coma?


Friday, October 1, 2010

My Birthday Cake

Ok, so we're bad at this.

The funny thing is, every time we cook something I try to take pictures. Unfortunately we cook at night when the lighting is poor, or I'll forget to take pictures during a pretty step and end up with a picture of dirty dishes instead.

...I also forget to post...

Anyways. Happy birthday to me. Let's bake a cake

Not just any cake, chocolate cake. Not just any chocolate cake, chocolate cake with alcohol in it.

I also put almonds in the middle.

They were wonderful.


I did.

Chocolate Amaretto Cake
(adapted from Gourmet)

* 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
* 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 3 large eggs
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
* 1/2 cup amaretto
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cake
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease two 10-inch cake pans ( made it in two 9 inch and had a little mini cake too). Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly.
Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.
Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Amaretto Whipped Cream Frosting

* 1 Pint Heavy Cream
* 1 Tsp Sugar
* 1 Glog of vanilla
* Amaretto (as much as you please)

Put all ingredients in a chilled bowl and mix with a hand mixer or a whisk (poor you...) until whipped cream is formed.

This cake was REALLY good, and I'm not saying that because I made it. I plan on using this chocolate cake recipe until someone forces me to use another one (sorry mom).

Clearly even the batter was good

Happy cooking (or baking)