Sunday, July 27, 2008

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream - Daring Bakers

Behold! The first rehearsal before a trip to a barbecue: A wonderful, spongy cake with just the right crunch to it. Yours truly did not torte it properly - was cutting it in half ready for all the trimmings and somehow managed to cut a huge hole in the bottom layer. Emergency action - glob buttercream on the top layer, crumble the bottom layer and sprinkle it on the buttercream, then glob more buttercream and the chocolate ganache on top. The cake was a raving success at the barbecue - trouble is, I did not take a picture of it dressed up. I wanted to make another one for the Challenge so - Round 2:

Behold! Ground hazelnuts and cake flour in my food processor, everything mise en place and the oven heating at 350 degree F - or so I thought. I smelled gas and checked the oven - not a bit of heat! I immediately called the gas company - they tested it out and told me the oven was finished, kaput, had given up the ghost and recommended I get a new one. So much for Round 2. Now the chopped nuts are in my freezer for Round 3, which I will have to post late.

It's really dreadful to be without an oven and I can't wait until I get my new Frigidaire delivered on Thursday 31st.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie - No Post for the Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

Sorry, no post from Sherrytrifle this week! You won't believe what happened! I bought some lovely cherries, couldn't find rhubarb so got blackberries instead, and was all set to do my baking. Oven thought differently - it went completely on the blink and gave off a horrible, alarming smell of gas instead of heating up. I called the gas company - they were at my place in 10 minutes and after testing a couple of things, they said my oven was finished! It had decided to stop igniting after about 12 years, so I suppose that's not too bad. Just a pity it happened at challenge time.

This evening I went to PC Richards and checked out some Frigidaire ranges - seems the medium-lower priced ones are better - the fancy ones are way too complicated for me. Tomorrow I will go back and get a new range. Meantime, I have to sit on the bench.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chocolate Pudding - Tuesdays with Dorie

Melissa of Its Melissa's Kitchen has chosen "Chocolate Pudding" for us this week. A lovely choice for hot summer kitchens - there's no need to turn the oven on, only some whisking at the stove top. Just click on Melissa's blog link for the recipe.

The texture of the pud is smooth and the chocolate nice and rich. I think it's a bit soft though, like soft as in sauce. I followed the recipe instructions exactly but I am wondering if the problem occurred with whisking the sauce in the pan to thicken - it took me the longest time to get it to thicken and I read today that briskly beating a sauce when you have cornflour as a setting agent can cause it to break down and become runny. I have never had problems with making custard before when it's just stirred in gently. I think I'll try out a couple of other chocolate pud recipes to see if they are thicker. But it did taste good - my dish pictured above is all gone now!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie - Tuesdays with Dorie

Amy of South in Your Mouth has chosen Dorie's Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie this week. What a good choice - blueberries are loading the fruit stores at this time of the year and they are delicious. [Click Amy's blog link, above, for the recipe.]

I did my usual uptown thing and bought 3 punnets of blueberries from Citarella (two for the pie and one for me) as well as some mascarpone cheese to serve as a double treat. I like mascarpone, not only for its wonderful creaminess but also because it's so portable for taking to the office.

Making the pie was a pleasure - how easy to mix the filling and while my pastry skills need lots of practice, I still got the pie shell together. My kitchen is hot, even with the oven off at this time of the year so if my pastry doesn't turn out I'll just blame it on the weather. [In the meantime, I've been reading how to roll pastry - from the center and like a clock - first 12 noon, then 6:00, 3:00 and 9:00, then 1:00, 7:00 and so on to get it into an even circle. Then a nice little trick to get it into the pie pan - starting 4 inches from the top roll pin towards you until you get about a third of the pastry disc wrapped around the pin, then carefully lift up the pastry and place it in the pie plate.]

My pie turned out beautifully and the aroma while it was baking was divine. Here it is, posing for its photograph. Can't wait to taste it tomorrow.