Monday, January 19, 2009

Mini Clementine Cakes, Berry Coulis, Fresh Berries

I came across this fascinating clementine cake recipe. It's sometimes attributed to Nigella Lawson, but I've seen it in several other iterations antedating her recipe. It's fascinating because you use the entire clementine/orange, pith, rind, and all. You boil the orange the day before to remove any bitteness from the pith, then blend everything down. The end result is a marvelously fragrant and moist cake- quite sticky.

I tried topping it with a little chocolate ganache, but found the ganache flavor overpowering. Confectioner's sugar complements it better, and highlights the orange taste. The almond flour lends a gritty, contrasting texture to the cake.

Oranges can be substituted instead of clementines, but not only did I have clementines lying around, there aren't any seeds in the clementines, easing preparations.

Clementine Cake

- 4 whole clementines, washed, stems removed.
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 2.5 cups almond flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1.25 tsp baking powder

  1. Boil clementines whole, in water, for about 2 hours. Let cool over night. If you only have oranges on hand, you may instead use 2 oranges.
  2. Chop now extremely soft clementines into quarters (if using oranges, remove seeds). Add into food processor, and blend to a fine puree.
  3. Mix eggs, almond flour, sugar, and baking powder together.
  4. Add in clementine puree.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F ~ 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
  6. Refrigerate overnight- tastes better on the 2nd day!

I baked one large cake in a quiche pan, then stamped out rounds.

Dust with a little confectioner's sugar and berry coulis. Then add a touch of fresh berries.

Better glamour shot.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Xiao Long Bao, Part I

My first attempt at making Xiao Long Bao. Some thoughts- I used a cold water dough, which I feel tasted slightly undercooked after emerging from the steamer. I'm going to use a hot water dough next time (~ 3/4 cup boiling water follows by 1/4 cup cold water). And I'll probably use entirely all-purpose, rather than a mix of AP and whole wheat flour.

The pleating was no problem. You get the hang of it after a few tries.

The other issue is a question of aspic placement. I placed my aspic separately from, and on top of, the filling in the wrapper. I think next time, I'm just going to cut up the aspic and mix it with the filling to get a more uniform distribution.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (no coconut)

Using the same recipe that I made last time, except omitting the coconut. The result? 2.5 lbs of dark and white chocolate chips crammed into a support layer comprising just 2 cups of flour. No wonder the cookies are too heavy and form very broad shapes. Oh well, they're still very tasty.

Considerable spreading here.

But very tasty....