Saturday, March 12, 2011

Experimental Baking - Miniature King Cakes

Tuesday was Mardi Gras. My sole observance of this occasion is to eat king cake. Here in the north, that means that first I have to make king cake. This is the recipe I've been using for a few years. Two years ago: made one giant king cake. Which promptly had to be cut up because there was nowhere to store it. Last year: made two smaller king cakes - they barely fit in cake domes, but worked ok. Continuing the trend, I though I'd make single serving ones this year.

Above are the 4 types of construction I attempted. 3. was surprisingly hard to do, 4. was surprisingly easy. 4. came out looking the best - if I'd known how easy it was, I would have made more of that type. 2. was the best cream cheese delivery mechanism, 1. was the worst. I didn't manage to use all the sweetened cream cheese in the baking, so N was consuming the muffin tin shaped ones by heating them, cutting them in half, and adding lots more cream cheese.

I used royal icing instead of the glaze from the recipe - I wanted something that would harden instead of melting 24 hours later. It was a good choice. I dyed the icing purple since I only had green sprinkles. Next time I'll go for a darker purple.

The only real problem was that I killed the yeast with the melted butter. I really need to gain the patience to let the butter COOL. I made yeast soup in a ramekin with a Tblsp of yeast and enough water to make it all liquid, folded it into a divot in the dough and got the mixer going again - but lost two hours before I realized the yeast weren't working. It ended up working ok, so it's good to know that dead yeast bread can be recovered. (This time I really didn't want to go buy another lemon or use 5 more eggs!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cheese Biscuit Mashup

Mashup of Allrecipe's Cheese Drop Biscuits and Nick Malgieri's Pecorino and Pepper Biscuits (found in The Modern Baker)

Yield ~ 12

2 3/4 c flour
1 Tblsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic salt
dash of garlic powder (optional)
1 stick cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 c milk
3/4 c (70g) shredded cheddar cheese

preheat oven to 400 degrees

Put flour, baking powder, garlic salt and garlic powder in food processor, pulse a few times to mix.

Add cold butter pieces, pulse several times to avoid large lumps.

Add milk and cheese, pulse a few times to combine but not form a ball. May need to add a bit of water to get it to come together.

Grease a baking sheet, drop roughly formed biscuits about 1" apart.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until tops start to brown.