Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flour-less Cakes: Part 2...Clementine Cake

Part 2
Clementine Cake

If you don't have this song stuck in your head the entire time you make this cake, you're doing it wrong.

In fact, if you don't get an urge to listen to a lot a lot of Bright Eyes in general while you make this cake, you're probably just doing life wrong. In general.

Maybe this should be named the Bright Eyes cake? Just kidding. That's dumb. This is the Clementine Cake. Because it's made out of 5 entire clementines, not 5 entire Conor Obersts. Although that would be really, really, adorably delicious. In a crooning hipster sort of way. WHEN WILL I GET MY CONOR OBERST CAKE?!?

Apparently, some other psycho beat me to it. Typical.

Anywho. Back the most important point of this post that isn't Conor Oberst. The search for the perfect flour-less Passover cake. And so, I give you the Clementine Cake.

Hello Yummy Texture. It's me, Molly.

I found this recipe once again at Smitten Kitchen thanks to the helpful Passover-Friendly Dessert Recipe Suggester. So helpful!

This cake is yumcity. I think I say that a lot about a lot of things but it is really very good this time. I promise. It's clementine-y, yes. But mostly, it has a delightful texture thanks to the heaping amount of ground almonds. It's just about perfectly sweet and probably would be satisfying for breakfast. Or mushed up and constantly pumped through your veins like a drug. One or the other.

I bet all of Conor Oberst's children I plan on carrying would looking really cute iced onto these mini cakes.
Chocolate portrait style.

  • 4-5 clementines
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cup plus 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups ground almonds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting

  • Go on with your bad self!

    1. Get a big old pot out, toss the clementines in, and cover with cool water. Set it on the stove and boil your little clementines for 2 hours. Remove, drain, and set aside to cool. Slice them open, remove the seeds and chop up into smaller pieces to put in the food processor. Process until smooth-ish. Set aside.
    2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare whatever size pans you're using (I used 2 1/2" ish, 5", and 6" because I'm just crazy like that) by greasing them and lining the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper.
    3. Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped up clementines.
    4. Pour batter into your prepared pans. Set in the oven for 30ish minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out dry.
    5. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Once cooled, take out of the pan and dust with confectioner's sugar if you see fit. (I saw fit.)
    I think I'm cured. No, in fact, I'm sure.
    Thank you Stranger, for your therapeutic smile.

    RATE ME!

    TASTE: 4.5/5 I don't really like citrus. I really hate the smell of fruit being juiced. But the smell of it baking and the taste of it in baked goods really makes me happy. This cake was no let down in the happy tasty department.
    EASE: 2/5 This gets a low ease rating simply because of the whole two-hour-boiling-clementines thing. That's a couple hours too many to boil clementines to make an otherwise simple cake. Just saying.
    FILTH OF THE KITCHEN: 4/5 It was pretty disgusting but not nearly as bad as the flour-less chocolate cake mess. That...that was just terrible and I don't want to talk about it ever again so please stop bringing it up.
    DID THE DOG EAT THE BATTER: Little dude was on fire today! And later, his butthole might be on fire :/ Not because he ate heaping amounts of pureed whole clementines that dropped on the floor but because he ate HEAPING amounts of pureed whole clementines that dropped on the floor. Double :/ What a guy. I love him.
    IMPRESS-O-METER: 4/5 You know what? I don't even want to call it flour-less. That's amateur or something. I'm going to call it Gluten-Free. That's right. I went there. I impressed every person in the world who can't eat anything that tastes good ever. Sorry Gluten-Free folks. That must be the worst. But hey! This cake uses whole clementines! Eh? Eh?

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Flour-less Cakes: A Love Story in Three Parts

    That Time I Decided to Make a Bunch of Flour-less Cakes

    Occasionally on this blog, I bring up the very true fact that I am a Jew. I made hamantashen and told you all the story of three-cornered hats (it's Jew-talk...don't worry about it). My first venture in bread baking was challah because duh. So what's this getting at? Passover's coming up soon!!!!!!(!!!!!!) And Passover is my (only) favorite Jewish holiday! So in an effort to find recipes for my mother to slave over help plan our upcoming seder, I went about researching flour-less cakes. Because here's the only thing you need to remember about Passover food: that shit better not have ever risen a day in its life. Because Pharoh. And the Jews. And the desert. And Pharoh again. RESEARCH TIME!

    Epilogue to the Preface

    My fellow Jewess blogger, The Awesome Lady Over at Smitten Kitchen, compiled an extremely helpful list of flour-less Passover friendly desserts. I decided to tackle three of her flour-less cakes while putting my own little spins on each of them. All in the name of science. And research. And my expanding waist line. But mostly, PASSOVER!

    The Jews didn't have yeast in the desert but they definitely had melted chocolate.
    They weren't heathens.

    Part 1
    Chocolate Flour-Less Cake
    with Espresso Whipped Cream and Raspberries

    Use your vivid imagination to insert some raspberries where
    I clearly ate the raspberries before taking this picture. Please.

    I picked this recipe because it involves separating a dozen eggs and I like breaking things. I also like to pretend that the really loud noise my ridiculously over powered KitchenAid Professional Mixer makes while beating the shit out of one dozen egg whites is my own personal air show, minus the planes, the tricks, and the inevitable plane-trick tragedies.

    Like the clouds at an air show, but with less impending doom!

    So here's the recipe, adapted ever so very tiny bit slightly from Smitten Kitchen.

    • 12 oz fine quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 6 tablespoons of water
    • 12 eggs, separated
    • 1 1/3 cups of sugar
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

    • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 7 tablespoons of sifted confectioners sugar
    • 4 tsp instant espresso dissolved in 4 tsp water
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • raspberries

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease your baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Melt the chocolate with the water over low heat. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
    3. Whip together the egg yolks, 2/3 cups of sugar, and salt in a mixer for 5 minutes or until pale yellow and thick. Fold in the chocolate until blended.
    4. Clean your mixer, you filthy disgrace.
    5. Beat egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Slowly add the remaining 2/3 cups of sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to make it light. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until blended.
    6. Evenly spread batter in your pans. Bake until puffy and the top appears dry. Rotate to ensure even baking. For my heart shaped mini pans, this took about 13 minutes. For my 5" and 6" circular pans, it took about 16 minutes.
    7. Let cool on a wire rack. When cooled, sift some cocoa powder on the top of the cakes. Place wax paper on top of the pan, then place a baking sheet on top of it all. Invert the cake onto the pan, gently removing the paper lining. Place the layers in the freezer for about an hour so that they are firmer and easier to handle when frosting.

    Make the frosting!
    1. Whip all the ingredients together. BAM. You have delicious frosting.
    Assemble the cake!
    1. Keep the cocoa side of the cake down.
    2. Frost the bare side with a heaping amount of whipped frosting. Place some halved raspberries on top of the frosting.
    3. Place the next layer on top and frost, frost, frost.
    You know you're a Jew when you subconsciously decorate your cake with a raspberry Star of David.

    I stopped at 2 layers for both of my circular cakes. My heart shaped cake used 5 layers...then I ran out of frosting. Sigh.

    If salt water at Passover reminds us of the Jews' tears, this clearly reminds us of
    sad we were as young Jews to not find the hidden matzah at Passover.

    This cake is totally delicious. For realz. It's crazy light and airy because it has a dozen fucking eggs. My Elijah, that is SO MANY EGGS. I just want to make a million and a half egg puns here. But I'm stronger than that. Or something. Also, I've recently become a big girl and started drinking coffee. Currently my drink of choice is a grande soy cappuccino so this espresso whipped cream was right up my big-girl alley. Plus who doesn't love fresh berries with their cake? Pharoh. That's who. Fucking Pharoh.

    This cake batter is very light but it could have used more plagues.
    Are a few locusts too much to ask for?

    Next I'm going to make this ridiculous sounding orange flour-less cake in various tiny, adorable shapes. But more look at my sickeningly cute heart shaped cake. No but seriously. I feel ill after like two bites.

    And Moses parted the flour-less cake so his people could escape the mighty Pharoh.

    RATE ME!

    TASTE: 3/5 You know what, the cake is really good. It really is. I think I just underbaked it a bit. I chalk this up to my inexperience with making flour-less cakes (see: Never) and my overall impatience. Surprisingly, this did not stop me from gaining a solid pound eating this cake last night. Nor did it stop a mysterious member of my family from going to town on these cakes sometime between last night and this morning. Hm.
    EASE: 3/5 I was actually pretty surprised how easy this cake was to make. The only points deducted from ease come from the ONE DOZEN SEPARATED EGGS. Amazing for pent up rage, however.
    FILTH OF THE KITCHEN: 5/5 I - I don't know what happened. It looked like a bomb went off. A bomb went off and then another, slightly chocolate-ier, bomb went off just for good measure. It was terrifying. It was so filthy.
    DID THE DOG EAT THE DOUGH: He most seriously knew what was up when I was icing the cakes. I'm pretty sure I had his full I-Don't-Know-How-to-Sit-on-Command attention.
    IMPRESS-O-METER: 4/5 Flour-less seems unnecessarily tricky and espresso whipped cream seems unnecessarily mature. Overall, that's not too shabby.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Peanut Butter & Jared Cheesecake Brownies

    Dear Planet Earth,

    Hold the phone. Stop the presses. Go purge whatever you just ate for dinner. (That's a saying too, right?) I've got some very important news. It's called Peanut Butter & Jared Cheesecake Brownies. And it's going to change everything.

    Hugs and Quiches,

    Wow. That was such a serious intro to this post and it still isn't serious enough. Let me give you a scenario. It all began with two rag tag kids and one crazy-never-gonna-work idea. And it went a little something like this...

    Brother: Can you make me some cheesecake brownies?
    Me: Yes.
    Brother: Can there be peanut butter in them too?
    Me: Are we talking Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?
    Brother: Yes. Yes we are.

    Reese's Peanut Butter Cups:
    The peanut butter that holds the relationship between me and my brother together.

    So, many many (many) weeks after that conversation, I got down to business.

    I adapted a Cheesecake Brownie recipe from My Baking Addiction to make this life altering dessert. Or you could eat it for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast again.

    I like my ingredients like I like my men: white, beige, or brown.
    And handsome.
    ...for the brownies
    • 1 stick of butter, cut into pats
    • 7 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil
    • 1 cup of super fine sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 2/3 cup of flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 8 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, coarsely chopped

    ...for the cheesecake
    • 8oz cream cheese
    • 1/3 super fine sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
    Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil and butter the foil.

    Mix the oil and cocoa powder until well combined in a small bowl. Throw the butter pats in that bowl and stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, until the butter melts. Mix until smooth.

    Toss the cocoa/butter mixture in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, the sugar, the salt, and the vanilla. Whisk until smooth and pretty. Add the flour and baking powder. Whisk until just combined.

    Spread the brownie batter in the pan. Top evenly with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup crumbles. Take a second to bask in the glory of what you are making. Nice. Very Nice.

    Whisk together all the ingredients for the cheesecake in your sparkly freshly cleaned mixer. Spread the well combined cheesecake awesomeness on top of the brownie/Reese's Peanut Butter Cup batter. Grab a fork and swizzle the cheesecake topping around.

    Pop in the oven for 35 minutes or until the corners look puffy and the center is just set. Cool on a wire rack. Try not to press your face directly into the hot baking pan. Or don't hold back. Be yourself. Be happy. Be covered in Peanut Butter & Jared Cheesecake Brownies.

    If anything has ever asked for an imprint of an entire face, it's this guy.

    PS: I cannot WAIT to make everyone I know really, really, really, really fat.

    PPS: If you have some crazy ass idea for something you want to eat but you are more into eating than making, you should probs hit me up and suggest I make it.

    RATE ME!

    TASTE: 4.99/5 "I get the feeling Jesus ate these at the last supper." - Jared, namesake of these brownies. Also, timely for Ash Wednesday. I think. I'm Jewish. I'm going to go eat another brownie now probably.
    EASE: 4/5 Guys, here's the thing. Making brownies is exceptionally easy. Like if you were ever impressed by your mom making you brownies, you should know that she was making you something only slightly harder than breathing. Ask her to make you some Ho-Ho's and watch the bitch sweat.
    FILTH OF THE KITCHEN: 1/5 I managed to clean up the entire kitchen within 5 minutes. While the heavenly creations were baking. So perfect.
    DID THE DOG EAT THE DOUGH: The dog licked cocoa powder off the floor where there was no cocoa powder on the floor. I don't want to know what he was actually licking. I bet it tasted like butt though. What can I say...I know my dog.
    IMPRESS-O-METER: 4/5 People go bananas over things with "cheesecake" in the title and they go apricots over baked goods named after them.