Monday, March 16, 2009

I need to talk to you about these two desserts

I've been baking quite a lot lately, and these are two desserts that stand out and must be shared.

First, Lemony Lemon Cake {besides anything chocolaty or custardy, lemony is my favorite kind of dessert}

I find lemons very pretty, don't you? You'll need a lot of them for this recipe. And you'll spend a good bit of time zesting, but it's worth it for the 2 lemon cakes this recipe yields.


Beautiful, fluffy, lemony dough.


Finished cake:


Next, Individual Croissant Bread Puddings with Dried Cherries, Bittersweet Chocolate and Toasted Pecans.
I made these for Sam for Valentine's day and they were sooooooooo gooooooooood.
Like, we didn't speak the whole time we were eating them. We just hummed.
I'm really a fan of bread pudding, but when the "bread" is "croissants" it's just ridiculous.






The recipes:

LEMONY LEMON CAKE

source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
  2. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.


Individual Croissant Bread Puddings with Dried Cherries, Bittersweet Chocolate and Toasted Pecans
Source: epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • Canola oil for greasing
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean* (i just used vanilla extract)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 day-old croissants
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate (from about 1 ounce)

Preparation

Preheat to the oven to broil.

Put the cherries in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit for 20 minutes, then drain.

Spread the pecans out in a pie tin, place on the middle rack of the oven, and carefully watch for 1 to 2 minutes or until the nuts are golden. Cool, then chop.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two ovenproof bowls (with 4-inch diameters) with canola oil.

Add the heavy cream to a medium saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the pod into the liquid, then add the pod. Simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla bean pod.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Slowly pour in the cream mixture while whisking.

Tear the croissants into 6 pieces each and place in a medium bowl, then cover with the remaining cream and egg mixture. Allow the croissants to absorb the liquid for about 10 minutes. Add the cherries.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared bowls and sprinkle the top of each bowl with the chocolate and toasted pecans. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until set, then serve.



1 comments:

SNW said...

a) yum yum YUM!
b) you and that camera of yours are getting along QUITE nicely!!