Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day 21 - Recipes 36, 37, & 38

It's 1 am and I can't figure out how to move the pic, so it's up here!

I am really excited about my first recipe. I had marked a Challah recipe in a cookbook months ago and just never got around to making it. Then last week I saw a recipe for Upside Down French Toast (from Tyler Florence) and it called for Challah. Sure, I could've bought Challah or just used French bread, but it gave me an excuse to finally try it out! It is my first braided loaf EVER and I still need to work on it. Don't get me wrong, it tastes AMAZING! But, my braid needs to be a little tighter.

The french toast was good, too. It wasn't "knock your socks off" good, but I still really enjoyed it. It almost tasted like a caramel apple which is not a bad thing! Plus, I loved the way the sugar coated the pecans. It was a good breakfast treat!

After a day at the zoo, I headed over to the McBride's for dinner. (You'd think they would be sick of me by now!!!). I offered to make dessert and made a cake that I had saved from AllRecipes back when I was not eating dairy. The name is kinda funny (Pig Pickin' Cake), but the cake was really good! It was a piece of cake (HA HA!) to throw together and I even frosted it one handed while nursing Eric! Monica and I were joking about how when you are a mom (and especially when your husband is deployed!) you have to be a master at multi-tasking!

Enjoy the recipes! :)


From "Baking with The Culinary Institute of America"

3 1/2 cups bread flour plus extra as needed
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water, room temperature (68-76 degrees)
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus extra for greasing
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 2 TBSP cold milk or water)

Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hoook. Add the water, eggs, egg yolks, oil, sugar, and salt and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 4 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm plac until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.

Fold the dough gently, cover, and let rest until relaxed, about 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Cover and let rest about 15-20 minutes. Working with 1 piece at a time, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and press lightly with your hands to strech into a 6x10 inch rectangle. Fold the long top edge to the center of the rectangle, pressing lightly with your fingers to tighten the outer surface. Fold the dough in half lengthwise so the top meets the bottom and use the heel of your palm to seal the edges.

Roll each piece of dough into a tapered cylinder 12 inches long. Lay the 3 ropes of dough parallel to each other. Braid dough and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the dough with the egg wash and let rise another hour. Do not cover dough.

Preheat oven to 350. Very gently brush dough again with egg wash. Bake 25-30 minutes or until challah is dark golden brown, shiny, and lightweight.

Upside-Down Apple French Toast

4 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling, divided

4 Granny Smith apples

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Confectioners' sugar, garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a flat dish, crack eggs and add milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined then lay challah slices in mixture to coat and absorb it all, turning occasionally.
Set a 10-inch skillet, seasoned cast iron if you have, over medium heat. Add the butter and 1 cup sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and caramelized, about 8 minutes. While the sugar is melting, peel apples, core and cut into halves. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the heavy cream. Sprinkle in the pecans, dried cranberries and gently press in the apple halves so there is a flat surface. Lay soaked slices of challah over the top so it is completely covered - you should be able to arrange the large slices and small slices so there are no gaps. Sprinkle the top with some brown sugar and place into the preheated oven. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and puffy.
When done, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes then invert onto a large plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.

Chef's Note: FYI - if your cast iron skillet is not seasoned, the cranberries will react with the skillet and turn black.


Pig Pickin' Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, juice reserved
4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (15 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

Mix together cake mix, canned oranges with juice, eggs, and oil. Pour batter into three greased and floured 8 inch round pans. Layers will be thin.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool layers on wire racks.

Mix together whipped topping, drained pineapple, and instant pudding mix. Fill and frost the cooled cake. Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Ingrid said...

That pig pickin cake looks wonderful!!!! The icing so light and creamy! Yum!

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