Friday, August 14, 2009

Vindictive Vinegar

Foiled by vinegar again! This time it was a braised celery recipe. The recipe called for white wine and I put white wine vinegar into it. DAMMIT! The product looked fine, actually the color turned out better than it would have if it was in white wine, but it smelled and tasted terrible!

I also tried making the parsnip puree which turned out much much better, especially topped with bacon. Yum. Chef Lipford said it needed more salt and pepper and it was too cold. My taste buds were shot at that point that I didn't trust them, but I added more salt, I should have warmed it under the salamander. Otherwise it tasted like mashed potatoes, but a little bit sweeter.
Clawson made kebabs and Stephanie and Tiny worked on the butternut squash. The kebabs looked good, but i didn't get to try them.
The butternut squash needed a little more sugar and the cuts were uneven, so they cooked unevenly.

Took my cupcake from yesterday to Chef Fleckenstein's class. One girl recommended the Georgetown Cupcake's recipe and Chef Fleck recommended the chocolate cake recipe off of Hershey's website. Both are listed below.

Georgetown Cupcake
Georgetown Cupcake's Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
The Washington Post, November 5, 2008
Course: Dessert

Here's the winning combination: moist and chocolaty cake with just the right amount of rich ganache frosting on top.

Valrhona cocoa powder and Callebaut chocolate are sold at Sur La Table stores; call for availability.

The cupcakes are best when served on the same day they are made. If the cupcakes are dipped once, you'll have about 1/2 cup of ganache left over.

Makes 18 cupcakes


For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) European-style unsalted butter, such as Plugra brand, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar bourbon
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted (see headnote; may substitute another good-quality cocoa powder)
For the ganache frosting
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Callebaut semisweet chocolate chips (6.4 ounces; see headnote; may substitute other good-quality semisweet chocolate chips)

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups, and a second pan with 6 baking cups.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

Add the cocoa powder, beating (on low speed) just until incorporated.

Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the ganache frosting: Lay a large piece of wax paper on the work surface.

Combine the heavy cream and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the mixture melt, stirring until it is shiny and smooth.

Remove the bowl of chocolate ganache from the saucepan; let it cool slightly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Working with 1 cupcake at a time, carefully dip each cupcake top in the warm ganache, twisting your wrist as needed to make sure the cupcake top gets completely coated. To prevent drips, quickly turn the cupcake right side up and place on the wax paper. Allow the ganache to set for 5 minutes before serving.

HERSHEY'S Kitchen's
Black & White Cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 eggs
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
VANILLA FROSTING(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with
paper bake cups.

2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, water, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.

3. Bake 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan. Cool completely. Frost with VANILLA FROSTING or "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 30 cupcakes.

*To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup,

VANILLA FROSTING: Beat 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter, 1/4 cup shortening and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Add 1 cup powdered sugar; beat until creamy. Add 3 cups powdered sugar alternately with 3 to 4 tablespoons milk, beating to spreading consistency. About 2-1/3 cups.

"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine; stir in 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa. Add 3 cups powdered sugar alternately with 1/3 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract beating to spreading consistency. About 2 cups frosting.

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