Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

All Hail the King February 22, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 11:29 pm
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This is a little late, but still plenty yummy. King cake is a sweet made and consumed during the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. Since I’m not one for timing or rules, I made it after lent. Enjoy!

King Cake

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
3 tablespoons dark rum
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Heat milk and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and spices. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.

Melt butter in a small saucepan, add pecans and stir for 2 minutes. Add rum and brown sugar, stir until melted. Pour into a bowl let cool for 5 minutes then fold in cream cheese and vanilla.

Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Roll out dough into long 4″ wide strips, transfer to the cookie sheet, spread the filling and roll into a tube. Join the ends to make a ring and cut slits 1″ apart. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Mix powdered sugar and milk, frost while warm and sprinkle with colored sugar.


craving October 22, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:48 pm
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I had a craving for a spice cake with pumpkin filling. I thought it would be neat to roll it, I also thought my idea was somewhat original. Until I researched it. I’m posting the recipe I used AND the one I found on food network. I like Paula Dean, I also like that she used booze. That’s why I’m crediting her.

Pumpkin Roll Spice Cake

2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 can Pumpkin mix, with spices – no sweetener if possible
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 package pudding; either vanilla, caramel or pumpkin spice – you can use any other flavor that you think will work with pumpkin, those are my suggestions.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a baking sheet. Whisk dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a 2-cup measuring cup. Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture and beat on low until smooth. Add remaining milk mixture in two stages; beat on medium speed until batter is just smooth. Add the sugar; beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter while the cake is hot, dust generously with powdered sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the edge of the cake and roll up. Cool completely, edge down, for 1 hour in the refrigerator. While the cake is hot, dust generously with powdered sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the edge of the cake and roll up. Cool completely, edge down, for 1 hour in the refrigerator. While the cake is cooling, add pudding mix and cream together in a large bowl, mix with an electric mixer on high for a few minutes, it will become very stiff very quickly. Fold in the pumpkin mix scoopful at a time; you can use more or less pumpkin mix – depending on your preference. If you use sweetened pumpkin mix you will probably want to use less, otherwise it will be very sweet. When cake is cool; unroll gently, make sure not to crack it. Pipe in pumpkin filling evenly, it doesn’t have to be pretty. Roll cake and trim edges so you get a nice swirl end. Plate seam side down. Dust with powdered sugar or pipe excess filling as decoration,

Paula Deen’s version

3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
6 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup canned pumpkin, packed
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup English toffee pieces for garnish
Additional powdered sugar, for garnish
1 1/2 cups purchased caramel sauce, warmed, for garnish


Office gelato machine vs. Rachel September 6, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 10:39 am
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The newest toy at my office is a gelato machine. It’s self-cooling so there is no need for ice and no chamber to freeze ahead if time. Clearly an ingenious tool of the devil.

I decided to kick off the madness with a batch of peaches and cream, I used the peaches and nectarines pushing over ripe from our weekly fruit delivery and threw it in the blender with heavy cream and some simple syrup.

About an hour later, we had very yummy ice cream.

It wasn’t exactly perfect, I think in the next batch I’ll take off the skin of the peaches and fold the cream in after blending the rest of the ingredients, frothing the cream up in the blender ended up with frozen fluffs in the ice cream. I would like to experiment with this though; I wonder how whipped cream would respond in the machine?

The next try was sorbet made from the overripe cantaloupes, again from an organic express delivery.

I chopped and smooshed the cantaloupe by hand as much as I could, to prevent the blender from beating the flavor out of the fruit. I chopped up some Thai basil and added that to the mix with a little lemon juice. I have to tell you, that shit was fantastic. It was gone before it made it out of the machine.

If this was a battle, I think the machine would win. I am defeated but content.