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Posts tagged ‘ganache’

Doughnut be sad any longer, I’m back!

Dear Baking Mojo,

You have been a bit of a biotch lately. It has really annoyed me.

It annoys me almost as much as this spellcheck wanting to correct “biotch” to “biotech.”

Really though, what was your issue? You disappeared for a long time. I tried to use you several times, but whatever I made came out so…un-Sugar-Therapyish. You would show your face for a second, but when I would start to whip up some cookies, you were nowhere to be found, and therefore, neither were the cookies. What the eff, man? Even Thanksgiving pies were mediocre at best, thanks to you.

Now, I realize I’m being a little harsh, Mojo. I know we’re not in the amazing kitchen we used to bake in. The oven we loved to hate so much isn’t with us anymore. All the counterspace? Yeah, a pipe dream. My collection of salt and pepper shakers that cheerily graced us as we sang along to whatever playlist I chose aren’t out anymore. That kitchen was mine ours, and I’m just as bummed as you are that I can’t buy dish towels or display my favorite cookie jar.

But you know what, my darling? We need to get over it. Stop hiding behind those cotton candy clouds, and join me in the bright, buttercream world we used to live in. The blog is called Sugar Therapy…hellooooo. I can’t live my life effectively without you! And let’s be honest, you can’t live without me either, because, well, you’re my baking mojo.

You really came through for me yesterday. I mean, we made doughnuts for the first time, and it was wildly successful! When I opened that deep fryer from Santa this past Christmas, I had doughnuts on the mind, hardcore. You seemed pretty hesitant, but the other day I was in such a good mood that I made you comply…and look at what came out of it! Delicious, cakey, yeasty doughnuts.

Let’s keep it up.

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. If you ever disappear like that again, I might have to replace you with basket-weaving.

P.P.S. Just kidding, I would never basket-weave. But seriously don’t ever f&%*$#@ leave me again.

…xoxo.

Homemade Doughnuts
Recipe closely followed from Pioneer Woman.

1 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (also known as one package)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan. Make sure it is not too hot.

2. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

3. Pour the dry yeast into a medium-small bowl, and pour the milk mixture over it.

4. Stir it gently, but then walk away! Don’t touch it for 10 minutes and watch how gross it starts to look.

5. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. You may do this in the microwave in small increments of 10-15 seconds. You don’t want the butter to melt all the way, because it will be too hot for the next step. Instead, melt it about 80% of the way and stir it until it melts down. It works the same way that melting chocolate does.

6. Add the eggs to the butter and stir to combine.

I must interject. My beautiful stand mixer was faulty. One day it started sparking, and I feared for my life, so I turned it off. Saddest story of my life. ūüė¶ So I had to use a hand mixer. It is a WORKOUT, so if you have a stand mixer…I beg of you…use it! Because my right arm is comparable to that of Hulk Hogan’s.

7. Set either a stand mixer (wahh) or a hand mixer with a dough hook attachment to medium, and beat the butter/egg mixture while slowly pouring in the yeast mixture.

8. Keep the mixer going for a few minutes until the ingredients are combined.

9. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, combining well after each addition.

10. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and then beat the dough for 5 minutes.

11. If needed, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl, then beat again for about 30 seconds.

12. Set the bowl of dough aside for 10 minutes. Don’t mess with it, let it be.

13. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours, or if you prefer/if it makes it easier, overnight.

Have some wine, take a breath, and pat yourself on the back for using that wimpy hand mixer for this project.

The next day…..

14. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness.

15. Using a handy-dandy doughnut cutter, cut circles in the dough, and transfer them to a lightly floured baking sheet. Put the doughnut holes on there, too.

16. When you reach the point where you cannot possibly cut another circle, cover the baking sheets with a dish towel and store them in a warm place.

Since this kitchen is a bit of an igloo, I turned the oven on for about 2 minutes, turned it off, let it cool slightly, and placed the sheets in there. Worked perfectly.

17. Allow the doughnuts to rise for an hour. Don’t touch them. Again, just let it be.

Now, like I said, I used a deep fryer. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can use a large pot. But make sure you keep track of the temperature!!

18. Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, gently place the doughnuts, about 3 at a time, in the oil. They cook extremely quickly. It should only take about 45 seconds to a minute for each side.

19. Remove the doughnuts from the hot oil with a slotted spoon, allowing oil to drip off. Place the doughnuts on several layers of paper towels, wait a few seconds, and flip over to a dry part of the towel. You’re just getting rid of the oil that you definitely don’t want in your doughnuts.

20. Continue until all of your doughnuts are fried. Fry the doughnut holes, too, but be aware that they require about half the time to cook.

Now, while these are so good warm and plain, you better do something with them. Powdered sugar? Chocolate? Cinnamon-sugar? Sprinkles? Nuts? Whatever!

If you plan on going the cinnamon-sugar route that I did, put the sugar mixture in a ziplock bag. Place a few slightly warm doughnuts in the bag, and shake. Boom. Instant deliciousness.

If you plan to go the glazed doughnut route, make a simple glaze with confectioners’ sugar, milk, some vanilla, and a sprinkle of salt. Submerge the doughnut in the glaze, and set on a wire rack to set.

The possibilities are endless. They’re freaking doughnuts, for Pete’s sake. Just eat some and pretend your thighs don’t care.

Bon appétit!

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Cheesecakes for sharing (or not)

I think cheesecake is one of those things you shouldn’t eat more than once or twice a year. Don’t worry, I have my reasons for this seemingly cruel rationing. First of all, we all know that cheesecake is mouth-watering, but unfortunately it’s because of the ingredients. There’s no way around it, this dessert is not good for you. Eating cheesecake all the time will definitely leave you shopping for elastic-waist pants (which is a nightmare in itself), but before I depress you beyond repair, remember what I just said: cheesecake is mouth-watering. It is SO GOOD. This brings me to my second reason for depriving myself of this treat. The less you have it, the more you enjoy it,¬†and you get to keep your pants. It’s a win-win in my book.

That being said, I have a very exciting announcement. After all these years of baking, I have finally created my very own recipe!!!! Of course I would do this with a dessert I hardly ever make, but I’ll ignore that little detail for now and just enjoy this achievement.

Cheesecake is really easy to make. The only obstacle that can turn a moist, beautiful cake into a dry flakey mess is baking time. ¬†Baking time? ¬†Really? ¬†Seems easy enough to monitor, right? ¬†Wrong! ¬†I’ll share a little secret with you, I took a huge risk with this baking adventure. Not only did I use my own choice of ingredients, I decided on several little cheesecakes, instead of one massive one. This altered standard cheesecake baking time, which is usually about an hour. ¬†I was shaking in my little baker boots while these were in the oven, but the Sugar Gods were definitely watching over me, because they turned out perfect, allowing me to not only share the cake but also the recipe! It was a momentous occasion.

The recipe comes in 3 parts: crust (my personal favorite), the filling (duh), and ganache. ¬†Crust is awesome. ¬†It adds a perfect crunch and even though it’s a staple in every pie, it seems to be a carb-o-licious surprise at the bottom of a mountain of yum.

Given the way I talk about dessert, isn’t it amazing that I don’t weigh 800 pounds? ¬†I think so.

Anyway, here’s my recipe. ¬†I wonder when saying that will get old…

Cheesecake with Ganache Topping

Nilla Graham Cracker Crust
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Nilla Wafer crumbs
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Break the graham crackers into pieces and put in a ziplock bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers until you see nothing but crumbs. Put them in a medium-sized bowl, and repeat with the Nilla Wafers.

3. Add the sugar and flour. Mix until evenly distributed.

4. Add the egg yolk, mix well.

5. Melt the butter and add to the mixture. If you melt the butter in the microwave, do it in small increments of 30-40 seconds, stirring the butter for about another 30 seconds between cooking time. This is because even if the butter is not completely melted when you take it out of the microwave, the heat of the melted will more likely than not melt the rest. You don’t want to over-do it.

6. Add the butter to the graham cracker mixture and mix until evenly combined.

7. Press the crust into the pans, and bake for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Creamy Cheesecake Filling

5 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 1/2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt on medium speed until smooth.

3. Beat in remaining ingredients on medium for about 30 seconds, and then reduce the speed to low and beat until well combined and smooth.

4. Pour filling into ramekins (a bit more than 3/4 full) and place on a baking sheet.

5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them – if you see the sides start to crack or pull away from the dish, they’re done! Take those babies outta there! Set the cakes aside to cool.

Note: I also made cupcake-sized cheesecakes. Follow the instructions for the crust and the filling. Fill the cups 3/4 full and bake for about 20 minutes.

6. Put the cheesecakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but no longer than 48 hours. But who can really wait 48 hours?!

The Ganache
I can’t take credit for this one. The ganache recipe is from everyone’s go-to lady, Betty Crocker.

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
6 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

1. Heat whipping cream over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in chocolate until melted. Ganache is ready to use when it mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. It will become firmer the longer it cools. ¬†If the cheesecakes aren’t ready, don’t make the ganache yet. ¬†The ganache has to be used when it’s made, otherwise you’ll have a big mess and you’ll get really frustrated. ¬†No one wants that!

Do whatever your little heart desires with decoration. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I melted 3 types of chocolate and made candy heart molds. Fruit is a classic topping for cheesecake as well. I put the ganache in a piping bag, and then just spooned some on for some of them. Yum!

Here are some of the cupcake-sized cheesecakes:

BEWARE: ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH

Confession: I didn’t even try these after I made them! ¬†Shocking, I know. ¬†But my boyfriend and I did try them at 5am the next morning before work. ¬†Talk about starting your day off right!

Bon appétit, mes amis!