Monday, 30 July 2012

It's My Birthday! Cake Batter Pie

Today is my actual birthday!  That's right kids - yours truly is officially 32 today! 

Yay me?

As I was perusing my cache of cake batter treats - I decided that Lindsey's Cake Batter Pie would be the PERFECT way to wrap up 5 days of firsts and 5 days of Birthday celebrations!

Um, Lindsey?  I'm moving to Oregon and setting up camp on your doorstep until you feed me treats.  Any kind of treat that you may dream up - I will stuff in my face.

Just so ya know.

Another first this week has been making this pie. 

It's a custard pie and I'd never made one before, so I was pretty excited!

First - start with the base.

Oh, Golden Oreos - how I love thee.

Lindsey uses the big packages of Oreos - but I couldn't find any of the big bags, so I had to improvise - although Lindsey didn't make it too hard.  Two cups of obliterated Oreos - coming up.

I thought it was a little easier to grind up the Oreos if I broke them up a little first.

Once there are two cups of crushed up cookies, add sugar.

Then add melted butter.

Mix together and press into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a pie plate.

So - um.  Upon writing this post I realised that I used the exact same pie plate as Lindsey!  This was totally an accident!  The plate was from my Grandmother, but I think it may have been my Great-Grandmother's pie plate... And I so badly wanted to use it!

Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes then set aside to cool completely.

Now - here's the tricky part.  Well - it was tricky for me anyway.

The pudding part.

The only pudding I've ever come close to is the instant stuff.

So I was pretty intimidated by this.

In a medium pot over medium heat, scald the milk.  I think.  Lindsey's recipe says to bring it to almost simmering - that's like scalding right?

Meanwhile, add the yolks to the bowl of a stand mixer.

Then add cornstarch.

Then add the sugar and salt.

And mix to combine.  Look for a smooth, creamy texture.

Now - my yolk mixture isn't nearly as prettily coloured as Lindsey's.  I think a little bit of egg white had gotten in there... And I think my eggs were a paler color. 

So now there's a yolk mixture and scalded milk.  Slowly add the milk mixture into the stand mixer bowl with the egg yolks with the mixer on low speed.

Lindsey suggests pouring the milk into a measuring cup to make this easier and it definitely was.  Listen to Lindsey - that lady knows what she's talking about.

And mix well.  Just be careful - it gets really sloshy.

After the milk and yolks are combined, pour the mixture back into the pot that you used to scald the milk.

Over low heat, stir constantly until thickened. 

I think this is where I made my oopsy.....  Lindsey's recipe says it should take 7 to 10 minutes to thicken...  Mine went ON and ON without thickening even a little.  But now I think I had the heat TOO low to start out with.  And instead of upping the heat A LITTLE - I CRANKED it to medium.  I turned my back for like two minutes thinking I wouldn't have to worry about it and when I turned around again it was seriously bubbling. 

Fearing I'd burnt it, I ripped it off the heat and stirred furiously.

After I calmed down a little bit, I stirred in the butter and vanilla and put the pudding through a fine mesh strainer (to get out any lumps there might be) into a fresh bowl.

Then add in 6 tablespoons funfetti cake batter mix and mix well.  I used Betty Crocker Rainbow Bits - not EXACTLY funfetti - but the closest I could get.

Pour onto the cooled pie shell.

Cover with saran wrap.  Make sure to very gently press the saran wrap onto the pudding - if not, the pudding will develop a film.

Refrigerate for 6 hours at least.

Once refrigerated, top with whipped cream and sprinkles!

Okay - so my center swirly-cue wasn't perfectly centered - but it's still kinda cute!

I was so excited to EAT the pie - I kindof forgot to take pictures on a slice on the first day.  But this helped teach me an important lesson.

Don't put sprinkles on until just before serving!  The colours run!

I loved, loved, loved this pie.  I'm not embarrassed to admit that I ate it for breakfast the following morning. 


It's my birthday!

I thought the crust married PERFECTLY with the filling and the whipped cream was a lovely touch.

I suppose the thing I was most sad about was that the pudding didn't hold it's shape and was runny.  This is most definitely my fault.  I heated the egg/milk mixture too quickly and too much.  I'm sure that's what happened.  I snooped around and that's the general consensus.

But even though it ran and was not perfect looking - it was deeeeeelicious!

Thank you Lindsey!

Happy Birthday to the Cane girl!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

It's My Birthday! Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns

Jessica's Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns have been calling my name since I saw her post over at How Sweet It Is....

It's treat #4 for my birthday celebration!

I'm going to tell you right now - I've never made cinnamon buns before...  So I was pretty nervous about this one.

But I totally made that pull apart bread - and I can make pizza dough - so I'm kind of convinced that I can make cinnamon buns and they'll rise....

I think.

This recipe was another first for me because I've never proofed yeast this way before.

Here's how it goes.

I started out by scalding the milk, sugar, and oil.  Since I had no idea what that meant, I did a little Googling and came up with an answer.  Scalding milk means to bring the milk to just about boiling.  Bubbles should start to appear around the edges of the milk, it will steam, and reach about 180 degrees F.

I used a thermometer to keep an eye on the whole thing.  EEEEven though it doesn't show up here.

Once the milk mixture has reached a scald (is that a term?  "reached a scald"?  Whatevs - it is now.), turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to lukewarm - about 105 to 110 degrees F.  It'll take about 45 minutes to an hour to reach this temperature, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

Once it's reached the lukewarm temperature, sprinkle on the yeast and let it sit for about a minute so the yeast has a chance to soak up some liquid.

Then add in 4 cups of flour and stir until incorporated. 

Cover and let rise for an hour (in a warm place!) or until - TA DAAA! it's doubled in size.

OOOOOOHHHHH  YEEEEEAAAAH!!!!  I made dough rise!

You can kind of see the yeast in there - but I wasn't too concerned.  I did think I let my scalded milk mixture cool a little too much because I was distracted by the work phone (darn it), so maybe that's why. 

After the dough "has risen" (that statement kinda freaks me out - like the dough is a vampire?), add in the remaining flour, baking soda, and mix until combined.

Lightly flour the counter where you'll be working and roll out the dough into a mostly rectangular shape.  Doesn't have to be perfect (cause I'm clearly not!), but it does have to be a "kindof" rectangle.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.


Then sprinkle on the 3/4 cake mix.  I used a sifter so that the cake mix wouldn't be lumpy.

Then roll the dough up starting with the end furthest from you and rolling towards yourself.

Slice the roll into 1 inch thick pieces and put into a greased cake pan.  I used a disposable aluminum one from the dollar store.  I couldn't help myself.

Who wants to clean when it's their birthday?  Not.  Me.

I had a hard time with this for some reason...  I tried the pizza roller - but that didn't work out.  I don't love using a knife on my counter, but it probably would have been fine.  So I ended up using a bench scraper.  I shouldn't have done that. 

I read somewhere that if you use unwaxed dental floss to cut cinnamon buns it works like a dream and I'm totally trying that sometime.

I also got partway through cutting the roll into pieces and realized that I had FORGOTTEN the sprinkles!!!!  Sacrilege!

I just unrolled the dough, put on the sprinkles and rolled it back up.  No harm done.

Then cover and let rise for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Okay - so these look a little funny.  I'm new here.  I don't know exactly what happened!?

Then bake at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

While the buns are baking, make the glaze.  Mix together icing sugar, cake mix, vanilla, and cream.  I added a little bit more cream than called for to get the consistency I wanted.

Then, just before pouring the glaze on your warm cinnamon buns, add the sprinkles (so the color doesn't run).  Jessica suggests adding the sprinkles on top of the glaze - I would just add EXTRA!

Pour glaze over the buns.

And devour.

I realised later on that my pictures aren't the greatest - while baking up these beauties, I was rushing back and forth between this and my work phone trying to make arrangements for travel.  It was entertaining - and nearly wrecked the whole batch.  Curses!

And because I'm self-deprecating - I would like to point out where I think I failed miserably on these.

Cause I'm like that.

And I'm learning!

Now I know for next time.

First of all, I think the milk mixture wasn't warm enough when I added the yeast.  So it might not have properly activated.  Secondly, I think I cut them too thinly, which is maybe why they weren't as thick as I expected them to be.  Lastly, I think my rectangle may have been a little uneven - because the middle was waaaay thicker than the sides.  And - it probably wasn't as successful because I halved the recipe - silly me.

As far as TASTE goes?  They were WONDERFUL!  A really unexpected segue from regular cinnamon buns.

I think I might use that glaze on the Cake Batter Pancakes next time I make them - you know.  Just to amp them up a notch or two above the "holy crap these are the most awesome pancakes I've ever had!" level.

Thank you so much Jessica for yet ANOTHER hit in my house!

Happy Birthday to the Cane girl!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

It's My Birthday! Cake Batter Pull Apart Bread

I originally saw this on Joy's blog, Joy the Baker.  She had done a Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread and I thought it looked delicious.

While I was searching for Cake Batter treats, I came across this recipe on Katie's blog, What Katies Baking based on Joy's recipe...  I loved the idea.

And it's treat number 3.

Here's what you do.

Whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted.

Remove from the burner and add the vanilla and water.  Let cool until about 115 - 125 degrees F.

Add the milk mixture to the dry mixture and stir using a spatula. 

Add the eggs and stir.

Then add the cake mix.

The mixture will be sticky, but that's okay.

Pour into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel.  Let rise for one hour.

While the dough is rising, make the crumble filling.

Mix together milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Add melted butter and stir until well mixed.

On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread the mixture on the parchment paper and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until dry and crumbly.

This is where I kind of stumbled.  I don't think I spread this mixture thin enough, so it took a lot longer than 10 minutes to bake out.  I just pulled it out once I thought it was ready.

After it's finished baking, add more milk powder and melted white chocolate and mix well.

Set aside.

When the dough is done rising, add two tablespoons flour and knead into the dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough out into a 12 inch x 20 inch rectangle. 

Sprinkle with the crumbly mixture.

Cut the rectangle vertically into six strips.

Here comes another tricky part.  You have to make sure that the dough isn't stuck to your work surface.  Then you have to lift each strip up and stack them without dumping all the crumbly mixture off.

I just kept picking the crumbly mixture off the counter and pressing it onto the dough.

And after reading the recipe again I realized I forgot to brush the rolled out dough with melted butter THEN top with the crumbly mixture.


After all six strips are layered, make six more cuts.

Then layer into a 9 inch loaf pan.

Let rise for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Remove and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from pan and serve warm.

This smelled heavenly while baking!  I couldn't WAIT for it to cool down so I could try it!!!! 

So I broke into the end and took a bite and was ecstatic - because it was delicious and moist and tender....

But upon first look I wasn't terribly happy that it didn't look as I had hoped or thought it should....  It didn't have that "flipbook" look that I was going for.  I think it's because I used a bench scraper to make the second cuts, and I should have used a pizza cutter...  I was going to!  I should have.

On Katie's recipe, she mentions that even though after 30 minutes of cook time, the top might be lightly golden, the center won't be cooked and you should continue to bake until the top is a dark golden brown.

She was right.  The ends were cooked, but the center was still totally raw...  Darn.
But the part that was cooked was fantastic!  I would say that it needs more like 50 - 60 minutes in the oven.

Thanks Katie!

Happy Birthday to the Cane girl!