TWD: Lots-of-Ways Banana Cake

It’s funny how sometimes both of my baking groups (Heavenly Cake Bakers and Tuesday with Dorie) are in synch and totally random pick a recipe that shares a common ingredient.  Sometimes the recipes are so close that I have to make an executive decision and choose which one I want to bake more.  No sense in having 2 cakes in the house, especially when I try to get rid of it as fast as I can in the first place – no temptation in sight!

This past weekend Tuesday with Dorie choice won.  Thank you to Kimberly from Only Creative Opportunities who made the choice.

And what a choice it was.

This cake was very simple to make (the best kind) and as Dorie explains very flexible. Since you pretty much can replace any of the ingredients with what you have at hand – which in my mind means one thing:

No trip to the supermarket to find an ingredient that I ran out and forgot to put on my shopping list.

Have I mentioned how I hate to go to the supermarket?

No? Well now you know – your welcome.

Read More

TWD: Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart

I have joined another baking group.  Because my life apparently is NOT complete, unless I'm baking (and cooking) 24/7.

This time is from Dorie Greenspan book, "Baking from my home to yours".  I had this book for a while in my cookbook library and have not even realized it was there!  This pretty much tells you how big my cookbook library is. So while I was cleaning up some the other day, I came across it and figure, there must be someone cooking from this book.

And sure enough, I found Tuesday with Dorie, a group of 200+ members baking their way thru the latest book.

This weeks choice came from Beryl of Cinemon Girl with the Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart. (page 344-345)

I been baking this tart since Saturday, I finished it today.  Can you tell I'm busy?

First up was baking the Pâte Sablée (Sweet Tart Doug) and let me tell you I was afraid of this, I love to bake cakes, but tarts, pies and anything that has to do with dough just scares me, I never been good at, thus I have avoided them like the plague. But, joining a baking club was to try new things and I was not going to back down, so I forged ahead.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, broken up with a fork
1 tablespoon lemon zest

In a food processor pulse the flour, sugar, salt and zest to break it up. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. Stir in the yolk a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough forms clumps and curds.  Stop, turn the dough into a work surface and knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escape mixing.

Butter a 9-inch fluted pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  A great tip that Dorie gives you is to save a bit of dough in order to utilized as a "patch-up" if the tart if broken during the cooking period which I think is very clever.  After you covered the baking pan, the tart goes into the freezer for about 30 minutes (or longer).  This freezing helps you with the baking: (no need to weight down the tart in the oven, because you froze the dough ahead of time).

I actually baked mine on Sunday.  Took it out of the freezer, covered with foil (shinny side down) and into the oven it went at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  It came out nice and golden.  I place it in a cooling rack and after an hour, I wrapped it and place in the refrigerator. I then did a happy dance around the kitchen, my first tart and it went without any incidents! 

After all that partying, I needed a break, so I decided to finish the custard and topping on Monday night.

And here we are on Tuesday and today I completed the tart.  Unlike Beryl, I did not replace the whole milk that the recipe called for (she used 1% milk) I also used Cacique Rum (Venezuela run) and used a bit of lime zest when cooking the custard (about 1 tablespoon) everything else is the same.  You can find the recipe for the custard and the whipped cream topping in her blog.