Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesdays With Dorie : French Strawberry Cake

Our new recipe with Tuesdays With Dorie is French Strawberry Cake.. I have had my eye on this recipe since I got my book.. It looked so simple, elegant and tasty to me.. It is tasty and elegant and all but not as simple as it looks.. At least wasn't for me..

My version of French Strawberry Cake on the cake stand I made at my pottery class.. 
It starts with making the Genoise that will be the base for the cake.. The ingredients are very straight forward: just eggs, cake flour, sugar, vanilla extract and butter.. There is no leavening agent as you can see, so the cake gets its height from whisking whole eggs and sugar for a long time until the mixture triples its size.. My Genoise batter was doing fine until I added the butter, and then it collapsed.. I hoped for the best that it would raise again in the oven, but NO.. It stayed flat and sad.. It was max 1 inch tall.. My husband asked me if this was the first layer of my three layer cake :)) It looked impossible to divide to three layers.. I will give Genoise another chance in the future, hoping that I will do better with the folding in the second round..

Secondly, I cleaned and sliced my strawberries, and mixed them with sugar (I used 1/4 cup of sugar), and left at room temperature to become mushy and delicious.. This is the filling for the layers, together with the whipped cream..

Then comes the whipped cream.. It was very easy to prepare and very tasty.. Just sweet enough, with beautiful vanilla scent..

Oh, it was a challenge to divide my skinny cake into layers.. First, I decided I will go with only 2 layers.. When I tried to cut it in the middle, I ended up with such a skinny layer that I decided I will go for 3 layers.. Well, top layer was like a paper and middle layer's 1/8 does not exist :)..

Anyways, with this disaster behind me, I filled the layers with strawberries and whipped cream, and tried to do my best for icing the cake.. Which wasn't easy with my uneven layers.. So, I decided to cover them all with chopped pistachios, because it would cover the imperfections and because I love the taste and color of pistachios.. I think they add a festive look to any dessert..

After my cake waited two hours in the fridge, I took these pictures and tasted.. It is light and delicious, perfect summer dessert.. Unfortunately, my Genoise was not only skinny, the bottom layer was very dense as well.. I will definitely try to tackle Genoise recipe again, and hopefully will succeed the second time..

As a conclusion, I like how this recipe tasted and that it is so open to variations.. You can use another simple/dry cake recipe as a base, or other fruits of your liking, and the whipped cream recipe is so versatile and can be used with variety of desserts.. At the end of all my struggles, the sliced cake does not look so bad :) Bon appetit to us!

Looks better than expected :)
For the recipe please visit blogs of this week's hosts, Sophia and Allison : Sophia's Sweets and Think, Love, Sleep, Dine, or buy the book: Baking with Julia..

There will be three recipes in July.. All look delicious.. Stay tuned..

Thanks for stopping by..

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesdays With Dorie : Oasis Naan

Today is my birthday.. Number 33.. I really enjoy my 30s but still amazed at the speed of the years passing by.. Well, since this is the youngest I will be for the rest of my life, serefe (cheers in Turkish) to my new age and things it will bring :)

The picture below is the main reason of my blog post for today.. A type of flat bread called Oasis Naan.. Apparently these type of flat breads are very common in Central Asia..

This recipe is very easy and fun to make.. I made the half recipe, and it makes four Oasis Naans.. 

  • You mix instant dry yiest, warm water and some of the flour in a bowl with a wood spoon, add salt and rest of the flour, and stir until you can't.. Put the mixture to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes until it makes a smooth and workable dough.. (I really enjoyed kneading this soft dough, it is very easy to work with)..
  • Next, put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.. Leave it for 2 hours to rise.. Mine rose beautifully at the end of 2 hours..
  • Then comes the baking part.. You divide the risen dough into four and roll them into small disks (I think I made mine bigger than the actual size), prickle the centre with fork (I think I overdid this part, even my sides are flat), and lastly sprinkle with salt, cumin seeds and green onions.. Bake for 6 minutes in a very hot oven (500F).. The book (Baking with Julia) says cook it on stone heated in the oven, I used bottom side of my cast iron pan.. It did the trick..

I am happy that I tried this flat bread, I really enjoyed the process.. It tastes great, very simple.. Reminds me of small version of a type of flat bread we have in Turkey called Pide.. Although I found mine a bit on the dry side, I enjoyed my products with some meze (small plates of hummus, feta, goat cheese stuffed red peppers) and definitely will bake this recipe again.. It is a keeper.. I believe the dryness is due to me rolling them out too thin..

For the recipe please visit blogs of this week's hosts, Maggie and Phyl : Always Add More Butter and Of Cabbages & King Cakes, or buy the book: Baking with Julia..

The next recipe will be French Strawberry Cake.. I am so looking forward to trying it..

Thanks for stopping by..