Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The weather Saturday and was a perfect Summer day.

Results of my 3 cakes judged at State Fair, Saturday are below.  I was able to include currants into each recipe.  Cooking with currants is going mainstream, with me leading the charge!!

Butter cake:  disqualified-- The judge wanted a butter cake without added ingredients.  Currants between layers would have been fine.  Currants in the cake were disqualified.  The cake was described as 'delightful'.  The staff tried their best to find another category to judge it. AND they mentioned it had 'currants' in it.  Below is the recipe baked.

Citrusy Currant Nut Cake

Mix until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl:
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C butter
4 Eggs

Add these ingredients and mix well:
3 C unbleached flour
1/2 C whole milk
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Gently stir into the batter:
2 C red currants
1 C toasted chopped pecans

Spoon into a prepared 10 C Bundt pan.
Bake in a preheated 325°F oven - 45 -> 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the
cake will come out with clean when the cake is done. (It will take longer to bake if
you are using frozen currants.)
Let rest 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack. Ice when

2 C sifted XXX sugar
1 T room temp butter
2 -> 4 T orange juice

Add the juice gradually. The icing should reach a consistency that will spread and
drip down the cake, but not puddle on the cake plate. At this point mix until all the
lumps are smoothed out.

1 -> 2 t orange peel

Mix in orange peel.  Ice the cake.

Peach cake: Blue ribbon

This exact recipe is now the property of Wisconsin State Fair.

It can be easily replicated with the instructions below.

Spread 1/2 C peach jam on the bottom of a prepared 10 C bundt cake pan

Sprinkle over the peach jam:
1/4 C red currants
1/4 C toasted slivered almonds

Arrange over the other ingredients:
1 sliced peach

Pour your favorite butter cake into the bundt pan and bake until done.

Now comes technique:
- Let the cake rest upright for 20 minutes.  If this is not done, the weight of the topping will collapse the cake.
- Loosen the sides of the cake.
- Invert onto a serving plate and leave keep the pan over the cake another 2 hours.  This allows time for the topping to drop onto the cake.  The alternative is eating the topping out of the bottom of the pan.    

Spice cake:
Many entries. 4 better.

Long story:  I could not get the honey-spice  cake I baked on Friday  to release from the honeycomb pan. 

For the remake, I used a 1/2 recipe in a traditional 9" layer cake.  It was not the show stopper the honeycomb mold would have made and no doubt kept the cake from placing higher.  I saw the blue ribbon winner.  My cake would not have been the blue ribbon this year.

Bee Mine Honey Nut Spice Cake
(The recipe is for a 2 layer 12" cake cue to the size of the honeycomb cake mold.  Use 1/2 the recipe for a 2 layer 9" layer cake.)

2 cups honey
Combine the honey, oil, lemonade, and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is well blended. Remove hot mixture from the heat and let cool.
1 cup grape seed oil
1 1/3 cup lemonade
2 1/2 t vanilla extract

4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T  ginger
1 T cinnamon
1 1/4 t nutmeg Sift together.  Set aside In a large mixing bowl.
1 1/4 t coriander
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

4 eggs
Beat together until yellow and thick.  Add cooled liquid mixture.
1 c sugar
Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat until well blended.

1 C pink currants
Gently fold into the batter and pour 2/3 of batter into a well oiled bee hive bundt pan and the other half into a well oiled 10 " round cake pan.
1 C chopped & toasted walnuts
Bake 12" round pan in a 350°F preheated oven 30 - 35 minutes.
Bake bee hive pan in a 350°F preheated oven 50 - 60 minutes.
Cake will spring back when gently touched in the middle.
Let cakes sit 20 minutes on a wire rack.  Carefully remove from pan and complete cooling on a wire rack.  
Cream cheese filling:

8 oz  cream cheese
Whip together until smooth.
2 t vanilla

3 C XXX sugar
Sift together and add to cream cheese mixture
2 t cinnamon
3 t cream Add just enough cream to spread and the frosting still holds it's shape.
 Move 12" round cake to serving plate.  Brush with 1/3 of glaze.  Spread with the 2/3 of filling holding out the balance of frosting for outlining the honey comb on the top of the cake.  Place the bee bundt on top of the bottom layer and brush top and sides of the cake with the remaining glaze.

1/3 cup honey
Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Move cake to serving plate and poke all over with a fork.  Brush on the glaze.  Let set.
2 T + 2 t sugar
2 T + 2 t unsalted butter
  Pipe the remaining frosintg in the 'honey comb' valley between each bee cell of the cake top.  If you feel really lucky, pipe a few honey bees on top of the cells.

3 cakes entered.  1 blue ribbon.  1 disqualified.  This was a respectable showing against people who compete every year.

A woman I sold currants to this year was there.  She told me her currant jelly entry took 1st place at the Wednesday judging!!!

Best of show for cakes was a chocolate, strawberry mousse cake.  There is something wonderful about mousse between the layers of cake.

There was shuttle service when I dropped off the entries.  Shuttle service was not available when I returned later for judging.  It was a slow, difficult walk on a beautiful Summer day to my car when I left.

After a few phone calls I discovered there will be shuttles for drop off on Friday, but none after that.  I will drop off my 4 entries and leave the claim tickets with a friend should not all those entries place.  

Below are 3 of the recipes for Friday entries.  I'm still working out the details of the 4th recipe.

Melba Ice Cream:

Mix together:
1 C cold currant jelly whipped to break up
4 C cold whipping cream

Process in Ice Cream maker.

Fold gently into the soft ice cream:
1 C frozen red raspberries
1 C diced fresh peach

Package and freeze.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the recipe.  My son and toughest critic said it tasted like Summer.
Currants bring a support background to the raspberry.  Much like a cello does in music.  Without it, there will still be melody, but it won't be as full and satisfying.

The next recipe is pure fiction.  And... reading it makes me drool.

Taco Fusion:
Cinnamon Taco Chips:
corn tortillas Cut into 6 wedges and fry until crispy in corn oil.

 1 C sugar
Mix together and sprinkle over hot taco chips.  
2 T cinnamon
3/4 C honey Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature  

1/3 C minced fresh cilantro
1/4 C seeded, chopped jalapeno pepper
1/4 C diced onion
2 T grated orange peel Mix together. 
1/2 t salt Add honey and refrigerate 1 hour for flavors to blend.
1/4 t black pepper
1 C red or black currants
1 C peeled, cored & diced apple
Eat with cinnamon taco chips.
Best eaten the same day.

Grandma Hessil moved in to watch my younger brother when mom decided to go to work.  Good German apple crisp was warm from the oven when I came home from school in the fall.  The recipe below is a corruption of Grandma's perfection.

Apple Crisp With a Twist

3 C  peeled, cored & sliced apple
Mix together and spread onto the bottom of a buttered 8" X 8" baking pan.
3/4 C diced rhubarb
1/2 C red currants

1/4 C brown sugar
2 T sugar Cream together until light and fluffy.
1/4 C butter, room temperature
1 egg yoke Beat into butter mixture.

3/4 C unbleached flour
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t salt Mix into the butter mixture, gradually.
1/8 t baking powder
1/8 t anise
1/4 C toasted rough chopped walnuts Stir into the mixture.
Sprinkle on top of the fruit and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 - 35 minutes.  The fruit should be bubbling around the edges.

Serve warm or cool with cream or yogurt or ice cream or ….   ..