Dienstag, 28. Dezember 2010

TWD - Christmas Rewind: Split-Level Pudding

And again it's rewind-time at TWD! And, again, first I am all excited that I may chose a recipe and catch up at least with one of the many recipes I missed because I joined the group too late. And, also again, I end up in complete despair because - give me options and see me panic! How can I decide for a recipe when there are so many?
I won't bother you with the different approaches I tried out to narrow the choices. Let's just say that after hours and hours and hours of reflection and deliberation I picked a recipe that was always tempting to me and one which always made me a bit sad that the group just made it directly before I started TWD: The Split-Level Pudding. It was originally due for October 6th 2009 and chosen by Garrett of Flavor of Vanilla. You can find the recipe on his page or in Dorie's book on pages 384- 385.

You may see no point why this should be a very christmasy recipe, but in fact... uhm... I guess it isn't. Except that I had not made something creamy for a long time and was longing for trying this pudding also for a long time. So it's like a little present for myself :o]

I mostly followed the directions but made some variations. Between the ganache layer and the vanilla pudding I sprinkled some chopped moisty dried plums. I added some vanilla sugar to the pudding to make it even more vanillier (I don't think this word really exists...), and some almond and rum flavour. Usually I would just use dark rum, but one of my colleagues is pregnant and I want to take the pudding to work, so, no alcohol!.

Then I topped the vanilla layer with some white chocolate ganache. In the pictures you can't really see the difference between these two layers. I merely made it to get a thicker, harder top because I wanted to sprinkle some crumbs (left-overs from the cardamom crumb cake last week) as the top-layer and thought the pudding might make them too soggy. So in the end I had a chocolate ganache-plum-vanilla-white chocolate ganache-streusel-pudding. And I loved it!
I really extremely love this one! As all puddings and cremes, it is a bit of a fuzz. Warming the cream or milk, pouring it over the eggs, slowly, slowly, than putting everything back in the pot, reheat, than again back to the bowl etc. But it's always worth it! I just think that the quantity turns out not too much. Fortunately half our office is on holiday, so I hope everybody will get one of the glasses tomorrow.

And if you haven't already - do this recipe!

Dienstag, 21. Dezember 2010

TWD: Cardamom Crumb Cake

 Phew! Feels like a little eternity since I baked along with TWD. (in fact, I had to skip only three weeks, what is not too good, but also not too long. Work, holidays, guests and life in general kept me away from the oven).

Cakes are good, and crumbs are wonderful. I likelikelike streusel! Let me choose between a dry, ordinary cake with streusel and a fancy spectacular torte with lots of cream and chocolate - and I will always choose the simple cake.

This one is easy done. I had the feeling the batter was slightly too moist, so I added a little bit more flour just before baking. But I guess it would not have been necessary.

Cardamom was not available in the supermarket next door, and it is far too much winter here in Vienna to take a walk to the next bigger one on a Saturday afternoon. So I mixed what I had and what did sound like an acceptable deviation: For the 1 1/4 teaspoons in the batter I took 1/2 TS cinnamon, 1/2 TS ginger, 1/4 TS nutmeg, a pinch of pimento and a dash of pepper.

I like this pick by Jill form Jill's Blog for its easiness, fastness and sapid taste. Although it is not the same as in the original recipe, I guess it is a good approximation and variant. Find the original recipe on Jill's page or in Dorie's book on page 38/39.