Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yeah, Baby!

The voting for Iron Cupcake:Summer Berries is open! Yipes! Only two more days left! My two cupcakes (Strawberry Balsamic and Alien Blueberry) are about half way down the page. The voting box is on the right hand side of the page. I will love you forever if you click here and go vote for me!!!

This week's Baking Beauties assignment was Hazelnut Mini Loaves. I'm kinda glad I was home by myself when I made these. (If you don't count the three napping kidlets!) My reaction to them would have been really embarrassing had there actually been other people around. Oh. My. God. That cake was amazing. So much so that after I inhaled ate one, I immediately wrapped up the other cooled cakes and froze them. Sweet, light, subtly nutty, a smidge salty and the cream? Oooohhhhh. YUM! This picture was taken before I had actually tasted it. After I licked the spoon I had to get another one out so I could scoop another HEAPING blob on top. Yum, yum, YUM!

Hazelnut Baby Cake with Chambord Cream

Apparently I can't multitask in the kitchen anymore. Not while I'm on the phone, anyway. I was talking to my mom when I was getting started on this recipe. I wasn't thinking and I whisked the sugar into the dry ingredients. Crap. You're supposed to cream the butter and sugar. Looking at the recipe it actually looked like the same dry ingredient list as for my pancakes. So I adjusted it to match better and poured it into a bag. Tomorrow I'll see if I can get hazelnut pancakes out of it!

I've been making a lot of zucchini bread and am mini-loafed out. So I decided to use my pretty flower baby-cake pan instead. I have not had good luck with this thing in the past. I've Pammed it, butter and floured it, oiled it, etc, etc, etc. The ridges on the flowers always stick and rip off, and if you frost them you lose all the detail. This time I used Baker's Joy to spray them down. Sold! That stuff is awesome! The baby-cakes popped right out of the pan and I didn't lose any detail!

Oh, and marscarpone! Where have you been all my life??

Note: don't bother peeling the hazelnuts. I skipped that step and I don't think it would make much difference. It didn't taste bitter or anything.

Hazelnut Baby Cakes
Adapted from Baking with Julia

Made 6 baby-cakes or mini loaves. (Probably a dozen cupcakes)

For the cream: 3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup marscarpone
1 teaspoon grappa (I used Chambord)

For the baby-cakes: 1/3 cup hazelnuts, peeled
1 cup of sugar
1 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I liked it, but this was almost too much salt, so if you don't much like salt you might want to just use 1/2 teaspoon.)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup creme fraiche (make your own by mixing up 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon buttermilk, and leave it on the counter overnight or until thickened.)
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare pans. (with Baker's Joy!!!)
In a food processer, buzz the hazelnuts with one tablespoon of the sugar. Process until nuts are fine. (Go slow so you don't end up with hazelnut butter!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground nuts, flour, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the creme fraiche and almond extract.
In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add a third of the flour and mix until just together.
Add half the creme fraiche until just mixed.
Repeat with remaining flour and creme fraiche.
Divide batter between pans and bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and delicious.
Immediately turn out onto cooling rack.
Enjoy with a dollop of cream. (Either serve them all or immediately freeze the rest so you don't eat them!)

While cakes are baking, whip the cream and sugar into soft peaks.
In a medium bowl, gently stir the Chambord into the marscarpone.
Fold the whipped cream into the marscarpone.
Dollop onto baby-cakes.

I don't know why I'm asking this, but you've already voted, right?? I'm just 12 votes behind the leader! The winner is picked by random drawing, but I'd love to be able to say I had the most votes the first time I participated :)

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Carol said...

Did you have trouble finding marscarpone? I'd have to get it in SLC.

Jennie said...

Nope, Safeway had it :) Smith's should too. It's funny, I've seen it in stores and I knew what it was, I just had never needed it in a recipe before. Wow. It's a cream cheese, but doesn't have a tang or anything. It just tastes like sweet, solid cream. Such a nice texture!

Tina said...

OMG - weren't they delicious?! I could have eaten the whole batch myself - and truth be told, I nearly did ;)

Jennie said...

I know if I hadn't wrapped them up I would have eaten them all! Thank heaven we finally bought a deep freezer! Somewhere to put all the excess baked goods so they don't go straight to my butt!

Blue Creek Home said...

The hazlenut babycakes look sooo good!
The link didn't work for me, but I googled it and voted. Good Luck!