Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake

It didn't take long for our "Beekman Bakers" to embrace our week three recipe selection! 

Allison from MA
"My first Beekman Heirloom dessert!  I don't have a stand mixer but was able to do some mixing with the hand mixer, then the rest by hand.  The kitchen smells delicious!  We will enjoy it for breakfast in the morning!"

Carrie from OR
"I decided to add a "Fresh from Oregon" taste to the Cinnamon Bundt cake.  I added 1/2 cup of finely chopped hazelnuts and 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries to the filling.  I needed to add an extra tablespoon of melted butter too.  I made a confectioners' sugar glaze and sprinkled some hazelnuts and dried cranberries on top.  This recipe will make a great addition to my Thanksgiving morning brunch." 

Justin from MD
"This was a fun recipe to make.  I never used a bundt pan before.  I am happy with the way it turned out!  We bought the retro cake stand at a thrift shop (for $5) in Sharon Springs this year at the Harvest Festival.  We also met the fabulous Beekman Boys!" 

John from MI
"Perfect, I think.  Simply made per the recipe and finished this at 1am!  It's going to make a fabulous breakfast treat!"

Maria from IL
"I really liked this recipe.  It was very easy to follow and the dough was easy to work with.  I used more brown sugar to get more of a gooey-factor, but I had technical difficulties with my oven, so I think it did not achieve gooeyness.  I put my own twist on this recipe by making a cream cheese glaze and slathered my cake with it.  I bet it taste just like a cinnabon!  Though, my house smelled like a Cinnabon store and it was hard to not drool!  I think next time I make this I will add in some chopped apples.  Wonderful dessert!"

Missy from MA
"What a lovely, traditional cinnamon roll recipe.  Who doesn't love cinnamon rolls?!  Layering them in the bundt cake pan really elevated the presentation factor.  I must say, because I recognized this recipe as the quintessential cinnamon roll recipe, I felt compelled to kick it up a bit.  My family are huge fans of orange cinnamon rolls.  However, usually they are the cheap, unhealthy, fairly low quality treat bought in the refrigerated section at the supermarket.  To make these rolls "mine" I first added orange zest to the brown sugar and cinnamon filling.  Then, I glazed the finished cake with a simple confectioner's sugar glaze made of powdered sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest.  They were amazing!"

Kenn from MI
"I've never been much of a 'yeast dough' baker - but this was easy!  I loved the scent in the kitchen as this baked...perfect for a Halloween night.  I was inspired by Anne from MI and decided to add a light glaze/icing.  I added a half tsp. of cinnamon to the confectioner sugar.. outstanding!"

Amy from MA
"This was TO DIE FOR!  I followed it to the letter and actually had to leave for a couple hours so it was extra puffy at the second rise.  I recommend letting them go longer that 45 minutes while in the pan for the second rise.  They will double a second time making the cake very light.. about an hour and a half."

Bernie from GA
"The wonderful aroma of this bundt perfumed the entire house today.  I discovered my buttermilk had gone bad and decided to take a chance and use Greek yogurt instead.  It worked beautifully.  I started the dough in the stand mixer and then switched to the dough hook and let the mixer do the kneading.  My cake does not look as pretty as the one in the book, but it sure was gobbled up quickly.  We enjoyed it with a fresh pot of coffee.  I might try a glaze on it the next time I make it." 

Minka from MA
"So soft and doughy and yummy right out of the oven!" 

Anne in MI
"These are so good that Dan (husband) took "two to go" and flew them to Dallas with him for his work week!  I added an icing drizzle of powdered sugar / hot water." 

Sue in NJ
"I can't wait to make it again!"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Baking is Great... Here's How to Watch the Weight!

We all know that our love of baking (and eating!) can add to the waistline this time of year.  While we're baking our way through the heirloom dessert book, we can take time to join Brent, Josh, and yes, Polkaspot (I heard she had leg warmers at the ready) in an easy to follow holiday maintenance program.  The guys are teaming up with former Martha Stewart Living staffer Dawna Stone (she won The Apprentice, Martha Stewart) for a versatile and easy program that will lead to a better YOU in the new year! 

Click HERE for more details. 

Week 3 Selection: Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Are Your Baking Must Haves?

I don't know about you, but I'm always interested in knowing what the "must haves" are for others that enjoy baking and being in the kitchen.  What are the things you think every home baker needs in their kitchen?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Your Creations: Roasted Caramel Pears

Warm and sweet, the Roasted Caramel Pear recipe is the perfect ending to an autumnal dinner. 

Anne from MI
"I love these gorgeous roasted caramel pears.  I left out the cloves, but then dusted the pated pears with pumpkin pie spice and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM!" 

Maria from IL
"Being a baker, I was thrown a bit with this particular dessert.  It seemed easy enough, but I wanted to create this dessert "outside of the box" and put my own spin on int.  So, while it was a simple but lovingly light dessert, I took it to another level.. I used four different pears.  You should have seen me in the grocery store discerning the stems and the shapes of each pear for its "Food Photo-worthiness."
I present to you, the "Beekman 1802 Quartet of Pears:  A Pear Flight of Fancy."  I used Bartlett, Bosc, Green Anjou and Red Anjou pears.  I love to take food pictures, so it gave me a challenge!  I think it turned out pretty well and let me just say that the Bosc and the Green Anjou were the best pears to use.  They imparted the salted caramel sauce so well.  I will agree with the others, the caramel sauce is "lick the plate clean" worthy!   

Kelly from PA
"Nice and easy recipe.  Smells incredible.  My husband is eating one now and said that it was tasty!"

Minka from MA
"This dessert was perfect for a chilly autumn night.  The luscious pear infused sauce brought us warm thoughts of our son who is working in Madagascar and who himself had picked the vanilla beans we used." 

Justin from MD:
"I enjoyed making this recipe.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  The house smelled great while the pears were roasting!  I topped some of the pears with pecans for a nice crunch." 

Bernie - GA
"This is my second time making these so I tried a little twist.  Instead of cloves, I used a combination of nutmeg and cinnamon.  I used vanilla paste instead of bean and used an unknown variety of pear from a local farm and they worked nicely!  The aroma and warmth from these pears were perfect for this cold autumn evening.  These pears would probably be great as part of many other desserts but are perfectly good just by themselves.  I saved a couple pieces to go on my oatmeal for breakfast.  I love the caramel sauce." 
Doreen - WI
"This was the perfect fall dessert!  My house smelled wonderful while the pears were baking.  I did use only half the amount of sugars called for in the recipe and the sauce had just the right amount of sweetness.  I am actually writing notes in my book so I can truly make this an heirloom for my own family!" 

Liz from CA
"My husband baked these pears and we enjoyed them.  Fred and Bear are serious about posing - best in class presentation?  I think so!"

Missy from MA: 
"The rich vanilla and spice caramel sauce really made this recipe shine.  I halved this recipe but still made a full batch of the caramel sauce, as I had a feeling it would be delicious.  I stored the rest in a squeeze bottle in the fridge and we had it warm on vanilla ice cream later in the week.  SO good!" 

Rebecka - PA
" Soo yummy!  I didn't have vanilla beans but vanilla extract worked well.  A splash of cream really puts the final touch on this easy but elegant recipe." 

John in MI
"My twist on this recipe is the addition of a very simple almond cream, made up of toasted chopped almonds, cream, greek yogurt, a little sugar and egg yolks.  I also added some cubed red wine jelly. ( 2 pkg unflavored gelatin softened in a cup of red wine, bring another cup of red wine and a 1/2 cup sugar to boil.  Add to gelatin/wine mixture , pour into a shallow square dish.  Chill for at least 2 hours, and cut into small cubes.)  Both additions are just as simple to whip up as the pears themselves! I feel I could have done more with presentation, but I've always been more for simple and elegant.  I feel I've given a super simple and quick dessert a fancy and elegant look and taste! For a light crunch, there is a sprinkling of toasted chopped almonds over the pears." 

Sue in NJ
".. perfect way to end a fall meal!" 

Kenn (me!) from MI
"These pears were absolutely delicious!  The pear infused butter/sugars/vanilla mixed with heavy cream made the most heavenly caramel sauce.  I thought about pairing them (no pun intended) with a bit of whipped cream or ice cream, but loved them as a stand-alone dessert. "

Amy from MA created this beautiful pear presentation served with almonds for some crunch and coffee flavored ice cream. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Week 2 Judge: Sandy Gluck!

I am so happy to announce that Sandy Gluck will be our special judge for the week 2 giveaway! 

Some may remember Sandy from her days at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as editor-in-chief of the digest size magazine 'Everyday Food' or from her radio show of the same name on Martha Stewart Living Radio. 

Sandy has worked with Brent and Josh on both of the cookbooks and is currently working on the next in the Beekman 1802 series of heirloom cookbooks. 

After talking with Sandy for years during her Everyday Food days at MSLO, I had the pleasure of meeting Sandy in person at the June wedding of Brent and Josh.  She's a delight! 

Tap into your inner food stylist as Sandy checks out your Roasted Caramel Pear creations this week.  Sandy will select one winner on Sunday 10/27 and the winner will be announced later the same day.  Happy roasting!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week 2 Recipe and Our First Giveaway!

The week 2 recipe selection is Roasted Caramel Pears (page 232).  While the dessert itself is simple, it can be 'fancy' with the right presentation. 
To celebrate our second week,  we're doing our first giveaway!  A super special judge (to be announced later) will select the best in class for presentation from all of the week 2 submissions.  The winner will receive a rare piece of Beekman swag... a Beekman 1802 khaki baseball cap, autographed by Brent and Josh.  These caps were made in very limited supply and are not available through the Mercantile.  The winner will be announced next Sunday (October 27) here on the blog! 


Friday, October 18, 2013

And the Walnut Cakes Keep Coming!

Here are a few more additions to our first baking project!  Thanks to all who have submitted their photos!
Brooke from GA made the cake her own, with a couple twists..
It was delicious!  I subbed 1/2 almond flour for the walnuts and used panko bread crumbs.  I opted out of soaking the cake since the batter was already pretty sweet and just finished it with a decorative sprinkling of powdered sugar.  This is definitely a recipe to add to my repertoire!

Kelly from PA was baking on this fall Sunday!

2ChicksBake made a beautiful presentation!
My daughter and I had such a blast making this weeks recipe!  We both thought that the recipe was really easy to follow and so much fun to make.  We both really liked the cake and when we shared it with the rest of the family and friends, they loved it too!  We would totally make it again and we are even thinking about making it for Thanksgiving dinner!  We tweaked the recipe a little bit and used less walnuts than the recipe called for.  It still tasted delicious!  We can't wait for next weeks baking challenge!

Barbara from MA shared her walnut cake creation!
(love the table cloth!)

Maria from IL had a late night baking fest!
I found this walnut cake to be very delicious and interesting.  The orange zest and orange juice gave it that citrusy flavor note that really made the walnuts and honey stand out.  I found this to not be too sweet, but just right!  I also liked the texture of it though it was a lot more 'nut feely' than cake feely. 
One interesting experience, usually when I bake, I do so in the late, late evening and sometimes I will leave out things in a recipe by accident.  I blame my "late night baker brain" for that!  When I was making the lemon-honey syrup, I neglected the water component!  Suffice to say, while it cooled on my stove after I had simmered it for 5 minutes it ended up turning into rock hard candy!  Not letting that affect my "baking mojo" I reheated it and after the walnut cake came out of the oven I poured the now sugar sculpture worthy lemon-honey syrup onto the top of my cake and spread it as best I could across it.  What resulted is a crème brulee type topping!  Remarkably, it worked! 

Liz from CA said:
Killed it! 

Karen from CA thinks the cake is perfect with tea!
The recipe was easy to follow and the results were quite yummy.  The walnuts, cinnamon and honey definitely give you a feel of a Greek dinner.  Staging food for a picture is not easy but you can see it made a great after dinner treat with some African Autumn tea.  Looking forward to the next recipe!

Cathy from NY liked it, but...
I liked this cake but I think next time I will either use half the amount of syrup or try a rum flavored syrup.  It's a bit too sweet for my taste.  I can't wait to see what's next! 

Minka from MA thought the citrus and spice was nice!
We very much enjoyed the combination of citrus and spice as several other bakers have mentioned.  I did reduce the amount of sugar in the syrup, mostly because I thought the cake had called for enough sugar as it was.  I was able to use some of the last of my father's clover honey which made it even more special.  I wasn't sure how finely I should have chopped the nuts.  I think I would go for a little finer next time.  This delightfully moist cake appears on my heirloom cake plate upon which all of my mother's delicious cakes used to sit. 

Anne from MI made it work for her!
"I am so happy to join you all as we "Bake Like A Beekman!"  It was Murphy's Law that our first recipe was the Walnut Cake, as I'm allergic to walnuts.  No worries, I changed the walnuts to pistachios and it turned out beautifully.  A word to the wise, be sure to use dry breadcrumbs - I had to make my own breadcrumbs (by putting bread in the food processor) and I didn't account for the moisture of fresh bread.  My cake was a bit too wet after the glaze, but it still tastes delicious.  I made the candied pistachios on top by heating 4 Tablespoons of sugar and 4 Tablespoons of whole pistachios in a dry nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the nuts are glazed and the sugar has caramelized.  I spread them on a piece of non-stick aluminum foil until they were cool and then arranged on top.  Yum!"  

Jake and Chris from MA like citrus and spice: 
I'm not as enthusiastically in love with this cake as some of the previous posters, but I did really love the flavor of the citrus and honey with a touch of spice. I thought it was overall a bit too sweet, likely because of the syrup soak added at the end of the cooking process. If I made this again I'd halve the syrup addition. I (like Rebecka from PA) used orange blossom honey which took the citrus notes to the next level! I also subbed in Panko bread crumbs as they were the only unseasoned fine bread crumbs I had on hand and added a touch of vanilla bean paste to the cake batter to round out the flavor--worked great! I'd also agree with Karen in MN that making the recipe produced quite a few dirty dishes. Lots of fun and looking forward to the next!!

Shelly from MI says she'll make it again!:
I made my first recipe from the new cookbook.  The only things I changed from the original recipe were that I left out the ground cloves, only because I didn't have any and I didn't quite use all of the syrup.  It's very good and a perfect fall recipe.  I will definitely make this again!