Tuesday, September 18, 2007

She Sings! She Dances! She Bakes!

Yup! Bumblebee Bakery is at it again! One of the wonderful people at my mom's work placed a large order with me and so aiming to please I filled 'er up over the course of today! In total (and in order, go me!), I made:
  • 2 Banana-Nut breads
  • 1 Apple-Oatmeal bread
  • 12 Nutty Apple Tree muffins
  • 6 Irish Mocha muffins

Making these was a lot of fun for me, even being a little hungover from being sick earlier. And no, mom and dad, I'm not pregnant! Though I was barefoot and in the kitchen...LOL. Seriously though. If you knew me, the idea of that would be as far removed as Pluto (which, in my opinion, is still clearly a planet).

But anyways, to get me into my "baking groove" so to speak, I plugged in my new MP3 player (which has all my gym-bound songs on it) and zoned out to everything... the phone, the cats, the dog... unfortunately I wound up NOT missing one of the election campaigners for the provincial election (do these people ever give up? I mean, they're worse than the newspapers for understanding "no!"). I danced and sang along to everything from the Barenaked Ladies and Trans-Siberian Orchestra to the Hairspray soundtrack to Red Hot Chili Peppers and my latest favourite, K.T. Tunstall. I was smiling, laughing, totally in my "comfort zone", even though I won't be able to try the goods myself! As a pure, delightful bonus, the house smelled like heaven. What can I say? I have the perfect job.

Unfortunately for you foodies out there, I can't give out my secret recipes for the bakery. However, I can give you another, equally tasty recipe I have in my files!

This is something that I would make just to say I did... it's that kind of dessert. Flourless and butterless, but don't let that fool you... the chocolate and whipped cream kind of cancel that out! It's actually of Moroccan origin, though it's name - La Russe - indicates a French / Russian connection (there's that connection again! What's with that!?). This is a showstopping dessert, at any rate, that I had once at Nottawasaga Inn's dinner buffet when I was about 11 and haven't forgotten since. I'm sure this isnt the recipe they used, this version is slightly "lightened up" (if that can be done!) by using less whipped cream and nuts, instead choosing to rely on fine-quality (yet easy to find) dark chocolate and ground hazelnuts instead of chopped to "spread the love" so to speak. Besides, who says we can't indulge once in a while. It's not a cake after all, it's a fat-free meringue... with benefits!

La Russe
Serves 12
6 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
1 tsp coarse sugar (not coloured)
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
7 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher), broken into pieces
¼ cup brewed espresso
1 tablespoon Kahlua
2 cups heavy whipping cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Generously grease 8 inch cake pans
  3. Cut 3 rounds of waxed paper to line the bottom of each pan, and generously grease the waxed paper.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. Divide the egg whites among the three pan, and smooth the tops with a spatula.
  7. Place in the oven and immediately decrease the heat to 275°F.
  8. Bake until the meringue is hard but not brown, about 1 hour.
  9. In a food processor, grind the nuts with coarse sugar until you have a fine meal.
  10. Combine the chocolate, coffee, Kahlua, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl and melt together.
  11. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  12. Pour the cream into a large chilled bowl, and whip with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  13. Gently fold the melted chocolate blend into the whipped cream, and then fold in half of the ground nuts.
  14. To assemble the cake, carefully peel the paper from the bottom of each meringue.
  15. Set one round on a serving platter. With a spatula, spread one third of the cream over the top.
  16. Cover with a second round, and repeat the procedure.
  17. Top with the third round, and spread with the remaining cream, spreading it over and around the sides of the cake.
  18. Sprinkle with the remaining ground hazelnuts.
  19. Refrigerate for no more than 3 hours before serving.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 380.0
Total Fat: 28.6 g
Cholesterol: 54.3 mg
Sodium: 42.8 mg
Total Carbs: 31.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 5.7 g

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

i am glad you enjoy baking .. most the time when ppl bake because they have too. when someone get pure enjoyment out of it should show people that its not just for making money or family reasons but to relieve your day