dissecting the ‘parts’

Sweet and Simple Bakes chose Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf Cake (recipe here) as the July 1 post recipe. As I read the recipe, the PARTS jumped off the page! Yes, I’ve been reading Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio,” and I now find myself mathmatically analyzing recipes. (Couldn’t I just leave the math and excel spreadsheets at work!!)
It’s so simple to bake using parts. I’ve baked the ‘Old Fashioned Pound Cake’ from “Ratio” page 61. The cake was delicious, had a great texture, and was moist. This orange pound cake follows the same formula.
1 part sugar (this recipe uses 6 oz)
1 part butter
1 part eggs
1 part flour
Add a few extras, and you have Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf Cake.
I don’t bake with self rising flour (I forgot that the salt was included) very often, and I added 1/4 teaspoon salt with the butter sugar mixture. I also added 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring, because I think everything needs a little vanilla. I believe these two additions enhanced the cake flavor.
I had some candied orange peel tossed in sugar in the pantry; I used this with the orange juice to make the glaze, and then strained the mixture.
There was enough batter to make 3 small cakes (pans are 4″ x 2″). I punched holes in the little cakes, and drizzled the glaze over the tops. It seeped inside the cakes to add flavor and moisture.
This recipe yields a delicious orange, orange, orange cake. I’m not fond of chocolate and orange, so I dusted my little cakes with powdered sugar.
This recipe was quick to mix and bake, yet the flavor is intense and would make one think the recipe was much more complicated.
Since this recipe can be dissected into it’s component parts, it can be scaled up or down, as the need arises.

never underestimate Self Rising Flour

Today, Sweet and Simple bakers are posting their Lemon Curd Muffins.  I’ve joined this group and look forward to future baking delights.

I read the recipe; the ingredient list was so simple, I (very prematurely) decided these muffins would be nothing out of the ordinary, especially made with self rising flour.  After all, ‘real’ bakers bake with all-purpose flour…don’t they?

I have read lemon curd recipes for several months; this baking challenge encouraged me to attempt the lemon curd.  It was so easy and so very delicious.  Here’s my blog link detailing the steps in making lemon curd.  I wanted to eat the lemon curd out of the bowl, but knew I had to reserve enough to make the lemon curd muffins, which was the original purpose, wasn’t it?

I mixed the muffin batter, making a few adjustments based on the ingredients in my pantry.  Caster sugar I interpreted as very fine sugar, so I put my granulated sugar through the food processor – it smoked – or made sugar dust.

I used extra large eggs, corn oil, heavy whipping cream, and I doubled the vanilla.

These lemon curd muffins passed my appearance and taste test with flying colors.  I took them to work, for the real test.  These tart, simple little muffins received unbelievable praise at work.  I believe the word I kept hearing was ‘awesome!!’

Rather than melting the lemon curd to spread on the top of the muffins, I simply smeared on a dollop of the curd while the muffins were hot.  It melted slightly, yet held its shape on top of the muffins.  I then sprinkled the muffin tops with decorative sugar to add a little eye appeal.

What a great recipe to have in my files.  Thank you, Sweet and Simple Bakes, for sharing this one!

Here’s the link to the recipe:  Lemon Curd Muffins

lemon curd – my first attempt was a delicious success

Mix all the ingredients in the food processor (nothing curdling here!).

Pour into a heavy bottom pan.

Stir – stir – take it’s temperature – stir.

STOP when you see this – remove pan from stovetop.

Lick your fingers numerous times at this point.  This stuff is unbelievably good!
Strain to achieve satin.
Photo session

As a quick synopsis, I mixed all the ingredients in the food processor, cooked in my All Clad pan, took it’s temperature, and strained into my grandmother’s antique pitcher.  Oh, and I tasted – several times.  It is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!
The lemon curd is one of the ingredients used in this month’s “Sweet and Simple Bakes” recipe for lemon curd muffins. 
I read about 5 recipes for lemon curd, and combined parts of several to make this lemon curd.
Lemon Curd – -
zest of 3 lemons
1 cup (193g) granulated sugar
5 tablespoons very soft unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove pulp and seeds
Pulse the zest and the sugar in a food processor for about a minute.
Add the soft butter to the food processor and pulse again for about 30 seconds. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, to the mixture in the food processor.  Pulse 2 or 3 times between each egg addition.
With the food processor running, slowly pour in the lemon juice.  Continue to mix until all ingredients are incorporated – just a few more seconds.
Pour into a heavy bottom pan and cook on LOW, stirring constantly.  I cooked and stirred for about 10 minutes, gradually increasing the temperature from Low to Medium Low.  Watch closely when the temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  The curd will reach the proper consistency very quickly at this point.  Mine was ready at about 165 degrees F.
Remove from stove.  Test with a wooden spoon and your finger (this is to allow you your first taste!).  If the trail from your finger remains on the wooden spoon, the curd has properly cooked.
Let cool slightly.  Strain into glass dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Punch a few holes in the plastic wrap to allow the steam to escape; place the plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd.
(There were no pieces of cooked egg to strain out of the mixture.  The only accumulation in my strainer was some of the lemon zest that did not chop finely in the food processor.)
Store in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze.  Yield about 1 1/2 cups of lemon curd.