Good Eating: Easy Bake Favorites
Chef Walter Staib, chef and restaurateur of Philadelphia’s City Tavern, and Colette Peters, cake decorator and owner of New York City’s Colette's Cakes, join us to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Easy Bake Oven.
Ham and Spinach Quiche
Serves 4 tarts (baked one at a time)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cubed
4 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water
In medium bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles.
Sprinkle the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork until the dough starts to form. The dough should be slightly sticky or tacky.
Form the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup ham, diced
1/2 cup cream cheese (gruyere works best), grated
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the easy bake oven for 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the crust to 1/8-inch thickness. Use the small easy bake oven pan to cut out one layer of dough per quiche.
Spray the pan with a generous amount of cooking spray, then press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the round pan. Place two to three tablespoons of the filling in the center of the quiche.
Place pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Repeat with the other tarts.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits (baked one at a time)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 can strained and pureed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 bunch watercress, for garnish
Pre-heat easy bake oven for 15 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and allspice. Cut in the shortening with two knives until crumbly. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cream and pecans just until moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use the easy bake oven pan to cut out the biscuits.
Spray the round pan generously with vegetable cooking spray. Place one biscuit in the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat for each biscuit. Garnish with watercress.
Bourbon Chocolate Birthday Cake
Makes 12 cake layers, (baked one at a time)
Three cakes – four layers each
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Small pinch of salt
7/8 cup hot coffee
1/8 cup bourbon
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the easy bake oven for 10 minutes. Grease and flour the two baking pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large metal bowl, combine the coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and butter; let stand until completed melted. Then whisk until mixed. Whisk in the sugar, and let stand until cool.
Whisk in half the flour mixture, then the second half. Whisk in the egg and vanilla.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan on the wire rack. Wrap the cooled cake (while still in the pan) in plastic, and refrigerate overnight, as cold cakes are easier to decorate. Repeat until you have at least four single, round layers (one cake equals one layer).
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips or blocks cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon flavoring or liquor
Place the chocolate in a large metal or glass bowl.
Heat the cream in a microwave just to the boiling point. Pour the cream over the chocolate, making sure that all the chocolate is covered. Add the flavoring or liqueur, then cover the bowl, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
Whisk the mixture until dark and shiny, then cool to room temperature. To thicken, beat the cooled ganache with a hand mixer for a few minutes. Cover with a plastic wrap, and let stand a minimum of 12 hours before spreading.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup glucose (or white corn syrup)
3/4 tablespoon glycerin
1/2 teaspoon flavoring (such as lemon, almond, or peppermint extract)
Sift the sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
Pour the water into a small saucepan, and sprinkle the gelatin on top to soften for about 5 minutes. Gently heat the gelatin and stir until dissolved and clear. Do not boil.
Remove from heat, and add the glucose (or syrup) and glycerin, stirring until well blended. Add the flavoring.
Pour the mixture into the well of sugar, and mix until most of the sugar is blended; then knead it with your hands until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture becomes stiff. If the mixture is very sticky, add small amounts of confectioners' sugar.
Shape the mixture into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight in an airtight container.
1 egg white, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon water
1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl, and beat at slow speed until very stiff peaks form and the icing is pure white. Add more sugar if necessary to soften the icing, or a few drops of water if it is too stiff. Use immediately, or cover the bowl with a damp cloth to prevent the icing's crusting over.
Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip. Pipe decorative curls (about 3 to 4 inches long) on a sheet of wax paper. Let dry at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
Place a single cake layer on a plate. Spread ganache on top, then top with a second cake and another coating of ganache. Repeat until the cake is four layers tall, making sure the ganache covers the sides as well as the top (this will "crumb coat" the cake and allow the fondant to adhere).
Roll out the fondant with a rolling pin, an drape, in a sheet, over the cake. Smooth with you hands. To even out, trim the excess using a pizza cutter.
Attach decorative pipe curls to the cake by using dabs of leftover royal icing as glue.