Friday, May 22, 2015

Tiger Cakes

Dorie Greenspan's newest addition to the written word, Baking Chez Moi, is a baking tome.  And it's amazing--albeit a bit overwhelming for me.  There is a wealth of recipes to choose from.  Unless you are looking for something very specific or something that has specific ingredients, you'll be hard-pressed over deciding just which recipe to sate your sweet tooth.  Unfortunately--but not that unfortunate because I love perusing through this book--this is what happened to me the other night.

I was paging through the book with the intent of choosing one thing to make.  My only criteria was that I needed to have all of the ingredients already on hand because it was eight o'clock at night--on a weeknight--and I wasn't even considering the idea of leaving my apartment.  Luckily, I ran across quite a few recipes that I could make.  But after reading through many of them I realized that I had to amend my criterion to not just ingredients I already had on hand.

I also needed a recipe that was fairly simple and not time consuming to make because it was just two hours before my bed time.  Finally, my search ceased with the turn of a page and the visual of these guys....these...."tiger cakes" that befell my eyes. When I started reading through the recipe I started to think that they were just inverted cupcakes.  But they're not.

For one thing, they are mostly made with almond flour.  So if anything they are more like financiers with some chocolate chunks.  Also, after sampling the batter the first thing that came to mind was chocolate chip cookie dough.  For me, it was a dead ringer.  After baking them, that correlation didn't break because they tasted like little chocolate chip cookie cakes with an additional flavor and texture courtesy of the almond flour.  They were addicting too--so easy to just pop one in your mouth and then another and another--just like a can of Pringles--except insurmountably better than Pringles.

As for the name....from what I read in the book, the chocolate is somehow supposed to create striations within the batter--so you'd have alternating stripes of chocolate and cake batter I assume. But I didn't really notice this with my tiger cakes.  The chocolate just embedded itself within the batter as though it would within a chocolate chip cookie. So I don't know what was supposed to occur.  Maybe I did something wrong.  But, whatever--tiger stripes or not--these little cakes were delicious.

Recipe unintentionally--gladly--adapted because I didn't have unsalted butter from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan

3 large egg whites at room temp.
1c (100g) almond flour
2/3c (132g) granulated sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 T (113g) salted butter (the original recipe calls for unsalted butter and also 1/4 tsp salt but I had only salted butter so I used that and omitted the salt)
85g finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate chunks

First, preheat the oven to 350 F and butter 24 mini cupcake molds.  Then, pour your egg whites in a large bowl and whisk them just until they are broken up.  Add the almond flour and stir until all of the flour is moistened.  Next, add the sugar, all-purpose flour and vanilla and stir until fully combined.  Then, using either the microwave or the stove top, bring the butter to a boil and then gradually add it to the batter stirring each time before you add some more butter until all of it is fully combined.  Lastly, stir in the chocolate chunks.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake molds and bake the cakes for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes before removing them from the molds.  After the cakes have been removed from the pan let them cool completely before glazing them with the chocolate.

Recipe for chocolate glaze (the book uses a basic ganache but I already had this glaze leftover from some eclairs I made earlier and I thought it would work just as well)

3oz unsalted butter
5oz semi-sweet chocolate cut into chunks
1 T light corn syrup

First clarify the butter and then set it aside while you melt the chocolate.  Melt the chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.  Add the still warm clarified butter and corn syrup and stir until fully combined.

To assemble, just dip each of the cakes in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before consuming--or don't and eat them as you will...

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