“50 Things To Bake Before You Die” by Alison Reddy, Ullyses Press
How can you resist opening a book called “50 Things To Bake Before You Die?” As much as you can prevent yourself from the delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (page 71) when you’re done making it.
Described as a “dessert-obsessed food writer and restaurant critic,” Alison Reddy readily admits she’s one of us—no great culinary degrees, no James Beard wins on her resume.
Reddy wrote, “This book is designed for baking humans like me. I can’t make a perfectly wrinkled pie crust, and my cake doesn’t look like artwork, or even works for third graders.”
“…the point of this book, though, is not to make the most beautiful lemon cake but to make the most delicious, and it should be available to all levels of bakers.”
Reddy collected these 50 recipes “from the greatest celebrity bakers and chefs to small-town cafés and fine restaurants.” Some of the culinary celebs are included in the book’s subtitle: “Best cakes, pies, brownies, biscuits, and more from your favorite bakers, including Christina Tosi, Joan Chang and Dominique Ansel.”
The book, which has an attractive full-color image on the page opposite each recipe, is divided into five sections: cookies, cakes, pies and tarts, things you eat with your hands, and things you probably shouldn’t eat with your hands.
When flipped into “50 things,” one dessert looks more tempting than the previous one. So how do you reduce it to a few recipes to share?
Coincidentally, Thursday is World Chocolate Day, and what better way to celebrate than by making a cocoa-infused creation?
Good luck with these two cookie and cake recipes, and remember that it doesn’t have to look pretty, just taste delicious.
Oats Toffee Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Makes 36 (4 inch) cookies or 72 (2 inch) cookies. The recipe is by Clyde Greenhouse, owner of Kessler Baking Studio, Dallas.
1 cup oats
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Half a cup of tofu
1. In a food processor, grind rolled oats until a fine texture.
2. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed. Use the spoon to scrape the bowl as needed and continue mixing until the bits of butter are gone. Add eggs and vanilla extract and blend until completely combined. Scrape the bowl as needed.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats, and salt. Using the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture by third and blend until crumbly. Add the semisweet chocolate chips and the toffee pieces and mix until the dough comes out of the bowl and begins to stick to the paddle.
4. Flip the dough onto the plastic wrap and shape it into a disk. Refrigerate the rolled dough for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
5. The next day, cut the disc into wedges. Using a rolling pin on a smooth surface and lightly sprinkled with flour, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into desired shape. Place the scraps on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. While the oven is preheated to 350°F, bake 4-inch cookies 16 to 18 minutes, or 2-inch biscuits 12 to 14 minutes, until Edges become light. brouwn.
Chocolate Pound Cake with Caramel Icing
Makes one cake. The recipe is by Jocelyn Delk Adams, baking blogger (Grandbaby Cakes).
To make the pound cake:
Half-sweet chocolate chip cup
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2¾ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
Half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon of salt
1⅓ cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
To prepare the caramel cream:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 325°F Grease a 12-cup tray with a non-stick method of your choice.
2. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating period, until chocolate is completely melted. Let the chocolate cool.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add granulated sugar. Cream together for an additional 5 minutes, until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
4. Turn mixer to lowest speed and slowly add flour in two batches until combined. Be careful not to overdo it. Add cocoa powder, coffee powder, baking powder, and salt. Finally, add the melted chocolate, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Make sure the chocolate has cooled somewhat before adding it so the curd doesn’t curdle. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until completely combined. Be careful not to over mix.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 70 to 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Check frequently to make sure you’re not overbaking this cake.
6. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then flip it onto a serving plate. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover the cake lightly with tin foil or plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
7. To prepare the caramel cream, add the butter, evaporated milk, and sugar to a saucepan over medium-low heat until everything melts together.
8. Leave on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 45 minutes to an hour. Watch it all the time to make sure it doesn’t burn until it thickens and turns the caramel color to a beautiful golden brown. The back of the spoon should also be densely coated to ensure thickness.
9. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and salt. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to thicken somewhat before decorating the cake with a carpet. Carefully pour the top of the cake completely at room temperature, leave to set, then serve.