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Authors: Joanne Chang

Baking with Less Sugar (10 page)

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
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MAKES
ONE
10-IN [25-CM] CAKE

  • 200 g/2 cups sifted cake flour (if measuring by volume, sift the flour first and then measure)
  • 140 g/
    2
    /
    3
    cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 80 g/1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 100 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup vegetable oil, such as canola
  • 7 large eggs, separated
  • 240 g/1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

COCONUT GLAZE

  • 70 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut for garnish

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C].

2.
In a large bowl, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir together the cake flour, 70 g/
1
/
3
cup of the granulated sugar, the baking powder, salt, and coconut until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, the egg yolks, coconut milk, and vanilla. Set both bowls aside.

3.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the egg whites on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are frothy and the tines of the whisk leave a trail in the whites. Slowly add the remaining 70 g/
1
/
3
cup granulated sugar and continue to whip for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the whites get a bit glossy and hold a soft peak when you raise the whisk from the whites.

4.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir the two together to make a batter. When the two are well combined, take a few large spoonfuls of the beaten egg whites and using a rubber spatula, fold into the batter. Add the rest of the whites and fold gently until well combined.

5.
With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into a 9-in [23-cm] ungreased tube pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is pale golden brown and springs back when you poke it in the center. Remove it from the oven and let cool upside down on a wire rack supported by the inner tube. When the cake is cool, first run a knife around the sides of the pan to slip off the pan, then along the inside of the tube and the bottom to loosen the cake. Quickly invert onto a wire rack or plate and then pop it right-side up onto a wire rack or serving plate.

6. To make the glaze:
In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, coconut milk, and coconut until well mixed and somewhat thick but still easy to pour.

7.
Spoon the glaze over the top and sides of the cake, allowing the extra glaze to drip off the cake. Transfer the cake to a serving plate if it is not already on one. Sprinkle with more coconut, if you like.

8.
The glazed cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

YELLOW BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH FLUFFY CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING

A few years ago, some intrepid passionate professors at Harvard started a basic science class called “Science and Cooking.” It was an introductory chemistry class in which they hoped to interest students in learning about chemistry by tapping into their obsession with food. It worked! It quickly became hugely popular, and there's currently a wait list of more than three hundred students wanting to take the class.

The professors reached out to various top chefs around the world to see if they would offer some real-life perspective on how professional chefs use chemistry and science in their everyday work. They went for the gusto, asking food luminaries like Ferran Adrià, David Chang, Dan Barber, and José Andrés, and amazingly, all said yes. As a local pastry chef, I was asked by the professors if I wanted to take on a lecture. I looked at the list of chefs and immediately realized that “which one of these does not look like the other” was at play, and there was no way I could be a part of this.

But they were ever gracious and insisted that I try, and so we embarked upon a class outline that miraculously they approved. I quaked in my shoes giving that first lecture, but as the years have gone on, it's become one of the events I look forward to all year.

Why share with you this long story? The first lecture I ever gave was a simple overview of what happens when you bake a basic yellow cake from a chemistry point of view. I made a yellow cake with no baking powder, another with no baking soda, one with twice the leavening, etc. I also baked one with half the sugar to show how, without the extra sugar, not only was it not as sweet, but it also wasn't as tender—except that it didn't really work out that way. In fact some students actually preferred the half-sugar cake and it made me rethink how much sugar we automatically
put into our cakes. The half-sugar cakes were delicious and soft and wonderful.

This cake will not stay quite as fresh as one made with 400 g/2 cups of granulated sugar (as the original recipe calls for) and 200 g/1 cup of confectioners' sugar in the frosting, so it's best enjoyed within a day of baking. It is perfectly sweet even at less than half the sugar.

MAKES
ONE
DOUBLE-LAYER 8-IN [20-CM] CAKE

  • 360 g/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp baking soda
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp kosher salt
  • 240 g/1 cup crème fraîche
    (see page 24)
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 175 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 340 g/1
    1
    /
    2
    cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

FLUFFY CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING

  • 360 g/1
    1
    /
    2
    cups heavy cream
  • 340 g/12 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 115 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces, at room temperature

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C]. Butter and flour two 8-in [20-cm] round cake pans, or butter the pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and milk until combined. Set both bowls aside.

3.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the eggs and egg yolk on medium speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until the eggs are frothy. Add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, light, and lemon colored. Slit the vanilla bean from top to bottom, open it up, and scrape the tiny black seeds into the egg mixture. Whip for 1 minute more to combine the vanilla into the eggs.

4.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the egg mixture, taking care to pour the butter down the sides of the bowl. (If you pour it into the middle of the bowl, the whisk will spray the butter all around.)

5.
Turn off the mixer and add about one-third of the dry mixture to the mixer bowl, turn the mixer to low speed, and mix until the dry ingredients are just barely mixed in. Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add about half of the crème fraîche mixture, and mix again on low speed until the crème fraîche is just barely mixed in. Repeat with another one-third of the dry, and then the remaining crème fraîche, making sure to scrape the bowl thoroughly after each addition. Finish with the remaining dry mixture, mixing by hand with a rubber spatula until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

6.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when you press them in the center with your finger. Let cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

7. Meanwhile, make the frosting:
Heat 240 g/1 cup of the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes under a boil. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Let the ganache cool for at least 30 minutes, or until it is warm to the touch and no longer hot. Whisk in the butter, bit by bit, until it is thoroughly mixed in.

8.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and a clean bowl (or with an electric hand mixer or by hand with a whisk), whip the remaining 120 g/
1
/
2
cup cream until it holds soft peaks that droop a little when the whisk is lifted. When the chocolate mixture is completely cool to the touch, fold in the whipped cream. Set aside.

9.
When the cakes are completely, totally cool (if they are at all warm, the frosting will melt off and it will be a mess), remove them from the pans. Using a long serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes so they are level (they will have rounded a bit in the oven; these top scraps make for great nibbling). Place one cake on a plate or cake pedestal and spoon a scant 1 cup [240 ml] frosting on top; using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly all the way to the edges of the cake.

10.
Carefully place the second cake on top of the first cake (place it upside down so the even, sharp edges will be on the top of your finished cake), and spoon a scant 1 cup [240 ml] frosting on top. Spread the frosting thinly to the edges and down the sides of the cake, smoothing it as well as you can and covering the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting. This layer of frosting is called a crumb coat; it keeps loose crumbs from migrating to the surface of the finished cake. At this point, refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes to help set the crumb coat and the frosting between the layers. Chill the remaining frosting as well to firm it up a bit.

11.
Remove the frosting and cake from the refrigerator, and rewhip the frosting with a whisk to fluff it up. Spoon about 1 cup [240 ml] frosting on the cake and spread it evenly across the top and sides again. This is the final finishing layer of frosting. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star or small round tip with the remaining frosting, and pipe an edge along the top or the bottom edge of the cake or both, as desired.

12.
The frosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

CHAPTER TWO
JUST CHOCOLATE

Bittersweet chocolate contains anywhere from 5 to 15 grams of sugar per 1 ounce of chocolate, hardly rendering it sugar-free. However, if you use a truly bittersweet chocolate, you'll minimize the total sugar content in these recipes and, except for the sugar in the chocolate, each one of them is completely sugarless. In some instances you'll not notice the difference; truffles and mousses have enough chocolate in them that they are plenty rich and delicious on their own. Some of them skirt the line of super-bittersweet, which honestly are my favorite recipes. The deeply flavorful cacao taste in chocolate desserts that have very little sugar is what speaks to me. You can calculate the amount of sugar in the chocolate you use by looking at the nutritional label—it will list grams of sugar per ounce. These recipes all list the ounces of chocolate needed, so you can then calculate how many grams are used in total. In these recipes I used a 68-percent chocolate, which has about 11 grams of sugar per 1 ounce. Based on that, I include how much sugar is in each recipe in total and also per serving.

CHOCOLATE-ORANGE TRUFFLES

Fine chocolate truffles that you find in an upscale chocolate or pastry store are delicacies that some people spend their whole lives trying to perfect. The creaminess of the filling, the thin, hard chocolate shell, the beauty of the finish—all of these are hallmarks of a well-made confection. But if you are a home cook wanting to make an indulgent and impressive candy, you can make truffles, too! They may not have quite the little touches that the store-bought ones have, but they will be greeted with so much more enthusiasm than those because they are made by YOU! Of that I am sure.

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
7.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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