My Blog List

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Scottish Butter Cake - Trial Baking for Reception

Umm .. creme fraiche, fresh blackberries, fresh mint - sounds good. These are the accompaniments, now I just have to make the cake. I had lunch at a really nice restaurant in the West Village last week, Highlands. We ordered Scottish Butter Cake for dessert and I was sold on trying it out for my church reception coming up on May 13th. So this is the prelim.

Next evening - this is such an easy cake to make. Here is the recipe, from

Scottish butter cake with raspberries and crème fraiche

6 egg medium organic egg yolks, plus 1 extra for glazing (I used 5 large egg yolks, plus one for glazing)
9oz all-purpose flour, sifted
6 oz granulated sugar
2 pinches of salt
8oz unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375F
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl to form a smooth dough
Butter a 8-10 inch cake tin
Press the dough evenly into the tin
Lighty mark the surface of the dough in a criss-cross using a fork
Glaze the top of the cake using the extra egg yolk
Place the cake in the oven and bake for 15 minute
Turn the oven down to 325F and bake for a further 10 minutes
Remove the cake and let it cool for 10 minutes before tuning out

Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and raspberries (blackberries here).

I followed the baking times and oven temps exactly and the cake turned out very well. The only difference from the recipe is I whipped the butter for a short while in my KitchenAid (maybe just over a minute) so it was easy to incorporate with the other ingredients.

The results were delicious. I'll definitely make this for the reception but I'll just leave out the mint - it seems to have collapsed in its travels from home to work.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I had a really good time over the weekend, what with brunch on Sunday at St. Andrews Restaurant on W. 46th St. NY, and the making of Maamoul, a delicious, exotic Middle Eastern pastry filled with dates (or pistachios or walnuts). I got all the necessary ingredients at Sahadi's - semolina flour, dates, rose water, and orange water and purchased a wooden maamoul mold there as well.

It's my first Middle Eastern pastry venture so the whole process was quite new, what with using semolina flour and the maamoul mold. The first part, mixing the dough, is pretty easy; it becomes a bit finicky once one has to stuff and shape the cookie in the mold.

This is the recipe I used;it's from Gourmet Sleuth:

Basic Mamoul Recipe
1/2 cup solid shortening
8 tablespoons or 4 ounces butter
1 cup flour, all purpose
2 cups semolina
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking power
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rose flower water and
1 tablespoon orange flower water
7 tablespoons water
walnut, pistachio or date filling
confectioners sugar

Do not expect the dough to be cohesive but it will be damp enough to form into balls to pack into the cookie molds. This recipe needs to be started a day ahead.

Melt shortening and butter together or use all butter if you wish a richer cookie. cool slightly. Mix flour, semolina, salt, baking powder and sugar together. Rub melted shortening into dough with fingertips until it is like fine soft meal.

Cover bowl and let it rest overnight. Combine flower waters with 7 tablespoons water and sprinkle over the dough. Toss lightly with a fork to distribute liquid evenly. Mix until just combined, like pie dough. (another person says to knead the dough well).

Dust maamoul molds well with flour. Invert and tap gently to remove excess flour. Estimate the amount of dough need to fill maamoul mold and make a ball of dough. Flatten it out slightly and place a good tablespoon of filling in center. Close dough around filling to cover it. Pack ball into mold. Level off cookie even with the lip of the mold. Be sure you have not revealed filling or it will stick to the pan as it bakes.

Tap cookies out onto the work area with a sharp firm hit to the top of the mold. Transfer cookies to baking sheet with a spatula. Bake at 350 F until slightly brown around the edge (about 25 minutes). Cool.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.

The oven temperature and baking time are adjustments I made; the recipe recommended far too short a time.

I'm rather delighted with them; now it's onward to nut-filled maamoul.

I checked out a lot of recipes and information on this cookie.Phoenician Gourmet is the best, with very clear instructions, realistic baking times, and fascinating information about the tradition of this delightful cookie.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Delightful! I can't wait to have a slice tomorrow. Rushed home from work, expecting to have to make a lot of effort in meeting my Tuesday with Dorie deadline. Instead, the Swedish Visiting Cake was so quick and easy to get together. It's a perfect cake for visitors - one could just about make it while getting coffee for them.

I don't have a cast iron pan so decided to bake it in an 8-inch square cheesecake pan and cut it in squares. Everything went very smoothly.

Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs picked this one for us. Thank you, Nancy. It's a lovely recipe. The recipe is on Nancy's blog.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mocha Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

Erin of When in Doubt Leave it at 350 has chosen this week's Dorie recipe.

It's such a luscious, thick (but light), battery cake to make and there's lots of it. The preparation is quite straightforward, using the standard creaming method. The chocolate coloring and flavoring is the real gooey, chocolate thing, made with butter, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate chips - so much more sophisticated than the marble cake of my childhood, which consisted of blobs of vanilla, cocoa and rose pink batter. (Not that it wasn't nice at the time but it's definitely vintage now.)

What's in the oven now is my second attempt - this time in another pretty bundt pan, slightly larger than the one I used the first time and also stick resistant. Last night I used my regular tin bundt pan (9 inch) - the cake rose beautifully but horror of horrors, when I tried to turn it out the whole thing broke apart. No, not even a chance of rescuing it, unless one wanted to make marbled chocolate trifle. After the breakage experience, I stopped by Cooks'Companion in Brooklyn (delightful store on Atlantic Avenue) and bought a can of Bakers' Joy. I sprayed the inside of the pan liberally. Here's keeping my fingers crossed.

Happiness! The cake came out of the pan beautifully and awaits a dribbling of chocolate ganache then it will be ready for its pic. Thank you, Bakers' Joy, thank you, thank you. This is the way to go for bundt cakes in future.

Check out Erin's blog for the recipe and some beautiful baking.