Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DB's Apple Strudel... ice cream?

It's DB time: The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of Make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Apple Strudel

Great, I thought! I had never made a Strudel at home, so although we had the option to be creative with the filling I decided that I would keep it simple. I decided to do just the classic Apple Strudel. Yeah, right….

Apple Strudel Ice Cream

As far as the Strudel goes, yes I did keep it simple and classic. But I couldn’t help myself and also transformed into an ice cream. Oh yes, I’ve made Apple Strudel Ice Cream!

Ok, but let's start with the Strudel itself:

Strudel dough + toasted bread crumbs

APPLE STRUDEL

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
  • strudel dough (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

Filling: apples, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, rum and raisins

Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Tradition says the dough should so thin that you should be able to read a love letter thru it!

STRUDEL DOUGH

  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Rolling the dough

Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary. Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Yummy!

Ok, now that the strudel is done it’s time to move on to the ice cream!

To transform the apple strudel into an ice cream I’ve used all the flavours that went into the filling. I started with a cinnamon ice cream base and then added caramelized apples, toasted walnuts and rum soaked raisins.

A sprinkling of baked crunchy strudel dough doesn’t hurt!

APPLE STRUDEL ICE CREAM

  • 250 ml cream
  • 250 ml milk
  • 60 gr (2 oz) glucose
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz) sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 apples (sliced and caramelized in 1 tbsp butter and 1/8 tsp cinnamon & 2 tbsp sugar)
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • Baked crunchy dough

Heat the cream, milk, glucose and cinnamon almost until boiling point. In a bowl mix well the yolks and sugar. Slowly add the milk mixture to the yolks, always mixing so the yolks would curdle. Transfer everything to the pan again and heat on low, always mixing, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon but don’t let it boil. Pass thru a sieve and cool completely (preferably in an ice bath). Churn only when it’s fully chilled. Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients: soak the raisins in the rum, toast the walnuts in the oven (10-12 minutes ate 170ºC/ 325ºF) and caramelize the apples with the cinnamon sugar and butter in a pan. Let all cool completely. Churn the cinnamon ice cream and when it’s almost ready to take out of the ice cream maker add the apples, nuts and raisins and let it all be well incorporated. Take to the freezer to fully harden for about 3 hours. You can serve it with crushed baked strudel dough.

Apple Strudel AND Apple Strudel Ice Cream

I can’t decide witch one I prefer… While I think about it I’m going to check all the other strudels that my fellow Baring Bakers did.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A banana bread that will swirl you around

Yes, I'm still here. And I’ve brought you Banana Bread!

Life has been swirling me around lately. A lot of work came my way but I don’t complain cause it’s all fun stuff. I swirl happy thru it!

So much swirling around that I ended up swirling some dulce de leche in my banana bread batter. And just for fun I also added toasted coconut and pecans. Yes, I’m crazy like that.

"SWIRL ME AROUND" BANANA BREAD
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut*
  • 1/2 cup peacans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup dulce de leche (or to taste)

*Toast your coconut in a pan, mixing all the time until is golden. Remove immediately from the pan as soon as it's ready.

Beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, mixing well. Then add the mashed bananas, cream and cream cheese and beat until incorporated. On the side mix the flour, baking soda, toasted coconut and pecans. Add these dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until it all comes together. Flour and butter a loaf pan dump 1/3 of the batter. Add dollops of 1/3 of the dulce de leche and swirls with a knife cutting thru the batter. Repeat with the rest of the batter and dulce de leche, making a swirl on top. Bake in a 180ºC (350ºF) preheated oven until it’s nice and golden and when you insert a toothpick (or knife) and it comes out clean.

This banana bread will swirl you around! And as for me all this swirling will stop at the end of the month, but until now I’ll leave you with a nice slice of bread! Enjoy!

Oops, I couldn’t help but bite it! But can you see that dulce de leche in the middle? It was really calling my name…