Tuesday, December 8, 2009

1-1/2cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

4egg yolks
1/2cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon salt
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Grated peel of 1 orange
1teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2cups hot milk (120° to 130°F)
8to 8-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2packages active dry yeast
1/2cup golden raisins
1/2cup candied orange peel
1/2cup candied lemon peel
1/2cup chopped red candied cherries
1/2cup chopped green candied cherries
1/2cup chopped almonds
1egg, beaten
Powdered sugar

1.Combine butter, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, lemon peel, orange peel and vanilla in large bowl; beat with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add milk; beat until well blended. Add 2 cups flour and yeast; mix well. When mixture is smooth, add enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough begins to pull away from side of bowl. Turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface; flatten slightly. Knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Mix raisins, candied orange and lemon peels, cherries and almonds in medium bowl; knead fruit mixture into dough.

2.Shape dough into ball. Place in large greased bowl; turn dough over once to grease surface. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

3.Grease 2 large baking sheets. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Divide dough in half. Place one half back in bowl; cover and set aside. Cut remaining half into thirds. Roll each third into 12-inch rope. Place on prepared baking sheet. Braid ropes together. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

4.Brush beaten egg on braids. Let braids stand at room temperature about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

5.Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake braids about 45 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Red Velvet Angel Food Cake

1/3 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa, do not use Dutch cocoa
1/4 cup(s) water, boiling
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 fl oz food coloring, red
1/4 tsp table salt
1 3/4 cup(s) sugar, divided
1 cup(s) cake flour
16 large egg white(s), about 2 cups
2 tsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, combine unsweetened cocoa, boiling water, vanilla and food coloring; whisk and set aside.
In another medium bowl, combine salt, 3/4 cup of sugar and cake flour; mix well and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add vinegar; continue to beat until soft peaks form. With electric mixer running on slow speed, gradually add remaining cup of sugar; increase to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form.
Remove a heaping cup of egg whites and add it to chocolate mixture; gently combine and set aside.
Sift flour mixture over egg whites, a little at a time, and fold after each addition to incorporate. Add chocolate mixture and gently fold into egg whites. When just combined, turn batter into a two-piece 10-inch angel food cake pan with feet; smooth top into an even layer.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cake from oven and invert pan onto its feet so the inverted cake can cool properly (the cake will not fall out of the pan). If your pan does not have feet, invert it over the neck of a wine bottle or a glass soda bottle.
When cake is completely cool to the touch, loosen edges with a sharp knife and remove cake from pan. Slice into 16 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.
Treat the egg whites gently and you’ll be rewarded with a high cake.