Monday, March 25, 2013

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Not having a functioning computer has been the death of my blog lately. My sincere apologies to all of my wonderful followers for dealing patiently with my taking so long between postings. Hopefully in the next couple of months we will have a new computer and I will bombard you with blog posts.
Until then... Can I make it up to you with Sticky Buns?
I was sick with the flu all last weekend, we won't get into the details of that, but in my state I was also stuck in bed watching Bobby Flays Throw down and he had a one with sticky buns... I KNEW I had to make them!
So I searched the Internet high and low and came across Oprah's recipe. I made just a couple of tweaks but here it is... In all of its sticky, gooey, glory.
For the Dough:
1/4 cup warm water
1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the Filling:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoons cinnamon
3-4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Sticky Topping:
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
To make the dough, in the bowl on your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add in the water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir to dissolve and let rest until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add in the milk, remaining sugar, butter, yolks, orange zest, salt, and 3 cups of the all-purpose flour. Mix on low speed until well incorporated. If you feel the dough is already a sticky yet firm consistency, move to the next step. If not, switch to the hook attachment and knead in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
Once incorporated, remove dough and knead by hand for 3-5 minutes. You are looking for a smooth ball.
Grease a large bowl with butter, turn the dough in it to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, anywhere from 1-2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch down and turn out on to a lightly floured surface and let rise again for 20 minutes.
During this time make the filling. In a small bowl, melt the 3-4 Tablespoons of butter and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the cinnamon and brown sugar.
When the 20 minutes is up, roll the dough out into a 12" by 18" rectangle (I'm awful at perfect shapes so excuse my butchered rectangle in the upcoming pictures.)
Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Stating with the long side, roll into a cylinder and place seam side down on to a flat surface.
Using a sharp knife, slice 15-16 rolls.

Make the topping by placing all of the ingredients in a 1-quart sauce pan and heat just until the sugar and butter have melted.
Grease a 9x13" inch pan and pour the topping mixture on to the bottom and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Place the rolls in the pan, crowding them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap and allow them to rise in the fridge overnight (if you are in a hurry, place in a warm location to rise for 30 minutes to an hour. You want them to double in size.).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the rolls are golden in color and puffed. Remove pan from oven and immediately invert onto your serving tray (careful with the hot topping!!!). Let cool slightly, serve warm, and enjoy their sticky deliciousness!!
Happy Monday everyone!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream

The weather is finally starting to warm up! However, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Spring...

I love to see the flowers blooming, the sun shining, and the warm rainy days. However, I'm not a fan of Easter being so early this year (really March!?) and this time change.

Is it 7 pm? Oh no... It's just 8 pm sneaking up on you and biting your behind to make even LESS hours in the day.

So what's a better way to celebrate a whacky time change than with cake? And a coconut cake to boot!

This cake punches daylight savings time in the throat with a melt-in-your-mouth batter! (Was that too much?)

Oh well, lets get to it ya? Before I turn around and it's time to make dinner...

Enjoy everyone!

For the Cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temp

1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons coconut milk
3 Tablespoons coconut water

1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease (2) 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and place a circular shaped piece of parchment paper on the bottom, grease as well and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, coconut milk and vanilla. Set both bowls aside.
In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until pale yellow, fluffy, and completely combined. Add in the eggs, one at the time (like Paula says) making sure to beat well after each egg. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour and beating well after each addition. After the last flour is in the bowl, turn the mixer up to high to make sure the batter is fully incorporated.
Pour the batter evenly into your prepared cake pans, bang them on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a small skillet set over medium-low heat, toast the sweetened coconut until golden in color and fragarent. Set aside.

Time to get started on the frosting! In a medium bowl, beat the butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add in the salt and mix just until incorporated. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with the coconut liquids. Beat until the frosting is smooth and glossy. (You may need to add more or less powdered sugar/liquid to achieve your desired consistancy).

Flip one of your cooled cakes over, the bottom is now the top, and cover evenly with frosting. Sandwich the other cooled cake on the top and frost the top as well. If you have enough frosting, or enjoy a cake that is completely covered with it (my husband does not which is why my cake is semi-naked) you may do so! Make the cake how you like. Just make sure you smoosh (ya, its a word) on the toasted coconut... It adds a delicious hint of coconut flavor and a subtle crunch.

Enjoy this delicious Spring-time cake! Next time, I think I would poke the cake after it bakes and brush on a little coconut simple syrup for an even greater flavor.

P.S: It's even MORE delicious the next day with a large cup of hot coffee... :)