Friday, December 31, 2010

Chocolate Éclair Cake

(These aren't as pretty as ecairs, but SO much easier! But if you are wanting fancier and want to make éclairs just pipe from a pastry bag fitted with a no. 10 or larger tip into 1 ½ x 4 inch strips and bake for 25-30 minutes- golden brown.)

Éclair Cake:

½ C butter

1 C water

1 C flour

¼ tsp salt

4 eggs

Melt butter, add water and bring to boil. Add flour and salt-stir. Take off the heat and let set for 5 minutes. Add eggs on at a time. Grease jelly roll pan or 9x13 cake pan and put mixture in it. Preheat oven to 400º and cook for 20-25 minutes. After 10 minutes, pop all bubbles in Éclair. Set aside.

Filling:

1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 1/2 cups cold milk

1 C heavy whipping cream (or use milk)

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine pudding mix, milk and cream in a medium bowl. Mix till combined Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.

Chocolate Glaze:

2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate or 1/3 C chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons hot water

Melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.

Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts

I made this for our family New Years party. SOOO worth it. Michael asked me why I don't make these more often. He is a lover of donuts like no other, so when he told me that these were the best donuts ever (even better than Daylight donuts) I was pretty proud of myself.

Dough:

2 (.25 ounce) Envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115º)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour

1-quart vegetable oil for frying

Glaze

1/3-cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

1 Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

3 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.

4 Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing
is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

5 Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy skillet to 350º. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup

  • 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (I added 1/2 c. sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • * I added left over cake and diced it and put it in the spaces between the bread.
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup
  • Butter rum sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Keep foil on and Bake 30 min. Remove and top with PRALINE TOPPING then put back in oven, no foil, for 10 minutes. serve with Maple Syrup and BUTTER RUM SAUCE (moms)

Praline Topping:

  • (1/2 stick) 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.

Saute in pan on Med Hi heat until boiling. Remove and poor over french toast casserole. I poor it over 10 min before it's done baking.

I adjusted the topping recipe because is was way to buttery.

Moms Butter Rum Sauce:

1 1/2 c. butter

2 tsp. Rum extract mixed with 1/3c water (or 1/3 c. Rum if you have it)

3 c confectionery sugar

1 egg yolk

Melt butter in heavy sauce pan over LOW heat. Stir in rum, slowly. Add confections sugar and whisk till smooth.

Stir in Yolk and cook 5 minutes. Serve warm Over french toast casserole, bread pudding and lots of other desserts.