May I introduce you to the Tonka Bean? Sssshhhhh!!! It’s not allowed in the states. At least not in it’s full natural beany form. So we find ways around that ridiculous regulation (which you can learn more about here if you’re interested and geeky like me)… Another delicious recipe from my appearance on Duff Till Dawn on Food Network with Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes.
And if you’ve never tried or really appreciated the humble and understated apricot, I have some deliciousness in store for you! After all, Kevin Smith said I “turned him on to apricots.” Yeah. You read that right. SUCCESS!!!
With out any more delay…
Kara’s Honeyed Apricot Cake
Yield: 2 – 8” round cakes
All Purpose Flour 16 oz. (3.25 cups)
Baking powder 2.5 tsp.
Granulated sugar 16 oz. (2 cups)
Salt .75 tsp.
Unsalted butter, room temp 8 oz. (1 cup; 2 sticks)
Vanilla Bean Paste* 1 TBSP
Apricot flavor paste 2.5 TBSP
Egg Whites, large 7 each (about 1 cup)
Honey 2/3 cup
Milk, whole 12 oz. (1.5 cups)
slightly warmed to room temp
Vegetable oil 1 oz. (1/8 cup)
What to do:
– Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease sides and bottom of 2 – 8” round pans. You can line with parchment on bottom and sides if you wish for easy removal.
– Add all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) to a stand mixer bowl and mix with a paddle to combine well. This replaces sifting.
– In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla bean paste, apricot paste, honey, egg whites, milk, and vegetable oil) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
– Turn mixer to low and add chunks of butter slowly. Continue to beat on slow until there are no chunks of butter remaining and the mixture becomes crumbly.
– On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients and then turn to medium. Mix until a light paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
– Add half of the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
– Add the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
– Divide evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
– Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and sides have begun to pull away from the side of the pan.
– Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Place on a rack to finish cooling.
*Vanilla extract can be substituted for vanilla bean paste.
Note: the apricot paste is highly concentrated natural flavor, substituting jam or preserves will not produce the rich flavor the paste is designed to.
Oh the crunchy deliciousness to follow…
Pine Nuts 2/3 c
White Sugar 1/4 c
Water 2 TBSP
Butter 1 TBSP.
What to do:
– Combine water and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook to 234°F (the sugar will still be clear at this point)
– Remove from heat and add pine nuts.
– Stir continuously and quickly to coat all nuts with sugar; they will begin to crystallize and should separate rather than clump.
– Place the pan back over medium heat and stir continuously. This will toast the nuts as the sugar begins to caramelize (this is when the sugar begins to look amber like the picture below).
– Add butter to the nuts once the sugar has caramelized and coat evenly.
– Pour the caramelized pine nuts out onto a silicone baking mat and spread out, separating them into individual pieces or small groupings as much as possible while they cool.
– Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
– Remove from refrigeration and place in a plastic ziplock bag, then crush with a rolling pin.
Tonka Bean Swiss Style Buttercream
Yield : 1,000 grams
sugar 284 grams
meringue powder 12.6 grams
egg whites, room temp 184 grams
shortening 101 grams
butter, unsalted, room temp 454 grams
Vanilla Bean Paste 1 tsp
Tonka Bean Paste 6 grams (about 1.5 tsp)
(Link for the tonka bean flavoring and all of our flavor pastes is at the end of the post!)
What to do:
– Scale all ingredients
– Whisk sugar and meringue powder together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment
– Combine egg white and sugar mixture in the bowl till incorporated
– Heat over boiling water to 135˚F
– Whip on high speed for 20 in stand mixer or until room temp
– Change to paddle attachment, adjust to medium speed and slowly add shortening, then butter.
– Beat till fully incorporated and light in color
***This may seem to “break” at some point, where the butter may look curdled. No worries, keep beating and it comes back together. it won’t generally happen so long as the temperatures are respected.
This can be made in advance and refrigerated. To reconstitute: microwave container of buttercream for 20 seconds, just barely removing the chill from the outside of the container. Place buttercream back into a stand mixer and beat on high till light and fluffy. Again, at this stage there may appear to be a “break” in the emulsion, but allowing it to continue to beat and warm to room temp will remedy the problem.
Time to put it all together!
Next recipe coming to you from me and Avalon, our Southern Take on Chocolate Cake. Light chocolate cake soaked in bourbon simple syrup, salted caramel American buttercream, and bourbon candied pecans. Yes. It’s as good as it sounds.
For a 5 pack of our flavors that we used to created these cakes, click HERE >>>http://bit.ly/1MoX9WA
You’ll hop on over to Pastry Portal and be able to get the packs with free shipping 🙂 Free is always good!