Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Let that be a lesson to you!

I should really pay more attention to what I'm doing.

I wanted to make a version of the cream cakes I'd done before, but not only did I change the recipe, I forgot a major ingredient. Fortunately, the result wasn't bad at all.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

melted butter and sugar for dunking

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Put cupcake papers in a 12-dish muffin pan.

Mix together all the dry ingredients, making sure the baking powder doesn't have any lumps left in it. Gently stir in the cream and mix just until it forms an even mass of dough. Divide into 12 parts. Roll each part in melted butter, then in sugar. Bake in the prepared muffin pan for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a wire rack. Serve with peaches, cream, and this butterscotch sauce which was the whole reason I made sweet biscuits anyway:

Fry half a dozen pieces of good-quality bacon in a heavy skillet. Use medium heat so that the bacon drippings don't burn. When the bacon is done, use it to make BLTs or something. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and add

2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt or more, depending on taste
about 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir everything together, and simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes to condense it slightly. Taste for salt and vanilla, it requires a surprising amount of both. While you shouldn't be too worried about adding too much vanilla (it's very difficult to over-vanilla something) it is possible to over-salt it. If you taste the sauce and it's just a little not quite quite, add a little pinch of salt, and taste again. Different kinds of salt do vary in intensity, so start low and build up.

The sauce is phenomenal. The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, but as soon as I saw it I thought it would be even better if I made it with bacon fat. The smoke flavor is very subtle, it just shows up in the aftertaste as a kind of outdoorsy effect. Like smelling your neighbor's barbecue while you eat dessert.

That aside, as a method for eating butterscotch sauce, the biscuits could use some work. To wit:

1. I forgot to add the sugar in the dough. The proper recipe calls for 1/3 cup.
2. Because I forgot the sugar, the dough was more dry than I wanted. Sugar adds a lot more moisture than you'd think.
3. Because the dough was dry, it didn't poof up as much as I wanted.
4. Although it's possible that my baking powder is too old.
5. Overall, they were tasty but I wanted them more moist and tender.

I can think of 3 ways to fix the problem.

1. I can put the dang sugar in like the recipe says. I don't like this solution because I like the less-sweet biscuit.
2. I can add more cream. This is probably the best option, although it might make the cooking time a bit longer.
3. I could add a smidge more baking powder and cook them for a shorter time at a higher temperature. Risky. After all, what I wanted most was a less dry biscuit, although having them poofier would be nice too.

Probably the best fix would be to add more cream and to buy fresh baking powder. I still have more butterscotch sauce to use up, but I might put it on pancakes and bananas instead.

The peaches were just perfect of course. It is the time of year for peaches, after all.

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