BPA 100: Quickbreads Continued

BPA 100
Day 3, Friday

Quick breads Continued: Banana Kuglhopf and Apple Pecan Cake

The methods are very similar to those used last class. The banana bread calls for a Kuglhopf/ Gugelhopf mold. This mold is a small version of a bunt pan. Bananas used in the recipe should be overripe; unripe bananas are high in pectin which can make a starchy taste. Our bananas today are ripe with some green remaining, but we will use what we have.

With some softened butter we brush the cake mold, careful to get it into the small crevices, and then dust it with flour. The baking temperature is lower than the muffins we made yesterday. The loaf pans that we will use for the apple cake make for a fairly thick cake so we start the baking at 375 degrees F and drop the temperature; but you could also start at 350 F and continue at that lower temp. In considering which oven to use; the convection will bake faster, so drop the temperature a little to account for the fan and air, drop 25 degrees from what the recipe calls for.

Today we are using the well method with melted butter. We made a change to the original recipe, from bread to pastry flour. This should make the cake less dense and the crumbs lighter.
There are two different kinds of glazes; some go on hot and some cold. The chocolate glaze that we will use on the banana bread will be a chocolate ganache, which goes on when the product is cold. An apricot glaze goes on a product that is hot because it will absorb into the surface making for a nice shine and moist cake.

The banana kuglhopf will begin baking at 350 degrees F, and finish baking at 325 degrees for around 45 minutes total. You are looking for a golden brown top that springs back at the touch. If you insert a skewer to test for doneness it should come out with some crumbs; you don’t want it completely clean since carryover baking will take place and make overcook the product. Put the cake onto a cooling rack right away.

Banana Kuglhopf – Half recipe used in class
Full recipe available in Friberg

5 oz butter
9 oz sugar
1.5 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
10.5 oz banana puree
9 oz pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4.5 oz walnuts

The butter should be melted to begin but not hot because it will dissolve the sugar to much and when baking the sugar will rise to the top and make a heavy crust. There is no tenderizer for the proteins in this recipe except for the sugar. There is also not much liquid which means it will be heavier, a little dryer, and high in protein.

Mix in the sugar, vanilla, eggs, and banana puree. It is ok if the bananas oxidize, the color will not affect the final product. Give them a light mix. If there are some small chunks of banana it is ok, but anything large break up further with the spatula.

Sift the dry ingredients onto parchment and coat the nuts with the flour. We are using the well method here and our fat is liquid, but this time add the dry ingredients to the wet.

Cut and fold with the spatula and be careful not to over mix. The batter could be used for muffins just as easily.

Use a pastry brush with softened butter to brush the inside of the cake mold. A thin layer is needed otherwise the cake will become greasy on top. Get into the grooves well or the cake will stick will unmolding. The cone in the center ensures even baking. Today we used the batter to make one cake and the rest muffins. Put pastry flour into the buttered mold and shake it around to cover all surfaces; a very light dusting. Fill the pan 2/3 of the way with batter and tap the mold on the table to fill the grooves and shake out any air bubbles.

The pans are very large and don’t fit in the convection oven so we use the deck oven. Since they are high in sugar the bottom heat is lowered to a 5 or 6 and the grid rack is placed on top of the oven stones. We also use a sheet tray underneath to serve as another barrier from the heat to keep the bottoms from burning.

The cake is done when it has a golden amber color, smells caramelly, and springs back after you touch it with out leaving an impression. The cake will also pull away from the sides of the pan slightly.

Loosen the cake from the sides and inner cone and gently flip over onto a cooling rack. The icing used on this cake is a ganache, or pate a glacer which is equal parts of cream and chocolate. Pour the ganache on top and let it drip down the sides.
You don’t want too much, in this case less is more. As it cools it will harder and get a nice finish.

The filling to our Apple Pecan cakes use the Chunky Apple Filling recipe from Friberg.

Chunky Apple Filling – Half recipe used
Full recipe available in Friberg

1.5 lbs apples
5 oz sugar
30 ml water
2 tsp lemon juice

Add ½ of the apples to the sugar, water, and lemon juice.

It will cook down and become thick when the sugar is cooked and the apples are mushy.

The cooked down fruit will be thick and look almost like jam.

Add the second half of the apples, like you would in the cooked fruit method, letting the apples keep a little bite after baking. Cook this lightly. A little more moisture will leave the apples. If you wanted to caramelize it you would turn down the heat and cook it slower. You could also at this point add some herbs or cinnamon to infuse the apples with flavor. Put a bowl on top of the finished apples to keep the steam in, this will make the apples a little softer before adding them to the cake.
Apple Pecan Buttermilk Cake – Half recipe used in class
Original recipe available in Friberg

½ lb butter
½ lb brown sugar
6 oz honey
3 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
12 oz cake flour
½ T cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
3 oz whole wheat flour
150 ml buttermilk
90 ml half and half
4 oz chopped pecans

This recipe follows the creaming muffin method where we alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients.

Put the butter in the mixer. Add the honey and begin creaming. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Add the whisked eggs slowly to the creaming butter and sugars. The mixture will split but will come back together.

You have to have the emulsion back before you add the next egg. Move to speed 3 to give a final whip together; if it is split it is ok. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Sift the flour and other dry ingredients. Don’t sift the whole wheat flour; the bran is larger and will get caught in the tamis. Add 1/3 of the flour and cut and fold it together. Don’t mix too hard; you don’t want to work the gluten at all.

Have the half and half and buttermilk combined. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture and cut and fold this again. Continue in thirds, ending with the milk. Mix this gently so it is all incorporated. It is ok to leave it on the lumpy side; this is also fine if using it as a muffin batter.

Fill the lined loaf pan with layers. You want to fill the lined loaf pan 2/3 of the way to the top. Divide this space into thirds and fill the bottom third with batter. The next third will be a thin layer of the apples, carefully keeping them in the inside and not touching any edges or sides. If they reach the edge of the cake with no batter binding them, the cake will fall apart when cutting. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the apples.

Fill the remaining third with batter. Sprinkle a fine layer of streusel on top and make a design with some remaining nuts if desired.
Start the loaves at 350 degrees F and after 15 minutes drop the temperature down to 325 F. After 15 minutes vent the cake; cut the top with a paring knife dipped in oil to release some of the initial pressure built from the baking. This will help the cake rise evenly.

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