Tag Archives: butter

Pineapple! Buttershots! Individual! Upside down! The Gentleman’s Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Few things tickle my tastebuds more than a sweet, sweet pineapple. It is easily one of my most favorite fruits.

I was contemplating test recipes one afternoon recently, and I was reminded of one of the staples my Granny used to make: the lemon Jell-o cake. Lemon Jell-o cake is really tart and tasty, but it’s old school, not exactly revolutionary, and employs a boxed cake mix. That’s not really in keeping with what I am peddling here.

But the texture of the cake is something to want to emulate. So I got on the internet to see if they made pineapple Jell-o, and sure enough, they do!

Would this be delicious as an individual cake in a little ramekin like a soufflé? What if I amended the caramel sauce in the bottom by amping it up with DeKuyper Buttershots liqueur?

I set to the kitchen, did some tests and found out. And my taste buds have not been the same since.

So here it is, The Gentleman’s Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (I use Swans Down)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature, +3 tablespoons butter (9 total)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 – 3 oz box Island Pineapple Jell-o
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 6 pineapple rounds, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 oz DeKuyper Buttershots liqueur
  • additional room temp butter for lubricating ramekins

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

If you haven’t already, remove the skin and top and bottom from your pineapple. Remove woody core and cut into 1/2 inch slices exactly the circumference of your ramekins. Set aside.

Combine first 3 ingredients.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 6 tablespoons butter and white sugar. Add the Jell-o, egg yolks and vanilla; mix thoroughly.

Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating dry, wet, dry, wet, dry. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Beat the eggs whites until they are stiff. Not meringue stiff, but very fluffy. Gently, with a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. The batter will be quite stiff.

Thoroughly butter the insides of 6 ramekins.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the dark brown sugar and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and is bubbly. Turn off the flame and add Buttershots, continuing to whisk. The mixture will hiss when the liqueur is added. Don’t be alarmed.

Evenly distribute the caramel into the bottom of the ramekins. Place a pineapple ring on top of the caramel. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to spoon batter on top of the pineapple and caramel.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and put into the pre-heated oven for 17 minutes. Cook them until just done – which means start eye-balling them at 14 minutes to insure they don’t over cook.

Remove and allow to cool. Using a paring knife, score around the perimeter so the cake will easily separate from the vessel.

Eat. Enjoy. Have a party in your mouth.

This would also work well with 2 mini 6″ cast iron skillets, or 1 12″ cast iron. Use your brain, adjust accordingly. If you have questions, shoot me a message. The Gentleman Caller is always here for help.

That’s all for now.

The Gentleman Caller

Click here for PDF: The Gentleman Caller’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The Gentleman Caller’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 

 

The Gentleman’s Sweet Roll Dough – for the softest pillow of a dinner roll you’ve ever had

Fluffy pillows of beautiful yeast dough.

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

I am in the minority here, but I am not a big bread eater. I know, I know, shut up, etcetera. I know some ladies very close to me who can mow down some french loaf like they’re going to the electric chair. I shan’t name names.

I have one exception. My Mawmaw used to make these insane yeast rolls when I was a kid. Despite her continually worsening Rheumatoid Arthritis, she made these rolls for every family gathering.

As I got older and took on the challenge myself, I realized that there was no way in hell she was following that recipe from the old Betty Crocker cookbook that this recipe supposedly came from. No possible way. To the laboratory!

I know she used butter flavor Crisco. Crisco, are you my sponsor yet? The bill is on the way. After a few years of meddling with it, this is the closest I have come. This asks for 1/2 cup of sugar; if you’re making a true sweet roll (like cinnamon), up that to 2/3 cup.

This is the basic recipe that makes delicious, buttery rolls, but there will be many more recipes to follow for which this is the base.

Diametrically opposed fat sources.

What you need:

  • 5 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2  teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup water, at exactly 115 degrees
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk, scalded then cooled*
  • ½ cup sugar (yes, more, it makes more sense to write it this way)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter flavor Crisco
  • 1/3 cup good quality butter, softened
  • approximately 3 ½ cups all purpose flour**

*Put milk in a sauce pan. Whisk and gradually bring just to a boil. Turn heat off.

**Air moisture makes a difference; high humidity areas will require a touch more flour. 

Dissolve the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar in 115 degree water. It will foam up.

Add scalded milk, remaining sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and butter.

In the bowl of a mixer, using the hook attachment, add 2 ½ cups of flour. Beat into a soft ball. Add remaining flour. Dough should be an easy to handle but slightly damp ball.

Flour a board, a piece of stone or other hard flat surface. Put the dough ball on the floured surface and knead, knead, knead until it’s elastic. You are going to have to put some muscle into it. It will take 5 minutes. Consider this your exercise.

Spray cooking spray in a decent size bowl. Hopefully your dough is a pretty, even ball. Put the ball into the greased bowl; cover with a towel and place in a warm location.

Allow the dough to rise to at least double – an hour and a half at least. Longer is better.  But you’ll know it’s ready when you can smash your thumb into it and the print remains.

Punch down the dough. Shape into desired shapes or sweet rolls. Allow to rise again, covered, at least half an hour. It should expand to about 2/3 of its original size.

For traditional rolls, brush with butter and salt the tops judiciously.

Bake in a 400 degree oven. Start checking at 10 minutes. You will likely need to rotate them in the oven. Bake till just brown – don’t overcook.

Here’s the printable PDF: The Gentleman’s Sweet Roll Dough

Now, butter one up and stuff your face!

Happy carb loading.

xo,

The Gentleman Caller

The Gentleman Caller’s Linzer Cookie

img_8686

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Welcome back, you crazy carolers!

Alright, I am outing myself here. I am a cookie monster. I have been known to take a cookie to bed with me, and that’s not a euphemism. I could eat a cookie every day. During Trip of Love, given it’s proximity to Schmackary’s, NYC’s most renowned cookie purveyor, I DID eat a cookie almost every day.

My family has a long tradition of making several varieties of holiday cookie, some more notorious than others. There’s this one particular variety that are green butter cookie Christmas trees that – well, let’s just say there is a lot of green food dye in them and you might have a surprise the next morning.

While we’ve always made cookies, we didn’t do the Linzer traditionally. However, I have always thought them pretty and elegant. And perfectly seasonal. So I did a little development and here I present The Gentleman’s Linzer cookie.

What you need:

  • 2 sticks of butter – 16 tablespoons, softened OR 1 stick – 16 tablespoons of butter flavor Crisco + 6 tablespoons water**
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • strawberry (or your favorite red colored) jam (http://thegentlemancaller.net/the-gentlemans-momma-end-of-summer-strawberry-jam-video/)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

**I know I sound like a Crisco salesman, and yes, it is not good for you, but it makes a flakier cookie.

Preheat oven to 375.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and sugar to cream, about 4 minutes. While creaming, sift flour and salt together. To the mixer add the egg and vanilla. Turn the mixer off. Spoon in the flour and salt mixture and stir to combine. This dough is stiff. If it’s especially dry in your house from radiant heat, or you live in Las Vegas or something, you might need a tablespoon of water. Humidity makes a difference in a stiff cookie.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Take about a 2 cup ball of dough and roll it out on the parchment to 1/8 of an inch. Thin is your friend. Use a biscuit cutter to stamp out circles. Remove excess dough and reuse in the next batch you roll out. Use a smaller cookie cutter (or soda bottle cap or something else like that) to stamp out a relief in the middle. Reuse that dough as well. Not everyone has all these shapes and cutters. Be resourceful, you just need two shapes, one bigger than the other.

img_8672

Bake for 7 minutes. Check them. They should not get brown, only barely gold-ish. Watch them fastidiously.

Keep baking in batches. Allow them to cool.

Spread the tops (the ones with the hole in the middle) on wax paper. Put the powdered sugar in your sifter and dust the tops gently.

img_8675

Spread the jam on the bottom halves. Squish the two together.

img_8676

OPTIONS:

  • Cut the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract and use cherry jam instead of strawberry jam. Delicious.
  • To the dry ingredients, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom. Use orange marmalade instead of strawberry jam. Spicy.

These are very impressive on the plate and will impress people if you gift them. But good luck not eating them all yourself, says the self proclaimed cookie monster.

That’s all for now.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S LINZER COOKIE

Perfect Pie Crust

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Kwana – Hannu – Christmas Corridor is here! Time to spread love and cheer! And glut ourselves on fatty carbs! Ahhh, thank the baby Jesus in the manger for elastic waistbands.

Pie is one of the many tools of the devil for me. I love pie. I LOVE PIE. Actually, I like well-executed pie. And I can be a pretty critical taster. As a pie critic, I feel it’s my duty to provide you readers a tool to add to your arsenal. Pie crust is a skill one evolves, but this basic recipe will help you in your plight for pie perfection.

Warning: I am going to use Crisco. Don’t throw your computer out the window or block my site. Give it a try. I shall be waiting here to gloat when you’re ready to concede how good it is.

This recipe is for a double-crust pie or 2 blind bakes.

Here’s what you need!

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (I like a little more than that personally but that’s just me…) salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes, frozen
  • 1/2 cup (half a log) butter flavor Crisco, cut into pieces, frozen
  • 1/3 cup cold water with two ice cubes in it

This is a deceptively easy list of ingredients, isn’t it?

Sift dry ingredients into the bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and Crisco. Pulse judiciously, about 8 seconds worth of pulsing. (See video for visual in the Holiday Apple Pie post.)

Pour water in a slight stream through the feed tube while pulsing. Add just enough – if it’s humid you might need only a quarter cup. If it’s dry you might need almost half a cup.  This is where judgement comes into the mix. It should not be dry, but shouldn’t be wet or tacky, and you must not process it more than 30 seconds. You can test this by squeezing a little ball together and seeing if it sticks.

Form two equal size balls. Avoid touching it too much or kneading/overworking it. Flatten into disks. Wrap with plastic or put into Ziploc bags.

img_8532

See the flecks of frozen butter still intact? That’s your goal.

Put your wrapped disks into the fridge for at least an hour! These also freeze really well for future use.

See Holiday Pie entry for further inspiration.

That’s it for now.

xo,

The Gentleman Caller

PERFECT PIE CRUST