Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bedino Nero, or what to do with bad cake

Remember in my last post, failure #2? This is what I did with it. Bodino Nero from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts. With my own special touches of course.

Bodino Nero is Italian Chocolate Bread Pudding. So the first thing I did was use overcooked pecan gateau instead of bread. Then I tweaked the recipe a Little and added some blackberry / blueberry preserves to the bottom of my ramekins. The results make failed cake something to look forward to. Rich chocolate flavor an almost cheese cake like texture, a hint of nuttiness and the tart sweetness of the berries.

Bodino Nero [my version]

Ingredients for 4 servings
Fine dry bread crumbs, for coating the pan [didn't use]
3 1/2 ounce chocolate semisweet, chopped [2 oz chocolate]
1 cup Whole milk [3/4 cup heavy cream]
2 large eggs [1 large egg]
1/4 cup sugar [2 tblsp sugar]
4 cup (about 3 ounces) cubed (1/2 inch size), day-old French or Italian bread, crusts removed (semolina bread works well) [pecan gateau, 2 cups]
Confectioners' sugar, for serving
Softly whipped cream, for serving

Recipe Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, with a rack in the center. Butter an 8-inch springform pan or a 6-cup ring or other mold; coat with bread crumbs, shaking out the excess. Wrap the exterior bottom and sides of the springform pan in foil, forming a tight seal where the sides join; set aside. [ 2 ramekins, well buttered with a tablespoon berry preserves on the bottom]

2. Combine the chocolate and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is partially melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely smooth.

3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in the chocolate mixture; fold in the bread cubes. If the bread is quite dry, let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes, so the bread absorbs some of the liquid.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Cover the top with a buttered sheet of foil, buttered side down. Set the pan in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Pour in enough hot tap water to reach about halfway up the sides of the pan.

5. Bake until the pudding is nearly set, but still slightly wobbly, about 35 minutes (the timing can vary based on the size and depth of the pan; do not overbake). [I overbaked, it was delicious]

6. Carefully remove the pan from the water bath and cool to lukewarm on a wire rack. Run the tip of a knife around the edges of the pudding; remove the sides, if you are using a springform pan. Serve on a platter - without inverting. (If using a ring mold, invert the pudding and lift off the mold.) Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm, with softly whipped cream.

The Pecan Gateau is the one from this months Daring Bakers Challenge. It was my second try and terribly over cooked, which made it tough. It was still good though, and after I ran out of pecan buttercream and ganache to make little finger sandwiches with I still had a fair amount left.

Pecan Gateau
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.

Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute.
Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

Tempers Notes:
This recipe is sooo good!, it was so rich the servings should be 8 instead of 4 and I needed smaller ramekins. It also cured any and all chocolate cravings I had for the day. I am thinking a white chocolate version with toasted pound cake and coconut would be wonderful too, if I ever kept pound cake around that long.

1 comment:

maybelles parents said...

I love that you made something wonderful out of the g√Ęteau and I definitely love that you used heavy cream