January 31, 2017

Bee Stuff at Sur la Table and a Recipe

Why, oh WHY, didn't they sell this stuff while I was an employee and enjoyed a 40% discount?! My seasonal position at Sur la Table ended mid-January but I still found myself in the store last Friday, taking advantage of my last employee perk: one free cooking class per month. As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted by a full display of temptations.

Two items on display are hot items that I've been waiting for to come back into stock. I left the store $50 poorer.

OMG too cute! but I resisted. House rule is, if something comes in, something has to go out.

SCORE! Use NEWYEAR17 in-store or online through 2/27 for 20% off.
The recipe that comes with the pan makes enough batter for 4 pans, but at $36 a pop, one pan is all I splurged for. Instead of scaling down the recipe ('cuz it hurt my brain to quarter 2 3/4 c. flour, 1 1/4 c. sugar, etc.) for you, dear readers, I developed one that not only yields just 6 cakelets, it proves that baking is not always a precise science experiment with strict rules. The following recipe produces six tender yellow cakelets in under an hour, start to finish.

Beehive Cakelets

High Altitude Baking? Use the lesser amount of sugar and salt. If you want.

Sift together into a medium bowl:
1 c. flour (See NOTE below.)
1/2-2/3 c. sugar
1/4-1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda 

Stir together in a separate bowl:
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. veg oil or 6 T. melted, still liquid butter
1 t. extract, whatever's your favorite

Add the wet to the dry ingredients along with 1 egg. Whisk until smooth. Divide among the wells of a greased and floured NordicWare beehive cakelet pan. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven until done (~18"). Cool in pan 5" then trim the cupcake domes. Cool completely before turning out, then decorating with royal icing.

BREAK THE RULES and make this a ONE-BOWL RECIPE. Put all the liquid ingredients into a bowl. Stir the dry ingredients in. A big cake might show unevenness but you'll never see the difference here.

Royal Icing
Stir together in a small ramekin:
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. liquid honey
1 t. lemon juice
Add drops of water/milk/more lemon juice (liquid of your choice) to thin or more powdered sugar to thicken. It needs to be thick but pourable. As soon as it's smooth, drizzle over the cooled cakes.

Serve with a nice cup of tea with lemon and honey.

Honeycomb stamped Faux-reos sound good to you? Check 'em out here!

: In case you didn't know, King Arthur Flour declared 2017 the #yearofthebundt. While not technically a bundt pan, the cakelet pan is made by NordicWare, which is famous for its bundt pans. They're my fave, and I have at least half a dozen. Customers at Sur la Table always asked about their cakes sticking or not being flat-bottomed like in the picture, so here's what I told them:
    • Prepare even nonstick pans with a smooth paste made of equal parts shortening, oil and flour.
    • Do not use butter and flour to prep the pan. The solids in melted butter can actually lead to sticking. Same with canned sprays.
    • Use a pastry brush to get the fine details. Rotate the pan 180° to ensure even coverage; pay extra attention to the central tube, if there is one.
    • If the cake seems like it won't release after cooling in the pan, cover the cake with foil and pop back in the still-warm oven for 10".
  2. DOMING happens because the batter sets on the outside while the interior is still rising. To lessen the amount of doming:
    • After prepping the pan, pop it in the freezer while you make the batter. Expect a longer bake time.
    • After loading the batter in, use the back of a spoon to make a divot in it.
    • Use a sharp knife to cut the dome off while the cake is still in the pan. In cooking school, we called the trimmings Scooby Snacks.
NOTE> All-purpose is fine. For smoother details and a finer crumb, use cake flour.


Julie D said...

Sur la Table employees get a 40% discount???!!! Perhaps I should apply! Oh my goodness! I want every single one of those things you posted!

You're skep cakes look scrumptious, and I love that stamp. It would make a pretty butter stamp, too. Gorgeous!

Don said...

Wow, I'll have to get over there and check it out! Thanks for sharing the recipes and baking tips. Those skeps look yummy!

HB said...

@Julie D I am pretty sure I spent every dollar I earned while there. Thanks for the butter idea! I hadn't considered other uses.

HB said...

@Don the skeps are so quick and easy, we just keep having them again and again. Lemon-Honey one day, Vanilla-Orange another, Cherry-Almond… whatever strikes our fancy at the moment. A fantastic source for flavor extracts is Penzey's Spices in Olde Town Arvada. I LOVE that shop!

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