Tuesday, 20 December 2011

On The Road: Recipe - NYC Cream Cakes... I bake therefore I blog :)

Beatnik Breakfast in New York, late 1950s. L-R: Larry Rivers, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso (back of head), David Amram, Allen Ginsburg - via source

I'm not one for usually documenting my culinary "creations" - I more usually bake on a whim - that is to say, when I've been given a foodie idea that I just can't get out of my head until I eat it... in Kristen's Lit case, this is looking to become a regular occurrence :)

In Part One, Chapter One of On The Road, Jack (Kerouac) writes about eating "glazed cakes and cream puffs" with Dean and Marylou when they first arrive in New York.

As homage to this, I decided that NYC Cream Cakes were top of our "Stew's Cooking" list!

What makes them "NYC" style, similar to NY Cheesecake, is that I've added cream cheese to otherwise standard plain cream filling.

The cakes themselves are adjusted from a tested recipe I researched at the JoyOfBaking... I'm glazing them just so they fit in better with our story ;)

And so, for this recipe you will need...

Choux Pastry:
1/2 cup (70 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons / 57 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Egg Wash Glaze:
(Remaining) egg
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (120 ml) cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

Icing (powdered) sugar

To make:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C / gas mark 6) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt - set aside.
  • Place the butter and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 
  • With a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. 
  • Stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball.

  • Transfer the dough to your electric mixer (psh, I wish) or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough. 
  • Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (saving some for the glaze) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste. 
  • Spoon or pipe 8-12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart.

  • Add salt to the remaining egg for the glaze and, with a pastry brush, gently dab on the tops of the dough. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C / gas mark 4). 
  • Bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside.
  • Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


To fill:
  • In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. 
  • Cover and chill the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, whip the mixture until soft peaks form.

To decorate:
  • Split the pastry shells in half and fill (or pipe if you're feeling fancy) with whipped cream and place the top half of the pastry shell on.
  • Mix icing (confectioners) sugar with water to form a light sugar glaze and brush on top.

To eat:
  • Cram as many into your mouth as possible whilst saying "chubby bunny".

Makes 8-12 - depending how generous we're being here - I'm thinking Dean's lot were packing 'em in ;)

Chapter three brings with it Kristen's "Mean Apple Pie" - who's hungry?

- Lorabell

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