Thursday 10 October 2013

AN ALL AMERICAN DINER DESSERT - the food dept. have photographed and produced a recipe developed escpecially for us by mega food blogger Naomi Robinson from Baker's Royale

the food dept. and Baker's Royale join forces to create this food feature
This post is super exciting for the food dept. and a first for us! So who is Baker's Royale you ask? Baker's Royale is an American food blogger Naomi Robinson, who recipe develops, styles and photographs her beautiful baked treats on her blog Bakers Royale. She is also a working Mum and wife, so she really is an inspiration to everyone. This little baker didn't eat a real cupcake until she was a teenage, grew up on Jiffy’s blueberry muffin mix and doesn't like perfume. Yet Naomi bakes fragrant cakes such as lavender honey cupcakes, and rose cupcakes so go figure. This duplicity, her everyday musings, and breath taking food photography, make her blog totally addictive and clearly very successful.

For the food dept.'s American diner food feature, Naomi has developed a melt-in-your-mouth banana split whoopie pie recipe. We wanted an all American dessert recipe for our diner story and we have all admired Naomi's blog for some time, so she seemed the perfect fit. Lucky for us, she said yes! Check out her awesome 8 layer, Coconut and mango cake, (she also likes to smash things a little). Her tuxedo cake is super cute as well, for its name, and the sweet image. 

For anyone who aspires to be a food blogger or make their blog better, Naomi has generously written for the food dept. some cool tips and tricks to making your food blog a success.

Bakers Royale Top 5 blogging tips:
1. Find your voice and style, while this may not happen immediately, it will happen more quickly the more you blog. There are a lot of excellent food blogs, with crazy good recipes and awesome pictures, but the ones that have me coming back regularly are the ones that have a distinct voice and photography style.
2. Hone your craft, and take measured risks to grow. By measured I mean, know why you are doing something different, rather than just trying to be different. I tend to gravitate to blogs that take risks with their craft and switch things up, especially their photography. 
3. This is a philosophy that I blog by and live by, “Take your work and craft seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Embrace the food blogging community and use social media as much as you can. It’s a great place to connect, make friends and learn from your peers.

5. Know your ability and measure your success to it. I know this is common sense, but it’s something I forget sometimes and it causes me undue frustration.

For more cool tips.

Banana split whoopie pies
I know it seems long but there are essentially 3 components to making this recipe. Firstly the whoopie cake then the 2 fillings, the banana pastry cream and Swiss meringue buttercream and lastly the chocolate glaze. For image

Whoopie cake
• 245g all-purpose flour (2 ¼ cup flour)
• 75 g light brown sugar (1/2 cup, lightly packed)
• 5g baking powder (1 teaspoon)
• 105g sour cream (1/2 cup)
• 5g baking soda (1 teaspoon)
• 45g egg (1 large egg)
• 5g vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
• 95ml vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
• 85ml carbonated water (1/2cup)

1. Sift flour, brown sugar and baking powder in a bowl; set aside.
2. In second bowl fold baking soda and sour cream until combined; set aside.
3. Place egg, vanilla extract and vegetable oil in a bowl and whisk until well
combined and mixture is slightly emulsified. Add in sour cream mixture and
whisk until combined. Add carbonated water and whisk until combined.
4. Combine flour mixture with wet mixture fold to combine.
5. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe onto a
parchment line bake sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Banana pastry cream
• ½ cup plus 1 ½ cup of whole milk
• ½ cup cornstarch
• 1 large egg
• 3 large egg yolks
• ¾ cups of banana, mashed (about two medium bananas)
• ½ cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar
• pinch of salt
• 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream
• 1 cup heavy cream
• ½ cup confectioner sugar

1. Combine ½ cup milk and cornstarch stir to dissolve. Add in whole egg, egg yolks and bananas and beat until well combined; set aside. Prepare an ice bath; set aside.
2. Combine remaining milk with sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and transfer mixture to a new pan to reduce any residual heat. Set aside and cool milk mixture for 5 minutes.
3. Slowly add egg mixture into cooked milk mixture, stirring constantly so the eggs do not curdle..  Return mixture to stovetop and stir vigorously until mixture comes to a boil. Continue to stir until the whisk leaves a trail in the pastry cream, about 5-7 minutes. Once pastry cream reaches this stage, remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Transfer the saucepan to the ice bath. Stir occasionally until pastry cream is cool about 30 minutes.
4. Place heavy cream and confectioner sugar in a chilled stainless bowl. Using a hand mixer beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
5. Once banana pastry cream has cooled, combine 1 part whipped cream to 2 parts banana pastry cream.

Bakers Royale note: The filling is a diplomat crème—a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream. You can skip the whipped cream and just use the banana pastry cream. But keep in mind the banana cream will have a greyish tint to it. Making the filling as a diplomat creme will help to lighten the color, since adding any yellow food coloring to banana pastry cream seems to give it a mustard color.
Frosting (Swiss meringue buttercream)

Can be made up in advance and kept refrigerated until ready for use. Place on counter to bring to room temperature (do not mircorwave)

• 5 large egg whites
• 11/2 cup sugar

• 4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and softened
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.

2. Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.

Chocolate glaze

Can be made up in advance and kept refrigerated until ready for use. Reheat to pouring consistency

• 7 oz. chocolate, 65% cacao
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 10 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
• 4-5 tablespoons water, warm

1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then stir mixture to combine. Add confectioner sugar and mix to combine, mixture will clumpy. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Push mixture through a sieve to avoid any clumps

Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.

2. Place frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe frosting along the bottomside
perimeter of one whoopie cake. Fill center with banana filling. Place a second whoopie cake
bottomside down on top of filling.
3. Place assembled whoopie pie on a grated rack with a bowl fitted underneath (to catch excess chocolate). Drizzle chocolate glaze on top. Dust top with sprinkles. Place a small dollop of frosting on and garnish with a maraschino cherry.