When this month's Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 event came around, the inspiration came close to home for your dear Cake Gumshoes: we looked at the Seattle music scene to plan a musically-inspired menu of sweets! And so we hooked up with two local bands, Exohexo and Speaker Speaker, and took a collection of sweets inspired by famous rock stars on tour with them around the city, through rehearsals, recording and even a show. Would our theory that baked goods just wanna rock, and rockers just wanna eat baked goods, hold true? Only one way to find out; here are the sweet results.
What better way to start (well, that's relative--it was nearly noon) the day than with a baked good homage to one of the most influential rock bands out there--in morning pastry form as not Rolling Stones, but as Rolling Scones. As our musicians quickly discovered, there is no better way to get the day started than with one of these sweet babies under your thumb; complete with the slightest touch of brown sugar, they're a perfect way to get the day going. (see below for Danny warming up with a Keith Richards scone!). These ones will certainly gather no moss.
Rolling Scones (adapted from this recipe)
- 2 Cups of Flour
- 1/4 Cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 Tablespoons (3/4 of a stick) of butter
- 1 Cup of whipping cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into tiny pieces and add to the mixture.
- Using your hands, break up the butter into even smaller pieces while tossing with the flour until the largest pieces are no bigger than a pea.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour the cream into the well.
- Using your hands, mix by hand until the dry ingredients are all moistened.
- Gather into a ball and place on a lightly floured board.
- Knead 10 times, pushing the dough with the heel of your hand and folding over until the dough is smooth.
- Pat the ball into a 9-inch circle about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut into 8 to 12 wedges like a pizza
- Shape into ovals, making sure to pinch the middle to form a little bit of a nose and facial structure.
- Brush the top with an egg wash (optional).
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and still slightly moist in the center
- Once cool, decorate with a dollop of frosting for hair, and draw in facial features with a food-safe marker as desired.
- Mini Pink Frosted donuts
- 2 pink jellybeans per donut
- decorating gel for details
- Small dab of pink frosting (to use as "glue" for the ears)
Of course, after unloading equipment and warming up a bit, the band was in need of some sweet caloric replenishment--enter the Robert Palmiers. No, Robert Palmer may not be the epitome of an exceedingly influential rock musician, but the kitsch value of his backup band--not to mention the easy pun--made for some delicious snacking.
- 2 sheets puff pastry (or more, or less, to your preference)
- 1 tablespoon sugar per pastry sheet (approx.)
- Decorating gel in black and red
- Sprinkle some sugar on a work surface and cover it with a puff pastry square sheet. Then sprinkle more sugar evenly over pastry sheet and roll it out into a 10-inch square with a rolling pin.
- Fold in two opposite sides of the pastry sheet square so that they the sides meet in the center. Fold in same sides of the pastry again.
- Fold one half of the pastry over the other. Cut pastry crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip cut sides of each piece in sugar and arrange, cut side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with three remaining pastry sheets.
- Bake palmiers in batches in middle of oven until golden on bottom, about 12 minutes. Turn over and bake until golden on bottom, 5 to 7 minutes more, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Once cool, decorate with red lips and black "hair" for the full Palmer girl effect.
And OK--everyone makes mistakes. So we've got to admit from the start there's a reason why the Otis Redding-themed cookies aren't as cleverly titled as the rest. Originally we mistakenly thought (bad gumshoes!) that "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" was a Sam Cooke song--and Sam Cookies sure would have worked. It was only in the 11th hour that we realized it was actually Otis Redding--and so here they are, the O(h so delicious)tis Redding Cookies, served on homemade graham crackers made to simulate the cookies "sitting on the dock of the bay". We chose molasses because that's about how smooth and rich Redding's voice was. Oh well--Jasen, who plays both guitar and drums, didn't seem to mind sampling one during their show.
Otis Redding Cookies (note: we adapted this from Epicurious)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 325°F. and lightly grease 1 large baking sheet.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
- In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in molasses. Beat in egg until incorporated. Gradually beat in flour mixture and combine well.
- In a small shallow bowl put remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Form dough into 2-inch balls and roll in sugar. On baking sheets arrange balls about 4 inches apart and flatten slightly with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
- Bake cookies in middle of the oven 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. (Cookies should be soft.) Transfer cookies with a metal spatula to racks to cool.
And once they get jamming, and start feeling good? OW! Of course, it's time for some James Brownies. Unfortunately, the likeness was perhaps not the best; working with chocolate syrup from a picture, and trying render it as quickly as possible resulted in some warping--it sort of resembles that portrait that Napoleon Dynamite did of his would-be prom date. But you know what? Nobody really cared, because did these brownies ever OW! Make them feel good.
James Brownies (Adapted from the brownie recipe found on Oprah's website):
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
- 11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan. (Note: we used a 10x10 pan)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
- Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
- Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- In a small dish, microwave the peanut butter for 30 seconds or until melted. Pour into the batter and lightly stir.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares (or large hunks) and serve.
- Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies will keep for a few days--or so we hear. We didn't get the chance to find out, they disappeared so fast!
Perhaps she's not exactly a trailblazer, but there are few in the CakeSpy demographic that don't recall that so-awful-it's-catchy ode to the 90's called "Stay" by Lisa Loeb. Why not pay homage to this nostalgic cheesiness than by immortalizing it as a cheesy treat? In this case, the cheese was ricotta--stuffed inside of fried shells of cannoli deliciousness from one of the few places in Seattle that sells the Italian treat: Remo Borracchini. Decorated with some retro-cool glasses, sweet red "lipstick" and batting eyelashes, this one charmed even the baddest type of rock star.
Finally, we've saved our favorite for last. Perhaps it's just our art-school background, but to many of us Cake Gumshoes, the The Velvet Underground is not just an influential band, but the influential band. After all, they've captured the hearts of musicians and artists alike--why not bakers? And so, the Red Velvet Underground Cake was born. We made ours using the famous Cake Man Raven recipe--using plenty of red food coloring for a viscerally red interior, we decorated it with an edible wafer printed with that famous banana; on the outer edges, we lined banana slices across the sides. The crowning glory? A slight touch of white pepper in the topping--now that's what we'd call a white light white heat cream cheese frosting!