Hello humans, Happy New Year!
2017 was quite the year at Cow by Bear. We saw our family grow with the opening of our Seattle location and the Wine by Bear experience in San Diego, added ten new friends to the staff and partied with thousands of you amazing homosapiens. We continue to constantly tweak the dinner experience to make it the best it can possibly be, and my Lil' Osito Bear is making exciting strides with Brunch by Bear. While I can't wait to see what 2018 brings, I've been reflecting a lot on last year and want to thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and willingness to come out and be a part of something different. We've met so many fantastic people and it just makes this bear's heart sing. To express my gratitude, I wanted to send out a digital hug and offer a 10% discount for anything in our Cow by Bear Shop (gift certificates included) from now until the end of February. Just enter BEARHUG at checkout!
With the turn of the new year comes a lot of resolutions. I've personally always struggled to keep mine - learn to bobsled, hibernate, pursue ventriloquism. The list is long of my tried and failed resolutions. So this year, I've decided to try something more practical that I knew I'd be able to keep up with, and I'd humbly suggest you give it a try:
Eat. More. Cake.
I know what you’re thinking: “But, Chef Bear, how am I going to shed all the pounds I put on from the holidays by eating cake?” It's a valid question that I don't have the answer to (I'm just a bear, after all). I can tell you, however, that it's working wonders for me. I just continue to slap on the LBs and I gotta tell ya I've never been happier and have never felt better. Fat and happy, as they say.
So give it a try. Sit down and just eat a whole cake. Trust me, it'll put a smile on your face. I'll even get you started with a recipe for a recent concoction that you can even pair with an ice cold beer. Enjoy!
BROWN BUTTER BACON JALAPENO CAKE
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown butter
1 1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1/3 c grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
for jalapeno pepper jelly
4 1/2 c finely chopped green bell peppers
1/2 c finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 c cider vinegar
3 tbsp powdered pectin
2 c sugar
1 c honey
for cream cheese frosting
1/2 c butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
crispy bacon broken into small pieces, to taste
For the cake:
1. Combine the sugar and butters in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, and cream for 2-3 minutes on medium-high. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs. Paddle for 2-3 more minutes then scrape down the sides again.
2. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla all at once while mixing on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 5-6 minutes. The mixture will almost double in size and become very pale. Keep mixing if it has not, and then scrape down the sides.
3. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. While on the lowest speed, add the cake flour, baking powder and salt all at once and mix for about a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Mix again on low speed for another minute until all dry ingredients have been completely incorporated. Using a spatula, slowly fold in the bacon.
5. Grease a quarter sheet pan, line with parchment or a silicone mat, and pour the bater evenly into the pan.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is set in the middle and no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack.
7. When cool enough to build, use a small cake ring to cut rounds out of the pan. If you can only get 2 circles, then use the scraps to make up the bottom layer (if you want three layers, which you do!)
8. Layer the cake in this order: cake, cream cheese frosting, jalapeno jelly, cake, frosting, jelly, cake, frosting, bacon sprinkled on top.
For the jalapeno pepper jelly:
1. Combine bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and vinegar in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly.
2. Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Let chill to room temperature.
For the cream cheese frosting
1. Combine butter and cream cheese in mixer fitted with paddle. Mix on medium speed until well smooth.
2. Add sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy. Add more or less sugar to taste.
To Assemble: Layer the cake in this order: cake, cream cheese frosting, jalapeno jelly, cake, frosting, jelly, cake, frosting, bacon sprinkled on top. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!