Monday, June 4, 2012

Pop Tart Cake

After months of sugar laden baking adventures (I really need to remember to schedule a dentist appointment sometime soon when I'm not deathly afraid of what they are going to find.), the Robin Farewell Baking Tour 2012 reaches its final stop. While it may have seemed fitting to go out on yet another perfect pie for the crazy pie train, we decided to instead make something completely different: homemade pop tarts! Fate smiled down upon our absurditude and yielded a most ridiculous dessert that would make even the most classically trained French Pastry chefs quiver in their aprons.

Pop Tart Cake
Adapted from A Golden Afternoon
Servings: 6-8
Time: 45 minutes

One of these things is not like the other
2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut
1 large egg (Plus one for brushing)
2 tbsp milk
Fruit Preserves (I used strawberry and triple berry)

Powdered sugar
Vanilla extract
Almond extract
Crazy sprinkles in as many shapes as possible

If that picture doesn't scream buttery heart cloggingly gonna be crazy flaky crust, then I don't know what does (and I don't know why I have this tightness in my chest).

Killer swirls in the nutella are key

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl then cut the butter in using a pastry cutter, two forks or just smash it with your fingers until you have pea-sized pieces.
  3. Pour in the milk and egg and mix until just combined.
  4. Divide the dough in two and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Cut both pieces of dough into 6 equally sized rectangles. 
  6. Brush one side (we'll use this as the bottom) with the egg wash then distribute your toppings as you want.
  7. Realize that the dough is too thin to come apart without tearing and decide the only proper thing to do would be make a very traditional cake.
  8. Place the top sheets on to cover one at a time and press down with a fork to seal and create individual pockets so the fillings don't mix.
  9. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Let cool.
  11. Make the icing by mixing copious amounts of powdered sugar with very small amounts of milk, vanilla extract and almond extract until a mildly thick and not too runny icing forms.
  12. Spread on the icing and cover with sprinkles.
  13. Revel in the beauty of the pop tart cake that surely doesn't look like it was made by several 8 year olds.

It's amazing how loads of sugar can fix anything. 
Buttery deliciousness doesn't begin to describe the spectacular pastry shell we crafted. This could easily become a go-to pastry recipe for future desserts. Most importantly, though, the pastry proved to be quite unruly leading us to ditch the idea of individual pop tarts in favor of one crazy confection. It was a perfectly silly and fun way to bring a close to our baking adventures (and as with most things in my life, I have butter to thank).
The dinosaur sprinkles narrowly beat out the dolphins for my favorite. Moons and stars were the most disappointing.
For the icing, we used my standard diabetic glaze (previously seen in Snickerdoodles and Sugar Cookies). This solidified the pop tart cake as a breakfast food as the sugary richness can easily substitute for your morning coffee (to get you going for at least 30 minutes before crashing hardcore).
Just to be safe, you should pour even more sprinkles once you cut the cake. In fact, I'm developing a giant fork made of sprinkles specifically for eating the cake.
When making a pop tart cake, it's important to have options (I'm pretty sure my mom told me that along with some stuff about being sure to get at least 5 hours of TV in each day). We chose two berry fillings to go along with the golden child of Pinterest- Nutella (Ryan Gosling would have also been an acceptable answer). Upon initial devouring, the warm berry fillings proved to be supreme, but as this cake matured like a fine wine, the Nutella became the ideal. In the end, everything came together for a dessert we'll never forget.

This picture taken after making our first pie pretty much sums up all our baking adventures.
While it's sad to see a great baking partner and the only person who is a bigger pie enthusiast than I am go, I'm excited to see her start her new life as Dr. Robin, MD. This one final baking excursion encapsulated all the fun and randomness that filled our misadventures in the kitchen and served as a fitting send off. If you're in South Carolina, I highly recommend injuring yourself as she is one of the rare people I know who I would trust as my doctor.

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