Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Cooking by Ragsdale [google pdf books]


  • Full Title : Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Cooking: Everything from Fires to Fixin’s (Camper’s Guides)
  • Autor: Ragsdale
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; 2 edition
  • Publication Date: August 1, 1998
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884156036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884156031
  • Download File Format: azw3

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This volume provides more than 200 recipes for outdoor cooking, along with recommendations on outdoor cooking equipment and techniques.

 

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I’ve been perfecting them for over 17 years, and I trust them to keep my cakes tasting as great as they look. Novelty cakes sometimes have a bad reputation. People will tell me that they’ve tried cake recipes that either weren’t sturdy enough for carving or lacked flavor because they were too dense or too dry. But I’ve spent close to two decades perfecting these recipes to create moist, buttery, delicious cakes that firm up beautifully for carving when chilled. And of course, my sidekick Sir Squeeze-A-Lot and his magical simple syrup also help to seal in the moisture and flavor of your cakes, no matter how long they take to decorate.

Although these recipes are perfectly suited for all your novelty cake adventures, you can also turn to them for simple, everyday cakes that will help build your baking confidence and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Have fun baking, but make sure that you improvise on the decorating rather than on the recipes themselves. While caking is an art, baking is a science, and these recipes should be followed exactly. Now, time to roll up your sleeves, crank up your favorite kitchen playlist, and get baking!

Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake

YO’S RECIPE BOX

This chocolate cake is my go-to recipe. It’s moist and delicious, and also sturdy enough to carve into novelty cakes like the ones you see on How To Cake It. I’ve been making this chocolate cake recipe for 15 years, with a few tweaks here and there, and it has never let me down, whether it’s smothered in buttercream, draped with fondant, or dripping with ganache.

If you’re making one of the novelty cakes, use the pan sizes and baking times specified in the novelty cake recipe.

Makes one 9 × 13-inch cake or two 8-inch round cakes

Ingredients

2¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2½ cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper (see “How to Bake a Cake”).

2Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3Put the cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 3 cups water to a boil, then carefully measure exactly 2 cups and pour over the cocoa powder and whisk until completely smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

4In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

5Add the eggs, two at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

6Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the warm cocoa mixture in three parts, beating just until each addition is incorporated before adding the next; do not overmix.

7Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for the 9 × 13-inch pan or 55 minutes for the 8-inch pans, rotating the pan(s) halfway through.

8Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan(s). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Loosen the edges with a straight spatula, invert the pan(s) to remove the cake, and peel off the parchment.

Yo’s Ultimate Vanilla Cake

YO’S RECIPE BOX

I am really proud of this vanilla cake. I love its buttery, sweet flavor, and its texture is perfect for simple cakes layered with buttercream and toppings as well as for novelty cakes. It is subtle yet satisfying, and tastes homemade and much better than the artificial-vanilla boxed variety.

If you’re making one of the novelty cakes, use the pan sizes and baking times specified in the novelty cake recipe.

Fun things you can do with vanilla cake? Dye it with food coloring, or throw in sprinkles for a festive funfetti look!

Makes one 9 × 13-inch cake or two 8-inch round cakes

Ingredients

2½ cups all-purpose flour

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon table salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk

1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper (see “How to Bake a Cake”).

2Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

4Add the eggs, two at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

5Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the milk in three parts, beating just until each addition is incorporated before adding the next; do not overmix.

6Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or pans and spread it so that it is smooth in the pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes for the 9 × 13-inch pan or 45 minutes for the 8-inch pans, rotating the pan(s) halfway through.

7Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan(s). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Loosen the edges with a straight spatula, invert the pan(s) to remove the cake, and peel off the parchment.

Yo’s Pink Velvet Cake

YO’S RECIPE BOX

This bright and eye-catching cake is best known from my Watermelon Cake. Unlike traditional red velvet batter, this does not contain cocoa powder, which would overpower the pink food coloring.

But don’t stop at pink. Experiment with all of the colors in the rainbow!

If you don’t have buttermilk, stir 2 teaspoons cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar into 2 cups room-temperature whole milk and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until the milk has thickened slightly.

Makes one 9 × 13-inch cake or two 8-inch round cakes

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons table salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

⅓ cup vegetable oil

3 cups sugar

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Gel food colorings: rose and red

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature (see Tip)

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper (see “How to Bake a Cake”).

2Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 5 minutes.

4Add 1 tablespoon rose and ½ teaspoon red food coloring and beat until the batter is evenly colored. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the mixture is colored.

5Add the eggs, two at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

6Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the buttermilk in three parts, beating just until each addition is incorporated before adding the next; do not overmix.

7In a small cup, combine the baking soda and vinegar. With the mixer running, immediately add the mixture to the batter. Beat for 10 seconds.

8Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or pans and spread it so that it is smooth in the pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for the 9 × 13-inch pan or 55 minutes for the 8-inch pans, rotating the pan(s) halfway through.

9Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan(s). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Loosen the edges with a straight spatula, invert the pan(s) to remove the cake, and peel off the parchment.

Yo’s Coconut Cake

YO’S RECIPE BOX

I’m a big coconut fan. I am half Grenadian, so I think it’s in my blood. I love the subtly sweet taste of coconut cake as well as its richness. This recipe uses both coconut milk and sweetened desiccated coconut for a double dose of flavor—no coconut extract needed. I’m crazy about it and I have managed to convert many coconut haters with this delicious cake.

If you’re making one of the novelty cakes, use the pan sizes and baking times specified in the novelty cake recipe.

Makes one 9 × 13-inch cake or two 8-inch round cakes

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup sweetened desiccated or shredded coconut

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

4 large whole eggs, at room temperature

2⅓ cups unsweetened coconut milk (a bit less than 1½ [13.5-ounce] cans)

1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper (see “How to Bake a Cake”).

2Sift the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl, then whisk in the desiccated coconut. Set aside.

3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

4Add the egg whites and whole eggs, two at a time, beating until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

5Add the flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the coconut milk in three parts, beating just until each addition is incorporated before adding the next; do not overmix.

6Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or pans and spread it so that it is smooth in the pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for the 9 × 13-inch pan or 55 minutes for the 8-inch pans, rotating the pan(s) halfway through.

7Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan(s). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Loosen the edges with a straight spatula, invert the pan(s) to remove the cake, and peel off the parchment.

Yo’s Italian Meringue Buttercream

YO’S RECIPE BOX

I make this buttercream by the boatload. One of the things I love about Italian meringue buttercream is that it goes on so smoothly, providing the perfect surface for fondant. And for flavor, you just can’t beat this buttercream: it’s light yet creamy and not too sweet, as American buttercream or other types of frosting can be, because it doesn’t rely on icing sugar.

If you’re working with frozen buttercream, let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then sit at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours. If you can’t wait that long, you can place your fresh-from-the-fridge buttercream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, wrap a hot towel around the bowl, and whip at high speed until it reaches room temperature.

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

1¾ cups sugar

8 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and ½ cup water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.

2While the sugar syrup is heating, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

3When the syrup reaches 230°F on the candy thermometer, begin to whip the egg whites on medium-high speed. Whip until the egg whites are stiff.

4When the syrup reaches 240°F, immediately remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer running, pour the syrup into the egg whites in a very thin stream. Pour the syrup between the side of the bowl and the whisk attachment.

5Whip the meringue at high speed until thick and glossy and the bowl is no longer warm on the outside, about 8 to 12 minutes.

6With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time, whipping until each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally.

7After all the butter has been added, continue to whip the buttercream until it’s thick and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

8Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 2 months. Before using refrigerated or frozen buttercream, let it warm up to room temperature and stir to smooth it out.

Yo’s Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

YO’S RECIPE BOX

I personally love this buttercream because it’s as light and smooth as Italian meringue buttercream but delightfully chocolaty. It isn’t too rich, so it pairs perfectly with any cake, satisfying chocolate cravings without overpowering other flavors. If you’ve got a young chocoholic in your house, this is the buttercream to use on all your cakes!

This buttercream needs a bit of time to set up—there’s a lot of chocolate. Make it at least a day ahead.

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

18 ounces good-quality dark chocolate

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon table salt

⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar

4 large egg whites

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature

1Chop the chocolate as finely as you can. Put it in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water).

2Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth, then remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool while you prepare the buttercream. Leave the pan of water on the stove, as you will need it shortly.

3In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Whisk in the egg whites until thoroughly combined.

4Place the bowl with the egg whites over the pan of simmering water (again, do not let the bowl touch the water). Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it’s warm but not hot to the touch and the sugar is mostly dissolved (you should feel just a little grittiness when you rub a bit of the mixture between your fingertips), about 2 to 5 minutes.

5Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip at high speed until thick and glossy and the bowl is no longer warm on the outside, about 5 minutes.

6With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time, whipping until each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally.

7After all the butter has been added, continue to whip the buttercream until it’s thick and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

8Check the melted chocolate: It should be soft and liquid, not firm; if it’s completely cooled and thickened, set the bowl over the still-hot water in the saucepan for just a few seconds and stir until it’s soft but not warm. Scrape the chocolate into the buttercream and whip on high speed until fully incorporated.

9Keep in a cool, dry place for up to a day. If you’re making this more than a day in advance, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 1 month. Before using refrigerated or frozen buttercream, let it warm up to room temperature and stir to smooth it out.

Yo’s Simple Syrup

YO’S RECIPE BOX

Sir Squeeze!

If you’ve seen just one episode of How To Cake It, you’ve seen me use simple syrup—and Sir Squeeze-A-Lot, my magical simple syrup squeeze bottle. (Try saying that five times fast!) I sprinkle this magical mixture on every single one of my cakes to keep them moist throughout assembly, decoration, and refrigeration. This is especially important when you’re making complex novelty cakes, as they often take several days to carve, cover with fondant, and decorate. See here for details about how to use simple syrup.

Makes about 1½ cups

Ingredient

1 cup sugar

It’s called simple syrup for a reason! This is all you need.

1In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.

2Let cool completely, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Yo’s Dark Chocolate Ganache

YO’S RECIPE BOX

Ganache is one of my favorite ways to incorporate chocolate into a cake. You can drizzle it, dip cupcakes in it, pipe it, and even crumb coat with it! It’s simple, rich, and an instant crowd-pleaser—and about as close to pure melted chocolate as you can get.

This proportion of chocolate to cream (1:1 by weight) makes a pourable ganache that firms up to a creamy-smooth spreadable consistency when cool.

To make white chocolate ganache, simply substitute 2 pounds white chocolate for 1 pound of the dark.

If the ganache becomes too firm to spread as you’re working with it, gently reheat it in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds at a time until spreadable, stirring in between.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

1 pound good-quality dark chocolate

I use between 56% and 72%.

2 cups whipping cream

1Chop the chocolate as finely as you can. Place it in a heatproof bowl.

2Pour the cream into a heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring just to a simmer—you should see bubbles around the edges of the pot and movement just under the surface of the cream. Do not let it boil.

3Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

4Uncover the bowl and gently stir with a spatula, starting in the middle and working your way out. The ganache will start to darken and come together into a velvety mixture. To ensure that no lumps are left, pour the ganache through a sieve into a clean bowl.

5Use the ganache right away for drizzling or dipping, or let it cool for at least several hours or overnight if you’re spreading it as icing.

6If you won’t be using the ganache within a day, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 2 months. Before using refrigerated or frozen ganache, let it warm up to room temperature.

Yo’s Royal Icing

YO’S RECIPE BOX

I consider royal icing my cake super glue—it just helps everything stick together! When water or piping gel won’t cut it, royal icing is the sturdiest of edible glues. I always have a container of it kicking around in the fridge. It’s perfect for attaching fondant details, hiding flaws, patching, and covering up fondant seams on white cakes. And it’s incredibly easy to make—just two ingredients and a little time in the stand mixer. Best of all? While it sticks like crazy to cake, it won’t stick your fingers together, unlike regular super glue!

Royal icing can be tinted with food colorings: Add just a little at a time, stirring to incorporate each addition until you have the color you want.

Makes about 1¼ cups

Ingredients

2½ tablespoons meringue powder

1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

1In a medium bowl, whisk together the meringue powder and 3 tablespoons water until foamy.

2Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat with a handheld electric mixer at low speed until very thick and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 1 minute.

3If your icing is too runny, stiffen it by adding more confectioners’ sugar; if it’s too thick, st

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