Posts Tagged 'cake'

The Mondrian Brand

The abstract paintings of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian have become ubiquitous in pop culture, from architecture to designer fashions. In a sense his geometric, primary-colored compositions have become a brand. This proliferation and appropriation of an artistic style begs the question, what shapes an artist’s legacy? Why do some works of art become so intertwined with pop culture that they become icons instantly recognizable to mass audiences? Join us on Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. for The Mondrian Brand and hear from Dr. Nancy Troy, Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art at Stanford University and author of The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondrian, Place de la Concorde, 1938–1943, oil on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the James H. and Lillian Clark Foundation 1982.22.FA

To contemplate Mondrian’s pop culture legacy in my own way I thought it was finally time to attempt the complex and beautiful Mondrian Cake made famous by Caitlin Freeman in her book Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art.

The first three lines of the recipe are just a taste of what goes into this chocolate-soaked masterpiece:
Makes one 16 by 3 by 3-inch cake, serving 15
Hands-on time: 6 hours
From start to finish: 2 days


To begin, I had to make four velvety cakes: one white, one blue, one red, and one yellow. Freeman uses a delicious recipe with a shocking butter content (I made two trips to the store). As you might imagine, I ended up with a rainbow of leftover cake that I was too lazy to repurpose into another dessert.

After precisely cutting each section of the Mondrianesque composition I glued them together with 24 oz of bittersweet chocolate ganache and finished the cake with a shower of ganache. With two days of cake construction behind me I was impatient to see the finished product and did not let it set up in the fridge for the recommended three hours. Each slice revealed a mini Mondrian, if only slightly wonky and Easter-egg colored. We’ll never know if Mondrian would have approved of this culinary counterfeit, but I was certainly satisfied with my effort.

Jessie Frazier is the Manager of Adult Programming 

Cake Imitating Art!

Last fall, I dabbled in cake decorating, and spent a semester at El Centro College’s Food & Hospitality Service Institute learning how to pipe borders and figures, carve cake, finagle fondant, and sweet-talk gum paste from local cake whiz Chef Chris Miller. As I brought my cakes into the office to share—a girl can only eat so many frosted confections on her own!—I couldn’t help but think of connections to artworks at the Museum.

Below are cake creations and their DMA artwork doppelgangers.

And one lone cake sans DMA connection, that looks an awful lot like this Tom Friedman sculpture.

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Culinary Canvas: Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Cakes have been around since ancient times, but what we think of as coffee cake was introduced to America during the Colonial period by European immigrants. Coffee was a favorite beverage in the new colonies, and coffee cake became a delicious accompaniment. This coffeepot from our silver collection is a lovely example of how early Americans served this ever popular drink, and perhaps a simple coffee cake would have accompanied it on a Colonial table. And in fact, we just missed National Coffee Cake Day on Monday, April 7. Even though it’s a bit late, this recipe is still sure to take the cake!

Coffeepot, c. 1780-1785, Joseph Anthony Jr., maker, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Coffeepot, c. 1780-1785, Joseph Anthony Jr., maker, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., and Mr. and Mrs. H. Ross Perot

Hazelnut Coffee Cake

Yields 1 loaf
Level: Moderate

Topping:

¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Filling:

¼ cup Nutella hazelnut spread
¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped or ground
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Cake:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
6 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt, room temperature
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter loaf pan using butter wrapper.

Topping: Stir together hazelnuts, brown sugar, flour and salt in small bowl. Using a fork, cut in cold butter until mixture forms into small crumbs with a texture resembling coarse sand. Chill until ready to use.

Filling: Combine Nutella, hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Set aside.

Cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, beating at medium speed until light. Add vanilla, then incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add yogurt and mix until fully combined.

In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to mixer in two batches, stirring on medium until flour is mostly combined. Remove bowl from mixer and stir by hand with rubber spatula for two revolutions to incorporate remainder. Do not over mix.

Spread half of batter into prepared pan. Cover with filling, then top with remaining batter. Run knife through batter about 3-4 times, across both length and width of pan. Smooth batter and evenly spoon on topping across the top.

Bake 30 minutes at 350° F. Reduce oven to 325° F and continue baking for 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


 

Filling

Filling

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Original recipe.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Culinary Canvas: Apple Pie Cupcakes

This month’s recipe is inspired by our wonderful Pointillist painting by Pissarro, Apple Harvest. I imagine this painting, like most apple picking, takes place in the fall. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still bountiful varieties of apples to be had at this time of year–just check your local grocery store! And one of our very own McDermott Interns–whose favorite dessert is apple pie–just happened to have a birthday last week. But much like the Neo-Impressionists, I wanted to do my own thing. So I decided on an apple pie inspired cupcake, which combines apples and spice into a scrumptious handheld bite. Try these out for your next holiday get together and impress your friends with your artistic hand. Happy Holidays!

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest, 1888, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Camille Pissarro, Apple Harvest, 1888, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Yields 24 cupcakes
Level: Moderate

Topping:

2 Jonagold (or similar) apples, diced small
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons caramel sauce (left over from last month’s recipe)

In medium saucepan, melt butter and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add diced apples and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in caramel sauce. Set aside to cool. Note: 2 tablespoons sugar can be substituted for caramel sauce.

Cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars, beating at medium speed until light. Add vanilla and continue beating at medium speed. Incorporate eggs one at a time, mixing until fully combined.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, slowly add flour mixture to mixer, alternating with milk. After each addition, mix on low speed until just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter into muffin cups, filling each cup slightly more than ½ full. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with sparse crumbs. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then transfer to metal rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Splash of milk as needed

Beat butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, mixing on low until combined. Add splash of milk and additional sugar as needed to achieve thickened, slightly firm consistency.

Assembly: Fill quart size Ziploc bag with frosting. Squeeze frosting to one corner and snip to create opening. Outline the rim of each cupcake with a line of frosting. Place a spoonful of apple filling in the middle of each cupcake. Cross filling with lines of additional frosting in a basket weave pattern, mimicking pie crust.

Store finished cupcakes in refrigerator until ready to serve.

 
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Recipe adapted from Alpineberry.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Culinary Canvas: Chocolate Caramelized Banana Bread

You might have noticed this little fellow standing watch on the third floor in our Indonesian galleries. In his original Indonesian habitat, he would have adorned a clan house, on top of a tall post or beam. If he could ever find a moment to relax, I bet he could unwind nicely with a piece of this banana chocolate concoction. I mean, who doesn’t love banana bread–and this one packs a double chocolate punch!

Architectural sculpture depicting a monkey, Indonesia, late 19th-20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Architectural sculpture depicting a monkey, Indonesia, late 19th-20th century, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Chocolate Caramelized Banana Bread

Yields 1 loaf
Level: Easy

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
3 very ripe bananas, sliced
6 ounces plain yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and sliced bananas. Sauté until mixture is melted and nicely caramelized, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, and bourbon. Add eggs one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated. In separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Place cooled banana mixture In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, add flour mixture to mixer, alternating with yogurt mixture. After each addition, mix on low speed until just incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips by hand with rubber spatula if desired.

Scrape batter into loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

 

caramelizing the bananas

caramelizing the bananas

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Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives


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