Jan 16, 2011

Rose's Cinnamon and Sugar Popovers


I suppose that popovers are not technically cake, but these--from The Bread Bible--seem like they could qualify as a cake, with their coating of butter, cinnammon, and sugar. Besides, even though they're not from Heavenly Cakes, and they occupy this No Man's Land between cake and bread, I chose them for Free Choice Week because I like to talk about how wonderful these popovers are: easy, delicious, and virtually foolproof. (Jim says he will make them sometime himself, just to test how foolproof they are).


The batter is a snap to mix, with the added advantage that you can make it ahead of time, which is very nice if you're serving them in the morning, as I was, or you can make it immediately before baking. One of Rose's secrets to never-fail popovers is using Wondra flour, for its ease of incorporation in the batter.

I doubled the recipe because when I last served these, they popped off the plate quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.

As an aside, people who have been following my not-so-daring exploits may remember that Jim and I host coffee hours every Saturday morning in January. Jim gets up early and makes the trek in (usually) bitter cold weather to buy doughnuts. I get up early and bake something. Last year, these popovers were the runaway hit. I was under orders to repeat them this year.


Another secret is to heat the buttered popover pans for a few minutes before pouring in the batter.


Since I'd mixed the batter the night before, my Saturday morning job was easy. Heat and pour.


Third secret: quickly pierce the popover midway through baking to release some of the steam, thus insuring that the inside of the popover will not be eggy and goopy.


If you don't like the cinnamon-and-sugar idea, you'll have a lovely plain popover straight out of the oven; it's ready for butter, or--even better--butter and jam.


But I've discovered that the very best thing to do is to brush them with melted butter.


And then roll them in cinnamon and sugar.


When people start wondering in, sometime between 9:30 and 10:00, they grab a mug, pour themselves a cup of coffee, and then take a doughnut and/or whatever I've baked that morning. This week the popover platter was emptied early on--even though I'd made twice as many as last year--while there were still leftover doughnuts at the end of the morning.

Keep this recipe in mind when you've baked your way through RHC, and you're going through pangs of withdrawal at not having a new cake to try out every week. Then you too can ponder this burning question: are cinnamon-sugar popovers more like cake or more like bread?

14 comments:

jini said...

oh yum.....i really will bake these. i love popovers and they are amazingly easy to bake. yes, i have made them before but not from rose's book. :)

faithy, the baker said...

I've never had popovers before! I must try them! They look delicious! But that means i have to buy another popover pan?!?! LOL! Excuse to go shopping!

doughadear said...

Marie,
I love these popovers. I've used a flour here in Canada which is similar to Wondra i.e. easy blending but the popovers did not turn out as they should. On one of my trips over to the States I purchased a couple of containers of Wondra just so that I could make Rose's Popovers and what a difference! They were execellant, the best popovers ever. I didn't sugar them, just had them with jam and that was a memorable breakfast.

Monica said...

I love popover, would you believe that I had my first ever popover in Maine just 2 years ago when I meet Tom and he took me there to meet his brother, we had them at the base of the mountain inside Arcadia Park, they were HUGE, and oh so, good, just typing this and my mouth is watering. I do have a recipe stored in my to do list, but these look great! I love the coating on them... a nice twist to the plain. I just have to find the pan.

Marie said...

Jini,
And people love them too--even though I've made these many times, I always forget about them as an option for a dinner roll.

Faithy,
Come back here--you can make a perfecftly good popover in a muffin pan. (But I'll admit they're not as cute as when you use the popover pans).

Oriana,
There's nothing wrong with popovers with jam--a lot right with them, in fact. B
ut try the cinnamon-sugar version sometime and see how you like it. After you restock your Wondra.

Monica,
You can buy pans to make those gigantic popovers, but I like the mini pans--a little more manageable. And have you ever noticed how people are reluctant to take something big? They'll want to cut it in half, or thirds--even though they'll come back later, when they think no one is watching, to finish it up.

Jenn said...

Marie, I was wondering if you're going to make something for the free choice. I'm glad you did (I love reading your post).
These look so good. I love cinnamon and sugar. I'll have to check out the recipe in the bread bible.

Hanaâ said...

Those popovers look wonderful. I love cinnamon-sugar and that you used melted butter as glue :o) Like Faithy, I’ve never had a popover either. Are they hollow in the middle?

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Those look great. I could totally go for one with a cup of coffee on a chilly morning.

Jim is a trooper to go out in the snow before the coffee he's had a coffee and a doughnut. :)

Vicki said...

Oh my! These sound fantastic! I've always wanted a popover pan. This totally justifies buying one!

anitsirK said...

doughadear, I'm glad I read your comment, because I use Robin Hood's Easy Blending in place of Wondra in cakes all the time, and I never would have expected to see a difference in the popovers (which I plan to try, soon)! Thanks for the tip! I'll have to pick up some Wondra next time we go visit my in laws.

Marie said...

Hanaa,
Someone at the coffee hour commented on how buttery they tasted, and asked if it was just the butter in the popovers. I had to admit I'd used a little extra-I wish I'd thought to call it "glue."

Jenn,
I was running out of my own cakes to make for Free Choice week--this is stretching it a bit, but I do love this recipe.

Mendy,
It wouldn't be safe for Jim to drive if he didn't have a cup of coffee before he went out. He might fall asleep.

Vicki,
Absolutely!

Kristina,
I think whatever General Mills does with their flour changes its composition, so I'm not surprised that another brand doesn't quite duplicate it. I actually ran out of Wondra--I was about 25 grams short--I was afraid that the popovers would fail because of that, but they didn't.

Goody said...

I really envy those pans-are they the Chicago Metallic ones? I've been tempted over the years to purchase nice pans, but my popovers tend to be savoury rather than sweet and I'm sure suet or goose fat would destroy the coating over time.

Wondra flour-really is there anything it can't do? Pastry cream, sauces, Yorkshire puddings-all unimaginable without the stuff. Probably witchcraft, I mean how else do you explain it? Huh? Oh, you'd probably say, "science" but I think we all know it is witchcraft.

evil cake lady said...

as burned out on sugar as i have been, i would happily sample your popovers! these look delicious and your neighbors are very lucky people.

Baking Sorceress' Apprentice said...

I love your popover pan! And the popovers look awesome. I can't wait to make them. This looks like a fine recipe for any time, but I am already plotting them with standing rib -- yum, and then other times with the sugar and cinnamon : )