Yes, I know, that is not a picture of a gigantic espresso cake , but here's what happened. I went to the store, bought all of my ingredients, got home and realized that it wasn't just a 4 layer cake with two normal layers each cut in half, but it was actually a 4 layer cake - as in 4 cake pans! Since my kitchen is rather urban (aka small), I don't have the luxury of having the space for 4 cake pans. I'm borrowing two more so that I can make the cake on Saturday (which actually works out better, because this creation is going to take more than an hour or so after work), but this meant there would be no baking for this week! When I realized that, I looked through the pantry and discovered that I had all the ingredients for the Cheese Popovers (the second place choice) and went with them instead. To see how my popover adventure went (and I'll fess up now and say it was a bit flat),
Okay, let me just get this off of my chest, I MESSED UP. I broke the number one rule in popovers. Even though I knew I shouldn't do it, I opened the oven when they were cooking (I wanted a prettier picture for you guys!) and poof! Instead of popover, I got pop-ish (the end result was still great for breakfast the next day, but nothing to write home about). Also, I'm not really sure I love this recipe, the middles were a bit doughy in places (I think they needed longer at the higher temp), and I was only able to make FIVE popovers.
If you try it, let me know how they turned out. I'm actually going to make them again and have a 52 weeks of baking  revisited, because let's face it, I did not make popovers, these are whacked out muffins.
Oh and you don't need a special pan to make popovers, a plain ol' muffin tin will work too.
Basic & Cheese Popovers
From Recipes a Collection for the Modern Cook by Susan Spungen
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting tin)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus more for greasing tin)
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (optional)
2 ounces cheese of your choice (optional)
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk and butter.
- Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Add the cheese and fresh herbs, if using. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight (the batter rises best when chilled, but they can be baked right away, too).
- Preheat the oven to 450F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Brush a muffin or popover pan with melted butter and dust with flour.
- Stir the batter well. Fill each cup three-quarters full with batter; fill unused cups one-third full with water.
- Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 350F and bake until well browned and crusty, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Click on a picture for a larger view: