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Plum Cranberry Crumble

21 Oct

Recently we’ve been getting an abundance of plums in our CSA. I’ve kind of run out of ideas with them. Then, we received a bag of cranberries! How awesome! Except it wasn’t Thanksgiving so I couldn’t make cranberry sauce. So I came up with this crazy idea of combining them into a delicious crumble.

The verdict? My husband told me it was the best thing I had ever baked, ever.¬†Whoa. That’s pretty extreme. But I knew he was serious when a day or two later it was half gone. Hmmmmm…..

But I mean, he was on to something. Delicious brown sugar crumble on top AND on the bottom? Tender slices of sweet plums plus the tarty goodness of cranberries? Yeah, I suppose I should have just known it was going to be amazing.

Can we talk about something ELSE that is amazing besides this crumble???

Wait for it…..

I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!! DANCE PARTY!!!!

So many of you know that I’m in grad school studying to be an elementary school teacher. Well, my original plan was to stay at my job at the insurance company I was working for until I had to start my practicum next year. Well, I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. Mainly because I felt like I was the only person in my program NOT in a school. You catch my drift?

So when my classmate and friend told me that the school she was working at was looking for an aide for a 4 year old boy with autism, I took it as a sign. I interviewed and was offered the job RIGHT after the interview. Talk about AMAZING!

So, to make a long story short, I’m into my third week at the school and I’m absolutely in love. While there are challenging days, exhausting days, new worries over just how I’m going to be able to afford to do anything anymore, there are also the days when everything goes amazing and I feel like I’m really connecting with not just my one on one, but with all the students. And I wouldn’t go back to my old job for anything. It’s nice to find something that you really click with, when you don’t feel like you are going to work everyday, but you are enjoying what you are doing!

So enough of my gushing. But you can help me celebrate by making some of this delicious Plum Cranberry Crumble!

Plum Cranberry Crumble

 

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

For the crumble:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
For the filling:
  • 3 cups thinly sliced plums
  • 1.5 cups cranberries
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 lemon
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the plums, cranberries, sugars, cornstarch, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Once it has been brought to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the sauce thickens and the cranberries start to burst, about 10 minutes.
  3. For the crumble, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until the mixture is no longer dry, but do not over mix.
  4. Pour half the crumble mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the plum/cranberry mix over the bottom crumble and use a spatula to make it even
  5. Dump the remaining crumble on top of the mixture and gently pat the crisp down.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  7. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

 

 

Plum Coffee Cake

28 Sep

Has anyone noticed the lack of posts recently? I apologize. I had been fairly good at scheduling posts a week in advance, but being out of town for the last 2 weekends have not helped.

But have no fear!! I have some delicious upcoming posts coming your way. Mostly having to do with the goodies we received in our CSA. I’m so sad that it is almost OCTOBER (where did this month go exactly?) which means our CSA will be coming to a close soon enough. Even though I love Fall, I dislike this part (and the cold) the most.

We’ve been getting a ton of plums in our CSA recently, and I’ve had to find different ways of using them other than mixing them in yogurt (although that is delicious). I decided to use up the weeks worth of plums we got by making a delicious plum coffee cake for a party we went to.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well received it was and how almost an entire sheet pan was consumed in a couple of hours! The crumble did not come out exactly like I wanted (I think I mixed it too much) but everyone still ate it up. We took a couple of leftovers home, but they were quickly devoured by my husband. Thanks for leaving me some ūüėõ

Plum Coffee Cake
As seen on The Kitchn

Ingredients

  • 8-10 small ripe plum
  • 3/4 cup butter – room temperature
  • 1.5 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar
Directions
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9×13 baking pan. Pit the plums by halving them, discarding the pits, and cutting them in half again. Set aside.
– In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed. Add in the eggs one at a time, waiting for the egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and yogurt and mix until light and fluffy
– In another bowl, sift the nutmeg, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Reduce the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat until almost smooth.
– Turn the stand mixer off and use a spatula to incorporate the batter. Pour half the batter into the pan and smooth. Stick the plum quarters cut side down into the batter. Pour the remaining half of the batter over the plums and smooth it out.
– In a small bowl mix the melted butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon until crumbly (but not wet!) and sprinkle over the plums.
-Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the top is nicely brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before applying glaze.

– Whisk the milk, lemon juice and sugar together until it is a thin but spreadable consistency. Drizzle over cake. Serve warm but not hot.

Lemon Angel Food Cake

2 Sep

It’s official.

I can now call myself a baker.

Why?

Because I can make Angel Food Cake.

Let’s back up a minute. About 2 years ago, before I knew what a food blogger was, before I used my Kitchen Aid mixer on a regular basis, before I actually thought¬†about what to make for dinner on a regular basis, I tried to make angel food cake.

It’s a good thing I don’t have photographic evidence.

I can’t even tell you how I made it. There’s a chance I may have used my Kitchen Aid, but I hadn’t really used it much, so I didn’t whip up my eggs enough, and I didn’t know to add the sugar to the whipped eggs gradually. There’s a chance I may have dumped all the sugar in at once.

Ooops.

Anyway, I pour the sickly contents into my bundt pan, stuck it in the oven, and hoped for the best.

I’m going to tell you right now this is not what came out.

The sugar was all crystallized, the cake barely rose, it was a little….sticky¬†(what?). I suppose it tasted alright, but I think I ended up throwing most of it away. I vowed never again to make angel food cake. Store bought from now on.

Fast forward to 2 weekends ago when I said, that’s it¬†I am going to tackle this damn angel food cake phobia.

Can you have a phobia of making angel food cake?

Anyway, I didn’t want a boring simple cake. I wanted something bright and refreshing. Since I’m obsessed with lemon, I thought it would be perfect.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. I watched my egg whites like a hawk. I added my sugar a tablespoon at a time. I oh so carefully¬†slid the mix into the pan. I folded my lemon ingredients into the egg whites like I was wiping a baby’s bottom (weird?). And I carefully placed it into my oven. And 55 minutes later, the most beautiful angel food cake, with a golden crust, came out. I patiently waited for the cake to cool, and carefully used my off set spatula to eek my cake out of it’s cocoon. I cut myself a slice and dug in. Oh, it was magical. There was plenty of lemon flavor, and it was light and airy.

I may have had two slices.

But it’s ok because angel food cake is low in calories and blah blah blah.

So I’m good.

And I’m never buying store bought angel food cake ever again. My phobia is cured.¬†HALLELUJAH!

Lemon Angel Food Cake
As seen on Fresh from the Oven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
  • 1.5 cups (10.5 ounces) sugar
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature (I used the bottled kind)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
Directions
 РAdjust oven rack to middle low position and preheat oven to 350 degrees

 РIn a small mixing bowl, whisk flour and half of sugar to combine and set aside. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites to the bowl and begin mixing on low, until the mixture starts to foam. Add the salt and cream of tarter, crank up the mixer to medium high.

 РGradually add the sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Put your mixer as high as it can go and mix until shiny soft peaks form (you should have a peak but then it should droop slightly). Turn down the mixer to medium and add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

 РTurn your mixer off and transfer your flour/sugar mixture to a sifter and gently sift the flour mixture onto the egg whites, about 1/4 cup at a time and fold it in using a spatula.

 РTransfer the mixture to your bundt pan or tube pan and level the top. Bang the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

 РBake in the oven for 55-60 minutes, until the top is golden.

 РIf your pan has prongs on it, invert the pan and let the cake cook completely (about 1-2 hours). If your pan does not have prongs, gently flip onto a wire rack and let the cake cool

 РOnce the cake has cooled, use a butter knife or off set spatula to gently run it over the edges of the pan (both inner and outer) being careful not to cut into the golden crust. Flip it over onto a cake stand or plate and gently shake the cake out of the pan. Try not to eat it all at once.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 Aug

So in one of our recent CSA pickups we received a couple of zucchinis. I was at the point where I was sick of just sauteing them or roasting them in the oven. Which made me then think of dessert.

My father in law makes a mean zucchini bread. He doesn’t put chocolate in it but it is still delicious. I’m going to have to steal that recipe from him someday.

Seriously, I’m always in awe when I use vegetables in my baking on how amazing and moist and flavorful it turns out. You mean I can put veggies in my desserts and it’ll be healthy AND taste good?!? Um, yes please.

This zucchini bread was exactly what I was craving for these zucchini’s. I made them the day I took the tour at America’s Test Kitchen, and as I tweeted that it was currently in the oven I received a tweet from Megan jokingly asking if I would bring her a slice. Well, of course I said I would bring her a slice! That’s was friends (and food bloggers) are for.

Well, needless to say she told me I needed to blog this recipe ASAP. And here it is, two weeks later (that’s pretty good for me).

I need to tackle more veggie baked good recipes. Maybe Black Bean Brownies or Beet Cake is next on the list?

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Recipe from Eating Well

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
Directions:
¬†– Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat one loaf pan (mine was 9×5) with cooking spray and set aside
 РSpread walnuts in a pie plate and toast them in the oven for 57 minutes, until fragrant
 РWhisk flours, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl
 РIn a separate bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate to combine.
 РAdd the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients using a spatula and fold to just combine
 РFold the zucchini and walnuts into the batter
¬†– Spoon the batter into your greased loaf pan and smooth the top. Add some extra walnuts and/or chocolate chips to the top if you’d like
 РBake the loaf in the oven for 55-60 minutes until the top is set and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean.
 РLet cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes in the pan then invert onto the rack and let cool completely
****DON’T FORGET!! Today is August 1st so wear PINK today to help support Fanconi Anemia. Tweet, email or Facebook me your picture if you want to be included in the album!!******

Strawberry Cream Scones & the Best Weekend Ever

14 Jun

So, how was everyone’s weekend?

Photo Courtesy of Nicole @ Iamahoneybee

My weekend was pretty flipping fantastic. I basically satisfied a life long dream of mine by going to see my favorite band on the face of the Earth this weekend. I’m talking about none other than NKTOBSB (My favorite band being the BSB portion of this acronym)

Let me give you the rundown of this epic concert that I attended this weekend, in bullet form.

  • Mark Wahlberg introduced NKTOBSB. If you know me at all, you know that I am in love with Marky Mark. Like, IN LOVE. Like, I-would-divorce-my-husband-and-run-away-with-him-if-he-ever-asked love. Do you have a list with your spouse about who you get to hook up with if ever the chance came up? Mark is #1 on that list. (I think Tina Fey is on hubby’s list). Poor Nicole had to deal with me screaming my every loving head off when he came on stage
  • I still know all the words to songs I haven’t heard in 10+ years.
  • Half naked men in the rain WILL reduce you to your former 15 year old hormonal self
  • I LOVE RAIN. See previous bullet.
  • Nick Carter using the stage as a Slip N Slide and almost flying off said stage, MAGIC.
  • When the Backstreet Boys bring 4 girls on stage and commence serenading them, you WILL turn into a jealous 12 year old who will want to rip their heads off
  • Even the mere suggestion that a shirt will be taken off will send women of all ages into hysterics
  • The fact that they were selling snap bracelets and Naughty by Nature made a guest appearance made me think I was actually back in the 90s.
  • Donnie Wahlberg is H-O-T. Obviously not as hot as my love Mark but those Wahlberg’s are blessed with some amazing genes. I would like a Wahlberg sandwich TO GO thanks
  • Greatest concert ever in the history of ever
  • Did I mention half naked men in the rain?
I love you Mark!
I was definitely more into the Backstreet Boys than New Kids on the Block. I got into NKOTB towards the end of their career, but I followed BSB from beginning to now. Remember how you used to get into fights with the other girls about who was better, *NSync or BSB? Oh wait…..you didn’t have those fights? Nevermind then
I ‚̧ Brian 4eva
Side Note: Brian is my favorite. While the majority of girls were pining over Nick Carter (fact: he kind of bugs me) I loved soft spoken and hilarious and omg cutest boy ever Brian. Everything about this concert was epic. The venue, the group, the songs, the experience. EVERYTHING. It was kind of amazing to see girls my age (and older! Much older!) scream like 15 year olds again when they sang. I went with Nicole of I Am A Honey Bee and she has some fantastic video of the concert! Go check it out!!!
I’m going to tell you right now that these scones have nothing in common with the concert except for the fact that I made them on the same day and they are delicious just like all the members of NKOTBSB. Yeah, I said it.
I bought some delicious strawberries at the farmer’s market in Dewey Sq and knew that scones were going to be on the agenda. Cream scones. Because when you have delicious strawberries from the farmer’s market, you want to treat them right.
What’s great about this particular recipe is that it’s for only 4 scones! Now, I love sweets just as much as the next girl, but my butt and thighs don’t. So when I find a recipe that’s been cut down to a reasonable amount so I can still get my fix but don’t have to worry about gaining 20lbs, I make it. The original recipe calls for currants, but I really wanted to use my strawberries, and I think they worked great! This will definitely be my go to recipe when I want to make a couple of scones for breakfast!
Strawberry Cream Scones
Slightly adapted from Cooking for Two
  • 1 cup (5oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces and chilled
  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in food processor to combine, about 3 pulses. Scatter butter evenly over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with some slightly larger butter lumps, about 6 pulses. Transfer mix to a large bowl and stir in strawberries then stir in cream until it can be formed into a loose ball.
Flour your countertop and form the ball into a 5″ round disk. Cut into 4 scones and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let stand about 5-10 minutes and then serve with your favorite side of whipped cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart on Local In Season

10 Jun

Hey everyone! Did you know that yesterday was National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day? Now you know! Now go on over to Local in Season where you can see my post on how to make a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Tart using fresh and local ingredients!

Homemade Nutella Tart

10 May

At one point in time Nutella was always available in our apartment. I’m pretty sure it was a National Crisis if the Nutella jar was empty at any point. Husband loves Nutella so much he would just eat it out of the jar. With a knife. Yeah, I know, he’s weird.

Then, one day, we just….stopped. Stopped buying Nutella. I would ask Hubby if he wanted any Nutella and he would just shrug and say “Nah.” Perhaps he was trying to reduce the amount of Nutella crust surrounding his heart? Maybe.

Well, let me tell you, one bit of this homemade nutella tart and you will NEVER WANT TO BUY NUTELLA AGAIN. Partially hydrogenated oil? Pah. How about cream, butter, chocolate and ::gasp:: hazelnuts. Granted, it’s not exactly HEALTHY for you, but it’s better than the jarred stuff. Maybe. Probably. Just go with me here.

I made this Nutella tart for Easter and it was consumed so quickly I didn’t even have time to snap a picture of a slice. The crust came out a little harder than I wanted, given that once someone attempted to cut a piece of the crust it would projectile itself across the room. (This seriously happened every.single.time someone tried to cut the crust with their fork) Whoops. Let’s just say my crust technique isn’t very professional. I tend to just cram the crust into the mold and let it sort itself out.

I had a ton of nutella leftover (OM NOM) because I used an 8″ tart pan instead of the called for 10″ tart pan. Feel free to drizzle the homemade nutella on ice cream, spread it on toast, add to your milk, or just eat out of the tub. With a knife, of course.

Homemade Nutella Tart

Adapted from the Flour Bakery Cookbook

  • Your favorite tart crust – I used the one from the Flour Cookbook as well but I’m too lazy to write it all out (Be honest, you’re only looking for the Nutella part anyway)
  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 lb milk chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet on medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until dark brown and fragrant. Let cool. Set aside 16-20 hazelnuts for garnish. Pulse the remaining hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground.
In a small saucepan, combine cream and nuts and scald over medium-high heat. Do NOT bring to a boil. When the edges start to bubble, you can stop.
Remove from heat and let sit for about an hour. Then, strain the cream through a mesh sieve into a bowl or pitcher.
Place both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Place over barely simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have it) and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream until fully combined. Add the hazelnuts, salt, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Pour the mix into your baked tart shell until filled to the rim. Let the tart chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. If you’re in a pinch, place in the freezer for about an hour and you should be fine.¬† Remove from fridge about 2 hours before serving.
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