Tag Archives: Dessert

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.

 

 

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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.

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

25 Aug

So, um, I have a small confession to make…

It’s almost September and this past weekend was the first time I used my ice cream maker this summer.

I know, I know, feel free to berate and talk smack about me all you want. I mean, what kind of food blogger am I that I haven’t even so much as made homemade ice cream ONCE this summer.

Don’t worry though, it was clearly worth the wait. You see, I had a whole bushel (maybe bushel is not the word, what do you call a group of blueberries?) of ripe blueberries from our CSA that were just BEGGING to be turned into ice cream. But not just any boring kind of ice cream.

Blueberry sour cream¬†ice cream. I’ve never actually made an ice cream with sour cream in it. I’m not even sure I’ve eaten ice cream that was made with sour cream. But I am a sour cream convert. Now, I like a good old-fashioned custard based ice cream, with the golden egg yolks and the like. But it takes a lot of work. And when it’s 8PM on a Friday night and you are trying to watch the season finale of Master Chef (***SPOILER ALERT*** Really, they picked Jennifer?!? I was totally gunning for Adrian. Actually, I was pissed when Christian lost because I wanted him to win because he was repping the whole Masshole image HARD. He clearly made us all proud. But seriously, Jennifer?!?!?! Dislike. Also, end rant) you just want to be able to throw everything in a blender, then throw it into your ice cream maker, and let it do its thing. Which is exactly what happens with this ice cream.

Now the original recipe calls for heavy cream and full fat sour cream but I subbed half and half and light sour cream and it still tasted plenty creamy. I also wanted a more lemon taste, so I added a lot more lemon juice and zest, so if you really want the blueberries to pop, then scale back on the lemon. Oh, and blueberry ice cream with chocolate sauce? Best.Idea.Ever.

Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Blissfully Delicious

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups blueberries (I used fresh)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • grated zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice (use more or less depending on how much you want the lemon flavor to come out)
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1.5 cups light sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
Directions
In a medium saucepan, bring the blueberries, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice to a boil. Stir until all the sugar has been dissolved and the berries start to burst, about 3 minutes or so.
Let the mixture cool a bit and then transfer to your blender. Blend on high until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add the half and half. Blend to combine, then add the sour cream and blend again. Taste mixture and adjust the sugar and/or lemon as necessary.
Let the mixture cool completely in the fridge. I left my mixture in the blender because who wants to do extra dishes?
Once the mixture is cool add the rum and mix. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn per your ice cream makers instructions. Freeze the ice cream for at least 2 hours before serving.

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 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!

Daring Baker’s: Biscuit Joconde Imprime

27 Jan

We interrupt our regularly scheduled restaurant review programming to bring you….! The next Daring Baker’s Challenge!

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

When I first read through the Daring Baker’s Challenge for this month I probably sounded like this,

“I’m suppose to make WHAT?!?!?!!?!” ::insert panic screech here::

Then I read it about 20 more times and thought to myself, Well that actually doesn’t sound too difficult.

I originally had ambitious ideas about this cake. I originally wanted to do a German Chocolate base with Bavarian cream and raspberry jam. And then I ran out of time. Whoops? Well that and I’m actually trying to stay on a diet.

So instead I changed it up and went with a Banana Pudding. Homemade banana pudding. It was my first time making pudding and it was a great experience! Definitely worlds away from the boxed stuff.

So for the decor paste, I halved the recipe. And I STILL had too much left over. I may have eaten the leftovers, because the paste was just SO GOOD. Ugh.

As you can see, the sides of my cake didn’t come out to well. I blame a couple of things, my oven, my oven rack being too low, my computer for luring me away from said oven for too long, my cat. I tried to go simple with the design, and may have left it on the pan for too long. I also think I didn’t put enough of the sponge on the imprime. The bottom of my cake was actually done on a whim because I had leftover paste. Less baking time plus putting the cake on the top rack made the bottom absolutely gorgeous. Now I know for next time.

This was really a fabulous challenge and I’m really glad I was able to learn such a great technique. I definitely look forward to refining it and playing around with it. And maybe someday I’ll actually make the original cake I planned for.

Banana Pudding Entremet

Jaconde sponge and paste recipe provided by Astheroshe who hosted this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge. Banana pudding recipe adapted from Evil Shenanigans

Jaconde Sponge

  • 3/4 cup/ 3oz almond flour/meal*
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons/2‚ÖĒ oz confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup/1 oz cake flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 tsp/ ‚Öď oz white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp/1oz unsalted butter, melted

A note about the almond flour/meal. If you want to spend $11 on what branded as “Almond Meal/Flour” then by all means do it. But if you want to spend about $3 instead, buy a package of blanched sliced almonds, and run them through your food processor for about 5 minutes. *POOF* Almond Flour.

In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks (I am currently the QUEEN of egg whites. This used to not be the case). Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later. Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl).

On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment). Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix. Fold in melted butter. Reserve batter to be used later.

Jaconde-Decor Paste

  • 7 tbsp/3.5oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 3.5oz Confectioners’¬† sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3oz cake flour, sifted
  • 1 oz cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade). Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously. Fold in sifted flour.

Banana Pudding

  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
    2 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 large bananas, sliced into 1/8‚Ä≥ slices
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Spread a thin layer of the paste onto a silicone baking mat, or parchment paper on an upside down baking pan. Pattern the paste into what you want. Use your imagination! Put in the freezer for 15 minute to harden.

Remove from the freezer and quickly pour about half of the sponge cake batter to cover the design and quickly put into the oven, on the highest rack if you can. Bake until the sponge bounces back at you. This can take anywhere from 7-15 minutes. It all depends on your oven and your pan. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, leave your oven while it is baking. Just.Watch.It.

Pour the remaining batter (and make another pattern if you want!) into a spring form pan. Once the first part of the cake is finished remove from oven and put the cake in. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Once the cake base is finished, pop the springform pan apart. Using just the ring, you want to cut your jaconde so it goes entirely around the pan (on the inside) The height should be about halfway up the pan (or more if you want!) Make sure your pattern is up against the ring.

Now time to make the pudding!

In a medium sauce pan whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste (if using), salt, egg, and egg yolk.  Once well combined place the pan over medium heat and cool until thick and bubbling.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter (and vanilla extract if you are using) and whisk until completely melted.  Pour the custard through a strainer into a separate bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, mash up the banana, leaving a couple of chunks. Mix the banana into the custard. Refrigerate for at least an hour before assembling the cake.

Once the pudding has partially set, put the sponge base into the springform pan and pour the pudding into it. Cover with whipped or homemade whipped cream and smashed vanilla wafers. Put in the fridge for another hour to set. Then eat!

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