Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel



I've been trying to use the gadgets that I have, and to that end, I ordered America's Test Kitchen's Food Processor Perfection. I've had fun looking through it and trying out some recipes. The food processor is a real workhorse, but I don't make as much use of it as I could.

Inspired by one their recipes, I tried making a pumpkin cake. It was an interesting experiment. One of our favorite cakes (often requested for birthdays) is a food processor cake but it only has a few ingredients. This one was a little more complex.

One of the things they point out is that the food processor makes it easier to incorporate items that need to be chopped or shredded first. Why not keep using it to make the whole cake?

The process isn't that different from making a cake using a mixer. You start with all the dry items (flour, spices, etc.) and then add the wet items. It made a lovely thick batter for the pumpkin cake.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel
inspired by a recipe from Food Processor Perfection

Streusel

1 cup pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon water

Cake

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted + extra for pan

1/2 15-ounce can of pumpkin (roughly 7.5 ounces)

1 large egg

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. While it's heating, toast the pecans on a baking sheet. Grease and flour a springform pan. Place cooled pecans in food processor with sugar and process until ground. Add cinnamon, salt, butter and water and pulse until it makes clumps. Only about 8 pulses. Set aside.

Wipe out the food processor with a paper towel.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to food processor and pulse to combine well. Add butter, pumpkin, egg, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Process about 10 seconds. Scrape the sides. Pulse 5 times. Pour into prepared pan.

Dot the top with small amounts of the streusel and smooth together so they cover the top. Bake 40 minutes or until the middle is set and the cake begins to pull away from the sides.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream.







Almost here!

Friday, September 22, 2017

How We Cook and Apple Ginger Cake

So I was sitting at the kitchen table, trying to pry my eyes open and reading the paper, when I stumbled on a foodie article by Janelle Nanosin in the Boston Globe. Mainly it was about millennials and cookware, but she also commented on how millennials look at food and how they prepare it. What caught my eye was her statement, "The species [i.e., millennials] shop at Whole Foods and order meal kits from Blue Apron, scan Food52.com for recipe ideas, and then document dishes on social media." 

We here at MLK probably have well over a century of cooking experience among us. I shop at Whole Foods when I'm near one, but I've never ordered a meal kit from anywhere, nor had I ever heard of Food52.com. (Okay, we do all talk about food on social media.) I'm more likely to look for ideas on Epicurious, which in comparison to Food52 seems kind of stodgy.




So I took a peek at Food52. Oh my--they promise nearly 3,000 apple recipes. The recipes overall are a bit edgier than those on Epicurious, with a broader range of ingredients and more foreign dishes. They certainly look interesting, but . . .  What? Are we stuck in the past with our mothers' cookbooks (guilty as charged--I've been known to give you recipes here that are a couple of centuries old)? Not that I'm against trying new ingredients and ways to combine them, but there were a few examples of Food52 that kind of pushed my limits. Polenta with sausage and apples? Quinoa salad with hazelnuts, apples and cranberries? Definitely a lot of creativity here, but I'm not sure I want to make them (I might try one if I saw it on a restaurant menu, though).

But my apple crop is at its peak and we're eating as many as we can straight off the tree, so I found a cake recipe that combines apples and ginger (powdered and fresh), both favorites. And of course I changed a few things, starting with the apple varieties. The original recipe called for a hearty dose of dark rum, which I don't happen to have, so I swapped in Irish whiskey.

The result? The cake worked (came out of the pan easily), and has a nice balance of flavors. I loved the buried layer of apples which peek out. It's a little more complicated than some apple cake recipes, but it's a bit more interesting. 


Apple Ginger Cake

3 large firm apples (or four smaller ones)

4 Tblsp turbinado sugar*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for 
     greasing the pan and sauteeing the apples

*A note about turbinado sugar: it’s raw sugar made from pure cane sugar extract. You can substitute demerara sugar, which is easier to find in markets–that's basically the same but with coarser but more uniform crystals.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (if you know yours leaks, wrap the bottom outside with foil).

Core and peel the apples and cut into thin slices. Melt about 2 Tblsp of butter in a saucepan and cook until it begins to brown. Add the apple slices to the pan and stir until all the slices are covered with butter. 




Sprinkle about 2 Tblsp of turbinado sugar over the apples and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tblsp lemon zest (1 medium lemon)
1 Tblsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 Tblsp molasses
3 Tblsp Irish whiskey
1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yoghurt

In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.


Dry ingredients in my vintage sifter

In a stand mixer with the paddle blade, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the two eggs and beat. Then add the lemon zest, ground ginger, molasses, whiskey and vanilla (the mixture may look curdled, but don’t worry).




By hand, stir in the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition. When the batter is smooth, fold in the milk and the yoghurt and combine thoroughly.




Scrape half the batter into the buttered pan. Cover with the apple slices, then spread the rest of the batter over the top. Smooth the top, then sprinkle with the rest of the turbinado sugar.







Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a racks, and run a knife around the edge to loosen. The open the springform ring and remove the cake. Let it cool on the rack. 




You can serve it with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you like.



Less than two months until the release of A Late Frost! (Yes, the cover image looks just like my apple crop--well, almost.)

Available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


www.sheilaconnolly.com




Friday, September 8, 2017

Harvest Time Again

My apples are almost all ripe. I planted the first tree--a Northern Spy that I call Nathan, after Nathan Hale--in 2007, and seven trees after that. Two, sadly, have passed away, but the others have gone crazy this year, including Nathan. 



Last year I had a crop of two apples. Not two bushels or two baskets or even two bowls, but two. Period. There was a late frost last year (oh, look, a book plug!) which took out all the blossoms at once. This year has been a polar opposite, with enough sun and warmth and rain to produce a great crop. Even Nathan has cooperated, which is worth noting since the Northern Spy variety is usually late to bloom and late to ripen.

Hudson's Golden Gem -- small, crisp and sweet
(and a squirrel favorite!)

In past years I have featured a wide range of apple recipes on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, and my creative colleagues here have added more. Sweet and savory. Slaws and slumps, buckles and grunts, crumbles and crisps--they've found their way here. So it's always a challenge to come up with a new one, but I keep collecting cookbooks. Apples have been around in this country from the beginning, so there are plenty of choices for recipes, both old and new.

This harvest offering comes from a recipe in the delightful Brass Sisters' Heirloom Cooking cookbook. Of course, the first problem I encountered with it was the choice of apples: the sisters recommended Granny Smiths. Now, there's nothing wrong with a Granny Smith apple. They're hardy, dependable, keep well, and are good in cakes and pies and such because they hold their shape in cooking. But they're boring. I don't have any in my mini-orchard, because I'm having fun trying old New England varieties, that you'll never see in a store, only at the rare farm stand on a country road in the fall. Many of them don't hold well, don't travel well, and the trees produce for a short time only. So to taste them you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Well, my mini-orchard is the right place, but I didn't have enough of any single variety that were ripe enough to use in this dish, so I used whatever looked good. It won't hurt your pie or cake. In fact, you kind of cover your bases by using multiple varieties, with different textures and flavors and varying amounts of sweetness. I have a couple of Northern Spies in this, and some Hudson's Golden Gems, and a few Cortlands, and what I think is a Newtown Pippin or two. They taste fine together.


Dorset Apple Cake (with a nod to the Brass Sisters)

Ingredients:

3-1/2 cups peeled, cored and 
Chopped apples

   diced apples (half-inch dice)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
grated zest of one lemon

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more!)

1/2 cup ( 1 stick) cold butter, cut into dice

1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tblsp Demerara (coarse) sugar


Instructions:

Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. 
Butter (or grease) a 9" square baking pan.

Toss the apples, sugar, raisins and lemon zest in a bowl.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Work in the butter by hand.

Before

After

Mix the vanilla and the cream, then add it to the batter and mix (do not overmix!) Add the beaten eggs, half at a time. The mixture will be stiff.

Fold in the apple mixture with a large spatula.

Place the dough in the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the coarse sugar over the top.

Ready for the oven

Bake about 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Leaving the cake in the pan, place on a rack to cool.

Baked



Best served warm or at room temperature, maybe with a dab of whipped cream.


By the way, I don't mind sharing my apple crop.




A Late Frost, coming in November from Berkley. 

www.sheilaconnolly.com



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Almond Flour Tart #Recipe @PegCochran

This is a Mark Bittman recipe I discovered and decided to try.  Hubby loves sweets but also has to watch his carbs so I thought this cake would be perfect with the substitution of Splenda for sugar.  I also had blueberries on hand so I decided to live dangerously and threw those in!

I ended up making this again a couple of nights later--that's how much he liked it.  But then he likes anything with sugar in it so take that with a grain of...er...salt.  These pictures are from the first time I made it--I thought my skillet was a little too big so the second time I used an 8" cake pan, and it turned out perfectly.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ to ¾ cup sugar (according to personal taste) or substitute the same amount of your favorite artificial sweetener that can be used for baking
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, more if you want to garnish the top of the cake
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Powdered sugar for garnish


Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, ground almonds, cream, sliced almonds, lemon zest and juice.




Melt butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over low heat.


Add almond mixture to pan, tilting pan to distribute batter evenly. 



Continue to cook tart on stove top until edges just begin to set, then put pan in oven and finish cooking, about 10 to 15 minutes more.




When tart is done, put it in broiler for about a minute or until just golden on top. Mine came out of the oven already quite golden so I skipped this step. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and sliced almonds.  


It doesn't look too pretty--my skillet was too 
big--but it was delicious!




Bon Appetit!




The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways! 

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mrs. Smith's Orange Cake #Recipe @PegCochran

This cake is known in the family as "Mrs. Smith's Orange Cake--Fletcher's Favorite."  Fletcher is my husband and this recipe comes from his high school girlfriend's grandmother!  So it's been around a loooong time!

I made this for Easter, and it's light and lovely with a hint of orange.  Next time I think I would add some orange zest to the batter for a stronger orange flavor.  But we enjoyed it as is!


CAKE

5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tsp. baking powder

Separate eggs and beat yolks until lemon colored.  Add the sugar a little at a time.




Mix and sift baking powder, flour and salt.



Add flour mixture and orange juice to batter, alternating between them.



Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks and fold into the batter.



Pour batter into an *ungreased* angel food pan (a tube pan.)

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. 

Invert and cool completely.



ICING

Mix together:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar
Add enough orange juice until spreading consistency (about 1/2 cup)



GIVEAWAY!!!

I am giving away TWO copies of Dead and Berried, 
#3 in my Cranberry Cove Series.  
It will be out on May 2nd!
Leave a comment below to be entered to win!



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