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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Plumcott and peach skillet cake, with bourbon, whipped cream and maple syrup

From Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

It’s Fall, the bright leaves are scattering and we’re indoors already, thinking that warm, rich comforting desserts are what we want.  I love to make plum cakes and have brought my ‘regular’ one to Mystery Lovers Kitchen, but this weekend on the roll-up to Canadian Thanksgiving (Monday!) I decided to try something different. I’d found a nice recipe for peach cake with a maple bourbon sauce. Then next to the peaches were some lovely plump and juicy plumcots, all ready to go.  I decided to mix it up a bit. 

The recipe called for maple syrup and I’d just stocked up on a lovely, dark syrup from a local family producer. It also called for buttermilk and I had lots of buttermilk frozen in convenient ½ cup servings. I had a wonderful new vanilla extract to try. The recipe used a cast-iron skillet and I had one that was more than ready for an outing. It was meant to be!

In fact, I had everything except the bourbon. I knew I could make the cake without bourbon and serve it up with just maple syrup or just whipped cream or both, but I had to find out how this tasted. 

But back to my story: in our village, there was a selection of exactly one choice of bourbon. They tried to tell me that Tennessee whiskey was really the same (Please wade in on this issue, friends!). I stuck to my guns and left with the only bourbon. At home, I discovered that I only needed a quarter cup.

It was lovely! And it will be a dessert for Thanksgiving here as well.  Too good to waste. 
All to say, the combination of bourbon, dark maple syrup and Madagascar vanilla was a potent one.  And you can expect to find a few more recipes here using each of them over the next few months. 

Plumcott and peach skillet cake

All you need is:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 ripe peaches, sliced
2 ripe plumcots, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup maple syrup, medium or dark
1/4 cup bourbon
Whipping cream

All you do is:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and 1/2 cup sugar and beat at medium speed until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix gently a few times. Add dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, and mix until just combined. Transfer batter to a well-greased cast-iron or ovenproof pan.

 Arrange peach and plumcot slices and sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining sugar. 


Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is set and edges are brown. Don’t over

bake or it will be dry.  

Serve warm or cool, but warm is really great!

Meanwhile, in a saucepan on the stove top, heat your maple syrup. I cooked it for a while to thicken it, although it's still fairly runny. Remove from heat and add the elusive bourbon. Bring back to a simmer and cook for a minute or two. 

Serve with whipped cream and syrup!  Or by all by itself.  

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Victoria and Mary Jane Maffini. They like desserts.

Victoria and MJ  have lots to give thanks for this year, including good food and this dessert.  

We're thankful that we are all well again. We're thankful we have access to great food, family and terrific friends. We are grateful that Victoria Abbott has had a good year. The Wolfe Widow is off to a roaring start and that there will be two more Book Collector mysteries.  

We are thankful for the joy our pets bring us.


We can sit back and enjoy our meal!   

You can get your copy of THE WOLFE WIDOW 




Or  Your favorite Indie bookstore!

If you'd like to find out more about us, CLICK HERE 

Sign up for our free e-newsletter with book news, contests and fun.  RIGHT HERE  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake

Now that Mardi Gras is upon us, I'm seeing recipes for Bananas Foster everywhere. That started me thinking about where that delicious combination of bananas, brown sugar and rum could be used. There's a recipe all over the net for Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake that originated with Southern Living. They know their sweet Southern recipes! But it wasn't quite what I had in mind, so I dared to create my own. I was very pleased with the results.

The brown sugar and banana part is fairly standard, I think. I found the recipe for the original Bananas Foster at Brennan's in New Orleans here, should you feel like trying it.

I wanted to get that lively banana flavor and texture into the cake part, so I used one banana. I went back and forth about butter vs. oil, but in the end, I used a mild flavored olive oil to keep the moistness. Besides, there's half a stick of butter in the Foster part.

This is almost a dump cake. Very quick and easy to make. Just be careful when you add the batter to the pan. Use a large cooking spoon to add the batter around the outside edges first, then build toward the middle. Otherwise, the bananas might move, and you'll end up with a bald spot like I did.

I think this would be fabulous served warm for a brunch. Good for afternoon tea or snack time, too!

Krista's Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake

1 12-inch iron skillet

1/4 cup oil (mild olive oil or canola oil)
1 average size ripe banana
milk (see recipe for amount)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons rum (dark would be traditional, but I used light)
3-4 bananas

Measure the oil in a one-cup measure and pour into a mixing bowl. Using the same measuring cup, mash one banana in it with a fork. Add enough milk to fill the cup to 3/4 cup. Pour into mixing bowl and mix. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix. Add the egg and the sugar and mix well. Add the flour 1/3 cup at a time. Finally add the vanilla and beat. It will be fairly thick.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter, and add the brown sugar and the rum. Stir a few times to combine. Remove from heat.

Slice the bananas and add them to the skillet in a single layer. Use a large spoon to top the bananas with the cake batter. Start on the outside and work your way in so you won't dislodge the bananas.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 6 minutes. Top with a plate and flip. Replace any dislodged bananas. They're very easy to stick back on the cake.

Serve warm or cold.

Add the banana slices to the pan.

Carefully spoon on the batter and smooth.

Let rest 6 minutes before flipping onto a platter.

Add the batter around the edges first to avoid bald spots like this!


Monday, January 31, 2011

Skillet Caramelized Pear Cake

I have friends who think I never have kitchen disasters. Hah! I'll never forget the blueberry bread that was so bad that even desperately hungry squirrels and raccoons turned their noses up at it. Nevertheless I keep trying new things. Sometimes they work, sometimes not so much.

Yesterday, Sunday dinner with Mom was looming, but I couldn't find a recipe for what I had in mind. In this case, I happened to have two pears that I was determined to use, a small oval cast iron skillet that Santa brought, and precious little time for baking.

I'll admit that I had serious doubts about how this might turn out. It exceeded our expectations. This one is a keeper and a recipe I'll be making often. Not only does it taste great, but it's very pretty, too. Apples could readily be substituted for pears, and I suspect that a mixture of apples and pears would work as well. My cast iron skillet is 9.5 inches by 7 inches for reference purposes. A small round skillet should work fine.

Skillet Caramelized Pear Cake

2 pears

1/4 cup canola or olive oil (not one with intense flavor)
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup milk

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Peel, core, and slice the pears. Toss with a squeeze or two of lemon so they don't turn brown.

Place the oil, egg, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat or whisk together. Alternate adding flour and milk until everything is blended. Set aside.

On the stove top, melt the butter with the light brown sugar in the skillet. Position the pear slices on top of the mixture, crowding them a little bit. Pour the batter over the pears and slide the skillet into the oven. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Flip over onto serving platter.

Serve warm with creme fraiche or lightly sweetened whipped cream.